In a press release today, Ancestry.com announced the launch of its U.S. Indian Census Schedules, 1885-1940, containing more than 7.5 million names in U.S. Indian Censuses, the largest online collection of Native American family history records. Taken by the Bureau of Indian affairs, the censuses document some 150 years of Native American family history. These censuses create an intimate portrait of individuals living on all registered Indian reservations between 1885 and the 1940s.
The U.S. Indian Censuses are among the most important documents for tracing Native American family history -- as well as the place to for anyone with Native American ancestry to begin searching for their heritage. Representing more than 250 tribes from some 275 reservations, schools and hospitals across the United States, the censuses typically recorded names, including Indian names, ages, birthdates, tribe, reservation and more.
"The stories contained in these censuses will help Native Americans preserve their tradition-rich personal and cultural identity," says Megan Smolenyak, chief family historian for Ancestry.com. "Crossing tribal and reservation boundaries, these censuses tell personal stories of Native Americans living on reservations across the United States. In them we find influential Native Americans who led their people along side those whose stories are still waiting to be told."