Indians of Mississippi

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Learn about the Indians of Mississippi, tribes and bands, agencies, records, and reservations.

The word Mississippi comes from and Indian word meaning "Father of Waters"

Tribes and Bands of Mississippi

The following list of American Indians who have lived in Mississippi has been compiled from Hodge's Handbook of American Indians...[1] and from Swanton's The Indian Tribes of North America[2]. Some may simply be variant spellings for the same tribe.


Mississippi Band of Choctaw

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 Mississippi has been compiled from Hill's Office of Indian Affairs...[3], Hill's Guide to Records in the National Archives Relating to American Indians[4], and others.

Records

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:

Family History Library

  • Superintendent of Indian Trade Choctaw Trading House records 1803-1924 T 500 Family History Library 1st film of 6: 1025085

FamilySearch Catalog Mississippi Native Races for a listing titles

Reservations

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.

For a current reservation map - Mississippi - 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[5], the Omni Gazetteer of the United States of America[6], 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.

For Further Reading

See also American Indian For Further Reading.

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Click this button for links to databases, indexes, or sites that help you find an American Indian ancestor by topic or tribe.


  • Redskins, Ruffle-shirts, and Rednecks-Indian Allotments in Alabama and Mississippi 1830-1860. by Mary Elizabeth Young. University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma. C. 1961 Library of Congress Number: 61-15150 Family History Library Book 970.1 Y86r
This book has maps: Location of Choctaw Contingent Clams, Public Land Sales in the Choctaw Cession, 1833-46, Soil Regions of Mississippi, Location of Chickasaw Allotments, Original Counties of the Chickasaw Cession, Land Offering Mississippi, Counties and Soil Regions, Indian Land Cessions

References

  1. Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington D.C.:Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin #30 1907. Available online.
  2. Swanton John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin #145 Available online.
  3. Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches, Clearwater Publishing Co., Inc. 1974. (Family History Library book 970.1 H551o.)
  4. 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.)
  5. National Atlas of the United States of America -- Federal Lands and Indian Reservations Available online.
  6. 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.