Difference between revisions of "Indians of Indiana"

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*Indiana Agency 1824-1850
*Indiana Agency 1824-1850
:Hill, edward E., ''The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches''., Clearwater Publishing Co., Inc., 1974
:Hill, Edward E., ''The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches''., Clearwater Publishing Co., Inc., 1974
== Family History Library  ==
== Family History Library  ==

Revision as of 13:59, 26 July 2008

Start your search for records of an American Indian ancestor in other records since Indians are often found in the same records as all other Americans. After you finish those records, turn to records specifically about Indians. Opportunities for genealogical research for American Indians are good because more government records have been created for Indians than for any other ethnic group. The Family History Library is beginning to expand its American Indian collection. Many Indian records must still be obtained from their original archive or library.

It is important to study the history of the tribe, such as migration patterns, marriage and naming customs, and affiliations with government agencies or churches. Because some tribes moved several times, records about them may be in many locations. If you have evidence of Indian ancestry, there are some unique records you can use. Note, however, that many traditions of Indian ancestry are unfounded. Before you can effectively search American Indian records, you should:

  • Identify a specific ancestor who was Indian and learn where the ancestor lived.
  • Identify his or her tribe.
  • Study the history of the tribe.

Among the major tribes that lived in what is now Indiana were the Delaware, Kickapoo, Miami, Mound Builders, Piankashaw, Potawatomi, Shawnee, and Wea. After 1794, treaties were made that opened up large areas of land for settlement. At the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811, the Indians were defeated, and white settlements then proceeded at an increased rate. By the 1840s, most of the Indians had moved westward to other lands, either voluntarily or by force.

American Indian Sources

Census indexes are available that list the American Indians in the 1900 and 1910 censuses. See the "Minorities" section above for these sources.

Other sources are:

  • Beckwith, Hiram Williams. The Illinois and Indiana Indians. New York, New York: Arno Press, 1975. (FHL book 970.1 B389i; fiche 6087719.) This book gives histories of the various tribes in Indiana.
  • Rafert, Stewart. American-Indian Genealogical Research in the Midwest: Resources and Perspectives. National Genealogical Society Quarterly 76 (September 1988): 212-24. (FHL book 973 B2ng.) This article mentions useful local, county, and federal records to search for information on Americans Indians.

In the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog many American Indian records are listed under:


See also the Family History Library Catalog’s Subject Search under the name of the tribe, for example:




Online Resources




Tribes and Bands of Indiana

Chippewa, Delaware, Eel River, Erie, Illinois, Iroquois, Kaskaskia, Kickapoo, Mesopelea, Miami, Mississinway, Neutrals, Piankashaw, Potawatomi, Quiatenous, Seneca, Shawnee, Shockey, Wea, Wyandot


Wee-sau, Ash-Kum, Mau-ke-Kose, Wee-si-o-nas, Com-o-za of Patiwatan, Motas, Mes-Quaw-uck, Che-case, Aub-ba-mau-bee, Upper Kispoko Band of Shawnee

Potawatomie Bands:

Okaw-mause, Kee-waw-nee, Nee-Boast, Ma Che Saw (Mat chis jaw), Naswaw kee (Nees wawgh gee), Quash-quaw, pee pin ah was, Mach kah tah mo may, No tawkah, To I sas, Me mot way, Che quaw ka ko or Che chaw kosa, Ma sac, Memorn i nee, Me mot way or Me shing go me sia, Me to sin ia, Wee san


Hodge, Frederick Webb., Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico., Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of Ethonology, Bulletin #30 1907.
Swanton, John R. The Indians Tribes of North America ( http://www.accessgenealogy.com ) Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of AMerican Ethonolgy Bulletin #145.



As identified in the National Atlas of the United States of America, there are no current federally-recognized reservations in Indiana. The following are reservations historically associated with the state.

  • Godfrey Reservation
  • Meshingomesia Reservation
  • Osandiah Reservation
  • Ozahshinquah Reservation
  • Tahkonong Reservation
  • Wapapincha Reservation
  • Wife of Benjamin Reservation


Isaacs. Katherine M., editor. Omni Gazetteer of the United States of America. U.S. Data Sourcebook, Volume 11 Appendices, Bureau of Indian Affairs List of American Indian Reservations, Appendix E. Indian resrvations, Omnigraphics, Inc., 1991.


  • Fort Wayne Agency 1824-30
  • Indiana Agency 1824-1850


Hill, Edward E., The Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880: Historical Sketches., Clearwater Publishing Co., Inc., 1974

Family History Library

  • Lyman Copeland Draper Collection which includes:

           Tecumseh Papers 9Shawnee Chief-1768-1823   FHL film: 889237 & 887238

  • Moravian Church Records

          1870 and 1880 index to Blacks, Mulatto and Indians

                    1870 Census 5 films 1st  film 1509480

                     1880 Census 8 films 1st film 1509284

Web Sites

See Also:

Indiana Church for a list of missions

Indiana History for a calendar of events

Indiana Military for a list of forts