Dawes Commission Enrollment Records for Five U.S. Indian Tribes

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United States Gotoarrow.png American Indian Research Gotoarrow.png Enrollment Records Gotoarrow.png Dawes Rolls

A Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes: Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Seminole, also called the Dawes Commission after its chairman, Senator Dawes, was established by Congress in 1893. Its purpose was to exchange Indian tribal lands in the southeastern United States for new land allotments to individuals in Oklahoma. More than 250,000 people applied to this commission for enrollment and land. Just over 100,000 were approved. The rolls do not include the applications that were rejected, stricken, or judged to be doubtful. Those found eligible for the final rolls were entitled to an allotment of land, usually as a homestead.

Today these five tribes continue to use the Dawes Rolls as the basis for determining tribal membership. They usually require applicants to provide proof of descent from a person who is listed on these rolls.

Use the Dawes Commission Enrollment Records if your ancestor was a member of one of the five tribes in the southeastern United States and was alive during the enrollment period between 1896 and 1905. If your ancestor died prior to 1893, you could search for surviving children or grandchildren in the Dawes Commission records. Records of the commission include the following.

Enrollment cards (also called census cards) include residence, roll numbers, names of family members, relationships, ages, sex, degree of Indian blood, enrollment date, place and number, parents and their enrollment date or place, spouses, divorces, children or grandchildren.

  • Applications for enrollment include affidavits, vital records, letters, questionnaires, and decisions mentioning relatives, dates, and places.
  • Letter logs include name, address, date of the letter, file number, date received, subject, and action taken. Letters are with the applications.

You can find an excellent tutorial about the Dawes Rolls is on the National Archives (U.S.) site.

The Dawes Rolls are the basis for determining Native American tribal membership in the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Seminole tribes. They usually require applicants to provide proof of descent from a person who is listed on these rolls.

The Final Rolls of the Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory applications show the enrollee's name, gender, and blood degree. The rolls are arranged by application number. Search an index to find the number if you do not know it. You can search an online index on the National Archives (U.S.) page or at the Oklahoma Historical Society's Research Division here. The Family History Library also has film copies of the index and roll.

You can also find more information on these and other Indian rolls by clicking here.

An article in the Journal of American Indian Family Research. Indian Territory Court Cases. by Larry S. Watson. Discusses the appeal process involved the Dawes Commission  and court case F. R. Robinson vs. The Choctaw Nation. Vol.7 No. 1 1986 FHL book 970.1 J825j Chart showing appeal process on page 36

Where to Find the Records[edit | edit source]

Dawes Enrollment Applications

"Applications for Enrollment of the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914" (M1301). National Archives Catalog ID: 617283. Also known as "Dawes Enrollment Applications", "Dawes Enrollment Jackets" and "Dawes Packets" and "Land Allotment Jackets".

Applications from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Muskogee Area Office Relating to Enrollment in the Five Civilized Tribes under the act of 1896 (M1650) (RG 75) Index FHL Collection First film 2445770


Enrollment Cards

"Enrollment Cards for the Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914" (M1186). National Archives Catalog ID: 251747. Also known as "Enrollment Cards", "Census Cards" and "Dawes Enrollment Cards".


Dawes Rolls

"The Final Rolls of Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory, 03/04/1907". National Archives Catalog ID: 300321. Also known as "Dawes Rolls" and "Final Rolls". To learn how to search the Dawes Rolls, see The Dawes Rolls (Final Rolls of the Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory)


Indexes for the Dawes Rolls and the Enrollment Cards:

Searchable indexes:
  • Dawes Final Rolls (Oklahoma Historical Society) - gives card number and enrollment number.
  • Final Rolls (Accessgenealogy) - gives card number and enrollment number.

The Family History Library

Applications and Enrollment of the Commission for the Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914. - Dawes Commission







Applications for Enrollment 75 M1301 FHL film 1439798 468
Applications, Muskogee Area Office M 1650 (RG75) FHL film 2445769 index and applications for four of the Five civilized tribes. Seminole applications not included. 75 M1650 FHL first film FHL film 2445769 54

Enrollment of the Five Civilized Tribes


Original records in Muskogee, Oklahoma

FHL film 1022497


Enrollment Cards 75 M1186 FHL film 1490261 93
Index to Letters received by commission 75 M1314 FHL film 1694814


Five Civilized Tribes and the Dawes Commission- Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole (Delaware adopted by Cherokee)









Enrollment first film:FHL first film 1022530

Final rolls - first film: 830229

Index to Rejected and Doubtful - first film: 1929134

Rejected and Doubtful (M1186) first film:1490287

Cherokee applications,no. 4989-5574 (PART of M1650-films: 2422901-2)

48 T529 1929134 300


  • Application (M1650) films 2445769-2445777

Final Rolls- first film: 830228

Enrollment-first film: 1022497

Enrollment cards Choctaw-first film: 1490299

  • Mississippi Choctaw -first film: 1022514-1022522

Application for enrollment (M1301) - first film: 1439798

  • Mississippi Choctaw - films: 1439879-1439967

Enrollment cards for Mississippi Choctaw-first film: 1490316

  • Choctaw-Chickasaw (Act of 1902) - first film: 1439969
48 T529 830228 232

Choctaw-Chickasaw - Fort Worth, Texas

  • Applications(M1650)film 2446501

Indexes to dockets and appearance dockets-first film:1730868

General dockets - first film:1730869

48 T529 1730868 2


  • Applications for Enrollment - first film: 1493009
  • Applications (M1650) no. 1-150 FHL film 2445778 no. 151-285 and Freemen index, Freedmen applications film 2445779
  • Chickasaw Freemen applications (M1650) no. 4-129 film 2445780

Enrollment-first film: 1022526

Enrollment cards-first film: 1490327

48 T529 830228 50

Final rolls-first film: 830228


  • Applications-first film: 1492977
  • Applications (M1650) no. 1-166 film 2446507 no. 167-miscellaneous film 2446508

Enrollment - first film: 1023034

Final Rolls - first film: 830230

  • Field Jackets - first film: 1493003
  • Not Entitled - first film: 1493008

Enrollment Cards - first film: 1490337

48 T529 830230 62


  • Applications for enrollment-first film: 1492975

Enrollment-first film: 1023044

Final rolls-first film: 830230

48 T529 830230 11

Delaware Indians; adopted by the Cherokee

Enrollment - first film: 1022112

48 T529 830229 6

See also:

Wiki articled describing online collections are found at: