Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Williams Family from Roff, Oklahoma Area

W K Harris W K Harris

posted on August 26, 2012

Working on my family geneaolgy and trying to get my head around the Williams movement from North Carolina to Alabama (1870) to Arkansas (1880) and finally to Chickasaw Nation (1900). Great-grandfather (John F Williams), great-great-grandfather (Marion A Williams), great uncle (Forrest O Williams) and a great aunt (Effie M Williams) shown on the 1900 census in Indian Territory, Chickasaw Nation, Township 2 North, District 133. Would there be some kind of land records between 1880 and 1900 to show why they went then / how they got the land? I do know that they owned land west of Roff and it is still in the Williams name.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on August 26, 2012

marion a. williams m. ?
john f. williams m. ?
forrest o. williams, effie m. williams

there are no years in this post regarding birthdate, date of death, place of death, place of birth, or spouse names. when there is a common surname, these things are important.

this must be the record that you are referring to:

1900 United States Federal Census about Forrest O Williams
Name: Forrest O Williams
Age: 2
Birthplace: Indian Territory, Oklahoma
Home in 1900: Township 2, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory
Race: Indian (Native American)
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Son
Father’s Name: John F Williams
Mother’s Name: Isora M Williams
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
John F Williams 28
Isora M Williams 19
Forrest O Williams 2
Effie M Williams 6/12
Marion A Williams 61
Bessie H Moore 9
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Township 2, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory; Roll: 1847; Enumeration District: 133; FHL microfilm: 1241847.
township 2 north range 3 east

john f. williams b. ~1872 AL
izora b. april 1881 TX
forrest b. aug 1897 indian territory/OK
effie m. nov 1899 indian territory/OK
marion a. age 61 b. MS widower
bessie h. moore, cousin, b. sep 1890 indian territory/OK

Dawes Card Information

tribe last first middle age sex blood card roll misc type
Choctaw Williams Izora 0 F MCR514 P
Choctaw Williams Louisa 0 F MCR514 P
Choctaw Williams Marion A 0 M MCR514 P
Choctaw Williams Effie 1 F 1/16 MCR514 MCR
Choctaw Williams Forrest 3 M 1/16 MCR514 MCR
Choctaw Williams John I F 32 M 1/8 MCR514 MCR
MCR=mississippi choctaw refused, although some were adopted by the tribe and some were enrolled by legal action.

it appears that izora does not contribute to the blood quantum of the children.
marion a. williams is 1/2 choctaw inherited from his father.
likewise john a. williams is 1/4 choctaw inherited from his father.
izora is not listed, indicating she is not native.

1910 United States Federal Census about Forrest Williams
Name: Forrest Williams
Age in 1910: 12
Birth Year: 1898
Birthplace: Oklahoma
Home in 1910: Fitzhugh, Pontotoc, Oklahoma
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Son
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Name: J F Williams
Father’s Birthplace: United States of America
[United States]
Mother’s Name: Isora Williams
Mother’s Birthplace: Oklahoma
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
J F Williams 38
Isora Williams 29
Forrest Williams 12
Effie Williams 9
Ethel Williams 7
Willie Williams 5
Troy Williams 3
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Fitzhugh, Pontotoc, Oklahoma; Roll: T624_1270; Page: 16B; Enumeration District: 0253; Image: 822; FHL microfilm: 1375283.

while the 1900 census appears that they own the farm, the 1910 census appears that they rent the farm.

you should get a copy of the enrollment application, the census card, supporting documents and testimony. NARA has many of those documents, fort worth, TX office.

you could contact the county land department and see if they might have records.

the latter day saints are indexing the land records and you can check with them about this.

census records are self-report and often different answers for basic questions vary. people did not have to prove something to the enumerators.

1920 United States Federal Census about John F Williams
Name: John F Williams
Age: 52
Birth Year: abt 1868
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1920: Fitzhugh, Pontotoc, Oklahoma
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Izara Williams
Father’s Birthplace: United States
[United States of America]
Mother’s Birthplace: United States
[United States of America]
Home Owned: Own
Able to Read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
John F Williams 52
Izara Williams 38
Effie Williams 20
Ethel Williams 17
Willie Williams 15
Troy Williams 12
Ester Williams 9
[9 8/12]
Eugeon Williams 7
[7 10/12]
Ervin Williams 4
[4 9/12]
Virgil Williams 1
[1 9/12]
Source Citation: Year: 1920; Census Place: Fitzhugh, Pontotoc, Oklahoma; Roll: T625_1480; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 175; Image: 99.
this census says john was b. TN, owns the land with a mortgage.

federal records here:

there were oklahoma land rushes in the 1890’s because there were business opportunities in the state.

the 1900 census is on the indian population schedule, which indicates that most people living in the area were native. that doesn’t mean that most were enrolled in one of the five major tribes. in fact, there are 63 tribes in oklahoma, so you should look nearby for a tribe.

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

W K Harris W K Harris

posted on August 27, 2012


Thank you for the feedback. Yes, you are correct with the family in the 1900, 1910 ad 1920 census. I’ll work with the other information you provided.

The main question I was seeking help on was making sense of the movement in different states. Marion’s father was Freeman… Choctaw in North Carolina? The other movement is from North Carolina to possibly Georgia to Alabama to Arkansas and finally to southeast Oklahoma. Does this following any certain pattern of history for the Chocktaw?

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on August 27, 2012

that is unknown. however, your question would best to answered in the application, testimony, census card. the information i listed is only an index. you should look up source documents.

anything else would be speculation.

MS and AL were choctaw reservation lands in some parts.

maybe this is the family.

1870 United States Federal Census about Alex Williams
Name: Alex Williams
Age in 1870: 35
Birth Year: abt 1835
Birthplace: North Carolina
Home in 1870: Township 10, Winston, Alabama
Race: White
Gender: Male
Post Office: Houston
Value of real estate: View image
Household Members:
Name Age
Alex Williams 35
Louisa Williams 34
Winford Williams 10
Lyddia W Williams 8
Mary J Williams 6
Rebecca L Williams 4
John C Williams 2
Lydda Williams 76
Source Citation: Year: 1870; Census Place: Township 10, Winston, Alabama; Roll: M593_45; Page: 529B; Image: 764; Family History Library Film: 545544.
you would have to establish that it is the family.

is there a tribe nearby?

1860 United States Federal Census about Alexander Williams
Name: Alexander Williams
Age in 1860: 26
Birth Year: abt 1834
Birthplace: North Carolina
Home in 1860: Township 10 Range 4, Winston, Alabama
Gender: Male
Post Office: Hanners
Value of real estate: View image
Household Members:
Name Age
Alexander Williams 26
Louise Williams 23
Source Citation: Year: 1860; Census Place: Township 10 Range 4, Winston, Alabama; Roll: M653_26; Page: 1273; Image: 517; Family History Library Film: 803026.

1850 United States Federal Census about Marion Williams
Name: Marion Williams
Age: 16
Birth Year: abt 1834
Birthplace: North Carolina
Home in 1850: Subdivision 33, Gilmer, Georgia
Gender: Male
Family Number: 974
Household Members:
Name Age
Freeman Williams 70
Lydia Williams 54
Charles Williams 22
Marion Williams 16
David M Williams 12
Source Citation: Year: 1850; Census Place: Subdivision 33, Gilmer, Georgia; Roll: M432_70; Page: 417A; Image: 366

you are just going to have to look up the records

NC, GA may have been hunting grounds, but there were also other natives in those parts.

this family probably made a late migration, well after the trail of tears in the late 1830’s.

1880 United States Federal Census about John Williams
Name: John Williams
Age: 11
Birth Year: abt 1869
Birthplace: Alabama
Home in 1880: Union, Saline, Arkansas
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Son
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Name: Marion Williams
Father’s Birthplace: North Carolina
Mother’s Birthplace: Tennessee
Neighbors: View others on page
Occupation: Work On Farm
Cannot read/write:


Deaf and dumb:

Otherwise disabled:

Idiotic or insane:

View image
Household Members:
Name Age
Marion Williams 43
Martha Williams 18
Julie Ann Williams 15
Rebecca Williams 14
John Williams 11
Malinday Williams 8
Viray Williams 6
Demcy Sikes 20
Lydie Sikes 17
Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Union, Saline, Arkansas; Roll: 56; Family History Film: 1254056; Page: 326D; Enumeration District: 167; Image: 0336.

location is a major indication of tribal affiliation. you would have to do a lot of research and even then you might not get a definitive answer.

it would probably be a good idea to see what the testimony and documents submitted for the dawes application.

W K Harris W K Harris

posted on August 28, 2012

Read testimony of MCR 514, 513, 514, 515, 3293 and 543… all confirmed as my Williams family, decendents of Marion, my great-great grandfather. Any clue where exaclty he was talking about when he menntions living “down on Grubb’s Lake, way down in the south part of Choctaw Nation on the Red River”? This would be approximatley 1888 or 1889.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on August 28, 2012

you can check with the tribe. i don’t have location information. i live in washington state and have no connection with the tribe.

see the course of the red river here:

Dark, J.N……………. 160 acres land near Grubbs’ Lake in
T. 5, N. R. 4, West…………….. $2.56
Delinquent Tax Notice 1885, Rapides Parish Louisiana
Alexandria Town Talk Weekly, 21 Feb 1885

could your family be jena choctaw?