Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation


eliza chavez eliza chavez

posted on December 24, 2010

I am looking for information on my family. my great grandma (Mary Ellen Wilson) was born August 28, 1903 on the Choctaw Reservation in Oklahoma. Her mother Alva Ophelia Iwildley Truelove was also born in Choctaw Nation Indian Territory in Oklahoma on December 25,1885. Her mother married John Henry Wilson. He was born in 1880 in Pulaski, MO. They were married in Indian territory and the census says they resided in Township 8 Creek Nation Indian Territory. Their race is listed as White on the census, but my grandma told me that they were Indian. I was unable to find ny record of a roll number and just would like to see if anyone knows anything about my ancestors. Thank you, Eliza

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on December 24, 2010

there are several trueloves on the dawes roll but might might be mississippi choctaw:
Dawes Results
Total Records: 5 Tribe Last First Middle Age Sex Blood Card Roll Misc Type
Choctaw Truelove Alice 0 F 3856 P
Choctaw Truelove Dora 0 F MCR6152 P
Choctaw Truelove Edom 0 M MCR6152 P
Choctaw Truelove James 37 M 1/2 MCR6152 NR MUSKOGEE MCR
Choctaw Truelove Tim 0 M 3856 P
MCR=mississippi choctaw refused.
you can click on any of the # in the card column and see the family group they were in.
there are 49 records of “mary wilson”.
but if you eliminate records of the wrong age, there are none that would fit your family.
do you have a marriage record for alva and john?

Alva Ophelia TRUELOVE was born on 25 Dec 1884 in Indian Territory, Seminole Nation, Seminole Co, OK. She died on 27 Apr 1931 in Pasadena, Los Angeles Co, CA. Parents: Marion Thomas TRUELOVE and Martha “Mattie” Ellen FARISS.

She was married to John Henry WILSON on 16 Sep 1902 in Indian Territory, Seminole Nation, Seminole Co, OK.
Marion Thomas TRUELOVE was born in Oct 1858 in Sebastian Co, AR. He died in 1905 in Wewoko, Seminole Co, OK. He was buried in 1905 in Wewoko, Seminole Co, OK. Parents: John TRUELOVE and Rosanna L. WOOD.

He was married to Martha “Mattie” Ellen FARISS in 1884 in Dustin, (Seminole), Hughes Co, OK. Children were: Alva Ophelia TRUELOVE, Arizona TRUELOVE, Thomas W. TRUELOVE, William Arthur TRUELOVE, Willie TRUELOVE, Coy TRUELOVE .

Martha “Mattie” Ellen FARISS was born in Nov 1866 in Adamsville, TN. She died in 1908 in Dustin, OK. She was buried in 1908 in Unmark Grave, Wewoko, OK. Parents: Thomas J. FARRIS and Mary J..

She was married to Marion Thomas TRUELOVE in 1884 in Dustin, (Seminole), Hughes Co, OK. Children were: Alva Ophelia TRUELOVE, Arizona TRUELOVE, Thomas W. TRUELOVE, William Arthur TRUELOVE, Willie TRUELOVE, Coy TRUELOVE .

She was married to Charlie LAND about 1905/6.

oklahoma was having land rushes 1890-1907. people saw this area as a land of opportunity, as business interests were needed to help oklahoma grow.

1900 United States Federal Census
about Alva Ophelia Truelove
Name: Alva Ophelia Truelove
Home in 1900: Township 8, Creek Nation, Indian Territory
Age: 14
Birthplace: Indian Territory, Oklahoma
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relationship to Head of House: Daughter
Father’s name: Marion Truelove
Mother’s name: Martha E Truelove
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Marion Truelove 41
Martha E Truelove 33
Alva Ophelia Truelove 14
Arozonia Truelove 12
Thomas W Truelove 10
William A Truelove 8
Billie Truelove 2
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Township 8, Creek Nation, Indian Territory; Roll: T623_1854; Enumeration District: 188.

the father was b. oct. 1858 AR, father b. MS, mother b. AL. so he might have ties to the mississippi choctaw, the choctaw, the MOWA.

martha e., was b. nov. 1866 TN, parents b. unknown. she’s in more a chickasaw, cherokee area, although i have seen choctaw that come from TN. her family made a late migration, if they were natives. they said they married 16 years ago.

but i still see no indication that the parents applied for enrollment. if they had, they would have been listed on the dawes roll taken 1896-1906.

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

eliza chavez eliza chavez

posted on January 4, 2011

wow! thanks so much for all that info. I have tried several different ways of finding out my roots. I was always told that we were native american, but everything I read says white. Do you know if it was common for white people to live in Indian territory. Also, I haven’t been able to find any birth or death certificates since I started all I keep looking at is the cenceus.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on January 4, 2011

it was VERY COMMON for caucasians to live in oklahoma/indian territory around the 1900’s. there were land rushes. there were maybe
A Commission to the Five Civilized Tribes: Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Seminole, also called the Dawes Commission after its chairman, Senator Dawes, was established by Congress in 1893. Its purpose was to exchange Indian tribal lands in the southeastern United States for new land allotments to individuals in Oklahoma. More than 250,000 people applied to this commission for enrollment and land. Just over 100,000 were approved. The rolls do not include the applications that were rejected, stricken, or judged to be doubtful. Those found eligible for the final rolls were entitled to an allotment of land, usually as a homestead.

note that the doubtful, etc., were listed as applied but were not accepted as members. rejected, doubtful records are listed and those records contain genealogical information.

there were over 1 million people living in indian territory on the 1900 census.

many people would describe native americans as “white” or “caucasian”. some people considered it a separate race and some did not. and if natives were living off reservation lands, many times they were listed as “white”.

you need the birth certificate and the death certificate/obituary is often helpful. yes, census records are online but not sufficient. you can probably get an obituary through your local public library’s interlibrary loan program. you can write the state where the death occurred. if you get stuck and someone passed away after 1/1/1937, they have a social security application on file and that might be very helpful. to show proof of age, they often submitted a delayed birth certificate.

many natives didn’t apply for enrollment because they knew they did not qualify. and enrollment was controversial. some candidates for office had a platform against enrollment. so some were philosophically opposed to enrollment. and there were many tribes in oklahoma at that time, like 63 or so. so find out where your family lived and then research to see if they belonged to another tribe. the dawes roll is the five major tribes in oklahoma.

the census won’t help you establish relationship, but birth and marriage certificates will. death certificates are just helpful but they are not a primary record of birth or relationship.

the only government before oklahoma became a state were the tribes, so many got married at a fort or through a tribe, even if they were not native. oklahoma became a state

location and dates are very helpful in research.

  1. The name “Oklahoma” comes from the Choctaw words: “okla” meaning people and “humma” meaning red, so the state’s name literally means “red people.”
  2. Oklahoma has the largest American Indian population of any state. Many of the 252,420 American Indians living in Oklahoma today are descendants from the original 67 tribes inhabiting Indian Territory.
  3. Thirty-nine of the American Indian tribes currently living in Oklahoma are headquartered in the state.
The government decided to open the western parts of the territoryOklahoma Land Run to settlers by holding a total of six land runs between 1889 and 1895. Settlers came from across the nation and even other countries like Poland, Germany, Ireland and Slavic nations to stake their claims. And African-Americans, some who were former slaves of Indians, took part in the runs or accepted their allotments as tribal members. In the years that followed, black pioneers founded and settled entire communities in or near Arcadia, Boley, Langston and Taft.

On November 16, 1907, Oklahoma became the 46th state.Oil Wells Statehood had become a sure thing, in part due to a discovery which made Oklahoma the “place to go to strike it rich” — oil. People came from all parts of the world to seek their fortunes in Oklahoma’s teeming oil fields. Cities like Tulsa, Ponca City, Bartlesville and Oklahoma City flourished.

there are state archives. the indian pioneer papers might have an interview of one of your family.
oklahoma state archives
oklahoma genealogical society. many of the historical and genealogical societies have county organizations too.
oklahoma chronicles might have mention of your family.

oklahoma vital records

i understand the convenience of online records, but you will have to ask for records that are not online.

eliza chavez eliza chavez

posted on January 10, 2011

Thanks again. I am really greatful that you took the time to read my request. Thanks, Lisa