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The Indian Territory Genealogical and Historical Society is housed in the T.L. Ballenger Room [153] of the Northeastern State University, John Vaughan Library. Society volunteer Cindy Hanrahan opens the room when Northeastern State University's regular semester classes are in session. The Genealogy room is open one day per week: Mondays- 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. It is closed during interims, spring, fall and Christmas break. The schedule is subject to change. For additional information please contact: Univesity Archives: 918-444-3220 or email:

If you need additional genealogical assistance, the Muskogee Public Library holds the Cherokee Dawes application (which we currently do not have) and the Miller Roll applications. They may be reached at:
Muskogee Public Library, 801 West Okmulgee, Muskogee, OK. Phone: 918-682-6657.

Additional Links:

Online access to Dawes Roll cards: Access Genealogy

Oklahoma Historical Society:

A Society volunteer will search by snail mail for the Cherokee Dawes roll (Cherokee section of the Final Roll of the Five Civilized Tribes, 1899-1906). The Society's information letter is as follows:

Dear Researcher:                                                                               

Unfortunately, there is not a simple way to check for Cherokee ancestry. There have been approximately 40 different Cherokee rolls taken in various areas of the country since 1817. There is no single source for us to search for all Cherokee names.

"Genealogists must always keep in mind that the [Indian] agent was only keeping track of people who were recognized as tribal members (either by the federal government or the tribal government) and who resided with the bulk of the tribe (either on a reservation or within the recognized boundaries of the tribal domain). For the most part, the agent did not maintain records on Indians who moved away and, in effect, ended their affiliation with the tribe...." From Kent Carter, "Wantabees & Outalucks: Searching for Indian Ancestors in Federal Records," CHRONICLES OF OKLAHOMA, Spring 1988, p. 94-104.

The CONSTITUTION OF THE CHEROKEE NATION OF 1839 [reunited Eastern and Western Cherokees living in Cherokee Nation of Indian Territory] stated in ARTICLE 1: “...whenever any citizen shall remove with his effects out of the limits of this [Cherokee] Nation, and become a citizen of any other Government [U.S. or other], all his rights and privileges as a citizen of this Nation shall cease....” [The National Council did retain the power to re-admit members if they returned to Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory–now northeastern Oklahoma.]

One of the major Cherokee rolls was the Dawes Roll (Final Roll of the Five Civilized Tribes) of 1899-1906. It was a roll used for distribution of land for which all Cherokees were not eligible. Applicants were required to be living within the Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory (now northeastern Oklahoma). Cherokees living in other areas were not accepted. It also required that the applicants have direct ancestors on either the 1880 or 1896 Cherokee roll taken in Cherokee Nation of Indian Territory. In order to obtain a C.D.I.B. card (Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood) indicating eligibility to apply for membership in Cherokee Nation, one must prove direct relationship to a Cherokee listed on the Cherokee sections of the Dawes roll with a blood quantum stated. Applications for a CDIB card are available from Cherokee Nation, Registration, Box 948, Tahlequah, OK 74465.

Applications filed for the Dawes roll may be found at the Oklahoma Historical Society, Research Center, 2401 N. Laird, Oklahoma City, OK 73105; These may also be found at the Muskogee Public Library, 801 W. Okmulgee, Muskogee, OK 74401, (918) 682-6657; . The applications for the 1906 Eastern Cherokee roll (also referred to as the Miller roll), 1906 can also be found at the Oklahoma Historical Society and the Muskogee Public Library.

The Dawes census card was a one-page summary for each family in the same household. We hold microfilm of the one-page census cards for all six Cherokee sections of the Dawes roll. Our fee for searching the six Cherokee sections of the Dawes Roll is $4.00 per first/last name searched. (Married and maiden name for a woman would be two searches; therefore, be sure to give us the exact name she would have registered under between 1899 and 1906. Maiden names were usually irrelevant unless she were divorced.) The $4.00 search fee also includes copying fee/postage if a census card is located for the name listed.

You may also wish to check on your ancestors on the 1900 Indian Territory federal census and the 1910 Oklahoma federal census. These schedules asked people claiming to be Indian specifically the tribe of the person, tribe of his father and tribe of his mother. We are not sufficiently staffed to provide this research either. The federal census materials can be found/loaned through many public libraries. Try the one nearest you.

When requesting a search on the Dawes roll, give us as much information as possible. We need the name(s) of exact person(s) to be searched. Also include names of that person's father, mother, brothers and sisters, ages, birth place (state and town) and other places of residency so that we can verify that it is from the right family. It is not unusual to find many people with the same name! There were 19 Will Rogers on the Cherokee Dawes roll; over 500 William Smiths appeared in Indian Territory in 1900 federal census index.

REMEMBER: The Dawes roll required the people enrolled to be LIVING. If the person were born in 1760 or 1908, s/he would not be found on the Dawes roll. Many researchers send us names of people to search who were not alive during application.

PLEASE SEND NO PHOTOGRAPHS NOR ANY ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS!!! ONLY SEND COPIES YOU DO NOT NEED RETURNED!!! DO NOT SEND CASH!!! Please write your check for search fees to: INDIAN TERRITORY GENEALOGICAL AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY. This is a volunteer organization, so please be patient. Hopefully, the volunteer who answers the mail requests can get to your request within two-three weeks after receiving it. She can only search the Cherokee Dawes roll. State your inquiry such as: "Are John Smith (born 1873-Tahlequah, Indian Territory, died 1907) and/or his wife Mary (nee Jones, born 1877 in Sequoyah District, Indian Territory, married 1898-Tahlequah, died 1911) on the Cherokee Dawes Roll? His parents were Joseph and Melinda (nee Carmichael) Smith and her parents' names are unknown." The fee would be $4.00 for John on the Cherokee Dawes roll. The search for Mary Smith (not Mary Jones since she had married by 1900) would be $4.00 for the Cherokee Dawes. When requesting genealogical information, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope. Good luck with your family research!

Indian Territory Genealogical/Historical Society

University Archives/John Vaughan Library

Northeastern State University

Tahlequah, OK 74464



Page maintained by: Brenda Bradford
Last Updated: June 12, 2015