Dawes Commission Enrollment Records for Five U.S. Indian Tribes
A Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes: Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Seminole, also called the Dawes Commission after its chairman, Senator Dawes, was established by Congress in 1893. Its purpose was to exchange Indian tribal lands in the southeastern United States for new land allotments to individuals in Oklahoma. More than 250,000 people applied to this commission for enrollment and land. Just over 100,000 were approved. The rolls do not include the applications that were rejected, stricken, or judged to be doubtful. Those found eligible for the final rolls were entitled to an allotment of land, usually as a homestead.
Today these five tribes continue to use the Dawes Rolls as the basis for determining tribal membership. They usually require applicants to provide proof of descent from a person who is listed on these rolls.
Use the Dawes Commission Enrollment Records if your ancestor was a member of one of the five tribes in the southeastern United States and was alive during the enrollment period between 1896 and 1905. If your ancestor died prior to 1893, you could search for surviving children or grandchildren in the Dawes Commission records. Records of the commission include the following.
Enrollment cards (also called census cards) include residence, roll numbers, names of family members, relationships, ages, sex, degree of Indian blood, enrollment date, place and number, parents and their enrollment date or place, spouses, divorces, children or grandchildren.
- Applications for enrollment include affidavits, vital records, letters, questionnaires, and decisions mentioning relatives, dates, and places.
- Letter logs include name, address, date of the letter, file number, date received, subject, and action taken. Letters are with the applications.
You can find an excellent tutorial about the Dawes Rolls is on the National Archives (U.S.) site.
The Dawes Rolls are the basis for determining Native American tribal membership in the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Seminole tribes. They usually require applicants to provide proof of descent from a person who is listed on these rolls.
The Final Rolls of the Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory applications show the enrollee's name, gender, and blood degree. The rolls are arranged by application number. Search an index to find the number if you do not know it. You can search an online index on the National Archives (U.S.) page or at the Oklahoma Historical Society's Research Division here. The Family History Library also has film copies of the index and roll.
You can also find more information on these and other Indian rolls by clicking here.
An article in the Journal of American Indian Family Research. Indian Territory Court Cases. by Larry S. Watson. Discusses the appeal process involved the Dawes Commission and court case F. R. Robinson vs. The Choctaw Nation. Vol.7 No. 1 1986 FHL book 970.1 J825j Chart showing appeal process on page 36
Where to Find the Records[edit | edit source]
Dawes Enrollment Applications
"Applications for Enrollment of the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914" (M1301). National Archives Catalog ID: 617283. Also known as "Dawes Enrollment Applications", "Dawes Enrollment Jackets" and "Dawes Packets" and "Land Allotment Jackets".
Applications from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Muskogee Area Office Relating to Enrollment in the Five Civilized Tribes under the act of 1896 (M1650) (RG 75) Index FHL Collection First film 2445770
- Dawes Packets (Fold3) ($)
- Oklahoma, Applications for Enrollment to the Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914 (FamilySearch) - index only
"Enrollment Cards for the Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914" (M1186). National Archives Catalog ID: 251747. Also known as "Enrollment Cards", "Census Cards" and "Dawes Enrollment Cards".
- Dawes Enrollment Cards (Fold3) ($)
"The Final Rolls of Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory, 03/04/1907". National Archives Catalog ID: 300321. Also known as "Dawes Rolls" and "Final Rolls".To learn how to search the Dawes Rolls, see The Dawes Rolls(Final Rolls of the Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory)
- The Final Rolls of Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory, 03/04/1907 (National Archives) - arranged by enrollment number; gives age, sex, blood degree, and census card number.
Indexes for the Dawes Rolls and the Enrollment Cards:
- Index to the Final Rolls of Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory, 03/04/1907 (National Archives) - arranged alphabetically; gives only enrollment number. (Surname entries are not always in strict alphabetical order)
- Searchable indexes:
The Family History Library
|Applications for Enrollment||75||M1301||FHL film 1439798||468|
|Applications, Muskogee Area Office M 1650 (RG75) FHL film 2445769 index and applications for four of the Five civilized tribes. Seminole applications not included.||75||M1650||FHL first film FHL film 2445769||54|
Enrollment of the Five Civilized Tribes
Original records in Muskogee, Oklahoma
|FHL film 1022497||
|Enrollment Cards||75||M1186||FHL film 1490261||93|
|Index to Letters received by commission||75||M1314||FHL film 1694814||
Enrollment first film:FHL first film 1022530
Final rolls - first film: 830229
Index to Rejected and Doubtful - first film: 1929134
Rejected and Doubtful (M1186) first film:1490287
Cherokee applications,no. 4989-5574 (PART of M1650-films: 2422901-2)
Final Rolls- first film: 830228
Enrollment-first film: 1022497
Enrollment cards Choctaw-first film: 1490299
Application for enrollment (M1301) - first film: 1439798
Enrollment cards for Mississippi Choctaw-first film: 1490316
Choctaw-Chickasaw - Fort Worth, Texas
Indexes to dockets and appearance dockets-first film:1730868
General dockets - first film:1730869
Enrollment-first film: 1022526
Enrollment cards-first film: 1490327
Final rolls-first film: 830228
Enrollment - first film: 1023034
Final Rolls - first film: 830230
Enrollment Cards - first film: 1490337
Enrollment-first film: 1023044
Final rolls-first film: 830230
Delaware Indians; adopted by the Cherokee
Enrollment - first film: 1022112
- Dawes Commission Enrollment Records
- Eastern Cherokee or Guion Miller Roll
- The U.S. Eastern Cherokee or Guion Miller Roll
- American Indian Enrollment Records
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