21 Henry2 Cavinis, born about 1696 in France or England and died after December 10, 1770 and before August 1771 in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, and spent most of his adult years in the area of Edgecombe and Halifax counties, North Carolina.
He was first married to ----------- from 1712+ to 1729+. From this first marriage he had at least two sons.
About 1729+, he married second to Jane Allen (born 1700+ died 1744+), daughter of William and Eleanor Allen, of Elizabeth City County, Virginia. This information is found in the Will of William Allen, Pilot, dated 1731, in which the name "Cavinis" appears. In it he names his heirs and those to whom legacies were to be paid: - "John Allen; Wm. Henry Allen; Jane Allen, now Cavinis; the widow, Eleanor; and Ann Allen."
The only other known document which might help to identify this family, is a record of a grant of 550 acres of land to Thomas Allen, "on the first branch of the Long Creek, on the east side of the Chisopeacke toward the Great Indian Field". This Thomas Allen could well have been the grandfather of the Jane Allen in whom we are interested.
The genealogist, Hugh S. Watson, Jr., makes this comment: - "The strange appearance of the Cavinis name among the Elizabeth City, County records, and showing that Jane Allen, daughter of William Allen and his wife Eleanor, had married to a Cabaniss, the French Huguenot, who came to Manakintowne in 1700 in the ship, Mary and Ann". Since the marriage records of the sons, 22 Matthew (Hannah Clay) and 23 George (Grace) are documented, obviously, it was the eldest son Henry, who had married Jane Allen.
The records of the activities of this particular man are the most difficult to find, and the lack of them produces the greatest problems.
There is so little to use that it is necessary to identify him by the actions of those men who, most reasonably, can be proved to have been his sons, - and the events connected with their lives. The findings which support these conclusions are:
1) The tenable presumption that 21 Henry and Jane (Allen) Cavinis went to North Carolina is based on: A) many Huguenots were settling in this area from Manakintowne; B) due to the great expanse of the Dismal Swamp, travel from Elizabeth City County (Newport News) where Jane Allen lived, to the area on the Roanoke River near Halifax, North Carolina was by water. Her father was a professional pilot. C) The period of time from 1719 to 1759 provides chronological proof that some members of the family (on Isaac's side) moved into North Carolina and patented land "bordering on that of" earlier Cavinesses. If some were there, and the best means of travel was provided by the profession of a close member of the family, it seems reasonable to accept the forthcoming evidence for what it can signify.
2) Although there are no proven records for 21 Henry in North Carolina, the fact that a Henry Cavenah owned land in Halifax County (then Edgecombe) by 1739 is a clue. The next evidence come from the purchase of Mecklenburg County, Virginia land by Henry Caviness in 1764. The Deed is extant and provides many usable facts. It was sold to him by a North Carolina agent, one John Buzby, and the purchased was witnessed by men who are later identified with North Carolina court records; particularly, several men who also signed the Halifax Petition - perhaps, they were 21 Henry's friends.
3) The location of this land is provided by four means: A) Cary's General Atlas Map of 1796 shows that there were good roads from Tarboro, North Carolina and Halifax, Edgecome County, North Carolina directly to the place across the state line in Virginia where 21 Henry's land purchase was located. B) A Washington Campaign Map shows in detail, the names and locations of plantations, ferries and bridges, and identifies Col. Taylor's Ferry. C) A Henry Mouzon Map shows in greater detail, this area. D) 214 Matthew Caviness purchases (1765) include specific descriptions such that the area on both sides of the North Carolina - Virginia state line can be identified. He also purchased from the same agent, "John Busbee", and it was witnessed by 215 William and 216 Thomas Caviness; E) the Henry Caviness who bought the "230 acres" in 1764, also established a home there, and paid tithes on himself and two sons, William and Thomas, in Lunenburg (Mecklenburg, in 1764) County, Virginia. In 1770, Henry gave this land to "my son William".
4) Tarboro and Halifax communities in North Carolina, are the locations of the court records of all of these men. Halifax County was the home of the "Halifax Petition" Henry Cavanes; this county was formerly a part Edgecombe County, in which area Charles Cavenah received a patent in 1739 for 696 acres "bordering on lands of Henry Cavenah of Halifax County"; and where sons of Isaac, Charles and Arthur Cavenah bought 200 acre units beginning in 1742.
5) 215 William's death in 1775 provides closer connections; one of the witnesses to 21 Henry's gift to his son 215 William, was John Camp, who appeared in 1775 as the guardian of "William's orphans". In Camp's Will of 1783, he named daughter, Lucy, as the mother of John Caviness; and "I give to my grandson, John Caviness." So the relationship of these persons is defined.
Having shown that the "230 arce Henry" was the father of 215 William and the grandfather of 2152 John and 2151 William Caviness, then these other Caviness men who appeared in court records relating to the properties inherited by 2152 John and 2151 William can be presumed to have been closely related, probably uncles; e.g.
a) in 1773, 214 Matthew bought land in Mecklenburg County, Virginia from Edmund Taylor, between the state line and Henry's 230 acres. This was three years after 21 Henry had died.
b) in 1775, the year in which 21 Henry's son 215 William, died, the "Halifax Petition" 213 Henry and his wife, Elinor, sold their holdings in North Carolina and settled in Mecklenburg County, Virginia.
c) Finally, in 1782, taxes began to be collected and recorded regularly in Mecklenburg County and this list is the source of further information on sons and ages for this family. Henry, Matthew and a John Caviness all paid tithes in this year.
d) in 1785, 213 Henry and Elinor sold the original 230 acres (with the same surveyor's description, but reported as 215 acres) to John Clardy and bought 218 acres for themselves, from the heirs of Edmund Taylor, William Taylor and Martha Taylor. This sale to Clardy did not close the records on the 230 acres, for in 1787, Timothy Smith, the original owner from whom Henry had bought the additional 10 acres, and from whom Busbee had bought the 220 acres, gave this question fifteen acres and more to the amount of 100 acres to his godson, Charles Kelly. Immediately, Henry, Matthew and the two "orphans", William and John, hailed Kelly into court to clear the title to the contested land. In 1796 the "orphans" reported to the court that all was settled to their satisfaction.
The cause of the contentions was as follows: - "230 acres, being a piece of land where Caviness now lives, containing part thereof Patented by Timothy Smith Baring the Date July the fifteenth one thousand seven hundred and sixty the other ten acres being laid off by a line of Marked trees and taken out of the Tract of land whereon the aforesaid Smith now lives...."
We can thank 213 Henry for that "ten acres set off by a line of Marked trees where Smith now lives".
Thus the development of the records of this family is based upon the use of the Mecklenburg County, Virginia Tithes, or Personal Property Lists begun in 1782, the use of Deeds, and Signatures and witnesses to those Deeds; the few Wills available; the sureties of Marriage Bonds; the chronological order of the court records; the specific identification of the parcels of land mentioned in the Deeds; and such other material as appeared along the way.
It has been shown that the men listed as "children of 21 Henry and Jane (Allen) Cavinis" reasonably and legally were their sons, and that there were no other families in that area with these limiting conditions; is was also shown that the next chronological record places 21 Henry and Jane Allen in an appropriate geographical location to be connected with the records of the men identified as their sons. While there is only the indirect reference to him in the later sale of North Carolina property by the children of Charles Cavenah, it is evident that another, and earlier Caviness man had established himself in the area. Since Charles Cavenah left a Will, and so did his last living child, Mary the court transactions of that family prohibit confusing any 21 Henry activities with them. Yet 21 Henry lived long enough in that area to have two of his sons grow up and buy tracts of land, sell and buy more; and one of them developed sufficient prestige to have been asked to sign the Halifax Petition.
When some reason, whatever it may have been, urged 21 Henry Cavinis to leave the Halifax area of North Carolina, (possibly the death of Jane, his wife) he followed a well-traveled road in the direction of the most available ferry across the Roanoke River. Fate caused him to pause, survey the beauties of the hills and valleys on the near side of the river, and never did he cross it.
The location of that 230 acres finds it under the waters of Buggs Island Lake, today; maps of the original river bed, and the naming of particular plantations and ferries, makes it possible to define, accurately, its location.
21 Henry was about sixty years old when he began his travels from Halifax, North Carolina, - he was sixty five when he bought the 230 acres, - and seventy, when he died. This is a long life-span for those days, yet other men and women in this family and in those times, have lived as long or longer, so it cannot be ruled out that the 21 Henry Caviness who bought the 230 acres in 1764 was not identical with the Immigrant Infant Henry who come in the Mary and Ann with his parents, Henri and Marie Cabanis.
21 Henry married third from 1750+ until his death (1770) Mary -------, who died 1785+ in Virginia. In his later years he moved just across the state line into Mecklenburg County, Virginia, where he died.
From 21 Henry2 (Henri1) his first marriage to wife unknown (from 1737 Amelia, Co. Virginia tithes): 211 Jack and 212 Unidentified Son implied in "Henry Caberness 3" [himself and 2 sons] are now assigned to 21 Henry since no other known Caviness lived in that area of Amelia County, Virginia. Southside Virginia (v. 1 #1, 1982) shows Amelia County Taxables 1737:
Henry Caberness, son Jack 3
Matthew Caberness 1
On May 12, 1780 he petitioned for dissolution of vestries and for the election by free vote of the people, for marriage licensed to be issued to any regularly ordained ministers, for marriages without the ring by dissenting ministers to be declared lawful and every doubt of their validity removed, and for the good people of the state to be apprised of their just rights. That petition, deemed reasonable by the court on June 7, 1780, was ordered to be presented.
23 George's undated Will was offered for probate by his brother, 22 Matthew, May 18, 1744. On the same date in Amelia Order Book 1 appears a curious notation that a writing of July 1, 1743 at Kingston, Jamaica, purporting to be his last will and testament was also presented, but no witness being available to substantiate it, it was ordered lodged in the clerk's office. It is of interest that 23 George was witness to the will of Rebecca Shute of Port Royal, Jamaica, dated August 12, 1732, probated in Bath County, North Carolina on May 28, 1743.
On October 9, 1779 225 John sold, for 1,000 pounds, land in Lunenburg to Craddock Vaughn, a transaction acknowledged in court five days later, with notation that "Elizabeth the wife of the said John relinquished her right of Dower." Elizabeth's maiden name is not known, but there is strong reason to suppose that she belonged to the Epes family, also that she died after the sale referred to, and still further that 225 John never married again. In the 1820 census of Jones County, Georgia, he is listed with nine slaves but no whites in his household.
The 1811 tax digest of Jones County, indicated that he owned 505 acres partly adjoining land of his brother 227 George. It appears that he died there in 1820, for on August 14 of that year the Inferior Court of the county adopted an order:
that letters of administration on the estate of John Cabaniss, decd. be granted to John Martin on his giving bond and security in the sum of $20,000.00. Apraisors James George, Larkin Wilson, Wilkins Jackson, and Robert Baldwin, and Williams Jackson.In the complicated and prolonged settlement, much of the estate went to the children of his brother 222 Charles, implying that he made his home with them. Ultimately, however, a slightly larger portion went to his only son, who was apparently his only (or only surviving) child.
In Nottoway Order Book July 2, 1797 - July 1801, there is an important statement:
William Cabaniss Gentn is recommended to his excellency James Wood esquire Governor, and the Council as a proper person to execute the office of a Major in the Second Battalion in the Militia of the County in the room of Samuel Pincham deceased.Samuel Pincham had on December 18, 1787 in Amelia married Sophia Sherwin, daughter of Samuel Sherwin and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Henry Randolph, IV and his wife Tabitha (daughter of Robert Poythress and wife Elizabeth Cooke.) To that union one child, Elizabeth Kennon, was born ca 1788-1790. Pincham died in November 1797 (will dated November 3, 1797, probated December 7, 1797, Nottoway)
Nottoway Order Book 2, shows that on February 1, 1798 the court received:
a writing from under the hand and seal of Sophia Pinchman declaring that she will not take or accept the legacy or any part thereof devised her by the last will and testament of her late deceased husband, Samuel Pincham, deceased, and renounced all benefit which might be claimed by such will....That statement may be interpreted to mean that she was already contemplating another marriage. As a matter of fact she did marry second 2251 Major William Cabaniss.
The marriage of 2251 William and Sophia was solemnized after February 1, 1798, before November 1801, probably on or after February 7, 1800, for on that date the following is recorded in Nottoway Deed Book 2:
Know all men by these presents that I William Cabaniss of Nottoway County for and in consideration of the natural love and affection which I bear to my four children to wit: Rebeckah, William , Ruth, Frances Epes Cabaniss of said county.... have given and granted.... unto the said Rebeckah, William, Ruth, and Frances Epes Cabaniss, their Executors, Administrators, or assigns the five following Negros to wit: Nancy and Lucy, her child Milley, Stephen and Peggy together with their increase to have and hold to the said Rebeckah, William, Ruth, and Frances Epes Cabaniss (to be equally divided amongst them so soon as either of them shall arrive at the age of 21 years or marry) to them and their heirs forever.... In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my Seal this fifth day of February, 1800The document, signed by 2251 William Cabaniss and witnessed by Jordan Jackson, Freeman Epes, Matthew Cabaniss, and Cassimer Cabaniss, indicated that 2251 William had already been married at least once before and that he had four unmarried children under 21 years of age, but the name of the earlier wife (or wives) is not a present known.
Substantial tradition affirms that the mother of 22514 Frances Epes Cabaniss died when Frances Epes was born, that the child was taken and reared by her half-uncle, Isham Epes Dabney of Dinwiddle County (a fact which intimates that her mother was not the mother of 22511 Rebeckah, 22512 William, and 22513 Ruth), and that her father 2251 William migrated west or south with a cousin, William Wells. It is established that Frances Epes did remain in Virginia, but Rebeckah and Ruth accompanied William on his migration (William, Jr. presumably died young)
On three occasions, November 7, 1801; February 4, 1802; and August 6, 1802, there were chancery court cased in which "William Cabaniss and his wife Sophia" were complainants. Between Februray 7, 1800 and August 28, 1803, a son, 22515 Peter Randolph Cabaniss, was born and Sophia died. On the latter date 2251 William executed the following indenture, recorded September 1, 1803 Nottoway Deed Book 2:
This indenture.... between William Cabaniss of the County of Nottoway of the one part and Peter Randolph Cabaniss his son of the same county of the other part Witnesseth that the said William Cabaniss for and in consideration of the natural affection which he hath and doth bear unto his said son Peter Randolph Cabaniss.... doth give, grant and forever quit claim unto a certain Negro girl by name Tamer unto the said Peter Randolph Cabaniss his heirs and assigns forever together with all her future increase....The deed was signed by 2251 William Cabaniss and witnessed by Thomas V. Brooking, Elizabeth M.A.M. Brooking, and Matthew Cabaniss.
Among the witnesses of the deeds of February 7, 1800 and August 28, 1803, the following may be tentatively identified. It is reasonable to suppose that Matthew (both deeds) was either 2226 Matthew (Charles3, Matthew2, Henri1) a first cousin, or 2271 Matthew (George3, Matthew2, Henri1) also a first cousin, but not 2332 Matthew (George3, George2, Henri1) a second cousin, although all three men lived relatively near at hand, the first two in Lunenburg, third in Amelia. Cassimer was 2231 Cassimer (Matthew3, Matthew2, Henri1) another first cousin. Freeman Epes was William's superior as sheriff in 1795 and may have been a relative. Jordan Jackson, Thomas V. Brooking, and Elizabeth M.A.M. Brooking have not been investigated at the present.
Not long after the death of his wife Sophia and deed of gift to his son 22515 Peter Randolph Cabaniss, 2251 William began his journey to greener pastures. On March 2, 1805 he sold the land on which he lived in Nottoway (about 300 acres) to Thomas Booth, also of Nottoway, land not to be confused with 200 acres owned by his second cousin 2332 William (George3, George2, Henri1). The boundary lines were different.
The tradition of 2251 William's westward of southward migration with a cousin William Wells seems to be authenticated by several facts.
(1) There is record of marriage of William Cabaniss and Polly Harper, Green County, Kentucky on April 2, 1807, where eight years earlier William's first cousin once removed, 22211 Lucy5 (John4, Charles3, Matthew2, Henri1) had married David C. Caldwell. If this is the William with whom we are dealing, Polly Harper was probably his third wife. William may also have gone to Jones County, Georgia and back to Lunenburg in 1816 to assist in settlement of this father's estate. Note might be made here that Nina Fuller has documentation which makes this marriage to Polly Harper unlikely.
(2) Then there is listed in Sumner County, Tennessee 1820 census, a William Cabaniss with a household of eight whites and one black. He could well have been the William of this sketch, although there is no certainty. It is curiously suggestive, however, that a man named William Wells is listed in the same Tennessee census.
(3) In any case 2251 William Cabaniss was a resident of Tuscaloosa County, Alabama when on November 21, 1821 he purchased land from the public domain, patents for which were subsequently issued on April 12, 1824.
(4) The final clear evidence respecting 2251 William is his revealing will, dated May 8, 1825, recorded in Tuscaloosa County Will Book 1, pp. 19f, printed in The Alabama Genealogical Registrar, I, No. 1 (March 1959), p 41:
William Cabanes of the County of Tuskaloosa and State of Alabama.... unto Dianna Cabanes my dearly beloved wife one negro boy by the name Bob to do with as she pleases, also give during her natural life and at her decease to be divided.... between my three last children by names of Nepoland B. Cabanes, Dianna D. Cabanes, and William Cabanes the tract of land whereon I now live.... the N.W. 1/4 of Sec. 10 R 11 W T21 with the following negroes... Reuben, Molly and Silva, with all my household and Kitchen furniture, horse, cows and Hoggs.... to my daughter Frances Epes Vaughn one negro woman by name Milly I left her in the State of Virginia with all her increase.... to my son Peter R. Cabanes a negro woman named Tamar and her children.... ordain my wife Dianna Cabanes the sole Executor of my last will.... to my daughter Rutha More a piece of Land.... the W 1/2 of the S.W. quarter of Sec. 10 T21 R11W.... this 8th day of May, 1825.It is signed by "William Cabines (seal)," witnessed by Joseph Barrett, Constant P. Arthur, "Joseph x Soughty, sen. His Mark", and Sugar (Ezekiel) Mayfield.
Several facts are obvious from the foregoing will. (1) The "three last children" (22516 Napoleon B., 22517 Diana D., and 22518 William) were still under age and probably children of the wife Diana. (2) The other children were not Diana's offspring. Of them, three (22511 Rebecca Corks, 22514 Frances Epes Vaughn, and 22515 Peter Randolph) were of age, already married, and relatively independent. (3) The daughter 22513 Ruth Moore, also of age, was a widow, requiring more assistance than Rebecca, Frances Epes, and Peter Randolph. (There was a deed by William Cabaniss to Ruth Moore on July 21, 1825, witnessed by Ezekiel Mayfield and Joseph Barrett, recorded September 25, 1826, Tuscaloosa County Deed Book "E"). (4) The elder son 22512 William, mentioned in the Nottoway indenture of February 7, 1800, was dead and there was now a younger son bearing the name 22518 William. (5) It is clear also that the testator, 2251 William Cabaniss, was a Virginian who had removed to Alabama.