Kinsearching May 22, 2011




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Although several works useful to family researchers have been compiled about the Cherokee and the Chickasaw, little has been published about other tribes. Jeff Bowen adds to the field of Native American genealogical literature with his latest book, COMPLETE DELAWARE ROLL OF 1898. Interestingly, the Delaware and the Cherokee eventually became closely connected in what is now the Sooner State.

     As pioneers spread westward into the interior of the North American continent, the population of the United States pressured the various Indian peoples to abandon their homelands. Originally residing in parts of Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, the Delaware (who called themselves “Lenape”) had migrated to eastern Kansas by 1829. Tribal remnants moved another eight times before finally settling in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) in 1867. From the Cherokee Nation, they acquired 157,000 acres—enough land to allocate 160 acres to each of the approximately 1,000 individuals who had made the trek.

     The terms of the land transfer appear in an 1866/1867 treaty between the U. S. government and the Delaware, who believed their purchase of the land also granted them citizenship, which could be inherited, in the Cherokee Nation. Over the next generation, leaders of the Delaware and the Cherokee engaged in a dispute over the “permanence” of the purchase. The Cherokees contended that the Delaware had only bought the right to live on the property during a person’s lifetime; when that individual died, the land reverted back to the Cherokee Nation. Eventually, the case was settled on 23 February 1904 by the U. S. Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of the Cherokees.

     Used as evidence in the court case, the 1898 roll provides the names of the nearly 1,000 Delaware claimants and furnishes such information as whether they are living or dead; the names of family members and their relationship to the claimant; and their ages. Recurring surnames include ADAMS, ANDERSON, ARMSTRONG, BARKER, BEAVER, BUFFALO, BULLETTE/BULLIT, CONNOR, EVERETT, HALFMOON, HOFF, JOURNEYCAKE, KETCHUM, LONGBONE, LOVE, MILLER, NEWCOMB, PARKER, SARCOXIE, SECONDINE, TANNER, WASHINGTON, WHITETURKEY, WILSON, and ZEIGLER/ZIGLER.

     With the publication of this book, Bowen has brought attention to a lesser-known tribe and made the data more accessible to family researchers. A copy of COMPLETE DELAWARE ROLL OF 1898 will be a valuable addition to Native American genealogical collections.

     The 120-page publication has soft covers, an introduction, an verbatim reproduction of the 1866 treaty with the Delaware, and a full name index. To the book's price of $17.95, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $5.50 for one book and $2.50 for each additional copy; for FedEx ground service, the cost is $7.50 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume (item order #9631) may be purchased by check, money order, MasterCard, or Visa from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211-1953. For phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

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