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

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