Censuses Of Native Americans   

In some years, separate censuses of Native Americans were taken by the Federal government and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. While some early Native American populations were tabulated by missionary priests/ministers and colonial authorities, many of these have been lost or are mixed in with church censuses. The 1860 and 1870 Federal censuses noted only Native Americans living in non-Native American households. In 1880, a special enumeration was taken of Native Americans living near military reservations in the territories of the Dakotas and Washington, as well as the State of California. The information included the name of the tribe, reservation, agency, nearest post office, number living in the household with a description of the dwelling, Native American name with English translation for each family member, relationship to the head of household, marital and tribal status, occupation, health, level of education, land ownership, and means of support.

The 1885 to 1940 Indian census rolls were taken regularly, though not annually, by Indian agents on each reservation. The 1898-1906 Indian Census Card Index was compiled by the Dawes Commission to verify individual rights to tribal allotments for the five civilized tribes (Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole). To search this index, send the name of the tribe, name of individual, approximate date of birth & death, and location to the National Archives-Southwest region, Box 6216, Ft. Worth, Texas 76115. 1910-1939 Indian School Census was compiled by the Bureau Of Indian Affairs and was taken for individual Indian schools each year during this period. Information included the names of all children between six and eighteen years of age, sex, tribe, degree of Native American blood, distance from home to the school, parent or guardian, and attendance during the year.

The Twelfth census includes the Indian Population Census

The Enumerators Instructions for Filing the Schedule: "This modified form of Schedule No 1 is to be used in making the enumeration of Indians, both those on reservations and those living in family groups outside of reservations. Detached Indians living either in white or negro families -outside of reservations should be enumerated on the general population schedule (Form 7-224) as members of families in which they are found; but detached whites or negroes living in Indian families should be enumerated on the schedule as members of the Indian families in which they are found. In other words, every family composed mainly of Indians should be reported entirely on this schedule, and every family composed mainly of persons not Indian should be reported entirely on the general population schedule. This schedule contains on each side twenty horizontal lines, each running twice across the page, and it is consequently possible to enumerate on it only forty persons (twenty persons on the A side and twenty persons on the B side). Each Indian should be carried through from the beginning to the end of the line on which he is entered, as line 1, line 2, etc. and each inquiry from column 1 to 38 which applies to the individual case should be answered.

Columns 1 to 28 -- These columns are identical with those on the general population schedule. Fill each column, so far as the inquiry applies in accordance with the instructions for filing the corresponding columns in the general population schedule, but note the following additional instructions in relation to filing columns 1, 2, and 19.

Columns 1 and 2 -- If you are canvassing a given territory with both the general population schedule (Form 7-224) and this schedule for Indian population, make two independent series of numbers for these columns, one series in each kind of schedule so that the last numbers on two schedules when added together will correctly give the whole number of dwellings and of families and enumerated in your entire district.

Column 19 -- If the Indian has no occupation and is wholly dependent on the Government f or support write "Ration Indian." If he is partly self-supporting and partly dependent upon the Government, write the occupation, and then the letter "R" (for ration). If the Indian is under ten years of age and receives rations, write "Under age -- R."

Column 29 -- Write the Indian name, if the person has one, in addition to the English name given in column 8. If the Indian has only one name Indian or English, repeat the name in this column.

Columns 30, 31 and 32 -- If the Indian was born in this country answers should be obtained, if possible, to inquiries 13, 14, and 15, relating to the state of birth of the person and of his or her parents. In any event secure the name of the tribe with which the person is connected and the name of the tribe of his or her parents, and enter the same in columns 30, 31, and 32.

Column 33 -- If the Indian has no white blood, write 0. If he or she has white blood, write, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, whichever fraction is nearest the truth.

Column 34 -- If the Indian man is living with more than one wife, or if the Indian woman is a plural wife or has more than one husband, write "yes" If not, write "No". If the Indian is single, leave the column blank. -- If the Indian was born in this country, no entry can be made in columns 16 , 17, or 18 but for columns 35, 36, and 37 answers must be obtained. If the Indian was born in another country, answers will be made both in columns 16, 17, and 18, and in columns 35, 36, and 37, in accordance with the facts.

Column 35 -- An Indian is to be considered "taxed" if he or she is detached from his or her tribe and living among white people as an individual, and as such subject to taxation, whether he or she actually pays taxes or not, also if he or she is living with his or her tribe but has received an allotment of land, and thereby has acquired citizenship , in either of these two cases the answer to this inquiry is "Yes". An Indian on a reservation, without an allotment, or roaming over unsettled territory, is considered "not taxed," an for such Indians the answer to this inquiry is "No".

Column 36 -- If the Indian was born in tribal relations, but has acquired American citizenship, with the year in which it was acquired. If he or she has not acquired citizenship, leave the column blank.

Column 37 -- If the Indian acquired citizenship by receiving an allotment of land from the Government, write "Yes" If he or she acquired citizenship by other means, write "No" If he or she has not acquired American citizenship leave the column blank.

Column 38 -- If the Indian is living in a tent, tepee, or other temporary structure, write "movable" If he or she is living in a permanent dwelling of any kind, write "fixed."


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