Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Irwin/Southward Geneology

Micah Micah

posted on October 1, 2012

Hello I am trying to solve a family story about us being choctaw.

My Pawpaw (as we were raised to call him) told me and my siblings that our great great grandma was 3/4 choctaw. Now my family settled texas/ oklahoma for years and I sketched the family tree but my pawpaw swears its the truth

Her name was Alice Caroline Southward who married Thomas Jackson Irwin. Here is what I got

Born: 29 Feb 1872 in Frostburg Tx.
Mother was Mary Magee Father was William Southward

Grand parents:
Iradell Southward and Nancy Roberts
John Calhoun Magee and Elizabeth Betty Penton
Parents occupation: Farmer
Place of residence as a child: Precinct 3 (Frostburg) Texas

Married Thomas Jackson Irwin 18 Feb 1891
Spouse occupation: Farmer
1880 death of Father William Southward
1888 death of Mother Mary Magee
1891: birth of Hallie Beatrice Irwin Heads Prairie TX
1895: Birth of Alvia Agnes Irwin Frostburg TX
1898? Birth of Orba Irwin Indian territory?
1899: Birth of Iradell (IRA) Irwin Coalgate Ok
1900: Birth of Jro Irwin? Indian territory ok
Place of residence 1900-1910 township 1 chickasaw nation indian territory
1901 Birth of Ruby Jewel Irwin Ok
1901 Death of Hallie Beatrice Irwin Indian territory Ok
1903 Birth of Myrtle Decie Irwin Ok
1907 Birth of Martha O Irwin Paloma Valley new mexico
1914 Birth of Thomas Leslie Irwin Montoya NM
place of residence 1910-1920 Montoya NM

place of residence 1920: Carter Ok
Significant event Son Iradell Irwin is drafted to military Carter Ok

1933 Marriage of son Iradell to Libbie Rosalie Hughes in texas

1937 death of spouse

1939 birth of grandson Joe David Irwin texas

1960 grandson marries Linda Allen texas

1961 Birth of great grandaughter Tina Irwin (My mom)

Death 11 oct 1972 Highland Texas

1984 Birth of me

1984 death of son Ira

I can give more if needed both further up and recent geneology

So my question is:

Is she Choctaw?
Where else can I find out?

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on October 1, 2012

there are two things: tribal heritage and tribal enrollment are two different topics.

your family lived in texas. were there tribes nearby?
the trail of tears in the late 1830s did not go through texas but there were many unofficial migrations from the reservations in the southeast. generally, the natives who went on unofficial migrations were called mississippi choctaw.

the important things that tribes consider are location, tribal heritage, and other membership requirements.

the chickasaw tribe has a resource center and they may have historical newspapers, link in this post. the state historical society and state archives might also have historical newspapers. while this might help you with your genealogy, it won’t help you with tribal enrollment. but there might be obituaries, births, marriages that mention genealogical information.

if your family did not apply for enrollment in a tribe, it is not very likely that you can apply.

try the texas tribes, links in this post.

if your family was mississippi choctaw, then you should trace your genealogy down to the 1830’s and see if there was a choctaw scrip land given to the head of household in lieu of tribal enrollment. this will not get you enrolled in a tribe but it will show you a tribal affiliation. the scrip land records are at NARA

you will have to mark up a map, to show where your family lived at different points.

i don’t see a dawes record for thomas irwin, which would be there if the family applied for enrollment to the five major tribes of oklahoma, taken 1896-1906 in oklahoma.

1900 United States Federal Census about Orba Allen Erwin
Name: Orba Allen Erwin
Age: 2
Birthplace: Indian Territory, Oklahoma
Home in 1900: Township 1, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Son
Father’s Name: Thomas J Erwin
Mother’s Name: Allice Erwin
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Thomas J Erwin 27
Allice Erwin 27
Hally B Erwin 7
Alva A Erwin 15
Orba Allen Erwin 2
Jro David Erwin 6/12
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Township 1, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory; Roll: 1849; Enumeration District: 162; FHL microfilm: 1241849.

1880 United States Federal Census about Allice Southward
Name: Allice Southward
Age: 7
Birth Year: abt 1873
Birthplace: Texas
Home in 1880: Precinct 3, Montague, Texas
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Daughter
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Birthplace: Missouri
Mother’s Name: Mary Soothward
Mother’s Birthplace: Missouri
Neighbors: View others on page
Cannot read/write:


Deaf and dumb:

Otherwise disabled:

Idiotic or insane:

View image
Household Members:
Name Age
Mary Soothward 31
Inez Southward 10
William Southward 8
Allice Southward 7
May Southward 5
William Magee 20
Allie Magee 16
Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Precinct 3, Montague, Texas; Roll: 1320; Family History Film: 1255320; Page: 421A; Enumeration District: 121; .

the missouri state archives are pretty good. you should see if there are any records there.

1870 United States Federal Census about Mary Southward
Name: Mary Southward
Age in 1870: 24
Birth Year: abt 1846
Birthplace: Missouri
Home in 1870: Precinct 2, Cooke, Texas
Race: White
Gender: Female
Post Office: Gainesville
Value of real estate: View image
Household Members:
Name Age
William Southward 21
Mary Southward 24
Jnus A Southward 8/12
Source Citation: Year: 1870; Census Place: Precinct 2, Cooke, Texas; Roll: M593_1580; Page: 225B; Image: 454; Family History Library Film: 553079.

1860 United States Federal Census about Mary J Maghee
Name: Mary J Maghee
[Mary J Magee]
Age in 1860: 13
Birth Year: abt 1847
Birthplace: Missouri
Home in 1860: Cooke, Texas
Gender: Female
Post Office: Gainesville
Value of real estate: View image
Household Members:
Name Age
J C Maghee 35
Elizabeth Maghee 30
Mary J Maghee 13
Amanda F Maghee 11
Everline T Maghee 8
Nancy Maghee 6
John S Maghee 3
Wm H Maghee 7/12
Source Citation: Year: 1860; Census Place: , Cooke, Texas; Roll: M653_1291; Page: 245; Image: 503; Family History Library Film: 805291.

Texas Marriage Collection, 1814-1909 and 1966-2002 about William Southward
Name: William Southward
Gender: Male
Marriage Date: 31 Dec 1868
Spouse: Mary J. Magee
Marriage City: Cooke
Marriage State: Texas
Source: Texas Marriages, 1851-1900

the magee surname will be spelled variously.

1850 United States Federal Census about John C Magee
Name: John C Magee
Age: 25
Birth Year: abt 1825
Birthplace: Missouri
Home in 1850: District 52, Macon, Missouri
Gender: Male
Family Number: 583
Household Members:
Name Age
John C Magee 25
Elizabeth Magee 20
Mary J Magee 3
Amanda F Magee 1
Source Citation: Year: 1850; Census Place: District 52, Macon, Missouri; Roll: M432_405; Page: 159B; Image: 328.

Missouri Marriages to 1850 about Magee, John C.
Spouse 1: Magee, John C.
Spouse 2: Penton, Elizabeth
Marriage Date: 30 Nov 1845
Marriage Location: Missouri
Macon County

Name: Elizabeth Penton Magee
Birth Date: 17 Jan 1831
Age at Death: 31
Death Date: 17 Feb 1862
Burial Place: Bevier, Macon County, Missouri, USA
this record is on

1840 United States Federal Census about Leray Penton
Name: Leray Penton
Home in 1840 (City, County, State): Chariton, Macon, Missouri
Free White Persons – Males – Under 5: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 5 thru 9: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 14: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 30 thru 39: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 5 thru 9: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 14: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 20 thru 29: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 30 thru 39: 1
Persons Employed in Agriculture: 3
No. White Persons over 20 Who Cannot Read and Write: 2
Free White Persons – Under 20: 5
Free White Persons – 20 thru 49: 3
Total Free White Persons: 8
Total All Persons – Free White, Free Colored, Slaves: 8
Source Citation: Year: 1840; Census Place: Chariton, Macon, Missouri; Roll: 226; Page: 10; Image: 602; Family History Library Film: 0014856.

1860 United States Federal Census about Leroy Penton
Name: Leroy Penton
Age in 1860: 58
Birth Year: abt 1802
Birthplace: Georgia
Home in 1860: Chariton, Macon, Missouri
Gender: Male
Post Office: College Mound
Value of real estate: View image
Household Members:
Name Age
Leroy Penton 58
Delilla Penton 57
Wm Penton 18
Mary E Patrick 15
Joseph Penton 22
Source Citation: Year: 1860; Census Place: Chariton, Macon, Missouri; Roll: M653_631; Page: 104; Image: 101; Family History Library Film: 803631.

this is beginning to look like there might not be a tribal affiliation record. this doesn’t mean that there is no tribal affiliation. it’s just that the records lack.

since they were on the federal census, they were not living on reservations. natives that live on-reservation were on native census reports and native databases because they were not taxed.

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