Monday, January 13, 2020

The Chapman's

I was first introduced to the Chapman's in the estate file of Benjamin Holmes. The one thing I knew about them was that some way, some how, they were related to him.

Image result for family gathering antebellum era
Antebellum era family

Benjamin Holmes had died a bachelor, and left his considerable estate to his nephew, James Lee, oldest son of his sister, Haran Holmes Lee, and her husband David. The name of Haran, or more particularly, Haran Elizabeth, was an odd one, passed down through the Holmes family, and those that married into it. There must have been a matriarchal Haran somewhere up the Holmes family tree.

A few years later, two lawsuits insued, from other persons claiming to be heirs of Benjamin Holmes. These relatives were awarded monies claimed from James Lee, the Executor. The names of these suits were "John Chapman vs James Lee"  and "George Siegler vs James Lee".  

The relatives of Benjamin Holmes who recieved awards in these suits, included in his estate file were:

George Siegler
James C Chapman
John Chapman
George Chapman
Martha Chapman
David Chapman
William Chapman
W H Sanders executor of Elizabeth Sanders
Martha Roberts and husband John Roberts
Mourning Allen and husband Gray Allen
Richard H Lee
John W. Henson
William Henson

Two things I already knew from this list. One, that Richard H. Lee was the brother of James Lee, and thus Ben Holmes' nephew,  by virtue of his sister, Haran Holmes Lee.

The other was that Martha Proctor Roberts, Mourning Proctor Allen, John W. Henson and William D. Henson, were all children of his sister, Penelope Holmes Proctor Henson. The rest were strangers to me.

The Holmes had several dealings with the Chapman family. When brother Moses Holmes died, just one year before Ben, he had left a widow and young daughter, Mary E. Holmes. His widow, Belinda had married Jesse Holloway Lide after his death. She had began as guardian of her daughter Mary, and also as guardian of Mary's inheritance, as Mary was still a minor.

After Belinda Evans Holmes Lide was removed as guardian of her own daughter, due to the fact that she was married, one of those archaeic antebellum laws that would confound us today, a John Haywood Chapman replaced her as guardian of Mary E. Holmes.

At first glance, I thought that this must have been one of the Chapmans mentioned in the Benjamin Holmes estate files. But it wasn't.  To jump ahead a minute, the John H. Chapman mentioned in the estate files of  Ben Holmes was the son a William Chapman. He was born in 1858. He would have not been old enough to serve as a Guardian of Mary E. Holmes.

Remember, Moses died in 1862 and Benjamin followed in 1863. The Civil War was raging during those years. The court systems were awry. Most of the workings of them just ... stopped.

It took until nearly the end of the decade for civilization and order to break its way back in through the chaos and disorder that the War had caused. In fact, it's not completely foreign to wonder if the deaths of the Holmes brothers may have arisen from some facet of the War.

Image result for Civil war raids on farms

George Caleb Bingham painted Order No. 11 after the Civil War to protest the treatment of Missourians by Federal troops evacuating and looting four counties (George Caleb Bingham/Cincinnati Art Museum/The Edwin and Virginia Irwin Memorial/The Bridgeman Art Library International).

Both armies and the Home Guard, and various gangs of deserters, from both factions,  would raid the stores and properties of private citizens. It was no secret that they would harrass, in particular, old men of position and substance and take any thing of value and confiscate animals and property "for the war effort".  Many a family had to hide their food and valueables... and their men.

Ben Holmes even comes up in the estate papers of his brother, Moses, as he survived him by a year.

At any rate, I found the who this list of Chapmans were; James C., George, John, Martha, David and William.

Name:Wm Chapman
Birth Year:abt 1808
Birthplace:South Carolina
Home in 1850:Polecat, Perry, Alabama, USA
Family Number:30
Household Members:
Wm Chapman42
Ester Chapman39
James Chapman14
Martha Chapman12
George Chapman10
Abner Chapman8
David Chapman6
Huan Chapman4
Joseph Chapman2
Eli Chapman1

They were the children of William and Esther (or Easter) Chapman, shown above in the 1850 census. These were the older children of William and Esther, James C., Martha, George, Abner, David, Haran, not Huan, that was a transcription error, Joseph and Eli. Notice some of them were not mentioned in the suit. That does not mean that all of them were deceased by then. But some were. And there is that Holmes inherited rare name again, Haran!

Name:Esther Chapman
Birth Year:abt 1813
Birth Place:North Carolina
Home in 1860:Pole Cat, Perry, Alabama
Post Office:Morgan Spring
Dwelling Number:268
Family Number:268
Real Estate Value:2500
Personal Estate Value:9500
Married Within Year:Yes
Cannot Read, Write:Y
Household Members:
Esther Chapman47
M E Chapman22
David M Chapman18
Eli Chapman12
Robt B Chapman9
Wm H Chapman6
S E Chapman5
J H Chapman2

Ten years later, in 1860, William had passed away. This is Esther with some of her children, notice several more had been born since the 1850 census. The 22 year old "M. E. " was Martha. David and Eli were still living at home. Robert B, William H., S. E. (Susan) and John Haywood Chapman had been born. So, no, he would not become the Guardian of Mary E. Holmes, who was actually 8 years older.

This guy would:


The Marion Commonwealth
Marion, Alabama
06 May 1880, Thu  •  Page 2

He even ran for State Senator in 1872. John H. Chapman had some influence and status. That does not mean that the Holmes relationship to the Chapman family was through the Chapman lines. It doesn't discount it either.

Looking closer at William Chapman and his wife, Esther, I discovered that they were married in Perry County, Alabama in 1833.  'Easter' was a Seigler or Seagler before marriage. And one George Seagler was their bondsman.

George Seigler was also mentioned in the Benjamin Holmes estate papers as an heir. 

Another clue I had as to how the Chapmans may have been related to Ben Holmes was the amount of money they were awarded in the suit. $91 and 9/100. Or $91.09. Very specific amount. As opposed to say, the children of Penny Holmes Proctor Henson, whom all recieved $409.90. I'm no expert, but this tells me that the Chapmans may have been one generation down from the rest. That while these were the nieces as nephews of Ben, maybe the Chapmans were the Great-neices and nephews. This is just speculation on my part. I'm still grasping at straws here.

George Seigler, on his part, had recieved approximatley the same part as Richard H. Lee and the children of Penelope, people whom I knew were nieces and nephews. I will be back to the Chapmans in a minute, but who was George Seigler? One little side note, I have to add, that George Chapman, son of William and Esther, was fully named George Seigler Chapman, so there's that.

Name:George Seagler
Land Office:Cahaba
Document Number:16444
Total Acres:40.09
Canceled Document:No
Issue Date:14 Oct 1835
Mineral Rights Reserved:No
Metes and Bounds:No
Statutory Reference:3 Stat. 566
Multiple Warantee Names:No
Act or Treaty:April 24, 1820
Multiple Patentee Names:No
Entry Classification:Sale-Cash Entries
Land Description:1 SWSW ST STEPHENS N

George Seiglers patent in Perry County is dated October 14, 1835. The same as that of Benjamin Holmes.

Name:George Seagler
Home in 1840 (City, County, State):Perry, Alabama
Free White Persons - Males - 20 thru 29:1
Free White Persons - Females - Under 5:1
Free White Persons - Females - 15 thru 19:1
Slaves - Females - Under 10:2
Slaves - Females - 36 thru 54:1
Persons Employed in Agriculture:1
Free White Persons - Under 20:2
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49:1
Total Free White Persons:3
Total Slaves:3
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves:6

He first shows up in the 1840 census in Perry County. At this time he is newly married and his first daughter, Eliza Ann, has been born.

Name:George Seagler
Marriage Date:16 May 1838
Marriage Place:Perry, Alabama, USA
Spouse:Ann J Holly

He had  married Anna Jane Jolly, daughter of Pinkney Holly and Margaret Susan Brown Holly, on May 16, 1838

Name:George Sigler
[George Seagler] 
Birth Year:abt 1814
Birth Place:North Carolina
Home in 1860:Beat 12, Anderson, Texas
Post Office:Parkersville
Dwelling Number:614
Family Number:612
Real Estate Value:1600
Personal Estate Value:2500
Household Members:
George Sigler46
A J Sigler39
W P Sigler17
Emily Sigler15
J J Sigler11
Richard Sigler9
M J Sigler7
Margaret Sigler5
M M Sigler3
Edward Sigler1
J A Holly41

In the 1850 census, he's in Perry County, but by 1857, George has moved his family to Tennesee Colony, Anderson County, Texas. In the above census record, all of the children have been born, and the oldest, Eliza Ann, is not seen because she had already married the prior year, (1859), to John C. Kendrick, but they are also living in Texas.

In March of 1861, George shows up on a Muster Roll for the " Southern Rights Guards" for Tennesee Colony, Texas. He's listed on the tax rolls there from 1857 to 1864. Somewhere between there and 1870, he passes away. His widow survives him, showing up in the census records of Anderson County through 1880. Interestingly enough, in the 1880 census, John H. Chapman, the youngest child of William Chapman and Esther Seigler Chapman is living with her and her youngest son, Edward Harper Seigler.

But he is not the only one.

In 1860, just under the listing for George Seagler and his family in Anderson County, Texas, we find these three:

Name:J M Chapman
Birth Year:abt 1835
Birth Place:Alabama
Home in 1860:Beat 12, Anderson, Texas
Post Office:Parkersville
Dwelling Number:615
Family Number:613
Real Estate Value:450
Personal Estate Value:450
Household Members:
J M Chapman25
N E Chapman22
G S Chapman23

They happen to be James M. Chapman, the oldest of William Chapman and Esther Seigler Chapmans family, his wife Nancy E. Woolverton Chapman, and his brother, George Seigler Chapman.

One rare picture George Chapman pete chapman great uncle Dewey Chapman  leta fay
George Seigler Chapman (sitting) with Pete, Dewey and Leta Faye. Shared to by Carla Chapman

In fact, George S. Chapman takes custody of James and Nancy's surving son, Sam Dave, after the parents and brother Georgie all pass away, and settles in Colorado County, Texas, along with his brother David Chapman.

Name:George S. Chapman
Birth Date:23 Dec 1837
Death Date:6 Jun 1906
Burial Place:Colorado, Texas, USA
Notes:Son of William and Esther (Seagler) Chapman

Heron Elizabeth Chapman marries Robert Jacob Allen, and at first they settle in Kaufman County, Texas, where a daughter, Helen, is buried who died at 16. Her younger brother, William Henry Chapman followed them there.

Name:Haran Allen
Birth Date:Abt 1843
Home in 1880:Precinct 6, Kaufman, Texas, USA
Dwelling Number:365
Relation to Head of House:Wife
Marital status:Married
Spouse's name:Robert Allen
Father's Birthplace:Tennessee
Mother's Birthplace:North Carolina
Occupation:Keeping House
Household Members:
Robert Allen51
Haran Allen37
Fanny Allen14
Helen Allen8
Robert Allen2

The Allens and William Henry Chapman all then remove to Oklahoma. Haran died there in 1920 and William Henry in 1811.

Name:Haran E Allen
Birth Date:1 Sep 1842
Death Date:20 Jan 1920
Cemetery:Rattan Cemetery
Burial or Cremation Place:Rattan, Pushmataha County, Oklahoma, United States of America

Abner Chapman, one of the middle sons, was living with James Lee in 1860, and working as a Farm Manager.

Name:Abner Chapman
Birth Year:abt 1840
Birth Place:Alabama
Home in 1860:Scotts, Perry, Alabama
Post Office:Uniontown
Dwelling Number:554
Family Number:554
Household Members:
Jas Lea36
Abner Chapman20

Abner was killed in the Civil War. Nearly all of the Chapman boys served in the Civil War, except for the youngest ones.

Let's compare.

Esther Seigler Chapman was born in North Carolina in 1811.
George Seigler was born in North Carolina in 1814.

Esther Seigler married William Chapman in 1833 in Perry County, Alabama.
George Seigler was the bondsman.

George Seigler marries in Perry County, Alabama in 1838. He had patented land there in 1835.

Esther's most of Esther's children follow George Seigler to Texas. At least 3 of them live with his family for awhile.

Esther names one of her sons, George Seigler Chapman.

I would say there is a close relationship between George and Esther. With only 3 years difference in age, my best guess would be that they were siblings.

Image result for tennessee colony texas

The community in Texas where George Seagler and the Chapman children of Esther Seagler Chapman and husband, William moved to was known as "Tennesee Colony".

Tennesee Colony

The Handbook of Texas decribes Tennesee Colony as a settlement formed about the time George Seagler arrived by settlers from Alabama and Tennesee, thus the name. It also names Seaglers as one of the founding families. I raced to that first census of the place, all 7 pages, hoping to find more Seaglers possibly related George and possibly giving me some answers, but all I found was George and his family, and the sons of Esther and William Chapman.

The search continues. If I had to take my best guess, I would guess that George and Esther were siblings and that their mother was a Holmes, a sister of Penny, Haran, Martha, Moses and Benjamin. If their mother was 20 years older than Esther, that would give her a birth year of 1791. Penny was born in 1793, so it was definately a possibility. As women in that time married very young at times, this possible mother may have been as young as 15 to 17 when Esther, the oldest of the two, was born. And I would bet they were born in Anson County.

Were there any Seaglers in Anson County during that time?

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