AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum
In Response To: Re: Chavis/Chavers/Chavus ()
hey,william. Im not descended from the Chavis clan..but members of the Chavis family intermarried with mine. One of the Gradneys or Gradenigos. I am related to the Gradenigos and the La Chapelles. I got curious about the name because of the interesting history behind the origin of this family of color in the southeastern united states beginning as early as the 17th century it seems. Anyway... A John Chevis signed as security on the marriage of my gg grandparents, Leonard La Chapelle and Marie Jeanne Donato. Leonard La Chapelle was the grandson of Henrietta Gradenigo and Pierre Hubert La Chapelle of Quebec, Canada and Opelousas. Henrietta Gradenigo siblings were Honore Martin Gradenigo, Louis Gradenigo, and Marie Gradenigo. I wonder how and why the first John Chevis(i believe he might be the ancestor of some of the early Chevis to appear in st. landry parish as free people of color) made his way to Spanish Louisiana. I've read that many southern states had strict laws on the migration and out migration of free people of color. Spainish Louisiana allowed free people of color from other regions to come. Maybe thats what lead the first John Chevis to come there from perhaps North Carolina( I've seen North Carolina referenced on one of the catholic records as an origin and many members of the Chavis seen to have originated from that area by way of Virginia(which is the origin point of the earliest free people of color in the United States ie Johnson, Driggers, Dial, Goins, Cumbo). The Chevis(a french variation of Chavis) clan assimilated into the Creole of color population. Many of their members married Gradney,Esprit, and Malveaux. Sounds fascinating.
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