Indian Census Rolls at the National Archives
Discover your family's story.
Enter a grandparent's name to get started.
These census rolls were usually submitted each year by agents or superintendents in charge of Indian reservations, as required by an act of July 4, 1884 (23 Stat. 98). The data on the rolls vary to some extent, but usually given are the English and/or Indian name of the person, roll number, age or date of birth, sex, and relationship to head of family. Beginning in 1930, the rolls also show the degree of Indian blood, marital status, ward status, place of residence, and sometimes other information. For certain years–including 1935, 1936, 1938, and 1939–only supplemental rolls of additions and deletions were compiled. Most of the 1940 rolls have been retained by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and are not included in this publication. There is not a census for every reservation or group of Indians for every year. Only persons who maintained a formal affiliation with a tribe under federal supervision are listed on these census rolls. The entire census rolls are available online via AccessGenealogy.
- Free US Indian Census Rolls 1885-1940
All of the 1885-1940 Indian census rolls with their images can be accessed for free from AccessGenealogy. For the most part, these rolls dated after 1900 were done in alphabetical order and were typewritten - this should help make finding your ancestor much easier. The earlier ones though were often done in handwriting and the film quality can be very poor at times. Beginning in 1930, the rolls also showed the degree of Indian blood, marital status, ward status, place of residence, and sometimes other information.
- Searchable US Indian Census Rolls, available at Fold3.com $$
- Searchable US Indian Census Rolls, available at Ancestry.com $$$
Additional Census Records available on Native American Genealogy