When family members vanish. Ancestors who cross the color line.

Years ago, I received a photograph of Jean-Baptiste Chevis(c1824–1907) from a researcher whose name escapes me. The year of the photograph is unknown. From a quick glance, many would take him to be an elderly, well-dressed white man posing for a picture on a bright sunny day. The truth is that he was born well before the Civil war to Héloïse Meuillion and John Chavis, free persons of color, in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. His father John migrated to Louisiana from North Carolina and he was likely a descendant of the numerous fpoc Chavis family…