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About the Dawes Rolls

Officially known as The Final Rolls of the Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory, the Dawes Rolls list individuals who chose to enroll and were approved for membership in the Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole.) Enrollment for the Dawes Rolls began in 1898 and ended in 1906.

What kind of information will I find on the Dawes Rolls?

The Rolls list the individual's name, age, sex, blood degree, census card number and page, enrollment number, and tribe.

In most cases the ages indicated on the rolls are the age of individuals around 1902. Those listed as "newborns" and "minors" were born after the initial enrollment began in 1898, but before March of 1907.

Tribal association will be listed as "By Blood," "Intermarriage," or "Freedmen." Intermarriage indicates the person was married to a citizen of the tribe. You may also see the letters "I W" for Intermarried White. Freedmen were the former slaves of the Five Civilized Tribes and their descendants.

What information do I need before I search?

Basic information includes the name of a person who was alive and living in the Indian Territory during the enrollment period. If the individual was a married woman, you should look for her under her married name.

I cannot locate my ancestor in the index. What should I do now?

Look for your ancestor on the 1900 U.S. Census. If your ancestor did not live in Indian Territory, it is extremely unlikely they will be on the rolls. If they were living in Indian Territory check the available lists for rejected Dawes applications. Consider the possibility your ancestor belonged to another tribe or preferred not to be recognized as Indian.

For further information about tribal citizenship, contact the tribe directly.

Order Copies

The Oklahoma Historical Society collections include the Dawes census cards and enrollment packets, if available. Census cards list information about the enrollee, and may include information about their family members. Note there are very few packets available for the Creek tribe.

Enrollment packets may provide further details about the individual and their family, including marriage, birth, and death information. Enrollment packets vary in length from a single page to over 100 pages.

The Research Center now offers Dawes Final Roll packets for a flat fee of $30. Be certain to include the information listed in the index, including the individual's full name, census card number, enrollment number and tribe. To order by mail use the printable order form or call (405) 522-5225 and please have your credit card ready.