Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation


Dewayne Hardin Dewayne Hardin

posted on January 21, 2013

My Great grandfather was a Choctaw from st.Louis. I am a 57 year old black man and I see the choctaw do not recognize black people as being part of their nation, only whites. Maybe it is part of the way blacks were treated when they were only slaves even when the chowtaw were made to walk the death march their slaves were made to walk with them.My Great grandfather did not give me any back ground who his family members were, but when I look at the people who are excepted in the nation today, no blacks only whites. Only thing I want from the nation is to find out who we are related to. NO MONEY. I have money. I bet my mother you would not want anything to do with us because we are BLACK. We can’t be responsible for what our pass ancestors done, but we can change the future. I would like a DNA test?

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on January 21, 2013

i am not sure of what you are looking for.

i have taken a DNA test and you may find the results unsatisfying. it might show different heritages but it doesn’t identify particular people. you have to contact other people to try to figure out the common relatives. i can tell you that it is easier said than done, since my family has done this. and there is a big learning curve. DNA testing is just beginning to build a database and you need to know your family’s genealogy in order to be able to figure out anything. if you hope that it will identify some native blood, maybe. but that will not help you enroll in a tribe. i do not know any tribe that accepts DNA tests to enroll.

however, this post might help you find records. i know that there were native slaves and black people that became associated with the tribe. some of them were enrolled as freemen/freedmen. there are links to this in this post.

you will need to know who the family members were 1830-1930 or so, where they were located. a good way to do this is by census records.
the first time period to concentrate on is 1900-1930 because most tribes enrolled during this period.
federal census records can help you here. you can get access through your local public library – two databases: 1) heritage quest, 2)

the dawes roll shows the applicants to the five major tribes 1896-1906 in indian territory/oklahoma. if your family applied for this, there would be a census card, dawes application, other supporting documents and testimony. these are located at NARA
try the fort worth, TX office.

in the case of the freedmen, congress instructed the tribe to enroll them but there is no blood quantum with that status, so descendants were not enrolled in the tribe.
however, the documents might help you with your heritage.
i think this was a congressional oversight that produced unintended consequences for people.

start with what you know, gather resources, then you can go backward in time. so get your birth certificate, your parents’ birth/death certificates and marriage license, and then you should have information about your grandparents. obituaries can also mention parents, cemetery records might mention parents. census records can give you your family’s migration to different locations.

native census records were taken by the war department and if your family was living on reservation when they were taken, they might be found there.
federal census records did not enumerate natives living on reservation because they were not taxed. however, if your family was living off-reservation, they might be on the federal census records.
as you know, black people might not be on a census before 1870. however, if you know where your family lived, you can try to contact the state historical society or state archives and find additional records.

since you didn’t give any other information in your post, i can’t give more specific information.

your main resources:
state archives: early vital records, historical newspapers, photographs, local history books, immigration documents
state historical society: early vital records, historical newspapers, local history books, immigration documents
your public library/interlibrary loan program: local history books, historical newspapers. they may have access to some of the things in the state archives or state historical society.
NARA most records are indexed on census and native rolls/databases. original records at NARA in a repository. oklahoma repository is fort worth, TX. mississippi repository could be morrow, GA office. native census records, school records, agent reports. 1800-1930 or so. the war department created many of these records.
remember, the rolls of applicants are indexed here and there are census card, enrollment application and supporting documents here. also has a subscription website and one month’s subscription is less than the price of the documents from NARA. i don’t know if has the documents for other tribes.
oklahoma dawes roll was taken 1896-1906 in oklahoma/indian territory for the five major tribes. there are 63 tribes in oklahoma. other states have federally-recognized and state-recognized tribes and some tribes still seeking recognition. so it is important to know family members 1900-1930 and where the family lived in that time.
NARA also has the scrip land grants that were given in lieu of tribal termination, in MS and AL 1830-1880 to the head of household.
state vital records
county vital records
county court records and land records
census records. if natives lived on reservation 1800-1895, they were on native census records because they were untaxed. if natives lived off-reservation, they were on federal census records taken every 10 years. the 1890 census was destroyed. location (state/county), tribe, surname websites; they have archives, same categorization. their messageboards, same categorization

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

Sarah Turner Sarah Turner

posted on January 21, 2013 and updated on January 21, 2013


Sarah Turner Sarah Turner

posted on January 21, 2013 and updated on January 21, 2013

I’m not sure what gives you this idea, because I know several people who have a black history/heritage that are completely recognized by the nation/tribe, who have membership and cdib registration as well. There just has to be a PROVEN link to an original enrollee of the Dawes Roll. Like Suzanne said, there has to be paperwork, like birth/death certificates, delayed birth certificates. Something somewhere has to link back to the tribe.

Jean Jean

posted on January 24, 2013

Ms. Shatto, that is a lot of good information in your post that I am going to use. I am also of Black Native American heritage from Indianola Mississippi. Our roots begin in Sunflower County with an African slave on the Anderson plantation who married the Choctaw cook, Hattie Boyd – His name was John Anderson. Of course he took his surname from the plantation. I have seen Hattie Boyd,my ancestor listed on the 1885 Choctaw and Chickasaw Freedman list Admitted to Citizenship:Choctaw Freedman: Boyd, Hattie 3835 and I have seen her listed on the Dawes as a full blood. Family history says she was a full blood, so it is a bit confusing.
As far as what Mr. Dewayne Hardin says about African Americans and their Native blood, well I have to agree with him – we are not as welcomed as whites among the Native ranks NOW as we once were back when both Africans and Natives were fighting Europeans for their very existence. White are allowed to bragg about their Native roots without nary a piece of cdib registration (no race on the planet has to have that as proof of heritage but Native Americans and that is the white man’s doing.) When I look at the faces of the past the Natives were a lot darker and they have whitened up quite a bit. It’s just the way things are and we Black Natives have gotten used to it the way we have gotten used to a lot of stuff.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on January 24, 2013

i understand your feelings about it. of course you would feel rejected. worse, there might be some people who do not welcome people who are interested in their heritage, in learning about the native culture. i don’t even live close to oklahoma, so i have no idea about that.

i see what congress did and they basically made it difficult for a lot of people. the tribes were kind of stuck with it. note that when the dawes commission began, the tribe was accepting pretty much anyone who applied but the government said that the process was flawed so it had to begin again, this time with more rules about tribal membership. the enrollment process was controversial. some candidates for tribal office even ran against the dawes process and enrollment.

yes, many were disenfranchised by the enrollment process. it is not within my personal power to do anything about how someone feels about things that occurred many years ago, or even help with things that are happening now.

i just wish you well, try to tell people how to do genealogy, give people links to resources. i am not native, not connected with the tribe, do not speak for the tribe. i am just a volunteer who uses my experience with native records to try to pass this on to people who want to look.

suzanne hamlet shatto