Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Choctaw opinions requested

Bill Misner Bill Misner

posted on March 14, 2013 and updated on May 29, 2014

Dear Choctaw Nation,
I am the great-grandson of William Stark [full-blood Choctaw] and Josephine Stark [Chickasaw & some-white]. They birthed two Daughters, Laura Jean Stark, who at age 4 and Nellie B Stark[my grandmother, who at age 3] were taken/kidnapped from their family by American Soldiers in Indian Territory, in 1890 prior to Oklahoma Statehood in the early 1900’s. I did not discovery this until last February, 2013. When these soldiers kidnapped my grandmother, they erased all records of our family line and taught her and her sister to be ashamed of Native American Choctaw-Chickasaw relatives. This was done to erase the Native American identity. I am a 73-year Veteran of the Vietnam-Cuban Missile Crisis era. I do not ask for Choctaw or Chickasaw nations to consider roll membership, nor do I seek such after 123 years my grandmother being forced into a white family orphanage.

I have experienced no tribe welcomes half breeds due to blood lines interrupted polution of the Native American Choctaw lineage.

Do you have any thoughts our ancestry issue?
Hello Suzanne,
Previously, you were kind to reply to our ever-searching to discover more about our native ancestry.

I am age 74, born February 22, 1940…I only have my birth certificate is no other birth certificates.
A swab DNA test reports that I am 13-37% Native American according to DNA-configuration.

Father: Donald Dallas Misner Mother: Emma Francis Couch Grandmother: Nelley B Stark [born in Indian Territory 1880-1890] removed from parents at age 3 and placed in non-native orphange/foster home] Grandfather: Dallas Godfrey Misner

Here follows a remarkable report from Story Tellers who report a family relationship with the name “Nelley B” when we searched through Choctaw-Chickasaw native birth lists Indian Territory [now Oklahoma]:

As requested, here is as close to what I know about our heritage. Martin Nathanial was conceived by William (or Bob) and Josephine (Langley) Stark but was born into the Wright family when Josie married James Nathanial B. Wright when she was seven months pregnant. Why they called William, Bob, I don’t know. Some in the family called him Bob and some called him Bill. It can get confusing when you’re a kid but he was the same man. The tribe elderly women say that Stark and Nathanial Wright got into a feud over Josie and the children and the feud got heated. Not many folks that are alive really know what happened. Grandpa Stark seemed to just disappear. Josie only had two boys when she was married to Nate. Martin Nathanial and LB. Josie raised her nephew, Warner. (See the Census’s). Some of the family stories are stories from the family ‘storyteller’ who was also a tribal member. She has since passed away. She was my Aunt Claudia Jean Wright.(See rolls for her number). Aunt Claudia was married to my Uncle Robert Wright (my dad’s oldest brother and your cousin) after Aunt Deanie (Daryl Wright) was married to him. What we did in the research is go as far back as we could with the Stark family, which on record is not very far due to the Starks being Native…but the rest of the family on our Great-grandmothers side goes way back. I only gave Aunt Deanie your Grandmothers name and year of birth…which is approx. She recognized the first name right off since one of the granddaughters is named after your Grandmother. The “B” probably stands for Beth since Nelley’s middle name was Elizabeth. She was abducted by the soldiers when she was about three years old so she already knew her name. The norm was to keep the child’s name close to the real name as possible in the English form. We are still working on trying to find out her Native name. Not many folk are still alive that knew her Native name and the tribe has it in the archives somewhere or so I am told. I am told that most of the information is still on micro-fish film or written in the records from way back. Josephine Langley Stark is our Great-grandmother. She married William or Bob Stark and had Laura Jean, Nelley Elizabeth, Mattie Sarah, L.B., and Martin Nathanial. Laura and Nelley were taken and given to white people. Mattie Stark was given to Josephines’ cousin, Julie, who was married to James Edmondson. James’ roll number is: 670, Julie’s roll number is: 671, and Mattie’s roll number is: 17309, registered under the Stark name. (See rolls records Eastern Cherokees residing West of the Mississippi River). Josie gave up Mattie so the soldiers couldn’t take her, too. Josie divorced William and married Nathanial B. Wright when she was seven months pregnant with Martin by William Stark in October, 1905, Martin Nathanial was born in December. Martin is my grandfather. Nelley is your grandmother. Josie and Stark is where the connection is between you and me. Josie was half Native American Indian (Choctaw) married to Native Choctaw William or Bob Stark. It is my understanding that if she would have stayed married to Stark, she was afraid that more children would have been taken, beside that, Stark was a “mean drunk” and took it out on Josie. Nathanial loved Josie so he married her, which back in those days was a huge thing. Nobody knows the particulars of what exactly happened between William and Nathanial other than they got into a fight with each other and as a result, they both died. It is my understanding that the tribe rallied around Josie and the boys but the Wright family didn’t want anything to do with Robert Stark (the eldest boy of William and Josie). It is my understanding that the tribal records indicate that William Stark came from the background of the tribal Medicine Man (for lack of better terminology). This is the period of time that conventional medicine had made its mark on the area so there was a huge disagreement on who the Natives were to see when they became ill. The older tribesmen and women fought to keep the traditions but the white man demanded that they all see the white doctor. There is something written in the archives that a Native Medicine Man went to the white man school to become a doctor but I do not know if this man was related to us or not, what year this transpired, or any other details. It is my understanding that the tribe believed that if one of our own learned the medicine ways of the white man then he would be able to continue to use the old methods of healing and still be ‘trained’ the white man ways without the government penalizing the tribal people. It is also my understanding that the 1890 census records for the Choctaw Tribe were destroyed in the 1921 fire at the Dept. of Commerce therefore leaving many Choctaw People unable to prove their heritage other than photographs, Rolls Numbers of family members, and stories from other tribal/family members. I know that both William (Bob) and Josephine Stark were registered as Choctaw Indians and had numbers and it is disappointing that our family cannot claim our rightful heritage. Hopefully being able to show that Mattie was registered under her rightful given name with the knowledge that she was William and Josie’s daughter, will help. This is all I know at this time. When Aunt Claudia passed away, we lost a great woman who knew everybody in the family. I’ve written down as much as I could while she was still alive."

If you have time to help us establish our ancestry from this information, I would be very pleased…since it is 125-years since she was removed from her Native American family. We are looking for closure…It is like when a family member is missing and then closure comes when they are found, dead or alive.
Since we have no paperwork, social security numbers, roll numbers, birth certificates, death certificates, we are simply attempting to establish our actual ancestry family…I do not care an iota about roll membership or tribe benefits…just ancestry family relationships. The Choctaw-Chickasaw tribe was quiet when our family was divided by soldiers, now is our time for no silence so that these relationships may be restored. Enclosed a picture of my grandmother sitting on William Bob Stark taken around 1890 just before she and her sister Laura were removed from parents.

Warm regards….and please help!


Dr. Bill Misner, Ph.D. Emeritus Hammer Nutrition R-&-D
AAMA Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner
WebmedCentral plus Managing Editor Alternative Medicine


suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on March 15, 2013 and updated on March 15, 2013

have you found your family in the 1900-1940 census? there is no information about who they married, and these are females, so they would only have had a maiden name for about 20 years. no location, no children, no spouse in your post.

do you have their death certificates? obituaries? cemetery records? this is where you begin.

when social security went into effect 1/1/1937, social security needed proof of age, so many people filed delayed birth certificates. so the social security application might be useful. this might tell you something about your ancestor’s birth.

i don’t know if stark is a maiden name or a married name.

while this was the wild west in the 1890’s, the forts provided law and order.

many stark surnames were mississippi choctaw. there are several links in this post about that tribe. many people who were mississippi choctaw did not apply because they didn’t qualify for enrollment, but you need to see what the records say.

1900 United States Federal Census about William Stark
Name: William Stark
Age: 24
Birth Date: abt 1876
Birthplace: Texas
Home in 1900: Township 3, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Spouse’s Name: Josie Stark
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
William Stark 24
Josie Stark 18
Robert E Stark 3
Rosatch Langley 6
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Township 3, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory; Roll: 1848; Enumeration District: 0141; FHL microfilm: 1241848.

william’s texas birthplace indicates that he may be mississippi choctaw, if he was native. texas was not on the trail of tears but many unofficial migrations occurred to/through texas.
william is a farmer who rents a farm. he doesn’t have an allotment. he lives in a predominantly non-native area, since he is not on the indian population schedule. rosa is listed as william’s sister-in-law.

Name: Josie Stark
Age: 18
Birth Date: abt 1882
Birthplace: Texas

josie’s birthplace is also texas.

was nellie and laura a sister or a daughter?

or maybe this wasn’t your william and josephine. maybe josephine was a second wife?

informal adoptions were common at this time.

as far as half-breeds, most of the natives that enrolled in the choctaw tribe were not fullblooded choctaw, but were rather a mixture.

i think you should look at the 1900-1940 census information and see what the records say. in any case, you need to rely on records, instead of assume that there are no records available.

genealogists use names, dates, locations, children and spouses to match records. if you have a common surname, you need to give more information rather than less. if you post about women, it is helpful to include the maiden name and the married name and designate which one is the maiden name.

start with what you know, gather documentation, then you can go backward in time. so get your birth certificate, your parents’ birth certificates and marriage license and then you can start on your grandparents. if someone passed away after 1/1/1937, they probably have a social security application on file. if you ask a government agency for a birth certificate, and they were born before 1929, they might have submitted a delayed birth certificate. death certificates, cemetery information and obituaries are helpful. you can usually get a copy of an obituary, newspaper mentions such as birth of a child or marriage, through the interlibrary loan program – see your local public library for this. i usually start with the death and work toward the person’s birth. military records and pension records can be helpful. census records can tell you where they were at particular times, names of family members. the census records up to 1940 are available, although the 1890 census was largely destroyed.

you will need to know who the family members were 1830-1930 or so, where they were located. a good way to do this is by census records.
the first time period to concentrate on is 1900-1930 because most tribes enrolled during this period.
federal census records can help you here. you can get access through your local public library – two databases: 1) heritage quest, 2)

the dawes roll shows the applicants to the five major tribes 1896-1906 in indian territory/oklahoma. if your family applied for this, there would be a census card, dawes application, other supporting documents and testimony. these are located at NARA
try the fort worth, TX office.

obituaries through the oklahoma choctaw tribe is through the history link for the tribe:

social security application for a deceased person:
form SS-5.

your public library probably has a subscription to heritage quest and is another useful database for native records and military records, but they are a subscription. however, many times, their month’s subscription price is less than the price of a dawes packet. you can google fold3 and your ancestor’s name to see if your relative’s dawes packet is available at fold3.
partial names are allowed.

bear in mind that many records are not online. always collect documents, as just the reference to a relative in an index informs you that a document is available.

death records:
death certificate: state vital records or if very old, state archives. ask for the person’s name at the time of death. you can look at death indices, such as the social security death index 1964-present for a date of death on or
obituary: see your local public library, interlibrary loan program. ask for the person’s name at the time of death. approximate date of death is helpful. if old, state historical society or state archives might have historical newspapers.
cemetery record: try or ask for the person’s name at the time of death. if you find a relative, you can click on the county or cemetery to see if others with the same surname are buried there.

marriage records:
state vital records office, county clerk or if old, state archives or state historical society.

birth records:
state vital records office, or if old, state archives or state historical society. if the birth was before 1940, ask for a birth certificate or a delayed birth certificate. many people had to get delayed birth certificates when social security came into effect because they had to show proof of age. this will be under the name used at the time of birth.

census records:
you will want to search for census records 1940 on down to the birth of your relative. the federal census was taken every 10 years, however the 1890 census was largely destroyed by fire. there are also some state census records and native census records and native rolls. and heritage quest are two databases that include many census records. many native census records kept by NARA ( are transcribed at accessgenealogy.
several helpful links for records in the choctaw territory

first of all, heritage and tribal enrollment are two different things. many times natives didn’t apply for enrollment because 1) they didn’t qualify, 2) they were philosophically opposed to enrollment, 3) they didn’t have documentation, or 4) they were mississippi choctaw and their ancestor had accepted land or benefits in lieu of tribal enrollment.

for those people who do not yet have a card, you should research the 1900-1940 census to know approximate dates of birth, birthplaces, family members. this will also tell you if someone is more likely to be on the freedman roll or as applicants to the dawes roll taken 1896-1906 in indian territory/oklahoma for the five major tribes.

applicants can be found here:
partial names are ok. look at the guide link for explanation of the codes.

when you find a possible name, then click on the card# in the card column to see the family group. if it is your family group, and they were likely enrolled, then you can search the oklahoma historical society’s dawes roll link to get the enrollment #’s for particular family members.

if your family was enrolled by council action early in the process or was enrolled by lawsuit, they might not appear on the oklahoma historical society website. you would have to check with the tribe on that.

even if your family was rejected by the dawes process, you may want the testimony, census card, application information for your genealogical purposes.

the federal census will also help you decide which state to contact for vital records.

the dawes roll was taken 1896-1906, so you should trace your ancestors down to that time period. mostly, they had to be living in oklahoma by that time and agree to live there permanently.

history of the dawes roll
wikipedia entries are sometimes opinionated; entered by volunteers.

helpful information about tribal enrollment

freedmen information:

2 ways to search:
this will let you enter partial names to get card#. click on the card# in the card column and you can see other names in that family.
other resources on the left and at the bottom of this webpage. native census records and databases are especially useful.
this will give you card# (family group) and enrollment #. they have some native marriage records too. other oklahoma records listed at left.
if your relative was enrolled by court action, their name might not be on this list.
if the name is common, you may find too many possible records.
you can order the dawes packet from the oklahoma historical society website.

if you find a relative listed on the dawes roll, fold3 may have filmed the record and could be available online.
other resources are NARA

the five civilized tribes book put out by the department of the interior has testimony.
and you can read it online

and these are the microfilms at fort worth TX archives.

there may be additional records about your relative:
contact NARA for these and other records listed on this webpage.

75.23.1 Records of the Dawes Commission
75.23.2 Records of the U.S. Indian Inspector for Indian Territory
75.23.3 General records of the Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes
(Record Group 75)
oklahoma newspaper and archives search. some of these resources may be available through interlibrary loan/public library.

the tribe has an excellent information to help you. it is found under genealogy advocacy.
some obituaries:

NARA federal records repository. the fort worth, TX office has archives for oklahoma and texas tribes. atlanta/morrow office has archives for the southeast tribes. many offices have microfilmed records for several tribes. note that this web address has changed recently from

freedmen info:
You can ONLY apply for Choctaw Nation Membership, AFTER you have obtained a CDIB card proving your Choctaw Blood lineage to a direct ancestor who actually enrolled, BY BLOOD. Freedmen DID NOT enroll By Blood. When US Congress closed the Final Dawes Commission Rolls, there were no provisions granting Freedmen any benefits after the Dawes Commission closed. The tribe Constitution states BY BLOOD. however, the documents (application, census card and testimony) may help you find out more about your heritage.

about blood quantum laws:
calculations about blood quantum:

mississippi choctaw and choctaw tribe explained here:

jena choctaw tribe in louisiana:

MOWA tribe
MOWA Band Of Choctaws Wilford Taylor 1080 Red Fox Road Mount Vernon, AL 36560 (251) 829-5500. E-Mail:

other choctaw tribes:

chickasaw historical society
Historic Preservation and Repatriation Office
Phone: (580) 272-5325
Fax: (580) 272-5327
2020 E. Arlington, Suite 4, Ada, OK 74820
send mail to: P.O. Box 1548, Ada, OK 74821

chickasaw tribe
Chickasaw Nation Headquarters
520 East Arlington, Ada, OK 74820
Phone (580) 436-2603
Mailing address: P.O. Box 1548, Ada, OK 74821

chickasaw genealogy archive center Tribal Library
Phone: (580) 310-6477
Fax: (580) 559-0773
1003 Chamber Loop, Ada, OK 74820
send mail to: P.O. Box 1548, Ada, OK 74821
oklahoma historical society
marriage records

other historical societies:
some oklahoma genealogical societies:

texas tribes

oklahoma tribes:

some links for the choctaw.
i looked at the land records and those need a lot of work. i have no information about whether or when they will improve some of these categories.

types of records available for native americans:
pages 366-369 in particular although the entire native american chapter is helpful.
The Genealogist’s Companion and Sourcebook:
Guide to the Resources You Need for Unpuzzling Your Past
Emily Anne Croom
you can ask for these particular pages from your local public library. if they don’t have the book, you can get the pages through the interlibrary loan program.
native american records are discussed in pages 352-386.

Tracing ancestors among the Five Civilized Tribes: Southeastern Indians …
By Rachal Mills Lennon
this book could be accessed through the interlibary loan program also.

always find the state archives. some records are online, some records are not. but many times you can find a record not found in other places. you want to see also about newspaper mentions for obituaries, births, marriages in particular.

check courts for probate, civil and criminal cases, marriage records.

if your ancestors lived on a reservation, they might not appear on a federal census because they were not taxed.
1860 census, indian territory.

this book is a good read about the dawes roll and how they implemented it.
The Dawes Commission and the allotment of the Five Civilized Tribes, 1893-1914
By Kent Carter
and you can read this book online. your relatives’ testimony might be in the book.
see the menu at left. you can download it.
you should look at the enrollment application, census card and testimony. this post will tell you how to do that. these documents will tell you more about your heritage, but it won’t help you if your goal is to be enrolled in the choctaw tribe of oklahoma. some people were classed as mississippi choctaw if the family had a native heritage but didn’t qualify for enrollment in the tribe.

there are 63 tribes in oklahoma but only the five major tribes are on the dawes roll. look at your family’s location around 1900-1930 time period (census will help you there) and see if there was a tribe located nearby. it is possible that your relatives were affiliated with another tribe.

if they were mississippi choctaw, there is probably a land grant in MS/AL to a head of household called choctaw scrip land. this was given in lieu of tribal enrollment 1830-1880 time period. has a database of the MS and AL choctaw scrip land records, called mississippi or alabama land records. there are other land records in those databases too,, so you have to look at the authority/source cited. NARA has those land record packages.

the mississippi choctaw was not removed from oklahoma. but they were largely rejected for tribal enrollment.

this website might help you in your search. some people are trying to transcribe applications.
i do not know what they are trying to transcribe, but this is the volunteer page

and this might be of interest to you:
Rights of Mississippi Choctaws in the Choctaw Nation
Index to the Final Rolls of the Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory
the dawes roll is composed of applications to the five major tribes in oklahoma.

good advice about native research:

if your relatives came from a different geographic location or belonged to a different tribe, try searching google for the state and tribes. you might find a contact for a state-recognized tribe or a federal recognized tribe.

this page can help you set up a targeted google search.

penny postcards. this is a website that features pictures that were on postcards. click on the state to see the postcards that they have.
if you have a penny postcard, you can click on submissions to add your penny postcard to the collection.

these searches will combine several possible search terms and give you the best matches.

i have collected many resources over the years. if you want to write to me, and request the choctaw resource list, i will be glad to send it to you.

i am just a volunteer that wants to empower people to learn how to do genealogy.

suzanne hamlet shatto

Bill Misner Bill Misner

posted on July 18, 2014

Hello Suzanne Hamlet Shatto,
Thank you for your assistance; here is what we uncovered:

—Robert William Stark Indian Choctaw Roll # 13898
—Josephine Starks
age 25 Female Indian/White Card# 3639 Choctaw by Intermarriage Roll # 830

Josephine Starks 25 Female I-W Card #3639 Choctaw by Intermarriage Roll #830

Publication Number: M1301
Publication Title: Applications for Enrollment of the Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914
Content Source:NARA
Partner: NARA
Date Range:1898-1914
National Archives Catalog ID: 617283
National Archives Catalog Title:
Applications for Enrollment in the Five Civilized Tribes, compiled 1898-1914
Record Group:75
Nara Publication Year:No Date
Fold3 Publication Year:2008
Fold3 Job:08-003
Short Description: NARA M1301. The Dawes Commission negotiated with tribal members who received common property in return for abolishing their tribal governments.
Roll: 0061
Group: Choctaw
Card Range:D841-R62
Case Number:D967
Given Name:Josephine

On July 11, 2014, Chief Gary Batton The Chief of the Choctaw Nation issued a certificate stating "Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Honorary Choctaw presented to Bill Misner in recognition of your dedication to the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma this 11th day of July, 2014.”

Chief Batton wisely recognizes the formal documents needed to prove Tribal Roll requirements were lost in fire and were not recoverable due to my Grandmother’s being kidnapped from her Choctaw family by white soldiers around in 1889. This ends our family quest to restore our once enjoyed place as members of the Choctaw Tribe.
I am most humbly grateful to be recognized as an “Honorary Choctaw” by the Chief of the Choctaw Nation after 125-years our family being orphaned.
Chi pisa la chike, ome yakoke.
Bill Misner

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on July 18, 2014

i try to help people with genealogy. you would have to contact the tribe to find out anything.

i recommended you start with records.

i see some kind of a citation but i don’t think the citation is the one you want. the d series means doubtful, where the applicant was contacted to submit records. the r series is the rejected applications.

you should try to acquire records. no one can do it for you. birth/death records are required. if requesting an early record, also ask state vital records for a delayed birth certificate. state archives and county clerk sometimes has these records.

even if your family submitted an application that was not accepted, the information on the application might help you. NARA has those records: try the fort worth, TX office.

you can contact the tribe, services tab, departments, then enrollment department. i am not affiliated with the tribe and do not live near the tribe.

that DNA test might help you. if you have results, you should upload your results to the instructions are on the main menu and the website is free.. then you contact matches, find the common ancestor. try the one-to-many match, the one-to-one match, and the chromosome match to find out who matches on which chromosome. sometimes, the chromosome can identify several people on the same chromosome at the same place and this can help you try to figure out the common ancestor.

suzanne hamlet shatto

Sonya Deaton - (Pistubbee) Sonya Deaton - (Pistubbee)

posted on August 2, 2014

Post to Bill Misner/

With Proud Choctaw Respect-

Persons’ possessing one drop of Blood-Choctaw-by-blood/ Choctaw descent/

As to my personal-thoughts/
Persons of such said is/are a part of our Great Historical Treaty Making Tribe as our Choctaw Family’

My’ personal thoughts and opinions and not meant to reflect any person or any person in any office of any to be said.


Sonya Deaton “Proud” Choctaw Nation/