Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Reason and Rhoda Jones

algillette algillette

posted on March 25, 2012

Hello, I am looking for any info on my ggg-grandparents, Reason & Rhoda Jones. My great-grandmother, Lizzie(Jones)Butler(CC#3675)and her father, Zachariah Jones(CC#3674) are listed as original enrollees on the Choctaw Final Dawes Rolls. Reason & Rhoda were Zack’s parents. I know Reason&Rhoda were on the 1855 Indian Territory census & Reason had served in the Civil War, but at the time of the 1896 enrollment, both he and Rhoda were deceased. I have tried to find info on Reason’s parents & siblings and Rhoda’s maiden name, but have had no luck. If anyone has any info, please let me know. Thank you, April Gillette

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on March 26, 2012

you must be speaking about this:

Dawes Card Information

tribe last first middle age sex blood card roll misc type
Choctaw Jones Rayson 0 M 3674 P
Choctaw Jones Rhoda 0 F 3674 P
Choctaw Jones Missie 3 F 1/4 3674 NR BENNINGTON BB
Choctaw Jones John 5 M 1/4 3674 NR BENNINGTON BB
Choctaw Jones Amelia 10 F 1/4 3674 NR BENNINGTON BB
Choctaw Jones Ellis 19 M 1/4 3674 NR BENNINGTON BB
Choctaw Jones Malinda 43 F IW 3674 NR BENNINGTON BB
Choctaw Jones Jack 45 M 1/2 3674 NR BENNINGTON BB
Choctaw Morrison Elizabeth 0 F 3674 P
Choctaw Morrison John 0 M 3674 P

bb=by blood

3674 is the card#/family group.

Dawes Card Information

tribe last first middle age sex blood card roll misc type
Choctaw Butler J F 0 M 3675 P
Choctaw Butler Abbie 1 F 1/8 3675 NR BENNINGTON BB
Choctaw Butler Lizzie 16 F 1/4 3675 NR BENNINGTON BB
Choctaw Davis Dud 0 M 3675 P
Choctaw Davis George 1 M 1/8 3675 NR BENNINGTON BB
Choctaw Jones Jack 0 M 3675 P
Choctaw Jones Malinda 0 F 3675 P

you should get a copy of the dawes application packet for both family groups. this will include the census card, enrollment application and maybe the testimony.

natives who lived on reservations were not taxed and not included on the federal census. they might be found on native census records, databases and rolls.

i don’t know which unit where reason/rayson jones served, so it is more difficult to look for records.
maybe there was a pension record filed. pension records were filed by attorneys.

i don’t know if this link would help you.

was he living in arkansas/indian territory?
Arkansas Census, 1819-70 about Reason Jones
Name: Reason Jones
State: AR
County: Blue County
Township: Choctaw Nation
Year: 1860
Record Type: Slave Schedule
Page: 398
Database: AR 1860 Slave Schedule

indian territory was carved out of arkansas territory.

i looked up zachariah jones with mother rhoda and found several records. all family trees on ancestry are only documented with one record. so very lightly sourced. however, some people may have more documentation.

further, i think that zachariah jones’ father may have been zachariah r(eason) jones who married rhoda bowser.

you should gather documents and figure out whether these are the same person. if it were, it would resolve the family tree to some extent, as undoubtedly the zachariah jones family trees who have reason/rayson as father and the zachariah jones family trees that have rhoda bowser as mother would be one and the same.

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

algillette algillette

posted on March 29, 2012

Thank you so much for all of the incredible information you have given me! I have been searching for Rhoda’s maiden name for a long time. I am anxious to see if this is her. I really appreciate your time and effort into answering my inquiry. I may request the choctaw resource list and I will go to work on the many resources you have given me to research my Choctaw ancestors and to hopefully honor their sacrifices and memories. My father would be very proud!! Sincerely, April Gillette

algillette algillette

posted on February 19, 2013 and updated on February 19, 2013

Hello Suzanne,

I wanted to let you know, I checked the information on Zachariah Reason Jones, and realized it did not match my family. However, I believe I have found Rhoda’s maiden name. I followed some leads left by Joyce Nowell, on, which led me to Choctaw Freedman Lewis James Sr. CC #824 and testimony found on Fold 3 by his brother, Jacob James. Reading the testimony I realized that Rhoda was possibly the daughter of Benjamin James (abt.1815-1855). I found a partial copy of a will by Benjamin James in a book called “They Went Thataway” by Charles Hughes Hamlin, which named Ben James’ children by first name only. I also received a copy of Reason Jones’ estate inventory from Mary Maurer and found first names of slaves owned by Reason Jones at the time of his death in 1863. I also found that Joyce Nowell’s daughter has continued her mother’s work on our family line. She knew who to contact to find Benjamin James’ entire will, which included the names of each Slave, and which child of Ben James received them. This confirmed the names of Ben’s children,and the Slaves names, many of which had children and grandchildren who were enrolled as Choctaw Freedmen, including the family of Peggy Hunter, Martin Vinson and his wife Violet Vinson, and their son Alfred Vinson (CC #624 & CC#829) and the family of Lewis James Sr. (CC#826 & CC#827). I found excellent additional information on the African-Native American Research Forum Archive site by Angela Y. Walton-Raji, who helped Joyce Nowell in her research. Joyce and Laurel Nowell’s information was my beginning point of searching for Reason Jones. I would not have known who to contact to verify and find Benjamin James’ complete will that confirmed all of this. Laurel contacted Jennifer Barnes Mieirs, who provided her with a copy of the full will. Reason Jones/Rhoda James is found on their son, Zack Jones’ CC #3674. Since finding her name, I have been able to connect her to many Choctaw and Chickasaw families. I want to thank you Suzanne for all of your wonderful work also. I will continue looking for Reason Jones’ parents and siblings and will use your information to do so. Thank You, April

algillette algillette

posted on February 19, 2013 and updated on August 11, 2013

P.S. I am posting the information on Rhoda being a daughter of Benjamin James, not as fact, but as a possibility. For me, I believe she is his daughter, but that is just my belief. Ben’s sister was Susan James Colbert, wife of James Colbert, son of James Logan Colbert. If Rhoda is a James, her brothers and sisters married into the Folsom, Smallwood, Gardner, and Battiest families, among others and Robert McDonald Jones married Susan Sukey Colbert, daughter of George Colbert. George was James Colbert’s brother. Rhoda and Reason Jones were my ggg-grandparents. Their son, Zack Jones had a son named Ellis Jones, who married Elizabeth Smallwood, a great-niece of Benjamin Smallwood. Zack’s other son, John married Phoebe Smith, who was a granddaughter of Sim Harrison and Phoebe Jones. Sim Harrison’s 2nd wife was Sina Smallwood, another niece of Ben Smallwood’s. Ellis and John’s sister, Lizzie Jones was my great-grandmother.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on February 19, 2013

many slaves took the surnames of their master. there were native and black slaves which were associated with their masters’ families. slavery was a different form of institution than in the caucasian world.

and many natives took surnames of favorite people, places and things. surnames was a different idea to natives.

unfortunately, documentation on slaves is very scarce before 1870. some of the eastern states are trying to put together more resources so that people can find more information on their family.

you should get a copy of the dawes packet and testimony. this might help you solve some of the mysteries.


suzanne hamlet shatto

algillette algillette

posted on March 2, 2013

I am sorry, I forgot to include the website/link to Mary Maurer for anyone interested in reading her website called: Caddo-My Home Town. This is where I discovered some of the first actual records for the Old Bennington Church from 1881 that had my GG-Grandfather, Zack Jones shown attending the church. Mary had great information. Zack was Reason and Rhoda’s son. Mary’s website is helpful in that she covers a wide time period of happenings in Caddo and surrounding areas in her articles. Her link to the website mentioned is:

Thank You, April

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on March 2, 2013

i think this is great.

genealogy is a journey, not an endpoint. we never get done. but i really appreciate you sharing your findings because others in your family may wonder about their family.

you might consider posting your family tree on rootsweb worldconnect records so that others can find the names and contact you. is a subscription website but you can begin a family tree and post photographs or documents with your family tree.

algill57 algill57

posted on August 4, 2014

I would like to correct what I wrote about source material for Choctaw Benjamin James that I previously posted. Laurel Nowell found the original will/documents for Benjamin James Sr. and Jr. on microfilm and provided the information to me. Both Ben James Sr. and Jr. are Laurel and my direct line of James/Jones ancestors. Jennifer Meier provided other information on children of Ben James Sr. I am sorry for the misinformation I gave regarding those documents.

algill57 algill57

posted on August 4, 2014

I originally found an extract of half-blood Choctaw Ben James Jr’s will in the book, “They Went Thataway” by Charles Hughes Hamlin, which led me to believe that Rhoda James was the wife of Reason Jones. Laurel Nowell’s copy of the original will confirmed this. Rhoda James and Reason Jones were Laurel and my 3x Great-Grandparents.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on August 4, 2014

this research is great.
since this time, it is possible to see the dawes application packet online with
click on enrollment department. read the FAQs and download forms.

every tribe has a membership list of original enrollees. every tribe has requirements for membership. the

choctaw tribe of oklahoma requires that new members be directly related to an original enrollee of the tribe

who was enrolled by blood. freedmen were enrolled by congressional action, not blood, so there is no

provision for enrolling a member who is directly related to a freedman because they were not enrolled through

tribal blood quantum.

i do not know of a tribe that enrolls on the basis of DNA testing. this is because DNA testing does not

identify particular strains for each tribe. DNA testing might be helpful to you, though, because it will

give you names of people who match your DNA and you might be able to find a common ancestor. there are a few

vendors for DNA tests such as FTDNA, and i took the 23andme saliva test. once you

have DNA results, you can upload those results to, a free website that has excellent tools to

match others who might have taken a DNA test elsewhere. upload DNA result directions are on the right side

of the main menu, program choices are in the center, DNA information on how to use the website and understand

DNA are on the left side.

do you have your relative’s birth certificate, death certificate. state vital records for that. if the

birth was before 1940, also ask for a delayed birth certificate at the same time as you request a birth

certificate. older vital records might be at the state historical society or state archives.
do you have their obituary? sometimes it will list parents and siblings. see your local public

library/interlibrary loan program for that.
do you have a cemetery record? try or and then contact the cemetery to see if

there is more information.
i start from the death and work backwards in time.

for tribal information, you want to get down to the 1900-1940 time period so that you know family members,

locations, dates, and names. this will help you when you try to find the tribe.
there is more than one choctaw tribe. CA, OK, LA, MS all have choctaw tribes.
there are 63 tribes in oklahoma but only the five major tribes were on the dawes roll taken 1896-1906 in

indian territory/oklahoma. location is important with tribal affiliation because the original enrollees had

to agree to live under the authority of the tribe.
many states have reservations and tribes. state historical society, state archives may have more information

on this.

some tribes are still enrolling. the BIA recently relaxed their requirements and there will probably be

several tribes that apply under the new guidelines. this means that some tribes may be in the process of

applying and enrolling members. you should pursue your heritage in a timely manner because of the

possibility that a tribe is trying to construct a list of original enrollees.

find your relative in the 1900-1940 census. this will give you locations, family members, dates that you will

need for looking on the dawes roll, taken 1896-1906 in the state of oklahoma/indian territory. the dawes roll

lists applicants to the five major tribes of oklahoma. use the accessgenealogy website to do this or

get family group/card#, members of the family:
partial surnames ok. just enter the surname.
partial names might not be found on this website.

find a possible name, click on the # in the card# column and this will show you the family group as of

application. use the 1900 and 1910 census to match the names. write down the names, card#.

if you don’t find your family, then look at the 1900-1940 census locations for your family, look for nearby

tribes. contact the nearby tribes to see if your family had enrolled. find out membership criteria for that

tribe. there are tribes in other locations and other choctaw tribes. location is an important factor over

whether a native enrolled in a tribe. you won’t find that an original enrollee enrolled in the choctaw tribe

in oklahoma if they were living in another state, for instance. if your family was renting in 1910, for

instance, they had not received a land grant from one of the five major tribes in oklahoma and were probably

not enrolled. there are 63 tribes in oklahoma but only the 5 major tribes are on the dawes roll.

many natives did not want to live under tribal authority or didn’t qualify for enrollment or could not submit

satisfactory evidence to a tribe. this is very common. it means that your family is not enrolled in a tribe.

there were a few natives that were enrolled by tribal council approval or lawsuit. i don’t have any way to

tell you whether someone was enrolled because of this. you would have to contact the tribe for this

information. however, some people have posted this answer and you might be able to use google on your family

names and see this.

supposing you find your family in the dawes roll, then look at the oklahoma historical society dawes website

and put in the name of someone in that family group that you found on accessgenealogy. this will give you the

enrollment # if the enrollment was successful. write down the enrollment #s for your family.

if you found your family on the dawes roll, you might want a copy of the dawes packet. four sources for this:

1) once you have the card#, search here for documents. the website is free at this time:
arranged by card#. use the slider bar at the bottom to approximate your card#. the packets are arranged in

order of card#. usually the beginning document references the card#.

there may be more than one card# for a particular person, depending on whether they were a parent at the time

of enrollment.

sometimes a family’s consideration also depends on an earlier decision in their family. so you may have more

than one card# to look up.

2) is an online subscription resource and one month’s subscription is less than the price of a

dawes packet at NARA or oklahoma historical society.

3) NARA fort worth, TX office
4) oklahoma historical society

a dawes packet contains census card, enrollment application, supporting documents and maybe testimony. even

if your family was not enrolled, the genealogical information might be of interest to you.

the enrolled members are referred to as original enrollees. if your family had enrolled by blood then you are

eligible to enroll in the choctaw tribe of oklahoma. all tribes have membership criteria. if your family had

been enrolled as freedman, then they were enrolled as former slaves and their descendants were not eligible

to enroll in the tribe.

the dawes roll shows the applicants to the five major tribes 1896-1906 in indian territory/oklahoma. if your

family applied for this, there would be a census card, dawes application, other supporting documents and

testimony. these are located at NARA try the fort worth, TX office.

you might consider a DNA test which might match you with others. if you get a match, then you have to find the common ancestor. this would help you try to find your heritage. but tribes do not enroll people on the basis of DNA matching, however this can point you in the direction for your heritage.

if you pursue DNA, consider saliva testing, which would give you an autosomal match. then upload your results to, a free website. the directions for uploading are on the website, upper left. basic information is on the right side of the menu. programs are in the center portion. accepts DNA results from several vendors and this gives you a wider comparison with others interested in genealogy.

suzanne hamlet shatto