Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Searching for information on my great grandmother

Linda Hawkins-Sledge Linda Hawkins-Sledge

posted on November 16, 2010

I am searching for information on my great grandmother who was born on a Choctaw reservation in Philidelphia Mississippi in the 1900’s, and was given the name “Cora Cattenhead”, middle name could have been either “cora mae” or Cora Belle". If anyone from the Choctaw nation can help me, please let me know.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on November 17, 2010

you might try the mississippi choctaw tribe. there are several messageboards for tribes, locations and surnames. this post doesn’t make clear her name, her spouse, her children, or when she was born and when she passed away.

if she was alive 1/1/1937, she would have applied to social security at that time and given her delayed birth certificate to show proof of age.

childrens’ documents point to the parents and fix the family to a location and date.
Bride, Groom, Year, Book/Page
Cattenhead, Cora B.
Clemmons, Ben

if she was married in 1904, she would have been born in the 1880’s or so.

this is a location website

now that i found a cattenhead family, i don’ t know if this is your relative:
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Cherry Level, Neshoba, Mississippi; Roll: T623_821; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 42.
1900 United States Federal Census
about Cora Cattenhead
Name: Cora Cattenhead
[Cora Cattenherd]
Home in 1900: Cherry Level, Neshoba, Mississippi
Age: 17
Birth Date: 1882
Birthplace: Mississippi
Race: Black
Gender: Female
Relationship to Head of House: Wife
Father’s Birthplace: Mississippi
Mother’s Birthplace: Texas
Mother: number of living children: 1
Mother: How many children: 1
Spouse’s name: Wm Cattenhead
Marriage Year: 1898
Marital Status: Married
Years Married: 2
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Wm Cattenhead 23
Cora Cattenhead 17
Artlee Cattenhead 2/12

there are various spellings of this name.

i would advise you to seek her cemetery record, death certificate or obituary and then work backwards in time. if you don’t have the birth certificate of her child,, then this would be a good document to have.

if you are looking for a female, it is important to give her maiden name and her spouse’s name.

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.

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.

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.

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 the name is common, you may find too many possible records.

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

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:

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

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.

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

ken cattenhead ken cattenhead

posted on January 1, 2014


ken cattenhead ken cattenhead

posted on January 2, 2014