To get started in American Indian Research
Various Spellings: Navajo, Navaho
The Navajo Tribe is primarily associated with the states of Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico.
Population: 1868: 10,000 1990: 220,000
P.O. Box 9000
Window Rock, AZ 86515
See the information on Navajo Nation, Arizona (Tribe)
- Chinle Agency
- Eastern Navajo Agency (Arizona and New Mexico)
- Western Navajo Agency
- Fort Defiance Agency
- Santa Fe Agency
- Shiprock Agency
Additional References to the History of the Tribe
Frederick Webb Hodge, in his Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, gave a more complete history of the Navajo tribe, with estimations of the population of the tribe at various time periods.
The earliest census taken under the auspices of the Office of Indian Affairs was enumerated in 1885. Many of the census records thus recorded have been microfilmed and are available at the National Archives, all of the Regional Archives of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. This set of Indian Census Rolls also are available online at Ancestry.com, which is a subscription web site. In order to locate the correct roll, one must know the residence of the family being sought. The following census rolls were recorded for the indicated agencies within the Navajo Nation. The names are as recorded in the microfilm copy created by the National Archives on their Microcopy M595 (692 rolls).
- Eastern Navajo -- 1929-1935
- Eastern Navajo Reservation -- 1937
- Hopi and Navajo Indians -- 1930-1936
- Leupp Agency -- 1915-1917, 1920-1925, 1927, 1929-1935
- Leupp Reservation -- 1937
- Navajo -- 1915, 1936, 1938-1939
- Navajo: (Moqui Pueblo or Hopi, and Navajo) -- 1885
- Northern Navajo -- 1930-1935
- Northern Navajo Reservation -- 1937
- Pueblo Bonito (Navajo Indians) -- 1909-1912, 1914-1924, 1926
- Pueblo Day Schools (Pueblo and Navajo) -- 1912-1919
- San Juan (Navajo) -- 1916
- Southern Navajo -- 1929-1935
- Southern Navajo Reservation -- 1937
- Western Navajo -- 1905, 1915-1920, 1922-1927, 1929
- Western Navajo: (Hopi Indians and Navajo and Paiute Indians for 1929) -- 1937
It is important to know the above names because that is the way they are listed in the Indian Census Rolls collection.
Tribal enrollment for the Navajo Nation is handled through:
Navajo Office of Vital Records P.O. Box 9000 Window Rock, AZ 86515 Telephone: 928-871-6386 or 928-729-4020
Everyone enrolled as a member of the Navajo Nation since 1925 has been assigned a tribal census number. Those records are also maintained by this office.
Historically, Navajo children have attended local public schools, day schools, boarding schools and mission schools. Each of these have their own sets of records, some of which have found their way into archives and historical societies. The Office of Indian Affairs (now Bureau of Indian Affairs) was charged with providing educational opportunities for Navajo pupils and identifying them through school census records and other means. Some of the schools attended by Navajo pupils include:
- Pueblo Day Schools
- Intermountain Indian School
- St. Michael's School
This is a very incomplete list of such schools. It does illustrate different types of schools available to Navajo children.
Important Web Sites
- Navajo Nation Official Web Site
- Questions and Answers about Navajo history, names, culture, bands, etc.,
- Navajo Code Talkers
- Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives; Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
- Hodge, Frederick Webb. Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1906 Available online.
- Klein, Barry T., ed. Reference Encyclopedia of the American Indian. Nyack, New York: Todd Publications, 2009. 10th ed. WorldCat 317923332; FHL book 970.1 R259e.
- Malinowski, Sharon and Sheets, Anna, eds. The Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes. Detroit: Gale Publishing, 1998. 4 volumes. Includes: Lists of Federally Recognized Tribes for U.S., Alaska, and Canada – pp. 513-529 Alphabetical Listing of Tribes, with reference to volume and page in this series Map of “Historic Locations of U.S. Native Groups” Map of “Historic Locations of Canadian Native Groups” Map of “Historic Locations of Mexican, Hawaiian and Caribbean Native Groups” Maps of “State and Federally Recognized U.S. Indian Reservations. WorldCat 37475188; FHL book 970.1 G131g.
- Vol. 1 -- Northeast, Southeast, Caribbean
- Vol. 2 -- Great Basin, Southwest, Middle America
- Vol. 3 -- Arctic, Subarctic, Great Plains, Plateau
- Vol. 4 -- California, Pacific Northwest, Pacific Islands
- Sturtevant, William C. Handbook of North American Indians. 20 vols., some not yet published. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1978– .
- Volume 1 -- Not yet published
- Volume 2 -- Indians in Contemporary Society (pub. 2008) -- WorldCat 234303751
- Volume 3 -- Environment, Origins, and Population (pub. 2006) -- WorldCat 255572371
- Volume 4 -- History of Indian-White Relations (pub. 1988) -- WorldCat 19331914; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.4.
- Volume 5 -- Arctic (pub. 1984) -- WorldCat 299653808; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.5.
- Volume 6 -- Subarctic (pub. 1981) -- WorldCat 247493742; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.6.
- Volume 7 -- Northwest Coast (pub. 1990) -- WorldCat 247493311
- Volume 8 -- California (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 13240086; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.8.
- Volume 9 -- Southwest (pub. 1979) -- WorldCat 26140053; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.9.
- Volume 10 -- Southwest (pub. 1983) -- WorldCat 301504096; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.10.
- Volume 11 -- Great Basin (pub. 1986) -- WorldCat 256516416; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.11.
- Volume 12 -- Plateau (pub. 1998) -- WorldCat 39401371; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.12.
- Volume 13 -- Plains, 2 vols. (pub. 2001) -- WorldCat 48209643
- Volume 14 -- Southeast (pub. 2004) -- WorldCat 254277176
- Volume 15 -- Northwest (pub. 1978) -- WorldCat 356517503; FHL book 970.1 H191h v.15.
- Volume 16 -- Not yet published
- Volume 17 -- Languages (pub. 1996) -- WorldCat 43957746
- Volume 18 -- Not yet published
- Volume 19 -- Not yet published
- Volume 20 -- Not yet published