Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Nt Great Great Grandfather in Pike Co., MS

Dillon Maze Dillon Maze

posted on January 15, 2011

I am looking for information I have found in a family bible. My grandmother, Alice Hill’s father was named John Hill.(September 25, 1859-Feb.1, 1940) His real father was a Choctaw, according to our bible, named Turkeslaw. My great uncle said that is how it was pronounced. Turkeslaw called Polly Ann Graves to be his squaw (this is all how it is written) and he was murdered by 4 white men bathing little baby John in the creek, I am assuming the Bogue Chitto. She moved back to her family’s home with the baby and a man named Isiah Hill gave the baby the surname Hill by marrying Polly Ann briefly.
I would appreciate any information on Turkeslaw, or Alice Hill, his granddaughter. (My grandmother, Alice Hill, burned to death when she caught fire by the kitchen stove when my Daddy was 3 years old. Her maiden name was “Hill”, she married John McKenzie, and as a widow married my grandfather John Edgar Dillon. I need Alice Hill and John Dillon’s birth, death and marriage certificates.) But most of all, I would love to know more about Turkeslaw my great great grandfather. Thank you.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on January 15, 2011

turkeslaw (isiah hill, stepfather) m. polly ann graves
john hill b. 9/25/1859 d. 2/1/1940, no spouse
alice hill m1. john mckenzie m2. john edgar dillon

we include dates, locations, children and spouse to match records. the childrens’ records point to the parents, usually.

nothing in your post indicates MS but it appears that was where bogue chitto was. i don’t know if they stayed in that area or moved elsewhere. there is no single repository for native records, rather the repositories depend on location. in addition, choctaw was not a written language until the middle of the 1800’s, so the only records that exist before that were by the war department or trading post logs or local history published in newspapers or book. there are several other gaps in information also, and common names, but i will try to help find these people. you don’t have information about who john hill married.

it sounds as if you might not have many documents about alice hill or john edgar hill. i often try for the death records and work backwards to the birth: obituaries, cemetery records, death certificate. if you get stuck on anyone who was alive past 1/1/1937, their social security application might help point you to locations, dates, documents.

it is possible that turkeslaw’s anglicized name was isiah hill. natives did have anglicized names at this time. there was a possible reference to this family by on the worldconnect records.

i see by the 1860 census that polly is 16 b. MS, a housekeeper for the graves family. she has a son j. m. hill, age 1.
1860 United States Federal Census
about Polly Ann Hill
Name: Polly Ann Hill
Age in 1860: 16
Birth Year: abt 1844
Birthplace: Mississippi
Home in 1860: Mississippi, Covington, Mississippi
Gender: Female
Post Office: Williamsburg
Source Citation: Year: 1860; Census Place: Mississippi, Covington, Mississippi; Roll: M653_580; Page: 996; Image: 512; Family History Library Film: 803580.
the family is split in two pages, so you want the previous page too.
it appears that the father might have been mississippi choctaw, since he did not migrate to OK on the trail of tears in the late 1830’s. there might be a land record in MS called choctaw scrip.
if this was her parents, they were john, age 42 and b. LA, and m. a. graves, age 36 b. MS. they were farmers.

1850 United States Federal Census
about Polly Ann Graves
Name: Polly Ann Graves
Age: 5
Estimated birth year: abt 1845
Birth Place: Mississippi
Gender: Female
Home in 1850 (City,County,State): Covington, Mississippi
Family Number: 92
Household Members:
Name Age
John Graves 28
Mary Ann Graves 25
Henry A J Graves 8
Polly Ann Graves 5
James H Graves 4
Ransom H Graves 3
William W Graves 0
Source Citation: Year: 1850; Census Place: , Covington, Mississippi; Roll: M432_371; Page: 293A; Image: 174.

i don’t know if you realize how common this name is.
Census & Voter Lists 4,799
3,307 California Voter Registrations, 1900-1968
223 1930 United States Federal Census
212 1910 United States Federal Census
211 1900 United States Federal Census
206 1920 United States Federal Census
153 1880 United States Federal Census
128 1870 United States Federal Census
77 1860 United States Federal Census
74 1860 U.S. Federal Census – Slave Schedules
71 1850 U.S. Federal Census – Slave Schedules
51 1850 United States Federal Census
46 Mississippi Census, 1805-90
13 Mississippi State and Territorial Census Collection, 1792-1866

with no spouse to narrow this down, i have no idea where or when to look. i don’t know if there was a migration or when it occurred. the list is only of people who were born or migrated to MS.

i’m sorry. it is getting more difficult to search without basic information other than their 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 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

Dillon Maze Dillon Maze

posted on January 15, 2011

WoW!! I am overwhelmed. Thank you so very much. Yes, this all was in Mississippi and the young Choctaw was killed when he and Polly Ann Graves’ baby John was only one year old, so he died in 1860. Baby John grew up to have several wives: the first was my GGGrandmother Elizabeth Brock (their children included my grandmother Alice and her twin brother Allen) He married two other times. Also, after Polly Ann Graves got on her feet, she and baby John moved in with her new husband, Benjamin Franklin Smith. The Bible says Turkeslaw was the Choctaw but the idea that his name was Isaiah Hill is very interesting. It would mean Isiah Hill would have lived from approx. 1840 to 1860. THANKS!


suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on January 16, 2011

there were native census records. see the accessgenealogy website.
polly graves m1. turkeslaw/isiah hill m2. benjamin franklin smith
john hill b. 9/25/1859 d. 2/1/1940, m1. elizabeth brock
alice hill m1. john mckenzie m2. john edgar dillon


we are still missing dates and locations.

this is a big problem here.
i’m trying to find these people and i cannot. sorry.

this is how you do genealogy. you start with what you know, gather documents and then go backward in time. so get your birth certificate, your parents’ birth certificates and marriage license and then you have more information to try for your grandparents’ documents.
helpful: obituaries – see your local public library for this, interlibrary loan program.
death certificates – can often point you in the right direction
cemetery records
social security application, if someone passed away after 1/1/1937

suzanne hamlet shatto

Regina Hill Forbes Regina Hill Forbes

posted on February 2, 2011

I am Regina Hill Forbes. I am a great grandaughter to John Hill as you speak of. I read the information submitted. My dad, Troy Hill, son of Allen, Alice’s twin brother was the one whom gathered this information from an old lady that lived in Covington County Miss back in the late 50’s that had it written in a Bible this lady had. Her last name was Chislom but couldn’t remember her first name. All this info was recorded but has been lost. A reseacher by the name of Mrs Mildred Richmond came to Daddy and he gladly gave this information to her. This has surfaced the internet. The information you have isn’t what I have that Daddy gave to Mrs. Richmond. Polly was “with child.” The father of this child was as you speak of, Turkeslaw. While at the creek doing chores, Turkeslaw was killed by some white men. A man named Isiah Hill came along and married Polly. Daddy said he was also known as Ike. I haven’t, along with Mrs Richmond, or anyone else been able to find the one Isisah Hill anywhere. I saw the cesus records as in the above. Daddy also stated he was unsure how to pronounce it but that is the way it was written. Personally, I’m not convinced that over the years Daddy may have forgotten some important information or maybe reliable details. I’m just not convinced that this story is true about the Indian. I do know there may be some truth to the man she married was Isisah Hill because John has a grandson named Isiah. I’ve been reseaching since 1985 and have nothing that holds truth to this other than what my Daddy said he read in that Bible. I think she became pregnant out of wedlock and married “Ike” but there again… where is he???

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on February 3, 2011

i start from the death and work backwards. obituary, which you might be able to get through your local public library/interlibrary loan program. cemetery record.

often, if you are having trouble with the parents, you should look again for the documentation for the children. childrens’ records point to the parent, fix a family to a date and location.

you should get a copy of alice hill’s social security application, since she passed away after 1/1/1937, when social security came into effect. she might have submitted a delayed birth certificate to show proof of age.

many natives were known by “white peoples’ names” as well as native names. that may be the case here.

look at the tribes that were around that locality. they may have information.

Terry Terry

posted on June 1, 2011 and updated on June 1, 2011

Interesting family story, thanks for sharing.. Probably, the only way you can prove this story to be true is by finding enrollment applications for John Hill (Turkeslaw’s son) or Choctaw script issued to Turkeslaw… John Hill was alive during the Dawes enrollment period for Mississippi Choctaw Indians and should have filed an enrollment application… Not everyone applied for enrollment during this period, but there has to be a paper trail – otherwise anybody can claim anything..

Oops, just noticed something – John was alive after 1937 – therefore his Social Security application should list his Choctaw father Turkeslaw..

Rachel Dillon Rachel Dillon

posted on October 14, 2012

john edgar dillon was born april 24,1877 died may 5,1958 he married mar.16,1913 to alice hill she was born sept.7,1893 died in 1929
john’s parents are john theophilus dillon b.mar.2,1848 d.aug.16,1935 and rebecca elizabeth king b.mar.20,1846 d.dec.28,1924
if you look up the descendants of james theophilus dillon it will give you all the dillon’s if you need more on the dillon side let me know