Evans Family of Granville County – descendants of Jane Gibson “a free Indian woman”

The Native American/”free colored” Evans family of Granville County directly descend from Morris Evans (1665-1739) and Jane Gibson (1660/1670 – 1738) of Charles City County, VA. The Evans family resettled in and became a core part of Granville County’s Native American community in the 1760s immediately following the initial settlement of the founding  Chavis, Harris, Hawley, Pettiford, Anderson, BassSnelling and Goins families. In this blog post I will document the Evans family from their earliest documented origins from a “free Indian woman” known as Jane Gibson the elder, to their settlement in Granville County. A variety of records including census records, marriage records, tax lists, court minutes, estate records, freedom lawsuits, land deeds, newspaper articles, maps and personal family photos are used to help tell the story of the Evans family through space and time. A word of caution: “Evans” is among the most common surnames dating back to colonial times, therefore not all “Evans” families are genealogically related. Therefore it is imperative that researchers do their due diligence to attribute records to the correct Evans ancestor.


Jane Gibson the Elder, “a free Indian woman”

Evans family kinship chart

Morris Evans’ (1665-1739) wife Jane Gibson (1660-1738), had a mother also named Jane Gibson. To distinguish between the two women, the mother is referred to as Jane Gibson the elder (born 1640-1722). The elder Jane Gibson was called “a free Indian woman” by a group of her descendants who were illegally enslaved. Though the Evans and Gibson families were free-born, that did not prevent some white planters from illegally enslaving them. Some of the descendants of Morris Evans and Jane Gibson’s daughter Frances Evans (1685-1771) were enslaved by a wealthy white planter named Goodrich Lightfoot. They were originally “bound out” to Lightfoot to be indentured servants but he instead enslaved them and after his death, they were subsequently sold to several slave owners.  On 5 March 1804, the enslaved Evans through their attorney Edmund Randolph sued for their freedom and provided information that they descended from a free Indian woman – Jane Gibson the elder.

The petition of Charles Evans, Amey Evans, Sukey Evans, Sisar Evans, Solomon Evans, Frankey Evans, Sally Evans, Milly Evans, Adam Evans and Hannah Evans holden in slavery by Lewis Allen, of the County of Halifax humbly sheweth: that your petitioners are descendants from Jane Gibson, a free Indian woman..

Source: http://freepages.family.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~genealogyfriend/evans/gib_evans.htm

A family tree chart was also submitted which showed how the plaintiffs descended from “Jane Gibson, the Indian woman.”

jane-gibson-family-chart.jpeg
Family  Tree Chart which shows that Jane Gibson the elder had a son named George Gibson and a daughter named Jane Gibson who married Morris Evans. Source: City of Lynchburg Court Records, Chancery Records, Charles Evans and others v. Lewis B. Allen, 1821-033. Local Government Records Collection, City of Lynchburg Court Records, Library of Virginia. 04-1407-01/03.

Before this lawsuit there were several earlier lawsuits where descendants of Jane Gibson sued for their freedom. The information contained in those court cases are also quite revealing.

Thomas Gibson alias Mingo Jackson was the first who sued for his freedom beginning in 1790. John Meriweather offered testimony that his father Colonel William Meriweather purchased a “mulatto wench” named Frances Evans and her brother (Tom Evans) from a Mr. Lightfoot (Goodrich Lightfoot) in New Kent County, VA. John Meriweather goes on to testify how Frances Evans’ offspring were divided among the heirs of his father’s estate. His testimony provides information on how the Evans went from being indentured servants to being sold as slaves to the Meriweather family. For earlier information on the Evans/Gibson family, we turn to a man named Robert Wills who personally knew Jane Gibson the elder, her daughter Jane Gibson the younger aka Jane Evans (wife of Morris Evans) and their offspring. On 25 June 1791, Robert Wills testified and a transcription of that testimony can be read here:

That about seventy years ago he was well acquainted with Jane Gibson and George Gibson her brother who were dark mulattoes and lived in the County of Charles City, and were free people; That the said Jane Gibson had two children named Jane and George Gibson, that they were also free; That the said Jane Gibson the younger intermarried with a certain _____ Evans of the said County, by whom she had several children, one named Frances Evans Grand Daughter of the said Jane Gibson above named, that the said Frances Evans removed to New Kent County, where she lived and had several children, two of whom, as the said Frances Evans informed this deponant were named Tom and Frances Evans, and were bound to one LIGHTFOOT of New Kent. This information was made to this Depon’t by the said Frances Evans the elder when she was on a visit to her friends in this County, who were neighbours to this deponant. This deponant; This deponant further saith, that after the said great Grandchildren Viz: Tom & Frances were bound to the said LIGHTFOOT he never heard any thing more relative to them; That many of the descendants of the said GIBSONS and EVANS now in this deponants knowledge are alive, and are enjoying their freedom unmolested and have remained so since this deponants first acquaintance with the said Jane Gibson the elder; That many of them are black, some nearly white and others dark mulattoes, which this deponant supposes proceeded from a promiscious intercourse with different colours.
Questions by the defts agent.

Do you know any thing of the descendants of the said Frances Evans, who was bound to LIGHTFOOT? No I do not.
What became of Frances Evans and her brother after they were bound to LIGHTFOOT?  I know nothing of them, but from the information of their mother aforesaid.
Do you know any free mulattoes or blacks who have descended from a branch of the name of EVANS, who are they and from whom did they spring?
I know a number of them, to wit, in Charles City, the SCOTTs, BRADBYs, SMITHs, REDCROSSes alias EVANS, MORRISSes alias EVANS, and in Henrico the BOWMANs, all descendants from the original stock of the GIBSON, to wit, Jane EVANS Daughter of Jane GIBSON.
Do you know or have you ever known of any other free persons by the name of EVANSS of a different family? I do not except in Caroline.
How do you know that the children of Frances Evans were named Tom & Frances, and how old would they be were they now alive: I heard their mother say so; I cannot tell how old, but they would be many years old.
How old are you? I am in my eighty first year.
And further this deponant saith not.

The following month on 9 July 1791, Robert Wills was back in court providing additional testimony which clarified a few points. A transcription can be found here:

Questions by the defendant. How old were you when you were firs acquainted with the elder Jane Gibson and George her brother?

Answer I believe I was ten or eleven years old or thereabouts.

Quest. How old do you suppose they were and how long did they live afterwards?

Answer. Jane Gibson the elder was very old, I apprehend she was eighty years of age, being past all labour – Mr. Carter my Master took her to live with him at Shirley where I then lived to brew a diet drink, he being afflicted with a dropsy – The old Jane Gibson I suppose might live two or three years. Her daughter Jane widow to an EVANS (whose christian name I am not certain of but believe it was Morris), lived a considerable number of years after my first acquaintance with her- she bore the name of EVANS as did all her children.
Quest. About what time were you acquainted with Jane and George Gibson the children of Jane, and how old were they when you were first acquainted with them?

Answer. I knew Jane Evans the daughter some time before I knew the old woman, which I believe as I have deposed in my former deposition must be seventy years ago; she was an old woman when I became acquainted with her, she practised midwifery and doctoring in families, but was not above sixty I should suppose: George too was an old person, I believe – Jane was the older.
Quest. About what time did Jane and George Gibson the children of Jane Gibson die?

Answer I do not know
Quest. About what year did Jane Gibson the younger intermarry with ___ EVANS?

Answer That I cannot possibly tell it must have been long before I was born.
Quest. About what year do you believe to the best of your recollection or judgment was Frances Evans the Grand daughter of old Jane Gibson born?

Answer She had children bound out when I first knew her, so that she must have been born long before I was, as I should suppose.
Quest. Then as you know so little about her how do you know she (Frances Evans) was the daughter of Jane Evans, and that Jane Evans was descended from Jane Gibson?

Answer. I know nothing but common reputation they called each other by the name of Mother and daughter.

Quest. About what year did the said Frances Evans remove to New Kent?
Answer. I never knew her until she came on a visit to her mother, she then lived there as she reported; when she came there to live I knew nothing about it.
Quest. About what year did the said Frances Evans inform you she had bound two of her children Frances and Tom to Mr. Lightfoot of New Kent when she came on a visit to her friends in Charles City?

Ans’r. I cannot recollect that with any certainty, I suppose fifty eight or fifty nine years ago or somewhere thereabouts.
Quest. Did you understand from her how old they were at that time, if not how old do you suppose they were, and how long had they been bound before she informed you of it?

Answer. That I know nothing about.
Quest. If the said Frances Evans and her brother Tom who are said to have been bound to one LIGHTFOOT were now alive how old would they be to the best of your judgment?

Ans’r. I do not know that; they were probably as old as myself; I never saw either of them nor asked any questions about their age.
Quests. by the plaintiff 1. Was not the mother of Sarah Redcross (now living in Charles City) alias Sarah Evans named Frances Evans, and was she not related as by common reputation believed to Frances Evans that was bound to LIGHTFOOT?

Ans’r. About twenty four or twenty five years ago Frances Evans was about in Charles City County, and was claimed as a mother by Sarah Redcross, and Sarah Redcross said that her mother was the grand daughter of Jane Evans the daughter of Jane Gibson – she went away and I know not what became of her, but have been informed (I suppose twenty years ago) that she was dead.
Quest. by deft. Why do you in this deposition call Mr. Carter your master?
Answer. My father gave me to him when I was ten years of age, and he brought me up and had me taught my trade of a carpenter.
Quest. for how many years were you acquainted with that particular family of the GIBSONs and EVANSs, which have been the object of your testimony in this suit meaning the three first generations and where did you live during that time?

Ans’r. I lived at Shirley where the said Jane Gibson died, and as Jane Evans lived within two miles of Shirley I was frequently in her family and she was very often at Shirley as was the rest of the family being employed there in different sorts of work, as for how long, I have already said about seventy years ago I first became acquainted with old Jane Gibson and Jane Evans, and knew them to their death, but cannot say exactly how long they did live from the time I first knew them.
Quest. Will you please to answer the second question in this deposition more fully, you have in your answer to that question said nothing about George Gibson the elder?

Ans: I never mentioned more than one George Gibson, the Son of the elder Jane Gibson, brother to Jane Evans. If it be so expressed in my former deposition it was misconceived, I never did know any but one of that name. And further this deponent saith not.

From both of his depositions, we learn that Robert Wills was an apprentice of Mr. Carter of the Shirley Plantation which is how he became familiar with the Evans/Gibson families. He personally knew both mother Jane Gibson the elder and the daughter Jane Gibson the younger. Jane Gibson the elder lived at the Shirley Plantation and practiced doctoring as did her daughter Jane Gibson the younger who was also a midwife. Robert Mills initially referred to Jane Gibson the elder and her brother George Gibson as dark mulattos but later clarified that it was Jane Gibson the younger who had a brother named George Gibson. So it appears he was instead referring to them as “dark mulattos”.

The only information or testimony provided that spoke directly to the identity of Jane Gibson the elder was the information provided by her descendants via their attorney Edmund Randolph which called her a free Indian woman. Additional testimony about the Indian origins of the family comes from Ann Meriweather who was the wife of John Meriweather who provided testimony discussed above and whose father Col. William Meriweather  illegally purchased Frances Evans’ children as slaves from Goodrich Lightfoot. Ann Meriweather testified in 1798 that “from the Complexion & strait black hair of Sarah Colley this deponent believes they were descended from Indians”. Sarah Colley was the daughter of Frances Evans. Though judging phenotypes is not necessarily a correct way to assess one’s ethnic heritage, it is still rather telling when put in context with the rest of the testimony and documentation about the Gibson/Evans family. The other testimony from the Meriweather family and from Robert Wills most often describe Jane Gibson the elder’s offspring and descendants as “mulattos”. It should be noted in 1705, the Acts of Assembly of Virginia legally classified mulatto as: “the child of an Indian, the child, grandchild or great grandchild of a Negro”. 

None of the testimony provided by witnesses or Jane Gibson the elder’s own descendants, offer the names of Jane Gibson the elder’s parents. No information is given as to whether Gibson was her maiden name, her married name, or even a name she adopted from another family. I have seen a lot of speculative family trees and theories online about her parentage but with no actual documentation. It is important to point out that the only documentation located for her comes from after her lifetime through the testimony of others. Therefore, I strongly advise to hold off on guesswork (if’s, maybes, possibly, etc) about her parentage until solid documentation is located.

The freedom lawsuits of Jane Gibson the elder’s descendants have been cited in scholarship on the history of the slavery in the U.S.  Historian Loren Schweninger, professor emeritus from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, who created a digital library on American Slavery, published a book in 2018 called Appealing for Liberty: Freedom Suits in the South. In his section on petitions filed by plaintiffs claiming descent from an Indian woman, Professor Schweninger had this to say about the petitions from Jane Gibson’s descendants:

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Source: Schweninger, Loren. Appealing for Liberty: Freedom Suits in the South. New York: Oxford University Press. 2018. Pp 128-129. caption

You can review the Evans freedom documentation on genealogist Deloris Williams’ website where she has graciously transcribed the chancery court documents and it is really worth a read, if you’re not familiar with these records.

In July 2018, my cousins Roderick Daye, William Evans, and Shirley Hines, like myself, who are all documented direct lineal descendants of Jane Gibson the elder through the Evans family, visited the Shirley Plantation in Charles City County, VA to learn more about where our esteemed ancestor lived. Here are a few photos from their trip:

Shirley Plantation
Shirley Plantation. Charles City County, VA. Photo courtesy of Roderick Daye
Shirley Plantation1
Shirley Plantation, Charles City County, VA. The construction on this plantation house began right around the time Jane Gibson the elder died, so she would not have resided in this particular home but somewhere else on the property. Photo courtesy of Roderick Daye
Shirley Plantation3
Shirley Plantation. Charles City County, VA. Photo courtesy of Roderick Daye

I also found in the Saint Stephen’s Parish records for New Kent County, that Goodrich Lightfoot (the man who illegally enslaved the Evans) owned an “Indian” slave named Charles who died on October 9, 1722. I’m unsure if this Charles is from the Evans family, but it does offer evidence that Goodrich Lightfoot did enslave Native Americans.

Source: The Parish Register of Saint Peter's, New Kent County, Va. from 1680 to 1787
Source: The Parish Register of Saint Peter’s, New Kent County, Va. from 1680 to 1787

Also noteworthy, the Native American/”free colored” Howell family of Granville County descends from a Pamunkey woman named Dorothy Howell b. 1707, who was a servant in the home of Goodrich Lightfoot’s brother Sherwood Lightfoot of Saint Stephen’s Parish in New Kent County, VA. And after both the Evans and Howell families came to Granville County, they intermarried.

Pamunkey_map 1
Brothers Goodrich Lightfoot and Sherwood Lightfoot lived in property about 1 mile apart that was directly across from the Pamunkey Indian reservation in New Kent Countyt. Goodrich resided as the “White House” and Sherwood resided as “Ricahock”. Source: http://archive.wetlandstudies.com/newsletters/2016/January/Pamunkey.html

The exact tribal origin of the Evans-Gibson family has also been the subject of a lot of debate among researchers. Morris Evans was noted as being a free person of color but it is unknown if his background included any Native American ancestry. Although he was born around 1665, the first confirmed records for him were at the end of his life in 1738. So there is a lot about Morris Evans’ early life that we do not know about. From Morris Evans’ estate records we do learn that after his wife Jane Gibson the younger died, he was involved with a woman named Rebecca Hulet who inherited some of his estate.

However Morris Evans’ wife’s mother Jane Gibson the elder and thus his wife were noted as being “Indian”, yet no tribe specified. Charles City County, VA which is where Jane Gibson the elder resided, is located in the heart of Powhatan territory and perhaps she was from the local Pamunkey or Chickahominy tribes. There is another Algonquian speaking tribe, the Nansemond, whom the Granville County Basses descend from, that I blogged about previously and the Evans intermarried with them in Granville quite a bit. There was also a Walter Gibson recorded as a chieftan in the Tuscarora “Indian Woods” reservation land deeds in Bertie County, NC in the 1770s. However, I have not seen any credible information that names his parents or children, so I’m not sure if he is at all connected to Jane Gibson of Charles City County.

Another matter to consider is that Morris Evans and Jane Gibson’s sons Charles Evans and Morris Evans Jr moved to southside Virginia by the 1730s, about a decade after the Saponi reservation at nearby Fort Christanna was closed. As a result, some of their family did intermarry with Saponi descendants. We also know from the testimony provided by Robert Wills, that Morris Evans and Jane Gibson the younger had other children who the Redcross, Bradby, Smith, Scott, Morris, and Bowman families of the Charles City County area descend from. I wish he identified the other children, so that we can genealogically connect all of these other surnames back to Jane Gibson. The Redcross family, we know from the testimony of Robert Wills, descend from Morris Evans and Jane Gibson the younger’s daughter Frances Evans who had a daughter named Sarah Redcross. Some of her Redcross descendants are found among the Monacan tribe in Amherst County, Virginia. And what is also interesting is that the Bradby family is found among the Chickahominy tribe in Charles City County and the Pamunkey tribe of King William County.


The Evans Move from the Tidewater to Southside Virginia

The Evans family line that came to Granville were not enslaved and as a result, they are well documented. Morris Evans and Jane Gibson had two sons named Charles Evans (1696-1760) and Morris Evans Jr (1710-1754). Charles and Morris Jr were born in the Tidewater area of Virginia (York County) like their parents, but relocated to the southside Virginia counties of Brunswick, Mecklenburg, and Lunenburg (Lunenburg was formed from Brunswick in 1746 and Mecklenburg was formed from Lunenburg in 1765). Charles Evans moved first in the 1730s and his younger brother Morris Evans Jr moved later in the 1750s. Living next to the Evans families in Southside Virginia during this time period were other notable “free colored”/Native American families such as: Walden, Kersey, Harris, Brandon/Branham, Stewart, Chavis, Guy and Corn. I point this out because the Evans intermarried with most of these Southside families and they then moved together into the North Carolina border counties, including Granville.

Morris Evans Jr (1710-154) was married to a white woman named Amy Poole, who was the daughter of William Poole. After Morris Evans’ death, Amy remarried a John Wright and became known as “Amy Wright”. Her father William Poole in 1753, gave land in Lunenburg Co, VA to Morris Evans Jr and Amy Poole’s son named Richard Evans (1750-1794). This same Richard Evans later moved to Robeson Co, NC and is most likely the ancestor of the Evans family found within the Lumbee Tribe of Robeson Co who intermarried with the Locklears.

Charles Evans (1696-1760) remained in southside Virginia until his death in 1760 and we have a good record of who his children were through land transactions and wills. Unfortunately not much is known about Charles Evans’ wife aside from her first name being Sarah. Charles Evans’ children were:

  1. Thomas Evans (b. 1734) – tithable in his father’s 1751 Lunenburg Co household. Was in very poor economic standing as his children were bound out because he could not provide for them. Thomas only received one shilling from his father’s will because he was “undutiful” by his father. His wife may have been a Stewart. Some of his children intermarried with the “free colored”/Native American Jeffries family and moved to Orange Co, NC. This is the same Jeffries family that is a core family of the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation.
  2. *Major Evans (1733-after 1794 ) – moved to Granville Co, NC and is the primary ancestor of the Evans of Granville Co. Will be discussed in the next section.
  3. Charles Evans (b. 1737) – remained in southside Virginia. In 1782, he was compensated for beef he provided to the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. His daughter Nanny Evans married Eaton Walden.
  4. Richard Evans (b. 1740) – remained in southside Virginia. He did not leave a will, so his apparent children are not verified. He may be the father of Richard Evans b. 1772 who relocated to Chatham Co, NC. An earlier Isaac Evans (b. 1735) was the first “free colored” Evans to appear in the Randolph Co (which borders Chatham) records, so some of the apparent descendants of Richard Evans may in fact be the descendants of Isaac Evans. And it is not currently known if and how Isaac Evans may be related to the family of Morris Evans/Jane Gibson.
  5. Sarah Evans (b. 1742)  – mentioned in her father’s will but unknown what happened to her next
  6. Joyce Evans (b. 1743) – mentioned in her father’s will but unknown what happened to her next
  7. Erasmus Evans (b. 1745) – had two sons named Anthony and Isham who were bound out. Anthony was called “Anthony Chavis”, so Erasmus’ wife was likely a Chavis. Anthony Evans/Chavis moved around a bit before settling in Chatham Co where he left a will but apparently no heirs.

From here, we will focus our discussion on Charles Evans’ son Major Evans (1733-after 1794) who is the main progenitor of the Evans in Granville County.


Major Evans (1733-after 1794) comes to Granville County

Charles Evans’ son Major Evans (1733-after 1794) who is the direct lineal ancestor of the vast majority of the Granville County Evans first appears in the Granville tax lists in the 1760s. His neighbors include members of the Chavis, Snelling, Harris, and Bass family which indicates that he lived on the north side of the Tar River, in the heart of the community began by William Chavis (1706-1777) a couple of decades earlier. Notably on 16 February 1780, he purchased 100 acres of land from Phillip Chavis off the Tar River in an area known as the Buffalo Race Path near Buffalo Creek. Phillip Chavis (b. 1726) was the son of William Chavis (1706-1777) who according to late 19th century local Granville historian Oscar Blacknall, originally owned 51,200 acres on the north side of the Tar River. Blacknall, in his published articles, goes on to extensively discuss the Indian identity of the “free colored” community that William Chavis founded in Granville. Phillip Chavis had numerous land transactions with his father William Chavis around Buffalo Creek and he also settled his father’s estate. It’s possible that Major Evans’ wife Martha Ann (maiden name unknown) may have been a Chavis given the close relationship between Major Evans and the William Chavis family. Three years earlier in 1777, Major Evans was called with other members of the Chavis family to report to court to provide information on William Chavis’ will. The estate papers don’t specify what family relationship (if any) that Major Evans had with William Chavis but it is clear from that point forward, Major Evans was considered part of the community.

Phillip Chavis land sold to Major Evans in 1780. Buffalo Race Paths - Granville County.
Land plat of the 16 February 1780 Granville County, North Carolina land deed for Phillip Chavis to Major Evans for 100 acres on the “Buffalo Race Paths”. This land is very close to the Granville (now Vance) and Franklin County border

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Phillip Chavis to Major Evans Part 2
Land deed for the 100 acres on the Buffalo Race Paths in Granville County that Major Evans purchased from Phillip Chavis on 16 February 1780. The record shows that Phillip Chavis had already relocated from Granville to Bladen (today Robeson) County. Phillip Chavis is the main Chavis progenitor of the Chavis family found within the Lumbee tribe.

 

It’s important to remember that William Chavis’ wife Frances Gibson (1700-1780) was the daughter of Gibson Gibson (1660-1727) of Charles City County, VA whose family was also apparently of a mixed race Indian ancestry. A relative of Gibson Gibson named Gideon Gibson Sr (b. 1685) and his family, including son Gideon Gibson Jr (b. 1721) moved to South Carolina in the 1730’s, where their racial identity came under scrutiny. Some South Carolina officials wanted the Gibsons to be subjected to the discriminatory “Free Negro” laws. However one such South Carolina politician named Henry Laurens who was involved in the debate about the racial identity of the Gibson family, had this to say about Gideon Gibson Jr:

Gideon Gibson escaped the penalties of the negro law by producing upon comparison more red and white in his face than could be discovered in the faces of half the descendants of the French refugees in our House of Assembly, including your old acquaintance the Speaker.

Source: Council Journal, August 26, 1768. Henry Laurens to William Drayton, February 15, 1783.

Perhaps Major Evans’ great-grandmother Jane Gibson the elder and Gibson Gibson were related, given the shared Gibson surname in the same location. But as discussed earlier, there is no solid documentation that identifies the parentage of Jane Gibson the elder nor the origins of her Gibson surname. So it would be unwise to speculate much further without locating records that speak to Jane Gibson the elder’s parentage. If there is a relationship, that may explain why Major Evans moved to William Chavis’ land in Granville County and quickly became part of the community.

Seven years later on 26 June 1787, Major Evans added to his land ownership by purchasing 100 acres of land on both side of Middle Creek from James Kelley (O’Kelley). The land deed explains that this 100 acres was part of a larger 580 land tract purchased by John Pope. Middle Creek is on the south side of the Tar River, just slightly west and across the river from the land Major Evans purchased earlier from Phillip Chavis on the Buffalo Race Paths.

James Kelley to Major Evans Part 1

james-kelley-to-major-evans-part-2.jpg

Though he had accumulated land in Granville, Major Evans still owned land across the border in Mecklenburg County, VA which he had inherited from this father Charles Evans. Therefore he was taxed in Mecklenburg from 1782 until 1787 when he finally sold his Mecklenburg County land.

Major Evans also sold land in Granville in 1787. On 15 December 1787, he sold 100 acres to James Blackley and three days later on 18 December 1787, Major Evans sold 100 acres to Elijah Ball.

In February 1789, Major Evans sued Elias Pettiford (another Native/FPOC from the community) and won a judgment against him.

Major Evans Vs Elias Pettiford
Major Evans won a judgment against Elias Pettiford on 4 February 1789.

By 1794, Major Evans moved further south into Granville County when he purchased 100 acres on Newlight Creek on 19 July 1794. This is land in the very southeastern part of Granville County, close to the Wake County and Franklin county borders. Some of William Chavis’ (1706-1777) descendants, specifically members of the Harris (offspring of his daughter Sarah Chavis who married Edward Harris) and Snelling families (offspring of his daughter Lettice Chavis who married Aquilla Snelling) also began moving to this part of Granville County as well into Wake County.

Major Evans land purchase on the Buckhorn Branch in Newlight Creek in far southeastern Granville County, close to the Franklin and Wake County borders.
Land plat of the 19 July 1974 land Granville County land deed for Benjamin Morgan to Major Evans for 100 acres on the Buckhorn Branch in Newlight Creek in far southeastern Granville County, close to the Franklin and Wake County borders. Note the land plat has the incorrect year.

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Land deed for the 100 acres on Newlight Creek that Major Evans purchases from Benjamin Morgan on 17 July 1794.
Historical_map_of_old_Granville_County_from_which_were_made_GranvilleButeWarrenFranklin_and_Vance_Counties_North_Carolina copy
Circled in blue are the approximate locations of Major Evans land purchases in Granville County: the 1780 land purchase on the Buffalo Race Paths, the 1787 land purchase on Middle Creek and the 1794 land purchase on Newlight Creek.  Outlined in red the approximate boundaries of the land owned by William Chavis as described by local historian Oscar Blacknall. Source: http://dc.lib.unc.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/ncmaps/id/3569

The 1794 land deed is the last located record that can be attributed to Major Evans. No will or estate records have been found for him, so it is not known what year he died. Likewise, accounting for all of Major Evans’ children has been a challenge without estate records. Most of Major Evans’ children and descendants intermarried with families from the Granville Native American community. Below is a list of his children and their spouses:

1. * Morris Evans (1750-1834) second married Lydia Anderson, a FPOC,  on 8 December 1784 in Granville. His first wife is unknown and he had children from both marriages.

2. * Gilbert Evans (1755-1827) married Phoebe Lumbley on 20 June 1780 in Wake. Phoebe Lumbley was apparently white, and Gilbert appears in tax and census records as white as do their children. Because of strict laws forbidding interracial marriages, it could be that Gilbert “passed” for white in order to have a white spouse.

3. * William Evans (1757-1823) married Sarah Hays on 14 May 1785 in Wake County. Sarah Hays was apparently white and like his brother Gilbert Evans, William Evans and his children appear to have “passed” for white.

4. Burwell Evans (1758-1820) married Mary Mitchell, a FPOC, on 22 February 1797 in Granville. I believe this was a second marriage for Burwell Evans because the 1786 North Carolina state census shows that he was the head of a household of one male age 21-60, three males aged under 21 & over 60, and three females of any age. The household information strongly implies that he was married with three sons and two daughters who were born by 1786.

5. * John Evans (1759-1781) unwed and died in battle during the Revolutionary War.

5. Elizabeth Evans (1760-before 1860) married Isaac Chavis, a FPOC, on 6 September 1800 in Granville. Before she married, Elizabeth Evans had at least one child born out of wedlock when she filed a bastardy bond in Granville court with her father Major Evans as the bondsman. The record does not name the child.

7. Nelly Evans (1762-1849) married William Taborn, a FPOC, on 1 January 1778 in Bute County.

8. Sarah Evans (1774 – before 1860) married George Anderson, a FPOC, on 14 October 1800 in Granville County.

* Paul Heinegg in his Evans family sketch on his website freeafricanamericans, lists the brothers Morris, Gilbert, John, and William Evans as the *possible* sons of Gilbert Evans b. 1730. However genealogist Deloris Williams has more up to date research on the Evans family and I agree with her conclusions.

All of Major Evans’ offspring lived in Granville and Wake Counties. It is likely Major Evans’ land purchase in Newlight Creek which borders Wake County, signaled a movement of many of his descendants into Wake.


The Offspring of Major Evans

The heightened “white”/”colored” racial binary and the growth of the institution of chattel slavery in the American South during the early 19th century, put immense pressure on families like the Evans who had experienced some level of wealth with land ownership. In 1835, North Carolina approved a new constitution which revoked many rights of free people of color. These revoked rights included owning fire arms, holding public office, voting, and being able to move freely in and out of the state. Additionally, free people of color households continued to be taxed at a higher rate than white households which resulted in the depletion of personal property and land.

A closer examination of records pertaining to brothers Hilliard Evans (b. 1815) and Morris Evans (1814-1900) provide some very interesting insight into how Native/”free colored” families were pressured into selling personal property to pay off debt. Hilliard Evans and Morris Evans were the sons of Thomas Evans (1790-1867) and Sallie Bass (1793-1889). And Thomas Evans was the son Morris Evans (1750-1834) and Liddy Anderson listed above. On 20 November 1840, Hilliard “Hillyard” Evans sold one gray horse saddle and bridle for one dollar to Isaiah M. Paschall. The record goes on to indicate that Hilliard Evans was in debt to Peyton V. Duke for forty dollars on a note that was due the following September. If Hilliard Evans was able to pay off the debt by the following September, then the sale of his property to Isaiah M. Paschall was to be voided and returned to him. However if he was unable to pay off the debt in time, then Isaiah M. Paschall would sell the property with all of the sales to cover the principal and interest of the debt that Hillard Evans owed Peyton V. Duke with any leftover money to be paid to Hilliard Evans.

hilliard-evans-to-isaiah-m-paschall-page-1.jpg

 

Hilliard Evans to Isaiah M Paschall Part 2

Morris Evans found himself in a similar desperate financial situation of being in debt the following year. He owed Wyatt Cannaday $103.59 that was due to be paid by the following December 25th. As a result, on 28 June 1841, he sold to Henry B. Brides, one mare, one cow, one calf, eleven heads of hog, tobacco crop, corn, oats, household items, and furniture for one dollar. If he did not pay off the debt in time, Henry Bridges was to sell those personal items and use the funds to pay off the debt Morris Evans owed to Wyatt Cannaday with any left over money to be paid to Morris Evans.

morris-evans-to-henry-b-bridges.jpg

Morris Evans to Henry B Bridges Part 2

Just a few years later, Hilliard Evans experienced something that I imagine many free people of color feared – that is, he was kidnapped and an attempt was made to sell him into slavery. We learn from a letter that his parents Thomas and Sally (Bass) Evans placed in the newspaper, that Hilliard Evans traveled from Granville County with a man named William R. Boswell last August to sell a horse in the southern part of the state. After the sale, Boswell was able to convince Hilliard Evans to continue to travel with him to Petersburg, Richmond and New Orleans. While in New Orleans, Boswell attempted to sell Hilliard Evans into slavery but Hilliard made it known that he was a free person. However it was not known what happened to and where Hilliard Evans was, so his parents were attempting to locate him. It is a heartbreaking letter to read and is a testament to how the institution of slavery was a threat to even families who were free and had always been free.

Hilliard Evans 20 January 1846

About a week later on 28 January 1746, we learn that Thomas and Sallie (Bass) Evans’ letter had garnered some interest. Editors at the Weekly Standard in Raleigh reemphasized the concerns in Thomas and Sallie Evans’ letter that they didn’t know the whereabouts of their son Hilliard Evans.

hilliard-evans-28-january-1846.jpg

Thankfully, two months later we learn from another newspaper article published on 11 March 1846 in the Tarboro Press that Hilliard Evans had been sent back home to his family in Granville County and supplied with new clothes. William Boswell, the man who kidnapped him, had not been caught. I have no additional records to learn if he was ever caught or received any type of punishment.

Hilliard Evans 11 March 1846

The kinship network that the Evans family belonged to in the Granville County Native/FPOC community is evident in the division of the estate of William Evans (1789-1870), a resident of Fishing Creek, Granville County. William Evans died without a living wife or children, so he had no direct heirs. Instead his estate was divided among the children of his siblings, ie. his nephews and nieces. And if any of his nephews or nieces had already died, then their living heirs, if any, stood to inherit in their place. The nine original legatees who each were to inherit $64.17, named in the estate records are:

Solomon Anderson, Washington Anderson, Ann Anderson, Glatha Anderson (Hawkins), Joyce Anderson, William Pettiford, Richard Pettiford, Franklin Pettiford and Thomas Pettiford.

william-evans-estate-1.jpg

It is interesting that Glatha was called an Anderson in this record, because her marriage record to Cuffee Mayo, calls her “Glatha Hawkins”. I have long wondered if “Hawkins” was a mistake because I don’t know of any Hawkins family that the Evans and Anderson families associated with. All of the named original legatees, save for Ann Anderson whose parentage I’m working on confirming, were the children of William Evans’ sister Susannah Evans (b. 1784). She was first married to Abel Anderson (17772-1817) on 23 May 1804 in Granville. With her first husband Abel Anderson, Susannah Evans had: Solomon Anderson, Washington Anderson, Glatha Anderson, and Joyce Anderson. Abel Anderson was deceased by 1817 when his guardianship of his younger brother Wright Anderson was transferred to his brother Jacob Anderson in that year as a result of his death. Susannah Evans second married a Pettiford though I have not been able to just yet confirm which Pettiford in Granville she married. With her second Pettiford husband, she had William Pettiford, Richard Pettiford, Franklin Pettiford, and Thomas Pettiford. Susannah Evans was last enumerated in the 1850 census in the Oxford district of Granville County, as “Susan Pettyford” age 59.

Washington Anderson orphan of Abel Anderson
Court minutes from Granville County show that Abel Anderson and Susannah Evans’ son Washington Anderson at the age of 10, was bound out upon the death of Abel Anderson. “Orphan” was a term that was used not necessarily to indicate that both parents were deceased, but that the father was deceased. Washington Anderson was named as an original legatee in his uncle William Evans’ estate records. 

At the time of William Evans’ death in 1870, original legatees Ann Anderson, Washington Anderson, and Glatha Anderson (Hawkins) were deceased so their children each inherited an equal portion of their share of the estate. What also complicated the distribution of William Evans’ estate was that several of the named legatees had moved out of the state in the decades prior. Even as late as 1878, several of the named legatees still had not been in touch with the administrator of William Evans’ estate.

william-evans-legatees-out-of-state.jpg
A page from William Evans’ estate records shows that as late as 27 August 1878, administrator Augustine Landis still was not in touch with legatees Richard Pettiford, Franklin Pettiford, and Joyce Anderson because they had left the state. Census records do indicate that Richard Pettiford moved to Tennessee and “passed” for white, Franklin Pettiford moved to Tennessee and later Illinois and also “passed” for white, and Joyce Anderson had married Robert Taylor Valentine and they moved to Wisconsin and later Iowa.

 

 

Below are some pictures of Granville County Evans who are directly descended from Morris Evans and Jane Gibson via Major Evans:

Pantheyer Brandon (1851-1934). She was the daughter of Hilliard Evans and Betsy Brandon. Because her parents were unwed, she took her mother's last name. Though Pantheyer's marriage record to Junius Thomas Howell lists her father as
Pantheyer Brandon (1851-1934) of Fishing Creek, Granville County. She was the daughter of Hilliard Evans and Betsy Brandon. Because her parents were unwed, she took her mother’s last name. Though Pantheyer’s marriage record to Junius Thomas Howell lists her father as “unknown”, Hilliard Evans identity was confirmed through Pantheyer’s brother Osh Brandon’s marriage record. Pantheyer’s sister Hilliard “Hettie” Brandon was also named after their father. Pantheyer’s mother Betsy Brandon later had several more children with William Peace. Hilliard Evans later married Louisa Mitchell and relocated to Ohio. Probably only his oldest children with Betsy Brandon had memories of him before he moved out of state. 
Source: Ancestry, Username: rthomas1973

Pantheyer Brandon’s lineage back to Major Evans is as follows:

Pantheyer Brandon; Hilliard Evans; Thomas Evans; Morris Evans; Major Evans.

She is also descended from the Brandon, Bass, and Anderson families.

 

John Evans (1830 - 1892) and his wife Martha Harris. John was the son of Polly Evans and an unknown father. His mother Polly later married Johnson Reed. The family relocated to Ohio by 1860. Source: E. Howard Evans
John Evans (1830 – 1892) and his wife Martha Harris. John was the son of Polly Evans and an unknown father. His mother Polly later married Johnson Reed. The family relocated to Ohio by 1860. John Evans was first cousins to Pantheyer Brandon pictured above.
Source: E. Howard Evans

John Evans’ lineage back to Major Evans is as follows:

John Evans; Polly Evans; Thomas Evans; Morris Evans; Major Evans

John Evans is also descended from the Bass and Anderson families.

Standing on the left if John Evans' son Thomas McDaniel Evans  (1861-1929). Standing to his right is Thomas' son Howard Evans and seated is Thomas' daughter Ruth Evans. John Evans moved to Ohio by 1860, where his family continued to live. Source: E. Howard Evans
Standing on the left is John Evans’ son Thomas McDaniel Evans (1861-1929). Standing to his right is Thomas’ son Howard Evans and seated is Thomas’ daughter Ruth Evans. John Evans moved to Ohio by 1860, where his family continued to live.
Source: E. Howard Evans
Mary Etta Guy (1866 - 1965) a resident of Fishing Creek, Granville County. Mary Etta descends from several Granville County Native American families. She descends from the Evans (Morris Evans-Jane Gibson), Taborn, Guy, and Chavis families and was married to a Tyler. Mary Etta spent her entire life in Fishing Creek until after her husband's death in 1943 when she joined some of her family who had relocated to New York. Source: Carole Allen
Mary Etta Guy (1866 – 1965) a resident of Fishing Creek, Granville County. Mary Etta descends from several Granville County Native American families. She descends from the Evans (Morris Evans-Jane Gibson), Taborn, Guy, and Chavis families and was married to a Tyler. Mary Etta spent her entire life in Fishing Creek until after her husband’s death in 1943 when she joined some of her family who had relocated to New York.
Source: Carole Allen

Mary Etta Guy’s lineage back to Major Evans is as follows:

Mary Etta Guy; Susan Taborn; Littleton Taborn; Nelly Evans; Major Evans.

Ira Evans 1879-1968
Ira Evans (1879-1968) was the son of Lewis Evans (1847-1917) and  Zibra Bookram (b. 1859). His is a direct lineal descendants of Morris Evans/Jane Gibson through their grandson Major Evans. Ira descends from the Evans, Gibson, Bookram, Bass, Anderson, and Scott families and lived in Durham Co, NC. Source: Ancestry, Username: LaMonica Williams.

Ira Evans’ lineage back to Major Evans is as follows:

Ira Evans; Lewis Evans; Major Lewis Evans; Thomas Evans, Morris Evans; Major Evans

Ada Evans
Ada Evans (1885-1954) was the daughter of Thomas Evans and Mary Bookram. She is double first cousins with Ira Evans pictured above. Ada was first married to Earnest Day and second married to William Glover. She lived in Granville and Durham Counties. Please note that most family tree on Ancestry have confused this Ada Evans for her older first cousin Ada Evans ( b 1877) who was the daughter of Sallie Evans.  Source: Ancestry, Username: MichaelSmith493

Ada Evans’ lineage back to Major Evans is as follows:

Ada Evans; Thomas Evans; Major Lewis Evans; Thomas Evans; Morris Evans; Major Evans


Addendum: What about James Evans (1720-1786) of Halifax County, NC??

James Evans (1720-1786) is the earliest documented ancestor of the Native/”free colored” Evans family of Halifax County, NC. It is not known nor documented if he is at all related to Morris Evans/Jane Gibson. As stated at the beginning of this blog post, “Evans” was a very common surname in colonial Virginia, so it is quite possible he is from an unrelated Evans family. Nevertheless, because I get many inquiries about James Evans and his descendants, I have included a summary of records pertaining to his family.

 James Evans (1720-1786) first appears in the records in Surry County, VA in 1746. In that year he was charged with adultery for living with Eleanor Walden. Eleanor is presumed to later be his wife and mother of his children. Unfortunately, Surry County suffered major record loss, so further details on James Evans’ early life may have been destroyed. Such records may have named his parents, because James’ parents are unknown. By the 1750s, James Evans was living in Edgecombe County, NC as indicated by land purchases and militia records. Notably James Evans is listed next to several members of the “free colored”/Native American Scott family that was of Saponi descent and these families later intermarried. This part of Edgecombe became Halifax County in 1758, and James Evans continues to appear in the Halifax records. By 1786, his wife Eleanor (Walden) Evans was listed as a head of household in the Halifax records, indicating that James had died some time previous to that date.

James Evans’ descendants continued living in the Halifax County area. Again, please note that Paul Heinegg has different information for the descendants of James Evans. Instead I’m using the genealogy provided by Deloris Williams which I believe is more accurate. James Evans had a son by the same name James Evans Jr (1750-1830) who lived in Halifax Co. James Jr had a son named Leven Evans (1775 – before 1850) who is the main source of the Evans found within the  Haliwa-Saponi tribe in Halifax/Warren Counties in NC. Leven Evans’ first wife was Kizzie but her maiden name is unknown. His second wife was Harriet Scott (b. 1811). Harriet was from the same Scott family that her grandfather James Evans (1720-1786) enlisted in the Edgecombe Co militia with. Leven Evans’ descendants continued to intermarry with “core” families of the Haliwa-Saponi tribe including Richardson, Lynch, Silver, Mills, and Copeland.

image1
Major Blake Evans (1879-1959) is pictured with his first wife Adeline Virginia Richardson (1876-1920). Major Blake Evans was a brother to Fox Evans pictured above. He is a direct lineal descendant of James Evans (1720-1786) through his grandson Leven Evans. Major Blake Evans lived in Halifax Co, NC his entire life where some of his descendants are among the Haliwa-Saponi tribe. Source: Desmond Ellsworth
image2
Pictured are children of Major Blake Evans (1879-1959) who resided in Halifax Co, NC. Source: Desmond Ellsworth

 

Mollie Evans
Mollie Evans (1892-1938) was the daughter of William Evans and Martha Richardson. She is also direct lineal descendant of James Evans (1720-1786) through Leven Evans. Mollie was married to Arch Silver and lived in Halifax County, NC. Source: Ancestry, Username: GwendolynJohnson84

49 thoughts on “Evans Family of Granville County – descendants of Jane Gibson “a free Indian woman”

  1. Have you done enough research on the Evans families to connect a Samuel Evans who died in Person co in 1850? He would have been born around 1775 based on his daughter’s birth in 1795. She was Elizabeth Evans married to Richard Ryland Moore in Person co on 10-5-1819. This line is a complete dead end for me.

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    1. Hi Ken Dalton. Thank you for checking out the blog. I’m looking up your Samuel Evans now in Person County. I’m showing a Samuel Evans in the 1820 census head of household of 7 free white persons and 10 slaves. And Samuel Evans in the 1830 census head of household of 4 free white persons and 10 slaves. I have not traced any of the Evans to Person County, but there are so many branches of this Evans tree, so I can’t rule it out. But I’m also not seeing anything to make a connection. Most of the Evans of this family were “free people of color” but most notably the families of GIlbert Evans and William Evans Jr who I listed in the blog, had white spouses and they along with their descendants were most often classified as white. You can find more information about Gilbert Evans on Deloris Williams’ website here: http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=dwilliams-1&id=I3935
      And you can find more information about William Evans Jr here:
      http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=dwilliams-1&id=I3936
      Neither men though are showing a Samuel Evans in their families.

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  2. Excellent work!!! My paternal line lived in Fishing Creek for several generations, all the names you have listed are familiar.
    Have you any information on the Mary Evans(b. 1820) in the 1850 Granville County census in the household of Henry and Martha Minor? I ask this because according to my familys oral history her daughter (my GG Grandmother, Parthenia) changed her name from Evans to Minor. I have seen several other researchers link to this same Mary Evans with different lineages and outcomes for her and her children.
    And are you related to Coach John Lucas?

    Thanks for your blog!

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    1. Anthony,

      Thank you for getting in touch. I know exactly who your Mary Evans is. She is definitely from this line of Evans (Morris Evans/Jane Gibson) but I have not been able to verify her parents. If you’d like, we can continue this conversation via email and see if we can learn more about Mary Evans from the info we both have. I look forward to hearing from you. kiangalucas@gmail.com
      Kianga

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  3. What information do you have on the relationship of Betsy Brandon and William Peace, and are you referring to the William Peace (of Granville county) that is the son of John Peace and Margaret Scott? Do you also have any info that suggests Admond Brandon (b.1857- d.1948 Granville Co, NC son of Betsy Brandon, and married Delia Braswell) is the son of William? I know Betsy Brandon had many children (I assume all were out of wedlock, therefore had her surname) and with more than one partner; one confirmed partner is from the Evans family, and the father of her other children (including Admond Brandon) are unconfirmed. Any info you can provide is much appreciated.

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    1. Hi Ashley, Thank you for commenting. So from the records that are available I believe Betsy Brandon’s children were fathered by two men – Hilliard Evans and William Peace. Hilliard fathered the four oldest children whose ages are clustered together – Osh, Hilliard/Hettie, Crutch, and Pantheyer. William Peace likely fathered the remaining children whose ages are also clustered together – Admond, Amanda, Peyton, Walter, Maranda, Delia. Unfortunately on the death certificates for Betsy’s children their father’s name is not typically listed but on Peyton and Maranda’s death records, William “Billie” Peace is identified. I don’t have any specific records in which Admond identified his father as William Peace, but by looking at the ages of Betsy’s children and the records that are available, I’d say the preponderance of the evidence suggests William Peace fathered Admond. I have not fully verified William Peace’s identify but I believe he is the William Peace who is white, and living in Fishing Creek right next to the Brandon family. Because of laws against interracial marriage, Betsy Brandon and William Peace would not have been able to marry. But this did not prevent relationships from happening and by looking at the many children William Peace likely fathered with Betsy Brandon, it seems they had a long term relationship. This William Peace of Fishing Creek was also legally single and never married, which may be an additional clue about his relationship with Betsy. What throws me off about this William Peace who was neighbors to the Brandon family is that he is consistently listed as “deaf & dumb” in the census. I don’t know how serious to take that description of him and I don’t know if that would prevent him from fathering children. Still many questions there. Also, it appears Betsy Brandon never filed any “bastard bonds” (child support) for any of her children, so I don’t know how she was able to support them all. Certainly her parents assisted but that is rather odd. I wonder if looking through wills filed by the Peace family, if we’ll find any mention of financial support for Betsy’s children.

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      1. Hi Kianga, Is that the same William Peace where Peace College/William Peace University is named after. I read that he never married. He donated land in Raleigh NC for the school to be built there. The Holt brothers Jason and his brother were the builders there. They built a lot of homes in Warren County, NC.

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  4. I was honored to see the photo of Fox Evans on your blog. It hung for many years on Grandmother’s wall in Flint, Mi. Her name was Bufort Evans Winston, daughter of Leacy Silver & Fox Evans. When we were kids, we joked about the photo of the “white guy.” It wasn’t until we were grown, that we really understood who the man in the photo really was, a link to a rich family history!

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  5. Renita (Lynch) Williams,

    I was really excited to learn my sister was going to dig deeper into the history of our fathers family. We learned a lot growing up from family but , this really gave more details.
    I saw the family reunion photo and my great grand parents photo’s it brought tears.
    I’m Major Blake Evans and Adeline Virginia Richardson great granddaughter .
    They’re youngest daughter Betty Lou Evans-(Lynch) who fell asleep in death 3/ 2007 89 yrs young she had (2) son’s the eldest William Haywood Lynch is my Dad I’m his eldest daughter her eldest granddaughter.
    She’s the one in the reunion photo in front with the light blue dress and glasses. I remember the day that was taken. I wish I could see some of the photo’s I saw at the old homestead of her mother and father where she grew up. No one seems to know where they are 😦
    Anyway your hard work really is appreciated and gave us even more of a clear understanding as to why reflect the generations in the pass and our parents returned back to the homeland where my Dad passed away (5yrs ago) in Hollister NC, May 29th . Mom is still with us, things came full circle for them. Wow what a legacy full and rich.

    Thanks again

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    1. Dear Ebony,

      Have you read Deloris Williams’ research? This is her file on Mourning Evans which includes all the primary source references that Deloris has found.
      Mourning was the daughter of James Evans b. 1720, who I discuss at the end of this blog post. At this time, the yDNA evidence shows that the James Evans b. 1720 line comes from a different set of Evans than the Morris Evans/Jane Gibson line. However, some members of the two different Evans families did intermarry, so you’ll find people who are related to both Evans lineages.

      http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=dwilliams-1&id=I11774

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    2. I’m sorry I don’t recognize that name. My grandmother (Betty Lou Evans-(Lynch) her oldest sister ( Mary Evans- West) I only got to meet just a few of her children while growing up. The age group would be in there mid to late 50’s, 60’s and I don’t think they grow up in that immediate area. Don’t know if any of this will help you connect anything or anyone.

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  6. Hi Kianga,

    I was interested in learning about the Native American tribes that resided in
    Surry Co., VA in the 1700’s and came across your blog. I am of Evans decent from Surry Co., VA, and was very impressed by your work. I can find a great grandmother Dolly Evans 1775-1845, who married a Peter Hamlin 7-13-1797. I believe that she is possibly the mother of my (4) grandfather Harrison Evans who had a son named Adolphus Evans with Parthena Wooton. I can’t find anything else beyond Dolly or whether or not she had any siblings as well as Adolphus having any siblings.C an you help? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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  7. I am impressed with your research. I am a descendent of Morris Evans 1665-1739 and Jane Gibson 1660/1670-1738. My father is the grandson of Lewis/Louis Evans and Zibba Bookam. My father’s father was Benjamin Evans who was married to Lizzie Shaw. My father was Ben Wesley Evans. Thanks for sharing my family history.

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  8. Hello, I am a descendant of Sarah Evans, who we recently figured out by mitochondrial DNA was the sister of Nancy Evans, wife of Elijah Gumbs Boon of Northampton County, NC. Their parents are said to be William Evans and Sarah Hays, which I am currently working on confirming. If so, Sarah Hays’ mitochondrial DNA haplogroup was V subhaplogroup V7 as both my maternal line and the descendant of Nancy Evans are a perfect match. I am now following your blog, thank you for writing!

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    1. After I made this comment here I realized I had mixed up families. It looks like my Nancy Evans was the daughter of man named Henry Evans in Northampton County, so far no info on the mother.

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  9. My 4th great-grandmother ( in maternal grandfather “Barnes” ancestry ) is Nancy Evans who married Allen Sweat. I have ran across differing names for her father. *Morris Evans and Lidda Anderson // *Charles Evans Jr // *and Rueben Evans who signed her Marriage bond. Rueben married a Mary Pruitt but I have no other info for him? Do you happen to have any info on who Nancy’s father was ? I have tested for Family Finder and MTDNA at FTDNA. Appreciate any info and love to find some photos of my ancestry line of Sweat/Swett and Evans.

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    1. Hi Sande, did you ever get a reply back on this? I also descend from Nancy Evans and Allen Sweat. I am fascinated with this and want to learn so much more.

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  10. Hi Kianga,
    I am very impressed by your Evans family blog, so much so, I’ve decided to update my Evans family trees, and make the Evans family a core family of the Lost Creek Settlement. In your Evans family blog, you state that Richard Evans had a daughter named Nancy, who married a Wiley Locklear. One of Lost Creek’s pioneer settlers was Abel Stewart. Abel Stewart was married to a Nancy Evans, as well. In the 1830, Pittsboro, Chatham, North Carolina census, Abel Stewart and Richard Evans are next door neighbors. How confident are you that Richard’s Nancy married Wiley Locklear, and not Abel Stewart?
    Thanks

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    1. Hi all,
      Paul Heinegg identifies the Richard Evans b.1774 of Chatham County as being the the son of Richard Evans b.1740, son of Charles Evans b.1696, son of Morris Evans b.1665 and Jane Gibson. Hopefully I’ve answered my own question.

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  11. Hello,

    Miss Kianga

    My mother’s maternal great-great grandfather, William Thomas PEGUES[ A native of Mansfield, Louisiana] was a descendant of Hanna GIBSON Murphy Sanders of South Carolina near the Pee Dee River. Hanna had a brother named Gideon GIDEON whose father[ also GIDEON] was a free man of color who migrated into SC from Virginia. My clan of GIDEONS intermarried within the local White community and became White. I suspect that they also may be relatives of Jane the Elder you speak of. Unfortunately, evidence is either sketchy or non-existence beyond logical reasoning and probability

    Love your blog!

    Rodney.

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  12. Hello,

    For clarity, I am referencing Thomas Evans, born circa 1734 a “free person of color”, who is documented (in Lunenburg Co tax lists and estate records) as the son of Charles Evans born circa 1696 who resided in Lunenburg Co. And this being Charles Evans, born circa 1696 who was the son of Morris Evans and Jane Gibson the younger.

    Tax lists are how we identify ages of children who appear in their parents’ household. So when we look at the Lunenburg Co tax lists we find Charles Evans, born circa 1696 as a tithable. In the year 1751, Charles Evans’ son Thomas first appears as a tithable in his household. According to the Virginia tax laws at the time, a free male becomes a tithable over the age of 16. So when a child first appears in their parent’s household as a tithable, that means they became of age. So in 1751, Thomas Evans was living in his father’s household and recently became a tithable, so we can estimate he was born circa 1734 (17 years old in 1751 to be a tithable). In the following year in 1752, Charles Evans is again a tithable in Lunenburg Co, and this time his son Thomas and his son Major are tithables in his household. This means that Major Evans recently became of age to be a tithable in his father’s household which is why we estimate his birth year as 1735 (17 years of age in 1752).
    The next mention of Charles Evans’ son Thomas Evans comes from Charles Evans’ 1760 Lunenburg Co will. In that will Charles Evans divides his estate among his children but he only gives his son Thomas Evans one shilling and calls him “undutiful”. In other words, Charles Evans practically disinherits his son Thomas Evans and does not give him any land.
    And finally the last mention of Thomas Evans in the records is from a Mecklenburg Co (this part of Lunenburg Co became Mecklenburg Co in 1765) court order on 10 Mar 1789, when the court declared that Thomas Evans was in such a poor condition that his children should be bound out. His children in that court order are named: Elizabeth Evans, Olive Evans, Delilah Evans, Matthew Stewart, and Charles Evans. The reason why I suspect Thomas Evans’ wife was a Stewart is because Thomas Evans has a documented son named Matthew Stewart. The surname certainly did not come from Thomas Evans, so that would indicate his surname came from his mother.

    Genealogist Paul Heinegg also has Charles Evans’ son Thomas Evans as being born circa 1734 (see Thomas Evans #17/#18 in his Evans family sketch here):
    http://www.freeafricanamericans.com/Eady_Evans.htm

    And genealogist/Evans descendant Deloris Williams also has Charles Evans’ son Thomas Evans being born circa 1734:
    http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=dwilliams-1&id=I10359

    This is a good web source for the Thomas Evans whom you are researching that was married to Elizabeth Gatewood. Included is a transcription of his 1774 Amherst Co will which identifies his children. It shows him to be a land owner and in good financial standing. Also note the date – 1774. The Thomas Evans who was the son of Charles Evans was still living in 1789 when he was called poor by the Mecklenburg Co courts and had his children bound out.
    http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=hagerj&id=I81099

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  13. Requote f
    “The Evans family resettled in and became a core part of Granville County’s Native American community in the 1760s immediately following the initial settlement of the founding Chavis, Harris, Hawley, Pettiford, Anderson, Bass, and Goins families.”

    I noticed in the following blog the researcher failed to include the CAUDLE family which lived in the area up to the early 70’s. My 2nd great grandfather Solomon Caudle was the son of Mary Polly Evans the daughter of Archibald Evans.This article is well research and good information to know

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    1. Hi Michelle,

      Thank you for reading and commenting on the blog.
      Archibald Evans was the son of James Evans (1750-1830) who was the son of James Evans (1720-1786). I mentioned James Evans (1720-1786) in the blog post but his descendants are not the focus of this article as there is no documentation to show that James Evans descends from Morris Evans and Jane Gibson. To keep my blog posts within a readable length, I try to stay focused topically on the families most pertinent to my discussion. Moreover, y-DNA testing of direct male descendants of James Evans show a different haplogroup than the haplogroup for the documented direct male descendants of Morris Evans and Jane Gibson.
      I encourage you to look over genealogist Deloris William’s public family tree on Ancestry which has substantial documentation on Archibald Evans back to his grandfather James Evans (1720-1786). She is also a descendant of James Evans (1720-1786).

      https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/72466258/person/46261814648/facts

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  14. Do you have any additional information on Kizzie Evans, I believe she is my 5th great grandmother? Thats as far back as I can get on my maternal side. My Haplogroup is M18, so really curious of its origins

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  15. This is interesting…you have accomplished a great deal for this family name. I noticed that many of these Indians are originally from Virginia and the 11 tribes located there. My grandmother was Bertha Mae Finch born 1890 was living on an Indian “reservation” in 1907/1908 when her first child was born. An official told her that she could not name her Opal Star….guess too indian. Then there was Plecker changing vital records.My father told us that we are Chickahominy but can’t find any records for her anywhere other than a 1910 census when that child was one and a half yoa. Bertha mae Finch was “married” to Mark wharton Sessler. Though I doubt that…Indians not allow then to marry white man. His mother was a Cook so maybe Indian on that side too. This all written in hopes that you may be able to guide me in my search for our known Native American heritage. Thank you for any help.

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    1. All these native tribes close in proximity…hope someone will respond. Chickahominy in Charles city va was around for long time maybe someone heard names from elders…Finch, Neathawk, Creasy, Sessler.

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  16. I’m a descendant from the Scotts ,Evans . I’m new to the ancestry website and that’s what led me to your blog !! I want to thank you for taking the time out to make this for future generations . The history taught in schools never speak of our True Ancestry and how we overcame adversity in America. !!

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  17. Thank you so much for the Evans family blog. It is very informative. My great grandmother was Ada Wight who was married to Elijah Evans of Halifax, County NC. My grandparents migrated 2 Flint, MI. Where I was born. I have a great passion to find my roots, and Deloris. Has been great in aiding me to do so.. Thanks again and hello to all of my relatives. May God continue to bless all of you…

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  18. I’m sorry H. Roe Evans was born ABT 1872 , Georgia or Tennessee he is my great grandfather and I am trying to get my family tree lined out with the Evans side. Roe was married to Annie “Duke” Evans, kids where Susan “sue”, Maston, Leo, Woodrow, James, Tom or Thomas, Katie Evans, step kids where Dovie George, Jeff George and there was one more but I can’t remember his. Hope someone might can help me with this.

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  19. Hi Kianga, Eaton Walden & Nanny Evans, caught my attention. I’m 2X Walden- (Endogamy), & perhaps Chavis, mixed also with Canada, Coleman, Guy, Jones, Manley, Scott. It appears in my data that Eaton Walden & Nanney had VI children: I. Richard Walden, b. 1790 Warren Co, NC. II. Winney Walden, b. Warren Co., NC. III. Elizabeth Walden, b. Warren Co., NC. IV. Jesse Walden, b. 1795 Warren Co., NC. V. Morgan Walden, m (1) Polly; (2) Clary Walden, 20 Oct. 1829. VI. Nancy Walden, b 1801.

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