Cheyenne Nation

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United States Gotoarrow.png Indigenous Peoples of the US Gotoarrow.png Montana Gotoarrow.png Oklahoma Gotoarrow.png Indians of Montana Gotoarrow.png Indians of Oklahoma Gotoarrow.png Cheyenne Nation

Guide to Cheyenne Nation ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and other agency records.

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Regions with significant populations
Ancestral Homelands: Kansas to North Dakota

Northern Cheyenne Reservation in southern Montana. Southern Cheyenne had settled in southern then moved to Oklahoma.


Federally recognized

Linguistic Group


Cultural Group

not yet researched

Other Related Ethnic Groups

other tribes

Alternate Names: Chayenne

Tribal Headquarters[edit | edit source]

Northern Cheyenne

Northern Cheyenne Tribe
Box 128
Lame Deer, Montana 59043
Phone: 1-406-477-6284
Fax: 1-406-477-6210

Southern Cheyenne

History[edit | edit source]

Brief Timeline[edit | edit source]

  • 1804: Lewis and Clark encountered the Cheyenne tribe near the Black Hills of South Dakota.
  • 1825: Treaty at Teton River
  • 1851: Treaty at Fort Laramie
  • 1857: Treaty known as Pawnee Treaty
  • 1860: Battles of Ash Hollow and Sand Creek
  • 1861: Treaty at Fort Wise
  • 1865: Two treaties one at Little Arkansas River
  • 1867: Treaty at Council Camp
  • 1876: The Northern Cheyenne and Sioux helped defeat General George Armstrong Custer's forces at the Little Bighorn
  • 1870's: The Northern Cheyenne were taken as prisoners to Fort Reno, Oklahoma, to be settled among the Southern Cheyenne. Nearly half of them were killed in an attempt to escape; some 60 fugitives made their way to Montana.
  • 1881 - 1883: Little Chief and some of this band of Northern Cheyenne moved from the Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency, Indian Territory to the Pine Ridge Agency, Dakota Territory.
  • 1884: Northern Cheyenne granted reservation lands in Montana
  • 1892: Cheyenne lands opened for Settlement.

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 Cheyenne tribe, with estimations of the population of the tribe at various time periods. Additional details are given in David Bushnell's Villages of the Algonquian, Siouan and Caddoan Tribes West of the Mississippi.

Grinnell, George Bird. The Cheyene Indians, Their History and Ways of Life. 2 Volumes. FHL 970.3 C429g

Grinnell, George Bird. The Fighting Cheyennes. Norman, University of Oklahoma, 1956.

Habegger, Lois R. Cheyenne Trails; A History of Mennonites and Cheyennes in Montana. FHL book 978.6 F2mh

Hoebel, Edward Adamson. The Cheyennes, Indians of the Great Plains. FHL 970.3 C429h

Shane, Ralph M. Early History of the Northern Cheyennes: the Morning Star People: the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation Agency Headquarters, Lame Deer, Montana. FHL Map 970.3 C429sr

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:

The Cheyenne Tribe was under the following jurisdictions.

Agencies[edit | edit source]

The following agencies of the Bureau of Indian Affairs had jurisdiction over the Cheyenne for the time periods indicated. BIA agencies were responsible for keeping such records as census rolls, allotment (land) records, annuity rolls, school records, correspondence, and other records of individual Indians under their jurisdiction. For details, see the page for the respective agency.

The agencies which had jurisdiction over a major portion of the Cheyenne in the United States were:

Upper Missouri Agency 1824-46

Northern Cheyenne Agency,

Upper Platte Agency 1846-70

Upper Arkansas Agency 1855-74

Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency 1875-80

Red Cloud Agency (South Dakota and Wyoming)

Superintendencies[edit | edit source]

St. Louis Superintendency

Central Superintiendency

Colorado Superintendency

Dakota Superintendency

Northern Superintendency

Wyoming Superintendency

Allotment Records[edit | edit source]

1895-1948 Land and Allotment Records. Cheyenne Agency FHL film 161368 and 161369 WorldCat

Correspondence and Census[edit | edit source]

Tribe Agency Location of Original Records

Pre-1880 Correspondence M234 RG 75 Rolls 962

Roll Number


Film Number

Post-1885 Census M595 RG 75 Rolls 693

Roll Number


Film Number

Cheyenne Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency, 1824-1952 Fort Worth Rolls 119-26 First Film 1638620

Rolls 11, 16-17, 27-32,362-67,425, 478-79, 574-79

FHL|573873-573877|Films, and FHL #124 first film 574191

Cheyenne Upper Missouri Agency, 1824-46 Washington D.C. Rolls 883-88 1638620 - -
Cheyenne Upper Platte Agency, 1846-70 Washington D.C. Rolls 889-96 1638620 - -
Cheyenne Upper Arkansas Agency, 1855-74 Washington D.C. Rolls 878-82 1638620 - -
Cheyenne Red Cloud (Pine Ridge) Agency, 1867-1961 Kansas City Rolls 715-26 1638620 Rolls 362-69 Films,and FHL|574191|Film

Cheyenne, Northern

Northern Cheyenne Agency 1884-1952 Seattle - - - FHL Films 574192-574199
Cheyenne, Northern Tongue River Agency, 1886-1939 Washington D.C. - - Rolls 574-79 FHL Films 583033-583038
Cheyenne Seger School (Concho Agency), 1891-1952 Fort Worth - - Roll 479 FHL Film 581489
Cheyenne Cantonment Agency, 1903-27 Fort Worth - - Rolls 16-17 Film
Cheyenne Red Moon Census, 1909-12, 1914-16 Fort Worth - - Roll 425

FHL|573873-573877|Films,and FHL|574191|Film

Treaties[edit | edit source]

During the latter part of the 18th Century and most of the 19th Century, treaties were negotiated between the federal government and individual Indian tribes. The treaties provide helpful information about the history of the tribe, but usually only include the names of those persons who signed the treaty. For more information about treaties, click here.

Treaties to which the Cheyenne Indians were a part were:

The year link (year of treaty) will connect to an online copy of the treaty.

  • 1825 July 6, at mouth to Teton River
  • 1851 September 17, at Fort Laramie
  • September 24, 1857, referred to in Pawnee treaty
  • 1861 February 18, at Fort Wise
  • 1865 October 14, at Little Arkansas River
  • 1865 October 17,
  • 1867 October 28, at Council Camp

Tribal Office Records[edit | edit source]

The Tribal Office is responsible for enrollment records, vital records, tribal police records, tribal court records, employment records and many others. They are an entirely different set of records from those kept by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Most of them remain in the Tribal Office. For details, contact that office at the address for the Tribal Headquarters listed above.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Prior to the Indian Reorganization Act, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, through their agencies, may have recorded some vital events. Some were recorded on health forms, such as the "Sanitary Record of Sick, Injured, Births, Deaths, etc." Others were recorded as supplements to the "Indian Census Rolls." Some were included in the unindexed reports and other correspondence of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Some vital records for the (name of tribe) Indians include:

  • Cheyenne and Arapaho Agency: M595, births and deaths 1925-1934, FHL 574191

Important Websites[edit | edit source]

For Further Reading[edit | edit source]

Cheyenne[edit | edit source]

  • Carlson, Paul H. The Plains Indians. College Station, Texas: Texas A&M University Press, c1998. FHL Book 970.1 C197p

General[edit | edit source]

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

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Frederick Webb Hodge. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1906.