Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Kenneth Ayers (Please Read)

Kenneth Ayers Kenneth Ayers

posted on September 3, 2012

I am the son of Kenneth Jerold Ayers; who was born on October 12,1943 and murdered on May 15, 1975 in El Paso TX, and was a member of this tribe. I am currently married to a member of the Sicangu Lakota Tribe in South Dakota with three daughters. I am looking for any information about my father and his relatives. I would greatly appreciate any and all assistance in finding my home. Thank you.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on September 4, 2012

do you have his obituary? his death certificate? his cemetery record? this is where i would look first.

from there, you might have clues to his birth certificate, marriage.

Web: Texas, Find A Grave Index, 1836-2011 about Kenneth Jerold Ayers
Name: Kenneth Jerold Ayers
Birth Date: 12 Oct 1943
Age at Death: 31
Death Date: 15 May 1975
Burial Place: El Paso, El Paso County, Texas, USA
try for a cemetery record.

For information on how to order a copy of a death certificate, visit the Texas Department of State Health Services website ( or write to:

Texas Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics
P. O. Box 12040
Austin, TX 78711-2040
(512) 458-7111

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 1940 are available, although the 1890 census was largely destroyed.

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

BarbAyers BarbAyers

posted on March 7, 2014

I am also a child of Kenneth ayers. I wasn’t aware he had any children other than my sister and myself. Please contact me if you believe we could be related.

Seth Seth

posted on January 19

I realize this is old but the death certificate and obituary of Mr. Kenneth Jerold Ayers reveals that his mother was Jimmie Catherine Ward and father Kenneth Ayers Sr. Jimmie Catherine’s mother was Sarah DeGraffenried. I’m happy to share more info as requested.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on January 19

unknown ward m. sarah degraffenried
kenneth ayers sr. m. jimmie catherine ward
kenneth jerold ayers, born on October 12,1943 and murdered on May 15, 1975 in El Paso TX

this from your post.

from an family tree, it appears that there is a skipped generation.

Jimmie Catherine Ward
BIRTH 11 MAY 1927 • Wanette, Pottawatomie, Oklahoma, United States
DEATH 7 DEC 1975 • Lindsey, Tulare, California, United States

Name Jimmie C Herzog
Social Security # 441223681
Gender Female
Birth Date 11 May 1927
Birth Place Oklahoma
Death Date 7 Dec 1975
Death Place Tulare
california death index

James Elbert Ward
Sarah C DeGraffenried

James Elbert Ward
BIRTH 18 NOV 1900 • Tribbey, Pottawatomie, Oklahoma, United States
DEATH 11 MAR 1987 • Porterville, Tulare, California, United States

18 Nov 1900 • Tribbey, Pottawatomie, Oklahoma, United States
4 Sources
Death of Father James Thomas Ward(1867–1901)
6 Apr 1901 • Indian Territory now, Pottawatomie, Oklahoma, United States
Death of Brother Jesse Ward(1898–1901)
1901 • Tribbey, Pottawatomie, Oklahoma, United States
1910 • Burnett, Pottawatomie, Oklahoma, USA
Marital Status: Single; Relation to Head of House: Son
1 Source
22 Jan 1920 • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Oklahoma, United States
Ruth TIPTON (1904–1925)
1920 • Burnett, Pottawatomie, Oklahoma
1 Source
1925 • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Oklahoma, United States
Sarah C DeGraffenried (1908–)
Death of Wife Ruth TIPTON
1925 • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Oklahoma, United States
Birth of Daughter Jimmie Catherine Ward(1927–1975)
11 May 1927 • Wanette, Pottawatomie, Oklahoma, United States
1930 • Eason, Pottawatomie, Oklahoma
1 Source
Death of Mother Mary Evelyn “Mollie” Whitener(1868–1959)
20 Jun 1959 • Porterville, Tulare Co, California
Death of Sister Mary Ellen Ward(1897–1962)
7 Jul 1962 • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Oklahoma, United States
Death of Sister Gertrude Ethel Ward(1894–1974)
15 Apr 1974 • Wanette, Pottawatomie, Oklahoma, United States
Death of Daughter Jimmie Catherine Ward(1927–1975)
7 Dec 1975 • Lindsey, Tulare, California, United States
Death of Brother Charles Thomas Ward(1891–1975)
25 Dec 1975 • Ada, Pontotoc County, Oklahoma, USA
Death of Brother Daniel Benjamin “ben” Ward(1892–1982)
25 Jan 1982 • Montgomery, Montgomery, Alabama, United States
11 Mar 1987 • Porterville, Tulare, California, United States
1 Source

James Thomas Ward
James Thomas Ward
Mary Evelyn “Mollie” Whitener
Mary Evelyn “Mollie” Whitener
partial names ok
there is nothing that fits both the father and son’s record of the people alive in 1900. there would be two james ward in the same family, one the father and one the son.

there are no whitener records and there would be parents listed for mary evelyn “mollie” whitener. all family members alive in 1900 would be on the same card#. there would be parents of the husband and wife listed also. i can see nothing like this.

this means that his family did not submit an application to one of the five major tribes of oklahoma. there are 63 tribes and location is a major factor in tribal affiliation because original enrollees have to agree to live under the authority of the tribe. there are other tribes in texas.

and this is from the history:
Pottawatomie County was carved out of land originally given to the Creek and Seminole after their forced removal from Georgia and Florida. After the Civil War, the Creek and Seminole were forced to cede their lands back to the federal government, and the area of Pottawatomie County was used to resettle the Iowa, Sac and Fox, Absentee Shawnee, Potawatomi and Kickapoo tribes.3

Non-Indian settlement began on September 22, 1891 when all the tribes except the Kickapoo agreed to land allotment, where communal reservation land was divided and allotted to individual members of the tribes. The remaining land was opened to settlement.3

During the land run, Pottawatomie County was organized as County “B” with Tecumseh as the county seat. In 1892, the voters of the county elected to rename County “B” as Pottawatomie County after the Potawatomi Indians.

In 1895, the Kickapoo gave up their land rights and their land was given away to white settlers in the last land run in Oklahoma.,_Oklahoma

try these tribes:
Pottawatomie Tribal Office
No reviews · Church
1901 Gordon Cooper Dr · (405) 275-1480
Absentee Shawnee Tribe
(13) · Federal Government Office
2025 S Gordon Cooper Dr · (405) 275-4030
Opens at 9:00 AM

CTSA Central Tribes
Social Services Organization
Address: 1533 N McKinley Ave, Shawnee, OK 74801
Phone:(405) 275-2747

Kickapoo Tribe Secondary Administration
No reviews · Child Care Agency
401 OK-102

Kickapoo Tribal Enrollment  
Government Offices-native American
Address: McLoud, OK 74851
Phone:(405) 964-5418

Seminole Nation Tribal Court  
Government Office
Address: 12578 NS 3540, Seminole, OK 74868
Phone:(405) 303-2251

you might want to connect with barb, the previous message in this thread.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on January 19

and there is a california choctaw tribe.