Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation



posted on July 4, 2010 and updated on July 5, 2010

I ordered my gggrandmother’s birth certificate to find out her mother was Margaret Gamblin.

The only Margaret Gamblin I’ve been able to find was born to Joseph Gamblin and Mahale Harris of SC/Tenn/GA. I’ve found their associated enrollment card. I have yet to get a copy from the Federal Archives.

I have another gggrandparent with a MCR, rejected enrollment card. He was John Lee of Jacob and Nancy Lee of MS. A 2nd or 3rd cousin was kind enough to forward me a photo. My father lost the suitcase of family photos in a transient hotel in San Francisco during his homeless days. It was the only possessions he took from the old homestead.

So, I’ve got Choctaw lineage in two directions it seems, recognized and unrecognized. There’s still one more branch of my family that I have not yet researched.

This may be premature, but I may be looking for other Gamblins if I validate my research and get my CDIB. However, my research could turn out to have false leads.

I first came to NYC on vacation with my husband who was from here. He used to tell me “New York will love you.” My husband passed in 1999.

I’m also considering relocating from NYC. TX is too hard to go back to since my immediate family there have all passed. Ironically, where I was born is less than 300 miles or about 4 hours S. of the reservation.

If I get my CDIB, then, I may investigate the reservation as a possible relocation destination.

I’m anxious. My ggrandmother’s certificates may be a problem. I have father’s, grandmother’s, gggrandmother’s and soon ggggrandmother’s. This is very time consuming and taking a percentage of my budget that I didn’t have to spare.

But, I grew up saying I was Choctaw. I was rare. Guess I still am. I’ve only met one other person claiming Choctaw lineage outside of my own family. The other branch of my family thought Cherokee.

I’m not sure how the mixup occured. I spent a lot of time with my grandmother when I was young. And, we were always Choctaw. My 1/2 1st cousin says my grandmother said to her “Cherokee”. Her father also says “Cherokee”. I need to confirm, but I believe at the time my cousin talked my grandmother was already dieing of lung cancer. I know in her final months she was on morphine.

But who pulls the Choctaw tribe out of a hat. You can’t make that kind of stuff up. Why would anyone randomly pick the Choctaw tribe out of all the tribes there are to choose from? I seriously doubt anyone sat around anywhere and came up with “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool to say were Choctaw?” Of course, it would be cool given what I’ve read of the Choctaw pre-relocation makes for very interesting reading. But, the likelihood of that happening is fairly unlikely.

I knew I was Choctaw. All of my research shows Choctaw. My dad said we were the hippies of the Indians that flattening our heads and hanging out in the woods eating berries. My father was a colorful character and that’s how he described being Choctaw.

Being Choctaw was always a strong source of pride in my family.

When I got to NYC, I discovered some of the people I encountered openly hate Natives. I look white, so people didn’t know they were talking in front of a Native. It doesn’t make sense to me, I have never known one thing that would make me ashamed to be Choctaw. And, the problems that I have heard that have struck Natives since the invasion, don’t make me ashamed, either. It makes me have hope that those afflicted will eventually rise above. But, when people are relocated, it takes time to rebuild.

I have two tattoos of a feather crossed with a variation on the Choctaw Serpant. I didn’t know what it was a Choctaw design. I picked the Serpant like design from filigree earrings, Jewish silverware, and Victorian lattice work.

I varied the design so that the third loop is a small serpant crossing at an angle the larger two looped serpant. It’s around my right arm with 12 serpants representing my inability to fight and my left ankle with 10 serpants representing my inability to dance. I was going to use thorns and barbwire, until I was told they were too played out, too many times. So, I designed my own tattoo.

The Hungarian immigrant who tattooed them on me in the parlor in his living room made the right arm too high. So, I will have to make a modification, eventually. He made a stencil of the design that I gave him to create the tattoo.

On day, I was looking up Choctaw things to discover my design was also Choctaw. Cool. Huh?

Incidently, my favorite colors are black, gold (substitute yellow and sometimes burnt orange), maroon, and forest green with a leaning towards grey-blue.

I picked Ladybug colors for my daughter: white, black and red. I love Ladybugs, Lightening bugs, June bugs and Doodle bugs. Grasshoppers, crickets, spiders and ants, except red and army ants, are cool. I hate grub worms. And, I’m using the word lightly. My grandmother was a farmer. Coyotes are the best. And, the bear is a rascal. And, my father claimed to have a mountain lion as a friend. Buffalo, deer, muscadine, black berries, corn on the cob, hot water corn bread and the small strawberries my grandmother grew are to die for. Her tomatoes were pretty darn good as well.

O.k. Now off of the tangent and back to the subject.

I didn’t go to the recent “meeting”/“festival” (pow wow) because I could not bring my daughter who was wrongfully placed in foster care. I feel like crud for not going. But, without my daughter, it’s no good. But, I didn’t realize it until the day of the meeting.

BTW: This new website is lovely. As a website developer, I have some minor critiques, but overall, absolutely lovely. Kudos. Props.


I guess I always associated that word with my immediate family members who showed me love in the smallest ways and to whom family was everything. Maybe, I’m romanticizing about the unknown. But, I don’t know yet.

Of course, I’m not saying my whole family was perfect, but I know I was loved. In my eyes, my grandmother could do no wrong. And, once upon a time, the same held true for my father. As a child, I don’t remember every being told, “I love you.” I don’t remember needing to be told.

I’ve lived in the south, the west and now the northeast. My original land is no longer occupied by my family. So, I guess I’m just looking for a comfortable place to hang my hat.

After all, maybe, I’d prefer to live in a concentration camp.

Attached is a graphic image of my tatoo, but the small serpant is not included in the image.


suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on July 8, 2010

you will need to collect primary documents to show your relationship to an enrolled member of the tribe that is on the dawes roll. primary documents are documents that were created at the time by someone who was present. a birth certificate, a marriage license are primary documents. a death certificate is a primary document about the event of death but a secondary document about the person who passed away’s birth.
you need to find out from the tribe what documents that you need to collect. so start at genealogy advocacy, link in this post.
unfortunately, you have not named a location, given any years they were alive, named no spouses or children. you have given no dates of death. this is a common surname, so you have to give more information rather than less. if you post about women, it is helpful to include their maiden name and 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 enrollmment.

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.

since the name is so common, i am finding too many possible records.

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

i am just a volunteer that wants to empower people to learn how to do genealogy.

suzanne hamlet shatto


posted on July 8, 2010 and updated on July 8, 2010


Thank you. I am in the process of ordering birth, death and marriage certificates.

I have found lots of supporting census data, too. Plus, I know which enrollment cards that I need to get.

If found them easily at:

Choctaw Dawes Cards: MCR2559 & 5058

The county courthouse I’m dealing with burned down 3 times. Plus the old mortition, didn’t keep records.

I feel I am close to documenting everything primarily with secondary documents, but I still may not be able to obtain any documents for my ggrandmother.

I’m just posting here as I am going through my research. It’s a lonely process, except several of my 2nd and 3rd cousins are trying to help out. If and Once I think I have everything, I will send the documents to Tribal Membership.

If I hit an absolute block I will contact genealogy advocacy, as you have suggested thank you. The MCR is MS. The Enrolled card was from GA or TN. I know the exact cards to get from the Federal Archives.

I’m just waiting on certificates that I ordered.

I’ve used as an aid in my research. It has been great in helping me find cousins on the same quest. Plus, there I was able to get census records.

Can I use the secondary documents? They are mostly what I will have.

Like I said the country courthouse burned down three times. Many primary documents may have destroyed.

I will try to get marriage licenses and/or birth certificates. But, I don’t know how much luck I’ll have.


suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on July 8, 2010

you should contact the tribe directly, especially since you are saying that you have an MCR card. most of the MCR/mississippi choctaw were refused.
however the other card/family appears to have been enrolled.

re: documents. you should contact the tribe before you go to this expense, so that you know what would be needed. if someone in your line enrolled and provided documents, you would not need to provide those.

you should ask the tribe for copies of census cards and enrollment applications for both families. you will want to look at the testimony given about your family.

start here and search for gamblin in this book online through google books:
Five civilized tribes in Oklahoma:
Reports of the Department of the interior and evidentiary papers in support of S. 7625, a bill for the relief of certain members of the five civilized tribes in Oklahoma
Front Cover
United States. Dept. of the Interior
0 Reviews
Govt. print. off., 1913 – History – 666 pages

this might have something to do with your family:

this might be your family in 1910 census records:
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: King, Stephens, Oklahoma; Roll T624_1275; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 236; Image: 355.

this is on the chickasaw marriage license
i do not understand.

1895 – 1907

COPYRIGHT 27 APR 1992 Mary Kinard


BOOKS ROLL # A APR 1895©MAR 1896 # 469 B MAR 1896©MAR 1897 # 469 & 470 C MAR 1897©DEC 1898 # 470 D DEC 1898©JUN 1900 # 471 E JUN 1900©SEP 1901 # 471 F SEP 1901©NOV 1902 # 472 G NOV 1902©DEC 1903 # 472 & 473 H DEC 1903©JAN 1905 # 473 I NOV 1905©DEC 1905 # 474 J DEC 1905©DEC 1906 # 474 K 1907



To order copy of license send to:

Carter County Court Clerk
P.O. Box 37
Ardmore, OK 73402

$1.00 per copy when book and page are know
$1.50 for certified copy when book and page are known
Please send self addressed stamped envelope
Best to send money order or cashier’s check
This info is correct to the best of our knowledge

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

Thelma Gamblin Thelma Gamblin

posted on January 7, 2011

MMW – If you are looking for Gamblins I may be able to help you, I have most of them in my tree. I will need to know where your ggggrandmother was born or at least where she lived, when and the name of her husband. There are several Margarets that might be her in the family.