Ancestry of Dave Chappelle

compiled by Christopher Challender Child

The following material on the immediate ancestry of Dave Chappelle should not be considered either exhaustive or authoritative, but rather as a first draft.

This report was compiled by Christopher Challender Child. The contribution of the undersigned is limited to HTML-izing Mr. Child's report.

William Addams Reitwiesner

Ancestry of Dave Chappelle
1 David Khari Webber ("Dave") Chappelle, b. Washington, D.C. 24 Aug. 1973
2 William David Chappelle III, b. Columbia, Douth Carolina 16 Dec. 1938, d. Yellow Springs, Ohio 29 July 1998, [SSDI 579-50-5222], professor of music and voice at Antioch college [m. (2) Joan ---]
m. ... , div. ...
3 Yvonne K ... Reed, b. Washington D.C. 12 Dec. 1937, Unitarian Universalist minister and currently [2006] a professor of African-American Studies at Prince George's Community College in Largo, Maryland (see [m. (2) --- Seon]
4 Henry Talmage Chappelle, b. Nashville, Tennessee 6 Aug. 1904, d. Yellow Springs, Greene Co., Ohio 24 March 1991 [Ohio Death Index] [1930 Census, Columbia, South Carolina, single with widowed mother]
5 Leola Webber, b. 3 July 1912, d. Jan. 1982, last residence Hopkins, Richland Co., South Carolina [SSDI 115-22-6901, issued in New York]
6 George Raymond Reed, b. Washington, D.C. 18 November 1911, d. Cheverly, Maryland 16 Aug. 2003 [SSDI 577-22-5291], vendor and advocate for the blind [m. (2) ca. 1957 Marian Kay]
m. ... , div. ...
7 Beatrice Murray, b. Grenada 15 Jan. 1916, d. Silver Spring, Maryland 22 Aug. 1999 [SSDI 577-28-4893] real estate broker and civil rights activist [m. (2) and div. Elmer Jones]
8 William David Chappelle, b. Winnsboro, South Carolina 15 Nov. 1857, d. Columbia, South Carolina 15 June 1925 [1880 Census, Winnsboro, Fairfield, South Carolina, 1900/1910/1920 Census, Columbia, Richland, S.C.], bishop, President of Allen University
m. 26 April 1900
9 Rosina C ... Palmer, b. South Carolina July 1873, d. after 1930 [1930 Census, Columbia, South Carolina]
16 Henry Chappelle, b. S.C. ca. 1829, d. bet. 1880-1900 [1880 Census, Winnsboro, Fairfield, S.C.]
m. ca. 1856
17 Patsie McCrory, b. Virginia Nov. 1827 or ca. 1831, d. 1900-1910
18 Robert J ... Palmer, "wealthy landowner and merchant, and member of the Black majority South Carolina Legislature during Reconstruction" [see article on William D. Chappelle, Jr., cited below]
19 ----




2 -- Found by Rob Martindale:
ANTIOCH VOICE, MUSIC TEACHER DEAD AT 59 * Memorial services for William 
David Chappelle III will be Aug. 15 on Antioch College campus.

William David Chappelle III, who taught voice and music at Antioch College 
and taught singing in the Dayton Public Schools' Music Magnet Program, died 
at his Yellow Springs home July 29. He was 59.

Chappelle was born in Columbia, South Carolina, attended Brown University, 
graduated from Antioch College with a B.A. in Music in 1980, and studied 
Music Education at Wright State University. He was a co-op faculty member 
at Antioch, worked at the Greene County Library and taught voice privately 
in Yellow Springs.

Chappelle was known for his community service and activism. He served on 
and worked with the Yellow Springs Human Relations Task group and was one 
of the founders of African American Cultural Works.

He is survived by his wife, Joan M. Evans Chappelle; daughter Fatimah and 
son-in-law Ali Akinyele; son Yusuf Abdullah; son Dave Chappelle; son Brian 
Evans; daughter Jennifer Evans; and granddaughter Zaakiya Akinyele.

A memorial service will be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 15 at the Miles Budd Goodman 
Memorial Amphitheater, on the Antioch College campus on Corry Street in 
Yellow Springs. Friends are asked to bring a covered dish for a potluck 
following the service.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a memorial contribution should 
send them either to Youth Agenda, The People's Institute for Undoing Racism 
and Beyond, 1414 N. Johnson Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, or to AACW 
William Chappelle Youth Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 441, Yellow Springs, 
Ohio 45387.

Dayton Daily News (OH)
Date: August 7, 1998
Edition: CITY
Page: 4B

Ohio Deaths (from
                         Name: William Chappelle
                 Age at Death: 59
                Date of Death: 29 Jul 1998
              County of Death: Greene
                       Volume: 31611
                  Certificate: 055870

                Date of Birth: 16 Dec 1938
               State of Birth: South Carolina
             Country of Birth: United States
             Father's Surname: Chappelle
         Mother's Maiden Name: Webber

                       Gender: Male
               Marital Status: Married
                         Race: African American
              Hispanic Origin: Not Hispanic
           Years of Schooling: 5+ years college
       Social Security Number: 579-50-5222
                     Industry: Colleges and universities
                   Occupation: Postsecondary teachers, subject not specified
      Whether in Armed Forces: Yes
            Branch of Service: Army

Primary Registration District: 2900

            Hospital of Death: Home
              Hospital Status: Other/Residence
                Time of Death: 10:20 PM
                    Certifier: Physician

4 -- Obituary in Yellow Springs News, March 1991
Henry T. Chappelle

Henry Talmage Chappelle of Columbia, South Carolina, died Palm Sunday morning 
in the home of William and Joan Chappelle in Yellow Springs.

He was born August 6, 1904 to Bishop William D. Chappelle and Rosina Palmer 
Chappelle in Nashville, Tennessee.  He grew up in Columbia, married Leola 
Webber Chappelle, had one son, and lived in Washington, D.C. and Silver 
Spring, Maryland before retiring to Hopkins, South Carolina.

He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law, William and Joan Chappelle of 
Yellow Springs; his grandchildren, David Khari Webber Chappelle, William Reed 
Sedar Chappelle, and Felicia Yvonne Ama Chappelle; and their mother and 
maternal grandmother, Reverend Dr. Yvonne K. Seon and Mrs. Beatrice M. Reed 
of Maryland.

In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Brian Center, Nursing Care/Columbia 
would be appreciated.  

Ohio Deaths (from
                             Name: Henry T Chappelle

                     Age at Death: 84 
                    Date of Death: 24 Mar 1991
                  County of Death: Greene 
                           Volume: 28484 
                      Certificate: 017913 

                    Date of Birth: 6 Aug 1904
                   State of Birth: Tennessee 
                 Country of Birth: United States 
                 Father's Surname: Chappelle 

                           Gender: Male 
                   Marital Status: Widowed 
                             Race: African American 
                  Hispanic Origin: Not Hispanic 
               Years of Schooling: 16 
           Social Security Number: 260-24-7994 
                         Industry: Funeral service and crematories 
                       Occupation: Technicians, not elsewhere classified 

              County of Residence: Greene 
               State of Residence: Ohio 
             Country of Residence: United States 
    Primary Registration District: 2900 

                Hospital of Death: Home 
                  Hospital Status: Other/Residence 
                    Time of Death: 7:56 AM 
                      Filing Date: 26 Mar 1991
                        Certifier: Coroner 
      Whether Referred to Coroner: Yes 
                          Autopsy: No 

Classification of Place of Injury: Unspecified Place 
  Whether Injury Happened in Ohio: Yes 

6 -- Obituary appeared in The Washington Post 29 Aug. 2003, page B6; mentions wife of 46 years of Forestville, and daughter of Cheverly; obituary in Yellow Springs News 23 Oct. 2003 says more genealogical detail (the Post obituary says Reed died at Cheverly while the below obituary says he died Hyattsville).

In the audio commentary of season one of Chappelle's Show, Dave Chappelle says that his grandfather, blind since birth, was born at a white hospital in 1911 since his mother was white and was once mistaken for white on a bus in D.C. by other black passengers but at first did not realize the other passengers were referring to him.

Obituary from Yellow Springs News 23 Oct. 2003; available online at

George R. Reed

George Raymond Reed died recently at his home in Hyattsville, Md. He was 91.

Reed was the first blind African-American to be placed in the District of 
Columbia Randolph-Sheppard Program, which provided jobs for blind people 
managing concession stands in government buildings. Reed was a vendor from 
1941 until 1981, managing stands at the old Freedman's Hospital Annex, the 
National Archives, the Small Business Administration, and at the gift shop 
at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the nation's capital.

Reed was a source of inspiration to his grandson, comedian Dave Chappelle, 
and inspired the creation of the fictional character Clayton Bixby, one of 
the best known sketches in the "Chappelle Show." Blind from birth, Reed was 
sent to the Maryland School for the Blind, colored section, in 1917.

At eighteen, Reed became the first blind person to be "mainstreamed" in the 
public schools of the District of Columbia. He was graduated first in his 
class in 1933. In 1937, he was graduated summa cum laude from Howard 
University. Known nationally for his advocacy of fair treatment and job 
opportunities for the blind, Reed was an early member of the National 
Federation of the Blind. 

As vice-president and later president of the D.C. Stand Operator's 
Assocation, he took the lead in successfully suing the managers of the 
D.C. vending program for failure to administer the program in the best 
interest of the blind vendors. As a result of the case, a new managing 
corporation was named, with input from the vendors. 

A lifelong resident of the greater Washington, D.C. area, Reed served 
under Marion Barry as a member of the Mayor's Commission for the 

Reed had been visiting the Xenia-Yellow Springs area since the early 
1970s and recently came to the area to spend time with his 
great-grandchildren. He delighted in a fine meal, and had high praise 
for the baked breakfast treats at Morgan House, the cuisine at the 
home of Alyce Earl Jenkins, and Thanksgiving dinner with Joan and the 
late Bill Chappelle.

George Reed is survived by his wife of 46 years, Marian Kay Reed, his 
daughter, Dr. Yvonne Chappelle Seon, and a large extended family which 
includes grandchildren Felicia Jones, William S. Chappelle and Dave 
Chappelle, all of Yellow Springs, and eight great-grandchildren.

7 -- Obituary and death notice appeared in The Washington Post 29 Aug. 1999, page C7; mentions daughter Rev. Yvonne K. Seon; sister Marie Murray Jackson; grandchildren Felicia Chappelle, William Sedar Chappelle, David Chappelle, 2 great-grandchildren, niece Adrienne Jackson, nephews Cornelius Tucker, C. Milton Tucker, and Cecil B. Tucker; life-long friends George Reed and Daisy Lewis; death notice says daughter of Cheverly and sister of New York, and both her marriages to Reed and Jones ended in divorce, also says she was born in Grenada and came to D.C. as a teenager, educated at Cardoza High School and Howard University.

In the audio commentary of season two of Chappelle's Show, Dave Chappelle says that both his maternal grandfather and grandmother were half black and half white.

8 -- A portrait of Bishop W. D. Chappelle can be found at

From Who Was Who, 1: 212:
Chappelle, William D., bishop; b. Winnsboro, S.C. Nov. 16, 1857; ed. 
Fairfield Normal Institute, Allen Univ., Columbia, S.C.; (A.M., D.D., 
LL.D., Ph.D.); m. Miss R.C. Palmer, Apr. 25, 1900.  Ordained A.M.E. 
ministry, 1881; editor A.M.E. S.S. lit., 1900-08; pres. Allen U., 
1908-12; bishop A.M.E. Ch.; pres. bd. trustees Allen U.; connectional 
trustee Wilberforce U., Xenia, O. Mason.  Author: Sermons and Addresses 
(2 vols.).  Became chancellor Allen Univ.  Has contributed much money 
to the development of Allen Univ.  Home: Columbia, S.C. Died June 15, 

From Who's Who of the Colored Race, 63:
CHAPPELLE, William David, bishop; born at Winnsboro, S.C., Nov. 16, 1857; 
son of Henry and Patsie (McCrory) Chappelle; prep. edn. Fairfield Normal 
Institute; A.B., Allen Univ., Columbia, S.C., 1881; (hon. D.D., Campbell 
College, 1896, LL.D., 1913); married Eliza A. Ayers; 3 children; 2d marriage, 
Rosina C. Palmer of Columbia, S.C., Apr. 26, 1900; 2 children.  Licensed to 
preach in A.M.E. Church, Winnsboro, 1881; presiding elder 11 years; editor 
of Sunday School literature for his church 8 years; was president Allen 
Univ., first for 2 years, later served 4 years; elected bishop, 1912; now 
presiding over 12th Episcopal District, A.M.E. Church, including states of 
Ala. and Okla.; much of his work was published by the State Company, 
Columbia, S.C., under title of Sermons and Addresses; part owner of Ideal 
Pharmacy.  Trustee Wilberforce Univ. and Allen Univ.  Republican.  Mason.  
Home: 1208 Hardin St., Colubmia, S.C.


A detailed biography of William David Chappelle, Jr. (oldest son of Bishop W.D. Chappelle, half-brother of Henry Talmage Chappelle, and the 2nd of the three of W.D. Chappelle's), titled "William D. Chappelle, Jr., M.D.: A Physician and Churchman in South Carolina", by E. H. Beardsley, was published in The A.M.E. Church Review 117:382 [April-June 2001], pp. 54-62.


See above. Also:

William Addams Reitwiesner