In Union County, South Carolina, there were two women named Zillah Hames. This is about the Zillah Hames the younger, niece of the other.

Zillah Hames (b. 1812) was the daughter of John M. Hames (1791–1862) and Sarah “Sallie” Fowler (1790–1870). She was undoubtedly named after her aunt — her father’s sister — Zilla Hames (1793-after 1860) who married Thomas Mabry (1788-after 1860).

John M. Hames was the son of William Hames and Elizabeth Moseley. Sarah Fowler was the daughter of Ephraim Fowler, son of Henry Ellis Fowler.

Census records may not accurately reflect the number of children that John M. Hames and Sarah Fowler had during their marriage. I believe that there was at least one more son, and probably another daughter. The large gaps in between the births of children are suspect, but the following children are known and documented:

  • Zillah Hames (1812–1883)
  • Matilda Hames (1822?–1901)
  • Mary “Polly” Hames (b.1827)
  • Andrew Jackson Hames (1830–1863)
  • Elizabeth Hames (b. 1832)

Zillah Hames and William Bevis (1807-1883) were married by Esquire Lipsey on May 5, 1829 . The ceremony was performed at the home of her father, John Hames. William Bevis had previously been married to Hannah Gault, who died two years into the marriage. Hannah had given birth to two daughters, Salena Bevis and Rebecca Bevis.

Zillah Hames and William Bevis had a family bible in which births, marriages, and deaths were religiously recorded. Fifteen children were born during their marriage — a son Henry, and a daughter Nancy died very young; Phebe Caroline and Sara Francis were twins; and five infants were stillborn during Zillah’s late childbearing years of 1848 to 1856.

  • Mary Jane Bevis (1831–after 1880) m. Thomas Luther Burgess (1829–1908)
  • Henry Bevis 1833-1833
  • Nancy Bevis 1834-1836
  • William Zachariah Bevis (1837–1896) m. Elizabeth T. Jane Hames (1827–1911)
  • Nancy Elendar Bevis (b, 1839)
  • Phebe Caroline Bevis (1842–1938)
  • Sara Francis Bevis (1842–1936) m. John Holcomb (1828–1906)
  • Eliza Elizabeth Bevis (1844–1930) m. James Daniel McNeace (1846–1906)
  • John M Bevis (1846-1883) m. Eliza Disor Holcombe (b. 1842); m. Vesta Ann Fowler (1849–1896)
  • Infant Bevis (1848-1848)
  • Amanda M Bevis (1850–1913) m. John McNeace (1848–1903)
  • Infant Bevis (1851-1851)
  • Infant Bevis (1852-1852)
  • Infant Bevis (1853–1853)
  • Infant Bevis (1856–1856)

Sarah Francis Bevis and her brother John M. Bevis

Zillah Hames died at ten o’clock in the morning on November 7, 1876. Her funeral text was from Proverbs 14:32; King James Version: “The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death.

Zillah Hames was buried at Bethlehem United Methodist Church Cemetery in the Kelly area of Union County SC. I visit her grave often.

Four months after the death of Zillah, William Bevis married his third wife, Letta Spencer, but the marriage was short-lived. In 1883, he was laid to rest near his second wife — and the one with whom he had spent most of his life — Zillah Hames Bevis.

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