Tracing Native American heritage is often difficult and time consuming because of the way records were kept, because of the variation in the spelling of names, and because of the mobility of the population.

Black Elk Band Direct Lineal Descendants Collective Oral History Interview, May 28, 2002. Mt. Pleasant, MI: Central Michigan University, 2002.

A video recording of the Black Elk Band descendants.

Carpenter, Cecelia Swinth. How to Research American Indian Blood Lines: A Manual on Indian Genealogical Research. Orting, VA: Heritage Quest, 1987.

A seasoned researcher shares her knowledge of sources.

Gidley, Bryan and Gwen Patterson. The Penetangishene List of Drummond Islanders 1815-1828. Penetanguishene, ONT: Voyageurs into Penetanguishene, 1991.

This work attempts to gather all known sources of data on those people who lived on Drummund Island between 1815 and 1828.

Hansen, James L. "'Half–Breed’ Rolls and Fur Trade Families in the Great Lakes Region – An Introduction and Bibliography." In The Fur Trade Revisited: Selected Papers of the Sixth North American Fur Trade Conference, Mackinac Island, Michigan, 1991. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press, 1994. 161-169.

Records relating to payments from the United States government to the mixed bloods of various Midwestern tribes.

Lantz, Raymond. Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan, 1855-1868. Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 1993.

Information is transcribed from Bureau of Indians Affairs Records. The following rolls are included: 1855 Ottawa and Chippewa Annuity Roll; 1857 Swan Creek and Black River Per Capita Roll; 1857 Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa Annuity Roll; 1857 Grand River Ottawa Annuity Roll; 1858 Swan Creek and Black River Per Capita Roll; 1859 Grand River Ottawa Annuity Roll; 1860 Ottawa and Chippewa Goods and Supplies; 1864 Grand River Ottawa Annuity Roll; 1865 Saginaw, Swan Creek, Black River Chippewa Annuity Roll; and 1868 Ottawa and Chippewa Annuity Roll.

Lantz, Raymond. Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan, 1870-1909. Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 1991.

Information is transcribed from the Bureau of Indian Affairs records. The following rolls are included: 1870 Census and Annuity Payment Records of the Grand River, Mackinac, Sault Ste. Marie and Traverse Bands of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians in Michigan as enumerated by James H. Long; Census of those Persons enumerated in the 1870 Census and all their Known Descendants Found Living on March 4, 1907 as taken by Horace B. Durant; and A Census of all the Children Born after March 4, 1907 and Prior to August 1, 1908 as Enumerated by Horace B. Durant.

Lantz, Raymond. The Potawatomie Indians of Michigan, 1843-1866 and Potawatomi of Indiana, 1869 and 1885. Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 1992.

Records taken from the Bureau of Affairs records. Included here are: 1843 Ottawa, Chippewa and Pottawatomi of Michigan Annuity Roll; 1844, 1845, 1846, 1847, 1848,1849, 1850, 1851, 1852, 1853, 1854, 1855, 1856, 1857, 1858, 1858, 1860, 1861, 1862, 1863, 1864, 1865, 1866, 1874, 1875, 1876, 1877, 1878, 1879, 1880, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1887, 1888, 1889, 1895 Potawatomi of Huron Annunity Roll; 1869 Potawatomi of Indiana and Michigan Annuity Roll; and 1895 Potwatomie of Indiana and Michigan Census.

Snow Flower. My Family Tells This Story. Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 1999.

Native American family history experienced researcher shares information.

Totems and Trees.

Treaties of 1817 and 1819 between the Chippewa nation and the United States of America, along with a genealogy of tribal members and a brief account of the Taymouth Methodist Indian mission. Photocopy.

United States. Secretary of the Interior. Chippewa Half-Breeds of Lake Superior Relative to Issuance of Scrip to the Half Breeds or Mixed-Blood Belonging to the Chippewas of Lake Superior. Washington, DC: GPO, 1871.

Lists who received scrip for eighty acres and where the land was located.

Weaver, Margaret Curtiss. The Descendants of John Johnston and Oshauguscodaywayquay of Sault Ste. Marie‚Äč, Michigan. Unpublished, 1992.

Genealogical charts.


Brown, Edward Osgood. "Parish Register at Michilimackinac." Magazine of Western History 11 (November 1889): 74-81; 11 (December 1889): 119-134.

The register and the clues it offers for the history of the people in the area.

"A Descendant of Waubojeeg: Genealogical Record." Family Trails 2 (Fall 1969): 39.
A genealogical chart from 1747 to 1931.

Ennes, Calvin. "Saganing Names." Family Trails 2 (Fall 1969): 32-38.

General index of names of the Saganing.

Handa, Karrie. "Genealogy: Robert Wheaton." Memory Lane Gazette (June 1992): 3.

Wheaton, a Chippewa, was born in 1937 in Taymouth Township.

"Indian Cemeteries: Saganing Indian Church and Cemetery, Pinconning Township." Chips and Ships (Bay County Genealogical Society) 9 (Spring 1978): 57-58.

Location of the cemetery and list of names on headstones. Most graves are unmarked.

"Indians Residing in Wayland Township, Allegan County, Michigan 1860 and 1870." Michigana 29 (September 1984): 108-109. Listing compiled from the United States Census.

"Mackinac Register." Wisconsin Historical Collections 18 (1908): 469-513.1725-1821 Register of Marriages in the Parish of Michilimackinac.

"Mackinac Register." Wisconsin Historical Collections 19 (1910): 1-160.

1695 - 1821 Register of Baptisms at the Mission of St. Ignace de Michilimackinac; 1787 Register of Marriages; 1743-1806 Register of Interments; 1787-1821 Miscellaneous Notes in the Register.

Pilling, Arnold R. "Genealogy, Anthropology, and American Indian Family History." Family Trails 2 (Fall 1969): 1-23.

How to trace American Indian ancestry.

"The Pinery Indian Cemetery." Above the Bridge 9 (Fall 1993): 22-23.

A Chippewa Indian cemetery started about 1840.

Quimby, George I. "Some Notes on Kinship and Kinship Terminology Among the Potawatomi of the Huron." Papers of the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters 25 (1939): 553-566.

Data obtained from five informants in Calhoun County, Michigan.

"Riverton Indian Church Register: Baptisms." Family Trails 2 (Fall 1969): 26-37. A listing of people baptized in 1858.

Sawyer, Evelyn. "Searching the Indian Rolls." Michigana 44 (June 1998): 55-63.

The Griswold list and the Taggart list are transcribed here.

Seltzer, Donna Johnston. "The Johnston Family." Totem Pole 26 (January 1, 1951): 1-4.

A member of the John Johnston family tells of descendants.

"Sources for Indian Genealogy in Michigan." Family Trails 2 (Fall 1969): 24-25.

A basic listing of sources.

Mulder, James H. "Kent County Indian Deeds." Michigana‚Äč 33 (Summer 1988): 43-46; 33 (September 1988): 88-93; 33 (December 1988): 145-150.

Compilation of all the Indian deeds recorded in Kent County.

Weslager, C. A. "Enrollment List of Chippewa and Delaware Munsies Living in Franklin County, Kansas, May 31, 1900." Kansas Historical Quarterly (Summer, 1974): 234-40. Note: uncataloged.


American Fur Company (part of "Sault Ste. Marie Collection"). Records, 1810-1848. Annuity List for Indians of Michigan, 1846.

Includes Sault Ste. Marie, Grand Island, & Wardick's Bands. Note: reel contains other, unrelated material as well.

Ancien Registre des Baptemes Administres dan le Parroise de Michilimackinac Commence le 25 d'Avril, 1695 and Ancien Registre des mariages faits dans le Parosse de Michilimackinac Commence de l du mois d'Avril, 1725.

Baptisms and marriages at Michilimackinac from 1695 to 1821. 1 reel of microfilm. Note: uncataloged.

Annuity Roll, Sault Ste. Marie, 1857. Mark Keller Collection.

Bay Mills School. Census 1909-1911, 1912-1918. Washington, DC: National Archives. 1 reel of microfilm.

Chiefs & Headmen of Chippewa of the Saginaw, Swan Creek, & Black River Bands. Letter to the Department of the Interior, 1871.

Includes names of twenty signatories. Found in Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-81, Mackinac Agency, 1870-71, roll 409, frames 896-898.

Clifton, James A. Native American Research Collection, 1806-2001.

Largely documents the Potawatomi, Ottawa, and Ojibwe tribes, mainly in Michigan & Kansas, but also in Wisconsin and Canada, and includes scattered genealogical material. This collection is very extensive, so researchers should consult the finding aid to locate items of particular interest. 19 boxes, 19 card boxes, 2 oversized folders.

Death Records of Isabella County Indians from Records of the North Branch Church, Isabella County, Michigan. 1860. Compiled by Russell Bennett from records kept by Little Jim Jackson. 1 folder.

Densmore, Connie. United Methodist Episcopal Church Mission Records, 1844-1866.

Densmore transcribed these records from the original in the Clarke Historical Library for an English 638 class, spring 1999. The records provide a historical account of the mission and missionaries, minutes of conferences, 1852-1866, list of various bands (Nottawa, Ottawa, Nebenesse, Ma Ske Yah She, Hasting, Coleman Lake, Chippewa, and Swan Lake bands), and names of attendees spelled phonetically in "Indian" and English. 1 folder.

Donaldson, James. Indian Settlement, Oscoda Township, Iosco County, & Mikado Township, Alcona County, Michigan: A Record of Associated Native American Families & Individuals on the Lake Huron Shore.

Includes a list of Indian people in these settlements.

Fancher, Isaac A. Letter to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, July 10 th, 1871. List of Indians entitled to land in Isabella County, Michigan. Found in Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-81, Mackinac Agency, 1870-71, roll 409, frames 586-588.

Gruett, Philip. Indian Family History Collection, 1868.

This record contains the names, ages, relationships of, and remarks concerning Michigan Indians including individuals from the Isabella County Indian mission. 1 reel microfilm, 1 book. (This resource can also be found in full-text on the Clarke website.)

Indian (Chippewa and Potawatomi Indians) Census Rolls 1885-1940. Washington, DC: National Archives. Supplements to the 1936-40 rolls.

Wisconsin Sub-agency: Bad River, Crandon, Hannahville, Lac du Flambeau, Lac Courte Oreilles, Mole Lake, Red River. 2 reels of microfilm.

Indian Census Rolls: Mackinac...1902-03, 1910, 1915-1927. Includes the Indians living at L'Anse, View Desert, Lake Linden, Baraga, Ontonagon, and Lake Vieux de Sort. 1 reel of microfilm.

Isabella County. List of Indian Lands: Isabella County, Michigan... ("Allen List"). List of Indian lands selected and names of Chippewa Indians of Saginaw, Swan Creek, and Black River in Michigan entitled to allotment. Prepared by Edward P. Allen, U. S. Indian Agent. Copied from the original records of the Register of Deeds, Isabella County, 1882. 1 volume.

There is also a user copy at the Reference Desk

Isabella County. Miscellaneous Record Book.

Michigan Native American records of Isabella County, including Native American family records of original land allottees, power of attorney, family genealogy, and abstract records of Isabella County, 1862-1901. 1 reel of microfilm, 1 volume.

Isabella Indian Mission, 1841-1908.

Record of the Methodist Episcopal Church, with a brief history and church records. 1 reel microfilm/1 volume.

L'Arbre Croche Catholic Mission. Mission Records, 1831-1879.

Includes birth, death, marriage, & baptismal records. Note that much of the material is faint & difficult to read, & very little is in English. 1 reel microfilm. Note: uncataloged.

Methodist Episcopal Church Mission. Record Book, 1844-1866.

These records provide a historical account of the mission and missionaries, minutes of conferences, 1852-1866, list of various bands (Nottawa, Ottawa, Nebenesse, Ma Ske Yah She, Hasting, Coleman Lake, Chippewa, and Swan Lake bands), and names of attendees spelled phonetically in "Indian" and English. (The Clarke Library also owns a transcribed copy of this manuscript; see "Densmore, Connie," above). 2 volumes.

Mount PleasantIndian School Collection, 2002.

Includes lists of students who attended the Mt. Pleasant Indian Industrial School, copied from National Archives records. Note: these are not complete listings. 1 folder.

Petoskey, Warren F., & Ella Petoskey. Correspondence, 1928, 1959-1960.

Includes information concerning land claims of his family & other Ottawa Indians in Michigan, & a Petoskey family genealogy sketch dated 1928. 1 folder.

Probate Court Records or "350 Files" of the Saginaw Chippewa. Washington, DC: National Archives (copies).

Mark Keller Collection. Includes information on familial relationships.

Rodd, Charles H. Land List: Chippewa of Saginaw, Swan Creek, and Black River, 1855.

Land list completed by Rodd in 1855 according to Article 6 of the 1855 Treaty. The list includes nine chiefs and their bands of the Saginaw, Swan Creek, and Black River Chippewa Indians with names of individuals spelled phonetically, and property measurements in degrees. 1 folder.

Rosebush Charge Methodist Episcopal Church. Church Record Book, 1910, 1931.

Includes lists of membership, marriages, baptisms. 1 oversize volume.

Tomah Michigan Indian Census Rolls, 1938.

1.) Census of the Saginaw Chippewa reservation taken in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan in October of 1938 by Peru Farver.

2.) Revised roll of members of the Saginaw Indian Tribe of Mt. Pleasant, 1939. 1 folder.

Tract Books, Michigan. Washington, DC: GPO, 1956.

The tract books list who owned the land first. Organized by county. (Reel 4 covers Isabella County). 23 reels of microfilm.

United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs: Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan Annuity Pay Rolls, 1810, 1870, and 1910. Washington, DC: National Archives, 1977.

(The copy held by the Clarke Library does not include 1810.) Covers the Grand River, Traverse, Sault Ste. Marie, & Mackinac Bands. 2 reels of microfilm.

United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs: Potawatomie Indian Enrollment Records, 1895-1896.

1.) 1895 Cadman Payroll

2.) 1904 Taggart Roll. 1 reel of microfilm.

United States. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Schedule of Enrollment of All the Members of the United Band of Chippewa & Munsee or Christian Indians, in Kansas, 1900.

Enrollment information for bands relocated from Michigan to Kansas. Includes name of tribal member, age, sex, names of parents, name of tribe, & associated notes. 1 folder.

United States. Census Bureau. Census Rolls.

All the federal censuses (taken every ten years) have included Native Americans, but those taken in 1900 and 1910 have a Special Census of Native Americans which includes Indian name, white name, household, occupation, and age. This is especially useful for Native American family research. The Clarke Historical Library has all the census rolls for the State of Michigan from 1820 to 1930. These are located in the microfilm cabinets in the Reading Room.

United States. Commission on Indian Affairs. Durant Roll; Correspondence, Field Notes, and the Census Rolls of all Members or Descendants of Members Who Were on the Roll of the Ottawa and the Chippewa Tribes of Michigan in 1870, and Living on March 4, 1907.

Washington, DC: National Archives, 1996. Census roll of Michigan Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. Covers Sault Ste. Marie, Mackinac, Little Traverse, Grand Traverse, and Grand River bands. Field notes consist of Durant's preprinted worksheets on which he recorded: head of family, name of wife or husband, name of children and grandchildren, and any additional information concerning the family. 4 reels of microfilm. (See also published version transcribed by Raymond Lantz.)

United States. General Land Office. Land Grant Certificates and Patents Collection, 1802-1896.

Includes land grant certificates for Chippewa Indians who were members of the Saginaw, Swan Creek, & Black River bands.

United States. Office of Indian Affairs. Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1881.

Reel 414 contains a schedule of land allotments to Chippewa Indians of Lake Superior, Wisconsin sub-agency ( Bad River, La Pointe Reservations). This reel also includes an 1878 petition signed by residents of the Isabella Indian Reservation which includes many names. 1 reel microfilm.

United States. Office of Indian Affairs. Commissary General of Subsistence. Selected Muster Rolls Relating to Potawatomi & Ottawa Emigration.

Census rolls of individuals who had been, or were about to be, moved west of the Mississippi River, 1833-36. 1 reel microfilm. Note: uncataloged.