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Among the Mississippi Choctaws
Week of December 13, 2009
Genealogy Feature of the Week

Announcing the Newly Updated Site:
Native American Records

Dawes Records
This is the largest and most popular records to use–-but one point must be made––these records pertain to people who lived in what became Oklahoma. The purpose of the Dawes process was to redistribute the land in 40, 60 120, dn 320 acre to people who already owned the land–-the residents of Indian Territory.  If you have located ancestors living in other states, and have documented them on the 1870 and 1880 and 1900 census records in those states–-no matter what names you find on the Dawes Records–these are not your ancestors.   Critical components of the Dawes Rolls can be found online at Footnote.

Eastern Cherokee Records Index
This much used  index includes the names of all persons who applied to receive r compensation arising from the judgment of the United States Court of Claims on May 28, 1906, for the Eastern Cherokee tribe. Thousands of people applied from multiple states–including Indian Territory, but not all the claims were allowed. (More than 45,000 people submitted applications) The information contained on the index consists of the application number, the name of the applicant, and the state or territory in which the individual resided at the time the application was filed. The roll itself is sometimes known as the 1906 roll. What resulted was land, for those who qualified a $133 warrant was issued representing their share of a one time payment for eastern Cherokees.  To be accepted for “citizenship” one had to prove descent from a person listed on the 1835 roll–-the Henderson Roll.  For those on the Henderson Roll, they had to be living in the Eastern Cherokee Nation at that time. The entire Miller Roll index is online at the National Archives website

Federal Census Records
1790-1860  During these beginning census enumerations, few persons were identified as Indian on the Federal census. Keep in mind that census records recorded the population and counted those persons who were identified as living in states or territories a part of the new emerging nation. During those years some (not all) were enumerated as mulatto, others as white and others as colored. There was no pattern to how they were listed.

1870-1880  Some Indian and their families were listed as “Ind” in the records and some were reflected with the letter “I”.

1900 Many Indians were enumerated in 1900.  Some were on regular census schedules and others on the 1900 Special Indian Census.  This record denoted mixed blood and full Indians.

1910 Like 1900, this year also had a special Indian census, including a mixture with black families.

1920 - 1930 These two census years continued to reflect Indian communities in the records, though all citizens were captured in the standard census schedules.