AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
4. Catharine Chavis was born circa 1734 in Henrico County, and according to the excellent scholarship of Paul Heinegg in his award-winning book “Free African Americans of North Carolina and Virginia, Catherine was described as a mulatto girl who was bound out in 1740. In 1756 Lunenburg County, Virginia church wardens were ordered to bind out her children Sam Chavis (1749-1820), Lucy Chavis (1750-after 1850), and Ann Chavis (1752-1822). Later her children Nan and Lucy, were bound out. Catherine also had a child named Betty. Catharine Chavis was the daughter of Thomas Chavis.
5. Thomas Chavis (1682-1750) was born in Isle of Wight County, Virginia and died in there. He was the son of the free black William Chavis, [“Shivers” in the records] who was born about 1654, and his wife Elizabeth Unknown (1660-1710).
6. William Chavis (1654-1710)was the son of Thomas Chavis (1627-1664)(spelled Chivers), who was dead by the time William was 18 when Surry County Court records referred to William as the “orphan son of Thomas Chivers.” [Bear in mind that a child was considered an orphan if his FATHER was dead, his mother could still be alive. Women had no rights, were not allowed to work, and so when their men died the children were considered wards of the court unless there was a substantial amount of wealth in the family.] William was bound out to William Carpenter. [He got to choose who he was bound out to because he was over 14, that was the law.]
7. Thomas Chavis (1627-1664) lived in Isle of Wight County, Virginia and died in Surry County Virginia. He was probably the immigrant ancestor. In addition to his son William, he had a daughter named Elizabeth Chavis.
*Although the race of the earliest Chavises is not mentioned in the records, the descendants of Elizabeth Chavis were mixed race. It is possible that Thomas Chavis Sr. was either white or black. The records do not say.
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