This record collection contains the Indian census rolls from 1885-1940. The Indian Census schedules were supposed to be compiled yearly by persons in charge of Indian agencies, as required by act of Congress (4 July 1884—23 Stat. 98). You will not, however, find a census for every agency or tribal group of Indians for every year. Sometimes only additions to and deletions from previous rolls were compiled for certain years. In addition, only persons formally enrolled in a tribe will be listed on these census rolls.
Information contained in these records varies but may include:
Name (Indian and/or English)
Age and/or Birth date
Relationship to head of family
Degree of Indian blood
You can search for an individual or browse by tribe and year. View the record summary and the original image to be sure you are obtaining all possible information about an individual.
Most of the census rolls for the year 1940 were retained by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and are therefore not included in this record collection. Agency heads were not required by law to perform a yearly census after 1940.
The Indian Census Rolls are part of our Ancestry Library Edition and HeritageQuest reference databases. Ancestry LE must be used at Central Library and our branches; HeritageQuest can be used in library or at home if you have a valid library card and PIN.