Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Would Like Help

Blake Blake

posted on December 15, 2011

I would like to know how to find out more about my Choctaw relatives. I have found my great great grandfather’s name on the 1910 census. His name was Joe Arther and he was listed as Choctaw. His wife’s name was Nancy. I searched the Dawes Roll but did not find any Arthers. My great grandmother’s name was Cora Arther and then Cora Hill after marriage. She grew up in Oklahoma. I would like to know where I can get more information. Thanks.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on December 15, 2011

no children, no dates or locations in your post. the surname might be arthur and it might be spelled variously, as many people were not as literate as they are now.

census records are self-surveys and they could be choctaw but not enrolled. maybe they were philosophically opposed to enrollement or maybe they didn’t qualify for enrollment. i don’t know. maybe they were not in oklahoma at the time of enrollment. maybe they were affiliated with another tribe.

both joe and nancy were b. OK. joe says he was 3/4 native, 1/4 negro and nancy says she was fullblood native. the census says they were enrolled 1904/1905.

joe was b. about 1887 and nancy was b. about 1891.

i do not know nancy’s maiden name, so we can’t search for her on the dawes roll.

you might get this information on a birth certificate or delayed birth certificate for one of her children. anyone who passed away after 1/1/1937 filled out a social security application and submitted a birth record or delayed birth record to show proof of age. this record would show the maiden name of the parents.

Name: Joe Arther
Age: 33
Birth Year: abt 1887
Birthplace: Oklahoma
Home in 1920: Jefferson, Coal, Oklahoma
Race: Negro (Black)
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Self (Head)
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Carrie Arther
Father’s Birthplace: United States
[United States of America]
Mother’s Birthplace: Mississippi
Home Owned: Rent
Able to Read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Joe Arther 33
Carrie Arther 32
Cora Arther 7
Douglas Arther 3
[3 7/12]
Henry Arther 0
Limon Finley 5
Source Citation: Year: 1920;Census Place: Jefferson, Coal, Oklahoma; Roll: T625_1457; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 12; Image: 882.

this census says he was renting a farm, which indicates that he didn’t have an allotment. his parents may have been b. MS, which indicates that he might have been mississippi choctaw. many mississippi choctaw were not enrolled, which means that he may not have applied for enrollment. and carrie, his wife, was b. TX, which indicates that she might have been mississippi choctaw also, since the trail of tears did not go through TX in the late 1830’s. her parents were b. TX also. there were many unofficial migrations from the reservations in the southeast to/through texas and they were called mississippi choctaw.

Name: Carrie Arther
Birth Year: abt 1898
Home in 1930: Oak, Canadian, Oklahoma
View Map
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Spouse’s Name: Joe A Arther


Military Service:

Rent/home value:

Age at first marriage:

Parents’ birthplace:

View image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Joe A Arther 45
Carrie Arther 32
Douglas Arther 12
Harry Arther 11
Rufus Arther 9
Carin B Arther 6
Issac Arther 5
R E Arther 3
Joe Arther 3
Lillie May Arther 2/12
Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Oak, Canadian, Oklahoma; Roll: 1895; Page: 14B; Enumeration District: 20; Image: 1025.0.

given the age of carrie, she might be a second wife. you might know more of this than i can tell from the records.

here, he is married to carrie and listed as black.
World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 about Joe Arthur
Name: Joe Arthur
County: Coal
State: Oklahoma
Birth Date: 9 Apr 1885
Race: Black
FHL Roll Number: 1851697
DraftBoard: 0

i am not finding a record for the 1900 census for joe/joseph.

perhaps a death record would help you, give you a date of birth and place of birth and parents’ names. this is where i would start.

it is important to find him in the 1900 census, since the dawes applications were taken soon after that.

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

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

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
and you can read this book online. your relatives’ testimony might be in the book.
see the menu at left. you can download it.

you should look at the enrollment application, census card and testimony. this post will tell you how to

do that. these documents will tell you more about your heritage, but it won’t help you if your goal is to

be enrolled in the choctaw tribe of oklahoma. some people were classed as mississippi choctaw if the

family had a native heritage but didn’t qualify for enrollment in the tribe.

there are 63 tribes in oklahoma but only the five major tribes are on the dawes roll. look at your

family’s location around 1900-1930 time period (census will help you there) and see if there was a tribe

located nearby. it is possible that your relatives were affiliated with another tribe.

if they were mississippi choctaw, there is probably a land grant in MS/AL to a head of household called

choctaw scrip land. this was given in lieu of tribal enrollment 1830-1880 time period. has a

database of the MS and AL choctaw scrip land records, called mississippi or alabama land records. there

are other land records in those databases too,, so you have to look at the authority/source cited. NARA has those land record packages.

the mississippi choctaw was not removed from oklahoma. but they were largely rejected for tribal


this website might help you in your search. some people are trying to transcribe applications.
i do not know what they are trying to transcribe, but this is the volunteer page

and this might be of interest to you:
Rights of Mississippi Choctaws in the Choctaw Nation
Index to the Final Rolls of the Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory
the dawes roll is composed of applications to the five major tribes in oklahoma.

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