Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

looking for family

Andrew Bridgeford Andrew Bridgeford

posted on June 22, 2011 and updated on July 3, 2011

Hi, my name is Andrew. My birth certificate once shown my name as Baby Boy McAlester, and another shown the name as Rufus. My birth father’s name is James Jake Williston, I believe he has passed on. My birth mother’s name is Linda Luo McAlester. I have no info about her. I was born at Wadleys Reg Hospital in Texarkana, Texas. The year was 1975 Dec. 29th. My sister Dottie(birth name Dorthy)has found her family. I regret not knowing my true family. I have six wounderful children, and have nothing to tell them if they ever ask about there true family. I am 1/2 Miss Choctaw Blood. I was adopted at the age of two from Goodland. If anyone has info please email me at, or write me on this page. Thank you.

Jeanette Jeanette

posted on November 25, 2012

I knew “Little” Jake when I was a child. He was an artist. (Untrained, just naturally.) You can find a lot of your Williston family in Idabel, Oklahoma. Jacob, Sophie and Impson are all deceased, but there a lot of descendants. If you find one of them you can find them all.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on November 25, 2012

i’m sorry. i usually answer many of the inquiries but i didn’t see your message for some reason. i think it was when they changed the format on the messageboard. i’m just a volunteer, not a member of the tribe.

try this for phone #’s.

you might not be just mississippi choctaw. you should explore your roots. there are post-adoption services, so you should contact the state adoption coordinator to see what you can find out, since you want to pursue your heritage.

Texas Marriage Collection, 1814-1909 and 1966-2002 about Linda L Mccallister

Name: Linda L Mccallister
Gender: Female
Marriage Date: 6 Oct 1988
Birth Year: abt 1957
Age: 31
Spouse: James J Williston
Spouse Gender: Male
Spouse Birth Year: abt 1921
Spouse Age: 67
Marriage County: Bowie
Marriage State: Texas
Source: Texas Marriage Index, 1966-2002

Texas Death Index, 1903-2000 about James Williston

Name: James Williston
Death Date: 13 Feb 1990
Death County: Bowie
Gender: Male

Social Security Death Index about James J. Williston

Name: James J. Williston
SSN: 447-26-9967
Born: 1 Feb 1921
Died: 13 Feb 1990
State (Year) SSN issued: Oklahoma (Before 1951)

1930 United States Federal Census about James J Williston

Name: James J Williston
Gender: Male
Birth Year: abt 1921
Birthplace: Oklahoma
Race: Indian (Native American)
Home in 1930: Frisco, Mccurtain, Oklahoma
View Map
Marital Status: Single
Relation to Head of House: Son
Father’s Name: Jacob Williston
Mother’s Name: Sophia Williston


Military Service:

Rent/home value:

Age at first marriage:

Parents’ birthplace:

View image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Jacob Williston 50
Sophia Williston 46
Inpson Williston 28
James J Williston 9

Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Frisco, Mccurtain, Oklahoma; Roll: 1913; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 7; Image: 174.0; FHL microfilm: 2341647.

1900 United States Federal Census about Jacob Wiliston

Name: Jacob Wiliston
Age: 21
Birth Date: Mar 1874
[abt 1879]
Birthplace: Indian Territory, Oklahoma
Home in 1900: Township 7, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory
Race: Indian (Native American)
Relation to Head of House: Head
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Jacob Wiliston 21
Impson Wiliston 3
Silas Wiliston 19
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Township 7, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory; Roll: 1853; ; Enumeration District: 0119; FHL microfilm: 1241853.

Dawes Card Information

tribe last first middle age sex blood card roll misc type
Choctaw Pisahotema 0 F 695 P
Choctaw Showona Thompson 0 M 695 P
Choctaw Williston Charles 0 M 695 P
Choctaw Williston Louisa 0 F 695 P
Choctaw Williston Impson 3 M FULL 695 1686 KULLI TUKLO BB
Choctaw Williston Jacob 20 M FULL 695 1684 KULLI TUKLO BB
Choctaw Williston Selay 30 F FULL 695 1685 KULLI TUKLO BB

bb=by blood

this indicates that if you can prove that you are related to james williston, and he is the son of jacob williston, that you would be eligible for enrollment in the choctaw tribe in oklahoma.
you should contact the tribe to find out what documents you should get/submit. you will need a CDIB card first, then you can apply for a membership card in the oklahoma choctaw tribe.

Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997 about Linda Lou McAlester

Name: Linda Lou McAlester
Date of Birth: 18 Nov 1956
Gender: Female
Birth County: Lamar
Father’s Name: Charles Grover McAlester
Mother’s Name: Nellie Leora Morris
Roll Number: 1956_0010

Montana, Death Index, 1954-2002 about Linda L McAlister

Name: Linda L McAlister
Father: McAlister
Death Date: 27 May 1991
Age: 35
Death County: Cascade
Residence: Cascade, Montana
File Number: 2859
Marital Status: DIVORCED

Social Security Death Index about Linda L. McAlister

Name: Linda L. McAlister
SSN: 516-72-9472
Born: 1 Aug 1955
Died: 27 May 1991
State (Year) SSN issued: Montana (1970)

i do not know whether linda lou mcalester might have been a tribal member, though. you would have to pursue that family line to find out. the choctaw tribe might also tell you that information.

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 agency 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, names of family members. the census records up to 1940 are available, although the 1890 census was largely destroyed.

obituaries through the oklahoma choctaw tribe is through the history link for the tribe:

social security application for a deceased person:
form SS-5.

your public library probably has a subscription to heritage quest and is another useful database for native records and military records, but they are a subscription. however, many times their month’s subscription price is less than the price of a dawes packet, however check with accessgenealogy’s database to see if your relative’s dawes packet is exists or is available at fold3.
partial names are allowed.

bear in mind that many records are not online. always collect documents, as just the reference to a relative in an index informs you that a document is available.

death records:
death certificate: state vital records or if very old, state archives. ask for the person’s name at the time of death. you can look at death indices, such as the social security death index 1964-present for a date of death on or
obituary: see your local public library, interlibrary loan program. ask for the person’s name at the time of death. approximate date of death is helpful. if old, state historical society or state archives might have historical newspapers.
cemetery record: try or ask for the person’s name at the time of death. if you find a relative, you can click on the county or cemetery to see if others with the same surname are buried there.

marriage records:
state vital records office, county clerk or if old, state archives or state historical society.

birth records:
state vital records office, or if old, state archives or state historical society. if the birth was before 1940, ask for a birth certificate or a delayed birth certificate. many people had to get delayed birth certificates when social security came into effect because they had to show proof of age. this will be under the name used at the time of birth.

census records:
you will want to search for census records 1940 on down to the birth of your relative. the federal census was taken every 10 years, however the 1890 census was largely destroyed by fire. there are also some state census records and native census records and native rolls. and heritage quest are two databases that include many census records. many native census records kept by NARA ( are transcribed at accessgenealogy.
several helpful links for records in the choctaw territory

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.

for those people who do not yet have a card, you should research the 1900-1940 census to know approximate dates of birth, birthplaces, family members. this will also tell you if someone is more likely to be on the freedman roll or as applicants to the dawes roll taken 1896-1906 in indian territory/oklahoma for the five major tribes.

applicants can be found here:
partial names are ok. look at the guide link for explanation of the codes.

when you find a possible name, then click on the card# in the card column to see the family group. if it is your family group, and they were likely enrolled, then you can search the oklahoma historical society’s dawes roll link to get the enrollment #’s for particular family members.

if your family was enrolled by council action early in the process or was enrolled by lawsuit, they might not appear on the oklahoma historical society website. you would have to check with the tribe on that.

even if your family was rejected by the dawes process, you may want the testimony, census card, application information for your genealogical purposes.

the federal census will also help you decide which state to contact for vital records.

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.

history of the dawes roll
wikipedia entries are sometimes opinionated; entered by volunteers.

helpful information about tribal enrollment

freedmen information:
many freedmen links on this webpage:

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 your relative was enrolled by court action, their name might not be on this list.
if the name is common, you may find too many possible records.
you can order the dawes packet from the oklahoma historical society website.

if you find a relative listed on the dawes roll, fold3 may have filmed the record and could be available online.
other resources are NARA

the five civilized tribes book put out by the department of the interior has testimony.
and you can read it online

and these are the microfilms at fort worth TX archives.

there may be additional records about your relative:
contact NARA for these and other records listed on this webpage.

75.23.1 Records of the Dawes Commission
75.23.2 Records of the U.S. Indian Inspector for Indian Territory
75.23.3 General records of the Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes
(Record Group 75)
oklahoma newspaper and archives search. some of these resources may be available through interlibrary loan/public library.

the tribe has an excellent information to help you. it is found under genealogy advocacy.
some obituaries:

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

freedmen info:
You can ONLY apply for Choctaw Nation Membership, AFTER you have obtained a CDIB card proving your Choctaw Blood lineage to a direct ancestor who actually enrolled, BY BLOOD. Freedmen DID NOT enroll By Blood. When US Congress closed the Final Dawes Commission Rolls, there were no provisions granting Freedmen any benefits after the Dawes Commission closed. The tribe Constitution states BY BLOOD. however, the documents (application, census card and testimony) may help you find out more about your heritage.

about blood quantum laws:
calculations about blood quantum:

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
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 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
marriage records

other historical societies:
some oklahoma genealogical societies:

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
and you can read this book online. your relatives’ testimony might be in the book.
see the menu at left. you can download it.
you should look at the enrollment application, census card and testimony. this post will tell you how to do that. these documents will tell you more about your heritage, but it won’t help you if your goal is to be enrolled in the choctaw tribe of oklahoma. some people were classed as mississippi choctaw if the family had a native heritage but didn’t qualify for enrollment in the tribe.

there are 63 tribes in oklahoma but only the five major tribes are on the dawes roll. look at your family’s location around 1900-1930 time period (census will help you there) and see if there was a tribe located nearby. it is possible that your relatives were affiliated with another tribe.

if they were mississippi choctaw, there is probably a land grant in MS/AL to a head of household called choctaw scrip land. this was given in lieu of tribal enrollment 1830-1880 time period. has a database of the MS and AL choctaw scrip land records, called mississippi or alabama land records. there are other land records in those databases too,, so you have to look at the authority/source cited. NARA has those land record packages.

the mississippi choctaw was not removed from oklahoma. but they were largely rejected for tribal enrollment.

this website might help you in your search. some people are trying to transcribe applications.
i do not know what they are trying to transcribe, but this is the volunteer page

and this might be of interest to you:
Rights of Mississippi Choctaws in the Choctaw Nation
Index to the Final Rolls of the Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory
the dawes roll is composed of applications to the five major tribes in oklahoma.

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.

this page can help you set up a targeted google search.

penny postcards. this is a website that features pictures that were on postcards. click on the state to see the postcards that they have.
if you have a penny postcard, you can click on submissions to add your penny postcard to the collection.

these searches will combine several possible search terms and give you the best matches.

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