Amherstburg Freedom Museum

Family Histories


Chavis Family

                                The Chavis Family History Part 1 – Chaves, Chivers, Chavers, Chavis

This month’s family history features the Chavis family, beginning with Wiley Chavis. He married Clarissa Ann Evans, the daughter of John and Mary Evans. Milo Johnson’s book New Canaan mentions the Chavis family and says “It is very challenging to explain the Chavis family beginnings, as much information is conflicting and disputed. We do know that the family name Chavis (Chaves, Chavers, and Chivers) was popular in the Carolina area. According to a theory in ‘The Heritage of Blacks in North Carolina,’ the name Chavis originated from the Spanish name Chavez given to the Indians by Spanish conquistadors and was anglicized by the people of the early United States to read as Chaves, Chivers, Chavers, Chavis, and other varied spellings. Chaves families originated in Virginia before 1650 and in North and South Carolina before 1750. They were free and of mixed race. The families spread through Kentucky and Tennessee through the late 1700s and early 1800s. Most information indicates Chavis as a known Lumbee Indian name although some note a mixing with Cherokee background. There were also mixed marriages with Free Blacks and Whites.”

Milo Johnson adds “Wiley Chavis and his wife Clarissa were married July 5, 1841, in Clark County, Illinois, USA. The fact that their marriage is registered indicates they were ‘Free Peoples’ living in Illinois or neighboring Indiana. They must have then moved to Indiana since all children listed as born in the USA have the State of birth as Indiana. We know that Wiley and Clarissa arrived in Essex County, from Indiana, USA, somewhere between 1849 and 1852. They probably landed at Amherstburg and later settled in New Canaan, Colchester North, Essex, Ontario, Canada.”

Further research indicates that Wiley and Clarissa had several children including William, James, John Franklin, Nancy, Thomas, Amanda, Eveline, Sarah, Theresa, Louisa, and Mary. There was no available records for William, James, Eveline, Sarah, Theresa, and Louisa, but I was able to find information for John Franklin, Nancy, Thomas, Amanda and Mary. I will start with John Franklin. He married three times. His first marriage was to Phoebe Milton, second to Caroline Melinda Harris and third to Dianah Scott/ Galloway. John first married Phoebe Milton, the daughter of Josiah Milton, in the late 1860s. Their children included Isaac Thomas, Elnora and Elzona (twins), Henry Courtney, John Franklin Wiley, Daisy May, and Eva Ardella.

John and Phoebe’s son Isaac Thomas was born on February 8, 1871 in Essex County.  He married Mary Ann Golden-Artis-North. On May 21, 1897, the Amherstburg Echo wrote “On Sunday of last week a very pretty event occurred at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Artis, it being the marriage of their adopted daughter to Isaac Chavis, son of John Chavis of New Canaan.”  Their marriage record names Mary Ann’s mother, Catherine Artis. Mary Ann’s obituary shares more details about her life and says “Mrs. Isaac Chavis an old resident of this district, passed away Friday in the 57th year of her age. She had been ill a month. Funeral services were conducted in the A.M.E church Sunday afternoon by Rev. Wm. Seay, P.E. of Chatham, followed by burial in the Davis cemetery. Mrs. Chavis’ maiden name was Mary Ann Golden and she was first married to an Englishman, by name of E.H. North. The only child by that marriage is Mrs. Donald Campbell of Amherstburg. Her second marriage to Mr. Chavis who survives her, was childless. She is also survived by one brother, Jefferson Gold, of Ypsilanti. A sister, Mrs. Coates, of Cincinnati died two months ago.” 

The ‘Mrs. Donald Campbell’ mentioned in Mary Ann’s obituary is her daughter Nellie from her first marriage. This is confirmed in the 1911 Census for Isaac Chavis which also lists his wife Mary and their daughter Nellie, in addition to their two nephews Franklin and Marwood. The 1921 Census shows that Nellie was no longer living with her parents and was married to Donald Campbell of Anderdon. The 1921 Census also lists Donald and Nellie’s children Margaret, Donald, Nellie and Aileen. Further mention of Donald, Nellie and Margaret appear in the 1921 Census and Amherstburg Echo. The 1921 Census for Isaac Chavis lists his wife Mary and their grandchildren Mary Margaret Campbell and Donald Campbell. On July 10, 1936, the Amherstburg Echo also shares details of Nellie’s wedding and says “Wagner – Campbell Wedding – A quiet wedding was solemnized at St. Andrew’s Manse Monday afternoon, July 6, at 4.00 o’clock when Rev. A. Neil Millier united in marriage Miss Nellie Campbell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Campbell, Fort Street, and Harry Wagner, son of Mr. William M. Wagner of Woodslee. The bride, who was charmingly attired in a pink crepe ensemble with white hat and accessories, was attended by Miss Evelyn Wagner sister of the groom, dressed in green flowered crepe with white accessories. The groomsman was Joseph Schihl of Woodslee. Mr. and Mrs. Wagner will make their home in Woodslee.”

Nellie’s stepfather Isaac Chavis is also mentioned in the Amherstburg Echo, but for a different reason: farming. On September 27, 1901, the Echo mentions “The threshings in this vicinity are just about would up and corn cutting is the special attraction just at present. On Thursday of last week at 8 o’clock, Ed. Campbell, Will Allen and Isaac Chavis started in on an eleven acre field of 100 bushels to the acre and quit at twelve, started again at 2 p.m., accompanied by John Chavis, and at six o’clock, quitting time, only four rows remained uncut.”

Isaac Chavis passed away on January 15, 1933. His obituary which appeared on January 20, 1933 in The Essex Free Press says “Isaac Chavis, well known colored resident on the Malden Road, west of Gesto, passed away quite suddenly on Sunday afternoon at his home. Death followed a hemorrhage due to a heart attack. Deceased was in his 62nd year, was a son of the late John Chavis and was born on the Chavis farm, lot 18, S.M.R., and has resided in the township all his life. He was married twice, first to Mary Ann Golden and second to Sarah Gilbreath, of Detroit, to whom he was united on November 14th, 1931. The latter survives. A brother, Courtney died some years ago. The funeral was held on Tuesday afternoon with services at the A.M.E. Church and interment in the cemetery on lot 18.”

An interesting detail appears in Isaac’s obituary which mentions that Isaac married a second time to Sarah Gilbreath of Detroit, whom he married on November 14, 1931. A second document, a notice to creditors, appears in The Essex Free Press and refers to Mrs. Sarah J. Chavis as the ‘Administratrix of the estate.’ The article from March 24, 1933 says “In the Matter of the Estate of Isaac Thomas Chavis, late of the Township of Colchester North, in the County of Essex, Farmer, Deceased. – Notice is hereby given, in pursuance of Section 51, Chapter 150, R.S.O., 1927, to all persons having any claim against the estate of Isaac Thomas Chavis, deceased, who died on the 15th day of January, 1933, to send by post, pre-paid, to the undersigned Administratrix of the estate of the said deceased, full particulars of their claims, verified by an affidavit and a statement of the securities (if any) held by them, on or before the 15th day of April, 1933. And that after the last mentioned date the Administratrix will proceed to distribute the assets of the said estate among the parties entitled thereto, having regard only to the claims then received by her, and that she will not be liable for the said assets or any part thereof so distributed to any person of whose claim she shall not have had notice at the time of such distribution. Dated at Essex, Ontario, this 22nd day of March, 1933. FORBES B. GEDDES, Essex, Ont. Solicitor for the said Administratrix Mrs. Sarah J. Chavis, R.R. No.2, Essex, Ontario.”

Now that we have discussed Isaac, we can move on to his siblings (Elnora, Elzona, Henry Courtney, John, Daisy and Eva). All that could be found for Elnora and Elzona was their birth certificates which state that they were born on February 13, 1873 in Colchester. Their brother Henry Courtney was born on August 1, 1877 in Colchester. His death record states that he passed away on April 25, 1917 in Colchester and that he was single and a labourer. A brief writeup appears in The Essex Free Press on April 27, 1917 and says “Henry Courtney Chavis, son of John Chavis, died at his father’s home on Wednesday, after a year’s illness with consumption, aged 40 years. Deceased was unmarried. Interment will take place in the New Canaan cemetery today (Friday).”

Henry Courtney’s brother John Franklin Wiley was born on March 11, 1881 in Colchester. He married three times. His first marriage was to Ada J. Vaughan, second to Bertha E. McCurdy, and third to Maggie Gates-Turner. John and Ada, the daughter of Isaac Vaughn and Fannie Fairfax, married on January 25, 1904 in Detroit. I was able to find birth records for two of John and Ada’s children. The first is for Kenneth Franklin Chavis, who was born on May 11, 1904 in Colchester North and the second is for Marwood Chavis, who was born on February 6, 1906, also in Colchester North. As previously mentioned, the 1881 Census lists Franklin and Marwood as living with their aunt and uncle Isaac and Mary Chavis.

John’s second marriage was to Bertha E. McCurdy who was the daughter of Alvin McCurdy. Their marriage record states that they were married on December 15, 1912 in Detroit. John’s third marriage was to Maggie Gates-Turner , the daughter of William Gates and Mary McElroy. They married on March 11, 1925 in Detroit.

John Franklin Wiley Chavis’ sister Daisy is next. She was born on February 9, 1884 in Colchester North. She married twice. Her first marriage was to Edward Johnson, the son of Noah and Martha Johnson, on November 29, 1901. Her second marriage was to George Robinson, the son of George and Jane Smith Robinson/Robison. It is possible that Daisy married a third time to a man named Harry Knight in Detroit on December 4, 1916. The marriage record lists her father as John Chavis and her age matches other documents, but no further information was found to confirm this.

Daisy’s sister Eva Ardella was born on May 1, 1886. She married George H. Thompson, the son of Elijah Thompson and E. Holden (some references says Golden, not Holden). Eva and George married on January 9, 1904 in Windsor. I was able to find birth records for three of their children: Elijah, Mabel Bernice and Wilfred Laurier. Elijah was born on December 13, 1904, while Mabel Bernice was born on March 9, 1909 and Wilfred Laurier was born on August 26, 1911.

Eva Chavis Thompson passed away on March 22, 1917 in Amherstburg and her obituary from the Amherstburg Echo shares more details of her life. It says “Mrs. George Thompson, a life long resident of this township, passed away Thursday night last at Amherstburg, following an attack of typhoid fever. She was thirty one years of age. Her maiden name was Eva Chavis and she was a daughter of John Chavis. She and Mr. Thompson and family moved to Amherstburg later last fall. The funeral was held Sunday afternoon being conducted by the Rev. Mr. Payne. Burial was in New Canaan cemetery. Surviving her besides her husband and four small children are three full brothers and three half brothers, one full sister and two half sisters. The pallbearers were her brothers John, Isaac, Clarence and Fred Chavis.”

Following Eva’s passing George Henry Thompson remarried. A Petition for Naturalization for George states that he was living in Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife Joanna Marie. This document shares several other details including that George was working as an ‘Hod carrier,’ was born in New Canaan on July 28, 1886, and married Joanna Marie on March 24, 1917 in College Hill, Ohio. It also shares more about Joanna who was born in Cincinnati on June 19, 1891. I previously mentioned that Eva and George had three children (Elijah, Mabel, and Wilfred), but this document adds a fourth child, Manford who was born on March 15, 1907 in New Canaan. A final document listing George is the 1940 Census for Springfield Township, Hamilton, Ohio. It lists George with his wife Joanna M. and their grandson William Charles Thompson.

What we publish is not a complete history of any family and is based on the documents that are available. We welcome photos and information to fill in the gaps. See you next week for part 2.

                                        The Chavis Family History Part 2 – An Appearance in a NFB Film

As mentioned, John Franklin Chavis married three times (Phoebe, Caroline, and Dianah). Now that we have discussed his first marriage to Phoebe, we will move on to discuss Caroline. Following the passing of his first wife, Phoebe, on June 27, 1888 in Colchester North, John married a second time to Caroline Melinda Harris, who was previously married to Albert White. Caroline and John married in April of 1891. Caroline was the daughter of Thomas James Harris and Mary Ann Pearl. John and Caroline’s children include William C., Frederick Edward A., David, Ida Belle and Phoebe Anne, but before we discuss them, I would like to share Caroline Melinda’s obituary. She passed away on May 13, 1909 and her obituary states “Mrs. John Chavis, who has been in failing health for some time, passed away at her home on Thursday evening last from pulmonary trouble. The funeral took place on Saturday last with services at New Canaan church and interment in the Chavis family cemetery. Rev. Mr. Mickens officiated, and the pall-bearers were Jonathan Strauthers, J. Thurman, Mr. Leatherman, Alex Nolen, Sam Carter and Chas. Mitchell. Deceased was in her 41st year and was born in Colchester South being a daughter of Jas. Harris, of that township. She was married 17 years ago to Mr. Chavis and to their union were born five children, all of whom are living at home. The community will sympathize with the family in their bereavement.”

Caroline Melinda and John’s first child was William. He married Beatrice Murchin, the daughter of Fred Murchin and Bertha McCurdy, on May 26, 1913 in Colchester North.  William’s brother Frederick E. Chavis married Ethel Scott, the daughter of Joseph Scott and Deanah (Dianah) Galloway, on October 16, 1915. Fred and Ethel had a daughter named Viola but she sadly died in infancy at the age of two months on January 12, 1916. Ethel’s obituary from July 2, 1942 in the Amherstburg Echo shares more details about her life and says “Mrs. Chavis Dies – Mrs. Ethel Chavis, wife of Mr. Fred Chavis died at her residence on Park St., Amherstburg, Wednesday, July 8. She is survived by her husband, a daughter Gertrude and two brothers Walter Scott of Amherstburg and Daniel Scott of Detroit. The funeral will take place Saturday at the Church of God In Christ Windsor, Elder Morton will officiate.” Ethel’s obituary states that she was 45 years old at the time of her passing.

Details of Ethel’s sister Sadie are also shared in her obituary from May 23, 1930. It says “After suffering for some time with an attack of diabetes, Mrs. Sadie Young died at the home of her sister, Mrs. Ethel Chavis, Park street, at midnight, Friday. Mrs. Young’s maiden name was Sadie Scott, daughter of the late Joseph Scott of Colchester South. After attaining young womanhood she went to Buffalo and was married there to Frank Young. They had no children. After his death she remained there for some years and came to Amherstburg three months ago to live with her sister. She was then quite poorly and her malady became complicated with heart trouble causing her death. Her parents died some years ago and she leaves the following brothers: Frank and Daniel of Detroit: George and Walter of Amherstburg, and one sister, Mrs. Chavis mentioned above. Funeral services were conducted at the home of Mrs. Chavis on Monday by Elder Martin, pastor of the Church of God in Christ, and burial was in Rose Hill Cemetery.”

Following the passing of Frederick’s first wife Ethel, he married a second time to Laura E. Dickerson, the daughter of John and Muriel (Woodson) Dickerson. Laura’s 2018 obituary says “With heavy hearts, we announce the death of Laura Evelyn (Woodson) Chavis (Windsor, Ontario), who passed away on February 22, 2018 at the age of 94 … She was predeceased by: her children, Gertrude Brown (late Moses) and Fredrick Chavis (Linda); and her parents, John Dickerson and Muriel Dickerson. She is survived by: her husband Fredrick; and her children, Deborah Colombe, Sheila Cobbler, Freda Jo-Anne Lovell (Thomas), Reginald Chavis (Jennifer) and Gregory Scott (Sophie).”

Laura’s obituary mentions her son Fred Chavis who also appears in an Amherstburg Echo article on August 2, 1951 which says “Amherstburg Tots In Movies- Four Amherstburg children, Shelia and Fern Chavis, daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Chavis and Richard and Charles Hurst, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hurst, were movie stars for a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon. They took part in scenes shot at the site of Eliza’s Cabin, King’s Highway No. 18 Malden Township by the National Film Board. This is a section of a movie short which the board is making about Canadian negroes. Allen Stark, director, brought W. Hewitson and W. Sutton, camera men to Amherstburg to shoot the picture. On Sunday and Monday they took additional pictures at the Emancipation Celebration held in Windsor.”

The Amherstburg Echo also shares Frederick’s (father of Fred who was just mentioned) obituary which says “Father passes – Frederick E. Chavis, 78, of Amherstburg, died at Grace Hospital last Friday [March 23, 1973]. He was the husband of Laura E. Dickerson. His first wife was Ethel Scott. Mr. Chavis was the son of John and Melinda Harris Chavis of New Canaan. The Chavis ancestors were originally from South Carolina. He was the father of Fred Jr. of Windsor, Reginald, Gregory, Richard and Sheila at home. Mrs. Moses (Gertrude) Brown of Detroit, Mrs. Richard (Deborah) Colombe of Amherstburg and Mrs. Thomas (JoAnne) Lovell of Amherstburg; brother of David of Ypsilanti and Mrs. Forrest (Ida) Grayer of Harrow and six grandchildren. Bishop F. Walls officiated at the funeral in St. John the Baptist Church last Monday. Burial was in Rose Hill Cemetery.”

Frederick’s brother David is the next child of John and Caroline Chavis. He married Beatrice Scott, the daughter of Walter Scott and Loue/Lula Harris, on November 7, 1927 in Amherstburg. The only further information that could be found was that Beatrice passed away on November 10, 1930 in Detroit. Her death record states that she was born on April 1, 1908 in Colchester. Her obituary from November 14, 1930 shares more information and says “Amherstburg Girl Dies in Detroit – Mrs. Chavis passed away in Detroit, Sunday, aged twenty-one years, following a week’s illness with pneumonia. She was formerly Beatrice Scott, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Scott, Park Street, and was married to Mr. Chavis three years ago. He survives her with one daughter Arlene, two years of age. She is also survived by her parents and the following brothers and sisters: Joseph, Wreatha, Evaline, Frances, Walter, Fred, Kelly and Raymond. Her remains were brought to the parental home and the funeral took place from there Wednesday afternoon.”

Next is David’s sister Ida Belle. She was born on August 14, 1900 in New Canaan and later married Forrest Albert Grayer who was born on November 20, 1893 in Colchester South and was the son of James Hatfield Grayer and Mercilla (Mercy) Clingman. The couple married on November 1, 1916. Forrest worked as a farmer but was also employed at Ford Motor Company. In March 1918, Forrest’s father James Hatfield Grayer sold Forrest one acre of his fifty-acre farm on the 3rd Concession for $1. The Grayer Homestead farm had horses, cows, pigs, ducks, geese, and chickens. Forrest’s wife Ida was a homemaker, but she also helped manage the family farm and worked as a domestic in the Harrow area. Both Forrest and Ida financially contributed to their family’s income. Forrest also never drove a motor vehicle but chose to drive a team of horses using various kinds of wagons, buggies, and sleds as transportation. To supplement his farm income, during the summer months, Forrest also travelled to different farms in Harrow on Thursdays and Fridays, purchasing fruits and vegetables from local farmers. He would then rise early on Saturday mornings, drive his loaded freight wagon to Amherstburg where he sold his product, making a substantial profit. Forrest also later drove a variety of used milk wagons rather than a freight wagon which was slower. He was often accompanied by one or two of his grandchildren who would assist him by going door to door with baskets of fruits and vegetables.

Forrest and Ida had ten children: Thelma Beatrice (born April 12, 1918 and married Erwin Mulder); Alma Mercilla (b. October 30, 1919 and m. Floyd A. Walls); Freeda Mae (b. September 5, 1921 and m. Albert Crutchfield); Melda Elaine (b. October 22, 1923 and m. James Arthur Mulder); Floreen Winnifred (b. October 15, 1925 and m. David Daniel Johnson); Forrest Melvin (b. February 6, 1929 and m. Virginia Adelaide Payne and Donna Jean Ramsey); Ethora Ann (b. February 28, 1932 and m. Robert Walker, George Mitchell and Roy Lee Cohen); Ida Margaret (b. April 18, 1934 and m. Hiram Cecil Miller and Robert Spidell Jr.); James William (b. October 12, 1937 and m. JoAnne St. Pierre, Agnes Ford and in a relationship with Sandra Rutter); Maryannette (b. December 4, 1942 and m. Lee A. Young and Alonzo McCullers).

I was able to find both Ida and Forrest’s obituaries in the Windsor Star. It printed “Forrest Albert, 69 years, June 6, 1963. Beloved husband of Ida Belle Chavis. Father of Melvin, Mrs. Irwin Mulder (Thelma), Mrs. James Mulder (Melda), Mrs. Daniel Johnson (Floreen), Harrow, James, Toronto; Mrs. Floyd Walls (Alma), Mrs. Cecil Miller (Margaret), Ypsilanti; Mrs. Albert Crutchfield (Freida), River Rouge; Mrs. Robert Walker (Ann), Detroit; Annette, Windsor. Resting at the Gerald A. Smith Funeral Home, Harrow. Funeral Saturday 1 p.m. Elder M.R. Stewart officiating.”

Twenty years later the Windsor Star wrote “Ida Belle, 82 years, January 19th, 1983. Late of Harrow. Predeceased by her husband Forest (1963). Dear mother of Melvin, Harrow; James, Toronto; Mrs. Erwin Mulder (Thelma), Mrs. James Mulder (Melda), Mrs. Daniel Johnson (Floreen), Harrow; Mrs. Floyd Walls (Alma) Mrs. Cecil Miller (Margaret), Ypsilanti; Mrs. Roy Cohen (Ann), River Rouge; Mrs. Al MacCullers (Anette) of Detroit. Predeceased by Mrs. Albert Crutchfield (Freida) (1980). 71 grandchildren, 84 great grandchildren. Dear sister of David Chavis of Ypsilanti. Resting at the Gerald A. Smith Funeral Home, 197 King St. W., Harrow.”

Ida’s sister Phoebe Ann is next. She was born on September 14, 1906 in Colchester North.  She married Carl ‘Curly’ Banks, the son of Thomas Banks and Mary L. Jones. The couple had three children named Carl, Patty and Yolanda. I also found a death record for their daughter Dorothy who was born on March 14, 1926, but sadly passed on January 23, 1927.

On January 8, 1973, Phoebe Ann Chavis Banks passed away at the age of 66 years old. Following her passing, the Windsor Star wrote “Phebe Ann, 66 years, January 8, 1973 at Grace Hospital. Late residence 764 Patricia. Member of North West Church of God in Christ, Detroit. Beloved wife of Carl. Dear mother of Carl Jr., Mrs. Arthur (Patricia) Tukes, Miss Yolanda Banks of Windsor. Sister of Fred Chavis of Amherstburg; Daniel of Ypsilanti, Mrs. Forest (Ida) Grayer, of Harrow, 4 grandchildren. Friends may call at the James H. Sutton Funeral Home, 1567 Ouellette Avenue until 12 noon on Wednesday. Funeral service from the Ontario Church of God in Christ, Windsor at 2 p.m., Bishop G.D. Moore officiating. Internment Rose Hill Cemetery, Amherstburg.”

Phoebe’s husband Carl passed over a decade later, in 1987, and the Windsor Star printed “Carl J. Banks (Curly), 91 years. Feb. 27, 1987 at Riverview Hospital. Late of Windsor. Mr. Banks had been retired from Allied Chemical and was a member of the Harrison Memorial Church of God in Christ. Predeceased by his first wife Phebe (nee Chavis) (1973). Beloved husband of Lillie. Dear father of Carl J. and wife Naomi, Windsor, Mrs. Patricia Tukes, Windsor and Yolanda Banks of Ottawa. Dear brother of Mrs. Annie Conway of Tecumseh. Dearest grandfather of Debra Ohlerking, Michelle Banks, Shannon Tukes of Windsor and Michael Banks of Montreal. Great grandfather of Christopher and Jessica Ohlerking of Windsor. Friends may call at the James H. Sutton Funeral Home, 1567 Ouellette Ave., Mon., from 12-4pm. Thence, Mr. Banks will lie in state at the Harrison Memorial Church of God in Christ, 810 Mercer St., from 6-9 pm with family hour at 7pm Funeral Service Tues, March 3, from the Harrison Memorial C.O.G.I.C. at 11 am. Rev. Bishop Arthur T. Harrison officiating. Interment Rosehill Cemetery, Amherstburg.”

So far, we have discussed the first two marriages of John Franklin Chavis to Phoebe Milton and Caroline Melinda Harris, but he also married a third time to Dianah Scott/Galloway. According to their marriage record, John and Dianah married on April 2, 1910 in Detroit. It also lists Dianah’s father as Daniel. A separate marriage record lists Dianah’s father as Rand Goloway (Rand looks like Daniel or David on the marriage record).

Dianah passed away in 1914 and John passed away on September 18, 1927. His obituary from the Amherstburg Echo says “Funeral Service of the Late John F. Chavis – The death of the late John F. Chavis, of Anderdon, took place September 19th, that the home of his daughter, Mrs. Daisy Knight, with whom he had lived. The late Mr. Chavis was born in the State of Illinois eighty-four years ago. He came to Canada when quite a young man and settled in New Canaan where he lived for many years. He was a trustee and faithful worker of the A.M.E. Zion Church of New Canaan. Three times was he united in marriage, his three wives having preceded him in death. He leaves to mourn their loss one brother, Thomas Chavis, of Amherstburg; one sister, Mrs. M.M. Norris, of Detroit; five sons, John and Clarence, of Detroit; Isaac, of Gesto; Freedie and David of Amherstburg; and three daughters, Ida, of Harrow, Phoebe, of Amherstburg; and Daisy, of Anderdon. Funeral services were conducted on Thursday afternoon by the Rev. W.C. Perry from the A.M.E. Church. The high esteem in which the deceased was held in the community was evidenced by the large number who attended the services. The Rev. Mr. Perry spoke very impressively on ‘The Immortality of the Soul,’ … ‘If a man die, shall he live again?’ The Rev. J.T. Dawson, of the B.M.E. Church, Windsor, spoke very comforting to the bereaved ones, having been acquainted with them for some time. The scripture lesson was read by Rev. Frye, formerly of the A.M.E. Church. There were also two vocal selections by relatives of the deceased from Detroit, supplementing suitable selections by the choir, with Miss Wava Davis presiding at the organ.”

Following John’s death, the Amherstburg Echo wrote about an incident that occurred a few days before John’s passing. It says “Fred Chavis, his wife and two friends, Rosy Wilson and Margaret Allan, had a narrow escape from death on the Sandwich street pavement about 8:30 yesterday (Thursday) morning, when they were returning from the death bed of Mr. Chavis’ father, John Chavis, of Anderdon. A Ford sedan driven by Arthur Monforton, and containing Felix Stewart of Tecumseh, and George Blue of Ridgetown, ran into Mr. Chavis’ car from the rear, wrecking it and throwing the occupants out on the pavement. Mrs. Chavis was very badly hurt while the rest of them were bruised and shocked. The three men were placed under arrest by Chief of Police Timmis and lodged in the town lock up, and were to appear yesterday (Thursday), forenoon before Police Magistrate McCormick for hearing.”

What we publish is not a complete history of any family and is based on the documents that are available. We welcome photos and information to fill in the gaps. See you next week for part 3.

                                              The Chavis Family History Part 3 – A Growing Family

Now that we have discussed John Franklin Chavis, we can move forward by sharing information about his sister Nancy. She married Benjamin Allen and they had at least fourteen children including Mary, Eliza, Martha, Salvina, William Benjamin, Dara/Dora, Arthur, Lucy, David, Eva, Allonzo, Elija, James and Wyley. 

Before discussing their children, it should be mentioned that although no obituary was found for Benjamin Allen, I did find a death record for him which states that he passed on October 2, 1890 in Colchester North at the age of 80. It also mentions that he was born in Tennessee.

Nancy and Benjamin’s children Mary, Eliza, Martha, Salvina, William Benjamin, Dara/Dora, Arthur, Lucy, David, Eva, Allonzo each appear on the 1881 Census, but three more of their children, Elija, James and Wyley, appear in separate documents. We will begin with the children who appear on the Census, beginning with Mary, and ending with Elija, James and Wyley.

Mary Allen married twice. Her first marriage was to Frank Norris and her second marriage was to Jessie Hall. No records could confirm that Mary Allen and Frank Norris had any children, but Mary and Jessie had fifteen children: James, Roman, Isabella, Mamie, Drusilla, Ida, Richard, Elmer, William, Harold, John, Mabel, Nellie, David and Cecil. I did find records that mention Mabel, Mamie, Richard, Harold, Roman, Drusilla, David, James and Elmer. Death records for Mabel and Mamie appear on the same day, April 29, 1916. At the time, Mabel was 14 years old and Mamie was 27. Both passed due to tuberculosis. Sadly, their brothers Richard and Harold died from the same cause the following year (1917). Harold passed on October 23, 1917, while Roman passed on November 27, 1917. Roman had just married Ella Mitchel, the daughter of Charles Mitchel and Clara Butler, the year before on June 28, 1916 in Windsor.

Roman’s sister Drusilla was born on October 30, 1890 in Colchester, while her brother David was born on February 28, 1906. David’s brother James appears in a marriage record which states that he married Lucy Bradshaw, the daughter of Tom Bradshaw and Dollie T., on October 21, 1919 in Davenport, Scott, Iowa. James’ brother Elmer, married Olive Land, the daughter of John Land and Naomi Peters, on August 30, 1919 in Windsor. Their mother, Mary Allen, passed on April 9, 1910 in Colchester, but no obituary was found. Her death record adds that Mary was born on May 14, 1866 in Colchester North.

Mary Allen Norris Hall’s sister Eliza married Lewis Hulbert, the son of Joseph and Sarah Hulbert, on January 8, 1891 in Colchester. She married a second time to F. Albert Davis on January 15, 1910 in Windsor. Eliza and Lewis’ children include Raymond, Lacy/Lucy, Orvill, Laverne, and Waneta. Raymond Hulbert was born on October 27, 1892 in Colchester North. He married twice. His first marriage was to Martha Cottan and they married on April 11, 1914 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Raymond’s second marriage was to Elsie White, the daughter of John W. White. They married on September 13, 1922 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Raymond’s sister Lacy/Lucy Ann married Zepich Fletcher, the son of Zepich Fletcher and Rena Pines, on October 16, 1916 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She passed on December 16, 1943 in Ann Arbor. Her death record mentions that she was born on August 1, 1895. Lacy/Lucy’s brother Orvill’s death record mentions that he passed on June 27, 1922 in Ann Arbor, and that he was born on August 10, 1896 and was single. Orvill’s sister Laverne married Elwood Johns, the son of Jim Johnson and Laura Evason, on November 2, 1924 in Ann Arbor. She must have married a second time because her death record lists her as Laverne Sellers, who passed on May 18, 1940. This record also mentions that she was born on April 23, 1906. The last child of Eliza Allen and Lewis Hulbert is Waneta (some records say Marieta). She married Joseph Perkins, the son of John Perkins and Mary Lee, on April 3, 1920 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

There was no information for Eliza’s sister’s Martha and Slavina, but Dora is listed as Mrs. Dora Thompson of Detroit in her brother Arthur’s obituary. I also found several documents for Dora’s brother William Benjamin. He was born on December 16, 1870 and later married Victoria Brooker, the daughter of Henry and Catherine Brooker, on July 19, 1896 in New Canaan. The 1911 Census lists William and Victoria with their children Preston, Stanley and Weddie. It is likely that Weddie is their son Wayburn who, according to his birth record, was born on July 21, 1905 in Colchester North. William Benjamin married a second time to Annie Harper, the daughter of William D. Lyon and Sally C. Brooks, on May 10, 1923 in Amherstburg. Their marriage record states that both were widow(ers), and Annie worked as a nurse, while William was a labourer.

So far, we have discussed six of Nancy and Benjamin Allen’s children (Mary, Eliza, Martha, Salvina, William Benjamin, and Dara/Dora) so we will move on to Arthur Allen who was born on November 18, 1875 in New Canaan. He married Tempia (Tempy) Artis who was born in Colchester on May 9, 1872 and was the daughter of Matthew Artis and Martha Kersey.

They had at least three daughters named Sadie, Elba, and Norma, but a 1907 birth record for Leva Allen also lists Tempy Artis and Arthur Allen as parents, but no other documents were available for Leva. Sadie was born in 1902 in Detroit, Elba was born on May 15, 1900, and Norma was born on March 27, 1904.

 Sadie married David Leonze Harris (see Harris Family History – ) in 1920. They also had several children including Donald Herbert, Grenville ‘Brother’, Orla, Clayton, Shirley Jean, Bobby, Helen, Allan, Nancy, Betty Lou and Ethelda Marie ‘Pye.’ Donald Herbert was born on April 25, 1920 in Amherstburg. He was first married to Mildred Ethel Taylor who was born on August 30, 1922 in Puce and was the first of thirteen children to James Henry Taylor and Myrtle Ethel Walls. Donald and Ethel were married on June 31, 1942 and their children are: Donald Frederick Harris (m. Elaine Banks), Gary Wayne Harris (m. Carolanne Caldwell), Diana (m. Lionel ‘Lonnie’ Hanson), Dennis (m. Elaine Langlois), Byron Cecil Harris (m. Lyric Crocker), Dwight Colin Harris (m. Anna DiPasquale), Cheryl (m. Lyndon Whited), Jacqueline (m. Richard Brown), Paula (m. Les Chiswell), Vaughn Keith Harris (m. Theresa France), Tamara (m. Gary Ross) and Blair Craig Harris (m. Carolin Armstrong).

Sadly, Mildred passed away on July 18, 1997 and she was described as “an active Church member, Sunday School Superintendent and teacher, and served in the ministry of Hospitality. She was a wonderful homemaker and worked at S.K.D., Canadian Canners and Bob-lo Island.” Following Mildred’s passing, Donald married Janice Taylor on May 27, 2000.                                                 

So far, we have shared information on David and Sadie Harris’ first child, Donald. Now we’ll take a look at their other children: Grenville, Orla, Clayton, Shirley Jean, Bobby, Helen, Allan, Nancy, Betty Lou and Ethelda Marie. Grenville ‘Brother’ Harris was born in 1921 in Amherstburg. He married Eunice Taylor and their children are Brian, Duane (m. Lisa and Karen) and Larry (m. Mary Ann).                     

Grenville’s sister Orla was born on April 29, 1923 in Amherstburg and married Clarence ‘Jake’ Simpson. Their children include: Marilyn (m. Carvin McBounds), Reginald (m. Sherry Wilson), Ricky, Linda (m. Artie), Allen (m. Shelley), Clarence (m. Gladys Sims) and Darrell (m. Emma Scott).                               

Orla’s brother Clayton was born in Amherstburg in the 1920s and married a woman named Irma. The couple had the following children: Rozell (m. Rick Nichols), Ronald (born 1966 and married Sumreen) and Abena (1968).                                                                                         

Clayton’s sister Shirley Jean was born on February 6, 1929 in Essex and married William ‘Bill’ Lavern Handsor. Their children are: Gloria Jean (born 1947 and married Robert Britton), Bonnie Lee (born 1949 and married John Paul), Brenda Lee (born 1950), William Paul (born 1952 and married Debbie Wilson and Susan Lynn Metcalfe), Shirley Louise (born 1953 and married Roger Baylis), David Lavern (born 1954 and married Laura Gardin), Gregory Edward (born 1955 and married Mary Matt and Patty Grayer), Mary Vanessa (born 1958 and married David Racz), Belinda Hansor (born 1959 and married Larry Bernard), Murray Alonzo ‘Peter’ (born 1960 and married Dolores Bratt), Kim Tracey (born 1962 and married Cindy Brush), Anthony Quin (born 1963 and married Tonya Osman and Sandra Barber), Sherry Lynn (1965) and Michael Douglass (1967).                                                                                          

The next child of David and Sadie Harris is Bobby who was born in the 1930s in Essex. His sister Helen was born on March 5, 1932 and she married James Matthew Jr. Harris. Helen and James had a son named James ‘Jimmy’ III. Helen’s brother Allan was born in October 1937, while Nancy Harris married Joe Elliot and had several children including Leonard, Nancy, Valerie, Claudette, Dana and Lenora.       

Nancy’s sister Betty Lou Harris also had several children including Natalie, Constance, Jeanna, Timmy, Roger, Wanda and Tyrone. Betty Lou’s sister Ethelda Marie ‘Pye’ Harris was born in Amherstburg in 1941. She had three children named Clinton, Guy and Vinnie.                            

I am going to end this portion about Tempia and Arthur with their obituaries before moving on to discuss Arthur’s remaining siblings. Tempia Artis Allen’s obituary appeared in the Border Cities’ Star  on April 12, 1929 and said “Mrs. A. Allen, ‘Burg, To Be Interred On Sunday – AMHERSTBURG, April 12 – Funeral services for the late Mrs. Arthur Allen will be held Sunday afternoon at the A.M.E. church at 2 o’clock, followed by interment in Rose Hill cemetery. Prior to her marriage, Mrs. Allen was Miss Tempy Artis, and was born in new Canaan, 53 years ago. She was married to Mr. Allen 30 years ago, and their entire married life was lived in Amherstburg. She was a devoted and active member of the A.M.E. church. Surviving are the husband and three daughters, Mrs. Alonzo Harris, Amherstburg; Miss Elba, and Miss Norma at home.”

Over a decade later, on July 28, 1943, the Windsor Daily Star printed Arthur Allen’s obituary which says “Arthur Allen, 67, of 406 Park street, Amherstburg died at his home yesterday after a lengthy illness. He was born in New Canaan, Ont., and lived in Amherstburg for the past 50 years. For many years, before his retirement, he was a cook on various Great Lake boats. Surviving are three daughters, Miss Elba Allen of Detroit; Mrs. Alonzo Harris of Amherstburg; and Miss Norma at home; one sister, Mrs. Dora Thompson of Detroit; one brother Wiley of Los Angeles, Calif., 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.”

There was no further information for Arthur’s siblings Lucy, David Allen, Eva or Allonzo, but I did find records for three more of Nancy Chavis and Benjamin Allen’s children named Elija, James and Wyley. A birth record for Elija Allen states that he was born on February 18, 1883 in Colchester North, while a marriage record for James Allen says that he married Maggie Leftridge, the daughter of Horace Leftridge and Lizzie Piper, on September 15, 1908 in Cuyahoga, Ohio. This record also states that James was born circa 1883 and worked as a cook. A marriage record for Wyley Allen states that he was married to Jane Thomas, the daughter of Elijah Thomson and Elsie Golden, on December 14, 1904 in Colchester South. This record also states that he was born circa 1884.        

What we publish is not a complete history of any family and is based on the documents that are available. We welcome photos and information to fill in the gaps. See you next week for part 4.

                                           The Chavis Family History Part 4 – The Mail Carrier

So far, we have discussed Wiley Chavis and Clarissa Evan’s children William, James, John Franklin, and Nancy. There was no information available for Wiley and Clarissa’s other children Eveline, Sarah, Theresa, or Louisa, but I was able to find documentation for Thomas, Amanda, and Mary who will be looked at next. Thomas married at least twice. The 1891 Census lists Thomas with his wife Mary A., but I could not find a last name for her. The following Census for 1901 lists Thomas and Mary A. with their daughter Bessie.                                      

I found a marriage record for Thomas’ second marriage to Melvina Woodson on September 25, 1916 in Windsor. Melvina was the daughter of Reuben and Caroline Struthers and, according to a marriage notice in the Essex Free Press, Melvina was previously married to William Woodson. Melvina’s obituary from March 23, 1929 in the Border Cities’ Star shares more details of her life and says “Plan Last Rites – Mrs. T. Chavis to be Buried at Amherstburg – Amherstburg, March 23 – Funeral services for the late Mrs. Thomas Chavis will be held tomorrow afternoon in the A.M.E. church, the Rev. C.M. Skyles, pastor, officiating. Mrs. Chavis was born in New Canaan, her maiden name being Melissa Struthers. Her first husband was R.W. Woodson, who died many years ago. She became the wife of Thomas Chavis 12 years ago. Surviving are the husband and six children of her first marriage, Daniel of New Canaan; William of Ecorse; Mrs. Travis and Mrs. Beecham, of Detroit; Mary and Ada at home; a brother, John Struthers, of Windsor and a sister, Mrs. Jones of Dunbridge, Ohio.”                                                  

A year later, on March 21, 1930, a lovely tribute to Melvina was printed in the Amherstburg Echo which says “In loving memory of our dear mother, Mrs. Melvina Chavis, who passed away one year ago, March 20th, 1929. To our hearts there comes a longing. If you only could come home. Forgive us, Lord, for asking why. But, oh! Why did you have to die? Life has not been the same to us. Since you were called away. You were true and very patient. Through the years you struggled on. Those dear hands of yours that now are resting forever. Made a home that now is gone. And some day our dreams will come true. When we see you again, Mother. And fold you in our arms and kiss you once again. – Sadly missed by her Lonely Daughters and Two Sons.”

I also found a brief obituary for Melvina’s husband Thomas Chavis in the Windsor Daily Star from January 8, 1945 which says “Thomas Chavis, 94-year-old resident of Amherstburg, died Sunday at Leamington. Funeral services will be Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. from the A.M.E. Church, Amherstburg. Burial will be in the Rose Hill Cemetery.” There is no further mention of Thomas’ daughter Bessie, from his first marriage, so I cannot say with certainty what happened to her.

Thomas’ sister Amanda is the next child of Wiley Chavis and Clarissa Evans. Amanda married Hilliard Hurst. On the marriage record for Manda and Hilliard, the former is listed as Manda Runells, not Chavis.  The record states that she was a widow explaining the different last name, but “Runells” is a misspelling of “Reynolds” from a previous marriage to William Henry Reynolds. Manda and her first husband William had two children: Emaline who was born on May 3, 1872 and Alfred who was born on June 27, 1873.  Both children were born before Manda’s second marriage to Hilliard on March 24, 1875, meaning that William passed away between the birth of his second child Alfred, in 1873, and Manda’s next marriage to Hilliard in 1875. During their marriage, Manda and Hilliard Sr. had at least seven children: Rhoda, Almeda, Ellen, Hilliard Jr., Blanche, Wylie and Everett Walter Farrington Hurst.

Rhoda was born in Harrow on October 31, 1876.  According to her August 1, 1895 marriage record, she married a labourer named Henry Smith, who was born in Stratford, Ontario.  Henry was the son of Kirk Smith and Larene Hirrer, although Henry’s mother’s name might be Sarene or something similar, because the beginning of her name is cut off in the marriage record and it is difficult to determine her full name.  At the time, Rhoda performed housework as her occupation and she was 20, while Henry was 32.  Both lived and were married in Romeo, Michigan. According to the 1900 census, the couple moved to Armada, Michigan and that is where Rhoda remained until her passing on August 6, 1947.  Over the years, the census records also reveal that Henry worked as a “teamster” in 1900, while the 1910 census states that Henry was a “labourer” who does “odd jobs,” while Rhoda worked as a “Laundress” out of her house.  Henry and Rhoda had a least one child, a son, named Clarence Henry who was born on December 4, 1895 in Romeo, Michigan. On Clarence’s WWI draft registration card, it states that he was 30, a “Common Labourer” and single. According to Clarence’s draft registration card during WWII, he was age 46, living in Armada, MI, unemployed, 6 foot 2 inches tall, 145 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair.  On the gravestone for Clarence H. Smith it says CO.C. 372 INF (Infantry) U.S. Army.  The gravestone also states that he passed away in 1942, meaning that he was likely killed in action during the war, but it must be added that Clarence is not listed on the National Archives WWII Army Casualties list for Macomb, Michigan where he is from. It remains unclear what happened to him.

Rhoda’s sister Almeda is the next person to be discussed.  She was born circa 1877 in Colchester South to Hilliard and Manda Hurst.  On April 18, 1898, she married Albert Lewis who was born in Colchester South and the son of Matthew Lewis and Eliza Simpson.  According to their marriage record, Almeda worked as a domestic while Albert was a cook.  The couple had one daughter named Eliza who was born on July 17, 1898.  She married a carpenter named William Scott, who was the son of Henry Scott and Mary Hill. The couple was married on September 19, 1917.

There was little information available for Almeda’s sister Ellen, but she does show up on the 1891 Census for Colchester South and was 12 years old, meaning that she was born circa 1879.  There is more information about the rest of her siblings: Hilliard Jr., Blanche, Wylie and Everett who we will discuss next.  Hilliard Jr. was married at least two times.  His first marriage was to Rose Thermond on October 13, 1906 in Windsor.  Hilliard was 24 and worked as a Porter at the time of their marriage, while Rose was 19 and the daughter of James Thermond and S. Scott. Neither had been married before.  According to Hilliard’s 1912-1913 Immigration record, he was widowed, meaning that his first wife Rose passed away some time before 1912-1913.  His immigration record also states that he entered Detroit with the destination of Cheboygan.  Hilliard’s second marriage was to Goldie Burch on November 12, 1913.  According to their marriage record, Hilliard Jr., a labourer, was 30 and living in Detroit, while Goldie was 25 and living in Flint. Goldie was the daughter of Richard and Maggie Burch.  Their marriage record also states that there was “No Ceremony.”

According to the 1891 Census for Colchester South, Hilliard Jr.’s sister Blanche was born circa 1883 because she is listed as 8 years old at the time of the census.  Her brother Everett was born, according to his death certificate, on October 30, 1886 in Harrow.  He later married Fannie L. Laster, who was born in Georgia, the daughter of L.L. Laster (mother’s name not given) and was a cook. The couple married on January 8, 1910 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and at the time, Everett worked as a Porter.

The last child of Amanda and Hilliard is Wylie. He was born in 1885 and later married Martha Thompson who was born in Colchester North on November 30, 1887.  She was the daughter of Elijah Thompson, a farmer born on February 14, 1860, and Elsie Golden, a housewife, born on November 5, 1870.  Elijah and Elsie had 13 children: George Henry (b. July 28, 1885), Elsie Jane (August 9, 1889), Daniel Lee, William Raleigh (May 25, 1892), Enoch Elias (May 10, 1894), Andrew Theodore (November 4, 1896), Eliza Elizabeth (October 3, 1898), Linnie Josephine (April 23, 1900), Lawrence German (November 11, 1902), Florence Gertrude Ives (July 25, 1905), Verna Almeda (January 5, 1907), and Elijah Sufise (July 28, 1908), in addition to Martha.

Martha Thompson’s father Elijah also has an interesting connection to the Amherstburg Freedom Museum because he was the youngest child of Elizabeth Ford (born in London, England) and George Henry Thompson Sr., of East Malden. According to family lore, George Sr. was from Madagascar, but before coming to Canada, he lived in Boone County, Kentucky.  He came into Canada at Trois Rivieres, Quebec and worked as a coachman for an English gentleman named Mr. Ford.  According to family stories, George ran away with Mr. Ford’s daughter Elizabeth and settled in East Malden.  They were married and had fifteen children.  George Henry Thompson was also an expert Blacksmith and wagon carriage maker and potter, by trade. His occupation as a Blacksmith is what connects George Sr. to the museum, because the Hurst family donated a plow that was forged by George Sr. and that plow is on display at the Museum in the Taylor Cabin.

Wylie and Martha Hurst married on February 24, 1906 in Colchester South, the former being 21 while the latter was 18 years of age. According to an article published in the Amherstburg Echo titled “Going 21 Years” Wylie Hurst “has attained his majority as mail carrier in this district and is still going strong.  For twenty-one years he has been serving patrons or carrying mail to post office and this Christmas tide had the lightest mail he ever carried at that time.  Mr. Hurst recalls that during many Christmas seasons he found it necessary to put on two rigs to carry surplus mails.  This year it is quite light in keeping with all kinds of business.  There are not as many Christmas presents as usual being sent by mail, but that’s no reason why people shouldn’t show their appreciation of Mr. Hurst’s service, and in fact, the service of all the carriers by leaving presents in their mail boxes.” In addition to being a mail carrier, Wylie also worked for Ford Motor Company in Windsor.

The couple had nine children: Lornie, Douglas, Sylvia, Wylie Jr., Wava, Lonnie, Greta, Burnie and Gladys. Lornie Sr. was born on March 17, 1907 in Colchester South. On March 18, 1932, Lornie married Ida Evelyn Grayer, of Harrow, who was the daughter of Wiley Sylvester Grayer (son of William and Elizabeth Green Grayer) and Maude Louella Coates (Mulder) who married in April 1900.  Wiley and Maude were also born in Harrow.  Wiley and Maude Grayer lived on a farm on Gore Road on the 2nd Concession and had sixteen children: Estelle Mae (1900), Mazie Luella (1902), Ruby Beatrice (1903), Virgil Sylvester (1905), Olive Marie (1907), Lovedy Bernetta (1909), Helen Josephine (1910), Wilfred (1911), Ida Evelyn (August 14, 1911), Gerald (1915), Sylvana (born circa 1916), Mary (born c. 1918), Gladys Leone (born c. 1917), Violet Winifred (1916), Marvin Lester (1918), and Kenneth (1920).  Wiley Grayer was one of the first mail carriers in Colchester South Township in the early 1900s and delivered mail on Rural Route 2 and Rural Route 4. Wiley and Maude delivered the mail by horse buggy at first, but in 1920 Wiley purchased a car that made things easier.

We will end the Chavis family history with Amanda’s sister Mary. All that could be found for her was a death record from December 24, 1937 in Amherstburg and her obituary from the Windsor Daily Star from December 27, 1937. It says “Mrs. Mary Norris – AMHERSTBURG, Ont., Dec. 27 – Funeral services will be conducted tomorrow afternoon for Mrs. Mary Ann Norris, who died at her home in Amherstburg Friday night, following a short illness. Services will be conducted at the home at 2 p.m. and at the First Baptist Church at 2:30. Interment will be in Rose Hill Cemetery. Seventy-two years of age, Mrs. Norris was born at New Canan [Canaan], Ont. She lived in Detroit prior to coming to Amherstburg two years ago. Surviving are her husband, David A. Norris, and a brother, Thomas Chavis, of Amherstburg.”

What we publish is not a complete history of any family and is based on the documents that are available. We welcome photos and information to fill in the gaps. See you next week where we will celebrate another amazing family.