Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

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Trying to locate verification on grandmother's native ancestry.

Browsr Browsr

posted on November 28, 2012

I am trying to locate information about my grandmother’s choctaw heritage. Her birth name was Nancy Jane Miller and she was born in Eastman, Mississippi to John Henry Miller and Mary Margaret Collum. My great grandparents lived in Atoka County, Caney, OK and to my knowledge are buried there. Many of her siblings are buried in Atoka or Caney. One of her relatives on her mother’s side received a land grant but we are unable to trace her choctaw roots. How do I go about finding where her roots are in the Native American rolls?

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on November 28, 2012 and updated on November 28, 2012

no year in your post.
no spouse or children for nancy.
these are common names.
there were over 1 million people living in indian territory/oklahoma by 1900.

there is a picture of the family on the ancestry family trees. you can probably access it through your local public library.

Nancy Jane Miller
Birth 28 Sep 1896 in Mississippi
Death in Caney, Atoka, Oklahoma, United States

John Henry Miller 1871 – 1948
Mary Margaret Collum 1875 – 1939

1896 28 Sep

Birth
Mississippi

2 source citations
1900
Age: 4

Residence
Beat 1, Itawamba, Mississippi

1 source citation
1910
Age: 14

Residence
Bounds Crossroads, Itawamba, Mississippi

1 source citation

Death
Caney, Atoka, Oklahoma, United States

the choctaw tribe of oklahoma enrolled members 1896-1906. you would need to be directly related to an original enrollee to be eligible to apply for enrollment.

since your family was not in oklahoma by the 1900 census, there is little chance that they enrolled with this tribe. however they would probably be mississippi choctaw, a different tribe, link in this post.

Birth: Mar. 25, 1871
Death: Apr. 4, 1948

Family links:
Spouse:
Mary Margaret Collum Miller (1875 – 1939)

Burial:
Folsom Cemetery
Caney
Atoka County
Oklahoma, USA

Birth: Jun. 3, 1875
Death: Jan. 12, 1939

Family links:
Spouse:
John Henry Miller (1871 – 1948)*

*Calculated relationship

Burial:
Folsom Cemetery
Caney
Atoka County
Oklahoma, USA

these cemetery records are on findagrave.com

1910 United States Federal Census about Nancy J Miller
Name: Nancy J Miller
Age in 1910: 13
Birth Year: abt 1897
1897
Birthplace: Mississippi
Home in 1910: Bounds Crossroads, Itawamba, Mississippi
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Daughter
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Name: John H Miller
Father’s Birthplace: Alabama
Mother’s Name: Mary M Miller
Mother’s Birthplace: Mississippi
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
John H Miller 35
Mary M Miller 34
38
Nancy J Miller 13
Leona Miller 11
Reba E Miller 8
Edna Miller 4
William E Miller 1
[1 1/12]
William D Collum 33
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Bounds Crossroads, Itawamba, Mississippi; Roll: T624_743; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0013; ; FHL microfilm: 1374756.

the mississippi choctaw tribe enrolled around 1929 in mississippi.

1920 United States Federal Census about Nancy Miller
Name: Nancy Miller
Age: 25
Birth Year: abt 1895
Birthplace: Mississippi
Home in 1920: Beat 5, Choctaw, Mississippi
Race: Black
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: John H Miller
Father’s Birthplace: Mississippi
Mother’s Name: Mary Mc Cou
Mother’s Birthplace: Mississippi
Able to Read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
John H Miller 26
Nancy Miller 25
Emmet Miller 4
Seedee Miller 1
Mary Mc Cou 50
Source Citation: Year: 1920; Census Place: Beat 5, Choctaw, Mississippi; Roll: T625_872; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 63; Image: 842.

1930 United States Federal Census about Nancy Knight
Name: Nancy Knight
Gender: Female
Birth Year: abt 1897
Birthplace: Mississippi
Race: White
Home in 1930: Willis, Marshall, Oklahoma
View Map
Marital Status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Spouse’s Name: Willard Knight
Father’s Birthplace: Mississippi
Mother’s Birthplace: Mississippi
Occupation:

Education:

Military Service:

Rent/home value:

Age at first marriage:

Parents’ birthplace:

View image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Willard Knight 35
Nancy Knight 33
Otis Knight 11
Lucille Knight 9
Dewey Knight 7
Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Willis, Marshall, Oklahoma; Roll: 1915; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 12; Image: 200.0; FHL microfilm: 2341649.

i do not know the membership requirements of the mississippi choctaw. so you should investigate that.

California, Death Index, 1940-1997 about Nancy Jane Wheeler
Name: Nancy Jane Wheeler
[Nancy Jane Miller]
Social Security #: 525405439
Gender: Female
Birth Date: 28 Sep 1896
Birth Place: Mississippi
Death Date: 17 Apr 1992
Death Place: Kern
Mother’s Maiden Name: Collum
Father’s Surname: Miller

1930 United States Federal Census about John H Miller
Name: John H Miller
Gender: Male
Birth Year: abt 1871
Birthplace: Alabama
Race: White
Home in 1930: Caney, Atoka, Oklahoma
View Map
Marital Status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Head
Spouse’s Name: Margaret M Miller
Father’s Birthplace: Alabama
Mother’s Birthplace: Alabama
Occupation:

Education:

Military Service:

Rent/home value:

Age at first marriage:

Parents’ birthplace:

View image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
John H Miller 59
Margaret M Miller 54
W Edward Miller 21
Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Caney, Atoka, Oklahoma; Roll: 1892; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 6; Image: 1125.0; FHL microfilm: 2341626.

John Henry Miller
Birth 25 Mar 1871 in Alabama
Death 4 Apr 1948 in Caney, Atoka, Oklahoma, United States

1920 United States Federal Census about John H Miller
Name: John H Miller
[John H Milles]
Age: 51
Birth Year: abt 1869
Birthplace: Alabama
Home in 1920: Caney, Atoka, Oklahoma
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Mary M Miller
Father’s Birthplace: Florida
Mother’s Birthplace: Alabama
Home Owned: Rent
Able to Read: No
Able to Write: No
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
John H Miller 51
Mary M Miller 44
Reva Miller 18
Edna Miller 14
William E Miller 11

Source Citation: Year: 1920; Census Place: Caney, Atoka, Oklahoma; Roll: T625_1452; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 4; Image: 479.

1940 United States Federal Census about John H Miller
Name: John H Miller
Age: 68
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1872
Gender: Male
Race: White
Birthplace: Alabama
Marital Status: Widowed
Relation to Head of House: Father
Home in 1940: Caney, Atoka, Oklahoma
View Map
Street: Caney Road
Inferred Residence in 1935: Caney, Atoka, Oklahoma
Residence in 1935: Same House, Ala
Sheet Number: 7B
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Edward Miller 31
Bertha Taye Miller 20
Deloris Ann Miller 7/12
John H Miller 68
Source Citation: Year: 1940; Census Place: Caney, Atoka, Oklahoma; Roll: T627_3275; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 3-6.

Mary Margaret Collum
Birth 3 Jun 1875 in Mississippi
Death 12 Jan 1939 in Caney, Atoka, Oklahoma, United States

1880 United States Federal Census about Mary M. Colum
Name: Mary M. Colum
[Mary M. Cochran]
[Mary M. Collum]
Age: 5
Birth Year: abt 1875
Birthplace: Alabama
Home in 1880: Marion, Alabama
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Daughter
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Name: William Colum
Father’s Birthplace: Alabama
Mother’s Name: Nancy Jane Colum
Mother’s Birthplace: Alabama
Neighbors: View others on page
Cannot read/write:

Blind:

Deaf and dumb:

Otherwise disabled:

Idiotic or insane:

View image
Household Members:
Name Age
William Colum 30
Nancy Jane Colum 30
James Colum 7
Mary M. Colum 5
George D. Colum 3
Lorena E. Colum 10m
Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: , Marion, Alabama; Roll: 23; Family History Film: 1254023; Page: 54D; Enumeration District: 240; .

you should also investigate the MOWA tribe, links in this post.

every tribe had membership requirements.
http://www.narf.org/nill/resources/enrollment.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_quantum_laws

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:
http://www.choctawnation.com/history/

social security application for a deceased person:
http://www.ssa.gov/foia/html/foia_guide.htm
form SS-5.

your public library probably has a subscription to heritage quest and ancestry.com. fold3.com 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.
http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/dawes.php?s_last=green&s_first=mart&s_middle=&s_tribe=
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 rootsweb.com or ancestry.com.
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 findagrave.com or interment.net. 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. ancestry.com and heritage quest are two databases that include many census records. many native census records kept by NARA (http://www.archives.gov) are transcribed at accessgenealogy.

http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/tribes/choctaw/index.htm
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:
http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/finalroll.php
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.
http://www.okhistory.org/research/dawes

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
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawes_Act
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawes_Commission
wikipedia entries are sometimes opinionated; entered by volunteers.

helpful information about tribal enrollment
http://www.felihkatubbe.com/ChoctawNation/TribalMembership.html

freedmen information:
many freedmen links on this webpage: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ewyatt/_borders/

2 ways to search:
http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/finalroll.php
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.

http://www.okhistory.org/research/dawes/index.php
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.
http://www.fold3.com/documents/46580455/dawes-packets/
other resources are NARA http://www.archives.gov

the five civilized tribes book put out by the department of the interior has testimony.
http://books.google.com/books/about/Five_civilized_tribes_in_Oklahoma.html?id=chATAAAAYAAJ
and you can read it online

and these are the microfilms at fort worth TX archives.
http://www.archives.gov/southwest/finding-aids/native-american-microfilm.html

there may be additional records about your relative:
contact NARA http://www.archives.gov for these and other records listed on this webpage.

75.23 RECORDS OF THE COMMISSIONER TO THE FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES 1852-1919
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
http://www.archives.gov/research/guide-fed-records/groups/075.html
(Record Group 75)
1793-1989

http://okhistory.cuadra.com/star/public.html
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.
http://choctawnation.com/services/departments/community-services/
some obituaries:
http://www.choctawnation.com/history/obituaries/

NARA http://www.archives.gov/ 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 nara.gov.

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:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_quantum_laws
calculations about blood quantum:
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~wishawa4/Menominee%20Indians/quantum.htm

mississippi choctaw and choctaw tribe explained here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choctaw_Trail_of_Tears
http://www.choctaw.org/

jena choctaw tribe in louisiana:
http://www.jenachoctaw.org/

MOWA tribe
http://encyclopediaofalabama.org/face/Article.jsp?id=h-1368
http://www.uab.edu/uabmagazine/2009/july/losttribe
http://www.native-american-online.org/MOWA-Choctaw.htm
MOWA Band Of Choctaws Wilford Taylor 1080 Red Fox Road Mount Vernon, AL 36560 (251) 829-5500. E-Mail: chieftaylor@mowachoctaw.com

other choctaw tribes:
http://www.aaanativearts.com/choctaw-indians/index.html

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
http://www.chickasaw.net/index.htm

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

http://www.okhistory.org/
oklahoma historical society
marriage records
http://www.okhistory.org/research/library/marriage.html
http://www.okgenweb.org/~okgarvin/kinard/chocmarriageindex.htm

other historical societies:
http://www.daddezio.com/society/hill/SH-OK-NDX.html
some oklahoma genealogical societies:
http://www.censusfinder.com/oklahoma-genealogy-society.htm
http://www.geneasearch.com/societies/socokla.htm

texas tribes
http://www.native-languages.org/texas.htm
http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/texas/index.htm
http://www.texasindians.com/
http://www.lsjunction.com/places/indians.htm

oklahoma tribes:
http://500nations.com/Oklahoma_Tribes.asp
http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/oklahoma/index.htm
http://www.cowboy.net/native/tribes.html
http://yvwiiusdinvnohii.net/OKTribes.htm

some links for the choctaw.
http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/tribes/choctaw/index.htm
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.
http://www.okgenweb.org/~okgarvin/kinard/1860index.htm
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.
http://www.archive.org/details/fivecivilizedtr00statgoog
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. ancestry.com 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 http://www.archives.gov 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.
http://www.us-census.org/native/choctaw_dawes.html
i do not know what they are trying to transcribe, but this is the volunteer page
http://www.us-census.org/states/graphics/status.htm

and this might be of interest to you:
http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/choctaw/rights-of-choctaws.htm
Rights of Mississippi Choctaws in the Choctaw Nation

http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/finalrolls/
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:
http://jenniferhsrn2.homestead.com/research2.html

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.
http://www.searchforancestors.com/google/searcher.html

penny postcards. this is a website that features pictures that were on postcards. click on the state to see the postcards that they have.
http://www.usgwarchives.org/special/ppcs/ppcs.html
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, shamlet76@gmail.com 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