Seeking information on Bennett (Cherokee)

The story of my family was always that we had Cherokee ancestry and as time went on I began to believe it less.

I went on ancestry and found the person that was claimed to be of Cherokee descent and his name was Silas Edgar Bennett. His father was Henry Sylvester Bennett and some census records show them being born in Oklahoma.  I believe Silas mave have also had a brother by the name of James Arrow Bennett.

I found many records of Bennett's being registered as Cherokee under the five tribes in Oklahoma.

Unfortunately I haven't found anything on Silas, Henry, or James.

Any help with resources or otherwise would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,


  • Dear Joseph Fischer,

    Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


    We suggest that you begin by talking to your various family members, especially the more senior ones, and ask them questions so you can gather names, dates, places, and stories. With that information in hand, you may begin to gather records about these family members and the places associated with them. In addition, the NARA Native American Heritage webpage, NARA Resources for Genealogists webpage, and the FamilySearch Research wiki for Indigenous Peoples of the United States Genealogy may be useful.


    When embarking on Native American genealogy, please note that the records in the custody of NARA often only detail those living on the reservations or being administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  NARA does not have a list of everyone with Native American heritage; the U.S. government never maintained such a list. We only have historical records that federal agencies like the Bureau of Indian Affairs created to document enrolled members of federally recognized tribes. If an individual was not formally enrolled in a federally recognized tribe or did not maintain a formal affiliation with a federally recognized tribe, then it is unlikely that our records will document their Native American heritage.

    If you could not not these individuals on official census rolls of the Cherokee Nation (like the Dawes Rolls or the various Cherokee censuses from 1880 to 1896, which are included in Ancestry's database, "Oklahoma and Indian Territory, U.S., Indian Censuses and Rolls, 1851–1959"), then it may mean that they were not formally enrolled in the Cherokee Nation— if they were alive when the records were created.

    We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!

    [information provided by Rose Buchanan, subject matter expert]