John Mavis (1826-1897) and Francis A. Underwood (1834-?)

John and Francis (Underwood) Mavis are two of the ancestors about whom I know fairly little. We know Francis Underwood's name, as it's printed on a quilt handed down through the generations and now belonging to my aunt, Gayle Lewis Maurer. Other information that we know is the following.

John Mavis was born on April 30, 1826, in Virginia. On July 3, 1851, he married Francis Underwood (b. June 19, 1834 in Pennsylvania) in Knox County, Ohio. They had at least eight children; those whose names we know are:

  • Stephen Mavis, b. June 13, 1852.
  • Sarah Mavis, b. 1856.
  • Henry A. Mavis, b. abt. 1858.
  • Florence Mavis, b. 1860 (?). Another source says Oct 23, 1867. She married Earl Keller on Dec 1, 1898, in Harlan, Shelby County, Iowa. Florence and Earl had a daughter, Frances Ruth, born in Denver, Colorado, on November 21, 1902.
  • Louisa Jane Mavis, b. August 17, 1861. She married Elza Allison Kinsey on Jan 18, 1877 in Licking County, OH. Their son Charles W. Kinsey was born in 1878 in Ohio.
  • John William Mavis, b. 1866.
  • Nancy Ann Mavis, b. July 26, 1868.
  • Samuel Howard Mavis, b. August 6, 1872.
The photo above we believe is of Francis, though nobody is likely alive today to confirm it. The original photo was found amongst my great-grandmother Bessie Tompkins MacDonald's things. It was quite large - 6x8 and mounted on a 10x12 cardstock. On the back is the stamp for Fowler View Company of Des Moines, Iowa.

The dates above are according to LDS records, which also state that all of the children but the last were born in Knox County, Ohio. Samuel was born in Jefferson Twp, Coshocton County, Ohio.

At the moment we have no more information on Francis. Some members of the Mavis family, including their father John, moved to Harlan, Shelby County, Iowa, sometime after the children were born. John Mavis died on February 23, 1897 in Harlan, Iowa.

No doubt the women in this photo were members of the Mavis family, but who they are, we're not sure.

If anyone has more information on this family, please let me know!

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