Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation


TMitchell (CATO) TMitchell (CATO)

posted on June 22, 2011

I know I’m going to sound like a lot of other people, but I have become quite interested in knowing more about my family. My great grandmother was born Maggie Virginia Cato in 1913. She married Harris Clinton Butler (an African American) and had daughters and a son: Juanita, Mary, Earline, Maxine, Maggie"Doll", Linda, and Harris C. Butler, JR. Since my great grandmother was not born until 1913 I don’t believe her name would show up on the Dawes rolls, however, since my lineage is linked to Oklahoma primarily, Louisiana, and Europe. I thought I’d stop in here to see if anyone can pinpoint who her parents were. And possibly the Native American heritage behind it. Thanks! ;-)

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on June 23, 2011

maggie virginia cato b. 1913 m. harris clinton butler
maggie “doll”
harris c. butler, jr.

no location in your post. that is pretty important information.
worse, the census only goes up to 1930 at present. the 1940 census will be public in 2012.

this might be her husband, but that doesn’t really help me find her:
Name: Harris C Butler
Home in 1930: Hanna, McIntosh, Oklahoma
View Map
House Number: 28
Age: 18
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1912
Relation to Head of House: Stepson
Mother’s name: Lentitia S Hartery
Race: Negro


Military Service:

Rent/home value:

Age at first marriage:

Parents’ birthplace:

View image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Willie H Hartery 64
Lentitia S Hartery 42
Samuel S Butler 20
Harris C Butler 18
Johnette M Butler 14
George W Butler 11
S C Carter 55
Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Hanna, McIntosh, Oklahoma; Roll: 1914; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 17; Image: 340.0.

this is a phone book kind of thing:
U.S. Public Records Index, Volume 1
about Harris Clinton Butler Jr
Name: Harris Clinton Butler Jr
Birth Date: 16 Dec 1937
Phone Number: 691-1665
Address: 10116 Southridge Dr, Oklahoma City, OK, 73159-7318 (1988)
[17580 Bode Rd, Choctaw, OK, 73020-6903]
[PO Box 890025, Oklahoma City, OK, 73189-0025 (1990)]

Name: Harris Clinton Butler
Address: PO Box 603, Choctaw, OK, 73020-0603 (1990)

i am not finding maggie. this is probably because i don’t know where to look for her.

do you have any documents? if you don’t, you can try to gather documents, such as death certificate, obituary, cemetery record. you get the vital records from the state vital records office. how about marriage record? childrens’ birth certificate? you can see your local public library about the obituary.

anyone who passed away after 1/1/1937 has a social security application on file. this will tell you names, locations, dates, parents’ names. people often submitted a birth record or delayed birth certificate to show proof of age. if you try to get a copy of a birth certificate, you should also ask for a copy of the delayed birth certificate at the same time.

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:
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

TMitchell (CATO) TMitchell (CATO)

posted on November 28, 2011 and updated on November 28, 2011

Thank you for the information. On my father’s side, I am also trying to trace the lineage of my grandmother (she’s still living). Her name is Dorothy Gilliam (married Alvin Mitchell, Sr, now divorced). Her birthday is 12-17-1943. She was born in Conway, Arkansas (Mayflower County. Her parents were Vesther and Theodore Gilliam. Her mother, Vesther’s maiden name was MORGAN. Vesther’s parents were Caroline Herron and Athair Morgan.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on November 30, 2011

caroline herron m.athair morgan
vesther morgan m. theodore gilliam
dorothy gilliam b. 12/17/1943 AR m. alvin mitchell, sr.

only one date and location here.

Name: Vester Morgain
Age: 18
Birth Year: abt 1914
Residence: Mayflower, Faulkner, Arkansas
Spouse’s Name: Theodore Gilliam
Spouse’s Age: 25
Spouse’s Residence: Mayflower, Faulkner, Arkansas
Marriage Date: 23 Oct 1932
Marriage License Date: 22 Oct 1932
Marriage County: Faulkner
Event Type: Marriage
FHL Film Number: 1976422

we usually use the county for a location, as many records are at the county level.

although i was generous in spelling the names, i could not find other records. i think that you need to start at the death, find records, and this will probably lead you to other records.

anyone who passed away after 1/1/1937 has a social security application on file and they had to show proof of age to apply. this often was in the form of a delayed birth certificate or a birth certificate. you have to ask for both records, if you request one. the birth records are at the county vital records office or the state vital records office, or if old, at the state archives.

the death certificate often lists the parents, place of birth and date of birth. this is also at the vital records office.

you can ask for an obituary from your local public library, if you know an approximate date of death. they have an interlibrary loan program, where they ask for newspapers from other libraries.

the marriage license would also be at the county records, possibly at the clerk’s office or vital records.

you seem to know the names but don’t tell where you got the information. you should give names, dates, locations, spouse and children of one generation and that will help people match records.

Name: Athair Morgan
Age in 1910: 31
Birth Year: 1879
Birthplace: Arkansas
Home in 1910: Union, Perry, Arkansas
Race: Black
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Caroline Morgan
Father’s Birthplace: Alabama
Mother’s Birthplace: Arkansas
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Athair Morgan 31
Caroline Morgan 25
Roosevelt Morgan 4
Roy Morgan 3
Philip Morgan 5/12
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Union, Perry, Arkansas; Roll: T624_60; Page: 12B; Enumeration District: 0125; Image: 151; FHL Number: 1374073.