Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Lucy Jane Tanner and Michael Smallwood

Randy Scott Randy Scott

posted on June 13, 2012 and updated on June 13, 2012

I am searching for information on my Great Grandmother, Lucy Jane Tanner. Lucy was married to Michael Smallwood in apprx. 1875. Michael was the son of Benjamin Smallwood who was Principal Chief in 1888/1890. Michael died about 2 years after his marrieage to Lucy. Lucy then married my Great Grandfather, James Knox Bowman in 1880. They had several children, the 2nd of which was my grandmother, Nettie Bowman Scott. I would appreciate any information on Lucy, or any suggestions on how to get information on Lucy. All information we have is that she is full blood American Indian, but we have no documented trail. Thank you very much,
Randy Scott

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on June 14, 2012

childrens’ documents point to the parents and fix the family to a location and date.
i don’t know how much information you have on the children. there is no spouse in your post, and only a few dates. no dates for nettie.

do you have census information on this family? you can try the native census records and native databases and rolls on the left menu of this link.

it is likely that there might be a historical newspaper article about the marriage, since his father was prominent.


Son of William Smallwood and grandson of Elijah, a white man from South Carolina who went to Mississippi and married Mary LeFlore, sister of Thomas LeFlore. William was a student at Choctaw Academy. The family settled in Kiamichi County. Ben, born 1829, attended Spencer Academy married Annie Burney, a Chickasaw Indian. He later married Abbie James. He was a merchant and cattleman. Member of the Choctaw Council, served in the Civil War, and a delegate to Washington. He retired to a farm and died Dec. 15, 1891 at Lehigh.

Ben Smallwood, 1888-1890

also, obituary of the father might mention the family.

Descendants of William SMALLWOOD
Fifth Generation

CAUTION: Some of the information in this GEDCOM file was obtained from census records and has not been verified. Please verify it before re-publishing or include a caution message with the published material. If a question mark (?) is shown next to a first name, this means the individual’s parentage is questionable. Thank you. Disclaimer

424. Dulcina J. RING (John Thomas RING , Rachel ? SMALLWOOD , William , William ) was born in 1839 in Platte Co, Missouri.

1860 census Thomas Ring Kings Valley, Benton, OR 60 1799 North Carolina Male Margaretta Ring Kings Valley, Benton, OR 30 1829 Pennsylvania Female Christopher Ring Kings Valley, Benton, OR 13 1846 Missouri Male Hewitt Ring Kings Valley, Benton, OR 10 1849 Missouri Male Jesse Ring Kings Valley, Benton, OR 9 1850 Missouri Male Rufus Ring Kings Valley, Benton, OR 1 1858 Oregon Male Delcina Milmer Kings Valley, Benton, OR 20 1839 Missouri Female Henrietta Milmer Kings Valley, Benton, OR 4 1855 Oregon Female

Dulcina married MILMER.

They had the following children:

841 F i Henrietta MILMER was born about 1855 in Oregon.

447. Elisha SMALLWOOD (William , Elijah , William , William ) was born in Choctaw Nation, Pushmataha Dist., Kiamitia County, Nelson..

Elisha married Eunice HUNTER in 1850 in Indian Territory. Eunice died in 1876 in Indian Territory.

They had the following children:

842 M i Willie SMALLWOOD was born in 1870. 843 F ii Annie SMALLWOOD. 844 M iii John SMALLWOOD was born on 15 Oct 1876. He died in 1898 in Indian Territory.

465. Robert SMALLWOOD (John , Elijah , William , William ) was born in 1850.

Robert married (1) Emma MURPHY in 1892.

They had the following children:

845 F i Rutha SMALLWOOD.

Robert married (2) Betsy SMALLWOOD.

They had the following children:

846 F ii Elizabeth SMALLWOOD was born in 1878. 847 M iii Mark SMALLWOOD was born in 1884. He died in 1901.

Robert married (3) Viney NASH.

They had the following children:

848 M iv Living

471. Lorinda SMALLWOOD (Benjamin Franklin , Elijah , William , William ) was born in 1850 in Mayhew, Jackson Co., Choctaw Nation.

She was listed as a resident in the census report on ‘1855’ Choctaw Roll, Kiamitia Co., Choctaw Nation, IT, NOV/DEC 1856. Lorinda was listed on the Choctaw census of 1885, living in Blue Co., Choctaw Nation, IT on 1885. Age 36.

Lorinda married Henry C. JAMES in 1868. Henry was born about 1840.

They had the following children:

849 F i Annie JAMES was born in 1869. 850 F ii Mary JAMES was born in 1871 in Mayhew, Jackson Co., Choctaw Nation. Mary was listed on the Choctaw census of 1885, living in Blue Co., Choctaw Nation, IT on 1885. Age 14. 851 M iii Thomas JAMES was born about 1872. Thomas was listed on the Choctaw census of 1885, living in Blue Co., Choctaw Nation, IT on 1885. Age 13. 852 M iv John Clay JAMES II was born in 1879 in Mayhew, Jackson Co., Choctaw Nation. He died on 13 Feb 1899. John was listed on the Choctaw census of 1885, living in Blue Co., Choctaw Nation, IT on 1885. Age 7. 853 M v William “Willie” C. JAMES was born in 1881. 854 F vi Lorinda JAMES was born in 1883.

472. Michael SMALLWOOD (Benjamin Franklin , Elijah , William , William ) was born on 24 Dec 1852. He died on 10 Dec 1877 in Atoka, Atoka Co., Choctaw Nation.

His body was interred DEC 1877 in Atoka, Atoka Co., Choctaw Nation He was listed as a resident in the census report on ‘1855’ Choctaw Roll, Kiamitia Co., Choctaw Nation, IT, NOV/DEC 1856.

Michael married Jucy Jane TANNER about 1865.

They had the following children:

855 F i Priscilla SMALLWOOD.

it appears that several other people are also looking for information.

BOWMAN TANNER SMALL WOOD Seeking information about my husbands father and grandparents His father Benjamin Franklin Bowman was bom to James Knox Bowman and Lucy Jane Tanner Smallwood in Lamar Texas January 26 1884 Lucy is said to have been Choctaw Indian They are next found in Oklahoma in 1888 Any help will be greatly appreciated Jean Bowman Box 1751 Hilltop Lakes TX 77871
this might be in the paris, TX newspaper
Paris News
December 26, 1999
Page 22

Lucy Jane TANNER, dau. of Sam Tanner and Sarah Walker. She married Michol
SMALLWOOD and moved to Atoka, OK. They had a daughter, Sorilla. Michol died
in perhaps 1876-1880. In 1880 Lucy Jane Smallwood married James Bowman in
Dallas Co., TX. They moved to OK. The 1890 census of the Chickasaw Nation
Indian Territory, Book 2 Pickins Co. has:
27080 Bowman, J.K. and wife, age 33, 1 male, 3 females, Healdton, Carter Co.,
Choctaw by marriage
33880 Bowman J.K. and wife, age 33, 1 male, 3 female, Healdton, carter
County, Choctaw by marriage.
Lucy died Oct 13, 1895 and is buried in Healdton. James died in 1909 in TX
Would appreciate and bit of information or advise about either of the people.
Thanks for any help.
Jean Bowman

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 online.
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 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.

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