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Caddo Genealogy and History

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  • Mabel Murrow (1913 - 1981)
    Mabel Thrash*Birth: 1913 - Binger, Caddo County, Oklahoma*Death: 1981 - Binger, Caddo County, Oklahoma*Parents: William Platt Thrash, Lena Mae Thrash (born Sauls)*Sibling: Thrash*Husband: Tillman Murr...
  • Marilyn Kay Murrow (1937 - 2005)
    Marilyn K Murrow*Birth: Apr 28 1937*Death: Jan 5 2005*Last residence: USA* SSN issuing state: Oklahoma
  • Sowonin Ellen Murrow (1885 - 1953)
    Biography From "Sowonin" Whitebread was born in 1887 in Oklahoma, the daughter of Anoche and Mr. Whitebread. She married Ralph Kiwin Murrow on December 2, 1911. They had five children in 16 years. She ...
  • Tillman Toho Murrow (1912 - 1957)
    Tillman Murrow*1940 United States Federal Census*Birth: Circa 1912 - Oklahoma, USA*Residence: 1940 - Fern Township, Caddo, Oklahoma, USA*Wife: Mabel Murrow*Daughter: Marylin Kay Murrow===Links * link t...
    Ralph Kiwin Toho Murrow (1884 - 1968)
    Ralph Murrow*Birth: 1884*Parents: Old Man To Ho, Si Hun To Ho (born Si Hun)*Siblings: William Ross Murrow, George To Ho, Albert To Ho*Wife: Sow O Nin Murrow (born Ellen)*Children: Alice Weller (born Mu...

Caddo History and Genealogy

The goal of this project is to develop genealogical and historical knowledge of the Caddo, indigenous peoples of North America.

Who are the Caddo?

The Caddo Nation is a confederacy of several Southeastern Native American tribes. Their ancestors historically inhabited much of what is now East Texas, Louisiana, and portions of southern Arkansas and Oklahoma. They were descendants of the Caddoan Mississippian culture that constructed huge earthwork mounds at several sites in this territory. In the early 19th century, Caddo people were forced to a reservation in Texas; they were removed to Indian Territory in 1859.

Notable Caddos


From “Who are the Caddo?” University of Texas at Austin

Today the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma has some 4,000 members on its official tribal roll. The tribal headquarters is in Binger, Oklahoma, about 45 miles west of Oklahoma City. It was here, in and around the towns of Anadarko, Binger, and Fort Cobb, that the Caddo settled during and after the Civil War. This final relocation was preceded by over a century of turmoil during which Caddo groups were forced to give up their home territories in northeast Texas, northwest Louisiana, southwest Arkansas, and southeast Oklahoma.

Today's Caddo are the descendants of many distinct communities of people who shared, in part, a common culture. In the late 1600s and early 1700s, Spanish and French chroniclers familiar with the Caddo homeland recorded the names of at least 25 separate groups who spoke dialects of the language known today as Caddo. Beyond speaking the same basic language, these groups were linked by many shared customs, a similar way of life, and by intermarriage.

One of the things that set the Caddo apart from their neighbors was their extraordinary skill and creativity as potters. Caddo women (and perhaps some men) made all kinds of pottery from huge storage jars over three feet high to tiny bowls smaller than a tea cup made for their children as well as a variety of other objects including smoking pipes and earspools. While much of the pottery was made for everyday use in cooking, storage, and serving, the Caddo fine wares served other purposes (ritual and funerary) and are renown. Caddo potters were adept at combining flowing vessel forms with polished surfaces that were characteristically decorated by incised and engraved designs. Other vessels had appliquéd, brushed, or punctated designs, or were left plain. We know that Caddo pots were valued by neighboring groups because archeologists have found trade pieces hundreds of miles away from the Caddo Homeland. In fact, it is the distinctiveness of Caddo pottery that allows archeologists to trace much of their early history, if imperfectly.

After European Contact

From Wikipedia

The Caddo first encountered Europeans and Africans in 1541 when the Spanish Hernando de Soto Expedition came through their lands. De Soto's force had a violent clash with one band of Caddo Indians, the Tula people, near present-day Caddo Gap, Arkansas. This historic event has been marked by the modern town with a monument.

French explorers in the early 18th century encountered the Natchitoche in northern Louisiana. They were followed by fur traders from outposts along the Gulf Coast, and later by missionaries from France and Spain, who also traveled among the people. The Europeans carried infections such as smallpox and measles, because these were endemic in their societies. As the Caddo peoples had no acquired immunity to such new diseases, they suffered epidemics with high fatalities that decimated the tribal populations. Influenza and malaria also devastated the Caddo.

French traders built forts with trading posts near Caddo villages. These stations attracted more French and other European settlers. Among such settlements are the present-day communities of Elysian Fields and Nacogdoches, Texas, and Natchitoches, Louisiana. In the latter two towns, early explorers and settlers kept the original Caddo names of the villages.

Having given way over years before the power of the former Ohio Valley tribes, the later Caddo negotiated for peace with the waves of Spanish, French, and finally Anglo-American settlers. After the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, by which the United States took over the former French colonial territory west of the Mississippi River, the US government sought to ally with the Caddo peoples. During the War of 1812, American generals such as William Henry Harrison, William Clark, and Andrew Jackson crushed pro-British uprisings among other Southeast Indians, in particular the Creeks. Due to the Caddo's neutrality and their importance as a source of information for the Louisiana Territory government, they were left alone. In the 1830s, the federal government embarked on a program of Indian removal of tribes from the Southeast in order to enable European-American settlement, as new migrants pressed from the east.

In 1835 the Kadohadacho, the northernmost Caddo confederacy, signed a treaty with the US to relocate to independent Mexico (in the area of present-day East Texas). Then lightly settled by Mexican colonists, this area was being rapidly transformed by greatly increased immigration of European Americans. In 1836, the Anglo-Americans declared independence from Mexico and established the Republic of Texas, an independent nation. The name "Texas" is derived from the Hasinai word táysha, meaning "friend".[20]

On December 29, 1845, Texas was admitted to the US as a state. At that time, the federal government forced the relocation of both the Hasinai and the Kadohadacho as well as remnants of allied Delaware (Lenape) and Yowani onto the Brazos Reservation. Pressures increased on the Brazos Reservation Indians to remove north, culminating in a violent attack on December 26, 1858 on a Caddo encampment just off the reservation. This vigilante group led by Captain Peter Garland was a vigilante force from Erath County. The Caddo group was led by Choctaw Tom who was a Yowani Choctaw married to a Hasinai woman, who was killed in this fight along with twenty-seven other Indians. In 1859, many of the Caddo were relocated again to Indian Territory north of Texas, in present-day Oklahoma. After the Civil War, the Caddo were concentrated on a reservation located between the Washita and Canadian rivers in Indian Territory.

In the late 19th century, the Caddo took up the Ghost Dance religion, which was widespread among American Indian nations in the West. John Wilson, a Caddo-Lenape medicine man who spoke only Caddo, was an influential leader in the Ghost Dance. In 1880, Wilson became a peyote roadman. The tribe had known the Half Moon peyote ceremony, but Wilson introduced the Big Moon ceremony to them. The Caddo tribe remains very active in the Native American Church today.



The majority of records of individuals were those created by the agencies. Some records may be available to tribal members through the tribal headquarters.They were (and are) the local office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and were charged with maintaining records of the activities of those under their responsibility. Among these records are: