Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Gibson Family information

Jeanette Jeanette

posted on January 9, 2013

My husband is a member of the Choctaw Nation. I’m doing some research into more extended generations of his family? Some of the people you might recognize is Nicey Waters(1847-1910) Who is his great great grandmother and Reuben Gibson (1845-1902). Some of the ancestry on I believe is inaccurate after Reuben’s dad (James Jim Gibson 1815-1898)…(Some have it traced to an original indian name but the dates are not right). I want to maintain as much accuracy in finding relatives as I possibly can. If anyone is a distant cousin or are someone who can shed light on this I would be very appreciative!

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on January 9, 2013

james/jim gibson b. 1815 d. 1898 no location, no spouse
reuben gibson b. 1845 d. 1902 no location, no spouse

not sure of nicey waters’ connection.
nicey waters b. 1847 d. 1910 no location, no spouse

from the dawes record below, it appears that nicey is the spouse of reuben.

no documents cited.

if you are speaking of the ancestry family records, those are self-reported. there may be issues with these. you should gather your own documents. but you should also communicate with the person to share information and resources.

regarding native records, you should get a copy of the dawes packet of this family group:

Dawes Card Information

tribe last first middle age sex blood card roll misc type
Choctaw Gibson Nicey 0 F 5565 P
Choctaw Gibson Reuben 0 M 5565 P
Choctaw Gibson Etta 1 F 1/4 5565 NR BURDY BB
Choctaw Gibson Jesse 1 M 1/4 5565 NR BURDY BB
Choctaw Gibson Verda 1 F 1/4 5565 NR BURDY BB
Choctaw Gibson Ada 3 F 1/4 5565 NR BURDY BB
Choctaw Gibson Laura 20 F IW 5565 NR BURDY BB
Choctaw Gibson Thomas 26 M 1/2 5565 NR BURDY BB
Choctaw Hale Mollie 0 F 5565 P
Choctaw Hale Newt 0 M 5565 P
bb-by blood

Dawes Card Information

tribe last first middle age sex blood card roll misc type
Choctaw Gibson James 0 M 83 P
Choctaw Gibson Maria 0 F 83 P
Choctaw Gibson Robert E Lee 14 M 1/2 83 152 PURDY BB
Choctaw Gibson Nicey 53 F 1/2 83 151 PURDY BB
Choctaw Gibson Ruben 55 M 1/2 83 150 PURDY BB
Choctaw Waters George 0 M 83 P

you might find is a cheaper way to get the dawes packet online. they offer a month’s subscription for a cheaper price than the price of two dawes packets. you will see a census card, a dawes application and often testimony. other resources are oklahoma historical society and NARA

this should have some good heritage information.

1900 United States Federal Census about Nicie Gibson
Name: Nicie Gibson
Age: 53
Birth Date: 1847
[abt 1847]
Birthplace: Indian Territory, Oklahoma
Home in 1900: Township 2, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory
Race: Indian (Native American)
Relation to Head of House: Cousin
Father’s Birthplace: Mississippi
Mother’s Birthplace: Mississippi
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Henry Hayes 67
Belle Hayes 50
Henry Parnell 17
Ruben Gibson 55
Nicie Gibson 53

1900 United States Federal Census about Ruben Gibson
Name: Ruben Gibson
Age: 55
Birth Date: 1845
[abt 1845]
Birthplace: Indian Territory, Oklahoma
Home in 1900: Township 2, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Township 2, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory; Roll: 1849; ; Enumeration District: 0162; FHL microfilm: 1241849.

you should get a copy of this indian population schedule page because some things have been written over. maybe you can understand this.

it appears that reuben is choctaw on his father’s side and chickasaw on his mother’s side.
nicey may be chickasaw on her father’s side and choctaw on her mother’s side.

since both reuben and nicey were b. indian territory, their family probably migrated from the southeastern reservation in MS to oklahoma on the trail of tears.

you should look at the native census records and native databases and rolls. see the left menu of the accessgenealogy website. the 1885 census and 1860 census might help you in particular.

1910 United States Federal Census about Nicey Gibson
Name: Nicey Gibson
Age in 1910: 65
Birth Year: abt 1845
Birthplace: Oklahoma
Home in 1910: Stuart, Hughes, Oklahoma
Race: Indian (Native American)
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Mother-in-law
Marital Status: Widowed
Father’s Birthplace: Mississippi
Mother’s Birthplace: Mississippi
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
William Bell 32
Malina Bell 33
Alice V Bell 9
Henry S Bell 8
Clara I Bell 5
Bessie P Bell 3
Ruby H Bell 2
Nicey Gibson 65
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Stuart, Hughes, Oklahoma; Roll: T624_1255; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 0113; ; FHL microfilm: 1375268.

from the ancestry census records, i agree with you. some people are learning about genealogy and they don’t discriminate very well when they are trying to gather records. be patient.

some names are common and it is important to figure out whether the record is really your relative.

natives were on native census records because they were not taxed and living on a reservation. everyone else is on the federal census records. some people do not know this.

the native records are inadequate, but many records before 1850 were inadequate for everyone too.

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

Jeanette Jeanette

posted on January 10, 2013

Thank you so much. This is extremely helpful! BTW- One of our relatives has the original paperwork where the Gibson family was granted land many years ago (I can’t remember if it was issued by the government or by someone else. I need to get the papers and read them again).

This gives me a lot to go on. thank you so much for your time :-) (I need to get my daughter’s registered with the Choctaw nation soon! They are 10 and 6 years old!)

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on January 10, 2013

i seem to remember that the church of latter day saints was indexing the land grant records for the tribe. you should inquire at your local family history center at a latter day saints church near you.

these two websites can help you with the land records.