Guide to Choctaw Indians ancestry, family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and other agency records.
- 1 Tribal Headquarters
- 2 History
- 3 Additional References
- 4 Reservations
- 5 Groups or Parts of the Tribe
- 6 Records
- 7 Records
- 8 Agencies
- 9 Superintendencies
- 10 Genealogy
- 11 History
- 12 Land Records
- 13 Military Records
- 14 Periodicals
- 15 Removal Records
- 16 School Records
- 17 Trade
- 18 Treaties
- 19 Vital Records
- 20 Indian Pioneer Papers
- 21 FamilySearch Catalog
- 22 Web Sites
- 23 For Further Reading
- 24 References
Click this button for links to databases, indexes, or sites that help you find an American Indian ancestor by topic or tribe.
Various Spellings: Choctaw, Chactaw, Chaktaw, Chatha
The Choctaw Tribe is primarily associated with the states of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. See below for at least a partial lists of groups of Choctaw Indians and the reservations associated with each.
Wind, Bear, Deer, Wolf, Panther, Holly Leaf, Bird, Raccoon and Crawfish
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
P.O. Box 1210
Durant, OK 74702-1210
- Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Official Website
A Muscogean based tribe, the Choctaw is similar to the Creek Confederation. The Choctaw evolved from multiple smaller tribes that shared similar language and culture. The Choctaw were early allies of the French, Spanish and British during the 18th century. In the 1750's the tribe was involved in a Civil War that decimated whole villages. The division was driven by factions affiliated with the Spanish and the other the French. In the 18th century the Choctaw were generally at war with the Creeks or the Chickasaw Indians. The Choctaw like all of the Muscogean tribes was a matriarchal and clan culture.
1540: De Soto first recorded non Indian to encounter the tribe
1763: with the French surrendered to the British many moved west of Mississippi
1784: Treaty with Spain
1786: Treaty of Hopewell
1792: Treaty talks with Spain and United States
1801: Treaty of Fort Adams
1802: Treaty of Fort Confederation
1803: Treaty of Hoe Buckintoupa
1805: Treaty of Mount Dexter
1816: Treaty of Fort St. Stephens
1820: Treaty of Doak's Stand; ceded some land
1825: Treaty of Washington City
1825: Tribal population: 21,000 (Mississippi and Alabama) reported by T. C. Mc Kenny- Indian Office
1830: Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, * (Article 14 - removal)
1831-1833: First of Five Civilized Tribes forced from their homeland. Removed to Indian Territory.
- Part of the Tribe 5-6,000 individuals remained in Mississippi and became known as the Mississippi Band of Choctaw who were recognized in 1945.
1838: First testimonies taken in what is known as the Net Proceeds Case.
1844: Second set of testimonies taken in what is known as the Net Proceeds Case.
1855:Treaty with the Chickasaw, gives Chickasaw nation their own land from lands of the Choctaw.
1856: Choctaw Nation created with three districts: Apukshunnubbee District, Moshulatubbee District and Pushmataha District.
1856: Annuity Roll (Census) of the Choctaw and Chickasaw as a result of the treaty of 1855.
1867: Tribal population: 22,500; reported by Commissioner of Indian Affairs.
1875: Testimonies taken to determine heirs for the monies won from the Net Proceeds Case.
1889: Second set of testimonies to determine heirs for the monies from the Net Proceeds Case.
1903: 300 Choctaws left Mississippi for Oklahoma and the Choctaw Nation
1907: Oklahoma became the 46th State
- Choctaw Nation divided intoeight counties: Choctaw, Atoka, Haskell, Latimer, Le Flore, Mc Curtain, Pittsburg and Pushmataha.
1910: Tribal population: 14,551 in Oklahoma, and 15,917 in other states
1918: Choctaw Indian Agency in Philadelphia, Mississippi established
1945: Mississippi Band of Choctaw Federally recognized
- 1953: U.S. Congress began a new policy of termination for the Indian tribes. The policy ended the protected trust status of all Indian-owned lands. The BIA began a voluntary urban relocation program. American Indians could move from their rural tribes to a metropolitan area. Many Indians relocated to Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas and Seattle. It is estimated that 750,000 Native American migrated to the cities between 1950-1980.
World War I and II: the U.S. Military used members of the Choctaw Nation for secure communications. They became the first code-talkers
Frederick Webb Hodge, in his Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico, gave a more complete history of the Choctaw tribe, with estimations of the population of the tribe at various time periods. Additional details are given in John Swanton's The Indian Tribes of North America.
Oklahoma: Latimer and Pushmataha counties
Mississippi: Neshoba, Newton, Leake, Scott, Jones, Attala, Kemper, Winston counties
Groups or Parts of the Tribe
Choctaw Nation (Oklahoma)
Records From the Choctaw Nation, (1830-1900) Indian Territory, Oklahoma. Oklahoma Historical Society. (census, Cemetery Records, Church Records, Military and other records). FHL Film 1666451 (first of 90 microfilm reels)
Joe R. Goss. A Complete Roll of all Choctaw Claimants and their Heirs. Reprint. Originally published: St. Louis, MO: Robt. D. Patterson Stationary Co., 1889. FHL Book 970.3 C451g
The majority of records of individuals were those created by the agencies. Some records may be available to tribal members through the tribal headquarters.They were (and are) the local office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and were charged with maintaining records of the activities of those under their responsibility. Among these records are:
- Allotment records
- Annuity rolls
- Census records
- Health records
- School census and records
- Vital records
Choctaw Agency Mississippi
Choctaw Agency Oklahoma
Cherokee Agency (West)
Chickasaw and Choctaw Indians Homestead and Allotment Patents, 1903-1910 FHL Collection
- 1830 www.accessgenealogy.comalso included in American State papers, Vol 7. This is in most libraries or is located online at http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwsp.html
- 1831 Census (Armstrong Roll) Choctaw, records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, RG75 FHL Collection
- 1855 Cooper Roll of Eastern Choctaw www.accessgenealogy.comFamilies living East of the Mississippi River in the states of Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama. (roll contains: names of heads of families, place of residence, and numbers of men, women, and children in families)
- 1855 Annuity Roll, first census of all individuals within a household. Actually done in 1856. Located at the Oklahoma Historical Society.
- 1868 Census of Cedar County, Choctaw Nationlocated within the Choctaw Nation Collection, University of Oklahoma. View online at digital.libraries.ou.edu/whc/nam/manuscript.asp
- 1885 Census of the Choctaw Nation. Every name in household is included on this census. This can be viewed in two places online, both for a fee. It is found under the rolls U.S. Indian Census Rolls, and under the category of Union. It is searchable by name (be careful of spelling) on Ancestry.com browseable only on Fold3.com You can also order transcriptions by county from the Bryan County Heritage Association, Bryan, Oklahoma.
- 1893 Census/Annuity Roll (for both Choctaw and Chickasaw) for Leased District monies. Referred to in several Dawes files, I have been unable to locate this film. I have been told it may be in some counties (ie. Haskell)in Oklahoma, but it is not listed in the NARA or the OHS contents.
- 1896 Census (cemetery, church, and marriage1897-1901, 1907-1910)FHL Film: 1206500 second filming FHL Film:488191
- The Census of Atoka County, 1885, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory. by James P. Cummings. Mesquite, Texas, 1976. FHL Book 970.1 Al#86
- There are miscellaneous censuses recorded on three rolls of microfilm from the OHS, included in the inventory for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and also at the Oklahoma Historical Society and Arkansas Historical Commission. All three rolls cover different counties of the Choctaw nation, and have the 1896 census transcribed, and in some cases the original. The other censuses on the rolls vary to undated or dated, and are heads of household only for the most part.
- NARA office Fort Worth has microfilm of Muster rolls for various dates prior to 1855.
- Indian Census Rolls, Choctaw, 1926-1939 containing births and deaths some marriages. FHL Collection
|Tribe||Agency||Location of Original Records||
Post - 1885 Census M595 RG 75 Rolls 693
|Choctaw||Union Agency - Muskogee Area 1875-80||Washington D.C. and Fort Worth||Roll 685||-|
|Choctaw Mississippi||Choctaw, Philadelphia, Mississippi, 1926-39||Washington D.C.||Rolls 15, 41-42||FHL#124;Films: 574200-574201|
|Tribe||Agency||Location of Original Records||
M234 RG 75 Rolls 962
|Choctaw||Choctaw Agency,1824-76||Washington D.C.||Rolls 169-96||1,660,899-926|
|Choctaw||Jones Academy, Hartshorne, 1901-53||Fort Worth||-||-|
|Choctaw||Union Agency-Muskogee Area, 1875-80||Washington D.C. and Fort Worth||Rolls 865-77||1,661,595-607|
|Choctaw, Mississippi||Choctaw, Philadelphia, Miss., 1926-39||Washington D.C.||-||-|
The Family History Library
|Applications for Enrollment||75||M1301||1439798||468|
|Applications, Muskogee Area Office M 1650 (RG75) index and applications for four of the Five civilized tribes. Seminole applications not included.||75||M1650||FHL first film 2445769||54|
Enrollment of the Five Civilized Tribes
Original records in Muskogee, Oklahoma
|Index to Letters received by commission||75||M1314||1694814||
Final Rolls- first film: 830228
Enrollment-first film: 1022497
Enrollment cards Choctaw-first film: 1490299
Application for enrollment (M1301) - first film: 1439798
Enrollment cards for Mississippi Choctaw-first film: 1490316
Choctaw-Chickasaw - Fort Worth, Texas
Indexes to dockets and appearance dockets-first film:1730868
General dockets - first film:1730869
- The Final Rolls of Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory, 03/04/1907 (National Archives) - arranged by enrollment number; gives age, sex, blood degree, and census card number.
Indexes for the Dawes Rolls and the Enrollment Cards:
- Index to the Final Rolls of Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory, 03/04/1907 (National Archives) - arranged alphabetically; gives only enrollment number. (Surname entries are not always in strict alphabetical order)
- Searchable indexes:
- Dawes files can be viewed online at www.Fold3.com or on www. archive.gov. While archive.org is free, they do not have a search function, it is browse only. There are two parts to each Dawes case. The enrollment card (Dawes Card) and the packet. In many cases the packet will be empty. In cases of some of the rejected files, there are numerous pages, but referenced information may be absent. Accessgenealogy has a transcription of the Dawes cards available to search and a list of final enrollee's listed on the Dawes Records.
Who Was Who Among the Southern Indians: a Genealogical notebook, 1698-1907 by Don Martini FHL Collection
Alokoli: the Choctaw Country bicentennial book by Choctaw County Bicentennial Commission FHL Collection
The Choctaws in Oklahoma: From Tribe to Nation, 1856-1970. by Clara Sue Kidwell. FHL 1396223
- Duke Indian Oral History Collection and Index., Duke University Library FHL Collection
- FamilySearch has the story of Chieftain Greenwood Leflore and the Choctaw Indians of the Mississippi Valley : last chief of Choctaws east of Mississippi river published in 1936.
Choctaw certificates of ownership in Boone County, Arkansas. FHL Film: 1031068 item 33
The land records for Choctaw lands in Mississippi is found at the National Archives, in Washington, D.C. This collection is indexed by name and includes individuals for whom land was granted out of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek.
Some cases of land that are disputed within Mississippi are located at county courthouses.
Allotments from the Dawes are found in the county the land was located in in Oklahoma.
Genealogical Records on the Confederate Indian Troops by Sherman Lee Pompey FHL Collection
Union Indian Brigade in the Civil War. by Willey Britton. FHL Collection
Bishnik, available on the website for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
The Indian Removal Act was signed May 26, 1830 by President Andrew Jackson. The Act initiated a policy of removal of American Indians tribes living east of the Mississippi River to land west of the river.
The Choctaw were the first of the Five Civilized Tribes to be removed. Many walked 800 KM Journey to Oklahoma
Many of the Choctaw traveled by steamboat: Talmar, Cleopatra, Walter Scott, Brandywine, and Raindeer
DeRosier, Authur H. Jr., The Removal of the Choctaw Indians, Knoxville, University of Tennessee Press, 1970. FHL book 970.3 C451da and digital version
Debo, Anggie. The Rise and Fall of the Choctaw Republic, Univesity of Oklahoma Press, 1934. FHL book 970.3 C451d
Burt, Jesse and Robert B. Ferguson. Indians of the Southeast: Then and Now. Nashville, Ablingdon Press, New York.
|Years of Emigration||
stayed in Southeast
|Information of Interest|
Peter Pitchlynn, Mushulatubbe, Thomas (Greenwood) LeFlore, and George W. Hawkins,
Peter P. Pitchlynn,
Dancing Rabbit Creek September 27, 1830
Government Leaders over removal:Col. Childress, Maj. William Armstrong,
John Coffee, Capt. J. B. Clark, Lt. Stephen Van Rensselaer Ryan, Capt. Jacob Brown, George S. Gaines, John H. Eaton, Wharton Rector, F.W. Armstrong, David Folsom, Agent Colquhoun
1838; Old and infirm Choctaws (177 members) removed by S. T. Cross
1845; 1,280 Choctaw from Mississippi moved to Indian Territory
1846; 1,000 move came
1847; 1,623 came in eight groups.
19,554 including and 6,000 Black Slaves
Relinquished more than 11 million acres in Mississippi exchange for 15 million acres in Indian Territory
When the tribe reached Little Rock the Choctaw chief stated to the Arkansas Gazette that the removal was a "trail of tears and death"
Some deaths due to Cholera
- 1847 Muster Roll of Big Black River Band (arrived at Fort Coffee)www.accessgenealogy.com
- 1847 Ha Cubbees Band Muster Roll (arrived at Fort Coffee) www.accessgenealogy.com
- There are two books by Monty Olsen (available from Bryant County Heritage Association) on Choctaw emigration muster rolls.
- Betty Wilshire also wrote a book on Choctaw muster rolls. It is available from various vendors.FHL Collection
- National Archives (NARA) has the information on emigration/muster rolls and not the Oklahoma Historical society. Check with the NARA to see if the holdings are in Fort Worth, Texas or Washington, D.C.
- The Removal of the Choctaw Indians by Arthur H. DeRosier, Jr FHL Book 970.3 C451da
The Choctaw Academy: official correspondence 1825-1841 by Joe R. Goss FHL Collection
Superintendent of Indian Trade. Records of the Choctaw Trading house 1803-1824. FHL Films: 1025085-1025090
Trade during the Spanish period 1781-1798 will be found in the Panton and Leslie papers, located at the University of West Florida. They also have a collection of the Papelas de Cubas, Spanish records of the period.
Records o the Choctaw Trading House, 1803-1824. Office of Indian Affairs. Superintendent of Indian Trade FHL Collection
Records of the Choctaw Trading Post: St. Stephens, Mississippi Territory by Ben and Jean Strickland. FHL Collection
- 1783 January 3, at Hopewell
- 1796 June 29, with Creek
- December 17, 1801, at Fort Adams
- 1802 October 17, at Fort Confederation
- 1805 November 16, at Mount Dexter
- October 27, 1805, Chickasaw
- August 9, 1814,
- 1816October 24,
- 1820 October 18 near Doaks Stand
- 1825 January 20, at Washington
- February 12,1825, Creek
- May 6, 1828, - Cherokee
- 1830 September 27, at Dancing Rabbit Creek
- February 14, 1833,
- 1835 August 24, at Camp Holmes, with Comanche
- 1835 January 17, at Doaksville
- 1837- Chickasaw
- 1854 November 4, at Doaksville, with Chickasaw
- 1855 June 22, at Washington, with Chickasaw
- September 13, 1855, at Fort Smith-unratified
- 1865 Cherokee and other Tribes in Indian Territory with Comanche and Kiowa
- July 4, 1866, with Delaware
- August 28, 1866, at Washington
Oklahoma Marriage Records, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory., by Ellen Tiffee and Gloryann Hankins Young. 9 volumes. (Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory, 1890. for Counties of McCurtain, Latimer, Hughes (part), LeFlore, Bryan (part), Pittsburg, Choctaw, Atoka, Haskell, Pushmataha, and Coal (part).FHL Book 976.6 V2t vol. 1-10 Film 1321223 itmes 11-16
Indian Pioneer Papers
In 1936, the Oklahoma Historical Society and University of Oklahoma requested a writer's project grant from the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in which interviews would be conducted with early settlers in Oklahoma who had lived on Indian land. More than 100 writers conducted over 11,000 interviews and were asked to "call upon early settlers and (record) the story of the migration to Oklahoma and their early life here." The University of Oklahoma Western History Collection has digitized the Indian Pioneer Papers which consists of approximately 80,000 indexed entries arranged alphabetically by personal name, place name, or subject.  An index to the Indian Pioneer Papers may also be found at OkGenWeb Oklahoma Genealogy. A separate index of Indians interviewed, including the Choctaw, may be viewed at: “Indians in the Indian Pioneer Papers” Some of the surnames from the Choctaw tribe found in the collection are: Anderson, Baker, Beam (Stevens), Bond, Homer/Homma (Latimer), Jones (Choate), Kemp, Labor (Airington), Moore, Miashintubbee.Family History Library microfiche number: FHL Collection (first fiche)
The FamilySearch Catalog has over 260 records of interest to the Choctaw Indians
- Constitution and By-laws of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
- Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Official Website
- Choctaw Native Americans http://choctawnativeamericans.blogspot.com
- Native American Research http://nativeamericanresearch.blogspot.com
- Indian Research http://researchindians.blogspot.com
For Further Reading
- Lennon, Rachal Mills. Tracing Ancestors Among the Five Civilized Tribes; Southeastern Indians Prior to Removal. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002. FHL Book 970.1 L548t.
For background information to help find American Indian ancestors see For Further Reading.
- Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible To Receive Services From the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs, Federal Register, Vol. 67, No. 134, 12 July 2002 Available online
- O'Brien, Greg, "Choctaws in a Revolutionary Age", University of Nebraska Press, 2005
- Swanton, John R. "The Indian Tribes of North America" Smithsonian Institute, Bulletin 514.
- .” Blackburn, Bob L. "Battle Cry for History: The First Century of the Oklahoma Historical Society." n.d. Oklahoma Historical Society. 5 Oct. 1998.
- The University of Oklahoma Western History Collections http://digital.libraries.ou.edu/whc/pioneer/