Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Stand Up and Be Counted

Native American genealogy research can be tricky for many reasons. One of those is the fact that sometimes those of Native American descent did not state the fact on records. Fortunately for me, my ancestors had no problem claiming what was theirs.

The above page is a 1910 census page for the "Indian Population" of Ward 1 in Duncan, Stephens County, Oklahoma. This page is in the back of the regular population schedule for this ward. The second family on the list is my great-great grandparents and five of their six daughters.

Would you believe the enumerator got Jones wrong? He or she did by writing JONE. This is the Frank and Carrie (Colbert) Jones family. Their eldest daughter, Frankie (my great-grandmother), was married with a child of her own by this time and thus not part of this household. It's tough to see in this photo, but Frank is listed as "w" for white, and everyone else is listed as "In" for Indian. Carrie is a descendant of James Logan Colbert, who is a prominent name in Chickasaw history.

On the bottom half of the Indian Population page, it lists the tribe and degree of blood.

I'm not sure why my ancestors stood up to be counted in the 1910 Indian Population census. Was it pride? Or the land? I may never know why they did it, but I am glad they did.

[You can find this record by going to the 1910 U.S. census > Oklahoma > Stephens County > Duncan > Ward 1 > ED 232 > Sheet 21A (or page 21 in Ancestry.com). This Indian Population page is at the back of the population schedule  for this district on Ancestry.com.]


  1. The reference to 'degree of blood", what is that all about? I am curious
    Greta to see your ancestors stood up for what they belived was the right thing to do, at least you do not have distorted records about them.

  2. You know with the census coming out this week. My husband and I were talking about it with his brother and his wife. They were talking about how we have to share all this information with the government. I am sure there are so many people out there that feel the same way. In that moment I imagined my descendant looking for me. For me the census is not about the government it is about standing up and being counted.

    I am glad my ancestors did the same. I don't think I have any Indian ancestors but I would hope they could all be true to themselves!

    Great post!

  3. You are quite fortunate. My cousin and I were discussing the back room hushed references to having native American blood, but I have yet to find proofs.