Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation


Lindlay Lindlay

posted on October 6, 2011

My mother and I have recently discovered that we are Choctaw Indian (my mother was adpoted at birth). We are very excited about the discovery but are wanting to know more about our history. Can anyone tell me anything about the Tonubbee’s?

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on October 6, 2011

usually it is helpful to search for particular names. your surname can often be spelled in various ways.

genealogists use names, dates, locations, children and spouse to match records. enrollment occurred in many tribes 1890-1930, so you should know the members of your family in that time period. the census can be helpful.

there are many locations of records in this post.
if your family applied for enrollment, you can get a copy of the application, testimony, census card.

i am finding only one family with this surname that applied for enrollment. it is a family that was classified as mississippi choctaw and it is not likely they were enrolled in the oklahoma choctaw tribe.

Dawes Card Information

tribe last first middle age sex blood card roll misc type
Choctaw Dixon Emma 0 F MCR4990 P
Choctaw Dixon Emmie 2 F FULL MCR4990 UNION MS MCR
Choctaw Dixon Mamie 20 F FULL MCR4990 UNION MS MCR
Choctaw Dixon John 30 M FULL MCR4990 UNION MS MCR
Choctaw Tonubbee Jackson 0 M MCR4990 P
MCR-mississippi choctaw refused

since i don’t know if this is your family, i didn’t look further for this family.

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

Jerry Lawrence Tonubbee Jerry Lawrence Tonubbee

posted on October 10, 2011 and updated on October 10, 2011

Suzanne, I am the brother of this girls grandfather Delbert Tonubbee, and yes her great great grandfather was enrolled, he was Louis Tonubbee, he had a roll number. Her great great grandmother Seleah Pistubbee Mintz was also enrolled and had a roll number. The only question in my mind now is since her mother was adopted and Delbert was not listed on her mothers birth certificate, how does she prove the lineage?

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on October 11, 2011

i think you would have to contact the tribe about that matter. i am not affiliated with the tribe. since you are a tribal member, and know the specifics, maybe you should contact them and ask them questions about this.

CDIB & Tribal Membership Applications
Brenda Hampton, Executive Director
(800) 522-6170


Jerry Lawrence Tonubbee Jerry Lawrence Tonubbee

posted on October 11, 2011

Thank you, I figured that, I didn’t notice that you weren’t actually affiliated with the tribe. I will go up to the headquarters and go from there.

Cheyenne Seleah Murray Cheyenne Seleah Murray

posted on December 9, 2011

hello, i am the great-grand daughter of Seleah Pistubbe. i am actually named after her. i may be mistaken but you are looking for someone who is her great great grandchild? she doesn’t have any great great grand children over the age of 12. i am the youngest grand child of her daughter, Belvia Murray. Seleah’s oldest great grand child is my sister, and she is 32.