Allotment Records for Indigenous Peoples of the United States

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The General Allotment Act was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1887, marking the establishment of the allotment of land to individuals as the official and widespread policy of the federal government toward the Native Americans. Under this policy, land (formerly land held by the tribe or tribal land) was allotted to individuals to be held in trust until they had shown competency to handle their own affairs. The Bureau of Indian Affairs was the trustee.

Individual American Indians were given a prescribed amount of land on a reservation based upon what land was available and the number of tribal members living on that reservation. Generally, the amount of land allotted was 160 Acres for each head of family, 80 Acres for each single person over eighteen years of age, 80 Acres for each orphan child under eighteen years of age, and 40 Acres for each single person under eighteen years of age. This was dependent upon there being sufficient land available on the existing reservation. If the total acreage on the reservation was insufficient, the amounts of land were pro-rated accordingly.

Not all tribes and reservations were allotted. Those specifically excluded were Cherokees, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, Osage,Miami and Peoria, Sac and Fox, all in Indian Territory, the Seneca Nation of New York and all other Indians in the State of New York, the Indians of Alaska, and “a strip of territory in the State of Nebraska adjoining the Sioux Nation on the south added by executive order.” The allotment of lands on each reservation was subject to the decision of the President (and, by extension, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, acting as part of the Executive Branch of government) that such an allotment was in the best interest of the Indians on that reservation.

On allotted reservations, each person was recorded in an allotment register, which included that person’s name, the location of the allotment, the number of acres, an allotment number, age of the allottee, and his or her relationship to other individuals on the reservation.

If an allottee died, a fractional interest in his allotment passed to his heirs. Because of these fractional interests, records to determine all of the heirs of each individual were kept:

1. Register of Families
2. Heirship Finding papers
3. The Allotment Registers give the name, number of allotment, with heirship records. There are also allotment certificates,allotment schedules and allotment applications.

Many of the land allotment records remain at the Agency Office. Some have been transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) at Washington or at NARA’s regional archives.

An Explanation of the General Allotment Act and its effects on Native American families.

General Allotment Act


Search by 1) DAWES INDEX NUMBER or 2) ROLL NUMBER or 3) Last Name, using various possible spellings

Allotted Tribes by State[edit | edit source]


  • Camp Verde, Yavapai-Apache Reservation, Colorado River Reservation, Gila River Reservation, Salt River Reservation, San Carlos Reservation, Tohono O’odham Reservation (Papago)


  • Agua Caliente Reservation, Cold Springs Rancheria, Fort Independence Reservation, Hoopa Valley Rancheria (Klamath River Reservation), Mission Agency Indian Reservations: Augustine, Cabazon, Cahuilla, La Jolla, Mission Creek, Morongo, Pala, Pauma, Rincon, Sycuan, Torres-Martinez. Round Valley Reservation, Tuolumne Rancheria, Yuma Reservation, Yurok Reservation, Colorado River (Mohave)


  • Southern Ute Reservation, Ute Mountain Reservation, Absentee Wyandot


  • Coeur d’ Alene Reservation, Fort Hall (Shoshone Bannock Tribes) Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, Nez Perce (Lapwai)


  • Miami


  • Sac and Fox


  • Chippewa and Munsee, Iowa, Kickapoo, Miami, Osage, Ottawa, Potawatomi- Citizen, Potawatomi-Prairie Band, Sac and Fox, Shawnee, Wyandotte


  • Isabella Reservation (Chippewa of Saginaw, Swan Creek and Black River), L’Anse and Vieux Desert, Ontonagon


  • Bois Fort, Cass Lake, Deer Creek Reservation, Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, Lake Winbigoshish, Leech Lake, Mdewakanton, Mille Lacs Reservation, White Earth, White Oak Point and Chippewa Reservation, Winnebago,Fort Totten (Sioux), Nett Lake (Chippewa)


  • Blackfeet, Crow (or River Crow), Flathead Reservation (formerly Jacko reservation), Fort Belknap, Fort Peck (Sioux and Assiniboin),Northern Cheyenne (formerly Tongue River), Northern Cheyenne, Rocky Boy (Chippewa, Cree)


  • Omaha, Ponca, Santee Sioux, Winnebago


  • Fort Mc Dermitt, Moapa River, Paiute (Fallon, Summit Lake, Walker River, Washoe Reservation

New Mexico

  • Jicarilla Apache

North Carolina

  • Eastern Band of Cherokee

North Dakota

  • Fort Berthold ( Mandan, Arikara, Gros Ventre), Spirit Lake (Devil’s Lake), Turtle Mountain


  • Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Delaware, Shawnee (Eastern), Miami, Modoc, Creek (Muskogee,) Osage, Ottawa (Peoria), Quapaw, Seminole, Seneca, Shawnee (Absentee), Wyandotte, Apache of Oklahoma, Caddo, Cheyenne and Arapaho, Comanche, Fort Sill Apaches, Iowa, Kansa or Kaw, Kickapoo, Kiowa and Comanche, Otoe and Missouri, Pawnee, Ponca, Potawatomi-Citizen, Sac and Fox of Mississippi, Tonkawa, (Ponca, Oakland), Wichita, Otoe


  • Burns Paiute Reservation, Grande Ronde Reservation, Klamath, North Section Allottees, Siletz, Umatilla, Warm Springs, Klamath, Yakima

South Dakota

  • Cheyenne River, Crow Creek Reservation, Lake Traverse, Lower Brule, Pine Ridge, Rosebud, Standing Rock, Yankton, Sisseton-Sioux


  • Uintah and Ouray Reservation, Uncompahgre


  • Chehalis, Columbia, Colville Reservation, Kalispel Reservation, Klickitat, Lummi, Makah, Muckleshoot, Nisqually, Port Madison, Puyallup, Quileute, Quinault, Skokomish Reservation, Spokane, Squaxin Reservation, Swinomish, Snohomish (Tulalip) Yakima, Colville


  • Ho-Chuck (Winnebago), Lac Courte Oreille, Lac Du Flambeau, La Pointe (Bad River), Oneida, Potawatomi, Red Cliff, Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of Mohicans, Menominee


  • Wind River

Resources[edit | edit source]

Indian Land Tenure Foundation.