1 Reply Latest reply on Feb 16, 2021 3:25 PM by Cara Jensen

    Was Mattie Foard listed as an American Indian?

    Karla Carmichael Newbie

      In researching my family history, I am trying to verify a family belief that Mattie Foard Briden was an American Indian or Native American.  We believe she was either Cherokee or Caddo (Often referred to in Texas as Little Cherokee).  I cannot find out how to actually search the Dawes Rolls or similar records.  I need someone who is current to tell me how to do this. 

        • Re: Was Mattie Foard listed as an American Indian?
          Cara Jensen Tracker

          Dear Ms. Carmichael,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          We suggest that you begin by assembling as much of her family tree as possible, as far back as you can go, and if possible, note locations. Since the Cherokee were an Eastern tribal nation and part of the early removals, the U.S. National Archives (NARA) has custody of records for the tribe that date back to the 1830s when the first removal rolls were compiled. Please note that NARA only has custody of records created by the federal government that document those living on the reservations or being administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). If your ancestor was enumerated on Federal Census records as “white”, they may not be recorded in BIA records and tracing their Indigenous genealogy may be difficult.


          Also, the Dawes records are only from a very specific point in time, 1898-1914, and were of individuals living in what was called the Indian Territory in present day Oklahoma. If an individual was not there, then he or she would not be recorded in those records. Please see the National Archives Dawes Records: Enrollment and Land Allotment Jackets website for more information.


          We searched the National Archives Catalog and located a series titled Eastern Cherokee Census Rolls, 1835-1884 in the Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (Record Group 75) that has been digitized and is available via the Catalog.   We also located a series titled Census Rolls, 1815-1869 in Record Group 75 that has not been digitized or microfilmed. For information about this series, please contact the National Archives at Washington - Textual Reference (RDT1) via email at archives1reference@nara.gov and also inquire about other relevant BIA series regarding the Cherokee. 


          Using the location information from your research, we also suggest that you search the 1835 Henderson roll index, which has been sorted by state, for mention of your ancestor.   In addition, please review NARA’s website about Native American Heritage as well as the FamilySearch Research wiki for Indigenous Peoples of the United States Genealogy.


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