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Friday, October 20, 2017

Equity Case 7071 Rebecca SAMUELS Chickasaw Freedwoman #284


EQUITY CASE 7071
Rebecca SAMUELS
  • Chickasaw Freedman Card #284
  • Enrollment #1155-1159
  • Place of Residence: Purcell, Pickens County; Indian Territory Chickasaw Nation
  • Father: KEMP, Gibson (Deceased)
  • Mother: KEMP, Manda (Deceased)

·         Joe and Dillard PERRY files BIA Record Group 75, Entry 90C,  Folder F-131

M 1186 #284Front Rebecca SAMUELS Chickasaw Freedwoman 
The family of Rebecca SAMUELS is one of those cases where you have read between the lines and know a little something about the hundreds of individuals who sought to be transferred from the Chickasaw or Choctaw Freedman Roll to the Chickasaw or Choctaw by Blood Roll.

The importance of this issue should never be lost on anyone; these people were descendants of African and African Natives as well as Chickasaw or Choctaw Indians. They were attempting to exercise their rights to receive three hundred and twenty acres of land just as the other “mixed” Chickasaw Indians.

On the rear of Rebecca SAMUELS Chickasaw Freedman Dawes land allotment card is the name of her parents and the parents of her children and sister Mollie HOLDER. Rebecca named her father as Gibson KEMP a Chickasaw Indian who was deceased at the time of the enrolling process. This information was not taken into account and given value by the Dawes Commission and in most cases the admission someone’s father was a Chickasaw Indian ended with that notation on the back of their Dawes card.

Who was Who Among the Southern Indians a Genealogical Notebook 1698-1907 by Don MARTINI p362
The information from the index by Don MARTINI indicates there was a Chickasaw Indian with a similar name to the one on the rear of Rebecca SAMUEL'S Dawes Card and as most genealogist know, "spelling doesn't count." Clearly the information provided indicates Gibson/Gipson KEMP was deceased at the time of the land allotment process but because he may more information and/or other descendants who might connect genealogically with the descendants of Rebecca SAMUELS?

M1186 #284 Rear Rebecca SAMUELS Chickasaw Freedwoman
However there was a subtle clue inserted into the application packet (M1301) that provided more information about her claim to be a descendant of a Chickasaw Indian. On page two of her packet she makes a profound and important statement; “my mother is Amanda, daughter of John
KEMP (see Chickasaw Freedman Card 274.”) In addition it is important to note that she includes information about her sister Mollie HOLDER and the fact “we are sisters by the same mother.” 

M1301 #284 Rebecca SAMUELS Chickasaw Freedwoman
If you will recall a previous article about the KEMP clan there was no mention of Amanda as the daughter of John KEMP, yet there is a reference in Rebecca’s file that mentions “Chickasaw Freedmen Card 274.)”

This is another file that demonstrates just how important it is to obtain and research the Joe and Dillard PERRY database. Many of the individuals that are claimants on Equity Case 7071 only have hints to their Chickasaw or Choctaw ancestry in their files because the Dawes Commission only summarized the information provided in oral testimonies. As a researcher it is necessary to follow the clues given that may provide the necessary information that will tell the story of the African-Chickasaw and African-Choctaw Indians who were denied inclusion in the nation of their ancestor’s birth.

I don’t know that it is possible to definitively state that these people possessed Chickasaw or Choctaw ancestry. Our best sources for determining if they did have an Indian ancestor will be the information provided on the Dawes cards and various other sources like the PERRY files and DNA test that will support the claims of our ancestors.

I mention DNA test because I’m continuing struck by the reaction from some in the so called Native American community to dismiss these test. However it was the Dawes Commission, the United States and the Five Slave Holding Tribes that came up with the concept of “blood rolls,” “blood quantum” and “degree of Indian blood.” If they have relied on those concepts and now want to dismiss the science of DNA testing one has to wonder why?

I say this because recently I was unceremoniously “removed” from a Facebook page devoted to the descendants of Thomas LOVE a recognized Chickasaw citizen after posting a “link” to my previous article. It was argued I was angry and hated the tribe for writing about the issues like Equity Case 7071. Subsequently I was challenged about my ancestor’s claim of having Chickasaw ancestry and she began to attempt discounting the claim and the paper trail.

Another member wanted to know if I had a DNA test perform for which I informed her I had and posted my GEDmatch numbers on the site so anyone there who claim to be descendant from Thomas LOVE and his Two Wives could compare their results if they took a test. It was not long that someone informed me they took the test and when they checked, they did not see a match to me after putting my name in the database.

I suggest changing the criteria to both the surname LOVE or Chickasaw and each time she came back with the response that she did not come up with a match. However EVERY time I put those words in the database I came back with matches for someone with a LOVE or COLBERT ancestor. Now I am not an expert on DNA testing but I have to conclude that if I can come up consistently with a LOVE or COLBERT Native American ancestor and someone else and this individual didn’t; maybe they don’t have LOVE or Colbert ancestry at the least and possibly no Chickasaw ancestry to speak of?

I must say, I am getting to point of believing a statement I read in Dr. Daniel F. LITTLEFIELD Jr.’s book “The Chickasaw Freedmen a People Without a Country” (and I’m paraphrasing) that there will come a time when it is shown that many of the people on Equity Case 7071 and their descendants have more Native American blood than those on the Dawes by blood rolls. Perhaps that time has come?

Original Brief Equity Case 7071 (Courtesy of Julia POWERS)





Monday, October 9, 2017

EQUITY CASE 7071 KEMP, John et al., Chickasaw Freedmen

EQUITY CASE 7071
Empower Me to Know My History

KEMP, John et al.,

  • Chickasaw Freedman Card #274
  • Enrollment #1089-1092
  • Place of Residence: Wynnewood, Indian Territory Chickasaw Nation
  • Father: Louis  (Deceased)
  • Mother: Jennie Non-Citizen
  • See Petition to Transfer #64
  • Joe and Dillard PERRY files BIA Record Group 75, Entry 90C,  Folder F-177-184
  • See CHIF #268, #269, #270, #379, #273,
M1186 John KEMP Chickasaw Freedman #274 Front
When I first looked at the particular case of a family claiming Chickasaw ancestry I was reminded of a statement by my friend Carlotta KEMP says; “all KEMPS are related.” The fact that John KEMP survived to be more than one hundred years of age is remarkable. As a survivor of slavery he must have stories to tell.

Now I’m not saying it’s not true but according to this card John was still making babies as an octogenarian? That is not the only revealing item on this card. One of the easiest tells on a card of someone who is claiming Chickasaw ancestry is a notation that states “see petition to transfer.” This is telling me there is the great possibility a file may exist that will provide information regarding that individual’s genealogical history. Unfortunately I don’t have that file but any descendant of John KEMP should obtain it (and send me a copy, please) to discover more on the genealogy of this family patriarch.

M1186 John KEMP Chickasaw Freedman #274 Rear
Again, on the rear of John’s Dawes card there is no notation like so many others that will direct the researcher to who the parents of John are or if in fact it was one of John’s parents that is the basis for his claim to Chickasaw blood? However when you look at his interview packet you quickly discover John and Meline KEMP were the parents of a sizable family. It is because of this document we are able to reconstruct and locate those children and their children. 

There is nothing on the Dawes card for John and Meline KEMP that provides direct information about the ancestry of either that indicates they have Chickasaw blood. However the notation of a petition to transfer is significant if it is possible to determine Chickasaw ancestry.  It would appear from the sizable files held in the Joe and Dillard PERRY collection some sort of information is available. As a researcher on all of the individuals listed as claimants on Equity Case 7071 those are some files I will have to obtain at some point.

Meanwhile it is important to assemble the framework for establishing the various family members that descend from the original Chickasaw ancestor and that means taking the names of John and Meline children to demonstrate the genealogy of this claim to Chickasaw blood, I begin with their daughter Emily KEMP on Chickasaw Freedman Card #269.

M1301 John KEMP Chickasaw Freedman #274 p2
 KEMP, Emily et al.,
  • Chickasaw Freedman Card #269
  • Enrollment #1060-1069, 4276 & 4817
  • Place of Residence: Wynnewood, Pickens County, Indian Territory Chickasaw Nation
  • Father: KEMP, John
  • Mother: KEMP, Meline
  • See NB #Minor Chickasaw Freedmen #211, #396, #402
  • See Petition to Transfer #62
  • Joe and Dillard PERRY files BIA Record Group 75, Entry 90C,  Folder F-177-184, 186 & 203

Emily KEMP’S Dawes card is just full of information regarding her children and grandchildren and except for on little notation you again would not think she had any Chickasaw ancestry. At the time of this writing I still don’t know because I don’t have a copy of what that notation states; “see petition to transfer #62.”

The Dawes Commissioner or clerk was very efficient in making notes of just about every other aspect of this woman’s life except what was in that petition to transfer #62. You will also note, her father John KEMP had a petition to transfer as well but, it was #64. Was there something different in his than was in her file? Was her file done independently from her father’s? These are questions that should be answered and included in the overall story of the Chickasaw Freedmen.

M1186 Emily KEMP Chickasaw Freedwoman #269 Front
 KEMP, Lorena et al.,
  • Chickasaw Freedman Card #270
  • Enrollment #1070-1080
  • Place of Residence: Wynnewood, Pickens County, Indian Territory Chickasaw Nation
  • Father: KEMP, John
  • Mother: KEMP, Meline
  • See NB #Minor Chickasaw Freedmen #226, #273 & Minor Chickasaw Freedmen #191
  • Joe and Dillard PERRY files BIA Record Group 75, Entry 90C,  Folder F-177-184, 186 & 203

Lorena KEMP is a younger sister of Emily’s and like her sister and mother gave birth to numerous children. It is unfortunate the Dawes Commission held fast to some customs taken from a culture of slavery by stating that children to unwed mothers were somehow “illegitimate.” This practice was used to ensure the slave holder could increase his wealth by determining the status of a child by the status of the mother and this was the basis for the Dawes Commission and the Chickasaw Nation to claim the children of Chickasaw men were not Chickasaw by blood.

With that distinction the nation was able to deny thousands of acres of land to people who should have been entitled to the three hundred and twenty acres based on their ancestry like all the other “citizens by blood.” Now we see the classification used in this situation to enroll all of Lorena’s children and stigmatize them as illegitimate and Chickasaw Freedmen.

M1186 Lorena KEMP Chickasaw Freedwoman #270 Front
 KEMP, Lottie et al.,
  • Chickasaw Freedman Card #273
  • Enrollment #1086-1088
  • Place of Residence: Wynnewood, Pickens County, Indian Territory Chickasaw Nation
  • Father: KEMP, John
  • Mother: KEMP, Meline
  • See NB #Minor Chickasaw Freedmen #23
  • Joe and Dillard PERRY files BIA Record Group 75, Entry 90C,  Folder F-177-184, 186 & 203

There is nothing remarkable about the enrollment card for Lottie KEMP and we don’t see any references to a petition to transfer but when you look at the index to the Joe and Dillard PERRY files Lottie and her children appear to be a part of the claim to have Chickasaw ancestry.

M1186 Lottie KEMP Chickasaw Freedwoman #273 Front
BLUE nee KEMP, Virginia (Jennie) et al.,
  • Chickasaw Freedman Card #379
  • Enrollment #1591-1596
  • Place of Residence: Wynnewood, Pontotoc  County, Indian Territory Chickasaw Nation
  • Father: KEMP, John
  • Mother: KEMP, Meline
  • See Minor Chickasaw Freedmen #204
  • See Petition to Transfer #65
  • Joe and Dillard PERRY files BIA Record Group 75, Entry 90C,  Folder F-177-184, 186 & 203

Virginia KEMP aka Jennie is another daughter of John and Meline KEMP who appear on Chickasaw Freedman card #274 and like all of John and Meline’s children Wynnewood was crawling with KEMPS.

On this card we discover Jennie’s husband Smith BLUE is serving time in the Ft. Leavenworth penitentiary in Kansas. It would be interesting to dig a little deeper into his case but unfortunately Jennie’s application packet does not reveal anything more than his incarceration.

Oh, did you think I would forget the additional note that there is another “see the petition to transfer #65” on this card? It is becoming clear that there may be some additional information regarding the ancestry of this family and we have multiple references to there existence.

M1186 Smith & Virginia BLUE Chickasaw Freedman #379 Front
KEMP, Ebenezer et al.,
  • Chickasaw Freedman Card #268
  • Enrollment #1055-1059
  • Place of Residence: Wynnewood, Pickens County, Indian Territory Chickasaw Nation
  • Father: KEMP, John
  • Mother: KEMP, Meline
  • Joe and Dillard PERRY files BIA Record Group 75, Entry 90C,  Folder F-177-184, 186 & 203

With Ebenezer KEMP and his young family we don’t know much more than what is printed on the card but he is the son of John and Meline KEMP and he resides in Wynnewood like the rest of his family. He does show up as part of the Joe and Dillard PERRY files so again we will have to see what those documents have to tell us about the rather large family of Chickasaw Freedmen?

M1186 Ebenezer KEMP Chickasaw Freedman #268 Front

KEMP, John & Harriett et al.,
  • Chickasaw Freedman Card #280
  • Enrollment #1129-1133 & 4852
  • Place of Residence: Bearden, Indian Territory Creek Nation
  • Father: KEMP, John
  • Mother: KEMP, Frances (Deceased)
  • See NB #Minor Chickasaw Freedmen #226, #273 & Minor Chickasaw Freedmen #191
  • Joe and Dillard PERRY files BIA Record Group 75, Entry 90C,  Folder F-177-184, 186 & 203
John may have been the eldest child of John Sr., and he was living in the Creek Nation with his wife when they enrolled with the Dawes Commission. John is the namesake of the patriarch of this family but he is the only child found on the Dawes Roll that did not have the same mother as the other children. Add to that it appears he only had one child with his wife Harriett before he died in 1902. 
Unfortunately I am not able to locate him in the index of the Joe and Dillard PERRY files. Despite that if he has any descendants they should know there connections to him and the KEMP family.

M1186 John KEMP Chickasaw Freedmen #280 Front
M1186 John KEMP Chickasaw Freedmen #280 Rear
The KEMP’S story is part of the Chickasaw Freedmen story, the Chickasaw Nation’s story and a part of the many individuals who sought to be recognized and accepted based on their Chickasaw ancestry. I hope more people will begin to see this as an integral part of African American history and just as importantly an integral part of the Chickasaw Nation history.

Someone recently told me the Chickasaw Nation is moving forward and not looking back at this history but I think that is misguided and sad. This was a chapter in their history that led the nation to fight with the confederate states in an attempt to maintain the institution of chattel slavery. It can’t be ignored or swept under the rug so the tribe can move forward as if their former slaves and in many cases their own people are not a part of Chickasaw Nation History.

Empower Me to Know My History

ADDENDUM:

While researching for my next article I discovered another child of John KEMP and Frances KEMP (deceased.)

EASTMAN, Serena et al.,
  • Chickasaw Freedman Card #281
  • Enrollment #1134-1143
  • Place of Residence: Wynnewood, Pontotoc Indian Territory Chickasaw Nation
  • Father: KEMP, John
  • Mother: KEMP, Frances (Deceased)
  • See NB #Minor Chickasaw Freedmen #219 & Minor Chickasaw Freedmen #187
  • Joe and Dillard PERRY files BIA Record Group 75, Entry 90C,  Folder F-177-184, 186 & 203
M1186 #281F Reuben & Serena EASTMAN Chickasaw Freedmen
M1186 #281R Reuben & Serena EASTMAN Chickasaw Freedmen


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Equity Case 7071 CHAWANOCUBBY, Samuel Chickasaw Freedman #93

EQUITY CASE 7071
Empower Me to Know My History

CHAWANOCHUBBY, Samuel
  • Chickasaw Freedman Card #93
  • Enrollment #374
  • Place of Residence: Johnsonville, Pontotoc County-Indian Territory, Chickasaw Nation

  • Father: CHAWANOCHUBBY, Isom aka NEWBERRY, Isom-Chickasaw Indian (Deceased)
  • Mother: Lina (Deceased)

CLARK, Mason
  •          Chickasaw Freedman Card #54
  •          Enrollment #231-234 & 4227
  •          Place of Residence: Ada, Pontotoc County-Indian Territory, Chickasaw Nation

  •          Father: CHAWANOCHUBBY, Isom aka NEWBERRY, Isom-Chickasaw Indian (Deceased)
  •          Mother: Lina (Deceased)


The case of Samuel CHAWANOCHUBBY to be transferred from the Chickasaw Freedmen Roll to the Chickasaw by Blood Roll is an interesting example of someone claiming citizenship. In many of the files of the Dawes Commission we don’t get an opportunity to see how the names of their parents become a part of the historical record. In the case of Samuel and his sister Mason CLARK the M1301 Interview Packet provides us with information I wish were a part of every record.

The documents contained in the file not only provide the name of Samuel’s father but it provides more information about his father that is not apparent when you look at what the clerk for the Dawes Commission recorded on the rear of his card. Sam provided the first name of his father as Isom and informed the commissioner that his father had an “English name” of NEWBERRY.


Sam informed the commissioner that his father and mother Lina “were married according the Indian custom; that is they lived together as man and wife…up to the time of the death of his father just after the war.” Sam went on to inform the commissioner his parents had five children in total but only two were living at the time of the Dawes allotment process.

M1301 CHAWANOCHUBBY, Samuel CHIF#93 p3
M1186 CHAWANOCHUBBY, Samuel CHIF#93F
M1186 CHAWANOCHUBBY, Samuel CHIF#93R
Included in the interview is another document that really demonstrates just how intertwined the former slaves of the Chickasaw Indians were with the culture of the tribe. Samuel’s sister Mason CLARK needed a certified interpreter to provide her testimony to the Dawes Commission because she did not speak the English language.

M1301 CHAWANOCHUBBY, Samuel CHIF#93 p5
M1301 CHAWANOCHUBBY, Samuel CHIF#93 p5
M1186 CLARK, Mason CHIF#54F
M 1186 CLARK, Mason CHIF#54R
There is another document included in the packet of Samuel CHAWANOCUBBY that is very revealing and again points to the hypocrisy of the Dawes Commission and the Chickasaw Nation. Despite the attempts to distance the Chickasaw Nation from the children of Chickasaw men and accept them as citizens in the nation; some citizens developed personal relationships that allowed them to testify about those relationships.

One of the prerequisites to prove an individual was entitled to receive a land allotment or prove their citizenship required the testimony of friends or relatives. In the case of Samuel CHAWANOCHUBBY and his sister Mason CLARK a “full blood” recognized Chickasaw citizen provided testimony about their parents based on her acquaintance and knowledge. Unfortunately the testimony of Mollie PORTER a Chickasaw Indian, was not enough to have the children of Isom CHAWANOCHUBBY aka NEWBERRY enrolled as Chickasaw by blood.

M1301 CHAWANOCHUBBY, Samuel CHIF#93 p7

M1186 PORTER, Joe (PORTER, Mollie) CHIBB#76

Let me point out one more important issue that shouldn’t be lost on those who don’t think the Chickasaw Freedmen shared the history and culture of the Chickasaw Indians despite their enslavement. I don’t know if you can make the intellectual argument that enslaved people were not acculturated to the culture of their enslaver and be taken seriously?

On the document that was generated by Mason CLARK and the woman who knew both her parents Mollie PORTER identifies the person that interpreted Mason’s testimony as Monroe CLARK Mason's son. There is no mistaking freedmen lived within the culture of the Chickasaw Nation.

M1301 CHAWANOCHUBBY, Samuel CHIF#93 p7

 Clearly there are some questions about this family and these people that warrant further research:



  • Where are the descendants of Samuel CHAWANOCHUBBY today? 
  • Where are the descendants of Mason CLARK today?
  • Where are the descendants of Mollie PORTER the woman who stood up to do the right thing and testify that Mason and Samuel were Chickasaw Indians worthy of citizenship by blood in the nation of their father's birth?
  • Would they have the courage to do what their ancestor did?
  • Where is the Chickasaw Nation on issues of citizenship like this, will they continue to ignore their true history?

Empower Me to Know My History

Friday, September 29, 2017

Equity Case 7071 Lorenzo RUSSELL-CHOF#1364 (Repost-9-5-2013)

Equity Case 7071
Empower Me to Know My History

RUSSELL, Lorenzo et al.
·              Choctaw Freedman #1364
·                     Enrollment #4541&4542
·                     Place of Residence: Grant, Indian Territory Choctaw Nation

·                     Father: RUSSELL, Jim Choctaw Indian (CHOBB#1545)
·                     Mother: RUSSELL, Julia Choctaw Freedwoman CHOF#1363

·                     Joe and Dillard PERRY files BIA Record Group 75, Entry 90C, F-12
·                     See CHOF# 1303

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. It also appears both of his parents were alive and possibly had Dawes cards and interview packets indicates there is a possibility there is more information regarding any claim Lorenzo had to transfer to the Choctaw by Blood Roll.

M1186 Chickasaw Freedman #1306 Rear RUSSELL, Lorenzo
Based on the information provided on the rear of Lorenzo RUSSELL’S Chickasaw Freedman card number 1306 a Choctaw Indian named Jim Russell is given as Lorenzo’s father.  Who knows if it was by malice or just the Dawes Commission working with the leaders of the Choctaw Nation; the pattern of denying people of mixed African-Choctaw ancestry has done a disservice to the history and legacy of the Five Slave Holding Tribes in general.

M1186 Choctaw by Blood #1545 RUSSELL, James (Jim) 


M1186 Choctaw Freedman #1364 Front RUSSELL, Lorenzo

M1301 Choctaw by Blood #1545 p4 RUSSELL, James (Jim)
This is another example of the complex nature of relationships and identities that governed the lives of all who lived in Indian Territory. The fact that in 1904 this couple was married and a Choctaw Indian was married to a freedwoman for many years prior to this date had implications the Dawes Commission had to deal with when enrolling this family for land allotments.

Should the children be enrolled as Choctaw by blood? Would the children receive three hundred and twenty acres of land as opposed to the forty freedmen received? Was James’ wife entitled to be enrolled as an intermarried citizen? For an Indian with children by a white woman the answer was clear, she and her children would be enrolled as Choctaw citizens by blood.

For whatever reason the attorney for James Russell inquired about James being and whether HE was entitled to be enrolled as an intermarried citizen “the same as other intermarried Indians by blood.” The commissioner caught this statement and clearly must have scratched his head on why such a question would be a question for discussion.

I suspect the attorney inadvertently used James’ name when he should have been asking about the intermarried status of James Russell’s wife. It is later in the file on another page that the name of James’ wife is revealed.

M1301 Choctaw by Blood #1545 p7 RUSSELL, James (Jim)
There is nothing contained in this “interview” given by Julia Russell the wife of James Russell that Commissioner Needles sought to see if Julia’s children were on the Choctaw by Blood roll nor did he determine if she wanted to be enrolled as an intermarried Choctaw citizen due to the fact she was “legally” married to a Choctaw Indian. The commissioner simply rubber stamped the interview and enrolled Julia initially as a Chickasaw freedmen until she was later transferred to the Choctaw Freedmen roll.

Two remarkable documents were present in the file of James Russell; this one with Julia commenting on her parents provided information about her mother and siblings. The document provided information that Julia’s mother had been sold to someone in Texas and while there she gave birth to three other children.

It was this document and that history of being sold along with the name of her mother that rang familiar to me and my own family history. Phoebe Jackson and the story of her being sold by a James Lanihee is the same story of the sister to one of my great great grandfather on my maternal line; Isom Jackson.

M1186 Choctaw Freedman #1213 Rear JACKSON, Isom
M1186 Choctaw Freedman #1213 Front JACKSON, Isom
M1301 Choctaw Freedman #1213 p3 JACKSON, Isom
Looking at the brother of Julia, Isom Jackson’s Dawes card you will note Isom’s wife also claimed to have a father of Indian (Chickasaw) descent and blood. This is a reminder of just how complex the relationships were during this time and that despite all claims to the contrary there is more evidence that the Choctaw and Chickasaw men father a large number of children with their slaves and denied their own children the privileges of citizenship in the nation of their birth.

To illustrate just how misguided a policy this was by the tribes with the complicity of the United States government, the other document in the packet of James Russell is one dealing with the citizenship claims of another son, Dan Russell.

M1301 Choctaw by Blood #1545 p2 RUSSELL, James
·         Naturally the question becomes is this one of Julia’s sons?
·         Was he enrolled as a citizen by blood or was he a freedman?
·         Dan and Lorenzo have the same father so they both should be considered “Choctaws by Blood?”
·         You probably know where I’m going with this but bear with me…
·         If Dan was mentioned in his father’s Dawes file, he should have a file of his own, right?

M1186 Choctaw by Blood #5371 RUSSELL, Dan
Dan is the son of James Russell, he is also the half-brother of Lorenzo Russell but because Dan’s mother Molsy was considered a Choctaw Dan was placed on the Choctaw by Blood roll. Dan received payments in 1893 and was considered to be one-sixteenth Choctaw Indian.

Lorenzo on the other hand was placed on the freedmen roll, no mention of his Choctaw blood is provided and despite the marriage between James and Julia, not one other person in this family was placed on the Choctaw by Blood roll.

Quite frankly I don’t know how these tribes morally continue to toe this line of ONLY those who have an ancestor on the “blood” roll have a right to citizenship when the Dawes Commission clearly ignored the relationships and genealogy of the thousands of men and women who sought to be placed on the correct roll for citizenship in the nation of their birth.

As you can see, the story of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Freedmen is deeply intertwined with the history of the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations. Their story should be included as a vital part of both nations so a complete and accurate portrayal of the tribes and its entire people are presented.

To dismiss the history and presence of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Freedmen is morally indefensible. The relationships formed by freedmen and Indian despite the institution of slavery suggests the fear of blacks within the tribe is totally without merit. Contrary to the popular belief you have to be “Indian” to be a citizen ignores just how freedmen were ostracized from the nation of their birth and how subsequent generations sought to survive in a hostile community that marginalized their lives and relationships.

Why are the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations continuing this legacy?

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Equity Case 7071 Louisa YOCUBBY

EQUITY CASE 7071
Empower Me to Know My History

YOCUBBY, Louisa et al.,
  • Chickasaw Freedman Card #70
  • Enrollment #300-302
  • Place of Residence: Bearden,  I. T., Creek Nation 
  • Father: SHEARS, Tonaly-(Deceased)
  • Mother: Liley (Deceased) 
  • See Joe and Dillard PERRY files BIA Record Group 75, Entry 90C,  Folder F-222 
Like so many of the people seeking a transfer from the Freedman Roll to the Blood Roll the record they left is unfortunately is not apparent about their ancestry. However the record in some case has clues to help us determine why they sought citizenship as a Chickasaw or Choctaw by blood.


The first record of note is the infamous Dawes card and the information given to the Dawes Commission about who their parents were. Even with the cards sometimes it was not always evident how the person inherited their “Indian blood.”

Chickasaw Freedman Card #70-front Louisa YOCUBBY 
In the case of Louisa YOCUBBY we take the first step in the process by looking at the various records available like her Dawes card, was she listed as one of the applicants in Equity Case 7071, did she file an application for citizenship in 1896 (M1650) and does she have a file in the Joe and Dillard PERRY database?  

These are the records we hope to find that will provide some of the background to her story and the story of all of the individuals who claimed to have Choctaw or Chickasaw ancestry. If we can locate those records it would be nice to have a descendant of any and all of these people to take a DNA test so the record of their ancestor’s claims can at the very least be shown to have had merit.

Chickasaw Freedman Card #70-rear Louisa YOCUBBY
It may never amount to citizenship for the descendants but it will at least put the record straight that these are some people who the tribes denied their total heritage and ostensibly robbed them of their birthright for generations to follow?

The one thing that does stick out to me is her father’s name is the same as her enslaver? Typically there would be a notation that that individual would be a “Chickasaw Citizen” or “Choctaw Citizen” but we don’t see that in this case.

Louisa YOCUBBY’S Dawes card does not overtly show why she is a claimant in Equity Case 7071 but it will be revealing to look at her file F-222 in the Joe and Dillard PERRY database to see just why she claimed to have Indian ancestry?

I don’t have that file yet and I don’t have a lot of these files, hopefully one day I can obtain them so the record will be complete and the total story can be told. I am publishing what I do know in the hopes a descendant or another researcher will come forward and assist in completing the record on Louisa YOCUBBY and the other claimants involved with Equity Case 7071.

M1301 Louisa YOCUBBY #70 p2
 It is important that I try to include as much pertinent information about Louisa YOUCUBBY and her descendants because it just may be there are people who are related but have no clue about her story and her claim to have an ancestor that was a Chickasaw Indian?

If you have a connection to Louisa YOCUBBY and would like to contribute to this story please contact me at:

Terry LIGON

Please include EQ-7071 or Bettie’s List in the subject line.

Let me add, it would be nice to have images of these individuals because it is my belief with that image these men, women and children become more than just names on a page. If you have an image of them I would appreciate it if you would seriously consider contributing it (with proper attribution given) so the record can be complete and impactful.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

#WarriorWednesday-Bettie LIGON

Bettie LIGON
Empower Me to Know My History

My Warrior for this Wednesday is my great grandmother Bettie LIGON. The reason I’m highlighting her is because of a document I discovered in a file pertaining to her land allotment as a Choctaw Freedwoman.

Bettie LIGON© Terry LIGON 2017
For those who don’t know her story Bettie LIGON was the lead litigant in a lawsuit known as Equity Case 7071. The lawsuit sought to have approximately 1,500 people transferred from the Choctaw or Chickasaw Freedmen Roll to the Choctaw or Chickasaw by blood citizen Roll.

The document I found was dated December 14, 1907 and it was sent from the law firm of Ballinger, Lee and Sams. It was being sent to J. George Wright Commissioner to the Five Civilized Tribes located in Muskogee, Oklahoma. This was almost a month after Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory became the state of Oklahoma.

The letter states Bettie who was the “principal plaintiff in the case known as Ligon vs. Johnson (sic)” came into the law offices after opening a registered letter that had a Freedman land patent enclosed. The attorney went on to state once Bettie saw it was a Freedman land patent she did not open the other letters and “immediately came to our office…”

It seems there were previous attempts to deliver land patents to Bettie Ligon and she refused those as well with the express desire to return them to the Dawes Commission. In the line that reveals just how focused Bettie Ligon was; the attorney informed commissioner Wright that “it is useless” to mail the patents to Bettie because she would not accept a Freedman Land Patent “until after the courts have finally passed upon the case now pending, which case will determine whether or not she is entitled to participate in the tribal property as an Indian by blood or as Freedman.”

Now I don’t know how many people would hold fast to their principles like Bettie LIGON but I’m convinced her determination to have her day in court and rightfully be recognized and accepted as a Chickasaw Indian was evident in how she handled the issue of those freedman land patents; a true Warrior.

If you would like to nominate an Indian Territory Freedmen (descendant) send me an email or leave a comment on this blog site. If you would like to contribute a short story of your own, send it to me for review and possible publication…Include the phrase #WarriorWednesday in the subject line. My email address is: estelusti@aol.com

Applications for Allotment, Five Civilized Tribes 1899-1907 Bettie Ligon #2604



Thursday, September 21, 2017

The DNA of Our Ancestors Proves They Were Telling the Truth

Equity Case 7071
Bettie Ligon et al. v Douglas H. Johnson et al.,
Green McCurtain et al. & James R. Garfield Secretary of the Interior


Daily Ardmoreite April 14, 1907 p6c5

One of the biggest questions I have concerning the lawsuit concerning more than 1500 women, children and men who sought a transfer from the Chickasaw or Choctaw Freedmen rolls to the Chickasaw or Choctaw by Blood roll is who are the living descendants?

During their lifetime the claimants on Equity Case 7071 never realized their effort to be recognized as citizens based on their ancestry and genealogy related to the Chickasaw and Choctaw Indians. During that time they were denied this recognition based generally on having a mother that was considered a slaver or former slave. It didn’t matter if their father was a recognized citizen or considered a Chickasaw or Choctaw Indian they were to be denied solely because they were seen as someone of African descent.

However it is a new day and the descendants of these children, women and men may never be recognized and accepted as Native American or Chickasaw or Choctaw Indians the historical record should reflect the truth of their ancestry and the truth of their struggle to be recognized and accepted as Chickasaw or Choctaw Indians.

The science of DNA was not invented in 1907 but the genetics of today has the possibility of bringing truth to the lie that denied our ancestor’s their rightful place in the nation of their birth. It is through their descendants and our ability to have our DNA tested we are able to bring some much needed and long overdue attention to this issue that has festered for more than one hundred years. 

I will be posting the Dawes Cards and other documents that provide the initial records that the claimants on Equity Case 7071 left us to direct our research on their claims as Chickasaw or Choctaw Indians. For the record I don’t know if everyone listed on Equity Case 7071 has a legitimate claim to Chickasaw or Choctaw ancestry but we have an opportunity to set the record straight on those that do.

The most expedient way to do this is to have the descendants of these men and women have their DNA tested for Native American DNA. The other and equally important aspect of this list is the people who descend from the people on this list should conduct the research that would connect you to your ancestor on “Bettie’s List.”

I have been tested by 23andMe as well as Ancestry and both have determine I have Native American DNA (ancestry) with about a 4% indicating my Native American ancestor was probably 4 or 5 generations before me.  I have discovered at least two other people who have done the research on their ancestors and performed the DNA test indicates we have ancestry in common. Once I compared our ancestors I was able to locate our common ancestor as Thomas LOVE an intermarried white who had two "Chickasaw" wives. 

Chickasaw Freedman Card #391 (rear) Lydia JACKSON

This individual has research that indicates his ancestor claimed to be the child of Benjamin LOVE. My great grandmother Bettie claimed her father was Robert Howard LOVE the half-brother of Thomas. They had different mothers but the same father who was Thomas LOVE our common ancestor. Clearly, we didn’t get our Native American DNA from Thomas but both his wives possessed some degree of Native American blood. This may not be the only source of our Native American DNA but it does provide some convincing evidence that both of our ancestors were telling the truth about who their father was.

Choctaw Freedman Card #106 (rear) Bettie LIGON



Equity Case 7071 Rebecca SAMUELS Chickasaw Freedwoman #284

EQUITY CASE 7071 Rebecca SAMUELS Chickasaw Freedman Card #284 Enrollment #1155-1159 Place of Residence: Purcell, ...