Thanks for the record! I appreciate your help. Are you related to the family?
I had also found that one, but unfortunately, as with a lot of records that old, it had some inaccuracies. William was definitely black as noted in his obit and death certificate. Fanny is listed as white in her records, but within the family it's always been said she was of Native American descent - Cherokee. I've gone back a couple of generations on Fanny, but haven't made the official connection yet to Native American ancestry.
Since John R Childers was listed as William's father on his Death Certificate, I've come to believe that "John Dennis" was a marriage for Polly after they left MO before/during the Civil war, or a name that was made up to lose the slave connection to John Childers. No actual proof yet, but still searching!
Again, thanks!! and please let me know if we're related or you're just a good samaritan!