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Researchers who believe they are descended from the Cheyenne will be limited in their research to the amount of records available which provide specific names, and even further, those records which provide proof of relationships. The first source for Cheyenne genealogy should be the Free US Indian Census Schedules 1885-1940 as they cover the years of 1885-1940 and you will likely only need to go back to a grandparent to find somebody alive in the 1930’s. Determining an ancestor in these records would verify descendancy, especially in those census after 1930 when the degree of Indian Blood is provided.
Proving descent from records earlier then 1885 becomes much more difficult with the Cheyenne Nation. While there were certainly marriages between whites and Cheyenne prior to 1885, the knowledge of these marriages and official records showing proof are much more scant. The Cheyenne had a band of half-breeds which are mentioned both in the section on the divisions of the Cheyenne and bands of the Cheyenne Indians. While it is possible that the entire band is made up of half-breeds it is more likely that the band is named after their chief who was named half-breed.
There is a list of people mentioned in the treaty of 14 October 1865 which contain several White-Indian marriages. it is unknown whether the Indians were Cheyenne or Arapaho, but at the time were part of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Confederacy:
At the special request of the Cheyenne and Arrapahoe Indians, parties to this treaty, the United States agree to grant, by patent in fee-simple, to the following-named persons, all of whom are related to the Cheyennes or Arrapahoes by blood, to each an amount of land equal to one section of six hundred and forty acres, viz: To Mrs. Margaret Wilmarth and her children, Virginia Fitzpatrick, and Andrew Jackson Fitzpatrick; to Mrs. Mary Keith and her children, William Keith, Mary J. Keith, and Francis Keith; to Mrs. Matilda Pepperdin and her child, Miss Margaret Pepperdin; to Robert Poisal and John Poisal; to Edmund Guerrier, Rosa Guerrier, and Julia Guerrier; to William W. Bent’s daughter, Mary Bent Moore, and her three children, Adia Moore, William Bent Moore, and George Moore; to William W. Bent’s children, George Bent, Charles Bent, and Julia Bent; to A-ma-che, the wife of John Prowers, and her children, Mary Prowers and Susan Prowers; to the children of Ote-se-ot-see, wife of John Y. Sickles, viz: Margaret, Minnie, and John; to the children of John S. Smith, interpreter, William Gilpin Smith, and daughter Armama; to Jenny Lind Crocker, daughter of Ne-sou-hoe, or Are-you-there, wife of Lieutenant Crocker; to – Winsor, daughter of Tow-e-nah, wife of A. T. Winsor, Sutler, formerly at Fort Lyon. Said lands to be selected under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, from the reservation established by the 1st article of their treaty of February 18, A. D. 1861: Provided, That said locations shall not be made upon any lands heretofore granted by the United States to any person, State, or corporation, for any purpose.
Additional names can be garnered from the following list, some of which we have online, others of which we desire to obtain:
- Miles List of Northern Cheyenne at Darlington Oklahoma in 1877. National Archives, RG75, microfilm 234-122.
- George Milburn’s April 18, 1883 report to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs
- Tongue River Homesteaders
- Otter Creek Homesteaders
- Native American Land Patents
Cheyenne Indians Rolls and Census
- Cantonment Agency
- Cheyenne and Arapahoe Reservation
- 1887-1888 Cheyenne and Arapahoe Reservation Census
- 1891-1894 Cheyenne and Arapahoe Reservation Census
- 1895-1904 Cheyenne and Arapahoe Reservation Census
- 1905-1920 Cheyenne and Arapahoe Reservation Census
- 1921-1930 Cheyenne and Arapahoe Reservation Census
- 1931-1933 Cheyenne and Arapahoe Reservation Census
- 1934-1939 Cheyenne and Arapahoe Reservation Census
- Pine Ridge Agency
- 1886 Pine Ridge Agency Census
- 1887-1888 Pine Ridge Agency Census
- 1890 Pine Ridge Agency Census
- 1891 Pine Ridge Agency Census
- 1892 Pine Ridge Agency Census
- 1893 Pine Ridge Agency Census
- 1894-1895 Pine Ridge Agency Census
- 1896-1899 Pine Ridge Agency Census
- 1900-1903 Pine Ridge Agency Census
- 1904-1905 Pine Ridge Agency Census
- 1907 Pine Ridge Agency Census
- 1909 Pine Ridge Agency Census
- Red Moon Agency
- Seger Agency
- Tongue Agency River