Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation


Aundrea Vann Aundrea Vann

posted on August 22, 2013

My maternal great grandmother was Clettie Smallwood Cherry. Her parents were Filmore Smallwood and Hattie Harris. Filmore’s parents were Robert Smallwood and Viny Nash. I found Filmore and Robert’s census cards. Robert is listed as being Choctaw by blood and has no one else listed on his census card because his children were then adults. Filmore listed Robert and Viny on his census card as his parents, along with information about his own wife and children. I recently submitted an application for a CDIB card, but received a letter stating that I didn’t prove that Robert was Filmore’s father. Robert was born around 1852 and Filmore around 1873. Filmore enrolled himself and his mom as Choctaw Freedman, but Robert was enrolled as Choctaw by blood. Can anyone point me in the direction of proving that Robert was Filmore’s father. All of these people have been deceased for years and I don’t know who else to ask.

Aundrea Vann Aundrea Vann

posted on August 22, 2013

I have also found on that Robert married Viney Nash in 1872 and had Filmore. What will be accepted as proof?

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on August 22, 2013

oh, i see what is going on.
it sounds as if robert was accepted as a choctaw by blood but filmore and robert were accepted as freedmen.

what does this application say?
Search the Dawes Final Rolls
Your search returned 5 Results

To narrow your search results please select a tribe.
Name Age Sex Blood Card No. Tribe Roll No.
Filmore Smallwood 30 Male Card #1440 Choctaw Freedmen Roll #4881
Jasper Smallwood 9 Male Card #1440 Choctaw Freedmen Roll #4882
Clora Smallwood 7 Female Card #1440 Choctaw Freedmen Roll #4883
Emma Smallwood 5 Female Card #1440 Choctaw Freedmen Roll #4884
Evalina Smallwood 2 Female Card #1440 Choctaw Freedmen Roll #4885

you might want to sign up for a month’s subscription with and download the documents.

filmore, by enrolling as a freedman, probably didn’t have to prove anything about his parents.

there are a few robert smallwoods on the dawes roll.
Dawes Card Information

tribe last first middle age sex blood card roll misc type
Choctaw Smallwood John 0 M 1791 P
Choctaw Smallwood Nancy 0 F 1791 P
Choctaw Smallwood Robert 48 M 1/2 1791 5078 NELSON BB

bb-by blood

one robert smallwood is 9 years old, so we know that one is not your relative.

Dawes Card Information

tribe last first middle age sex blood card roll misc type
Choctaw Meredith Jane 0 F 4410 P
Choctaw Murphy Fletcher 0 M 4410 P
Choctaw Sisney Emmer 35 F IW 4410 NR MAYHEW BB
Choctaw Smallwood Emma 0 F 4410 P
Choctaw Smallwood Robert 0 M 4410 P
Choctaw Smallwood Ruthie 6 F 1/4 4410 NR MAYHEW BB

Dawes Card Information

tribe last first middle age sex blood card roll misc type
Choctaw Smallwood Betsey 0 F 5369 P
Choctaw Smallwood Robert 0 M 5369 P
Choctaw Smallwood Lizzie 23 F 1/4 5369 NR NELSON BB

so you have some family groups/card#s too look up to try to figure out if there is any proof in those dawes packets.

1900 United States Federal Census about Filmore Smallwood
Name: Filmore Smallwood
Age: 28
Birth Date: abt 1872
Birthplace: Indian Territory, Oklahoma
Home in 1900: Township 5, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Spouse’s Name: Hattie Smallwood
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Filmore Smallwood 28
Hattie Smallwood 20
Jasper Smallwood 6
Cora Smallwood 5
Emma Smallwood
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Township 5, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory; Roll: 1852; Enumeration District: 0116; FHL microfilm: 1241852.

1910 United States Federal Census about Tillman Smallwood
Name: Tillman Smallwood
[Tillman Smllwood]
[Fillmore Smllwood]
Age in 1910: 39
Birth Year: abt 1871
[abt 1873]
Birthplace: Oklahoma
Home in 1910: Farris, Atoka, Oklahoma
Race: Mulatto
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Hattie Smallwood
Father’s Birthplace: Oklahoma
Mother’s Birthplace: Oklahoma
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Tillman Smallwood 39
Hattie Smallwood 28
Jasper Smallwood 15
Clara Smallwood 14
Emma Smallwood 12
Lena Smallwood 9
Perlie Smallwood 5
Annie Smallwood 3
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Farris, Atoka, Oklahoma; Roll: T624_1242; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0005; FHL microfilm: 1375255.

1920 United States Federal Census about Frank Smallwood
Name: Frank Smallwood
[Franke Smallwood]
Age: 43
Birth Year: abt 1877
Birthplace: Oklahoma
Home in 1920: Muskogee Ward 3, Muskogee, Oklahoma
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Hattie Smallwood
Father’s Birthplace: Oklahoma
Mother’s Birthplace: Oklahoma
Home Owned: Rent
Able to Read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Frank Smallwood 43
Hattie Smallwood 40
Jasper Smallwood 26
Venlie Smallwood 15
Annie B Smallwood 13
Clettie Smallwood 7
Rosie Smallwood 17
Bertha B Bosher 1
[1 8/12]
Source Citation: Year: 1920; Census Place: Muskogee Ward 3, Muskogee, Oklahoma; Roll: T625_1477; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 87; Image: 1077.

Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925 about Hattie Smallwood
Name: Hattie Smallwood
Census Date: 1915
Residence County: Labette
Residence State: Kansas
Locality: Parsons
Birth Location: Texas
Family Number: 7
Gender: Female
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1879
Race: Black
Line: 33
Roll: ks1915_119
Household Member(s):
Name Age
F Smallwood 40
Clark Smallwood 19
Eveline Smallwood 14
Perly Smallwood 9
Anna Smallwood 7
Clede Smallwood 3
Hattie Smallwood 36 Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2009.

Name: Clettie Smallwood
[C Lettie Smallwood]
Age: 7
Birth Year: abt 1913
Birthplace: Oklahoma
Home in 1920: Muskogee Ward 3, Muskogee, Oklahoma
Race: Black
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Daughter
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Name: Frank Smallwood
Father’s Birthplace: Oklahoma
Mother’s Name: Hattie Smallwood
Mother’s Birthplace: Texas

i don’t know where your family went, when they passed away. maybe you do.

i wanted to find someone who was alive 1/1/1937, when social security went into effect, because people had to show a birth record to show proof of age. often this was in the form of a delayed birth certificate. since this was the frontier in the 1800s, the tribe would likely accept such a document. but i don’t know.

do you have an obituary of robert and filmore? see your local public library/interlibrary loan program for that.

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.
there are 63 tribes in oklahoma but only the 5 major tribes list applicants on the dawes roll taken 1896-1906 in indian territory/oklahoma.

requirements for enrollment for several oklahoma tribes:
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.

choctaw enrollment, forms, FAQs

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. some mississippi choctaw were accepted by adoption or lawsuit.

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 on the dawes roll 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

rayson allen rayson allen

posted on August 22, 2013

You need to get a copy of the actual Dawes enrollment Card, Choctaw Freedmen Field Card # 1440. The front of the card lists Filmore Smallwood and his children and their enrollment numbers. The BACK of the card has this info: NAME OF FATHER = Robert Smallwood, Tribal Enrollment 1896 Kiamitia Co. Father’s owner: Choctaw (person) // NAME OF MOTHER = Viney Nash, Tribal Enrollment 1896 Kiamitia Co. Mother’s owner: Jim Colbert // NAME OF WIFE = Hattie Smallwood, non-citizen. Filmore Smallwood lived at Nelson, Kiamitia Co, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory in 1899. His children were Jasper, Clara, Emma, Evalina. NOTES AT BOTTOM OF CARD= Transferred from Chickasaw Freedmen Card # 1299. This card is available (front and back) on or at the National Archives (NARA)

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on August 22, 2013

also check with the chickasaw tribe, link in my earlier post. they may have more information. testimony would be helpful.

Aundrea Vann Aundrea Vann

posted on August 22, 2013

I turned in the front & back of Filmore’s enrollment card when I applied for CDIB card. I found that Viney Nash was Robert’s first wife & then he married Betsey and had two children with her. He then married a third time and had one more child. I have a Fold3 membership and printed information from there. I appreciate the responses and information received. I will keep trying because they have given me 30 days to appeal.

Aundrea Vann Aundrea Vann

posted on August 22, 2013

I submitted enrollment cards for Robert and Filmore. I also submitted Clettie’s birth and death certificates, and for her son Charles Cherry who was my grandfather.