Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

a question....

chahta ohoyo chahta ohoyo

posted on January 28, 2011 and updated on January 28, 2011

i know i am probably pushing the envelope, but have a question…what if you are choctaw, have positively traced it back several generations, but there is a problem…do you still qualify for a cdib/tribal membership if your ggg aunt is registered/carded, but not your ggg grandmother, who was her full sister…are you still acceptable enough to the choctaw nation to become a member with proof of relationship, but, not a cdib…i just dont think its fair on so many levels that all of we who have proven we are ‘indian’ have to stand outside the fence looking in wishfully/hopefully because we cannot conform to BIA/tribal standards of ‘citizenship’…i would love to hear opinions/answers to this question…please email me at……if you would like…yakoke!!!

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on January 28, 2011

heritage and tribal enrollment are two different things.

to be a member, you must be directly related to an original enrollee of the choctaw tribe in oklahoma.

there are other tribes in oklahoma and other states too, so always check on the names of the parents with location. there are several location links in this post.

choctaw is more associated bands of natives. there were more than one tribe enrolling. one of the other major choctaw tribe is the mississippi choctaw. some mississippi choctaw were enrolled in the tribe, mostly by choctaw council assent.

there were people left without an enrollment, but those choices were made long ago by several generations back. some didn’t enroll because they were against enrollment and some candidates even ran on that platform. some people couldn’t provide witnesses. some were not willing to place themselves under tribal authority. some didn’t want to promise to stay in oklahoma. some felt the government in washington dc was unfair and didn’t want anything to do with it. there are many possible reasons.

i’m sorry if you wish things were another way. i am not native. i just have experience with native records so i thought it was a good thing to help people find their native backgrounds.

you might be able to prove affiliation with a tribe through choctaw scrip land records or trading logs or local history books or other documents.

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