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Folsom Family of Choctaw Heritage

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: 1775 to 1832
Location: Choctaw Nationmap
Surname/tag: Folsom
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This page provides context for the Folsom family of Choctaw heritage, offering historical details and reliable source material.

A Brief Origin of the Folsom Family of Choctaw
Israel Folsom and Mary (Chambers) Folsom were the parents to four known sons; Nathaniel Folsom Sr, Ebenezer Folsom, Edmund Folsom and Israel. The father was born in Connecticut, the mother in New Jersey, met and married in either New Jersey or in North Carolina, moving to that state with a Baptist colony. From North Carolina, after the children were born, the family left that state living in Georgia for a time. About 1775 the father again moved his family, this time to the southwest, reaching the area which was home to the First People known as Choctaw.[1] During the last stages of their journey into the region, they encountered other travelers at Pearl River who were returning due to sickness. The father, fearing for his family, decided to return to North Carolina, but eventually altered course into the Chickasaw lands. This caused a dispute between the eldest son, 19-year-old Nathaniel, and his father, and his parting ways with the family. In a letter to his friend Cyrus Byington, Nathaniel offers his recollection of the event:

“At this time I was about 19 years of age. At that place we parted. My father knocked me down. I arose and told him I would quit him, and did so by walking straight off before his face. I do not remember what I did, but I always thought I was not in fault. My parents then moved into the Chickasaw Nation. I entered into partnership with Mr. Welch, and could do many things for him. In the Chickasaw Nation my brother Israel ran away from my father and came to me. He died at the age of 18 near where Mr. Juzon now lives. He was a good young man.”
~ Nathaniel Folsom June 1823 letter to Rev. Cyrus Byington[1]

For the remainder of his life Nathaniel resided among the Choctaw as an adopted member of that society. Eventually his brothers Israel, Edmond and Ebenezer would join him. The three remaining brothers, Israel having died young, would each learn the Choctaw language and marry Choctaw women, making their homes and livelihoods as immigrants accepted into the culture. Thus, these brothers became the foundation of the Folsom family of Choctaw.[2] Folsom descendants, through their fathers listed here, may be connected to John Folsom of Norfolkshire, England, who emigrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration about 1638.

WikiTree Category Listing of Descendants: Folsom Family of Choctaw Heritage

Folsom Family of Choctaw
Generation / Father / Mother / Children
1 Israel Folsom[1][3] Mary Chambers Nathaniel
2 Nathaniel Folsom[3][4] Ai Ne Chi David
I-Ah-Ne-Cha Nathaniel
2 Ebeneezer[3] Ni Ti Ka Sophia
2 Edmund[3] Yokahliti Jeremiah
Unknown Margaret (Peggy)
* Disputed child or mother/child connection

Note: Czarina (Colbert) Conlan, a great-granddaughter of Nathaniel Folsom, who in 1919 began working as the curator of the Native American collection of the museum run by the Oklahoma Historical Society, provided family knowledge and documentation to Elizabeth Knowles Folsom for the Genealogy of the Folsom Family. That work and other mentions of the family by Cushman, Byington and in publications such as the History of Bethel Presbytery, help place the children with their correct birth mother.


First Person Accounts

Scholarly Works

  • Debo, Angie. The Rise and Fall of the Choctaw Republic. Univ. of Oklahoma Pr., 1934.
  • O'Beirne, Harry F, Laura S. Gross, and Theodore Gross. Leaders And Leading Men of the Indian Territory: With Interesting Biographical Sketches. I. Choctaws And Chickasaws: With a Brief History of Each Tribe, Its Laws, Customs, Superstitions And Religious Beliefs. Chicago: American publishers' association, 1891.

Government Documents

  • "United States Census, 1830," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 29 July 2017), Nathaniel Folsom, Lowndes, Mississippi, United States; citing 85, NARA microfilm publication M19, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 71; FHL microfilm 14,839.

Other Websites


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Byington, Cyrus. “Memoir of Nathaniel Folsom, as Told to Cyrus Byington, June 1829.” Western History Collections, University of Oklahoma, Accessed 1 Sept. 2019. Jay L. Hargett Collection: Box H-57, Folder 59
  2. Debo, Angie. The Rise and Fall of the Choctaw Republic. Univ. of Oklahoma Pr., 1934. pg 37-38
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Folsom, Elizabeth Knowles Genealogy of the Folsom family: a revised and extended edition, including English records 1638-1938, published 1938, Reference Volume 2, pages 807-8
  4. Cushman, H. B. History of the Choctaw, Chickasaw and Natchez Indians. Headlight Printing House, 1899. p. 387 – 391



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