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

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Isabella GILLISPIE et al.,

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.

M 1186 Chickasaw Freedman Card #40 Front GILLESPIE, Isabella

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 Osborne Fisher.

M 1186 Chickasaw Freedman Card #40 Rear GILLESPIE, Isabella

 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 Olive in Fort Smith, Arkansas in 1868. Prior to his death, Osborne filed an application for enrollment in the Chickasaw Nation with his “intermarried white” wife Matilda, their children as well as an “intermarried white” son-in law Henry Muldrow Jr.

Unfortunately there is not a lot of information contained in either file that provides the basis of Isabella’s claim of her Choctaw ancestry other than the information on the rear of her Chickasaw Freedman enrollment card number 40. The summary page indicates she was the property of Elizabeth Fisher; the wife of David Fisher, contrary to the information provided on the enrollment card. Isabella also provided the names of her eleven children who were also classified as Chickasaw freedmen and not Choctaw or Chickasaw by blood.

Because there is not a lot of information contained in these files the “petition to transfer” file # 95 becomes a very important document to analyze and determine the merits of Isabella’s claim of being the daughter of David Osborne Fisher.

Another interesting insight would be if the descendants of David’s “other” children who appear on Choctaw enrollment card “by blood” number 308 submitting to have their DNA compared to the DNA of Isabella’s descendants.

Don Martini Who's Who Among Southern Indians, a genealogical notebook 1698-1907 p232

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 Inte...