The first thing that I want to know is "What is I. Dottery's maiden name?"
What I know about her:
1. She was born about 1856 in MS
2. She was married to T. Dottery
3. She had a son, Odum E. Dottery born about 1877 in MS
4. She had a daughter, Minnie Lee Dottery, born about 1880 in MS
5. She was in Montgomery co., MS in 1880 with her husband and 2 children.
From that information I am assuming she married in MS around 1875-1877. Since a marriage record is the easiest way to find a maiden name, I first concentrated on finding a marriage record for I and T Dottery.
I searched the marriage records at the MSGenWeb county site for Montgomery County, the MSGenWeb and the USGenWeb archives. I also searched ancestry.com.
Then I spent two days at the Dallas Public Library searching for their marriage record in microfilm and in books on both the county and state level. Dallas owns the MS state marriages index which you would think has all of the marriage records for MS. I'm not convinced. If I Dottery really was 1/4 black, their marriage may be recorded in the colored books. I don't know that all of the colored books have been included in that index.
She may have been born into slavery and they moved from somewhere else to Montgomery county where no one knew her so she could pass as Indian. The marriage record may not even be in MS. At one time, it was illegal for interracial marriages in MS and some went to LA to get married. I need to investigate the laws during the 1870s to see if it was illegal then.
My next step is to do some research on the MS Marriage index. I plan on contacting the state archives in MS to see what they have to say about it. There are also other places that marriages might be recorded.