Native American Heritage

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

Step 5: What You Can Do Next



Step 5: What You Can Do Next

If you did not find your ancestor in the Dawes Rolls online, but you feel sure they were in one of the "Five Civilized Tribes", here are some ideas for where you can look further:
  • Check in the microfilm of BIA records for those who applied for the Dawes Rolls, but who were rejected or stricken or judged doubtful for enrollment. This microfilm can be viewed or purchased from NARA's Fort Worth facility. See Fort Worth's microfilm listing.

  • Contact the National Archives facility in Fort Worth, and request that they check the 1896 Dawes applications. Many who applied during the 1896 application process, which was later declared invalid, did not re-apply after the Dawes Commission started over in 1898. Fort Worth has these 1896 applications. To order a copy, you will need to provide Fort Worth with the person's name and tribe.

  • Contact the National Archives facility in Fort Worth at (817) 831-5620, and have them check their alphabetical indexes. The Final Rolls Index online here just includes those who were accepted by the Dawes Commission. Fort Worth has an index that includes everyone who applied.

  • Check the 1900 Census, beginning with the Soundex index. This will tell you where your ancestor was living, and one's race as Indian or white, etc. was designated. For those Indians living in predominantly Indian areas, there were special Indian schedules identifying one's tribe and parents' tribes.
    Note: The 1900 Census is not available on the NARA website, only the microfilm catalog is. For access to the census, you can visit any NARA facility or purchase the microfilm, go to the subscription-based Ancestry.com website (there's free access to Ancestry in all NARA facilities), or check with your local library or genealogical society.

  • Check the Guion Miller Rolls on microfilm roll M1104. These include 45,847 applications by Eastern Cherokees to share in an award granted by the U.S. Court of Claims on May 28, 1906. You can view the Guion Miller Rolls index online.

  • Check the Census of Intruders. For example, the Cherokees compiled a list of intruders in 1893. See the listing of microfilm rolls pertaining to Non-Indians in Indian Territory available from NARA's Fort Worth facility.

  • See the page of links to Indian/Native American web sites, compiled by the National Archives librarians.

  • See the Department of Interior's How Do I Trace Indian Ancestry? page.

  • Ask yourself why do you think your ancestor was Indian? Just because they may have lived in Indian Territory does not make them Indian. There were many non-Indians living in these areas.


If you found your ancestor online in the Dawes Rolls, you can:
Continue Native American Research Online

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Order Copies

  • To order copies of the census cards, application jackets, and land allotment jackets please include in your request the name of the tribe, enrollment category, roll number, and census card number (from the Census card number you found in the Final Rolls).

    Cost: The cost is $20 for up to 25 pages of the census card/enrollment jacket or land allotment jacket.

    Send your request to:
    Archival Operations, National Archives at Fort Worth
    1400 John Burgess Drive
    Fort Worth, Texas 76140

  • For copies of other records, see the Obtain Reproductions page.
Dawes Commission application jacket
Applications for enrollment with the Dawes Commission.
Located in NARA's Fort Worth facility.

Hire a Researcher

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) staff is available to provide reference assistance to you. However, if you find that you require extensive research assistance at NARA facilities, we offer you this list of researchers who are available for hire.
(Note: Researchers for hire are not NARA employees.)

The Oklahoma Historical Society also has staff available to assist you in your research. See also their page on fees.

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Access the Dawes Rolls and other Native American Records on Microfilm

Visit NARA in Washington, D.C., or check with the 13 Regional Archives around the country. Many of these facilities have these records on microfilm for use in person. Microfilm can also be purchased.

Some of the available microfilm publications include:
  • M1186 - "Enrollment Cards of the Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914."

  • M1301 - "Applications for Enrollment of the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914." Find the application jacket associated with your ancestor's Dawes Roll application. (See also the order copies section above.)

  • M1650 - "Applications from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Muskogee Area Office, Relating to Enrollment in the Five Civilized Tribes Under the Act of 1896."

  • M1104 - Check the Guion Miller Rolls. These include 45,847 applications by Eastern Cherokees to share in an award granted by the U.S. Court of Claims on May 28, 1906. You can view the Guion Miller Rolls index online.

    You may then also want to pursue earlier records in NARA:

  • Review Cherokee census and payment rolls from 1867-1896. They are available from NARA's Fort Worth facility on microfilm 7RA25.

  • Search Civil War records for possible military service.

For more comprehensive microfilm lists:

You can buy rolls of microfilm from NARA once you have used the indexes and roll list for the census card number, so you know what you need: call 1-800-234-8861.

You can also buy the Dawes Rolls and other American Indian records on CD from the Oklahoma Historical Society. The "Native American Collection" CD, for example, includes searchable databases.

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Visit NARA

Once you have found the person you are looking for in the online Index and Final Rolls, you can then:


Contact the National Archives

  • E-mail: http://www.archives.gov/contact/inquire-form.html

  • Mail: Please mail your inquiry to:

    The National Archives and Records Administration
    8601 Adelphi Road
    College Park, MD 20740-6001

  • For specific questions about the Dawes Rolls, you can contact:
    NARA's Southwest Region in Fort Worth, Texas
    (817) 831-5620

  • For general NARA inquiries, call (toll-free):
    1-86-NARA-NARA (1-866-272-6272), 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST

We would like your feedback on this Guide for searching the Dawes Rolls online. Please email us with any suggestions for improvements. Thanks!

Dawes Commission Main Page

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