Friday, November 7, 2014

African Americans on the Cherokee Intruder Census 1893

Source: Oklahoma and Indian Territory, Indian Censuses and Rolls, 1851-1959 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014. 
Original data: Selected Tribal Records. The National Archives at Fort Worth, Fort Worth, Texas.

I often hear from researchers who have a tie to Oklahoma or Indian Territory. In some cases the researchers are descendants of Oklahoma Freedmen, from the Five Civilized Tribes, but in other cases some have ancestors who migrated west an settled there. And many have sought their ancestors but were not sure how or when they arrived in Indian Territory.

Perhaps among a new set of records now uploaded by Ancestry, through its collaboration with the Oklahoma Historical Society, one might find their ancestors on the Intruder Census of the Cherokee Nation. This census data collected in 1893 might provide some answers.

In the image above one can see that people were listed on a schedule and the race was noted on the form. In the Canadian District, as seen above they were listed in the order in which they were found and race was duly noted.

In other communities some settlements were larger and they were thus listed in entire communities, such as this community of "Colored" Intruders. It should be noted that those on the Colored Intruder list are not to be confused with the larger number of Cherokee Freedmen who were native to the Cherokee Nation. The Cherokee Freedmen were Cherokee Citizens whereas most Intruders were from the United States and thus not citizens.

Source: Same as Above

Note that there were a few cases where not all persons on the Intruder List were really intruders. Some would contest their being considered outsiders and would would later go through the Dawes enrollment process and be able to later gain enrollment legally as Cherokee Freedmen. In the case below one will see the name Zach Foreman. He appears on this list of Intruders. yet, he was later able to establish and prove his citizenship and was therefore admitted as a Cherokee Freedman.

Source: Same as Above.

As can be noted in the following image, Zach Foreman was later admitted as a Cherokee Citizen. As can be noted he resided in the now extinct Freedman community known as "Foreman".

Enrollment Card for Zack Foreman

(Source: Oklahoma and Indian Territory, Dawes Census Cards for Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914 [database on-line] Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc. 2014. Original data: Enrollment Cards for the Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M1186, 93 rolls); Cherokee Freedman Card #300. Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Record Group 75; National Archives, Washington, D.C. )

These images of the Intruder Census Rolls from the Cherokee Nation will be a valuable asset to researchers looking for additional information on their families in Oklahoma. Many researchers whose families originated in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana and Texas might find their ancestors among those intruders and it is hoped that many will study these records in detail.

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