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Chapman Family History, Part I

July 2008
Thanks to the work of family researchers, most notably Paul Rekow, whose work is heavily "borrowed."

The Chapman family begins with Samuel Chapman1, probably in Caroline County, Virginia, and then in Amelia County, southwest of Richmond. By 1791, Samuel's grandson, James3 moved west into Amherst County along Virginia's Blue Ridge and then to the Ohio River valley in Kentucky and Ohio. From there James' son John4 moved into Indiana by 1834 and on to Iowa by 1855. John's son Allen5 served with Iowa's "Graybeard Regiment" during the Civil War and later Allen's daughter Harriet6 married into the Fisher family, moved into southern and central Nebraska and then on to northern California.

Samuel CHAPMAN1 (~1700-1773)

1. Samuel Chapman1 was born around 1700 in Virginia. He fathered one son and five daughters:

11. John Chapman2 1737 10 Oct 1816 (79)
12. Tabitha Chapman (1739) --  -- 
13. Delpha Chapman (1740) --  -- 
14. Unity Chapman (1743) --  -- 
15. Anne Chapman (1745) --  -- 
16. Mary Chapman (1748) --  -- 
Drysdale Parish
Drysdale Parish, a subdivision under the Church of England, was the portion of King and Queen County that lies north of modern-day Highway 360 and adjacent to Caroline County. Drysdale Parish was formed from the dividing of St. Stephen's Parish in 1723.

In 1752 Samuel leased a 400-acre plot beside Sandy Creek in Amelia County, Virginia, from Samuel COMER. In that deed, Samuel Chapman was cited as a "planter of Drysdale Parish, Caroline County, Virginia."

Samuel Chapman died in Amelia County, Virginia, sometime between April 23, 1773 (the date he signed his will) and before June 15, 1773.

Samuel's Last Will & Testament
Will Book 2 page 81, Amelia County, Virginia.

"In the Name of God, Amen. The twenty third day of April 1773. I, Samuel Chapman of the County of Amelia, being very sick and weak in body, but of perfect mind and memory, thanks be to God, therefore calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die do make and ordain this my last will and testament that is to say principally and first of all I give and recommend my soul into the hands of almighty God that gave it and my body I recommend to the earth to be buried in decent Christian burial at the discression of my Executors nothing doubting but at general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God, and as touching my worldly estate wherewith it has been pleased God to bless me with in this life I give and demise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form."

"First, I give and bequeath to my loving son, John Chapman, half my cattle to equally divided by two men chose for that purpose, likewise a negro boy named, Joe."

"I give and demise to Delpha Green, one negro wench named, Bett. Likewise to Delpha Green, I give another negro girl named, Ester."

"I give to my loving daughter, Unity Loving, a negro girl named, Judo and if her husband should by any means by any lewd way by gameing or any other way to satisfy any of his debts part with the said negro girl, Judo, she shall be immediately recovered by the heir at law of my own body."

"Likewise I give to my loving daughter, Delpha Green, another negro wench named, Hanner."

"I give to my loving daughter Tabitha Meadors a negro fellow named, Harry."

"I give to my loving son, John Chapman, a negro girl called, Little Hannah."

"I give to my daughter, Anne Portwood, one shilling."

"I give to my daughter, Mary Cambell, one shilling."

"And my money I give to be equally divided among my son, John Chapman and Tabitha Meadors and Delpha Green and the rest of my estate likewise to be divided among John Chapman, Tabitha Meadors and Delpha Green only five cattle excepted and them I give to Delpha Green particular, John Chapman and William Ware whom I likewise constitute make and ordain my sole Executors of this my last will and testiment, and I do disallow hereby revoke and disannul all and every other former testaments, wills anyways before. By me named, willed and bequeathed, ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and testament. In witness whereof I have here unto set my hand and seal the day and year above written, signed, sealed, published and pronounced and declared by the said Samuel Chapman to be his last will and testament."

"Signed, Samuel (his mark) Chapman, (seal)
In the presence of: William Ware, William (his mark) Lovern and John (his mark) Akerson."

John CHAPMAN2 (1737-1816)

11. John Chapman2 was born in 1737 likely in Caroline County, Virginia. He married Nancy Ann Whitehead in 1757 and fathered eight children, all born in Amelia County. After Nancy died in 1798 John remarried to Oney League on December 18, 1799 and fathered one more son:

111. John "Jack" Chapman, Sr.Blue Star 1758 1 Feb 1853 (96)
112. James Chapman3Blue Star 10 Nov 1760 14 May 1839 (78)
113. Stephen Chapman (1762) (1785) (23)
114. Benjamin Chapman (1764) (1820) (56)
115. Nancy Ann Chapman 7 Sep 1767 24 Aug 1831 (63)
116. Sarah "Sally" Chapman (1772) (1816-1821) (44-49)
117. William Chapman (1773) (1855) (82)
118. Jane Chapman (1774) --  -- 

119. Jonathan Chapman (1801) --  -- 

Starting about 1791, the Chapman children started branching out from Amelia County. First with son James moving west into the Virginia Blue Ridge mountains in Amherst County, on into Kentucky and Ohio. Next, eldest son John moved south to Spartanburg County, South Carolina, about 1792 and later followed by son William about 1800.

Nancy Ann (Whitehead) Chapman died in 1798 in Amelia County and about the age of 62.

John remarried to Oney League on December 18, 1799, fathered another son, and died 15 years later on October 10, 1816 in Amelia County. He was 79 years old.

John's Last Will & Testament
"In the name of God, Amen. I John Chapman of Amelia County being weak in body but of sound mind and memory do make this my Last Will and Testament, and as to what worldy goods it hath pleased the Almighty God to giveth me unto I dispose of in the following manner. I lend to my wife Oney the tract of land I now live on and two negros to wit Bob and Liza with one ______ and Cubbard during her natural life of widowhood reserving to my son Jonathan when he arrives to the age of twenty-one years he shall be equally benefitted in the aforementioned land as my wife Oney and after he[r] death should my son Jonathan survive her and arrive to the age of twenty-one years my will is he shall enjoy the aforesaid land and negros together with a negro boy Moses but should my son Jonathan die without lawful heir the aforesaid land and negros shall be sold and the money equally divided amongst my surviving children. I give to my wife Oney one bed and furniture and sadle and bridle ____. I give to my son Jonathan one bed and furniture, my long stock gun and ____. I give to my sons John and Benjamin each of them one bed and furniture my other children having their before given. I give to my son James one negro boy Joe which he hath in ____ to make him equal with his brothers in land. I give to my daughter Sally Webber ten pounds to be raised out of my estate. My will is that my sons Benjamin and Jonathan shall divide all my shop tools equally between them. My will is in consequence to the loan of the aforesaid negros Bob and Liza to my wife Oney she is to have no part of the other negros it being her choice. My will is the balance of my estate not particularly mentioned shall be equally divided between my wife Oney and my children and grand children namely John, James, Benjamin, William, Jonathan, Ann, Jane and my grand children above mentioned now named Stephen and Mary Chapman orphans of my son Stephen decd. they are to have one ninth part of that that is not specific Stephen to have six pounds more than Mary. Lastly I appoint my son Benjamin Chapman, Allen Jeter, Rodophile Jeter executors of this my last will. Witness my hand and seal this 11th day of April 1814 his John x Chapman mark"