During the period of Indian Removal beginning in 1831 extensive records were generated through the turn of the century when Southeastern Indians were uprooted from their homelands in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. They were taken west of the Mississippi River in what is now Oklahoma. These records relate to treaties, trade, land claims, removal to Oklahoma, allotments, military affairs, military service and pensions, trust funds, and other activities. While the vast majority reference Southeastern Tribes, there are some which pertain to Western tribes as well.
Research for American Indian ancestors begins just like any other search for ancestors; you have to begin with what you know now. Prepare your ancestor charts beginning with yourself. Include all names, nicknames and any other identifying information on each person, be sure to check the more traditional resources: local and state records, census records, land records, court cases, probate records, church and school records…Jackie Matte, author of “They Say the Wind is Red”.
Native American rolls are viewed by many as one of the most useful resources for researching your Native American (Indian) Ancestors. However, until you know where your Native American ancestors resided, the rolls will be of no value to you. Proving Your Indian Ancestry is a guide to your Native American research.
To further your Indian Roll search we have added mailing lists. We have invited many individuals to join these lists with knowledge of the rolls and their history. It is hoped that we will be able to expand the descriptions of each of the rolls so the readers will have a better understanding of their uses.
Each roll is a link to a further explanation of that roll and why you need to search that roll. Where possible, we provide free online links to the actual rolls.
Reservation Roll – 1817 History Cherokee Tribe A listing of those applying for a 640 acre tract in the East in lieu of removing to Arkansas. This was only good during their lifetime and then the property reverted back to the state. This is only an index of applicants, the people listed here did not in most instances receive the reservation they requested.
Search – Reservation Roll Database
Armstrong Roll – Choctaw Tribe – Under the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek the information called for by the resolutions of the Senate of the 3d of March, in relation to the location of reservations under the treaty with the Choctaws of September 27th, 1830.
Search – Armstrong Roll Database
Emigration Roll – 1817-1835 – Cherokee Tribe Those who filed to emigrate to Arkansas country, and after treaties in 1828 on to Oklahoma. These Cherokee became known as the Old Settlers after the Eastern Cherokee joined them in 1839
Henderson Roll – 1835 -Cherokee Tribe – A Census of over 16,000 Cherokee residing in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina to be removed to Oklahoma under the terms of the treaty of New Echota in 1835. See Trail of Tears Roll below.
Trail of Tears Rolls
Trail of Tears Roll – 1835 – Cherokee Tribe – This is actually a report from the Secretary of War, in compliance with resolutions of the Senate, statements showing the persons employed, the funds furnished, and the improvements valued under the Cherokee Treaty of December 1835.
Search – Trail of Tears Roll -
Mullay Roll – 1848 – Cherokee Tribe – A census of 1,517 Cherokee remaining in North Carolina after the removal of 1838. John C. Mullay took the census pursuant to an act of congress in 1848.
Ha Cubbees Band Muster Roll – 1847 – Choctaw Tribe – Muster roll of a party of immigrant Choctaw Tribe of the Ha Cubbees Band who arrived at Fort Coffee, in the Choctaw Nation West, on the 23 of June 1847
Muster Roll of Big Black River Band – 1847 – Choctaw Tribe – Muster roll of a party on immigrant Choctaw Tribe, known as the Big Black River Band who arrived at Fort Coffee, in the Choctaw Nation West on the 10th of June 1847.
Chapman Roll – 1851 – Cherokee Tribe – Prepared by Albert Chapman as a listing of those Cherokee actually receiving payment based on the Siler Census.
Old Settlers Rolls
Old Settler Roll – 1851 – Cherokee Tribe – A listing of Cherokee, still living in 1851, who were already residing in Oklahoma when the main body of the Cherokee arrived in the winter of 1839, as a result of the Treaty of New Echota. Approximately one third of the Cherokee people at that time were Old Settlers and two thirds were new arrivals.
Search – Old Settlers Roll -
Siler Roll – 1852 – Cherokee Tribe – A listing of those Eastern Cherokee entitled to a per capita payment pursuant to an act of Congress in 1850.
Act of Congress Rolls
Act of Congress Roll - 1854 – Cherokee Tribe
An Act of Congress of July 31, 1854 (10 Stat 333) Authorized the addition of 88 individuals whose names were omitted by Siler but who were included on the Roll prepared by Mullay.
Drennen Roll – 1852 – Cherokee Tribe – The first census of the new arrivals of 1839. The New Echota Treaty group. The Drennen roll is a per-capita payment made to Cherokees living in the west who removed as a result and after the Treaty of 1835 Article 9. The roll was prepared by John Drennen and contains the payee’s name, Cherokee district and then family group.
Search – Drennen Roll Database
Cooper Rolls – 1855 – Choctaw Tribe – Census Rolls of Choctaw Families residing East of the Mississippi River and in the States of Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama made by Douglas H. Cooper, US Agent for Choctaws, in conformity with Order of Commissioner of Indian Affairs dated May the 23rd, 1855.
Search – Cooper Rolls
Swetland Roll – 1869 – Cherokee Tribe – Prepared by S. H. Swetland as a listing of those Eastern Cherokee, and their descendants, who were listed as remaining in North Carolina by Mullay in 1848. Made pursuant to an act of Congress (1868) for a removal payment authorization.
1871 Shawnee Census
Register of the names of members of the Shawnee Tribe of Indians who have moved to and located in the Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory, (prior to the 10th day of June, 1871) within two years from the 9th day of June 1869, in accordance with an agreement entered into by and between the Shawnee Tribe of Indians and the Cherokee Nation of Indians, through their Delegations in Washington City, D.C. United States of America, on the 7th day of June, 1869,and approved by the President of the United States on the 9th day of June, 1869, in accordance with the XV Article of the Cherokee Treaty with the United States proclaimed August the 11th, 1866.
Hester Roll Index – 1883 – Cherokee Tribe
Compiled by Joseph G. Hester as a roll of Eastern Band of Cherokee Tribe in 1883. This Roll itself provides the Chapman roll number and English and Indian name.
Search – Hester Roll
Citizens Band Land Allotment Rolls – 1887 (hosted at Native Americans in Kansas)
Index to the Final Rolls of Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory (Dawes) 1889-1914
- 1896 Applications – History
- Index If your ancestor was not living in Indian Territory at this time, they will not be listed on Dawes!!
- Dawes Final Roll Please read Understanding the Final (Dawes) Roll
McKennon Roll – 1889 – Choctaw Tribe – Proposed Legislation for the Full-blood and identified Choctaws of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama: Memorial Evidence and Brief published I believe in 1913.
Search – McKennon Roll
Wallace Roll - 1890 – Cherokee Freedmen – Roll of Cherokee Freedmen in Indian Territory created by Special Agent John W. Wallace. Individuals on the schedule were entitled to share with the Shawnee and Delaware in the per capita distribution of $75,000, appropriated by Congress in October 1888, and issued under the supervision of his office. Database allows search for names, age, roll numbers.
Search – Wallace Roll
Land Allotment Rolls
Kern Clifton Roll
Kern Clifton Roll - 1897 – Cherokee Freedmen – Census of the Freedmen and their descendants of the Cherokee Nation taken by the Commission appointed in the case of Moses Whitmire, Trustee of the Freedmen of the Cherokee Nation versus the Cherokee Nation and the United States in the Court of Claims at Washington, DC.
The Kern Clifton Roll came about due to the Cherokee Nation disputing the number of freedmen included in the Wallace Roll… yet the Kern Clifton Roll actually increased the number of people eligible for payment. This database allows you to search by surname of district.
Search – Kern Clifton Roll
Prairie Band Rolls
Churchill Roll – 1908 – Cherokee Tribe – By Inspector Frank C. Churchill to certify members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Tribe. Like the Hester roll it includes a lot of information including degree of blood.
Guion Miller Roll
Guion Miller Roll – 1909 - Cherokee Tribe – Compiled by Mr. Miller of all Eastern Cherokee, not old Settlers, residing either east or west of the Mississippi. Ordered by the Court of Claims as a result of a law suit won by the Eastern Cherokee for violations of certain treaties.
Search – Guion Miller Roll
Prairie Band Rolls
Free RootsWeb Databases
Baker Roll – 1924 – Cherokee Tribe – This was supposed to be the final roll of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Tribe. The land was to be allotted and all were to become regular citizens of the United States. Fortunately the Eastern Band of Cherokee avoided the termination procedures, unlike their brothers of the western nation. The Baker Roll “Revised” is the current membership roll of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Tribe of North Carolina.
Search – Baker Roll
Ute Roll – 1954 – Ute Tribe – The following database contains 2 rolls, the Full Blood Roll and the Mixed Blood Roll of the Ute Tribe of Uintah and Ouray Reservation in Utah. These are the PROPOSED rolls, and do not signify that the individuals listed upon it actually received any distribution under Title 25, Chapter 14, Subchapter 28, U.S. Code.
Search – Ute Roll