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The Liddell Family Tree
The Family History

How we all got here...

On this page I'll describe our family's roots.
The verified Liddell history begins when out great-great-great grandmother Penny, was born a slave in January 1796, in Abbeville, South Carolina. Her parents were born in Virginia. She never knew her father, he was sold when she was a baby. She was separated from her family and sold to the Liddell Family in Georgia. She grew up in Jackson County, Georgia. Two of her sons were born in Georgia. Her other children were born in Tennessee. When the Liddells (slave owners) migrated to Mississippe they brought Penny along with them. She remained on the Liddell land even after slavery was abolished in 1865.
Penny's grandparents were free in Africa, but were sold as slaves in Virginia they were from Nigeria, Africa. It is also believed that Penny was from a descendant from on the most leading ethnic groups the IBO tribe.
From research of the IBO tribe they are relations from several factors. Most African slaves were taken from Nigeria and were sold to Virginia. The Physical characteristics of Penny and her descendats (the forhead and wide gapped teeth) are paralled with those of the IBO's nation.  Also the stmina for hard work, the zeal for education and knowledge and the religious beliefs are almost identical to those of most IBO's than any other ethinic group in Africa. Many African historians believe that you can look at an American Black and determine their origin. Bettye Swims has spoken to several Africans. All have stated that the Liddell heritage is that of the IBO tribe.
After the Civil War, Penny returned to South Carolina with her sons Cap and Ben in search of her family. Her search revealed that her mother was deceased. Her two brothers Dewitt and Dock had been killed in the war. The other siblings had been sold so long ago so there is no trace of them or their whereabouts. They were lost to her forever. Penny returned to Mississippi, never to leave again.
In May 1870 Penny was living on a sharecropper farm adjacent to Dr. W. W. Liddell. SHe was living in the household of her son, Anderson, and his wife Julia. All three were listed as farm hands.
According to the 1900 U.S. Census, Penny at 82, was living in the household of her grandson Anderson, and his wife, Alice. Here Penny states she is the mother of twelve children with only three living at this time. Only two of her children we have no record of. It is likely they died in infancy. Evidence shows she had two sons named Anderson.
Penny married William Riley. It is not recorded when. Marriage then wasnt legally binding and was often treated as a farce by the master who had to give his approval to the union. Years later Penny tells of jumping over the broomstick with Will Rilley that made their binding legal, after slavery was abolished.
It is believed that Will Riley was the father of two of her youngest daughters. (Some of her children where by the Liddell plantation owners) The facts are not certain but it is presumably that they married (jumped the broomstick) around 1854. Penny told of her early life, the hardship of slavery and the separations of family.
Presumably after Will Riley's death in 1900, Penny resumed using the Liddell name. Penny died between 1900-1915 almost a hundred years old. She was buried at Franklin Cemeter in Carrollton. During the last years of her life she was blind, but she never stopped going, never stopped doing. She never forgot her past nor her heritage. She passed it on to her children and their children and thier children's children's children.
Penny passed on of the oldest black traditions of black culture---oral history.
In Africa each family unit had a griot, one who committed to memory and passed it down to a younger person in the next generation. Penny passed this tradiiton to Uncle Goliday, the family patriarch who shared this information with Bettye.


Here are some of the prouniciations of the Liddell name:
In the South the name is pronounced Lid-dell. In the Northern cities the pronounciation is Lie-dell, La-dell, or Lidle (Little).

"We, the Liddell families, are unique in that we have a culture and a past of which we can be proud. This search should make  you proud to be black and even prouder to be a Liddell because finding out where you came from just might make it easier to figure out where you're going."
                                                         -Bettye L. S.