Family Histories

Family Histories for the Rose and Kirkpatrick Families

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Black Sheep Sunday - Lewdness

In the tangled family tree of the Chavis, McGraws and Lumpkins of Campbell County, Tennesse in the early to mid-1800s, there are three (or four) names that pop up in relation to a certain kind of bad behavior.  The three families were part-Native American, possibly Melungeons, who moved from  North Carolina to upper East Tennessee in the early part of the 19th century, probably in an effort to avoid removal to Oklahoma.  James Madison "Spotted Buck" Lumpkins married Susan Chavis in 1840.  Susan was said to be "Black Dutch," or a descendent of European, Native American and African ancestors.  Susan's sister (or cousin, depending on which account you read) was Sarah Chavis.  Sarah was married to William Jarrett McGraw in 1844. 

 In May of 1855 Susannah Lumpkins, Sarah McGraw and James Lumpkins had charges brought against them in Campbell County by the state of Tennessee for lewdness.  The charges brought against Susannah Lumpkins indicate she was "being lewd" with Mr. John McGraw.  William McGraw's father was named John, although I have no idea if he was the other party in this case.  Sarah McGraw and James Lumpkins were charged with "lewdness" together.  The parties were all ordered to pay a fine of two hundred and fifty dollars, voided on condition they make periodic appearances before the court. 

Both families were in Cedar, Arkansas by 1870, the same year that William Jarrett McGraw died.  Susan Lumpkins was apparently ill for many years prior to her death in 1884.  Her widower married her sister (or cousin) in December of 1885, causing his children to stop speaking to him.  They were said to have never visited him again, and he never saw any of his grandchildren. 
Marriage record of James Lumpkins and Sarah Chavis McGraw

James and Sarah lived in Arkansas until his death in 1898.  He is said to be buried at DeGray Cemetery in Arkadelphia.   Sarah lived until 1917, living with children from her marriage to William McGraw after she was widowed.  She is buried at Buggy Hill Cemetery in Sebastian, Arkansas, near her son Joseph McGraw.
Sarah Jane Chavis McGraw Lumpkins

1 comment:

  1. This post is on my list of most interesting blog posts of 2013:

    Happy new year from Utrecht, The Netherlands!