Dawes Commission Enrollment Records for Five U.S. Indian Tribes

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Revision as of 18:47, 27 April 2009

A Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes: Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Seminoles, also called the Dawes Commission after its chairman, Senator Dawes, was established by Congress in 1893. Its purpose was to exchange Indian tribal lands in the southeastern United States for new land allotments to individuals in Oklahoma. More than 250,000 people applied to this commission for enrollment and land. Just over 100,000 were approved. The rolls do not include the applications that were rejected, stricken, or judged to be doubtful. Those found eligible for the final rolls were entitled to an allotment of land, usually as a homestead.

Today these five tribes continue to use the Dawes Rolls as the basis for determining tribal membership. They usually require applicants to provide proof of descent from a person who is listed on these rolls.

Use the Dawes Commission Enrollment Records if your ancestor was a member of one of the five tribes in the southeastern United States and was alive during the enrollment period between 1896 and 1905. If your ancestor died prior to 1893, you could search for surviving children or grandchildren in the Dawes Commission records. Records of the commission include the following.

Enrollment cards (also called census cards) include residence, roll numbers, names of family members, relationships, ages, sex, degree of Indian blood, enrollment date, place and number, parents and their enrollment date or place, spouses, divorces, children or grandchildren.

  • Applications for enrollment include affidavits, vital records, letters, questionnaires, and decisions mentioning relatives, dates, and places.
  • Letter logs include name, address, date of the letter, file number, date received, subject, and action taken. Letters are with the applications.

You can find an excellent tutorial about the Dawes Rolls is on the National Archives (U.S.) site.

The Dawes Rolls are the basis for determining Native American tribal membership in the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Seminole tribes. They usually require applicants to provide proof of descent from a person who is listed on these rolls.

The Final Rolls of the Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory applications show the enrollee's name, gender, and blood degree. The rolls are arranged by application number. Search an index to find the number if you do not know it. You can search an online index on the National Archives (U.S.) page. The Family History Library also has film copies of the index and roll.

You can also find more information on these and other Indian rolls by clicking here.

Availablity

Applications for Enrollement of the Commission for the Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914. - Dawes Commission
Record

Record

Group

NARA #

FHL

First

Film

Rolls
Applications for Enrollment 75 M1301 1439798 468

Enrollment of the Five Civilized Tribes

Original records in Muskogee, Oklahoma

1022497 74
Enrollment Cards 75 M1186 1490261 93
Index to Letters received by commision 75 M1314 1694814 23

Five Civilized Tribes and the Dawes Commision- Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickawas, Creek, and Seminol (Delaware adopted by Cherokee)
Tribe

Record

Group

NARA #

FHL

First

Film

Rolls

Cherokee

Index to Rejected and Doubtful -first film: 1929134

Final Rolls- first film: 830229

Enrollment first film: 1022530

Applications-first film:1439971

Rejected and Doubtful first film: 1490287

Cherokee applications,no. 4989-5574 (PART of M1650-films: 2421700, 2422901-2)

48 T529 1929134 300

Choctaw

Final Rolls- first film: 830228

Enrollment-first film: 1022497

  • Mississippi Choctaw -first film: 1022514-1022522

Application for enrollment -first film: 1439798

  • Mississippi Choctaw -first film: 1439879-1439967

Choctaw-Chickasaw (Act of 1902)- first film: 1439969

Enrollment cards Choctaw-first film: 1490299

Enrollment cards for Mississippi Choctaw-first film: 1490316

48 T529 830228 232

Choctaw-Chickasaw-Fort Worth, Texas

Indexes to dockets and appearance dockets-first film: 1730868

General dockets-first film: 1730869

1730868 2

Chickasaw

Final rolls-first film: 830228

Enrollment-first film: 1022526

Applictaions for Enrolllment- first film: 1493009

Enrollment cards-first film: 1490327

48 T529 830228 50

Creek

Final Rolls-first film: 830230

Enrollment-first film: 1023034

Applications-first film: 1492977

  • Field Jackets -first film: 1493003
  • Not Entitled-first film: 1493008

Enrollment Cards-first film: 1490337

48 T529 830230 62

Seminole

Final rolls-first film: 830230

Enrollment-first film: 1023044

Applications for enrollment-first film: 1492975

48 T529 830230 11

Delaware Indians; adopted by the Chereokee

Enrollment-first film: 1022112

48 T529 830229 6