Is it possible to find native american genealogy information online without paying for it? Where do I start?

~Submitted by Craig G.


Hi Craig,

Yes, it definitely is. Here is my short list of my ten favorite genealogy sources in general and my ten favorite native american genealogy resources in particular. These sources will give you starting points for just about any ancestry search, not just for native american ancestry specifically, but they hold a wealth of free genealogy information about native american ancestry, too.

Free native american genealogy resources

  1. contains information you have to pay for, but there is extensive free information about native americans, too, including census records, indian cemetaries, treaties, history, oral stories, tribal locations, and indexes to the major Indian Rolls, including:
      • The Armstrong Roll was created after the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek with the Choctaw Nation in 1834. This is a lengthy treaty and supplement. There are approximately 2,425 Choctaw names in this roll. Reading the entire treaty and supplement will provide you with a better understanding of this roll.

      • The 1880 Cherokee Census was authorized by an act of the Cherokee National Council Senate Bill No. 33 on December 1, 1879. It includes 10,453 names which note age, sex, cherokee divison, and makes a distinction between Native Cherokee, Adopted colored or Negro, Adopted Caucasian, Adopted Creek, Adopted Choctaw, Adopted Osage, Adopted Shawnee, and Adopted Chickasaw who were then members of the Cherokee tribe.

    • The 1896 Census Applications include an index of Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Creek people who were NOT included in the Five Civilized Tribes on the 1896 census. It is an index of people who were NOT recognized by the Cherokee Tribe and who subsequently made application to be considered for citizenship. If your ancestor was on the 1896 Cherokee Census they probably will NOT be on this index. This is NOT the 1896 CENSUS. If your ancestor is on this roll, it does NOT necessarily mean they were subsequently accepted into the Cherokee tribe.

    • The Guion Miller Roll in general contains people who did not make it onto either the 1880 Cherokee Census or the Baker Roll. One of the main reasons these individuals did not make it on the previous rolls is beacuse they did not meet the residency requirements. The Guion Miller Roll includes the names of all persons applying for compensation arising from the judgment of the United States Court of Claims on May 28, 1906, for the Eastern Cherokee tribe.

      While numerous individuals applied, not all the claims were allowed. The information included on the index is the application number, the name of the applicant, and the State or Territory in which the individual resided at the time the application was filed. There are 47,026 names on this roll.

    • The Baker Roll was prepared by United States Agent Fred A. Baker, pursuant to an act of the 68th Congress, (43 stat., 376), June 4, 1924, and was the final roll of the Cherokee. Before preparation of this roll, the Act required that all land, money, and other property of the Tribe be transferred to the United States for final disposition. Termination of the Tribe as a government and political entity was the ultimate goal. After termination efforts failed, the Tribe continued to use the 1924 Baker Roll as its base roll. Descendants of those persons of the original Baker Roll are enrolled on the Baker Revised Roll, providing they meet the membership requirements of the Tribe. There are 3,176 names on this roll.

    • The Dawes Roll is the final roll of the Five Civilized Tribes, which included a list of those members of the Five Civilized Tribes who removed to Indian Territory (Oklahoma) during the 1800's and were living there during those dates.

      Only those Indians who RECEIVED LAND under the provisions of the Dawes Act are listed. It also lists those Freedmen who received land allotments as provided for in the Dawes Act. These pages can be searched to discover the enrollee's name, age, sex, blood degree, type, census card number and roll number. There are 292,033 names on this roll. If your ancestor was NOT living in Indian Territory during 1898-1914, they will NOT be on this roll.

    • The Kern-Clifton Roll was created to fill in the omissions of the Wallace Roll. Genealogists not finding their Cherokee ancestor in the Kern-Clifton Roll, should search the Wallace Roll to insure that this ancestor was not one of those originally identified by the John Wallace. This roll authenticated the Freedmen and their descendants.

    • The Wallace Roll of Cherokee Freedmen in Indian Territory was created due to the citizenship of many ex-slaves (freedmen) being disputed by the Cherokee Tribe. To the freedmen, the ability to establish their status was important, not only for the sharing of the Cherokee lands, but also the payments and annuities the Cherokee Tribe was to receive in the future. A series of investigations were conducted resulting in the Cherokee Freedmen Rolls known as the Wallace Roll, and the Kern-Clifton Roll. If you don't find your ancestor on the Wallace Rolls, you should next check the Kern-Clifton Roll to insure that this ancestor was not one of those originally ommitted by Wallace.

    • The Reservation Roll of 1817 is a listing of those Cherokee applying for a 640 acre tract in the East in lieu of removing to Arkansas. This was only good during their lifetime and then the property reverted back to the state. To fully understand this roll, you need to read the Cherokee Treaty of 1817.

    • The Settler Rolls includes those Cherokee still living in 1851 who were already residing in Oklahoma when the main body of the cherokee arrived in the winter of 1839, as a result of the Treaty of New Echota (1835). Approximately one third of the Cherokee people were Old Settlers and two thirds new arrivals. The 1851 payroll lists Old Settlers (Cherokees who moved to Indian Territory prior to December 1835) entitled to participate in a per capita payment. There were 3,273 persons enumerated on this roll which is arranged by Cherokee district and grouped by family.

    • The Ute Rolls are actually two separate PROPOSED rolls. One is the Full Blood Roll and the other is the Mixed Blood Roll of the Ute Tribe of Uintah and Ouray Reservation in Utah.

  2. contains extensive free information about American people and family histories, and indexes to the major Indian Rolls, including:
    • The Final Rolls of Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory which includes the names of individuals entitled to enrollment on the rolls of the various tribes comprising the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory (Oklahoma). The Five Civilized Tribes included in these records are: Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek & Seminole. Delaware Indians who were adopted by the Cherokee are also included.

  3. The Comanche Census Lists

  4. The Little Big Horn College database includes information on Crow households collected in four census years: 1885, 1900, 1910, and 1930.

  5. contains a searchable database related to Ojibwe and Metis people, and Red Lake & other Indian and Métis genealogical resources.

  6. On-Line Sources for Oneida Indian Genealogy - Contains dozens of rolls and census records on the Oneida Nation, Seneca, and other Iroquois tribes. Many rosters of those who served in the War of 1812.

  7. This is the
    complete special census from 1880 on the Swinomish Indian Reservation

  8. Wyandot Tribal Roll of 1867

  9. Canada Census Records Also includes links for Australia, Ireland, Scandinavia & the United Kingdom records.

  10. Cyndi's List This link is to her native american genealogy page which has dozens of links to native american genealogy resources and hundreds of links to genealogy resources in general. It also has an extensive list of mailing lists you can subscribe to for genealogy related to all kinds of indian tribes. This site is definitely considered a great starting point for beginning native american genealogy research.

Free genealogy resources for any ethnicity:

      This popular site now has over 1 BILLION names in its online database. Search by surname (last name), spouses name, parents name or place. Includes no-fee access to the 1880 United States census, 1881 British Isles and Canada censuses, as well as the Social Security Death Index.


      Perhaps the best place for beginning American research. With a Website for every single county in the United States, this site provides no-charge access to items like county histories, biographies, court records, census transcripts, and historic photos. Each county site is managed by a volunteer, so the amount of information varies dependent on the volunteers efforts.


      Want to find your immigrant ancestor? Head to this Website. No charge access to database containing 25 million ships passenger records covering entry through the Port of New York and Ellis Island from 1892-1924. This site was first launched on April 17, 2001, and has received over 6 billion hits.


      Search more than 385 million names in researcher-donated files. Download ancestor and descendant results, view individual records and sources, and contact people who are researching the same surname. Although Rootsweb is now owned by Ancestry, this database has no-fee access.


      More than 2 million links to genealogy resources. Includes links to both surname Websites, and regional resources by state. Includes links to mailing lists, clubs, message boards, personal surname pages, and cemeteries.


      This fascinating site is loaded with genealogy records, including military rosters, regional resources, links to biographies and surname registries, and obituaries. In addition, you can request a no-charge lookup from the many volunteers associated with this site; the volunteers will look up your surnames in both genealogy CDs and genealogy books.

      Search and view millions of names that have been uploaded by other family tree researchers all without a charge. New policies have instituted a small fee for use of the smart matching technology, but all searches and viewing of data remain without a cost.


      No cost search of close to 4 million names in more than 8,000 cemeteries world-wide. If you are hitting a brick wall in your research, be sure to search for the surname on this site as you may find a burial notice in a state or area that you have not yet researched. Special collections include some National Cemeteries and flooded cemeteries.


      Sometimes the quickest way to climb your family tree is to connect with other people who are researching the same names. This Website has more than 83,000 genealogy queries posted; these are posts by people who are searching for a specific surname. Its possible youll find an Internet cousin or two on this site. Sharing research is an excellent technique for getting faster results.


    One of the oldest genealogy sites on the Internet, and filled with no-fee searchable databases. This site is huge (more than 17,000 pages and almost 1,500 databases!) so take some time going through the site so you dont miss out on any family information. Includes ships passenger lists, church records, military records, city directories, and links to Native American genealogy sites.