J. B. (John Bert) Campbell.

Campbell's abstract of Creek Indian census cards and index online

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Creek Indian Census Cards





JUL 12 1915


The preparation of this record has been a tedious work. It is believed by
the Compiler that its publication will have a decided effect for good on land
titles in Eastern Oklahoma. No one thing has been more responsible for the
bad titles of Eastern Oklahoma than the lack of knowledge of the facts on the
part of the public.

Congress after the making of certain treaties under which citizens of the
Creek Nation were enrolled and received their allotments, enacted many
laws materially effecting these treaty provisions and as a result the title to
land. These laws, of course, were made public, but the facts under which
any one of these laws were applicable, in any specific instance, were not given
the same publicity. Many facts were purposely suppressed by the Govern-
ment, and this was done in an effort to protect these allottees from the land
shark. Their day, however, is now passed, and Congress, by subsequent
laws, has so protected the allottee that the widest publicity of the facts is for
the best interest of the allottee, as well as the public generally.

The publication of the Tribal Rolls, in 1907, gave the roll number, name of
the allottee, age, sex and blood, and operated to a large extent to inform the
public, but this information was not sufficient, in fact, it aided only those who,
by reason of their familiarity with the workings and records of the Indian
Offices, knew how to secure additional information. I emphasize ihe words
"those who knew how" for this reason: only those who had a working famil-
arity with the procedure and the records of the Dawes Commission, later the
office of the Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes, and now the office
of the Superintendent of the Five Civilized Tribes, knew what to ask for to
advise themselves. An investor from Iowa, Illinois or New York knows
nothing of these records. He is shown the roll book, published by the Interior
Department, and he takes the information there given as a verity. It did
not occur to him to make further investigation, in the office of the Commis-
sioner to the Five Civilized Tribes. If he did think of making further investi-
gation he was given a copy of the census card of the particular allottee in which
he was interested. He was told that this was the family card, — he was not
told that a member of that same family might be found on 1, 2, 5, 10 or 15
other cards, as the case might be. In fact, no one knew of this in each particu-
lar instance. Those familiar with the records knew that members of the same
fam'ly might appear on different cards, but what cards no one knew.

The records here presented are the first effort at cross-indexing, the purpose
being to locate the different members of any particular family. The indexing
has been made with great care, and we have not been content with indexing
under the name as spelled on the card, but have, in many instances, indexed
under two, three and even four different spellings. An examination of the
card itself will show the necessity for this. The same names have on these
records been spelled many different ways, in fact, in many cases the same
name appearing twice on the same card will be spelled differently, and we
.have sought by this index to cover all such discrepancies, and in cases where

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doubt may exist, we have indexed so as to cover both ends of the doubt. Where
different members of famihes spell their names differently, we have likewise
covered both ways of spelling.

Your index may refer you to a particular card, turning to that card you do
not find the name given in the index, if you will look at the card carefully,
study it, you will in most instances see the reason for the reference. In some
cases this reason is not apparent from the card, but there is a reason, never-
theless, in each case, and cross references of names found on the card will un-
doubtedly show the reason.

Many believe that the date of enrollment is the date from which you cal-
culate to determine the age of the allottee. In a great many instances this
is true, but in many cases this is not true. The law says, that the enrollment
record shall govern as to age. The enrollment record may include the testi-
mony taken at the time of enrollment, affidavits, birth certificates, etc. Every-
one ought before purchasing, or leasing lands, to secure from the Commis-
sioner a certified copy of the enrollment testimony, if there be any question
as to age.

More than one-third of the Creek allottees are dead, at this time: the
balance must die. The object of this record is to present to the public a
means of determining the heirs. It is a presentation of the material facts
which the public should know in order that they may secure further infor-
mation from the Superintendent's office.

Thousands and thousands of deeds have been placed of record, one might
say at ramdom, because of lack of information on the part of those taking the
deeds. It is believed that the publication of this record will put a stop to
such practise.

The enrollment records are the basis of title of these Indian lands. Judge
Sanborn has so declared them to be, and even if he had not so declared, common
sense would tell us that they are. These facts should be given the same
publicity as other public records. The magnitude of the task has prevented
this. The government at some time will make all these records public in some
form, but when it does it will be complete, it will not be an abstract such as
is given here. Lack of knowledge of these essential facts is almost universal.
An instance possibly will show something of this. The compiler of this record
prepared a brief in a case, pending in the Supreme Court of Oklahoma, and
filed this brief with the court. In this brief was detailed the procedure and
manner of work of the Dawes Commission and of its records. One of the
justices wrote the writer that he had read the brief and was amazed at the
contents. He stated that he had no idea that the facts were such as they
were shown to be and added that the public generally were not advised of this,
and asked permission to file the original brief in the Historical Library of this

The need of such a book as this has been so apparent for years that the
writer had in course of preparation a copy for his own use. Other lawyers
seeing the work wanted copies, and this was the inspiration for publication.
A canvass of the larger cities of the Creek Nation convinced the compiler of
the record and index that the public wanted it. After deciding to publish
the work it was necessary that all records be gone over carefully again, and
compared with the originals in the office of the Superintendent to the Five
Civilized Tribes. The work was begun under the administration of Mr. J.
George Wright, Commissioner, continued under the administration of Mr

Dana H. Kelsey, Superintendent, and concluded under the administration of
Mr. Gabe E. Parker, Superintendent. The writer wishes to thank these sev-
eral gentlemen for the uniform courtesy extended to him and to Mr. George
Bixby, who compiled the original data. Also do I wish to thank the several
heads of the Departments, and clerks in charge, for the courtesies extended to
me by them. I trust that in no way have I over-stepped the limitations im-
posed on me.

There are some items of data which I desired to incorporate in this Ab-
stract, but permission to get this data was denied me. I was informed at the
time, the reason for denying me, and while, as it was then suggested to me, I
might go over their heads and get the information, I had no thought of doing
so. I appr3ciated the position of the department. If it be possible at any
near future date to get the dates of sele3tion of allotment, and copies of the
annotated Creek rolls, I will do so and have these published and sell at a
nominal price to the subscribers of the present work.

It is hoped that the purchasers of this book will familiarize themselves
with the plan of work, by careful study of the instructions, which will be
inserted hereafter, throughout the book. Unless this be done they will not
get th) full benefit of the book, and will not see its full value. It is an Ab-
stract of the Creek Indian cards, giving data tending to show the status of the
individual citizens, his father and mother. It is not a copy of the card. The
index is arranged so as to show the different cards where the name of the
citizen and all others of the same family may be found.

The sale of the book will be, of course, limited to a certain class of busi-
ness men in the Creek Nation, and as the work of preparation is great, and the
printing — by reason of its being all tabulated — very expensive, it will be seen
that the price is reasonable.

Those who have aided in the preparation of the book for publication,
Mr. George Bixby, Miss Maude Miller, Miss Gladys Fearnside and Miss
Ostara Bixby, have been careful and painstaking, and I feel that I have been
very happy in my choice of assistants. It is too much to hope that we have
made no error. We have checked and rechecked and proof-read twice, but
even" so, with this great mass of tabulated matter, error in some instances
may have crept in. At this date we know of no error. It is to be hoped that
there is none. We will say, however, that if there is any error in the Abstract
and Index it is a trifling error and will mislead no one.

As I have stated more than one-third of the Creeks have now departed
this life. I have not been able to show all of these deaths, — the reason being
that there is no record of deaths in hundreds of cases in the office of the Superin-
tendent of the Five Civilized Tribes, and this true, because there is no neces-
sity for such record. In the early days of the Dawes Commission, and after
the allotments of land had begun, proofs of death were taken, but later acts
of Congress made the taking of these proofs of death unnecessary, as it provided
for the issuance of deeds in every case in the name of the original citizen to
whom the allotment was made whether he be living or dead. There was no
need of further filing of proofs of death until the present making of the equali-
zation payment. As this payment was to be made only to those whose allot-
ments were of value $800.00, or under, it will be seen that a very large percent-
age of the Indians did not come under this class, and no proofs of death were
taken unless they did come under the class where equalization money was

due. I will speak of these proofs of death under another heading and so will
make no further reference here.

The law of descent and distribution relative to these allotted lands of the
Creeks presents possibly the most complicated system of descent and distri-
bution in history. I have thought best to set forth these laws of descent and
distribution. I have my own opinion as to the effect of some of these laws,
but will make no comment. I realize that descent and distribution is to be
the law of the future of this eastern half of the State, and the lawyer who is
well equipped to take care of that business will have all that he can do. I
have said that our laws of descent and distribution are complicated. Much
of this complication arises by reason of the many changes in the law. The
law of the date of selection governs, providing the citizen be dead when the
land is selected in allotment. In such case the heirs are identified as of the
date of the death of the allottee, under the law of the date of selection.

J. B. Campbell,
Muskogee, Oklahoma, April 3, 1915.



Our canvas for the sale of this Abstract and Index showed such woeful
lack of information on the part of the public generally, of the records in the
office of the Superintendent of the Five Civilized Tribes, at Muskogee, Okla-
homa, that when we presented our copy it was as "Greek" to them. This
lack of knowledge was not universal, but we were surprised to find to what
extent it was true. Therefore, in explaining our record we must go to every
detail, and will ask those who read this detailed explanation to open the book
at any card they may choose and read this text in connection with that card,
in order that they may fully understand it. If they once understand our plan
they will have no trouble thereafter.

The first, or title line, to each card shows that it is a Creek Indian, (not
freedman) card. The number of this card is given, after which follows the
last known post office address of the enrolled citizen. Then follows the date
or dates of enrollment. Suppose we had six persons enrolled on any particular
card, and the first four of these enrolled citizens were enrolled in the month
of August, 1898, the fifth enrolled on the card was enrolled July 1, 1900, and
the sixth was enrolled June 24, 1904. Unless it be more specifically noted
on the card these entries will be made as follows:

Enrolled August 1898; No. 5 July 1, 1900; No. 6 June 24, 1904.

It will be noted that under the first date we include the enrollment of all
these citizens, who are not specifically numbered, such as Nos. 5 and 6 in this
particular instance. Note also that the enrollment date is in the "title line"
and not at the lower right hand corner of the card as on the original card in
the office of the Superintendent.

Now taking up the tabulated matter in detail :

(1) The first column is under the heading "Roll No." This needs no
explanation except to say that it is the roll number of the enrolled citizen
whose name is found under the heading "name" later, on the same line. This
roll number will be the roll number given in the roll book, published by the
Department of the Interior.

(2) The next column is under the heading "No." and under this is given
the number of those as they appear on the card. It has no other significance.
It is used simply for certainty in future reference. Wherever the enrolled
citizen whose nsme follows this number is referred to the number in front of
his name is used, and not his name. Brevity was not the only reason for
using the numbers, instead of the name. It may be that there will be two
enrolled citizens on the same card, having the same name, and if we used the
name it would lead to uncertainty. Therefore, we use the numbers. Its use
may be explained as follows. Suppose we had three citizens on the card as
follows :

No. 1. Smith, John
No. 2. Smith, Martha
No. 3. Smith, John
Suppose that the John Smith first named was the father of the John Smith

last named. In the columns under the heading "Name of father" on the same
line where the name of the second John Smith appears we write No. 1, thus
meaning that John Smith, who appears after No. 1 on this card, is the father
of John Smith whose name appears after No. 3 on this card. Again, in the
notations at the bottom of the card you will see "No. 1 died January 14, 1913,"
"No. 3 died August 6, 1904." By using the numbers we make our references
certain, and you know at once which John Smith died on January 14, 1913,
and which died in August 1904.

(3) Under the heading "Name" we give the name of the enrolled citizen,
whose roll number appears in the column under the heading "Roll No."

(4) Next follows the columns under the headings "age" "sex" and "blood,"
and these we think need no explanation. This refers to the age, sex and
blood of the citizen whose name immediately precedes these notations. The
ages given are the ages shov/n by the census cards in the ofTice of the
Superintendent— not the ages at the time of the preparation of this Abstract.

(5) Above the next column is the heading "Rel." This abbreviation is
for "relationship to No. 1 on the card." The first citizen enrolled on the
card is usually the head of the family. There is usually no notation in this
column after his name. The names of those enrolled, and which follow his
enrollment, and who are on this card are, as a usual thing, related to him in
some way, and this relationship is noted in this column. Thus, if "No. 2"
on the card be the wife of "No. 1" then in this column will be the abbrevia-
tion "Wf," if "No. 3" be the daughter of "No. 1", then the letter "D" will
appear in this column, if a son, then the letter "S", and here we use "StS"for
step-son; "SD" for step-daughter, "GD" for granddaughter, "GS" for grand-
son, "Neph" for nephew, and niece, ward, etc. We think with this explana-
tion no one will have trouble in determining the relationship of those on the
card, as shown in this column.

(6) Under the heading "Name of Father" is found the name of the father
of the enrolled citizen. This enrolled citizen being the one whose name ap-
pears on this same line on the card. Remember names of the enrolled citi-
zens appear only in the column under the heading "Name." The father and
mother may, or may not, be enrolled citizens. If they are enrolled their names
will be found in the column under the heading "Name." What has been
said here of the nam.es appearing under the heading "Name of Father" is also
true of the names found under the heading "Name of Mother". If the father
or mother be enrolled their names may or may not appear on the card, as en-
rolled citizens, with their child.

(7) After the names of father and mother will be found columns headed
"living" and "citizen." We now take up these two headings and ask that
you carefully note what they say.

(a) "Living." Under this heading we show whether or not the parent
was living at the time his, or her, child, the citizen, was emrolled. If the
parent was living at that time the letter "L" will be found under this column
heading. If the parent was dead at that time the letter "D", meaning dead,
will be found in this column. On the original cards in the office of ihe Superin-
tendant if the father or mother be living, or if there be any doubt of his or her
death, than this column was left blank. We have made no changes in the
notations of death as noted on the original cards. We have, however, added
the notation as to the living and in doing so have used the knowledge gained

by our continued working at the cards and have noted those whom we believe
to be dead with a question mark thus (?)

(b) "Citizen." Under this column we note whether or not the particular
parent was a member of the Creek Nation of Indians. If the parent was a
member of the Creek Nation of Indians then the letters "Cr" is found under
this column heading. If, however, the parent was not a member of the Creek
Nation of Indians, then in this column will be found such notation as this, —
"Non", meaning non-citizen; "Chick," meaning Chickasaw, "Choc," meaning
Choctaw, "Cher" meaning Cherokee, "Sem" meaning Seminole, etc. On the
original cards no notation was made in this column in a vast proportion of
instances. We have studied the cards and the cross references and have given
the result of the examination. In doing so we adopted certain rules such as
the following:

(1) If the child was of Creek blood greater than a half blood, then of course
both parents must have Creek blood.

(2) If one of the parents was enrolled as of a certain quantum of Indian
blood and the other parent not enrolled and the child was noted as having
Indian blood just half of the amount of the enrolled parent, then we noted
the other parent as a non-citizen.

(3) Our acquaintance is large and we knew personally the status of many.

(4) By reference to other cards. Theie were many of whom we could
not be certain and we noted these with a question mark thus (?).

(8) The notations at the bottom of each card need little explanation,
when it is remembered that the numbers there used, such as No. 1 and No. 3,
etc., mean the enrolled citizens, whose names are found after the numbers 1
and 3, as these numbers are used in the second column of tabulated matter on
the card.

(9) The making o' the Abstract of the New-Born and Minor Creek cards
is somewhat different from that used for the Abstract of the original Creek
cards. The cards themselves were different and this necessitated a different
Abstract. An explanatory note will precede the New Born and Minor Creek

(10) The Index to follow the record itself will be preceded by an explana-
tory note thereto. Everyone should carefully read and thoroughly under-
stand the explanatory notes, which appear in this record and index. If they
do not fully familiarize themselves with the manner of making this Abstract,
and what each notation m.eans much of the value of the book will be lost to

In the making of the Abstract and Index we made notes of matters which
we believed would aid those in examining the cards in difficult cases. Though
many of these "Helps" have been noted in the preface and the explanatory
notes, we have made note of the following:

(1) During the year 1914 Congress admitted sixty-two persons to citizen-
ship in the Creek Nation. These have no allotments. In making census
cards for these newly admitted citizens, in the office of the Superintendent
to the Five Civilized Tribes, they were given roll numbers beginning with the
next number after the last originally enrolled Creek. By an error duplication
was the .result in numbering the cards. You will note by an examination of
the Creek Rolls, published by the Department that in the last few numbers
the card numbers are not in consecutive order. As a result the last enrollment
number 1 0181 is not on the highest numbered census card. In the making


of these new cards for those whom we have designated "Congressional Enroll-
ments" the numbers of the cards from 4015 to 4026 have been duplicated.
To avoid uncertainity we have put the letter "CE" in front of the numbers in
the Index, when reference is made to one of these Congressional Enrollment

(2) In searching the Index for any name look under the different spellings
of the name, as Deer-Deere, Kernall-Kernal-Kernel, Heneha-Henneha-Henne-
hah-Henehar-Hinneha, Mahala-Maholey-Mahole-Meholi.

(3) In looking for an Indian name and finding it, then loDk back for a few
names and also forward. The index is so arranged that if the name is mis-
spelled you will often catch it near to where it should be if spelled correctly.
Different clerks spelled the names differently in preparing the cards, but even
at that the two spellings ought to be close together. Where we have been able
to determine that these two spellings refer to one and the same person we have
cross indexed, but have not been able in every case to so determine.

(4) The Index may refer you to a card where you do not find the name. If
the card itself does not show why the reference was made look up the cross
reference to other names on the card and this will make the reference clear.

(5) We have tried to make reference to Freedmen cards, but in all cases ^
could not do so as we could not get sufficient data.

(6) From our investigation we believe that fully two-fifths of the Creek
allottees are dead. We have worked diligently to show the dead. Only a
part of this data was on the census cards and the balance scattered throughout
the various divisions of the Superintendent's office. We show about 3800.
We could not show all, for the reason that the Superintendent has no record
of them.

In noting the dead in some cases the dates of death are given
and in others they are simply "reported dead." In those cases where
the data of death is given, proofs of death are on file in the office of the Superin-
tendent of the Five Civilized Tribes. In some cases where the dates are not
given proofs are on file, but the proofs do not show the date of death. For
those who are noted "reported dead" we secured our information from the
Creek Indian ledger, but this did not give the date of death. In many other
instances we knew from our personal knowledge that the allottee was dead and
have noted these "reported dead." In many cases several proofs of death of
any particular allottee are on file, in the office of the Superintendent, and
these show different dates, varying in some instances from one to ten years
in the date of death. We have selected only one date, taking the proof which
we deemed most trustworthy, but, as a matter of fact these proofs of death are
not reliable in arriving at the true date, nor are they reliable in naming the sur-
viving relatives and heirs at law. It is always well to send for a certified copy
of one of these proofs of death, if you are interested, but do not rely on it.

Online LibraryJ. B. (John Bert) CampbellCampbell's abstract of Creek Indian census cards and index → online text (page 1 of 79)