Ancestry.com Will Rogers - Dawes Rolls
Will Rogers' Dawes Rolls application dated Oct. 22, 1900 National Archives at Fort Worth / Ancestry.com

See Will Rogers' Original Application for Enrollment in the Cherokee Nation

Nov 03, 2014

The actor and humorist Will Rogers is one of the most well-known Native American celebrities in history, but even famous people have to fill out government forms. The above image — roll over to zoom in on a desktop computer; if you're viewing in mobile, click — is a Dawes Roll application filled out by Rogers and his family and filed on Oct. 22, 1900. The Dawes Rolls (officially, the "Final Rolls of the Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory") were the lists of citizens officially counted as members of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole tribes; Rogers' application as a member of the Cherokee Nation was accepted on Aug. 17, 1903.

The original document is held at the National Archives at Fort Worth, Tex., and had been available searchable via the National Archives or the Oklahoma Historical Society; on Monday, a new scan is available online — along with more than 10 million other records from more than 500 tribes — as part of a new project between those two organizations and Ancestry.com.

Read TIME's 1926 cover story about Will Rogers, here in the archives: Prairie Pantaloon

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