Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

dawes commision

michelle littleton michelle littleton

posted on July 21, 2013 and updated on July 22, 2013

Hi I have been searching for my Indian ancestors and I found my great grandmother I believe on the rejected list her name is Alice Cartwright age 15 1/8 by blood MCR 145 her sisters addie and Sadie where there too. their father was William novel cartwright he was born in Texas in 1862 I could not find his name or his wife. Her name was James Anna Collins on the 1900 censes they were living in township 1 Chickasaw nation Indian territory I am wondering if they could have been granted land of part of another tribe since they where living in Chickasaw instead of Choctaw nation

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on July 22, 2013

the dawes roll taken 1896-1906 in indian territory/oklahoma lists the applicants to the five major tribes of oklahoma. there are 63 tribes in oklahoma. and location is a major factor in tribal affiliation, since members had to permanently live under the authority of the tribe.

a listing on the dawes roll means that there are underlying documents, and is probably the cheapest place to view these documents if you get a month’s subscription. NARA also has these documents at the fort worth, TX office but you might not get the testimony.
you should read what was said about the tribal affiliation in the testimony and decision.

if the family was granted land as a member, what does the 1910 census say. did they own land with a mortgage or were they renting land?

Dawes Card Information

tribe last first middle age sex blood card roll misc type
Choctaw Cartwright 0 M MCR145 P
Choctaw Cartwright Walter 1 M 1/8 MCR145 MCR
Choctaw Cartwright Gina 3 F 1/8 MCR145 MCR
Choctaw Cartwright James 5 M 1/8 MCR145 MCR
Choctaw Cartwright Georgia 7 F 1/8 MCR145 MCR
Choctaw Cartwright Addie 9 F 1/8 MCR145 MCR
Choctaw Cartwright Sadie 12 F 1/8 MCR145 MCR
Choctaw Cartwright Robert 13 M 1/8 MCR145 MCR
Choctaw Cartwright Alice 15 F 1/8 MCR145 MCR
Choctaw Cartwright Earl 16 M 1/8 MCR145 MCR
Choctaw Collins Mary 0 F MCR145 P
Choctaw Collins Watson 0 M MCR145 P
i would say that you would have to look at the documents about why the person named cartwright was not named or why his wife was not named.

texas was not on the trail of tears in the late 1830s, but there were many unofficial migrations from the southeastern reservation to/through texas. this might be why they were designated as mississippi choctaw, a separate tribe.

1900 United States Federal Census about Alice Cartwright
Name: Alice Cartwright
Age: 15
Birth Date: abt 1885
Birthplace: Texas
Home in 1900: Township 1, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Daughter
Father’s Name: Willian N Cartwright
Mother’s Name: Anna Cartwright
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Willian N Cartwright 37
Anna Cartwright 36
Lewis Cartwright 17
Earl Cartwright 16
Alice Cartwright 15
Robert Cartwright 14
Sadie Cartwright 12
Addie Cartwright 9
George Cartwright 7
James Cartwright 5
Nina Cartwright 3
Walter Cartwright 1
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Township 1, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory; Roll: 1847; Enumeration District: 0121; FHL microfilm: 1241847.
township 1 north, range 7 east
they are not on the indian population schedule, so they were living in a majority non-native area.

all children were b. TX and that includes the one that is 1 year old, so they recently migrated to oklahoma.

william rents a farm, is a farmer.

see the birthplaces of the parents and their parents. these families may not have been living on the reservation for some time and this would cause a problem with proof of heritage required by the enrollment process.

you can ask the chickasaw whether there was a tribe located around this area. i don’t know. but the chickasaw were on the dawes roll also.

1910 United States Federal Census about Zera Richardson
Name: Zera Richardson
Age in 1910: 25
Birth Year: abt 1885
Birthplace: Texas
Home in 1910: Antlers, Pushmataha, Oklahoma
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: George Richardson
Father’s Birthplace: Texas
Mother’s Birthplace: Texas
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
George Richardson 36
Zera Richardson 25
Euel Richardson 4
Muriel Richardson 3
Lillie Richardson 0
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Antlers, Pushmataha, Oklahoma; Roll: T624_1271; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0264; FHL microfilm: 1375284.

george rents a farm, so alice zera did not acquire land as the result of the enrollment process.

1910 United States Federal Census about Narval Cartwright
Name: Narval Cartwright
[Norval Cartwright]
Age in 1910: 47
Birth Year: abt 1863
Birthplace: Texas
Home in 1910: Myrick, Johnston, Oklahoma
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Widowed
Father’s Birthplace: Texas
Mother’s Birthplace: Texas
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Narval Cartwright 47
Sadie Cartwright 22
James J Cartwright 15
Walter Cartwright 11
Judson Cartwright 7
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Myrick, Johnston, Oklahoma; Roll: T624_1254; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 0128; FHL microfilm: 1375267.

norvel rents a farm so he didn’t acquire land because he was enrolled as a native with a tribe.

1880 United States Federal Census about Nervel Cartright
Name: Nervel Cartright
Age: 17
Birth Year: abt 1863
Birthplace: Texas
Home in 1880: Caldwell, Texas
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Stepson
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Birthplace: Texas
Mother’s Name: S.J. Millican
Mother’s Birthplace: Georgia
Neighbors: View others on page
Occupation: Farm Laborer
Cannot read/write:


Deaf and dumb:

Otherwise disabled:

Idiotic or insane:

View Image
Household Members:
Name Age
W.M. Millican 70
S.J. Millican 39
Lina Cartright 22
Josie Cartright 19
Nervel Cartright 17
Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: , Caldwell, Texas; Roll: 1293; Family History Film: 1255293; Page: 219A; Enumeration District: 028.

and he is not living on a reservation because he appears on the federal population census. natives that were living on reservation were not taxed and they appeared on native census records.

as of the 1900 census, william and anna had been married 19 years, so william and anna married around 1881.

try a texas tribe.
you might have to trace your family to the 1830-1880 time period and see if they lived in MS or AL or they were associated with a tribe elsewhere. there were some jena choctaw in LA.

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.
you can try school records in the oklahoma state archives, the oklahoma historical society and NARA.
these two resources might have historical newspapers and local history books. your public library/interlibrary loan program might also have access to newspapers and local history books.

as for stories, you can see if any of the relatives are mentioned in the oklahoma pioneer papers or oklahoma chronicles.
volumes are alphabetical by surname.
if an interview is not online, contact the host of these interviews.

as for location for your family, you should look on the federal census 1900-1940 for your family and this will give you locations, family members. your local public library probably has a subscription to and heritage quest.

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

michelle littleton michelle littleton

posted on July 23, 2013

Thank you that is very helpful my grandfather was the last one born he was not born until 1923 and he was born in Oklahoma that was what confusing me but I checked and they were from texas and they rented land there as well so thank you I would not have thought of looking at that