Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Love - Smith Family

Debbie Portscheller Debbie Portscheller

posted on August 25, 2011 and updated on August 25, 2011

I am interested in finding out information about my great grandfather J.D. Smith born October 1871 and died 1908 buried in Old Town Tuskahoma Cemetary “Choctaw Nation” Oklahoma. I have a photo of the headstone.
He was married to Mary C. Love born 1878 and died 1913
If anyone has any info on my family I would really appreciate hearing from you. Thank you…

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on August 25, 2011

you know, those are very common names.
who were their children?

i couldn’t find a picture of their graves on if you have a picture of their graves, you might want to put them on and it might help others who look for your family.

we use pushmataha county, instead of a town tuskahoma. this is became most records might be at the county level, rather than a city.

someone posted this:


My gggrandfather, John D. SMITH, was Choctaw Indian. He died about 1908 and is buried in the cemetery near the Choctaw Council House in Tuskahoma. He was married to Mary LOVE, who died about 1912 and was buried in the cemetery near Sardis Lake. When the Lake was built, her body along with a stillborn infant was exhumed and reburied in an unmarked grave. Mary re-married after John’s death to a man by the name of HOUCH or HAWK. My great grandmother was Sarah Linnie SMITH. She was raised by Mary’s mother Sarah MEYER LOVE after her mother’s death. Any help would be appreciated. I would like to get the exact date of birth and death of John D. SMITH, if the information is available on the tombstone. Thank you in advance. Please contact Patsy Smart

Love, Mary , 17 , Talihina , C.N., I.T., to Smith, John , 22 , Talihina , 9 Oct 1893

Robert Hart, aged 40 of Tuskahoma, Oklahoma, to Mrs. Mary Smith, aged 33 of Tuskahoma, Oklahoma. Robert Hart applied for “Application for Marriage License” and “Marriage License” in April 16, 1908. There is no “Certificate of Marriage”. “Changed her mind”.

Earnest Houck, aged 45 of Kiamichi, Oklahoma, married Mrs. Mary Smith, aged 34 of Kiamichi, Oklahoma. E. T. Stone, Justice of the Peace, Tuskahoma Township of Albion, Oklahoma, married the couple February 6, 1910 at Albion, Oklahoma. Witnesses: W. M. Merryman and J. H. Welch, both of Albion, Oklahoma.
no directions about how to find the original licenses.
try oklahoma historical society.

pushmataha website with useful information.

you might want to look at local historical newspapers and books. see your local public library/interlibrary loan program for this.

also, state and local historical societies, genealogical societies and state archives might have 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 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.

social security application for a deceased person:

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.

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 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.

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

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