"Under the provision of the Curtis Act (1898),1 the Department of the Interior, Commissioner of Five Civilized Tribes, recognized “citizenship by intermarriage” in the Cherokee Nation. To qualify, an applicant had to sufficiently prove that he or she was married in accordance with Cherokee law, and who at the time of the marriage was a recognized citizen by blood of the Cherokee Nation," writes James Pylant in the introduction for "Cherokee-White Intermarriages: Citizenship by Intermarriage in the Cherokee Nation," available at GenealogyMagazine.com.
"Applications rarely name the “full-blooded” Cherokee ancestor. The degree of tribal descent is not always given, either... Clearly, many citizens by blood had more Anglo ancestry than Native American," he explains.
"Despite being labeled 'marriages,' these records do not always give an exact marriage date or even the maiden name of the bride. Sometimes two wedding dates for the same couple are found in an application. This simply implies that the couple had married before their arrival and needed an official record of their union in the Cherokee Nation."
Abstracts from these applications are freely accessible online at GenealogyMagazine.com.