Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Looking for the parents of Hugh McCoy Ledbetter and Zella May Miller

Dick Zylstra Dick Zylstra

posted on May 27, 2011

My late Grandpa said that we were descendents of the Choctaw Nation and I am hoping to find that her was correct. I have not been able to find the info that i need in his parents or grandparents I know his parents were Hugh McCoy Ledbetter and Zella May Miller but that has been all i can find and their names don’t show up on the Freedman roles I am hoping to learn the parents of Hugh and Zella May to see if their names or on the roles. if any one can help than i would be very grateful.

thanks, Rick

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on May 27, 2011

could this be zella? you don’t mention any years or location or children in your post.
Dawes Card Information
tribe last first middle age sex blood card roll misc type
Creek Cordry Charlotte 0 F 860 P
Creek Cordry Early 0 M 860 P
Creek Fox Trig Jim 0 M 860 P
Creek Fox Eliza 25 F 1/2 860 2778 BB
Creek Fox Sarah 56 F 1/4 860 2777 BB
Creek Miller Robert 0 M 860 P
Creek Miller Zela 3 F 1/4 860 2780 BB
Creek Miller Jennie 26 F 1/2 860 2779 BB
Creek Turner Lilly 16 F 860 3372 F
Creek Turner Catherine 18 F 860 3371 F
Creek Turner Sarah 38 F 860 3370 F

this is another family with a somewhat similar name, but miller seems to be the married name.
Dawes Card Information
tribe last first middle age sex blood card roll misc type
Choctaw Miller Martin G 0 M MCR6937 P
Choctaw Miller Rebecca 0 F MCR6937 P
Choctaw Miller Zue 0 F MCR6937 P
Choctaw Miller Jack 10 M 1/16 MCR6937 GOULDSBORO TX MCR
Choctaw Miller Arthur 52 M 1/8 MCR6937 GOULDSBORO TX MCR

MCR=mississippi choctaw refused, as mississippi choctaw is a separate tribe, link in this post.

Name: Hugh C Ledbetter
Home in 1930: Lynn Lane, Tulsa, Oklahoma
View Map
Age: 49
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1881
Birthplace: Arkansas
Relation to Head of House: Head
Spouse’s Name: May J Ledbetter
Race: Indian (Native American)


Military Service:

Rent/home value:

Age at first marriage:

Parents’ birthplace:

View image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Hugh C Ledbetter 49
May J Ledbetter 35
Bertha C Ledbetter 12
Virgel E Ledbetter 8
John L Ledbetter 6
Lee Roy Ledbetter 4
James R Ledbetter 3 1/12
Margaret C Ledbetter 1 1/12
Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Lynn Lane, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Roll: 1933; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 25; Image: 619.0.

since i didn’t find a good match on census records, i would suggest that you be sure that you have collected good documentation on the children, such as birth certificates or delayed birth certificates. childrens’ records point to the family, fix a family to a location and date. i try to find individuals by starting with the death, such as obituary, cemetery record, death certificate and get information from this, then try to find earlier records, such as marriage and birth.

if you get stuck on someone who passed away after 1/1/1937, you can get a copy of their social security application, which would list significant dates and locations and parents.

i tried to find them in census records but was not successful. this is probably because there is a name difference, no information on location/date, or they lived on reservation in the 1800’s. you can look at the accessgenealogy link, menu on the left, for native census records and native databases.

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

Terry Terry

posted on May 27, 2011

@Rick, why do you think your family would be on the Freedmen rolls, is your family African-American or mixed? The reason why i ask is because the Freedmen were slaves of the Indians..

Dick Zylstra Dick Zylstra

posted on May 28, 2011

Thank you so very much suzanne, you found my greatgrandparents in the 1930 census. I recegnized all the names of my great aunts and uncles but more importantly you gave me the derection that i was looking for. now i have lots of homework to do and i am very excited in that i now have a derection. please keep empowering people in learning how to do genealogy

thanks, Rick

Dick Zylstra Dick Zylstra

posted on May 28, 2011

Thanks for the info Terry, it has made me look into the rolls more and it was very helpful in my search. any info is always appricieated

Thanks, Rick