The USGenWeb Census Project
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Read about Native American Enumerations

, Native American Coordinator

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The Five Civilized Tribes
Cherokee Chickasaw Choctaw Creek Seminole

1880 Special Census of Indians
M1791 5 rolls. DP.
The census act of March 3, 1879 (Section 8) authorized the Superintendent of the Census to "employ special agents or other means to make an enumeration of all Indians not taxed, within the jurisdiction of the United States, with such information as to their condition as may be obtainable." A special enumeration therefore was taken of Indians living near military reservations. A special schedule was prepared, but it was used only for a few reservations near military installations. There are schedules for the Indians under the Yakima and Tulalip Agencies in Washington Territory, the Hunkpapa, Miniconjou, and Oglala Sioux of the Standing Rock Agency in Dakota Territory, and the various tribes of the Round Valley Reservation in California. The enumerators were instructed to include all persons "who were living on the 1st day of October, 1880." Please note, the spelling of the tribal names is that used by the enumerators; it may not be the "correct" or modern-day spelling of the name.

1900 Oklahoma Indian Territory Federal Population Schedules

Indian Census Rolls, 1885-1930
M595. 692 rolls. DP.
These census rolls were usually submitted each year by agents or superintendents in charge of Indian reservations, as required by an act of July 4, 1884 (23 Stat. 98). The data on the rolls vary to some extent, but usually given are the English and/or Indian name of the person, roll number, age or date of birth, sex, and relationship to head of family. Beginning in 1930, the rolls also show the degree of Indian blood, marital status, ward status, place of residence, and sometimes other information. There is not a census for every reservation or group of Indians for every year. Only persons who maintained a formal affiliation with a tribe under federal supervision are listed on these census rolls. To protect the privacy of the living, The USGenWeb Census Project has elected to not assign the censuses after 1930 for transcription. Censuses for the years 1931-1940 are not included in this listing.

Other Tribal Enumerations

Muster or Emigration Rolls: The result of many treaties was to extinguish Indian titles to land. Typically, the Indians agreed to reduce their landholdings or to move to an area less desired for white settlement. Sometimes there was also the choice of remaining on common ground on a diminished reserve. Muster or emigration rolls were often taken of the Indians to be removed and sometimes rolls were taken of the Indians who elected to stay on the reserve.
Tribal Enrollments: Some treaties provided for the dissolution of the tribes and the allotment of land to individual Indians. The tribal censuses (enrollments or rolls) determined who was eligible for the allotments. An enrollment card, sometimes referred to by the commission as a "census card," records the information provided by individual applications submitted by members of the same family group or household and includes notation of the actions taken. The information given for each applicant includes name, roll number (individual's number if enrolled), age, sex, degree of Indian blood, relationship to the head of the family group, parents' names, and references to enrollment on earlier rolls used by the commission for verification of eligibility. The card often includes references to kin-related enrollment cards and notations about births, deaths, changes in marital status, and actions taken by the commission.
Annuity and Equalization Payment Rolls: Annuity payment rolls, 1841-1949, consist chiefly of receipt rolls for periodic annuity payments to individual Indians. Also included are rolls for equalization payments (money instead of land allotments). The rolls sometimes give personal information about an Indian, such as age, sex, degree of Indian blood, and relationship to the head of family. Annuity payment rolls are often the best means of determining the members of a tribe or band for the period before 1884, when the annual census rolls began to be made.

To join the project as a transcriber, first check these assignment pages to see if the enumeration of your interest is available for assignment. We will provide you with the transcription spreadsheet template after you have signed up. You must obtain access to Copies of the Census that you have chosen. The Census Project does not provide the original census material to be transcribed.

Every transcriber must Find a Proofreader. You can volunteer to proofread a transcription by going to the Proofreader Exchange, filling out the form, and noting in the comments the censuses in which you are interested.

Note:  Microfilm numbers beginning with " 7RA"  refer to films available for viewing at the Southwest Regional Archives. The Southwest Regional Archives no longer sells microfilms. Please check with Heritage Quest to see if these films may be borrowed or purchased.

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