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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.
Mr. Bowen, who has been transcribing the aforesaid wills for publication, has now added two additional volumes, bringing the total volumes transcribed in this series of Native American source records to four. The author, who was responsible for having the National Archives microfilm the collection, has transcribed nearly 200 additional wills for Book Three and this volume. As a rule, the documents 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. Members of the following tribes predominate in the latest volumes in the series: Apache, Chippewa, Coeur d'Alene, Comanche, Kiowa, Klamath, Omaha, Osage, Pawnee, Ponca, Quapaw, Sioux, Uintah and Ouray, Umatilla, Ute, Wichita, and Winnebago.