Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Want to know more information about My Family...

Niya Lee Niya Lee

posted on November 6, 2011

We are on the Dawes Roll 1330 and 1331, Our Family Last Name is Guess. My Grandfather was born in Pushmataha County, and the reason is because his grandmothers mother moved to Oklahoma after she was given to Slave master Bill McCoy, from Original Slave Master Greenwood LeFlore. My family could read and write so they left plenty to see about who we are and our bloodline. Apparently Isabella signed a paper in which her children was given so many acres down in Pushmataha County, Oak Grove…as my papa says, and the cemetery is right across the road that is now paved. showing so many family and ancestors…What exactly did the paper mean that she signed, my Great Grandmother who is currently 90 said that it gave up our rights to the Nation. Others say that if we did enough research that we could gain access but how do i do that? and what steps do i need to take inorder to learn the culture, I am very interested in teaching my sons about our rich culture here in Oklahoma while we are here. Please help!!

Niya Lee Niya Lee

posted on November 6, 2011

I am also confused because although the Choctaw decided to not acknowledge the Blacks, I see blond hair blue eyed Choctaw Indians…so i take it that what was applied to us, was no applied to the White descendants…It must be politics…right?

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on November 6, 2011

i don’t address the “political questions” about freedmen.

this post gives partial information for every family member.
Guess, John Jr. 1300
Guess, Anna 1301
Guess, John 1330
Guess, Isabella 1331
Guess, Martin 1332
Guess, Billy 1333
Guess, Wilson 1334
Guess, Thomas 1335
Guess, Martha 1336
Guess, Columbus 1337
Guess, Elba 1338
Guess, Jesse 1339
Guess, Bessie 1340
Guess, Vernetta 1341

i do not know who the “others” are, but i doubt that what they say is true. in order to be a member of the tribe, you have to prove a direct descent to an original enrollee of the tribe. if that person was not classified as choctaw by blood, then i don’t know that you can change anything at this point.

is isabella directly related to you? you should look up the freedman application for the family.

Congressional edition, Volume 5062
By United States. Congress
this book is online, pages 535 and 536
isabella and john were enrolled as freedmen.

if you are looking for a particular paper, you might find it in the enrollment documents. NARA would have it fort worth, TX office. you might be able to get it from oklahoma historical society

i cannot answer the cultural question. i am a volunteer, experienced with native records. but i don’t live in oklahoma and i am not native. i think you might want to subscribe to the tribe’s newspaper, maybe look at the choctaw store. there are historical buildings, tribe research facilities and local historical societies.

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

Niya Lee Niya Lee

posted on November 7, 2011

Thank you so much. And yes Isabella is my Grandfathers great grandmother

Niya Lee Niya Lee

posted on November 7, 2011

and i see martha, she is his grandmother

Larry  Green Larry Green

posted on December 2, 2011

Hello Niya I am related to you through Isabella’s sister Dicy Hunter. unfortunately Suzanne is right the 23 children of John Guess Sr and his wives Isabella McCoy-Guess and Dicy Hunter were not elgible for full blood citizinship due to the fsct that the fathers of these people who in fact were full blood Choctaws passed away before the Dawes comission came into play. In a affidavit giving by Isabella she clearly stated that her father was Rueben McCoy who was the son of the man that enslaved her, her mother and sisters William Billy McCoy, However Rueben died prior to the commision and therefore no proof could be made from him to pass on her Choctaw heritage. I really wish that the Nation would look into this becasue there are numerous Freedmen applicants that without a doubt had Choctaw blood but where denied because of there African American Heritage through there mothers. My Great Great Grandfather was the Billy Guess on the roll above this post. His descendents are on the roll by blood due to his marriage to a full blood choctaw women. Niya please email me when you have a minute, I would love to connect with you and see if I can help you with finding more info on the family. Also the paper you are possible talking about that Aunt Isabella signed was the appication she made with the Dawes commission that recognized her and her children as Choctaw Freedmen and alloted them 40 acres in Choctaw county primarily around the towns of Kent, Hamden and Speer, small communities between Antlers and Hugo. Also if you look at the Equity 7071 case Isabella is a co defendent amonst numerous freedmens that felt that they deservedt o be enrolled as Full citizins it’s very interesting. Take care Blessings