Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

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Help locating information about a Scottish woman with the last name of Telfer

Jeanie Jeanie

posted on October 4, 2010

I am looking for information about the sister of my great-grandmother, who was a doctor/midwife living in McAlester amongst the Choctaw around 1906-1907 (not 100% sure of the dates). She was Scottish. She had pure white hair and her last name was TELFER. She was extremely well-liked and respected by the tribe. She left Oklahoma with many trinkets and blankets given to her by the tribe. A front-page article was written about her in the McAlester News Capital during her stay in Oklahoma. If anyone has information, please contact me.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on October 4, 2010

since you don’t seem to know her first name, i’d recommend that you get a copy of that article. many newspapers are available through the interlibrary loan program through your local public library.

there are no dates, locations, children or spouse in your post. i don’t know if telfer is a maiden name or a married name. i don’t know where she came from nor where she went, so this makes it more difficult to trace. even your great-grandmother’s name would help, since the sisters might have been born before 1880 and therefore found in a family.

if she was alive 1/1/1937, she would have submitted a birth certificate or a delayed birth certificate as proof of age for social security. she would have an application on file also. this might give you more detail.

gl.

Jeanie Jeanie

posted on October 5, 2010

Thanks for your post. This is complicated because I have already tried to get my hands on that article. Both the newspaper and the libraries archive by date, and I don’t have a date. I have the Pittsburg County Historical Society working on it as well.

There will be no record of her name in any official government registry because she was not American. She was Scottish and only here visiting. She went back after her years in Oklahoma. Any U.S. genealogy archives won’t be of help.

I keep hoping that someone from the tribe will remember a story from a relative from that time.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on October 6, 2010

the newspapers are often on microfilm, and might not be searchable, like online records, but the article might be able to be found by someone going through the reel.n often you can borrow them through the interlibrary loan program.. see your local public library for that.

i think you can probably find records for her, but you might have to do it chronologically from her death backward. they were keeping track of immigrants at that time. immigrants had to file first and second papers if they wanted to be citizens, but i don’t know if this is the case with her.

census records was a count and immigrants or foreign nationals were on the census.

if she had any children, what do their birth certificates say?

it is easier to search for someone’s name, but i this case you don’t have a first name.

gl.

Jeanie Jeanie

posted on October 7, 2010

I think I have found more information. I am now relatively certain that her first name was Jeanie (yes, same as mine). She was born in 1869. I found her birth records in the Scottish roles. That would have made her in her late 30’s when she was in McAlester. I believe that she never married, so she would have been known as Jeanie Telfer.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on October 7, 2010

sorry. with the limited information, i can’t find anything.

Jeanie Jeanie

posted on December 15, 2010

I have now found out that my relative may have been married and might have been know by the name of Dr. Watson. She would have been in McAlester from June-December of 1907,

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on December 15, 2010

could this be her?
1920 United States Federal Census
about Jean G Watson
Name: Jean G Watson
Home in 1920: Krebs, Pittsburg, Oklahoma
Age: 32
Estimated birth year: abt 1888
Birthplace: Texas
Relation to Head of House: Daughter
Father’s Birth Place: Scotland
Mother’s name: Agnes R Watson
Mother’s Birth Place: Scotland
Marital Status: Single
Race: White
Sex: Female
Able to read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Agnes R Watson 62
Jean G Watson 32
Grace J Watson 27
Alexander Watson 19
Archable B Watson 32
Jean Watson 13
Source Citation: Year: 1920;Census Place: Krebs, Pittsburg, Oklahoma; Roll: T625_1483; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 203; Image: 836.

we don’t usually do genealogy in this way. we start with what we know, gather documents, and then we can go backward in time. if she was your great grandmother, you should do more information gathering about your grandmother. then you would have more information to try to locate your great grandmother’s documents.

you should have your grandmother’s birth certificate and marriage license before you try for your great grandmother’s information. it would be helpful if you had her census records also. if you get stuck on anyone who passed away after 1/1/1937, get a copy of their social security application and birth certificate or delayed birth certificate. they had to get a birth certificate to show proof of age and since many were born in the frontier and didn’t have a birth certificate, they submitted a delayed birth certificate to show proof of age. when you request a birth certificate, be sure and let them know that a delayed birth certificate might have been filed.

a death certificate and obituary and cemetery record might help you too.

Jeanie Jeanie

posted on March 10, 2011

Hi Suzanne,
Thanks for your work on this. This cannot be her because she wasn’t here in 1920 and she wasn’t born in Texas. The date of birth would be about right but she was only here for about a year around 1906-7 and she returned afterwards to Scotland where she was born. There will likely be no official American records on her, other than that McAlester newspaper article I mentioned in an earlier post. I’m completely stumped on how to find this article without knowing a date.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on March 10, 2011

1) look at the passenger lists for traveling to the united states. note anyone that she might have been traveling with.
many passenger lists here.
http://www.cyndislist.com/ships.htm
these usually give some destinations.

2) do you have her death certificate? that would help you. how about an obituary. see your local public library for that, interlibrary loan program. this might also help you with historical newspapers around that time. many are on microfilm and can to lent to your library.
3) have you contacted the choctaw and chickasaw tribes directly about any licensing as a teacher or doctor? how about the state of oklahoma. oklahoma became a state in 1907.

you are on the choctaw website, so i won’t give you that one.
do you have a particular school where she taught?
search for that on the internet. or ask the oklahoma historical society.

chickasaw historical society 22
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
http://www.chickasaw.net/index.htm

chickasaw genealogy archive center 23
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
http://www.okhistory.org/