Oklahoma Records Details and Resources

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Though Oklahoma required statewide registration of births and death from 1908, many counties did not comply until 1930. You may discover some county vital records from before 1930, but they are highly incomplete. To request births and deaths from the state, contact the Vital Records Section, Vital Records Service, State Department of Health, 1000 Northeast 10th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73117

Marriage records began around 1890 for existing counties, and at the date of creation in counties established later. In the territorial years (1890-1907), many marriages were not recorded, and you will need to check county courthouses in Arkansas, Texas and Kansas as well.

Land records for whites who settled in the territory before 1889 (the year it became legal for whites to own land there) will be found in the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the land records for the Five Civilized Tribes nation from whom the individual leased the land.


In April 1889, the first “land run” offered people the opportunity to race to claim a surveyed section of land on a first-come basis. It is estimated that 50,000 people settled tracts the first day of the run. Additional land runs followed in September 1891, April 1892, September 1893, and May 1895. You can search homestead records through the Bureau of Land Management General Land Office Records website, which supplies you with a digitized image of the final patent and the information necessary to order the land case file from the National Archives. Later land records of transactions between individuals are found in county courthouses.

When researching Native American ancestry in Oklahoma, it is important to know your ancestor’s tribe. Tribes were self-governing entities for years, though the US government did conduct censuses. Other records include land allotments, which required the applicant to prove Native American descent. The Dawes Commission was established in 1898 to enroll those Indian Territory residents in one of the five tribes. When the US government began to grant land after the governments of the Five Civilized Tribes dissolved in 1908, many whites were entitled to receive land because of intermarriage with Indians. Dawes Commission records were used to establish the right to receive land.



  • Choctaw Emigration Records, 2 vols., by Monty Olsen (Bryan County Heritage Association, 1990)
  • German-Russian Heritage, Steppes to America by the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, Oklahoma Harvester Chapter (AHSGR, 1991)


  • Boundaries of Oklahoma edited by John W. Morris (Oklahoma Historical Society, 1980)
  • Containing Grants in Present States of Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma by Frances Terry Ingmire (F.T. Ingmire, 1984)
  • El Reno District 1901 Land Lottery: Index to Names of Homesteaders Filings by Julie Peterson Hinton and Louise F. Wilcox (J.P. Hinton, 1985)
  • Oklahoma Land Records (Oklahoma Historical Society)
  • The Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889 by Stan Hoig (Oklahoma Historical Society, 1984)


  • Boundaries of Oklahoma by John W. Morris (Oklahoma Historical Society, 1980)
  • A Gazetteer of Indian Territory by Henry A. Gannett (US Government Printing Office, 1905; Oklahoma Yesterday Publishing, 1980)
  • Ghost Towns of Oklahoma by John W. Morris (University of Oklahoma Press, 1977)
  • Historical Atlas of Oklahoma by John W. Morris and Edwin C. McReynolds (University of Oklahoma Press, 1976)
  • Oklahoma Place Names, 2nd edition, by George H. Shirk (University of Oklahoma Press, 1974)
  • Town and Place Locations (Oklahoma Department of Transportation, 1991)


  • Black, Buckskin And Blue: African American Scouts And Soldiers On The Western Frontier by Arthur T. Burton (Eaton Press, 1999)
  • Early Military Forts and Posts in Oklahoma edited by Odie B. Faulk, et al. (Oklahoma Historical Society, 1978)
  • A History of the Second World War: A Remembrance, An Appreciation, A Memorial (Victory Publishing Co., 1946)
  • Index to Applications for Pensions From the State of Oklahoma Submitted by Confederate Soldiers, Sailors and their Widows (Oklahoma Genealogical Society, 1969)
  • Muster Lists of the Cherokee Confederate Indians by Sherman Lee Pompey (Historical and Genealogical Publishing Co., 1965)
  • Muster Lists of the Creek and Other Confederate Indians by Sherman Lee Pompey (Historical and Genealogical Publishing Co., 1996)
  • Oklahoma Air National Guard Pilots in the Korean War by Stanley Newman (45th Infantry Division Museum, 1990)


  • Abstracts of Wills from Oklahoma Chapters N.S.D.A.R. from the Daughters of the American Revolution, Black Beaver Chapter (filmed by the Family History Library, 1970)
  • Abstracts of Wills of Our Forefathers from the Daughters of the American Revolution, Enid Chapter (filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1972)
  • Collection of Old Wills Assembled by D.A.R. Chapters of Oklahoma by Mrs. John P. Cook (filmed by the Family History Library, 1970)
  • Probate Records, 1808-1812 from the Louisiana Territory Probate Court (filmed by the Family History Library, 1975)
  • Probate Records, 1892-1908, Northern District Cherokee Nation, 3 vols., by Orpha Jewell Wever (Northeast Oklahoma Genealogical Society, 1982-83)


  • Birth and Death Notices In Oklahoma and Indian Territories From 1871 by N. Dale Talkington (N.D. Talkington, 1999)
  • Cherokee National Births and Deaths, 1884-1901 by Dixie Bogle (Cook and McDowell Publishers, 1980)
  • Cherokee Nation Marriages, 1884-1901 by Dixie Bogle (Cook and McDowell Publishers, 1980)
  • Guide to Public Vital Statistics Records in Oklahoma (Historical Records Survey, 1941)
  • Oklahoma Cemeteries: A Bibliography of the Collections in the Oklahoma Historical Society by Barbara Pierce and Brian Basore (The Society, 1993)
  • Oklahoma Marriage Records, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory, 10 vols., by Ellen Tifee and Gloryann Hankins Young (University of Oklahoma, 1969-78)
  • Oklahoma Territory Weddings by Frances M. Bode (Pioneer Book Committee, 1983)
  • Our People and Where They Rest, 12 vols., by James W. Tyner and Alice Tyner Timmons (University of Oklahoma, 1969-78)
  • Relocated Cemeteries in Oklahoma and Parts of Arkansas, Kansas, Texas by Madeline S. Mills and Helen R. Mullenax (Mills and Mullenax, 1974)
  • Union List of Oklahoma Cemeteries (Oklahoma Genealogical Society, 1969)

Return to the main Oklahoma page

From the Family Tree Sourcebook
Also available: the State Research Guide Book, State Research Guides CD and The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy.