Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Decsendant of James A. Taylor, Poteau

David Vanderpool David Vanderpool

posted on January 3, 2014

I am a great-grandson of James Adolphus Taylor, who was a merchant in or around Poteau OK. (Skullyville) He died in 1900 and is buried in Bokoshe. On December 31, 1899, he married Vida Lytle in Poteau, and they had one daughter, my grandmother Mattie Mae Taylor, who was born in Dec. 1900 after her father died. My Grandfather, Charles Johnson, always referred to his wife Mattie as “my little Indian gal”.

I was told at the time of Vida’s death(1971) that she had “Indian paperwork” among her effects, but I have no idea where they ended up.

What I have found about James A. Taylor is that he was previously married to “Laura J.”, who is buried next to him in Bokoshe. When he married Vida Lytle in 1899, he was widowed, had several children, and was about 47 years old. He operated a mercantile or general store around the Poteau area. There was a “James Taylor” on a listing of Trail of Tears participants, but I feel this would be to early for my great-grandfather. Vida Lytle was apparently from the Joplin, MO area, was only 18 when she married James. A few years after James died, she married a man named Pleasant Southern.

I do not know if James A. Taylor or his bride Vida Lytle are indeed Choctaw, but would appreciate ANY information about him.

Choctaw Nation Genealogy Choctaw Nation Genealogy

posted on January 3, 2014 and updated on January 3, 2014

Our office searches for original Choctaw enrollees on The Final Dawes Commission Roll Book. To be on the Dawes Roll, a person must have made an application to the Dawes Roll and must have been living in Indian Territory (pre-Oklahoma) with the tribe (southeastern Oklahoma) between 1898-1906. Using the information you provided, I’m sorry but I do not find Vida Lytle Taylor or Mattie Mae Taylor on the Dawes Roll. Since James A. Taylor was deceased before 1902, he would not have been on the Dawes Roll. Any person could have been living in Indian Territory without being a member of the tribe. Since the Trail of Tears happened in the 1830’s, I do not believe that your great-grandfather was the same James Taylor. Since they were not on the Dawes Roll, we do not have any information on them. If you have any more questions, please contact us at

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on January 3, 2014

California, Death Index, 1940-1997 about Vida Southern
Name: Vida Southern
Social Security #: 553328777
Gender: Female
Birth Date: 14 Aug 1880
Birth Place: Missouri
Death Date: 24 Dec 1971
Death Place: Contra Costa

1910 United States Federal Census about Vina Southren
Name: Vina Southren
Age in 1910: 29
Birth Year: abt 1881
Birthplace: Missouri
Home in 1910: Poteau, Le Flore, Oklahoma
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Chas Southren
Mother’s Birthplace: Indiana
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Chas Southren 29
Vina Southren 29
Gertrude Southren 2
Mattie Taylor 9
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Poteau, Le Flore, Oklahoma; Roll: T624_1258; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 0159; FHL microfilm: 1375271.

on the 1910 census,
charles southern, head, white male, age 29, married once 8 years, b. OK, father b. TN mother b. unknown, laborer on a brick plant, rents a house, reads and writes
vina, wife, white female, age 29, married twice, this time for 8 years, b. MO, father b. unknow2n, mother b. indiana, reads and writes
gertrude, daughter, white female, age 2, single, b. oklahoma, father b. oklahoma, mother b. missouri
mattie taylor, stepdaughter, white female, age 9, single, b. oklahoma, father b. south carolina, mother b. MO, attends school

if they had been successful in enrolling in a tribe, they would not be renting.
the significance of locations is important. i don’t see that vida’s parents were in likely native locations. the choctaw reservations were in MS and AL. there were choctaw in other locations but they might not have been living on a reservation. if they were living off-reservation, they were not generating native records and that would have been important for enrollment proof. this circumstance occurred to many families.

birthplace of SC is the same problem.

the choctaw nation is a location. it is not an indication of membership in a tribe. i wish i could have found a 1900 census record for them because i could see if they were listed on the indian population schedule or whether they were listed on the general population schedule. people that lived in non-native areas were on the general population schedule.

you can try to trace the families back to the early 1800s and see if there were natives living nearby. if natives lived off-reservation, they would be on the federal population census. if natives lived on-reservation, they would be in native census records.

i predict that you will find that your family did not live on a reservation. maybe they didn’t want to live under the authority of a tribe. but you can find out a tribal affiliation by looking at tribes located near where the family lived.

state archives, state historical societies might be able to help you identify whether natives were living close to where the family lived.

natives often didn’t disclose their native affiliation unless they applied for enrollment with a tribe.

California, Death Index, 1940-1997 about Mattie May Johnson
Name: Mattie May Johnson
[Mattie May Taylor]
Gender: Female
Birth Date: 28 Sep 1901
Birth Place: Oklahoma
Death Date: 8 Sep 1982
Death Place: San Joaquin
Mother’s Maiden Name: Lytle
Father’s Surname: Taylor

1890 – 1907

COPYRIGHT 27 APR 1992 Mary Kinard

Printed here with the Permission of J.D. Kinard and family for your personal use



AT – ATOKA, ATOKA CO. OK, get copy of marriage from LDS Library

BR – DURANT, BRYAN CO. OK. get copy of marriage from Durant

Lf – POTEAU, LEFLORE CO. OK get copy of marriage from Poteau

Mc – McALESTER, PITSBURY CO. OK get copy of marriage from Indian Archives OKC

WIL – WILBURTON, LATIMER CO. OK you may be able to get copy from Muskogee Ok


er – ERROR



LF – Leflore County Court Clerk
P.O. Box 688
Poteau, OK 74953

this is the problem. i cannot find them in the 1900 census. the 1900 census was taken june and july 1900, for the most part.

i do not see that either of them applied for enrollment in the five major tribes of oklahoma. there are 63 tribes in oklahoma and location is an important factor in tribal enrollment.

oklahoma became a state in 1907. the area was referred to as indian territory and forts administered government services before 1907. this was why they had a record of marriages in indian territory.

many were drawn to indian territory by business opportunities and land rushes. there were over 1 million people living in oklahoma by 1900. only about 150,000 people applied for enrollment in one of the five major tribes of oklahoma.

1920 United States Federal Census about Vida Southem
Name: Vida Southem
[Vida Southam]
Age: 39
Birth Year: abt 1881
Birthplace: Missouri
Home in 1920: Bokoshe, Le Flore, Oklahoma
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Ples? Southem
Father’s Birthplace: United States
[United States of America]
Mother’s Birthplace: Indiana
Able to Read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Ples? Southem 39
Vida Southem 39
Gurtrude Southem 12
Clarabell Southem 9
Elmar Southem 6
Robert Southem 3
Source Citation: Year: 1920; Census Place: Bokoshe, Le Flore, Oklahoma; Roll: T625_1468; Page: 27A; Enumeration District: 97; Image: 62.

1930 United States Federal Census about Vida Southern
Name: Vida Southern
Gender: Female
Birth Year: abt 1881
Birthplace: Missouri
Race: White
Home in 1930: North Fossil Creek, Larimer, Colorado
Map of Home: View map
Marital Status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Spouse’s Name: Pleas Southern
Father’s Birthplace: Missouri
Mother’s Birthplace: Indiana


Military Service:

Rent/home value:

Age at first marriage:

Parents’ birthplace:

View Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Pleas Southern 50
Vida Southern 49
Gertrude Cobble 22
Elmer Southern 16
Robert Southern 13
Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: North Fossil Creek, Larimer, Colorado; Roll: 244; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0037; Image: 946.0; FHL microfilm: 2339979.

the missouri state archives has some birth records online.

1940 United States Federal Census about Vida Southern
Name: Vida Southern
Respondent: Yes
Age: 60
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1880
Gender: Female
Race: White
Birthplace: Missouri
Marital Status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Home in 1940: North Fossil Creek, Larimer, Colorado
Map of Home in 1940: View map
Street: Hospital Road.
Inferred Residence in 1935: North Fossil Creek, Larimer, Colorado
Residence in 1935: Same House
Sheet Number: 13A
Attended School or College: No
Highest Grade Completed: Elementary school, 5th grade
Weeks Worked in 1939: 0
Income: 0
Income Other Sources: No
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Joseph P Southern 62
Vida Southern 60
Jean R Cobble 10
Source Citation: Year: 1940; Census Place: North Fossil Creek, Larimer, Colorado; Roll: T627_467; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 35-41.

i think you are going to have problems trying to connect your family to a tribe. they moved around in more non-native areas. this doesn’t mean they were not native. but the native heritage might not be obvious. the families that moved to oklahoma from another place and were native usually stayed in oklahoma.

vida is likely 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


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


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


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

David Vanderpool David Vanderpool

posted on January 12, 2014

Thank you, Suzanne. You have provided a lot of information. I had suspected that my grandfather’s stories were just that. It appears that the documentation on file does not jibe with the stories he told. Thanks again for all your help.

Sandy Sandy

posted on November 27, 2015

Hello, James A. Taylor was my 2nd great uncle/brother to my great grandpa. I can share my info with you. Are James & Laura buried in the Old Bokoshe cemetery? Let me know where I should send the info. Sandy

Sandy Sandy

posted on November 28, 2015 and updated on November 30, 2015

James Adolphus Taylor born to Green Berry Taylor and Martha Stone Taylor Price on March 24, 1857 in Laurens, Laurens County, South Carolina. James had one brother, John Yeargin Taylor b August 16, 1856 d August 5, 1933 in Karval, Lincoln County, Colorado. James and Laura married sometime around 1885 and had 5 children, Eldridge, Nettie, Sam, Ethel and Thomas. Laura died around 1895 and James remarried Vida Mae Lytle. James passed away from injuries sustained from falling from a horse on December 26, 1900. His five children went on to live with his brother John and his wife Kate (my ggrandparents). The Taylor’s were of Scottish heritage. To my knowledge there is no Native American connection. I have much more info on our family. You can email me at