Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Help Locating ancestors of Davis James

Chris Chris

posted on September 28, 2010 and updated on September 28, 2010

Davis James Roll #1715, born 1897 to Geon and Lita James. I believe Davis James was my Grandfathers father. I am told that Davis James may have had a sister and i am trying to find her family.
If i am correct Davis James died around the age of 28. We do not know how he died or where he is buried. My grandfathers greatest wish is to see where his father was buried.
Davis James and my great grandmother were not legally married which has made it all the harder to find information.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on September 29, 2010

there might be an obituary. if you know where he was living when he passed away, you might look up a nearby newspaper through interlibrary loan with your local public library.

you could try contacting the genealogy advocate for the tribe.
Dawes Card Information

tribe last first middle age sex blood card roll misc type
Choctaw Barnes Bessie 0 F 707 P
Choctaw Barnes Jerry 0 M 707 P
Choctaw James Bob 0 M 707 P
Choctaw James Motsey 0 F 707 P
Choctaw James Davis 1 M FULL 707 1715 SMITHVILLE BB
Choctaw James Geon 23 M FULL 707 1713 SMITHVILLE BB
Choctaw James Lita 31 F FULL 707 1714 SMITHVILLE BB
bb=by blood

you don’t give your great grandmother’s name or any other information, so i can’t draw any conclusions.

World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
about Geon James
Name: Geon James
County: McCurtain
State: Oklahoma
Birth Date: 1876
Race: Indian (Native American)
FHL Roll Number: 1851808
DraftBoard: 0
this card is available on if you don’t have a subscription, you can see if your local public library has a subscription.

Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Township 4, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory; Roll T623_1848; Enumeration District: 145.

this family might be at the bottom of this census page, but it’s pretty black on ancestry. you could try looking up this page with heritage quest and see if it is just a bad picture on ancestry.

i don’t know if this is your family:
Source Citation: Year: 1920;Census Place: Sulphur, McCurtain, Oklahoma; Roll T625_1469; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 151; Image: 295.

World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
about Davis James
Name: Davis James
County: McCurtain
State: Oklahoma
Birthplace: Oklahoma
Birth Date: 12 May 1897
FHL Roll Number: 1851808
DraftBoard: 0

it appears that his mother might have remarried. you should get a copy of this card on

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.

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.

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.

2 ways to search:
this will give you card# (family group) and enrollment #. they have some native marriage records too. other oklahoma records listed at left.
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 the name is common, you may find too many possible records.

the tribe has an excellent information to help you. it is found under genealogy advocacy.

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:

texas tribes

oklahoma tribes:

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.

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

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.

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

Chris Chris

posted on September 29, 2010

My Great Grandmother (Houston James mother) was Ella Summerhill. She and my great grandfather were neighbors, she became pregnant and moved away. His birth certificate states his fathers name as being David James age 25,
Of the 6 enrolled with the name Davis James, Davis James, son of Geon and Lita James, age 25, would match what is on my grandfathers birth certificate. Also relatives of my grandfather told him that his father lived next door to the Allens in Honey Grove. In the 1920 Census it shows Davis James living with the Holton Hicks family, right next door to the Allens.
Unfortunately most of what i have now is what my mother and grandfather were told 7 years ago. Since that time, everyone that they had spoken to has passed away. So it’s getting harder all the time.
I know that i will never have the information to enroll my grandfather, but if i could just find out where his father is buried. We have no idea where Davis James lived after Honey Grove. No Date of death,, although we believe he was in his 20’s. I have checked with funeral homes in the area of Broken Bow and Golden. But he could have died anywhere.
I have not seen the paperwork, but i was told his heir was a sister. I don’t know if that was a child born later from his mother or fathers side. I do know Lita and Geon divorced and remarried.
Thank you for all you have done and your suggestions.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on September 29, 2010

i think you should contact the tribe’s genealogy advocate and see what you can do.
the tribe has an excellent information to help you. it is found under genealogy advocacy.

documents do exist and they might be able to help you..