Indian Census Rolls
(and records relating to)

On this page I will list some material in the collections of the Idaho State Historical Society as relates to Indian census rolls only. For information about other Indian records they have, you should contact them directly and for information about obtaining copies of these records.

Nez Perce Reservation--see Darlene Gadley's Genealogy Page for an on-line copy of the 1890 census


Records Relating to Census Rolls and Other Enrollments
Bureau of Indian Affairs (Record Group 75)

Because Indians on reservations were not citizens until 1924, nineteenth and early twentieth century census takers did not count Indians for congressional representation. Instead, the Government took special censuses in connection with Indian treaties. (The Government made its last treaty with the Indians in 1871). The result of many treaties was to extinguish Indian titles to land. Typically, the Indians agreed to reduce their landholdings or to move to an area less desired for white settlement. Some treaties provided for the dissolution of the tribes and the allotment of land to individual Indians. The censuses determined who was eligible for the allotments.

Records of the New Mexico Superintendency, 1849-1880. T21. 30 rolls.

Records of the Northern Superintendency, 1851-1876. M1166. 35 rolls.

Records of the Oregon Superintendency, 1848-1873. M2. 29 rolls.

Records of the Southern Superintendency, 1832-1870, and Western Superintendency, 1832-1851. M640. 22 rolls.

Records of the Utah Superintendency, 1853-1870. M834. 2 rolls.

Records of the Washington Superintendency, 1853-1874. M5. 26 rolls.

Records of the Wisconsin Superintendency, 1836-1848, and the Green Bay Subagency, 1850. M951. 4 rolls.


Indian Census Rolls, 1885-1940. M595. 692 rolls.

These census rolls were usually submitted each year by agents or superintendents in charge of Indian reservations, as required by an act of July 4, 1884 (23 Stat. 98). The data on the rolls vary to some extent, but usually given are the English and/or Indian name of the person, roll number, age or date of birth, sex, and relationship to head of family. Beginning in 1930, the rolls also show the degree of Indian blood, marital status, ward status, place of residence, and sometimes other information. For certain years (including 1935, 1936, 1938 and 1939) only supplemental rolls of additions and deletions were compiled. Most of the 1940 rolls have been retained by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and are not included in this publication. There is not a census for every reservation or group of Indians for every year. Only persons who maintained a formal affiliation with a tribe under Federal supervision are listed on these census rolls.

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Comments and questions: David Comer
Revised 26 Nov 2002
URL: http://www.rootsweb.com/~idreserv/census.html