The File of Martha Shoemate
The file of Martha Shoemate was a file that consolidated several applications representing over 30 people. All were related to Martha who was the progenitor of the line. She applied at the age of 65.
One of the interviewees was Mary Ellen Burton, daughter of Martha. She identified her parents who were both one half Choctaw. Her mother was said to be one half Choctaw and Negro, and her father one half Choctaw and white. She claimed descent from Martha Shoemate said to be one half Choctaw and formerly a slave. Her father was said to be James Wooten who was also the slave owner of Martha (the enslaved mother)
Much of the questioning in the interview consisted on whether the applicants had complied with Article 14 of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit (signed in 1829).
The status of the mother Martha at one time having been a slave was brought out in each family cluster, and was noted that none of the applicants had complied with Article 14 of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit.
The file was 50 pages in length, and the families were denied–-however, it should be noted the genealogical data contained in the files was rich.
Three pages of her application are provided to illustrate the valuable data in the file. There was much interest in the fact that though there may have been Choctaw blood that there was an enslaved parent in the family. The questioning brought out some additional genealogical clues for the researcher.
For example, this interview took place in 1901in Meridian Mississippi. Martha indicated that he mother have lived up until three years prior to that interview. Therefore her mother, whose name is identified–-Rebecca Barnes, would have been enumerated in prior census years, both 1880 and 1870 respectively.
The file of Martha Shoemate was 50 pages in length. Included in her file was the multigenerational hand drawn pedigree chart including he parents, her children, grandchildren, and gr. Grandchildren.
Five pages of her personal interview are presented here to illustrate the value of the MCR records–-the Rejected files of the Mississippi Choctaw.
These files can be seen at the National Archives and all of the various branches. In addition, one can see the entire file on Footnote.com through subscription. (see link below).
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