Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

A useful resource for tracing ancestry

Jim Byrd Jim Byrd

posted on March 28, 2013

A while back, I found a book “Tracing Ancestors Among the Five Civilized Tribes: Southeastern Indians Prior to Removal” by Rachel Mills Lennon. The author has ancestors in five different tribes, including Choctaw. The book mentions several Choctaw-related record collections I was not aware of. It turns out that a couple of the collections I would really like to see to research my great-grandfather exist only on the original paper, in bound volumes at the Bureau of Indian Affairs, in Washington DC. Maybe I can get there this summer.

Jonette Byington Dunlap Jonette Byington Dunlap

posted on April 6, 2013

In the early 70’s I researched those volumes which at that time were housed in the National Archives. They were very interesting. You will find that when ancestors had to report to the Indian agent, an inventory was listed as to how many horses, cows, mules, pigs and other items each family owned. I also found papers of grandfather and his father from 1914 when they requested that restrictions be lifted from their land, so they could borrow against it for funds to improve their farms. At the time I was researching, the Indian books were at back of building with inches of dust on them…had to blow off dust as I went! There was a black lady who worked there who was so excited when I showed up, since there were not many people looking for Indian heritage then. She was very helpful and made my search very productive, making copies for me of some of the pages, so I have handwriting from those generations. You will enjoy your search, I’m sure. Good luck!