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Vashti B (Wells) Chaffin (1831 - 1920)

Vashti B Chaffin formerly Wells aka Smith
Born in Mississippi, United Statesmap
[sibling(s) unknown]
Wife of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Wife of — married 26 Jun 1856 [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died at age 88 in Oakdale, Allen Parish, Louisiana, United Statesmap
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Profile last modified | Created 23 May 2015
This page has been accessed 840 times.


Daughter of George Wells, per her death certificate. She can be found in his household in the 1850 census in Bienville Parish. (Not to be confused with Vashti Boyd who married her brother George Jr.)

The 1850 census suggests an 1833 birthdate, a year used in the notes of an earlier researcher who had access to specific dates not found in known records, but her headstone reads 1831. According to the death certificate and the censuses, she was born in Mississippi.

Vashti married first Joseph (or Josiah) Smith, son of Basil and Malinda (Simmons) Smith (on 26 June 1857, according to the aforementioned notes). Their children were Emma (buried in the same cemetery), Samanthy, Abe, Kenneth McKenzy, and Joseph Richard. Emma and Joseph Richard - the oldest and the youngest - were the only two children from this marriage who survived; the rest perished in a fever that first claimed the life of Vashti's husband Joseph, followed by Samanthy the next day, Abe a week after, and Kenneth the next month.

After a year, Vashti married her brother-in-law, widower Anderson Lenard Chafin (spellings vary) who had been married to her husband Joseph's sister Prudence previously. Together they had the following children: Jessey, George, Cornelia Lovonia (buried in the same cemetery), Idonia, and Sauphronia.

According to her great-granddaughter Gracie Jenkins Johnson, Vashti smoked a clay pipe.

DNA Notes

Autosomal DNA segments shared by descendants of Vashti's children through both husbands have been triangulated at several positions. Some of these segments are also shared by descendants of George and Margaret Wells' children John, Nancy, Margaret, and Delilah. However, since Delilah married a brother of Vashti's first husband, and John married a niece of Vashti's first husband, the origin of some segments will require further research to determine whether they are of Wells origin.

Although Ancestry ThruLines finds many matches between several of Vashti's descendants on various lines and the descendants of Thomas Wells who married Anne Bailey (with these matches often falling within the significant 25-45 cM range), little segment data is available for these matches, and none has been triangulated yet. Furthermore, there may be other, as-yet undiscovered, connections to this couple.


  • Louisiana Deaths, 1850-1875; 1894-1954. "Vashtie Chaffin". States that her father was George Wells. Transcribed record is available at Scan of original death certificate is attached to several trees.
  • Grace Jenkins Johnson, great-granddaughter of Vashti Wells, as interviewed extensively on video by Vashti's great-granddaughter Eleanor Stockman Simonds. Gracie and her sister Jessie lived a significant amount of time in the same household as Vashti. The video footage is in the possession of many descendants of Vashti's daughter Emma. Vashti's marriage date to Joseph Smith along with the birth and death dates of their children was among photocopied papers provided by Gracie some years before the interviews ("26 June 1856").
  • Descendant Jill Flyer cites her "Chafin-Linzay" album with providing Vashti's middle initial. Note that she says this album does distinguish between Vashti Boyd who married George Wells (Jr.), and this Vashti Wells.

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Vashti by comparing test results with other carriers of her mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known mtDNA test-takers in her direct maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with Vashti:

Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

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Wells-24414 and Wells-8693 appear to represent the same person because: Wells-24414 and Wells-8693 represent the same person. Same dates and married to same spouse. Please merge.

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