Trace your Cherokee Indian ancestors using Dawes roll numbers. Roll numbers were assigned to Cherokee Indians who registered for their share of land to be allotted by the U.S. government. These rolls are one of the primary documents used to prove Cherokee Indian heritage and are similar to a Social Security number. Rolls generally include the ancestors name, sex, age, degree of Indian blood, tribe and their census card number.
Search the index to the final rolls at the AccessGenealogy website by entering your ancestor's name and clicking "Search." If the name is located on the rolls the age, sex, blood degree, card and roll number for the record will be displayed.
Search the images of the index on the National Archives website. Click a link to any page of the index to open the image on your computer. The index will tell you the first and last name of the ancestor and the final roll number. The images are divided by tribe and names are listed alphabetically.
Visit the National Archives and Records Administration location nearest you and view microfilm publication M1186. Search the film for your ancestor's name to obtain the roll number and census card information. Assistance in locating the film in the drawers or loading the microfilm reader can be obtained from the staff.
- Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images