Shoshone Tribes

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United States Gotoarrow.png Indigenous Peoples of the US Gotoarrow.png Idaho Gotoarrow.png Montana Gotoarrow.png Nevada Gotoarrow.png Oregon Gotoarrow.png Utah Gotoarrow.png Wyoming Gotoarrow.png Indigenous Peoples of Idaho Gotoarrow.png Indigenous Peoples of Montana Gotoarrow.png Indigenous Peoples of Nevada Gotoarrow.png Indigenous Peoples of Oregon Gotoarrow.png Indigenous Peoples of Utah Gotoarrow.png Indigenous Peoples of Wyoming Gotoarrow.png Shoshone Tribes

Guide to Shoshone Tribes ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and other agency records.

Shoshoni - Pocatello-1913.jpg
1990 abt 9,215 
1900 abt 7,000 
??? ??? 

Regions with significant populations
Ancestral Homelands: west of Rocky Mountains and east of the Sierra Nevada. The Eastern Shoshone lived near Grand Teton and Wind River Mountains. The Northern Shoshone ranged through southern Idaho, eastern Oregon and northern Nevada. The Southern Shoshone lived in Nevada, Wyoming and Utah. Later a Western Shoshone group was recognized in 1982.

Fort Hall Reservation in Idaho and numerous reservations and colonies in Nevada and Oregon.


Federally recognized

Linguistic Group

Shoshonian ; Shoshoni - Comanche

Cultural Group

not yet researched

Other Related Ethnic Groups

Bannock, Arapaho, Paiute, Monache, Washo, and Hopi

Alternate Names: Shoshoni

Tribal Headquarters[edit | edit source]

Duckwater Shoshone:[edit | edit source]

Duckwater Shoshone Tribe of the Duckwater Reservation
P.O. Box 140068
Duckwater, Nevada 89314
Telephone: 1-702-863-0227
Fax: 1-702-863-0301

Ely Shoshone:[edit | edit source]

Ely Shoshone Tribe
16 Shoshone Circle
Ely, Nevada 89301
Telephone: 1-702-289-3013

Fallon Band of Paiute-Shoshone[edit | edit source]

Fallon Band of Paiute-Shoshone
8955 Mission Road
Fallon, Nevada 89406
Telephone: (=1-702-423-6075
Local call from the Reno area: 323-3780

Shoshone-Bannock[edit | edit source]

Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation
P.O. Box 306
Fort Hall, ID 83203-0306

South Fork Shoshone[edit | edit source]

South Fork Shoshone
HC 30 Box B-13
Elko, Nevada 89801
Telephone: 1-702-744-4273

Wells Shoshone[edit | edit source]

Wells Shoshone
P.O. Box 809
Wells, Nevada 89835
Telephone: 1-702-752-3045

Yomba Band of Shoshone[edit | edit source]

Yomba Band of Shoshone
HC 61 Box 6275
Austin, Nevada 89310
Telephone: 1-702-964-2463

History[edit | edit source]

The ancestral homeland of the Shoshone was in the Mountain West. At an early point in history the tribe sub divided into:The Eastern Shoshone, Northern Shoshone and the Southern Shoshone. The Eastern Shoshone lived near Grand Teton and Wind River Mountains. The Northern Shoshone ranged through southern Idaho, eastern Oregon and northern Nevada. The Southern Shoshone lived in Nevada, Wyoming and Utah.

The tribes early contact with non-Indians included the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Jedediah Smith and fur traders and trappers at the Rocky Mountain rendezvous. The first rendezvous was promoted by Jedediah Smith in 1825. A prominent Shoshone: Sacajawea joined the Lewis and Clark Expedition-1803-06

In 1841 immigrants began moving to the west and northwest by way of the Oregon and California trails. Both of these trails cut through the homeland of the Shoshone and Bannock tribes. Problems occurred as the resources of the area were drained by many immigrants going west. These trails provided a "highway" for over twenty years serving the forty-niners and silver seekers headed to California, Nevada and the northwest.

In the 1840 Washakie was a chief who ruled for 60 years dying in 1900 at the approximate age of 102 years. He was always friendly to his non-Indian neighbors and helped protect them from the raids of hostile Sioux and Cheyennes . He prevented an uprising when the Arapahoes were brought to the Shoshone land. Crowheart Butte stands as a monument to his courage, for this is where he fought a hand-to-hand battle with a Crow Chief for hunting rights to the Wind River Valley.

A military campaign of 300 soldiers led by Colonel Patrick Conner in January of 1863, killed 224 Indians this became known as the Bear River Massacre.

In 1863 four treaties were ratified, with the Eastern Shoshone, Shoshone-Northwestern Bands, Western Shoshone and the the Shoshone-Goship.

The Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroad completed their lines and came together at Promontory Point, Utah in 1869.

1860-70 assigned to reservations

Northern Shoshoni

  • Fort Hall Band: Pohogwe Shoshone
  • Mountain Shoshone Bands : Sheepeaters (Snake) and Lemhi
  • Northwestern Bands: Bannock Creek, Cache Valley, Weber Utes, and Bear Lake
  • Western Groups: Boise, Bruneau and Weiser

Significant Tribal Leaders[edit | edit source]

  • Treaties below will provide the names of the Indians who signed the Treaty
  • Chief Little Soldier
  • Chief Pocatello

Significant individuals who interacted with the Tribe[edit | edit source]

  • Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
  • Jedediah Smith
  • Colonel Patrick Donner
  • Indian Agents and Superintendents see the Agency pages and *Superintendancy pages.
  • The Treaties below will provide the names of government officials, agents, and military leaders involved with the Treaty

Brief Timeline[edit | edit source]

Green check.png
The usage of "Mormon" and "LDS" on this page is approved according to current policy.

  • 1782: Smallpox epidemic
  • 1803-06: Lewis and Clark Expedition
  • 1825: Jedediah Smith
  • 1825: First Rocky Mountain rendezvous at Green River in Wyoming
  • 1841-1869: The Oregon and California Trails both go right through the homeland of the Shoshone and Bannock.
  • 1847: Mormon Pioneers settled in the Great Salt Lake valley
  • 1849: Gold was discovered in California
  • 1855: Treaty
  • 1857: Comstock Lode - Silver in Nevada
  • 1862: Colonel Patrick Conner founded Fort Douglas Salt Lake City
  • 1863: January 29, Bear River Massacre, Campaign lead by Colonel Patrick Conner, 300 soldiers, 224 Indians killed; only 22 soldiers killed
  • 1863: July, Treaty at Fort Bridger Gave the tribe land of their own choosing in Colorado, Idaho, Utah. and Wyoming. (Wind River Reservation)
  • 1868: Treaty
  • 1869: Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroad met at Promontory Point, Utah
  • 1860-1870: All Shoshone bands assigned to reservations
  • 1870's Lack of sufficient rations continuing problem at Fort Hall
  • 1878: Bannock War
  • 1878: A band - Sheepeaters, including Bannock and Shoshone Indians, were part of an uprising in the Salmon River Mountains of Idaho.
  • 1878: The Federal Government moved the Northern Arapaho to the Shoshone Reservation.
  • 1880's: Railroad Rights-of-Way
  • 1896: April 21, the Shoshone and Arapaho tribes signed an agreement for the sale of the Owl Creek or Big Horn Hot Spring. (Senate Doc. no. 247. 54th Congress 1st Session, pages 3-6)
  • 1982: Western Shoshone federally recognized

Bands, Groups and Subdivisions[edit | edit source]

The term or designation of Shoshone Indians is a very broad categorization of several bands and/or federally recognized tribes within the group so named. For the most part, they have historically lived in the Great Basin area, and have ranged from Oregon and Idaho on the north to Arizona and southern California on the south, and from Wyoming on the east to northern California on the west. They were often referred to as the Snakes. Some of the tribes, bands, or groups of Shoshone, with their colonies or reservations, include:

Battle Mountain Band -- Battle Mountain Colony (Nevada)
Elko Band -- Elko Colony (Nevada)
South Fork Band -- South Fork Reservation (Nevada)
Wells Band -- Wells Colony (Nevada)

Additional References[edit | edit source]

Records[edit | edit source]

The majority of records of individuals were those created by the agencies. Some records may be available to tribal members through the tribal headquarters.They were (and are) the local office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and were charged with maintaining records of the activities of those under their responsibility. Among these records are:

Agencies[edit | edit source]

The following agencies of the Bureau of Indian Affairs had jurisdiction over the Shoshone for the time periods indicated. BIA agencies were responsible to keep such records as census rolls, allotment (land) records, annuity rolls, school records, correspondence, and other records of individual Indians under their jurisdiction. For details, see the page for the respective agency.

Superindenencies[edit | edit source]

Records for Superintendencies exist in the National Archives and copies of many of them are also available in other research facilities.

IIdaho Superintendency

Montana Superintendency

Nevada Superintendency

Oregon Superintendency

Utah Superintendency

Wyoming Supterintendency

Census Records[edit | edit source]

The 1900 federal census included population schedules for the Shoshone Indians of Northern Utah. These schedules were not classified in the Bureau of Census records as a separate district but were simply included in District 207, Portage Precinct in Box Elder County, Utah. However, the Shoshone Indians in this precinct are recorded on Indian Population Schedules

The Bureau of Indian Affairs compiled annual Indian Census Rolls on many of the reservations from 1885 to 1940. They list the names of individuals, their age, and other details about each person enumerated. For more information about these records, click here.

1894 Census of the Bannock and Shoshone Indians of Fort Hall, Idaho. by Thomas Benton Teter. FHL Book Q970.1 Al#1 or FHL Film: 928110-928115

The following table lists the census rolls for the Shoshone Indians:

Tribe Agency Location of Original Records

Post 1885-Census

M595 RG 75 Rolls 693




Shoshone Wind River Agency, 1873-1952 Denver 167, 498-504, 631, 663 FHL Films: 581873-581879
Shoshone Fort Hall, 1885-87, 1890-91, 1894-1939 Seattle 138-44, 498-504 FLH Films: 576493-576499
Shoshone Lemhi Agency, 1885, 1887-1906 Seattle 248 FHL Film: 576494
Shoshone, Western Western Shoshone Agency, 1897-1916 San Francisco 646-48 FHL Films: 583105-583107
Shoshone Carson School, 1909-39 San Francisco 18-21 FHL Films: 573864-573867

Annuity[edit | edit source]

1901-1910 Annuity Payments Fort Hall Agency for Bannock and Shoshone at the National Archives

1898-1905; 1907-1910;1911-1935; 1937-1947 Annuity Payments Shoshone Annuity rolls. at the National Archives.

The above taken from:

  • Hart, Royal. List of the Rolls of Annuity Payments Made to Indians. Record Group 75, GSA, Washington D.C. 1954.

Allotment[edit | edit source]

Duck River Reservation, Nevada and Idaho. Paiute and Shoshone - not allotted.

Fort Hall Reservation, Idaho. Shoshone, Bannock -  Allotted.

Wind River Reservation, Wyoming. Nothern Arapaho, Shoshone - Allotted

Enrollment[edit | edit source]

Enrollment requirements are contained in Tribal Constitutions.

Treaties[edit | edit source]

During the latter part of the 18th Century and most of the 19th Century, treaties were negotiated between the federal government and individual Indian tribes. The treaties provide helpful information about the history of the tribe, but usually only include the names of those persons who signed the treaty. For more information about treaties, click here.

Treaties to which the Shoshone Indians were a part were:

  • 1855 June 9, referred to in Wallawalla Treaty
  • 1863 July 2, at Fort Bridger, with Eastern Shoshone
  • 1863 July 30, at Box Elder Shoshone-Northwestern Bands
  • 1863 October 1, at Ruby Valley with Western Shoshone
  • 1863 October 12, at Tuilla Valley with Shoshone-Goship
  • 1868:at Fort Bridger Eastern Band Shoshone and Bannock

Tribal Office Records[edit | edit source]

The Tribal Office is responsible for enrollment records, vital records, tribal police records, tribal court records, employment records and many others. They are an entirely different set of records from those kept by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Most of them remain in the Tribal Office. For details, contact that office at the address for the Tribal Headquarters listed above.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Prior to the Indian Reorganization Act, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, through their agencies, may have recorded some vital events. Some were recorded on health forms, such as the "Sanitary Record of Sick, Injured, Births, Deaths, etc." Others were recorded as supplements to the "Indian Census Rolls." Some were included in the unindexed reports and other correspondence of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Some vital records for the Shoshone Indians include:

  • Wind River Agency, M595,

Births and deaths 1938-39, FHL Film: 583122 Births and deaths 1924-1932, FHL Film: 581878

  • Fort Hall Agency, M595,

Birth and deaths, FHL Film: 576497 Births and deaths 1924-1934, FHL Film: 576498 and 576499

Records Available through the Family History Library[edit | edit source]

Census[edit | edit source]

1894 Census of the Bannock and Shoshone Indians of Fort Hall, Idaho. by Thomas Benton Teter. FHL Book Q970.1 Al#1 or FHL Film: 928110-928115

1885, 1890-1893, 1895-1899 Shoshone Agency, Wyoming. Shoshone and Arapaho Indians. FHL film 581873 (M595 roll 498)

1900-1911 Shoshone Agency, Wyoming. Shoshone and Arapaho Indians. FHL film 581874 (M595 roll 499)

1912-1918 Shoshone Agency, Wyoming. Shoshone and Arapaho Indians. FHL film 581875 (M595 roll 500)

1919-1925 Shoshone Agency, Wyoming. Shoshone and Arapaho Indians. FHL film 581876 (M595 roll 501)

1926-1929 Shoshone Agency, Wyoming. Shoshone and Arapaho Indians. FHL film 581877 (M595 roll 502

1930-1932 Shoshone Agency, Wyoming. Shoshone and Arapaho, Wind River Reservation. Births and Deaths - 1922, 1924-1931. FHL film 581878 (M595 roll 503)

1933-1937 Shoshone Agency, Wyoming. Shoshone and Arapaho Indians. FHL film 581879 (M595 roll 504)

1930-1931 Walker River Agency, Carson Nevada. Paiute, Monache, Shoshone, and Washo Indians. FHL film 583090 (M595 roll 631)

1931-1932 Carson Agency, Nevada. Paiute, Shoshone. Death roll, 1925-1931 and Birth roll, 1925-1931. FHL film 573865 (M595 roll 19)

1933-1936 Carson Agency, Nevada. Paiute, Shoshone, Washo, Carson School. FHL film 573866 (M595 roll 20)

1937-1939 Carson Agency, Nevada. Paiute, Shoshone, Washo Indians, Carson School. FHL film 573867 (M595 roll 21)

1885-1887;1890-1891;1894-1901 Fort Hall, Idaho. Shoshone and Bannock Indians. FHL film 576493 (M595 roll 138)

1902-1909 Fort Hall, Idaho. Shoshone and Bannock. FHL film 576494 (M595 roll 139)

1910-1914 Fort Hall, Idaho. Shoshone and Bannock. FHL film 576495 (M595 roll 140)

1919-1926 Fort Hall, Idaho. Shoshone and Bannock. FHL film 576496 (M595 roll 141)

1927-1931 Fort Hall, Idaho. Shoshone and Bannock. FHL film 576497 (M595 roll 142)

1932-1934 Fort Hall, Idaho. Shoshone and Bannock, Indians as Washakie, sub-agency, Utah - 1932. page 195 Live Births 1 July 1924- 31 Mar 1932, page 221 Death Rolls July 1924-April 1932,page 405-587 Washakie Sub-Agency rolls, 1934-1935

1917-1923 Goshute Agency Goshute, Shoshone, Paiute, Kanosh and Pahvant FHL film 576856 (M595 roll 167)

1885,1887-1906 Lemhi Agency, Idaho. Shoshone, Bannock and Sheepeater FHL film 576937 (M595 roll 248)

1938-1939 Wind River Agency, Wyoming. Shoshone and Arapaho Indians. Births and deaths 1938-1939. (For earlier rolls see Shoshone Winnebago Agency, Nebraska Omaha and Winnebago Indians - E. Kay Kirkham)

Websites[edit | edit source]

For Further Reading[edit | edit source]

Shoshone[edit | edit source]

  • Carlson, Paul H. The Plains Indians. College Station, Texas: Texas A M University Press, c1998. FHL|book 970.1 C197p

Hill, George W. Vocabulary of the Shoshone Language. Salt Lake City, Utah : Deseret News Steam Press, 1877. Book 970.3 Sh82h and film 1597767 item 2

  • Trenholm, Virginia Cole - The Shoshonis; Sentinels of the Rockies. Norman University of Oklahoma Press, 1964. 367 pg. FHL book 970.3n Sh82t

General[edit | edit source]

See For Further Reading.

References[edit | edit source]