Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

info for family

Angela Mitchell Angela Mitchell

posted on April 9, 2011

My grandfather was Billy Joe Womack born May 18, 1928 he was born in Durant, Oklahoma on the reservation. He died in Tucson, Arizona on September 4, 1982.
I am looking for any information I can get to obtain my rights and history for my family.
This is all of the information I have to offer…
My paternal great grandmother was born in Texas, and her name is Ellen Irene Bain born November 10, 1893 her mother was Stella M. Bain and her father was James Carol Bain, she died 1983 in Tucumcari, New Mexico.

My Paternal great grandfather was born in Missouri. His name is Walter H. Womack Born June 5, 1888. Died 1960 in Tucumcari New Mexico. His father was Tilmon Womack born October 1859 died March 9, 1939 in Fresno, California.
Nanie Womack born May 1864 in Kentucky. Was Tilmon Womacks wife.
Tilmons father was Wesley Womack.
Have not found anything for Tilmons mother.
The Womacks lived in Township 8 Chickasaw Nation Indian Territory.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on April 10, 2011

first of all, native records were kept by the war department about 1800-1880. natives had an oral tradition and choctaw became a written language about 1850.

wesley womack b. ? d. ? m. ?
tilmon womack b. 10/1859 d. 3/9/1939 CA m. nanie ? b. 5/1864 KY
walter h. womack b. 6/5/1888 MO d. 1960 NM m. ellen irene bain b. 11/10/1893 TX d. 1983 NM (james carol bain)
billy joe womack b. 5/18/1928

you should put your family tree online, such as on or

you need to become familiar with the qualification for membership for the tribe. many people lived there because of land rushes or business opportunities. many people also were eligible and didn’t apply for enrollment, because they were opposed to enrollment procedures or qualifications. some candidates even ran on platforms against the dawes roll procedures. and there were many that didn’t qualify for enrollment. and some people accepted land grants in lieu of tribal enrollment.

in fact, in 1900, there were over 1 million people living in oklahoma/indian territory but many less applied for enrollment.

ellen was b. TX and TX was not on the trail of tears late 1830’s or so, but several natives did migrate from reservations in the southeast west to/through TX.

i don’t see either the womack family or the bain family on the dawes roll. in order to enroll in the tribe, you must be directly related to an original enrollee.
if you see any of your family names, click on the # in the card column and you will see the family group.
look at the codes, if you find a relative, such as p=parent.

this might be a good resource for you:

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.

NARA federal records repository. the fort worth, TX office has archives for oklahoma and texas tribes. atlanta/morrow office has archives for the southwest tribes. many offices have microfilmed records for several tribes. note that this web address has changed recently from

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:

chickasaw historical society 22
Historic Preservation and
Repatriation Office
Phone: (580) 272-5325
Fax: (580) 272-5327
2020 E. Arlington, Suite 4, Ada, OK 74820
send mail to: P.O. Box 1548, Ada, OK 74821

chickasaw tribe
Chickasaw Nation Headquarters
520 East Arlington, Ada, OK 74820
Phone (580) 436-2603
Mailing address: P.O. Box 1548, Ada, OK 74821

chickasaw genealogy archive center 23
Tribal Library
Phone: (580) 310-6477
Fax: (580) 559-0773
1003 Chamber Loop, Ada, OK 74820
send mail to: P.O. Box 1548, Ada, OK 74821
oklahoma historical society

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

Angela Mitchell Angela Mitchell

posted on April 10, 2011

The little information that I have is that my grandfather was born on the reservation in Durant, Oklahoma. He has no birth certificate, but there is some form of document. From what I have been told, my great grandparents moved to Tuccumcari, NM either before or after they closed the reservation. There was a time that my Great grandmother Ellen Irene Wamack was given the paperwork to obtain her rights (roll number?) but she tossed the papers as she felt the indians that were still on the reservation needed the money more than she and Walter. I did however find out that her father James Carol Bain was a marshall or sheriff. We have been on and have recieved more information than we have now but now we are stuck. I am attaching a picture that we recieved. It is a picture of my Great grandmother Ellen Irene she is the oldest daughter on the side of who is her father James Carol Bain. I figured out she is probally about 9 or 10 in this picture so maybe 1902-1903. Neat picture, just thought I would share. I will send this info you sent me to my mother, thank you very much for all the informatuion


Angela Mitchell Angela Mitchell

posted on April 10, 2011

One more thing kinda funny, but maybe helpful…my great gradnmother Ellen, whom we called Nanny, as I said she was born in Texas. All of my grandfathers life she told him she was born in Oklahoma. Well my granddad Billy Joe Womack worked for Mountain Bell and had to get a federal government security clearance. When they did a family background check that is when he found out she was born in Texas, and questioned her about it…She was very angry and said “Boy don’t you ever tell anyone I was born in Texas” lol

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on April 10, 2011

i am not sure what you are saying.

if you are stuck on someone who passed away after 1/1/1937, you can get a copy of their social security application. people had to get birth certificates or delayed birth certificates to show proof of age.

the thing about TX is that if a native wanted to “belong” to the choctaw tribe in oklahoma, texas was not on the trail of tears. so this might help explain why she didn’t want to acknowledge that she was born in texas. a texas birthplace indicates that a native family made an unofficial migration from the reservations in the southeast.

you might be able to show affiliation by tracing your family back to the southeastern reservations 1830-1880 and see if there was a land grant in lieu of tribal termination. see the treaty of rabbit creek. those land grants are called choctaw scrip. you see those land grants on the “mississippi land” records or “alabama land” records on ancestry. then you can go to the bureau of land records or NARA and get a copy of all the land documents.