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Old 04-25-2011, 08:33 PM
 
Location: the South
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Hopefully this doesn't come off as a stupid question but I've recently started using ancestry.com and was wondering if their records include Native American ones. So far I haven't seen anything of that kind but I could just be overlooking it...Does anyone know if they do? Thanks!
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Old 04-26-2011, 12:08 AM
 
Location: Native Floridian, USA
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I have Ancestry but haven't used it in a while. There is the Dawes Rolls and I thought they were on the internet, somewhere. It has been awhile since I have actively researched but I could have sworn that I looked through them once on the internet.
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Old 04-26-2011, 12:51 AM
 
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The first thing you'll need to do, if you don't already know, is determine which tribe you're researching. There was never anything like a "Native American Census". There are records which were made for specific tribes at various times, usually for the purpose of a payment based on a treaty that forfeited gobs of land.

Native American (Indian)* Rolls has (free) searchable versions of quite a few rolls, mostly Cherokee, some Choctaw. Works for me since my native ancestry is Cherokee. They have the Dawes roll.

Footnote has images of the Dawes packets, it's not free but it is available online. Dawes packets can be useful even if they're not of your direct ancestors as they often have quite a bit of family information.

Just remember, these kinds of records are incomplete. While they are useful tools they were never meant to be a Census, they only list those who were eligible for some type of treaty rights. The system was set up to disenfranchise many people, if your ancestors weren't living in the right place at the right time or weren't listed on a previous roll they may have been excluded. Mine are on the earlier rolls but weren't living with the tribe when the Dawes and Baker were drawn up so they aren't listed even though they have siblings/cousins/nieces/nephews who are.
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Native Floridian, USA
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great info, yard dawg. I am seen the Dawes roll and I do subscribe to Footnote but, I saw it somewhere else because it was several years ago, before I joined Footnote. Anyway, I was casually looking at them because of the proverbial "family tale" of an Indian marriage.....

thx for some much information.
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Old 04-29-2011, 10:45 AM
 
Location: FROM Dixie, but IN SoCal
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yarddawg View Post
The first thing you'll need to do, if you don't already know, is determine which tribe you're researching.
The Dawes Rolls only listed certain members of the Five Civilized Tribes residing in Oklahoma (Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, Cherokee, Seminole). So, the next thing you'll need to do is discover what part of the country your ancestors' ancestors lived in. Those who remained behind in the southeastern United States, or who moved elsewhere, were not included.
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Old 04-29-2011, 01:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nighteyes View Post
The Dawes Rolls only listed certain members of the Five Civilized Tribes residing in Oklahoma (Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, Cherokee, Seminole). So, the next thing you'll need to do is discover what part of the country your ancestors' ancestors lived in. Those who remained behind in the southeastern United States, or who moved elsewhere, were not included.
Oh it's way worse than that. the Dawes is a window in time between (if I remember correctly) 1896-1902. One of my g-g-grandmothers was born on the Oklahoma reservation but left pre-Dawes and so was not listed. Her husband's family were mixed bloods who never left southeast Tennessee. But for the Cherokee at least there are a number of earlier rolls that can be used to piece information together. Also, mixed bloods who remained in Tennessee and didn't live like undocumented migrants had to petition the local court system for US citizenship. I've found a few records that way but it's complicated by the number of courthouses that were burned in the mid-1800s in this part of the country.

And not everyone who was in Oklahoma at the right time was eligible for Dawes. I've read a lot of applications and probably the largest category rejected were "MCR" (Mississippi Choctaw Rejected), they were living in Oklahoma at the turn of the century and no one was saying they weren't Choctaw but they didn't relocate to Oklahoma during the right time window (under the right treaty) to be eligible for a land allotment under Dawes. The federal government got to keep the land that wasn't allotted so they weren't really motivated to cut anyone a break.
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Old 04-29-2011, 06:34 PM
 
Location: FROM Dixie, but IN SoCal
3,485 posts, read 5,890,547 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yarddawg View Post
I've read a lot of applications and probably the largest category rejected were "MCR" (Mississippi Choctaw Rejected), they were living in Oklahoma at the turn of the century and no one was saying they weren't Choctaw but they didn't relocate to Oklahoma during the right time window (under the right treaty) to be eligible for a land allotment under Dawes. The federal government got to keep the land that wasn't allotted so they weren't really motivated to cut anyone a break.
Uh, that would be some of MY ancestors. I am Mississippi Choctaw, and my forebears are some of those who elected to remain behind after THE REMOVAL. That's why I know what I know, you see...
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Old 05-02-2011, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Native Floridian, USA
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I found this information very interesting and had never heard much of this before. Thx for the insights.
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:29 PM
 
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I guess it depends on the tribe being researched. I used census rolls taken by the Indian agents around 1880, 1890 in IndianTerritory, etc from a federal library collection in Lawton, OK.

Very interesting since most of the names were untranslated and my tribe was only recently taken off the southern plains in 1875 and taken to Fort Sill.

I also met with and taped the oldest living member of our tribe who worked for the BIA for 40 years. He was a riot. Kind of like yoda, only funnier. He had copied ~all~ of our tribe's census records, as it was his job.
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:00 AM
 
Location: the South
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Well I traced back my ancestry & it looks like there isn't even a hint of Native american so far ...I still have my Grandmother on my mothers side to do but I don't think that will turn up anything either. Guess I won't be needing those records after all.....
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