JULY 2010 CHANDLER NEWS by Carol May

Happy Fourth of July! We have had a month of discoveries, updates and corrections, so lots of news. The Edmund Chandler Family Association is a research group open to anyone interested in Edmund Chandler and his family so we welcome discoveries and corrections.

Next time I hope to bring you the news from the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree which I attended. Instead of the story about Duxbury and the Stamp Act as, which was one of the events leading up to the Revolutionary War, we have update on Medal of Honor recipient, John B. Chandler.


John Chandler's Grave at Find A Grave.com - Photo by Don Morfe

John Chandler's Grave at Find A Grave.com - Photo by Don Morfe

John B. Chandler (mistakenly called James B. Chandler by the military authorities) was a Medal of Honor recipient for his Navy service during the Civil War. One receives or is awarded, but never “wins” a MOH as it is not a contest.

A recap of the Nov. 2009 story about him written by Russ Dodge:

“Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor 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.”

Here is John B. Chandler’s lineage going back starting with John B. Chandler, our MOH recipient: John B. Chandler>Samuel Chandler+Jerusha Bartlett>John B. Chandler+Hannah Sturtevant>Samuel Chandler+Nancy Brown>Samuel Chandler+Margaret Philips>Benjamin Chandler+Elizabeth Buck>Edmund Chandler, the immigrant. I got bogged down trying to trace his parents, Samuel and Jerusha (Bartlett) Chandler. I mistakenly tried to trace him back to Thomas instead of his brother Samuel. Samuel, Thomas, Martha and Abigail were the children of Samuel and Margaret (Philips) Chandler. The younger Samuel, and James B.’s ancestor, was the executor of his father’s estate and inherited the homestead, but we know very little about him, his wife or his descendants.

When I was at the Southern California Genealogical Jamboree, I went up to the NEHGS booth and asked one of their genealogists and to look John Chandler up, and  he confirmed that lineage. They may have been a family of seafarers as was John B. Chandler, our MOH recipient, which could explain why there are not many records. Also, somewhere along the line, the family moved from Duxbury to Plymouth, so more information may be found in Plymouth.


Find A Grave (listed under James B. Chandler)

“Ancient Landmarks of Plymouth” by William T. Davis (can be found online at the Plymouth US Gen Web project) for Samuel’s line.

Edmund Chandler Family Association “Edmund’s main lineage” database, Members’ Only section

US censuses

“Burial Hill Plymouth, Massachusetts…” available on line for the grave information for Samuel and Hannah.

Massachusetts marriages 1633-1850 http://www.familysearch.org (pilot section) for the marriage of John B. Chandler and Nancy Sturtevant


The genealogy TV show entitled “Who Do You Think You Are?” will be returning next season on NBC. When I hear when, I will let you all know. Last season, Lisa Kudrow, of the TV show “Friends”, Susan Sarandon, Spike Lee, Sarah Jessica Parker and others were profiled.

I know that many genealogy buffs in the audience groaned when the highly detailed and verified research was brought out instantly by a librarian or genealogist. “They make it look so easy,” was a common complaint.

They may have made it look easy, but it was not. I was told by a librarian/genealogist at the Jamboree that he was one of 40 people working on just Sarah Jessica Parker’s Gold Rush ancestor alone. Yes, forty. That was not a typo. Ancestry, who is one of the shows sponsors and does the research, really pulled out all of the stops making that show. Maybe the cure for that brick wall is to get famous and be invited to “Who Do You Think You Are?” and then have their Ancestry staff solve it for you!

Actress Brooke Shields, in a TV interview, explained how the process worked. She, along with several other famous people, was asked if they were interested. After replying “yes,” she heard nothing back for quite some time so she assumed that she wasn’t chosen. She said that she thought that her ancestors were probably too boring.

However, behind the scenes, the Ancestry people were working away checking out each celebrity’s family tree. They undoubtedly chose those with the most entertainment value and without insurmountable brick walls. Then, to her surprise, she got a call and was told to “dress warm” and off they went to Europe. She thought that she was Italian, but found out that she was French and had ancestors born in the Louvre! One of the French kings, I think.

When the show is on again, and you settle down in front of your TV for an hour of entertainment and, hopefully, enlightenment, take heart to know that there were squads of genealogists behind that show and it was not that easy.


A few years back an early member of the group could not find a birth record for her ancestor, Charles Chandler, of Vermont. She thought that his mother’s name was Fanny and thought that he descended from Edmund via his son, Benjamin, but it was a guess.

Flash forward several years and there is a query on the Chandler board about Eunice Chandler of Vermont. Now, because of Familysearch’s new, but at times quirky, pilot program, I found Eunice’s birth record and her siblings’ birth records with their parents’ names. A couple of the names were familiar, Charles and his mother Fanny. So while helping out with one brick wall, inadvertently another tumbled as well.

Here is Charles and Eunice’s line: Abner+Fanny (Abbot) Chandler>Abner+Sarah (Hill) Chandler>Joseph+Deborah (Bonney) Chandler>Benjamin+Mercy (Buck) Chandler>Edmund, the immigrant


Billie, having finished her research on Capt. John Chandler, is now doing a summary of that work which we believe establishes his parentage and is the position of the ECFA. She is also working on another “mystery” Chandler, Zebedee of Plympton. The four we refer to as the “mystery” Chandlers are: Capt. John., Nathaniel, Mercy and Zebedee. She researched Nathaniel and his children and Mercy and her children previously.

One project she plans to tackle in the future, which will be of interest to all Edmund descendants, is researching Edmund, the immigrant’s, home farm in Duck Hill, Duxbury.

As Billie continues with her research, we will have more information to share.


Last year Elsie and I researched  Zebedee Chandlers including the one that Billie is now working on. There were several. However, since then I found new information and found that I made mistakes that need correcting. So here is an update on the Zebedees.

Original Zebedee was one of our “mystery” Chandlers. (See Duxbury News above) who lived in Plympton, Mass an offshoot of Duxbury. He was Lt. Zebedee, his son, also named Zebedee, was an enlisted man. I had their military service ascribed to the wrong Zebedee. Then found that I was looking for a Zebedee that did not exist! That happened to me before, but it turned out that used the name Chandler as an alias, but that is a different story.

We have original Zebedee of Plympton, #1, his son, Zebedee #2 and his son, Zebedee #3. However, Zebedee #3 did not have a son named Zebedee as I previously thought. So erase Zebedee #4 from your records. He did not exist.

The really confusing part, which was one of the reasons that led to the idea that there was a Zebedee #4, was the wives. We didn’t have it straightened out then and we have not completely straightened it out now. Zebedee #2 and Zebedee #3 were both were widowers and were getting up in years when they remarried, but which wife to which Zebedee? There were three wives in a short period of time. They were, Bathsheba Burt, Mrs. Mary Jane Wheeler and Betsey Briggs. I found an intention for marriage for Bathsheba, but no marriage record and thought that perhaps they never married; however, there was a woman age 40-50 in the 1840 census. Could that have been her?

Betsey, who I think was Betsey Briggs and not Bathsheba Burt as the nickname for Bathsheba is “Bashie,” died and was buried in Lakenham cemetery as was her child, Abby Maria Chandler. Zebedee #3 and his first wife, Ruth Cole are also buried in Lakenham. Most likely Betsey Briggs rather than Bathsheba was the mother of Abby and Zebedee #3’s wife.

Mrs. Mary Jane Wheeler probably married really old Zebedee #2. If Betsey Briggs married Zebedee #3, which Zebedee married Bathsheba Burt, if indeed they married? Zebedee #3 died a widower in 1849 so it appears that he outlived two or more wives.

This is just like the shell game trying to find the pea.

In those days there was no living together, no roommates of the opposite sex, you got married. So when there was an old widower and an old widow that couldn’t get by on their own anymore, they married.

Oh yes, as we wrote in the original story, there was also a Zebedee Chandler in Maine, but he descended from Capt. John and that Zebedee had a son named Zebedee, born April 23, 1815, but I think that he died young.

We are hoping to get gravestone pictures to help straighten this out. We will update you all again when we get the whole story.


As we are on the subject of the “mystery” Zebedee Chandler of Plympton, the ECFA is going to offer to pay for a probably 37 marker DNA test for a documented descendant of Zebedee Chandler, of Plympton Mass, born c. 1712.

Results could either include or exclude him as part of the Edmund Chandler family. This would help, not only Zebedee descendants, but help us with our work on the mystery Chandlers as a group. There is a slight possibility that Zebedee may have been part of the early Bridgewater Chandlers, who were not descendants of Edmund, or of Roger Chandler. Bridgewater was adjacent to Plympton. I am doing more research on this.

A generous donation allowed an offer to be made for a free DNA test for a documented Roger Chandler of Concord descendant. So far we have not found a Roger of Concord Chandler descendant to test, but are looking. We would like to know if Roger of Concord was part of the greater Edmund Chandler family, i.e. shared a common ancestor with Edmund. A match would lend support to the idea that Roger descended from Roger Chandler of Duxbury. It has long been believed that Roger of Duxbury was related to Edmund and this would lend more support to that idea, too.

The more that we can prove the more precise our research can be.

Ultimately, besides being able to confirm Edmund descendants in the US, we are hoping that DNA research will be able to help us locate Edmund’s English origins which are still unknown contrary to the incorrect stories out there on the internet and in old books. As always, send in your corrections, additions or comments.

If you have an interesting story or picture about an Edmund Chandler descendant, please share.


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