Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Georg Robert Curnutt

Georg Curnutt Georg Curnutt

posted on January 30, 2012

I was always told that my fathers Grandmother was full Choctaw. And my fathers Grandfather was a French man last named Carnot who fled France during a Revolution, made it to the Mississippi River by ship. And somewhere along the way to Missouri (Lake of the Ozarks area) took up my Great Grandmother. The name changed to Curnutt. My father was Robert Marion Curnutt Jr., and my Grandfather was Robert Curnutt. My father was very American Indian looking, and very adept in living off the land. He was always active teaching me ways he learned. However, our family tree is all oral history. Before my face was smashed in the Army, and they had to rebuild my face, I was always told I looked and acted (whatever that is supposed to mean?) Native American. In California I was prosecuted as an American Indian, because I was drinking and got in a fight; they prosecuted because they said my American Indian in me should not be drinking and fighting? So anyway, I would like to see if I could get a card showing my Heritage. And I would like to learn more about my people. I am in Saipan currently CNMI (this is the USA), and fixing to live off the land in the mostly uninhabited Islands to the North. I do best in my Natural Habitat, never took to domestication too well. Again, said to be a trait passed down from my Grandmother?

Georg Curnutt Georg Curnutt

posted on January 30, 2012

I sought legal aid with the California Indian Legal Services, and they said I did not qualify because I was only 1/8th American Indian; they cut it off after 1/4%. I asked them to send me the verification, but they never replied again? My current situation in the CNMI is favorable for me and my partner (she is Cherokee decent) because the Indigenous here respect our Heritage. If I had it actually “documented”, I could Homestead legally in the CNMI I am told? Thanks again.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on January 30, 2012

heritage and tribal enrollment are two different topics. you have to do your genealogy in order to decide whether you have direct descent from an original enrollee.
genealogists need names, dates, locations, children and spouse in order to match records. very little of this is in your post.

maybe this is one of your relatives:
Social Security Death Index about Robert M. Curnutt
Name: Robert M. Curnutt
Last Residence: 92117 San Diego, San Diego, California, United States of America
Born: 4 Mar 1922
Died: 22 Nov 2005
State (Year) SSN issued: California (Before 1951)

California Marriage Index, 1960-1985 about Robert M Curnut
Name: Robert M Curnut
Age: 38
Est. Birth: abt 1922
Spouse Name: Bonnie L Paysinger
Spouse Age: 35
Date: 12 Dec 1960
Location: Imperial

U.S. Veterans Gravesites, ca.1775-2006 about Robert M Jr Curnutt
Name: Robert M Jr Curnutt
Birth Date: 4 Mar 1922
Death Date: 22 Nov 2005
Cemetery: Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery
Cemetery Address: P.O. Box 6237 San Diego, CA 92166
Buried At: Section Cbi Row 3 Site 881

California Marriage Index, 1960-1985 about Robert M Curnutt
Name: Robert M Curnutt
Age: 38
Est. Birth: abt 1922
Spouse Name: Bonnie L Patterson
Spouse Age: 35
Date: 12 Dec 1960
Location: Imperial

1930 United States Federal Census about Robert W Curnutt
Name: Robert W Curnutt
Birth Year: abt 1922
Home in 1930: South Gate, Los Angeles, California
View Map
Relation to Head of House: Son
Father’s Name: Robert M Curnutt
Mother’s name: Alexandra Curnutt


Military Service:

Rent/home value:

Age at first marriage:

Parents’ birthplace:

View image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Robert M Curnutt 51
Alexandra Curnutt 33
Alice A Curnutt 10
Robert W Curnutt 8
Charles W Curnutt 6
Margaret L Curnutt 4 5/12
James Oniel 63
Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: South Gate, Los Angeles, California; Roll: 171; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 1354; Image: 514.0.

there are no curnutts on the dawes roll 1896-1906, so your family did not apply for membership in the five major tribes in oklahoma. you should look closer to the location of your family. if i remember, i think there is a choctaw tribe in california.

California Death Index, 1940-1997 about Robert Marion Curnutt
Name: Robert Marion Curnutt
Social Security #: 561128858
Sex: Male
Birth Date: 16 Nov 1878
Birthplace: Missouri
Death Date: 28 Jan 1946
Death Place: Los Angeles
Mother’s Maiden Name: Forbs
Father’s Surname: Curnutt

1910 United States Federal Census about Robt M Curnutt
Name: Robt M Curnutt
Age in 1910: 31
Birth Year: 1879
Birthplace: Missouri
Home in 1910: Los Angeles Assembly District 72, Los Angeles, California
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Sarah J Curnutt
Father’s Birthplace: Missouri
Mother’s Birthplace: Missouri
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Robt M Curnutt 31
Sarah J Curnutt 32
John Pressler 12
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Los Angeles Assembly District 72, Los Angeles, California; Roll: T624_82; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0210; Image: 1178; FHL Number: 1374095.

1880 United States Federal Census about Robert Cornutt
Name: Robert Cornutt
Age: 1
Birth Year: abt 1879
Birthplace: Missouri
Home in 1880: Bowling Green, Pettis, Missouri
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Son
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Name: William Cornutt
Father’s Birthplace: North Carolina
Mother’s name: Margret Cornutt
Mother’s Birthplace: North Carolina
Neighbors: View others on page
Cannot read/write:


Deaf and dumb:

Otherwise disabled:

Idiotic or insane:

View image
Household Members:
Name Age
William Cornutt 45
Margret Cornutt 40
John Cornutt 16
Charles Cornutt 13
Mary Cornutt 11
Nancy Cornutt 8
Lusetta Cornutt 6
Robert Cornutt 1
Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: Bowling Green, Pettis, Missouri; Roll: 708; Family History Film: 1254708; Page: 114A; Enumeration District: 119; Image: 0484.

ok,, so now you have a lot of locations to check.
you should look for tribes near the locations where your family lived.

U.S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914 about Robert M Curnutt
Name: Robert M Curnutt
Birthyear: abt 1878
Birthplace: Missouri, United States
Enlistment Age: 19 6/12

you should get a map, find where your family lived, then compare them with maps.

your family was living in an area without a formal reservation, so they may not have applied to any tribe. most tribes have rules that mandate that new enrollees must be descended from an original enrollee.

California Choctaw Indians
California has the second largest population of Choctaw Indians in the United States with approximately 26,000 members of the Choctaw Nation. They are often descendents of Dust Bowl refugees who migrated from Oklahoma seeking jobs in urban areas and farming communities.

The California Choctaw, or Aiokpachi, are organized as Okla Chahta Clan of CA, Inc. They are a clan or an Iksa – a family. The definition of a Clan or Iksa is a multi generational group having a shared identity, organization and property based on the belief in their decent from common ancestors.

Californa Choctaw are not a separate tribe. Most are decendents of the Oklahoma Choctaw Nation.
map here

don’t forget. there are many state-recognized tribes also, not just federally-recognized tribes.
for instance, there are 63 tribes in oklahoma, not just the five major tribes on the dawes roll.

location is a primary factor in tribal affiliation.
some people did not apply for enrollment because they were philosophically opposed to enrollment or they didn’t qualify for enrollment.

it seems to me that you are using the term tribe to mean heritage. but tribes were formal organizations after the 1900’s, and this is the website of the choctaw tribe of oklahoma.

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

Georg Curnutt Georg Curnutt

posted on January 30, 2012

Dear Suzanne,

Thank you so very much for all the information! You nailed all the names I now remember. His Sister Alice, his Brother Charles and his Mother Alexadria. His Father Robert W. Curnutt. I will email you. This should be very interesting :-)