MILES AND PRISCILLA PARKER CHAPPELL
Miles Chappell, born 5 June, 1790 in Amelia County, VA, moved to to Bedford County, TN about 1807 with his parents Susannah Moore and Abner Chappell, a Revolutionary War veteran, born in Amelia County, 12 April, 1763, died in Howard County, MO, 15 Feb 1839. In Bedford County on 12 July, 1812, Miles married Priscilla Parker, born 10 April, 1797, daughter of Mary Harris and Elijah Parker, born about 1768 and died in 1853 in Raus, Bedford County.
Around 1820, Abner moved west to Howard County, MO, where he claimed bounty land for his war service. At about the same time Miles and his young family moved south to Tennesse.
The next record concerning the two of them is of Miles' selling his inheritance from his father. The deed was recorded in Howard County Deed Book S, page 395, 1841. This important document was not discovered by Phillip Chappell who wrote The Chappell Genealogy in 1900, an extensive work that was appended and reprinted in 1983. In the 1950s, Mrs. John McQueen Guttery discovered the document and worked diligently at bringing forward the Miles Chappell line in a little book, The Chappell Family. Unfortunately only one of her books is known to be available to the public, so a copy has been included with other data in a collection entitled Chappells and Stanleys of Bedford County, TN., Jasper County, GA., Fayette and Tuscaloosa Counties, AL., and Hill and Johnston Counties, TX. and donated to LDS family history centers and the library at Tuscaloosa.
At least five and possibly seven of Miles' and Priscilla's fourteen children, twelve daughters and two sons, were born in Tennessee. The others were born in Fayette County, Alabama. Miles and Priscilla lived in Fayette County south of Berry, near the Tuscaloosa County line until their very last years when they moved into the home of their daughter and son-in-law Jesse M. and Martha Stanley in Tuscaloosa County. As their children married they established homes in both counties.
Their children were (1) Lucy, 26 June, 1813 - 27 Aug, 1838, married George W. Johnston, both buried at Pleasant Hill Cemetery at Berry; (2) Sarah, 15 Apr, 1815 - after 1889, married Robert Berry; (3) Permelia, 6 Feb, 1817 - 26 Oct, 1903, married Jehu Chaney Kirkland, both buried Siloam Church Cemetery, Winfield, Marion County, AL; (4) James Harvey, 27 Feb, 1819 - 23 Jan, 1896, married Lucy Freeman, both buried at Pleasant Hill; (5) Susanah, 6 Feb 1822, dsp, very young; (6) Mary, 21 Mar, 1824 - before 1887, married Oliver Davis; (7) Catherine, 27 Aug, 1826 - before 1887, married Samuel Whitson; (8) Palatine, 29 Jan, 1929 - after 1889, married John C. Freeman; (9) Martha Jane, 29 May, 1831 - 20 Sep, 1909, married Jesse Mercer Stanley, both buried in Sterling Cemetery near Miles and Priscilla; (10) Lutitia, 12 May, 1833 - 25 June, 1910, married William Lucius Stanley, both buried Oak Hill Cemetery, Jasper County, AL; (11) Caraline, 4 Aug, 1835 - after 1889, married Nathaniel Davis; (12) Elizabeth, 22 Sep, 1837 - 6 Sep 1910, married D. C. M. T. Winn, buried Pleasant Hill; (13) John A., 29 Nov, 1840 - after 1889, married Callester Bagwell, and (14) Alpha Ann, 13 May 1846 - after 1889, married John Thomas. Except for Susanah, all children had issue. There were thirty-three years between the the first and last child. Lucy the eldest had married, given birth to six children, and died at age twenty-five before the birth eight years later of Alpha Ann. The only two sons were separated by more than twenty-one years.
When Miles died intestate 24 Mar, 1887, and was buried in Tuscaloosa Co. in Bethlehem Church Cemetery in Sterling, just three months short of his ninety-seventh birthday, his son James Harvey Chappell and son-in-law Jesse M. Stanley were appointed administrators of his estate which would not be settled until 1894, seven years later. What had to be a monumentous task for his administrators would one day become a genealogist's bonanza. Miles had outlived four of his children. He had outlived grandchildren with heirs and even great grandchildren with heirs. All had to be traced down and accounted for, and when the final accounting was done eight members of the first generation inherited $43.96 each and some of the great great grandchildren inherited eighty-one and one-fourth cents each from an estate which had been valued at $849.00. Administrative fees, no doubt well-deserved, lawyer, and court fees had eaten away at the already meager estate that had taken so much effort to resolve. James Harvey and John A did not receive an inheritance, presumably because of the land Deeds of Gift they had received earlier from their father. At the beginning of the settling of the estate, Palatine and John C. Freeman, Alpha Ann and John Thomas, and John A. and Callister Chappell had already moved to Texas as had many of the subsequent generations. Others were living in Mississippi. This lengthy probate providing documentation of spouses, up to four generations of children, and their residence at the time, has been transcribed and is included in the Chappell and Stanley collection mentioned earlier. Also included in that collection is a list of about 750 descendants compiled from the estate record, Mrs. Guttery's work, marriage, census, and cemetery records.
Another useful and entertaining source of information on this couple is Miles' War of 1812 record, SC-14477. Because of the government red tape that was undoubtedly a nightmare for the participants, Miles's military record provides more information than many such records. Miles was drafted near Shelbyville, Bedford County, TN in November, 1814, and served in Captain John Jackson's Company, Tennessee Militia. Seventeen year old Priscilla was early pregnant with their second child. Miles served under General Andrew Jackson in the Battle of New Orleans, finished his tour of duty, was discharged honorably in May, 1815, and returned home just after the birth of his second daughter.
In Alabama, years later under the Acts of 1850 and 1855, Miles applied for and received bounty land for his service. In 1871, seventy-eight year old Miles signed a declaration of loyalty to the United States, attesting that in the recent rebellion, he had given no aid or comfort to the enemy, and requesting a pension under the provision of the act of 1871. In 1872, he was approved for a pension of $8.00 a month. September 1, 1886, Tuscaloosa attorney, S. A. M. Wood wrote a letter at the request of Miles' daughter, Martha Stanley with whom Miles and Priscilla were now living. Miles was now blind and helpless, and it was their understanding that his condition entitled him to another $4.00 a month for a total of $12.00.
Whether the paperwork cleared Washington before Miles'
death is uncertain. What is evident is the aggravation poor Priscilla
encountered when she tried to get her widow's pension established. The
required form was not too difficult, asking the usual information: date
and place of birth, enlistment, death, and a description of his appearance
at the time of his enlistment. He was, Priscilla recalled, five feet,
nine inches tall, with black hair, blue eyes, and fair skin. It seems
that although his name was written Miles, he was called "Milo."
On occasion the latter spelling had been entered in his record, and when
his blindness required him to have his vouchers signed with his "X" appended,
the signer had written "Milo." Questions had arisen concerning this
while he still lived, but after his death, it became a major obstacle for
Priscilla. Oddly they never questioned the variations of Chappell,
Chappel, and Chapel. Not only did she have to explain the Miles\Milo
discrepancy, but she must show proof of their marriage which had occured
just seventy-five years, less three months, before Miles died! The
poor widow responded, "...so far as I know it would be impossible for me
to furnish proof of our mariage for there is no one living as I know of
that saw us married..." Finally she satisfied their requirements
with several sworn statements regarding the actual date of Miles' death,
the spelling and pronunciation of his name, and that they had lived as
man and wife for at least the last forty-five years. Eleven months after
his death, Priscilla got her pension retroactive back to his death date
and for the full $12.00! What a fortune this must have seemed.
Priscilla lived another eighteen months after the her pension was granted,
and then on 27 Aug, 1889, she joined Miles in that peaceful little church
cemetery in Sterling.