Homepage of John Chapman's Descendants

Homepage for John Chapman's Descendants

By Angela Chapman Sanders and E. Carla Davenport

This page was created for descendants of John Chapman of Cumberland County, Virginia and related lines. The first line we will introduce is that of Nathan Chapman (1761-1829) and Elizabeth Coleman (1769-1859).

Nathaniel H. Chapman, also known as Nathan Chapman, youngest  son of John Chapman was born on May 3, 1761 at "Watering Branch" (Lynchburg), Virginia and died on January 29, 1829 at Goodview, Bedford County, Virginia.  He was the son of John Chapman and had at least two siblings:  Thomas and Elizabeth.  Nathaniel's father, John, is first listed in the 1768 Annual Tithe List of Cumberland County, Virginia and listed last in the 1782 tax list of Cumberland County, Virginia.  Nathaniel, Thomas and Elizabeth probably grew up in Littleton Parish of Cumberland County, Virginia.

Nathan states in his testimony given in 1826 that he enlisted in Cumberland County, in the Virginia Continental Line in the "early part of 1778" for three years service.  His company was commanded by Captain Beverly Stubblefield in the regiment commanded by Colonel Richard Parker known as "Parker's Detachment."  He states that he "served faithfully in said Regiment and Company until the surrender of Charleston, South Carolina at which time and place, he was taken prisoner and remained a prisoner of war until exchanged at Williamsburg Virginia a few days previous to the surrender of {Corn}Wallis at York Town, Virginia and then was honorably discharged at Williamsburg..."  Nathaniel's brother-in-law Elisha Bowles verified Nathan's service during the American Revolution by his testimony.  Elisha served alongside Nathaniel in the same company and regiment.  He states that "he knew said Chapman from the time of his enlisting until he was exchanged at Williamsburg, Virginia and that he believes that said  Chapman and himself were nine months prisoners of War,  from the surrender of Charleston, South Carolina until a few days before the surrender of Cornwallis at York Town, Virginia..."

Elizabeth (Coleman) Chapman's 1839 petition for a widow's pension contains testimony from Elizabeth on Nathaniel's service.  She states that "he was in several engagements and she distinctly recollects that of Charlestown, South Carolina at which place he was taken prisoner and kept in the aforesaid town some time then put on board a prisoners ship.  " I think, as well as I can recollect, called the Belvidier and kept on short allowance and that whilst on that scant allowance they, the prisoners were frequently offered  their liberty on condition that they would take an oath not to fight against the King during the war which oath many of the prisoners took."  Some of them he often spoke of as being messmates namely a Mr. Basham and a Mr. James....and that himself with others that refused to take the oath as mentioned above were exchanged at Jamestown not long before the taking of Wallace at Yorktown..." 

After the war, Nathaniel returned home to Cumberland County, Virginia to continue his life.  Despite his service to the State of Virginia and to the United States, and being discharged in 1783, Nathan found the Court in Cumberland County ruled that Nathan had neglected to list himself as a resident of Littleton Parish during 1783 and fined him 500 lbs. of tobacco for the offense.  On the 16th of November in 1783, Nathaniel's father, John Chapman signed a deed "for the consideration of five shillings....but more particular for the love and affection which I have for my friend and son Nathan Chapman...hath given, granted, Released and confirmed unto the said Nathan Chapman all my Estate consisting of household furniture and stock of all kinds."  On the 24th  of November 1783 it was brought into court for filing by the two witnesses who signed the deed, Thomas Moody and Thomas Hobson.

 According to the testimony of Jeremiah Basham, he, Nathaniel Chapman and others, moved to Bedford County, Virginia in the fall of 1784. Not much is known of Nathan during the period of 1784-1791.  He does not appear in the 1790 reconstructed census of Bedford County, Virginia.  However, on  the 12th of February 1791, for the sum of fifty pounds, Nathan Chapman and James Coleman entered into a marriage license bond.  On February 17, 1791, Nathan Chapman and Elizabeth Coleman, daughter of James, were married by Rice Haggard, in Franklin County, Virginia.

James Coleman purchased 220 acres on Indian Run in Bedford County, Virginia in November of 1784. In 1786 part of Bedford became Franklin County, James' land apparently was in the new county as he appears on the 1788 tax list of Franklin County, Virginia with 9 adults (over 16).  We believe that Nathan Chapman may have worked for James Coleman and Nathan not having established his own household is enumerated with his family.  It is probable that James Coleman was one of those who came from Cumberland County, Virginia with Nathan as there were two James Colemans listed in the Annual Tithe List there in 1768.  In the testimony of James Coleman's wife Cloe she speaks of Nathan's being away at war "Cloe Coleman...recollects that it was the general talk of the neighborhood that the said Nathan Chapman enlisted and served as a soldier in the Continental army and that he was a considerable time from home and  has no doubt but that he was in the army during his absence from home but does not know the names of his officers....."  Therefore, Cloe, wife of James Coleman (hence James Coleman) was living in the County of Cumberland during the war years.

Nathan became a land owner April 4, 1792 when he purchased from Lemaster Cooksey of Bedford County, "200 acres... for the sum of 62 pounds 10 shillings"  on Beaverdam Creek, next to the farm of Elisha Bowles, Nathan's brother-in-law.  Nathan was an honest and hard working member of the Bedford community.  He contributed to the growth of the area by serving on committees that performed such duties as surveying existing and new roads in Bedford County.  Many of Nathan's relatives, friends and neighbors such as Robert Nimmo, Thomas Wright, James Mayse, Leroy Jordan, Marbel Dent, Francis Board, Thomas Lancaster, William Anderson and Joel Compton, can be found in Bedford County court documents in connection to Nathaniel.

Because of his physically demanding life, Nathan's health suffered and in 1826 he decided to apply for a pension as a war veteran, possibly with his brother Thomas who lived in Henry County, Virginia.  Nathan testifies that he was "a farmer although my ability to pursue it has been diminished by age and infirmity particularly in the weakness of my arms attended with Rheumatism. Only one son twelve years old  to help with the work."

Both Thomas and Nathan were awarded land for their Revolutionary War service in 1828.  Thomas died before his award was issued and Nathan applied for and was granted Thomas'  land allotment as his brother and "heir at law." Nathaniel gave power of attorney to both Leroy Jordan and his son-in-law, Anthony Evans, Jr. to pick up his and Thomas' Bounty Land Warrants and to travel to Ohio where each of the 100 acres of land was located.  On December 12, 1828, Land Warrant No. 1358 issued to Thomas Chapman, Private, was registered by and for Leroy Jordan in Ohio.  Records also show that Nathaniel's Bounty Land Warrant No. 6688 was registered to a man named John H. Smith in Scioto, Ohio. 

Nathaniel seems to have been a very prosperous farmer.  After his death, an estate appraisal was conducted of his belongings.   Among the many items listed for sale were five beds, a patent clock, two looking glasses, a secretary, two chests, pewter dishes, a set of blacksmith's tools, six hogs, three horses four cows, and fourteen sheep.

Beginning in 1830, Nathaniel's farm was sold parcel by parcel.  In 1840, Nathan's oldest son Henry H. Chapman and his wife Nancy sold a parcel of land to Richard Anderson that included "the mansion house, also reserving to Henry H. Chapman and Nancy his wife one half an acre embracing the old burying ground which reserve is to be deeded to the Jointee Methodist Church.."  Henry H. Chapman's protection of "the old burying ground" where Nathan is buried demonstrates the great love and affection Henry had for his father.

After Nathan's death in 1829, his widow spent many years preparing a widow's pension application.  She appealed to the government saying "there has been a pension of land drawn for him (Nathan) by a treacherous agent just before his death which pension she has not received."  She also states in 1840, "there was a land pension issued for him (Nathan) and that a patent also has been issued which patent is now in the hands of her husband's agent for which patent the heirs are now at law." As part of the petition, Elizabeth, with help from her oldest son, Henry Harrison Chapman, also explained that Nathan did not appply for a pension under the act of March 18, 1818 because "under that act the claimant had to make it appear that his circumstanes demanded that petiance which he refused to do, often saying when asked his reasons for not applying that he would beg before he would take the step necessary to place him on the role of pensioner.  Also saying that it was a position that the government ought not to place a soldier of the Revolution..as the officers of Government well knew that the soldiers had been paid in Continental money which died on their hands not benefiting them anything but the liberties they enjoyed."

Elizabeth finally received her widow's pension on May 3, 1849 under the act of February 2, 1848 passed by Congress granting pensions to widows of persons who seved during the Revolutionary War.  This pension consisted of eighty dollars per annum beginning on March 4, 1848 to be paid to her until her death on September 13, 1859.  She also received 160 acres of land in Ohio  (warrant #1859) which she sold to her nephew Samuel C. Taylor.

Nathaniel's and Elizabeth's children and grandchildren moved from Bedford County, Virginia and helped settle such states as Mississippi, Texas and West Virginia.  Today, descendants live throughout America.  If you are one of these descendants we would be very interested in hearing from you.

Nathaniel Chapman and Elizabeth Coleman's children:

1.  Henry Harrison Chapman (1793-1862)  married Nancy Wright

2. Mary Ann Jones Chapman (1798- aft 1880) married Anthony Evans, Jr.

3. John S. Chapman (1801-1854) married Nancy Deyerle

4. Nathaniel Chapman, Jr. (1804-aft 1880) married Minerva Buford Coleman

5. Jane Chapman (1806-1864) married Samuel Burnett

6. Elizabeth S. Chapman  (1808-1846) married John Deyerle

7. Lydia Cloe "Lucy" Chapman (c 1810-1890) married John A. Mitchell

8. James Coleman Chapman (b. 1814 d. aft 1870)

Sources: Upon Request


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