Chapter 5

Thomas and Dicey CHAVIS

Thomas CHAVIS was born about 1813 in North Carolina. His wife, Dicey, was born about 1812 in Tennessee. The parents of Thomas CHAVIS are not known, but the CHAVIS family is a large one in North Carolina, especially Robeson, Chatham and Northampton counties. Most CHAVISes appear to descend from Thomas CHIVERS, who was born about 1630 and lived in Surry Co., Va. Descendants settled in Northampton Co., N.C., from where the ALLEN and BROWN families of Union Co., Ill., settled. Others CHAVISes lived in Granville and Wake counties in North Carolina, from where the TABORN family of Saline Co., Ill., settled.

A theory about the origin of the name, according to The Heritage of Blacks in North Carolina, is that it is a corruption of the Spanish name CHAVEZ, given to American Indians by Spanish conquistadors. After the CHAVEZes, most of them Cherokee, came in contact with English settlers in Virginia, the name is said to have been Anglicized to CHIVERS, CHAVERS, CHAVIS, and other varied spellings.

Paul HEINEGG's book, Free African Americans of North Carolina and Virginia, outlines the family as follows. Thomas CHIVERS was born about 1630 and lived in Surry Co., Va. His son was William CHIVERS, born about 1659, who married Elizabeth (maiden name unknown) and had Thomas and Bartholemew CHAVIS. Bartholemew CHAVIS was born about 1685, married Martha (maiden name unknown), and lived in Surry Co., Va., and Northampton Co., N.C. Bartholemew had at least one son, William CHAVIS, who was born about 1706, married Frances (maiden name unknown) and died 5 Feb 1777. He lived in Granville Co., N.C.,and was a slave owner. His children were Phillip, Sarah (married Edward HARRIS). Gibrea, William Jr., Lettice (married Acquilla SNELLING), Keziah (married Asa TYNER), and Fanny. Gibrea (sometimes recorded as Gibea, Gibeon, Gibby, Gideon, Gibson, or Gilbert) CHAVIS is said to have been a Cherokee. Gibrea CHAVIS was born about 1737 and married Ann PRIDDY, a white woman, the daughter of Robert PRIDDY. Gibrea lived in Granville Co., N.C., where he died in 1777. One of Gibrea's sons, William CHAVIS, is listed as Negro, suggesting to some that his mother was an African slave. Gibrea's other sons, James and Jacob, are described as mulattoes. Phillip CHAVIS, another son of William CHAVIS (born about 1706) was born about 1730 married Celea (or Selah) CHAVIS and in 1761 was granted 700 acres in Granville County. Philip also resided in Northampton Co., N.C., in South Carolina, and in Bladen Co., N.C., at different times.

Helen CHAVIS OTHOW's book, John Chavis: African American Patriot, Preacher, Teacher and Mentor, claims that Phillip CHAVIS (born about 1730) had a son, William CHAVIS, who married Lottie (maiden name unknown) and died before 1818. Lottie then married on 14 Apr 1818, in Granville Co., N.C., Littleton TABORN, a son of William and Nelly (EVANS) TABORN. William and Lottie's son, John CHAVIS, was born in 1763 in Granville Co., N.C., was a Revolutionary War soldier, educated at Princeton University and a missionary preacher in the Presbyterian church. HEINEGG mentions the Rev. John CHAVIS, but places him as a son of Jacob CHAVIS.

The relationship of the CHAVIS family mentioned in the previous paragraph to Thomas CHAVIS of Union Co., Ill., is not known. O.W. BLACKNALL, who researched the CHAVIS family of Granville County, wrote in 1895,

An investigation as far as practicable of their genealogy showed them to be largely of Indian blood. This was fully confirmed by their features and physical structure. Among them, especially among their women, the Indian characterisitics are strongly marked. I know of more than one who could easily pass for an Indian....

The first record of Thomas CHAVIS who settled in Illinois is the 1840 census. Thomas SHAVUS (born 1804-1816) appears on the 1840 census of Gibson Co., Tenn. (page 213). Living in his household was his wife (Dicey, born 1804-1816), one male (John G., born 1816-1830), two males (Noel and William, born 1830-1840) and two females (Amanda and Malinda, born 1830-1840). On the same page of the 1840 census of Gibson County is also John SHAVIS (born 1740-1785), who was also a free man of color and perhaps the father of Thomas. Living with John SHAVIS was one female (born 1740-1785), two females (born 1816-1830) and four males (born 1830-1840). Also living next to Thomas and John were the free black families of Lewis SCOTT and Stephen BLACKWELL. Stephen BLACKWELL may be the same person as Stephen BLACKWELL who settled in Saline Co., Ill. The BLACKWELLs were also a prominent free family in Granville Co., N.C., where Tom BLACKWELL, the principal land owner in the free black settlement called White Hall, "urged all free people to educate their children."

In the marriage records of Gibson Co., Tenn., is John C. SHAVOUS who married on 17 Mar 1841, Sabra MADISON, Joel MORRIS bondsman; Sarah CHAVERS who married on 30 Sep 1841, Richard MADISON, S.P. DILL bondsman; and Martha CHAFERO (CHAFERS?) who married on 22 Feb 1838, Lions C. SCOTT, Thomas MATHEWS bondsman.

Thomas could not be located in the 1830 census index of Tennessee, probably because he would have only been about 17 and early census records only name the head of the household. However, in Carroll County, which adjoins Gibson County, is John CHAVUS (page 178). This is probably the same person as John SHAVIS, who is on the 1840 census in Gibson County. He was born 1730-1775. Also in his household was one male born 1794-1806, three males born 1806-1820 (perhaps one is Thomas?), two males born 1820-1830, one female born 1775-1794, one female born 1794-1806, three females born 1806-1820, and two females born 1820-1830. If this is where Thomas CHAVIS was living in 1830, he probably married Dicey in Carroll County, however, marriage records before1838 in that county have been lost.

Living next to the CHAVUSes in Carroll County was the household of Henry WALDEN, who was born 1806-1820. His wife was also born 1806-1820 and they had three children, a boy born 1820-1830 and two girls born 1820-1830. (There are many WALDEN households in the 1810 census of Northampton County, North Carolina.) The only free colored household in Carroll County in 1830 was that of Robert JOINS (page 161).

Also in Tennessee in 1830, Dicy CHAVIS (page 222) and Jesse CHAVIS (page 228) are on the census of Campbell County, William CHAVOUS (page 278) and Joanna CHAVOUS (page 278) were in Davidson County, and Patsey CHAVUS (page 413) and Harrison CHAVUS (page 413) were in Robertson County. There is also a Thomas CHAVERS on the 1830 census of Chatham Co., N.C. (page 454).

There were CHAVUSes living in Jackson Co., Ill., as early as 1830. On that census, the household of Wiley CHAVUS "man of colour" (page 86, line 30) is listed with two males age 10-24, one female age 24-36, one female age 10-24, and two males under 10. Living next to them (page 86, line 21) is the household of Woodson CHEVIS "man of colour" age 10-24, one female age 36-55, one female age 24-36, and two males under 10. The connection, if any, of Wiley and Woodson to Thomas CHAVIS is not known. The CHAVUSes did not remain in Jackson County and are not on the 1840 census there.

William CHAVIOUS moved to Pulaski County, Illinois, before 1845. He brought with him a document of good character from Davidson County, North Carolina, and had it recorded in Pulaski County on 4 Jan 1845. It reads, " I, John DOLTON, clerk of the county court of pleas and quarter session do certify that William CHAVIOUS, a man of colour, has been raised in the county of Davidson a free man and always passed as a free person and as a well respected as any among common people. Given under my hand and seal this 4th day of August A.D. 1831" (Pulaski County Deed Book A page 95). In Pulaski Co., Ill., in April 1846, his name was listed as William CHAVER, a man of colour, when he was charged with bastardy. He was discharged by the court "at his cost." Since he is not on the 1850 census of Pulaski County, he is thought to have moved from the county or died before that year. His relationship, if any, to Thomas CHAVIS is not known.

In the 1820 census of North Carolina are the households of Ruth CHAVERS (page 25) in Hertford County; Erasmus CHAVES (page 10) and Morris CHAVES (page 17) in Bladen County; Jordon CHAVIS (page 31) in Wilkes County; Jesse CHAVIS (page 51) and John CHAVIS (page 34) in Chatham County; Evans CHAVIS (page 52), Jesse CHAVIS (page 12), John CHAVIS (page 3), and Mark CHAVIS (page 59) in Granville County, Henery CHAVIS (page 12) and Joseph CHAVIS (page 4) in Robeson County; Kinchin CHAVIS (page 102), Meradith CHAVIS (page 46) and Polly CHAVIS (page 83) in Orange County. On the 1820 tax lists of Wake County are Hannah CHAVIS, John CHAVIS, Jordan CHAVIS, Lewis CHAVIS, Rachael CHAVIS, Robert CHAVIS and William CHAVIS.

Jordan CHAVIS was born about 1795 and married Eliza JEFFERIES. They moved to Gibson Co., Tenn. Their children were born in Tennessee between the years 1817 and 1832. They were Mary Ann, Hamilton H., Preston, Washington, Jerusha and Alexander B. CHAVIS. Washington CHAVIS lived in Jefferson Co., Miss., before moving to Massac Co., Ill., about 1855. Probably one of his descendants was Jordan CHAVIS, who married on 1 Dec 1880, in Massac Co., Ill., Hattie MARSHALL.

About 1845 Thomas and Dicey moved to Union Co., Ill., and settled in the Cobden area. The 1850 census describes them as mulattos and says that Thomas could read and write, but that Dicey was illiterate. The 1855 census shows that in the household of Thomas CHAVIS were six free males and three free females. They owned no livestock. The 1854 tax list of Union County records that Thomas CHAVES owned personal property worth $38 and he was charged 37cents for taxes, but they were not marked paid.

Thomas CHAVOUS and George PARMLY, a 26-year-old white man from Cobden, were charged with "unlawfully playing together with cards for money at a game commonly called seven up" on 1 Oct 1855. The case was weakened when on 21 Apr 1856, Robert W. FERRILL did not appear as a witness for the People and was held in contempt. At the April term 1856, PARMLY pled guilty, however, and was fined $20 (Book E pages 570, 586). CHAVOUS did not appear in court that day and John A. LOGAN, state's attorney, decided not to prosecute him in October 1856. Thomas may have ecaped prosecution because of his death, as on the 1860 census, Dicey CHAVERS is the head of the household (household 882). She was literate and her personal property was valued at $40. Dicey is probably the D. SHAVES of township 12 south, range 1 east, who, in 1861, was taxed 20cents for personal property worth $24. The taxes were not marked paid. None of the CHAVIS family appear on the 1865 or 1870 censi of Union County.

Children of Thomas CHAVIS:

1. John G. CHAVIS was born about 1830 in Tennessee and married Patience ARTIS in Union County on 1 Feb 1855. (See ALLEN family history in chapter 1).

2. Noel J. CHAVIS was born about 1834 in Tennessee and married on 31 Dec 1857, in Williamson Co., Ill., Armilda FITZGERALD, who was born about 1842 in Illinois.

Armilda is perhaps a daughter of Washington FITZGERRALS, who is on the 1840 census of Monroe Precint, Gallatin Co., Ill., as a free person of color.

Noel was living in township 11 south, range 1 west, Union Co., Ill., in 1856 when he paid 43cents in taxes on personal property valued at $35. He was not located on the 1857 tax list, but in 1858 in township 12 south, range 1 east, Noel SCHAVOUS paid 88cents taxes on personal property valued at $60.

He and Armilda are on the 1860 census of Johnson Co., Ill., (household 5) living next to Henry and Emily ALLEN. The name was spelled CHAVERS. Noel owned no land and his personal property was worth $150. In 1861, Noel was living in township 12 south, range 1 east, Union Co., Ill., and is on the tax list that year. He owned personal property worth $68 and was taxed 57cents, which was not marked paid.

Noel filed for a divorce from Armilda on 3 Feb 1863, in Saline Co., Ill. he accused her of committing adultery with Cornelius NELSON and asked for custody of their one child, Malinda (Box June 1860). The divorce records of Noel and Armilda did not mention Annie B. CHAVIS, who was born in 1860, as their daughter.

Mrs. Armilda CHAVERS married on 10 Nov 1867, in Williamson Co., Ill., Wiley SCOTT, born about 1846 in Illinois, a son of Andrew and Susannah Sarah (BRYANT) SCOTT (see Chapter 7).

Wiley and Armilda are on the 1870 census of Williamson Co., Ill., (page 72 # 40) . Their children: Delilah, born about 1865 in Illinois, and Henry, born in 1870 in Illinois. All are listed as white. On the 1880 census of Williamson Co., Ill., the same family is listed as black (page 279 #173/187).

a. Annie B. CHAVIS was born in 1860 in Johnson Co., Ill., and married on 2 Aug 1877, at the parsonage by T.J. DAVIS, a Methodist Episcopal minister, in Williamson Co., Ill., (on the same day of the marriage of Annie's sister Jane) Beverly DOWDY born about 1850 in Kentucky. She married again on 22 Nov 1881, in Williamson Co., Ill., Zachariah TABORN Jr., who was born about 1856 in Saline Co., Ill., the son of Dawson and Elmira EVANS TABURN.

Beverly DOWDY and Anna are on the 1880 census of Williamson Co., Ill., and are listed as black (page 252, #394/596).

Dawson "Doss" TABURN married on 5 Nov 1851, in Williamson Co., Ill., Elmira EVANS. There is a record for this same marriage on 9 Nov 1851, in Saline Co., Ill. It is uncertain why the couple chose to marry twice, only a few days apart. Zachariah's brother, James, who was born about 1860 in Saline Co., Ill., married on 22 Jan 1885, in Williamson Co., Ill., Susanna S. LUCAS, who was born about 1866 in Wabash Co., Ill., the daughter of Fearlin and Catharine MARTIN LUCAS. James filed for a divorce from Susan 11 Feb 1890. in Saline County (Chancery Box 34-8). He claimed Susan had deserted him two months after they married and was living in Williamson Co., Ill.

Fielding LUCAS married on 7 Apr 1866, in White Co., Ill., Catharine LUCAS.

Dawson was born about 1830 in Illinois and was the son of Zachariah TABURN, who was born about 1790 in North Carolina, and Lydia TABURN, who was born about 1800 in North Carolina. Zachariah and Lydia were issued a marriage bond on 4 Jul 1820, in Wake Co., N.C., with John GOOCH as bondsman. Zachariah acted as bondsman in Wake County for the marriage of Drucenda TABORN and James BIRD on 2 Oct 1817.

On 21 Aug 1826, in Wake Co., N.C., Thomas ROYCRAFT, Daniel G. RENSHER and Joseph SCOTT, justices of the peace, certified that "Zachariah TAYBORN and his wife Liddy was born and raised in said county and that they are free persons." This was later recorded in Gallatin Co., Ill., after they moved to Illinois. Zachariah was a farmer and he and Lydia are on the 1850 census of Saline Co., Ill. (household 116). Living with them were Eliza (born in1827 in Tennessee), Henderson S. (born about 1829 in Tennessee), Dawson (born about 1830 in Illinois), Agness (born about 1833 in Illinois and perhaps the same person as Agga TABORN, who was born about 1830 in Illinois and married on 5 Jan 1859, in Pope Co., Ill., Joel STEWART, who was born about 1806 in Tennessee, and already had children: Joel Jr. born 1853, Margaret born 1855 and George born 1858--household 1606 Williamson County 1860 census), and Anna (born about 1844 in Illinois). Living alone next door (in household 117) was John TABORN, who was born about 1819 in North Carolina and was probably another son of Zachariah.

Henderson TABORN, John E.H. TABOURN, Elias TABORN and James TABURN served in the 5th U.S. Colored Infantry during the Civil War as privates.

There is a case file in Saline County of The People v. Henderson S. TABORN, for assault to do bodily injury. He was tried in May 1852 and found not guilty by a jury (Circuit Court Book A page 114).

A sister of Zachariah may have been Rebeckah TABOURN who married on 16 Nov 1808, in Wake Co., N.C., Theophilus HAYES. John CHAVIS was bondsman.

A brother of Zachariah may have been Pumphrey TABORN, who was born about 1775 in North Carolina and was also on the 1850 census of Saline Co., Ill. (household 131). He was issued a marriage bond on 24 Dec 1801, in Wake Co., N.C., to marry Patty HEDSPETH. Peter HEDSPETH was bondsman. In January 1803, Mary "Polly" JONES, administratrix of the estate of John JONES, appeared in court in Wake Co., N.C., and claimed Pomphrey TABORN owed here œ10 and delayed payment. She won the case and and the court levied Pomphrey's property of 200 acres on the north side of Neuse River. The same day, Jesse DAVIS made a similar claim of a œ10 debt owed him by Pomphrey, which was proved in court by the testimony of Patrick TYRELL.

Kimber TABORN, one of the free settlers in Saline County was born free about 1810 in Wake Co., N.C., and emigrated to Illinois about 1826. Margaret BRYANT swore on 29 Oct 1832, in Gallatin Co., Ill., "upon the Holy Evangelist" that she knew "Patty HEDSPETH in Wake County, State of North Carolina, and that the said Patty is the mother of Kimber TAYBURN and does know that she was a free woman of colour born so and was always reported and known to be free." Kimber married on 23 Oct 1848, in Williamson Co., Ill., Mahala RUSSELL, who was born about 1820 in Illinois.

Pumphrey TABORN was the son of William TABORN, according to Paul HEINEGG's book, Free African Americans. William was born about 1758 and married on 1 Jan 1778, in Northampton Co., N.C., Nelly EVANS, born in 1760. William TABORN was drafted as a soldier in the American Revolutionary War, served as a cook for Gen. BUTLER, and was pensioned. He applied for his pension in Granville Co., N.C. He served in South Carolina under Col. LYTLE, who "placed him under guard for getting drunk and cursing him." According to pension records, William died 4 Feb 1835. Nelly EVANS TABORN applied for a widow's pension in Warren Co., N.C., in 1845. In addition to Pumphrey, William and Nelly were the parents of Littleton TABORN. It is not certain that William and Nelly were the parents of Zachariah TABORN. They are also thought to have been the parents of Delilah (or Elilia, married 15 Feb 1797, James HEDSPATH, in Granville Co., N.C., with William MITCHELL bondsman), William Jr., Burton, Edmond, Elisha (married 11 Sep 1795, in Person Co., N.C., Mary ALLEN, with Matthew PRICE bondsman), and Elizabeth (married 11 Dec 1797, in Granville Co., N.C., Charles ROE, with Solomon HARRIS bondsman).

On 20 Jan 1783, Lewis ANDERSON made his will in Granville Co., N.C., which was proved in court in May 1785. He mentions his sons Lewis Jr. and Shadrach and a granddaughter Liddia ANDERSON. He names as his four daughters: Elilia TABOURN, Tamor BASS (married 2 Dec 1801, in Granville Co., N.C., George PETTIFORD), Mary BASS (married 13 Feb 1783, in Granville Co., N.C., Benjamin RICHERSON, with Phil. PATTIFORD as bondsman), and Sarah TYLER.

William TABORN (born about 1758) was the son of William TABORN, who was born about 1730, and Judy ALLEN, whom he married in Northampton Co., N.C. Their children, according to HEINEGG, were: William, Nathan (born about 1760, died in 1833 in Northampton Co., N.C.), Allen (born about 1763, married and registered his free papers in Logan Co., Ohio, where he probably died), Isaac (born about 1768), Elizabeth (born about 1770 and married, with her mother's consent, on 11 Oct 1788, in Greensville Co., Va., Abraham ARTIS), and Wyatt (born about 1775 and also moved to Logan Co., Ohio).

William TABORN and Allen TABORN were soldiers in the American Revolutionary War in North Carolina. Allen received freedom papers and moved to Logan Co., Ohio, as did Nathaniel NEWSOM, a relative of Patience HAWLEY ALLEN. On the 1810 census of Northampton County are Wyatt TAYBORNE, two free colored; Allen TAYBORNE, eight free colored; and Nathan TAYBORNE, six free colored.

Early marriage records in Granville Co., N.C., were: Nancy TABERN married on 4 Nov 1795, Charles CHAVERS, Ben BASS Jr. bondsman; Laban TABORN married on 5 Aug 1799, Anna TAYNOR, Zachariah MITCHELL bondsman; Sarah TABURN married 19 Jan 1807, Jason BASS, George PETTIFORD bondsman; William TABORN married 6 Jun 1810, Delila ANDERSON, Abel ANDERSON bondsman; William TABORN married 17 Nov 1812, Susan B. VALENTINE, Thomas BONNER bondsman; Burton TABERN married 7 Nov 1810, Leander MITCHELL, Julius SNEED bondsman; Littleton TABORN married 14 Apr 1818, Lottey CHAVIS, Jno. CHAVIS bondsman; Arthur TAYBORN married 20 Apr 1820, Henrietta BASS, Jesse BASS bondsman.

Other early North Carolina marriages: Allen TABURN to Charlott TAN, 20 Aug 1814, Vincent SANDERS, bondsman; James TABURN to Sally HATHCOCK, 1 Feb 1815, Elisha BYRD bondsman; Harrison TABURN to Sally TABURN, 3 Oct 1822, Vines GUY bondsman.

Burrell TABOURN was another free African American who served in the Revolutionary War. He was born in1761 and died 9 Jan 1842, in Nash Co., N.C., aged 81 years. His wife, name unknown, died before him. He enlisted in 1781 in Nash County for 12 months and was drafted in 1782 for 12 months under Capt. LYTLE. His children, according to the pension application (S7694) of his son Hardiman were: Hardiman born in 1783, Larkin born in 1785, Caleb born in 1797, Beady born in 1800 (married Berry LOCUST) Elizabeth born in 1802, and Boling born in 1804.

(1) Beverly DOWDY Jr. born about 1879 in Williamson Co., Ill.

b. Malinda Jane CHAVIS was born about 1860 in Johnson Co., Ill., and married 2 Aug 1877, in Williamson Co., Ill., at the parsonage of T.J. DAVIS, Methodist Episcopal minister, (on the same day her sister Annie married) Silas BRYANT, who was born 1847, the son of Hannah LITTLEJOHN BRYANT. Jane's mother gave her consent to the marriage, as Jane was only 16.

Jane married again on 19 Oct 1881, in Williamson Co., Ill., Thomas JOHNSON, who was born about 1848 in New Orleans, La., the son of Morris and Matilda SHAW JOHNSON. Thomas was a cook in Marion, Ill., when he married. Daws TABORN witnessed the marriage.

Jane BRYANT is on the 1880 census of Williamson Co., Ill. (page 259, #457/682), as a widow. Living with her and her daughter was Thomas JOHNSON, born about 1852 in Tennessee, a divorced man. His occupation was listed as day laborer.

(1) Charles BRYANT born about 1871 in Marion, Williamson Co., Ill., married on 18 Aug 1901, in Pulaski Co., Ill., Mrs. Isabel RALSTON, born about 1874 in Pulaski Co., Ill., daughter of Bollerwell "Boy" and Sarah REDDING. When they married, Charles lived in Mt. Pleasant, Union Co., Ill.

Bollerwell REDDING is on the 1880 census of Pulaski Precinct, Pulaski Co., Ill., (household 87). He was born about 1824 in North Carolina. His wife, Sarah, was born about 1826 in Tennessee. Children living with them were: Osane, 17; Caroline, 13; Isabelle, 7; William, 1; and Jackson, 4. They were all listed as mulattos. The two oldest children were born in Tennessee and the others in Illinois.

(1) Minnie BRYANT born in 1879 in Williamson Co., Ill.

3. William Owen CHAVIS was born about 1835 in Tennessee married 21 Apr 1864, Telitha MITCHELL, who was born 14 Nov 1842, in Illinois.

Telitha was previously married on 7 Jun 1859, in Williamson Co., Ill., Greene INGE. Green INGE was born about 1838 in Missouri. He is on the 1850 census of Franklin Co., Ill., household 935, with Richmond INGE, born about 1805 in Virginia, a black farmer. In his household were: Tilla McCREERY, born about 1795 in Kentucky; Bruce INGE born about 1833 in Missouri; Fanny McCREERY, born about 1834 in Missouri; Green INGE; Lucy INGE, born about 1841 in Missouri; Arm (female) INGE, born about 1834 in Missouri; Davie INGE, born about 1842 in Missouri; and M.G. (male) INGE, born about 1845 in Illinois.

Tilla McCREERY is probably the same person as Cillar, who was born about 1795. She was the servant of John McCREERY, indentured in Franklin Co., Ill., in 1817 or 1818 to serve him 99 years. John McCREERY died in 1831 and on 1 Dec 1845, Cillar was living in Missouri. Her children then were Darcos, Charles, Daniel, Jacob and Fanny (Franklin County Deed Book C).

Richmond or Richard INGE's wife was formerly the slave of John McCREERY, who is on the 1818 census of Franklin Co., Ill. (Little Saline Township, page 5, line 2), with three servants or slaves. He came from Kentucky in 1816 and, according to tradition, when Illinois was admitted to the Union as a "free" state, the slaves were secretly taken to Missouri and sold by John's son, Allen McCREERY. John McCREERY eventually moved to Missouri.

Milo ERWIN wrote in 1876 in his History of Williamson County, Illinois, "Alexander McCREERY went to Missouri and brought back an old negress slave that his father had owned. He also bought her husband, Richard INGE, out of slavery for $300, and settled them upon eighty acres of land which, by frugality, they finally paid for, and are now living on, in the northeast part of this county." Tradition says that INGE was a shoemaker and that he eventually repaid McCREERY the $300 and also purchased an 80-acre farm near Africa.

Africa, an African American community in Williamson County, was founded by the INGEs and McCREERYs. A man named STEWART is said to have brought slaves from Kentucky and freed them. The community was also known as "Little Africa." It was later called "The Settlement" and in 1896, when a post office was established there, it was named Locust Grove. William F. HARRISON, a black man, was the last post master. He was also Africa's first black teacher, until the school closed in 1908. Locust Grove AME Church was also in the community until it was destroyed by fire in 1985.

Green and Tellitha ING are on the 1860 census of Franklin Co., Ill., (household 96) in Township 7 south, range 4 east. He was a farmer and living with them was their daughter, 6-month-old Camantha ING.

In April 1891, Telitha CHAVOUS filed for a divorce from William O. CHAVOUS in Franklin Co., Ill., where she resided. She claimed that she had always conducted herself as a kind, loving, and affectionate wife and that she and William lived together until 15 Sep 1890. Telitha said that on 1 Aug 1890, he committed adultery with Mandana HENRY "and other lewd women." She also accused him of extreme cruelty by beating and choking her and by neglecting to furnish her and their children with the necessities of life, but compelling her to support the family by her own labor. They had 12 children, but only five were living. Telitha asked the court to grant her custody of the two youngest girls, Malinda E., 9, and Sarah E., 11.

William O. CHAVOUS answered Telitha's charges by stating he had been absent from home, working in Marion, Williamson Co., Ill., for Amzi WHITE and had learned nothing of the divorce proceedings until 28 Apr 1891. He said he was not guilty of adultery and had not assaulted Telitha. He said they had lived together until he went to work in Marion and had done nothing wrong. William said he had defended himself when Telitha got a gun and threatened to shoot him. Despite the conflict, William told the court he was desirous of living with her, as they had done for the last 27 years, raising their family together. It is not known if the divorce was granted or denied.

Telitha died 10 Apr 1916, in Saline County of dropsical effusion and was buried in the African Methodist Cemetery. Her death certificate records her race as "Ethiopian" (Death Book 4 page 29).

William O. SHAVOUS appears on the 1857 tax list of township 11 south, range 1 west in Union County. He paid 47cents in taxes on personal property valued at $44.

William O. CHAVES appears on the 1880 census of Cave Township, Franklin Co., Ill. (E.D. 16, sheet 13, line 15). That census gives his birth as about 1826 in Tennessee.

William CHAVIS is on the 1850 census of Union County, living with his parents. Also listed on the 1850 census of Union County is William CHAFUS, also born about 1835 in Tennessee. His race is recorded as black and he was living in the household of Wyatt ANDERSON, a white man, born about 1799 in Tennessee. Living with Wyatt was Rebecca PENDER, who was born about 1807 in North Carolina. She was the wife of John PENDER, to whom she was married in Union County on 15 Oct 1840. John filed for a divorce from Rebecca in Union County in 1841, but he dropped the case before the divorce was granted. John PENDER appears to have been a bigamist, as he married Gilly Jane HANNARS in Johnson Co., Ill., on 29 Aug 1842, while still married to Rebecca. Rebecca went to live with Wyatt ANDERSON and they were charged with adultery and fornication on 20 May 1851, in Union County. Wyatt was found guilty and fined $50. Rebecca filed for a divorce from John PENDER in Johnson Co., Ill., which was granted 22 Apr 1852. Rebecca and Wyatt were married in Union County on6 May 1852, and the charges against Rebecca were dropped in 1853. Before Rebecca married John PENDER, she was the wife of Nicholas JACKS, who died in January 1838 in Union County. They had apparently come to Illinois from Alabama, as their daughter, Elizabeth JACKS, was born there about 1832. Elizabeth was on the 1850 census in the household of Wyatt ANDERSON, as were the four other children of Rebecca PENDER: Henry PENDER, born about 1844 in Illinois, Nelley PENDER, born about 1844 in Illinois, Uriah PENDER, born in 1850 and Martha PENDER, born in 1850.

It is uncertain if the William CHAFUS, who was living with the ANDERSONs in 1850 is the same person as William CHAVIS, the son of Thomas and Dicey. If they are the same person, then William was counted twice on the 1850 census. William CHAFUS is thought to be the same person as William PENDER, who married on 20 Mar 1871, in Union County, Harriet ABERNATHIE. Both were recorded as "colored" and were married by Napoleon L. DAVIE, a justice of the peace. Neither William CHAFUS nor William PENDER appear on the 1870 census of Union County.

a. William N. CHAVES was born about 1865 in Illinois, died before 1891

b. John E. CHAVES was born about 1867 in Illinois and married on 28 Dec 1890, in Saline Co., Ill., Annie BLACKWELL, who was born in 1868 in Illinois, the daughter of Joseph and Mary ANDERSON BLACKWELL.

Joseph BLACKWELL was born about 1838 in Tennessee and married Mary Ann Frances ANDERSON, who was born about 1848 in Tennessee, the daughter of Lemuel and Sarah WHITE ANDERSON. Joseph and Mary's children were: Charlotte A. "Lottie," who was born about 1866 and married on 17 Apr 1884, in Saline Co., Ill., William GRAY, who was the son of Adeline ALLEN; Annie, who married John E. CHAVES; Lemuel, who was born about 1870 and married on 2 Apr 1891, in Saline Co., Ill., Lizzie TABORN, daughter of Jefferson and Elvira ALLEN TABORN; John, who was born about 1872, in Carmi, and married 4 Sep 1901, in Jackson Co., Ill., Lizzie JEFFERSON, daughter of Froundrow JEFFERSON; Josiah, who was born about 1873 and married on 7 Nov 1895, in Saline Co., Ill., Cora HARRIS, who was born about 1879 in Indiana, the daughter of George W. and Sarah J. BULINTON HARRIS; Fred, who was born about 1875; and Susan, who was born about 1877 and married on 10 May 1894, in Saline Co., Ill., T.F. JENKINS, the son of Elizabeth JENKINS.

There is a Joseph BLACKWELL, age 16, on the 1850 census of Wilson Co., Tenn., living in the household of Thomas KIRKPATRICK, a white saddler. This may be the same Joseph BLACKWELL who came to Illinois. Also living in Wilson County in 1850 are free black families of ROUSE, STEWART, COLLINS, and ANDERSON.

Mary Ann ANDERSON BLACKWELL married in 1898 in Saline Co., Ill., William H. BROADEY. William had three grown daughters at the time of their marriage, but they had no children together.

William BROADEY served in Co, B, 28th U.S. Colored Troops from October 1863 to November 1865. He contracted diarrhea and rheumatism in St. Petersburg, Fla., in 1864. He was mustered out in Corpus Christi, Texas. William applied for a disability pension in January 1888, while residing in Pinkstaff, Lawrence Co., Ill. He reapplied in January 1898. Among those who made affidavits on his behalf were Reuben PETTIFORD of Vincennes, Ind., John PURRIE of Vincennes, Ind., Emmanuel COLE of Pinkstaff, Ill., and Charles BOARMAN of Allison, Ill. In March 1907, he began getting a pension of $15 per month. William BROADEY died 20 Jul 1909, in Carrier Mills, Saline Co., Ill., at the age of 74. In 1909, Mary Ann filed for a widow's pension in Carrier Mills, Ill. She reapplied in 1916 in Terre Haute, Ind.

(1) Ida Mae CHAVIS was born in 1903 and died in 1933

(a) Thelma Marie born in 1926 in Marion, Williamson Co., Ill.

(aa) Lela Vicki BROWNE

c. ? CHAVIS born about 1869, died before 1870

d. ? CHAVIS born about 1870, died before 1880

e. Maston Cleveland CHAVIS was born about 1872 in Franklin Co., Ill., and married on 3 Jul 1903, in Saline Co., Ill., Eliza LANSBURY, who was born in Livingston Co., Ky., the daughter of Ed and E.C. COLFIELD LANSBURY.

Maston died 7 Jun 1950, in the Anna State Hospital in Union Co., Ill., of myocarditis chronic myocardial degeneration and was buried in the hospital cemetery. His death certificate says he was a laborer whose usual residence was 1000 S. Monroe St., Marion, Williamson Co., Ill. It incorrectly gives his age as 91 and states he was born 15 Sep 1858, in Indiana, the son of William Owen and Delitha MITCHELL CHAVIS.

Records from Choate Mental Health Center state Maston was admitted to the facility on 1 Jun 1950, just a few days before his death. Although the death certificate says he was buried in the hospital cemetery, hospital records state he was removed to Marion, Ill., and buried there.

Family members who remember "Uncle Clev" say he was a "kind of medicine man or herbalist, who treated the townspeople's illness with herbs."

(1) Barney CHAVIS, resided at 4238 Rivard, Detroit, Mich., when his father was admitted to the hospital.

f. Herman E. CHAVES was born in 1874 in Franklin Co., Ill., and married on 28 Nov 1907, in Saline Co., Ill., Lucy RICHARD, who was born about 1888 in Saline Co., Ill., the daughter of Jake and B. BLORFORD RICHARD. Herman was a coal miner in Franklin Co., Ill. He died 9 Dec 1914, in Stonefort Township, Saline Co., Ill., and was buried in Pond Cemetery (Death Book A page 123).

Herman's wife, Lucy, killed him in self defense, according to a coronor's inquest in Saline Co., Ill.

g. Mary D. CHAVES was born in 1876 in Illinois, died before 1891

h. ? CHAVIS born about 1878, died before 1880

i. Sarah E. CHAVES was born in 1880 in Franklin Co., Ill.

j. Malinda E. CHAVOUS born about 1882

k. ? CHAVOUS born about 1884, died before 1891

l. ? CHAVOUS born about 1885, died before 1891

4. Amanda CHAVIS was born about 1838 in Tennessee and married on 2 Jul 1863, in Williamson Co., Ill., Henry TABORN.

5. Malinda CHAVIS was born about 1840 in Tennessee and married on 30 Apr 1863, in Williamson Co., Ill., Silas HARDIN.

6. Robert CHAVIS was born about 1842 in Tennessee. On the 1860 census there is a Stephen CHAVIS, born about 1840, and Robert CHAVIS does not appear. They are perhaps the same person. This may also be the same person as Robert CHAVERS, who married about 1865 Elizabeth A. ALLEN, the daughter of Joseph ALLEN (see Joseph ALLEN family history, chapter 2).

There was a Stephen CHAVIS who served as a private in Co. K, 11th U.S. Artillery.

7. Nathan CHAVIS was born about 1844 in Illinois. There is a marriage record in Williamson Co., Ill., for Nathan SHAVIS and Amanda BRYANT, who were married by James OGLESBY, a minister of the gospel on 29 Aug 1867. Amanda was the daughter of Hannah LITTLEJOHN BRYANT STEWART and a sister of Susan BRYANT, who married John ALLEN. Nathan SHAFFERS, born about 1850, married on 11 Nov 1875, in Williamson Co., Ill., Lucy TABORN, born about 1855. They were married by M. P. WILKINS at the Methodist parsonage in Marion.

Nathan, Lucy and children are on the 1880 census of Williamson Co., Ill. (page 223, household 147/254). They are all listed as mulattoes.

a. Lyda A. CHAVIS born 1866

b. Thomas CHAVIS born 1872 in Williamson Co., Ill.

c. Hannah CHAVIS born about 1875 in Williamson Co., Ill.

8. Ewen DILLOW, born in February 1850 in Union Co., Ill., was the son of Thomas CHAVIS and Christena BARRINGER DILLOW, a white woman, who was born about 1820 in Union Co., Ill., and died 17 Jan 1896. She was the wife of Michael DILLOW and the daughter of Peter and Mary DILLOW BARRINGER. Michael and Christena lived in a log cabin at the present site of the Bell mansion east of Cobden. Besides the children she had by her husband, Christena also had two children from extramarital encounters she had with neighbors, Thomas CHAVIS and Cain BRACKEN. In 1901, John TRIPP wrote that "Michael DILLOW did not seem to care anything about his wife Christina giving birth to a couple Negro sons. There was an old free Negro named Cain and generally called "Old Negro Cain" who was said to have been the father of Sandy DILLOW. The other Negro was named Ewen. I believe an old Negro named SHAVUS was said to be his father. Ewen wasn't so dark as Sandy, who is black, but anybody could see that Ewen was part Negro. Ewen died four or five years ago. Sandy still lives at Pullman, Illinois, and works in the Pullman shops. The reason the white sons all left home so young was that they were ashamed of their Negro brothers."

Christena's mother, Mary DILLOW, was born about 1778 in Rowan Co., N.C., and had two children out of wedlock, Michael DILLOW and Amy DILLOW. She moved to Union Co., Ill., in 1818, and married there on 28 Oct 1819, Peter BARRINGER. The 1860 census of Union County lists Peter as a mulatto, although he is on all other censuses as white. When she migrated to Illinois, Mary left her "baseborn" children in the care of her brother, Jacob DILLOW, a carpenter in Salisbury, N.C. Jacob mentions both children in his 1822 will. There is some evidence to suggest that at least Amy DILLOW was part African American. Jacob's widow, Catharine SHUMAN DILLOW refers to "my Negro woman Amy" in her 1856 will in North Carolina. Amy was bequeathed to Catharine's brother, John SHUMAN for $140 and she was not to be sold to anyone who would take her from the state. Most of Catharine's other property she left to her brother-in-law, Benjamin BLACKWELL. The estate was settled on 1 Nov 1869, in Rowan County and on 25 Nov 1869, Amy DILLOW and Alfred GILESPIE acquired a marriage bond in Rowan County, which indicates that both were black. Alfred relinquished all claim to Amy's property, worth about $250, on 27 Nov 1869. It appears from the record that Amy DILLOW, a half sister of Christena BARRINGER, was held as a slave by her own aunt in North Carolina.