Umatilla Indian Agency (Oregon)

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The Umatilla Agency is a currently operating agency of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Its supervising office is the Portland Area Office.

Indian Tribes Associated With This Agency[edit | edit source]

Cayuse, Umatilla, Walla Walla

History[edit | edit source]

The Umatilla Agency was established in northeastern Oregon in 1861 to serve the Umatilla, Cayuse and Walla Walla Indians on the Umatilla Reservation, near Pendleton. In 1936, the Paiute Indians of Burns and others along the Columbia River were transferred to the Umatilla Agency from Warms Springs Agency and Yakima Agency.

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:

Some of the textual records of the Umatilla Agency have been transferred to the Pacific Alaska Regional Archives of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in Seattle. Among their many administrative files are the following records which may be of particular interest to family historians:

  • Census records, 1870-1940
  • Medical records, 1883-1901
  • School attendance records, 1893-1921
  • Land allotment and probate records, 1894-1917
  • Tribal census, 1898-1960
  • Birth, death and marriage records, 1902-1930
  • School census and vital statistics, 1925-1950

Reports of Inspection of the Field Jurisdictions of the Office of Indian Affairs, 1873-1900 have been microfilmed by the National Archives as part of Microcopy Number M1070. The reports for Umatilla Agency, 1881-1900, are on rolls 54-55 of that Microcopy set. Copies are available at the National Archives, their Regional Archives, and at the Family History Library and its family history centers (their microfilm roll numbers 1617727-1617728).

Annual Indian Census Rolls were taken at this agency for 1886-1894, 1898-1905, and from 1910 thru 1939. These rolls have been microfilmed by the National Archives as part of their Microcopy Number M595, rolls 616-622. Copies of these records are also available at the National Archives, their Regional Archives, and at the Family History Library and its family history centers (their microfilm numbers 583075 thru 583081). These census rolls are also available online at's subscription web site.

The 1900 federal census included population schedules for the Cayuse Indians living on the Umatilla Indian Reservation. The census includes the non-Indian employees of the Umatilla Agency, as well as many pages of Indian Population Schedules for the native population of the Reservation. They are recorded as District 182, Reservation Precinct, in Umatilla County, Oregon.

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

Vital Records from Indian Census Rolls - above

  • Birth and Death records 1924-1932 FHL film 583080
  • Microfilm copies of...Narrative and Statistical Reports... for the Umatilla Agency, 1907-1938, are included in National Archives Microcopy M1011, rolls 159-160, available in the National Archives system and in the collections of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and their family history centers (their microfilm roll numbers 1724377-1724378).
  • Umatilla Agency Records 1889-1932. FHL film: 1024205
  • Census Records 1886-94, 1896, 1898-1900. FHL film: 533075-583081
  • School Records 1889-1947. FHL film: 1024205-1024206
  • Annuity,Census, Guardianship 1870-1934. FHL film: 1024227-1024228
  • Probate Records, 1894 -1939. FHL film: 1024224
  • Land Records 1881-1952. FHL film: 1024207-1024223, 1024225-

References[edit | edit source]

  • American Indians: A Select Catalog of National Archives Microfilm Publications. Washington DC: National Archives Trust Fund Board, National Archives and Records Administration, 1998.
  • Hill, Edward E. (comp.). Guide to Records in the National Archives of the United States Relating to American Indians. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1981.
  • Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches. New York, New York: Clearwater Publishing Company, Inc., 1974.
  • Historical Sketches for Jurisdictional and Subject Headings Used for the Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880. National Archives Microcopy T1105.
  • Preliminary Inventory No. 163: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Washington DC: National Archives and Records Services. Available online
  • "Accompanying Pamphlet for Microcopy 1011", National Archives Microfilm Publications, Appendix.