Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

I am trying to prove my Choctaw heritage

David Wilson David Wilson

posted on December 16, 2013

Can anyone Plz help me
I am tracing my heritage on my Fathers side.
My Grandfathers family is from Louisiana and Mississippi, theyare suposed to be Mississippi Choctaw that was relocated to Oklahoma at some piont.
My Grandfather is Lemmie Leo Wilson born 10/05/1924 his parents were Henry Moody Wilson born 04/01/1877 and Maud Cutrer born 11/20/1900 and she was Choctaw, her parents were Thomas G Cutrer 1872-1939 and Mallie E Coleman 1884-?, Thomas’s parents were Orin B Cutrer 1835-1934 and Isabella Sullivan 1850-1928, Mallies parents were Lemuel L Coleman 1838-? and Mary Coleman 1837-?
I have others, but my problem is I can not pay for the search sites so I’m gathering as much free imfo as possible, I’ve hit a wall at this point and can’t prove the connection, my goal is to become member of the Choctaw if allowed.
Can anyone Plz help.
Thank you
David C. Wilson

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on December 16, 2013

you should look at the mississippi choctaw tribe and the jena choctaw tribe. each tribe has membership requirements and these should be important to you.

tribal heritage and tribal enrollment are two different topics.

there are no locations with these dates. you should use your public library genealogy subscriptions to minimize costs. i start with the death and work backwards in time. or might have cemetery records. then you contact the cemetery to see if there was more information.

historical newspapers might have obituaries. see your local public library/interlibrary loan program for that. state archives and state historical society might have historical newspapers, local history books and some old vital records.

state vital records might have birth and death certificates. if someone was born before 1940, also ask for a delayed birth certificate. when social security went into effect 1/1/1937, people submitted applications which listed parents and birth information, submitted a birth record to show proof of age. if you get stuck on a deceased person and they were alive 1/1/1937, you should get a copy of the social security application with an SS-5 form.

residence in oklahoma does not mean that there is a native enrollment. many people came to oklahoma/indian territory, such as for business purposes or during oklahoma land rushes.

you give some common names, so be sure it is your ancestor before paying for any records.

1910 United States Federal Census about Maud Cutrayer
Name: Maud Cutrayer
Age in 1910: 10
Birth Year: abt 1900
Birthplace: Louisiana
Home in 1910: Police Jury Ward 5, Tangipahoa, Louisiana
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Daughter
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Name: Thomas Cutrayer
Father’s Birthplace: Louisiana
Mother’s Name: Miley Cutrayer
Mother’s Birthplace: Mississippi
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Thomas Cutrayer 35
Miley Cutrayer 24
Maud Cutrayer 10
Lemuel Cutrayer 7
Gracy Cutrayer 5
Mabell Cutrayer 2
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Police Jury Ward 5, Tangipahoa, Louisiana; Roll: T624_532; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 0113; FHL microfilm: 1374545.

this family was living in LA after the major tribes in oklahoma closed their enrollment, so this family would not be eligible for enrollment as original enrollees.

1920 United States Federal Census about Maud Cutrer
Name: Maud Cutrer
Age: 20
Birth Year: abt 1900
Birthplace: Mississippi
Home in 1920: Police Jury Ward 4, Caldwell, Louisiana
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Daughter
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Name: Thomas Cutrer
Father’s Birthplace: Louisiana
Mother’s Name: Mallie Cutrer
Mother’s Birthplace: Mississippi
Able to Read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Thomas Cutrer 48
Mallie Cutrer 36
Maud Cutrer 20
Mamie Cutrer 16
Gracie Cutrer 14
May Belle Cutrer 11
Ruth Cutrer 7
Ruby Cutrer 7
Burnett Cutrer 1 6/12
Source Citation: Year: 1920; Census Place: Police Jury Ward 4, Caldwell, Louisiana; Roll: T625_604; Page: 32A; Enumeration District: 3; Image: 1055.

location is an important factor in tribal enrollment because people had to live under the authority of a tribe.

one of the family trees on has this information. use it as a guide, not a fact.
Thomas Green Cutrer
Birth 14 Feb 1872 in Amite, Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana
Death 28 Nov 1939 in Louisiana

14 Feb
Amite, Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana
4 Sources
Age: 8
5th Ward, Tangipahoa, Louisiana, United States
1 Source
Age: 38
Police Jury Ward 5, Tangipahoa, Louisiana
1 Source
Age: 48
Police Jury Ward 4, Caldwell, Louisiana
1 Source
28 Nov
Age: 67
1 Source
Amite, Tangipahoa, Louisiana
Amite City Cemetery

Spouse & Children
Mary Molly Colman
1886 –




Maud Cutrer
1900 –

Samuel Cutrer
1903 –

Mamie Cutrer
1904 –

Gracie Cutrer
1905 –

Mabel Cutrer
1908 –

May Belle Cutrer
1909 –

Orin Baptiste Cutrer
Birth 24 Jun 1835 in Amite, Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana
Death 6 Dec 1889 in Tangipahoa, Tangipahoa, Louisiana

Spouse & Children

Isabella Sullivan
1849 – 1928

Joseph Isaac Cutrer
1870 – 1930

Thomas Green Cutrer
1872 – 1939

Georgiana Cutrer
1873 – 1963

Louis Monroe Cutrer
1875 – 1952

Orin Batise Cutrer
1876 – 1938

Mathew Cutrer
1878 –

Mary Jane Cutrer
1880 – 1961

Anglea Martha CUTRER
1882 – 1941

Rose Cutrer
1883 – 1915

Avia Cutrer
1884 –

Olla Cutrer
1888 – 1957

there are pictures on this family tree.

The Widow’s Applications for Confederate Pension dated 11 August 1902 states Orin & Isabella married 23 December 1870, while the Application dated 11 October 1902 gives a marriage date of 23 December 1869. Louisiana Marriages gives the year as 1868.
11 August document gives this additional information about their marriage: married “at residence of Hay in the Parish.”
11 October document simply states they were married in Amite City, La.
Both document state they were married by Rev. Elias George.

Confederate Research SourcesVolume 1 516 Cutrer, Oren B.,Pvt. Co. B. 16th La. Infty. En. Sept. 29th, 1861, Camp Moore, La. Present on all Rolls to Dec., 1862. Roll for Jan. and Feb., 1863, Absent on detached service since Jan. 25th, 1863. Present on all Rolls from May, 1863, to April, 1864. Roll for May 1st to Aug. 31st, 1864, Present. Extra duty. Infirmary Corps, order of Gen. Gibson. Present on Roll for Sept. 1st, 1864, to Feb. 28th, 1865. Roll for April 20th to 30th, 1865, Present. Absent, sick. Mustered absent with leave through mistake. Since returned.

Isabella Sullivan
Birth 9 Sep 1849 in Mississippi
Death 2 Sep 1928 in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana

Spouse & Children

Orin Baptiste Cutrer
1835 – 1889

Joseph Isaac Cutrer
1870 – 1930

Thomas Green Cutrer
1872 – 1939

Georgiana Cutrer
1873 – 1963

Louis Monroe Cutrer
1875 – 1952

Orin Batise Cutrer
1876 – 1938

Mathew Cutrer
1878 –

Mary Jane Cutrer
1880 – 1961

Anglea Martha CUTRER
1882 – 1941

Rose Cutrer
1883 – 1915

Avia Cutrer
1884 –

Olla Cutrer
1888 – 1957

these trees are lightly sourced. you need to gather your own documents so that you can share them with family, others to put their family trees online.

it doesn’t appear that the cutrayer/cutrer family is native. one possibility is the coleman/colman connection. this branch has almost no documents.

i am not able to substantiate the lemuel coleman as parent. i don’t see him in MS or anywhere in the united states. i see you use a mix of maiden names and married names for females. we use maiden names in genealogical research.

many people used their middle names or a nickname.

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.
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 webpage.

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 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:

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 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 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 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

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on December 16, 2013

this land record might help you. i don’t know because i am still having some trouble finding records for him in the census.

Mississippi, Homestead and Cash Entry Patents, Pre-1908 about Lemuel J Coleman
Name: Lemuel J Coleman
Land Office: Jackson
Document Number: 33135
Total Acres: 316.43
Signature: Yes
Canceled Document: No
Issue Date: 1 Mar 1859
Mineral Rights Reserved: No
Metes and Bounds: No
Statutory Reference: 3 Stat. 566
Multiple Warantee Names: No
Act or Treaty: April 24, 1820
Multiple Patentee Names: No
Entry Classification: Sale-Cash Entries
Land Description: 1 NWNE CHOCTAW No 4N 4E 1; 2 ENW CHOCTAW No 4N 4E 1; 3 SWSE CHOCTAW No 4N 4E 3; 4 SESW CHOCTAW No 4N 4E 3; 5 ESW CHOCTAW No 4N 4E 11; 6 SWSW CHOCTAW No 4N 4E 11
Source Information:
United States, Bureau of Land Management. Mississippi, Homestead and Cash Entry Patents, Pre-1908 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 1997.
Original data: United States, Bureau of Land Management. Mississippi Pre-1908 Patents: Homesteads, Cash Entry, Choctaw Indian Scrip and Chickasaw Cession Lands. General Land Office Automated Records Project, 1997.

you would have to get a copy of the papers from NARA

natives who would not go on the trail of tears in the late 1830s accepted land grants called choctaw scrip in lieu of tribal enrollment.

David Wilson David Wilson

posted on December 16, 2013

Suzanne, Thank you so very much for the help and info, you questioned the use and the mix of maiden and married names for the women, I do that if I do not have one or the other just so there are no blank spaces, I have also found that by doing this it actually helps to find other info, but it also brings up some false info as well if you’re not carefull.