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Isabella GILLISPIE et al.,

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I sabella Gillispie was enrolled as a Chickasaw Freedwoman in 1898 with her thirteen children ranging from eighteen year old son Christopher to her son Andrew who was born May 18, 1902. The family resided in Pontotoc County in the community of Wiley, Indian Territory.


Isabella and her children filed a petition to be transferred from the Chickasaw Freedmen Roll to the Chickasaw by Blood Roll which became part of the Joe and Dillard Perry files as petition ninety-five. Their claim of Chickasaw blood like so many on Bettie’s List is based on her father being a Chickasaw blood citizen. Also like other African-Chickasaw mixed people her mother Unity Chico, was a slave of the same man that was her father; his name was Osburn (sic) Fisher also known as David OsborneFisher.

David Osborne Fisher was well known in the Choctaw and Chickasaw community and was first married into the large slave owning Kemp family through his wife Elizabeth Kemp. Elizabeth died in 1866 and Fisher married a Matilda Ol…

The Thomas LOVE Connection, Blood of Their Fathers

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Recently I had been contacted by some Chickasaw LOVE descendants and one in particular took me to task about my grandmother’s claim to be the daughter of Robert Howard LOVE . He stated emphatically that it was impossible for Bettie LIGON to be Robert’s daughter and he had the Dawes Choctaw Freedmen card to prove it. Mr. COLE the self-described Chickasaw Elder exchanged a few pleasantries with me and abruptly stopped communicating on the subject; why, I’ll probably never know.  
Fast forward, the other day I was having a discussion with a research colleague about this and that and that and this when she asked me if I had my DNA tested and when was the last time I went online to look at the results. Unfortunately I had to inform her I had not been to 23andme in quite some time and I hadn’t been to the Ancestry DNA site in an equally long time.
After getting off the phone and all of the guilt she was “trying” to lay on me for not having a GED file loaded and some other stuff that was above…

Lorenzo RUSSELL et al.

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I have to repeat why I enjoy researching the history of the Choctaw and Chickasaw freedmen and not just concentrate on my family’s history among these tribes. I take the position that if I research the freedmen at certain points I will discover my own family. The reason I do this is simple, the blending of families was obvious when I began researching this history and researching entire history (for me) is more interesting which serves to maintain my.

As I was going through some names of people associated with Bettie’s List (Equity Case 7071) I came across the name of Lorenzo Russell who appeared to have a Choctaw Indian father and freedwoman for a mother. The fact that it also appeared both of his parents were alive and possibly had Dawes cards and packets meant there was a great possibility there was more information to uncover regarding any claim Lorenzo had to have his file transferred to the Choctaw by Blood Roll.  Based on the information provided on the rear of Lorenzo Russell…
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Chicken or the Egg?


I have been working on a database for the more than 1500 claimants on Equity Case 7071 or as I like to call it now, “Bettie’s List.” The database I’m constructing will contain many documents from various sources which include Dawes Cards M1186, the interview packets and census records.
One of the census records I've been considering including in the database was the Choctaw Freedman Roll of 1898-1900 that is part of the Green McCurtain Collection. What became evident when I constructed this montage was the information that is reflected in these two documents.
First I was under the impression that the Choctaw freedmen were citizens of the Choctaw nation and therefore they were duly documented in various tribal census records since 1885.
I was also under the impression the information contained on the Dawes cards was derived from person to person interviews conducted during the Dawes Commission allotment activities from 1898 to approximately 1914 when the rolls …

Bettie's List ~ Julia Jackson

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Bettie’s List ~ Julia JACKSON Choctaw Freedmen # 1213 Choctaw Chickasaw Citizenship Court # 66
Julia Jackson and her children were part of the complainants in Equity Case 7071. They sought to be transferred from the Dawes Choctaw Freedmen Roll to the Choctaw by blood roll; their actions left a record that becomes further evidence not everyone who possessed Choctaw blood got on the blood roll.
Like so many people classified as freedmen the record to establish their blood ties for citizenship are incomplete and require a great deal of deep research. The information contained in the Choctaw Chickasaw Citizenship Court records provided some insight into the paternity of the transfer cases.

This document summarizes the facts of the case for transfer from the freedmen roll to the by blood roll for Julia Jackson and her children.
It purports to give accurate information that reflects why she considers herself and her children as people who possess Choctaw blood and therefore entitled to be liste…

One Hundred Years Ago Today...

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December 12, 1911What was once thought to be the “most important suit filed” in Indian Territory on April 13, 1907; became a memorandum: just a footnote in the records of the United States Supreme Court!
Bettie Ligon et al., v Douglas H. Johnston, Green McCurtain and James R. Garfield, Secretary of the Interior is commonly known as Equity Case 7071 and the ramifications of this case should have turned Indian Territory upside down.
What happened on this day at the United States Supreme Court defies logic and understanding. The lawsuit involved millions of dollars in land that could have potentially been in the tens or hundreds of millions based on the natural resources like oil, gas, coal and asphalt that was known to be in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations following the Civil War.
The foundation of the claims of citizenship for fifteen hundred to two thousand individuals and their descendants in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations was predicated on one simple truth; we are the product of o…

Death of Bettie Ligon ~ November 21, 1911

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Bettie Ligon died today from lumbar pneumonia. Bettie Ligon was the lead litigant on Equity Case 7071 involving approximately 2,000 so called Chickasaw and Choctaw Freedmen who were seeking full “rights and privileges” as citizens in the respective nation of their and their parents birth. 
The litigants in this lawsuit were seeking recognition from the two nations and the United States government as citizens based on being progeny of a parent who was considered a Chickasaw and/or Choctaw “by blood” on the Dawes Rolls.
Bettie Ligon's  death comes almost a year after the decision by the United States Supreme Court of December 12, 1911. The decision by the court was rendered without any oral arguments on the merits of Equity Case 7071. 
 The defendants attorneys did not appear before the court and written briefs were not provided as stipulated, yet these 2,000 “Black Indians” and their descendants today are not considered Chickasaw nor Choctaw and are not citizens of their respective n…