Basic (09-87)

GN 00302.650 National Archives Indian Records

A. Types

The National Archives in Washington, D.C. has extensive records from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Two types of records are especially helpful for establishing age for Indian claimants:

  • Indian Census Rolls, and

  • Quarterly Reports of Indian Schools.

B. Indian Census Rolls 1885-1940

Indian Census Rolls (1885-1940) are grouped by families. They show the age or DB of each person and his/her relationship to the head of the family.

The records are not complete because:

  • A census was not taken for every reservation or group of Indians for each year

  • Some Indians are not listed because they did not maintain a formal affiliation with a tribe under Federal supervision

  • Few records are kept for the following Oklahoma tribes:

    • Cherokee

    • Chickasaw

    • Choctaw

    • Creek

    • Seminole

C. Quarterly Reports of Indian Schools, 1910 - 1939

Quarterly Reports of Indian Schools (1910-1939) involve both Federal Government - operated and private contract schools.

They list students and their ages.

The records are not complete in that they do not list all schools or even all students in a given school.

D. Other records

For a particular tribe, other types of records may be available because of the variety of information contained in the National Archives, it is best to consider each case on an individual basis. If enough information about a claimant is known, the personnel at the National Archives can determine what types of records might list the claimant.


Make requests for information from Indian records in the National Archives on Form SSA-562-U3 through the Washington (Downtown), D.C. District Office, 2100 M Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20203.

The request should contain the following information regarding the claimant:

  • Name (including Indian name and nicknames), and

  • Tribe, band, reservation, or agency if known, and

  • Date and place of birth, and

  • Parent's names (including Indian names and nicknames), and

  • Place(s) of residence as a child, and

  • Siblings' names, and

  • Name and location of school(s) attended, and

  • Approximate dates of school attendance.

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GN 00302.650 - National Archives Indian Records - 10/06/1994
Batch run: 06/29/2020