Researching American Indians and Alaska Natives

Dawes Records

Enrollment and Land Allotment Jackets Pertaining to Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole Tribes in Oklahoma

Land Allotments Defined:

(Dawes Act, 1887)

The Dawes Commission only issued land allotments to approved individuals or family members.

"To each head of a family, one-quarter of a section; To each single person over eighteen years of age, one-eighth of a section; To each orphan child under eighteen years of age, one-eighth of a section; and To each other single person under eighteen years now living, or who may be born prior to the date of the order of the President directing an allotment of the lands embraced in any reservation, one-sixteenth of a section..."

Enrollment Jackets
(Also known as Dawes Applications or Testimonial Packets)

Enrollment Jackets contain the application and supporting documents that the individual or family submitted to the Dawes Commission in order to be included on the Dawes Rolls.

Many researchers start their search by locating the Dawes Census Card before seeking an Enrollment Jacket. From the Census Card note the following:

  • tribe
  • enrollment category
  • name
  • Census Card number

These pieces of information will be found throughout the Enrollment Jacket. Matching these details will verify that you have located records for the same individual or family described on the Census Card.

Sample Enrollment Jacket. Application for Enrollment in the Five Civilized Tribes, William P. Rogers, Census Card 4747 National Archives Identifier: 4662501

Enrollment Jackets can contain one to many pages. Start at the beginning of the folder and read each page carefully to understand the application and the Dawes Commissionís subsequent decision(s).

These individual documents are indexed and available online at Ancestry.com (database titled U.S., Native American Applications for Enrollment in Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914) and at Fold3.com (database titled Dawes Packets). Prior to digitization, these records were accessible via microfilm publication M1301, Applications for Enrollment of the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914.

Visit the Online Catalog for the full archival records description: National Archives Identifier 617283.

Contact the National Archives at Fort Worth for more information.

Land Allotment Jackets

Sample Land Allotment Jacket. Application for Allotment, William P. Rogers, Enrollment Number 11384 National Archives Identifier: 4662504

Land Allotment Jackets detail land given to approved members of the Five Civilized Tribes. Arranged by enrollment number (not Census Card number), these Jackets provide information on the legal description, value, physical improvements on the land, etc. They often include correspondence, plat maps, and testimony involving the land.

The applicant's name, Dawes Census Card number, and other family identifiers can be found throughout the Jacket to verify that you have located the same individual or family between the records.

These records were not microfilmed prior to digitization by FamilySearch.org (database titled Oklahoma Applications for Allotment, Five Civilized Tribes). Using this free resource, you will need to select the tribe/category, and enrollment number range, then "scroll" through the records until you find the folder that starts the land allotment jacket you are seeking. The digitized copy of these records on Familysearch are not currently indexed.

Visit our Online Catalog for the full archival records description: National Archives Identifier 559520. Contact the National Archives at Fort Worth for more information.

Dawes Allotment Maps for the Five Civilized Tribes

Search the legal description of land in Indian Territory in the Online Catalog for printed colored maps that identify allotments, townsites, and railway rights of way.
National Archives Identifier 652462

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