How to Register or Get your CDIB Card

This is based on the fact that the person providing the following information was born in 1940, for younger individual you will need additional generations.

Here is a short check list you might want to look over before submitting your papers. It is a guide to help you, help them!!  When I say you need birth, death and marriage certificates these need to be Official state certified records – not copies.

  1. Your full name, address, telephone number and birth certificate, and marriage certificate.  (born 1940)
  2. Completed application form (downloadable from the BIA website) for CDIB card. Certificate of Degree of Indian or Alaska Native Blood. You may also obtain the form by writing an area office for a copy.
    1. For Cherokee Nation, From the Cherokee Nation.
    2. For Choctaw, From the Choctaw Nation
    3. For Chickasaw, From the Chickasaw Nation
    4. For Creek, From the Creek Nation
    5. For Seminole, From the Seminole Nation
  3. Your parents full name, birth, death, and marriage certificate for both of them.  (You need both, after all they are your parents, so you need both of them to prove who you are, even if the Native American heritage is only on one side.) (born 1915-1921)
    1. Some kind of proof where this family lived for the past 50 years. (This isn’t necessary but helpful.)
    2. Review our How to Search and South East Native American Research pages.
    3. Tribal roll records
    4. Final Rolls (They had to be living in Oklahoma in 1914 to be on the Dawes Rolls)
    5. A list of rolls that may be of assistance during this time period. You will need to know which tribe.
      1. Kern Clifton Roll ~ 1897
      2. Churchill Roll ~ 1908
      3. Guion Miller Roll ~ 1909
      4. Baker Roll ~ 1924 (For Eastern Cherokee, must prove relationship to person on this roll)
    6. Indian Census Records, wills, property ownership
  4. Your grand parents full name, birth death and marriages certificates for both of them. (born 1890-1895) Now the research becomes harder!!  In many states there was no birth, death and marriage registration prior to 1900.  You can use tribal roll records, census records, probate records, baptism records.  Again you will need to know where these people lived and census records are your best source.  Except for Native Americans, who hid, lied, and avoided the census taker all together.
    1. Final Rolls (Dawes) These will not be of any use to your unless your family was living in Oklahoma between 1898-1914.
    2. Final Rolls Census packets.  If you know your family was in Oklahoma and you can find them on the Dawes Roll, by all means, send for the census packet.  This packet can contain additional information on your direct ancestor and related ancestors.  It also may tell you no more than you presently know.  Census packet how to order.
    3. A list of rolls that may be of assistance during this time period. You will need to know which tribe.
      1. Index to Final Roll ~ 1889~1914
      2. McKennon Roll ~ 1889
      3. Wallace Roll ~ 1890
  5. Your great grandparents full name, birth death and marriage certificates for both. (born 1865-1870)
    1. A list of rolls that may be of assistance during this time period. You will need to know which tribe.
      1. Swetland Roll ~ 1869
      2. Hester Roll ~ 1883
    2. Indian Census Records, by all means try the census, you never know what you will find.
  6. Your great great grandparents, full name, birth, death and marriage certificates for both. (born 1845-1850)
    1. A list of rolls that may be of assistance during this time period. You will need to know which tribe.
      1. Mullay Roll ~ 1848
      2. Chapman Roll ~ 1851
      3. Old Settler Roll ~ 1851
      4. Siler Roll ~ 1852
      5. Drennen Roll ~ 1852
      6. Cooper Roll ~ 1855
    2. Indian Census Records.
  7. Your great great great grandparents, full name, birth, death and marriage certificates for both. (born 1825-1830)
    1. A list of rolls that may be of assistance during this time period. You will need to know which tribe.
      1. Reservation Roll ~ 1817
      2. Emigration Roll ~ 1817~1835
    2. Indian Census Records
  8. If you are still researching at this point, then you are doing it for your own personal satisfaction, that you are Native American, and there should be more people like you!!  At this point unless your family intermarried with another Native American you are only 1/128, this is not a high enough blood quantum to be excepted by many tribes.

Good luck and let us know if these pages helped you in your research.


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41 thoughts on “How to Register or Get your CDIB Card”

    1. my grandmother has a dawes roll number how can I get my grandchildren a roll numbers are there forms to fill out I cant find it thanks

  1. Wife father was Cherokee but not sure how or if he was on rolls. Sister in law had her two children cared for by indian health so we cannot talk to either since passed how would we get info to see if his parents were on rolls.

  2. I am interested in the process of registering and obtaining a CDIB card but I am wondering if based on this information gotten from if it would be worth my while or that I really even have a claim. The Family History of Alan John Jepsen Gary Edward Jepsen Susan Louise Jepsen Nancy Ann Jepsen

    Updated March 2016

    – 2 –

    Our Jepsen history can be traced as far back as our 2nd Great Grandfather, Johann “John” Jepsen [b. 01/1816, d. 1878], who was born in January 1816 in Germany. He married Elisbeth Geb Petersen [b. 1817, d. 1865], who was born in 1817. Together they had seven sons, all born in Jagel, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. The seven sons were August Jepsen [], Hans Jepsen [], Henry Jepsen [], Johann Jepsen [], Peter Friedrich Jepsen [b. 01/18/1847, d. 1918], Jürgen Fred Jepsen [b. 1849, d. 1921], who would become our Great Grandfather and Fred Jepsen [b. 10/06/1854, d. 1928]. His wife died at the age of 48. In 1872, when “John” was 56, he and some of his sons, along with a wave of others, immigrated to the United States where they settled in Clinton County, Iowa which later developed into the town known as Schleswig, Iowa. “John” died shortly afterwards when he was 62, in 1878.

    Jürgen Fred Jepsen [b. 1849, d. 1921], our Great Grandfather married Anna M. Tenberg Laumbach [b. 10/10/1842, d. 09/11/1935] on October 8, 1867 when he was 18 years old. She was born in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. In 1872, when Jürgen was 23, he and Anna, along with a wave of others, immigrated to the United States where they settled in Clinton County, Iowa which later developed into the town known as Schleswig, Iowa. Together, he and Anna had a daughter Ella Katherine Jepsen [b. 03/21/1873, d. 1949]. Jürgen and Anna then got divorced. Then when he was 28 years old he married Magdalena Dorothea Vollersen [b. 1855, d. 1888] on 09/24/1877. Magdalena was from Germany and was part of the wave of immigrants that settled in Iowa. They had four children; Emil Johan Jepsen [b. 11/03/1880, d. 1963], Theodor Conrad Peter Jepsen [b. 01/12/1884, d. 1924], Jürgen Fredrick Jepsen [b. 01/30/1887, d. 1953] and Dorothea Jepsen [b. 1988]. Magdalena died giving birth to Dorothea after 10 years of marriage to Jürgen. Then when Jürgen was 41 years old he married Silla Juliane Sonnichsen [b. 12/14/1863, d. 11/15/1939] on December 21, 1890, who was our Great Grandmother. Silla was from HamelnPyrmont, Niedersachsen, Germany and was the child of Andreas Martin Sonnichsen [b. 1840, d. 06/01/1906] and Dora Geb (Clausen) Sonnichsen []. Jürgen and Silla had two sons; Louis H. Jepsen [b. 07/01/1891, d. 05/18/1976] and John Detlef Jepsen [b. 02/10/1893, d. 1976], our Grandfather. In 1900, at the age of 51 Jürgen was committed to the Iowa Hospital for the Insane. He died there at the age of 72 in 1921.

    – 3 –

    John Detlef Jepsen [b. 02/10/1893, d. 05/18/1976] our Grandfather married Gertrude Christina Josephine Tamm [b. 10/01/1905, d. 01/13/1990], our Grandmother and lived in Schleswig, Iowa where they raised their children on the family farm. She was born in Crawford County, Iowa to her parents Edward Taura Tamm [b. June 1872] and Marie Johannsen [b. 05/11/1875] all of which are part of an Indian tribe (most likely the Sioux). She had two sisters; Henriette Paulina Auguste Tamm [b. 02/16/1900, d. 01/27/1947] and Clara Gyde Katharina Tamm [b. 03/20/1902, d. 01/30/1936]. Our Grandfather and Grandmother had five children. The first child was a daughter, Gladys, who lived to be about 5 years old and died of polio. The other children, all sons, were as follows: James Edward Jepsen [b. 05/23/1932, d. 06/05/1999], our father Roy John Jepsen [b. 09/16/1934, d. 07/20/2003], Dean Theadore Jepsen [b. 05/08/1936, d. 01/24/2013] and Glen F. Tammi Jepsen [b. 09/12/1939, d. 01/27/2004]. Uncle Roy married Audrey, whom had 5 children from a previous marriage (Ed, Jim, Debra, Terrie & Sam). They then had two children Catherine and Owen. Uncle Dean married Vi and had no children. Uncle Glen married Carol and had two children; Kevin and David.

    James Edward Jepsen [b. 05/23/1932, d. 06/05/1999], our father married our mother, Florence Louise Shoemaker [b. 03/12/1934, d. 11/18/2015] on January 30, 1959 in her hometown of Kingston, New York. Her history will be shown under our Shoemaker History. Together, they had 4 children. Alan John Jepsen [b. 10/13/1959] was born in Salem, Oregon. Gary Edward Jepsen [b. 10/13/1960] in Great Falls, Montana. He would marry Carla Ann Deming on July 11, 1987 in Imlay City, Michigan and have two children Emily Louise Jepsen [b. 09/08/1992] and Joel Edward Jepsen [b. 08/03/1996] both born in Littleton, Colorado. Susan Louise Jepsen [b. 03/16/1963] born in Great Falls, Montana, would marry Andrew Stewart Haverly on September 24, 1988 in Gunnison, Colorado and divorce on November 6, 2001 in Vail, Colorado. She would then marry Jeff Lynn Wolff on July 15, 2003 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jeff had five children from previous marriages; Staci, Nikki, Jeffrey, Heather & Jesse. Nancy Ann Jepsen [b. 08/01/1970] was born in Canton, Ohio.

    Therefore, on our Jepsen lineage, we are ¼ German and ¼ Indian and as you will soon see, on our Shoemaker lineage, we are ¼ Dutch and ¼ German.
    – 4 –

    Our Shoemaker history can be traced as far back as our 2nd Great Grandfather, Nathan Shoemaker [], who was married to Mary Swart [] both who lived in the Netherlands and spoke Dutch and immigrated to the United States. It is unknown how many children they had. They did however have Charles Shoemaker [b. 04/1867, d. 01/22/1902], our Great Grandfather who was born in New York. Charles married Hattie Sanford in 1891 when he was 24 and they had three children before he died at the age of 34. The three children were Harry Shoemaker [], Elmer Shoemaker [b. 08/25/1895, d. 09/08/1983], our Grandfather who was born in Catskill, New York and Mabel Shoemaker [b. 08/27/1999]. Elmer married Lena Louise Henrietta Wolff [b. 11/06/1897, d. 01/05/1978].

    Our Wolff history can be traced as far back as our 3rd Great Grandfather, Ludwig Johann Heinrich Wulf [b. early 1800’s] and Elisabeth Magdalene Henrica Rusch [b. early 1800’s] from Laage, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. It is unknown how many children they had other than our 2nd Great Grandfather, Ludwig Johann Christian Wulf [b. 08/18/1862] who married Henriette Wilhelmine Sophie Seebach. Ludwig and Henriette lived in Laage, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany and had at least one child, Hermann Johann Karl Friedrich Wulf [b. 06/03/1872, d. 09/29/1940]. In 1877, at the age of 5, he immigrated to the United States and settled into Kingston, New York. The spelling of his last name changed to Wolff. He married Louisa Marie Caroline Peters [b. 10/07/1875, d. 04/10/1939] on November 21, 1894. Louisa was also from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany (immigrated to the United States in 1888 at the age of 13) and was born to Johann Christian Elias Peters [] and Caroline Sophie Dorothea Soltmann [b. 1854, d. 11/19/1910]. Hermann and Louisa had 11 children; Bertha Johanna Wilhelinne Wolff [b. 03/10/1896, d. 03/05/1933], Lena Louise Henrietta Wolff [b. 11/06/1897, d. 01/05/1978] our Grandmother, Wilhelm Herman Wolff [b. 11/25/1898, d. 1955], Emma Wilhelmena Dorothea Wolff [b. 12/08/1899, d. 1978], Louise Frieda Anna Wolff [b. 06/07/1902, d. 09/19/1927], Herman Johanne Wilhelm Wolff [b. 02/04/1904, d. 1977], Carl Joachim Martin Wolff [b. 12/14/1907, d. 1969], Hannah C F Wolff [b. 04/29/1909, d. 1995], John E A Wolff [b. 1911], Edna T A Wolff [b. 07/18/1913] and Arthur Berthold William Wolff [b. 05/13/1916, d. 02/02/1918] who died at the age of 1 when their house burned down.

    – 5 –

    Elmer Shoemaker [b. 08/25/1895, d. 09/08/1983] and Lena Louise Henrietta Wolff [b. 11/06/1897, d. 01/05/1978] got married on September 29, 1917 and lived in Kingston, New York. They had five children; Charles Herman Shoemaker [b. 07/09/1918, d. 07/11/2005], Burton Elmer Shoemaker [b. 03/30/1920, d. 10/03/2005], Hilda Marion Shoemaker [b. 02/12/1922, d. 12/11/2009], Vesta Dorothy Shoemaker [b. 01/19/1926] and Florence Louise Shoemaker [b. 03/12/1934, d. 11/18/2015] our mother. Uncle Charles married Beatrice and they had 2 children together (Charles and Winifred). He then married Nettie and adopted 2 children (Lawrence and Janet). Uncle Burton married June. After June passed away, he then married Cecilia and had 1 daughter, Carlyn. After divorcing Cecilia he married Gerri. Aunt Hilda married Harry Valk and had 15 children (Harry, Florence “Snookie”, David, Joseph, Jean, Dianne, Dennis, Thomas, Stephen, Rose, Joy, Michael, Mary, Mark and Linda). Aunt Vesta married Jack Thompson and had 4 children (John Joseph “JJ”, Robert “Bobby”, Vesta and Kenneth).

    ~ and the history continues ~

  3. In the resent past o found aout that my biological father father’s mother what Cherokee. When I was 3 i was adopted by a Dad so my name has changed, I that an issue. I know my birth grandfathers name but that’s about it . I really like to learn more about my ancestry but don’t know where to turn. I have also had people tell me I need a card and I am not sure how to do that. Any help would be greatly appreciated
    Thanks so much for

  4. My mom dad is a full blood cheeryjua Indian. So that many my mom is half Indian that make me .her mom don’t now much about. Plz help

  5. The family story about my great grandmother is that she and her family were forced to give up their name and use a “white man” name. She is listed as white on the US Census Reports.

    Does anyone know how to go about locating her Indian name?



  6. Hello I took a Ancestry DNA Test and got my results and I’m 80% Native American. now, where do I start to get register as a native American?

  7. my name is rena simon i was told my grandmother is a cherokee indiana her name is chatlotte cary i been looking for my mothers family can you please ? i m 71 years old


  9. Hi I have a great great grandfather who was full-blooded Cherokee I have traced him back and could not find him on the Dawes rolls but his brother is on the final Dawes rolls in Oklahoma can I use that for my Cherokee membership card or does it have to be a direct descendant my great-grandfather he would be my great-great-uncle thank you

    1. Hi Dorothy! All you need to do is identify one blood relative on the Daws Roll, so yes you should be able to use that. Hope this helps!

      1. Shawn, Can you use DNA results to get “certified”? My family is African, white and Native American?

  10. My 4 th great grandma Mary Deadwiler was married to my 4th great grandpa thomas j.Black their son findley (Phinley) black is my 3rd great grandpa he married charlotte center and their son Jesse pearson black is my 2nd great grandpa his wife Caroline walker their son Harry milligan black is my 1st great grandpa married to veter pruitt their son earl black sr. is my grandpa married to Clara eunice popham their son Robert Reynolds black is my real dad was married to jo helen Perigo it was me a deaf person with red hair Donna marie black . So I abandon from my dad side family in habersham co, georgia I miss our black family uncle rex uncle earl Jr. Aunt latrell,katherine much cousin David,Craig,Barbara ,shirley Maggie,charlotte ,Anita,much more in east side I am from larkside,ca

  11. I’m trying to figure out how to get my Indian number. My mom had hers years ago.. but I have so much indian in me how do I prove this

    1. I paid money for a dna test at 23 AND ME listed in computer. You send money to them. They send you asaliva test kit. YOU send it in the mail to THE DNA TESTING COMPANY. THE SEND YOU A LIST DESCRIBING ALL YOUR NATIONALiTIES. Or you can go to nearest Indian clinic. Take your real birth certificate. They will look up mother and father for tribal number.

  12. My Delaware records go back before the tribe relocated to Oklahoma. I am being told that I can not enroll in the tribe. Is there anything that I can do? I have records that state my 4th Great Grandmother came to Ohio with the Moravian missionaries. If there is anyone that can help me, I would appreciate it. I’m not trying to scam anyone, I just want to make sure that my family is properly recorded. Thank you.

  13. Deann Schweitzer

    I have Cherokee & Blackfoot in my blood. My biological grandfather on my biological mother’s side was 100% Cherokee and the Blackfoot was on my biological fathers side. I was adopted & until recently didn’t know of my heritage. How would I go about DNA testing and if there is a specific testing. Also, now that I have obtained my “original birth certificate”; which is not a legal certificate (being adopted) how could I obtain my biological parents, grandparents & great grandparents birth/death/marriage certificates? Ringstaff was the surname of my biological grandfather.

  14. Back when I was I think 7 or so I was taken to the hospital by my parents and the doctors took blood and came back told my parents that we could stay there on the reservation but my parents worked as migrate worker’s and refused and not sure how to find this out

  15. davis henderson smith i was adopted andI lost my records to everything especially my ancestery any knowledge would be helpful especially if it’s honest it may help replace missing pieces

    1. Hi my name is Josh I got adopted a while back my new name is Joshua hubal my original last name was Joshua Patrick Taylor I believe that when my sister did a test on what kind of ancestors we had it so says that we we are Aztec Indians we do believe that that would be what it is I we have high cheekbones and we also have dark skin we’re both skinny me my sister and brother so we should be around the ages of probably way back then

  16. I have Cherokee in my blood. My grandmother was Cherokee so how do find out how I do DNA and get permission to get back on the reservation at North Carolina. I know I need a card or something to show when I go.

    1. To enroll in a a tribe to get your band card you have to be native or part native its easy if you have someone in your family that has one already use there band card number when you apply,hope that helps.

  17. I dont know much about my family but i do know we are native. I have my grandfathers registration card how do i use it do find out where an what my family is???

  18. Ronald A Locklear

    I am a Tuscarora Indian from Robeson County N.C my family was recognized in 1936 the locklear and Brooks but the bureau of Indian affairs don’t want to reinstate our rights and benefits

  19. Growing up, I was told the I have Cherokee and Choctaw blood, but now that I’m older I want to know if any of my relatives have ever gotten on any of the Cherokee Rolls.
    My grandfather, Luther Leon Wolfe, is no longe r alive and I can’t ask him anything about his ancestors and I have no family at all to talk to about it.
    I have searched for a looong time, and sadly, all I was ever able to find was a 1930 census that my great grandfather, Raymond Hadley Wolfe (born in 1910)stated that his father, John Arthur Wolfe (born between 1881-1883) was “mixed blood” and his mother was “Cherokee.”
    I am completely stuck, and I need a huge miracle to help me…

  20. I wouldn’t have any idea how to retrieve marriage divorce birth certificates of my grandparents all the way back I believe that my family is Sioux anc Cherokee I just had to have a special test for a hereditary in the Indians that my grandmother and father carry would this blood test prove alot more then I don’t have the blood disorder

  21. alot of the info you have here is not correct such as “Final Rolls (They had to be living in Oklahoma in 1914 to be on the Dawes Rolls)” quoted from this page.

    Now on the Oklahoma page there is this info…..
    About the Dawes Rolls
    Officially known as The Final Rolls of the Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory, the Dawes Rolls list individuals who chose to enroll and were approved for membership in the Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole.) Enrollment for the Dawes Rolls began in 1898 and ended in 1906.
    What kind of information will I find on the Dawes Rolls? SOOO… Please dont give up on searching for your ancestry you matter and are important..

  22. Georgia Martinez

    Hi My name is Georgia i am looking for my biological mother. Her tribe is from Alute, Alaska she is Native. Never met her all i know is her name from the birth certificate “Marie Chute” in the Court papers it states she has a sister by the name Barbara and they are Natives. If anyone could please help me. I was born 1983

  23. My grandmother had her Cherokee CDIB card but she never got to give us the information before she died.. So what do I need to do to get CDIB cards for my kids and I??

    1. Im sorry to bother you. I have been searching for along time for information on my grandmother her Name is Elizabeth Pansy Hall born 1918. Know one knows anything about her and i keep hitting dead ends. And when i would research online it keeps bringing up web sites that have to do with Indians. I kinda feel weird about messaging you like this not knowing you. But im super sad for her. When i became an adult i went searching for her to find her in a hospital dieing and she could not speck. No one knew anything about her family. And not one hall showed up at her funeral in 2002. I was separated from her at the age of 12 because she had Alzheimer’s and could not care for me. My father was her son and had autism and i learned when i found her that he had already passed. I do not have any halls to ask. She was not married at time of death. If you can help me or maybe lead me in a good direction i would be very grateful. It took alot of guts for me to message you like this.. Also i cannot go to my mom. She abandoned me with my father and my grandmother when i was 8. Her family was NO help. All i got from them was that my grandmother was never excepted into there family. Which lead to my grandfather divorcing her. And he had already passed by the time i found her in hospital.I would love to find her family. She was the only family i had that truely loved me and made me feel wanted and loved. I have a photo of her that was in her stuff when she passed. She looks like she is about my current age now in the photo which is 35. If it would help i can email a copy. I was told the other by someone who i didnt know who was reaching family like me at a church that when they couldnt find who they were looking for it was because they were listed on a indian roll. I stoped and started thinking about how when i would type her name it would bring up indian web sites. So i started thinking maybe i was looking in the wrong place. I dont know how to research Indians.Hopefully you can help me. I have three young boys and a loving husband of almost 14 years that i would love to tell them more about where i come from. My email is My name is Kristy. I look just like my granmother.

  24. Hi Canadian tribes. Here in COLOMBIA we have a lot of tribes. Many of their integrants still living like 500 years ago !!!!!….is possible to do international people exchange?

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