Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

was my Grandmother registered

Whitney Whitney

posted on April 11, 2011

Hello, I am new to this forum, I am trying to find out if my great-grandmother (who was supposed to have been full blooded Choctaw Indian…) from around the singing river (her tribe was said to have been the one involving the legend of the singing river) area in MS. was ever registerd with the Daws registry, and how to go about seeing if i qualify to register as well. My purposes for registering, are to one learn more about where I come from, and understanding my Native heritige better (which i find extremely interesting, and would love to know more about), and two to show that I qualify to adopt 2 children in state foster care. Due to the Indian Child Welfare Protetction Act children of Indian descent are only eligible to be adopted by members of a federally recognized tribe. I know for a fact that I have a fairly large amount of Native American heritige, from both Cheorkee, and Choctaw, as My father has traced a great deal of our Genealogy back to hte 1700’s himself. However there has been more info about my european ancestry than Native. My Grandmother’s name was Maime Caroll …. Any idea’s of what i should do, or if i even qualify to do anything?

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on April 11, 2011

no dates, not sure of location, no children, no spouse in your post. not sure if caroll is a maiden name or a married name. there are likely misspellings in the first name and last name. maimie is usually spelled mamie and caroll is usually spelled carroll.

so i don’t know where to start. there are a possible 1,890 records on ancestry, being somewhat generous with the name, just in the census.

but with the resources in your post, you might be able to answer your own questions. heritage and tribal enrollment are two different things. you might be able to show affiliation, if there are records for land in lieu of tribal enrollment.

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


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

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


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

Whitney Whitney

posted on April 11, 2011

Hi Suzanne, yes, thank you I probably did spell a few of the names wrong,(and alot of other things…lol Sorry abou that, I’ve been typing in a hurry) I have the majority of the info you listed in a genealogy book at my home… sorry for the lack of information …. I can def find more out, I already have their children etc parents traced back, but the book i have dosn’t give much info on their tribe, they are more mentioned in relation to others,( My father also recalled his grandmother being Native American) that is how i found out any relation at first. What i dont’ know, is that if her tribe it’s self was never registered as a federally recognized tribe, does that mean that i can not register myself? I do know the area they are supposed to have been from, and schools that were set up for Choctaw children in the area, and some other details legends of the tribe etc, However as I stated previously I am looking to learn more about my own heritige/history etc (as I do not want my children to grow up with the same knowledge gap that I currently have.) I feel it is important to continute on education, legends, and history even as genetically there may be a gap in the generations, but historically I feel there is alot to be proud of, in my family heritage, and i would love to know and understand more. Secondly I am tryint to figure this out; to see if I would be able to offer a home to two children who are currently wards of the state in SD. From what I’m understanding, I am only eligible to adopt a child of Native descent, if I am a member/ enrolled in a federally recognized tribe. I didn’t even realize you could do so, or that there were rules such as those in place until recently. While I understand and appreciate the desire to have NA children in NA families, it also increases the difficulty, in trying to prove my information on a deadline to qualify to be considered by SDDHS to adopt the two children. Had I even know there was such a thing as a Dawes registry etc I would def have looked into it much earlier. This is all very new to me. My biggest concern at this point, is that if my Grandmother/ or her tribe, never registered with federally recognized tribe/organization, does that mean that I can’t register at all because i would tech. have no proof of any heritage. Would this be anything you would know about.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on April 12, 2011

there are state-recognized tribes and federally-recognized tribes and some tribes are in the process of recognition.

location is very important to try to determine which tribes where your relative is affiliated with. and every tribe that is already recognized has membership rolls.

the 1896-1906 time period is very important for oklahoma tribes. the mississippi choctaw got recognition in the late 1920’s, so their tribal roll was published in 1929.

oklahoma has 63 tribes, but the dawes roll contains applications for the five major tribes.

i will look up one or two generations, not a whole family tree. and i will tell you where the information came from (sources).

so it is best if you give me the names of people who were alive around 1900: name, location, dates, children, spouse – or as much of this that you know.

i can’t help you with the foster care/adoption situation. you might see if there are some native/adoption attorneys that could advise you about that.

Whitney Whitney

posted on April 12, 2011

Thank you so much for all of your help!!! I really appreciate your offer to help me find a few things out. Out of curiosity, are you a member of any of the tribes? You seem very knowledgeable in this subject. I’ll def get the names of relatives etc so we can see if we turn anything up. The biggest majority of it my father has, so i will have to look into the particulars, most of what I have with me today, is semi-nonspecific. But it should be very easy to get what you are looking for. I will def look into finding an Attorney in my area that would have info on the specifics for adoption etc. I do know that the area is in Pascagoula Ms. (if you know anything of the legend of the Singing River) That is supposed to have been the tribe where she came from. Legend tells of durring the time the NA were being removed from their lands etc, that a tribe of NA from the Pascagoula area, rather than being moved from thier home a large majority of the ppl walked off into the Pascagoual river (ie Singing river) and drowned. Legend says that before the sun comes up you can still hear them singing. Thats why it’s called the singing river because it really sounds like some one is singing sometimes. I believe My great-grandmother would have been either a very small child around this time, or born of some of the survivors a short time later from what I understand but again i dont quite remember the specifics, and will have to look into dates etc. I will look into the names dates etc you asked for tonight and let you know asap. And thank you again.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on April 14, 2011

i am not native.

my husband wanted to me look at his genealogy and had nearly no clues about it, as he said he was estranged from relatives. we found that he was choctaw. he passed away over 5 years ago. when i found the choctaw connection for his family, i found the tribe had a messageboard where others were asking questions. i used to do other tasks in genealogy, in an effort to make records more available.

in answering inquiries, i found more resources.

i am just experienced with native records and genealogy and felt that answering this messageboard was a good use of my time.

Whitney Whitney

posted on April 15, 2011

I am terribly sorry for your loss, but I greatly appreciate your offering to help people like me who truly have no clue how to even start. I’ve always know I was partialy NA. It was only recently howver, that i learned more about who my anscestry was traced back to in my family tree. There was just a gap in information from my great-grandmother (whom I’d never met) and my Grandparents and other relatives. Some how all knowledge was just discontinuted and not handed down… I guess perhaps living in the south there may have been a certain stigma associated with being any thing but 100% caucasian durring that time. However as i’ve said I am proud of my herritage and want to know more about it. I’m still trying to track down all the details you requested. (As I previously stated the majority of what i know is non speicifc…) my father has several large books that goes into more time specifc details …. i am currently trying to go through all of the information to pick out the peices that would be relevant to what I’m looking for. As soon as i find more details, I will post them :) and agian i really appreiate you even replying to my origional post….. I was worried that this would be a more than difficult task ..(which it may still turn out out to be where the state is concerned)

kandis kandis

posted on April 16, 2011

suzanne, Please let me say thank you to you. I have not known where to start for so long. all I had was a name. The name of my great grandmother. I had no idea what to do with it. I know that I need birth certificates, but I had no idea how to find out her roll number. Thanks to all of the information that you provided, tonight I was successful. My eyes welled up. I just wanted to say thank you. You have really helped me so much, please know that you are appreciated.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on April 16, 2011

i am so glad, kandis. i treasure the success stories. i hope to teach people how to do genealogy, prepare them for the vocabulary. it is more that just answering a question. genealogy is a journey and it never ends.

if you can’t proceed finding details, go back a generation. childrens’ documents point to the parents, fix the family to a time and place.

there are many family trees on the internet, but you have to collect the data to see if it corresponds to your family. sometimes people note details that they believe but don’t have the information to prove. perhaps you will discover the needed information.