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Native American & US Federal Census Records 1810-1850

DATE: 3 Jul 2002 GMT
In the North Carolina censuses about 1810-1850, what race were Native Americans classified? What about Asians or anybody other than white or black? There was a classification of mulatto--- would Native Americans, Asians, etc., be classified as mulatto? Would appreciate an e-mail from a knowledgeable person.

I can give you the overview and direct your to other Native American resources. It would appear that you are attempting to search for a Native American using tradition US federal Census records where persons of color are mentioned. There are special federal and tribal council census records of Native Americans during this time period.

FEDERAL CENSUS RECORDS (general population)
For details on federal census records, the questions asked, and the definitions see Val Greenwood's THE RESEARCHER'S  GUIDE TO AMERICAN GENEALOGY 3rd Edition, Chapter 13 Census Returns. His detailed chart on page 235 shows that in 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840 the following statistical category existed:

  • NUMBER OF ALL OTHER FREE PERSONS (including colored) and that all of the above categories which refer to "number of persons" have to do with each household individually.

  • but his general note (a) states that in 1800, 1810, 1820 "except Indians, not taxed."

While you mention searching Native American in North Carolina, you do not specify the tribe. We usually think of Cherokee, but in the far western corner there were Creeks as well. For a map, see George J. Nixon's Records Relating to Native American Research: the Five Civilized Tribes, Chapter 17 of THE SOURCE (listed below) page 541.

A Select Catalog of NARA Microfilm Publications on American Indians provides the NARA microfilm numbers to order. Of particular interest are the following census rolls particularly significant in Cherokee research.

  • 1817-1819 Cherokees not migrating

  • 1819 Applications for reservation

  • 1817-1838 Cherokee Old Settlers

  • 1835 Henderson Roll. Nixon (IBID, page 535) states "This is the only known census listing the whole Cherokee Nation east of the Mississippi (with the exception of the already migrated Old Settler Cherokees)."

  • 1848 Mulay Roll (Eastern Cherokee)

  • 1851 Annuity Roll (Drennen)

  • 1851 Emigrant Roll

  • 1851 Silar Roll

  • 1851 Chapman Roll

  • 1867 Powell Roll

  • 1867 Thompson Roll

  • 1869 Swetland Roll

  • 1880 Cherokee Census (Cherokee National Council)

  • 1883 Cherokee Census (Cherokee National Council)

  • 1884 Hester Roll

  • 1886 Cherokee Census (Cherokee National Council)

  • 1894 Starr Roll

  • 1897 Roll

  • 1910 Guion Miller Roll

I've zeroed in on Cherokee, but there are similar Creek records during the time period. To encourage your research. I have provided a few basic web sites on Native Americans:

Barbara Benge's Osiyo Web Page - Lots of resources, links, books, etc.

Cyndi's List - Native American

Greenwood, Val. THE RESEARCHER'S GUIDE TO AMERICAN GENEALOGY, 3rd edition 2000. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company. This is their featured online book, so you can read it online.

Eakle, Arlene and Johni Cherny. THE SOURCE A GUIDEBOOK OF AMERICAN GENEALOGY, 1st edition. Salt Lake City: Ancestry. 1984. out of print. You can locate the second edition with different editors at:

Gormley, Myra Vanderpool. Cherokee Connections. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing reprint 2002.

McClure, Tony Mack. Cherokee Proud, 2nd Edition. Chu-Nan-Nee Books. 1998.
full index available online at

National Archives. American Indian (A Select Catalog of NARA Microfilm Publications)

National Archives - Native American research help 

Happy Family Tree Climbing.
Myrt :)
Daily Genealogy Columnist
AOL Keywords: roots, myrtle 

To post a message on this topic, go to Myrt's Message Board 

1995-2009 Pat Richley HOME | Ask | Blog Right-click to copy RSS feed URL. Add to My Yahoo BookShelf | ContactLessons | Listen to Podcast media RSS feed
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