My 4th great-grandfather Isaac's FALLIS Pioneer Cemetery near Bellbrook, Greene County, Ohio FOLLIS Families
in the United States of America
by descendant Stanley J. Follis

Slavery in the FOLLIS Family

A shameful, yet factual part of our American History, slavery did touch some parts of my family history. Siblings of my early Virginia FOLLIS and FOREMAN families appear to have owned slaves. Many of my paternal and most of my maternal families were Church of the Brethren with no evidence of any slave owners. Some Quakers like my FOLLIS and FOREMAN families did own slaves which later led many to join Baptist churches as the Quaker's began to enforce their no slave doctrine.

One family tradition has my Benjamin FOREMAN receiving slaves as a wedding present in Kentucky. There is no supporting evidence so far although their marriage may actually have been in Virginia. There is evidence that FOREMAN relatives in Kentucky did own slaves and probably also in Virginia. Since they moved to Ohio a non-slave state it is assumed they were against ownership of slaves contrary to others in the family.

The records are sparse but sons of George, oldest son of Thomas FALLIS appear in records indicating they owned slaves as son John had large tobacco holdings which were always worked by slaves. It seems logical with the many land purchases that Thomas who made at least one 5,000 acre land purchase would have slaves to do all the manual work it would have taken in the 1700's to maintain the property.

Two daughters of my Jacob FALLIS married husbands who owned slaves. Susanna FALLIS' husband the Primitive Baptist Minister Ambrose C. BOOTON appears in slave records as a father of slaves reinforcing the slavemaster father stories seen in books and movies. A.C. BOOTEN - BOOTON performed many marriages from Hardy County, West Virginia records. There is a rambling article on a slave block in Luray, Virginia where the family lived that mentions Judge John BOOTON son of Ambrose BOOTON and his second wife.

Sarah FALLIS married Benjamin WOOD had a daughter Ann who married Wharton JONES who owned over a 1,000 acres of land in Shenandoah County, Virginia worked by slaves. One account describes how it took several days on horseback to survey all of his land. His estate left slaves to his children. His descendants were prominent in establishing the funding for the Jones Memorial Library in Lynchburg, Virginia. His son George Morgan JONES was a leading philanthropist and industrialist of Lynchburg, Virginia.

Isaac FALLIS brother of my Jacob FALLIS left Virginia for Kentucky then Missouri. In his will he left slaves for his descendants. In a phone call to Indianapolis, Indiana several years ago I talked to several people who thought a Lewis FOLLIS who had passed away in the 1980's was probably a descendant of this FOLLIS family.

I discuss some Black FOLLIS information on this page.