Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

looking for family

Andrew Bridgeford Andrew Bridgeford

posted on June 22, 2011 and updated on June 29, 2011

Hi, my name is Andrew. My birth certificate once shown my name as Baby Boy McAlester, and another shown the name as Rufus. My birth father’s name is James Jake Williston, I believe he has passed on. My birth mother’s name is Linda Luo McAlester. I have no info about her. I was born at Wadleys Reg Hospital in Texarkana, Texas. The year was 1975 Dec. 29th. My sister Dottie(birth name Dorthy)has found her family. I regret not knowing my true family. I have six wounderful children, and have nothing to tell them if they ever ask about there true family. I am 1/2 Miss Choctaw Blood. I was adopted at the age of two from Goodland. If anyone has info please email me at, or write me on this page. Thank you.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on June 23, 2011

mississippi choctaw is a separate tribe, links in this post. the distinction was made by the federal government in the 1830’s.

Name: James J Williston
Home in 1930: Frisco, McCurtain, Oklahoma
View Map
Age: 9
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1921
Relation to Head of House: Son
Father’s name: Jacob Williston
Mother’s name: Slgahia Williston
Race: Indian


Military Service:

Rent/home value:

Age at first marriage:

Parents’ birthplace:

View image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Jacob Williston 50
Slgahia Williston 46
Inpson Williston 28
James J Williston 9
Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Frisco, McCurtain, Oklahoma; Roll: 1913; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 7; Image: 174.0.
jacob williston, head, lives on a farm, male indian, age 50, married first at age 18, reads and writes, b. OK, full-blooded choctaw, farmer on a general farm
sheila?, wife, female indian, age 46, first married at age 16, reads and writes, b. OK, full-blooded choctaw
impson?, son, male indian, age 28, first married at age 18, reads and writes, b. OK, full-blooded choctaw
james j., son, male indian, age 9, single, attends school, b. OK, full-blooded choctaw

you should check with mccurtain county and see if there were any court papers, probate papers in that county for these people. inform them that you are very likely native.

you may want to correct the ancestry name index so that others can find your family.

you can try contacting the adoption coordinator in the state where the adoption occurred and see if you can get any information. it involves your heritage.

1910 United States Federal Census
about Jacab Williston
Name: Jacab Williston
[Jacob Williston]
Age in 1910: 32
Estimated Birth Year: 1878
Birthplace: Oklahoma
Relation to Head of House: Head
[Self (Head)]
Father’s Birth Place: Oklahoma
Mother’s Birth Place: Oklahoma
Spouse’s Name: Saphie Williston
Home in 1910: Township 2, McCurtain, Oklahoma
Marital Status: Married
Race: Indian (Native American)
Gender: Male
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Jacab Williston 32
Saphie Williston 25
Impson Williston 13
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Township 2, McCurtain, Oklahoma; Roll: T624_1261; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 0178; Image: 765; FHL Number: 1375274.
sophie and jacob have been married 6 years.
that means that impson might be sophie’s stepson or jacob’s stepson.
you can try the district court, the fort smith records, the county records for a marriage record. (these are three different places. the fort smith records are kept by NARA fort worth office)

maybe you are choctaw?
Dawes Card Information

tribe last first middle age sex blood card roll misc type
Choctaw Pisahotema 0 F 695 P
Choctaw Showona Thompson 0 M 695 P
Choctaw Williston Charles 0 M 695 P
Choctaw Williston Louisa 0 F 695 P
Choctaw Williston Impson 3 M FULL 695 1686 KULLI TUKLO BB
Choctaw Williston Jacob 20 M FULL 695 1684 KULLI TUKLO BB
Choctaw Williston Selay 30 F FULL 695 1685 KULLI TUKLO BB
bb=by blood
this might be jacob’s first wife. there might be more information on the application, census card, testimony.

Name: Jacob Wiliston
Home in 1900: Township 7, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory
Age: 21
Birth Date: Mar 1874
Birthplace: Indian Territory, Oklahoma
Race: Indian (Native American)
Relationship to head-of-house: Head
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Jacob Wiliston 21
Impson Wiliston 3
Silas Wiliston 19
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Township 7, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory; Roll: T623_1853; Enumeration District: 119.

silas is jacob’s brother. so impson’s mother may already have passed away by the time of the census.

Birth: Mar. 3, 1897
Death: Jun. 28, 1987

m. Naomi C. Brandy 23 Aug 1923

Family links:
Lex Williston (1924 – 2004)*

*Point here for explanation

Canfield Cemetery
McCurtain County
Oklahoma, USA
this information on

Birth: 1882
Death: Aug. 27, 1910


Note: 28 years old

Denison Cemetery
McCurtain County
Oklahoma, USA

Birth: Apr. 20, 1889
Death: unknown

Denison Cemetery
McCurtain County
Oklahoma, USA

the dawes roll record leads me to believe that you might be choctaw, not mississippi choctaw.

i do not know jacob’s second wife’s maiden name, so i cannot check her enrollment. but there would be enough information that you could get about this family.

if there is no other source of information, anyone who passed away after 1/1/1937 has a social security application on file and they would have had to submit a birth record or delayed birth certificate to show proof of age.

contact the tribe directly and find out what information you need.

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 submitted 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

Patsy M Swanson Patsy M Swanson

posted on February 16, 2013

I know all about your birth-mother. She is living and doing fine. Contact me and I will tell you everything I can and will put you in touch with her and her side of your family. You can call me at 903 543-2001 or 903 278=8177cell. I have attached a picture of her.