Monday, December 1, 2008

Why Native American ancestors had European sounding names -last-

Indian Traders

European Indian traders, British soldiers and merchants that married Native American women, they passed their family names on to their offspring, disrupting the Native traditions of child naming. Europeans were determined to continue their well-established system of family relationships with the Scottish ‘cousin system’, used through Western Europe, to prevent possible incest in future generations.

Native Americans had a long-standing system that prevented incest by prohibiting anyone from the Mother’s Clan from marrying. They had a matriarchal system of family relations where blood relationships were passed from mother to child. A child born into any one Clan was prohibited from marrying anyone else from that same Clan, but condoned marriage to any of the other Clans.

In many cases, Indian Traders were ‘traveling salesmen’ and had ‘families’ in each town they visited on their established route. This is how the same family names appeared in the various Indian Nations at the same time. Since the mother’s Clan was responsible for the raising and teaching of all children born into that Clan, the mother’s were not very concerned as to whom the father really was, as the child belonged to the Clan.

The following family names were introduced into the Eastern Indian Nations as indicated below. Some of these men also traded with the other Tribes in the area and nearly all of them left children behind. This list is dated 1776, shortly before the Revolutionary War when the British still controlled this area.

Adair, Andrews, Bowles, Burrowson, Calbert, Campbell, Creadle, Crongleton, Cruise, Curtone, Danford, Derise, Dukes, Duncan, Francis, Foreman, Gilchrist, Gooding, Grant, Hannah, Highrider, Hildebrand, Hyde, James, Kemp, Lynch, McBean, McCartan (McCurtain), McDonald, McIntosh, Price, Rogers, Ross, Scott, Sealy, Shorey, Sims, Starr, Stuart, Vann, Wood

French explorers, soldiers and Indian Traders did business with the Shawnee, Creek, and Choctaw. If your Native American ancestor had a French family name, this early influence was the source of those names. Their range of influence was from Central Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and all modern states within the Louisiana Purchase. Most of the fur trade was based along rivers that were used for ferrying the trade goods to and from New Orleans.

The ‘Lost Colony’ of Roanoke Island, NC

These family names were introduced to the Cherokees of North Carolina between 1580 and 1600, from the settlement that White left behind. The English sailors of that early time were not familiar with the American hurricanes and their effect on low lying ‘barrier islands’ on the Atlantic seaboard. The survivors of these hurricanes intermarried with the local Indian bands and kept these names alive. Many of these names were already in circulation in the Old Cherokee Nation by the time the British Army built the fur trading post at Fort Louden, TN in 1740.

Some researchers have classified the descendants of these people as Melungelon Indians who had stories of picking up shipwrecked survivors and spreading into the hills of North Carolina and Kentucky. Spellings of these names are as listed from the original roster of settlers placed on Roanoke Island in 1587.

Allen, Archard, Arthur, Baily, Bennet, Berde, Berry, Bishop, Borden, Bridger, Bright, Brooks, Brown, Browne, Butler, Burdon, Cage, Chapman, Charman, Cheven, Clement, Colman (Coleman), Cooper, Cotsmuir, Dare, Darige, Dorrell, Dutton, Earnest, Ellis, English, Farre, Fernando, Florrie, Gibbes, Glane, Gramme (Graham), Graeme, Harris, Harvie (Harvey), Hemmington, Hewett, Howe, Hynde, Humphrey, Johnson, Jones, Kemme, Lasie, Lawrence, Little, Lucas, Mannering, Martin, Merimoth, Myllet, Mylton, Newton, Nichols, Paine (Payne), Patterson, Pierce, Powell, Phevens, Prat, Rufotte, Sampson, Scot (Scott), Shabedge, Smart, Smith, Sole, Spendlove, Sutton, Starte, Stevens, Stilman, Taylor, Tomkins, Topan, Tappan, Traverner, Tydway. Viccars, Warner, Warren, Waters, White, Wildye, Willes, Wilkinson, Wood, Wotton, Wright, Wyles, Wythers.

Excerpt from a recent article on the ‘Lost Colony’

This “Indian English” mixed-blood group migrated inland as early as 1650. When the first white settlers arrived in the area that was later called Robeson County, NC, they found a large tribe of English speaking Indians. They were farmers and practiced many of the so-called ‘civilized arts’ such as keeping slaves and building their houses in an old English country style. Many of these Indians had English sounding names that have been matched to the list of colonists left on Roanoke Island in 1580.

This material was found in a book, "Sir Walter Raleigh's Lost Colony” by Hon. Hamilton McMillan, of Fayetteville, N. C

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Why Native American ancestors had European sounding names -3-

Names Chosen at random –

A Scottish woman named Taylor married an Englishman named Fox. The mother remarried a Conrad from Holland and migrated to the Cherokee Nation. One of their sons Hamilton Conrad married a Cherokee woman named Onai and had several children named ‘Rattling Gourd’, ‘Hair’, ‘Young Wolf’, and ‘Terrapin Head’. Descendants of these men retained their father’s Indian names as their family names.

"The Goose" was half Cherokee and half Spanish. He was called "Dick Spaniard" until he enlisted in the Confederacy and changed it to the Christian name of Johnson.

Government record keeping

In most cases, a person had to have a direct ancestor on the previous Roll in order to be ‘qualified’ to apply for the current Roll. By 1850 the government bean-counters had such a problem identifying Indians from one Roll to the next, they began assigning European names to individuals. The Heads-of-House were allowed to choose the name of their most recent European ancestor, a family benefactor, an English translation of their Indian name, or have one picked at random by the census takers. The US Department of Immigration and Naturalization (INS) is still using this process today, especially if a name is difficult to spell.

Other early researchers have been able to identify some of the name changes by tracing the family back to a previous Treaty Roll where their Indian name was used. The main reason for this is a genealogy trace is nearly impossible with a random name change with little or no documentation.

Slaves and FreedMen

Many of the wealthy Indians kept slaves and adopted Free Men of Color into their Tribe. The custom at the time was for a slave or FreeMan with no family name to be assigned the family name of the person who owned the property where they were living. As slaves were bought and sold, their family names would change to the new owner’s.

Indians took captives whenever they made a raid on another village or settlement. Before the whites arrived, Indians took other Indians captive and made them into slaves. Most Eastern Indians allowed the slaves to be freed if they learned the language and customs were a ‘good citizen’ and followed the established code of conduct. When they were adopted, they were given a new Indian name, a rifle, and allowed to marry an Indian. The Cherokees made little distinction based on a persons color, you were Full Blood, Mixed Blood or White.

Missionary influence

When white missionaries moved into the various Indian Nations, they generally took Indian wives. When an Indian was baptized, they were given the name of a church sponsor who had made a large donation to the Foreign Mission. Church supporters in New England would make donations for the education of promising or exceptionally bright youngsters.

Indian children were educated in reading, writing, simple arithmetic, with a heavy dose of English and Bible study. Those that held promise of being a good preacher, were then sent to New England for further study. The Moravian Missionaries sent these Indian children to Cornwall, Massachusetts, where their church headquarters was located. Most Cherokee families refused to allow their children to travel that far away from home, and were fearful that the child would become less Indian by being exposed to white society.

During the term of a preachers stay in the Indian Nations, there were a large number of children born that carried either the preachers first name or his family name. It is difficult to determine if these children were his, or the family named these children because the preacher impressed them so much.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Why Native American ancestors had European sounding names -2-

About 1740, the British established a Frontier Post in Eastern Tennessee called Fort Louden. In those days, the British government paid their foreign soldiers in land grants upon completion of service, in the country where they served. Approximately half of these soldiers took Cherokee wives or had Cherokee girlfriends for the duration of their deployment, and passed on their family name to their children.

In many cases, Indian names were ‘translated’ into English, as the names were typically some animal, plant or action. Many of these names were ‘lost in translation’ through mistakes in interpretation. “The Rope” pointed to a coil of rope and was mistakenly named “Coil”; “The Otter” demonstrated his name by lifting up an otter and was immediately named “Muskrat Lifter” (the whites didn’t know the difference between an otter and a muskrat). This name continued to change over the years to “Rat Lifter” and eventually Ratliff; The first son of Cherokee Emperor Moy Toy, demonstrated his Indian name of ‘Leaning Wood” by placing several poles against another pole. This earned him the name of “Little Carpenter”.

The famous Chickamauga Warrior Chief “Dragging Canoe” was about 3 when he pestered his mother’s uncles to go into battle with them. They told him that when he was old enough to push a war canoe into the river, he would be ready. These war canoes were about 20 feet long and 4 to 5 feet wide, hollowed out tree trunks. One day not much later, he was seen dragging the canoe toward the water and one of the Indians exclaimed “The Canoe – he is dragging it”, so he became known as “Dragging Canoe”. His modern descendants modified the mane to Canoe.

Other Indians adopted the name of a white friend or benefactor, and others named their children after famous white leaders. In Cherokee genealogy there are hundreds of George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Daniel Webster with their family name tacked on at the end.

In early Indian society, the women were in charge. The men hunted, fished, made babies and were generally useless for other things. When they married, the wife’s Clan (her blood relatives) provided the couple with a house and was responsible for training and raising the children. In many cases, the husband would be known by his wife’s name.

For instance - John Shepherd (1/2 Cherokee) married Eutsangih Roasting Ear and was henceforward called John Roasting Ear. The family claimed the name of their white ancestor, John Shepherd, in 1883 when the white census takers demanded the Indians use English names for the legal records. The whites could not spell Cherokee names and had to write them down by phonetics. Spelling changed from Roll to Roll and made it nearly impossible to determine if a person was the same or a descendant of someone on a previous Roll.

On the Mullay Roll of North Carolina in 1848 is a John A-lar-Che. This same man and his family were recorded two years later in 1850 on the Siler Roll as John A-lah-Chih. In a similar case, there is a Ah-to-wih on the Chapman Roll of 1851 and he is identified as A-am-nea on the Hester Roll of 1883.

In some instances, Cherokees had Indian names that translated into something offensive to the whites and they were forced to change their family name. One such case was “White Man Killer”. This name was changed to “Mankiller” for the Dawes Roll in 1900. In other cases, compound names were split in following generations such as “Rattling Gourd” was modified to “Ratlingourd” then split between two branches of descendants to the “Rattler” family and the “Gourd” family.

The following list contains early family names in the old Cherokee Nation, where the nation of origin is known. There are hundreds of additional family names represented on the first Cherokee Roll that was a result of the Treaty of New Echota in 1817. I did not show them here, as their country of origin was not known.

Adair ~1758 Scotland

Agnew ~1815 England

Alberty ~1780 England

Blackburn ~1780 England

Bowles ~1760 Scotland

Buffington ~1750 England

Cordery ~1760 England

Crutchfield ~1780 England

Daniel ~1750 England

Downing ~1740 British Army

Due ~1750 England

Duncan ~1760 Scotland

Fawling ~1750 England

Fields ~1770 England

Foreman ~1770 Scotland

Gentry ~1800 England

Grant ~1724 Scotland

Gunter ~1800 Welch

Harlan ~1650 England

Hildebrand ~1800 Germany

Lowrey ~1770 England

Lynch ~1780 Ireland

Martin ~ 1740 England

McDonald ~1750 Scotland

Riley ~1760 England

Rogers ~1750 Scotland/England

Ross ~1750 Scotland

Sanders ~1750 England

Shorey ~1720 Scotland

Starr ~1758 Ireland

Stuart 1760 - British Army

Vann ~1700 Scotland, derived from early spelling error - Vaus to Vans to Vann

Ward ~1770 England

Wharton ~1688 England

Wickett ~1770 England

Original Native American names that have changed spelling over time

Chisholm - North Carolina Cherokee

Guess - derived from Alexander GIST ~1760

Watie - derived from Oo-Wa-Te meaning "he stands in the door".

Ridge - "The Ridge, he walks it" or "Ridge Walker"

Baldridge - derived from Baldridge Lowrey, some descendants used Baldridge as a family name and others used Lowrey.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Why Native American ancestors had European sounding names -1-

Traditionally Indians were given Indian names at a few years of age, again when they reached puberty, and finally when they accomplished something noteworthy. Typically, Indian names reflected some part of a person’s personality or habits that stood out from the rest of the Tribe. There are also many names that defy interpretation and are basically the same as given names we use today. There were many other names that sounded like English names and were recorded with fixed English spelling.

Na-Ni was recorded as Nanny, or Nancy

Aul-Cih was recorded as Alsey or Allice

Su-San was recorded as Susan

Ah-Ne was recorded as Annie

Ah-Che was recorded as Archie or Arch

The earliest introduction of English names came from shipwrecked whites that were assimilated into the Tribe. The earliest records indicate “White’s Lost Colony” of Roanoke Island, was rescued from violent hurricanes by a friendly Band of Cherokees from North Carolina. When White returned three years later, the town had been completely destroyed and only the word Croatian was carved into the trunk of a tree.

These refugees intermarried with the Indians and kept their English language and customs nearly intact for nearly 200 years until they were ‘discovered’ in Eastern and Central North Carolina. The names from the old colony lists were well-established family names in the Cherokee Nation prior to the British arrival in-strength in 1740.

The vast majority of English names came from early British soldiers or merchants who took Cherokee wives while they were on the ‘frontier’. Early Fur Traders or ‘Indian Traders’ were typically Scotsmen who had been ‘transported’ to the Colonies as prisoners of war from the Scottish Revolutions.

These men had been captured in battle with the English and it was expensive to keep them in prisons, and there was always a chance of an escape. The Colonies needed laborers that the British colonists felt was beneath them, but they couldn’t afford to buy slaves. The Scottish rebels were packed on ships and ‘transported’ to the New World and auctioned on their arrival for the cost of their transport, into Indentured Servitude.

These indentured servants couldn’t attract a mate, due to their economic status. As soon as they had completed their term of servitude, typically 7 years, they would set off to the frontier to make their fortune. The most lucrative trade at the time was furs and skins for the European markets. Indian Tribes tended to distrust whites that were just passing through their Nation, so business was difficult if not dangerous.

Scotsmen found the rough life to their liking and were easily persuaded to take an Indian wife. By marrying into the Tribe, the man acquired a large extended family of his wife’s Clan. By living among the Indians, he gained the Indians trust that he would provide a ‘fair trade’ for the furs and skins. By learning the language and the Tribal customs, he became an interpreter to the British outposts, British merchants, and government agencies.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Using the Dawes Rolls to find your Cherokee ancestor - 5 -

*Answer to a recent e-mail question on how to find "Grandfather" REAMS or REAMES on the Cherokee Rolls. This person had contacted the Cherokee Nation in North Carolina and had found ‘nothing useful’. *

The Cherokee Nation (Eastern Band) of North Carolina completed their registration Roll in 1924. This was called the Baker Roll, and it used several previous Rolls in North Carolina as a basis for admission. Not all Cherokee descendants registered. They may not have been living in that area at that time, they may not have wanted to identify themselves as Indians, or they may not have had enough money to pay the application fees. These application fees were approximately equal to two to three
months wages at the time.

This persons ancestors may have applied for the Miller Roll in 1906, which was voluntary and covered the whole US and its possessions. The application fee was a bit less expensive and there was a chance of receiving some money from the Miller Roll. This Roll listed the names ofthe Heads of House, Maiden names of spouses, Year and Place of birth, and their residence in 1906, town, county, and state.

To start any search, you need to know about what year your ancestor was born and about what year they died. You also need to know where they lived during their life. Especially important is where did they live during the dates of the various Rolls. If they lived in the right area at the right time, they have a good chance of them being on that Roll.

Going back in time, the Rolls were

1924 - Baker Roll - North Carolina and surrounding states

1908 - Churchill Roll - North Carolina and surrounding states

1906 - Miller Roll - anywhere in the US or its possessions

1900 - Dawes Roll - Oklahoma Territory and surrounding states

1883 - Hester Roll - North Carolina and surrounding states

1880 - Cherokee National Census - Oklahoma and surrounding areas

1869 - Swetland Roll - North Carolina and surrounding states

1852 - Chapman Roll - Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and surrounding states

1852 - Drennen Roll - Oklahoma and surrounding areas

1851 - Siler Roll - Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and surrounding states

1851 - Old Settlers Roll - Oklahoma and surrounding areas

1848 - Mullay Roll - North Carolina and surrounding states

1835 - Henderson Roll - Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina

1817 - Reservation Roll and the Emigration Roll - Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and surrounding areas

For instance, if your ancestor was living near North Carolina in 1900 to 1924, he/she may be listed on the Miller Roll, the Churchill Roll, or the Baker Roll.

In the case of a family named REAMS / REAMES on the Miller Roll of 1906. Quite often it is necessary to check alternative spelling, as most people in the US were illiterate during this period. Their names were recorded by the census takers based on the way the name sounded. REEMS was not a common Cherokee family name, however, REEVES was very common. Depending on your ancestors 'regional accent' and the phonetic ability of the census takers, Reeves and Reams can easily be confused. Just
think of your own experience of people misspelling your family name when you are speaking on the phone.

This list shows the Miller Roll Application Number, Family name in 1906, Given name, Maiden name, Year and State of birth, - Residence in 1906

21493 REAMES, Luvine Eve MELTON, born 1886 in AR - Booneville, Logan Co, AR

37829 REAMS, Bert, b 1879 MO - CENTRALIA, Boone Co, MO

37827 REAMS, Catherine CANNON, b 1843 MO - STURGEON, Boone Co, MO

37831 ROBERTS, Gertie REAMS, b 1879 MO - CENTRALIA, Boone Co, MO

37828 REAMS, John, b 1873 MO - STURGEON, Boone Co, MO

37832 FOUNTAIN, Maggie REAMS, b 1864 MO - STURGEON, Boone Co, MO

37830 DOWNEY, Minnie REAMS, b 1876 MO - SALINE, MERCER Co, MO

This list shows people with this family name that claimed Cherokee blood, and lived in or near Missouri which was part of New Indian Territories from 1804 to 1850. People with Cherokee or any other Indian blood, who lived in Missouri after 1850, kept their mouths shut in fear of 'discovery' by their neighbors. There were strong Anti-Indian laws in effect all over the US from 1840 to about 1935, that were designed and enforced by the federal and state governments to force Indians to live
on reservations.

In nearly every case, you should obtain a copy of your ancestor’s birth or death certificate to find out what their parents names were. Birth and Death certificates were 'uncommon' prior to 1920. If an ancestor was born prior to 1920, the best bet is to find a death certificate for this person or possibly a 'delayed birth certificate' that would have beenissued when the person was an adult.

If you find an ancestor or any relative on the Miller Roll, you should order a copy of their Application Jacket from the US National Archives in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo copies of the original paperwork will cost you an average of $10 per application number (includes all members of the family that were living in that household, including their siblings,children, parents and grandparents names and dates of birth). In many cases, all you can find is someone of the same family name who was
living in the same part of the country. Since families tended to live close together, it is possible that people with the same family name living in the same area, were related by blood or marriage.

If you need to order copies of these papers, be sure to list your ancestor’s name, that they were members of the Cherokee Tribe, they were listed on the Miller Roll, and their Miller Roll Application number. The National Archives office in Fort Worth (Southwest Division) also keeps records of all Indians who were in the New Indian Territories back to 1850, and in some cases, much earlier. The original "New Indian
Territory" covered everything west of the Mississippi and south of the Missouri River, down to the border of New Spain (Republic of Texas).

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Using the Dawes Rolls to find your Cherokee ancestor - 4 -

Blood quanta was not a major concern among Cherokees before this time. If a person had a Cherokee mother or if the person was living like a Cherokee, then they were considered Full Blood. If they had a white mother, or were living like whites within the Cherokee Nation, they were considered ‘mixed blood’. When the Dawes Roll was taken in 1900, the US government stressed Blood Quanta and asked each applicant to state how much Cherokee blood they had. Most Cherokees either did not know or did not care, but they found out quickly that if they put down ½ blood or more, the government agents treated them like idiots, incapable of handling their own affairs.

The government assigned a white ‘overseer’ to manage all legal and financial arrangements of Cherokees who were ½ to Full Blood. In many cases, these Cherokee families became virtual slaves to the white overseer, who rapidly ran their farms and bank accounts into ‘false bankruptcy’, so the overseer and his friends could buy-back the fake papers for pennies on the dollar, and claim the land for themselves.

Before the Dawes Roll was finalized in 1917, the government adopted a rule that stated a Cherokee descendant could not claim more blood quanta than what was claimed by their ancestor on the Dawes Roll, divided by 2 for each following generation. Fortunately, the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma has not yet adopted a minimum blood quanta requirement for Tribal membership.

Census Card #5630 belonged to a married daughter Maude Rogers –

Lane Cap L 35 1865 M IW 5630 NR CHELSEA

Lane Maud 31 1869 F 1/16 5630 13515

Lane Estella 8 1892 F 1/32 5630 13516

Lane Ethel L 6 1894 F 1/32 5630 13517

Lane James G 3 1897 M 1/32 5630 13518

The parents of Cap Lane were R.A. & Mattie Lane

Maude Rogers, born ~1869, a resident of Chelsea, OK, married a white man named Cap Lane. They had three children listed above, born between 1892 and 1897. Since Maude and Cap were married after 1875, Cap Lane was not issued a Dawes Roll Number. Cap's name, age and birth date will not appear on the Final Dawes Roll. A listing for his 'numeric position' will simply say "Stricken". Mattie could have claimed ¼ blood but probably not absolutely sure of her parents blood quanta, she just put
down 1/16th, just like her sister who was living near by in the same town.

Now I could follow this family back to the Cherokee National Census of 1880, then to the Old Settlers Roll of 1850 or the Drennen Roll of 1851, and track down Mary America Schrimsher’s family line as well. Since Clement Vann Rogers was born in 1839, his name will not appear on the Trail of Tears Roll of 1835, but his father will be on this Roll.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Using the Dawes Rolls to find your Cherokee ancestor - 3 -

To explain some of the ‘alphabet soup’ you see, I am going to take two
men with a birth date close to your William Rogers and explain the data….

_/Example 1/_

CHER, FRR, Rogers, William, 21, 1879, M, NR, FRR963, NR

CHER – Cherokee Tribe, CHOC – Choctaw, DEL – Delaware, OS – Osage

NOTE – the Cherokee Dawes Roll initially listed these Tribes separately,
but the Delaware and Osage were combined with the Cherokee on the Final
Dawes Roll in 1917.

FRR – FR – FreedMan, R– Rejected, D - Doubtful

Name -Rogers, William

Age 21, at the time of application

Born ~1879 (estimated based on the average date of Tribal application 1900)


Blood quanta – NR - Not Recorded

Census Card #FRR963

Roll # NR - Not Recorded

Using his Census Card # FRR963, I find on my CD, that his father was
Charley Rogers. His mothers name was not listed on the Census Card. He
did not list a spouse, minor siblings, or any children on his
application. This means he was probably living alone.

_/Example 2/_

CHER, BB, Rogers, William P, 20, 1880, M, ¼, 4747, 11384

CHER – Cherokee Tribe

BB – By Blood (born Cherokee)

Rogers, William P

Age 20, at time of application

Born ~ 1880


1/4 blood

Census Card #4747

Roll #11384

Using his Census Card #4747, I find on my CD, that his parents were
Clement V and Mary Rogers, and his father Clement was still alive and
living with him. Clem V Rogers and Mary Rogers matches up with the
family information I found on my ancestors death certificate. William’s
estimated date of birth was listed as 1880 instead of 1879, so his
family probably applied for the Rolls in 1899 or, he was only 19 ½ years
old when the application was filed, not yet 20 years old.

This is the ancestor I was looking for, and he was on the Dawes Roll.
With the birth and death certificates I have collected, I can apply for
Tribal membership with the Cherokee Nation, apply for a Certified Degree
of Indian Blood Card (CDIB) from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), and
I can order several personal documents including a fairly complete
family history of my ancestor from the US National Archives, by using
his Dawes Roll number or his Census Card number.

Additional information on this Census Card, shows Clement V Rogers was
61 in 1900, born ~1839, also ¼ blood Cherokee, Dawes Roll #11383, and
was living in Claremore, Oklahoma when he applied. His wife Mary
Schrimsher did not have a date of birth listed because she had died
prior to the enrollment date.

His census card showed no other children living at home and William was
not listed with a wife or children of his own. I checked other ‘family
records’ and find that his child that I am descended from was born in
1909, so William was not married at the time of the Dawes Roll in 1900.

However, by analysis of his parents Census Card Numbers I can see all of
their other children who claimed them as parents when these children
filed their own Dawes Roll Applications.

CLEM V ROGERS is listed as a ‘Parent’ of these Census Card numbers 4899,
5461, and 5630.

Searching my CD for Cherokee Census Card numbers I find –

Census Card #4899 belonged to a married daughter May Rogers, a resident
of Talala, OK

Stine May 27 1873 F 1/4 11696

Yocum John V 7 1893 M 1/8 11697

Stine Edward J 1 1899 M 1/8 11698

Stine Frank ( father of Edward Stine)

Yocum Matt (father of John V Yokum)

May Stine listed her parents as Clement V and Mary Rogers. She was born
~1873, she had married Matt Yocum and had a son John V Yocum in 1893,
then she married Frank Stine and had a son Edward J Stine in 1899. She
and her children were registered on the Dawes Roll, she was 1/4 blood,
her children were 1/8th blood and her husbands blood quanta, dates of
birth etc were not listed. This indicates they were probably white men.

Census Card #5461 belonged to a married daughter Sallie Rogers -

McSpadden John T 48 1852 M IW 175

McSpadden Sallie C 36 1864 F 1/16 13071

McSpadden Clem M 13 1887 M 1/32 13072

McSpadden Maud I 4 1896 F 1/32 13075

McSpadden May 9 1891 F 1/32 13073

McSpadden Herbert T 7 1893 M 1/32 13074

McSpadden Helen 1 1899 F 1/32 13076

McSpadden Pauline 1 1899 F 1/32 13077

McSpadden Tom (father of John T McSpadden)

McSpadden Elizabeth J (mother of John T McSpadden)

Sallie C Rogers was born ~1864, married a White man John T McSpadden,
b~1852 (listed as IW = Intermarried White) and had several children
(listed above) and was living in Chelsea, OK in 1900. Her husband was
initially issued an “Intermarried White” Dawes Roll #IW-175. In 1917,
when the Dawes Roll was finalized, the government 'Struck' the names of
Intermarried Whites who had not married Cherokees prior to 1875, so his
name will not appear on the Final Roll. Sallie could have claimed ¼
blood but probably not absolutely sure of her parents blood quanta, she
just put down 1/16th.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Using the Dawes Rolls to find your Cherokee ancestor - 2 -

Now go to the Dawes Rolls and search for William Rogers. I use my CD on “The Five Civilized Tribes – Dawes Rolls Applications” because everybody is listed alphabetically with estimated dates of birth, Tribal affiliation, degree of blood, Roll numbers and their Census Card Numbers. With Census Card numbers, you can discover every member of the family that was living together when the Dawes application was taken (1896 to 1902).

This CD covers Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole Tribes and the Adopted or Assimilated Delaware, Osage, Shawnee Tribal members as well as white spouses (Intermarried Whites) and Assimilated FreedMen (ex-slaves that had been adopted by the various Indian Nations). The CD covers everybody who was listed on any application, even if they were a dead parent, or the applicant was Rejected, found Doubtful, or even Stricken from the final Roll.

This copyrighted CD is available for $27 on my web site at

If you are fortunate, you may find a copy of the Final Dawes Roll on the web. It is 650 pages long and is listed by Tribe and Dawes Roll Number. It will drive you nuts or blind while searching for each person named William Rogers, then researching the entire Tribal listing for matching Census Card numbers to see who their family members were. Just imagine your local phone book being listed in numerical sequence instead of alphabetical order.

Findings - William Rogers listed on the Dawes Rolls (25 individuals)

This data is in the following order - Tribe, Application Type, Name, Age at time of Application, approximate Year of birth, Sex, Blood quanta, Census Card #, Roll #, District of residence

CHER BB Rogers William C 51 1849 M 1/4 6199 14781

CHER BB Rogers William R 42 1858 M 1/4 5445 13038

CHER BB Rogers William H 37 1863 M 1/8 3172 28707

CHER BB Rogers William G 35 1865 M 1/4 4236 10205

CHER BB Rogers William 32 1870 M 3/4 9205 21015

CREK BB Rogers William P 28 1872 M 7/8 24 89

CHER F Rogers William 26 1874 M NR F1505 4123

CHER FD Rogers William 26 1874 M FD806

CHOC BB Rogers William F 25 1875 M 3/32 1774 5030

CHER BB Rogers William O 25 1875 M 1/4 4655 11159

CHER F Rogers William 25 1875 M F584 1470

CHER FD Rogers William 21 1879 M FD652

CHER FRR Rogers William 21 1879 M NR FRR963 NR

CHER BB Rogers William P 20 1880 M 1/4 4747 11384

CHER BB Rogers William M 15 1885 M 1/8 831 22687

CHER BB Rogers William E 11 1889 M 1/16 2963 23699

CHER BB Rogers William P 9 1891 M 1/4 1035 2827

CHER AD Rogers William E 6 1894 M 3/8 10469 31111

DEL OS Rogers William E 6 1894 M 3/8 OS88 NR

CHER BB Rogers William L 5 1895 M 1/16 2829 7093

CHER BB Rogers William 4 1896 M 1/2 1880 4976

CHER BB Rogers William Jr 3 1897 M 1/8 6199 14782

CHER M Rogers William Penn 3 1903 M FULL M2405 2684

CHER M Rogers William E 2 1904 M 1/16 M2878 3328

CHOC BB Rogers William F Jr 1 1899 M 3/64 1774 5031

Start ‘thinning the herd’ by rejecting those that are way too old or way too young. I typically use a spread of ± 10 years because the estimated dates of birth are ESTIMATES based on an ASSUMED average date of application of 1900.

Those William Rogers born about 1869 to 1889 (1979 ± 10 years)

CHER FD Rogers William 26 1874 M FD806

CHOC BB Rogers William F 25 1875 M 3/32 1774 5030

CHER BB Rogers William O 25 1875 M 1/4 4655 11159

CHER F Rogers William 25 1875 M F584 1470

CHER FD Rogers William 21 1879 M FD652

CHER FRR Rogers William 21 1879 M NR FRR963 NR

CHER BB Rogers William P 20 1880 M 1/4 4747 11384

CHER BB Rogers William M 15 1885 M 1/8 831 22687

CHER BB Rogers William E 11 1889 M 1/16 2963 23699

Now I have only 9 ‘likely suspects’ and I am going to solve this puzzle with ‘forensic genealogy’ or a ‘family fingerprint’. I will compare the names of his parents, spouses, and any children born before the application date.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Using the Dawes Rolls to find your Cherokee ancestor - 1 -

Start a ‘Family Tree’ or ‘Pedigree Chart’ and fill in the names, dates and places of birth of your parents, then your grandparents, and your great grandparents. You need to go back far enough to find your ancestors that were living at the time of the Dawes Roll (1900-1906). The Dawes Roll covered the modern day states of Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and parts of Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The
Tribes or Indian Nations that were included were Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole.

The Cherokee Roll included Adopted or Assimilated Delaware, Osage, and Shawnee who had married into one of the other Tribes and were living in that area. The Roll included Assimilated or Adopted FreedMen who were ex-slaves, mulattoes, and other ‘mixed bloods’ that were generally called “Black Indians”. Whites who had married into the various Tribes prior to 1875, were listed under the individual Tribes as “Intermarried Whites”. Whites that married an Indian after 1875 were initially given
Roll Numbers which were ‘Stricken From The Roll’ before final publication in 1917.

Thousands of Indian families applied for the Dawes Roll but were classified as Doubtful or Rejected on the Final Roll. Generally speaking, these people were ‘stricken’ because the government could not identify their ancestors on one of the earlier ‘qualifying Rolls’. In many cases, it was simply a matter of spelling of the family name or the name their ancestor was using at home did not match their ‘legal’ name
listed on earlier records. All of these people and the ‘Stricken’ Intermarried Whites are listed on the Dawes Applications Rolls which is available on a CD.

Search for information by asking your relatives to help you with the information and collect birth and or death certificates. These documents show the names of the person’s parents. Bible records, church records, cemetery records, military service records, obituaries, wills and other court documents will reinforce the data you find.

Warning, some of your elder relatives might resent your asking about Indian ancestors. Strong Anti-Indian laws were in effect from 1840 to 1935 that were primarily designed to force Indians to live on Reservations. Some of your elder relatives may have had this discrimination taught to them as children. My advice is not to mention Indian ancestors unless your relative says it first.

In this pile of information you collected, you discover you are descended from a William Penn Rogers that was born in Oklahoma in 1879. Oklahoma was where the Five Civilized Tribes were living at the time, and 1879 was before the Dawes Roll, so he is a ‘good candidate’ for being on the Dawes Roll. From his death certificate, you find his parent’s names were Clement Vann Rogers and Mary America Schrimsher.

- to be continued -

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

How to Start Your Cherokee Search -3-

Most Counties recorded Birth and Deaths at the "County Seat" as far back as 1850. These old records were stored in the Court House basement where these paper records, with water soluble ink, slowly rotted away. In the years before electricity, the county clerks reviewed these records with kerosene lanterns or open candles, just begging for a fire. I suppose you have heard the term "100 year flood". Since 1850, nearly every county court house in the country has had some sort of flood in their basement.

A County record can be used to fill in the Pedigree Chart. If you find your ancestors on the ‘Right Roll’ that would enable you to apply for Tribal membership, a County record is not permissible. The Tribe and the BIA require a State Certified certificate as 'proof of descent', but there are loopholes and ways around this requirement. A few of my clients have been able to get County Clerks to present the data from earlier birth records to officials in local State offices and have the information transcribed to official State embossed paper, and use those documents as their ‘proof’. The Bureau of Indian Affairs say these birth and death records must be on official State stationary (embossed or with a Raised Seal) that is not subject to editing. A black and white photo copy can be edited, but the embossed State papers cannot.

If you are not collecting genealogical information for Tribal Membership, then you do not need official Birth and Death certificates. They may be ‘nice to have’ as in many cases, they are the only ‘official records’ of your ancestor’s existence.

A ‘*Back Door*’ to Native American family history

If you cannot find direct evidence of your direct ancestors (grandparents, great grandparents, etc) on the official Rolls, it can be helpful to find their siblings or other close family members, since a sibling’s or cousin’s family history will be the same as your branch of the family. Additional sources for finding your ancestors or their siblings can be found in several Cherokee genealogy books, written by Cherokees for Cherokees, between 1825 and 1900, when the information was still 'fresh' in the memory of the elder ladies of the Tribe.

In some cases, you will only be able to find people with the same Family name, that were living in the same State or town as your ancestors, who applied for one of the Rolls. Since people in this period tended to travel in 'packs' and living close to a relative was essential for farm labor and health care, these people will be Kin-Folk to your relatives, and their family history will be nearly the same as yours.

When people Applied for these Rolls, they had to submit the names and birth dates of their parents and their grandparents, and where they were born or living in 1850. They also had to submit letters stating their family history and a connection to the Cherokee Nation. All of their information is still on-file in the National Archives (only in Washington DC and Fort Worth, Texas). Photo-copies can be ordered for as little as $10 for each Application Number or Roll Number, which will include all of the members of the family living under the same roof.

In the case of the Miler Roll of Eastern Cherokees, the applicants listed names, dates of birth and residences of their siblings, married children, children living at home, their parents, their grandparents, their spouse and his immediate family. Quite often, you can find several people with your family name who were living in the same county as your ancestors in 1906. These people are most likely siblings or cousins of your ancestors

Not everyone applied for these Rolls. Many Cherokees disagreed with the terms of the Treaties and thought by ‘picketing’ they could force the government to grant better conditions. Others simply disagreed on political grounds, lived in the wrong State or Territory, or misspelled their ancestors family name. Other people thought some of these government Rolls were scams to trick them into identifying themselves so they could be rounded up and exiled to a reservation.

Monday, February 25, 2008

How to Start Your Cherokee Search -2-

Cemetery and Church records can be a big help. In some cases, cemetery records will show all the members of a family that are in that cemetery and their relationships to each other. Some tombstones will have inscriptions listing family relationship. From these records, dates and places of death will enable you to order death certificates or will assist you while scouring County records.

Beware of Census Records. Prior to 1850, these records only listed the name of the Head of the House with all other family members reduced to statistics. 1850 was the first year that each family members name and age was recorded. Spelling of names vary tremendously from one census to the next. In some cases, a John Bedford Phipps would be listed as John, Jim or James, or Bedford, using his middle name instead of his given name. Phipps could be spelled Phips, Fips, Fipps or Fitts. Since most people in the US were illiterate, they had no idea how to spell their name and it was up to the census taker to write it down the best way they could.

Around 1850, it became obvious to the census takers that most people had no idea what year they were born in or exactly how old they were. The census takers were instructed to put down how old they looked. When you find gross inconsistencies between one census and the next, be aware that when the census takers ‘came calling’ families were not very forthcoming with what they considered as ‘personal information’. In most cases, if a family was not at home, the census taker would collect the information from their next door neighbor. This was done under the assumption that neighbors were closely related or intimately familiar with each other.

If you can locate Social Security numbers for any deceased ancestor, write the info down on the Pedigree Chart or in an associated file. Please do not record social security numbers for living persons, as it can lead to identity theft if the file is lost or accidentally disposed of. When people apply for a Social Security Card, they have to fill out an application on a "Form-5" and list their parent’s names and their dates and places of birth. Any local social security office can process your request for an ancestors Form-5, or can give you’re the proper form and an address to contact.

If your ancestor’s family applied for any Death Benefits, burial assistance, financial support for minor children, support for an elderly spouse, etc, there will be a record of them in the Social Security Death Index (SSDI), which is on-line. Just type SSDI into your search engine. If you find an ancestor on this list, the information on their death will enable you to order a copy of their SS Form-5 or and/or a copy of their death certificate from the state archives.

If Birth or Death Certificates need to be ordered, most on-line SSDI sites have listings of the Bureau of Vital Statistics offices for most states. Under recent provisions of the Patriot Act, only a blood relative can order copies of these documents. You typically need to include a photo copy of your drivers license with your request and specify how you are related to the person.

Death certificates are important as they will list the persons age and year of death, so it is easy to calculate their Year of Birth. Most importantly, this certificate will show the names of their parents, and usually the maiden name of their mother. Birth and Death Certificates were not kept by most states until they were mandated by federal law in 1920. If an ancestor was born before 1920, there will be no Birth Certificate at the State level, but there will probably be a Death Certificate.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

How to Start Your Cherokee Search -1-

Like any other search, you have to start with what you know. Start by filling out a Pedigree Chart or a simple Family Tree, filling in as many blanks as possible with names, Year of Birth, State or Territory of Birth, Year and State of death. Go as far back as you can, then enlist the help of elder female relatives to help fill in the blanks back to your ancestors that were alive in 1900-1924.

These are important dates for Cherokees and many other Tribes, as the government held Final Treaties with the Indians during this period. Volumes of information are recorded in Official Records from this period.

The major Cherokee Treaty Rolls of this period were -

Dawes Roll of 1896-1905 in Oklahoma and surrounding states

Miller Roll of Eastern Cherokees (whole US) 1906-1909

Baker Roll of the Eastern Band in North Carolina 1924

Most people only registered on one of these Rolls, but some families applied to all of them, as the government was being very slow in awarding Cherokees Citizenship and settling land claims. The Dawes Roll was 'closed' in 1906 (no additions except by Act of Congress), but the Final Roll issuing Citizenship rights and issuing land was not completed until 1917. Some people felt they had been overlooked and registered on other Rolls as they became available.

I recommend asking your female relatives for help in this project, as the ladies tend to remember family history the way men remember sports trivia. While speaking with your elder relatives on family history, Do NOT mention Indian or Cherokee or any other Tribe, unless they bring the subject up first. The reason for this is deeply rooted in Anti-Indian prejudice formulated by the federal government to drive the remaining Indians onto existing Reservations. The Anti-Indian Laws of the period were enforced from 1830 to 1935. Any Indian 'discovered' living “Off the Reservation”, was arrested and exiled to the nearest reservation. An Indian could be murdered for the color of his skin, and the murder would not be investigated. Some of your older relatives may be old enough to have heard stories from their parents or grandparents when they were children, and old habits die hard.

Typically, older female relatives are thrilled that someone in the 'current generation' is interested in family history, and are willing to talk and help you with the Family Tree. While interviewing them, be sure to ask

If they have copies of any Land Deeds, Wills, Birth Certificates, Death Certificates, obituaries, books written about family members, or the old Family Bible, and old “Family Trunk” handed down by Grandma, scrapbooks, old photos, etc.

Ask if they know of a 'distant cousin' who is doing the family tree, or is the "Family Historian". Ask about Family Reunions, as there are typically one or more Family Historians at these functions who are willing to share their information. It makes them feel important, so be nice to them. (to be continued)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Early Records – What are the ROLLS? - Last part

Cherokees who were living in (Oklahoma Territory) Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, North Texas and Louisiana registered on the Dawes Roll between 1896 and 1902. The Cherokee Citizenship Rolls of 1886 were used as a beginning and these people on this Roll do not have a ‘postal district’ recorded on the Final Roll. All other Cherokees had the postal district listed where they made their application.

Choctaw Indians also had a large contingent that was still living in Mississippi. They are recorded on the Dawes Roll under Choctaw – MCR (Mississippi Choctaw Restricted) status. This is because their names were recorded between 1880 to 1890, with the expectations that they were to relocate to Oklahoma before 1900. The people on the MCR list remained in Mississippi through 1900 and most of them were ‘stricken’ from the Final Dawes Roll’.

Census Cards, or ‘field cards’ were filed out by the white registrars, showing the persons name, their age (or apparent age) at the time of registration, their sex, and blood quanta. They also listed this data for their spouse and any minor children still living at home. Unmarried older daughters (spinsters) were allowed to be listed on the Census Card of their parents. Married children and sons over the age of 17 were required to file separately, with married daughters being listed under their married names. Each applicant and their spouse were required to list their parent’s names.

Each Census Card had a unique serial number that captured a ‘snapshot’ of the family as it was at the time of registration. The Dawes Commission then scanned the Drennen Roll and the Old Settlers Roll to identify the names of the applicant’s parents. If the parents name was not readily apparent, the applicant was classified as ‘doubtful’ and was required to appear in court with witnesses, to determine if they were entitles to ‘free land’.

Blood quanta numbers were not subject to verification. However, any Cherokee that registered as half-blood to full-blood was considered to ignorant to manage their own affairs. The government appointed a white ‘overseer’ to each of these families to tend to the business aspect of their farms. Most of these overseers were ex-slavers and treated the Cherokee families as their slaves, running the farm into false bankruptcy with faked bank documents, and then selling the farm to their accomplices for pennies on the dollar. When this trend became apparent, other Cherokees with high blood quanta began registering with lower numbers. This was not a problem as far as the Tribe was concerned, as there was no minimum blood quanta. There is still no minimum blood quanta requirement for new members, but you must have a direct ancestor on the Final Dawes Roll.

Several categories of people were not allowed to register, were considered doubtful of Indian ancestry, or were simply ‘Stricken’ from the Final Roll when it was published in 1917. This group included parents of Dawes Applicants unless they registered separately, Intermarried Whites that had married after 1875, anyone who’s ancestors were not listed on the Old Settlers Roll or the Drennen Roll, anyone who missed the registration deadline, everyone who had left Oklahoma Territory after 1850 and had not returned by 1880. Continuous residence in New Indian Territory from 1850 to 1900 was a requirement for Dawes Roll registration. The Cherokee National Census (West) of 1880 was used as a qualifying document.

Tens of thousands of Cherokees refused to make an application to the Dawes Roll. The main reason for this was the Dawes was the result of another Treaty where the Cherokees lost several million acres of land that the government wanted for settlers, railroads, and oil exploration. In the Treaty of 1846, the Cherokee Nation was granted all of the land south of the Missouri River to the northern border of Texas, from the Rocky Mountains (Continental Divide) to the Mississippi River.

During the US Civil War, the Cherokees were active in the Confederacy and in the Union, but the government declared that the Cherokee Nation had succeeded from the Union and all previous Treaties were voided. The New Treaty that resulted in the Dawes Roll, restricted the Cherokee land to the North Eastern five county area of Oklahoma. Cherokee Chiefs that refused to sign this new Treaty were imprisoned or murdered.

According to my research, the Dawes Commission only needed a ‘simple majority’ (51%) of Cherokee Chiefs to sign the Treaty for it to become law. If a person or family refused to make an application, they and their descendants were forever banned from becoming members of the Tribe or even being allowed to call themselves Cherokee. Government estimates say that only about half of the eligible Cherokees who were living in Oklahoma Territory, actually applied for the Dawes Roll.

The most common form of the Dawes Roll was a ‘government friendly’ list that was in numerical order. There have been attempts to alphabetize the Final Dawes Roll, but they scatter family members and make it very difficult to determine which of the people on the Roll with the same name, are your ancestors. The only realistic way to find out which ‘John Smith’ was your ancestor, is to compare their year of birth against family records, and then sort through 640 pages of tiny print.

While noting ‘likely suspects’ in your ancestor hunt, you must record their individual Census Card numbers. This is the KEY to the Dawes Roll. Since they did not have addresses as such, their Census Card numbers serve that purpose. You literally have to go through the Dawes Roll again and again and note the names and ages of everyone with the same Census Card number as your list of ‘likely suspects’.

Breakthrough…. The entire Dawes Roll, all Five Civilized Tribes, has been alphabetized, years of birth calculated based on their age and their date of registration, and their Census card numbers recorded in an easy to use CD. By sorting everyone by Tribe and Census Card number, and putting the Census Cards in numerical order, entire families have been reassembled as they first appeared on the original Census Card. The family lists include both spouses even if only one was still alive, spouses and applicants parents names, spouses maiden names, children’s names and birth years for those born before the application date and still living at home, and parents of the children if they were from a different parent via divorce or remarriage, adopted cousin, etc. These listings also show all applicants even if they were later declared doubtful, rejected, or ‘stricken’ from the Final Roll that was published in 1917. It also includes people that were added as late as 1914-1915 by an Act of Congress, as a result of applications for the Miller Roll of Eastern Cherokees in 1906.

The US government had commissioned this study, but during the bidding process the project was dropped due to budgetary constraints. My wife and I spent 7 years compiling this information and checking it for accuracy. This CD makes looking up a Cherokee ancestor, or member of another ‘civilized Tribe’ as easy as using a phone book. There are over 250,000 names on this CD with connections to at least one other person on the Dawes Roll or the earlier Drennen or Old Settlers Rolls.

For a description of the CD and examples of research, please go to my web site Cherokee by blood. This CD is currently being sold over the internet or by mail order for $27.00, flat rate with shipping expenses included,

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Early Records – What are the ROLLS? - Part 4

*Drennen Roll of 1852 (Treaty of 1846)* This Roll was comprised of the survivors of the Trail of Tears on 1837-1838, and their descendants, who had remained in the prescribed area until 1852. They were considered as a separate political group and not combined with the Old Settlers. These people had not been paid for their Cherokee land claims before leaving. The Drennen Roll lists 13,905 Cherokees which were paid an average of $93 for their Cherokee land Claims. The distribution of these funds was conducted by Colonel John Drennen at Fort Gibson, Indian Territory. This Roll lists families by Postal District, starting with the Head of the House, and listing the Cherokee spouse and any children in order of their ages. Their ages were not actually recorded, only their ‘order’ of birth. These postal districts were Canadian, Delaware, Flint, Going Snake, Illinois, Saline, Skin Bayou, Tahlequah, and a Disputed Roll for non-residents.

*Dawes Roll 1898-1914*
Currently, the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma (western band) used the Dawes Roll for new members. In order to apply for Tribal Membership or a Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Certified Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) card, you must have a direct ancestor on the Final Dawes Roll (your ancestor was issued a Dawes Roll number and their degree of Indian blood (blood quanta) must have been recorded. They require you to produce certified state original birth or death certificates to connect yourself to that ancestor. Each of the Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole) had similar Dawes Rolls taken at about the same time, and recorded the same type of information. Most of these Tribes have similar requirements for a person to apply for Tribal Membership. Being ‘on the Dawes Roll’ is typically what is meant if you say your ancestors were “On The Roll”, because it was the most important Roll of the Western branch of the Cherokee Nation. This Roll was open to survivors and descendants of the Old Settlers Roll of 1851 (descendants of the Emigration Roll of 1817) and the Drennen Roll of 1852 (descendants of the Trail of Tears Roll of 1835). This list covers approximately 26,000 individuals and is divided into five sections …

*By Blood* - included Cherokee, Assimilated Osage, Assimilated Delaware, and Assimilated Shawnee.
*Intermarried Whites* - covered spouses that were either white or had blood quanta from another Tribe. This section was culled in 1814 to only list those that had been married to their Cherokee spouse prior to 1875.

*NewBorns* – taken in 1905 to cover children born after the registration cutoff date of 1902. Parents of these children had to have been previously registered under the By Blood section.
*Minors* – taken in 1906 and covered all Minor children (under the age of 18) that had not been previously registered. Parents and older siblings that attempted to enroll at this time, were Stricken from the Final Dawes Roll.

*FreedMen* – Free blacks, mulattoes, ex-slaves, Black Indians. Many of these people had Cherokee blood quanta, but were not allowed to report that information to the Dawes Commission.
(to be continued)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Early Records – What are the ROLLS? - Part 3

*The Siler Roll of 1851 and the Chapman Roll of 1852*

The Siler Roll is a listing of those Eastern Cherokees entitled to a per capita payment pursuant to an Act of Congress in 1850. The government had decided that the descendants of the Reservation Roll of 1817 had remained in Tennessee and Georgia long enough and their lease “for life’ had expired. Since most of the Cherokee Heads of House that had qualified for the Reservation Roll had been born between 1750 and 1800, this assumption was fairly accurate. The federal government was under pressure from the governors of Tennessee and Georgia to remove the last remaining Indians from the highly desirable ‘bottom land’ that was the best farming land, and make it available to white settlers and land speculators.

The government commissioned a man named Siler to go into the area, and using the survey maps prepared by Robert Armstrong in 1819 to 1820, identify the remaining Reservation Roll survivors and their descendants still living on the land. They were to be paid for their ‘improvements’ (cabins, plowed fields, orchards) and a fixed fee for their acreage. One square mile of farm land was 640 acres. Siler recorded 3,600 men, women and children, listing the location of their land by township, the ‘family number’, and the names, relationship, and ages of everyone of Cherokee blood in the family that had been born before 1850 and was still living at home. This Roll was completed in 1851.

In 1852, another man named Albert Chapman was sent to the area to pay these families for their land, based on the Siler Roll, and tell them to leave the area. Approximately 25% of these families then moved to Oklahoma to be near other members of their families. The other Cherokee families simply moved into the next county or the next state and ‘passed for white’. Chapman was able to locate and pay 2160 Eastern Cherokees from the Siler Roll. I have not seen a reasonable explanation as to what happened to the remaining 1440 Cherokees that were listed by Siler and not paid by Chapman. These were the last Rolls taken in the Old Cherokee Nation, except for North Carolina which will be the subject of another post.

*Old Settlers Roll of 1851 (Treaty of 1846)*

This Roll was comprised of the Cherokee families that had voluntarily migrated to Arkansas Territory as a result of the Emigration Roll of 1817. Some Cherokee families had migrated to this area prior to the Louisiana Purchase of 1804 and many others did not arrive until 1830. Some families had found the land unacceptable and since it was still in the hands of the Osage Tribe, war was still in progress. Some of these families returned to Tennessee or Kentucky, others moved to areas in Missouri and Kansas.

Those Cherokee families that remained in the prescribed area until 1851, were recorded on the Old Settlers Roll, which lists 3280 individuals. This group was also called the Treaty Party, as their leaders had signed the Treaty to cede Cherokee lands to the American government. The Old Settlers that had not received payments for their Cherokee land claims in 1817, were paid $270 in gold. Those Cherokees that had previously been paid received nothing. This Roll lists families by Postal District, starting with the Head of the House, and listing the Cherokee spouse and any children in order of their ages. Their ages were not actually recorded, only their ‘order’ of birth. These postal districts were Canadian, Delaware, Flint, Going Snake, Illinois, Saline, Skin Bayou, Tahlequah, and a Non-residents list.

(to be continued)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Early Records – What are the ROLLS? - Part 2

*Emigration Roll of 1817*

Families listed on this portion of this Treaty Roll were expected to voluntarily remove themselves and their families to Arkansas Territory. They were issued a horse, supplies, a rifle, provisions, $270 in gold, and a map for a self guided walking tour to Arkansas Territory, via Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, then cross the Mississippi River at the head waters, and turn south to follow the western bank of the Mississippi until they reached Fort Smith Arkansas.

1740 Cherokee families are listed on this section of the Treaty Roll. Not all of them completed the trip to Arkansas Territory, or else returned to the Old Cherokee Nation after they had arrived in Arkansas. These families were not recounted until the Old Settlers Roll of 1850 in Oklahoma Territory. Only 1466 Cherokee families that had been listed on the Emigration Roll were left in Oklahoma Territory by the time the Old Settlers Roll was taken. Other families had dropped off the trail along the way, bought farms, and ‘passed for white’. Fragments of these families are scattered throughout the Deep South and the Mid West.

One Cherokee leader, Chief John Ross, assembled a large group of followers and migrated to New Spain. They had been promised large land grants by the Mexican government in East Texas to form a Red Wall against further white settlers from America. This group of people later became known as the Texas Cherokees. Their existence was short lived, as Texas revolted against Mexico and tried to drive the Cherokees out of the New Republic.

*Henderson** Roll of 1835* (also known as the *Trail of Tears Roll*)

Some of the Cherokee families that had signed up for the Reservation Roll and the Emigration Roll changed their minds about leaving and stayed in the Old Cherokee Nation, believing in their leaders efforts to secure the Home Land through political efforts. In 1835, the Treaty of New Echota was signed by a handful of local Town Chiefs, which ceded the entire Cherokee Nation to the American government.

2760 Cherokee families, still living in the Old Cherokee Nation in 1835, were listed on the Henderson Roll for immediate removal under the Indian Removal Act. The US Army did not move in to enforce the removal until 1837. Many of the Cherokees listed on this Roll fled the forced removal into Alabama, Western Tennessee, Kentucky, and North Carolina.

Those Cherokee families that fled into other states literally dropped off the federal radar and disappeared into the hills. The government had no mandate to remove the Indians from most of these other states or territories. There were never any Treaties with the Cherokees in these states, so their names do not appear on any Treaty Rolls. This makes them very hard to trace and the only traces that can be found are on the original Treaty Rolls listed above.

The Trail of Tears followed the same Army maps that led them on a land route through Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, across the Mississippi River at the head waters, and turn south to follow the western bank of the Mississippi until they reached Fort Smith Arkansas in New Indian Territory. Approximately 16,000 Cherokees started this march and approximately 4,000 did not complete the trip. Of this 4,000, many died from age, exposure, disease or starvation, and the others simply disappeared to become farmers along the way. By 1900, fragments of these families were scattered throughout the US, in every US State and Possession.

(to be continued)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Early Records – What are the ROLLS? - Part 1

Most early Cherokee records originated from official government documents called “Treaty Rolls”. When the government made a new treaty, they would list the names of the adult members of the community that would be responsible for following the terms of the treaty. There Treaty Rolls, up until about 1850, only listed the names of the Heads of House, not their spouses or their children. If a family consisted of a white parent and an Indian parent, only the Indian parent’s name would be listed. These early Treaty Rolls can be used to determine the origins of many Cherokee family names, even if they left the Old Cherokee Nation and ‘passed for white’ in some other Territory or State.

There are a few other early records maintained by missionaries and churches and the early records of the Tennessee Indian Agency. Some of these documents show births, deaths, marriages, and other family relationships. The Tennessee Indian Agency records only list names of Heads of House that filed claims against losses due to white incursions.

There are several Cherokee genealogy books that were written by Cherokees for Cherokees that follow the bulk of the families in the Old Cherokee Nation, or individual family histories. The most complete of these books is “The History of the Cherokee Indians” written by Emitt Starr, first published in 1900. In this book are listed some 5,000 Cherokees, their spouses, their parents, and their children from about 1700 to 1875, and lists the major first families of the Old Cherokee Nation.

The earliest *Treaty Rolls* of the Old Cherokee Nation are as follows –

*Reservation Roll of 1817*

Families listed on this Roll, under terms of this Treaty, were expected to become American citizens, be ‘issued’ a one square mile tract of land for a personal farm or “Individual Reservation”. The land was not owned by the Cherokee family, but was ‘set aside for their use ‘for life’. At the end of their life, the land was to return to the American government. Individual Reservations were granted in Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and Alabama.

580 Cherokee families signed up for this Roll. By the time the Individual Reservations were issued in 1820, only 107 families were listed as being issued a reservation ‘For Life’ and 39 families were given a ‘fee simple’ (given title to the land). 23 reservations were in Georgia, the rest were in Tennessee. Listings of the Individual Reservations in North Carolina or Alabama have not been located.

(to be continued)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Welcome to Cherokee By Blood blog

My name is David Vann, and my Indian name is “Iron Head”. I am a ¾ blood Cherokee Indian and my family has been in the Cherokee Nation since at least 1650. My family has been actively involved in Cherokee genealogy since 1905. I am a graduate of California State University, in Northridge and California Institute of Technology (Cal-Tech). I am a retired Nuclear Engineer and keep busy with my interests in Native American archeology, Cherokee history, and Cherokee genealogy. I have applied my professional data harvesting abilities to my Cherokee research.

I am a Cherokee genealogy specialist, a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, and a member of the Cherokee National Historical Society’s “First Families of the Cherokee Nation”.

In the process of finding my own Cherokee roots, I have collected a large private library covering Cherokee history, customs, tradition, and genealogy.
I have spent the past eight years compiling large amounts of Cherokee genealogy data into computer friendly form and assisting other people of Cherokee descent find their roots and Native American ancestors. In 2004, I published “The Five Civilized Tribes – Dawes Roll Applications” in CD form, to assist Cherokee researchers in finding their roots. This CD is being sold internationally to individuals, libraries, and research organizations.

The purpose of this blog is to assist others in how and where to find information on tracing their Cherokee ancestry.
I will discuss what the “Rolls” are, when and where they were compiled, and how to use them to help find your family roots. On a ‘one-on-one’ basis, I have helped many people find their ancestors on one or more of the Cherokee Treaty Rolls that were taken from 1817 to 1924.

During this process, I have traced the family trees of nearly every Cherokee family that has been recorded on the official Treaty Rolls since 1817.
Since many Cherokees had identical names, I identify them by their approximate year of birth, the name of their spouse, the names of their parents, their siblings, and their children. This forms a ‘family fingerprint’ that is unique to that individual, what I call ‘Forensic Genealogy’.

Many of the official records are incomplete, as the government only listed the Heads of House before 1850. To fill in these gaps, I rely on previously published data from Cherokee genealogy books, Cherokee history books, and old church or missionary records of the period. I also receive copies of rare documents from the US National Archives and from my friends and customers who I have encouraged to find their ancestors, as most Cherokee families are intermarried with other Cherokee families. In most cases, I have been able to trace an individual from a ‘recent’ Treaty Roll in 1900, to a previous Treaty Roll in 1850, and back to earlier Treaty Rolls in 1835 to 1817, thereby completing a comprehensive Family Tree with documented references, because genealogy without documentation is just wishful thinking.

Warning – genealogy can be hazardous to your marriage. Sports widows are only ignored during sports season, but genealogy knows no season.

For information on early Cherokee traditions, legends, culture, religion, information about my published CD, and so on, please visit my web site which covers how the Cherokees lived long before the first whites arrived.