Because the Scots-Irish had early contact with the Chickasaw, many in the tribe can trace their ancestry back to Ulster. At removal, their nation consisted of northern Mississippi and northwestern Alabama. Some Chickasaw remained, and others would later returned from Indian Territory. Today large numbers of Mississippi residents in Chickasaw, Clay, Itawamba, LaFayette, Monroe, Pontotoc, Tishomingo and Union counties have mixed-blood ancestry.
Chickasaw records are available on microfilm at the National Archives, Family History Library or at the Oklahoma Historical Society. Much has been extracted online. Important references include Anne Kelley Hoyt’s Bibliography of the Chickasaw (1987); Arrell M. Gibson’s The Chickasaws (1971) and Phillip Carroll Morgan’s Chickasaw Renaissance (2009). The Chickasaw Tribal Library: www.chickasaw.net/history_culture/index_216.htm has a genealogist on staff to help with research. The Itawamba Historical Society: www.itawambahistory.org in Mississippi has a genealogical library with Chickasaw material.
Early records include: 1818 Census, 1837 Muster Roll (before removal), 1839 Upshaw Roll (after removal), and the 1847 Census. Other records include the “Chickasaw Nation Records,” compiled by the tribe in Oklahoma and the “Chickasaw Agency Records.”
Under the Treaty of Pontotoc Creek (1832), the Chickasaw ceded their lands to the U.S. Government. They agreed to abandon their lands when tribal leaders found a suitable home west of the Mississippi River. In the meantime, the lands were divided into temporary parcels for each family who were expected to live on it until their removal. Background information is found in Mary Elizabeth Young’s Redskins, Ruffleshirts and Rednecks: Indian Allotments in Alabama and Mississippi, 1830-1860 (1989).
When considering mixed-blood Chickasaw research, it’s important to remember that your ancestors may not have removed or removed and returned. At that point, they probably “passed for white” and blended the best they could, with only whispers of their native ancestry passed down in the family.