Native American Heritage

The Dawes Rolls
(Final Rolls of the Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes
in Indian Territory)

Step 2: Check to see if the Person's Census Card is Described Online

On the Census or Enrollment cards, you will find the person's name, along with all members living in their household, their tribal enrollment, their parent's names and tribal affiliation, and often notes with additional information. For Freedmen, you'll get the parent's names, parent's owners, name of tribe and band listed. Only a portion are described online.



Step 2: Check to see if the Person's Census Card (Enrollment) is described online

Note: Only a portion of the census cards are described online, and none for the Choctaw. If you are looking for a Choctaw, you may still want to do the online search as described below, since there may be records online for an 1896 application. (The 1896 applications were declared invalid by the Dawes Commission, but they may still prove helpful to your research. Copies are available from Fort Worth.)

By first doing a simple name search for Dawes census (enrollment) cards in the Online Catalog, you may be able to bypass a search for your ancestor in the Final Rolls Index and Final Rolls (Steps 3 and 4). The goal of using the Final Rolls Index and Final Rolls is to obtain the person's census card number, as that will then lead you to additional records. Since many of the census card descriptions are available online, a successful result from the Online Catalog will immediately provide you with the person's census card number, and you may be able to go straight to Step 5: What You Can Do Next!
Please note that only a small number of the enrollment cards described online have digital copies attached to them.

To Look for the Dawes Census Card description online:
  1. Go to the Online Catalog main page
    http://www.archives.gov/research/search/

  2. Click the yellow Search button.

  3. On the next screen, fill in the boxes as follows:
    1. In the Keyword box, enter either the person's name, or alternatively, enter "Enrollment and " (without quotes) and the person's last name
    2. Select 100 where it says "Limit Results to".
    3. Hit "Go".

Result 1: You find an Enrollment for Census Card description
For a small number of people, a Census card (Enrollment) description will result, possibly with a digital image attached. If you find your person here, write down their census card number as well as the other information you find listed, and you can jump to Step 5: What You Can Do Next! You will learn how to contact Fort Worth for copies, and what additional resources are available.

Result 2: Says "1896 Citizenship Application".
For another small number of people, after you type in the person's name in the Online Catalog, you will get a result that says "1896 Citizenship Application." If you see this, that means that they applied to the Dawes Commission during the initial 1896 application process which was later declared invalid. If this is what you find, please write down the name of the person and their tribe, and contact the National Archives in Fort Worth at (817) 831-5620. They will send you a copy of the 1896 application.

Result 3: Not found
For the majority of people, you will either get a screen that says "No search results have been found in response to your search criteria", or else you will find census cards for people with similar names, not the one you are looking for. In this case, you should proceed to Step 3: Use the Index to the Final Rolls online.

To illustrate the above, we will search for 3 individuals in the Online Catalog who we believe were listed in the Final Rolls.

Example 1:

First, we look for Ambrose Crain.
  1. We go to the Online Catalog main page
    http://www.archives.gov/research/search/
  2. Click the yellow Search button.
  3. In the box, we type in Ambrose Crain,
  4. Select 100 where it says "Limit Results to",

    Your screen should look like this:

    sample search screen

  5. We hit "Go", and this is the is the result we see:

    search screen

    As you can see, the result is the census card.

  1. Then click on the link below the image, that in this case says "Enrollment for Seminole Census Card 8", and you will see the details for this record. You may want to print this out. An example showing some of the details is below:
    screenshot with details
  2. Next, just beneath the image, click on the "All Images" link.

  3. In this case, we get a choice of 2 cards. We will check them both to see which one is relevant.

    screenshot

  4. When you click on the "Large Image" links to see a close-up of the cards, you will see that only the first card contains Ambrose Crain, who we've been following in this example. (The second card has the same census card number, but is in the Seminole Freedmen category and for a different person.)

    The first card, where you find Ambrose Crain, looks like the following:

Census card

  1. Since these results provide you immediately with the census (enrollment) card and number in the righthand corner, you do not need to look for the person in the Final Rolls Index and Final Rolls lists. You should print the card out or copy down all the information you find, especially the Census Card number.

  2. You are ready to jump straight to Step 5: What You Can Do Next, to learn how to contact Fort Worth to order copies, and more.

Example 2:

Second, we will do a search for Winnie Buckhammon.

  1. We go to the Online Catalog main page
    http://www.archives.gov/research/search/
  2. Click the yellow Search button.
  3. In the box, we type in Winnie Buckhammon
  4. Select 100 where it says "Limit Results to",

    Your screen should look like this:

    Search

  5. We hit "Go", and this is the is the result we see:

    Search

    There is nothing here regarding an Enrollment or Census card. In fact, if you see "1896 Citizenship Application" as the result, this means that the person applied to the Dawes Commission under the initial 1896 application process, which was later declared invalid.

  6. Click on Winnie's name for more details, specifically to find out her tribe.

    Search results

  7. To receive a copy of the 1896 application to the Dawes Commission, write down the person's name and tribe which you find listed here, and contact the National Archives in Fort Worth, Texas. See Step 5: What You Can Do Next.

    You can also continue on to Step 3, and look for the person in the Final Rolls Index, since this catalog online does not have everyone included who was enrolled on the Dawes Rolls. Proceed to Step 3: Use the Index to the Final Rolls online

Example 3:

As a final example, we will look for Napoleon Ainsworth.
  1. Go to the Online Catalog main page
    http://www.archives.gov/research/search/

  2. Click the yellow Search button.
  3. In the box, we type in Napoleon Ainsworth
  4. Select 100 where it says "Limit Results to",

    Your screen should look like this:

    screenshot of catalog search

  5. We hit "Go", and we see the following screen.

    no results found

  6. As expected, there is no census card online for Napoleon Ainsworth. Very few of these enrollment cards have been scanned and digitized into the Online Catalog, and none for Choctaw. So since we do not find his census card here, we proceed to searching for him in the Final Rolls index.
    Step 3: Use the Index to the Final Rolls online.

Next Step:

If you found the census card of the person you are looking for, proceed to
Step 5: What You Can Do Next.
If you did not find the person's card, continue on to Step 3: Use the Index to the Final Rolls online.

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