Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Family Legends

Jessica Dawn Love Moore Jessica Dawn Love Moore

posted on October 27, 2011

Hello all I was hoping someone could help me find out if the family legends were true. My mother told me that one of my great grandfathers went to court to fight for land and that we have many other greats in our family line. Here is all I know so far, my grandmother was Glenda Joyce Burrell she was born in 1947 to Rita Chisum and Ray Burrell and had four brothers and one sister. Rita Chisum was born in 1923 to Joseph Chisum and Susie Sanders who had 14 children. That is about all I know I would love to learn more about my family heritage and also how to become a registered member of the tribe.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on October 27, 2011

the 1940 census will be available in 2012. but it is not available yet.

joseph chisum m. susie sanders
rita chisum b. 1923 no location

ray burrell, no information.

there are several possible ray burrell records, so i will skip to the rita chisum task because you gave no facts for ray burrell.

someone left this family tree on

Joseph Oliver Chisum
Birth 17 april 1884 in Erath Texas
Death june 1969 in Casa Grande, Arizona, USA

Hiram Simpson Chisum Elizabeth Isabel Stephens 1845 –

Show siblings
Spouse & Children

Lena Susie Saunders 1896 – 1969 Margie Marie Chisum 1929 – 2006

they show lena saunders as also being born in TX.

in order to be eligible for enrollment, natives had to be living in oklahoma by 1900, had to have gone on the trail of tears in the late 1830’s from the southeast to oklahoma. the trail of tears did not go through texas but many unofficial migrations did.

you should probably look at the tribes in the area where your family lived.

1930 United States Federal Census about Lena Chisum
Name: Lena Chisum
[Lena Saunders]
Home in 1930: Tilly, Greer, Oklahoma
View Map
Age: 34
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1896
Birthplace: Texas
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Father’s Name: George Saunders
Father’s Birth Place: TX
Mother’s Birth Place: TX
Spouse’s Name: Joe Chisum
Race: White


Military Service:

Rent/home value:

Age at first marriage:

Parents’ birthplace:

View image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Joe Chisum 46
Lena Chisum 34
Lucilla Chisum 15
Elva Chisum 13
Nola Chisum 9
Harman Chisum 6
Reta Chisum 6
Fay Chisum 4 3/12
Dana Chisum 3 4/12
Margie Chisum 8/12
George Saunders 77
Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Tilly, Greer, Oklahoma; Roll: 1905; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 18; Image: 724.0.
Name: George Saunders
Home in 1930: Tilly, Greer, Oklahoma
View Map
Age: 77
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1853
Birthplace: Tennessee
Relation to Head of House: Father-in-Law
they were renting a farm, so they had not been allotted a farm and it is doubtful that they were enrolled.
nola was b. TX and harmon was b. OK.
so then you know when the migration occurred.

perhaps they hoped to be enrolled, but i don’t see that they met the tribal membership requirements. you might look at that issue. people must be directly related to the original enrollee that had been admitted to membership. this original enrollee would have been on the dawes roll 1896-1906. different tribes had different requirements.

World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 about Joseph Oliver Chisum
Name: Joseph Oliver Chisum
County: Tarrant
State: Texas
Birth Date: 17 Apr 1884
Race: White
FHL Roll Number: 1983670
DraftBoard: 0

1900 United States Federal Census about Jos O Chism
Name: Jos O Chism
[Jas O Chism]
Home in 1900: Justice Precinct 2, Llano, Texas
[Llano, Texas]
Age: 17
Birth Date: Jan 1883
Birthplace: Texas
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relationship to head-of-house: Son
Father’s Name: Jesse V Chism
Father’s Birthplace: Alabama
Mother’s Name: Mary Chism
Mother’s Birthplace: Texas
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Jesse V Chism 64
Mary Chism 35
Elijah Chism 19
Jos O Chism 17
Valentine Chism 13
Ivy I Chism 11
Isom D Chism 9
John M Chism 4
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Justice Precinct 2, Llano, Texas; Roll: T623_1655; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 126.
also check with the MOWA tribe in AL.
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

john Stidham john Stidham

posted on January 19, 2012

hello my name is john. i know lots about this family my mom was margie chisum Stidham. i remember lena and joseph. we lived in stanfield az. joseph was a man with a temper . lena had a heart as big as texas. i believe her dad was a dr that was killed by a worker on his farm. or so the story went. lena got lots of land that they found oil on. but her brother took her to court and traded his worthless land for her oil land. which my uncle sold split the money to all his sisters since his brother hung himself in jail (harmon). elva was in ww 2. he married his late brothers wife billy then when she died he married again .then he passed. in 12-19-47 there was a car wreck that my mom and three of her sisters was in that killed 2 of her sisters hurt lots of others that were in a pickers truck. i remember glenda joyce but i do not remember how i know her? my mom past and aunt donna just past about a year after lyman her husband . lucilla was married to a man name harrison . Fanny Fay was killed in the wreck leaving a husband i believe and a child. I do not know about the indian role’s except i believe lena was indian grandpa was irish or should i say his dad was adopted by a irish couple on a ship that him and his brother stowed away on ,. well if you need more just ask my cousin John