Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Williams Family

Kay Kay

posted on June 9, 2012

I have been trying to research my family myself but I always seem to hit a wall. My great grandmother’s name is Myrtle Combs-Williams born 1893 in Oklahoma and was married to Frank Allen Williams born in Iowa 1890. I have been told by many family members that she is Choctaw but I can’t seem to find much except for a single picture of her from way back when. Although there is a Myrtle Williams on the Dawes Roll people have said that Myrtle Williams is of black decent and I’m not, although I’m not sure of that fact because I have yet to see anything confirming that Myrtle is of black race.

My great grandmothers-mother’s name is Elenora Combs born in 1866 in Indiana and she was married to Peter A. Combs born in 1862 and I believe Iowa also.I believe her maiden name is Hatfield but from there I can’t find anything. Any info or suggestions on where to go from here…? Thanks!

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on June 9, 2012

i don’t see a myrtle combs on the dawes roll.

tribal enrollment and tribal heritage may be two different topics.

are you talking about the 1900 census? i do see the myrtle combs that is black on the 1900 census. she was born closer to 1900.

1900 United States Federal Census about Myrtle Combs
Name: Myrtle Combs
Age: 5
Birth Date: Dec 1894
Birthplace: Kansas
Home in 1900: Ponca City, Kay, Oklahoma
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Daughter
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Name: Peter Combs
Father’s Birthplace: Iowa
Mother’s name: Elenore Combs
Mother’s Birthplace: Indiana
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Peter Combs 38
Elenore Combs 33
Dollie Combs 12
Annie Combs 11
William Combs 9
Myrtle Combs 5
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Ponca City, Kay, Oklahoma; Roll: 1338; Page: 20A; Enumeration District: 97; FHL microfilm: 1241338.

the choctaw tribe was from the southeast, like AL and MS. both parents appear to be born in the midwest.

start with what you know, gather documents, then go backward in time. the childrens’ documents point to the parents and fix the family to a date and location.

if myrtle was alive 1/1/1937, she would have filled out a social security application and submitted a birth record to show proof of age. this might be a birth certificate or a delayed birth certificate. you would get this from the state vital records. ask for both documents, as they might be filed chronologically.

card# 1478
sam williams, age 48, male, #5067
charley williams, age 23, female, #5068
lee williams, age 19, male, #5069
maxey williams, age 16, male, #5070
hugh williams, age 13, male, #5071
myrtle williams, age 10, female, #5072
addene williams, age 7, female, #5073

card# is the family group#. this does not appear to be your family.

this is a fairly common name. i see that some people on ancestry has saved certain records, but they don’t seem to be the same family.

i would advise you to start with the death and work backwards, getting documentation. in other words, do genealogy in a chronological manner. there are many people with these names. it is not a matter of just clicking on records because you find one name. put some order into your genealogy search. follow clues that other people have left, such as the family trees.

Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925 about Peter A Combs
Name: Peter A Combs
Census Date: 1925
Residence County: Sedgwick
Residence State: Kansas
Locality: Wichita
Birth Location: Indiana
Family Number: 176
Marital Status: Married
Gender: Male
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1859
Race: White
Relation: Head
Line: 2
Roll: KS1925_136
Spouse’s Name: Elenor Combs
Household Member(s):
Name Age
Peter A Combs 66
William H Combs 37
Samuel P Combs 19
Elenor Combs 57
Source Information: Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2009.

they must have moved back to kansas.

when you look for records, know what you already expect to find. this will help you find the right record.

you should look for the death records first, such as obituary, cemetery record, death certificate. some of these documents will give you location, dates, spouses, children.

you should probably look for a marriage record in IA, IN, KS.

i see that there are some family trees started on for a peter anderson combs, but none give the spouse. says he was born in IN feb 1862. parents peter anderson combs and keziah ann/louanna lancaster.

1880 United States Federal Census about Peter A. Combes
Name: Peter A. Combes
[Peter A. Combs]
Age: 18
Birth Year: abt 1862
Birthplace: Indiana
Home in 1880: Valverdi, Sumner, Kansas
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Son
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Name: Peter A. Combes
Father’s Birthplace: Kentucky
Mother’s name: Luann Combes
Mother’s Birthplace: Illinois
Neighbors: View others on page
Occupation: Works On Farm
Cannot read/write:


Deaf and dumb:

Otherwise disabled:

Idiotic or insane:

View image
Household Members:
Name Age
Peter A. Combes 49
Luann Combes 39
Peter A. Combes 18
Henry W. Combes 14
Valentine Combes 13
Albert Combes 11
Marion Combes 9
James T. Combes 7
George T. Combes 5
Jesse Combes 2
Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Valverdi, Sumner, Kansas; Roll: 398; Family History Film: 1254398; Page: 115B; Enumeration District: 194; Image: 0236.

if you get stuck on anyone who passed away after 1/1/1937, they filled out a social security application when social security came into effect. they would have submitted a birth record.
they have webprojects for surnames, locations, tribes. people give them records and they have many indices of records, local resources.

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.

obituaries through the oklahoma choctaw tribe is through the history link for the tribe:

social security application for a deceased person:
form SS-5.

your public library probably has a subscription to heritage quest and is another

useful database for native records and military records, but they are a subscription. however, many times

their month’s subscription price is less than the price of a dawes packet, however check with

accessgenealogy’s database to see if your relative’s dawes packet is exists or is available at fold3.
partial names are allowed.

bear in mind that many records are not online. always collect documents, as just the reference to a

relative in an index informs you that a document is available.

death records:
death certificate: state vital records or if very old, state archives. ask for the person’s name at the

time of death. you can look at death indices, such as the social security death index 1964-present for a

date of death on or
obituary: see your local public library, interlibrary loan program. ask for the person’s name at the time

of death. approximate date of death is helpful. if old, state historical society or state archives might

have historical newspapers.
cemetery record: try or ask for the person’s name at the time of death. if

you find a relative, you can click on the county or cemetery to see if others with the same surname are

buried there.

marriage records:
state vital records office, county clerk or if old, state archives or state historical society.

birth records:
state vital records office, or if old, state archives or state historical society. if the birth was before

1940, ask for a birth certificate or a delayed birth certificate. many people had to get delayed birth

certificates when social security came into effect because they had to show proof of age. this will be

under the name used at the time of birth.

census records:
you will want to search for census records 1940 on down to the birth of your relative. the federal census

was taken every 10 years, however the 1890 census was largely destroyed by fire. there are also some state

census records and native census records and native rolls. and heritage quest are two

databases that include many census records. many native census records kept by NARA

( are transcribed at accessgenealogy.

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 your relative was enrolled by court action, their name might not be on this list.
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

other resources are NARA

the five civilized tribes book put out by the department of the interior has testimony.
and you can read it online

and these are the microfilms at fort worth TX archives.

there may be additional records about your relative:
contact NARA for these and other records listed on this webpage.

75.23.1 Records of the Dawes Commission
75.23.2 Records of the U.S. Indian Inspector for Indian Territory
75.23.3 General records of the Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes
(Record Group 75)
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.
some obituaries:

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.

about blood quantum laws:
calculations about blood quantum:

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
marriage records

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

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


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.

penny postcards. this is a website that features pictures that were on postcards. click on the state to

see the postcards that they have.
if you have a penny postcard, you can click on submissions to add your penny postcard to the collection.

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

there is a picture:
Name: Samuel Peter Combs
Image Title: Sam & Sarah Martha Combs Children
Annotation: Last family reunion.
People In Photo: Samuel Peter Combs
State: Missouri
Area: Hatfield
Year: 1950

yes, i would say they married in KS or MS.

U.S., Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865 about Peter A Combs
Name: Peter A Combs
Residence: Washington, Wabash, Indiana
Class: 1
Congressional District: 1st
Age on 1 July 1863: 33
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1830
Race: White
Marital Status: Married
Place of Birth: Kentucky

i would start here:
kansas state vital records
state archives

Kay Kay

posted on June 9, 2012 and updated on June 9, 2012

Thank you! Yeah a few of the things you posted I came across on My family’s main focus is trying to find out the name and birth place of Elenore Combs’ parents. No one in my family can seem to find anything for her parents at all. All we know is Elenore was born in 1866 in Indiana. Finding her parents is the brick wall. I contacted the State of Indiana vital records but they were closed so I’ll try again Monday, hopefully they have something.

Myrtle Williams #5072 is who my family had originally thought was our family which is where the confusion came because they were both born within a year of each other, but thanks for verifying it’s not her.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on June 9, 2012

as i say, start with the death and work backwards. this way you will know what birthplace/birthdate she was using. as genealogists, we are much more exact about dates and locations, whereas people of this era probably had no idea we were going to try to find records of them. several of them didn’t even read or write.

if i were you, i’d get the death certificate first, because you probably have an idea where she passed away and when. but less information about birthdate and birthplace. they might have put birthdate and birthplace on the death certificate. her parents’ names might even be there.

an obituary might have parents, dates and locations also.

you can look online and see if she has a cemetery record. several cemeteries are online. try and some people put the obituaries with the cemetery record. has some historical newspapers online, but the index is pretty bad. if you know where she lived, it might help you finding any references to her family in a local newspaper.

there are some historical newspapers online, but i find that if you have a subscription to one of them, you probably have access to most of the newspapers.

most of the time, i usually get historical newspapers through my local public library interlibrary loan program. i usually have to have dates (at least year) and the name of someone i am looking for. sometimes i get a copy of the obituary this way and sometimes they send a microfilm of newspapers that i have to look through.

state historical societies and state archives are likely to have newspapers. if i use this route, i usually have to pay a small fee for someone to find the news item i want.

if you are stuck on someone who passed away after 1/1/1937, you can get a copy of her social security application.

so, if i were you, i’d confirm the birth location/birthdate through other records first, before trying to get a birth record with an uncertain date and uncertain location and uncertain maiden name.

state vital records usually charge for the record, whether or not they find a record for your relative.

Jason Jason

posted on January 12, 2015

Wow this is crazy I’ve been researching the same thing they are my great grandparents my grandmother was Georgia Williams myrtle combs daughter