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How Do I Trace My Cherokee Geneaology?

Fortunately, Native Americans are able to find a wealth of information on their ancestors. Particularly those who were listed on the Guion Miller rolls. There are many resources for Cherokee geneaology, but the Cherokee Nation does not provide geneaology services. A private researcher, libraries and other organizations may be of some help to you.

Here is a list of rolls that may list your Cherokee ancestors:

Rolls Before and During Removal :

  • Reservation Rolls 1817
    Cherokees who chose to accept a plot of land on the Cherokee reservation (in the Eastern homeland).
  • Emigration Rolls 1817-1835
    Cherokee who chose to "emigrate" to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River in present day Oklahoma and Arkansas (prior to the Trail of Tears.)
  • Henderson Roll 1835
    Cherokees who were to be removed to Indian Territory on what would later be called the Trail of Tears.
  • Mullay Roll 1848
    Cherokees who remained in North Carolina after removal.

Post Removal Rolls:

  • Siler Roll 1851 - Eastern
    Eastern Cherokee entitled to per capita payment.
  • Old Settler Roll 1851 - Western
    Recorded those Cherokee (still living) who had emigrated to Indian Territory prior to removal.
  • Chapman Roll 1852 - Eastern
    Eastern Cherokee who actually received payment from the government (reference to Siler Roll).
  • Drennen Roll 1852 - Western
    Recorded those Cherokee who came to Indian Territory in 1839 on the Trail of Tears. Swetland Roll 1869 - Eastern
  • Recorded those Cherokees, and their descendants, who were listed on the Mullay Roll as residing in North Carolina.
  • Hester Roll 1883 - Eastern
    Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians that provides a great deal of detail about those listed.
  • Churchill Roll 1908 - Eastern
    Additional roll of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians which also include those rejected from the Eastern Band.
  • Guion Miller Roll 1909 - Eastern & Western
    For Cherokees (east and west) excluding the "Old Settlers."
  • Baker Roll 1924 - Eastern
    The final roll of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee in anticipation of allotment. The land was not allotted and the reservation still exists. This roll is the basis for tribal membership in the Eastern Band.
  • The Dawes Rolls 1898-1914 - Western
    The final roll of the western Cherokee. Allotment of Cherokee land to Cherokee individuals was based on this roll. Direct descendency from someone on this roll is required for tribal citizenship in the Cherokee Nation today.
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