Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

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Were there adoption records back in 1876?

Annie Buchanan Annie Buchanan

posted on June 18, 2012

My Great Grandmother had compliled an extensive genealogy but when she was on her deathbed she said the genealogy was all a lie and that she was a full blood Choctaw and she didn’t want to “die with a lie on her lips”.

While some members of my family do appear to have some physical traits that make us wonder if it is true, we have not been able to prove or disprove it.

I have not been able to find a birth record linking her to the parents on her genealogy. The only records I can find are linked to the genealogy that she submitted to our church records and pedigrees from other reletives that reference the genealogy that she indicated was false.

I was wondering if there were any records kept of children who might have been adopted and that perhaps her parents from her genealogy might be listed as adoptive parents?

Are there any such records? and where could I find them if there are?

My grandmother’s name was Elizabeth Watson middle name may have been Louisa. She was married to Eugene Delos Buchanan.
Her parents according to her genealogy were
Thomas Nuten Watson and Reathy (or Realthy)Catherine Taylor.
She had down that she was born in 1876 in Alabama but the family may also have lived in Oklahoma. She died in Utah in 1947.

Any information you could help me find one way or another would be appreciated.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on June 18, 2012

heritage and tribal enrollment are two different topics.

you have to look at the documents: death certificate, birth certificate or delayed birth certificate.

if she was born in AL 1876, her family didn’t go on the trail of tears. so if they were native they would be likely MOWA or mississippi choctaw. links about those tribes are in this post.

first, go to the census records and see what they say. look at family members, locations.

1910 United States Federal Census about Elizabeth W Buchanan
Name: Elizabeth W Buchanan
Age in 1910: 33
Birth Year: 1877
Birthplace: Alabama
Home in 1910: Venice, Sevier, Utah
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Eugene D Buchanan
Father’s Birthplace: Alabama
Mother’s Birthplace: Alabama
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Eugene D Buchanan 43
Elizabeth W Buchanan 33
Golden R Buchanan 7
Alun H Buchanan 5
Eugenia Buchanan 3
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Venice, Sevier, Utah; Roll: T624_1608; Page: 30A; Enumeration District: 0163; Image: 564; FHL microfilm: 1375621.

is this your family?

Utah Death Registers, 1847-1966 about Elizabeth Watson Buchanan
Name: Elizabeth Watson Buchanan
Gender: Female
Age: 70
Birth Date: abt 1877
Death Date: 24 Mar 1947
Death County: Sevier
State File Number: 1947001250

Utah Cemetery Inventory about Elizabeth Watson Buchanan
Name: Elizabeth Watson Buchanan
Birth Date: 7 May 1876
Death Date: 24 Mar 1947
Cemetery: Glenwood Cemetery
Source: Sexton / Grant
Grave Location: Row 4 Space 4
Relatives: Spouse Eugene Deloss Buchanan
Mother Reathy Taylor
Father Thomas Nuten Watson

i would suggest that nuten might be newton.
this would not be primary information, as it was given at the time of her death,not the time of her birth.

1920 United States Federal Census about Elizabeth W Buchanan
Name: Elizabeth W Buchanan
[Elizabeth M Buchman]
Age: 43
Birth Year: abt 1877
Birthplace: Alabama
Home in 1920: Venice, Sevier, Utah
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Eugene D Buchanan
Father’s Birthplace: Alabama
Mother’s Birthplace: Alabama
Able to read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Eugene D Buchanan 52
Elizabeth W Buchanan 43
Golden Buchanan 17
Alton Buchanan 15
Eugenia V Buchanan 12
Ruben Buchanan 8
Amil Buchanan 7
Amy Buchanan 7
Joseph W Buchanan 5
Source Citation: Year: 1920; Census Place: Venice, Sevier, Utah; Roll: T625_1863; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 111; Image: 818

1930 United States Federal Census about Elizabeth Buchanan
Name: Elizabeth Buchanan
Gender: Female
Birth Year: abt 1878
Birthplace: Alabama
Race: White
Home in 1930: Venice, Sevier, Utah
View Map
Marital Status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Spouse’s Name: Eugene D Buchanan
Father’s Birthplace: Alabama
Mother’s Birthplace: Alabama
Occupation:

Education:

Military Service:

Rent/home value:

Age at first marriage:

Parents’ birthplace:

View image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Eugene D Buchanan 63
60
Elizabeth Buchanan 52
Ruben W Buchanan 20
Amel L Buchanan 17
Amy E Buchanan 17
Joseph W Buchanan 15
Eugenia V Garret 22
J Carl Garret 1
Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Venice, Sevier, Utah; Roll: 2422; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 26; Image: 823.0; FHL microfilm: 2342156.

the 1940 census is now public but ancestry.com is working on an index. if you know where they lived, you can probably go through the census pages for the area and find the family.

1900 United States Federal Census about Lizzie Watson
Name: Lizzie Watson
Age: 24
Birthplace: Alabama
Home in 1900: Township 5, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Sister
Mother’s name: Reathey Watson
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Jno Watson 25
Mahaila Watson 20
Nevada Watson 3
Estelle Watson 1
Reathey Watson 53
Lizzie Watson 24
Alvira Watson 22
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Township 5, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory; Roll: 1847; Enumeration District: 134; FHL microfilm: 1241847.

ok, now we have a census record with family members, so we could look at the dawes roll that was taken in oklahoma 1896-1906. however, because they migrated late, i think we will not find them as enrolled members of one of the five major tribes. however there are 63 tribes in oklahoma, more in alabama, mississippi.

1880 United States Federal Census about Louisa E. Watson
Name: Louisa E. Watson
Age: 4
Birth Year: abt 1876
Birthplace: Alabama
Home in 1880: Moscow, Lamar, Alabama
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Daughter
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Name: Thomas Watson
Father’s Birthplace: Alabama
Mother’s name: Retha Watson
Mother’s Birthplace: Alabama
Neighbors: View others on page
Cannot read/write:

Blind:

Deaf and dumb:

Otherwise disabled:

Idiotic or insane:

View image
Household Members:
Name Age
Thomas Watson 33
Retha Watson 34
Israel M. Watson 14
Josephine Watson 11
Sarah C. Watson 9
Martha A. Watson 8
John T. Watson 6
Louisa E. Watson 4
Permelia E. Watson 2
Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Moscow, Lamar, Alabama; Roll: 17; Family History Film: 1254017; Page: 577D; Enumeration District: 129; Image: 0469.

when social security went into effect 1/1/1937, people had to submit a birth record along with their social security application. this birth record might be a birth certificate or a delayed birth certificate. you should get a copy of this. it probably would have been filed with the state alabama vital records and county vital records. you have to ask for the delayed birth certificate as well as the birth certificate.

location is a major factor with tribal affiliation, so look at the tribes around this area.

i do not see that the family applied for enrollment to the five major tribes, according to the dawes roll.

i do not see the family group. if you find a name, click on the # in the card column and it shows you the family group. although watson is a common name, i don’t see the family members i expected to see with her.

http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/finalroll.php

i don’t see the name under the buchanan surname either.

i don’t see eugene buchanan either.

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:
http://www.choctawnation.com/history/

social security application for a deceased person:
http://www.ssa.gov/foia/html/foia_guide.htm
form SS-5.

your public library probably has a subscription to heritage quest and ancestry.com. fold3.com 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.
http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/dawes.php?s_last=green&s_first=mart&s_middle=&s_tribe=
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 rootsweb.com or ancestry.com.
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 findagrave.com or interment.net. 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. ancestry.com and heritage quest are two databases that include many census records. many native census records kept by NARA (http://www.archives.gov) 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
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawes_Act
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawes_Commission
wikipedia entries are sometimes opinionated; entered by volunteers.

helpful information about tribal enrollment
http://www.felihkatubbe.com/ChoctawNation/TribalMembership.html

2 ways to search:
http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/finalroll.php
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.

http://www.okhistory.org/research/dawes/index.php
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.
http://www.fold3.com/documents/46580455/dawes-packets/
other resources are NARA http://www.archives.gov

the five civilized tribes book put out by the department of the interior has testimony.
http://books.google.com/books/about/Five_civilized_tribes_in_Oklahoma.html?id=chATAAAAYAAJ
and you can read it online

and these are the microfilms at fort worth TX archives.
http://www.archives.gov/southwest/finding-aids/native-american-microfilm.html

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

75.23 RECORDS OF THE COMMISSIONER TO THE FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES 1852-1919
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
http://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/075.html
(Record Group 75)
1793-1989

http://okhistory.cuadra.com/star/public.html
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.
http://choctawnation.com/services/departments/community-services/
some obituaries:
http://www.choctawnation.com/history/obituaries/

NARA http://www.archives.gov/ 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 nara.gov.

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:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_quantum_laws
calculations about blood quantum:
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~wishawa4/Menominee%20Indians/quantum.htm

mississippi choctaw and choctaw tribe explained here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choctaw_Trail_of_Tears
http://www.choctaw.org/

jena choctaw tribe in louisiana:
http://www.jenachoctaw.org/

MOWA tribe
http://encyclopediaofalabama.org/face/Article.jsp?id=h-1368
http://www.uab.edu/uabmagazine/2009/july/losttribe
http://www.native-american-online.org/MOWA-Choctaw.htm
MOWA Band Of Choctaws Wilford Taylor 1080 Red Fox Road Mount Vernon, AL 36560 (251) 829-5500. E-Mail: chieftaylor@mowachoctaw.com

other choctaw tribes:
http://www.aaanativearts.com/choctaw-indians/index.html

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
http://www.chickasaw.net/index.htm

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

http://www.okhistory.org/
oklahoma historical society
marriage records
http://www.okhistory.org/research/library/marriage.html
http://www.okgenweb.org/~okgarvin/kinard/chocmarriageindex.htm

other historical societies:
http://www.daddezio.com/society/hill/SH-OK-NDX.html
some oklahoma genealogical societies:
http://www.censusfinder.com/oklahoma-genealogy-society.htm
http://www.geneasearch.com/societies/socokla.htm

texas tribes
http://www.native-languages.org/texas.htm
http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/texas/index.htm
http://www.texasindians.com/
http://www.texasindians.com/
http://www.lsjunction.com/places/indians.htm

oklahoma tribes:
http://500nations.com/Oklahoma_Tribes.asp
http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/oklahoma/index.htm
http://www.cowboy.net/native/tribes.html

some links for the choctaw.
http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/tribes/choctaw/index.htm
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.
http://www.okgenweb.org/~okgarvin/kinard/1860index.htm
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.
http://www.archive.org/details/fivecivilizedtr00statgoog
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. ancestry.com 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 http://www.archives.gov 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.
http://www.us-census.org/native/choctaw_dawes.html
i do not know what they are trying to transcribe, but this is the volunteer page
http://www.us-census.org/states/graphics/status.htm

and this might be of interest to you:
http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/choctaw/rights-of-choctaws.htm
Rights of Mississippi Choctaws in the Choctaw Nation

http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/finalrolls/
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:
http://jenniferhsrn2.homestead.com/research2.html

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.
http://www.searchforancestors.com/google/searcher.html

penny postcards. this is a website that features pictures that were on postcards. click on the state to see the postcards that they have.
http://www.usgwarchives.org/special/ppcs/ppcs.html
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, shamlet76@gmail.com 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

Annie Buchanan Annie Buchanan

posted on June 19, 2012

Thank you so much for all this helpful information. I only had some of that census information and I can substantiate where she was and who her descendants are after she married Eugene. I appreciate all the information and links as well as the suggestions for alternate spellings. Our goal is to be sure our recorded heritage is right and to make sure we arent missing any of our ancestors. Thank you so much for your help.

Jeff Garrett Jeff Garrett

posted on October 23, 2013

I happened to come across this while looking for information on on my great great grandmother Realthy Taylor. I am wondering if you ever found anything that would help. We also have the look of Indian in our family. My Uncle Lewis Garrett tells me that his grandmother Elizabeth Watson Buchanan would tell him stories about Realthy and her Indian heritage.

Thanks,

Jeff Garrett
jgarrett@moronifeed.com

Jeff Garrett Jeff Garrett

posted on October 23, 2013

I happened to come across this while looking for information on on my great great grandmother Realthy Taylor. I am wondering if you ever found anything that would help. We also have the look of Indian in our family. My Uncle Lewis Garrett tells me that his grandmother Elizabeth Watson Buchanan would tell him stories about Realthy and her Indian heritage.

Thanks,

Jeff Garrett
jgarrett@moronifeed.com

Jeff Garrett Jeff Garrett

posted on October 23, 2013

I happened to come across this while looking for information on on my great great grandmother Realthy Taylor. I am wondering if you ever found anything that would help. We also have the look of Indian in our family. My Uncle Lewis Garrett tells me that his grandmother Elizabeth Watson Buchanan would tell him stories about Realthy and her Indian heritage.

Thanks,

Jeff Garrett
jgarrett@moronifeed.com