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Learn about the Indians of Illinois, the tribes and bands, agencies, reservations and records.Indians of the United States and Their Records for suggestions on how to research American Indian ancestry.
To learn how to get started with American Indian research, find research facilities, and American Indian websites click here.
Tribes and Bands of Illinois
The most prominent Indian tribes in Illinois were the Illinois, Miami, Winnebago, Fox and Sacs (Sauk), Kickapoo, and Pottawatomie tribes. The Illinois Indians were composed of five subdivisions including Kaskaskias, Cahokias, Tamaroas, Peorias, and Metchigamis. Most of these tribes were eliminated from Illinois by about the mid-nineteenth century either through warfare or resettlement to other territories by the federal government.
The following list of American Indians who have lived in Illinois has been compiled from Hodge's Handbook of American Indians... and from Swanton's The Indian Tribes of North America. Some may simply be variant spellings for the same tribe.
- Chippewa Indians
- Sauk and Fox
- Winnebago Indians Wyandot Indians
Agencies of the Bureau of Indian Affairs
Agencies and subagencies were created as administrative offices of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and its predecessors. Their purpose was (and is) to manage Indian affairs with the tribes, to enforce policies, and to assist in maintaining the peace. The names and location of these agencies may have changed, but their purpose remained basically the same. Many of the records of genealogical value were created by these offices.
The following list of agencies that have operated or now exist in Illinois has been compiled from Hill's Office of Indian Affairs..., Hill's Guide to Records in the National Archives Relating to American Indians, and others.
The majority of records of individuals were those created by the agencies. Some records may be available to tribal members through the tribal headquarters.They were (and are) the local office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and were charged with maintaining records of the activities of those under their responsibility. Among these records are:
- Allotment records
- Annuity rolls
- Census records
- Health records
- School census and records
- Vital records
Researching Indians in Illinois
It is usually best to start with a search at a local level such as the city, town, or village and then try the county or state. Links to county pages appear below. Additional resources for Indians of Illinois may be found in theIllinois-Native Races topic page of the FamilySearch Catalog or by doing an FamilySearch Catalog Subject Search under the name of the tribe. Copies of records on FHL microfilm and microfiche can be ordered for viewing at FamilySearch Centers. Also find Indians of Illinois resources available at many libraries (WorldCat). Explore how to search WorldCat and the FamilySearch Catalog.
The following references may be helpful for those searching for American Indians in Illinois:
- Beckwith, Hiram Williams. The Illinois and Indiana Indians. 1884. Reprint, New York, New York: Arno Press, 1975. This book gives histories of the tribes in Illinois. Available at many libraries (WorldCat); FHL fiche 6087719 and FHL book 970.1 B389i
- Tregillis, Helen Cox. The Indians of Illinois: A History and Genealogy. [Decorah, Iowa: Anundsen Publishing], 1983. In addition to histories of the tribes, this source contains biographies of prominent Illinois Indians and a bibliography of sources. Available at many libraries; FHL fiche 6088745
- The Lyman Copeland Draper Collection which includes:
- Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
112 N. Sixth Street
Springfield, IL 62701
Phone: (800) 610-2094 or (217) 782-5764
Holdings include materials on various ethnic groups and ethnic migration patterns, including some resources for Indians in Illinois. Search the card catalog.
- Linkpendium's links for Ethnic resources also includes "Indian-Cemeteries" and "Indian-Tribes."
From the mid-1800s, the official policy of the United States government toward the American Indian was to confine each tribe to a specific parcel of land called a reservation. Agencies were established on or near each reservation. A government representative, usually called an agent (or superintendent) was assigned to each agency. Their duties included maintaining the peace, making payments to the Native Americans based on the stipulations of the treaties with each tribe, and providing a means of communication between the native population and the federal government.
Sometimes, a single agency had jurisdiction over more than one reservation. And sometimes, if the tribal population and land area required it, an agency may have included sub-agencies.
The boundaries of reservations, over time, have changed. Usually, that means the reservations have been reduced in size. Sometimes, especially during the later policy of "termination," the official status of reservations was ended altogether.
The following list of reservations has been compiled from the National Atlas of the United States of America, the Omni Gazetteer of the United States of America, and other sources. There are no current federally-recognized reservations in Illinois.
Reservation Map - Illinois - Indian Reservations - Federal Lands and Indian Reservations. by the U.S. Department of Interior and U.S. Geological Survey.
=== See Also: ===
- Illinois-History for a calendar of events
- Illinois-Military for a list of forts
- Illinois Ethnic Groups for related resources
FamilySearch Catalog Illinois Native Races
- ↑ Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington D.C.:Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin #30 1907. Available online.
- ↑ Swanton John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin #145 Available online.
- ↑ Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches, Clearwater Publishing Co., Inc. 1974. FHL book 970.1 H551o
- ↑ Hill, Edward E. (comp.). Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1981. FHL book 970.1 H551g
- ↑ National Atlas of the United States of America -- Federal Lands and Indian Reservations Available online.
- ↑ Isaacs. Katherine M., editor. Omni Gazetteer of the United States of America. U.S. Data Sourcebook, Volume 11 Appendices, Bureau of Indian Affairs List of American Indian Reservations, Appendix E, Indian Reservations. Omnigraphics, Inc., 1991. FHL book 973 E5o
- "Accompanying Pamphlet for Microcopy 1011", National Archives Microfilm Publications, Appendix.
- American Indians: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications. Washington DC: National Archives Trust Fund Board, National Archives and Records Administration, 1998.
- Hill, Edward E. (comp.). Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1981.
- Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches. New York, New York: Clearwater Publishing Company, Inc., 1974.
- Historical Sketches for Jurisdictional and Subject Headings Used for the Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880. National Archives Microcopy T1105.
- Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington D.C.:Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin #30 1907. Available online.
- Isaacs. Katherine M., editor. Omni Gazetteer of the United States of America. U.S. Data Sourcebook, Volume 11 Appendices, Bureau of Indian Affairs List of American Indian Reservations, Appendix E, Indian Reservations. Omnigraphics, Inc., 1991.
- National Atlas of the United States of America -- Federal Lands and Indian Reservations Available online.
- Preliminary Inventory No. 163: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Services. Available online
- Swanton John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin #145 Available online.
- This page was last modified on 24 April 2015, at 16:43.
- This page has been accessed 33,975 times.
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