Delaware Indians

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United States Gotoarrow.png American Indians Gotoarrow.png Delaware Gotoarrow.png New Jersey Gotoarrow.png New York Gotoarrow.png Oklahoma Gotoarrow.png Pennsylvania Gotoarrow.png Indians of Delaware Gotoarrow.png Indians of New Jersey Gotoarrow.png Indians of New York Gotoarrow.png Indians of Oklahoma Gotoarrow.png Indians of Pennsylvania Gotoarrow.png Delaware Indians

Guide to Delaware Indians ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and other agency records.

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Painting of the Delaware Indians signing the Treaty of Penn with Benjamin West.

The Delaware Indians were originally known as the Lenape or Lenni Lenape Indians, the name they called themselves. The American colonists named them the Delaware Indians.

Clans: Tukwsi-t, the wolf; Pukuwanku, the turtle; and Pele, the turkey

Original homelands: Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. Some later were removed to Oklahoma.

Tribal Headquarters

The Delaware Nation is currently found primarily in western Oklahoma.

Delaware Nation
Address
P.O. Box 825
Anadarko, OK 73005

Location
31064 State Highway #281
Building 100
Anadarko, OK 73005
Phone: 405.247.2448
Fax: 405.247.9393

The Tribal office of each tribe maintains many records of value to the American Indian researcher. Most of the tribes require enrollment in the tribe before they allow access to the records of its members.

Tribal Population: 1984: Total Enrollment 989. [1]

History

The Delaware or Lenape were forced to cede lands and migrate many times, moving into Ohio, Kansas, Texas and Indian Territory

Brief Timeline

  • 1600's: First contact was with the Dutch
  • 1638: Swedish lived moved into the Delaware Bay area
  • 1682: Treaty with William Penn.
  • 1700's: Tribal members began to settle along the Ohio River
  • 1789: Some of the tribe removed to Missouri and later to Arkansas
  • 1795 Treaty
  • 1800: Many migrate to Indiana
  • 1820: Some moved to Texas, became known as the Southern band
  • 1824-51: The tribe was under the jurisdiction of the Fort Leavenworth Agency
  • 1832 Treaty
  • 1835: Many members resettled in Kansas
  • 1851-55: The tribe was under the jurisdiction of the Kansas Agency while living in Kansas
  • 1854 Treaty
  • 1855-73: The tribe was under the jurisdiction of the Delaware Agency
  • 1859: Delaware tribal members living in Texas removed to western Oklahoma
  • 1866 Treaty
  • 1867: Tribe began to settle west of the Mississippi River some removed to Canada
  • 1867: Delaware tribal members living in Kansas move to eastern Oklahoma and purchase rights in the Cherokee Nation. In 1890 become Cherokee citizens.
  • 1867-74: The tribe was under the jurisdiction of the Cherokee Agency
  • 1875-80: The tribe was under the jurisdiction of the Union Agency

The Southern Band

In the 1820's some of the tribe moved to Texas, becoming known as the Southern Band of Delaware Indians

The band was under the jurisdiction of the Caddo and Red River Agencies

1847-59: The band was under the jurisdiction of the Texas Agency

1859-78: The band was under the jurisdiction of the Wichita Agency

1878-80: the band was under the jurisdiction of the Kiowa Agency

The Southern Band was under the jurisdiction of the Southern and Central Superintendencies

Additional Reference

Frederick Webb Hodge, in his Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, gave a more complete history of the Delaware tribe, with estimations of the population of the tribe at various time periods. Additional details are given in John Swanton's The Indian Tribes of North America.

Brinton, Daniel Gerrison. The Lenape and their legends: with an anonymous ms. in the archives of the Moravian Church at Bethlehem, Pa. FHL Book 970.3 D375b

Brinton, Daniel Gerrison. A Lenape-English dictionary: from an anonymous ms. in the archives of the Moravian Church at Bethlehem, PA. FHL film 1697586

Ohio History Central article on the Delaware Indians

The Delaware Tribe was under the following jurisdictions

Agencies

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...[2], Hill's Guide to Records in the National Archives Relating to American Indians[3], and others.

Agencies are the field offices of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. They recorded most of the records pertaining to individual Indians.

John G. Pratt Papers, 1834-1899 in the Kansas State Historical Society contains records of the Delaware agency, Wyandotte subagency and the Kansas agency FHL films 812762-812765

Piqua Agency

Ohio Agency

Fort Leavenworth Agency

Kansas Agency

Delaware Agency

Cherokee Agency

Union Agency

Caddo Agency

Red River Agency

Texas Agency

Wichita Agency

Kiowa Agency

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:

Reservations

Reservations are tracks of land established by treaty or law for the American Indians to occupy and use.

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[4], the Omni Gazetteer of the United States of America[5], and other sources. There are no current federally-recognized reservations in Illinois.


There are hundreds of Indian Reservations in the United States. Many are federally recognized and supervised. Some are state reservations, administered by the state office of Indian Affairs.

Superintendencies

Superintendencies authorized by the the Bureau of Indian Affairs supervised the local agencies and subagencies.

Michigan Superintendency

St. Louis Superintendency

Central Superintendency

Southern Superintendency

Records

Allotment

Allotment of Land to Delaware Indians 1865. John G. Pratt Papers, 1834-1899 in t he Kansas State Historical Society. FHL film 812767 - 812769

Annuities

1826 Voucher for Annuities Paid Mississippi Territory. The Journal of American Indian Family Research, Vol.7, No. 1 (1986) FHL 970.1 J825j

Correspondence and Census

Tribe Agency Location of Original Records

Pre-1880 Correspondence

M234 RG 75

Rolls 962

Roll Number

FHL

Film Number

Post-1885 Census

M595 RG 75 Rolls 693

Roll Number

FHL

Film Number

Delaware Anadarko Area Office, 1881-1962 Fort Worth - - Rolls 218-23 -
Delaware, Kansas Fort Leavenworth Agency, 1824-1962 Washington D.C. Rolls 300-03 - - -
Delaware, Kansas Kansas Agency, 1851-55 Washington D.C. Rolls 364-70 - - -
Delaware, Kansas Delaware Agency, 1855-73 Washington D.C. Rolls 274-80 - - -
Delaware,Indian Terr. Cherokee Agency, 1867-74 Washington D.C. Rolls 101-12 - - -
Delaware, Indian Terr. Union Agency, 1875-80 Washington D.C. Rolls 865-77 - - -

Census

1862 Census of Delaware Indians FHL Film: 989204

Census rolls various years, Delaware Indians holding citizenship in the Cherokee Nation. FHL|Film: 989204

1883 Census of Wichita Agency Heads of Families. The Tree Tracers, Southwest Oklahoma Genealogical Society, Lawton, OK, Vol. 23 No. 2 (Dec. 1998 - Feb. 1999)

1897-1898 Delaware Indian Census at Kiowa Agency, Oklahoma Territory FHL film: 576900 Items 15 and Item 24

1927 Census, Kiowa Agency, Oklahoma FHL Book Q970.466 B898c or Film 1697766 Item 12

1936 Absentee Delaware Census Roll. The Tree Tracers, Southwest Oklahoma Genealogical Society, Lawton, OK, Vol. 23 No. 2 (Dec. 1998 - Feb. 1999)

Church Records

Gray, Elma E. Wilderness Christians: The Moravian Mission to the Delaware Indians. FHL book 970.3 D276g

Enrollment Records

Delaware Indians, adopted by the Cherokee tribe, rolls dealing with the Dawes Commission FHL films 830229, 1022112,1023029, and 1490282

Indian Pioneer Papers

In 1936, the Oklahoma Historical Society and University of Oklahoma requested a writer's project grant from the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in which interviews would be conducted with early settlers in Oklahoma who had lived on Indian land. More than 100 writers conducted over 11,000 interviews and were asked to "call upon early settlers and (record) the story of the migration to Oklahoma and their early life here."[6] The University of Oklahoma Western History Collection has digitized the Indian Pioneer Papers which consists of approximately 80,000 indexed entries arranged alphabetically by personal name, place name, or subject. [7] An index to the Indian Pioneer Papers may also be found at OkGenWeb Oklahoma Genealogy. A separate index of Indians interviewed, including the Delaware, may be viewed at: “Indians in the Indian Pioneer Papers” Two surnames from the Delaware tribe found in the collection are: Ketchum and Zeigler (Ketchum).

Land Records

Allotted land: 55,599.92 acres. Tribal owned land 2,602.64 acres.[8]

School Records

1858 and 1867 List of Delaware Pupils Attending the Baptist Mission School in Kansas Territory. The Journal of American Indian Family Research, Vol. 7, No.1, (1986) FHL call 970.1 J825j

Treaties

Treaty an agreement made by negotiation between two or more nations,to resolve conflict, encourage peace, alliance , and commerce.

1682: Treaty with William Penn

Important Web Sites

For Further Reading

Tribe

  • Weslager, C.A., The Delaware Indians: A History, Rutgers University Press (1972), hardcover, 546 pages, WorldCat 282073

General

For background information to help find American Indian ancestors see For Further Reading.

References

  1. Indian Reservations A State and Federal Handbook. Compiled by The Confederation of American Indians, New York, N.Y. McFarland and Co. Inc., Jefferson, North Carolina, c. 1986. FHL book 970.1 In2 page 222
  2. Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches, Clearwater Publishing Co., Inc. 1974. (Family History Library book 970.1 H551o.)
  3. 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.)
  4. National Atlas of the United States of America -- Federal Lands and Indian Reservations Available online.
  5. 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)
  6. Blackburn, Bob L. "Battle Cry for History: The First Century of the Oklahoma Historical Society." n.d. Oklahoma Historical Society. 5 Oct. 1998.
  7. The University of Oklahoma Western History Collections http://digital.libraries.ou.edu/whc/pioneer/
  8. Indian Reservations A State and Federal Handbook. Compiled by The Confederation of American Indians, New York, N.Y. McFarland and Co. Inc., Jefferson, North Carolina, c. 1986. FHL book 970.1 In2 page 222