Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Edward Allen Box Choctaw heritage? Or Willis Cornelius Jones?

Gil Jones Gil Jones

posted on February 6, 2011

I am researching Edward Allen Box and his daughter Rebecca Box Jones. There is a story that says that Rebecca was 1/2 Choctaw and I am trying to find documentation of that, if it is factual. If anyone has information or can point me in a good direction it would be appreciated.

Here is the story as related within the family:

WIllis C jones, one of the above name applicants, says that the deponent, Esther Johnson, is not a resident of the State of Mississippi or the Indian Territory; that she is old and unable to undergo the hardships incident to a long journey.

He says that he expects to prove the following facts by said witness, and that he verrily believes that are true:

That the deponent is at this time 100 years old; that she resided in the Old Choctaw Nation, in Mississippi, In 1830, and that she was well acquanited with Rebecca Jones, nee Bop or Box, and with Robert Jones and Willis Jones and other members of the Jones family in the Old Choctaw Nation in 1830; that the said Rebecca was one-half Choctaw Indian, and that she and her children were recognized members of the Choctaw Tribe of Indians.

That the said Robert had improvements in the Old Choctaw Nation, in 1830, that said improvements consisted of a dwelling has house, a barn and cleared lands; that the husband of Rebecca Jones nee Bop or Box, was named William Jones and that he had improvemen in the Old Choctaw Nation in 1830; that the said Robert was a married man and head of a family in 1830, and that the said Willis married in the spring of 1830.

He says that he expects to show by this witness that Robert Jones did make application before Col. William Ward, and did register before him, under article 14 of the Treaty of Danoing Rabbit Creek, and that the said Robert Jones was living upon his land that he had improved at the time he made the above named application and registration; that in the summer of 1831, while Robert Jones was still living upon the lands aforesaid and imptoving (sic) and cultivating the same with the intention of making that his future permanent home, Willis Jones a brother of the said Robert became imbroiled in a diffficulty with the Indians and killed a full blood Indian and that the Indians became so much enraged at this act that they threatened to kill out the entire Jones family and that Robert Jones had to abandon his lands to save the lives of himself and family; that the Indians in persuit (sic) of WIllis Jones, burned the house of Robert Jones and destroyed all of his effects, and they tore down his fence and let the stock eat up his crop; that the said Robert Jones was kept away from his lands for some time and when he went back to take possession of his home the U.S. Government had let some one else have it. That deponent will state many other facts material to applicants cause herein. . .


suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on February 6, 2011

this is a document but it is not cited about where it came from.
further, you have not stated anything about the decision in the case, what the subject was.
Article 14. Each Choctaw head of a family being desirous to remain and become a citizen of the States, shall be permitted to do so, by signifying his intention to the Agent within six months from the ratification of this Treaty, and he or she shall thereupon be entitled to a reservation of one section of six hundred and forty acres of land, to be bounded by sectional lines of survey; in like manner shall be entitled to one half that quantity for each unmarried child which is living with him over ten years of age; and a quarter section to such child as may be under 10 years of age, to adjoin the location of the parent. If they reside upon said lands intending to become citizens of the States for five years after the ratification of this Treaty, in that case a grant in fee simple shall issue; said reservation shall include the present improvement of the head of the family, or a portion of it. Persons who claim under this article shall not lose the privilege of a Choctaw citizen, but if they ever remove are not to be entitled to any portion of the Choctaw annuity.

edward allen box
rebecca box m. william jones
there are others that are also researching this line:
the family starts on page 5/6/7 of this document. it appears to me that this is the same researcher.

the war department started keeping documents on natives in the early 1800’s. the natives had an oral tradition and they didn’t have documents. your best sources might be NARA and the state archives.

location will be very important in trying to find documents.

4. William Andrew3 Jones (John2, Unknown1)13,14,15,16,17,18,19 was born 1776 in Charleston, Laurens Co., SC, and died July 09, 1840 in Pontotoc Co., MS20. He married Rebecca Box21,22,23,24,25,26 Abt. 1798 in Laurens Co., SC, daughter of Edward Box and Elizabeth Newton. She was born 1782 in Laurens Co., SC, and died Abt. 1862 in Star of the West, Pike Co., AR27.

you will want to look closely at military pension papers, not just the index of the records. that would be at NARA

you might want to look at trading post logs and local history books and newspapers. you might be able to access some of this through your local public library interlibrary loan program. some of this information might be at state archives, state historical and genealogical societies.

from what i see, information is cited, but only in an index form. you will need to look at the documents themselves to glean information.

you will also want the legal description of the land involved and look it up using the scrip land information. a quick and dirty search would be to use the mississippi land records on but there are many william jones land records and i don’t know which one of them might be married to rebecca box. there are 174 land records in this database for people named william jones. using this, you would be able to establish the tribe that rebecca box jones belonged to.

both box and jones are very common surnames.

your inquiry goes back well before records were kept for each native. i would also suggest that you contact the mississippi choctaw tribe and the eastern cherokee tribe.

you might want to look up the state recognized tribes and federal recognized tribes in the area where the land was located.

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

JonesfromOklahoma JonesfromOklahoma

posted on February 8, 2011

Gil…my family is also researching Rebecca Box….I posted a question on the forum looking for any information on Wada Missouri who is supposed to be her mother….Are you searching on, because you would be able to see our info on there? I would like to link up with our collective family trees and see if we could help each other.

srchr62 srchr62

posted on February 16, 2011

Gil, the record in question was denied as Willis Jones, et al, could not show written documentation that Robert Jones was on Col William Ward’s list. The Treaty required written evidence. Though eyewitness testimony was presented to the court under oath by three witnesses stating they had witnessed Robert Jones go before Col Ward and his agents at Indian agency and was accepted by Col Ward, this was not sufficient to meet the requirements under the Treaty to receive land.

It was said on different websites that Col Ward was a drunk and did not keep very good records. Nonetheless, Willis, et al, were denied claim to land in Old Choctaw Nation.

Be happy to work with other researchers on this line. Very interesting. Great Info Suzanne. Thanks

srchr62 srchr62

posted on February 16, 2011

Let me rephrase that: the testimony that was submitted by applicants was sufficient to show that application was made to Colonal Ward under art 14 and that the ancestor was a recognized citizen of the Choctaw Nation. (A Robert Jones is recorded in treaty list). But because there was no record evidence of applicants as Mississippi Choctaws corroborating their allegations and after laps of 70 years, the court ruled againsts them.

jcameron jcameron

posted on December 7, 2015

I found the following attached photo of land records for the Jones name and Choctaw land at the GLO Land Records website. Not sure if any of these would be in relation. I have read the Jones story as well. I recently took a DNA test, and sure enough people are popping up with the same Jones family and same story. I relate though a Jesse John Jones born around Kentucky or Tenn 1823 – 1901, who died in Azle Texas. Never have been able to put a finger on who his parents were, but I think it maybe this Jones family. Anyhow, hope this helps, and please let me know if anyone figures this one out. Thanks


suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on December 7, 2015

jcameron, i think it is unlikely that it is the jones family in this thread. if your jones came from KY or TN, then you should look at natives that were living in those areas. the choctaw were in MS and AL around 1800.

since you have taken a DNA test, you should upload the DNA results to get a username from this website, go to the menu page, top right, and click on the instructions for your vendor. this will tell you how to get the DNA results from your vendor (always mention which vendor you used) and follow the directions for uploading.

gedmatch gives you a wide comparison with other DNA vendors. after upload, wait until your DNA result is ready for comparison.
DNA File Diagnostic Utility

after it is ready for comparison, then you can see the results of a one-to-many search. you can compare several results that way. as you wait for your results to be ready to compare, you can look to see if any of your KNOWN ancestors are in someone else’s family tree in the gedcoms that others have uploaded. you can do a one-to-one compare if you find a match that way.

on the left, there are tutorials.

on the documents side, you might try his death certificate, obituary, cemetery record. you might contact the county historical society in TX.

death certificate from state vital records.
obituary from your local public library interlibrary loan program.
cemetery record might be at

natives often lived in communities in the 1800s even if they did not live on a reservation. since there were no reservations in TN, then there are no native records kept at NARA. only the natives who lived on reservations were enumerated by the war department in the 1800s. however, there are a few native records that might help you such as the guion-miller roll.

be sure you find the census records that you can 1850-1900, so that you know family members, dates, locations. this will guide you in your research.

as a side idea: every DNA vendor has some resources or reasons to choose them. 23andme has some health information. FTDNA has a surname project that is excellent. ties your DNA matches into their family tree – so don’t have unrelated people on your family tree on and you can always take more than one DNA test. my cousin works with records a lot and likes the results of their DNA test, so she is sending me another DNA test from so that she can tie me into her family tree and be able to tell all the matches from my father’s family.

i have used and work with gedmatch matches a lot. so i am proceeding in a different area than she is.

with DNA, it is important to find a match that is likely in every branch of your family tree, so that you can use them to test others that are unknown.

bear in mind that you have 2 grandfathers, 4 great grandfathers, 8 great great grandfathers, 16 great great grandfathers. your jones surname is probably only present in 1/16th of a family tree that goes back 6 generations. if you are looking at the early 1800s, you need to be prepared to look for about 10 generations, if your ancestors had children in their early 20s. i happen to be lucky in that respect. many of my ancestors were older when they had children.

in my opinion, you should contact a local genealogical society to learn more about documentation, family trees, and use their resources.

suzanne hamlet shatto