Friday, November 20, 2009

Footnote Announces Their New Native American Interactive Collection

We are excited to announce the release of our latest interactive collection: the Native American collection. Working together with the National Archives and Allan County Library, has created a collection featuring over 1.8 million records that will help people discover new details about Native American history and genealogy.

Visit the Native American Microsite today and explore records only found on

* Ratified Indian Treaties - dating back to 1722

* Indian Census Rolls - featuring personal information including age, place of residence and degree of Indian blood

* The Guion Miller Roll - perhaps the most important source of Cherokee genealogical research

* Dawes Packets - containing original applications for tribal enrollments

* And other documents relating to the Five Civilized Tribes


Kathie M. Donahue said...

Native American Indian Genealogy Information-Five Civilized Tribes, and along with other sites, have done a great job in bringing the largest American Indian collections (Five Tribes) to light for genealogical research.

Sometimes, though, it's difficult to understand the records of this group. New researchers tend to dive in without checking the name of the pool. When researching online, many a novice will come up with something that looks good, but of which they have little understanding. Consequently, they find it hard to know what to do with what has been found or how to judge the actual worth of the find.

I've addressed some of these concerns at as a way to help others find their way through the records of the five tribes. Here are some of the topics on the website that might be of help. Each topic represents a page of information with references to online sources and records in the collections at the LDS Family History Library.



A Chronology of Records of the Five Civilized Tribes

Cherokee Bibliography

Sizemore Family Links

Guion Miller Roll Index and LDS Microfilm List

Eastern and Friendly Creek Families in Guion Miller Roll Applications

Dawes Roll Applications and Enrollments in LDS Microfilm Lists

Reports and Rolls Used in the Establishment of the Guion Miller Roll

Records of the Cherokee Indian Agency - Tennessee, 1801-1835


Cherokee descendants represent the largest body of persons, today, trying to connect with their native ancestry. Some experts estimate there were two Cherokee who escaped, for every one that went on the Trail of Tears. Judging from the large numbers searching today, that could be true. Over 40,000 applied for the Guion Miller Roll payment in 1906, many of whom had never, before, been enrolled.

The scope of the Cherokee records dates from about 1798 up through 1924, in TN/GA/AL/NC (the old nation) and the Indian Territory or Oklahoma. The earliest records readily available are those of the Cherokee Agency of Tennessee, now on Footnote. The Chronology on my page lists out all the records I know of concerning the Five Tribes and shows the Cherokee Agency records as well as many others, again, with links. Anyone reading the lists and knowing of additional links, please email me, and I will add them.

The Guion Miller Roll (Cherokee) is probably the most useful, in terms of genealogical content, since the applications can hearken back 3 generations or more. The Dawes (all 5 tribes) is less so, in providing added depth to a pedigree, but important for those seeking enrollment today. The best index to the GM Roll is the one by Carol Buswell and Billie Dubois at Heritage Books on CD. A good index to the Dawes on is the one offered at Using it, you can see enough at the outset, sometimes, to determine if you want to go further. The site offers a direct link the the record, itself, on Footnote.

It's a complex job, researching these records, but any researcher willing to go beyond the surface, can find a great deal.

Kathie M. Donahue
Odessa, WA

Miriam said...

Thank you for all this helpful information, Kathie!