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Delawares and the Dawes Roll

The Dawes Commission enrolled Delaware applicants in two ways. Individuals listed on the Delaware Register of 1868 (in correlation with the Delaware Adoption Treaty of 1868) were enrolled on a Cherokee Delaware card. Descendants of the 1868 Registered Delawares were enrolled on a Cherokee by Blood card as an Adopted Delaware. This indicated by an AD in the blood quantum column of the card.

This distinction played a role in the allotment process. According to Delaware Indians v. Cherokee Nation (US Reports 193, p. 127), the surviving 1868 Registered Delawares were entitled to 160 acres of land, while their descendants were to share land equally with the Cherokee Citizens by Blood. This decision meant that sections of land set aside for the 1868 Registered Delawares could not be claimed by Cherokees. The Adopted Delawares were to take part in the allotment process with the rest of the Cherokees.

Old Series cards

Most Delaware applicants will have an Old Series Delaware enrollment card. Although these cards were canceled, they do reference the card to which the applicant was transferred.

View the records

Delaware enrollment cards (both Old and new series) are available on Ancestry.com and Fold3.com, but their applications are not. Applications of Adopted Delawares are available on Ancestry.com and Fold3.com under their Cherokee by Blood card number. Patrons may access these subscription websites for free in the Research Center.

The Delaware Register of 1868 is available on microfilm in the Oklahoma Historical Society Research Center on National Archives Roll 7RA73.

Search the Dawes Roll Index

Example Delaware cards

William McEwin and family, Delaware Old Series Card #96
This Delaware Old Series card lists the entire family. The card notations show the parents and children were transferred to different cards.



William and Susan McEwin, Delaware Card #47
Because William and his wife Susan were listed on the Delaware Register of 1868, they were transferred to a Cherokee Nation Delaware Card (new series) and given their final roll numbers.



Children of William and Susan McEwin, Cherokee by Blood Card #10474
Their children were not on the Delaware Register, and were transferred to a Cherokee by Blood Card and given their final roll numbers. They were enrolled as Adopted Delaware, indicated by the AD in the blood quantum column.