Generally, the U.S. government’s Cherokee records are available through the National Archives (NARA) but perhaps not at all regional facilities. All the Dawes Records are located at the Southwest Regional Office Fort Worth, Texas.
List of Rolls
1817 Reservation Roll (those requesting a reservation). The 1817 treaty allowed for a six hundred and forty acre life estate per head of household, which upon the death of the grantee, or abandonment of the land by the grantee, reverted to the state; microfilm Group 75.
1817 Emigration Roll (1817-1835 Old Settlers) microfilm A21.
1835 Henderson Roll (also called the Trail of Tears roll). 16,000 plus Cherokee residing in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee who were supposed to remove to Indian Territory under New Echota Treaty of 1835; microfilm T496.
1848 Mullay Roll (resided in North Carolina). 1,517 Cherokee remaining in North Carolina after removal. Taken as a result of an Act of Congress; microfilm 7RA6.
1851 Old Settlers ROLL This is the Roll of those still alive in 1851, who were already resident in *Oklahoma* by 1839, when the emigrants arrived. This group was about 1/3 the total Cherokee population in what is now Oklahoma. Note: it is important to recognize that this census did not include those “Old Settlers” who remained in Arkansas, Texas, or Mexico; microfilm M-685, Reel 12.
1851 Siler Roll (Cherokee East of the Mississippi) microfilm 7RA6.
1852 Chapman ROLL (Cherokee East of the Mississippi) The Chapman Roll was taken in 1851 by Alfred Chapman . This roll, which followed almost immediately the Siler Roll, was a result of many complaints by various Cherokees of having been omitted by Siler (JWJ) microfilm M-685.
1852 Drennen Roll (Emigrant Cherokee in Indian Territory). This roll was the first census of the emigrants/new arrivals of 1839. This was the “Trail of Tears” survivors, or New Echota Treaty Group; microfilm M-685.
1854 Act of Congress Roll (Cherokee East of the Mississippi) microfilm 7RA6.
1860 Census (of whites in Cherokee Nation)
1867 Tompkin Roll microfilm 7RA4.
1867 Census of Cherokee East of the Mississippi microfilm 7A29.
1867 Kern-Clifton Roll of Cherokee Freedmen, January 16, 1867.
1869 Sweatland Roll (resided in North Carolina ) NARA roll, but number not found.
1880 Cherokee Census microfilm 7RA7.
1880 Lipe Roll microfilm 7RA33.
1883 Cherokee Census microfilm 7RA29 Reels 1 & 2.
1883 Cherokee Roll microfilm 7RA56.
1883 Hester Roll (Cherokee East of the Mississippi) microfilm M685.
1886 Cherokee Census microfilm 7RA58.
1890 Cherokee Census microfilm 7RA60.
1890 Cherokee Payment Roll (The Receipt Roll) microfilm 7RA59.
1890 Wallace Roll (of Cherokee Freedmen in Indian Territory)
((Wallace Roll of Cherokee Freedmen in Indian Territory. These rolls were created because the Cherokee citizenship of many ex-slaves of the Cherokee in Indian Territory was disputed by the Cherokee tribe. The establishment of their status was important in determining their right to live on Cherokee land and to share in certain annuity and other payments, including a special $75,000 award voted by Congress on October 19, 1888. A series of investigations was conducted in order to compile the rolls of the Cherokee Freedmen. These investigations were conducted by John W. Wallace, 1889-1890; Leo E. Bennett, 1891-92; Marcus D. Shelby, 1893; James G. Dickson, 1895-96; and William Clifton, William Thompson, and Robert H. Kern, 1896-97.))
1893 Cherokee Census microfilm 7RA54.
1894 Starrs Roll microfilm 7RA38.
1896 Old Settlers Payment (for Descendants of Old Settlers) microfilm 7RA34.
1896 Cherokee Census microfilm 7RA19.
1898-1902 (1914) Dawes Roll
((Rolls of Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory consisting of 634 pages of names. The Dawes Commission was organized in 1893 to accept applications for tribal enrollment between 1899 and 1907 (some were added as late as 1914), mostly from Indians who resided in the Indian Territory which later became the State of Oklahoma. Tribal membership entitled qualified individuals to land allotments from the U.S. Government. These enrollment records were eventually published as the Dawes Commission, also known as The Five Civilized Tribes, which consisted of the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole Tribes.))
Categories of the Cherokee
as Found in the Dawes Commission Roll
Cherokee by Blood
“by blood” means the individual’s parent(s) were Cherokee, and (generally) that the parents had appeared on a previous census of the Cherokee - but not always. Source: Glen Davis
Minor Cherokee by Blood
For purposes of Dawes, “minor” means the individual was born during the enrollment period which, for the Cherokee in Oklahoma ended 01 Sept 1902. (There are some children on Dawes who were born between 1902 & 1906 - they were admitted if their parents were on the 1902 Roll.) Source: Glen Davis
Those listed as Delaware were adopted into the Cherokees. The Delaware reservation was in the very northeast corner of Indian Territory. Source: Glen Davis
Cherokee by Intermarriage
White spouses who were adopted into the tribe as Cherokee.
Ex-slaves (of African descent) of Cherokee citizens. Before the Dawes Commission Freedmen had to also established that if they removed from Indian Territory prior to or during the Civil War, they returned thereto prior to Feb. 11, 1867 and resided continuously therefrom. Once these two criteria were “proved up” Freedmen were admitted to Cherokee citizenship. Source: Preston L. Washington
Minor Cherokee Freedmen
Minor children of Cherokee Freedmen who were born during the enrollment period which, for the Cherokee in Oklahoma ended 01 Sept 1902. (There are some children on Dawes who were born between 1902 & 1906 - they were admitted if their parents were on the 1902 Roll.) Source: Glen Davis
“Act of Congress” Cherokee
This category refers to those who were enrolled by an Act of Congress 01 Aug 1914. Source: Glen Davis
1900 Cherokee Nation Census
1907 Council Roll of Eastern Band Cherokee microfilm #M-1104, 1-348
1908 Churchill Roll (Cherokee East of the Mississippi) microfilm #M-1104, 1-348.
1909 Guion Miller Roll. A Roll of Eastern Cherokee containing 343 pages. Many Cherokee living in Indian Territory or Oklahoma are included in this list.
1924 Baker Roll. The final roll for the Eastern Band of the Cherokee. The Eastern band was able to avoid allotment but the roll still exists and is now the enrollment roll. #M-1104, 1-348