CHANDLER NEWS by Carol May

This month we have news from all over and we welcome a new member.  Billie has more research news, including tidbits like: Did you know that Capt. John’s son, Jonathan, ran a pound? Read more about it below.  Also, some Vermont Chandler news about the Benjamin line, plus more.  Our website was down for a couple of days due to the web host, so if you could not access it that is why.  We get unlimited space from them, but as our treasurer and our webmaster will attest, unlimited hassle every year when it is time to renew. All I can say is we are on the ball.

NEW MEMBER

This month we welcome new member Erland C. Holbrook of Maine.  I do not have his lineage, but if he is of the Minot area, he probably descended from Capt. John Chandler or if he is of the New Gloucester area, he probably descended from Peleg Chandler.

Duxbury Research

Billie is continuing with her Duxbury research.  One little interesting tidbit that she found was about Jonathan Chandler, Capt. John’s son.  Jonathan was in charge of the “pound.”  That wasn’t some archaic term like “bloomer” for iron worker, but has the same meaning today.  Jonathan impounded livestock that strayed or whose owners failed to pay grazing fees for the town commons.  Owners had to pay a fine to retrieve their animals.  The pound was adjacent to the present day Mayflower Cemetery.  Jonathan also kept the keys to the Meeting House as it was also adjacent to the cemetery.

For those of you that are new, you can see these locations on a satellite map as those houses are still there and occupied. Remember, the Mayflower Cemetery is mislabeled as the “Mayfield Cemetery.”

JOSEPH CHANDLER’S HOUSE

After much studying, it seems that Joseph’s house was 907 Tremont St. in Duxbury which later on was owned by his grandson, Capt. John Chandler.   This Joseph Chandler was Edmund, the immigrant’s son, while there have been many Joseph Chandlers since, he was the original. We knew the very general area of the “Home Lands” of Joseph Chandler, but did not know the boundaries of his land, nor did we know the location of his house, nor did anybody else including the present day town of Duxbury!  By studying the deed transactions — over 400 of them and probates, over 60 — Billie was able to establish the western, northern and eastern boundaries of Joseph’s home lands.  She is working on the southern boundary now.

Billie began her search by looking for the home of Capt. John Chandler with only one clue, that he lived south of the Mayflower Cemetery on the west side of Tremont St.  This turned out to be incorrect.  Billie found out that Capt. John also owned land on the east side of Tremont, which is also actually where 907 Tremont St. is.  By working backward, she discovered the “Littletown” deeds which led to the connection to Joseph Chandler, Capt. John’s grandfather. Cornelia also helped a great deal by helping analyze deeds and explore all of the possible scenarios.

The 907 Tremont St. house had an “ell.” And ell is an addition making the house “L” shaped.  It is similar to a modern day duplex in that two families can live there, only sharing common areas like the basement. After a lot of pondering, Billie, Orland and I have come to the conclusion that Joseph’s son Edmund and his family must have lived in that ell.

It appears now (these things can change with additional discoveries) that Sarah, who was Joseph’s daughter and Capt. John’s aunt, lived in one part of 907 Tremont with her husband.  We think that Capt. John and his family lived in the other part.  Both Joseph his son, Edmund were deceased by then. We do know that Capt. John ended up owning the whole house including the ell.  Capt. John left the house to his son, Jonathan with the provision that Jonathan’s sisters have life time living rights (a life estate) in the ell. Jonathan moved to Minot/Poland, Maine, but his sisters remained in the ell for many more years.

But stay tuned as new developments can, and have, popped up. All it takes is one line in a deed or Will to turn everything topsy-turvy.  That is how the Harrison St. house was eliminated as being Joseph’s house.

I have been helping out with the colonial legal terms. Some of them are still used today.  One of the things that I studied was “dower rights.”  In the Plymouth Colony, women were entitled, by law, to one-third of their husband’s estate when he died.  It was not ownership, but use.  When the widow died the property would go to the named heir, often the eldest son or other children of the deceased husband.  This could tie up houses for decades.

John and Esther (Chandler) Glass owned the Harrison St. house and it was left to their son. (Esther was one of Joseph’s daughters.) The son died and Thankful Glass, his widow, lived there for 40 years as she had dower rights. It wasn’t until she died in 1798 that the house could be sold if the heirs wished as the title was now clear.  It actually remained in the hands of Esther’s Burgess-Glass descendants for nearly 200 years.  The fact that Thankful Glass lived there all of those years and not Joseph’s daughter, Sarah, eliminated that house as a contender for being Joseph’s house.

For those of you have stumbled over colonial legal terms this is a great source, although skewed to the southern colonies:

Some Misunderstood Colonial Legal Terms

NATHANIEL CHANDLER’S LAND

Billie is trying to identify the sourthern boundary of Joseph’s home land as that is where Nathaniel Chandler owned land. Nathaniel, we believe, was Capt. John Chandler’s brother.  She looked at two lots, one on Possum Run which is east of Tremont St and runs south off of Surplus St., and another lot on Surplus St. She favors the Possum Run lot as to where Nathaniel bought his 3 acres of land from his Glass cousins over the Surplus lot, as that appears to belong to another parcel.

According to Billie, Nathaniel’s main body of land was probably at North Hill/Barren Hill. Nathaniel had a hard time of it with seven daughters and no sons to help out.  He spent a year in debtor’s jail and lost his land.  After he died down in the West Indies in 1741 on an ill-fated military expedition, his wife Zerviah (Sprague) Chandler bought, what Billie thinks was probably some of the same land, back. Later on, John, son of Jonathan and grandson of Capt. John, bought land from the estate of Zerviah (Sprague) Chandler.  This land was on North Hill.  After John and his wife Mercy (Sprague) Chandler sold this land, they moved to Minot, Maine.

HIRAM CHANDLER

Our  member, Chris, descends from David Chandler, Hiram’s son.  This is Hiram’s line starting with Hiram going back to Edmund, the immigrant: Hiram>Ozias>Simeon>Joseph>Benjamin>Edmund, the immigrant. Hiram was born in Vermont. Next month I hope to have an article on Hiram and Lucy (Peters) Chandler and their family.  Even if you don’t descend from Hiram, of the Benjamin line, you might find the process of tracing orphans helpful.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY JAMBOREE

If you plan to be in Southern California in June, you may wish to attend the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree.  It is one of the biggest genealogical conventions in the country.  There are dozens and dozens of booths representing all of the big genealogical groups, special interest groups, etc. There are also lectures running concurrently and continually throughout the event — so much to choose from.  One of my favorites Jamboree activities is the Tech Zone.  I am not techie, but the computers are hooked up with FREE access to all of the sites that you have to pay to subscribe to — Ancestry, Footnote, etc.  So you can do your own free lookups. The SCGS also has an open house at their nearby library. For details and a schedule of this multi-day event go to:   Southern California Genealogical Society: 2010 Jamboree: ****************   That’s the news.  If you have Chandler news, please let us know and we can include it in the Courier. We plan to have articles for June.  I hope to go to the SCGS Jamboree and will share items of interest.

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