Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Looking for any help with my family Tree .

Larry W McNeeley Larry W McNeeley

posted on December 20, 2011

I just recently met my 95 year old great aunt and she told me about her child hood , she told me my great grandma was Choctaw and that they moved to Arizona from Indian Territory . I am trying to find out Who in My family was Choctaw and any thing I can about them . My great Grandma was Martha Edgmon , born 17 mar.1891 .Her Mom my Great Great Grandma was Margaret or Margeret Thomas born 1862 Newton Co , Ark .and Her husband my Great Great grandpa was Aexander (Elix) edgmon or Edgamon born 19 Feb .1859 Tenn . My Great Great Great Grand parents were John (Jeff) Thomas and Hannn Lawson and William Edgmon or Edgemon and Patsy Martha Deatherage . any help or direction you can give would be appreciated . Thank you , Larry w. McNeeley .

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on December 20, 2011

i don’t see people with that surname (or similar) on the dawes roll, so they didn’t apply for enrollment. the only similar name is edgerton and they were ruled mississippi choctaw.

a 1859 birthdate in TN indicates the family did not go on the trail of tears in the 1830’s. but the 1862 birthdate indicates they could have gone on the trail of tears. arkansas territory was near the indian territory.

the dawes roll 1896-1906 shows applicants to the five major tribes in oklahoma. there are 63 tribes in oklahoma, links in this email. look at the geographic area where your families lived and see if there was a tribe nearby.

so the next step would be to establish where they lived 1900-1930 and the federal census would show this.

1900 United States Federal Census about Martha Edgmon
Name: Martha Edgmon
Age: 8
Birthplace: Indian Territory, Oklahoma
Home in 1900: Township 1, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Daughter
Father’s Name: Ellie Edgmon
Mother’s Name: Marget J Edgmon
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Ellie Edgmon 38
Marget J Edgmon 40
Cissie V Edgmon 18
Ider B Edgmon 15
Jasper Edgmon 10
Martha Edgmon 8
Susie M Edgmon 5
Ellie Edgmon 3
Thos L Edgmon 1
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Township 1, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory; Roll: T623_1848; Enumeration District: 137.
ellis edgmon, head, white male, b. feb 1862, age 38, married 17 or 19 years, b. TN, farmer, cannot read or write, rents the farm.
margit j., wife, white female, b. june 1869?, age 40 (look like an error), married 17 or 19 years, had 10 children but only 7 survive, b. MO, parents b. MO, reads and writes.
cissie v., daughter, white female,, b. feb. 1882, age 18, single, b. AR, doesn’t read or write.
? b., daughter, white female, b. nov. 1884, age 15, single, b. indian territory, doesn’t read or write.
jasper, son, white male, b. aug. 1849, age 11, single, b. indian territory, reads and writes, farm laborer.
martha, daughter, white female, b. ? 1892, age 8, single, b. indian territory
susie m., daughter, white female, b. june 1894, age 5, single, b. indian territory
ellie, daughter, white female, b. apr. 1897, age 3, single, b. indian territory
thomas l., son, white male, b. aug. 1898, age 1, single, b. indian territory
renting the farm indicates they were not alloted a farm by a tribe.

maybe this is the family
1910 United States Federal Census about Margaret Edgmon
Name: Margaret Edgmon
Age in 1910: 49
Birth Year: 1861
Birthplace: Missouri
Home in 1910: Canadian, Cleveland, Oklahoma
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Alexander Edgmon
Father’s Birthplace: Virginia
Mother’s Birthplace: Missouri
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Alexander Edgmon 48
Margaret Edgmon 49
Susie M Edgmon 17
Alexander Edgmon 13
Thomas A Edgmon 10
Samuel Edgmon 7
Harry Nunn 18
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Canadian, Cleveland, Oklahoma; Roll: T624_1245; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0019; Image: 825; FHL Number: 1375258.

this time they own the farm free and clear. harry is a servant.
margaret was b. MO, alexander b. TN.
the children were b. OK.
they are farmers.

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
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 enrollment.

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

Larry W McNeeley Larry W McNeeley

posted on December 23, 2011

Thank You So much for your help , my great Aunt also said some thing about my great Grandma getting checks sent to her and she refused to cash them . I am now thinking that I need to see what I can find out about her grand parents ,Who were Jeff Thomas and Hanna Lawson but all i have is a date of 1827 for her birth and no other information on them at all . Regardless of any thing I have learned a little about the Choctaw Nation and one of the first things I read about was them helping the Irish during the potato famine and now I am wondering Why I never learned about this in school ? . Thank you for your Time and help Mrs Shatto . Larry W McNeeley .

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on December 23, 2011

you should collect your documents one generation at a time. there might be others who have done some work on your family tree, so you should look at and to see if they were on family trees that other people have entered.

the census would be a help but i don’t know much about your family, such as possible locations, dates, spouses. has census records.

rootsweb is free but is a subscription database. your public library probably would have access.

there are also messageboards for tribe, location, surnames at and rootsweb also has webproject for tribe, location, surnames and type of record (cemetery, marriage, birth).

natives who lived on reservation were not on the census. there are separate databases for them. see the census records and rolls and databases on native records. their source is NARA the war department kept the records in the 1800’s and this is what the us archives have.

check the oklahoma chronicles and oklahoma pioneer papers and see if there were interviews of relatives or mention in the state historical series (oklahoma chronicles). state archives might also help you. other resources include state genealogical society and state historical society.

gl on your search.