Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Courtney geneology

Collin Courtney Collin Courtney

posted on December 28, 2011

My Great Grandfather, an Irishman, married an Indian woman from one of the Oklahoma tribes…………

I am 70 years old now so this was long ago………..This makes me 1/8th Indian on my father’s side………We also have Cherokee blood on my mother’s side from Georgia

The family doesn’t know a thing about this Indian lady, she wasn’t buried in the same cemetery with my Great Grandfather……….
Some have said that she was buried in the woods outside the cemetery because of the bad feeling toward Indians…….
Some say she went back to the reservation…………..

My Great Grandfather’s name was James Courtney, they had a son, my grandfather, named Quantrill Courtney, we know that this Indian wife had a sister named Josie………….That is all we know……….

Is there a way to look in any Indian records dating back to the early 1900’s?

Collin Courtney

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on December 29, 2011

james courtney b. no date, no location m. unknown but sister josie unknown surname
quantrill courtney b. no date, no location.
no dates or places of death.
no spouses.

yes, there are plenty of records that could be accessed but the missing information makes the search difficult.

is this a relative?
World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 about James Quantrell Courtney
Name: James Quantrell Courtney
County: Miller
State: Arkansas
Birthplace: Arkansas
Birth Date: 9 Dec 1886
Race: Caucasian (White)
FHL Roll Number: 1530477
DraftBoard: 0

U.S. World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 about James Quantrell Courtney
Name: James Quantrell Courtney
Birth Date: 9 Dec 1886
Birth Place: Atlanta, Texas
Residence: Lafayette, Arkansas
Race: White

if he was b. TX, then he might have been mississippi choctaw or another tribe. location is a primary factor when finding a tribe nearby.

1900 United States Federal Census about James D Courtney
Name: James D Courtney
[James Q Courtney]
[James Quantrel Courtney]
Age: 12
Birth Date: Dec 1887
Birthplace: Texas
Home in 1900: Justice Precinct 7, Cass, Texas
[Atlanta, Cass, Texas]
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Son
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Birthplace: Alabama
Mother’s name: Livonia Courtney
Mother’s Birthplace: Arkansas
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Livonia Courtney 50
Laura Courtney 22
Luterin Courtney 17
David Courtney 15
James D Courtney 12
Nevada Mitchel 20
Asa Mitchel 4
Charley Mitchel 2
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Justice Precinct 7, Cass, Texas; Roll: T623_1618; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 30.

nevada is her daughter. several of the children in the family were b. LA.
so you should look at jena choctaw as well.
david was the first child b. TX.

livonia was b. june 1849 AR, father b. SC and mother b. AL.
so look at the MOWA tribe also. she is widowed.

Louisiana Statewide Death Index, 1900-1949 about Lavonia Courtney
Name: Lavonia Courtney
Death Date: 18 May 1919
Estimated Birth Year: 1850
Age: 69 years

Parish: Caddo
Certificate Number: 5643
Volume: 12
Title: Louisiana Statewide Death Indeces 1900-1929

1850 United States Federal Census about Lavonia Fritter
Name: Lavonia Fritter
Age: 1
Birth Year: abt 1849
Birthplace: Arkansas
Home in 1850: Beech Creek, Ashley, Arkansas
Gender: Female
Family Number: 193
Household Members:
Name Age
Jeremiah Hawkins 27
Martha Fritter 18
Lavonia Fritter 1
Source Citation: Year: 1850; Census Place: Beech Creek, Ashley, Arkansas; Roll: M432_25; Page: 38B; Image: 79.

1880 United States Federal Census about Lavonia Courtney
Name: Lavonia Courtney
Age: 30
Birth Year: abt 1850
Birthplace: Arkansas
Home in 1880: 1st Ward, Caddo, Louisiana
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Jas. D. Courtney
Father’s Birthplace: Mississippi
Mother’s Birthplace: Alabama
Neighbors: View others on page
Occupation: Housekeeper
Cannot read/write:


Deaf and dumb:

Otherwise disabled:

Idiotic or insane:

View image
Household Members:
Name Age
Jas. D. Courtney 49
Lavonia Courtney 30
Donophin K. Courtney 22
Amanda O. Courtney 20
Robt. J. Courtney 17
John B. Courtney 5
Laura C. Courtney 2
Nevada Courtney 6m
Mary Mcmahan 9
Alzena Mcmahan 7
Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: 1st Ward, Caddo, Louisiana; Roll: 449; Family History Film: 1254449; Page: 178C; Enumeration District: 013; Image: 0123.

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 agency 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, names of family members. the census records up to 1930 are available, although the 1890 census was largely destroyed. the 1940 census will be public information in 2012.

social security application for a deceased person:

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.

history of the dawes roll
wikipedia entries are sometimes opinionated; entered by volunteers.

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.
you can order the dawes packet from the oklahoma historical society website.

if you find a relative listed on the dawes roll, fold3 may have filmed the record and could be available online.
other resources are NARA
oklahoma newspaper and archives search. some of these resources may be available through interlibrary loan/public library.

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
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 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
other historical societies:
some oklahoma genealogical societies:

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
and you can read this book online. your relatives’ testimony might be in the book.
see the menu at left. you can download it.

you should look at the enrollment application, census card and testimony. this post will tell you how to do that. these documents will tell you more about your heritage, but it won’t help you if your goal is to be enrolled in the choctaw tribe of oklahoma. some people were classed as mississippi choctaw if the family had a native heritage but didn’t qualify for enrollment in the tribe.

there are 63 tribes in oklahoma but only the five major tribes are on the dawes roll. look at your family’s location around 1900-1930 time period (census will help you there) and see if there was a tribe located nearby. it is possible that your relatives were affiliated with another tribe.

if they were mississippi choctaw, there is probably a land grant in MS/AL to a head of household called choctaw scrip land. this was given in lieu of tribal enrollment 1830-1880 time period. has a database of the MS and AL choctaw scrip land records, called mississippi or alabama land records. there are other land records in those databases too,, so you have to look at the authority/source cited. NARA has those land record packages.

the mississippi choctaw was not removed from oklahoma. but they were largely rejected for tribal enrollment.

this website might help you in your search. some people are trying to transcribe applications.
i do not know what they are trying to transcribe, but this is the volunteer page

and this might be of interest to you:
Rights of Mississippi Choctaws in the Choctaw Nation
Index to the Final Rolls of the Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory
the dawes roll is composed of applications to the five major tribes in oklahoma.

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.

this page can help you set up a targeted google search.

these searches will combine several possible search terms and give you the best matches.

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