Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Pettaway/Pettway - Luneau

Michelle Stelly Michelle Stelly

posted on July 15, 2010 and updated on July 15, 2010

Hello, my name is Michelle Stelly. My father’s name is Henry J. Stelly. His mother’s maiden name was Louise M. Luneau. Her mother’s maiden name is Ada Pettaway (possibly spelled Pettway).That is as far back as I have been able to go in my genealogical search. I am not seeking anything from the tribe with regard to membership. My Uncle told me Great-Grandma Ada was full blood choctaw. About 1983 he met a man in Palmetto, La. whose last name was Hubbard. He lived near the bayou where Grandma Luneau took Louise and all her brothers and sisters. They moved into an abandoned house, only to be thrown out later. They ended up living in tents on the bayou. He did not recall this man did for a living, but he had a nice house, a large parcel of land and appeared to be well off. Perhaps he was a farmer. There was a Pettaway living near Chenneyville-Bunkie that had a crop-dusting service. He was quite successful. He overhauled his own engines (round engines) for his Ag Cats. During the rice season he worked for a group of farmers around Basile-Elton, La. In July, he flew in the Bunkie-Chenneyville area. That is all I know. I appreciate any help I can get. I just want to know where I came from.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on July 15, 2010

since you didn’t give any name, location, dates, spouse or children, i can’t look to see if they are on the dawes roll 1896-1906. in order to enroll in the choctaw tribe, you must be directly related to an original settler on the dawes roll who has been accepted into the tribe.

if your relative was choctaw but her family didn’t go on the trail of tears in the late 1830’s and accepted a land grant called choctaw scrip in lieu of tribal enrollment, then she might not have quallified for enrollment. these natives were called mississippi choctaw. i noticed some petaways in AL, so also look at the MOWA tribe.

genealogists use names, dates, locations, children and spouses to match records. if you have a common surname, you need to give more information rather thann 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.

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.

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:

i have collected many resources over the years. if you want to write to me, and request the choctaw resourcce 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

Michelle Stelly Michelle Stelly

posted on July 15, 2010

Thank you for your reply. I put the surnames in the title of the post, sorry. I will edit my original post.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on July 15, 2010

names are nice.
but you need dates in this post. i don’t know where the bayou is. so no location.
i don’t know about that man that you talk about in the post nor what relationship he has to your family. you mention people but no relation.
i don’t know louise’s last name nor how she relates.
you have a story but do you have any documentationn like birth certificate, death certificate, social security application?

i think you are trying to reach back in time without getting documentation on the children.

genealogists use names, dates, locations, children and spouses to match records. if you have a common surname, you need to give more information rather thann 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.

please just give:
name, maiden name if female
date born and place of birth
date of death and place of death
spouse/married name
children (with birthdate and place of birth)
if you give this information or as much as you can, it would go a long way toward trying to find your family.
approximate is ok.
use county rather than city for location.


suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on July 16, 2010

maybe the genealogy goes like this:
ada pettaway m. ? luneau>louise m. luneau m. ? stelly>henry j. stelly
no birthdates. maybe some birthplaces are LA. not sure if anyone lived in OK. some towns or something, but no counties in LA.
ok, i know you recognize this:
Date of Birth: 1 Jul 1975
Gender: Female
Birth County: Harris
Father’s Name: Henry Joseph Stelly
Mother’s Name: Barbara Ann Long
Roll Number: 1975_0014

and this:

Texas Marriage Collection, 1814-1909 and 1966-2002
about Henry J Stelly
Name: Henry J Stelly
Gender: Male
Marriage Date: 4 Jul 1976
Estimated birth year: abt 1938

Texas Marriage Collection, 1814-1909 and 1966-2002
about Henry Joseph Stelly
Name: Henry Joseph Stelly
Gender: Male
Marriage Date: 1 Oct 1966
Estimated birth year: abt 1938
Age: 28

but who’s this? same name. different birthdate.
Henry J. Stelly — 4/10/2001

WELSH — Funeral services for Henry J. “T-Joe” Stelly, 49, will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 11, from Our Lady of Seven Dolors Catholic Church.

The Revs. Hebert May and Whitney Miller will officiate. Burial will be in Bon Pasture Cemetery under the direction of Hixson Funeral Home.

Visitation is 2-10 p.m. today, with a rosary at 7 p.m., and from 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Mr. Stelly died Monday, April 9, 2001, in his residence.

A native of Jennings, he had lived in Roanoke for many years. He was a school bus driver for the Jeff Davis School Board. He was in the National Guard. He was a member of Our Lady of Seven Dolors Catholic Church.

Survivors include his wife, Karen Ardoin Stelly of Roanoke; three daughters, Allison Stelly of Lafayette and Ashley Stelly and Alayna Stelly, both of Roanoke; and one sister, Marsha Lyons of Welsh.

United States Obituary Collection
about Henry J. Stelly
Name of Deceased: Henry J. Stelly
Age at Death: 49
Death Date: 9 Apr 2001
Obituary Date: 14 Feb 2004
Newspaper Title: Jennings Daily News
Newspaper Location: Jennings, LA, Us
Birth Date: abt 1952

you see how difficult this is without dates and locations and names at the same time?

and these are the henry stelly records on the social security death index 1964-present.
View Record Name Birth Date Death Date Last Residence
(City,County,State) Order Record
View Record
Henry Stelly 15 Jul 1909 Oct 1982 Opelousas, Saint Landry, Louisiana
View Record
Henry R. Stelly 18 Feb 1911 16 Jul 2000 Chalmette, Saint Bernard, Louisiana
View Record
Henry Stelly 15 Jan 1915 Nov 1977
View Record
Henry J. Stelly 23 Mar 1952 8 Apr 2001

so there are too many choices.

Name Age
Ada Luneau 41
J Jeff Luneau 24
Angelas M Luneau 17
Robert C Luneau 14
Annie M Luneau 12
Louise M Luneau 10
Lulu B Luneau 8
Sarah G Luneau 6
James H Luneau 5
J Wilburt Luneau
Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Police Jury Ward 4, St Landry, Louisiana; Roll 820; Page: 33A; Enumeration District: 25; Image: 334.0.
occupation might e mosspicker on timber tract. ada is listed as head of household.

1920 United States Federal Census
about Mrs. Ada Luneau
Name: Mrs. Ada Luneau
Home in 1920: Pineville, Rapides, Louisiana
Age: 31
Estimated birth year: abt 1889
Birthplace: Louisiana
Relation to Head of House: Head
Father’s Birth Place: Louisiana
Mother’s Birth Place: Louisiana
Marital Status: Married
Race: White
Sex: Female
Home owned: Rent
Able to read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Ada Luneau 31
Joseph Luneau 15
Mary Luneau 13
Daniel Luneau 11
Augchis Luneau 7
Robert Luneau 4 2/12
Annie Luneau 2 6/12
May Luneau 3/12
Source Citation: Year: 1920;Census Place: Pineville, Rapides, Louisiana; Roll T625_627; Page: 20B; Enumeration District: 74; Image: 474.
she’s a seamstress. joseph, her son, is a paperboy.
they rent a house.

OPELOUSAS – Services for Mrs. Lula Mae Clay, 88, will be held Thursday, April 1, 2010, at 2 p.m., in the Lafond-Ardoin Funeral Home Chapel of Opelousas, followed by interment in Bellevue Memorial Park Cemetery in Opelousas. Father Paul Bienvenu will officiate the services.

Mrs. Clay, who was a resident of Opelousas, died Tuesday, March 30, 2010, at St. Landry Extended Care Hospital in Opelousas.

She is survived by her nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Warren Clay; her parents, Joseph and Ada Aline Pettaway Luneau; her brothers, Wilbert (Sonny); Jeff, Dan, Menard, Robert and James Luneau; her sisters, Louise Luneau Compagna; Sarah (Dottie) Hoffpauir; Anna Mae Larussa and Rose Ivy.

Visiting hours will be observed in the Lafond-Ardoin Funeral Home of Opelousas on Thursday from 11 a.m. until service time.

Friends and family are invited to sign and view the online guestbook at

LaFond-Ardoin Funeral Home of Opelousas has been entrusted with the funeral arrangements (337-942-2638).

Originally published April 01, 2010.

United States Obituary Collection
about Mrs Lula Mae Clay
Name of Deceased: Mrs Lula Mae Clay
[Mrs Lula Mae Bienvenu]
Gender: F (Female)
Death Date: 30 Mar 2010
Obituary Date: 1 Apr 2010
Newspaper Title: Opelousas Daily World
Newspaper Location: Opelousas, LA, USA
Residence (at time of death): Opelousas

Social Security Death Index
about Ada P. Luneau
Name: Ada P. Luneau
SSN: 433-80-2378
Last Residence: 71360 Pineville, Rapides, Louisiana, United States of America
Born: 13 Apr 1889
Died: 15 Jul 1966
State (Year) SSN issued: Louisiana (1965)

Name Age
Jerome Lunean 46
Clauphine Lunean 40
Andrew L Lunean 18
Joseph Lunean 14
Lalie Lunean 11
John Luneau 8
Pierre Luneau 5
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Police Jury Ward 5, Avoyelles, Louisiana; Roll T623_558; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 16.

World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
about Joseph Rame Luneau
Name: Joseph Rame Luneau
[Joesph Rame Luneau]
County: St Landry
State: Louisiana
Birth Date: 1885
Race: White
FHL Roll Number: 1684937
DraftBoard: 1
he is in palmetto, LA.

you might not know the name of ada’s mother,, but i bet it would be on her social security application. and it might be in an obituary, which you can get through your local public library/interlibrary loan proram.

Michelle Stelly Michelle Stelly

posted on July 16, 2010

I was about to post most of that information. Ada Pettaway is indeed my great grandmother. I do not know Ada’s mom’s name which is where my brick wall lies with that part of my tree. I will try to search for an obit but I have a worldwide account with so I am not sure if there even was one done. I will research how to look at the social security app. I recognize all that you posted except the Henry J. Stelly of Jennings that passed in 2001. Thank you for your help. I will try to get a copy of Great Grandma Ada’s social security application and go from there. You have been a HUGE help.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on July 16, 2010

two ways to get to the social security death index 1964-present. the free database is at
you put in the name of the person (use the last name used by the deceased for the death indexes, use the maiden name for the worldconnect database). if there are too many matches, you can click on advanced search and put in more information so that the search narrows down.
when you find the record, you can print an SS-5 letter, which requests a copy of the application.
you can do the same thing on ancestry, except you can specify different searches using their search function, such as a state, a range of years.
as a test, try to get the record from one of the names that i have posted.

i didn’t post henry stelly’s record because there were two of them and i couldn’t decide which one might be your relative. you would know,, though.

don’t search online for the obituary because there are a limited # of newspapers available online. if i were you, i’d try to get a copy through the interlibrary loan program through your local public library.

i don’t think you would have a brick wall at ada’s mother if you requested her social security application. we usually use the term brick wall to describe a situation where we have done everything we can and can’t find any traces of them. in this case, there are many possible routes to go.
you could also request her birth certificate, her death certificate or obituary (which might give you a specific date and location of birth). once you have that, you could request a copy of her delayed birth certificate. many times people didn’t get a birth certificate before the 1930’s. but after social security went into effect, people had to have some way to show proof of age. so they submitted affidavits from their relatives about when/where they were born, who their parents were, and then got a delayed birth certificate. the affidavits would be as useful to you as the date/location of her birth. anyone who passed away after 1/1/1937 had a social security application on file.


Michelle Stelly Michelle Stelly

posted on July 16, 2010

Thank you. May God bless you.