Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Like so many others, searching for family link...

Dave Crouch Dave Crouch

posted on March 24, 2014

We had an ancestor on the trail of tears named Martha Snow. She did something to not be on the list, and married a white guy by the last name of Shry. She then married another Irish guy by the last name of Curren.

Her children, born in Oklahoma, were named Eddie Shry, Everett Curren, Ernest Curren (my grandfather), Walter Curren (Great Uncle who taught what little he could remember of Choctaw language and spiritual custom), Virgil and Veon Curren (twins), Hester and Chester Curren (twins), and a few daughters whose names I do not have.

I am raising my boys to be proud of their aboriginal heritage, and if possible, would like to find a way to repatriate to the tribe Ms. Snow seperated from. If anyone can let me know of a starting point, I would deeply appreciate it.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on March 24, 2014

you are going back too far in time. the trail of tears occurred in the late 1830s from MS/AL to indian territory/oklahoma. you should look at the period 1900-1940 and find census records that will show family members, locations, dates, spouse. the tribe were mostly enrolling in the 1900-1940 time period, which is why this time is important.

your names vary somewhat from some of the family trees posted on

Ernest Curren
Birth 10 Feb 1908 in Oklahoma, USA
Death 19 Dec 1951 in San Pedro, Los Angeles, California, USA

Family Members

Edward Martin Curren
1877 – 1935

Leacy Ann Shry
1885 – 1968

Show siblings
Spouse & Children
Nina Swanson
– 1974


George Allen Curren
1936 – 2005

1910 United States Federal Census about Edward M Curren
Name: Edward M Curren
Age in 1910: 33
Birth Year: abt 1877
Birthplace: Nebraska
Home in 1910: Noble, Cleveland, Oklahoma
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Lucy Curren
Father’s Birthplace: Canada
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Edward M Curren 33
Lucy Curren 25
Eddie A Curren 7
Jessie Curren 5
Earnest Curren 2
Ellen Curren 0
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Noble, Cleveland, Oklahoma; Roll: T624_1245; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0028; FHL microfilm: 1375258.

1910 United States Federal Census about Lucy Curren
Name: Lucy Curren
Age in 1910: 25
Birth Year: abt 1885
Birthplace: Texas
Home in 1910: Noble, Cleveland, Oklahoma
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Edward M Curren
Father’s Birthplace: Texas
Mother’s Birthplace: Texas

the trail of tears did not go to/through texas. many unofficial migrations from the southeastern reservations in MS and AL may have traveled to/through texas.

they are renting a farm, which indicates that they didn’t receive an allotment from the tribe upon successful enrollment.

they were married about 1904, according to the census record.

it appears to me that leacy’s name is lucy.
Leacy Ann Shry
Birth 11 Feb 1885 in Texas, USA
Death 10 Jun 1968 in Los Angeles, California, USA

i do not know about the accuracy of information posted on other peoples’ family trees, but you might know the significance.

Family Members
Tom Casby

Martha J. Snow
1862 – 1935

Show siblings
Spouse & Children

Eddie Eugene Shry Sr

Lilus Shry
1901 – 1905

Eddie Eugene Shry Jr
1903 – 1987

Spouse & Children

Edward Martin Curren
1877 – 1935

Lilus Shry
1901 – 1905

Eddie Eugene Shry Jr
1903 – 1987

Jessie Jane Curren
1905 – 1984

Louis Curren
1906 – 1907

Ernest Curren
1908 – 1951

Henry Curren
1909 – 1909

Ellen Effie Curren
1910 – 2009

Evert Curren
1912 – 1971

Rosabelle Curren
1913 – 1951

Veldoria Curren
1914 – 1915

Walter Curren
1917 – 1999

Veon Thomas Curren
1920 – 1989

Virgil James Curren Sr
1920 – 1987

Chester Claude Curren
1924 – 1982

Hester Clyde Curren
1924 – 1989

Spouse & Children

Samuel Tilman Chastain
1886 – 1970

California, Death Index, 1940-1997 about Eddie Eugene Shry
Name: Eddie Eugene Shry
Social Security #: 442225926
Gender: Male
Birth Date: 1 Mar 1903
Birth Place: Oklahoma
Death Date: 23 Aug 1987
Death Place: Ventura
Mother’s Maiden Name: Cashy

the funeral notice does say leecy a. chastain.

1968-07-15 Leecy Ann Curran

she is apparently buried in green hills memorial park, 27501 s. western avenue, san pedro, CA.

there is a california choctaw tribe.

Eddie Eugene Shry Sr
Death in Arizona, USA

this family tree has pictures.

1920 United States Federal Census about Edward E Shry
Name: Edward E Shry
Age: 52
Birth Year: abt 1868
Birthplace: Texas
Home in 1920: Morristown, Maricopa, Arizona
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Widowed
Father’s Birthplace: Virginia
Mother’s Birthplace: Virginia
Home Owned: Rent
Able to Read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Edward E Shry 52
Source Citation: Year: 1920; Census Place: Morristown, Maricopa, Arizona; Roll: T625_50; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 47; Image: 5.

1870 United States Federal Census about Edward Shry
Name: Edward Shry
Age in 1870: 3
Birth Year: abt 1867
Birthplace: Texas
Home in 1870: Victoria, Victoria, Texas
Race: White
Gender: Male
Post Office: Victoria
Value of real estate: View image
Household Members:
Name Age
Wm Shry 41
Anna Shry 37
Anna Shry 13
Willie Shry 10
Edward Shry 3
Mary Johnson 25
Isaac Kibbee 24
Source Citation: Year: 1870; Census Place: Victoria, Victoria, Texas; Roll: M593_1607; Page: 248A; Image: 500; Family History Library Film: 553106.

1880 United States Federal Census about William Shry
Name: William Shry
Age: 20
Birth Year: abt 1860
Birthplace: Virginia
Home in 1880: Mason, Mason, Texas
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Son
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Name: William Shry
Father’s Birthplace: Virginia
Mother’s name: Anna Shry
Mother’s Birthplace: Washington
Neighbors: View others on page
Cannot read/write:


Deaf and Dumb:

Otherwise disabled:

Idiotic or insane:

View image
Household Members:
Name Age
William Shry 51
Anna Shry 47
William Shry 20
Edwin Shry 13
Lilius Shry 7
Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Mason, Mason, Texas; Roll: 1319; Family History Film: 1255319; Page: 490B; Enumeration District: 103.

1900 United States Federal Census about Shry
Name: Shry
Home in 1900: Township 4, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Son
Parent’s Name: William Shry
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
William Shry 76
Shry 41
Shry 16
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Township 4, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory; Roll: 1849; Enumeration District: 0159; FHL microfilm: 1241849.

the chickasaw tribe has a historical center. they would have newspapers and possible records.

leecy would have known her parents’ names, locations, dates. she was alive when social security went into effect 1/1/1937 and would have had to provide proof of age. often this would have been a delayed birth certificate.

i would get a copy of her death certificate from state vital records, a copy of her obituary from your local public library interlibrary loan program, and see if there is a memorial page for her on or and contact the cemetery to see if there is more information.

then you should find your family 1900-1940 in census records.

contact the california tribe and see if you qualify to be a member.

there are no shrys on the dawes roll taken 1896-1906 in indian territory/oklahoma.
there is nothing like curran that is a possibility (listing the family names).

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


you will need to know who the family members were 1830-1940 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)

there is a difference between tribal heritage and tribal enrollment.

find your relative in the 1900-1940 census. this will give you locations, family members,

dates that you will need for looking on the dawes roll, taken 1896-1906 in the state of

oklahoma/indian territory. the dawes roll lists applicants to the five major tribes of

oklahoma. use the accessgenealogy website to do this or ancestrypaths:
get family group/card#, members of the family:
partial surnames ok. just enter the surname.
partial names might not be found on this website.

find a possible name, click on the # in the card# column and this will show you the family

group as of application. use the 1900 and 1910 census to match the names. write down the

names, card#.

if you don’t find your family, then look at the 1900-1940 census locations for your family,

look for nearby tribes. contact the nearby tribes to see if your family had enrolled. find

out membership criteria for that tribe. there are tribes in other locations and other choctaw

tribes. location is an important factor over whether a native enrolled in a tribe. you won’t

find that an original enrollee enrolled in the choctaw tribe in oklahoma if they were living

in another state, for instance. if your family was renting in 1910, for instance, they had

not received a land grant from one of the five major tribes in oklahoma and were probably not

enrolled. there are 63 tribes in oklahoma but only the 5 major tribes are on the dawes roll.

many natives did not want to live under tribal authority or didn’t qualify for enrollment or

could not submit satisfactory evidence to a tribe. this is very common. it means that your

family is not enrolled in a tribe.

there were a few natives that were enrolled by tribal council approval or lawsuit. i don’t

have any way to tell you whether someone was enrolled because of this. you would have to

contact the tribe for this information. however, some people have posted this answer and you

might be able to use google on your family names and see this.

supposing you find your family in the dawes roll, then look at the oklahoma historical

society dawes website and put in the name of someone in that family group that you found on

accessgenealogy. this will give you the enrollment # if the enrollment was successful. write

down the enrollment #s for your family.

if you found your family on the dawes roll, you might want a copy of the dawes packet. four

sources for this:

1) once you have the card#, search here for documents. the website is free at this time:
arranged by card#. use the slider bar at the bottom to approximate your card#. the packets

are arranged in order of card#. usually the beginning document references the card#.

there may be more than one card# for a particular person, depending on whether they were a

parent at the time of enrollment.

sometimes a family’s consideration also depends on an earlier decision in their family. so

you may have more than one card# to look up.

2) is an online subscription resource and one month’s subscription is less than the

price of a dawes packet at NARA or oklahoma historical society.

3) NARA fort worth, TX office
4) oklahoma historical society

a dawes packet contains census card, enrollment application, supporting documents and maybe

testimony. even if your family was not enrolled, the genealogical information might be of

interest to you.

the enrolled members are referred to as original enrollees. if your family had enrolled by

blood then you are eligible to enroll in the choctaw tribe of oklahoma. all tribes have

membership criteria. if your family had been enrolled as freedman, then they were enrolled as

former slaves and their descendants were not eligible to enroll in the tribe.

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.

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 and Choctaw tribe have 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.
there is an 1860 and 1885 census in the indian territory

accessgenealogy’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


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


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


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)
this has a search but you may have to read the whole edition of a newspaper to find your

search match.
the search term will be highlighted. the newspapers (location and years) are limited, so you

might want to search for the location and look at years available.
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


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.

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

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

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

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


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.

you may want to make a heritage book.

good family tree software:
i use legacy. the free basic edition is great for the beginning and helps you organize.

i am just a volunteer that wants to empower people to learn how to do genealogy.

suzanne hamlet shatto