Important facts about this roll:
- There was no residency requirement unlike the Dawes Records.
- Individuals from foreign countries even applied.
- Since there was a cash award, many people applied regardless of their eligibility.
The U.S. Court of Claims ruled in favor of the Eastern Cherokee Tribe's claim against the U.S. on May 18, 1905. This resulted in the appropriation of $1 million to the Tribe’s eligible individuals and families. Interior Department employee Guion Miller created a list using several rolls and applications to verify tribal enrollment for the distribution of funds.
The applications received documented over 125,000 individuals; the court approved more than 30,000 individuals to share in the funds.
To be approved for funds the individual must:
- Be alive as of May 28, 1906
- Establish that he/she was a member or descendants of a person that had been included in the forced removal to Indian Territory, known as the “Ross Party”
- Not be affiliated with a tribe other than the Cherokee
- Submit an application that had to be received by August 31, 1907. Parents or guardians were given the opportunity to apply for minors and persons of unsound mind. Most of these later applications were rejected due to late receipt; however, all contain important individual and family history information.
These applications include:.
- Applicant’s English and Indian names, date and place of birth
- Names and ages of brothers and sisters
- Place of birth and date of death of parents and grandparents
- Spouse and children
- Names of extended family
The National Archives provides a free online name index to the applications submitted for the Guion Miller Roll. The Guion Miller Roll and associated information are available at Fold3.com (database titled Guion Miller Roll). Prior to digitization, these and related records were accessible via the following microfilm publications:
- M1104 Eastern Cherokee Applications of the U.S. Court of Claims, 1906-1909
- M685, Records Relating to Enrollment of Eastern Cherokee by Guion Miller, 1908-1910. This publication includes the final roll, testimony of witnesses, and copies of the earlier census rolls used to make the final determinations.
The microfilm publications provide a brief history of the Guion Miller Roll. Visit the Online Catalog for the full archival records description: National Archives Identifier 300329.
Earlier rolls 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.