Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Guion Miller Roll

The 1906 to 1909 "Roll of the Eastern Cherokees" is better known as The Guion Miller Roll. It was created as a result of a successful lawsuit filed by three groups of Cherokees who had not been paid all of the money due them as a result of the 1835 Treaty of New Echota which resulted in the forcible removal of the Cherokees and the infamous Trail of Tears.

The Guion Miller Roll is the most important source of Cherokee genealogical research of any of the rolls, because the application required extensive information to be supplied by the applicant. Between August 27, 1906 and May 18, 1909 there were 45,940 applications filed from the United States, Canada, Mexico and even Syria. It listed an estimated 90,000 individual applicants. Each qualifying applicant received a warrant worth $133.33 for their share of the one-time payment due to them. In order for an application to be accepted on this roll, the applicant had to prove descent from a person who was shown on the 1835 roll of Eastern Cherokees (also known as The Henderson Roll), which listed the citizenship of the tribe at that time.

Most applicants were rejected (and acceptance in and of itself does not prove Cherokee ancestry), but accepted or not, these applications provide a wealth of genealogical data.

For a searchable, and easy to use, version of the Index: Click Here.

Take note of the page and application numbers. With these numbers, copies of the applications themselves can be ordered from the National Archives.

To begin the ordering process: Click Here.

Note: Navigating the National Archives site is not easy and the ordering process is not easy and registration will be required.

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