The following earlier rolls were used to compile the final Baker Roll:
- 1835 Census of Cherokees Living East of the Mississippi River
- 1851 Chapman Roll
- 1884 Hester Roll (Fold3.com)
- 1907 Council Roll
- 1908 Churchill Roll
- 1909 Guion Miller Roll
With the exception of the Hester Roll, these records are not currently digitized. Census Rolls related to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians are are available on Microfilm M1773, Eastern Cherokee Census Rolls, 1835-1884.
Check the National Archives microfilm catalog to identify the nearest facility with this publication.
An act of Congress of June 4, 1924 (43 Stat. 376), established the Eastern Cherokee Enrolling Commission to determine membership for the Eastern Band of Cherokees and to place its tribal lands into Federal trust.
Charged with identifying membership for the Eastern Band of Cherokees, the Commission created, collected, and compiled data from older rolls and tribal censuses. Known as the Baker Roll, after Fred A. Baker, these records include indexes, applications, testimony, correspondence, decisions of the Eastern Enrolling Commission, and reports. Note, the roll can include deceased individuals.
Information in the applications includes:
- Name, age , and Degree of Indian Blood of applicant (Includes maiden name if applicable)
- Name of ancestor(s) and relationship from whom claiming descent (Includes evidence for Cherokee lineage)
- Degree of Indian blood and residence of mother and father
- Names of children
- Name and Degree of Indian blood of spouse
- Individual enrollment number
- Cross-referenced numbers from the Hester and Churchill Rolls
These records are indexed and available online at Ancestry.com (database titled U.S., Cherokee Baker Roll and Records, 1924-1929). Prior to digitization, these records were accessible via microfilm publication M2104, The 1928 Baker Roll and Records of the Eastern Cherokee Enrolling Commission, 1924-1929. A brief history of the Baker Roll can be found on Ancestry.com and the microfilm publication. Visit our Online Catalog for the full archival records description: National Archives Identifier 2124048.
Background on the Eastern Band of Cherokee
The Cherokee people once inhabited southern Appalachia, constituting parts of Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. After 1817, some Cherokees emigrated to Arkansas Territory (later Indian Territory) and became known as "Old Settlers." During the 1830s, most of the tribe was removed from their highland homeland by the United States Government in the tragic trek known as the "Trail of Tears" and forced to migrate to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). These "Emigrant" or "Eastern" Cherokees merged with the Old Settlers to become the Cherokee Nation West. Somewhat confusingly, other Cherokees who avoided removal and remained behind were also called "Eastern" Cherokees.