Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation


Lynn19 Lynn19

posted on June 25, 2011

I am descended from a Mary Romine married James Chambers in Pike County, Indiana 1822 She is rumored to be part Native American (children, David, George, James, Indian (or India, Indun, Indan).

Indian (India Chambers or I. E. Chambers) married a Peter (Pete) Pressey (Presse) in Indiana – had at least 2 daughters Sarah Ann Pressey m. William H. Lamb in 1878 Knox County, Indiana.

Dora (Nancy Dora or Dora Nancy) Pressey (Pressy) m. a John Canady in Indiana in 1885.

at least 1 son,

William Hamiltion Pressey b. 1859 Indiana
married to Elizabeth, Emma, Minnie (maybe others – also had cousin with similar name and their records get mixed up).

Other relatives are:

Thomas Nance (b. Virgina 1897) m. Elizabeth or Elisabeth Willis in North Carolina, migrated to Indiana, lived in Pike, Knox, Parke Counties.
Had children, James, Jane, Frances (Fanny Ann), Sussanah (Susan Ann), Sarey, Benjamin F.

Susannah married John Benedict, Pike County, Indiana had children, Serilda, Thomas. John died.

She married Zimri Lamb (he divorced Cynthia Ann Davis to marry her)

had at least 4 more children.

1. Etta
2. Henry B.
3. Ida
4. Luzina

Possible 4rth is William H. Lamb who married Sarah Ann Pressey (daughter of India(n) Chambers Pressey.

Seeking information on NA heritage of this family.

India Chambers
Sarah Ann Pressey
Thomas Nance
Elizabeth Willis
Mary Romine
James Chambers

All primarily lived in southern parts of Indiana

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on June 25, 2011

choctaw is a tribe that originally was primarily in the southeast. very few choctaw migrated north. there was a migration in the late 1830’s from the southeastern reservations called the trail of tears, after the federal government demanded that the southeastern natives move to oklahoma/indian territory/arkansas territory.

the only time that i know of that natives disclosed their heritage was when they applied for enrollment. if they didn’t apply, then you have to look for other resources.

other natives did move along the northern tier, though. use the location to try to find tribes.

there are many facts that are not in your post. your post doesn’t say what documents were used to construct this family tree. you mention “relatives” but don’t say how related, so i don’t know if these names are associated or are different branches of your family. many birth years and locations are missing. no date/place of death.

heritage and tribal membership are two different things.

native language was an oral tradition. they didn’t have records. the war department had records 1800-1900 or so and those are at NARA/national archives and records administration. however, the records in the 1800-1840 area are very sparse.

state archives might have some records.

past that, reference to native heritage might be in historical newspapers, journals, trading logs. there might be reference to a native marriage. i can tell you that references in this area are unlikely.

looking at the uncertainty of william pressey’s wife, these names were ALL common. you don’t say why there is confusion nor what documents you have.

do you have this document?
Indiana Marriage Collection, 1800-1941
about Peter Presse
Name: Peter Presse
Spouse Name: I E Chambers
Marriage Date: 5 Jul 1857
Marriage County: Knox
Source Title 1: Knox County, Indiana
Source Title 2: Index to Marriage Record 1854 – 1920 Inclusive Vol
Source Title 3: W. P. A. Original Record Located: County Clerk’s O
Book: E-
OS Page: 284
you should contact the knox county clerk for a copy of the record. indices are not sufficient to describe information.

this appears to be the family:
1860 United States Federal Census
about Peter Pressey
Name: Peter Pressey
Age in 1860: 30
Birth Year: abt 1830
Birthplace: Indiana
Home in 1860: Harrison, Knox, Indiana
Gender: Male
Post Office: Pond Creek Mills
Value of real estate: View image
Household Members:
Name Age
Peter Pressey 30
Indian Pressey 23
W H Pressey 2

maybe there was a second marriage:
Indiana Marriage Collection, 1800-1941
about Mrs. Elizabeth Mitchell
Name: Mrs. Elizabeth Mitchell
Spouse Name: Peter Pressey
Marriage Date: 6 Feb 1868
Source Title 1: Pike County – Indiana
Source Title 2: MARRIAGE RECORD 1859 1905
Source Title 3: Grooms by Ruth M. Slevin Opal Phillips [Record Boo
Book: 5
OS Page: 121

Birth: 1860
Death: 1932

Family links:
Elizabeth Pressey (1851 – 1916)

Walnut Grove Cemetery
Monroe City
Knox County
Indiana, USA

Birth: Feb. 13, 1851
Death: Feb. 20, 1916

Husband – Hamilton Pressy

age – 75 years 7 days

Knox County Death Record
Book H-36 Page 12

Family links:
W. Hamilton Pressey (1860 – 1932)*

*Point here for explanation

Walnut Grove Cemetery
Monroe City
Knox County
Indiana, USA

so do you have the death certificates for these people? have you looked at the state archives for any records of these people.

1870 United States Federal Census
about Peter Pressey
Name: Peter Pressey
Birth Year: abt 1826
Age in 1870: 44
Birthplace: Indiana
Home in 1870: Clay, Pike, Indiana
Race: White
Gender: Male
Value of real estate: View image
Household Members:
Name Age
Peter Pressey 44
Eblizabeth Pressey 46
Malissey Pressey 9
Nancy Pressey 6
Ella Pressey 12
Source Citation: Year: 1870; Census Place: Clay, Pike, Indiana; Roll: M593_350; Page: 432B; Image: 405; Family History Library Film: 545849.
petersburgh post office.
since peter married elizabeth within the last two years, malissey and nancy are probably daughters of the first wife.
i don’t know why ella was not listed first as the oldest daughter. maybe she was a niece or another relation? relations are not described in 1870 census.
so you might be looking for a nearby grave for the first wife. childbirth was very risky back then. you might look for a reference in a historical newspaper around that time. see your local public library about access through the interlibrary loan program. look also at state and local genealogy societies or state and local historical societies.

1880 United States Federal Census
about Nancy Pressey
Name: Nancy Pressey
Home in 1880: Washington, Pike, Indiana
Age: 18
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1862
Birthplace: Indiana
Relation to Head of Household: Dau (Daughter)
Father’s name: Peter Pressey
Mother’s name: Elizabeth Pressey
Neighbors: View others on page
Occupation: House Keeping
Marital Status: Single
Race: White
Gender: Female
Cannot read/write:


Deaf and dumb:

Otherwise disabled:

Idiotic or insane:

View image
Household Members:
Name Age
Peter Pressey 56
Elizabeth Pressey 57
Nancy Pressey 18
Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Washington, Pike, Indiana; Roll: 304; Family History Film: 1254304; Page: 371C; Enumeration District: 179; Image: 0747.

1860 United States Federal Census
about Indian Pressey
Name: Indian Pressey
Age in 1860: 23
Birth Year: abt 1837
Birthplace: Indiana
Home in 1860: Harrison, Knox, Indiana
Gender: Female
Post Office: Pond Creek Mills
Value of real estate: View image
Household Members:
Name Age
Peter Pressey 30
Indian Pressey 23
W H Pressey 2

since they lived in indiana, it might be somewhat reasonable to believe that her first name was indiana.

i think this record would be helpful to you. these applications were prepared by attorneys and has much genealogical information that would be useful to you.
Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934
about Peter Pressey
Name: Peter Pressey
State Filed: Indiana
Widow: Elizabeth Pressey
he served in company D, 51st indiana infantry.

information about maiden names, dates and locations would probably become more clear to you.

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