Saturday, April 13, 2013

Dawes Rolls

Carrie asks:
”I was told I should look at the “Dawes Rolls” to find my Indian ancestors.  What are the Dawes Rolls?”

It is a census of sorts of Indians in the “Five Civilized Tribes” that was taken from 1898-1914.  The Five civilized tribes were the Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Seminoles.  You can read a short explanation on the FamilySearch Wiki, Dawes Commission Enrollment: Records for Five U.S. Indian Tribes.  The National Archives also has some great info on their Native American Heritage page.  If you are wanting to be recognized by one of these 5 tribes as a potential member you will need to be able to prove your genealogy to someone listed on the rolls.  The INDEX is available on FamilySearch and the IMAGES are available on Fold3 (a paid subscription site).  There are two sets of records, the Dawes Enrollment Cards and the Dawes Packets.  Both are important and have great info.  What is neat about the enrollment cards is you will also see those persons that applied for recognition but were denied.  In the packets is where you will find the meat and potatoes information.  You will find applications, letters, questionnaires etc. that are loaded with genealogical information.

Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis

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