Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Thomas LOVE Connection, Blood of Their Fathers

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 my pay grade I decided to go online and take a look at what was at Ancestry and came across an email from someone who was classified as a 4th to 6th distant cousin. This individual wanted to share some information and so I accepted his offer. After looking at some of the possible matches we had in common I wrote him back about my first impressions on what his information revealed.

As I told him, at first blush the surname BENNETT stuck out and because his information indicated they lived in Berwyn, Indian Territory of all the names he had in his family tree, this one might have promise.

Well I received a response and my new DNA relative gave me a little more background on the BENNETT and THOMPSON families; how they were “Chickasaws to his knowledge.” I wasn’t totally convinced this was out connection. It was a start and after receiving this message I went back and took another look at the information in his family tree.

Now I saw the LOVE surname but it was only one and it had question marks after the name Liddie so I really didn’t pay a great deal of attention to it at the time initially. I saw another surname JACKSON and of course we all know what a common name this is! I went back to take a closer look and recalled I wrote an article about this very family some time ago.

Liddie or Lidia JACKSON was a claimant on Equity Case 7071 and on her Dawes card you can plainly see where she was seeking a transfer from the Chickasaw Freedman Roll to the Chickasaw by Blood roll; the phrase “See Petition to transfer” is prominent on those who protested being enrolled as Freedmen.

On the rear of Lydia’s card (Chickasaw Freedman #391) she provided the name of her father who was listed as Ben LOVE, Chickasaw. I also remembered Lydia’s daughter Jennie DAVIDSON, (Chickasaw Freedman #390) being the key person seeking a transfer to the Chickasaw Blood Roll

All of this attention and people suddenly coming into my life in some way is a powerful message that illustrates how sometimes things have a way of emerging to tell the story that people like Lydia JACKSON and Bettie LIGON never had the opportunity to effectively tell during their life time.

Bettie protested her enrollment on the Freedmen Roll until her death and I suspect others like Lydia JACKSON and her daughter Jennie DAVIDSON were determined to be rightfully recognized as Chickasaw citizens. Here we are more than one hundred years later and the blood of their fathers may be the one thing that will ultimately tell their story and justify their final acceptance into the nation their birth?

I’m sure anyone who researches LOVE ancestry already understands the connection I have with my new DNA cousin but for those who haven’t figured it out or may not understand some of the intricacies of blended families of Indian Territory I will do my best to explain it.

Simply put, if it is true that Ben LOVE is the father of Lydia JACKSON and if it is true that Ben’s half-brother Robert Howard LOVE is the father of Bettie LIGON,  as I suspect, that indicate the common ancestor for Lydia’s descendants and Bettie’s descendants  is Thomas LOVE.

From everything I can see I have no other connection through marriage or blood that would indicate any descendants of Lydia JACKSON and I have an ancestor in common other than Thomas LOVE.

Throughout my research of Bettie and the claimants of Equity Case 7071 I never made this connection despite the fact it had been staring me in the face for many years. It never dawned on me to look at the siblings of Robert Howard LOVE for confirmation that Bettie was a LOVE.

So this in my opinion opens up a whole new avenue for research and hopefully cooperation of those who are descendants of the people on Equity Case 7071. I would love (no pun intended) to see more of these descendants get DNA tested and compare their test as well as the records of the Dawes Commission to establish that our ancestor’s claims were valid and the Dawes Commission as well as the tribes went to great lengths to deny thousands of people millions of dollars in land allotments.

One last thing; when I took a look at the common matches between me and my new DNA cousin the results indicated there were two other people who had the same or similar DNA match. One of those individuals I knew as one of my sister’s son and the other was someone related to my new cousin.

When I first saw that information it threw me because I couldn’t imagine who this fourth person was and how they fit into the puzzle. BUT if I’m correct this is a whole new ballgame!


  1. Hey, Terry. I went through that same rigormoral with the Woods..

  2. Your dialogue with the "elder" who decided to inform you that your ancestor was not accurate in her identification of her father is quite interesting. It is quite interesting that the "elder" approached you out of the blue with confidence (aka arrogance) that your ancestor erred in identifying the name of her father, as if he (the "elder") was present 150 years or more ago. Perhaps the "elder" simply could not comprehend how you could know what you were talking about although you have done comprehensive research for many years.

    Also interesting how when you replied (quite eloquently--so much that the elder had to compliment you on how well you replied) he then backed off and disappeared. Of course his surprise at your usage of proper grammar again speaks to an expectation and a judgment that he had already made about you knowing only one thing about you. That being of course that you are a black male sharing data about your ancestor. Yet the initial approach to you was to tell you that you were wrong.

    I found that when the "elder" backed off, it was a defensive I-was-only-looking-for-help statement, when it was he who approached you in the negative.

    But the only good thing is that someone from Chickasaw country tried (no matter how awkward and skewed his intentions were) to have a dialogue. I have never heard of Chickasaw descendants interacting with Freedmen descendants, especially since there was such southern-style mistreatment of their former slaves.

    But things are possible. I have been fortunate to have had a good relationship with the descendant the slaveholders of my Choctaw Freedman ancestors. In fact I wrote about it on my blog 3 years ago. Perhaps when others read how "eloquent" that you present your family history, they too will consider extending an olive branch and chatting with you.

    Some things are possible.

  3. I just posted to you before but hope that I didn't make a mistake of calling Lydia Jackson the wife of Ben Love, as like you said Ben was her father. If you are on Ancestry can you please email me at as I would like to see if you match a particular surname which descends from Lydia Love-Jackson as I do.

    1. Greetings Rose, I don't have a subscription to Ancestry...yet but to answer your question about matches, I suspect the common ancestor I have with the descendants of Lydia JACKSON is her grandfather Thomas LOVE.