Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Looking for Olivia Bohannan Williams

Wayne Wayne

posted on January 3, 2011

My great grandmother was Olivia or aka “Ollie” Bohannan born dec 1869 in Alabama
parents Mary Three Feather Swan Bohannan father James Madison Bohannan
Olivia married William B Williams on July 14 1891 in Marshall Co, Alabama They had 6 children and lived in Alabama last know location was Etowah County, Alabama on the 1910 cencus. We have been told that they divorced in 1911 and she went to the Choctaw Nation. We are told by a genealogist that she died June 8 1920 in Sulphur Springs Alabama, that information we are told is in the choctaw nation records. We were told that the records could only be given to genealogists of Choctaw descent. So what we are looking for is to find out if her divorce record and death record and burial records could be given to us, and if so how do we obtain them???

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on January 3, 2011

you will have to ask the state of oklahoma or alabama for those. try the county clerk for the divorce record. you might get some information through the death record, obituary, about children and former spouse.
telephones of alabama county clerks:
alabama vital records:

i think you should recontact the person who gave you the previous information and see if they had more information for you. dates and locations would be key to you finding your relative.

messageboards might help you too. some messageboards are given in this post.

this message was left on the ancestry messageboard. might appear on the rootsweb messageboard too:
William B. (Benjamin) Williams and Ollie (Olivia) Bohannan are my great-grandparents, they lived in the Cullman area of AL (my grandmother’s birthplace). Please contact me at and I will gladly share what info I have with you. Hoping to hear from you.
bohannan msgboard: Ollie Bohannan – Alabama

Message Board Post:

Looking for burial site of Olivia aka Ollie Eva
Williams (maiden name Bohannon)death some time in early 1900’s supposed to be buried outside Culman, Alabama or perhaps just outside Culman County Alabama any help appreciated……..Sandy

rootsweb msgboard for alabama cemeteries

1880 United States Federal Census
about Olivia Bohannon
Name: Olivia Bohannon
Home in 1880: Sulphur Springs, Calhoun, Alabama
Age: 10
Estimated birth year: abt 1870
Birthplace: Alabama
Relation to head-of-household: Dau (Daughter)
Father’s name: Jana. Bohannon
Father’s birthplace: Alabama
Mother’s name: Mary Bohannon
Mother’s birthplace: Georgia
Neighbors: View others on page
Marital Status: Single
Race: White
Gender: Female
Cannot read/write:


Deaf and dumb:

Otherwise disabled:

Idiotic or insane:

View image
Household Members:
Name Age
Jana. Bohannon 38
Mary Bohannon 36
Jane Bohannon 72
Tilda Bohannon 12
Olivia Bohannon 10
William Bohannon 4
Julia A. Bohannon 6m
Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Sulphur Springs, Calhoun, Alabama; Roll: 4; Family History Film: 1254004; Page: 584D; Enumeration District: 8; Image: 0728.

check with the MOWA tribe and mississippi choctaw tribe also.

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 for a birth certificate, and they were born before 1929, they might have sumitted 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. the census records up to 1930 are available, although the 1890 census was largely destroyed. the 1940 census will be public information in 2012.

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:

other choctaw tribes:

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