Oklahoma and Indian Territory, Indian and Pioneer Historical Collection
Foreman, Grant, ed. Indian Pioneer History Collection. IPH 1–40, microfilm, 40 rolls. Indian Archives Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
This collection contains transcripts of oral histories about pioneer life in Oklahoma in the early twentieth century. The project was funded by the WPA (Works Progress Administration project S-149) in 1937 in an effort to provide employment for people on the relief rolls. The interviews were not compiled by experts, and the quality of the interviews varies. The original collection was made up of some 80,000 entries and contains 116 volumes. It’s a good source to check when you can’t find individuals in census records.
Stories will often contain the details such as these :
- birth date and place
- interview date
- death date
- age at death
- burial place
Interviews may mention names of neighbors, family members, doctors, teachers, missionaries, and others, as well. The collection also includes lists of many old cemeteries, some of which no longer exist.