Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Trying to find Tribe and Tribe Number

Kimberly Kimberly

posted on August 7, 2013

I was told that my greatgrandmother Nancy Matilda Brown (madien name was Cox) born in Louisiana 11/22/1894 died in 1/26/1981 was almost full blooded Choctaw. I actually met her and loved her stories but can’t remember them. She died in El Cajon, CA. My greatgrandfather was full blooded Cherokee but know one that is still living knows what his name was. My grandfather is Ernest O. Brown born in Louisiana or Kentucky my family does not know born 8/12/1919 died in San Diego, CA 8/22/2002 he was married to Mary Camilla Brown. I think my grandfather Ernest would be almost full blooded between his two parents tribes. I am trying to register and see if funds are due to us and learn as much as possible. Help? where to start?

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on August 7, 2013

i start with the death and work backwards in time.

since you don’t know a great down about your grandfather, you should try to collect documents.

death: obituary maybe through your local public library/interlibrary loan program.
cemetery record, maybe or then contact the cemetery to see if they have more information.
death certificate: state vital records.

if there was a birth before 1940, then, when you ask for a birth certificate, also ask for a delayed birth certificate from state vital records.

if you get stuck on someone who was alive after 1/1/1937 and is now deceased, you can get a copy of their social security application through the freedom of information act. this will give parents’ names, dates and locations.

you can use the census 1900-1940 to see the family migration, if any, know more about dates and locations, children and other family members.

these names are common.

California, Death Index, 1940-1997 about Nancy Matilda Brown
Name: Nancy Matilda Brown
[Nancy Matilda Willis]
Social Security #: 434185184
Gender: Female
Birth Date: 22 Nov 1894
Birth Place: Louisiana
Death Date: 26 Jan 1981
Death Place: San Diego
Mother’s Maiden Name: Cox
Father’s Surname: Willis

it would seem her maiden name was willis and her mother’s maiden name was cox.

1910 United States Federal Census about Matilda Brown
Name: Matilda Brown
Age in 1910: 17
Birth Year: abt 1893
Birthplace: Louisiana
Home in 1910: Hineston, Rapides, Louisiana
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Thomas Brown
Father’s Birthplace: Louisiana
Mother’s Birthplace: Louisiana
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Thomas Brown 31
Matilda Brown 17
Ida Brown 21
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Hineston, Rapides, Louisiana; Roll: T624_527; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 0089; FHL microfilm: 1374540.

1920 United States Federal Census about Matilda Brown
Name: Matilda Brown
Age: 25
Birth Year: abt 1895
Birthplace: Louisiana
Home in 1920: Hineston, Rapides, Louisiana
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Thomas Brown
Father’s Birthplace: Louisiana
Mother’s Birthplace: Louisiana
Able to Read: No
Able to Write: No
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Thomas Brown 41
Matilda Brown 25
Pearl Brown 9
Shelby Brown 6
Louise Brown 3 3/12
Earnest Brown 1 4/12
Source Citation: Year: 1920; Census Place: Hineston, Rapides, Louisiana; Roll: T625_627; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 67; Image: 322.

1930 United States Federal Census about Matilda Brown
Name: Matilda Brown
Gender: Female
Birth Year: abt 1895
Birthplace: Louisiana
Race: White
Home in 1930: Shreveport, Caddo, Louisiana
Map of Home: View Map
Marital Status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Mother-in-law
Spouse’s Name: Thomas Brown
Father’s Birthplace: Louisiana
Mother’s Birthplace: Illinois


Military service:

Rent/home value:

Age at first marriage:

Parents’ birthplace:

View Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Felix Cox 26
Pearl Cox 19
Thomas Brown 50
Matilda Brown 35
Thelby Brown 16
Lonnie Brown 14
Ernest O Brown 10
Frances L Brown 8
Lida M Brown 3
[3 5/12]
Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Shreveport, Caddo, Louisiana; Roll: 786; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 22; Image: 950.0; FHL microfilm: 2340521.

1940 United States Federal Census about Matilda Brown
Name: Matilda Brown
Respondent: Yes
Age: 46
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1894
Gender: Female
Race: White
Birthplace: Louisiana
Marital Status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Home in 1940: Shreveport, Caddo, Louisiana
Map of Home in 1940: View Map
Street: River Front
Inferred Residence in 1935: Shreveport, Caddo, Louisiana
Residence in 1935: Same House
Sheet Number: 2B
Attended School or College: No
Highest Grade Completed: Elementary school, 4th grade
Weeks Worked in 1939: 0
Income: 0
Income Other Sources: No
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Thomas Brown 61
Matilda Brown 46
Shelby Brown 26
Lonnie Brown 23
Ernest Brown 20
Lydia Marie Brown 13
Francis Lee Powell 19
Carolyn Jean Powell 6/12
Source Citation: Year: 1940; Census Place: Shreveport, Caddo, Louisiana; Roll: T627_1387; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 9-51A.

you might want to contact the jena choctaw tribe or a louisiana tribe.

also contact the state archives, state historical society, and there might be a state agency for natives.

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.
you can try school records in the oklahoma state archives, the oklahoma historical society and NARA.
these two resources might have historical newspapers and local history books. your public library/interlibrary loan program might also have access to newspapers and local history books.

as for stories, you can see if any of the relatives are mentioned in the oklahoma pioneer papers or oklahoma chronicles.
volumes are alphabetical by surname.
if an interview is not online, contact the host of these interviews.

as for location for your family, you should look on the federal census 1900-1940 for your family and this will give you locations, family members. your local public library probably has a subscription to and heritage quest.

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

Kimberly Kimberly

posted on August 7, 2013

I was so excited that I got the above info regarding my grandfather’s family. I learned all his bothers and sisters and fathers name, awesome! I am still confused about how I would get myself register as a member and get a tribe number or how to see if I would get paid funds through my tribe. I did see above the Tribal headquarters number in Oklahoma maybe that is where to start. Please provide any additional info on how to become a tribal memeber and get tribe number or maybe it’s a card not sure. Where do I find that they REALLY are Indian and belong to this Tribe they may have never register I don’t know.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on August 7, 2013

you can start in oklahoma if you want, but your relatives did not live in oklahoma at the time of enrollment.

i think you are thinking that tribes are one great entity. this is not so. they were bands of natives that were associated as a tribe. there are many federal and state recognized tribes.

i do not know if they attempted to enroll with another tribe. you should look at the residence location as important because they would have to be living under the authority of a tribe.

tribal heritage and tribal enrollment are two different topics.
click on the enrollment department and read the FAQs.
you must be DIRECTLY RELATED to an original enrollee of the choctaw tribe of oklahoma in order to be a member.
the dawes roll taken 1896-1906 in indian territory/oklahoma contains the names of applicants to the five major tribes of oklahoma. there are 63 tribes in oklahoma, so not all of the names of applicants of other tribes are listed on the dawes roll.

i think you should investigate the louisiana tribes.

all tribes have membership requirements. this would be an important factor when trying to locate a tribe.

suzanne hamlet shatto

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on August 7, 2013

this might help:

What are tribal membership requirements?

Tribal enrollment criteria are set forth in tribal constitutions, articles of incorporation or ordinances. The criterion varies from tribe to tribe, so uniform membership requirements do not exist.

Two common requirements for membership are lineal decendency from someone named on the tribe’s base roll or relationship to a tribal member who descended from someone named on the base roll. (A “base roll” is the original list of members as designated in a tribal constitution or other document specifying enrollment criteria.) Other conditions such as tribal blood quantum, tribal residency, or continued contact with the tribe are common.

enrollment is a two step process. first you have to get your CDIB card from the BIA to show your degree of blood/eligibility to enroll in a particular tribe, and then you have to apply to the tribe for acceptance, if you meet their membership requirements.

Tribal Government personnel, usually an Enrollment Clerk, located at a regional or agency office processes applications for Certificates of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) and Indian Preference in Employment, BIA Form 4432, to anyone who can provide documentation that he or she descends from an American Indian tribe.
this article has many resources.
however i find the paragraph on “Recognition for individuals” to be somewhat insensitive.

i think someone should rewrite that paragraph.

What are the most typical requirements for membership?
Each tribe has a base roll which was established, usually, in the early 20th century, listing the members of the tribe
at that time. Your first challenge will be to prove direct lineal descent from someone listed on that base roll. Then
you must prove that you have the required level of blood quantum – the percentage of your genetic make-up that
is native by bloodline. Most tribes require a 1/4 blood quantum – that is, you must be at least one-fourth Native
American – but note that the Eastern Band of the Cherokees requires that you be only 1/16 or higher to join, and the Cherokee Nation has no minimum quantum restriction, so long as you can prove descent. There may be other conditions for membership as well: requirements for tribal residency or continued contact with the tribe are common.