Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

SMITH Family

Rene Rene

posted on September 14, 2010 and updated on September 14, 2010

My grandmother was Etta Bernice Smith Bagwell, DOB: Oct 1926. Her parents were: William Bartley Smith, DOB: Jun 1880 and Minnie Evelyn Wilson Smith, DOB: Nov 1887.

I was told today by my mother, that my grandmother was given a school/college grant by and indian Nation when she was 60 years old, approx 1986. My grandmother herself told me we were of choctaw decent on her and her fathers side, William Bartley Smith.

Wouldn’t my grandmother have had to have been registered with the Nation to have received a grant like that? How do I find out more about this and how do I track down our supposed heritage? I’ve been looking into this for several years now but may be doing it all wrong and there are lots of information sources that are confusing too.

Any help or clue would be very appreciated!

Edited to add: I forgot to mention that my grandmother was born in Leesville, Louisiana. Her parents were also from Louisiana.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on September 14, 2010

you might look at the jena choctaw or mississippi choctaw tribe.
also, you might check with this tribe directly.
click on the # in the card column to see the family group. quite a number of these. i didn’t see your william smith – i only looked at choctaw, went down to the age column and found someone age 22, which might have been the right age at the time of application but it only listed two parents, so i don’t know if this was your relative.

i think you should look at the 1900-1930 census so that you can figure out who he was living with at that time.

Household Members:
Name Age
William B Smith 49
Minnie E Smith 42
Purl Smith 21
Radin Smith 19
Everett Smith 15
Ruby Smith 11
Jesse S Smith 8
Ima R Smith 5
Berniece Smith 3 8/12
Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Police Jury Ward 4, Vernon, Louisiana; Roll 824; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 12; Image: 415.0.
you can correct the ancestry name index so that others can find your family.
william first married at age 25 and minnie at age 17. all were b. LA and their parents were b. LA.
william is a farmer. they rent the farm. and there are other smith families on the census page.

walter smith and wife jane here, but i don’t know if this is a match.
Source Citation: Year: 1920;Census Place: Police Jury Ward 5, Vernon, Louisiana; Roll T625_632; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 98; Image: 884.

i don’t know if this is a match either.
Source Citation: Year: 1920;Census Place: Police Jury Ward 3, Natchitoches, Louisiana; Roll T625_617; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 41; Image: 1134.

ok, this is more of a match with the people in the family.
Household Members:
Name Age
Bart Smith 39
Minnie R Smith 31
Florence Smith 13
Mertie Smith 11
Perl Smith 9
Raydon Smith 8
Cartis Smith 6
Evert Smith 4
Ruby Smith 1

Source Citation: Year: 1920;Census Place: Police Jury Ward 4, Vernon, Louisiana; Roll T625_633; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 96; Image: 244.

World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
about William Bartley Smith
Name: William Bartley Smith
County: Vernon
State: Louisiana
Birth Date: 22 Jun 1880
Race: White
FHL Roll Number: 1685026
DraftBoard: 0
he’s an engineer with delta land and lumber company. wife minnie. his signature and physical description is on the card. it can be printed or downloaded from

Household Members:
Name Age
W B Smith 28
Minie Smith 22
Florence Smith 5
Merta Smith 3
Pearl Smith 1
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Police Jury Ward 4, Vernon, Louisiana; Roll T624_533; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 148; Image: 1238.

Household Members:
Name Age
William G Smith 42
Nancy J Smith 36
William B Smith 21
James L Smith 16
Nancy L Smith 14
George T Smith 12
Thomas F Smith 10
Mahulda E Smith 9
John B Smith 6
Jesse O Smith 5
Joseph E Smith 2
Katie E Smith 9/12

Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Police Jury Ward 4, Vernon, Louisiana; Roll T623_585; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 99.
i can see that minnie’s maiden name is not easily discovered online. you might try her obituary through interlibrary loan. see your local library for that. you would need to know where and when she passed away to find newspapers in that area.
you can try her death certificate.
her social security application would have it. anyone who passed away after 1/1/1937 has a social security application on file and probably filed a delayed birth certificate.

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#. 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 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

Rene Rene

posted on September 15, 2010

More Information that may help:

Minnie Evelyn Wilson Smith; we were told she was french creole.

William Bartley Smith/Bart Smith, we were told was the choctaw.

We were told that William Bartleys parents were choctaw, who were:

William Lumpkin Smith 1856 (Newton Co, TX) – 1929 (Vernon Parrish, LA)
Nancy Foster Smith 1864 (Calca, Beauregard Co, LA) – 1912
They were married in 1879 and living in Upper Sabina, Calcasilio, LA on the 1880 census.

I’ve had no trouble finding the people themselves, just finding the native american connection. Thats the most important part to me.

All the people you mentioned in your first list are infact children of William Bartley/Bart Smith and Minnie Evelyn Wilson Smith. :-)

I have no idea if this is useful or not because I don’t understand (1) if they are the right people and (2) exactly what I’m reading, but the following was found on one of the rolls:

Name: Smith, William
Tribe: choctaw
Record Type: enrollment
Sex: male
Enrollment Type: P (parent)
Card No. D418

Others with this family:
Smith, Nancy (P) female (age and blood % not listed)
Smith, William (P) male (age and blood % not listed)
Dirant, Jennie (D) female, age 43, blood % IW

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on September 15, 2010

there are many smith surnames on the dawes roll. i would say that is a common surname. william and nancy are common names as well.

you should get the application, card and testimony of this person jennie dirant/jennie durant.

the (D) means doubtful. if there is nothing else other than this record, this jennie dirant did not get enrolled under her parents’ names. it appears that this is so, from what you have copied. it appears to me that if her husband and children were enrolled, that she was classed as “IW”, which is intermarried white. the IW classification was given to people as a nontribal designation. it doesn’t mean that they were “white”. it means that if they were native, their blood quantum did not count toward enrollment.

i would suggest that you look at the texas and louisiana tribes. look particularly at mississippi choctaw (for william/bart), and the jena choctaw tribe for nancy. this might help you find your people.

yes, i assume that everyone that posts to this messageboard do want to get enrolled in a tribe. and this is why i suggested that you contact the jena choctaw tribe, why i suggested also the mississippi choctaw tribe. i am sure that people want to find their heritage.

Rene Rene

posted on September 15, 2010

I’m ok with the way things are. I don’t wish to take away from the choctaws by trying to get anything from them…..I merely wish to know, for sure, that the stories that I have been hearing are infact true, thats it. Heritage is important to me…its all I have left as most of my family have passed on.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on September 15, 2010

i guess you’re not hearing what i am saying. i am saying that the doubtful application of jennie dirant/durant probably has some heritage information in there. but this application was apparently insufficient to get her enrollment in the choctaw tribe of oklahoma. there might be testimony and a census card and an application on this.

however, both william and nancy might have been mississippi choctaw or jena choctaw. and there might be an application with that tribe. you should contact the tribes about that.

it appears that there were two applications:
tribe last first middle age sex blood card roll misc type
Choctaw Durant Jennie 46 F IW 5964 NR DEQUEEN AR BB
Choctaw Smith Nancy 0 F 5964 P
Choctaw Smith William 0 M 5964 P

Dawes Card Information

tribe last first middle age sex blood card roll misc type
Choctaw Durant Jennie 43 F IW D418 D
Choctaw Smith Nancy 0 F D418 P
Choctaw Smith William 0 M D418 P

you should look at both of them.

i really don’t know the circumstances of your particular family but all i can do is tell you where to start to find heritage information. NARA – national archives and records administration – has some records. they have copies of records for enrollment, census, databases and rolls. the tribes have records or know where there are records. if you don’t contact the appropriate tribe, you won’t find out what records might be available.

you will find that the key to a tribal community is through where they lived and when they lived there.

Rene Rene

posted on September 15, 2010

Thanx for your help. Sorry if I bothered you.