Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

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Looking for info on Rowena Hewitt b. about 1886

George Walters George Walters

posted on January 23, 2012

My wife is the granddaughter of Rowena Hewitt, b. 15 Jan 1886 in Arkansas, I think in Russelville. Rowena m. William Burl Nicholson about 1914, probably in Smith or Wood County, TX. Rowena was either 1/2 or 1/4 Choctaw. She came to Texas from Oklahoma, perhaps in a covered wagon. Any info or clues would be appreciated.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on January 23, 2012

Rowena Hewitt b. 15 Jan 1886 AR d. unknown
m. william burl nicholson TX

no dates for william, no date or place of death, no children listed.

no rowena hewitt on the dawes roll.

i can’t find her on the 1900 census. usually that means that she was using her middle name or a nickname.

Texas Death Index, 1903-2000 about William Burl Nicholson
Name: William Burl Nicholson
Death Date: 21 May 1958
Death County: Smith
Certificate: 29933

Name: W Burel Nicholson
Age in 1910: 22
Birth Year: 1888
Birthplace: Texas
Home in 1910: Justice Precinct 5, Wood, Texas
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Son
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Name: J Kinney Nicholson
Father’s Birthplace: Texas
Mother’s Name: Margrett Nicholson
Mother’s Birthplace: Texas
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
J Kinney Nicholson 53
Margrett Nicholson 52
W Burel Nicholson 22
Bertha Nicholson 15
Terry Nicholson 14
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Justice Precinct 5, Wood, Texas; Roll: T624_1601; Page: 21A; Enumeration District: 0132; Image: 394; FHL Number: 1375614.

Name: W Burl Nicholson
Age: 31
Birth Year: abt 1889
Birthplace: Texas
Home in 1920: Tyler Ward 3, Smith, Texas
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Enna Nicholson
Father’s Birthplace: Texas
Mother’s Birthplace: Texas
Home Owned: Own
Able to Read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
W Burl Nicholson 31
Enna Nicholson 31
Hewitt Nicholson 5
J C Nicholson 4
[4 3/12]
Burl Nicholson 1
[1 11/12]
Source Citation: Year: 1920; Census Place: Tyler Ward 3, Smith, Texas; Roll: T625_1845; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 82; Image: 411.

Name: Burle Nicholson
[Bush Nicholson]
Age: 12
Birth Date: May 1888
Birthplace: Texas
Home in 1900: Justice Precinct 5, Wood, Texas
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Son
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Name: James K Nicholson
Father’s Birthplace: Texas
Mother’s Name: M E Nicholson
Mother’s Birthplace: Texas
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
James K Nicholson 43
M E Nicholson 43
Dovie Nicholson 18
Amanda Nicholson 15
Burle Nicholson 12
Bertha Nicholson 6
Terry Nicholson 5
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Justice Precinct 5, Wood, Texas; Roll: T623_1681; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 146.

this draft card is on wife is roena.

World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 about William Burl Nicholson
Name: William Burl Nicholson
County: Smith
State: Texas
Birth Date: 14 May 1886
Race: White
FHL Roll Number: 1983669
DraftBoard: 0

Name: Era Nicholson
[Era Herritt]
Birth Year: abt 1887
Home in 1930: Tyler, Smith, Texas
View Map
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Spouse’s Name: William B Nicholson
Mother’s Name: Presha Herritt


Military Service:

Rent/home value:

Age at first marriage:

Parents’ birthplace:

View image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
William B Nicholson 41
Era Nicholson 43
Hewitt Nicholson 15
J C Nicholson 14
Bert Nicholson 12
Robert Nicholson 10
Conner Nicholson 6
Geraldine Nicholson 3
Presha Herritt 63
Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Tyler, Smith, Texas; Roll: 2390; Page: 9A; Enumeration District: 9; Image: 870.0.

you can correct the ancestry name index so that others can find your family. if you don’t have a subscription to ancestry, your local public library probably does.

i can’t find her before 1920. maybe you should try to find her with a social security application. everyone who passed away after 1/1/1937 applied for social security and submitted a birth record to show proof of age. this social security application would list parents, birthplace and birthdate. she would have submitted a delayed birth certificate or a birth certificate. you should ask for both records, if you try to get a birth certificate.

i don’t know if this is your relative:
Name: Rowena Hewett
Death Date: 28 Jan 1962
Death County: Harris
Certificate: 3467

Texas Death Index, 1903-2000 about Roena Nicholson
Name: Roena Nicholson
Death Date: 7 Aug 1972
Death County: Smith
Gender: Female
Marital Status: Widowed

Social Security Death Index about Roena Nicholson
Name: Roena Nicholson
SSN: 455-07-2619
Last Residence: 75701 Tyler, Smith, Texas, United States of America
Born: 15 Jan 1886
Died: Aug 1972
State (Year) SSN issued: Texas (Before 1951)

you need an SS-5 form to file for a copy of a deceased individual’s social security application.

1900 United States Federal Census about Roena M Hecett
Name: Roena M Hecett
[Roena M Hewett]
[Rosena M Heartt]
Age: 14
Birth Date: Jan 1886
Birthplace: Arkansas
Home in 1900: Valley, Pope, Arkansas
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Daughter
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Name: George W Herett
Father’s Birthplace: Georgia
Mother’s Name: Precia S Heartt
Mother’s Birthplace: Arkansas
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
George W Herett 38
Precia S Hewett 33
Roena M Hecett 14
Pink B Hecett 13
George E Hecett 7
Arthur E Hecett 4
Bertie M Hewett 2
Louis M Campbell 20
Cheter V L Wilkins 20
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Valley, Pope, Arkansas; Roll: T623_72; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 185.

so she would not apply for enrollment in the tribe because she was living elsewhere in 1900.

Name: George W Hewett
[George W Hewitt]
Age in 1910: 46
Birth Year: 1864
Birthplace: Alabama
Home in 1910: Clark, Logan, Arkansas
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Preslie S Hewett
Father’s Birthplace: Alabama
Mother’s Birthplace: Alabama
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
George W Hewett 46
Preslie S Hewett 44
Prick B Hewett 22
May B Hewett 17
Auther Hewett 15
Berti Hewett 13
Oscar Hewett 11
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Clark, Logan, Arkansas; Roll: T624_56; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0047; Image: 178; FHL Number: 1374069.

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.

penny postcards. this is a website that features pictures that were on postcards. click on the state to see the postcards that they have.
if you have a penny postcard, you can click on submissions to add your penny postcard to the collection.

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

George Walters George Walters

posted on January 25, 2012 and updated on January 25, 2012

Suzanne, thank you very much! It wil take me a long time to research all of these resources. Roena is the person we have been looking for.