Winnebago Tribe

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Guide to Winnebago Tribe ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and other agency records. To get started in Indigenous Peoples of the United States Research

Ho-Chunk, Winnebago wigwam.jpg

Winnebago Indian dance team 2006.jpg

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Various Spellings: Winnebago, Winebago, Winnebaygo, Wennebago

Ancestral Homeland: near the Door Peninsula, near Green Bay on

Lake Michigan- East Wisconsin and South of Green Bay

Clans: Thunderbird, Eagle, War People,Pigeon, Hawk, Wolf, Bear, Water Spirit, Elk, Deer, Buffalo, Fish,and Snake

Tribal Leaders:Red Bird, White Cloud,

Tribal Headquarters[edit | edit source]

Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska
100 Bluff Street
Winnebago, NE 68071
Phone: 402-878-2272

History[edit | edit source]

Brief Timeline[edit | edit source]

  • 1634: French Jesuit priest, Jean Nicolet
  • 1689-1763: French and Indian War fought with the French
  • 1775-83: Revolutionary War - fought with the British
  • 1809-11: Tecumseh's Rebellion fought against the British
  • 1812: War of 1912, The tribe espoused the cause of England, helped to defeat Colonel Crogran at Michilimokinac, Colonel Dudley at the Rapids of the Miami, and General Winchester at the River Raisin.
  • 1827: Uprising (Winnebago Wars) lead to forced removal west of the Mississippi; one cause: white miners (lead) on Indian lands east of the Mississippi River.
  • 1832: Black Hawk War allies with Sac and Fox Tribes
  • 1832: Ceded land in Wisconsin for land in north eastern Iowa.
  • 1833-1852: Emigration and removal
  • 1836: Smallpox epidemic killed many
  • 1840-1863: Forced relocation: 700 tribal members died; after the Black Hawk War forced to relocate west of the Mississippi,
  • 1840: removed from Wisconsin to Iowa
  • 1846: Tribe removed to Long Prairie, Minnesota
  • 1848: Relocated to Long Prairie Reservation,Minnesota
  • 1853 removed to Crow River.
  • 1855: Treaty relocated to Blue Earth, Minnesota
  • 1857: Blue Earth River Reservation
  • 1862: Sioux War Uprising in Minnesota
  • 1862: Removed to Crow Creek Reservation, near Pierre, South Dakota and on to North Dakota
  • 1863-64 Tribe abandoned Crow Creek Reservation and relocated on Omaha Reservation in northeastern Nebraska. Out of 2,000 taken to Crow Creek only 1,200 reached the Omaha Reservation.
  • 1865: the Omaha tribe sold a strip of their reservation to the Government, who deeded it to the Winnebago tribe.
  • Winnebago Reservation in northeastern is in Thurston County, Nebraska,
  • 1865: Settle on Omaha Reservation, Nebraska
  • December 1873 - January 1874: removal of 1,000 Winnebago Indians from Wisconsin to Nebraska.
  • 1874: Additional land were allotted to them
  • 1916: Stevens Act, made allotments of Omaha and Winnebago Indians in Nebraska.
  • 1934: Became federally recognized under the Indian Reorganization Act.

Additional References to the History of the Tribe[edit | edit source]

Frederick Webb Hodge, in his Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, gave a more complete history of the Winnebago tribe, with estimations of the population of the tribe at various time periods. Additional details are given in John Swanton's The Indian Tribes of North America and in David Bushnell's Villages of the Algonquian, Siouan and Caddoan Tribes West of the Mississippi.

Hymen Lubman. A History of the Nebraska Winnebago Indians. 1962. FHL book 970.3 W73q

Reservations[edit | edit source]

A reservation is a tract of land set aside for occupation and use by Native Americans.

From the mid-1800s, the official policy of the United States government toward the Native Americans was to confine each tribe to a specific parcel of land called a reservation. Agencies were established on or near each reservation. A government representative, usually called an agent (or superintendent) was assigned to each agency. Their duties included maintaining the peace, making payments to the Native Americans based on the stipulations of the treaties with each tribe, and providing a means of communication between the native population and the federal government.

Sometimes, a single agency had jurisdiction over more than one reservation. And sometimes, if the tribal population and land area required it, an agency may have included sub-agencies.

The boundaries of reservations, over time, have changed. Usually, that means the reservations have been reduced in size. Sometimes, especially during the later policy of "termination," the official status of reservations was ended altogether.

The following list of reservations has been compiled from the National Atlas of the United States of America[1], the Omni Gazetteer of the United States of America[2], and other sources. There are no current federally-recognized reservations in Illinois.

Long Prairie Reservation

Blue Earth River Reservation

Crow Creek Reservation

Omaha Reservation

Agency[edit | edit source]

Agencies and subagencies were created as administrative offices of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and its predecessors. Their purpose was (and is) to manage Indian affairs with the tribes, to enforce policies, and to assist in maintaining the peace. The names and location of these agencies may have changed, but their purpose remained basically the same. Many of the records of genealogical value were created by these offices.

The following list of agencies that have operated or now exist in Illinois has been compiled from Hill's Office of Indian Affairs...[3], Hill's Guide to Records in the National Archives Relating to American Indians[4], and others.

Prairie du Chien Agency

Turkey River Subagency

Winnebago Agency

Nebraska Agency

Great Nemaha Agency

Green Bay Agency

Superintendencies[edit | edit source]

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

The Winnebago Indians were under the jurisdiction of the following superintendencies: Michigan Superintendency, St. Louis Superintendency, Wisconsin Superintendency, Iowa Superintendency, Minnesota Superintendency, Northern Superintendency, and Dakota Superintendency.

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:

Correspondence and Census[edit | edit source]

Tribe Agency Locality of Original Records

Pre-1880 Correspondence

M 234 RG 75 Rolls 962

Roll Number




Post-1885 Census

M595 RG 75 Rolls 693




Winnebago Wind River Agency, 1898-1955 Denver - - Rolls 663-71 583122-583129
Winnebago Prairie du Chien Agency, 1824-42 Washington D.C. Rolls 696-702 - - -
Winnebago Turkey River Subagency, 1842-46 Washington D.C. Rolls 862-64 - - -

Census[edit | edit source]

Grand Rapids - 1916-17, 1919-25 FHL film 576857

Great Lakes - 1936-40 FHL film 576859-576860

Tomah - 1911-1916, 1927-1936 FHL film 583029-583031

Treaties[edit | edit source]

  • 1816 June 3, at St. Louis
  • 1825 August 19, at Prairie du Chien with the Sioux, Etc.,
  • 1827 August 11, at Butte des Morts, with the Chippewa
  • 1828 August 25, at Green Bay
  • 1829 August 1, at Prairie du Chien
  • 1832 September 15,
  • 1837 November 1, at Washington
  • 1846 October 13, at Washington
  • 1855 February 27, at Washington
  • 1859 April 15, at Washington
  • 1865 March 8, at Washington

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

1924-1931 Births and Deaths (Census) FHL Film: 583126

1925-1932 Births and Deaths (Census) FHL Film: 583127

Important Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. National Atlas of the United States of America -- Federal Lands and Indian Reservations Available online.
  2. Isaacs. Katherine M., editor. Omni Gazetteer of the United States of America. U.S. Data Sourcebook, Volume 11 Appendices, Bureau of Indian Affairs List of American Indian Reservations, Appendix E, Indian Reservations. Omnigraphics, Inc., 1991.(Family History Library book 973 E5)
  3. Hill, Edward E. The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches, Clearwater Publishing Co., Inc. 1974. (Family History Library book 970.1 H551o.)
  4. 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. (FHL book 970.1 H551g.)

Bibliography[edit | edit source]