In accordance with federal statutes enacted in 1910 and 1913, the Law and, subsequently, the Probate Divisions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs were responsible for determining the heirs of deceased Indian trust allottees. Ultimately, Native Americans submitted more than 2,500 pages of wills and probate records to the Bureau. These records span the period 1911 to 1921 and, with a few exceptions, pertain to Indian families living in the Plains and several western states.
This is the sixth book of transcribed Indian wills by Mr. Bowen. As a rule, the documents herein identify the names of the testator, residence, heirs, a description of any real estate transferred in the will, names of executors and witnesses, and other particulars commonly found in probate records.
Book Six includes three wills that were actually taken to the office of the President of the U.S. One testator willed his fishing rights, given to him by the government, to his wife. The following tribes are most in evidence: Apache, Bannock, Chippewa, Comanche, Kiowa, Klamath, Nez Perce, Nisqually, Omaha, Osage, Pawnee, Piegan, Seneca, Shoshone, Sioux, Umatilla, Winnebago, and Witchita.