Remembering Newton County's
African American Chapman Families

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Early  Generations of My Chapman Family

From Slavery to Freedom


Early  Generations of My Chapman Family
in Newton County,  Mississippi

By Charlie Chapman

My earliest Chapman ancestor that I have been able to locate  is Dave Chapman in Newton County, Mississippi. Dave was  born May 1846 in Mississippi, and died between 1900 and  1910. He married Sarah Evans. She was born May 1856 in  Mississippi, and died between 1900 and 1910. Dave was first  located in the 1880 Federal Census living in Newton County,  Mississippi, with his wife, Sarah Evans 1,  and children William, John (my great-grandfather) and  Julia. No record of Dave has been located prior to 1880.  A thorough review of the 1870 Federal Census for the entire  United States failed to pinpoint the location of Dave in  those years, thus preventing further research into Daves earlier years. Sarah was probably living in Newton County  when the 1870 Federal Census was taken. As there are a  number of Sarah Evans of the same approximate age listed in  the county, I have not found the necessary linkage to  determine a match.

Additionally,  the Chapman name is common  to Newton County, Mississippi. Dave and Sarah had the  following children:

      1. William Chapman, born June 1873, Mississippi;  married Sallie Norman, February 24, 1900, Newton County,  Mississippi. Sallie was born May 1878, Mississippi.

     2. John A. Chapman, born 1876, Mississippi -- died  January 23, 1953, Newton County, Mississippi.

     3. Julia Chapman, born November 1878, Newton County,  Mississippi.

     4. Sarah Chapman, born 1880.

     5. Tom Chapman, born January 1881, Newton County,  Mississippi -- died between 1900 - 1910, Mississippi.

     6.   Miles (Myers) Chapman, born January 1884, Newton  County, Mississippi; died before 1910. He married Alice  Walker, December 24, 1902, Newton County, Mississippi. Alice  was born about 1867, Mississippi

     7. Mack Chapman, born about 1885 

In the 1900 Federal Census, Dave was found still living in  Newton County, Mississippi with his wife, Sarah, and son  Myers (Miles?).  Their remaining children had left home and  started their own households2.  Dave and Sarah had additional children not listed in the  1880 or 1900 Census, but who were registered in the Newton  County, Mississippi school system (Lawrence School 3)  in 1890 (Sarah, Tom & Mack). Dave Chapman was listed in the  records as the parent/guardian of the children.

Both Dave and Sarah apparently died sometime between 1900  and 1910 as neither was listed in the 1910 Federal Census.  As the state of Mississippi did not begin collecting death  records until November 1912, no record of the deaths or  possible grave sites has been located.

The Family of William Chapman

 William married Sallie Norman in 1900 in Newton County,  Mississippi 4.  It appears that William Chapman died prior to 1910 as there  is no record of him in the 1910 Federal Census. Nothing  further else is known about this family.

The Family of John A. Chapman

John A. Chapman (my great-grandfather)was born 1876  in Mississippi, and died January 23, 1953 in Newton County,  Mississippi. He married Lucinda Walker October 25, 1894 in  Newton County, Mississippi 5,  daughter of Manual Walker and Reney Evans. She was born  March 08, 1877 in Mississippi, and died October 31, 1958 in  Newton, Newton County, Mississippi. His father-in-law,  Manual Walker, then 21, is shown as living and working on  the farm of Abel Chapman in Newton County in 1870.

Lucinda Walker Chapman

Lucinda Walker Chapman

Apparently, after marrying Lucinda (Sindy)Walker, John  raised his family in the southern portion of Newton County  close to Garlandville on rented property as a farmer. John  had some of his children in the Mt. Zion School near  Garlandville in 1924 and in the Newton County, Mississippi,  school system (Calhoun) in 1925 6.  It appears these areas were split between Jasper and Newton  Counties in the early 1900s and the children were listed in  school system records for both counties. John also was  listed as the guardian of Erma Ware when she continued to  attend school after marrying Wesley Chapman (my grandfather)  and moving with Wesley into John's home in 1924.

According to family lore, John did not believe in banks and  kept his holdings with him (or hidden) at all times.  Upon  his death in 1953, his children, led by Wesley Chapman,  found the money that he had, and used it to buy his burial  suit and pay his other burial expenses. John and Lucinda  are buried in a stacked plot in Altare M. B. Church  Cemetery, Newton County, Mississippi. John and Lucinda had  the following children:

     1. Fannie Chapman, born July 20, 1892, Newton County,  Mississippi; died October 19, 1965, Newton County,  Mississippi; married Elijah Evans

     2. Annie Bell Chapman, born February 15, 1898, Newton  County, Mississippi; died February 23, 1972, Newton County,  Mississippi; married Jeff Evans

     3. Flossy Chapman, born February 1900, Newton County,  Mississippi; died at an early age in Newton County,  Mississippi.

     4. Cleveland Chapman, born March 15, 1902, Newton  County, Mississippi; died March 31, 1943, Newton County,  Mississippi; married Alice Johnson

     5. Manual William Chapman, born May 05, 1903, Newton  County, Mississippi; died Aug 05, 1977, Mississippi; married  Annie Edison

     6. Wesley (John) Chapman, born November 06, 1905,  Garlandville, Jasper County, Mississippi -- died November 15,  1970, Newton Hospital, Newton, Mississippi; married Erma  Ware

     7. Sarah Jane Chapman, born December 23, 1909, Newton  County, Mississippi -- died September
    20, 1980, Newton County,  Mississippi; married Levi George Johnson

     8. Walter Chapman, born August 16, 1911, Newton  County, Mississippi -- died June 16, 1980, Newton County,  Mississippi; married Eunice Thornton.

     9. Julie Ann Chapman, born February 16, 1916, Newton  County, Mississippi -- died October 06, 1979, Newton County,  Mississippi; married George Wilson

     10. Ernest Chapman, born April 11, 1917, Newton,  Mississippi -- died July 04, 1979, Hurley Medical Center,  Flint, Genesee County, Michigan; married Zeola Watkins

     11. Willie Ann Chapman, born March 17, 1919, Newton  County, Mississippi -- died September 20, 1993, Gulfport,  Mississippi; married Frank Johnson, Jr.

     12. Ora M Chapman, born 1920, Mississippi. (Nothing  further known)

During the first half of the century, John and Lucinda  Chapmans descendants raised their families in and around  Newton County. Many descendants still reside in Newton and  surrounding counties. Many other descendants have dispersed  to many areas of the United States including the Mid-West,  the West Coast and other Southern States but come together  every two years for a family reunion.
Cleveland Chapman Sr
Julie Ann Chapman

Cleveland Chapman

Julie Ann Chapman

No Picture

Earnest Chapman

Sarah Jane Chapman

Earnest Chapman

Willie Ann Chapman
Manual William Chapman

Willie Ann Chapman

Manual William Chapman

The Family of Julia Chapman Hardy Chapman Alridge

Julia Chapman was born November 1878 in Newton  County, Mississippi. She married (1) Walter Hardy June 02,  1894 in Newton County, Mississippi 7. He was born March 1868 in  Mississippi. She married (2) Alfred Chapman Dec 14, 1904 in  Newton County, Mississippi 8.  He was born about 1859 in Mississippi. She married (3)  ______ Alridge after 1920 in Jones County, Mississippi 9.

After their marriage in 1894, Julia and Walter lived and  raised their family in Newton for a number of years.  Sometime prior to 1904, Julia was no longer with Walter (No  record of what happened to Walter), and in 1904, Julia  married her second husband, Alfred Chapman. After this  marriage, they moved the family to Jones County, on the East  Side of the Leaf River. There is no record that this union  produced any children. Three of her children by Walter  Hardy (Corena, William and John) were living with them at  this time. Alfred had apparently died by the time of the  1920 Federal Census and Julia still lived in Jones County  with her son John who was 17 years old at the time. By  1930, it appears that Julia had married an Alridge, who was  deceased by 1930, as Julia Aldridge was listed as widowed 10.  There is no record that this union produced any children.  Children of Julia and Walter Hardy:

    1. Bertha3 Hardy, born February 1895,  Newton County, Mississippi
    2. Corena Hardy, born August 1897, Newton County,  Mississippi.
    3. William Hardy, born September 1899, Newton County,  Mississippi
    4. John W. Hardy, born about 1901, Newton County,  Mississippi.

The Family of Tom Chapman

Tom Chapman was born January 1881 in Mississippi, and  died between 1900 - 1910 in Mississippi. He married Patty Lasket January 27, 1900 in Newton County, Mississippi 11. She was born May 1882 in  Mississippi.

The union of Tom and Patty produced four children. He  apparently died between 1900 and 1910 as his wife, Patty  (listed as Patsy in the 1910 Federal Census) was listed as a  widow in 1910 while living with her sister in Newton County,  Mississippi. Children of Tom and Patty:

    1. Andrew Chapman, born about 1901, Newton County,  Mississippi.
    2. Lem Chapman, born about 1904, Newton County,  Mississippi.
    3. Mary Chapman, born about 1906, Newton County,  Mississippi.
    4. Drucilla Chapman, born about. 1907, Newton County,  Mississippi. Drucilla married Joe Evans on Feb 7, 1925 in  Newton County, Mississippi and the couple had a son, Frank  Evans, born in late 1925.

The Family of Miles (Myers) Chapman

Miles (Myers) Chapman was born January 1884 in  Mississippi, and died before 1910 in Mississippi. He  married Alice Walker Dec 24, 1902 in Newton County,  Mississippi 12. She was born about 1867 in  Mississippi.

Apparently Miles died prior to 1910 as Alice Walker Chapman  was listed in the 1910 Federal Census of Newton County as a  widow. It appears that Miles and Alice did not have any  children together as the children living with Alice in 1910  were all born well before Miles and Alice's married in 1902. 

The Family of Mack Chapman

Mack Chapman was born 1885. He married Eliza Walker  May 17, 1905 in Newton County, Mississippi 13  We have no further record of his  family.

The Chapman family holds a Family Reunion every  two years in various cities around the country. The  next one is planned for July 2006 in California,  probably in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Personal Knowledge of Various Family Members

1870-1930 Federal Censuses of Newton County, Mississippi

1900-1930 Federal Census of Jones County, Mississippi

US Social Security Card Applications

Social Security Death Index

Newton County, Mississippi Colored Marriage Records,  1872-1940

Newton  County, Mississippi School Records (Educable Children,  1884-1932) Newton County Department of Education

Mississippi World War I Selective Service System Draft  Registration Cards, 1917-1918

Mississippi Death Records, as abstracted by Dr. Harold  Graham

Various Cemetery markers, Newton County, Mississippi

Notes page-up-icon 24x24

[1] Other family members were  able to give Sarah’s maiden name
[2] 1900 Census records for other  family members
[3] Newton County School Records  of Educable Children for the period.
[4] Newton County, Mississippi,  Colored Marriage Records.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Newton County School Records  of Educable Children for the period
[7] [Newton County, Mississippi,  Colored Marriage Records.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Julia was listed in the 1930  Federal Census with last name Alridge and was living  next door to her son John W. Hardy.
[10] 1930 US Census, Jones County,  Mississippi
[11] Newton County, Mississippi,  Colored Marriage Records.
[12] Ibid.
[13] Newton County, Mississippi,  Marriage Records from Circuit Clerk's office in  Decatur, Mississippi.

From Slavery  to Freedom
The Chapman Families

page-up-icon 24x24

The brothers Abel Edwards Chapman and Edward Edwards Chapman were  two of the more than dozen land - owners that operated plantations and  owned slaves in south central Newton County prior to the Civil War.

Land records of Newton County indicate that Edward E. Chapman  patented 119.94 acres in S31 T5 R12 East on May 28, 1836. He would  add to his land and in 1846 paid taxes on 480 acres, this land  located in Sections 9 and 10 of Township 5, Range 11 East, the  earlier acquisition apparently having been sold. Abel E. Chapman  held no early patents, but in 1846 paid taxes on 400 acres located  in Sections 15, 22 and 23 of Township 5, Range 11 East. In 1859 and  1860, Abel was awarded two land patents in S7 T5 R12 East, the two  patents totaling 100.08 acres.

Elsie Chapman Edmonds provides the following description of life on  the plantation of Edward Edwards Chapman:

    Their crops were cotton and corn and they had crude  tools to farm with. Cotton was ginned on horse gins; they left the  cotton seeds in the fields for fertilizer for the following year, as  there was no market for them. They took their cotton in wagons to  Mobile, Alabama to sell which took several weeks for the trip,  bringing back supplies to last for a year. They also went into  Louisiana yearly to the salt mines. During the War Between the  States they dug up the dirt from the smokehouse and boiled it in  order to have salt for food. Edward Chapman had fifty slaves and it  was no small task to weave and make the cloth and then sew by hand  all the clothes for those who lived on the plantation. When they  could not buy buttons they made them from gourd and pumpkin seed.  The hides of cows were tanned and made into shoes by the slaves.  Soap was made by ashes stored in hoppers with grease and lye added,  then boiled down, cooled and cut into squares. The slaves were all  taught a different occupation. Some were blacksmiths, some were  carpenters and others made shoes. There was a maid and cook for the  big house. If a slave child was ill he was carried to the big  house and nursed back to health.

    The slaves lived in houses made of logs, each family  was given a plot of land for a garden and was allowed to sell  surplus produce and they were allowed to keep the proceeds.

    At the close of the war many of the slaves stayed on  the plantation and worked on halves for their (former) master.[1]

 The 1860 Federal Slave Schedule for Newton County, Mississippi,  shows Edward Chapman as the owner of 6 slave houses and 29 slaves  (less than reported by Edmonds), Abel Chapman as the owner of 21  slaves (slave houses not given), John E. Chapman as owner of 1 slave  house and 3 slaves and Thrashley Chapman as owner of 1 slave house  and 3 slaves.

With the Emancipation Proclamation and the end of the Civil War, the  Chapman slaves were given their freedom. Most of the former slaves  retained the Chapman surname. While the 1870 Federal Census  substantially under-reported the actual population, we have the  following Negro Chapmans shown as living in Newton County at that  time:

    Jackson Chapman, 48, born Alabama, wife Frances and  six children.
    Mary Chapman, 36, born Mississippi, with five  children.
    Sylvana Chapman, female, 29, born Mississippi, with  three children.
    Samuel Chapman, 26, born Mississippi, wife Mariah and  three children.
    Elias Chapman, 29, born Mississippi, wife Luezer with  no children.
    Simon Chapman, 70, born South Carolina, wife Mahala,  51, born Virginia, with no children.
    Anna Chapman, 65, born Mississippi, Adeline Chapman,  74, born Mississippi, and Emeline, 14, born Mississippi.
    Zach Chapman, 21, born Mississippi, in home of George  Curry.
    Chapman, male, age 5, in home of Charles Arrington.
    Richard Chapman, 62, born South Carolina, wife Lucy  and four children.
    Kizzie Chapman, 35, born Mississippi, with seven other  family members.

 References page-up-icon 24x24

1860 Federal Slave  Schedule, Newton County, Mississippi

1870 Federal  Census, Newton County, Mississippi

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

Myrtis S. Craft,  George Mason, and Melvin Tingle, Book of Original Entries, Land
          Records  of Newton County, Mississippi, Pioneer Publishing Company,  Carrollton,
          Mississippi, 1998.

1846 Tax List,  Newton County, Mississippi.

Notes page-up-icon 24x24

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


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