OKGen Timeline

Encompassing all or part of the present Oklahoma counties of
Canadian, Cleveland, Kingfisher, Logan, Oklahoma, and Payne.

Genealogical History of Oklahoma

* { dates regarding Unassigned Lands }

1782 - First group of Cherokees moved into Oklahoma.

1805 - The Kiowa left the northern Plains and moved to the Arkansas River and Cimarron River valleys of Oklahoma.

1806-1821 - American explorers. More trading post established. First mission to the Indians established.

1808 - 2,000 Cherokees moved to Oklahoma.

1817 - Fort Smith, Arkansas, established for defense from the Indians. Some eastern Cherokees moved into western Arkansas. 4,000 more Cherokees moved to Oklahoma.

1818-1830 - Oklahoma lands ceded to the U.S. by Osage, Choctaw, and Quapaw.

1819 - Arkansas Territory created by Congress and included Oklahoma.

1824 - Federal government established Fort Gibson on the Arkansas River and Fort Towson on the Red River to protect the Cherokee and Choctaw. First road in Oklahoma was surveyed between the forts. Records filed at Fort Worth Branch, National Archives (hereinafter, F.W.N.A.)

1825 - Choctaws were removed from Arkansas to Oklahoma, leading to permanent western boundary for Arkansas.

1828 - Cherokees persuaded to leave Arkansas and move to Oklahoma.

1830-1855 - The Five Civilized tribes moved to Oklahoma by order of the federal government after removal treaties.

1834-1859 - Seven more military posts established. Records filed at F.W.N.A.

1835 - Treaty of New Echota, Georgia, provided for Cherokees to move to Oklahoma.

1835 - First major overland road through Oklahoma was the Texas Road. Well-marked trails went from Fort Smith, Arkansas, to Fort Gibson, then through present towns of Muskogee and Durant.

1836 - Texas wins independence from Mexico. Oklahoma Panhandle was part of Texas.

1838 - The final removal of the Cherokees into Oklahoma began, driven before soldiers and the militia on The Trail of Tears.

1839 - Traders began wagon trail through Oklahoma from Arkansas to Santa Fe.

1843 - Missouri expedition passed through Fort Gibson to go to Great Salt Plains of Utah.

1850 - Gold rush emigrants from the Southern states traveled the California Road, passing through Oklahoma.

*1851-1889 - U.S. District Court for Western District of ARkansas heard civil and criminal cases involving non-Indians in Indian Territory. 1866-1954 records at F.W.N.A.

*1858 - First Butterfield Stage Route in Oklahoma, with depots along the route.

1860 - Federal Census of Indian Lands west of Arkansas (Indian Territory), in Yell County, Arkansas, census. F.W.N.A.

1861-1865 - Five Civilized Tribes supported the Confederacy in the Civil War. Many Indian troops fought for the Union.

1866 - Reconstruction Treaties of 1866 between U.S. and Five Civilized Tribes. Indians ceded Oklahoma lands for resettlement by the Plains Indians.

1866 - Texas cattle drives began and passed through Oklahoma on the Shawnee Trail, later on the Chisholm Trail and the Great Western Trail, on the way to railroads in Kansas.

1867 - Treaty of Medicine Lodge. Nomadic Plains Indians agreed to live on reservations in western Oklahoma. Military campaigns in 1868 and 1874 defeated the last large-scale resistance to resettlement in Oklahoma.

1870 - Coal mining in Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations brought in whites.

*1871 - First railroad entered Cherokee Nation, authorized by Reconstruction Treaties of 1866. Attracted white settlers, fostered the growth of towns, and opened the coal fields around McAlester.

1872 - Last military fort established.

*1879 - Elias C. Boudinot, Cherokee leader, wrote to Chicago Times about the availability of the Unassigned Lands in Oklahoma.

1880 - Census of Canadian District, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory, taken by tribal government. O.H.S. Also printed form.

*1880 - David Payne lead Boomers to settle Oklahoma lands once or twice a year until his death in 1884. Tried to pressure federal government to open the Unassigned Lands.

1883-1889 - U.S. District Court at Fort Smith, Arkansas (eastern Indian Territory) shared jurisdiction with U.S. District Court at Wichita, Kansas (northern part of western Indian Territory; records available at Kansas City Branch, N.A.), and U.S. District Court at Paris, Texas (Chickasaw Nation and western half Choctaw Nation: records destroyed by fire in 1916).

1884 - Chilocco Indian School established, drawing students from more than forty tribes. Most complete group of school records found in O.H.S. or F.W.N.A.

*1885 - William Couch lead Boomers into Oklahoma after Payne's death. Last of the great cattle drives crossed Oklahoma, ending because railroads had arrived in Oklahoma and Texas.

*1887 - Federal government passed General Allotment Act. Set in motion efforts to dissolve tribal governments, give each Indian his own tract of land, and open remaining lands to non-Indians.

*1888 - Bill in Congress to open unassigned Oklahoma lands to settlers.

*1889, April 22 - First Land Run in Oklahoma, to settle the Unassigned Lands. Over 50,000 claimants. Guthrie and Oklahoma City founded. Suits over land titles to city lots in Guthrie and Oklahoma City are found at F.W.N.A. Canadian and Cleveland counties formed from Unassigned Lands. Homestead records are filed in Land-Entry Records by land office of claim, legal description, or patent number at National Archives, Washington, D.C.


If you have additional information for this page,
please contact the
Unassigned Lands Coordinator.

This page was last updated on
Thursday, 10-Jan-2002 17:45:32 MST