Community Courier


by Barb Chandler

Is Abraham Lincoln one of your cousins? I discovered he is one of mine. My quest started with a letter that had been circulating in our family for years. In this letter my great aunt, Mary Alice Chandler, stated that her mother, Lucetta Miller Chandler, was the cousin of Abraham Lincoln. Since there were no genealogical sources I thought this letter might be conjecture and wanted concrete  proof that Lincoln was in fact a cousin.

I decided to go to the Miller GenForum to see if any others were searching for Lucetta Miller. I hit pay dirt! I found reference to a letter from William Miller, husband of Nancy Hanks, to Lincoln. In the letter, he asked Lincoln to consider one of his adopted sons for promotion in the Army. He signed it “your cousin.”

Then I  searched for the names of Nancy Hanks Millers parents. I found them, but hit a snag when I searched for the parents of Nancy Hanks Lincoln. I became caught in a quagmire of opposing theories about the parentage of Nancy Hanks and,  quit my research out of frustration. But, As fate would have it, I was pulled back into into it by an email from a Lincoln researcher who was interested in the information I had. After our conversation, my confidence renewed, I was determined to find more. I searched several Google books and discovered two sources that agreed on her parents, which brought my search to a resolution.

My Chandler/Lincoln connection begins with Lucetta Miller who was married to James S. Chandler. Her parents were William and Nancy Hanks Miller. The parents of Nancy Hanks were William and Elizabeth Hall Hanks. The parents of William Hanks were Joseph and Nancy Shipley Hanks who were the parents of Nancy Hanks who was the mother of Abraham Lincoln.

I’ve heard that  there is a Massachusetts Chandler connection to Lincoln.  So, you New England people  might want to double check your tree.

If you discover a Chandler/Lincoln connection or a connection with other famous people please write  I’d love to publish your story.


Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress. Transcribed and Annotated by the Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College. Galesburg, Illinois.

“The Lincoln, Hanks and Boone Families” by Hamline E. Robinson, “Reprinted from Missouri historical review, vol. 1, no. 1. October, 1906.” (found in Heritage Quest)

“Nancy Hanks: The Story of Abraham Lincoln’s Mother” by Caroline Hitchcock


by Carol May

It seems fitting for the November newsletter to include a Chandler Medal of Honor Recipient as a reminder of Veteran’s Day.  While looking for a James B. Chandler in Duxbury, Massachusetts I came across John B./James B. Chandler by accident.  He was buried in Vine Hills Cemetery in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The following came from Find A Grave. James B. Chandler (1838 – ) – Find A Grave Memorial The Medal of Honor(MOH) was awarded to John B. Chandler, unfortunately the name was written James B. Chandler in the military records.  His name was really John B. Chandler and that is why there is a discrepancy between the name on the MOH and the gravestone.

This was from Find A Grave:

“Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor(CMOH) Recipient. Served in the Union Navy during the Civil War as a Coxswain on board the “USS Richmond”. He was awarded the CMOH for his bravery during action against Confederate forces in Mobile Bay, Alabama on August 5, 1864. His citation reads “Cool and courageous although he had just come off the sick list, Chandler rendered gallant service throughout the prolonged action as his ship maintained accurate fire against Fort Morgan and ships of the Confederacy despite extremely heavy return fire. He participated in the actions at Forts Jackson and St. Philip, with the Chalmette batteries, at the surrender of New Orleans and in the attacks on batteries below Vicksburg”. His Medal was awarded to him on December 31, 1864.” (bio by: Russ Dodge)

Because he buried in the Vine Hills Cemetery in Plymouth, it seems most likely that he descended from Edmund. We do know that his parents were Samuel and Jerusha (Bartlett) Chandler, but beyond that, it is still conjecture.

The 1850 Plymouth, Massachusetts census shows John B. Chandler living with parents Samuel Chandler and Jerusha (Bartlett) Chandler.

Samuel, 42, rope maker

Jerusha, 39

Samuel B(Bartlett)., 18, carpenter

David L.(Lothrop), 16, shoemaker

Eveline, 16

John B. (Brown) 12

There was also son Thomas, born in 1840, who was listed as a fisherman in the 1880 census.  He was living with his mother, Jerusha, in Plymouth.

Who did  John B.’s father, Samuel Chandler, descend from?  Samuel was born in 1808 in Massachusetts.  If that date is correct, he would be too old to be Samuel and Nancy (Winsor) Chandler’s son as they married in 1810, although Nancy also lived in Plymouth, then later in Duxbury. However, if his birth date was incorrect and he was the son of Samuel and Nancy Chandler, his line is: Samuel and Nancy (Winsor) Chandler>Samuel and Mary (Johnson) Chandler>Thomas and Silvia (Bisbee) Chandler>Benjamin and Mercy (Buck)>Edmund, the immigrant.

The names Samuel and Thomas in that family suggest that they may descend from Samuel Chandler (Benjamin>Edmund) as those names were particularly favored by that branch of the family, although not necessarily from Samuel and Nancy.  More research may reveal the answer. If you have the answer, let us know.

*Note: There will be an article about Capt. Reuben  in an upcoming issue.

Genealogists Tool Kit

by Barb Chandler

You can add Heritage Quest to your tool kit for no charge. You can do this by contacting one of the libraries that are at the bottom of the article “Heritage Quest” at;

What Does Heritage Quest Contain?

  • U.S. Federal Census records from 1790 through 1930. (No index for 1830, 1840, 1850, nor 1880 census.) The online collection includes new indexes created by HeritageQuest. In addition to the ability to search by name, the census records can be searched by place of birth, age, ethnicity, and other variables.
  • More than 25,000 fully searchable family and local history books. If anyone has ever published a book about your family name or a book about the history of your town or county, there is an excellent chance that you can search that book on Heritage Quest Online. There are numerous other “non-history” books available that also have genealogy value, such as town and city directories, government reports made years ago, biographies, lectures, and much more.
  • Selected Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files, again fully searchable with high-quality scanned images of the original applications available online.
  • Signatures of and personal identification data about depositors in 29 branch offices of the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company, 1865-74.
  • PERSI (the Periodical Source Index – a comprehensive subject index covering more than 6,500 genealogy and local history periodicals written in English and French since 1800).

Another useful item you may want to use  is Google books You can either do general search from the main website, or an advanced search. A general search means that you will be hunting through Google’s database of books which is quite large. The books may have only a paragraph or a couple pages. If you choose an advanced search you can select from different search options.

Can’t find your ancestor on Family Search

Try the new record search. Go to the main menu at the top of the page and move your cursor over “Search Records.” You will see a dropdown list, click on “record search pilot.” The people at Family Search say that new records are added to the database daily so check back frequently.

If you have ideas for articles you would like to see in future issues of The Community Courier  please contact Barb Chandler at or Carol May at



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