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The Trail of Tears Roll is the name given by researchers to two different lists, both individually important, which provide an early glimpse into the Cherokees who went west in the early 1830’s. Lending to the confusion is the fact that both lists were created in 1835. If you read the reports listed under the 25 Congress, 3rd Session, that we’ve documented as the “Trail of Tears Roll” you will have a better understanding of this roll and the information contained in these reports. Hopefully this information will lead you to some of your ancestors.
The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek contains a long list of individuals (3547) receiving land reservations and positively recognizes these people as members of the tribe in a legally binding fashion. Many of these land recipients are elsewhere identified as countrymen or mixed bloods. There can be little doubt that they were accepted as leaders and members of the tribe. The various claims to land and claims for other reasons are found in American State Papers and offer positive identification of mixed bloods in individual cases. They also help pinpoint the location of mixed-blood land holdings.1