Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Help with Turnage choctaws

LouLou LouLou

posted on February 13, 2013

Hi, I am hoping someone can help me. I know I am some percent of Choctaw. My great grandfather’s name was James Early Turnage he married Eva Hobgood. James’s parents( my gg grandparents names were Newton G. Turnage and Martha L.
( Mattie) Turnage. No one knows what the L in Martha’s name stands for or her maiden name but my grandmother said she believed Martha came from the duncan side and she was a very distant cousin of newton. I have many crazy stories of the family. I have been searching forever and my family history sorta kinda just stops. People are hiding my family history from me and I need help to chase the family ghosts. I am proud to be native, I know I am! I found newton on the Dawes rolls but it had a mcr next to it, I’m unsure of what that is, I do know his parents came from north Carolina. I don’t know where to go next. Thank you. The picture is of my great grandfather James Early Turnage and his wife Eva Hobgood.


suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on February 14, 2013

MCR=mississippi choctaw refused. you should get a copy of the dawes packet: enrollment application, census card and perhaps testimony.
you can get this from NARA fort worth, TX office or oklahoma historical society. and it is probably available online from, a subscription website. one month’s subscription is less than the price of a dawes packet.

if your family came from north carolina, they were probably living off-reservation for some time and this might be why they cannot prove that they were choctaw tribe. no locations are given in your post, but your family probably didn’t go on the trail of tears in the 1830’s from MS/AL to OK/indian territory.

who are their children? the 1900-1930 time period is very important because this was when tribes enrolled members. since you give no locations, this is difficult.

this is newton’s cemetery record:

Birth: May 17, 1871
Death: Jun. 25, 1932

Husband of Martha L. Turnage.

Family links:
James Jacob Turnage (1823 – 1888)
Francis Duncan Turnage (1833 – 1893)

Spouse: Martha L. Turnage (1875 – 1947)* Children: James Earlie Turnage (1893 – 1953)* Marcus Turnage (1896 – 1968)* Alma Turnage McCain (1900 – 1988)* Benjamin Kenzie Turnage (1904 – 1965)*

*Calculated relationship

Children-Earlie, Marcus, Mary, Alma, Thomas, Kenzie, Letha

Turnage Chapel Cemetery
Marion County
Mississippi, USA

martha’s cemetery record on

Birth: Jul. 28, 1875
Death: Sep. 5, 1947

Wife of Newton G. Turnage.

Family links:
Newton G. Turnage (1871 – 1932)

Children: James Earlie Turnage (1893 – 1953)* Marcus Turnage (1896 – 1968)* Alma Turnage McCain (1900 – 1988)* Benjamin Kenzie Turnage (1904 – 1965)*

*Calculated relationship

Children,Ealy, Marcus, Mary, Alma, Thomas, Kenzie, Letha

Turnage Chapel Cemetery
Marion County
Mississippi, USA

james early turnage’s cemetery record:
Birth: Sep. 17, 1893
Death: Sep. 14, 1953

Husband of Eva Turnage.

Family links:
Newton G. Turnage (1871 – 1932)
Martha L. Turnage (1875 – 1947)

Spouse: Eva Turnage (1898 – 1976)

Turnage Chapel Cemetery
Marion County
Mississippi, USA

eva’s cemetery record:
Birth: Apr. 19, 1898
Death: Jun. 17, 1976

Wife of James Earlie Turnage.

Family links:
James Earlie Turnage (1893 – 1953)*

*Calculated relationship

Turnage Chapel Cemetery
Marion County
Mississippi, USA

1900 United States Federal Census about James E Turnage
Name: James E Turnage
Age: 5
Birth Date: Sep 1894
Birthplace: Mississippi
Home in 1900: Beat 3, Marion, Mississippi
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Son
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Name: Newton Turnage
Father’s Birthplace: Mississippi
Mother’s Name: Martha Turnage
Mother’s Birthplace: Mississippi
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Newton Turnage 29
Martha Turnage 24
James E Turnage 5
John M Turnage 4
Mary E Turnage 2
Francis A Turnage 9/12
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Beat 3, Marion, Mississippi; Roll: 819; Page: 18B; Enumeration District: 0078; FHL microfilm: 1240819.

now, this entry on the dawes roll. that would be curious, since the family was living in MS in 1900.

tribe last first middle age sex blood card roll misc type
Choctaw Turnage Frances 0 F MCR1590 P
Choctaw Turnage James J 0 M MCR1590 P
Choctaw Turnage Martha 0 F MCR1590 P
Choctaw Turnage Fraces Almer 1 F 1/32 MCR1590 MCR
Choctaw Turnage Mary Elen 3 F 1/32 MCR1590 MCR
Choctaw Turnage Marcus Lee 5 M 1/32 MCR1590 MCR
Choctaw Turnage James Early 6 M 1/32 MCR1590 MCR
Choctaw Turnage Newton G 29 M 1/16 MCR1590 MCR

such an application would have martha’s name, or would have been disclosed in the testimony. the application appears to say that martha was not native.

and it appears they came back to MS.

1910 United States Federal Census about Early Turnage
Name: Early Turnige
Age in 1910: 15
Birth Year: abt 1895
Birthplace: Mississippi
Home in 1910: Beat 3, Marion, Mississippi
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Son
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Name: Newton Turnige
Father’s Birthplace: Mississippi
Mother’s Name: Marthy Turnage
Mother’s Birthplace: Mississippi
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Newton Turnige 37
Marthy Turnage 33
Early Turnage 15
Marcus Turnage 14
Mary Turnage 12
Alma Turnage 11
Kenzie Turnage 9
Thomas Turnage 6
Letha Turnage 4
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Beat 3, Marion, Mississippi; Roll: T624_751; Page: 17B; Enumeration District: 0103; ; FHL microfilm: 1374764.

all children were listed as being born in MS.
so i don’t know quite what to make of the dawes roll entry. they could have filed from MS. however, natives had to be living in oklahoma/indian territory by 1900 permanently.

i cannot search for a land record or more census records as is down.

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

LouLou LouLou

posted on February 14, 2013

Thank you for your reply and help, my family never went to OK they stayed in MS, LA, . The surnames of my immediate ancestors are turnage,thigpin,hobgood, mccbeth and Duncan. We believe Martha turnage was a Duncan, her father is believed to be james pinkney duncan, and newtons mother was frances duncan and most of the duncans from the area are Cherokee but i cant pinpoint exactly who martha was. My grandmother said I have Choctaw,Cherokee and Seminole blood( which I have no idea of where Seminole comes in at) grandpa’s family was mainly concentrated in Bogalusa Louisiana , she always told me how the family land was took by force and the family went into hiding to escape removal.She always told me that I wouldn’t find the truth by searching the family history,which only makes me search more. I did attach a picture to my previous post of James early turnage and its clear that he is not white. I was told that there is more “Indian” in my family that I know of. The info you listed is my family. Of course I’m very well aware that back then some people were given surnames,and the spelling relied solely on the literacy of the person who wrote it down. I’m not going to stop, I am determined to uncover the past! I will request the resource list you offered. Many blessings and thanks to you and your help and work!

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on February 14, 2013

the seminole were in FL.

the probable answer about martha should be in those enrollment documents, so you will have to get those. it will have the census card, the enrollment application, supporting documents and perhaps testimony.

there are several myths that families developed to explain events and they are often like rumors. for instance, in my family, my uncles told me a story when i was 9 years old. i had no idea that it was really a joke they told me, based on their grandmother’s family name. they told other people the same “joke”. so, when i found my cousin, she knew the same “joke”. and we started trying to find the truth of the situation. we found that it was a “joke” told to children.

see the treaty of rabbit creek. you could characterize it as “stealing”. but there was likely a choctaw scrip land grant given for tribal termination. you will have to search for a land grant to a head of household 1830-1880 or so called choctaw scrip. your family could have been dismayed with the terms of the treaty of rabbit creek. the native leaders were faced with the fact that the new settlers were too numerous and that they had little choice.

when the civil war issues came up, most of the natives fought with the south because the natives did not like the federal government because of the treaties. they may have hoped to get a better deal with the confederacy but i think that was probably a futile hope, even if the confederacy had won.

tribes are really associated bands of natives. maybe your band mostly decided to stay in MS/AL rather than travel to indian territory/oklahoma on the trail of tears in the late 1830s.

look at the reservations in MS and AL and LA for clues.

but documents other than the scrip land grant and tribal enrollment documents is scarce. natives had an oral traditions so they don’t have records.


suzanne hamlet shatto