Page: GIBSON and EVANS FAMILY CHANCERY RECORDS:
Note: d she moved to New Kent County, Virginia, where she worked. She gave birth to several children, probably all of them illegitimate since there is no mention of a husband or the name of the children's father, but only 2 of the children are named in the petitions - TOM & FRANCES, a.k.a FRANKY, who were bound out as servants or apprentices to GOODRICH LIGHTFOOT of New Kent. Since FRANCES EVANS was a free woman, her children were entitled to the same freedom since the laws governed the children's status according to the circumstances of the mother. But TOM & FRANCES/FRANKY EVANS were illegally enslaved during the time when they were supposed to be free, and it set the stage for what happened to the family over the next 200 hundred years. All of FRANCES/FRANKY EVANS children were born into slavery, and most of her descendants spent many years trying to obtain their freedom through the Virginia and North Carolina court systems. TOM apparently ran away from LIGHTFOOT and was caught and hanged in Hanover County, VA, so since that County was formed in 1721, it had to have been sometime after that; perhaps he realized he was being treated as a slave and was not happy with his circumstances when he made his decision to run, nothing is said about his reasons, but it was said that he was a young man. FRANCES/FRANKY was sold to WILLIAM MERIWETHER upon the death of GOODRICH LIGHTFOOT, which occurred in 1738; FRANCES/FRANKY remained a slave of MERIWETHER for the rest of her life and died while in his possession; WILLIAM MERIWETHER died in 1756, so FRANCES/FRANKY EVANS had to have died prior to that. FRANCES/FRANKY EVANS had 3 children while enslaved: TOM, SARAH COLLEY, & THOMPSON. TOM was given to NICHOLAS MERIWETHER, son of WILLIAM; then after NICHOLAS' death in about 1740, his widow, MILDRED THORNTON, remarried in 1741 to DOCTOR THOMAS WALKER, and TOM went with her to her new home with WALKER; TOM ran away, and one report says he was hanged, while another just says that he was dead by 1791, not sure which is correct, but it is possible that his fate by hanging may have been confused with the earlier TOM, his mother's brother. THOMPSON died as a young man while still in WILLIAM MERIWETHER's possession, but another report said that he was living in North Carolina. SARAH COLLEY (surname was from her father, JAMES COLLEY, a white servant who worked for WILLIAM MERIWETHER) remained in MERIWETHER's possession until his death in 1756, at which time, she was given to RICHARD MERIWETHER (1719-1766) , son of WILLIAM. RICHARD MERIWETHER died in 1766 Albemarle Co., VA, and upon his death, SARAH was sold to COL. EDWARD CARTER of Albemarle County, VA, a MERIWETHER in-law, because SARAH had requested to be with a Slave of CARTER's, whom she had fallen in love with. By 1756, SARAH had already had 6 children, 2 of which were listed as "deformed", probably meaning they were stillbirths. The 4 named children of SARAH COLLEY were KATE, BECK, HANNAH & AMEY, the youngest of which was a newborn by the time of WILLIAM MERIWETHER's death in 1756; HANNAH & AMEY were both given to RICHARD MERIWETHER in 1756 along with their mother; KATE & BECK were given to WILLIAM HUDSON (wife: JANE MERIWETHER), whose family eventually moved to Georgia. In 1791, KATE was said to be last been a slave in Georgia, and that she had children. BECK was listed as in Richmond, and her 2 children were DAVID & TOBY. HANNAH's fate after becoming a slave of RICHARD MERIWETHER is not mentioned except that she was dead by 1791 since her name was not among those of her family who were freed at that time, but she did have 9 children: MILLEY, MINGO, SALLEY, HARRY, NANCY, AMEY, NELLY, RACHEL, & BEN. MINGO won his freedom and took the name of THOMAS GIBSON. More recently found documents found in Brunswick County, Virginia, say that HANNAH was sold to DAVID ROSS by THOMAS MERIWETHER, who had received HANNAH after the death of his brother, RICHARD MERIWETHER, in 1766; at the time THOMAS lived in Halifax County, Virginia. MILLEY, also had children: ARCHY, JIM, ROBERT & MELAH. SARAH COLLEY's daughter, AMEY, remained with RICHARD MERIWETHER, until his death in 1766, at which time she was given to his brother, THOMAS MERIWETHER (1718-1783), who moved to Halifax County, Virginia. AMEY had about 10 children (even though her chart says 9, the court records indicate 10 names): CHARLES, AMEY, SUKEY, SINAR, SOLOMON, FRANKEY, SALLY, MILLY, ADAM & HANNAH EVANS. =============================================================
FRANCES EVANS was the mother of several children, but only two of them were actually named in the Chancery Records which were filed when it was stated that 2 of her children, TOM & FRANCES, were bonded out as apprentices in New Kent County, Virginia, but were illegally taken into slavery, and their many descendants filed suit over the ensuing decades to be freed. FRANCES apparently died long before any of her descendants saw the light of freedom. =========================== There were actually a series of lawsuits for the various family members who were trying to win their freedom. I understand that there are even some records in various North Carolina Counties, although, at the moment, I don't know which Counties they were. I have transcribed some of the records received from the Library of Virginia by Joan Gibson, who sent me copies for which I am truly grateful for. One of the things I have realized though, is that some of the transcriptions in at least a couple of books about the case, including "The Southern Debate Over Slavery", are incorrect as I have greatly enlarged the documents and found some of the names were incorrect. See the transcriptions and actual documents & charts on my website: http://freepages.family.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~genealogyfriend/evans/gib_evans.htm
========================== The "LIGHTFOOT" mentioned in the records was GOODRICH LIGHTFOOT. Following are notes from my research of the family:
The name LIGHTFOOT mentioned as being the person to whom FRANCES & TOM EVANS were bound has the following possibilities. Source: Virginia Genealogies #2, Genealogies of Virginia Families, Vol. III, The Lightfoot Family There were 2 brothers who arrived in Gloucester County, VA, JOHN & PHILIP LIGHTFOOT, sons of JOHN LIGHTFOOT, barrister-at-law, of Northampton Co., England. Apparently, one son was the more prominent in the New Kent records - JOHN LIGHTFOOT, who received the King’s grant on June 10, 1670, as auditor-general of Virginia in place of THOMAS STEGG, deceased. But on May 25, 1671, the commission was suspended because the King had supposedly previously promised it to someone else. It was mentioned in 1681 that JOHN had married ANNE GOODRICH, daughter of THOMAS GOODRICH, who was BACON’s Lt. General in 1675. In 1687, there was mention of the birth of a Negro (slave) belonging to JOHN LIGHTFOOT in the St. Peter’s Parish register, New Kent Co. In 1699, he was collector for the country between James & York Rivers. He was commander in chief of King & Queen Co. He was listed in St. Peter’s Parish (New Kent) register as being deceased: COL. JOHN LIGHTFOOT, Anno Dom. 1707. Another record shows him deceased in June 1707. He had apparently remarried to a MARY ______ prior to his death since his children were GOODRICH, SHERWOOD, THOMAS, and ALICE LIGHTFOOT; there is a record in St. Peter’s Parish register as follows: December 25, 1698, ALICE, daughter of JOHN LIGHTFOOT, Esq, and ANNE, his wife, was born and baptized.” In 1711, slaves belonging to Madam MARY LIGHTFOOT in New Kent County, were baptized. GOODRICH LIGHTFOOT was vestryman at St. George Parish; in Spotsylvania Co. in 1727, he was a lay reader at Germanna Church, and he was a member of St. Mark’s Parish; his death was announced on April 14, 1738 as having died in Orange Co., VA at his brother’s house. His children who’s births were included in St. Peter’s Parish register were ANNE, b. 1708, *JOHN, b. 1711/ d. 1735 Orange Co., VA, GOODRICH, b. 1713, MARY, b. 1717, plus other records show WILLIAM and ELIZABETH.
*The will of JOHN LIGHTFOOT, probated June 17, 1735 Orange Co., gives Negroes and land to his brother, WILLIAM, sisters MARY & ELIZABETH, father COL. GOODRICH LIGHTFOOT SR., and to MRS. MARTHA CHEW; executor was his father, witnesses THOMAS CHEW, JOHN HOWARD, ISAAC SMITH. According to the narrative, MRS. MARTHA CHEW was MARTHA TAYLOR, wife of THOMAS CHEW (magistrate & vestryman of Orange Co. in 1734) , and sister of ERASMUS & GEORGE TAYLOR.
The LIGHTFOOT family seems to have moved to other locations after these years, so depending on the time frame of the actual ages of the EVANS family, it is possible that it was either JOHN Sr., who died in 1707 or GOODRICH, d. 1738, who was the owner of FRANCES & TOM EVANS. Since TOM was hanged in Hanover County, which wasn’t formed until 1721, however, it is more likely that it was GOODRICH LIGHTFOOT who was the owner who was just referred to as “LIGHTFOOT” in the court petitions.
Note: FRANCES EVANS, the daughter of MORRIS EVANS & JANE GIBSON, was born a free woman of color, an
RootsWeb.com is NOT responsible for the content of the GEDCOMs uploaded through the WorldConnect Program. The creator of each GEDCOM is solely responsible for its content.