Guion Miller Roll
On July 1, 1902, the U.S. Congress had the U.S. Court of Claims jurisdiction over any claim against the United States filed by the Cherokee Tribe, or any band thereof. Three lawsuits were brought against the U.S. Government as grievances from Treaties violation(s).
On May 18, 1905 the U.S. Court of Claims ruled in favor of the Eastern Cherokee and directed the Secretary of the Interior to identify persons entitled to a portion of the money appropriated by the U.S. Congress on June 30, 1906, to be used for payment of the claims. Special Agent Guion Miller, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, began this work and then was appointed by the U.S. Court of Claims as a Court Special Commissioner.
The Court decree specified that the money was to be distributed to all Eastern & Western Cherokees alive on May 28, 1906 who could establish that they were members of the Eastern Cherokee Tribe or descendants of such members. (see Eastern Cherokee History) They could not be members of any other tribe. All claims had to be filed prior to August 31, 1907.
In Agent Miller's report of May 28, 1909, he listed 45,847 applications listing approximately 90,000 individual claimants. Among these 30,254 were enrolled and eligible for a share of the funds; 27,051 lived west of the Mississippi River, and another 3,203 lived east of the Mississippi River. The Roll includes information on both accepted and non-accepted members and the individual applications themselves contain a wealth of genealogical data.
Miller used previous census lists and rolls of the Cherokees. These rolls included: the Hester, Chapman, and Drennen Rolls, and other materials from 1835 to 1884, but did not include the Old Settler Cherokees.
These records are part of the U.S. National Archives Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, previously mentioned. Other records relating to this enrollment, including the applications themselves, however, are in U.S. National Archives Record Group 123.
This is a study guide to help the Native American Genealogist to understand the use of the Guion Miller Rolls (M685) and the Eastern Cherokee Applications of the U.S. Court of Claims, 1906-1909 (M1104). In Microfilm 685 there are 12 rolls of film and in Microfilm 1104 there are 348 rolls of film. It is very important to know which roll of film you need when ordering. The following will help you to determine what you need to order.
MICROFILM 685 - Records relating to the enrollment of Eastern Cherokees by Guion Miller, 1908-1910, to determine who was eligible for funds under the treaties of 1835, 1836, and 1845, -- Eastern and Western Cherokee Indians alive on May 28, 1906, -- who were members of the Eastern Cherokee Tribe or were descendants, -- not affiliated with any tribe -- other than Cherokees -- (12 Rolls).
MICROFILM M1104 - (348 rolls) - Eastern Cherokee Applications of the U.S. Court of Claims, 1906-1909 (not at National Archives, Kansas City)
This microfilm publication could be used advantageously with M685, The Guion Miller Rolls, for Indian Genealogical purposes as shown below. Extensive additional information to that derived from M685 is often available through this source.
The applicant was required to state full English and Indian names, residence, age, place of birth, name of husband or wife, name of tribe and names of children. Information was also, required on the claimant's parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles, and aunts. The index is arranged alphabetically by name (either English or Indian) of claimant.
If information regarding the claimant's family is desired, as shown to be available in paragraph two above, obtain application number by reference to the first roll of M685. Then refer to National Archives publication "American Indians", page 43 and following pages or the descriptive pamphlet of M1104 to determine M1104 roll needed, depending on the application number.
Obtaining M1104 information:
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