Our Chastain family has lived in America for more than 300 years in an unbroken line of eleven generations. You may start from the beginning, or you may choose a generation from the index.
9-The Brothers and Their Families~8-Robert~7-Silas~6-Cobb~5-Edward~4-Elijah~3-Rev. John~2-Peter, Jr.~1-Pierre~Back to Top
On July 23, 1700, the ship Mary and Ann arrived in Virginia Colony bringing our immigrant ancestor Pierre Chastain to the new world. He fled to the new land from France through England to escape Louis XIV's harsh Catholic persecution of the French Protestants called Huguenots. Pierre was about 37 years old. Pierre helped found a new community in the colony called Manakintown, and served for many years as an officer of the Episcopalian Church of Manakintown. He was a surgeon by profession.
Peter, Jr. was born in the Virginia Colony about 1707. Peter is the English form of the French Pierre. He was the son of Pierre and his second wife, Anne Soblet. Pierre's first wife died shortly after arriving in the new world. Peter inherited his father's home and 111 acres of land in 1728. However, Peter mortgaged the property the next year to cover some debts and subsequently deeded the land to the mortgager. Later, he owned a different tract of 400 acres. Peter apparently lived his entire life in Virginia.
In the mid-1700's a new religious movement swept the colonies. They were the Baptists, and several Chastains of our family were involved in the spread of this pioneer movement that, among other things, promoted freedom from the established English Church (Episcopal). John Chastain was one of these Baptist pioneers and was called "Ten Shilling Bell" because of his clear preaching voice. In 1774, he helped found a Baptist Church in what would later be Tennessee and in the 1790s he pastored new Baptist churches in South Carolina.
Dissatisfaction with English rule was shared by more than just the Baptists, and in 1776 the colonies declared independence from England which precipitated the momentous Revolutionary War. In the first year of the war, Elijah was born in Virginia. He spent many years in the Carolinas after having moved there with his father. Later, along with a number of his Chastain relatives, he settled the lands taken from the Cherokees in north Georgia after the Cherokees were forced to walk the trail of tears to Oklahoma. Elijah fathered twenty-one children.
Edward was born in Georgia, and he married and had his children there. But in 1859 he moved with his family to Thorn Hill, Alabama, leaving some of his adult children in Georgia. The next eight years were sad ones for Edward's family. When the Civil War began, Edward supported the Union. His two sons, James and David, and two sons-in-law, John S. Cantrell and Hiram Lambert, served in the 1st Alabama Cavalry (Union). Meanwhile, Edward's older son, Martin, whom he had left in Georgia, served in the Confederate Army. Martin and David both died of war-related problems. Edward himself was killed by a horse in 1867.
Cobb's real name was William Howell, probably named after the Georgia legislator, William Howell Cobb. When the Civil War began the year after his family moved to Alabama, Cobb was only nine years old. He was much to young to fight, but three of his older brother (our uncles) did go to war. Cobb was a fiddler, and was a popular player at local square dances. The Cobb Chastain homestead was destroyed when the land was strip-mined for coal. The earth was replaced, but of course the original features were obliterated.
Silas was born in Alabama, and spent his entire life there except for brief stays in Florida and Ohio. Silas was the last farmer in our Chastain line. In his early adult years he worked in the coal mines, but he returned to farming after being injured in a mine cave-in. After the depression, he participated in President Roosevelt's WPA building programs. Silas enjoyed music and once dug a deep well in return for a crank Victrola. Silas was devoted to his father, Cobb, and Silas and his wife cared for Cobb in their home in his later years.
Robert (Bob) Chastain was born in Alabama in 1927 and raised on an Alabama farm. As a young adult, Bob left the farm to work in the cities of Chicago, Detroit, and Mobile. He married Movaline Borden, also from Alabama, and during the Korean conflict, he served stateside as a medic in Air Force. After his discharge, he moved with his family to Central Florida where he became a professional salesman. During most of his adult years, Bob was a bi-vocational Baptist minister-preaching and pursuing a sales career at the same time.
The children of Robert and Movaline (Borden) Chastain are Tim (born 1951), Valorie (1955), Terry (1958), Cheryl (1960), and Tracy (1965). Tim, Terry, and Tracy are the Brothers of Chastain Central. Robert moved to Florida in 1955 with his wife and two older children. The remaining children were born in Orlando, Florida. The family lived in various places in Central Florida, and the children attended schools in Ocoee, Leesburg, Mt. Dora, Titusville, and Sanford. Tim, Terry, and Cheryl currently live in Central Florida. Valorie lives in Tennessee and Tracy in California.
Child of Tim Chastain: Andrew Chastain
Children of Valorie Chastain: Tony and Kenneth Ford; Child of Kenneth Ford: Alyssa Ford
Step-child of Terry Chastain: Jason Dodd
Children of Cheryl Chastain: Justin Cartwright and Stephan Champagne
Children of Tracy Chastain: Bobby and Danielle Chastain
Visit The Pierre Chastain Family Association for more information on Chastain genealogy in France and the USA.