Chickasaw Nation ITGenWeb

Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory

I'm Donna Allen, Chickasaw Nation, I.T. Coordinator. Thank you for stopping in. I'm currently working on overhauling the look of this site and would appreciate your stopping in again when the "mess" has cleared. All of the same links will be back, along with some new ones for you to use in your search of your Chickasaw ancestors. Thank you so much for your patience!

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Chickasaw Nation History

The history of the Chickasaw Nation can be divided into four parts
  • Early History, The Nation east of the Mississippi River
  • Chickasaw Nation in Indian Territory, 1837-1907
  • Limbo period from 1907-1983
  • The New Chickasaw Nation, 1983-Today

The Chickasaw, while being a relatively small tribe, occupied or claimed large hunting areas in parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. The first recorded contact with the tribe was in December of 1540, by Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. De Soto and his men spent the winter among the Chickasaws, often abusing the hospitality of their host. In March of 1541, De Soto made preparations to continue his explorations and made demands on the Chickasaw chiefs that they supply two hundred warriors to carry his column's baggage. (Some say he demanded a number of Indian maidens as well.) This was the last straw as for as the Chickasaws were concerned and on the night of March 4, 1541, the Chickasaws attacked and routed De Soto and his men. Thus began the reputation of the Chickasaws as being one of the most fearsome Indian Tribes in the southeast.

After the American Revolutionary War and the westwardly migration of white settlers, the lands of the Chickasaws became prime targets for westward expansion. When the American government acquired those lands west of the Mississippi River in the Louisiana Purchase, a program was began by the United States to "remove" the Chickasaws and other eastern tribes to the west. After much physical, economic and legal trickery, the Chickasaws finally capitulated in 1832 to signing a removal Treaty with the United States, this Treaty was re-negotiated in 1834. One of the principle clauses in the Treaty was that the Chickasaws were not to be required to "remove" until a suitable land had been located west of the Mississippi in the new Indian Territory.

As not suitable land could be found which had not already been given to another tribe, the Chickasaws were pressured into leasing a portion of the newly removed Choctaw lands in Indian Territory. This was done under the Treaty of 1837. One of the disadvantages of this Treaty, was that for all practical purposes, the Chickasaws lost their identity as a separate nation and became Choctaws. They were to have representative on the Choctaw Council, but soon found themselves in the minority. There was much dissension among both the Choctaws and the Chickasaws over this arrangement.

Efforts were begun almost immediately after the 1837 Treaty was signed to purchase outright their lands from the Choctaws. This effort came to fruition in the Treaty of 1855, and the Chickasaws had their own nation once again. This period lasted until 1907, when the Indian Territory was combined with Oklahoma Territory to form the present State of Oklahoma. It was the belief and intentions of the United States Government that this act of statehood would be end of the Chickasaw Nation, and that all Chickasaws would be assimilated into the American population.

From 1907 to about 1983, the Chickasaw Nation essentially did not exist. There were some unofficial organizations of those of Chickasaw descent, but little more. In the Chickasaw constitution of 1856, the Chickasaws had changed from having a "Chief" as head of the tribe to having an elected "Governor." Because, not all the business of the Chickasaw Nation had been completed, essentially business dealing with claims against the U.S. and the settlement of land issues, the President continued the office of Governor of the Chickasaws by Presidential appointment. This was the "Limbo Period" of the Chickasaw Nation.

Original Chickasaw Nation Capitol Building in Tishomingo, OK.

In the 70's a nation wide movement of Indian activists and Indian rights began. The Chickasaws began to reawaken. This finally culminated with respect to the Chickasaws in about 1983 when a new recognition was made of the Chickasaw Nation and a new Constitution of the Chickasaw Nation was adopted. The Chickasaw Nation was once again reborn.

Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties.
Vol. II (Treaties) in part. Compiled and edited by Charles J. Kappler.
Washington : Government Printing Office, 1904.
Table Of Contents (Treaties By Year)

The Constitution Of the Chickasaw Nation As Amended June 22, 1990

Queries - View & Submit View Archived Queries

American Indian Resources

Oklahoma Counties Created From the Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory (In Whole or In Part)


Oklahoma Resources

USGenWeb History

In March and April, 1996, a group of genealogists organized the Kentucky Comprehensive Genealogy Database Project - The KYGenWeb Project. It began as a discussion on the Internet mailing list, KYROOTS-L. (Hosted at the University of Kentucky, and is coordinated by Roseann Hogan of Frankfort, Ky. the author of "Kentucky Ancestry".)

The idea was to provide a single entry point for all counties in Kentucky, where genealogical data about each county could be easily found. In addition, the data on all county sites would be indexed and cross-linked, so that a single search in the master index could locate all references to a given surname across all pages and databases associated with the project. The discussion quickly turned into a reality, and the project snowballed so quickly that by mid-July all the Kentucky counties had pages.

In June, as the Kentucky Project was coming to completion it was decided to extend the concept to all of the United States and the UsGenWeb Project was established. Volunteers were found who were willing to coordinate the collection of county pages for a state page. As of 31 December, 2,239 out of 3,109 or 72% of the counties in the US had a USGenWeb page up and running! There are now about 2,000 volunteers contributing their time to this project. Queries are coming in at the rate of about 5,000 per week and approximately two million names have been indexed. The Archives now contain more than 50,000 pages of primary documents. You can visit the USGenWeb Archives and see what's there, and maybe get a better idea of what is desired. If you would like to contribute your data or create a county page within a given state, please contact the person responsible for maintaining your state page. Volunteers were found who were willing to host the State Projects and coordinate the County pages. The Indian Territory OKGenWeb Project has evolved from these roots. If you would like to contribute your data or host a Nation page in Oklahoma IT, please contact ITGenWeb Coordinator.  If your genealogical search extends outside the United States you will want to check the resources of the World Genealogy Project.

Thanks to Kerry Armstrong, who maintained this site from 1998 to 2002
This site last updated on 26 June 2006

Chickasaw Nation, IT Coordinator: Donna Allen, 2006