Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Heritage of great-grandmother

jmb2.0 jmb2.0

posted on August 7, 2014

I always heard my great-grandmother was Indian, and she did look it, and there is an Oklahoma connection but not sure exactly what. Her name was Hattie Harper Owens, daughter of Lou Ann Carr (possibly Karr)Harper and married to Jasper Owens. Any ideas on how to research if she was Choctaw?

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on August 8, 2014

Lou Ann Carr harper, no dates, no location, m. jasper owens
hattie harper owens, no dates, no location, no spouse.

i do not know how the carr name fits in. maybe it is a middle name for lou ann?

Alabama, Deaths and Burials Index, 1881-1974 about Hattie Harper Owens
Name: Hattie Harper Owens
Birth Date: abt 1894
Death Date: 20 Apr 1970
Death Place: Childersburg, Talladega, Alabama
Death Age: 76
Gender: Female
Father Name: Jasper Harper
Mother Name: Lou Ann Carr
FHL Film Number: 2033356

it appears to me that you need to be looking at tribes in other states. this is the website of the choctaw tribe of oklahoma. location is an important factor in tribal affiliation because the original enrollees had to agree to live under the authority of the tribe.

i would advise you to look at tribes that were near where your family lived, contact them first.

Hattie Owens on
Birth: Oct. 28, 1885
Death: Apr. 20, 1970

Childersburg Cemetery
Talladega County
Alabama, USA

Created by: Richard Robinson
Record added: Feb 03, 2002
Find A Grave Memorial# 6152644

i can’t find her on the social security death index but maybe she is listed under her married name? since you didn’t include her spouse’s name, it is difficult to look it up.

but maybe this is your relative?
Hattie Lou Owens
Birth 28 Feb 1889 in Alabama
Death 15 Dec 1971 in Jakin, Early, Georgia

you see, there are more than one person with this name and there are not enough clues to try to determine when and where your relative lived. you say that there is an oklahoma connection but you don’t describe this at all.

1900 United States Federal Census about Hattie Owens
Name: Hattie Owens
[Hattie Trotter]
Age: 15
Birth Date: Jan 1885
Birthplace: Alabama
Home in 1900: Jasper, Walker, Alabama
Race: Black
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Daughter
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Birthplace: Alabama
Mother’s name: Ida Trotter
Mother’s Birthplace: Alabama
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Ida Trotter 33
Hattie Owens 15
Minnie Smith 17
Edgar Lively 13
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Jasper, Walker, Alabama; Roll: 43; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 0135; FHL microfilm: 1240043.

the tribal enrollment period may have been 1900-1940, as this was when the most enrollments occurred. you need to gather vital records on your family. the census taken every 10 years can help you with location, family members, dates. you should have good information in order to match to native records.

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 1830-1940 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.
click on enrollment department. read the FAQs and download forms.

every tribe has a membership list of original enrollees. every tribe has requirements for membership. the

choctaw tribe of oklahoma requires that new members be directly related to an original enrollee of the tribe

who was enrolled by blood. freedmen were enrolled by congressional action, not blood, so there is no

provision for enrolling a member who is directly related to a freedman because they were not enrolled through

tribal blood quantum.

i do not know of a tribe that enrolls on the basis of DNA testing. this is because DNA testing does not

identify particular strains for each tribe. DNA testing might be helpful to you, though, because it will

give you names of people who match your DNA and you might be able to find a common ancestor. there are a few

vendors for DNA tests such as FTDNA, and i took the 23andme saliva test. once you

have DNA results, you can upload those results to, a free website that has excellent tools to

match others who might have taken a DNA test elsewhere. upload DNA result directions are on the right side

of the main menu, program choices are in the center, DNA information on how to use the website and understand

DNA are on the left side.

do you have your relative’s birth certificate, death certificate. state vital records for that. if the

birth was before 1940, also ask for a delayed birth certificate at the same time as you request a birth

certificate. older vital records might be at the state historical society or state archives.
do you have their obituary? sometimes it will list parents and siblings. see your local public

library/interlibrary loan program for that.
do you have a cemetery record? try or and then contact the cemetery to see if

there is more information.
i start from the death and work backwards in time.

for tribal information, you want to get down to the 1900-1940 time period so that you know family members,

locations, dates, and names. this will help you when you try to find the tribe.
there is more than one choctaw tribe. CA, OK, LA, MS all have choctaw tribes.
there are 63 tribes in oklahoma but only the five major tribes were on the dawes roll taken 1896-1906 in

indian territory/oklahoma. location is important with tribal affiliation because the original enrollees had

to agree to live under the authority of the tribe.
many states have reservations and tribes. state historical society, state archives may have more information

on this.

some tribes are still enrolling. the BIA recently relaxed their requirements and there will probably be

several tribes that apply under the new guidelines. this means that some tribes may be in the process of

applying and enrolling members. you should pursue your heritage in a timely manner because of the

possibility that a tribe is trying to construct a list of original enrollees.

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

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

trail of tears map and MS/AL reservations:

indian territory maps:
they need volunteers to help them. contact the webpage owner.

some land records, including freedmen.
as i look at this, i view it as a work in progress, rather than a final index. it is helpful because of the

alphabetical listings. includes index to indian pioneer paper interviews. this is a volunteer opportunity

also, if you want to help this webpage become complete. contact the owner of the webpage to help them.

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


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

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 books.

as for stories, you can see if any of the relatives are mentioned in the oklahoma pioneer papers or oklahoma

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

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


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.
changing tribal recognition rules

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

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.

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