Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

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James J Bennight, citizenship case (Vandergriff)

Jenni Jenni

posted on February 4, 2013

I am researching my husbands family and found the citizenship court case for James C Johnson and James J Bennight in “the five civilized tribes” book put out by the department of the interior. This case lists my husbands great grandfather James M Vandergriff, Great Aunt Hildreth, Great Aunt Rowena, GGGreat grandfather William P and GGGreat grandmother Hazy Ann. If anyone out there can help me understand this case and what the final results of it are I would greatly appreciate it.
Thanks so much,
Jenni

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on February 4, 2013

you might have to contact the tribe about results since it is a court case.
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ewyatt/_borders/Freedmen%20Applied%20to%20by%20Blood/V.html

http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/oklahoma/tribes/james_c_johnson_james_j_bennight_choctaw.htm
summary

it appears this document expressed the disposition.

Copy Of Order Of Court

United States Of America.
Indian Territory, central district, ss:

In the United States court in the Indian Territory, central district, at a term thereof begun and held at South McAlester, in the Indian Territory, on the 11th day of September. A. D. 1897.

Present: The Hon. William H. H. Clayton, judge of said court.

The following order was made and entered of record, to wit:

Jas. J. Bennight et al. v. Choctaw Nation. No. 62. Judgment.

it appears to me that most of the family were accepted and some were denied because they didn’t have residency.

but you should check with the tribe because court dispositions were not part of the dawes roll taken 1896-1906 in oklahoma/indian territory. the dawes roll only lists applicants to the five major tribe of oklahoma. while some people had enrollment #’s, it cannot be depended upon regarding any court case.

i am just a volunteer and not affiliated with the tribe.

suzanne hamlet shatto

Jenni Jenni

posted on February 4, 2013

I cannot seem to figure out who/how to contact someone who can help. Does anyone have a suggestion? Also correction on the family members: Hildreth was James M Vandagriffs brother? not his daughter.
Thanks in advance.
Jenni

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on February 5, 2013

CDIB & Tribal Membership Program

Shannon McDaniel, Executive Director
(580) 924-8280
Amanda Herndon, CDIB Director
Melissa Jones, Tribal Membership Director

If you do not have a printer and need the applications mailed to you please let us know by emailing or by calling (800) 522-6170.

http://www.choctawnation.com/services/departments/

suzanne hamlet shatto

Jenni Jenni

posted on February 6, 2013

Thanks Suzanne, I’ll try that!
Jenni

Jeanette Jeanette

posted on February 19, 2013

Jennie,
You have an interesting family. And I think one who was “done wrong”. The Bennight case has been fought for years and recently. Nobody gets anywhere. James Bennight was so sure he was going to be enrolled he named a son before he was born. Poor man. He used his initials a lot. You descend from Moshulatubbi, one of the last Choctaw Chiefs. He is one of the feathers on the Choctaw Seal. There is a whole lot of information on the internet about him and his family. Many of them were enrolled. Some were not. Simply because they were out of the Choctaw Nation at the wrong time. If you know the area around Pacola and Fort Smith it hard even today to know which state you are in. The woman who caused this ruckus may not have realized she was in Arkansas.

Jeanette Jeanette

posted on February 19, 2013

Bennight: He named his son Dora. You can see this in the censuses around Stigler or Poteau.

Jeanette Jeanette

posted on February 19, 2013

Do you know why in the Choctaw Seal they use today the bow is “strung”? In the original Constitution it was to be “unstrung”. Since then something has changed and the Nation has become “warlike”? I think there is much bad judgment.