Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Searching for Williams family Louisiana Choctaw

Laura White Lewis Laura White Lewis

posted on July 18, 2011

I am searching for my gg grandmother’s family. Her name was Martha Williams she died in 1875, Olla Louisiana. she was married to a William Gough also died 1875, I don’t think he was Choctaw. The Williams family may have moved to Oklahoma after 1880. Any information on this family would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Laura L

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on July 18, 2011

no children listed and these names are common.

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


helpful information about tribal enrollment


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

freedmen info:
You can ONLY apply for Choctaw Nation Membership, AFTER you

have obtained a CDIB card proving your Choctaw Blood lineage

to a direct ancestor who actually enrolled, BY BLOOD. Freedmen

DID NOT enroll By Blood. When US Congress closed the Final

Dawes Commission Rolls, there were no provisions granting

Freedmen any benefits after the Dawes Commission closed. The

tribe Constitution states BY BLOOD. however, the documents

(application, census card and testimony) may help you find out

more about your heritage.

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


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

Laura White Lewis Laura White Lewis

posted on July 19, 2011

Hi Suzanne, I began this search over a year ago! They had a daughter, Tennessee Pinquite Gough born in 1875. I have found a family of Choctaws named Williams in the Louisiana, catahoula parish census ( I believe LaSalle Parish was not created until 1890) but am having trouble connecting the dots. There was a George, and a Willis and a Polley, along with several children. I think this was probably her family since there were so few Choctaw families in this area during that time. I have found a George and Willis on the Dawes list. How can I determine if this is the same family? Thanks, Laura L

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on July 19, 2011

you should contact the jena choctaw tribe, links in my earlier reply.

tennessee pinquite gough b. 1875
but married who?
had any children?
where did she pass away? when?

if she was alive 1/1/1937, you can request a copy of her social security application. she would have submitted a birth document, maybe a birth certificate or a delayed birth certificate.

the social security application might be able to steer you in the right direction on dates, locations, parents.

maybe an obituary would help you. if you know her date of death, you can request an obituary. see your local public library for that.

i would advise you to first collect documents about her life: census, birth record, death record, cemetery record. then you can try to find a tribal record.

if you get stuck, you can look at the childrens’ documents.

that is what i would advise you to do, at this point.

look at the louisiana state archives, contact the louisiana state genealogical society and the louisiana state historical society. they can tell you of possible resources in that state.

location is very important with tribes. look at the louisiana tribes on


Laura Lewis Laura Lewis

posted on July 25, 2011

Hi Suzanne, I have contacted the Jena Choctaws, they have no historical information available for viewing. The Williams family were listed as one of the founding families for the Jena tribe in documents I located at the Jena library. I found the Williams in the 1880 census listed as “indian”. Unfortunately my gg grandmother, Martha Williams Gough died in 1875. So, still no firm connection to this family. I have been searching the area cemeteries, so far nothing. I went to the White Rock Choctaw Cemetery, there were so many “unknown spirit” graves there, it made me realize I will probably never find her grave, there or anywhere in LaSalle Parish.
I have gotten my g grandmother’s (Tennessee P Gough) death certificate, this is how I found her mother’s name. I also have gotten a copy of her obituary, it contained very little pertinent information. I can not find her on the 1880 cencus, she would have been 5 years old. How do I go about getting her social security application? I would really love to see a birth certificate. I know she was born close to Olla, La. which is close to Jena. I know she was married in 1891 in a town called Davis La. It does not exist as a town any more, I did locate her marriage certificate. Davis was close to Jena. I know there are a lot of Williams in Louisiana, but there are not that many Williams that were Choctaw in LaSalle Parish during this time period. I feel like this must have been her
family. I just can’t seem to connect the dots. But I’ll keep chipping away at it. Please let me know how to go about getting Tennessee’s social security application. That will be my next project. I may be going to the Jena Court House to search for information soon. Do you have any suggestions about what type of information to look for there? I will be looking for marriage certificates and possible land records. Anything else?
One last thing, I would love to know how a Choctaw woman married to a white man during this time period would have been treated by her family, and his. Would she have been accepted by anyone? I was always told that the white doctor, William Vannah Taylor, who delivered my g grandmother, because both parents were deceased, named her and raised her. However, she is not listed with his family in the 1880 census. Who would have raised her, her white family, or her Choctaw? Would she have been allowed to go to school, what was her childhood like? My grandfather, her son, Rev. C B White, would not talk about this subject at all. He became the superintendent of the Methodist Children’s Home, in Ruston, La. Are there any historical books or documents, or historians that might address this subject? I would be very interested.
Thanks, sincerely, Laura Lewis

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on July 25, 2011

contact the social security department nearest you. anyone who passed away after 1/1/1937 has a social security application on file.

counties have vital records, land records. look to the state archives also. you can google the state and “state archives”. they may have some historical newspapers. then you can search for events, such as marriage, births, deaths.

i would suspect a misspelling for the 1880 census. if you know where they lived, you might have to go through that area on the census records. i use wild cards and soundex when i search on ancestry.

we value little bits of information.

i cannot answer cultural questions, sorry.

see your local public library for historical books. if they don’t have a book, they can borrow through interlibrary loan.

also, see the local historical society and local genealogical society. you can google both.

Laura Lewis Laura Lewis

posted on July 27, 2011

Hi again, everywhere I go I get stone walled!! Any way, I contacted my local social security office to find out before I went if I needed to bring anything special with me in order to get my g grandmother’s info. They said they never give out that information even though she has been dead since 1941! Ridiculous!! Anyway, I think I must be approaching this from the wrong direction. What do I ask for? I know you have been doing this a long time, so how do I get this information? Thanks again, sincerely, Laura Lewis

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on July 28, 2011

that information is incorrect.
file this:
Request for Deceased Individual’s Social Security Record

Form SSA-711 Internet Request
Form Approved: OMB No. 0960-0665
Expiration Date: 11/30/2012

Laura Lewis Laura Lewis

posted on July 28, 2011

Thank-you, I’m going there next-LL

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on July 28, 2011

you should be able to get a copy of a birth certificate or delayed birth certificate for tennessee.
contact the vital records office in louisiana or the louisiana state archives.
you can go to your local public library and ask for historical books through the interlibrary loan program. works for newspapers as well.
look for events, such as marriage, birth, death.

Laura White Lewis Laura White Lewis

posted on August 11, 2011

Just a quick note to let you know I sent for the ss info you told me about and am waiting for the doc’s! I decided to work on the other people in my family while waiting. I have found quite a bit by going to the courthouses in those parishes. I am amazed that my family has been here in north east Louisiana for so long! There are so many Indian mounds and artifacts in Catahoula Parish and also Oauchita Parish! The history here is fascinating! This alone has made this journey into my families past worth all the hard work! I’ll let you know about the ss info as soon as I get it, hopefully something there will shed some light into the past. Thanks for all your help~LL