Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Looking for info on great great grandma and grandpa

stacy king stacy king

posted on March 23, 2012

My grandfathers name was John Henry Ridge. Date of birth 1/07/1858. Grandmothers was Lucinda Adeline Hampton. Date of Birth 07/17/1883. Im trying to figure out of we have any family history linked to choctaw because there first child which her name was Martha Elender Ridge was born 4/25/1884 in Choctaw Nation. I researched in on and it does show she was born there but nothing more. I was told by my mother that my great grandma had indian in her but didnt know how much or anything. Im at lost on this. Any information would be very appreciated.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on March 23, 2012

john henry ridge b. 7 Jan 1858 place unknown d. ? place unknown
lucinda adeline hampton b. 17 Jul 1883 d. ? place unknown
martha elender ridge b. 25 Apr 1884 indian territory d. ? place unknown
married person unknown

i am not seeing this family on the dawes roll.
you can use partial name. if you find a likely person, click on the # in the card column and it will show you family members.

i am not seeing this family in oklahoma/indian territory in 1900. since you didn’t say where you had found the family, i am having trouble seeing the record that you see.

1910 United States Federal Census about Lucinda Ridge
Name: Lucinda Ridge
Birthplace: Texas
Home in 1910: Justice Precinct 1, Red River, Texas
Race: Black
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Mother-in-law
Father’s Birthplace: Texas
Mother’s Birthplace: Texas
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Chas Ember 38
Martha Ember 35
Chas Ember 11
Lucinda Ridge

1910 United States Federal Census about Martha Ember
Name: Martha Ember
[Martha Emebore]
[Martha Emebor]
[Martha Ridge]
Age in 1910: 35
Birth Year: 1875
Birthplace: Texas
Home in 1910: Justice Precinct 1, Red River, Texas
Race: Black
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Chas Ember
Father’s Birthplace: Texas
Mother’s Name: Lucinda Ridge
Mother’s Birthplace: Texas
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Chas Ember 38
Martha Ember 35
Chas Ember 11
Lucinda Ridge
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Justice Precinct 1, Red River, Texas; Roll: T624_1585; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0116; Image: 44; FHL microfilm: 1375598.

so now i am wondering why you say martha was born in the choctaw nation. this census record says she was born in texas. indian territory was carved out of the arkansas territory.

the trail of tears did not go through texas but many unofficial migrations did.

i see that lucinda is listed as black. unfortunately, some people who were black and native had difficulty enrolling and proving they were native. most often, people who were a mixture were listed as freedmen, if they were enrolled at all.

1900 United States Federal Census about Lucinda Ridge
Name: Lucinda Ridge
Age: 60
Birth Date: Jan 1840
Birthplace: Texas
Home in 1900: Justice Precinct 1, Red River, Texas
[Red River]
Race: Black
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Widowed
Father’s Birthplace: Texas
Mother’s Birthplace: Texas
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Lucinda Ridge 60

World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 about Charlie Embers
Name: Charlie Embers
County: Red River
State: Texas
Birth Date: 18 May 1899
Race: Black
FHL Roll Number: 1983580
DraftBoard: 0
this card is available on, a subscription website. your local public library probably has a subscription to
this draft card says his mother is his nearest relative.

i don’t know how you got the names and birthdates. perhaps they were on their childrens’ birth certificates or delayed birth certificates. i cannot find what happened to these people, after 1920 or before 1910.

the texas was the frontier.

i often start with the death and work backwards. this post will tell you where to get records.

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.

obituaries through the oklahoma choctaw tribe is through the history link for the tribe:

social security application for a deceased person:
form SS-5.

your public library probably has a subscription to heritage quest and is another useful database for native records and military records, but they are a subscription. however, many times their month’s subscription price is less than the price of a dawes packet, however check with accessgenealogy’s database to see if your relative’s dawes packet is exists or is available at fold3.
partial names are allowed.

bear in mind that many records are not online. always collect documents, as just the reference to a relative in an index informs you that a document is available.

death records:
death certificate: state vital records or if very old, state archives. ask for the person’s name at the time of death. you can look at death indices, such as the social security death index 1964-present for a date of death on or
obituary: see your local public library, interlibrary loan program. ask for the person’s name at the time of death. approximate date of death is helpful. if old, state historical society or state archives might have historical newspapers.
cemetery record: try or ask for the person’s name at the time of death. if you find a relative, you can click on the county or cemetery to see if others with the same surname are buried there.

marriage records:
state vital records office, county clerk or if old, state archives or state historical society.

birth records:
state vital records office, or if old, state archives or state historical society. if the birth was before 1940, ask for a birth certificate or a delayed birth certificate. many people had to get delayed birth certificates when social security came into effect because they had to show proof of age. this will be under the name used at the time of birth.

census records:
you will want to search for census records 1940 on down to the birth of your relative. the federal census was taken every 10 years, however the 1890 census was largely destroyed by fire. there are also some state census records and native census records and native rolls. and heritage quest are two databases that include many census records. many native census records kept by NARA ( are transcribed at accessgenealogy.

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 your relative was enrolled by court action, their name might not be on this list.
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

the five civilized tribes book put out by the department of the interior has testimony.
and you can read it online

and these are the microfilms at fort worth TX archives.

there may be additional records about your relative:
contact NARA for these and other records listed on this webpage.

75.23.1 Records of the Dawes Commission
75.23.2 Records of the U.S. Indian Inspector for Indian Territory
75.23.3 General records of the Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes
(Record Group 75)
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.
some obituaries:

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
marriage records

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

stacy king stacy king

posted on March 23, 2012

I found this on I also have a family book my aunt made and researched for years that she made one for all family members that also stated she was born in choctaw nations. We do have pictures and they are white. Says after Martha was born in choctaw shortly after they moved to texas. Then moved to Arkansas. We know my grandma, greatgrandma has indian, its just so hard to find out how much and what king. My mom that is was osage, but then i heard choctaw. It says John Henry Ridge died 4/15/1933 and Lucinda Ridge died 7/10/1943. And the daughter which says was born in choctaw nations Martha Elender Ridge passed away 3/14/1972. Im so new at this and im trying to figure it all out. I live in Vilonia Arkansas and they just put signs up two block from my house that says trail of tears. I will look more into going backwards like you said starting with death and finding social security numbers. Thank you for your help.

stacy king stacy king

posted on March 23, 2012

This is a document that showes Martha Elender was born in choctaw Nation.


suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on March 23, 2012

the census is only a self-report. the census enumerator would put down anything that was said. do you know where the family was living in arkansas 1900? (i use a map to show where the family was living in the census reports 1900-1930.) is it near the border with oklahoma? were there other family members living in the choctaw nation at the time?

btw, the 1940 census will be available soon. and heritage quest will be carrying it, however it will take a few months to index the census by name/location.

see your local public library for historical newspapers that might have printed some information about her birth. the interlibrary loan program can often get historical newspapers from state historical societies or state archives.

being born in the choctaw nation does not indicate that she was native. many people were in the choctaw nation at this time. it was a native reservation but there was the oklahoma land rush and many business opportunities that drew people to this area. in 1900, there were over a million people living in oklahoma, but many fewer applied for enrollment. in 1900, the census had an indian population schedule and a regular federal schedule. the top of the form indicates which schedule your family was on. this is the first year that they listed natives who were living on reservations on the federal census. previous native census records were taken, on that website (see the left menu at the link) because they were not taxed on the reservation. see databases, rolls and census records for that.

tribal membership is based on the rules for the tribe at the time of enrollment. people had to be living in indian territory (oklahoma) permanently by 1900, had to have applied for enrollment and satisfied the dawes commission that they were native.

if anyone was alive 1/1/1937, they would have applied for social security and submitted a birth record to show proof of age. so you would want to look at the social security application and get a copy of the birth certificate or delayed birth certificate from the state where they were born.


suzanne hamlet shatto