Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Looking for my Family?

MJ Means MJ Means

posted on July 18, 2011

Greetings to the Choctaw Nation, My Family comes from the Heavner,Ok . area. I am trying to fine my ancestors,My Father was born in Heavner,in 1922 His Father was named Sydney Samuel Means,does anyone know of the Means Family? I know of my Grandmothers side,but not of my Fathers side.My Grannys name was Dovie Agnes Pressley,she later married Fred Terry,,My Dads name is Sydney Jackson Means,any clues would help thanks.Also is there a site to find a “Roll Number”

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on July 18, 2011

i am not sure of sydney samuel means’ relationship to the pressley or terry family.

unfortunately, you have only given a date and location for sydney samuel means and it doesn’t appear that he was in that location in 1930. i widened this search to include all of the united states and still didn’t find a satisfactory record. i wonder if you have his birth certificate, death certificate.

could this be him?
California Death Index, 1940-1997
about Sydney Samuel Means
Name: Sydney Samuel Means
Social Security #: 572056326
Sex: Male
Birth Date: 20 Aug 1904
Birthplace: Oklahoma
Death Date: 15 Apr 1958
Death Place: Los Angeles
Mother’s Maiden Name: Perry
Father’s Surname: Means

Social Security Death Index
about Sydney Means
Name: Sydney Means
SSN: 572-05-6326
Born: 20 Aug 1904
Died: Apr 1958
State (Year) SSN issued: California (Before 1951)

California Divorce Index, 1966-1984
about Sydney J Means
Name: Sydney J Means
Spouse Name: Barbara G Stclair
Location: Plumas
Date: Apr 1973

Curtis Eugene Means, 47, of Gillette, Wyo. died Sept. 21, 2004, at the Campbell County Memorial Hospital in Gillette, Wyo. Curtis was born Oct. 8, 1956, to Sydney “Jack” and Barbara (St. Clair) Means in Eureka. He was raised and educated in Quincy, and graduated from Quincy High School in 1974. In 1978 he graduated from the Mackay School of Mines at the University of Nevada, Reno. Upon graduation, he took his first mining engineering position at Trapper Mine in Craig, Colo. He obtained an MBA in finance from the University of Colorado in Denver, Colo. In 1989, Curtis moved to Wyoming, where he worked for 15 years in various positions and mines, establishing his reputation as a dragline expert. He had most recently consulted for several mines in Australia. He had worked for 26 years as a mining engineer. He was a member of the High Plains Community Church, the Christian Motorcycle Association and was actively involved in community service. He was preceded in death by his brother, Monte; his grandparents; an uncle; and a cousin. Curtis is survived by his parents, Sydney “Jack” and Barbara Means of Springfield, Ore.; his daughter, Katelyn Means of Cheyenne, Wyo.; his sister, Marlee Daniels of Wapola, Wisc.; his brothers, Doug of Cannon City, Colo. and Michael of Winnemucca, Nev.; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Funeral services were held on Sept. 25, 2004 in Gillette, Wyo., followed by graveside services on Sept. 27, 2004 at the Lakeview Cemetery in Cheyenne, Wyo. A memorial has been established in Curtis’ name to the High Plains Community Church. Condolences and donations may be sent in care of Stevenson-Wilson Funeral Home, 210 W. 5th St., Gillette, Wyo. 82716, or via the internet at

Name of Deceased: Curtis Eugene Means
Age at Death: 94
Death Date: 21 Sep 2004
Obituary Date: 18 Dec 2004
Newspaper Title: Plumas County News
Newspaper Location: Pluma, CA, Us
Birth Date: 8 Oct 1956

there is a family tree with sydney samuel means listed, but the only record that might help is that he married hattie marie rux.
the father listed appears incorrect, as his father was listed as being born 7 years before sydney samuel means.

there was a sydney s. means on the 1938 voters list, inglewood, los angeles county, CA living at 571 east hazel street, democrat, aircraft inspector.

in 1928, there was a sydney means living in hollister, benito county, CA. he is a laborer and a democrat.

but they might be different sydney means:

1930 United States Federal Census
about Sidney Means
Name: Sidney Means
Home in 1930: Hollister, San Benito, California
View Map
Age: 15
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1915
Relation to Head of House: Son
Father’s name: William A Means
Mother’s name: Jennie D Means
Race: White


Military Service:

Rent/home value:

Age at first marriage:

Parents’ birthplace:

View image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
William A Means 60
Jennie D Means 56
Arnold W Means 25
Stanley Means 23
Leonard Means 18
Elmer Means 17
Sidney Means 15
George Means 13
Palmer Means 12
Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Hollister, San Benito, California; Roll: 187; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 4; Image: 460.0.

since i’m not finding many good records for the 1900-1930 time period, you might start with the death and work backwards in time, when collecting documents.

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


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


helpful information about tribal enrollment


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

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.

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


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