The  Chapman Families of Newton County, Mississippi

By Bradley Chapman Pierce
Margaret Olivia Chapman (Lil) Lay

The founders of the  Chapmans of southern Newton County were Abel Edwards Chapman, who  patented land in Newton County in 1836 and Edward Edwards Chapman  who settled in the Bethel Community in 1839. Abel Edwards Chapman  was a railroad surveyor and Edward Edwards Chapman worked mostly as  a land surveyor, both professions important to the county in its  early days. Both were also farmers. The brothers lived in adjoining  communities: Edward Edwards Chapman at Bethel and Abel Edwards  Chapman in the area five miles south of Newton.

Abel Edwards  Chapman and Edward Edwards Chapman were the children of Thrashley  Chapman and Catherine Edwards and grandchildren of John Chapman and  his second wife Mary Allen, John Chapman having settled in  Spotsylvania County, Virginia, in the 1740s. The Chapmans were of  mostly English origin. Following the death of his parents,  Thrashley Chapman moved from Virginia to near Cheraw, South Carolina  in ca. 1776-1777 as a child, then five years old. He was brought up  by his Allen grandparents and by his older brother, Allen Chapman.  Thrashley Chapman married Catherine Edwards in 1795. Catherine was  born in South Carolina, her family having settled in Delaware in  1701, then moving to South Carolina in 1735. Thrashley Chapman and  Catherine Edwards Chapman moved to Wayne County, Mississippi in 1815  with their ten children and 31 slaves. After Thrashley and Catherine  died in the 1820s, their children migrated to other counties and  states. The ten children of Thrashley Chapman and Katherine  Edwards, as shown by Bible and other records, were:

  1. John Alexander Chapman, born 13 November  1796; married Sarah Cook
  2. Sarah Harry Chapman, born 12 July 1798,  Chesterfield District, South Carolina died 1860; married William  Henry Pegues Power
  3. Mary Allen Chapman, born 6 March 1800,  Chesterfield District, South Carolina died 31 March 1852;  married Alexander Craig Power
  4. Abel Edwards Chapman[1],  born 11 October 1802, Chesterfield District, South Carolina died  2 December 1875, Newton County, Mississippi; married Susan Evans  (See later)
  5. Thomas James Chapman, born 15 January  1804, Chesterfield District, South Carolina died Noxubee County,  Mississippi, date unknown. His widow, Charlotte McIntosh  Chapman, moved to Louisiana with her sister Harriet and  brother-in-law William Thrashley Chapman.
  6. Eleanor Bainbridge Chapman, born 16  November 1805, Chesterfield District, South Carolina; married  Isaac Payne
  7. William Thrashley Chapman, born 26 March  1807, Chesterfield District, South Carolina died 8 June 1869,  Alto, Louisiana; married Harriet McIntosh.
  8. Elizabeth Ann Chapman, born 2 March 1809,  Chesterfield District, South Carolina died 16 October 1853,  Philadelphia, Neshoba County, Mississippi; married John Watts (See  later)
  9. Samuel Willis Chapman, born 30 November  1810, Chesterfield District, South Carolina. No further record.
  10. Edward Edwards Chapman, born 4 December  1812, Chesterfield District, South Carolina died 23 September  1886, Bethel community, Newton County, Mississippi. (See  later)

Abel Edwards Chapman--Susan Evans Chapman Family

Abel Edwards  Chapman, son of Thrashley Chapman and Catherine Edwards, married  Susan Evans in Wayne County, Mississippi in 1826.  Susans family  had come to Wayne County from Society Hill, South Carolina and close  to that same area where his Abels father had grown up and lived for  35+ years.  Upon arrival in Newton County, Abel became a charter  member and elder of the Mt. Moriah Presbyterian Church when it was  organized in the 1840s.  At one point, in the 1830s, Abel moved to  Rayville, Louisiana and stayed about a year before returning to  Newton County.  He brought back with him sugar cane, the first to be  seen in this area.

Abel and Susan had  eleven children, ten of whom would survive to be adults. Four of  their sons fought in the Civil War, the youngest at 16 years old.  One son, Julius Alexander Chapman was killed during the war at  Cedartown, Georgia. Three of the daughters of Abel and Susan Evans Chapman never married. Their eleven children were:

    1. Catherine Edwards  Chapman, born 17 October 1828, Wayne County, Mississippi died 1907,  unmarried

    2. Thashley W.  Chapman, born 3 April 1830 died 16 October 1830

     3. John Evans Chapman, Sr., born 12 March 1832, Rayville,  Louisiana died 25 July 1905, Newton County, Mississippi; married  Susanna Evans, daughter of Henry Evans, an early settler in the  area. John and Susanna lived on land given to them by both of their  fathers. The current location is five and one-half miles south of  Newton on Highway 15 near the present-day Garlandville Road  turn-off. John Evans Chapman, Sr., enlisted with the Garlandville  Rifles when the Civil War broke out while Susanna remained home and  ran the farm with the help of some faithful Negro slaves and  relatives. This was a hard time and the house burned through as act  of arson. It was later rebuilt of hewn pine logs and stood until  1925. John and Susanna were the parents of twelve children, three of  whom did not survive childhood:

      3A. William Edward Chapman, born 7 December 1855 died 28  September 1866

      3B. Mary Louvenia (Beanie) Chapman, born 11 April 1856 died  10 January 1887; married Jesse Taylor

      3C. Henry Clay Chapman, born 9 November 1858 died 29  September 1866

      3D. James Larkin Chapman, Sr., born 15 April 1860 died 10  June 1930, French Camp, Winston County, Mississippi; married  Harriett Strother Boughton, daughter of William and Betty Ridgeway  Boughton. Their children included Betty Ridgeway Chapman who  returned to Newton County and marred Bonnie Pierce. They were the  parents of seven children, three of whom still reside in Newton  County.

      3E. John Evans Chapman, Jr., born 28 May 1862 died 27 May  1944, Brownsboro, Texas; married Lula Leona Lyles

      3F. Julius Alexander Chapman, born 26 September 1864 died 1  February 1936, Texas; married Ada L. Woodham

      3G. Susan Elizabeth Chapman, born 11 February 1866 died 24  September 1934, Minden, Louisiana; married William B. Buckley

      3H. Addie Olivia Chapman, born 24 March 1868 died 17 May  1947, Inglewood, California; married John Marion Hardy

      3I. George Chapman, born 8 March 1870 died 11 March 1932,  Newton, Mississippi; married Willie Bettie Boughton, daughter of  William and Betty Ridgeway Boughton.

      3J. Thomas Crawford Chapman, born 9 August 1871 died 12  January 1943, Montrose, Jasper County, Mississippi

      3K. Robert Malcom Chapman, born 23 February 1873 died 5 May  1934, Dallas, Texas; married Mary Taylor Woodham

      3L. Ruth Chapman, born 21 March 1875 died 10 February 1876

      3M. Abel Hugh Chapman, born 15 September 1880 died 24  February 1961, Spartanburg, South Carolina; married Irene Chapman

     4. Margaret Jane Chapman, born 20 February 1834 died 20 February  1907, Newton County, Mississippi, did not marry.

     5. Caroline E. Chapman, born 17 October 1835 died 24 April 1915;  Newton; Mississippi; married Joel Shepherd

     6. Thomas James Chapman, born 24 April 1837 died 7 May 1924,  Newton County, Mississippi. Thomas married Sarah Ann Walker and they  lived five miles south of Newton. Thomas was with the Garlandville  Rifles during the Civil War and is buried in Mt. Moriah Church  Presbyterian Church Cemetery, southwest of Bethel. Some of the  descendants of Thomas James Chapman continue to live in this area.

     7. Julius Alexander Chapman, born 3 February 1839 died on the  battlefield at Cedartown, Georgia, Civil War.

     8. Abel Evans Chapman, born 22 October 1840 died 24 February  1934, Garland, Texas; married Dinah Johnson. He was in the Battle of  Shiloh during the Civil War and in later life lived in Newton County  before moving to Texas.

     9. Caledonia C. Chapman, born 6 October 1842 died 16 December  1929, Newton, Mississippi; married Jehue E. Jones

     10. George Evans Chapman, Jr., born 11 August 1847 died 1  February 1918, Newton County, Mississippi; married Mary Jane Walker.  They had seven children and lived south of Newton. George and Sarah  Ann are buried in Mt. Moriah Presbyterian Church Cemetery.

     11. Susan Harriet N. Chapman, born 13 November 1851 died 29 July  1917; married William Daniel Thompson and they raised a family of  ten children in the Newton area.

Current descendants of Abel and Susan Evans  Chapman line who still live in the area are mostly descendants of  his sons John Evans Chapman and Thomas James Chapman.

Edward Edwards Chapman Family

After the death of  his parents, Edward Edwards Chapman lived with his sister Elizabeth  Chapman Watts and her husband Judge John Watts in Garlandville,  Jasper County, Mississippi, prior to his own marriage in 1832. He  was trained as a surveyor by his older brother Abel Edwards Chapman.  Edward Edwards Chapman first married Talitha Matilda Toole, born  1816, and to that union were born six children. Matilda died in  1842 and the second wife of Edward Edwards Chapman was Sarah Wells,  daughter of Col. Archelus Wells of Decatur, Mississippi. Edward and  the second wife Sarah also had six children.

The children of Edward Edwards Chapman and  Talitha Matilda Toole were as follows:

    1.  Elizabeth Catherine Chapman, born 5 January 1834, Garlandville,  Mississippi died 20 January 1900, Garden Valley, Texas. Elizabeth  married her step-mothers brother, Robert Wells. They moved to  Garden Valley, Texas in 1870 and had a large family.

 Edward Edwards Chapman

     2. Thrashley Chapman, born 23 August 1835, Garlandville,  Mississippi died 14 January 1865, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Thashley  married Sarah Dunagin in 1859. They had two children before  Thrashley died in a prisoner of war camp near the end of the Civil  War. The older child, Talitha Matilda Chapman, married James Lanier  Hardy, Jr., on December 20, 1883.  They raised seven children and  lived in Newton where she ran a boarding house. Sarah Dunagin, the  widow of Thrashley Chapman, secondly married Benjamin Wells, brother  of her first husbands stepmother.

    3. Mary Adaline Chapman, born 7 April 1837 died 9 May 1854

     4. David Toole Chapman, born 22 February 1839 died 26 December 1913,  Bethel community, Newton County, Mississippi. David married Elvira Caroline Nichols in 1861 and they raised eleven children to  adulthood. David served in the Civil War and was at the siege of Vicksburg. After the war he returned and held several political  offices in the 1880s including the Mississippi Legislature in  1882-1883 and in 1885-1887 and likely was a delegate to the  Mississippi Constitutional Convention of 1890. One of the sons of  David Toole Chapman was Edward Hardy Chapman, born 3  September 1867 died 30 August 1960 and who married Sophronia Matilda  Ritchey. His descendants lived south of Bethel on a farm adjoining  the farm of David Toole Chapman into the 1980s. Other descendants  of David Toole and Elvira married into neighboring families  including the Masons and Nicholsons. A son of David’s, Dr Thomas  Shelby Chapman, moved to Oklahoma after graduation from medical  school. One daughter, Julia Elvira Chapman, remained in the  community until her death in 1961. She was a school teacher and was  one of three sisters who never married. Her sister Lou Chapman ran  the farm and later a dairy, and her sister Susan Elizabeth (Betty)  Chapman ran the house, did the cooking, and tended to the garden.  These three old maids raised at least five of their nieces and  nephews and helped educate them.

     5. Martha Eleanor Chapman, born 7 February 1841 died 26 June  1850

    6. Sarah Tilitha Chapman, born 9 November 1842 died 19 June 1863

    The children of Edwards marriage to Sarah  Wells were as follows:

    7. Charlotte Lucretia Chapman born 28 June 1846 -- died 24 December 1885

     8. Archelus Thomas (Archie) Chapman, born 11 June 1848, Bethel  community, Newton County, Mississippi died 28 January 1922, Ben  Wheeler, Van Zandt County, Texas, married Nancy Adeline Walker in  1867. Archelus was a Missionary Baptist preacher who moved to Texas  in 1869. He and Adeline returned to Newton County in 1877 after  Indians stole food from their kitchen, later moving back to Texas  ten years later. Archelus and Nancy were the founders of a large and  extended family which mostly lived in Texas and Oklahoma.

     9. James Edwards Chapman, born 29 April 1850, Bethel community,  Newton County, Mississippi-died 31 May 1934, Bethel community,  Newton County, Mississippi;

married Aisley Jane Thompson in 1870. The Rev. J. E. Chapman was a missionary to the  Choctaw Indians in Mississippi and was also sent to south  Mississippi as a missionary. He was pastor at Bethel Baptist Church  for some forty-two years. James and Jane were the parents of eleven  children, nine of whom survived to adulthood. The children of James  and Jane are as follows:

      9A. Maud Chapman, born 2 February 1872 died 15 March 1964,  Union, Mississippi; married the Rev. Fredrick Fleming Gardner. Rev.  Gardner preached at Primitive Baptist churches in Neshoba,  Lauderdale and Newton counties.  Members of their family still live  in the Union area.

      9B. Eva Chapman, born 5 November 1873 died 10 May 1959;  married William Eugene Sansing. They lived west of Newton and raised  a family of six children.

      9C. Clifford Chapman, born 23 March 1876 died 18 December  1884

      9D. Clarence Chapman, born 3 February 1878 died 15 February  1976, Hickory, Mississippi; married Minnie Victoria Ritchie on 15  December 1898.  They were living in Hickory in 1916.  He was a  planter, Beat Supervisor, and Lumberman. In their later years they  lived in the Willis Norman house on Highway 80 east of Newton.  Clarence and Victoria were the parents ten children including Mary  Elsie Chapman Edmonds who compiled the Chapman family history.

      9E. Glover Earbee Chapman, Sr., born 31 August 1880 died 22  February 1920.  He married Lillie Mae McMullan of Decatur. Glover  contacted tuberculosis shortly after their marriage, but even moving  to New Mexico did not help his condition and they moved back to  Newton County where he died in 1920. They were the parents of five  children, and Lillie, a school teacher, later married Floyd Rowzee.

      9F. Sarah Chapman, born 4 February 1883 died 5 September  1965, San Antonio, Texas; married Curtis Lee Sansing and they moved  to Texas in 1917. Curtis was a Baptist preacher and he and Sarah are  buried in Austin, Texas. They were the parents of five children.

      9G. Thomas Carroll Chapman Sr., born 19 June 1888 died 24  September 1959; married Josephine Weed in 2 January 1916 and they  lived in the Bethel community. They were the parents of Thomas  Carroll Chapman, Jr., Margaret Olivia (Lil) Chapman Lay and Mary Jo  Chapman Wallick. Members of this branch of the family still live in  the Bethel community.

      9H. Cynthia Ann Chapman, born 1 February 1893 died 11 January  1964, Montgomery, Alabama; married James Earl Sansing, brother of  Curtis Lee Sansing. James Earl Sansing was a school teacher and  administrator at various Mississippi Public Schools. They were  parents of five children.

      9I. Biddy Narcissa Chapman, born 30 August 1895; married  Robert Patty Harrelson, Sr., of Smith County, Mississippi in 1915.   They moved to New Mexico in 1931 and Biddy was still living there in  1971. Both taught school and Robert served in the New Mexico  Legislature. They were parents of four children.

    10. Robert Emmett  Chapman, born 25 February 1852 died 21 October 1925; did not marry.

     11 Beadie Margaret Chapman, born 28 July 1853 died 14 July 1892;  married Ralph Lee Simmons in 1892.  They lived in the Bethel  community and farmed land which was a part of her father Edwards  farm.

     12 Olivia Ann Chapman, born 3 July 1857 died 1921; did not marry

Edward Edwards  Chapman and family first lived in a log house in their early years  in Newton County. Later a sawed plank house was started in  construction and was hurriedly completed during the Civil War.  After Edwards death and the death of his son Robert Emmitt Chapman,  the house passed to the children of Beadie Margaret and Ralph Lee  Simmons. The house then became known as the Simmons house and it  stands to this day on Bethel Road.

Elizabeth Ann Chapman Judge John Watts Family

In addition to the  Chapman lines of Abel and Edward Chapman, their sister Elizabeth Ann  Chapman and her husband Judge John Watts were important to the  development of Newton County and the documentation of its history.  Judge Watts served in the multiple roles of Circuit Judge, minister,  and Mississippi legislator as both a state representative and  senator. John and Elizabeth initially lived in Wayne County but  moved to Garlandville in 1830.  From Garlandville they moved to  Philadelphia, Mississippi, where they were living in 1853 when  Elizabeth died in childbirth. They were the parents of ten  children. These children were:

     1. Dr. Josiah Thrashley Watts, born 22 March 1827, Wayne  County, Mississippi died 5 January 1901, Newton, Mississippi;  married Jane Tillet. Dr. Watts left a medical practice in  Philadelphia to become depot agent of Newton station in 1861.

     2. James Watts, born 1 May 1829, Wayne County, Mississippi died  24 May 1902, Meridian, Mississippi; married Eleanor Bell. Attorney.

     3. John Black Watts, born about 1832 -- died age 27, Garlandville,  Mississippi

     4. Thomas Watts, born about 1834 -- died Newton, Mississippi, date  unknown. Quartermaster Sgt, 13th MS Inf., CSA

     5. Julia A. Watts, born about 1838 -- died Garlandville,  Mississippi, date unknown; married M. R. Watkins

     6. Cornelia C. Watts, born 21 December 1842 died September 1868,  Newton, Mississippi; married Alfred John (A. J.) Brown, author of  the History of Newton County from 1834 to 1894

     7. Olcott S. Watts, born about 1844, living with his brother  James in Kemper County, Mississippi, in 1870

     8. William Sharkey Watts

     9. Mary C. Watts, born about 1849;  married Dr. Thomas S. West,  minister and physician

     10. Elizabeth Ann Watts, born 17 September 1853, Philadelphia,  Mississippi -- died 21 May 1926, Newton, Mississippi; did not marry.


Elsie Chapman  Edmonds, John Chapman of Spotsylvania County, Virginia, Thomas
Power of  Cheraw, South Carolina, and Related Families
, privately printed,  1971.

[1] Shown as Abel Edwards Chapman in  Family Bible, but Edmonds uses both Abel Edward Chapman and Abel Edwards Chapman throughout the text on her  history of the Chapman family.

Addition information can be found in the Chapman papers at the Mississippi Department of Archives & History.


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