The Evans Family of Cherokee & Leon Counties Texas
From Virginia to The Carolinas to Georgia to Tennessee to Alabama to Texas
Born 16 Aug 1800 Greenville, GreenvilleCo, SC
Died Sep 1880 CherokeeCo, Texas
Married about 1819 FranklinCo, Tennessee
Born 14 Feb 1799 ElbertCo, Georgia
Died about 1870 CherokeeCo, Texas
1819: Evan Evans marriage to Nancy Selman coincides with the appearance of the Joseph Evans family in Tennessee. Nancy referred to as Ann, Nancy or Nancy Ann in various records birthdate is listed as 1800 in ElbertCo, GA in most records, but others list 1799 and still others 1797.
1821: Evan Evans family moved to PerryCo, AL from FranklinCo, TN. Sold land to William Beene, brother of Sallie Bean Selman.
1830/1840: The family was in the PerryCo, AL for census.
1846-1849: An article in the History of Cherokee County says Thomas Selman Jr. and brothers and sisters Benjamin, Nancy, Dorcas, Willis and Mary came to CherokeeCo, TX in a caravan of 60 wagons from Alabama. Thomas lived in the Linwood area around Old Palestine Community. According to LeonCo History, Willis Selman had been living around Alto, CherokeeCo, TX for two years when in 1849 Joseph Evans and his sons William, Edward and Evan and family moved there from PerryCo, AL.
1849: In the February term of CherokeeCo court, Evan was appointed overseer on the road leading from the town of Rusk to Dursts Bridge commencing at Bowles Creek at the point where Turner overseer leaves off and work to the San Antonio Road at Nathan G. Allens. The court ordered that Evan Evans would have all lands
1850: The family was recorded in the CherokeeCo, TX census, #601, farmer age 49 b. SC; Nancy age 50 b. GA; Joseph C. Evans farmer age 19 b. AL; Evan G.L. Evans age 15 b. AL; Nancy C. Evans age 15 b. AL.
1860: CherokeeCo census #118. Evan Evans, 60 yr old farmer b. SC; Nancy 61 yr. b. GA. Real estate at $2000, assets including six slaves was $6000.
1870: An archival letter from Nancy Selman Evan's 74 year old brother Benjamin Selman, at onetime a member of the Texas Legislature from CherokeeCo, to his daughter Sarah Lewis:
1874: Evan Evans will was recorded on 3 Jan in CherokeeCo, TX
1880: Mortality Schedules of CherokeeCo, TX: pg. 220 Evan Evans wid. 80 m W SC NC? Sept. 33 M.A. Caston. It is said that Dr. Matthew Alexander Gaston was Evan Evans physician during his final illness.
Born 3 May 1768 Virginia Died 25 Aug 1861 LeonCo, Texas
Married 1. about 1800 South Carolina
Born 1784 Greenville, GreenvilleCo, South Carolina
Died 26 Sep 1840 PerryCo, Alabama
Married 2. 3 Oct 1841 PerryCo,
Married 3. 24 Aug 1845 PerryCo, Alabama
An article in The History of Cherokee County Texas relates:
1768: Joseph Evans tombstone in Concord Cemetery, LeonCo, TX shows birthdate in 1768 VA. Different sources say his birthdate was 1758, 1753 or 1778 in NC. According to researcher Joan Evans, the census shows his birth as 1774-5 in NC which was probably reported by Joseph rather than descendants who prepared his gravesite marker. Evans' family Bible says his birth was 1778.
aft 1776: Joseph Evans moved with his parents family to SC after the Revolutionary War. By 1800 he had married 16 year old Amelia Hawkins and began a family of his own in Greenville, GreenvilleCo, SC.
bef 1805: The family moved to TN where the next seven children were born.
1809: 22 Jan Joseph was granted 200 acres in FranklinCo, TN on Bean Creek of the Elbe River.
ca. 1820: Son William was born in Aug 1818 in TN and daughter Amelia was born in Apr 1820 in PerryCo, AL Joseph Evans is said to also have had a daughter who married in the county in AL in 1820. Joseph bought three tracts of land on 19 Jan 1820 in the county. National Archives land records in Washington indicate that Joseph bought two more tracts later in the year and took out land patents in PerryCo in succeeding years for a total of 43 patents.
1822: 4 Mar: Joseph Evans was one of seven commissioners to select the site of PerryCo seat. It is said to have been his idea to name it Marion after General Francis Marion.
An 1844 booklet, "Ante-Bellum Marion", and in The History of Marion, by Samuel A. Townes, confirms the above and describes that Joseph Evans was elected on 5 February 1822 as one of seven commissioners to select a site for the County Seat of Perry County. Joseph Evans proposed Muckle's Ridge, a name which won out over his opponents of which there were strong ones. Afterwards, he and four other men described above were chosen to name the new County Seat and again Joseph Evans' proposal won out. Author Townes wrote:
1830: In the census PerryCo, AL, the family was recorded as a farmer with 8 slaves. Son Evan Evans and family (one son, four daughters) were also living in household.
1840: Census PerryCo, AL Joseph Evans (60-69); females 50-59 and >100; males 20-29, 15-19 and 10-14; 18 slaves: 13 male, 5 female. Joseph Evans was noted by friends, neighbors and family for his white stallion that he rode on frequent trips to New Orleans, always a welcome sight upon his return home bearing gifts for all.
1840: First wife Amelia died. Joseph Evans, possibly with other family members, constructed substantial family monuments to his first wife and other family members whose graves were left behind when the family emigrated to Texas in 1848. The inscription on Amelia's grave cover next to the larger monument:
1841: On 3 Oct, 73 year old widower Joseph Evans married 21 year old Jane (Jincia) Young. They had a son Jefferson born in Jul 1842 and Jane died within the year.
1845: Two times widowed Joseph Evans then married Cynthia Perry Young, the 22 year old sister of Jane Young. Family legend says she later told her granddaughter, Cynthia Evans Gustine, that at the time she really didn't care anything about the old man, but he had her sister's child, and was about to take him off in the wilderness (meaning Texas), so she married him to take care of the child. The couple subsequently had four children.
1848: With numerous members of extended family, the Joseph Evans family moved to CherokeeCo, TX. He is thought to have first come to both Cherokee and Leon counties in Texas first with his sons and slaves, then surveyed and bought land and then returned to AL for the rest of the extended family who desired to come to Texas. Family stories relate that the danger from Indians was great. In LeonCo, they built a log cabin with walls 9 inches thick with only one window. Upon returning to AL and back, some family members returned to LeonCo, but Joseph Evans and family first settled in CherokeeCo near his son, Evan, and his family.
1850: Joseph bought 369 acres in Cherokee County on 29 January 1849, and bought other tracts later in the year. The family is listed in the census of CherokeeCo as Joseph age 77 and wife Cynthia with children. Despite his advanced age for that era, Joseph traveled back and forth often between Cherokee and Leon counties.
1851: Joseph began to buy land in LeonCo. In January 1851, Joseph bought 1894 acres in Leon County for $1,050 a mile or two NE of Robbins. Daughter, Malinda, who was four upon their arrival, later described LeonCo as the most beautiful place she had ever seen, it was like a park with tall grass and trees and deer. Later that year he bought additional tracts in Cherokee County. He first appears on the Tax List of Leon County in 1851, and was taxed on 1894 acres on Brush Creek valued at $1,894. Joseph also continued to buy and trade land in CherokeeCo through 1855.
1858: The bible of his third wife Cynthia records that in November 1858, Joseph had 172 living descendants.
1855: Joseph Evans moved to Redland, LeonCo, TX. He lived about 0.5 mi north of the Old Craig Place, about seven mi west of Centerville. The same year he sold a ten year old slave girl named Rose for $500.
1860: The LeonCo, TX census lists household #718: Joseph 86 b. NC; Cynthia 34 b. AL; Jefferson 18 b. AL; Malinda J. 13 b. AL; Jas F. 12 b. TX; Willis 7 b. TX. That year he was recorded and assessed for real property of $8,300, and personal property at $14, 335.
1861: Joseph Evans home was about one mile north of the home of the Craig family. Charles Jefferson Craig was said to have been a close friend who stayed and sat up with him during his final illness which was prolonged for some months.
In Nov 1860, Joseph recorded his will (full text below). William Evans was appointed Executor. Mentioned in the will were wife Cynthia (Sintha), children Jefferson C., Malinda J., James F., Willis Granbury Evans, Evan Evans, Edward Evans, William Evans, Joseph Evans, deceased son John Evans, granchildren Evan Lee, children of daughter Peggy Goodman, children of daughter Milly Reed, children of son John Evans, children of sons Jefferson Evans, James Franklin Evans and Willis Granbury Evans, children of daughter Malinda Jane Evans. The inventory of his estate 25 May listed 36 slaves valued at $27,600, 1894 acres of land and notes for total worth of $55,565.23. His estate was not settled until 1875 and by that time because of the Civil War and aftermath had declined to only his land, which was sold at public auction, and the proceeds divided among his heirs. His third wife Cynthia Evans was left the home place. She died in 28 February 1891 and was buried beside Joseph in the Concord Cemetery, LeonCo.
LEON COUNTY SEPTEMBER TERM 1861, VOLUME I PAGES
105-111, No. 298
It is therefore ordered adjudged and decreed by the court that the said will and testament be admitted to probate and that the prayer of petitioner be in all things granted and that the petition and said last will and testament be entered of record on the minutes of the court, and further ordered that the said William be and he is hereby declared to be the executor under said last will and that upon his taking the oath prescribed by law, that letters testamentary issue to him and that they be recorded. And it is further ordered that Thomas R. Curtis, Abner Proctor and J. N. Yarborough be and they are hereby appointed appraisers of the estate of the said deceased to make out and return to this court an inventory in accordance with said Will and that a commission issue to them.
The State of Texas
The petition of Williams Evans a citizen of said
county would respectfully show that Joseph Evans late of said county departed this life
having a will in which petitioner is appointed one of his executors he herewith presents
to the court said will and testament and prays that the same be submitted to probate and
record in the forms of the law that your petitioner be admitted to qualify as executor,
that the court appoint appraisers in the terms of said will with all such orders and
decrees as the said will may direct or the law require and as in duty bound &c
The State of Texas, County of Leon
First it is my will and desire that my body after death, receive a decent Christian burial, my soul goes to God who gave it, and in his grace and mercy I trust, to have a place among the "reserection of the just" at "his right hand" and whereas it has pleased God in his providence, after a long life of labour and toil to bestow upon me some worldly goods consisting of "realty chattels" at the same time, a large family which I am soon to leave behind and while the government and law under which I have lived, guaranteed the right and privilege to dispose the same, in this form, and whereas, it is my greatest desire so to regulate and dispose my affairs that harmony and fraternity may be preserved and continued among my family, I heare most solemnly assure them, that under all the solem responsibilities of the hour my purpose is justice and equity
Item First: To my beloved wife Sintha, I give and bequeath in her own right one bed and furniture to her and her heirs forever, also five hundred acres of land, during her natural life, to embrace the homestead to be surveyed out as follows: She is to have the three hundred and twenty acre tract upon which the house stands it being the headright of ---
And one hundred and eighty acres to come out of the south west and north west corners of adjoining surveys to the said home tract to begin at the north east corner of the said home place to run to Wilson T. Reed line on the north and south for quantity and run east so as to corner with the S.W. corner of the home tract as per diagram on the margin here bequeathed and at her death it is my will that said tract be divided and given to my three youngest children or such of them as may be living at that time to share and share alike to them and their heirs forever. I further will and desire that all my household and kitchen furniture remain upon the place, subject to the management of my said wife until my youngest son, Willis Granbury shall arrive at lawful age or shall marry at the same time my said wife may at her discretion give to any one or more of my four younger children (Jefferson C., Malinda J., James F., & Willis G. Evans) any portion of said furniture as they may happen to marry or otherwise require the same after they shall have left the homestead and finally to divide the same, share and share alike to them & their heirs forever.
Item Second: To my beloved son Evan Evans, I give and bequeath the sum of seven hundred dollars, to him & his heirs forever. To Edward Evans the sum of five hundred dollars, to him and his heirs forever. To William Evans the sum of five hundred dollars, to him and his heirs forever: after the payment of all expenses arising from my burial the expenses of the probate, record of this my will with the inventory of my estate &c with all just debts that may be owing at my decease, it is my will and instruction to my executors (hereinafter to be named) that they pay the three foregoing bequests
Item Third: As to my negro property most of whom I have raised I feel a deep interest to provide as far as human foresight and judgment will aid me, for their comforts and wellbeing in the future and in as much as they are mostly in families in the enjoyment of the relations of husband & wife, parent & child and a division of them among all my heirs must necessarily disrupt those ties, such to make prospect as to them would be afflictive and
In as much as my two sons Edward and William Evans are very near neighbors and by together owning them they can be so keeped as to secure to them their present relations and enjoyments; I therefore will and desire, that all my negro property of every and sex of which I may die possessed & not otherwise disposed of, belong to and I here give & bequeath them to my two sons Edward and William Evans to them and their heirs forever share and share alike subject to the following conditions: upon the probate and record of this my will, I here direct that the Chief Justice, then acting for this county shall appoint three discreed "free holders", of the County to appraise in the terms of the law, all my estate real and personal and to render an inventory of the same & that it be made a record of, in the probate court of said County said inventory & appraisement so far as the negroes as aforesaid are concerned must determine their value and at that value my said sons Edward and William Evans must take said negroes and after deducting their prorate shares, must account to the balance of my heirs hereinafter to be named by paying them one fourth of their respective shares annually until the whole sum shall be paid as early as their ability may enable them.
As to the remainder of my estate lands, stock of all description, plantation tools, negroes, oxen, mules and so forth, it is my will and desire that my executors (hereinafter to be named) shall as early as practical sell the same to the best advantage & the same to be divided among my heirs (after the payment of the seventeen hundred dollars, already bequeathed to my three sons Evan, Edward and William Evans) together with the amounts arising from the valuation of the negroes as aforesaid, each as now enumerated to share and share alike to them and their heirs forever to wit: Evan Evans, Edward Evans, William Evans, Joseph Evans, my grandson Evan Lee the children of my daughter Peggy Goodman. The children of my daughter Sally Morris, the children of my daughter Milly Reed, the children of my son John Evans my sons Jefferson Evans, James Franklin Evans & Willis Granbury Evans, my daughter Malinda Jane Evans and my wife Snitha Evans, making in all fourteen shares. It is intended that the children of each mother take one share as also of my deceased son John Evans, and whose share are minors incapable of taking and managing for themselves, I do now make my executors (hereinafter to be named) executory Guardian who shall keep control and manage such shares to the best advantage for said minors as may be, and who shall not be required to give bond to the probate court, or account to any one apart from his ward, upon his arrival at lawful age or marries; I further will that the probate court of the county shall have nothing to do with my estate bond the probate and record of this my will, the appointment of appraisers and the record of the inventory when returned nor do I require, but here declare it is my will that my executors shall give no bond nor account to the court in any way further that I have directed, in the sale of real estate by my executors (to be hereinafter named) I do by this presents authorize and empower them to make sign seal & deliver all necessary titles of conveyances or do any other act in the premises as fully effectually as any court might or could do & perform
Lastly, I do nominate and appoint my son William
Evans and my friend Orson McDaniel executors this my last will and testament, hereby
revoking and annulling all others and declaring this to all intents and purposes to be my
last will and testament.
The interlineations made on second page as acknowledged by the testators as a necessary explanation in presence the subscribing witnesses, July 29th, 1861, J.W. Durant
The State of Texas, County of Leon, In the Probate Court Sept Term 1861
Personally came and appeared before me Simpson
Robinson Chief Justice of said County John W. Durant, who being sworn as the law directs,
says that he was personally present and at the request and instance of Joseph Evans the
within testator, did write his will on the day and date it contains, that after the said
will was written he deponent says that he read the same and fully explained it in the
presence of all the subscribing witnesses then in the presence of the testator. That said
testator did then and there make his mark as appears declaring it to be his last will and
testament when at his request deponent with Joseph C. Evans and William D. Simpson all
citizens of the County and neighbors of said testator did in his presence and in the
presence of each other subscribe their names as witnesses thereto J.W. Durant
I, William Evans do solemnly swear that I will well
and truly perform and faithfully discharge all the duties incumbent on me as executor of
the last will and testament of Joseph Evans deceased, William Evans
The State of Texas, County of Leon, County Court of Probate September Term 1861
TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS MAY COME GREETING
KNOW YE, that William Evans is this day duly appointed executor of the estate of Joseph Evans deceased and the said William Evans having qualified in the terms of the will is duly authorized to take upon himself the performance of the duties of the said trust of such executorship according to law
Witness the Hon. Simpson Robinson Chief Justice of said county and the seal of said court this 30 day of September 1861, L.S., Simpson Robinson, Chief Justice Leon County, Attested under my hand and seal
(Will and LeonCo court proceedings courtesy of Mr. Aaron Dorsey)
Born about 1726
Married Hettie May
Born 1749 Died after 1840 Alabama
The origin and movements of Robert Evans, antecedant of the Texas Evans, is unclear because of the common given and surname. Some sources say he was a Robert Evans from CecilCo, MD, born in 1726 in CecilCo, lived to be 104 years old and that a wife Sarah joined the Baptist Church in Marion, AL when she was 110. Sources say that Robert moved from MD to VA abt 1766. The most visible Robert Evans in genealogical records comes from records of the Daughters of the American Revolution. This Robert Evans was a private in the Revolutionary War, enlisting 15 Dec 1776 for three years, records show he was discharged before Mar 1778. He was in Capt. Richard Steven's Company of foot soldiers, 10th Virginia Regiment commanded by Col. Edward Stevens and Maj. Samuel Hawes. Oct 1777 a remark appears that he was "in Foart." His pay was $6.67 per month. In History of CherokeeCo, Ms. R.H. Evans Jr. writes "while the father was away, the enemy came to the house and burned everything that was of cotton. An officer stopped a soldier from pulling off Joseph's shirt." Evans family researcher, Joan Evans, believes that this is unlikely the Robert Evans precursor of the Texas Evans and points out that In CecilCo, MD records there are at least five Robert Evans, none of which are likely to be Robert Evans who died in AL in 1830. Data of other researchers suggest that Robert Evans first lived in VA and it is through the unusual name of his son Jabez that one can begin to track the correct Robert Evans.
1748: Jabez Evans is on tax list of HalifaxCo, VA. HalifaxCo was formed from LunenbergCo in 1752.
1750: 2 Oct: A Jabez Evans is on a land deed from William Byrd in LunenbergCo, VA archives. Jabez is also listed on LunenbergCo tax list of 1850. The family was probably in HalifaxCo, NC by this date.
1753: Jabez Evans and brother Jacob, Indian traders, were captured in Western PA or Ohio and taken to Canada. Jabez was an Indian woman's slave and Jacob sent to prison in France. PA state papers show Jacob from LancasterCo, PA and Jabez from VA.
1755: Jabez Evans sold 100 acres to Jacob Evans on the Dan River in HalifaxCo, VA and appears to have later moved to MecklenburgCo, VA. MecklenburgCo was formed from LunenbergCo in 1764.
1763-1768: Jabez Evans and a Robert Evans (1768) made land transactions in MecklenburgCo, VA. In one, Jabez is referred to as Jabez of HalifaxCo.
1768-1787: Jabez and Robert Evans appear in land transactions in Mecklenburg, Tryon, Lincoln, Burke and RutherfordCo, NC. Also 96th District and SpartanburgCo, SC.
aft 1776: At the end of the war, the Robert Evans family is thought to have moved to SC where son Joseph married Amelia. In the Jewett Messenger, 2 Nov 1977, it says that the Evans family moved to SC by 1784, to GA by 1802 and TN by 1805.
1789: In the Pendleton District of South Carolina which was formed from Indian lands, Robert Evans received a grant on the Keowee River. He remained in the area for 10 to 15 yr.
1832: Following the death of Robert Evans, the court proceedings of PerryCo, AL indicate:
1840: Census of PerryCo, AL lists Hettie Evans as head of household, 70-80 years old. Her unmarried daughter Sarah, and Sarah's illegitimate daughter, Louisa Humphreys, are thought to be the two females listed with her.
1860's: The exact date of death of Hettie Evans is unclear. DAR records state that she was 114 years of age, b. 1749, d. 1863 and was buried beside daughter Ruth Evans Reed in William Reed Family Cemetery, Huffman, JeffersonCo, AL. She is thought to have lived with her son Joseph at least for a time after becoming widowed. The 1840 Census of PerryCo lists a female over 100 years old in his household. Some family legends say she died about the start of the Civil War. In 1914, great-great-grandson, D.R. Craig, wrote
Mrs. C.B. Willis of Joplin, Missouri, a great-great-great-granddaughter of Robert Evans, wrote
The cemetery is in LeonCo E of Centerville. Go through Redland and Robbins communities, it is on the N side of the Hwy just past where Hwy 39 crosses Hwy 7. It is next to the Concord Baptist Church. The old part of the cemetery is closest to the road (Summer 1998).
The Selman sites are clustered four rows W of the main fence and begin on the S edge nearest Hwy 7. In a row are L.N. Selman born June 28, 1845 died Jan 19, 1921; Virgil H. Selman May 17, 1848 Jan 24, 1925 "He has crossed the troubled river"; Sara Elizabeth Burleson, wife of V.H. Selman born Feb. 11, 1852 died Jan. 3, 1920), "Our Mother" Miny L. Kay Wife of H.G. Selman Feb 9, 1884 May 23 1923 "Death is the crown of life", Homer O. Selman born Jan. 22, 1878 died Mar. 18, 1915 (bottom incription unclear); unmarked field stone, Davy G. (1880-1903) and Baby V.H. (1887-1888). Some pictures available.
The Evans sites are spread in several rows in the center to north parts of the old part of the cemetery about 40 paces W of the gate on the E fence. In a row beginning on the S end of the row are Alice Stella Evans died Feb. 11, 1880 aged 30 yrs & 4 mos. (inscription at bottom); Cynthia wife of Joseph Evans born Perry Co., Ala. June 24, 1823 died Feb. 28, 1891; Joseph Evans born in Virginia May 3, 1768 died Aug. 25, 1861 (long generic inscription at bottom of marker).
Rebecka wife of Wm. Evans died Dec. 28, 1877 aged 60 Years; broken up marker for Bettie wife of Dr. W.T. Evans, Frances Jane wife of James Mattison, Emma Estella daughter of Dr. W. T. Evans, M. ?? Evans (1853-1870); "To the memory of" Mary A. wife of Jos. G. Evans born March 21, 1835 "and departed this life" Sept. 23, 1864 "The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away, Blessed be the name of the Lord"; Mary F. Evans born Jan. 30, 1853 died July 27, 1884 (corroded, very hard to read); A.A. Evans wife of J.C. Evans. born Sept. 17, 1840 died Nov. 2, 1883 (long inscription); Bennie Weakley (1875-1885), Frances Renee daughter of W.S. and S.A. Weakley, A.E. Ford wife of W.F. Evans (1859-1876).
A little further north is a fenced plot that is rusting badly and within is Edward Evans born May 22, 1808 died Aug. 19, 1890; and Mrs. Isabella Evans born Sept. 23, 1816 died Jyly 5, 1904 "Rest mother, rest in quiet sleep while friends in sorrow over lost weep". Continuing north from the plot is Mollie wife of W.F. Evans Dec. 22, 1855 Dec. 22, 1939), Jewel Evans Dec. 5, 1894 Jan. 14, 1911 (long inscription); W.F. Evans June 22, 1852 Aug. 17, 1932. Behind this row a little north of the fenced plot is J. C. Evans (1831-1892), Laura E. Evans Dec. 1861 Aug. 25, 1928); G.B. Selman born Dec. 18, 1820 died July 15, 1888 "A loving husband, a father dear, a faithful friend is buried here"; then some Kay gravesites; Julia A. Evans wife of G.P. Kay Apr. 15, 1857 May 16, 1891 "Death is the crown of life" KAY.
SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS