Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Jerry Alberty & Family - Cherokee Freedmen

In the 1890s, Jerry Alberty lived with his family in Wagoner, Indian Territory. He was 66 at the time and lived with his wife Ruth, and their three daughters Amelia, Bertha, and Hattie. He was a Cherokee citizen, and earlier in life he was enslaved by William Alberty. His wife Ruth had once been enslaved by Nancy Marchum. Their data was all included on Cherokee Freedman Card #153.


The National Archives at Ft. Worth, Ft. Worth Texas 1868-1914
NAI Number: 251747

Record Group Title: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Record Group 75

Jerry's father was Mose Alberty, and his mother was an enslaved woman known as Sarah. Sarah's slave holder was Mose Alberty---the same man who was her husband's slave holder. To clarify--Mose Alberty had a child with his slave Sarah, and Jerry was the child she had as a result.

Ruth's father was Willis Marcum and her mother was Lucinda Marcum. Willis, Ruth's father was once enslaved by Leroy Marcum, and her mother Lucinda had been enslaved Bluford West. The family had ties to the Cooweescoowee and the Saline District in the Cherokee Nation.

(Same as above image)

From the Application Jackets
The interview is a standard one for Jerry Alberty, beginning with questions about his status in the Cherokee nation. He mentions the name of his slave holders as well as the name of the person who held his wife in bondage.


Some interesting questions reflect events in his life during the Civil War. He was taken further south in Indian Territory, as many slaves were during the war, with the intention of keeping the enslaved from conflict and from any opportunity for escape. Ruth was also taken south, near Red River, and Jerry Alberty pointed out that he brought Ruth back to the Cherokee Nation with him, and that he married her while they were still there.

When asked where he was before the Civil War, he pointed out that in the beginning of the war he was in the Cherokee Nation, "up here on Grand River." He was also asked about wife Ruth and whether or not she was taken south during the war, and when she returned. He replied, "I brought her back when I came. I married her in the south, on Red River, during the war and brought her back when I returned."


National Archives Publication M1901
 U.S., Native American Applications for Enrollment in Five Civilized Tribes,
1898-1914
[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

The commissioners then examined the 1880 Authenticated Roll of Cherokee Freedmen and the names of Jerry and Ruth Alberty were found on that roll. It was also revealed that they had another daughter called Sarah who was by that time,now married, and was not being claimed during that application process.

Thankfully the names of the children were also found on the 1896 roll and as a result the family enrolled without difficulty.


(Source: Same as above image)

Two years later another interview is conducted but only with daughter Amelia who was married. Her husband was Tollie Elliott, who was not a Cherokee citizen. Amelia and her husband marred in December 1901, and lived in Wagoner, I.T.

(Source: Same as above image)

And a few years later in an interview with a man called William Fields, it is learned that Jerry Alberty's  younger daughter Bertha had married in August 2002. Bertha's husband was the son of the witness William Fields.

(Source: Same as above image)


In the interview with William Fields, it was mentioned that his son was an applicant as a Cherokee Freedmen. A search was made for his enrollment card, and it was learned that his application was rejected. Apparently there was a claim that had also been placed for reconsideration but was apparently denied. However as Bertha was enrolled her husband would have eventually have had access to land nevertheless, even though his claim was denied.

The National Archives at Ft. Worth, Ft. Worth Texas 1868-1914

NAI Number: 251747
Record Group Title: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Record Group 75


(Same as above image)



Additional family information
This Alberty family was well documented and as was stated in the interview, they were found on the authenticated roll of Cherokee Citizens of 1880. From that entry of 1880 the size of the Alberty family is found.

Ancestry.com. Oklahoma and Indian Territory, Indian Censuses and Rolls,
1851-1959
 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.


On that record the names of additional children are found: Louisa, Noah, Moses, John, Carrie, Josh J., Sam, and Millie. Those who were still living at the time of the Dawes enrollment era would have been adults and submitted applications on their own.
Close up of Albertys on the 1880 Roll

A few years later Jerry Alberty was also documented on the Wallace Roll, conducted in the early 1890s. And additional names can also be gleaned from that record. It is noted that his name appears on page 1 and line one of that roll.

Wallace Roll - National Archives
Source: https://catalog.archives.gov/id/300345



Jerry Alberty survived enslavement, and returned to the place that he knew as home--the Cherokee Nation, and raised his large family there. The core family spent most of their years in Wagoner before subsequent generations began migrating in later years across the nation.

Jerry Alberty also served briefly on the Cherokee Nation tribal council, and he worked among the Freedman population for many years. He as well as the entire Alberty family was well respected, in Wagoner and in other Freedman communities. Jerry and Ruth both placed an interest in education for their children, and some of their children were educated at the Cherokee Colored High School in Double Springs before it was destroyed in the early 1900s.

Jerry Alberty died on the 8th of January 1904. It is noted that the death report was filed  son Noah.



He is buried at the Jerry Alberty Family Cemetery in Wagoner Oklahoma, and a dignified stone marks his burial site. This patriarch of the large clan of Alberty's has descendants in many lines today. They have a rich heritage that is well documented, and it is hoped that his history as a survivor, family patriarch and community leader and his and Ruth's legacy will always be remembered.

(Photo: Courtesy of Mark Harrison)

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This is the 31st article in a 52 article series devoted to sharing histories of families once held as enslaved people in Indian Territory, now known as Oklahoma. The focus is on the Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes, and these posts are part of an on-going project to document 52 families in 52 weeks.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Family of Delia Noble - Seminole Freedmen


When researching families from Indian Territory, it is often valuable to study not only the enrollment cards but also to remember the various categories of records where families are found. The standard enrollment cards are always a starting point, and they are particularly essential when researching those tribes where the interviews were never microfilmed. The lack of records are found when examining families that are Seminole and Creek families.

However, by examining the files of relatives found in "other" categories such as the "New Born" files, one can often learn more about the family. I was able to do this with data on a Seminole Freedman family, the Nobles of Wewoka.

With this family we begin with a Seminole New Born card, with 3 children, Stephen, Leford, and Rachel. All 3 children are 5 years or  younger. Their mother is Delia Noble, and their father George Noble is said to be a Creek citizen.

Seminole Freedman New Born Card #9
The National Archives at Ft. Worth, Ft. Worth Texas 1868-1914

NAI Number: 251747
Record Group Title: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Record Group 75



On Seminole Freedman card #648,  we find Delia Noble, and 6 other children. The children were Shake Payne, and William, Benjamin, Robert, Lyman and Elbetta, all with the Noble surname. All whose names appear on this card are noted as members of the Bruner band.


Seminole Freedman Card #648
(Source: same as above)

Back side of card
(Source: same as above)

It is also clear that the father George Noble is a Creek citizen as he is found on Creek Freedman Card 1400 (Field card 1516)

Creek Freedman Card #1400
(Source: same as above)

(Back of Card)



Application Jackets

With both parents application jackets do not exist. There is not one for George Noble among the Creek files, nor is there one for Delia Noble among Seminole files. However, because there was as separate effort to enroll Stephen Noble as a Creek, the family story is found. Stephen's name was put on a Seminole Freedman card (see above) among those cards known as "New Born" cards. Thankfully there is an extensive file to be found reflecting his status, with interviews pertaining to not only the family but their presence on earlier rolls.

Looking and finding data on the family was a challenge. For Seminole Freedman Card number 648 no application jacket exists among the many digitized images found on Fold3 and Ancestry. Among the collections to be found are the categories of  "Seminole", "Seminole Memorandum", "Seminole Newborn", and "Seminole Newborn Freedmen". And strangely, there is no single category of "Seminole Freedmen" to be found. So the file that pertained to Delia's file was not included among the many microfilmed records.

However, from the file of "Seminole Newborn Freedmen" a file accompanies the card with the 3 children, Stephen, Leford and Rachel. The greater surprise is that an extensive set of documents were contained within that file, and it is from that file of the Newborn Freedmen, that an amazingly rich series of interviews and documents are found.

One first finds some birth affidavits of the children. Such documents are often found in the application jackets and these are valuable records because they provide information that pre-dates Oklahoma statehood and also the process of documenting births.


Ancestry.com. U.S., Native American Applications for Enrollment 

in Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.


(Source: same as above)


The most essential part of this application jacket is a multiple page document, examining the status of the family. Keep in mind that the father in this household-- George Noble was a Creek Citizen and their mother Delia was Seminole.

Many of the questions involved their status and the effort was made to determine if they were Seminole or Creek. George Noble, in fact had appeared in front of the commission in 1904 to enroll his son Stephen as a Creek. George explains how he was enrolling his son and it was noted that Delia his wife was Seminole.

(Source: same as above)

Much of the questioning in the interview centered around whether or not George was registering only one child while the others were registered as Seminole. He explained himself several times, and he was challenged on whether he was accurate about the dates. He pointed out that he record dates of birth from the family bible, and he noted was registering the child Stephen because the others had been registered already as Seminoles.

Much of the interview seems to ask the same questions more than one time. An associate of George Noble was also called to verify the birth of the child, and the examination continued.

(Source: same as above)


At times there appeared to be an effort to confuse George the witness pointing out statements that he had made earlier in response to previous questions.

(Source: same as above)


Repeatedly questions about George's movements were posed to him and other witnesses, how often he came to trade and with whom he visited when coming to town to trade. Also the time in which George came to file on his land were discussed.


(Source: same as above)

As witnesses were called, the reader can glean much about the process of Dawes enrollment, when often the line of questioning would stray from the status of the applicant and often focus on one or two details would surface. However, the reader can also learn much about the movement and life of the applicant with some of the details expressed.

(Source: same as above)


The complexity of questions directed to applicants is clearly seen in this file. As much as some files were strangely brief or non-existent in many files, this case seemed to cover multiple angles about his desire to enroll his son.

The point is also that the questioning pertains to Creek enrollment, although George's wife and children were Seminoles of the Bruner band. Also the ultimate status of the family would be that of Seminole family, it is also important to realize how close these two tribes were as well. Families new each other, and mingled socially. Many from one tribe chose a spouse from the other tribe, and it is well known that both cultures share similar origins from the southeast.

(Source: same as above)

The file went on for multiple pages, and even beyond these question and answer interviews 20 more pages were part of this file, consisting of letters pertaining to the Noble family.

(Source: same as above)

Questions about whether or not people knew George Noble closely were asked even to the point of asking if the witnesses had visited the Noble household and recalled the birth of the child Stephen. There was focus on the fact that there was movement when called to appear and register, and one can see how often people were responding to the call to enroll.

One associate was called and asked about his own child's date of birth, and whether or not George Noble's child was born before or after his child's birth. Delia is mentioned continually, and her status as Seminole was repeatedly mentioned. But her voice, appeared to be the one voice that was missing. She was not a witness in these pages, yet, her presence and status as a Seminole was never challenged.

(Source: same as above)

(Source: same as above)

There are 19 more pages that are part of this family's file. Clearly, one might find much value in researching the records and files of Newborn Freedmen to document more of the family's rich and complex history.

Decision

In 1907 a decision was finally made on the case for Stephen. The application to enroll him as a Seminole Freedman was denied. However the denial was based on the fact that he had been enrolled as a Creek and his status was therefore not changed. As one can see from the first illustration above, a line was drawn through his name on the front of the card.


(Source: same as above)


(Source: same as above)


Delia and her children were enrolled as Seminole Freedmen, and the one child Stephen was kept as a Creek citizens. Since the Seminole Nation still allows the two Freedman bands to be a part of the nation, it is hoped that descendants of the Noble family are still a part of the nation that is their birthright. The extensive file reflects a complex and interesting history, and hopefully their story will be told of how all but one of Delia's children were Seminole, and how one branch became Creek.

This is the 30th article in a 52-article series devoted to sharing histories of families once held as enslaved people in Indian Territory, now known as Oklahoma. The focus is on the Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes, and these posts are part of an on-going project to document 52 families in 52 weeks.


Monday, October 9, 2017

Family of Hester Murphy, Creek Freedmen



In 1899 Hester Murphy applied for herself and her family as citizens of the Creek Nation in front of the Dawes Commission. From the records reflect the Murphy family from Coweta, a family well documented and strongly connected to the community, the land and to the Muskogee Creek Nation. On the enrollment cards, Hester's name is found as well as those of her daughters Fannie and Ruth, her sons Fred and Walter, an associate Joseph Stephens who was not related. She was a member of North Fork Town, and prior to the war, was once enslaved by Moty Canard.


Creek Freedman Card #171
Source: The National Archives at Ft. Worth, Ft. Worth Texas 1868-1914

NAI Number: 251747 Record Group Title: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Record Group 75
(Color Image Accessed from Ancestry)


The enrollment card is full of genealogical data, reflecting not only their names on prior rolls, but also notes on the front of the card reflect other relationships, such as the spouses of Hester's children and subsequently, their children (Hester's grandchildren) also.

Joseph Stephens who was not related to Hester, did have a tie to the family. He was listed actually as the father to one of Fannie's children listed on another card.

(Source: Same as Above)

On the back of the card, it is learned that Hester's father was enslaved by Roley McIntosh, and her mother was enslaved by Moty Canard. Her father was Wm. Murphy who was not a Creek citizen


(same as above)


From the Application Jacket
This is one of the rare Creek Freedmen application jackets that is full of data and that contains a very detailed interview. 

In the interview attention was directed to her history, and how long she had lived in the Territory and whether or not she was always living in the Creek Nation. She pointed out that she left when "all the people went out". She was referring to the time during the Civil War, when many people left their homes to avoid being in the vicinity of the battles and skirmishes.

To verify her presence, several questions were directed to her about various payments made to Creek citizens. They discussed whether she was on the 1890 roll, and if she had received the $29 payment and if she had drawn the $14 that was also paid.

Also in the interview the voice of Freedman leader Sugar George was found. He was a major leader who served in the House of Warriors, the House of Kings, and he served as town king of North Fork Colored town.
National Archives Microfilm Publication M1301
Ancestry.com. U.S., Native American Applications for Enrollment in Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914[database on-line]. 
Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.

Sugar George had been town king for about 12 years at the time, serving in that capacity since the 1880s. Prior to that time he served in the House of Warriors. As questions were directed to him about the movement of Hester and her family, he pointed out that he knew with certainty that they were back in the Creek Nation before the 1866 treaty was signed. He pointed out that he know it, because he "took them into the yard" when they arrived, and that Hester's family was closely related to him.
>
>Hester took the stand again and when asked about who traveled and returned, she named her family members, including her siblings.
(same as above)

The third witness was Tacky Grason, a legislator at that time in the Creek Nation. He was also able to verify Hester's ties to the nation. He knew her parents Nero McIntosh, and Hester's mother Sarah. He also corroborated that not only Hester's parents left during the war, but that most people had vacated the area during the war as well. He also confirmed as did Sugar George that when peace was declared they were already back in the Creek Nation.


(same as above)


Land Allotments

The Murphy family did obtain their land allotments and the allotment records and interviews also tell more of the Murphy family story.

Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc, 2014.


(same as above)

There is much to be learned from the Murphy family file. The relationships among the various "classes" of Creeks was a strong one, and the Murphys were viewed as Creeks and not as outsiders. Their status as "Freedmen" was outweighed by their simply being viewed and treated as Creek. In addition, the roll that "Freedmen" such as Sugar George was evident and his involvement as a ruler in the nation is verified, and undisputed.

The lives of the Freedmen from the Creek Nation were closely aligned to all Creeks and the culture of this family was without one that was strong and deeply rooted as Muskogee Creek people. 


(This is the 29th article in a 52-article series devoted to sharing histories of families once held as enslaved people in Indian Territory, now known as Oklahoma. The focus is on the Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes, and these posts are part of an ongoing project to document 52 families in 52 weeks.)


Monday, October 2, 2017

Fannie Ewing & Martha Moore, Two Chickasaw Women

The stories of these two women are presented here, because they could be forgotten in time. They were both born enslaved by Chickasaws and lived their entire lives as Chickasaws. By the time of the Dawes Commission, they appeared to have lived alone but both appeared in front of the Dawes Commission in the spring of 1899.

And both of their stories reflect how important it is to study the community where ancestors lived. By studying the community it is evident that these women were not living in isolation, and did have people within a social and family circle that were part of their lives. The actual residence of both of these women was in Red River County in the Choctaw Nation, but they lived full lives nevertheless as Chickasaws.

From the card of Fannie Ewing, it is learned that she was enslaved by Robert Jones, and Martha was enslaved by W. A. Welch. Fannie Ewing was born in the 1840s and the slave holder was Robert Jones, an extremely wealthy Choctaw Indian. Jones' wife Susan was Chickasaw, and it is through her that many slaves were held by Jones. But years later after the war and after freedom, by the 1890s Fanny  lived in Janis, Indian Territory in Red River County of the Choctaw Nation.

The National Archives at Ft. Worth, Ft. Worth Texas 1868-1914

NAI Number: 251747

Record Group Title: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Record Group 75
Fannie's parents were Jerry Graham and Daphne Jones, and both were deceased at the time of Dawes enrollment.
(Source: same as above.)
Living in the town of  Harris, I. T., was Martha Moore, once enslaved by W. A. Welch. (I recognized the name of W. A. Welch, because he testified on behalf of my great grandparents in June of 1899 in Skullyville when they appeared in front of the commission.) Like Fanny Ewing, she was in her 50s and seemingly alone when appearing in front of the commission.

The National Archives at Ft. Worth, Ft. Worth Texas 1868-1914
NAI Number: 251747
Record Group Title: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Record Group 75

Martha's parents were Daniel Mason and Charity Mason. Her mother Charity had been enslaved also by W. A. Welch.
(Source: same as above)



Application Jackets
Fannie's application jacket was slim offering a small interview. But in this case it was pointed out that Fannie's enslavement came to Robert Jones through his wife Susan. Susan Colbert Jones was a Chickasaw and she apparently brought some slaves with her into the marriage. In the interview one of the relatives of Susan Colbert testified that she had known Fannie since her birth and in fact had even known Fannie's mother before she (Fannie) was born. 

This is one of several cases where a relative from the slave owning family came to testify on behalf of their former slave in front of the Dawes Commission. Although many details are not revealed it is clear that some kind of relationship did exist with the former slaves even years after freedom had come. In this case, Lin Colbert was adamant that not only did he know Fannie but knew her mother as well.

Ancestry.com. U.S., Native American Applications for Enrollment in Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914[database on-line].
Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.


Martha Moore's Application Jacket
In the case of Martha Moore, this was the first time that I have seen a former slave holder from Indian Territory testify on behalf of one of the former slaves. 

In the 1-page interview from the application jacket, the witness was asked, "Was she a slave?" He replied, "Yes sir." Then when asked "who was her master?" He replied, "I was." He also admitted out that the Chickasaws never enrolled their former slaves, even though they had signed the treaty to do so. 

Ancestry.com. U.S., Native American Applications for Enrollment in Five Civilized Tribes, 1898-1914[database on-line]. 

Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.


Other Family
Living close by in Janis, I. T. was a young woman Mary Ewing. Mary was 25 years of age, not on any earlier rolls. Her father was Charley Williams and her mother turned out to be Fannie Ewing.

The National Archives at Ft. Worth, Ft. Worth Texas 1868-1914

NAI Number: 251747
Record Group Title: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Record Group 75

And also once again in the same community of Janis, I. T., in the household of Julia and Charlie Edd, another relation appeared. Julia Edd was another married daughter of Fanny Ewing.

The National Archives at Ft. Worth, Ft. Worth Texas 1868-1914
NAI Number: 251747
Record Group Title: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Record Group 75

Extended Family for Martha Moore
Likewise with the case of Martha, in the same community of Harris I.T., was the Cotton family. Mollie Cotton lived there with a fairly large family. She lived nearby with her husband Tom, her grown children and some grandchildren in the household. All of these were a part of Martha Moore's extended family. Mollie was the daughter of Martha Moore.


The National Archives at Ft. Worth, Ft. Worth Texas 1868-1914

NAI Number: 251747
Record Group Title: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Record Group 75

Though there is not a lot to go on with the actual application jackets of Fanny Ewing and Martha Moore, a bit more examination of the cards from the same community reflected other people who were indeed part of their familiar circles. They were survivors and there is no doubt that they influenced the lives of their families where they lived.

Small application jackets do not prevent the family story from emerging. These two Chickasaw Freedwomen who were registered alone, did have a thriving family life in their small corner of the Choctaw Nation where they lived, in Red River County. Their families, thrived and their names should not be forgotten nor overlooked.
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This is the 28th article in a 52-article series devoted to sharing histories of famlies once held as enslaved people in Indian Territory, nowknown as Oklahoma. The focus is on the Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes, and these posts are part of an on0going project to document 52 families in 52 weeks.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Family of Louisa Gibson, Choctaw Freedmen

Not far from the city of Idabel Oklahoma, one can find the family of Louisa Gibson. She was a citizen of the Choctaw Nation. Her family lived in the town of Shawneetown, in Red River County of the Choctaw Nation, in Indian Territory. Louisa appeared in front of the Dawes Commission submitting an application for herself and for her children. Her children were Geneva Shaw, Luanna Shaw, Perry Shaw, and Australia Gibson. The father of the first three children was Sandy Shaw, presumably a previous husband. Australia Gibson's father was Hiz Gibson.

Choctaw Freedman Card #1266
The National Archives at Ft. Worth, Ft. Worth Texas 1868-1914

Record Group Title: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Record Group 75

Louisa was born enslaved and was held enslaved by Susan Jones, wife of Robert Jones. Robert and Susie Colbert Jones were the largest slave holders in Indian Territory. Louisa's parents were Aaron Shoals, and Amanda Shoals. Coming from the largest slaveholder in Indian Territory, Louisa's parents clearly had chosen to have their own name, and never used the surname of their former enslavers. 

Reverse side of card.
Source: same as above image


Many members of the Gibson family were also listed on the 1896 Choctaw Roll.
1896 Roll, Choctaw Nation
Ancestry.com. Oklahoma and Indian Territory, Indian Censuses and Rolls, 

1851-1959 [database on-line]. 

Louisa had another daughter, Sallie who was married at the time of the Dawes Commission and she appeared in front of the commission on her own. Information on Sallie Wooten is found on Choctaw Freedman Card #1387, enrolling her own children Beatrice, Prentice and Everett Wooten. Her husband Garrett Wooten was not a citizen of the Choctaw Nation. Like her mother, she and her family also lived in Shawneetown.

Choctaw Freedman Card #1387
The National Archives at Ft. Worth, Ft. Worth Texas 1868-1914


Record Group Title: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Record Group 75


Reverse side of card.
Source same as for above image



The application jackets for Louisa revealed very little additional data on the Gibson family. The expected interview was not included in the file. Only a small memorandum was in the file reflecting the same data for the family.



Thankfully, the family members did receive their land allotments. The standard land allotment data was present including plat maps, and descriptions of the land that they received. One standard data set was collected from Louisa and put onto the pre-printed forms. Like all families admitted, a set of land records appeared for each person including the young children, so the family researcher will want to obtain the files for each family member.


Ancestry.com. Oklahoma and Indian Territory, Land Allotment Jackets for Five Civilized Tribes,
1884-1934
[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc, 2014

Source: Same as above image

Source: Same as above image


It was mentioned that the family was transferred to the roll of Choctaw Freedmen, from a roll of Chickasaw Freedmen. The same data appeared on the file and the application jacket contained only one document that was significant. Apparently Louisa had a son Mark, who died in 1900. A document reflecting his death appeared in that file.

So in spite of the few records, Louisa Gibson and her children by both Shaw and Gibson have a strong legacy left upon the soil where they lived. They were enumerated in the Federal Census in 1910, now living in McCurtain County of Oklahoma. The question arises whether they lost their land as so many tribal citizens did, or was land sold and they relocated or was this the same community where they had always lived? The old settlement of Shawneetown, where the Gibsons had lived during the Dawes era, was located near what is today's Idabel Oklahoma, and Idabel is in McCurtain County.

By 1910, Louisa had either been widowed, or her second husband Gibson had died, as she was now using the name of Louisa Shaw.


Four years later, her daughter Australia married F. J. McDonald in Idabel, Oklahoma.


Ancestry.com. Oklahoma, County Marriages, 1890-1995 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016

Not much more is known about the Gibson family of Choctaw Freedmen, however, their legacy continued in the same community for decades.

Hopefully the descendants of Louisa Gibson Shaw  will be known, honored and celebrated.

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This is the 27th article in a 52-article series devoted to sharing histories and stories of families once held as enslaved people in Indian Territory, now known as Oklahoma. The focus is on the Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes, and these posts are part of an on-going project to document 52 families in 52 weeks.