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:
- John Alexander Chapman, born 13 November 1796; married Sarah Cook
- Sarah Harry Chapman, born 12 July 1798, Chesterfield District, South Carolina died 1860; married William Henry Pegues Power
- Mary Allen Chapman, born 6 March 1800, Chesterfield District, South Carolina died 31 March 1852; married Alexander Craig Power
- Abel Edwards Chapman, born 11 October 1802, Chesterfield District, South Carolina died 2 December 1875, Newton County, Mississippi; married Susan Evans (See later)
- 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.
- Eleanor Bainbridge Chapman, born 16 November 1805, Chesterfield District, South Carolina; married Isaac Payne
- William Thrashley Chapman, born 26 March 1807, Chesterfield District, South Carolina died 8 June 1869, Alto, Louisiana; married Harriet McIntosh.
- Elizabeth Ann Chapman, born 2 March 1809, Chesterfield District, South Carolina died 16 October 1853, Philadelphia, Neshoba County, Mississippi; married John Watts (See later)
- Samuel Willis Chapman, born 30 November 1810, Chesterfield District, South Carolina. No further record.
- 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.Â 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.Â 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.Â At one point, in the 1830s, Abel moved to Rayville, Louisiana and stayed about a year before returning to Newton County.Â 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.Â 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.Â They were living in Hickory in 1916.Â 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.Â 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.Â 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.Â 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;Â 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.
 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.