Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Information about Daniel Miller, Choctaw Preacher late 1800s.

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posted on November 5, 2011

My great great grandfather is Daniel Miller. According to my grandmother’s memoirs, he was a methodist minister in or near Durant Oklahoma in the late 1800s.

I found multiple references to Daniel Miller between 1860 and 1902 who is cited as a full blooded Choctaw Preacher in several sources. He is recorded as living near Goodland, Choctaw Nation, Oklahoma Territory. He may also have been a District Trustee around 1883. He may even have signed the Choctaw Constitution of 1860.

I’m trying to do three things and hope that you might help me.

1) Get an approximate birth date to confirm that this Daniel Miller is my great great grandfather.

2) If possible, find a picture of Daniel Miller.

3) Gather any stories and information about Daniel Miller.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on November 5, 2011 and updated on November 5, 2011

no dates, no children, no spouse in your post. this is a common name, so you need more information, rather than less. if you just search for a name, you would find many with that name.

this is a 5 volume set of books. you can find them on the internet or purchase them.
A standard history of Oklahoma: an authentic narrative of its …, Volume 4
By Joseph Bradfield Thoburn
page 1727

also on the internet:
Congressional edition, Volume 5062
By United States. Congress
page 529

you probably know his spouse and childrens’ names but i don’t, so i can’t really search for him specifically.

you might be able to find photos in historical newspapers, other people’s family trees on the internet, in pictures that might be in the oklahoma historical society, the state archives or local history books. there might even be some in NARA fort worth office.

see your local public library to start looking for pictures or looking for references in local history books and newspapers.

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

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posted on November 5, 2011

Unfortunately, I don’t know a lot of information that Suzanne requested. First, I’m already on the Choctaw Rolls through my mother’s family and have a CDIB card. We are descended from Suzannah Vaughn, wife of Zadock Brashears. I’m doing some genealogy research as a hobby to discover more about my ancestors.

My paternal grandmother’s line has been very difficult to trace. There are no family records beyond my her parents. My great grandmother was Susan Elizabeth Huskey (maiden name Miller). She told a story about her father to my grandmother, who wrote it down in the memoirs that I am editing. From those memoirs: ““Now that you’ve come into womanhood I’d like to tell you about myself. My father was a Methodist preacher. When I was 12 years old, my sisters Lily and Minnie were 8 and 10, and we lived in Durant.” A little later in the story, she identifies a newborn brother named “Dave” and that Susan’s mother died in childbirth with Dave. Her mother is not named and no first name is given for her father.

My mother backs up the story that Susan Huskey’s father was a minister. Right after my mother married my father, she met one of Susan’s brothers who was a minister and stated that his father also was. Unfortunately, my mother can’t remember any names.

In the 1900 census, S.E.Huskey and H.F.Huskey can be found in Red River, Texas. They are positively identified by the names of their children. From that I was able to determine that Susan Miller was born in the Choctaw Nation in June of 1873. Her father was born in Missouri and Mother in Texas. More interestingly, they have staying with them a D. S. Miller. He was born in Missouri in December 1846. From that I concluded that this is almost certainly her father, the Methodist minister. I also learned that both of his parents were born in Tennessee. Interestingly, he is listed as boarder and not father-in-law.

Searching other census records gives a hit in the 1860 census. In this census, Daniel S Miller (age 13) is living in Arkansas with father Hudson Miller (widow). Daniel was born in Missouri and Hudson was born in Tennessee. Given the age, the state of birth, the state of the father’s birth, and the initials, I believe this is highly like to be my great grandfather. Since Daniel S Miller doesn’t show up on any more census records and I know from census records that he is in the Choctaw nation before 1873, I believe that he went there before the 1870 census. Unfortunately, the Choctaw Nation did not participate in the US Census until 1890 and the detailed data from the 1890 census was almost totally destroyed in a fire.

At this point, the search to learn more about my great great grandfather got very cold. As you mentioned Daniel Miller is such a common name that I got way too many hits searching for that alone. Although, I had assumed that my great great grandfather was white, I started searching for Daniel Miller Choctaw with the thought that he might have married a Choctaw woman or that I might get a hit based on his living in the Choctaw Nation. In fact, I got a lot of very interesting hits and there is evidence of as many as 5 Daniel Millers in the Choctaw Nation from 1860-1910. However, there could be as few as three.

1) My ancestor Daniel Miller that I’ve been talking about.

2) Someone named Daniel Miller was one of the delegates to the 1860 Choctaw Constitutional Convention. This is clearly not my ancestor who was 13 or 14 in 1860. In my original post, I was thinking that my ancestor was ten years older.

3) There is a Daniel Miller who is the District Trustee for District 3 during 1883. This could be the same person as the Choctaw minister in #4 and I think that is likely. Basil LeFlore is the Auditor at this time and there is known connection between #4 and the LeFlore family.

4) There are several references to a “full-blooded Choctaw Preacher” named Daniel Miller who lived near Goodland, TX in 1902.
- As you mentioned, from page 1727 of “A Standard History of Oklahoma: …” by Joseph B Thoburn, volume IV, 1916, comes the following reference o “…Governor LeFlore, in 1902, had gone to visit Daniel Miller, a full-blood Choctaw preacher, who lived near Goodland, and stayed for the night. Next morning at breakfast table he expired of heart failure.” Goodland is 49 miles from Durant.
- From an internet account of a wedding in 1883 “Old Parson Daniel Miller, a full Choctaw Indian Minister” officiates at the wedding of Willie Spring , the son of Jane LeFlore Spring. This was apparently in the area of Hugo, Ok. Notice the connection to the LeFlore family again.
— Other records including an old Paris Texas newspaper and a Texas Court of Appeals record confirm a Choctaw minister in this area between 1880 and 1890.
According to the 1890 census, there were about 14,000 people in the Choctaw Nation. While it seems very possible that there were multiple Daniel Millers, it seems very unlikely that there were two Daniel Millers that were Ministers and lived within 50 miles of each other in the same district of the Choctaw Nation. To confirm this, I need an approximate date of birth or place of birth for this man.

5) There is a Daniel Miller on the Dawes roll along with his son Davis. This man can be found on the US census along with his son Davis. I don’t think he is the same as 1, 2, or 3 since the census said that he could not read or write. That is the only Daniel that I could find on the Dawes rolls, but as you mentioned that may not mean anything.

There are several pieces of information that argue against my ancestor Daniel Miller being Choctaw.
- In the 1900 census, he lists himself as white. However, he is staying with his daughter and son-in-law, but lists himself as a boarder. My grandmother always denied that she had any Native American heritage. I’m operating under the assumption that she or her mother was hiding their Choctaw heritage. That would make several stories in her memoirs make a lot more sense.
- He is born in Missouri and his father is born in Tennessee. If they are from the Choctaws that remained behind in Mississippi, I would have expected at least his father to be born in Mississippi. However, Tennessee is a bordering state to Mississippi.

In summary, I think it is likely that my great great grandfather is Daniel Miller and that he was a full-blooded Choctaw Preacher (probably Methodist) in the Choctaw Nation in the late 1800s. He is not listed on the Dawes rolls. He might have served as District trustee for District 3 which contained both Hugo and Durant. I am trying to eliminate these other Daniel Millers or show that there were two preachers named Daniel Miller in the Durant/Goodland/Hugo area. This is all the information that I have been able to gather to date.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on November 6, 2011

in 1900 census, there are over a million people in oklahoma, known as indian territory before they became a state in 1907.

the 1890 census was largely burned, so i don’t know what documents you used to show 14,000 people living there there were oklahoma land rushes, so you should not assume there were only 14,000 people in the choctaw nation in 1890. people came because of land rushes and business opportunities.

there are native census records. see for those. native database records might also help. there were intruder logs too. contact the oklahoma historical society or NARA fort worth, TX office.

you should look up the history of the 1800’s because you are assuming a great deal about the time. some topics: mississippi choctaw, treaty of rabbit creek, trail of tears, dawes roll, tribal enrollment, civil war and natives, native reservations. choctaw, most particularly hunting grounds. it would be important to plot differences along a map using a timeline. it would be a very good thing to read about the history and then looking back into the specifics of your family. it appears that you are looking back into your family background and making assumptions about history.

the church might have some information. the oklahoma pioneer papers and oklahoma chronicles might be helpful. local history books might mention your family.

often state archives or state genealogical or historical societies have historical newspapers. these can be very helpful for family events such as obituaries. you can try to get access through your local public library/interlibrary loan. you might also be able to find a picture from a newspaper.

when you get stuck, try looking at the documents you have for the children. childrens’ documents point to the parents and fixing family to a location and date.

anyone who passed away after 1/1/1937 has a social security application on file. people had to submit a birth record to show proof of age. often these were birth certificates or delayed birth certificates (you have to ask for both). state archives or state vital records or county vital records might have a birth record.

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posted on November 6, 2011


Thank you for your suggestions. I will be trying to follow up many of the sources that you suggest. In fact, I had already planned to follow those sources. I started with online research, since most of my available time for this project is in the evenings and I’ve only been working on it a couple of weeks. I posted to this forums in hopes that I could find specific information or failing that general suggestions. Thank you for the general suggestions.

Is there an online way to search for social security applications? In 1937, Susan Elizabeth (Miller) Huskey was living in California. She moved there from Pauls Valley, Oklahoma in 1930. Going to California to search personally isn’t a practical option.

I did make an error on the 1890 census at saying that the Choctaw Nation only had around 14,000 people. That’s what I get for trusting my memory. However, the 1890 census was not lost until after tabulation. You can obtain summaries for the Choctaw nation from the US government census web site. At the bottom of the page are census bulletins for the five civilized tribes in Indian Territory. The third document (1890e1-03.pdf) of the zip file contains a summary of the Choctaw Nation. According to that report (and using their terms) there were 10,017 Choctaws, 1,040 other Indians, 4,406 of negro descent, and 28,345 whites. That gives a total of 43,808 souls in the Choctaw nation tabulated during the 1890 census.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on November 6, 2011

you do not give enough information about the daniel miller’s children to be able to match them with records. genealogists use names, spouse, children, dates and locations to match records. if i get stuck because i cannot find records on a particular person, i look at their childrens’ records to see if i missed any clues. often an obituary, cemetery record, birth/death/marriage certificate will help.

if you hope to hear from other descendants of your daniel miller, it would be beneficial for you to include his approximate date/place of birth, his spouse’s name, his childrens’ names and birthdate/birthplaces, his date and place of death. if you know where he was living at particular times, for instance at the time of a census, it would help to include WHERE he was living for which census, whether he was living with a relative. often people copy the source of the census and paste it in their inquiry, so that others can see if they know any of the other people in the census.

California Death Index, 1940-1997 about Susan E Huskey
Name: Susan E Huskey
Sex: Female
Birth Date: 23 Jun 1872
Birthplace: Oklahoma
Death Date: 29 Nov 1961
Death Place: Imperial
Mother’s Maiden Name: Milligan
Use the information below to obtain a copy of a death certificate from California.

California Department of Health Services
Office of Vital Records
M.S. 5103
P.O. Box 997410
Sacramento, CA 95899-7410

Please visit the following web site to obtain the necessary forms and current pricing information:

you do not have to go to california to search anything. most research can be done from home or through your local public library interlibrary loan program, however you need to be willing to request records that are not online.

How to Obtain a Copy of a Social Security Application Form
Steps for Requesting a Copy of the SS-5 for a Deceased Individual

re 1890 tabulations. i don’t think that information will do you very much good, since the census was largely destroyed. this was indian territory. there was a limited amount of information collected for the federal census in 1890. native census records collected different information. you might refer to the 1885 and 1860 native census. some of the texas census remained. often people use the 1890 census substitutes, such as city directories, veterans census. natives who were living on reservations were not enumerated on the federal census, since they were not taxed. natives living off-reservation were enumerated on the federal census, since they were taxed.

the directions for the 1900 census were changed, so that every person was enumerated, whether they were natives living on a reservation or not.

i am trying to answer your inquiry because i have some expertise with native records.

you don’t give enough information so that i can pull up a single census record. so there is nothing i can do to try to figure out whether there might be other records.

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posted on November 6, 2011

Unfortunately, I don’t have any more information on Daniel Miller and his children other than what I included in my last reply. The only other information that I have is the birth and death dates for the Susan Elizabeth (Miller) Huskey taken from the Social Security death index which is in the comment graciously provided by Suzanne.

I just submitted the SS 5 request. Thanks so much for the link. I’ll update with the information obtained as soon as I get it.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on November 6, 2011

you might also want to see the death certificate, from CA vital statistics, address above.
the obituary would probably be helpful. see your local public library for this, interlibrary loan program.
if you know where she was buried, you might contact the cemetery. if you don’t know where she was buried, try and or the obituary and death certificate might have this information.

one of the things you will want to be looking for is her siblings, so that you can see where they lived, when they passed away, whether there were obituaries, social security applications.

maybe some surviving members of your family were interviewed for the oklahoma pioneer papers.

many historical newspapers are on microfilm and may be available through interlibrary loan.

then there’s the methodist angle. you may want to contact the headquarters of the church. you might inquire at a local methodist church for information.

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posted on November 6, 2011

My current plan is to go to Durant next Saturday and look at the library at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and the Durant library for information on Daniel Miller. I thought I would also go by the Durant Methodist Church. Any recommendations on priority? Am I missing anyplace?