Dawes Census Card

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: After 1898 to before 1902
Location: [unknown]
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The Dawes Act of February 8, 1887 allowed for a Federal commission to prepare new citizenship rolls for the Five Civilized Tribes of Oklahoma (Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and Seminoles) which incorporated the names of approved applicants while simultaneously documenting those who were considered doubtful and ultimately rejected. Upon approval of the Rolls, the Dawes Commission allotted a share of communal land to the approved individual members of these Tribes. The list of approved applications created the "Final Rolls of the Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory".


Dawes Census Cards list the enrollee's name, age, sex, blood quantum, tribe, place of residence, and roll number. In general, the age shown on the census card is the age of the individual around 1902. Members of the same household are typically listed on the same card. Those listed as "newborns" and "minors" were born after enrollment began in 1898 but before March of 1907, and are listed on a separate card. Census cards may also reference earlier rolls.

Dawes Census Card

Important Details

NARA Deciphering the Census Cards - Each sample includes both an original and an annotated copy.
Details Referenced in the NARA Sample Cards
  1. Residence, County
  2. Post Office
  3. Tribe
  4. Field No. (aka Census Card No.) Number is repeated on other Dawes records for the same individual
  5. Dawes Roll Number
  6. Name of Applicant and Family
  7. Relationship to Person First Named
  8. Age
  9. Sex
  10. Approved & Rejected - Blood (Quantum)
    • Freedmen - Tribal Enrollment - Year, County, and Number on the Roll
  11. Approved & Rejected - Tribal Enrollment - Year, County, and Number on the Roll
    • Freedmen - Slave of
  12. Approved & Rejected - Tribal Enrollment of Parents - Father and Mother's Names, Year, and County
    • Freedmen - Remarks
  13. Approved - Clarification Notes or Decision
    • Rejected - Decision
    • Freedmen - Date of Denied Enrollment
  14. Approved - Date of Approved Enrollment
    • Rejected & Freedmen - Additional Notations


Mississippi Choctaws

Categories and Abbreviations

Adopted (A)
Citizens by blood (BB)
Citizens by marriage (IM)
Denied/doubtful (D)
Freedmen* (F)
Freedmen* Denied/doubtful (FD)
Freedmen* Rejected (FR)
Intermarried White (IW)
Minors by blood (M)
Minor Freedmen (FM)
Newborns by blood (NB)
Newborn Freedmen (FNB)
Rejected (R)
*African Americans formerly enslaved by tribal members
See Also


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