1925 Biography - Choat

The Choat family who were Irish is a large one and they were very early settlers here but it seems impossible to get any lineage from the ones now living, from the best information they must have come here early in the nineteenth century. The following is from a granddaughter of Nicholas Choat. She says he came from Kentucky and was a distiller having a large fruit orchard there from which he made brandy and other drinks. He came to Illinois, selected a farm a short distance east from what is now Tunnel Hill and a part of the J. P. Woodside place, returned to Kentucky and brought fruit trees, planted them and in time began the manufacture of spirits again. His home was on the old Ft. Massac and Kaskaskia trace and he sold his wares to travelers. He had five sons and three daughters. Ezekiel Choat was one. He also lived in the neighborhood of Ozark. William Harper lived on the Ezekiel Choat place in 1921. Nicholas Choat's wife was Nancy Smith and they were married in Kentucky. His son, Ezekiel, married Margaret McFatridge, daughter to William (1). They raised a large family to be grown and have families but Absolem is the only one whose name was secured. He married Lucinda Colbreth and reared a family of five boys and three girls each of whom had large families. It is supposed Sabert and Squire Choat were brothers to Ezekiel. It is thought the family came here as early as 1808. Squire Choat married Polly Casey (see Casey) and lived at Casey Springs in 1825. He lived in this county as early as 1815. He had a son born there in 1818, J. P., who was the father of J. M. Choat. Sabert Choat married a Harvick, daughter to Jacob. Squire Choat moved to Massac County and raised his family there. It is thought that Sabert Choat lived in Massac also. Isaac Choat of Massac County has a biography in the "Biographical Record" published in 1893. The names given of his family are the same as those in the other Choat families and it is possible that he is a descendent of another son of Nicholas Choat. Greenbury Choat was a revolutionary soldier and is buried in this or Saline County. He no doubt was connected with this family possibly father to Nicholas as Green is a favorite name in the Choat family. Ezekiel was rather prominent in the affairs of the county in its early settlement. Absolem Choat said Squire Choat was a son of Green (Greenbury) Choat. Nicholas and Greenbury may have been brothers. Tradition says Polly (Casey) Choat was a woman of unusual intellect and sterling character. A daughter of Absolem Choat says she was a woman of fame for her day. Her character as a pioneer wife and mother has left its impress on the generations following as she passed on many years ago, yet her influence and example still lives.

Extracted 08 Feb 2017 by Norma Hass from 1925 A History of Johnson County, Illinois, by Mrs. P. T. Chapman, pages 472-473.

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