Kinsearching December 13, 2009




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Genealogists often hear that tracing Native American lineage can be difficult. Finding Indian ancestors may sometimes be easier, however, if they belonged to one of the "Five Civilized Tribes" (Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole). Even then, looking through records like the well-known Dawes rolls can be time-consuming. To make information from that source accessible to more researchers, Jeff Bowen has completed Volume 1 of his new series, CHICKASAW BY BLOOD ENROLLMENT CARDS, 1898 - 1914.

     Bowen bases his purposed four-volume set on the Chickasaw enrollment cards (sometimes referred to as "census cards") prepared by the Dawes Commission between 1898 and 1914. The Commission gathered the information in order to rule on citizenship applications submitted by approximately 250,000 tribal members. Using data registered on the cards, the Commission finally enrolled in the Chickasaw tribe 101,000 people, who were divided into seven categories: Citizens by Blood, Citizens by Marriage, New Born Citizens by Blood, Minor Citizens by Blood, Freedmen (former black slaves of Indians), New Born Freedmen, and Minor Freedmen.

     The introduction to the 238-page indexed paperback explains the history of the enrollment cards and the methods Bowen used in his transcription. Material from the cards is arranged in a tabular format. For each individual whose name appears on an application, the enrollment cards furnish such facts as the county of residence, post office, relationship to the head of the family group, age, sex, degree of Indian blood, tribal enrollment (year, place, and page number), and names of parents as well as data about them. Valuable material also emerges in the "Notes" section which may contain details such as the Dawes Roll number, references to different cards, birth and death dates, marriage and divorce, name of a spouse from another tribe or in the "doubtful" category, or miscellaneous information. Names of approximately 3,500 people seeking Chickasaw citizenship status in the appear in Bowen's new work. A sampling of surnames includes ADKINS/ATKINS, ANGLIN, ASBERRY/ASBURY, BARR, BOND, BUNCH, BURNEY, CHASE, COFFEY, COLBERT, COYLE, CRINER, EBISCH, FOLSOM/FOLSUM, HICKMAN, HULL, KANEY, KIMBERLIN, LOVE, NICHOLS, PAUL, PIKEY, RENNIE, SEALY, SHANNON, SOUSE, SPAIN/SPAINE, TURNBULL, WALNER, and WOLFENBARGER/WOOFENBARGER.

     By putting information from the Dawes rolls into book form, Bowen makes the material readily available to family historians seeking Chickasaw forebears. Since his publication contains names of some Choctaws and blacks, he also provides a valuable service for genealogists researching forebears with those lineages. CHICKASAW BY BLOOD ENROLLMENT CARDS, 1898 - 1914, VOLUME I is a worthy addition to genealogical literature on Native American ancestry.

     To the book's price of $29.50, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $5.50 for one book and $2.50 for each additional copy; for FedEx ground service, the cost is $7.50 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume (item order CF 9958) may be purchased by check, money order, MasterCard, or Visa from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211 (For phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

     Charles N. Ferguson, 811 South Market, Shawnee, OK 74801 is seeking information about the husband and children of Aileen LAWSON of Killeen, TX, and of Elsie WILEY, born 11 May 1934 and died 16 December 2002 at Corpus Christi, TX. They were daughters of Gaylord James FERGUSON and granddaughters of Charles A. Levi FERGUSON and wife Ily BYRD.

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