Don’t You Wish the Census Had Pictures of Our Ancestors?

This 1884 census did.

Chief Red Cloud (1822-1909) was the most famous leader of the Oglala Lakota Sioux.

Photo: Red Cloud, taken by Charles Milton Bell while Red Cloud was on a delegation in 1880
Photo: Red Cloud, taken by Charles Milton Bell while Red Cloud was on a delegation in 1880. Credit: Charles Milton Bell; U.S. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

In about 1884 Red Cloud enumerated 289 men of his tribe, recording each one by their name and picture – a pictograph.

See: Red Cloud’s Census [1884]. 289 Dakota tribe members were enumerated.
Fourth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution 1882-83. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1885.
http://www.genealogybank.com/doc/documents/image/v2:0FD2A62D41CEB699@GB3DOC-10EA7727CE07E758@-10E5F4D7B9CC2C50@297?search_terms=red%7Ccloud%2527s%7Ccensus

Red Cloud drew the name of each of the 289 persons named. Here are a few examples:

A pictograph of the Sioux warrior Spotted Horse, Smithsonian Institution, 1893
Source: GenealogyBank.com, Personal Names. Tenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution 1888-’89. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1893. Pages 457-458.

See the original page here:

http://www.genealogybank.com/doc/documents/image/v2:0FD2A62D41CEB699@GB3DOC-111C9591EF89C8D8@-110B6A8DD3CA6BE8@517?

Pictographs of Sioux warriors from Red Cloud's 1884 census, Smithsonian Institution, 1893
Source: GenealogyBank.com, Personal Names. Tenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution 1888-’89. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1893. Pages 457-458.

See the original page here:

http://www.genealogybank.com/doc/documents/image/v2:0FD2A62D41CEB699@GB3DOC-111C9591EF89C8D8@-110B6A93F6981EB8@518?

Notice that there is a line from the person’s head to an image drawn above the figure. That image is the person’s name. In these examples: Spotted Horse; Tree-in-the-Face; and two men named Leaves.

In addition to this 1884 census, GenealogyBank.com has obituaries and articles about thousands of Sioux.

For example, here is the obituary of Verdell A. Red Cloud, Sr. (1940-2008) who was buried at the Red Cloud Family Cemetery in Pine Ridge, South Dakota.

An obituary for Verdell Red Cloud, Rapid City Journal newspaper article 18 December 2008
Source: GenealogyBank.com, Rapid City Journal (Rapid City, South Dakota), 18 December 2008

You can rely on GenealogyBank.com for the stories of your ancestors’ lives.

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