Explanatory of Creek Freedman Abstract
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It is very necessary that you read and read carefully this explanatory note. You cannot get the full value of this book unless you do and you will charge the compiler of the book with error for which he is in no way responsible, even though error in fact exists.
All cards are Creek Freedmen census cards and the title line gives the number of the card, after which is given the last known Post Office address of the citizen. Then follows on the same line the date or dates of enrollment. You will note that in many instances several dates are given. To make our plan clear we give an example. Let us suppose we had six persons enrolled on any particular card, and the first four of these enrolled citizens were enrolled in the month of August, 1899, the fifth enrolled on the card was enrolled July, 1, 1900, and the sixth was enrolled June 24, 1904. Unless it be more specifically noted on the card these entries will be made as follows:
Enrolled August, 1899; No. 5, July 1, 1900; No. 6, June 24, 1904.
It will be noted that under the first date we include the enrollment of all these citizens, who are not specifically numbered, such as Nos. 5 and 6 in this particular instance. Note also that the enrollment date is in the “title line” and not at the lower right hand corner of the card as on the original card in the office of the Superintendent.
Now taking up the tabulated matter in detail:
(1) The first column is under the heading “Roll No.” This needs no explanation except to say that it is the roll number of the enrolled citizen whose name is found under the heading “name” later, on the same line. This roll number will be the roll number given in the roll book, published by the Department of the Interior.
(2) The next column is under the heading “No.” and under this is given the number of those as they appear on the card. It has no other significance. It is used simply for certainty in future reference. Wherever the enrolled citizen whose name follows this number is referred to the number in front of his name is used, and not his name. Brevity was not the only reason for using the numbers, instead of the name. It may be that there will be two enrolled citizens on the same card, having the same name, and if we used the name it would lead to uncertainty. Therefore, we use the numbers. Its use may be explained as follows. Suppose we had three citizens on the card as follows:
1. Smith, John
2. Smith Martha
3. Smith, John
Suppose that the John Smith first named was the father of the John Smith last named. In the columns under the heading “Name of father” on the same line where the name of the second John Smith appears we write “No. 1,” thus meaning that John Smith, who appears after No. 1 on this card, is the father of John Smith whose name appears after No. 3 on this card. Again, in the notations at the bottom of the card you will see “No. 1 died January 14, 1913,” “No. 3 died August 6, 1904.” By using the numbers we make our references certain, and You know at once which John Smith died on January 14, 1913. and which died in August, 1904.
(3) Under the heading “Name” we give the name of the enrolled citizen whose roll number appears in the column under the heading ” Roll No.”
(4) Next follows the columns under the headings “age” and “sex” and these we think need no explanation. This refers to the age and sex of the citizen whose name immediately precedes these notations. The ages are the ages shown by the census cards in the office of the Superintendent not the ages at the time of the preparation of this abstract.
(5) Above the next column is the heading “Rel.” This abbreviation is for “relationship to No. 1 on the card.” The first citizen enrolled on the card is usually the head of the family. There is usually no notation in this column after his name. The names of those enrolled, and which follow his enrollment, and who are on this card are, as a usual thing, related to him in some way, and this relationship is noted in this column. Thus. if “No. 2” on the card be the wife of ” No. 1″ then in this column will be the abbreviation ” Wf,” if ” No. 3″ he the daughter of “No. 1.” then the letter “D” will appear in this column, if a son, then the letter “S.” and here we use “StS” for stepson. “StD” for step-daughter. “GrD” for grand-daughter, “GrS” for grandson, “Neph” for nephew, and niece, ward, etc. We think with this explanation no one will have trouble in determining the relationship of those on the card, as shown in this column.
(6) Under the heading “Name of Father” is found the name of the father of the enrolled citizen. This enrolled citizen being the one whose name appears on this Sallie line on the card. Remember names of the enrolled citizens appear only in the column under the heading “Name.” The father and mother may, or may not be enrolled citizens. If they are enrolled their names will be found in the column under the heading “Name.” What has been said here of the names appearing under the heading “Name of Father” is also true of the names found under the heading “Name of Mother.” If the father or mother be enrolled their names may or may not appear on the card, as enrolled citizens, with their child.
(7) After the names of father and mother will be found columns headed ” living” and “citizen.” We now take up these two headings and ask that you carefully note what we say
(a) “Living.” Under this heading we show whether or not the parent, was living at the time his, or her, child, the citizen, was enrolled. If the parent was living at that time the letter ” L” will be found under this column heading. If the parent was dead at that time the letter “D,” meaning dead, will be found in this column. On the original cards in the office of the Superintendent if the father or mother be living, or if there be any doubt of his or her death, then this column was left blank. We have made no changes in the notations of death as noted on the original cards. We have, however, added the notations as to the living and in doing so have used the knowledge gained by our continued working at the cards and have noted those whom we believe to be dead with a question mark thus (?). You will realize that we could not be absolutely certain in making these entries.
(b) “Citizen.” Under this column heading we have sought to determine the citizenship of the father or mother. These columns were not filled in to any large extent on the original cards and we have attempted to complete the card in this regard. We have made errors, but knowing we are certain to make some errors we are giving you the result of our cross study of the cards and you can readily verify our notations by investigation, and you should in every case make an investigation before you part with your money. In these columns we use abbreviations and they are intended as follows: “Cr.” Creek Freedman; “Cr. I.” Creek Indian; “Cher.” Cherokee; ” Choc.” Choctaw; “Chic.” Chickasaw; “Sem.” Seminole; “Non” non citizen, etc. In our notations in these columns we have undoubtedly made more errors than was the case in our Indian Abstract. This for the reason that we did not have the “blood” column notations to guide us. We have used the question mark (?) much more freely.
The abstract of the “New Born Freedmen” and the “Minor Creek Freedmen” is somewhat different from the abstract of the original Creek cards and these will be preceded by explanatory notes.
We believe one half of the Creek Freedmen allottees to be dead at this time. We have not been able to show the percentage dead we did in our Abstract of the Indian Cards and the reason for this is as follows:
The Freedmen were always in sympathy with the Government in its plan to carry out the terms of the treaties. They were the first to enroll and the first to secure allotments. They occupied and farmed the better portion of the Creek domain, while the full bloods kept to the hills and backwoods. Many of the full bloods were adverse to the plan of the Government to allot the lands to and among the individual members of the Tribe in severalty and neglected and refused to appear before the Commission, and enroll themselves or their families or to take in allotment lands for themselves or for members of their family. As a result the Freedmen secured the better class of land. All land had been appraised and a standard allotment of lands was one equaling in value $1,040.00 and allotments were to be equalized on this basis. Later, however, Congress provided that the lands should be equalized on the basis of a standard allotment value of $800.00. Most of the Freedmen had secured in allotment. lands of greater value than this amount. Therefore there was nothing due them out of the equalization funds and no proof of death was taken in cases where the allottee had received land equal in value to $800.00 or more.
We have shown all deaths of which the Superintendent’s office had a record at the time we compiled our data. The dates of death given are not reliable in many instances as will be seen by the fact that in some cases 2, 3, 4, and even 5 death affidavits are filed and in no case is the date of death given as the same, and we have had our attention called to one case where the difference amounts to something like 14 years. Again, in a number of instances death affidavits have been filed when in truth and in fact the persons reported to be dead are living. Prospective purchasers should investigate these matters of death carefully.
There were two Freedmen citizens enrolled by act of Congress during the year 1914. These will be the two last named on the original roll. They secured no allotment of land.