Found A Roll Number! Now What???

Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory Research
Part of the OKGenWeb Project

Found A Roll Number!
Now What???

So you've done all your homework, found all the vital records and information.

You have collected all the legal primary sources and have legal copies of births and deaths from state vital records office. Checked the rolls for each person/persons and have found their roll number/numbers.  But your work and waiting still isn't to an end, your half way here now.

You have been through the Rolls and found a name that indicates to you that a person listed is your family. What you will find on these rolls will have the following information that will look something like this:

In order this information is: Roll Number, Name, Age, Sex, Blood Degree and Census Card Number.

695  Williams, Lula Pearl  1  F  1-4  727 

(Copy this information carefully! Along with the Tribe and the Category - by blood, minor, rejected, freedmen, etc.)

With this information you can now send for the Dawes Case File on that person, and hopefully be able to verify that they are your ancestor.  You Must Have All of the enrollment information to obtain a Dawes Case File.

The following is from the National Archives:

Dawes Case Files:
To request copies of a Dawes case file, indicate that the case is a Dawes Enrollment Jacket. You MUST provide the name of the enrollee, the tribe, the category ("by blood", "minor", "rejected", "freedmen", etc.), enrollment number (if applicable). and census card number.

Request without this information can not be processed. Copies cost $10 per census card number up to 20 pages and $0.50 per page thereafter. Payment can be made by check, money order, or credit card. Do not send cash. Payment must be exact, so credit card payments generally are the most convenient.

Please make your requests in writing. Request are accepted via fax, or regular mail, 
An appointment is strongly recommended to view these case files. Within the United States, overnight deliver is available for an extra $4.00 (price subject to change). Please state in your request that you would like this feature and provide your street address and phone number. Please NOTE: No P. O. Box numbers are accepted.

General Information:
National Archives - Southwest Region (Fort Worth)
Building 1, Dock1
501 West Felix Street
Fort Worth, TX 76115
Phone: 817-334-5525
Fax: 817-334-5621

Once you have received the Dawes Case File, and are positive that this person is of your family, next step is to apply for your CDIB Card:

Sending for you Application for a CDIB (Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood) Card, or White Card as it is often called. CDIB card certifies your degree of Indian blood (blood quantum) and the tribe you are affiliated with. You have to have a CDIB card issued to you before you can apply for membership to a tribe. Sending for you application:

Cherokee Nation
P. O. Box 948
Tahlequah, OK 73365-0948

When you receive your application there will be a letter of information, letter of instructions and 4 pages of application that will need to be filled out in INK. I would suggest making a copy of the 4 page application and fill it out first and double check that everything is correct. Then fill out the application in INK and double check your information again. It is important for you to make sure all information is correct, so checking the information several times is not a waste of time. Keeping in mind that all incomplete applications will be returned to you.

Important Items to Remember for Application for CDIB Card:

1. Roll Numbers have to be from the Final Rolls Of Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes.

2. CDIB Applications Submitted "Without" Roll Number Information Will Be Returned To You.

3. Birth Records: State Certified, Full Image/Photocopy Of The Original Birth Record from the State Vital Statistics Office signed by the State Registrar, embossed with the State Seal, and bearing a State file number. Or, attach your state certified, full image/Photocopy of the Delayed Certificate Of Birth. Absolutely NO OTHER TYPE OF COPY WILL BE ACCEPTED.

CAUTION: Some birth records are issued by the hospital, city and county and may be computer generated, abstracted or transcribed. These records are NOT acceptable. You will need to order the record directly from the State Vital Statistics Office and specifically request a STATE CERTIFIED, FULL IMAGE OF THE ORIGINAL BIRTH RECORD. 

If attaching a Delayed Certificate of Birth, a Affidavit of Personal Knowledge and Memory is required. Anyone, but the person whose name appears on the Delayed Certificate of Birth, who is 18 years old or older and who knows the facts to be true, may sign the affidavit before a Notary Public.

4. Submit State certified, full image/photocopy of the original birth and/or death record(s) of your Non-enrolled Ancestor(s) through whom you are tracing. NO XEROX COPIES excepted.

Example: You found the roll number for your great great grandfather, you will need copies of birth or death records for your great grandfather, your grandfather, your father, and yourself.

5. Probate records, signed by a probate judge and showing the Final Determination of Heirs  can be used in place of a state certified, full image/photocopy of the original birth record. This document must clearly define relationships. As additional document, showing the date of birth of the individual who does not have a birth record, must be submitted with the probate record.

6. If your enrolled ancestor died After 1962, the State Certified Full Image/Photocopy of the Original Death Record must be submitted. No Xerox Copies. If your enrolled ancestor is living, he/she must sign an Affidavit of Personal Knowledge, attesting to the fact that he/she is the natural parent of your non-enrolled ancestor.

Processing the application will take four (4) to eight (8) weeks. Upon the issuance of your CDIB card,  you can apply for your Tribal Membership.

NOTE:  Notice that all requested documentation is from your Genealogy Primary Sources.

The information on this page was from the instruction sheet that comes with the application and is just a brief outline listing the items of importance needed from your genealogical research from Primary Source. And the National Archives.

Always keep in mind that there is no guarantee that you will receive you tribal membership. And that it is  guaranteed that if you did not obtain all of the primary sources needed and required to apply for membership, you most likely will not receive tribal membership. Primary Sources Are A Very Important Part Of Native American Research.

If you have the roll number you're half way there. All you need in order to apply for a CDIB card are acceptable legal documents that connect you to an ancestor who is listed with a roll number and blood degree on the Dawes Roll and your birth certificate. Once you have submitted this information they will approve or deny your claim. If your claim is approved you will receive your CDIB (white card). Now you are eligible to apply for membership to the Cherokee Nation (which comes in the form of a blue card).

You can apply for your CDIB and membership card through the Cherokee Nation. You will need to contact the Cherokee Nation Tribal Registration office for more information about what to send and where to send it. You can learn all about the registration process at their website: Cherokee Nation Tribal Registration. Or you can contact them via mail at:

Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
P.O. Box 948
Tahlequah, OK 74465
(918) 456-0671 
Fax (918) 456-6485


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