Guide to Records Relating to Native Americans
The State Archives holds population censuses taken by the state which contain information on Native Americans. In addition, there are two record series consisting specifically of Indian censuses.
A0275/A0276. State Population Census, 1915, 1925. 971 volumes.
Arrangement: geographical by county and ward. The census returns provide the following demographic information for nearly all of the State's residents: name; age; sex; color; place of birth; marital status; nationality; and profession, trade, or occupation. Earlier extant State census records for each county are maintained by the respective county clerks; the State copies were destroyed in the 1911 State Capitol fire. Microfilm copies of many county census records are available on microfilm at the New York State Library. A complete listing of available State Census records, both originals and microfilm copies, is available in: New York State Library, New York State Census Records, 1790-1925, (Bibliography Bulletin #88, Albany, 1981.)
Are available on microfilm; and online to New York State residents through Ancestry.com New York.
A1832. Population Census of Indian Reservations, 1845. 1 volume.
Arrangement: by reservation.
This series consists of population census schedules for all reservations in the State except those on Long Island. The census lists the names of heads of families and statistics on family structure and economic status for each individual and family unit. The data is largely the same as that for the state-wide census taken the same year, except that entries concerning voting, citizenship, and militia service are omitted, and additional entries are added. The new additional entries are as follows: number of acres of meadow cut; number of ploughs owned and employed; value of garden and horticultural products; lands cultivated by others--number of acres rented to white men, value received per acre for annual use, and "total avails (sic) of land rented out annually per verbal contract"; number of fruit bearing trees; value of "avails (sic) derived from the chace" (hunting); number of persons aged 80 or over; number of persons who possess no lands; number of persons from other tribes (Oneida, Cayuga, St. Regis, Tuscarora, etc.); occupation and level of education, including number of farmers who are heads of families, number of mechanics, number of "semi-literates," number of persons who have received a college or academical education, number of physicians, number of "teachers, catechists, or persons in some branch of ministerial labour," number of "interpreters & translators of the Iroquois or its dialects," number of "persons who have chosen the legal profession," number who "have studied the law"; "statistics of morality," giving number "who still adhere to their native religion," number of church members, and number of members "enrolled or pledged to temperance"; "aggregate population" (total number in family); and annuities received from U.S. and N.Y.
There are returns in this volume for the Oneida, Onondaga, Tuscarora, Buffalo, Seneca of Cattaraugus, Cayugas of Cattaraugus, Seneca of Allegheny, Tonowanda and St. Regis Reservations. At the end of the entries for each reservation is a statistical summary. Native American names and their meanings are given for the Oneida, Onondaga, and Tuscarora Reservations. The Marshall for all the reservations except the St. Regis was Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, and he includes occasional notes explaining the data.
The compilation of the census was administered by the Secretary of State's Office.
Available on microfilm and online through the Digital Collections.
A0742. Indian Census and Annuity Rolls, 1881-1950 (with gaps.) 4 cubic feet.
Arrangement: by tribe, then chronological by year.
These records were created to verify eligibility for annuity payments from the State. They provide basic vital statistics on Native Americans, both reservation residents and non-residents. An entry for each person gives home, sex, tribal group or reservation, age or date of birth, and relationship to the head of the household. Place of birth and date of death are sometimes given.
These records were compiled by the Department of Social Welfare, Office of Indian Services, or predecessor agencies.
Restrictions: Access to records less than 75 years old is restricted to protect personal privacy.