Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

More Info on Choctaw Family History Please

phunnicutt phunnicutt

posted on March 27, 2013

I am trying to find more info on my Indian heritage. My ancestors daughters marriage is listed on the Choctaw marriage index. Their name is Tom & Lucy Markham and were in Garvin county, OK in 1900. The marriage took place on 3 July 1898. How would I go about finding out if Tom or Lucy was of the Indian descent. I can provide more info on Lucy’s parents. Thank you.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on March 28, 2013

markham is a common cherokee surname but there were no choctaw applicants by the name of markham.

the forts were providing services, maintaining order in indian territory until oklahoma became a state in 1907.

there were oklahoma land rushes and business opportunities in indian territory.

1900 United States Federal Census about Lucy Markham
Name: Lucy Markham
Age: 25
Birth Date: Jan 1875
[abt 1875]
Birthplace: Mississippi
Home in 1900: Township 4, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Spouse’s Name: Tom Markham
Father’s Birthplace: Alabama
Mother’s Birthplace: Mississippi
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Tom Markham 32
Lucy Markham 25
Bruce Gassaway 13
Henry Gassaway 12
Newton Gassaway 10
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Township 4, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory; Roll: 1852; Enumeration District: 0112; FHL microfilm: 1241852.

lucy’s birthplace and parents’ birthplaces indicate that she could have been mississippi choctaw or MOWA. you should look for a tribe near where they lived 1830-1930. the dawes roll was taken 1896-1906 in indian territory and has the list of applicants to the five major tribes. there are 63 tribes in oklahoma. location is a major factor in tribal affiliation, because members are under the authority of the tribe. so look at nearby tribes.

the gassaways are listed as stepchildren of tom but lucy appears to be too young to be their mother. they might be brothers of lucy. note their birthplaces also.

tom rents a farm, which indicates that he wasn’t a member of a tribe. they live in a predominantly non-tribal area because they are on the federal census schedule. natives are usually on the indian population schedule.

1890 – 1907

COPYRIGHT 27 APR 1992 Mary Kinard

Printed here with the Permission of J.D. Kinard and family for your personal use


FIVE FEDERAL COURTHOUSES IN CHOCTAW NATION AT – ATOKA, ATOKA CO. OK, get copy of marriage from LDS Library BR – DURANT, BRYAN CO. OK. get copy of marriage from Durant Lf – POTEAU, LEFLORE CO. OK get copy of marriage from Poteau Mc – McALESTER, PITSBURY CO. OK get copy of marriage from Indian Archives OKC WIL – WILBURTON, LATIMER CO. OK you may be able to get copy from Muskogee Ok CODES USED un – NOT USED nr – NO RETURN er – ERROR col – COLORED

MARKHAM, T D 30 GASSOWAY, LUCY J 23 3 JUL 1898 CADDO AT1©115©229

you might check with atoka county about the marriage record.

there are also no choctaw gassaway surnames on the dawes roll.

the 1900 census gives tom’s birthplace as TN. some natives lived there also.

unless people disclosed their heritage, it is difficult to find the heritage unless people were living on-reservation. natives living on reservations were not enumerated on the federal census because they were not taxed. they were on native census records and native databases and rolls. if natives lived off-reservation, it is difficult to find records showing they are native. local history books or historical newspapers might mention heritage.

this may be tom’s 1880 census record:

1880 United States Federal Census about Thomas D. Marcum
Name: Thomas D. Marcum
Age: 12
Birth Year: abt 1868
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1880: Grices, Gibson, Tennessee
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Son
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Name: Henderson J. Marcum
Father’s Birthplace: Tennessee
Mother’s name: Sarah Marcum
Mother’s Birthplace: North Carolina
Neighbors: View others on page
Occupation: At Home
Cannot read/write:


Deaf and dumb:

Otherwise disabled:

Idiotic or insane:

View image
Household Members:
Name Age
Henderson J. Marcum 46
Sarah Marcum 47
William H. Marcum 20
Mary A. Marcum 18
Sandy S. Marcum 16
George F. Marcum 14
Thomas D. Marcum 12
Sarah J. Marcum 9
Lue A. Marcum 7
Sandy Warner 45
Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Grices, Gibson, Tennessee; Roll: 1255; Family History Film: 1255255; Page: 387D; Enumeration District: 042.

1870 United States Federal Census about Thomas Marcrum
Name: Thomas Marcrum
[Thomas D Marcum]
Age in 1870: 2
Birth Year: abt 1868
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1870: District 11, Gibson, Tennessee
Race: White
Gender: Male
Post Office: Dyer Station
Value of real estate: View image
Household Members:
Name Age
Hend Marcrum 36
Sarah Marcrum 36
James Marcrum 11
Henry Marcrum 9
Mary Marcrum 7
Samuel Marcrum 6
Gorge Marcrum 4
Thomas Marcrum 2
Almeter Marcrum 1
Source Citation: Year: 1870; Census Place: District 11, Gibson, Tennessee; Roll: M593_1528; Page: 405B; Image: 421; Family History Library Film: 553027.

1880 United States Federal Census about Lucy J. Gassaway
Name: Lucy J. Gassaway
Age: 6
Birth Year: abt 1874
Birthplace: Mississippi
Home in 1880: Sardis, Panola, Mississippi
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Daughter
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Name: J. H. Gassaway
Father’s Birthplace: Alabama
Mother’s name: A. C. Gassaway
Mother’s Birthplace: Mississippi
Neighbors: View others on page
Cannot read/write:


Deaf and dumb:

Otherwise disabled:

Idiotic or insane:

View image
Household Members:
Name Age
J. H. Gassaway 26
A. C. Gassaway 23
Lucy J. Gassaway 6
J. W. Gassaway 3
J. A. Gassaway 5m
Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Sardis, Panola, Mississippi; Roll: 661; Family History Film: 1254661; Page: 150D; Enumeration District: 157; Image: 0305.

1860 United States Federal Census about John H Gusarday
Name: John H Gusarday
[John H Gasaway]
Age in 1860: 8
Birth Year: abt 1852
Birthplace: Alabama
Home in 1860: Western Division, Blount, Alabama
Gender: Male
Post Office: Summit
Value of real estate: View image
Household Members:
Name Age
Wm W Gusarday 59
Lewina Gusarday 31
Namon C Gusarday 16
Sarah A Gusarday 10
John H Gusarday 8
Mary M Gusarday 6
William Gusarday 4
Racheal Gusarday 13
Rosana C Gusarday 8/12
Source Citation: Year: 1860; Census Place: Western Division, Blount, Alabama; Roll: M653_2; Page: 985; Image: 339; Family History Library Film: 803002.

it appears to me that william gassaway homesteaded in AL/MS, rather than received a land grant called choctaw scrip for tribal termination.

lucy markham’s grave on
Birth: 1875
Death: 1944

Holly Creek Cemetery
Broken Bow
McCurtain County
Oklahoma, USA

1910 United States Federal Census about Lucy J Markham
Name: Lucy J Markham
[Lucy J Marcum]
Age in 1910: 35
Birth Year: abt 1875
Birthplace: Mississippi
Home in 1910: Checotah Ward 4, McIntosh, Oklahoma
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Thomas D Marcum
Father’s Birthplace: North Carolina
Mother’s Birthplace: Mississippi
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Thomas D Markham 47
Lucy J Markham 35
Clyde T Markham 9
Nellie E Markham 6
Mable E Markham 3
Homer W Markham 0
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Checotah Ward 4, McIntosh, Oklahoma; Roll: T624_1260; Page: 18A; Enumeration District: 0069; FHL microfilm: 1375273.

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 southeast 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