Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Beatrice Gooch

Kevin Kevin

posted on November 25, 2013 and updated on November 25, 2013

I am searching for information on my Grt-Grandmother, Beatrice Gooch. In the 1920 Census she is shown as born in 1897 in Oklahoma, her Father was born in LA & Mom born in KS. Other distant family members notate her hometown as Edmond, OK, not sure of this accuracy. She married my Grt-Grandfather, James Moses Miller and my Grandfather, Robert Eugene Miller was born in Ada, OK in 1919. According to family ‘story’, James M. contracted Tuberculosis and died around 1930. Beatrice found homes for Robert’s Brother & Sister with family but left my grandfather, “Bobbie” in an orphanage and per the ‘Story’ Beatrice went back to the Choctaw reservation, giving the fake name of ‘Gooch’ at the time of abandonment. Thru my research I found Rbt Miller in 1930 as a Step-Son to a Charley Douglas (Afr-Amer) & Beatrice Douglas who were living in Muskogee, OK. Per further research I learned that the Head of Household determined the ethnicity of the household members so ALL are listed as such. In the 1940 Census the family lives in Shreveport, LA. My grandfather then enlisted from here into the Marine Corps, per his headstone. My research recently revealed in a 1952-1956 Phone Directory for Muskogee, OK a listing for Mrs. Beatrice Gooch, Douglas, Miller. Since my grandfather passed on in 1967 all the info I have obtained is thru online research; however my dentist in recent years remarked to me that I had a unique calcium deposit in my jaw bone that he had witnessed in his residency while treating reservation children as a young man. This is the only physical link I have to my ancestors and I’m still searching, any info would be extremely grateful.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on November 26, 2013

i don’t know beatrice’s maiden name. you don’t give much information about the 1920 census report. maybe gooch is her maiden name. i don’t know why you say that gooch is a fake name.

robert miller would have submitted a birth certificate or delayed birth certificate from state vital records when social security went into effect 1/1/1937. the social security application might help you.

you have done a lot of online research but you really need some vital records. death certificate for robert miller. maybe a death certificate for james miller from county vital records. a birth certificate or delayed birth certificate for robert miller.

do you have any census reports before this 1920 census or is this the only report of beatrice that you found?

1920 United States Federal Census about Bobbie Miller
Name: Bobbie Miller
[Robert Miller]
Age: 0
Birth Year: abt 1920
Birthplace: Oklahoma
Home in 1920: Chickasaw, Pontotoc, Oklahoma
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Son
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Name: James M Miller
Father’s Birthplace: Oklahoma
Mother’s Name: Beatrice Miller
Mother’s Birthplace: Oklahoma
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
James M Miller 25
Beatrice Miller 23
Jack Miller 3
[3 2/12]
Pauline Miller 2
Bobbie Miller 0
Source Citation: Year: 1920; Census Place: Chickasaw, Pontotoc, Oklahoma; Roll: T625_1480; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 172; Image: 52.

you are talking about a common name so you are going to find many instances of the name robert miller.
you have a family story about robert miller living in an orphanage.
and there is a robert miller in an orphanage in 1920. are you sure this isn’t the robert miller that is your relative?
does this beatrice douglas match all of the details of the beatrice miller/beatrice gooch?

1930 United States Federal Census about Bobbie Miller
Name: Bobbie Miller
[Beddie Miller]
Gender: Male
Birth Year: abt 1920
Birthplace: Oklahoma
Race: White
Home in 1930: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Oklahoma
Map of Home: View map
Marital Status: Single
Relation to Head of House: Ward
Father’s Birthplace: United States
Mother’s Birthplace: United States
Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Oklahoma; Roll: 1920; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0114; Image: 670.0; FHL microfilm: 2341654.

if this is the orphanage, you should contact the oklahoma baptist orphan’s home and see if this is your relative.

now, back to the 1920 census record:
1920 United States Federal Census about James M Miller
Name: James M Miller
[James W Miller]
Age: 25
Birth Year: abt 1895
Birthplace: Oklahoma
Home in 1920: Chickasaw, Pontotoc, Oklahoma
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Beatrice Miller
Father’s Birthplace: Illinois
Mother’s Birthplace: Illinois
Home Owned: Rent
Able to Read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes

the fact that the family rents indicates that they probably were not enrolled as members of one of the five major tribes 1896-1906. since james miller’s parents were both born in IL, it is doubtful that he was native. his family probably came to the area because of business opportunities or oklahoma land rush.

1920 United States Federal Census about Beatrice Miller
Name: Beatrice Miller
Age: 23
Birth Year: abt 1897
Birthplace: Oklahoma
Home in 1920: Chickasaw, Pontotoc, Oklahoma
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: James M Miller
Father’s Birthplace: Louisiana
Mother’s Birthplace: Kansas
Able to Read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes

the jena choctaw tribe is in LA. if you find where beatrice was born, who her parents were and then find the family on the 1880 census, maybe you should contact that tribe.

i don’t think the 1930 census for beatrice douglas is your family. her parents were b. LA and this doesn’t match the 1920 census. maybe the 1930 census record is your family and not the 1920 census records because these census records appear to show two different families.

the beatrice gooch records that you found does not match the age of the person in the 1920 census. if you look at the census records for this name, you will see that this is a different person than the 1920 census record.

one thing you can do at low cost is to see your local public library/interlibrary loan program for an obituary for james miller. you should verify some facts as much as you can. you should also get an obituary for robert eugene miller.

a local genealogy society might be helpful to you.

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

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


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


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


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

access genealogy’s collection of information
if you are from another tribe, use the links at the right.
if you are from an associated tribe, see the several possible links on the


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.

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


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


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

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


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


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

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:

tribes in other locations:


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

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


the mississippi choctaw were 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

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


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