Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cherokee Genealogy - Part 2

Probably the most valuable sources of genealogical information for your Cherokee ancestors are the Eastern Cherokee Applications, better known as the Guion Miller Roll. The applications consisted of at least four pages of family information as well as other documents, including some marriage records. Included in the four pages of information might be:

  • date and place of birth of the applicant;
  • name of spouse, if married;
  • parents' English and Indian names;
  • parents' date of death;
  • place applicant or parents were living in 1851;
  • other rolls applicant or parents were listed on;
  • names, date of birth, date of death of the applicant's siblings;
  • English and Indian names of applicant's grandparents;
  • birthplaces of grandparents;
  • the English and Indian names of the grandparents' children;
  • sometimes the names of the applicant's children.

It is important to pay attention to the names and relationships of the people the applicant makes their claims through because these names could give clues to relationships not found anywhere else. Also, on the card at the beginning of the packet that says whether the applicant was accepted or rejected, there is usually a note telling who the applicant claimed through.
If the note on the card says, "Applicant's father enrolled by Drennen 1851 Del 188", that means the father of the applicant was living in Delaware District, Group 188 on the 1851 Drennen Roll.

Sometimes the next card in the application might say "grouped with" followed by several other numbers.
These are the numbers of other Guion Miller applications. You should look at each application in the "grouped with" list. Those applications may offer additional information on your family. Maybe your ancestor did not know the name of his grandfather, but his brother did. Maybe one sibling listed the Indian name of someone and the other sibling listed the English name. You never know exactly what you can learn from looking at all of the applications that are grouped together. On one application for a family member of mine, I found fourteen other applications that were grouped with it. Simply by knowing everyone who had claimed through my ggg grandfather, I was able to add several more branches to my family tree. I was also able to determine that everyone with his surname, listed at the time of Dawes as a full blood, was a descendant of his.

There are free index searches for the Guion Miller Roll on the internet, but none offer anything other than a name and number. There is no way to know if this is your ancestor or if they were accepted or rejected from these indexes. In order to get that information, you must have access to the application. I will do FREE Miller application lookups for anyone who requests one. Click the free lookup link in the side bar of this page and leave a query for the ancestor you are researching.

For additional information on the Guion Miller Roll, please see this page. From time to time, I will list additional resources to search for Cherokee family history and genealogical information so check back often for my future posts.

Those are my thoughts for the day.
Thank you for reading.

The Granddaughter


  1. This is such helpful information.
    I found an acestor listed by a different name on a Miller Application that knowcked down one of my brick walls.
    Thank you

  2. I am glad you were able to knock down a brick wall in your ancestry search! It always feels great to do that, doesn't it?

  3. I found several applications for the individuals I am researching but it states "Rejected" but I have no clue as to why? Researching Native American Records and proving heritage is a new field for me. How do I find out why they were rejected? Thanks

  4. Cheryl,
    Usually, I have found in applications that were rejected, there is a letter that specifically tells why the applicants were rejected.

    If you would like, I can take a look at the applications you have reviewed and see what explanation is given.

    I just need to know the name and application number.



Your comments are welcome!