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Iowa Native Races

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The term "Native Races" is a broad term used to mean any or all races living in a locality prior to some defined date in history. In this Wiki, the term "American Indians" is used to describe those who were residing in this locality prior to European contact. It is also used to describe their descendants, especially those recognized as such by the various levels of government in the United States. It is used as the preferred term in this Wiki and is based upon accepted usage by the Library of Congress.

For a more detailed description of the natives of this locality, see Indians of Iowa.

Among the major American Indian tribes that lived in what is now Iowa were the Sauk (or Sac) and Fox tribes. Events in their history include:

1665–1712:  Three relatively small tribes (including the Sauk and the Fox) failed to overcome the French and allied Indians; they then fled to central Wisconsin.

1728:  A series of attacks nearly destroyed the remaining Fox tribe.

1832:  Fox survivors moved southward into Iowa and aligned with the Sauk in the Black Hawk War. The Sauk and Fox tribes merged and were forced to move into Kansas by a U.S. government proclamation. Later the Fox tribe returned to Iowa and lived on a settlement tract of 80 acres that they had purchased.

The following are examples of available records:

Indian (Sac & Fox) Census of Iowa, ca. 1836–1840. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1978. (FHL film 1022202 item 4)

United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Indian Census Rolls, 1885–1940. Washington, DC, 1965. (FHL films 581444–446) These rolls include the Sauk and Fox tribal rolls from 1888 to 1939. Film 581446 includes births and deaths from 1924 to 1932.

Annuity Payroll of the Sac and Fox of the Mississippi in Iowa, Sept. 15, 1910. Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1975. (FHL film 0989445 item 12) This record serves as a partial census for this tribe.

For further information on American Indians, see:

Petersen, William John. Iowa History Reference Guide. (Cited fully in Iowa For Further Reading.) It lists books and articles about the various American Indian tribes, agents, treaties, and the half-breed tract in Iowa.

To find American Indian records in the FamilySearch Catalog look in the Subject Search under the name of the tribe, such as:




You can also look in the Locality Search under: