Source Information

Ancestry.com. U.S., Native American Citizens and Freedmen of Five Civilized Tribes, 1895-1914 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.
Original data:

Final Rolls of Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory (as Approved by the Secretary of the Interior on or before Mar. 4, 1907, with Supplements Dated Sept. 25, 1914). Microfilm publication T529, 3 rolls. ARC ID: 608958. Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior, Record Group 48. National Archives in Washington, D.C.

About U.S., Native American Citizens and Freedmen of Five Civilized Tribes, 1895-1914

This database contains the federal government’s official tribal rolls (the “Dawes Rolls”) for the Five Civilized tribes.

Historical Background

Congress authorized the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, commonly known as the Dawes Commission, in 1893. This Commission was responsible for negotiating agreements with the Five Civilized Tribes—the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole—to cede their title to tribal lands and provide allotments of land to each member of the tribe instead of holding land as a tribe.

In 1898 the Commission began preparing tribal membership rolls that would be the basis for land allotments. The Commission received more than 250,000 enrollment applications for tribal citizenship and approved about 101,000. Tribal membership rolls were officially closed in 1907. However, under a 1914 act, some additional individuals were enrolled in a supplement that year.

What You Can Find in the Records

The rolls provide details on Indians who could claim tribal membership by blood or marriage. They are organized by tribe and can be further broken down by claims by blood, marriage, minor children, newborns, and freedmen, which were former slaves held by Indians. They may list

  • name,
  • age,
  • gender,
  • census card number.

Rolls include both approved and disapproved names.

The census card number refers to an enrollment card filled out by applicants. These cards can provide much more detail and can be found in the U.S. Native American Enrollment Cards for the Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914, database on Ancestry.com.