Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Willis family Search-Dawes Roll -#'s 1344, 1345, 1346, 1347, 1348

Katherine Douglas Katherine Douglas

posted on April 4, 2011 and updated on June 10, 2012

Betty Elizabeth Willis Roll # 1345,( Page 86 on The Dawes Roll)is my great grandmother. John , Nancy, Frances and Georgiana are her siblings . I am trying to find out more info on her parents and grandparents. Her parents were named John Willis and Sammie Romine. I would like to have more info, birth and death dates, marriage date, and info on John Willis and his parents, my ggg grandparents, who were father, Willis Willis, and wife Sophie who resided together Red River they were already deceased in 1896 and I am trying to find out Sophies maiden name, when they died and where they are buried as well as the info on death and burial of their children. two of their children I know of were John Willis, my gg grandfather, and a daughter named Nancy who died in 1900 .I beleive that Nancy and my gg grandfather John Willis were twins because they were both born in 1865. Nancy was married to a Gibson Cobb and they had two daughters named Sophie and Bettie Cobb, Bettie was the older of the two girls and I believe Sophie was named after her maternal grandmother whose name was Sophie as well. Their mother, Nancy Willis died between the ages of 31-35 yrs old. Please let me know if we have a family connection it would be great to find cousins and extended family no matter how distant for doing family research. Any leads or info greatly appreciated . Thanks :)

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on April 4, 2011

have you looked at the census card, dawes application and testimony? this might be helpful to you.

NARA fort worth office has many native records for the southwest/oklahoma area.
oklahoma historical society has done a lot of work that is helpful.

state archives can be helpful.

one major collection is the oklahoma pioneer papers, with interviews of elders done by the WPA.
these are indexed by the interviewee name, but i don’t know that an index exists by names that are mentioned in the interviews.

another collection is the oklahoma chronicles.
this is a historical series

things changed in the 1800’s, so we have pretty good information 1900-1930 with the census. but there is very little of the 1890 census because it burned. there are a few pieces of texas and the veterans 1890 census is a substitute. that jump from 1880-1900 was difficult because 20 years is a generation.

census records 1850-1880 list all members of the household but census records before that time period only lists head of household. natives who live on reservations are not on the federal census as they were not taxed.

then you have the native census records and databases. usually this is the only thing people have for natives who were living on the reservation. you can see the transcriptions of most of those on

john willis m. sammie romine
betty elizabeth willis no birthdate/location/spouse

Dawes Card Information

tribe last first middle age sex blood card roll misc type
Choctaw Romine Al 0 M 590 P
Choctaw Romine Bettie 0 F 590 P
Choctaw Willis Sophie 0 F 590 P
Choctaw Willis Willis 0 M 590 P
Choctaw Willis Georgiana 1 F 1/2 590 1348 FOWLERVILLE BB
Choctaw Willis Lena 1 F 1/2 590 1349 FOWLERVILLE BB
Choctaw Willis Frances 3 F 1/2 590 1347 FOWLERVILLE BB
Choctaw Willis Nancy 6 F 1/2 590 1346 FOWLERVILLE BB
Choctaw Willis Betty 8 F 1/2 590 1345 FOWLERVILLE BB
Choctaw Willis Sammie 28 F IW 590 IW560 FOWLERVILLE BB
Choctaw Willis John 32 M FULL 590 1344 FOWLERVILLE BB

bb=by blood
iw=intermarried white, a general nontribal description

accessgenealogy dawes roll says footnote has this packet, gives a link
Lucy Byrd Dawes Packet
footnote is a subscription website, but the cost of a month’s membership would be cheaper than NARA or oklahoma historical society.

this family tree might help a little:

1900 United States Federal Census
about John Willis
Name: John Willis
Home in 1900: Township 7, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory
Age: 35
Birthplace: Indian Territory, Oklahoma
Race: Indian (Native American)
Gender: Male
Relationship to head-of-house: Head
Spouse’s Name: Jammie Willis
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
John Willis 35
Jammie Willis 29
Bettie Willis 7
Nancy Willis 5
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Township 7, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory; Roll: T623_1853; Enumeration District: 118.

Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Township 7, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory; Roll: T623_1853; Enumeration District: 118.
page 22A
1900 indian population census, township 7 south range 23 east
john willis, head, indian male, b. 1865, age 35, married 10 years, b. indian territory, parents b. indian territory, farmer, doesn’t read or write, owns a farm free and clear
sammie, wife, white female, b. dec. 1870, age 29, married 10 years, had 4 children and all survive, b. AR, parents b. AR
bettie, daughter, indian female, b. oct. 1892, age 7, single, b. indian territory
nancy, daughter, indian female, b. nov. 1894, age 5, single, b. indian territory
page 4B
francis willis, daughter, indian female, b. april 1896, age 4, single, b. indian territory
georgia, daughter, indian female, b. july 1898, age 1, single, b. indian territory
NOTE: these census pages are not consecutive.
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Township 8, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory; Roll: T623_1853; Enumeration District: 118.

1910 United States Federal Census
about Franis Willie
Name: Franis Willie
[Francis Willis]
Age in 1910: 14
Estimated Birth Year: 1896
Birthplace: Oklahoma
Relation to Head of House: Stepdaughter
[Step Daughter]
Father’s Birth Place: Oklahoma
Mother’s Name: Sammie Roberts
Mother’s Birth Place: Oklahoma
[United States]
Home in 1910: Township 5, McCurtain, Oklahoma
Marital Status: Single
Race: Indian (Native American)
Gender: Female
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
William Roberts 54
Sammie Roberts 39
Nancy Willie 16
Franis Willie 14
Georgia Willie 11
Lottie Willie 7
Willie Willie 3
Leona M Roberts 11
James Roberts 9
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Township 5, McCurtain, Oklahoma; Roll: T624_1261; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 0185; Image: 1126; FHL Number: 1375274.

william roberts was b. TX, parents b. TX, has his own income, owns a house.

there are few romine families in AR in 1880. you might check spelling of the surname.
1880 United States Federal Census
about Mary S Romine
Name: Mary S Romine
Home in 1880: Prairie, Boone, Arkansas
Age: 10
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1870
Birthplace: Arkansas
Relation to Head of Household: Dau (Daughter)
Father’s Name: Levi Romine
Father’s birthplace: Alabama
Mother’s Name: Margaret Romine
Mother’s birthplace: Tennessee
Neighbors: View others on page
Occupation: Helps In House
Marital Status: Single
Race: White
Gender: Female
Cannot read/write:


Deaf and dumb:

Otherwise disabled:

Idiotic or insane:

View image
Household Members:
Name Age
Levi Romine 39
Margaret Romine 40
Elizabeth A Romine 17
Sarah E Romine 14
Mary S Romine 10
Idella Romine 6
Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Prairie, Boone, Arkansas; Roll: 39; Family History Film: 1254039; Page: 561D; Enumeration District: 20; Image: 0199.

check similar spellings, but this is the only romine family i found and the mary s. might be sammie.

1870 United States Federal Census
about Leroy Rowmines
Name: Leroy Rowmines
[Levi Romine]
Birth Year: abt 1842
Age in 1870: 28
Birthplace: Alabama
Home in 1870: Clark, Greene, Arkansas
Race: White
Gender: Male
Value of real estate: View image
Household Members:
Name Age
Leroy Rowmines 28
Margarett Rowmines 29
Elizabeth A Rowmines 7
Sarah E Rowmines 4
Mary S Rowmines 9/12
Source Citation: Year: 1870; Census Place: Clark, Greene, Arkansas; Roll: M593_54; Page: 276A; Image: 79; Family History Library Film: 545553.

some other dawes applications that mention sophie and willis willis:
Dawes Card Information

tribe last first middle age sex blood card roll misc type
Choctaw Cobb Mike 0 M 584 P
Choctaw Cobb Siney 0 F 584 P
Choctaw Cobb Sophie 9 F FULL 584 1326 FOWLERVILLE BB
Choctaw Cobb Bettie 10 F FULL 584 1325 FOWLERVILLE BB
Choctaw Cobb Nancy 31 F FULL 584 1324 FOWLERVILLE BB
Choctaw Cobb Gibson 34 M FULL 584 1323 FOWLERVILLE BB
Choctaw Willis Sophie 0 F 584 P
Choctaw Willis Willis 0 M 584 P

is this your family?

i wonder if this is a relative

you should look at the accessgenealogy website to find the family group of your various john willis records. click on the #in the card column to see the family group.

since john willis supposedly passed away in 1909, you may have to trace a sibling forward and see if any of those people passed away after 1/1/1937. this is when social security went into effect and the social security application and birth certificate or delayed birth certificate might be of interest to you.

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 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

Katherine Douglas Katherine Douglas

posted on May 13, 2011 and updated on June 10, 2012

Suzanne thank you so much the info you provided it has been invaluable to me and my family and we would like to thank you for your time and effort on our behalf. Yakoke. :)