The 1924 Baker Roll is one of the best sources for Cherokee genealogy, and is the basis for membership in the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians today. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is one of three Cherokee tribes or bands recognized by the U.S. government. Applications for inclusion on the Baker Roll contain a wealth of family history information, even for those who were rejected. It seems there was some confusion about who could be included, and so many applied who probably shouldn’t have. This was bad news for the government agents taking the applications, but good news for Cherokee family historians! And, many of the applications were rejected, not because the applicants couldn’t show Cherokee ancestry, but because they had no association with the band living in North Carolina. This makes the Baker Roll a definite “go to” source if you had a Cherokee ancestor living in the southeastern United States in 1924.
Information Found on the 1924 Baker Roll
Information requested on the application is shown below, and from it should be easily seen why the Baker Roll is so important to Eastern Cherokee genealogy:
*current name and name prior to marriage,
*age and birth place,
*places of residence,
*degree of Eastern Cherokee blood,
*name and relationship of Cherokee ancestor,
*applicants’ descent from the ancestor,
*both parents’ names, date of marriage, and residences,
*all four grandparents’ names, including maiden names,
*other relatives who were previously enrolled,
*spouse’s name, and names/ages of children.
The 1924 Baker Roll can be found on microfilm at the National Archives branch in Morrow, Georgia; or online at the paid site Ancestry.com. If your ancestor is on the roll itself, then you are eligible for membership, but there may be other requirements to meet. Follow this link for more information about The Eastern Band of Cherokee. If your ancestor is not on the roll, then she still may have applied. Check the applications which are in alphabetical order.
Other Cherokee Rolls
If you still can’t locate your ancestor, don’t give up – he may be found on an earlier Cherokee roll. Another good source of Cherokee genealogy is the Guion Miller Roll of 1909. This roll includes both eastern and western Cherokees, and like Baker, includes the applications with information similar to Baker applications. The Miller Roll includes separate indexes for eastern and western Cherokees, so make sure your check both. Other rolls dealing with the eastern Cherokee include the Hester Roll of 1883 and the Chapman Roll of 1852. You must have a Cherokee ancestor living during the times of these rolls to have a chance of finding her there.
If you think your ancestor may have been associated with the western Cherokees (Oklahoma), then he may have been enrolled on the Dawes Roll of 1898-1914. This roll is the basis for membership in the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, another federally-recognized Cherokee tribe or band. Follow this link for more information on the Cherokee Nation. A final Cherokee tribe recognized by the U.S. government is the United Keetoowah Band, also based in Oklahoma. The 1949 Base Roll is the basis for membership in this group. To view this roll, and for more information, go to the UKB website.
DeepRootsInTheSouth has access to all of the rolls mentioned above, and we would be happy to help you with your Cherokee family history.