Southeastern United States Indian Research
We are pleased to present the work of
Jacqueline A. Matte, Historian and
author of They Say the Wind
Historical Overview 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.
The following books, available in most libraries, provide the most useful
background for understanding the Removal Era:
Cotterill, R. S.
The Southern Indians: The Story of the Civilized Tribes before
Removal. Norman: The University of Oklahoma Press,
The Rise and Fall of the Choctaw Republic. Norman: The
University of Oklahoma Press, 1934.
A History of the Indians of the United States. Norman:
The University of Oklahoma Press, 1970.
Indian Removal. Norman: The University of Oklahoma
The Five Civilized Tribes. Norman: The University of
Oklahoma Press, 1934
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. In
addition to the sources listed below, be sure to check the more
traditional resources: local and state records, census records, land
records, court cases, probate records, church and school records. Be sure
to check the Internet for Southeastern Indian sites. Several are
Guion Miller Roll 1906-1909, Eastern Cherokee Applications of the U.S.
Court of Claims. RG 123, M-685. Last round up of the
Eastern Cherokees; Roll 1 has an Index of names. Use it to get the
application number. Rolls 2-6 have cards in numerical order.
The cards indicate whether the application was accepted or rejected.
If you see a notation on the card to a volume and page reference, that
means there will be something in the miscellaneous testimony on Rolls
7-11. Roll 12 has copies of earlier enrollments, from 1850, 1851,
and 1884 rolls. The earliest census for the Cherokee is the
1835 Henderson Roll, on T-498. Many of these rolls have been
transcribed and are available in most large libraries.
beauty of the Miller roll is that Native Americans of many tribes applied
just after the turn of the century, when many of your grandparents were
living. This is especially true for Creeks. A man named John
Beck enrolled everyone he could in South Alabama and Northwest Florida,
for a % of the "Indian money." All were rejected under Case No. 1139
because they were not Cherokee. Many Choctaw were rejected for the
same reason. The actual applications are in numerical order in
microfilm roll M-1104.
The applications usually give you four generations,
applicant and children, plus grandparents and great-grandparents, with
birth and death dates; place of birth and address.
Also, for Creeks, a roll was taken in the 1950s
of the Descendants of the Creek Indians, East of the Mississippi River,
called "the Head of Perdido, Friendly Creek Indian Band." A copy of
this is in the Mobile Library—Local History Division. Some names are
in English, but most are phonetically spelled Creek names. Lists are
arranged by towns.
Dawes Commission Roll - Index to Final Rolls of the Five Civilized
Tribes in Indian Territory. 1898-1914. Contains records on Oklahoma
tribes and Mississippi Choctaws who lived in Alabama, Mississippi and
Louisiana. M-1186 Index.
The index is broken down by tribe, and then by categories of relationship
(Cherokee by blood, by marriage, minor, etc.). Go to the tribe you
are researching and category to look up the name. The index is not
strictly alphabetical--there are many instances of names out of order, and
whole sections of index added at the end of a section. Once you have
located the name in the index you will see an enrollment number by the
name. Go to the second part of Roll 1 for the final roll.
There you will find the same arrangement of tribes and
categories. Look for the number. Once you find the number and
the name, it will tell you the age and sex of the person, and give another
number. This number is for the census card. Look up the census
cards on rolls 2-93. They follow the same arrangement of tribe and
category, then number. The census card shows all the people in the
same family, who applied.
The actual applications are in M-1301. They are
filmed here in the same arrangement: by tribe, category, and census card
number. You can get many kinds of information from the applications
whether they were accepted or rejected.
Records Relating to the Choctaw Net Proceeds Case. The Choctaw
Net Proceeds Case derived from claims of individual Choctaw Indians
arising from their removal to Indian Territory under the provisions of the
1830 Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek. The term "net proceeds" refers
to money remaining from the sale of the ceded land in the East after
necessary expenses had been deducted. Most records are still in
individual file folders in the National Archives. Related records
are in Court of Claims General Jurisdiction Case File 12742 in Records of
the U.S. Court of Claims, Record Group 123. Microfilmed copy of this
case is located at Samford University Library, Special Collections.
These records contain testimony taken in 1838 as well
as in later years that give the ancestors from whom the claimant descends;
some depositions are written in the Choctaw language. Plus, the
early testimony tells who attended the treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek,
what village they are from, who their leader was and why they were never
Muster Rolls of Choctaw Indians
who fought in the Creek Wars are available at the Alabama Department of
Archives & History. They are photocopies from the National Archives.
Again, the problem for researchers is that the names are phonetically
spelled Choctaw. Some of the captains had English names, so if you
know who they fought under, you may be able to determine if your ancestor
is listed. (See Public Information Subject File: Alabama at War, 2nd
Creek War--SG 13379.)
Choctaw Roll of 1830 -Armstrong Roll. This is available
in Gales & Seaton's American State Papers, Public Lands, vol. 7.
Indexed. Document No. 1230, 23d Cong:1st Sess. "In Relation to
the Location of Reservations under the Choctaw Treaty of the 27th of
September, 1830." This gives names, locations, and number in family,
some names are in English, most are phonetically spelled Choctaw names.
Baker, Jack D.
Cherokee Emigration Rolls. (Emigration Rolls, 1817-38)
Relates to: (M-685, Roll 12 Records Relating to Enrollment of
Eastern Cherokee by Guion Miller, 1908-1910, contains Old Settler
Roll, 1851, Drennen Roll, 1852, Chapman Roll, 1852, and Hester Roll,
Bob. Cherokee Roots. Cherokee, NC: the author, 1978.
This work contains enrollment Records of the Cherokee Nation, 1834-1924.
Cherokee Nation Births and Deaths, 1884-1901. Owensboro, KY: Cook &
McDowell Publications, 1980. Names are abstracted from the
newspapers Indian Chieftain and Daily Chieftain.
Cherokee Nation Marriages, 1884-1901. Owensboro, KY: Cook &
McDowell Publications, 1980. This is an alphabetical surname list of
names abstracted from the newspapers Indian Chieftain and Daily
Goss, Joe R. ed.
A Complete Roll of All Choctaw Claimants and their Heirs.
Goss reprinted index to the U.S. Court of Claims under the existing
treaties between the United States and the Choctaw Nation. In order to be
useful, you must know the Indian name and the English name.
Keith. Cherokee Reservees. (From NARC M-208: Records of
the Cherokee Indian Agency in Tennessee, 1801-1835, 14 rolls.
(Birmingham Public Library has microfilm).
Josephine L. Guide to the Draper Manuscripts.
Madison: The State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1983.
Shirley. Cherokee by Blood. vol. 1- Chattanooga, TN:
The author, 1982-. This is a surname listing of persons who made
applications to the U.S. Court of claims, 1906-1909. (Guion Miller Roll)
Kirkham, E. Kay.
Our Native Americans and Their Records of Genealogical Value.
2 vols. Logan, UT: Everton Publishers, 1980-1986.
Jacqueline Anderson. They Say the Wind Is Red: The Alabama
Choctaw Lost in their Own Land. Greenberry Publishing, 1999.
Mack. Cherokee Proud: A Guide for Tracing and Honoring Your
Cherokee Ancestors. Somerville, TN: Chunannee Books, 1997.
G. Exploring Your Cherokee Ancestry: A Basic Genealogical
Research Guide. Tahlequah, OK: Cherokee National Historical
Society, Inc, 1987.
Henry deLeon, Jr. and Jerry Elijah Brown. The Federal Road
through George, the
Creek nation and Alabama, 1806-1836.
Tuscaloosa, AL: The University of Alabama Press, 1989.
Describes locations and people who lived along the Federal Road
(Three-notched Way) which divided the Creek nation and includes maps.
History of the Cherokee Indians and Their Legends and Folk Lore and
Old Cherokee Families and Their Genealogies. Oklahoma City,
OK: The Warden Company, 1921; reprint, Millwood, NY: Kraus Reprint
Company, 1977. This history contains names of Cherokee families and
Strickland, Ben and Jean. Records of the Choctaw Trading House,
1803-1824. 2 vols. Moss Point, MS: The authors,
1984-1990. Abstracted and indexed records of NARC microfilm T-500.
Contains many names of people who traded skins at the trading houses at
St. Stephens until 1816 when it was moved to Demopolis.
S. Woodward's Reminiscences of the Creek, or Muscogee Indians,
contained in Letters to Friends in Georgia and Alabama.
Montgomery, AL: 1859. Stories of Indians and events of the
Creek Wars. Not indexed, but available in most libraries and worth
the time to locate names of early Creeks and inhabitants of south Alabama.
stories, names, places and general understanding of events can befound in
these indexed volumes. They are available in most large libraries.
Native American Exchange (SENA).
This is a quarterly publication dedicated to the research of Native
American history and genealogy. It is in most libraries and is
available for $20 by subscription from Jacqueline Hines, Editor, P.O. Box
161424, Mobile, AL 36616.
MICROFILM AND GUIDES
available from National Archives
Hill, Edward E.,
comp. Guide to Records in the National Archivesof the United
States Relating to
Washington, DC: 1981 National Archives Microfilm Resources for
Research: A Comprehensive Catalog. NARC, Washington, DC.
To order, call sales department 1-800-788-6282.
Indians - A select catalog
of National Archives Microfilm Publications.
Service Records -
Records of Volunteer soldiers who Served in the War of 1812. Record Groups
94 & 407, pp. 31-39.
Hill, Edward E.,
comp. Preliminary Inventories: Records of the Bureau of Indian
Affairs, Vol. I and II, Washington, DC: 1965, Record Group 75.
Describes records generated by Bureau of Indian Affairs, many of which
have not been microfilmed and can only be seen at the National Archives.
Yoshpe, Harry P.
and Philip P. Brower, comps. Preliminary Inventory of the Land-Entry
Papers of the General Lad Office. No. 22, Washington: 1949.
Choctaw Scrip - Certificates issued pursuant to Acts of Aug. 23, 1842, and
Mar. 3, 1845, in satisfaction of claims of heads of Choctaw families under
the treaty of Sept. 27, 1830, made at Dancing Rabbit Creek
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