Indians of Florida
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The word Florida originates with a Spanish word meaning "feast of flowers".
Learn of the Indians of Florida, tribes and bands, state recognized tribes, agencies, reservations and records.
Tribes and Bands of Florida
A list of American Indians who have lived in Florida was compiled by John R. Swanton in his The Indian Tribes of North America. Many of the tribes in this list may have had very limited contact with the area which became Florida. Some have become extinct or have been consolidated with other tribes. Some may simply be variant spellings.
Acuera, Aguacaleyquen, Ais, Alabama, Amacono, Amacapiras, Apalachee, Apalachicola, Calusa, Caparaz, Chatot, Chiaha, Chilucan, Chine, Creek,Fresh Water Indians, Guacata, Guale, Hitchiti, Icafui, Jeaga, Koasati, Macapiras or Amacapiras, Miccosukee or Mikasuki, Mococo or Mucoco, Muklasa, Muskogee, Ocale or Etocale, Ocita, Oconee, Onatheaqua, Osochi, Pawokti, Pensacola, Pohoy, Pooy or Posoy, Potano, Saturiwa, Sawokli, Seminole, Surruque, Tacatacuru, Tawasa, Tekesta or Tequesta, Tocoboga, Ucita, Utica or Timucua, Yamasee, Yuchi, Yufera, Yui, and Yustaga
Other tribes may have also been residents of the area of Florida, at least for a short time.
Tribe Recognized by the State of Florida
Maps of Indian Land
This map is of Creek Indian Land in Miami-Dade County, Florida.
Agencies and Subagencies 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 or subagencies, that have operated or now exist in Florida, was compiled from Hill's Office of Indian Affairs..., Hill's Guide to Records in the National Archives Relating to American Indians, and others.
Florida Superintendency 1824-1853
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
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. 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.
For a current reservation map, see Florida - Indian Reservations - The National Atlas of the United States of America. Federal Lands and Indian Reservations, by the U.S. Department of Interior and U.S. Geological Survey.
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. Those reservations named in bold are current federally recognized reservations, with their associated agency and tribe(s). Others have historically been associated with the state or are not currently recognized by the federal government.
- Big Cypress Reservation: Federal, Tribe: Seminole
- Brighton Reservation: Federal, Tribe: Seminole
- Creek Reservation
- Dania Reservation
- Florida Reservation (1839-1847)
- Florida State Indian Reservation:State, Broward County, Tribes: Miccosukee and Seminole
- Hollywood Reservation: Federal, Tribe: Seminole(Formerly the Dania Reservation)
- Immokalee Reservation
- Miccosukee Reservation:Federal, Tribe: Miccosukee
- Seminole Reservation:Federal,under jurisdiction of Seminole Agency, Tribe: Wewokaof Oklahoma
- Tampa Reservation
For Further Reading
See also American Indian For Further Reading.
Click this button for links to databases, indexes, or sites that help you find an American Indian ancestor by topic or tribe.
FamilySearch Catalog Florida Native Races
- 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. (Family History Library 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.(Family History Library book 973 E5)