Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation
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Granddad

Glen Davis Glen Davis

posted on June 17, 2011

Robert D. Davis

Glen Davis Glen Davis

posted on June 17, 2011

How would I go about claiming to be of Choctaw descent. My Granddad was deeded land in about 1920 from William F. Semple Principle Chief of The Choctaw Indian Nation. It was 200 acres in Poteau County, Ok. and I feel we are of the Choctaw Nation. Would like help to trace my ancestry

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on June 18, 2011

you start with what you know, gather documents, then you can go backward in time. in order to enroll in the tribe, you must be directly descended from an original enrollee. although you have given a name, this name is extremely common. you need to also give birthdate, birthplace, date of death, place of death, children and spouse so that people can match records.

some natives didn’t qualify for enrollment or were philosophically opposed to enrollment. and there are 63 tribes in the state of oklahoma but the dawes roll only contains the names of applicants to the five major tribes.

this is the # of robert davis records in the oklahoma census:
Census & Voter Lists 545
152 1930 United States Federal Census
131 1920 United States Federal Census
107 1910 United States Federal Census
94 U.S., Indian Census Rolls, 1885-1940
47 1900 United States Federal Census
» View all 545 results

we use the census to show location, family members. death records, such as a death certificate, is helpful – you get that from vital records of the state. you can find an obituary through the local public library. and there are websites on the internet that give lists of graves, such as findagrave.com or interment.com. these are all helpful.

marriage license, birth certificate or delayed birth certificate are necessary. anyone who passed away after 1/1/1937 has a social security application on file and these give dates, location, parents.

genealogy is often a lifelong process. you usually never get “done”. the tribes enrolled members 1896-early 1900’s generally. other tribes became recognized later and their enrollment procedures started after recognition. NARA/national archives and records administration, http://www.archives.gov , have the war department records 1800-1900 or so. they have the tribal enrollment. accessgenealogy.com has an index of those records and oklahoma historical society also has a copy of most of those records and the territory marriage records.

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 submitted 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:
http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/finalroll.php
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.

http://www.okhistory.org/research/dawes/index.php
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.
http://okhistory.cuadra.com/star/public.html

the tribe has an excellent information to help you. it is found under genealogy advocacy.
http://choctawnation.com/services/departments/community-services/

NARA http://www.archives.gov/ 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 nara.gov.

mississippi choctaw and choctaw tribe explained here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choctaw_Trail_of_Tears

http://www.choctaw.org/

jena choctaw tribe in louisiana:
http://www.jenachoctaw.org/

MOWA tribe
http://encyclopediaofalabama.org/face/Article.jsp?id=h-1368
http://www.uab.edu/uabmagazine/2009/july/losttribe
http://www.native-american-online.org/MOWA-Choctaw.htm
MOWA Band Of Choctaws Wilford Taylor 1080 Red Fox Road Mount Vernon, AL 36560 (251) 829-5500. E-Mail: chieftaylor@mowachoctaw.com

other choctaw tribes: http://www.aaanativearts.com/choctaw-indians/index.html

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
http://www.chickasaw.net/index.htm

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

http://www.okhistory.org/
oklahoma historical society

texas tribes
http://www.native-languages.org/texas.htm
http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/texas/index.htm
http://www.texasindians.com/
http://www.texasindians.com/
http://www.lsjunction.com/places/indians.htm

oklahoma tribes:
http://500nations.com/Oklahoma_Tribes.asp
http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/oklahoma/index.htm
http://www.cowboy.net/native/tribes.html

some links for the choctaw.
http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/tribes/choctaw/index.htm
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.
http://www.okgenweb.org/~okgarvin/kinard/1860index.htm
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:
http://jenniferhsrn2.homestead.com/research2.html

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, shamlet76@gmail.com 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