United States, Native American, Census Rolls, 1885-1940 - FamilySearch Historical Records

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United States, Native American, Census Rolls, 1885-1940
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.

United States
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Record Description
Record Type Census Records
Record Group RG 75: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. NAID 404
Collection years 1885-1940
Microfilm Publication M595. Indian Census Rolls, 1885-1940. 692 rolls.
National Archives Identifier 595276
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
National Archives and Records Administration
Washington, D.C.

What Is in the Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection consists of an index and images of census and other records created by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The records are from the National Archives Microfilm Publication M595, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Record Group 75. Census rolls were usually submitted annually by agents or superintendents in charge of Indian reservations as required by an 1884 act of Congress. In some years, agents only compiled a summary of additions and deductions from the populations. In some years separate lists of births and deaths are included. The collection covers the years 1885 to 1940. Not all years are available for all tribes. Birth and deaths microfilmed as part of this National Archives microfilmed publication have been published on FamilySearch. See United States, Native American Birth and Death Records,1885-1940.

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images.

For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The record content varies by year, but the records generally contain the following:

  • Indian name
  • English name
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Relationship
  • Tribe
  • Reservation.
  • Current year's roll number
  • Previous year's roll number
  • A few of the censuses show the names of persons who were born or died during the year, along with date of birth and death.

Beginning in 1929, the following was added:

  • An annuity or allotment number is included if the tribe receives an annuity or allotment

Beginning in 1930, the following was added:

  • Surname
  • Given name
  • Degree of blood
  • Jurisdiction where enrolled
  • Name of the post office, county, and state
  • May list how many live or still births a woman had

Birth records

  • Census roll number (if born before the census was taken)
  • Full name
  • Birth date
  • If born live
  • Sex
  • Tribe
  • Degree of Indian blood
  • Parents degree of Indian blood
  • If living at jurisdiction where enrolled
  • If living at another jurisdiction and where
  • If living off reservation and where

Death records

  • Census roll year and number
  • Full name
  • Death date
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Tribe
  • Degree of Indian blood
  • Cause of death
  • If living at jurisdiction where enrolled
  • If living at another jurisdiction and where

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

Coverage Table[edit | edit source]

A coverage table that describes the content of this collection is available at United States, Native American, Census Rolls, Coverage Table. It includes the film notes (collection content) from the 692 rolls of National Archives Microfilm Publication M595 of the annual agency censuses and supplemental birth and death records.

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • Your ancestor's given name
  • Identifying information such as residence
  • Estimated birth year
  • Other family members

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

When you have located your ancestor’s record, download a copy or transcribe the information. Carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. This information will often lead you to other records.

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Add any new information to your records
  • Use the ages listed to determine approximate birth dates and find the family in additional censuses
  • Use the information found in the record to find church and vital records such as birth, baptism, marriage, and death records
  • Use the information found in the record to find land, probate or other agency records
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Indexes and transcriptions may not include all the data found in the original records. You could get a copy of the original record from the [http:/url/ place found at the end of the first citation]. (If you can’t find the URL, delete this whole bullet point)
  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you find possible relatives.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby town or county.
  • Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Check the info box above for additional FamilySearch websites and related websites that may assist you in finding similar records.

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the United States.

Related Family History Library Holdings[edit | edit source]

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Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.