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Choctaw Resources

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Surnames/tags: Choctaw Native Americans
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Welcome to the Choctaw Resources Page


History and Culture

The Choctaw are a Native American people originally from what is now the southeastern United States (parts of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi). Known to themselves as the "Chahta" (or Chata depending on dialect), early encounters with Europeans began with Spanish explorers in the mid-16th century. As time passed, and non-native settlement encroached on their lands, a succession of treaties with the occupiers left them with little choice but to assimilate, find sanctuary, or relocate. Although some remained, the majority of Choctaw migrated en masse to new lands west of the Mississippi river. This Removal has been called the Trail of Tears and was a low point in the history of this proud people. Many decades of hardship followed, including allotment of their lands into individually owned parcels. However, 150 years on from Removal, the Chahta are once again a strong and vibrant self-governing people. Even the small remnant who chose not to leave now have self-determination once again. The resources linked here will assist you in learning about Choctaw history and culture, and in researching your own Chahta ancestry.

Pre Removal


Nanih Waiya
Built by the ancestors of the Choctaw, the site plays a central role in the tribe's origin stories and is considered the heart of the Choctaw people. A long, raised embankment once enclosed the site where this large rectangular platform mound, measuring 25 feet high, 218 feet long, and 140 feet wide, is maintained in a (Mississippi) state park.


"Choctaw is a Muskogean language of the American Southeast, particularly Mississippi and Alabama. It is very closely related to Chickasaw and many linguists consider the two dialects of a single language. There are around 10,000 speakers of Choctaw today (and another 1000 Chickasaw speakers), most in Oklahoma, where the Choctaw tribe was forcibly relocated in the 1800's. Like other Muskogean languages, Choctaw is a language with morphologically complex verbs and SOV (subject–object–verb) word order."
Prior to 1821 and the arrival of Revered Cyrus Byington, a white missionary, the Choctaw language was not in written form. Byington set out to be proficient in the language and able to preach without an interpreter. He and his wife Sophia (Nye) Byington also sought a way to teach Choctaw children in their own language. Though Byington had assistance from fellow missionaries, most of the credit for the written Choctaw language belongs with him.


Doak's Stand 1820
Purpose: Exchanged cession in Mississippi for parcel in Arkansas and prepare the Choctaws to become citizens of the United States
Dancing Rabbit Creek 1830
Purpose: Removal and granting U.S. citizenship


  • Choctaw Academy 1825-1842 located on the Kentucky property of U.S. Congressman and future U.S. Vice President Richard Mentor Johnson with funding through proceeds of the Treaty of Doak's Stand in 1820.


Following the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, between 1831 and 1835 more than 10,000 Choctaw men, women and children made the forced journey from Mississippi to Indian Territory. The harsh conditions and treatment along the route resulted in some 2,500 deaths and is remembered as the Trail of Tears.
In his final report on the removal, George Gaines wrote Lewis Cass, "in the three years of removal, we have transported more than 6,000 Choctaws from Mississippi to the new Choctaw Nation in the West." Actually, the figure was from 1500 to 2000 more than Gaines had estimated in his report to Cass. By Jan. 1, 1834, there were from 7,500 to 8,000 Choctaws residing in the new western lands.
~Len Greenwood - Bishinik, March 1995

Choctaw Trail of Tears

Post Removal


  • The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture: Choctaw Schools To further the work of educating their youth, in 1842 the Choctaw General Council enacted a law that established six boarding schools: Spencer Academy, Fort Coffee Academy, Koonaha (Kunaha or Sunsha) Female Seminary, Ianubbee (Ayanubbe) Female Seminary, Chuwahla (Chuwalla) Female Seminary, and Wheelock Female Seminary.

Choctaw Gift to the Irish in 1847

Modern Tribal Government

Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians

  • Access Genealogy: Identified Mississippi Choctaw 1902 List of persons whose names appear on Identification Roll of Mississippi Choctaws under the provisions of the Act of June 28, 1898
  • Access Genealogy: Society of Mississippi Choctaw 1914 From the National Archives and the list was posted in the newspaper in Biloxi/Gulfport, Mississippi in November of 1935.

Jena Band of Choctaw Indians

Choctaw Research Resources

Dawes Rolls

General Interest

  • Union Indian Agency created 30 June 1874, consolidated the Creek, Choctaw (including Chickasaw), Seminole and Cherokee agencies
Access Genealogy:
(Choctaw Specific)
U.S. Government:
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs: PDF - A guide to tracing American Indian and Alaska Native Ancestry
  • Internet Archive: Marriages, Choctaw Nation, Secnd Div. digitized & downloadable, Allen County Library, Includes- Volume yr.1890-1900
  • National Library of Medicine: Native Voices a search for 'choctaw' returns 62 entries of interest

Law Enforcement

Choctaw Lighthorsemen
The Treaty of Doak's Stand in 1820, appropriated US$600 ($150,000 in 2021) per year to the Choctaw Nation to organize and maintain the Choctaw Lighthorsemen. These men were given the authority to arrest, try and punish those who broke tribal laws. The first corps became operational in 1824. Peter Perkins Pitchlynn (1806-1881) became the head of this force in 1825. After the Choctaws removed to Indian Territory, the Lighthorsemen reported to the tribal chief. Lighthorsemen rode their own horses and used their own weapons.


  • Maps on the Choctaw Images Wikitree page.

Military Involvement

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Here is the Library of Congress, 1830 Treaty - <ref>Title

Andrew Jackson President of the United States of America, to all and singular to whom these presents shall come, greeting: Whereas a treaty between the United States of America, and the Mingoes, chiefs, captains and warriors, of the Choctaw nation.. Contributor Names U. S. Treaties, etc. 1829-1837. Andrew Jackson. Created / Published Washington, 1830. Subject Headings - United States--District of Columbia--Washington, 8 pages, https://www.loc.gov/resource/rbpe.23000400/?sp=1&st=gallery</ref>

posted by Arora (G) Anonymous
edited by Arora (G) Anonymous
Yakoke! (Thank you!) I've added a link under the Treaties section of the main Choctaw page. https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Choctaw#Treaties
posted by Ronald Prentice

Categories: Choctaw