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How to Find Choctaw Indians on Indian Rolls

by Robin Hewitt

The Choctaw Indians originated in what is now central Mississippi into central Alabama and are one of what is known as the “Five Civilized Tribes.” Removed from their homeland between 1831 and 1833, the Choctaw lost nearly one quarter of their tribe on the "Trail of Tears" when they were resettled on Oklahoma reservations. Between 1898 and 1906 the Dawes Commission required registration of all members of the Five Civilized Tribes; the ensuing Dawes Rolls are the definitive source for proving membership in the Choctaw Nation.

Research and locate the names of the individual Choctaw Indians that you are seeking. Keep in mind that the Indians would have lived in Oklahoma between 1896 and 1906 in order to be listed on the official federal roll for Choctaw Nation members, which is the Dawes Roll of 1907, officially named “The Final Rolls of the Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory.”

Search the Dawes Rolls for the names on your list. Women were typically registered under their married names and many names were enrolled under variant or phonetic spellings.

Verify that the names found on the Dawes Rolls are the persons you are looking for by cross-checking the names on the Federal Census of 1900 or 1910. The census provides full names, ages and family members.

About the Author

Robin Hewitt began her writing career in 2008. She is the coauthor of several books, including "The Joyous Gift of Grandparenting," which covers the nutritional and fitness needs of both grandchildren and grandparents.

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