Page was last updated on June 21, 2001


The mystery surrounding Antoine is so odd that it's a wonder that I found anything at all about him. The reason for this mystery was made clear as I learned more about the life of Antoine's youngest child, Tandy. It is through Tandy's lineage that I ascended. 

    Tandy was born February 15, 1867 [1], the youngest child of Antoine and Martha Canivet. Antoine died a year later, which meant Tandy never had the opportunity to know his father. Martha, Tandy's mother,  re-married to Jonah Scalf in 1871 [2], and then to Dan Harris [3]. Tandy would live in Lewistown, Illinois throughout his entire life.

    There is reason to believe that Jonah Scalf was unkind to Tandy. One time, at the age of five, he wanted to have a picture of himself taken. He worked and earned 50 cents. Martha learned of this and told Tandy to quickly have the picture done before Jonah learned about the money he earned and abscond it from him. Tandy ran to town and had the picture taken. He kept the picture until the day he died [12]. As of now, no one knows the whereabouts of this picture.

    Somehow during Tandy's lifetime the family name was changed from CANIVET to CANAEVIT through his lineage, while older brother James spelled the name CANAVIT. It is not clear how these spellings came into being. I believe that Martha may have been confused as to the original spelling and left it up to the children to decide.

    Tandy was a farmer all of his life. The only known quirk of his that I am aware of was that he liked to eat his peas on a knife (a feat which must have required a great deal of eye-hand coordination...I have tried this technique and failed miserably!). Edward Canevit states that Tandy not only ate peas in this manner, but all of his food [14].

    Tandy married Dollie R. M. Collins, the daughter of Henry Collins and the former Abigail Austin, on December 30, 1891[4]. Dollie was 16 years old, while Tandy was 24. Their marriage was conducted at the Justice of the Peace in Fulton County, Illinois. They had one child together, Antwine Henry Canaevit, my Great-Grandfather, on March 9, 1895 [5]. Dollie died shortly after giving birth to Atwine (Winey).

Tandy later re-married to Virginia "Jennie" Bryant on April 19, 1897 [6]. They had three children together: Everett Preston (born March 1, 1899 in Fulton County, Illinois, died March 22, 1924); Delice Marie (born 1901, died August 3, 1942); and James (born July 22, 1904, died May 22, 1977). At some point, Tandy adopted another child, Edith Prose [7], although not much is known about her. Interestingly, Tandy would outlive all but two of his children.

    According to Allen Jones, as told to Arthur K. Hall, Tandy's second marriage was rough. Jennie seems to have been mentally disabled (or "off in the head" as Allen Jones put it). He told of one story where she took the children and herself and hid for a night while Tandy searched for them. Another time, she returned from a pond and told Tandy that she could not "get the job done" and that every time she tried to push the children into the pond, a hand came out and pushed them back. Eventually, Jennie Bryant hanged herself [12] with a belt [14].

    Tandy's occupation was farming, and he owned a plot of land near Lewistown, Illinois. According to Edward Canevit, Tandy did not produce a great deal of food, but he was always able to produce enough to "get by". Half of Tandy's land is said to have been unusable for farming; much of the land was rocky [14].

    Mary Canevit informed me one time that Tandy lived with a woman in a small house. They refused to get married because they would lose some social security benefits. This caused a bit of strife in the family because at the time, it was just unheard of for a man and woman to be living together, especially at their age! [13] She also said that the woman was initially a housekeeper who later moved in with him. Edward Canevit stated that her last name was Bishop (her first name may have been Mary), and that she was a very kind woman. Edward Canevit remembered her fondly for her culinary skills, particularly with sugar cookies [14].

    Allen Jones mentioned to Arthur Hall that a woman named Mary Sandwich kept house for Tandy. I'm fairly certain that this is the same person that Mary Canevit and Edward Canevit was referring to [12][14]. He also said that Tandy raised a son of Mary Sandwich.

    Soon after Martha Singleton's death, Tandy had a headstone made for her grave. Unfortunately, the wrong year for her birth date was engraved. Tandy thought the stone was just too pretty to change it, and left it that way. [12].

    As a child, my father met Tandy. My father's recollections of Tandy was that he was frail and very old, and that he had diabetes. Unfortunately, my father was very young when he met Tandy, so he doesn't remember any conversations with him. In the Spring of 1999, I made contact with Julia Pascal who is descended from Rachael Canivet ( Tandy's oldest sister). She informed me that there is information about Tandy, and that an elderly aunt (Olga Wolfe) of her's actually met him. Apparently Olga Wolfe has some information concerning that part of our heritage, so hopefully I'll get to meet her soon and find out what she knows!

    After Mary Bishop (or Sandwich) passed away, Tandy lived with his son James in a garage. James was a religious man and was in fact the first minister of the Free Methodist Church in Canton, Illinois in 1930. He did not ever condone Tandy's living arrangements with Mary and seemed to be at conflict with Tandy the rest of his life. Winey is said to have been upset at the way James treated Tandy. Every weekend Winey would take in Tandy, which was not an easy feat as Winey's household was full of children [14].

    Tandy was said to be adept at checkers. Winey had to insist that the children play checkers with Tandy (they did not want to play because they knew they were going to lose) [14].

    Legend has it that sometime around the time of Tandy's death, the two surviving sons, Antwine (Winey) and James had a rift over who was to hold onto some land [8]. I obtained a copy of Tandy's Last Will and Testament which clearly states that James was appointed the Executor of the Tandy's estate, and that the majority of Tandy's assets were to be given to him. Winey was awarded only $300 [9]. Winey's name was listed on the documents as "Henry Canaevit". According to some stories I have come by, Winey was extremely upset about James' position in Tandy's Will. James would get a major portion of Tandy's estate, including the family land (according to court documents, the whereabouts was listed as follows: "Southwest Quarter of the Northeast Quarter of Section Twenty-nine, Liverpool Township, Fulton County, Illinois"). Winey, furious about the outcome, decided to change his family name to CANEVIT, and cut himself off from the rest of the family. However, this story has not been confirmed, although the two brothers probably lost contact with one another [14]. To add more confusion to this, Edward Canevit stated that Tandy made out several wills before his death [14].

Note: All references to The Gin Ridge Clans are copyrighted by Arthur K. Hall. Any reprint or publication or use otherwise is prohibited without written consent of the author.


Child of Tandy and Dollie


Atwine Henry Canaevit (Canevit) - Born March 9, 1895 in Maple Mills, Fulton County, Illinois. Died October 1, 1975 in Canton, Illinois. See Winey's web page for more information.


Children of Tandy and Virginia


Everette Preston Canaevit  (Born March 1, 1899, Fulton County, Illinois. Died March 22, 1924, Fulton County, Illinois)


Delice Marie Canaevit  (Born in 1901. Died August 3, 1942, Fulton County, Illinois)


James Canaevit (Born July 22, 1904, Lewistown, Illinois. Died May 22, 1977, Tacoma, Washington) 


Edith Prose, adopted daughter (information unknown)


Sources Cited

[1]     IGI Record, Batch Number M515901, FamilySearch® International Genealogical Index™,

[2]    Office of the County Clerk, Fulton County, Illinois, Application for a Marriage License, Jonah Scalf and Martha Canavit, July 22, 1871.

[3]    Correspondence with Arthur K. Hall, author of The Gin Ridge Clans, March 31, 2000, via US mail.

[4]    Office of the County Clerk, Fulton County, Illinois, Application for a Marriage License, Tandy Canevit and Dollie R. M. Collins, December 30, 1891.

[5]    Office of the County Clerk, Fulton County, Illinois, Certificate of Birth, dated March 9, 1895.

[6]    Office of the County Clerk, Fulton County, Illinois, Application for a Marriage License, Tandy Canavit and Virginia (Jennie) Bryant, dated April 19, 1897.

[7]    Office of the County Clerk, Fulton County, Illinois, Estate Documents from Probate Court, dated September 21, 1956, listed Edith Prose as deceased heir and adopted daughter.

[8]    Correspondence with Debbie Canevit via e-mail.

[9]    Office of the County Clerk, Fulton County, Illinois, Estate Documents from Probate Court, dated September 21, 1956.

[10]    Correspondence with Skip Canevit via e-mail.

[11]    Correspondence with Arthur K. Hall, author of The Gin Ridge Clans, March 31, 2000, via US mail.

[12]    Hall, Arthur K. (1998). The Gin Ridge Clans. Anundsen Publishing Co., Decorah: IA.

[13]    Conversation with Mary Byrne Canevit, May 6, 2000.

[14]  Conversation with Edward Canevit, June 4, 2001


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