Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation


Ron Mackey Ron Mackey

posted on April 16, 2012

I recently located my Great Grandparents grave site. I am trying to do some research on our family and have been told that my Great Grandmother Catherine Louise Maize was of Choctaw descent? How can i find this out? She was born October 4, 1868 and died June 15,1939. Her married name was Feemster.

suzanne hamlet shatto suzanne hamlet shatto

posted on April 17, 2012

there is the topic of tribal enrollment and tribal heritage. this is the website of the choctaw tribe in oklahoma. there are other choctaw-affiliated tribes around the united states.

your post gives no location information, no children or spouse. no documents are cited in your post.

there were no feemsters listed on the dawes roll taken in oklahoma 1896-1906. the dawes roll contains the names of applicants who applied to the five major tribes of oklahoma. there are 63 tribes in oklahoma.

1930 United States Federal Census about Catherine L Feemster
Name: Catherine L Feemster
[Cathrine L Feemster]
Gender: Female
Birth Year: abt 1869
Birthplace: Alabama
Race: White
Home in 1930: Bales, Pottawatomie, Oklahoma
View Map
Marital Status: Married
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Spouse’s Name: George R Feemster
Father’s Birthplace: Alabama
Mother’s Birthplace: Alabama


Military Service:

Rent/home value:

Age at first marriage:

Parents’ birthplace:

View image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
George R Feemster 63
Catherine L Feemster 61
Fay I Feemster 18
Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Bales, Pottawatomie, Oklahoma; Roll: 1928; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 6; Image: 87.0; FHL microfilm: 2341662.

catherine was b. AL and parents b. AL. you might look at the mississippi choctaw tribe or the MOWA tribe. the trail of tears occurred in the late 1930’s from the southeastern reservations to oklahoma and catherine’s family did not go on the trail of tears but there were many unofficial migrations.

you might find a land record to the head of household 1830-1880 saying choctaw scrip. these land grants were given in lieu of tribal enrollment. this would show heritage but not be sufficient to prove enrollment.

1920 United States Federal Census about Catherine L Famster
Name: Catherine L Famster
[Catherine L Feemster]
Age: 51
Birth Year: abt 1869
Birthplace: Alabama
Home in 1920: Red Colony, Sevier, Arkansas
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: George R Famster
Father’s Birthplace: Alabama
Mother’s Birthplace: Alabama
Able to read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
George R Famster 53
Catherine L Famster 51
Sarah M Famster 23
Ora O Famster 16
Roy H Famster 14
Fay I Famster 8
Source Citation: Year: 1920; Census Place: Red Colony, Sevier, Arkansas; Roll: T625_82; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 174; Image: 934.

1910 United States Federal Census about Catherine L Feemster
Name: Catherine L Feemster
Age in 1910: 42
Birth Year: 1868
Birthplace: Alabama
Home in 1910: Center Point, Howard, Arkansas
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: George R Feemster
Father’s Birthplace: Alabama
Mother’s Birthplace: Alabama
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
George R Feemster 44
Catherine L Feemster 42
William R Feemster 23
Albert C Feemster 20
John B Feemster 17
Newlin L Feemster 15
Sarah M Feemster 13
Nattie F Feemster 16
Ora O Feemster 6
Roy H Feemster 4
Source Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Center Point, Howard, Arkansas; Roll: T624_52; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 0023; Image: 783; FHL microfilm: 1374065.

1900 United States Federal Census about Cathan Feemster
Name: Cathan Feemster
Age: 31
Birth Date: Oct 1868
Birthplace: Alabama
Home in 1900: County Line, Howard, Arkansas
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Wife
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Riley Feemster
Marriage Year: 1886
Years Married: 14
Mother’s Birthplace: South Carolina
Mother: number of living children: 5
Mother: How many children: 7
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Riley Feemster 32
Cathan Feemster 31
Willie Feemster 12
Albert Feemster 11
Booker Feemster 8
Lee Feemster 6
Mona Feemster 4
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: County Line, Howard, Arkansas; Roll: 61; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 69; FHL microfilm: 1240061.

1880 United States Federal Census about Catharine Maze
Name: Catharine Maze
Age: 11
Birth Year: abt 1869
Birthplace: Alabama
Home in 1880: Blount, Alabama
Race: White
Gender: Female
Relation to Head of House: Daughter
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Name: Coswell Maze
Father’s Birthplace: Alabama
Mother’s Name: Frances Maze
Mother’s Birthplace: Tennessee
Neighbors: View others on page
Cannot read/write:


Deaf and dumb:

Otherwise disabled:

Idiotic or insane:

View image
Household Members:
Name Age
Coswell Maze 42
Frances Maze 36
Jesse Maze 18
Sarah Maze 16
John Maze 13
Catharine Maze 11
Mary Maze 9
Juanita Maze 7
James Maze 5
Eliza Maze 3
Alexander Maze 1
Source Citation: Year: 1880; Census Place: , Blount, Alabama; Roll: 2; Family History Film: 1254002; Page: 350B; Enumeration District: 001; .

Alabama Marriage Collection, 1800-1969 about Cozwell Maze
Name: Cozwell Maze
Spouse: Frances Bailey
Marriage Date: 26 Dec 1861
County: Blount
State: Alabama
Performed By Title: Justice of the Peace
Performed by Name: W S Nesmith
Source information: Jordan Dodd, Liahona Research
Source Information: Alabama Marriage Collection, 1800-1969 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006.
Original data:

Alabama Center for Health Statistics. Alabama Marriage Index, 1936-1969. Alabama Center for Health Statistics, Montgomery, Alabama. Dodd, Jordan R., et. al. Early American Marriages: Alabama to 1825. Bountiful, UT: Precision Indexing Publishers, 19xx. Hunting For Bears, comp. Alabama marriage information taken from county courthouse records. Many of these records were extracted from copies of the original records in microfilm, microfiche, or book format, located at the Family History Library. Dodd, Jordan R., comp. Early American Marriages: Alabama, 1800 to 1920. (THIS IS THE BOOK FOR THIS MARRIAGE.)

1860 United States Federal Census about Caswell Maze
Name: Caswell Maze
Age in 1860: 22
Birth Year: abt 1838
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1860: Western Division, Marshall, Alabama
Gender: Male
Post Office: Guntersville
Value of real estate: View image
Household Members:
Name Age
Caswell Maze 22
Source Citation: Year: 1860; Census Place: Western Division, Marshall, Alabama; Roll: M653_16; Page: 920; Image: 446; Family History Library Film: 803016.

1900 United States Federal Census about Casrill Maze
Name: Casrill Maze
[Carvill C Maze]
Age: 62
Birth Date: Aug 1837
Birthplace: Tennessee
Home in 1900: Hartselle, Morgan, Alabama
Race: White
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Head
Marital Status: Married
Spouse’s Name: Francis B Maze
Marriage Year: 1862
Years Married: 38
Father’s Birthplace: Tennessee
Mother’s Birthplace: Tennessee
Occupation: View on Image
Neighbors: View others on page
Household Members:
Name Age
Casrill Maze 62
Francis B Maze 56
Marvin A Maze 20
Leler Elizabeth Maze 12
Source Citation: Year: 1900; Census Place: Hartselle, Morgan, Alabama; Roll: 35; Page: 21A; Enumeration District: 136; FHL microfilm: 1240035.

natives who lived on-reservation were not taxed and they were on special census records – native census records. see the link to accessgenealogy and click on the menu at the left for native databases and native census records. many native census records are transcribed on that website. NARA is the repository of these census records, has a land record database called “Alabama Land Records” that contains early homestead and native scrip records. you should look for a native scrip record in that database.

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

Janice Feemster Maples Janice Feemster Maples

posted on May 11, 2012

I am your cousin…spoke to your mom last night. I am trying to do tdhe same thing…learn about our ancestors. I am LDS (Mormon) so I have access to lots of files. I will try to do some searching but we are leaving for a mission for our church to Hawaii the end of the month and will be gone for 2 yrs. While there I hope to be able to do some hard searching for family. I couldnt believe I saw your name on this site. I havent been doing this long so not sure but I think Catherine Maize is full blood Cherokee not Choctaw..but maybe they are the same or we search on the same site…I am so new at this I dont really know. I hope you get this…we live in Nashville, TN . hope you check this site often. email me if you can