The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


June 4, 2012

Frankie Meyer: Oklahoma records available online

JOPLIN, Mo. — The Oklahoma Historical Society has some genealogists with ancestors and relatives who were excited to move there. The society has digitized many of its records and indexes and made them available online at no charge.

The society’s website is When the site opens, look for the database that says, “New! The Gateway to Oklahoma History -- Search and View Historic Newspapers Online.”

After entering a name, the site provides a copy of the newspaper page that contains the article with that name. After viewing a full copy of the page, one can use the zoom option to enlarge it. Place the cursor on the page and move it around to read the various articles.

The site also provides an index to the 1890 Oklahoma territorial census. One can enter both a surname and first name.

I only listed last names when I checked the census. I was then provided lists of people with those last names. The site gave the age of each person, sex, birthplace and the page number on the census.

 One can then order a digitized copy if they desire.

Another useful database is titled “1896 Applications For Enrollment of Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole).” The enrollment was done by the Dawes Commission, as noted by the site. It includes some people who were trying to enroll based on federal court decisions.

Those names were contested because the federal courts did not have jurisdiction to decide who were members of each tribe -- only the tribes had that authority.

Another problem with the 1896 enrollment was that it included intruders who were residing with the tribes. Even though the Dawes Commission decided to not use the 1896 enrollment, the list contains data that might be useful for researching your family.

The site also has the database of the Dawes final rolls. Enrollment began in 1898 and ended in 1906. This list includes people who chose to enroll and were approved for membership in one of the five civilized tribes. Women are listed by their married name. Information included with each name is sex, blood degree, census card number, page and the enrollment number and tribe.

Suggestions or queries? Send to Frankie Meyer, 509 N. Center St., Plainfield, IN 46168, or email

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