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Microfilmed Records Pertaining to Enumeration of Seminole Indians in Florida, 1880-1940

Locating Seminole living in Florida is not easy. Although most Seminole migrated to the Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) in the mid- nineteenth century, many remained in Florida. Because of the effort to relocate them to the Indian Territory, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) did not have a formal agency for the Seminole until 1913, so there are no BIA censuses until that date. Seminole are also enumerated in the federal census. The following information provides guidance on how to locate Seminole ancestors who lived in Florida using the regular federal census and special censuses created by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Bureau of Indian Affairs Censuses, 1913-1940 (RG 75)

Microfilm Publication Title Microfilm Pub ID / Catalog Info Online Catalog Descriptions
Indian Census Rolls, 1885-1940

Note: Roll 486 contains schedules of Florida Seminole for 1913-1929; roll 487 contains schedules of Florida Seminole for 1930-1940.

M595C View series in the Online Catalog

Federal Decennial Census, 1880-1930 (RG 29)

Seminole Indians in Florida are enumerated in the Federal decennial census between 1880 and 1930. Some people appear on both the Indian Census Rolls and the federal census, so you may want to examine both the regular decennial census and the Bureau of Indian Affairs census rolls listed above.

For 1880, 1920, and 1930, Seminole Indians are enumerated on census schedules identical to those used for the general population. (Nearly all of the 1890 census schedules were destroyed by a fire at the Commerce Department in 1921. Relevant schedules for Florida did not survive.) Although the data on these schedules slightly vary, you will be able to find essential information such as person's name, race, sex, age, relationship to the head of the household, and occupation. Race is either identified with an "I," "In," or "Ind" for Indian in these census years. The 1920 and 1930 schedules also provide information on marital status; the 1930 schedules list the tribe.

For 1900 and 1910, Seminoles are enumerated on special "Indian Population" schedules. These schedules are divided into two sections. The top section mirrors the layout of the regular decennial census and asks the same questions posed to the general population. The bottom section is entitled "Special Inquiries Relating To Indians" and provides information on the degree of Indian blood, types of Indian dwellings, marital arrangements, and whether or not individual Indians were taxed.

If you know where your ancestor lived, you can go directly to the appropriate roll of microfilm and scroll until you find the township. If you do not know where your ancestor lived, you should consult the Soundex indexes for the state of Florida. Every federal decennial census from 1880 to 1930 has been soundexed for Florida. Ancestry.com (an online search engine available free in the Archives Library Information Center (ALIC) and National Archives facilities) is another excellent resource that you can use to track down your Seminole ancestors in the federal census. Ancestry.com is available to individual researchers by subscription.

For information pertaining to Seminoles living in Oklahoma (Indian Territory) consult Online Tutorial for Genealogists and Family Historians: The Dawes Rolls.

Microfilm Publication Title Microfilm Pub ID / Catalog Info Online Catalog Descriptions
1880 Census

Note: Seminole Indians are enumerated at the end of the following five Florida counties in 1880: Brevard (Roll 126), Dade (Roll 126), Manatee (Roll 130), Monroe (Roll 131), and Polk (Roll 131).

T9A

 

1900 Census

Note: Seminole Indians are enumerated at the end of the 1900 census for the state of Florida and appearing on Roll 177. Scroll to the end of the roll and you will find nine pages of Seminoles enumerated for three Florida counties; Brevard, Dade, and Lee.

T623A

 

1910 Census

Note: The enumeration of Seminole Indians in 1910 is more limited. They are enumerated on page 201 within Palm Beach County, Florida on Roll 166.

T624A

 

1920 Census

Note: Seminole Indians are enumerated at the end of the following five Florida counties in 1920: Broward (Roll 215), Lee (Roll 221), Okeechobee (Roll 228), Palm Beach (Roll 229), and St. Lucie (Roll 226).

T625B

 

1930 Census

Note: Seminole Indians are enumerated within the following eight Florida counties in 1930: Broward (Roll 307), Collier (Roll 308), Dade (Roll 310), Glades (Roll 317), Hendry (Roll 317), Monroe (Roll 325), Okeechobee (Roll 326), and St. Lucie (Roll 332).

T626B View series in the Online Catalog

Additional resources on the National Archives website:

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