Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

James Riley Butler

Loretta Loretta

posted on March 15, 2011

James Riley Butler was my grandmother’s grandfather.. We always knew that that our grandmother was part indian.. But, she would never talk about it… I heard from a distant relative through My grandmother’s aunt told her family more.. From this info my grandmothers grandparents were both full blooded indians.. One was Choctaw & the other was Cherokee… I know they lived in Texas & Oklahoma.. .. James Riley Butler married Nancy Jane Caroline Gardner. They were married in Texas abt 1866….. James R. Butler was shot in the back in abt 1887.. in Oklahoma…

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on March 16, 2011

james riley butler b.~1841 TN m. nancy jane caroline gardner b.~1849 AL

if they were married in ~1866 texas, they might have been mississippi choctaw. the trail of tears occurred in the late 1830’s and didn’t go through texas. but look at the tribes near where they lived in texas and oklahoma.

i am not sure if you are saying that james riley butler passed away in 1887 OK.

maybe this is your relative.
1880 United States Federal Census
about J. R. Butler
Name: J. R. Butler
[James Riley Butler]
Home in 1880: Bosque, Texas
Age: 39
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1841
Birthplace: Tennessee
Relation to Head of Household: Self (Head)
Spouse’s Name: Nancy Butler
Father’s birthplace: North Carolina
Mother’s birthplace: North Carolina
Neighbors: View others on page
Occupation: Farmer
Marital Status: Married
Race: White
Gender: Male
Cannot read/write:


Deaf and dumb:

Otherwise disabled:

Idiotic or insane:

View image
Household Members:
Name Age
J. R. Butler 39
Nancy Butler 31
Emily Butler 13
Lizzie Butler 9
Mollie Butler 7
Lucy Butler 4
James Butler 3
Dewitt Butler 1
Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: , Bosque, Texas; Roll: 1291; Family History Film: 1255291; Page: 422C; Enumeration District: 12; .
1880 United States Federal Census
about Nancy Butler
Name: Nancy Butler
[Nancy Gardner]
Home in 1880: Bosque, Texas
Age: 31
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1849
Birthplace: Alabama
Relation to Head of Household: Wife
Spouse’s Name: J. R. Butler
Father’s birthplace: South Carolina
Mother’s birthplace: Alabama

since she was b. AL, you should also check into the MOWA tribe, link in this post.

maybe this was him:
Ft. Smith Criminal Case Files, 1866-1900
about James Butler
Name: James Butler
Control number: NRFF-21-3W51-6975
Unit: File Unit
Series ID: 3W51
Unit ID: 6975
Title: Criminal Defendant Case File for James Butler
Record Type: Textual Records
Start Date: 1872
Content: Crime: Counterfeit
Jacket Number: 15
Reference unit: National Archives—Southwest Region
Agency: National Archives and Records Administration
Facility: Building 1, Dock 1
Address: 501 West Felix Street
City: Fort Worth
State: TX
ZIP: 76115
Voice: 817-334-5525
Fax: 817-334-5621
Organization: NRFF
Creating org: United States District Court, Western District of Arkansas, Fort Smith Division.
Source: Kiosk
this would be at the fort worth, TX NARA office,

it might be good to look for a death certificate, a mention about it in a historical newspaper. see your local public library for an obituary or mention of the crime – through the interlibrary loan program.

do you have birth certificates for the children?

that’s the only census record that i see.

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.

NARA federal records repository. the fort worth, TX office has archives for oklahoma

and texas tribes. atlanta/morrow office has archives for the southwest tribes. many offices have microfilmed

records for several tribes. note that this web address has changed recently from

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 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

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

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


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

Loretta Loretta

posted on March 16, 2011

Thanks Suzanne,
You have the right census my grandmother’s mother was Lucy Butler… I don’t know for sure when James R. Butler died it was a guess since Nancy Butler remarried to a man named McDougal.. Her maiden name was Gardner… On her death certificate it has Austin Gardner as the father and, they did not know who her mother was… I will check out the info that you have given me…. Thanks for the time & effort … I appreciate it , I am a amateur geneologist …….that has gotten into it as a hobby…. in my golden years…
Loretta Neal

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on March 16, 2011

you can try her social security application, if she passed away after 1/1/1937. if she did, she would have filed a birth certificate or a delayed birth certificate to show proof of age.