Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Bessie Carson

amyavendano amyavendano

posted on December 27, 2010

looking for any information about a Bessie Carson who was listed on a Choctaw Freedman Roll. Trying to figure out is this was my Great-grandmother or not. Maybe also known as Bessie Brennon.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on December 27, 2010

this probably isn’t enough information to help you. no dates, no locations, no children, no spouse of your relative in this post.

this is the family who applied:
Dawes Card Information

tribe last first middle age sex blood card roll misc type
Choctaw Carson Albert 0 M F91 P
Choctaw Carson Allie 4 F F91 2560 BERWIN F
Choctaw Carson Bessie 5 F F91 2559 BERWIN F
Choctaw Carson Fleetwood 8 M F91 2558 BERWIN F
Choctaw Carson Lasena 12 F F91 2557 BERWIN F
Choctaw Factor Kirchey 0 F91 O
Choctaw Graham Jerry 0 M F91 P
Choctaw Graham Sophia 0 F F91 P
Choctaw John E. D.W. 0 M F91 P
Choctaw John Edward William S. 1 M F91 2561 BERWIN F
Choctaw John Rebecca 36 F F91 2556 BERWIN F
Choctaw Shields Alex 0 M F91 P
Choctaw Shields James 23 M F91 5420 BERWIN F
Choctaw Thompson William 0 M F91 O

1900 United States Federal Census
about Rebecca L John
Name: Rebecca L John
Home in 1900: Township 4, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory
Age: 40
Birthplace: Indian Territory, Oklahoma
Race: Black
Gender: Female
Relationship to Head of House: Wife
Spouse’s name: Edward W John
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Edward W John 42
Rebecca L John 40
James S Shields 21
Lariena Chaison 14
Fleetwood Chaison 11
Bessie L Chaison 8
Allie L Chaison 6
Edward W John 2/12
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Township 4, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory; Roll: T623_1848; Enumeration District: 145.

1910 United States Federal Census
about Bessie Casson
Name: Bessie Casson
[Bessie Carson]
Age in 1910: 16
Estimated birth year: abt 1894
Birthplace: Oklahoma
Relation to Head of House: Stepdaughter
Father’s Birth Place: Oklahoma
Mother’s name: Rebecca John
Mother’s Birth Place: Oklahoma
Home in 1910: Wilson, Carter, Oklahoma
Marital Status: Single
Race: Black
Gender: Female
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Edward W John 63
Rebecca John 43
Fleetwood Casson 17
Bessie Casson 16
Allie Casson 14
William Johns 10
Christopher Auston 5
Fleetwood Auston 2
Vergenia Bearden 17
John Willing 34
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Wilson, Carter, Oklahoma; Roll: T624_1246; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 55; Image: 1225.

you can correct the ancestry name index so that others can find your family.

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