Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

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Williams Family SEARCH (help me I have an enigma)

Kelly Kelly

posted on December 8, 2010

I am trying to figure out who my great grandparents really were. My grandmother (1898 or 1910) Ora B Williams later (Ora B Smith) I was told was the daughter of Smith Williams and his wife Mattie Polk. According to my aunt who passed away almost 20 years ago, Ora’s real parents names were Jack Williams (ole jacki boy)and Mary Jane Triplet, Smith’s older brother.So I have conficting stories the death certificate says one thing and my families story says another. Jack was roughly 20 years older than Smith and had siblings named Mamie, and Telan. for some reason Jack and Smith’s father (Turner Williams? Gus Williams) did something that moved the family down towards Houston, and Abbie Choate Gus’s wife stayed with the smaller children. In Texas Ora met and married Wynce Smith (also called preacher)and moving to Arizona they had several children children including my father William Ora Smith(1947). If you know of any matching info or patches of information please let me know,

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on December 9, 2010

ora probably would have known the name of her parents. so she would have put this down on her social security application. she might have filed a delayed birth certificate to prove her age when she applied for social security. do you have her obituary?

smith williams m. mattie polk
or jack williams m. mary jane triplet

ora b. williams m. wynce smith
william ora smith b.? 1947?

you have some locations but not very specific locations, and the dates are not given to match the family to a particular location and date. these are very common surnames.

is this wynce smith?
Social Security Death Index
about Wynce Smith
Name: Wynce Smith
SSN: 703-18-5859
Last Residence: 85034 Phoenix, Maricopa, Arizona, United States of America
Born: 16 Dec 1907
Died: May 1984
State (Year) SSN issued: Railroad Board (Issued Through) (1951-1963)

Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997
about Otha B Smith
Name: Otha B Smith
Date of Birth: 10 Aug 1946
Gender: Female
Birth County: Houston
Father’s name: Wynce Smith
Mother’s name: Ora B Williams
Roll Number: 1946_0011

i cannot resolve her birthdate, 1898 or 1910, but i would think that she would have been fairly old to have children in 1946 if she was born in 1898.

William Ora Smith
William Ora Smith, 56, Phoenix, Arizona, passed away January 19, 2004. Visitation: January 26, 2004, Botimer-Harper Funeral Home, 1641 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, AZ, 6:00-7:00 p.m. Services: 5:00 p.m., January 26, 2004, Botimer-Harper Funeral Home, 1641 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, AZ. Arrangements entrusted to Botimer-Harper Funeral Home.
Published in the Arizona Republic on 1/24/2004.

maybe this was your father.

i am having trouble finding this information because the locations and dates are not tied together in your post.

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 for a birth certificate, and they were born before 1929, they might have sumitted 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. the census records up to 1930 are available, although the 1890 census was largely destroyed. the 1940 census will be public information in 2012.

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.

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.

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 the name is common, you may find too many possible records.

the tribe has an excellent information to help you. it is found under genealogy advocacy.

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:

texas tribes

oklahoma tribes:

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

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.

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

Kelly Kelly

posted on January 5, 2011

Hi Suzanne, thanks for the information, Otha was my aunt my fathers sister. She passed away in 2002 in California. and William Smith you have listed who passed away January 19th,2004 was my father. My grandma Ora never applied for a social security card. My father was born 06/30/1947 his mom was 40 when he was born, she then had 2 miscarriages after him and then had my uncles. Everyone said she was way to old in age to have children, and thats what caused the cancer not going to the doctors after having all the miscarraiges.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on January 6, 2011

when you get a job, when you file taxes, you have to use a social security #. her death certificate might even list her social security #.

i had trouble finding her because the surnames are common and you gave no location information. it might be helpful to find obituaries for the children and an obituary for their mother.

you may need to organize your post and give information to help. name (maiden for women), spouse, children, dates of birth and places of birth. just saying the state of texas does not help much. we use counties. if you don’t have exact dates, approximate dates are helpful.

we start with what we know, gather documents, then go backward in time.

you can get an obituary through your local public library, interlibrary loan program. although death certificates are not primary evidence of birth, you can often find helpful information on them. you should try to get a marriage license from the state of texas.


Rasheeda Rasheeda

posted on June 19, 2014

Hi Kelly. I guess we are related. My great grandpa was Clarence Williams which is Ora’s brother. My grandmother Barbara told me that jack and Mary Jane triplet are her grandparents. So I guess the story that was told to u could be false from what I know. But we will never know.

jamal jamal

posted on September 23, 2014

hey kelly i think we are related. my cousin rasheeda for got her email

Rosemarie Hudson Rosemarie Hudson

posted on September 24, 2014

Hi Kelly my name is Rosemarie Hudson i am the granddaughter of barbara McBurnie who is the daughter of Clarence Williams , who is the son of Jack Williams( my great-great-grand father) and Mary Jane Triplett-Williams ( my great-great-grand mother)My two cousin(Jamal and Rashheeda )have posted message on your page please email me back at