Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation


Tracy DeVore Tracy DeVore

posted on September 7, 2010 and updated on September 7, 2010

First, I’d like to say hello to everyone and wish you all luck in your research. I have a few questions (of course!). Like many others, I’ve been told I have Native American heritage. Also like many others, I’ve been unable to verify this. First of all, I am told my 3rd ggrandfather (a brick wall for several decades!) was in the War of 1812, but cannot find him on any roster. Perhaps he was with the Choctaw volunteers? He was in Pasquotank County, NC, his name was John SIVAGE (b. ca. 1794, d. Christmas Day, 12/25/1836). I can find no record of his birth, death, or anything on any census. I’d almost given up hope until I found his son’s daughter listed several years later in the Choctaw Nation Marriages, as: McKENNA, J P 32 SIVAGE, MAY 21 20 MAR 1898 TUSKAHOMA Mc8©86. She is May SIVAGE (Possibly Ida May), granddaughter of my John SIVAGE. My question is, were only the Choctaw recorded in the marriages, or also non-Indians? Can anyone look this up and find out for me? I took this research over from my grandmother and though I’ve been very fortunate on several other lines, this one has me completely stumped and frustrated. Any information would be much appreciated!
~Tracy DeVore

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on September 7, 2010

this post is a little scattered, which will hinder you with your research. organization will be important when you do your research. one of the problems is that you jumped a generation without giving the names of the parents.

there was a tribal type of government set up, it was a territory set aside for natives. and there were few other ways to marry in the territory. so, yes, there were non-natives on the marriage list.
i would advise you to gather documentation one generation at a time. look at multiple records and correlate those, so you get a better picture of your relations. since your post about may sivage gives her husband’s name as j. p. mckenna but lists no children,, gives no other dates (birth/death), that’s where i have to start. you don’t give any census records, showing migration. no death information.

Name Age
John P Mckenna 34
May Mckenna 23
Gertrude L Mckenna 1
township 6 north range 25 east
john is a blacksmith, b. MI, father b. IRELAND mother b. MI, born march 1866. he owns the house free and clear.
may was b.august 1876 IA, father b. SC, mother b. IN.
gertrude b. april 1899 indian territory.
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Howe, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory; Roll T623_1851; Enumeration District: 88.

this is probably why you are having trouble with the indian records. this is a late migration from the southeast stats. maybe your family was not living on a reservation.
but you should pay close attention to the geographic locations and find if any tribes were nearby, the southeast.
the trail of tears was in the 1830’s from the southeastern reservations.

there are no mckennas on the dawes roll so she didn’t apply for enrollment.
but they were “taxed” and on the federal census, probably.
your best sources of native records are accessgenealogy and
look on the side and bottom for other native records, such as databases and rolls, native census records, tribes by state.
your people did leave the native areas unofficially.

choctaw was not a written language until the middle of the 1850’s, and this is true of the other native languages. so there are no records there. the earliest records are trading post logs, war department census records and databases as they gave rations. you might find mention of your family in local history books. NARA has some records but some of those are native transliterated names.

Household Members:
Name Age
John P Mckenna 64
May F Mckenna 53
William P Mckenna 20
George P Mckenna 18
Mildred Mckenna 16
Luella Mckenna 31
Julia Mcfadden 29
Margret Mcfadden 8
Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Wilburton, Latimer, Oklahoma; Roll 1908; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 13; Image: 523.0.
julia mcfadden is a widowed daughter. all children b. OK

Household Members:
Name Age
John Mckinnie 44
Mary F Mckinnie 33
Gertrude L Mckinnie 11
Julia Mckinnie 9
Frank J Mckinnie 7
Thomas H Mckinnie 3
George P Mckinnie 2/12

Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Howe Ward 4, Le Flore, Oklahoma; Roll T624_1258; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 152; Image: 418.
you can correct the ancestry name index so that others can find your family.

Name Age
John Savage 46
Lucinda Savage 41
Leanna Savage 22
Matilda Savage 16
William Savage 14
Luella Savage 12
Ellis Savage 10
Lizzie Savage 7
Clara Savage 7
Estella Savage 6
May Savage 4
Hadley Savage 2
Nellie Bell Savage 2
Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Union, Dallas, Iowa; Roll 335; Family History Film: 1254335; Page: 335D; Enumeration District: 54; Image: 0675.
her father says he was b. NC
both john and lucinda’s parents were b. NC.
the oldest 3 children were b. IN, luella and younger b. IA.

Household Members:
Name Age
John Sivage 35
Lucinda Sivage 30
Jonathan Sivage 11
Sarah Sivage 9
Matilda Sivage 7
William Sivage 4
Mary Sivage 2
Ellis Sivage 6/12
Source Citation: Year: 1870; Census Place: Union, Dallas, Iowa; Roll M593_385; Page: 611B; Image: 493; Family History Library Film: 545884.

i don’t know where the family is in 1860.

definitely check state archive records for each state where they lived.

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.

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.

2 ways to search:
this will give you card# (family group) and enrollment #. they have some native marriage records too. other oklahoma records listed at left.
this will let you enter partial names to get card#
other resources on the left and at the bottom of this webpage. native census records and databases are especially useful.

if the name is common, you may find too many possible records.

the tribe has an excellent information to help you. it is found under genealogy advocacy.

mississippi choctaw and choctaw tribe explained here:

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

Tracy DeVore Tracy DeVore

posted on September 7, 2010 and updated on September 7, 2010

Thank you so very much, Suzanne, for all this information! Much appreciated! ☺ I apologize for skipping a generation, I do have May’s parents’ names and her father was born in NC. The person I am actually researching is her grandfather (my 3rd ggrandfather), John SIVAGE. I mentioned her because she’s listed in the Choctaw Nation Marriages and was hoping if I could find a tribal connection, that would help with my research of her grandparent. I will check the links you added, and again, many thanks!

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on September 8, 2010

be sure to correct the name index on ancestry if they have the wrong names. this will help others find your family.

Tracy DeVore Tracy DeVore

posted on September 8, 2010

Thanks again, Suzanne!