Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation


jordan jordan

posted on May 12, 2011 and updated on May 12, 2011

Hello! My name is Jordan. My mother was Virginia Luellen (born in 1933. and when she married took my father’s last name. My mother was born in Woodward, Oklahoma and she passed away in Oregon. She was either half or three-quarter’s Choctaw.

Her mother (my grandmother) was Lydia Laura Josephine Morris. She was full blooded Choctaw. My grandmother Lydia first married someone by the last name of Luellen and in her second marriage she married someone by the last name of Wuddel. Grandmother was born in 1904 in Bethany, Oklahoma and passed away in Woodward, OK in 1987. Grandma Lydia’s mother was Kate Lovett Gann. Her father was John Morris. They were both full Choctaw.

Could someone please provide information on what to do next in the process. Or does someone have information on these people? How do I find their names on the Choctaw Rolls?

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on May 12, 2011

you should look at her death certificate and see her maiden name. you might be able to find her on

i am a little bit confused about maiden names and married names in this post. no spouses are listed.

is this right?
kate lovett gann m. john morris
lydia morris m1. ? luellen m2. wuddel
her spouse’s names might be misspelled.

i don’t know when john morris and kate morris married, so this is a problem in searching on the dawes roll. the dawes roll was taken 1896-1906.
i also don’t know their approximate ages, birthplaces.
morris is a very common last name. it is traditionally an irish name. but natives tended to take surnames of favorite people, places and, in the 1800’s they sometimes changed them. so they are not like surnames that caucasians used.

1910 United States Federal Census
about Lydia Morris
Name: Lydia Morris
Age in 1910: 6
Estimated Birth Year: 1904
Birthplace: Oklahoma
Relation to Head of House: Granddaughter
Father’s Birth Place: Mississippi
Mother’s name: Kate Morris
Mother’s Birth Place: Arkansas
Home in 1910: Lewis, Atoka, Oklahoma
Race: White
Gender: Female
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Lydia Lovett 52
Lucy Seymon 14
Delia Seymon 12
Josie Seymon 9
Ike Seymon 7
Kate Morris 28
Lydia Morris 6
Anale Morris 4
Mary Morris 2
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Lewis, Atoka, Oklahoma; Roll: T624_1242; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0007; Image: 1034; FHL Number: 1375255.

i don’t see this family on the dawes roll. they might not have applied for enrollment because they may not have qualified. they might be mississippi choctaw, if they are native.

could kate’s mother have migrated to grayson, TX?
Texas Death Index, 1903-2000
about Mrs. Lydia Lovett
Name: Mrs. Lydia Lovett
Death Date: 22 Jan 1938
Death County: Grayson
Certificate: 2266

i think you should look for kate’s death certificate to see her maiden name, birthdate, birthplace.

i start collecting records on the generation closest to me and then go backwards in time. childrens’ documents point to the parents.

i really can’t help you on finding records because the information about your family is too incomplete. however, you can go to your local public library to search and find more information about your family.

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