Family stories indicate some branches of our family tree included ancestors from the Five Civilized Tribes. There is much interest in proving Indian or Native American ancestry. However, there are very specific criteria for proving Indian ancestry.
The Dawes Commission Roll Book, the Final Rolls of the Five Civilized Tribes, used for Certification of Degree of Indian Blood was compiled mainly during the years 1899-1906. Anyone who died before 1899 does not have a roll number. To be enrolled there were certain requirements to be met. Application had to be made during the enrollment period, showing membership in the tribe and actual residence within the area occupied by the tribe.
If the ancestor lived outside Indian Territory, they did not qualify to apply on the Dawes commission. Our Charles Wilson Buckmaster and his family were living in Indian Territory then, but I have not found any of his family names on the Dawes Roll, nor any evidence they were considered Indian. I have found no other records of other ancestors who were living in Indian Territory during the enrollment period.
Some people may never be able to prove Indian heritage. Indian law usually dictated that “when any citizen shall remove with his effects out of the limits of the Nation and become a citizen of any other government, all his rights and privileges as a citizen of the Nation shall cease,” provided nevertheless that the National Council shall have power to re-admit any such person who may at any time want to return to the Nation, but no one is entitled as an inherent right to re-admission to citizenship. If an applicant proves that at one time he was a recognized citizen of the Nation and has forfeited that citizenship, there is no law by which he can demand admission. As a matter of course, the same laws and usages governed the Dawes Commission in their consideration of claims to citizenship.
Possible Cherokee Connection
Through the Holder line, family tradition states Peter Adams Tyler met his wife-to-be, Eveline Minerva Price, at a trading post on the Mississippi River. Minerva was reportedly 1/2 or more Cherokee. Practicality would suggest that he met Minerva at a store or post in Northwest Arkansas. Eveline, born in North Carolina, followed the Cherokee routes to Arkansas, and Price is a prominent name among the Cherokee Nation. As yet, proof of her Cherokee heritage has not been found. Peter and Eveline married on July 4, 1845. They had nine children, including James Buchanan Tyler, Carl Lee Holder’s grandfather.
Possible Choctaw Connection
Through another branch of Eva Buckmaster Musgrove’s line, through a Google search, I found over twenty pages of records where, starting on February 1, 1898, Tryphena Elizabeth McGinnis Pearcy filed a lawsuit against the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations, declaring herself and her children as Choctaw Indians. Appeals went back and forth in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Citizenship Court in Ardmore, Indian Territory and in Tishomingo, the seat of the Southern District of the Indian Territory, until 1904, when the court ruled that the plaintiffs, Tryphena Elizabeth Pearcy and her children “were not entitled to be deemed or declared citizens of the Choctaw Nation, or to enrollment as such, or to any rights whatever flowing therefrom.”
Copyright 2013 by Andrea Musgrove Perisho