Creek Indians

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Guide to Muscogee (Creek) Nation ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and other agency records.

The Creek Indians Benjamin Hawkins.jpg

Introduction[edit | edit source]

Creek Indians were also known as Muskogee Creek.

The Creek Indians are one of the Five Civilized Tribes: Creek, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Seminole

Cultural area is the Southeast United States.

Linguistic group: Muskogean

Federal Status: Recognized

Clans: Wind, Bird, Alligator, and Bear

Original homeland: along the banks of the Alabama, Coosa, Tallapoosa, Flint, Ocmulgee, and Chattahoochee Rivers, In the Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee

Creek Indians trace their ancestry through the female line. The children belong to the same clan as their mother. Clan members were closely related so they had to marry someone from a different clan than his or her own.

The Creek Nation is comprised of six political districts: 1. Coweta, 2. Deep Fork, 3. Eufaula, 4. Muscogee, 5. Okmulgee, 6. Wewoka; these districts function like counties.

Creek Confederacy included : Hitichita, Koasti and Yuchia.

Band others associated with the Creek: Natchea, Tuskegee,

Tribal Headquarters[edit | edit source]

Muscogee Creek Nation of Oklahoma
Hwy 75 & Loop 56 / P. O. Box 580
Okmulgee, Oklahoma 74447
Phone: 800-482-1979 or 918-732-7600

History[edit | edit source]

Their ancestral homeland was in Alabama and Georgia.

Brief Timeline[edit | edit source]

  • 1540: First contact Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto
  • 1703-08: Creeks were allies of the English in the Apalachee Wars.
  • August 21, 1739: Treaty of Savannah
  • May 1, 1773: Treaty of Augusta
  • 1775: Supported the British in the American Revolutionary War
  • November 1, 1783: Treaty of Augusta
  • November 25, 1785: Treaty at Hopewell, South Carolina
  • 1813-1814: Creek Wars, General Andrew Jackson, in command of some of the forces
  • 1796-1816: Benjamin Hawkins, was the federal agent to the Creeks
  • August 7, 1790: Treaty of New York
  • June 29, 1796: Treaty of Colerain
  • June 16, 1802: Treaty of Fort Wilkinson
  • 1805-1833: The state of Georgia holds eight lotteries to distribute land seized from the Creeks and Cherokees.
  • November 14, 1805: Treaty of Washington
  • August 9, 1814: Treaty of Fort Jackson
  • 1816: After the death of Benjamin Hawkins, President James Madison appointed David B. Mitchell, a former governor of Georgia. He undermined the Creeks' sovereignty and initiated acts to take all of their lands in Georgia.
  • January 22, 1818: Creek agency on Flint river; Treaty of Fort Mitchell
  • January 8, 1821 / February 12, 1825: Treaty of Indian Springs negotiated by Creek leader William McIntosh. He was later (1825) executed by the Creek Nation for the deed.
  • January 24, 1826: Washington D.C.; Creeks would sell their land. Ratified April 22, 1826, Treaty of Washington
  • November 15, 1827: Treaty of Indian Agency
  • March 24, 1832: Treaty that the United States would remove intruders, Treaty of Washington
  • 1836-1837: removed from Georgia and Alabama to eastern Oklahoma. Some were taken by a southern route to New Orleans and then by steamboats (Monmouth) up the Mississippi River to Arkansas. The Monmouth collided with the Trenton more than 300 Creeks drowned. During removal 3,500 died of the 15,000.
  • November 23, 1838: Ft. Gibson
  • Creek Nation formed into six districts: Coweta District, Deep Fork District, Eufaula District, Muskogee District, Okmulgee District, and Wewoka District.
  • 1842: Koweta Mission a Presbyterian institution School was established and founded by Robert M. Loughridge at Coweta. Later became Koweta Manual Labor School for boys and girls.
  • 1842: Asbury Mission (Methodist) was opened near North Fork Town.
  • 1850: Tallahassee Mission School ( Presbyterian) William S. Robertson, the principal of the Tallahassee Mission school imported a printing press and wrote the Creek First Reader, which helped Creek and Seminole children learn to read and write their own language.
  • 1860: Not more than two hundred Seminoles were left in Florida. Most of these were Mikasuki people, a small minority Creek. The Mikasukis retreated into the fastness of the Everglades of Lake Okeechobee.
  • 1861-1865: United States Civil War the tribe was split; some allying with the Union others with the Confederate Army
  • 1867: Tribe adopted a new constitution
  • 1887: Dawes Act
  • 1907: Oklahoma became the 46th State.
  • Creek Nation divided into eight counties: Creek, Hughes, McIntosh, Muskogee, Okfuskee, Okmaulgee, Tulsa and Wagoner
  • 1953: U.S. Congress began a new policy of termination for the Indian tribes. The policy ended the protected trust status of all Indian-owned lands. The BIA began a voluntary urban relocation program. American Indians could move from their rural tribes to a metropolitan area. Many Indians relocated to Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas and Seattle. It is estimated that 750,000 Native American migrated to the cities between 1950-1980.
  • 1968: Indian Civil Rights Act restored the right to hold popular elections.

Additional References[edit | edit source]

Frederick Webb Hodge, in his Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, gave a more complete history of the Creek 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.

A Migration Legend of the Creek Indians, by Albert Samuel Gatschet and Daniel Garrison Brinton. NY Kraus Reprint CO., 1969. Book 970.3 C861g or fiche 6050043 (six fiche)

Notes on the Creek Indians, by J. N. B. Hewitt, edited by John R. Swanton. Anthropological Papers, No. 10. Bulletin 123, BAE. Washington: Government Printing Office. 1939.

A Sketch of the Creek County, in the Years 1798-1799, by Benjamin Hawkins. Spartanburg, SC. Reprint Co., 1974. FHL Book 970.3 C861h or Film 962258

Early History of the Creek Indians and Their Neighbors, by John Reed Swanton. US Government Printing Office. 1902.

  • Eggleston, George Cary. Red Eagle and the Wars with the Creek Indians. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company Publishers, 1878. Digital version at FamilySearch Digital Library
  • Snider, Billie Ford. Full Name Indexes, Eastern Creek Indians East of the Mississippi. Pensacola, Florida: Antique Compiling, 1993. FHL fiche 6126087; book 970.3 C861sb This source lists ancestors of the Eastern Creeks living in 1814 and descendants to about 1972. The final chapter contains a detailed history of the Creeks from the 1600s to 1973 and offers suggestions for Eastern Creek Indian ancestral research.
  • Stiggins, George. Creek Indian History: A Historical Narrative of the Genealogy, Traditions and Downfall of the Ispocoga or Creek Indian Tribe of Indians. Birmingham, Alabama: Birmingham Public Library Press, 1989. FHL book 970.3 C861s A bibliography is found on pages 166–70.
  • Abbott, Thomas J. Creek Census of 1832 (Lower Creeks). Laguna Hills, California: Histree, 1987. FHL book 970.3 C861a This is indexed by name.
  • Parsons, Benjamin S. Creek Census of 1832 (Upper Creeks). Laguna Hills, California: Histree, 1987. FHL book 970.3 C861pa This is indexed by name.

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:

Agencies[edit | edit source]

Creek Agency Georgia

Creek Agency Oklahoma

Union Agency

Superintendencies[edit | edit source]

Western Superintency

Southern Superintendency

Central Superintendency

Creek Indians. University of West Florida. Special Collections Department. (Census, Genealogy, and Land Tenure) FHL Collection

Creek Nation. Oklahoma Historical Society. Indian Archives Division. 52 films FHL Collection

Biographies[edit | edit source]

The Southern Indians: a Biographical Guide to the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Creek Indians, 1700-1907 FHL Collection

Annuity Records[edit | edit source]

1857 Payroll arranged by town then by family group. The payment was to individuals listed in the "Old Settlers Roll of 1857". Originally located at the National Archives in Fort Worth, Texas. [1] FHL 970.1 J825j Vol 12 No. 1 pages 47-58.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Creek Census of 1832 (Upper Creeks) by Benjamin S. Parsons FHL Collection

Creek Census of 1832 (Lower Creeks) by Thomas J. Abbott. FHL 571201

1900 Creek Nation Census. by Carole Ellsworth and Sue Emler. FHL Collection

Census of Creeks taken by parson and Abbott in 1832, is indexed by "Index to Creek reserves" a listing originally prepared by Indian agents John J. Abert and James Bright to index land claims selected by Creeks under the provision of the 1832 Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek.

Tribe / Agency



Post - 1885 Census

M595 RG 75 Rolls 693

Roll Numbers




Crow Creek 1886-1892 - FHL Film:575,779
Crow Creek 1883-1905 - FHL Film:575,780
Crow Creek 1906-1920 - FHL Film:575,781
Crow Creek 1921-1929 - FHL Film:575,782
Crow Creek 1930-1933 - FHL Film:575,783
Crow Creek 1934-1942 - FHL Film:575,784

Correspondence Records[edit | edit source]

Agency location of Original Records


Correspondence M234 RG 75 Rolls 962

Roll Number


Film Number

Creek Agency, 1824-1866 Washington D.C. - 1,660,949 - 978
Union Agency, 1875-1914 Washington D.C. and Fort Worth Rolls 865-77 1,661,595 - 607
Eufaula Boarding School, 1925-52 Fort Worth - -
Muskogee Area Office, 1890-1960 Fort Worth - -

Enrollment Records[edit | edit source]

  • Dawes Commission Enrollment Records
  • John B. Campbell’s provides an abstract of Creek Indian Census Cards in his 1915 manuscript. This index has proven invaluable over time by providing a quick method to research family relationships within the Creek tribal rolls.
  • Creek Enrollment Cases Index 1899-1907+ This database indexes the Creek Indian and Creek Freedman enrollment cases on microfilm M1301, rolls 402-414, that deal with persons applying for Creek Indian and Creek Freedman citizenship and Dawes enrollment. These are not the general Creek Dawes applications which are unfortunately lost and assume destroyed long ago.

History[edit | edit source]

Duke Indian Oral History Collection and Index. Duke University FHL Collection

Military[edit | edit source]

  • Creek Soldier Casualty Lists, Seminole War, 1836. By Larry S. Watson FHL Collection
  • Muster Lists of the Creek and Other Confederate Indians. by Sherman Lee Pompey FHL Collection

Removal[edit | edit source]

The Indian Removal Act was signed May 26, 1830 by President Andrew Jackson. The Act initiated a policy of removal of American Indians tribes living east of the Mississippi River to land west of the river.

The Creeks were the second tribe of the Five Civilized Tribes to be removed.

Before the trek began the Tribe was gathered into groups and supervised by the military in temporary forts (concentration camps) in Georgia.

Names and Claims of Creek Indians who moved at their own expense, 1830-1840. "Stidham Roll". by Larry S. Watson. FHL Collection




Years of Emigration


Before Removal





stayed in Southeast

Information of Interest



Wm. McIntosh




Treat of Cusseta March 24,1832

Government Leaders:

Captain John Page

Lt. J. T. Sprague

Lt. Edward Deas

Benj. Marshall

Lt. R. B. Screven

Lt. T.P. Sloan

1834-1837 22,700 +900 Black Slaves 19,600 3,500 (disease after removal) 100s

Alabama Emigrating Co.

Jim Boy (Tustennuggee Emathla) regiment of Creek warriors helped US military in Seminole war

1,000 miles

Removal was supervised by the United States Army, the Creeks were divided into groups to be removed. Dates of removal by groups:

  • 1827 seven hundred and three Creeks and eighty six Slaves with Chief William McIntosh left and traveled by Keel boats, the Tennessee, Ohio, and Mississippi Rivers to Fort Gibson
  • 1828: 400
  • June 1829: 1,200 steam boat Virginia ran aground on the Arkansas River
  • Dec 1834 six hundred thirty- under Captain John Page, four hundred sixty nine arrived 28 Mar 1835, two men in the group: Sampson Grayon with 34 Slaves and Widow Stidham with 23 Slaves.
  • 10 July 1836: nine hundred of the Encah Emathla Band - shipped in chains
  • 1 Aug 1836 left Alabama, 2,700 leader Opthleyahola
  • 5 September 1836 1,984 Lt. J.T. Sprague (known as 5th group of Friendly Creek)
  • 1836: 2,700 arrived at Ft Gibson - (1st group Friendly Creek)
  • 18 & 22 Dec 1836; (2nd group Friendly Creek)
  • March 1837: 4,000 Lt. Edward Deas, arrived 2 Jun 1837 at Little Rock, Arkansas. with 500. 3,500 still at Mobile Point
  • 29 Oct 1837 1,600 Lt. T.P. Sloan three steamboats: Monmoth 611- 311 drowned when it struck the steamboat Trenton

Trade[edit | edit source]

Superintendent of Indian Trade. Letter Book of the Creek Trading House, 1785-1816. FHL Film: 1024433

Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Indian Trade, Creek Factory Records, 1795-1821. 13 microfilm. FHL Collection

Treaties[edit | edit source]

The year link, the date of the treaty will connect to an online copy of the Treaty.

  • 1739: August 21, at Savannah
  • 1773: May 1, at Augusta
  • 1783: November 1, at Augusta
  • 1785:
  • 1790 August 7, at New York
  • 1796 June 29, at Colerain
  • 1802 June 16, at Fort Wilkinson
  • 1805 October 27,
  • 1805 November 14, at Washington
  • 1814 August 9, at Fort Jackson
  • 1816 March 22, Cherokee
  • 1818 January 22 at Fort Mitchell
  • 1818 October 19, with the Chickasaw, Flint River
  • 1821 January 8, at Indian Springs
  • 1821
  • 1825 February 12, at Indian Springs
  • 1825: Population estimated at 20,000 for Creek Indians in Georgia and Alabama, reported by T.C. McKenny - of the Indian Office
  • 1825 June 29, at Broken Arrow - unratified
  • 1826 January 24,at Washington
  • 1827 November 15, at Creek Agency
  • 1832 March 24,at Washington
  • 1832 May 9, Seminole
  • 1833 February 14, at Fort Gibson
  • 1833: March 28,
  • 1833: June 18, Appalachicola Band
  • 1835August 24, at Camp Holmes, with the Comanche
  • 1838 November 23, at Fort Gibson
  • 1845 January 4,with the Seminole
  • 1850: April 1, Wyandot
  • 1853: Population estimated at 25,000 by Commissioner of Indian Affairs at the request of the Department of Census
  • 1854 June 13,
  • 1856 August 7, at Washington
  • 1865, September 13, at Fort Smith - unratified
  • 1866 June 14, at Washington
  • 1867: Population estimated at 14,396 by Commissioner of Indian Affairs
  • 1910: Population as reported from census 6,945

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Indian Pioneer Papers[edit | edit source]

In 1936, the Oklahoma Historical Society and University of Oklahoma requested a writer's project grant from the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in which interviews would be conducted with early settlers in Oklahoma who had lived on Indian land. More than 100 writers conducted over 11,000 interviews and were asked to "call upon early settlers and (record) the story of the migration to Oklahoma and their early life here."[2] The University of Oklahoma Western History Collection has digitized the Indian Pioneer Papers which consists of approximately 80,000 indexed entries arranged alphabetically by personal name, place name, or subject. [3] An index to the Indian Pioneer Papers may also be found at OkGenWeb Oklahoma Genealogy. A separate index of Indians interviewed, including the Creek, may be viewed at: “Indians in the Indian Pioneer Papers” Some of the surnames from the Creek tribe found in the collection are: Barnett, Beam (Stevens), Berryhill, Bond, Breeding, Canard, Coker, Fisher (Postoak), Jobe, Postoak, Sells (Jobe). Family History Library microfiche number: 6,016,865(first microfiche number)

Websites[edit | edit source]

Family History Library[edit | edit source]

The FamilySearch Catalog has over 500 titles of interest to the Creek Indians

For Further Reading[edit | edit source]

  • Anne E. Gometz, A Creek Indian Bibliography in Anne Gometz's Requisite Homepage (accessed 14 January 2014).
  • Lennon, Rachal Mills. Tracing Ancestors Among the Five Civilized Tribes; Southeastern Indians Prior to Removal. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002. FHL Book 970.1 L548t.

For background information to help find American Indian ancestors see For Further Reading.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Journal of American Indian Family Research. Vol. 12 No. 1 1991. Editor Larry S. Watson. FHL 970.1 J825j
  2. Blackburn, Bob L. "Battle Cry for History: The First Century of the Oklahoma Historical Society." n.d. Oklahoma Historical Society. 5 Oct. 1998.
  3. The University of Oklahoma Western History Collections

Hawkins, Benjamin. A Sketch of the Creek Country, in the years 1798 and 1799, and letters of Benjamin Hawkins, Spartanburg,SC., Reprint Co., 1974. FHL Book 970.3 C861h or Film 962,258