News from the Edmund Chandler Family Association

As promised this month you will get the scoop on the Southern California Genealogical Society’s Jamboree including ways to break down your brick walls. Over 1700 people attended the three day Jamboree to visit the many booths and hear lectures by experts from all over the country.

The Isaac Chandler house of Duxbury is featured this month. Also, Duxbury news including an update on the plaque, DNA news, military research tips, and more!

We  welcome a new member, Paul, from Florida. I don’t know his lineage yet, other than being an Edmund descendant, but will ask.


Billie is refining and will reprint her document on Joseph Chandler, son of Edmund, the immigrant, and Joseph’s grandson, Capt. John. She has added larger maps and pictures to her report and the final result should go to the Alden Kindred and the Town Historian of Duxbury among others.

She is also working on tracing the land owned by Nathaniel Chandler, her ancestor. Nathaniel Chandler is one of our “mystery” Chandlers. He owned land in the old Chandler neighborhood which was Joseph and Capt. John’s homestead area. We think he was Capt. John’s brother. Nathaniel also owned his homestead farm in the North Hill area of Duxbury. She is tracing that land. Land owned by the Chandlers was sold or traded back and forth over the generations within the family which makes tracing their land difficult because they did usually did not record the transactions until the land left the family. It was the land records which solved the Capt. John Chandler mystery and land records may shed further light on Nathaniel.


Billie is also spearheading the historical plaque project which would honor Joseph Chandler and family and probably also nephew Benjamin’s contribution to the town of Duxbury. Billie says that the proof will be in the document that she is working on. Then it will be submitted for approval. The heart of the town — the town buildings, the cemetery and the meeting house — all sit on what was land once owned by Joseph. The first school was built on land donated by Benjamin Chandler.


This is just speculating, but could Edmund’s father have been named Samuel? It has long been believed that Edmund and Roger were related and both had sons named Samuel. If they were brothers, and we know the way the Chandlers loved to honor their relatives and we know how naming patterns worked, could Samuel have been Edmund’s father’s name? Again, this is just speculation, so please don’t enter this in your databases. It is just something to contemplate and be on the look out for.

Speaking of speculation, newcomers please note that Edmund Chandler was not the son of John Chandler and Jane Gitton. Mary Chandler Lowell thought he probably was in her book, but folks took her speculation as fact and ran with it. We don’t know who his parents were. It is all over the Internet that they were John and Jane, but it is wrong. If you read our member, Dick’s, explanation on the first page of our website you can find out why. Go to the left hand side and click “Where Did Edmund Chandler Originate From?”

Unfortunately, Edmund was born at a time when birth records were just starting to be kept so his birth may not have been recorded. Also, some records were destroyed over the years and lastly, dissenters may not have wished to have their children’s births recorded in Church of England baptismal books and may have maintained their own books. Those records may have been lost.

However, we are still looking and we are also tackling the issue through DNA testing. If we get a match with an English Chandler or a Chandler with a known pedigree in England we may get our answer that way.


We are now trying to broaden our DNA knowledge beyond descendants of Edmund’s sons, Joseph and Benjamin, by testing a Roger Chandler of Concord, Mass descendant. Roger of Concord, has been speculated as the son of Roger Chandler of Duxbury who is believed to have been related to Edmund. A match could between a Roger of Concord testee and the Edmund group would bolster that theory.

We also want to test a descendant of Zebedee Chandler, born c. 1712 and died 1777 in Plympton, Mass to confirm that he was a descendant of Edmund, the immigrant. There is a small possibility that he could have descended from another Chandler family. As Zebedee is one of our “mystery” Chandlers, it would help with that research to be able to confirm that he was or was not a descendant of Edmund. Announcements about our offer went out in July to the boards and various genealogy groups.

I believe that Dick has found a Roger descendant to test, but we are still seeking a Zebedee of Plympton, Mass descendant to test. Roger’s test is being paid for by a generous donation and our group is offering to pay for a descendant of Zebedee’s test.

If you know of a male Chandler with a documented, unbroken male line going back to Zebedee Chandler of Plympton, let us know.

Results of these tests will help us with our research.


We all are familiar with That is probably the first place that we looked online when we started tracing our ancestors, but quickly gave up on after encountering so many mistakes in the family trees.

Well folks, they have changed. Previously, I wrote about the Familysearch Pilot which only contains vital records, censuses and the like, but change is upon us again.

The information from Familysearch Pilot and Familysearch is being merged into their Familysearch Beta site. I found this out from the Familysearch booth at the Jamboree. When completed the pilot site will be gone.

Most, but not all, of the records will be free. Why so? Familysearch does not own all of the indexed records on the new site. Regular membership as well as the premium membership are free and allow you to access information that you would not ordinarily be able to do so. However, with the premium membership you are also allowed to access paid sites. To get a premium membership you are required to do indexing or belong to a contributing group. More information is available about this on the beta site.

The beta site is a work in progress so parts may not work at times. It is also interactive. You can actually complain about an omission, error in their records, a glitch in their system, or make a suggestion for improvement and get a reply!

From what I understand, the new site will allow corrections to trees by their creators, something the old site never allowed and which drove us all crazy and ultimately away.

So take advantage of the pilot site while it is up and try the new beta site. The feature that I most like about the pilot site is filtering. You can enter the name Chandler then Ohio for example and then further whittle down your choices by dates, i.e. 1830-1840, gender, names by initial, collection i.e. census records by year, birth records and more.

I have made many discoveries in the short time that I have used it. Ever have an ancestor named James, for example, and been unable to find him? If you use the first letter of the name option, you may find him under “Jas” or “Jim” or J.W or whatever his middle initial was. Or even Warren J. or another first name with “J” being the middle initial.

My favorite feature, so far, about the beta site is “residence.” Before you could only search for birth or death, now you have the residence option, put in the locales and approximate dates where your ancestor lived and get even more information.

They get their information from a variety of sources so when you see Maine easy or Vermont easy for a birth or marriage record they did not access one giant repository. Rather, they created their own giant repository from all sorts of local records. You will probably recognize some of the information even though the source was not named individually. If you get images, great, but if you get transcriptions, there may be errors which may mean an eventual trip to the courthouse basement to see the original record.

So this is a great, great new resource, but it still won’t completely take the place of wading through the weeds at a cemetery to read an inscription or looking at original records.

ANCESTRY.COM is a very useful, but expensive subscription resource. Sometimes they are the only place that you can get certain records other than a trip to a courthouse basement, cemetery or the LDS library in Salt Lake.

However, the library version which is often found free at your local library is not the same as the home version. I had the chance to try both versions out at the Jamboree. I noticed that the home version demo was easier to use and more complete than the library version.

While at a genealogy meeting, I heard that the census indexes on Ancestry are being outsourced to India and China! This may explain some of the errors.

The LDS is relies on volunteers to do its indexing, but no matter who does the indexing there will be errors. If you find them on the LDS sites, report them so that they may be fixed. I have found that Heritage Quest (also free at many libraries), the LDS censuses and the censuses sometimes differ.  If you can’t find your ancestor on one of these sites, try another site.


For our New England ancestors we rely on town or local historical societies like the Duxbury Rural Historical Society to find the exact house or location where our ancestors lived. Or in our group’s case, we relied on our member, Billie, to plow through hundreds of deeds to finally locate Edmund, the immigrant’s, son Joseph’s house.

However if you are searching for the mid-western farm of your ancestor and wish to see it outlined on a Google satellite map, there is another way. Ancestry is offering a county atlas which can be overlaid on a Google Earth satellite picture and from there you can outline your ancestor’s farm. You look for township boundaries, streams, roads and railroads that have survived to the present day to locate the farm and overlay the map. It does take some doing and knowledge of which features to use on the Google Earth maps, but once those settings are in place, it is not hard lining up the old map with the satellite picture. If you want to know more let me know.


Quick, do you know who the largest publisher in the world is?

Answer: The US government.

I thought that I was doing a pretty good job researching with my sources, but found that I had barely touched the surface of what is available. Not everything is available online, but you may be directed to a library or source which has the material for which you are seeking. The audience was told by Curt Witcher, Manager of the Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public if you ask the librarian of whichever library you wish to seek answers from very nicely, and very specifically he or she may look it up for you. The Allen County Public Library in Indiana is one of the largest genealogical libraries in the country.

Here are some sources, some for military subjects and some for everything that Curt Witcher spoke about:


This is the largest free bibliographic database (1.5 billion records) in the world. They access information from 12,000 libraries. You can an even search a specific military unit there.

The Library of Congress Catalog

National Union Catalog of Manscript Collections known as “Nuk Muk” for NUCMC.

Some of their collections are online and some while not online, but often have very detailed descriptions which may answer your question.

American Memory – You can search for specific battalions and more.

Chronicling American Historic Newspapers

Veteran’s history 20th century.

“A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation.” You can find pensions and relief for pensions here.

If my notes are accurate, the Library of Congress has the “Ask a Librarian Service” which will respond in a day or two. Again, you have to have a very specific question.

The National Park Service

That may elicit a “What?” but many national parks and monuments consist of former battlefields and they may have information about who fought there.

Other sites of interest:

This site has US Army history

This is a fantastic site that has much more than military records, but old historical books which may have information about your ancestor. I have found books on Duxbury here.

This is from the TV channel, but you can look up all sorts of historical events on their site.

This is a more modern site, but contains letters written by soldiers.

Lastly, Curt Witcher’s library

That’s all until next time. Please share your breakthroughs, your questions and other interesting tidbits of information. If you have an interesting Chandler story or picture let Barb know so she can put it in the Courier.


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