Did you know the first black professional football player Charles Follis was born in Virginia? My Follis families lived in Colonial Virginia. Have you tested your yDNA? Join our Follis DNA Project if you have tested, or get a discount price joining through a project before you test your Follis yDNA.

In 1995 I called all of the less than a dozen FOLLIS names in the Indianapolis, Indiana phone book. I did not find how we are related to any of them at that time. I believe some of their families may have come from Kentucky and some had been in Indiana for a while so may connect to my line from Ohio. One family was obviously African-American. In one conversation someone had talked to a Lewis FOLLIS in the 1970's and recalled Lewis saying he was a slave descendant of FOLLIS' of Louisiana. This would be my Jacob Follis's brother Isaac FALLIS and Susannah MARTIN line in St. Charles County, Missouri which was a part of the Louisiana Purchase April 30, 1803. This is my first instance of a descendant of this FALLIS line using FOLLIS rather than FALLIS. Isaac, who died before April 3, 1806, had at least a 1,000 acres of land so probably used slaves in running his large farm. I've read that his burial site was washed away by Mississippi River flooding. Missouri was a border state during the Civil War mostly supporting the South and Slavery. Two FALLIS names have been found on the Union side from Missouri however.

View Roanoke, Virginia - West Virginia in a larger map
Click + or - to Zoom In or Out, Click on the colored pin to see the details of the location
Click and drag the hand to move the map, or click the link above to see all my ancestor locations.

African-American Follis

  1. Charles FOLLIS, the "Black Cyclone", the first Black Professional football player was born in Wooster, Ohio according to his Charles Follis Obituary shown on Ohio Memory. The Ohio History Central Charles W. Follis page says he was born February 3, 1879 in Cloverdale, Virginia which is what most sources state. It includes his 1899 Wayne County Public Library High School photo. Not sure how or if Charles Follis is related, but seems likely since my Follis and other Follis lines were in 1700's Virignia.
    1. Charles Follis led early black pioneers in pro football by Joe Horrigan published January 1, 2005 on Pro Football Hall of Fame Canton, Ohio.
    2. Charles W. Follis (1879-1910) on BlackPast
    3. Charles Follis on Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia.
    4. Charles W. Follis born Febraury 3, 1879, Cloverdale, Botetourt County, Virginia, died April 5, 1910, Wooster, Wayne County, Ohio shows his tombstone and his father James Henry Follis 1846-1910 and mother Catherine M Follis, 1848-1922, on their Find-A-Grave pages.
    5. The Tigers Pounce Again: 1904 by PFRA Research, the Professional Football Researchers Association, had a 5 page article mentioning him in his first year in 1904 which is now on the Wayback Machine.
    6. The Black Cyclone The Charles Follis Story An original script by Jim Stoner.
    7. The Black Cyclone: The Charles Follis Story Facebook page.
    8. Feb. 3 marks first official 'Charles Follis Day' honoring Shelby Blues legend by Brittany Schock published February 2, 2019 on Richland
    9. Charles Follis at Wooster Fighting Scots.
    10. Charles Follis 4 page article by Milt Roberts on The Coffin Corner: Vol. 2, No. 1 (1980) originally published in Black Sports November 1975.
    11. Follis Field at Wooster High School is named for Charles Follis. Ohio History Connection Honors Charles Follis with Historical Marker at Follis Field at Wooster City School District. Follis Field at Ohio Football Stadiums.
    12. The more Follis succeeded, the more bitter his opponents became. He was the target of knuckles, knees, and harsh words. The ridicule and injuries had taken its toll by 1906 when Charles Follis was forced to quit discussed under the heading Trivia in an article The lady knows the game in the December 31, 1988 Indianapolis Recorder, Indianapolis, Indiana newspaper on page 19 on the Hoosier State Chronicles Indiana's Digital Historic Newspaper Program.
    13. “The Black Cyclone” story continues at Mount Vernon by Brittany Schock about the play published January 27, 2016 on Richland Source.
    14. Mentioned around 1:00 in Before the League - Trailer posted October 6, 2015 on Time Warner Cable Sportschannel YouTube preview.
      1. There is another Black Cyclone Major Taylor a world famous bicyclist - with a Facebook page: Black Cyclone LLC - Filmmakers hope to whip up fundraising frenzy for Major Taylor biopic ‘Black Cyclone’ by Patrick Sargent published March 22, 2017 in the Worcester Sun in Massachusetts. The Unknown Story of “The Black Cyclone,” the Cycling Champion Who Broke the Color Barrier Major Taylor had to brave more than the competition to become one of the most acclaimed cyclists of the world by Gilbert King published September 12, 2012 on
      2. There was a 1925 movie The Black Cyclone by producer Hal Roach.
  2. In the Highland County, Ohio Register of Blacks 1827-1859 page 69 and also found on page 624 in the Gateway to the West 1989 edition excerpted from original sources, and reprinted in two volumes by Genealogical Publishing Company. You can find this online at Gateway to The West, Vol. I at
    1. "Highland County, Ohio. Hissborough August 23, 1859. Martha FOWLIS now the widow MITCHELL and sister-in-law of Biddy FOWLIS the mother of Mary HUGHES wife of John HUGHES who applies for free papers says that Biddy FOWLIS who was the wife of her brother, Winston FOWLIS were both at the time and prior to their marriage in the possession of their freedom and that Mary FOWLIS, daughter of Winston and Biddy FOWLIS, now wife of John HUGHES was born a free child of free parents in Halifax, County, Virginia. (Signed) Martha (her mark) MITCHELL. Wit: Jn. (mark) HUGHES, J.W. TUCKER. Recorded (not given). (111)" There was a William Fowlis born in neighboring Clark County, Ohio who enlisted in the Civil War Colored Troops.
    2. I have seen Halifax County, Virginia mentioned in different FALLIS-FOLLIS family records, but do not know which FALLIS-FOLLIS family was there. Biddy Freemond married Winston Fowles March 25, 1822 in Halifax County, Virginia.
  3. In the same Gateway to the West book is the Clinton County, Ohio Richland Negro Cemetery - Wayne Township with Millie J Fowlis daughter of A. & S. Fowlis and Jane Fowlis, wife of Paul Fowlis. Descendants of Hopewell Monthly Meeting Quaker George and Mary Fallis of Frederick/Stafford County, Viriginia moved to Clinton and Warren Counties, Ohio. Some Fallis were buried in Quaker meeting house cemeteries in Clinton and Warren Counties. Were George Fallis's descendants slave owners in Virignia and did these negro Fowlis's move with them to Ohio? Find A Grave lists only 5 Fallis in Clinton County, no Follis, only 4 Fowlis but of 41 memorials in Richland Cemetery I find: Polly Ann King Fouless 1809-unknown, Fowlis Nov 1853-19 Jan 1861, Jane Bray Fowlis 4 Jan 1823 Virginia -28 Jan 1867 - husband Paul Fowlis, Millie J Fowlis 1847-Oct 1855, daughter of Allen Jr. and Susan Fowlis, and Polly Ann Fowlis Nance no dates on stone but page states: born about 1819 in Virginia, died after 1860 but before 1867 Known children: Amos, Mary, Lewis, Priscilla, Susan, William, Sarah, Martha, Allen, and Rebecca.
  4. 1919 Fort Wayne, Indiana city directory, page 437, Celeste FOLLIS had a house at 352 Melita Street. The African-Americans Registered for World War I Draft, Allen County, Indiana at the Genealogy Center has 19 listings for Melita Street, including Molten and Almetia Graham at the same 352 Melita Street.
  5. 1946 Fort Wayne, Indiana directory Willie FOLLIS was a driver for Old Fort Supply residing at 1213 S. Lafayette St.
  6. Harry Fallis 22 year old born in Ohio or Virginia an African-American coal miner
  7. William Fowlis, born in Clark County, Ohio, died October 11, 1863 after enlisting in the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, Disbrow-Franklin in the Civil War.
  8. My 4th great-grandfather Isaac Fallis died in 1858 Greene County, Ohio. Census data indicates the total number of free African Americans residing in Greene County in 1850 was 647. By 1860, the number had reached 1,470 Black or Mulatto individuals, thus the map illustrates an even more diverse within a ten year span (Fig 6). Copied from A New Home for the Newly Freed: Celebrating Greene County's Free African Americans by Amy Brickey by Melissa Dalton posted February 15, 2019 on Out of the Clock Tower Greene County Archives blog.

Census Records

More Fallis Follis pages:

My FOLLIS Families Thomas & Catharine EIKENBERRY Jacob & Hannah KINGERY Isaac & Mercy VAUGHAN Jacob & Sarah SPRINGER
Thomas & Elizabeth Fallis Pioneer Cemetery Fallis Cemetery Wildflowers Immigrant FOLLIS Daniel James FALLIS
FOLLIS Information Fallis As First Name Follis Links FALLIS vs FOLLIS FOLLIS Places
FOLLIS Trivia FALLIS - FOLLIS in Civil War African-American Follis E. O. Fallis Fallis Oklahoma
George Washington A Family Friend?        

If you find research that adds to, or contradicts mine, please leave a Comment on my Follis Families in the United States Facebook page, or send me an Email.

Page updated:

Back to top