The Cherokee people began migrating west to Indian Territory as early as 1817. These early migrations were voluntary. These early migrant Cherokee were called Old Settlers.
The Old Settlers were any Cherokee living in Indian Territory prior to the forced migration known as the Trail of Tears, which took place in 1838-1839. With the Trail of Tears, the the majority of the Cherokee Nation was forced west to join the Old Settler Cherokee in Indian Territory.
In 1851, the Old Settler Roll was taken of those Cherokees who were Old Settlers in 1839 and still living in 1851.
Elements of the Old Settler Roll:
Last Name – the last name of an enrolled individuals. In cases where only one name is given, it is listed here.
Family Number – Each family who enrolled was given a Family Number. The numbers start a recount within each district, so there will be a family #1 in Tahlequah as well as a #1 family in Flint.
Location – the name of the Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory district where the enrolled individual was living at the time of enrollment. Individuals who were living outside the Cherokee Nation at the time are listed as “Non-Resident.”
Please enter at least three characters of the persons first or last name to search the roll.