Researching the Creeks and Cherokees

By Jeannette Holland Austin

Indian Rolls

The above model from the Internet is used for the purpose of understanding what records need to be researched. Although many people feel that they are descended from an Indian tribe, proving it is next to impossible. The Five Civilized Tribes, however, kept records dating from ca 1818 on what they call Indian Rolls.In 1833 their Rolls went with them out West. Essentially, the Indian Nations retained their heritage in the most positive way. One cannot simply claim to be a Cherokee, for example, without tracing themselves to an ancestor on the Roll. This was attempted in 1903 when the Dawes Commission attempted to deed Oklahoma land to anyone who could prove as much as 1/32nd Indian. Proof was finding an ancestor on the Rolls. Thus, although over 32,000 claimed lineage, few were able to prove it. This is why the vocal claims of political Elizabeth Warren were rejected by the Cherokees, and more than once. Records of Creeks and Cherokees in Georgia