The territory of Oklahoma was where many of the country’s Native American Indians were resettled. Some did come on their own and others were forced. Mixed in were former African-American slaves who intermarried with the the Indians, plus European settlers looking for land they could homestead.
The Oklahoma University Western History Collections has put together online their Indian-Pioneers information, mostly interviews done in the 1930s of those who came to the Oklahoma Territory decades earlier. With 116 volumes and some 80,000 entries it is an invaluable collection of a period in Oklahoma history that is long gone.
If you had an ancestors from this region, you will want to do a search for any possible family relatives. The best part, the material is not just the Native Indians, but any early pioneers to the area — true Oklahomans.
A search box in the upper left allows any surname, given name, keyword, location, or topic to be searched. You can search for just a word in a title, the subject, or the interviewer. Placing ‘rancher’ for all the topics produced over 60 documents. An interesting one covered about the ‘outlaws’ the pioneers had to deal with.
You can read the documents as a PDF or as printer-friendly. Each are different lengths – running a couple pages to well over 10 pages. These are all real stories told by those who lived it.
Photos: 1875 Oklahoma pioneers and 1895 pioneers at home.
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