Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Lots of info and dead ends

Lauren A. Lauren A.

posted on September 30, 2012

Hello my name is Lauren Wilson and I’m 26 years old. My aunt has done extensive research on our family and I want to pick up where she left off.
This is the information have so far:
My maternal line

My great, great, great, Amanda Brown b. 1806 d.1929 Her parents tribe was driven from Florida and the eventually settled in Tulsa Oklahoma. She bore at least two children, Arabella (my great, great grandmother)and John Henry (my great, great granduncle).

Arabella Brown married William Phillips b. 1835 in Alabama. He died in 1928. Their children were Fannie, Rachel, Martha, John, Dock, and Elizabeth Jermima Phillips b. July 25, 1889 in Talladega Alabama(my maternal great grandmother) sometime after 1900 they moved to Oklahoma.

Elizabeth had 6 children and three others who died at birth. Eric aka Jack b. 08/11/1904, Arden b. 04/11/1913, Marvin b. 05/28/1914, Rachel b. 7/2/1920
Elizabeth married John Johnson (lumberjack form Louisiana) in 1905.

They lived in various places in Oklahoma but finally settled in Sand Springs, and built a home on Section Line Street.
Elizabeth and John Divorced in 1922. He died 12/11/1960

Elizabeth Phillips Johnson married her second husband John Carter (my maternal great grand father) in 1923. He was full blooded Choctaw. His parents John Robert Carter and mother name unknown, resided in Tulsa Oklahoma. She had had two sons John and Robert.

Through the union of Elizabeth and John Carter the bore only one child Johnnie Elizabeth Carter. My maternal grandmother.
Elizabeth divorced John in 1928.

I hope I have included enough information. i have checked the Dawes Rolls but I have come up empty handed. I could possible be overlooking information as well. Please let me know what else I can do.


suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on September 30, 2012

there were many people who didn’t apply for enrollment in a tribe in oklahoma/indian territory. the dawes roll is a list of applicants 1896-1906 to the five major tribes of oklahoma. there are 63 tribes in oklahoma. location is a major factor in tribal enrollment.

each tribe has membership requirements.

there are other possible tribes in that some people were b. AL in your family. look at MOWA and mississippi choctaw also. perhaps jena choctaw in LA.

since a lot of natives were enrolled in the late 1800s through 1930, you should look at where they lived and find a nearby tribe, check there to see if they applied and were accepted as tribal members.

there were many people who came to oklahoma because of land rushes, business opportunities or people who were not qualified for tribal membership but wanted to live with other natives.

1920 United States Federal Census about Marvin Johnson
Name: Marvin Johnson
[Martin Johnson]
Age: 10
Birth Year: abt 1910
[abt 1914]
Birthplace: Oklahoma
Home in 1920: Sand Springs, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Son
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Name: John Johnson
Father’s Birthplace: Louisiana
Mother’s Name: Lizzie Johnson
Mother’s Birthplace: Alabama
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
John Johnson 38
Lizzie Johnson 32
Audrey Johnson 12
Marvin Johnson 10
Rachel Johnson 6
Anabella Johnson 5
Source Citation: Year: 1920; Census Place: Sand Springs, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Roll: T625_1486; Page: 24B; Enumeration District: 189; Image: 195.

1920 United States Federal Census about John Johnson
Name: John Johnson
Age: 38
Birth Year: abt 1882
Birthplace: Louisiana
Home in 1920: Sand Springs, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Lizzie Johnson
Father’s Birthplace: Louisiana
Mother’s Birthplace: Louisiana

1920 United States Federal Census about Lizzie Johnson
Name: Lizzie Johnson
Age: 32
Birth Year: abt 1888
Birthplace: Alabama
Home in 1920: Sand Springs, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Race: Black
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: John Johnson
Father’s Birthplace: Alabama
Mother’s Birthplace: Alabama

mixed race people did have difficulty becoming tribal members.

these are common names. you may have to get a copy of the childrens’ birth certificates in order to try to find them in census records.

for tribal enrollment, it is important where the family lived 1900-1910. they might have been freedmen, since they were listed as black in the census records. but this is only if they were living in oklahoma 1896-1906 and your post doesn’t seem to appear that they might have been living in oklahoma during that time.

social security came into effect 1/1/1937 and everyone had to show a birth record to show proof of age. often these were delayed birth certificates or birth certificates. you should ask for both documents, if you request a vital record. if you get stuck, you can file a SS-5 form with social security and this will get you a copy of the application of a deceased relative.

you should find the census records 1940 down to 1900 so you know where these people were living.

early birth records could be at state archives or state historical societies. since birth records were not mandated until the 1920’s, there might only be delayed birth records.

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