Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Looking for information on Louise Smith wife of James Henry Smith

Kristy Smith-Fast Kristy Smith-Fast

posted on September 27, 2011


I am trying to find out my great grand mothers maiden name, and any other information on my family. This is what I have so far starting at the earliest information.

1910 Census in Oklahoma shows
Jeff Smith born in 1863 in Illinois- married to May Smith born in 1869 in Texas. These are my great great grand parents.
Their children are; James Henry Smith(age 13), Bertha Smith (age 10), Adis Smith (age 7), and Ray Smith (age 5)

1930 Census in Oklahoma shows
James Henry Smith born 1897 in Oklahoma- married to Louise Smith born in 1898. These are my great grand parents. I am needing Louise’s maiden name. Their children are William Lester Smith(also went by Lester Smith), James Smith, Bobby Jean Smith (also went by Robert or Bob Smith), Clara Smith, and JoAnn Smith.

William Lester Smith was born on February 18, 1922 in Minco, OK- married to Mary Jane Smith( maiden names are known as Chateau or Dille) she was born February 17 1930, in Pima, AZ. These are my grandparents. They were married February 12, 1951 in Las Vegas, NV. Their children were Nancy Marie Smith, Cathleen Smith, Sherri Smith, Jerry Smith, Jeanine Smith(also known as Nini Smith and Nini Hayden), and James Gary Smith(also known as Jim Smith or Gary Smith).

James Gary Smith was born March 3rd, 1955 in Los Angeles, CA-married Wendy Smith(maiden name Steir) she was born May 18, 1955 in Cleveland, OH. These are my parents. They had Amy Marie Smith, Jason William Smith, and myself Kristy Smith.

I know that my grandparents William Lester Smith and Mary Jane Smith lived many years in El Reno, OK; and my grandfather William was previously married to a woman named Betty before my grandmother. He had cousins in El Reno named Gladis (or Cladis) Ray and Truman Alexander and Algy Ray Smith.

Again I am really trying to find my great grandmother Louise’s maiden name and her family information and then any other information.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on September 28, 2011

have you tried for birth certificates? often the childrens’ birth certificates give the maiden name of the mother. sometimes the death certificate gives the maiden name. sometimes the obituary gives the name of the parents too.

vital records are usually at a state vital records office or the county vital records office. if the record is very old, you might check with the state archives.

when social security came into effect 1/1/1937, people filled out the social security application (and parents’ names were usually on this document too) and submitted a birth record to show proof of age. this birth record could be a birth certificate or a delayed birth certificate. if you ask for a birth certificate, also ask for a delayed birth certificate because these records are often kept chronologically, so someone might miss a birth record that was filed at a time other than their birth. anyone who was alive 1/1/1937 filed a social security application.

you can get an obituary or a news mention of a birth or marriage in a historical newspaper. often these newspapers are available through the interlibrary loan program. see your local public library for that. many times the historical newspapers are available from the state historical organization, state archives or state genealogical society. sometimes they are also available online.

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 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.

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

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.
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
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.

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
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
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

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

Kristy Smith-Fast Kristy Smith-Fast

posted on September 30, 2011


You have provided me with an excellent start. For most of the birth certificates, I have to mail off a request and a fee, I just need some money to do so :)

After doing some more research, it seems as if the choctaw blood is from my great grandmother Louise Smith (married name). We also believe that we may have found her birthdate and social security number. If she lived on the reservation until she married my great grand father, would she have a social security number?
It is said within my family that I, myself, is either 1/8 or 1/16 choctaw, and I am very excited to find information about my family heritage, and honored to have choctaw heritage.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on September 30, 2011

if you look for a birth certificate, be sure to ask for a delayed birth certificate at the same time. this is because offices often keep the birth certificates chronologically and might miss a birth certificate that is “out of order” in time.

as far as louise smith, i cannot answer that question. you haven’t given any information so that someone can answer that question.

if a native lived on the reservation 1/1/1937, why wouldn’t that native fill out a social security application?

natives who lived on reservations were not taxed in the 1800’s, and so they didn’t appear on the federal census every 10 years. but if they lived off reservation, they did appear on the census. natives living on reservations were enumerated on native census records. the native census records are transcribed at but these and other records are housed at NARA

there are some free things you can do while you wait:
you can ask interlibrary loan/your local public library for a copy of her obituary. you can see what records might be pertinent to your relatives at the state archives.
state historical societies and state archives might have some historical newspapers as well.

you might be able to find a cemetery record online, perhaps at or

you can probably get access to heritage quest or through your local public library also.

while the social security application cannot prove many life events, it does guide you to particular dates and locations. and parents names are also on that document.

the death certificate is a primary document with respect to the death event, but not a primary document with respect to the birth. sometimes the information on a death certificate is in error about names, locations, dates. this is because the informant might not have the correct information.

if your family was enrolled, you would need to show that you are directly descended from an original enrollee of the tribe. so you should check with the tribe to see if anyone in your family was enrolled. the tribe will tell you what documents you would need.

Carol Richardson Carol Richardson

posted on January 24, 2013

I have that information for Louise Smith. Louise Smith was my husband’s grandmother. His mother’s name was Clara Mae Smith, her father were Louise and James Henry Smith.

Kristy Smith-Fast Kristy Smith-Fast

posted on April 16, 2015


I hope you see this, will you be able to email me?

Thank you so much!!