Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

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Finding My Family

Maggie Brown Maggie Brown

posted on August 20, 2012

I am trying to track down any family I may have out there. My grandpa Charles was born 3/20/32 on a Choctaw Reservation in Bennington OK. I have found out from some family that my 5 time grandpa is Ellis Harlan (gie-sta-gie) I am not sure if I spelled the native name correctly or not. If anyone knows of My grandpa or of these lines can you please contact me. I also know that we are mixed with Cherokee but I am not sure. My grandpa passed away when i was younger and there are no longer any elders in my family. I can be reached at bluetorino68@aol.com. I so greatly appreciate any leads, tips or assistance anyone can provide me.

~Maggie

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on August 20, 2012 and updated on August 20, 2012

i am not sure if you are trying to do genealogy or contact family members or both.

was this your family?

Dawes Card Information

tribe last first middle age sex blood card roll misc type
Cherokee Crittenden Amis 0 F 501 P
Cherokee Crittenden Jack 0 M 501 P
Cherokee Harlan Ellis 0 M 501 P
Cherokee Harlan Lucy 0 F 501 P
Cherokee Harlan Ellis 16 M FULL 501 22534 BARRON BB
Cherokee Harlan Lucinda 17 F FULL 501 22533 BARRON BB
Cherokee Harlan Silas 46 M FULL 501 22531 BARRON BB
Cherokee Harlan Mary 52 F 1/4 501 22532 BARRON BB
Cherokee Harlin Agnes 0 F 501 P
p=parent
bb=by blood

501 is the family group/card #.
22531-22534 are the roll # for that tribe.

the people with the roll # are original enrollees.

your post doesn’t give spouses. there is only one birthdate and no date of death. i am not sure if ellis harlan the parent on the dawes roll or ellis harlan who has roll 22534 is your “5 times grandpa”. it sounds as if you skipped a generation in between charles unknown surname and ellis harlan.

1900 United States Federal Census about Ellis Harlan
Name: Ellis Harlan
Age: 16
Birthplace: Indian Territory, Oklahoma
Home in 1900: Township 17, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory
Race: Indian (Native American)
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Son
Father’s Name: Silas Harlan
Mother’s Name: Mary Harlan
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Silas Harlan 46
Mary Harlan 51
Elio Harlan 22
Lucindy Harlan 17
Ellis Harlan 16
Eliza J Harlan 6
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Township 17, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory; Roll: 1845; Enumeration District: 34; FHL microfilm: 1241845.

1910 United States Federal Census about Ellis Harlin
Name: Ellis Harlin
Age in 1910: 22
Birth Year: 1888
Birthplace: Oklahoma
Home in 1910: Christie, Adair, Oklahoma
Race: Indian (Native American)
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Son
Marital Status: Married
Father’s Name: Silas Harlin
Father’s Birthplace: Oklahoma
Mother’s Birthplace: Oklahoma
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Silas Harlin 54
Ellis Harlin 22
Sarah Harlin 2/12
0
Eliza J Harlin 17
George Harlin 20
Chester Roberts 4
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Christie, Adair, Oklahoma; Roll: T624_1242; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 0005; Image: 184; FHL microfilm: 1375255.

there is more than one person with this name. since i don’t have more information about the other possible information, i will stop searching here.
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.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

Maggie Brown Maggie Brown

posted on August 21, 2012

Do you have ancestry.com? I can show you what I have gotten so far. They way That I have it is that My Grandpa Charles Carlile is son of Lawson B. Carlile who is son of Mary Jane Duncan who is daughter of Harlan Duncan who is son of William Duncan who is son of Ellis Harlan Duncan who is son of Ellis Harlan (Gie-sta-gie) and Ka-ti Catherine Kingfisher is the daughter of Kingfisher and Mary Ward. This info is coming from my mother and her family I tried to find this out on Ancestry but I cant find out info. On Ancestry.com names are misspelled and I do not know if I can trust that information. Thank you for the information have provided. This is all very overwhelming. I am trying to do both genealogy and contact family. I would for my children to learn about their ancestors. I think this is the most important thing for me. We never really were raised with a good foundation on heritage or who and where we come from and I want my kids to know who and where they come from and hopefully learn some of the ways.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on August 21, 2012

there are still no dates or locations here, few spouses. these are common names so you need more information rather than less. it appears to me that you might lack documents. you start from the death and work backwards. genealogy has a vocabulary and format.

some misspellings can be accounted for with the ancestry wildcards “?” and “*” and soundex setting. i would suggest you familiarize yourself with these on ancestry.com.

ellis harlan m. katy/catherine kingfisher (dau. ? kingfisher m. mary ward)
ellis harlan duncan
william duncan
harlan duncan
mary jane duncan m. ? carlile/carlyle
lawson b. carlyle
charles carlyle/carlile

do i have this right?
you should have, for each person, a birthdate and birth location. i think you also need a spouse, date of death and place of death.

if i were you, i’d start a heritage book for your children. you put documents and sources there, stories and photographs. byu/brigham young university used to offer classes in the personal enrichment category (which were free or very low cost) and one of them was about putting together a heritage book. you might try to find whether they are still doing this or whether they have any information about heritage books that they could tell you.

so which ellis harlan is this?
Cherokee Harlan Ellis 16 M FULL 501 22534 BARRON BB
is this the ellis harlan who married catherine kingfisher?
kingfisher is a cherokee surname.

how did ellis harlan duncan get his surname? his father was a harlan and his mother was a kingfisher.

there might be something wrong with your genealogy, as most generations are 20 years, and any children in your family had to be born when each generation were teenagers. putting dates down would really help you and others reading your posts.

native genealogy is not different than genealogy in general. if you think you need someone to help you, you should look for a local genealogy society so that you can learn these ideas. put aside your frustration so that you can learn how to acquire records. my earlier post gives you some sources where you can find records.

everyone who does genealogy was a newbie once. there is no shame in that.

if you are trying to contact family members, you will want to look for obituaries also. see your local public library for that/interlibrary loan program. you need approximate date of death/place of death.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on August 21, 2012

there are still no dates or locations here, few spouses. these are common names so you need more information rather than less. it appears to me that you might lack documents. you start from the death and work backwards. genealogy has a vocabulary and format.

some misspellings can be accounted for with the ancestry wildcards “?” and “*” and soundex setting. i would suggest you familiarize yourself with these on ancestry.com.

ellis harlan m. katy/catherine kingfisher (dau. ? kingfisher m. mary ward)
ellis harlan duncan
william duncan
harlan duncan
mary jane duncan m. ? carlile/carlyle
lawson b. carlyle
charles carlyle/carlile

do i have this right?
you should have, for each person, a birthdate and birth location. i think you also need a spouse, date of death and place of death.

if i were you, i’d start a heritage book for your children. you put documents and sources there, stories and photographs. byu/brigham young university used to offer classes in the personal enrichment category (which were free or very low cost) and one of them was about putting together a heritage book. you might try to find whether they are still doing this or whether they have any information about heritage books that they could tell you.

so which ellis harlan is this?
Cherokee Harlan Ellis 16 M FULL 501 22534 BARRON BB
is this the ellis harlan who married catherine kingfisher?
kingfisher is a cherokee surname.

how did ellis harlan duncan get his surname? his father was a harlan and his mother was a kingfisher.

there might be something wrong with your genealogy, as most generations are 20 years, and any children in your family had to be born when each generation were teenagers. putting dates down would really help you and others reading your posts.

native genealogy is not different than genealogy in general. if you think you need someone to help you, you should look for a local genealogy society so that you can learn these ideas. put aside your frustration so that you can learn how to acquire records. my earlier post gives you some sources where you can find records.

everyone who does genealogy was a newbie once. there is no shame in that.

if you are trying to contact family members, you will want to look for obituaries also. see your local public library for that/interlibrary loan program. you need approximate date of death/place of death.