Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Looking for surnames Barker and Craighead

Sarah Sarah

posted on February 11, 2013

The name Barker would be a married name. I’m looking for a Mary Barker married to William Barker. The time would be 1830s- 50’s. Mary Barker had a daughter, also named Mary, born in 1845. She married Allen Craighead. Family legend says she was part Cherokee or Choctaw. One surviving picture of Mary and Allen Craighead seems to show that she was likely mixed European and Native heritage. Craighead genealogy says Mary may have taken her children ‘back’ to a reservation after Allen died. Any info. would be greatly appreciated.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on February 11, 2013

this is a common name. you have no locations.

did any of her children apply for enrollment in a tribe around 1900-1930? this is when many tribes enrolled.

natives usually didn’t disclose their heritage unless they were enrolling.

if natives lived on reservation, they were not on the federal census taken every 10 years – they would have been on the native census records because they were not taxed. has transcribed native census records and native databases and rolls.

but if your family accepted land in lieu of tribal enrollment, this is called choctaw scrip land. the records were the bureau of land management records and now they are housed at NARA
there are two databases that you can look for the head of household called “mississippi land records” and “alabama land records”. homestead records are also in those two databases, so you have to look at the source to determine whether they are a choctaw scrip land record.

birth documents of the children would be helpful. if any of the children survived until 1/1/1937, social security required a birth document to show proof of age. often this was a delayed birth certificate from the state vital records. sometimes state archives or state vital records have those documents.

1870 United States Federal Census about Allen Craighead
Name: Allen Craighead
Age in 1870: 5
Birth Year: abt 1865
Birthplace: Texas
Home in 1870: Beat 2, Bell, Texas
Race: White
Gender: Male
Post Office: Howard
Value of real estate: View image
Household Members:
Name Age
A C Craighead 40
Mary Craighead 25
Lyttle Craighead 17
Permelia Craighead 14
James Craighead 12
Allen Craighead 5
Andrew J Craighead 3
Mary Craighead 1
Source Citation: Year: 1870; Census Place: Beat 2, Bell, Texas; Roll: M593_1575; Page: 23A; Image: 49; Family History Library Film: 553074.

the trail of tears did not go through texas but many unofficial migrations from the southeastern reservations did go to/through texas. they are called mississippi choctaw and some of them were affiliated with a tribe. location is key here. this post has texas tribes that you should check.

Name: Mary Craighead
Age in 1870: 25
Birth Year: abt 1845
Birthplace: Missouri
Home in 1870: Beat 2, Bell, Texas
Race: White
Gender: Female
Post Office: Howard

Name: A C Craighead
Age in 1870: 40
Birth Year: abt 1830
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1870: Beat 2, Bell, Texas
Race: White
Gender: Male
Post Office: Howard

lyttle, permilia and james were b. AR, the rest of the children b. TX.

arkansas territory included much of indian territory at this time.

1860 United States Federal Census about Lytle Craghead
Name: Lytle Craghead
Age in 1860: 6
Birth Year: abt 1854
Birthplace: Arkansas
Home in 1860: Bell, Texas
Gender: Male
Post Office: Belton
Value of real estate: View image
Household Members:
Name Age
A Craghead 30
Lytle Craghead 6
P Craghead 5
Jas Craghead 2
Source Citation: Year: 1860; Census Place: , Bell, Texas; Roll: M653_1288; Page: 336; Image: 200; Family History Library Film: 805288.

1850 United States Federal Census about Allen Craighead
Name: Allen Craighead
Age: 22
Birth Year: abt 1828
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1850: Wallace, Independence, Arkansas
Gender: Male
Family Number: 436
Household Members:
Name Age
William Hess 37
Permelia Hess 32
Thomas M Hess 16
Henry B Hess 9
Binks Hess 0
Nancy Hess 56
Ravana Middleton 24
Allen Craighead 22
Brannick Middleton 7
John M Middleton 2
Henry Middleton 0
Source Citation: Year: 1850; Census Place: Wallace, Independence, Arkansas; Roll: M432_26; Page: 343B; Image: 684.

Arkansas, County Marriages Index, 1837-1957 about Allen Craghead
Name: Allen Craghead
Gender: Male
Age: 23
Birth Year: abt 1828
Residence: Independence, Arkansas
Spouse’s Name: Revenny Middleton
Spouse’s Gender: Female
Spouse’s Age: 26
Spouse’s Residence: Independence, Arkansas
Marriage Date: 6 Aug 1851
Marriage County: Independence
Event Type: Marriage
FHL Film Number: 1288645

now that is a puzzle.

Texas, Muster Roll Index Cards, 1838-1900 about Allen Craighead
Name: Allen Craighead
Age: 33
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1829
Enlistment Date: 15 Jan 1862
Enlistment Place: Belton
Record Type: Civil War Index- Abstracts of Muster Rolls

1880 United States Federal Census about Allen C. Creghead
Name: Allen C. Creghead
Age: 49
Birth Year: abt 1831
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1880: Shoal Creek, Logan, Arkansas
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Self (Head)
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Mary Creghead
Father’s Birthplace: Virginia
Mother’s Birthplace: Tennessee
Neighbors: View others on page
Occupation: Farmer
Cannot read/write:


Deaf and dumb:

Otherwise disabled:

Idiotic or insane:

View image
Household Members:
Name Age
Allen C. Creghead 49
Mary Creghead 35
Mary Creghead 11
Obidah Creghead 8
Martha Creghead 7
Sophronia Creghead 6
William Creghead 4
Samuel T. Creghead 2
Rufus Creghead 1
Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Shoal Creek, Logan, Arkansas; Roll: 50; Family History Film: 1254050; Page: 178C; Enumeration District: 095; Image: 0078.

i don’t know if allen craighead married more than once or if mary had a family with allen.

i don’t see that any craighead families applied for enrollment in the five major tribes in oklahoma. but i don’t know their movement from 1880 forward. i don’t know who mary b. 1845 married.

it appears that allen craighead’s wife passed away: Name: Revenny Middleton Sutton Craighead
Birth Date: 1828
Age at Death: 32
Death Date: 1860
Burial Place: Nolanville, Bell County, Texas, USA
see findagrave for this grave.

so the 1860 census shows children from this revenny middleton.

1860 United States Federal Census about Mary Barker
Name: Mary Barker
Age in 1860: 16
Birth Year: abt 1844
Birthplace: Missouri
Home in 1860: Bell, Texas
Gender: Female
Post Office: Belton
Value of real estate: View image
Household Members:
Name Age
Jas Cox 60
Mary Cox 43
Mary Barker 16
Ell Barker 12
Wm Barker 11
Source Citation: Year: 1860; Census Place: , Bell, Texas; Roll: M653_1288; Page: 341; Image: 209; Family History Library Film: 805288.

so mary barker was living in bell county, TX before her marriage to allen craighead. that means that she is one of the mississippi choctaw if she was native.

1850 United States Federal Census about Mary Barker
Name: Mary Barker
Age: 5
Birth Year: abt 1845
Birthplace: Missouri
Home in 1850: Hunt, Texas
Gender: Female
Family Number: 106
Household Members:
Name Age
William S Barker 45
Mary Barker 35
Amazella Barker 20
Andrew J Barker 17
Permela Barker 14
George W Barker 9
Mary Barker 5
Eli Barker 2
Source Citation: Year: 1850; Census Place: , Hunt, Texas; Roll: M432_911; Page: 198B; Image: 401.

so her family was living off-reservation in 1850 and they were not on the trail of tears.

Name: Mary Barker
Age: 35
Birth Year: abt 1815
Birthplace: Indiana
Home in 1850: Hunt, Texas
Gender: Female

1850 United States Federal Census about William S Barker
Name: William S Barker
Age: 45
Birth Year: abt 1805
Birthplace: Kentucky
Home in 1850: Hunt, Texas
Gender: Male

william was more likely to be native, since he came from KY. mary barker, the mother, was less likely to be a native from a southeastern tribe, since she came from IN. many natives from KY were not living on reservations and would have had difficulty proving native heritage.

1850 was the first census that showed family members. census records before that were by head of household. so documents will be harder to come by for females.

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.

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.

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. you can google fold3 and your ancestor’s name to see if your relative’s dawes packet 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:

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 Sarah

posted on February 11, 2013

Thank you for all the detailed information, sleuthing and tips. There are many things I don’t know about the native migrations and I’m a northerner, to boot, so I’m just not as well versed in southern geography and migrations as I’d like to be. I’ll sift through all this info.
So, it appears to you as though William Barker may have been the one of native decent, do I have that right? It would be nice to narrow the search down to one person.
Thanks again

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on February 12, 2013

for now, i will say that william barker was more likely than mary, his wife. however, there is a qualification to that. i don’t know of a reservation in KY and few from that state were enrolled in tribes.

there is also the melungeon that came from that area around kentucky, and they did not want anything to do with the federal government. they would not apply to be a tribe. they migrated westward and i think many of them went to east texas.

and this is a northern area of the southeastern natives.
see the tribes that were in KY.
early tribes won’t help you much. natives had an oral tradition and didn’t keep records. the war department kept records 1800-1900 or so, now housed at NARA
and those records are transcribed on the link under native census records and native databases and rolls.

this is indiana:

i cannot say for certain that an indiana birthplace means non-native. you would have to try to find information about parents and siblings. however, few people from indiana were native in that time period because the population was pushing westward and most natives had already gone westward.

yes, historical context is IMPORTANT.

and i think you are beginning to see why the location might be very important to you. you should collect your documents, get a map mark where your family was at particular times. look for a tribe near where your family was located. tribal affilation means that the family was under the authority of a tribe, whether the tribe was recognized or not. there is also state-recognized and federally-recognized. the state historical society can help you with this.

yes, i would agree with your desire to narrow down the search to one particular person. family stories can be frustrating/fun to track down. they are like trying to nail down a rumor. things change. some parts of the story depended on the listener’s ability to understand. sometimes two items were linked because of time or location or speculation.

this is a journey of organization, collection of facts and documents, sharing with family members.

suzanne hamlet shatto

Samantha Samantha

posted on July 1, 2014

Sarah i know this post is old but it seems you and i are looking for the same answers. I hope you see this, if you do could you get in touch with me. Allen creghead and mary barker are my 3rd great grandparents and also through family legend we had some native american blood.

nelda airington nelda airington

posted on September 12, 2014

Mary Narker and Allen Craighead were my husbands grgr grandparents.We have heard the story of her being Cherokee,I have searched and never found any proof.NELDA

nelda airington nelda airington

posted on September 12, 2014

Allen first married widow Revenney Middleton.She had several kids and she and Allen had several.She died and he married Mary Barker.My husbands gr-grandma was their youngest child Dovie Craighead.She died when his Grandmother was real young,so that is why their is not alot of info.Mary and Allen went back and forth from Ar.with kids being born in both places.It is said she died in 189? in Sequeoah Co,Ok.Its also rumored that Allen died in 1897 near Springer ,Ok.I have searched that cemetery with no luck.