Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Choctaw Marriage bond

Linda Dotson Shook Linda Dotson Shook

posted on November 1, 2012

I am looking for Mary Reno. I have a Choctaw marriage bond between her and Floyd Dotson in Roane County Tennessee
November 11 1830. She was a sister to Ciely Reno Raincrow
Who was married to Archibald Dotson. Any information would
be appreciate.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on November 1, 2012

i looked this up because your claim that it was a choctaw marriage bond.
i do not see it. i have attached a picture of that marriage record.

the choctaw language was an oral tradition and only became a written language after 1850.

from the internet posts, there is some dispute as to her maiden name. some say reno, some say amos. nonetheless, an obituary or a vital record might help with that. since floyd dotson was a dr., there might be some information about his wife. local newspapers and local history books might have more information. see your local public library/interlibrary loan program. state historical societies and state archives might also have information. also, contact the county clerk for vital records.

i don’t know how the raincrow name applies.

1850 United States Federal Census about Mary Dotson
Name: Mary Dotson
Age: 30
Birth Year: abt 1820
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1850: Bowen, Madison, Arkansas
Gender: Female
Family Number: 538
Household Members:
Name Age
Doctor F Dotson 36
Mary Dotson 30
Nancy Dotson 21
Rhoda Dotson 18
Hannah Dotson 14
Susan Dotson 11
Noah Dotson 9
Squire Dotson 8
Matilda Dotson 3
Green Berry Dotson 1
Source Citation: Year: 1850; Census Place: Bowen, Madison, Arkansas; Roll: M432_27; Page: 286B; Image: 581.

noah, squire, matilda, greenberry were all b. AR but susan, hannah, rhoda, and nancy were b. TN. so this is the approximate time of migration. dr. dotson owns land worth $400.

1860 United States Federal Census about Mary Dotson
Name: Mary Dotson
Age in 1860: 45
Birth Year: abt 1815
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1860: Wharton Creek, Madison, Arkansas
Gender: Female
Post Office: Huntsville
Value of real estate: View image
Household Members:
Name Age
D F Dotson 47
Mary Dotson 45
Letia Dotson 16
Squire Dotson 18
Matilda Dotson 15
Silas Dotson 13
Amanda Dotson 10
D F Dotson 9
Source Citation: Year: 1860; Census Place: Wharton Creek, Madison, Arkansas; Roll: M653_45; Page: 492; Image: 492; Family History Library Film: 803045.

when natives were living on reservation, they were enumerated in the native census records. instead, this family is showing up on the federal census.

someone marked this record as they were looking for documents. it is the wrong mary dotson, as this person does not fit by age, spouse.

Dawes Card Information

tribe last first middle age sex blood card roll misc type
Cherokee Brown Judge 0 U F573 O
Cherokee Dotson John 0 M F573 P
Cherokee Dotson Nathaniel 1 F F573 1451 RED LAND F
Cherokee Dotson Dewey 2 M F573 1450 RED LAND F
Cherokee Dotson John I 5 M F573 1449 RED LAND F
Cherokee Dotson Mary 23 F F573 1448 RED LAND F
Cherokee Gunter George 0 U F573 O
Cherokee Melton Nathan 0 M F573 P
Cherokee Melton Rosa 0 F F573 P

this family were freedmen, not classified as natives.

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.
several helpful links for records in the choctaw territory

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.

for those people who do not yet have a card, you should research the 1900-1940 census to know approximate dates of birth, birthplaces, family members. this will also tell you if someone is more likely to be on the freedman roll or as applicants to the dawes roll taken 1896-1906 in indian territory/oklahoma for the five major tribes.

applicants can be found here:
partial names are ok. look at the guide link for explanation of the codes.

when you find a possible name, then click on the card# in the card column to see the family group. if it is your family group, and they were likely enrolled, then you can search the oklahoma historical society’s dawes roll link to get the enrollment #’s for particular family members.

if your family was enrolled by council action early in the process or was enrolled by lawsuit, they might not appear on the oklahoma historical society website. you would have to check with the tribe on that.

even if your family was rejected by the dawes process, you may want the testimony, census card, application information for your genealogical purposes.

the federal census will also help you decide which state to contact for vital records.

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

freedmen information:
many freedmen links on this webpage:

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


suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on November 1, 2012

looking at the census, i don’t know that floyd was a doctor, but this might have been a name. i have a relative that was named like that during the same period. his name was commodore. since your relative doctor floyd was a farmer, i don’t know if “doctor” was a title or a name.

i see that several researchers have been working on this family for some time. this usually means that they are not able to find the records that they had hoped for.

i would advise you to start with the children and make sure you have their records. childrens’ records fix a family to a date and place, point to the parents. you should know what happened to all of the children of the family, from birth to death records. the children, no doubt, knew information about their parents, such as their names and dates. records for the children that may help: social security application – if they were living 1/1/1937, birth and death and marriage records, obituary, cemetery record, newspaper mentions of events, local history books.

since you are looking for older records, the vital records could be delayed birth certificate or birth certificates and these would likely be at state vital records or county vital records office. they could be at state archives or state historical societies.

newspapers or local history books might be accessed through interlibrary loan/your public library. state historical societies or state archives might also have this.

cemetery records might be online at or there may be other online resources as well. usually has county cemeteries listed on their website.

you should collect the census records of the children so that you know where they were living. often families moved together.

you might not find native heritage records, since the family was not likely living on reservations. accessgenealogy has transcribed many native census records, native databases and rolls. those records were kept by the war department 1800-1900 or so and they are located at NARA
i can tell you that these records may not tell you that someone is native, but finding any reference to the family would be helpful to you. it is just that they were not living in a location where the government was giving rations or located on a reservation. location is a major factor in tribal affiliation, so you should look to see where the family was living 1830-1930 and see if there are any tribes nearby.

Linda Dotson Shook Linda Dotson Shook

posted on November 12, 2012

Thank you so much for your time. You are right Doctor was
just a name. I found a Mary A Dotson on NARA but I’m new to that site so I get real frustrated. Thank you also for the look up information. Our family has been researching this lady for many
years. I appreciate all the you’ve done.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on November 12, 2012

you should use the link that i gave. then click on the # in the card column to see the family group.

i don’t see a mary a. dotson and i don’t know what you are looking at.
this would be a common name.

i only see these records on accesssgenealogy.
Dawes Results
Total Records: 21 Tribe Last First Middle Age Sex Blood Card Roll Misc Type
Cherokee Dotson Berry B 0 M M2799 P
Cherokee Dotson Charles 1 M 1/2 M2799 3295 MARBLE CITY M
Cherokee Dotson Dewey 2 M F573 1450 RED LAND F
Cherokee Dotson Hannah 0 F FRR513 P
Cherokee Dotson Hannah 0 F FD111 P
Cherokee Dotson Isaac 0 M FRR513 P
Cherokee Dotson Isaac 0 M FD111 P
Cherokee Dotson John 0 M F573 P
Cherokee Dotson John I 5 M F573 1449 RED LAND F
Cherokee Dotson John 35 M NR FRR513 NR REDLAND FRR
Cherokee Dotson John 35 M FD111 RED LAND FD
Cherokee Dotson Johnie 7 M NR FRR1231 NR NR FRR
Cherokee Dotson Lewis B 2 M 1/2 M2799 3294 MARBLE CITY M
Cherokee Dotson Lucy R 0 F M2799 P
Cherokee Dotson Mary 23 F F573 1448 RED LAND F
Cherokee Dotson Nathaniel 1 F F573 1451 RED LAND F
Cherokee Dotson Nora 6 M NR FRR1231 NR NR FRR
Cherokee Dotson Susan 0 F FM97 P
Cherokee Dotson Thesla 1 F FM97 104 RED LAND FM
Cherokee Dotson Wilson 0 M FM97 P
Cherokee Dotson Zack 2 M FM97 103 RED LAND FM
bb-by blood

and these on the oklahoma historical website:
Last Name First Name Age Sex Blood Census Card No. Tribe & Enrollment
Dotson Claudie 14 Male CC# 1527 Page 156 Enr# 5399 Choctaws – Freedmen
Dotson Nathaniel 2 Female CC# 573 Page 481 Enr# 1451 Cherokees – Freedmen
Dotson Mary 24 Female CC# 573 Page 481 Enr# 1448 Cherokees – Freedmen
Dotson Frances A. 3 Female CC# 507 Page 480 Enr# 1285 Cherokees – Freedmen
Dotson Eliza 43 Female CC# 507 Page 480 Enr# 1279 Cherokees – Freedmen
Dotson Cathaline 9 Female CC# 507 Page 480 Enr# 1283 Cherokees – Freedmen
Dotson Lewis B. 2 Male 1-2 CC# 2799 Page 458 Enr# 3294 Cherokees – by Blood (Minors)
Dotson Chas. 1 Male 1-2 CC# 2799 Page 458 Enr# 3295 Cherokees – by Blood (Minors)
Dotson John I. 6 Male CC# 573 Page 481 Enr# 1449 Cherokees – Freedmen
Dotson Dewey 3 Male CC# 573 Page 481 Enr# 1450 Cherokees – Freedmen
Dotson Creed 12 Male CC# 507 Page 480 Enr# 1282 Cherokees – Freedmen
Dotson Theola 1 Female CC# 97 Page 499 Enr# 104 Cherokees – Freedmen (Minors)
Dotson Zack 2 Male CC# 97 Page 499 Enr# 103 Cherokees – Freedmen (Minors)
Dotson Nora 6 Female CC# 507 Page 480 Enr# 1284 Cherokees – Freedmen

you should look for 1900 census records for your family, so that you know who the family members are, where they are located.

then go back to the native records.

these names are more common than you think. you will be frustrated unless you do something systematic.