Cherokee Registry

Cherokee Rolls

During 1811-1812, the Cherokees moved en masse to the Arkansas region.

In the "Turkey Town Treaty of" 1817 the Cherokee ceded land and some 1,100 Cherokees started (1818-19) their removal from their ancestral lands East of the Mississippi to area to Arkansas Territory. The Cherokee agreed to exchange 1/3rd of the lands in the East for equal acreage located between the White River on the Northeast boundary and the Arkansas River on the Southwest boundary in the then Arkansas Territory. Out of these "treaties", the Cherokee had a choice of two alternatives. They could either "enroll" to move to the traded land in Arkansas or they could "file" for a reservation of 640 acres in the east which would revert to the state upon their death or abandonment of the property.

Indian Census Collection

The Lovely Purchase of 1816 - was a result of a conference between the osages and the cherokees, convened at the mouth of the Verdigris River. Major william lovely, Cherokee agent in the West, obtained an agreement whereby the osages ceded to the United States the land as follows: "Beginning at the Arkansas River .. Frog Bayou .. then up the Arkansas and Verdigris to the falls of the Verdigris River .. thence Eastwardly, to the said Osage boundary line, at a point 20 leagues North from the Arkansas River .. and, with that line, to the point of beginning..."

Reservation Rolls - 1817 A listing of those Cherokees desiring a 640 acre tract in the east and permitted to reside their. No record exists of the 2,000 Cherokees who emigrated before 1817.

Emigration Rolls - 1817 A listing of those Cherokees emigrating to 1835 Arkansas territory & later 1828 to Oklahoma In 1828, the Cherokees ceded their lands in Arkansas for land in Oklahoma.

Henderson Rolls - 1835 A listing of 16,000 Cherokees living in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, & North Carolina to be removed to Oklahoma, per Treaty New Echota.

The "Treaty of New Echota", 29 Dec 1835, represented the final cession of all Cherokee lands east of the Mississippi. This Census (NARC T-496) was taken of the Western Cherokees in 1835 before they were force to move in what is know as "The Trail of Tears" to Oklahoma. But in the three years between 1835 and 1838 no records seem to have been kept of those Cherokee Indians who were born, who died (4,000) along the way, who never left their homes, or who initially reached the new territory in the west. Commissioner of Indian Affairs in 1835 by Major Currey who was in charge of the Census classified as "Indian" anyone with 1/4 degree of Indian blood. In 1838, several hundred Cherokees in the East escaped into the mountains of North Carolina and became known as the Eastern Band of Cherokees. At about the same time, many elected to take advantage of Article 12 of the 1835 treaty which allowed those desirous to stay in the east if they met certain criteria.

Mullay Roll -1848 A listing of 1,517 Cherokees living in in North Carolina after the removal of 1838 Agent John C. Mullay took the Census pursuant to an act of Congress in 1848.

Siler Roll - 1851 A listing of 1,700 Cherokees living in Eastern Cherokee entitled to a per capita payment pursuant an act of Congress in 1850. In 1851, David W. Silar was appointed to take a census of the Cherokees east of the Mississippi to determine who could be eligible to participate in a per capita payment based on the 1835 treaty. Silar submitted his census list which contained 1,959? individuals by state and county in North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.

Old Settler Roll- 1851 A listing of Cherokees still living in 1851 who already residing in Oklahoma when the main body of the Cherokee arrived in the winter of 1839 (Trail of Tears) Approximately one third were Old Settlers and two third were new arrivals. The 1851 Old Settler Roll lists each individual by district and his/her children unless the mother was an emigrant Cherokee. In this case, the children were listed with their mother on the Drennen Roll 1852. There were 44 family groups listed as non-residents. Guion Miller used this roll in compiling the 1910 record.

Chapman Roll - 1852 Prepared by Albert Chapman as a listing of those Cherokee actually receiving payment based on Siler 1851 Eastern Census. In 1851 and 1852 the per capita payments were made by Alfred Chapman based on Silar's census to 2,134 individuals. This roll played an important part in Guion Miller's preparation of his roll completed in 1910. Anyone who could trace their ancestry to an individual on the Chapman Roll was included on Miller's roll.

Drennen Roll - 1852 Prepared by John Drennen as a listing of first Census of "New" arrivals of 1839 in Oklahoma. (Trail of Tears)

Federal Census 1860 contains Indian lands in Arkansas

Swetland Roll - 1869 Prepared by S.H. Swetland as a listing of those Cherokee, and their decedents, who were listed as remaining in North Carolina by Mullay 1848 Census. Made pursuant to an act of Congress 1868 for a removal payment authorization. S. H. Swetland was appointed to take a census in 1868. He was touse the Mullay Roll of 1848 as the basis for his census. This census was completed in 1868 and gives the families in the Eastern Cherokee band.

Hester Roll – 1883 Prepared by Joseph G. Hester as a listing of Eastern Cherokee in 1883. (This Roll is an excellent source of information. Includes ancestors, Chapman Roll Number, age English name and Indian name.)

In 1882, Joseph G. Hester was appointed to take the 5th census of the Eastern Band. Copies of the previous census were made available to him and he was required to account for all persons on the previous rolls by either including them on the new roll, noting their deaths on the old rolls or describing their whereabouts as unknown either to Mr. Hester or any of the Native Americans. This completed roll was submitted to the Secretary of Interior in 1884. It contained 2,956 persons residing in North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Virginia, Illinois, Kansas, Colorado, Kentucky, New Jersey, and California. Those living west of the Mississippi and listed by Mr. Hester were descendants of members of the Eastern Band and had no affiliation with the Cherokee Nation in the west.

Federal Census - 1880 (Note the 1880 Indian Schedules for this Federal Census were destroyed.) In 1879, the Cherokee National Council authorized a census and this 1880 Census was arranged in 6 schedules. Again, in 1883 and 1886, The Cherokee National Council authorized another census. Federal Census - 1890 In 1890, another census of the Cherokee Nation was made and it is probably the most complete of any of the census. It included Cherokees and adopted whites, Shawnees and Delawares, orphans under 16 yrs, those denied citizenship by the Cherokee authorities, those whose claims to citizenship were pending, intruders and whites living in the Cherokee Nation by permission.

Payment Roll - 1896 The 1896 Payment Roll is based on the above 1851 Old Settler Roll and listed each payee 1851 roll number, name, age, sex, and post office address. The DAWES Roll The final Roll for allotting the land and 1898-1914 terminating the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. Senator Henry L. Dawes was the Commission's Chairman.

Federal Census - 1900 This lists members of the Five Civilized Tribes as well as Whites and Blacks living in the Indian Territory.

Churchill Roll - 1908 Prepared by Frank C. Churchill as a listing of Eastern Cherokee to "Certify Members" of the Eastern Band. (Like the Hester above has lots of Information)

Guion Miller Roll - 1909 Prepared by Guion Miller of all Eastern Cherokee (Not Old Settlers), residing in the either East or West of the Mississippi River. Ordered by the Court of Claims as result of "Suit" won by Eastern Cherokees.

Federal Census - 1920 Native American Indians may be identified as Black, Indian, Other, or white.

Baker Roll - 1924 This was supposed to be the "final Roll" of the Eastern Cherokee. The land was to be allotted and all were to become citizens. Fortunately the Eastern Cherokee avoided the termination procedures, unlike their brothers of the Cherokee Nation West. The Baker Roll Revised is the currant membership Roll of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina.

There have been other census taken from time to time that included the some of the Creek, Shawnees and Delawares that became part of the Cherokee Nation. There are numerous other records available in the National Archives which include records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, US Army Mobile Units, Records of the Supreme Court, Records of the US District Courts, Records of the US Court of Appeals, Records of the US Court of Claims, Records of the Veterans Administration. Since the Cherokee Indians were not (generally) subject to state courts, their civil and criminal court records are normally found in the Federal Court records.