Artist Howard Chandler Christy, grandson of Permelia Chandler, is our featured Edmund descendant this issue.  If you go to the bottom of the article, there are places listed where you can get your very own copy of one of his posters starting at less than ten dollars.  I did read a warning for those who collect original Howard Chandler Christy prints that some of them are not legitimate, but are just pages torn out of old books.
We also have news from the Southern California Genealogy Society Jamboree the second largest genealogy convention in the country, DNA news, tips on breaking through a brick wall, and more.


This issue we welcome new members, Ann from Maine, whoseYarmouth ancestors descended from Edmund’s son,  Joseph, Susan of New Hampshire, who descends from Edmund’s son, Benjamin Chandler, and Jeffery of Florida who is in the process of finding out if he is an Edmund Chandler descendant or a descendant of William and Annis Chandler.  If you wish to join the Edmund Chandler Family Association which will allow access to our on line library of over 1000 pages, got to for further information.

                JAMBOREE NEWS

The Jamboree is the second largest genealogy gathering in the country with about 2000 people attending the three day event .  I visited the booths set up by various genealogy groups – the Mayflower Society,  the DAR, the Scottish, the Czechs, the Scandinavians and many more. The vendors were also out in force –Ancestry, (with free computer access and free help from their team who manned the booth) FTDNA, Rootsmagic, NEHGS and many more.  There were also  speakers, experts in their subjects from all over the world.  Next issue I will have stories about what I learned at a couple of the lectures.

At the Civil War booth, I chatted with reinactors in full uniform. I talked to someone  from Maine.  We talked about Maine research and old time Maine surnames as I also have Maine ancestors, Rebecca Chandler being one of them.  The fellow mentioned that he was from Northern Maine of French-Canadian ancestry.  He said that the French Canadians settled there very early on, which most people are not aware of. I was trying to think of ways to help him with his Maine research when I noticed his name tag — “Dick Eastman”.  “You’re not the Dick Eastman of the newsletter?” (over 60,000 readers)  I asked.  He said that he was and I replied that I was just a pipsqueak thinking that I was helping him out.  He was most gracious. You can read Dick Eastman’s free newsletter or subscribe to his paid edition at the site below to read about the latest in genealogy.
Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

                    DNA NEWS

At the FTDNA booth,  I got a chance to talk with Bennett Greenspan, founder and CEO of FTDNA.  I asked him if people in England were still hesitant and skeptical about DNA research.  He said that with the big rise in interest in genealogy that the initial skepticism has faded, but in England, it is now more of a money issue because of the economy.

Our group is very interested in finding a match between  Englishman and our Edmund group because it may give us a breakthrough in determining which part of England Edmund came from in addition to which English family he belongs to.

FTDNA is the company that does the DNA testing for the Chandler DNA Project which is co-sponsored by our group, the Edmund Chandler Family Association, and our sister group, The Chandler Family Association.  Men who wish to participate in this painless, swab to the inside of the mouth and drop in a mailer YDNA test can get a price break on this test if they participate in the Chandler project.  You can read more about the DNA project on our website,  Go to the left hand side and click DNA results.
Our member, Dick, who is not an Edmund descendant, but who tracks Chandlers worldwide, has been working on rounding up English Chandlers for DNA testing. Hopefully, eventually one will match our Edmund group.

We have interesting DNA news from Dick regarding Kate Middleton, the future Queen of England’s Chandler ancestry.  No connection to the Edmund Chandler family, but an American connection was found.
Thank you Claudia Brocatto and Dick Chandler for allowing us to use the following story which first appeared in The Chandler Family Association’s, The Town Crier:

The Chandler DNA Project has identified a kinship link between the great-great-grandfather of the United Kingdom’s Princess Kate (officially titled the Duchess of Cambridge) and the founder of the Chandler Motor Company of Cleveland, Ohio. Kate’s great-grandmother, Edith May Chandler, who married Stephen Charles Goldsmith, was the daughter of Theophilus Benjamin Chandler. The Y-chromosome DNA of a living male descendant of Theophilus Benjamin Chandler has proved to be a kinship match with the DNA of a living male descendant of Frederick Charles Chandler II who founded the Chandler Motor Car Company in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1913. The company was sold to Hupp Motor Works in 1929.
The matching DNA results only became available on Easter Monday, four days before the Royal Wedding. The ancestral roots of Theophilus and Frederick lie in the area around Stroud in Gloucestershire, England – a Chandler stronghold for centuries.
Chandler is an occupational surname (from candle makers, ship and corn chandlers), so its bearers are not all genetically related. The DNA marker values distinguishing these two men represent the 62nd genetically distinct Chandler family discovered by the Chandler DNA Project.
Over 300 men have participated in this project so far.
Family Tree DNA – Genetic Genealogy Starts Here
Chandler DNA Project  

                    An American artist

Howard Chandler Christy

Chandler lineage: Howard Chandler Christy>Francis Marion Christy>Permelia Chandler>Daniel Chandler>Joseph Chandler>Benjamin Chandler>Edmund Chandler, the immigrant

Howard Chandler Christy is probably the most famous artist of the last century that almost no one has ever heard of today, although he was a superstar of his time.  While his name might not ring a bell, his works still do. His most famous painting (above) is “The Signing of the Declaration of Independence”  He also created  World War I and II recruiting posters and the ultimate American girl of his time, The Christy Girl, and so much more.

Howard was born in a log cabin on Meig’s Creek, Morgan County, Ohio to Francis Marion Christy and Mary Matilda (Bone) Christy on January 10, 1872.  When he was two years old, the family moved to a farm in near Zanesville in Duncan Falls, Muskingum County, Ohio.  Both Morgan County and especially Muskingum County were home to pioneering Chandler families.

Most biographies of Howard Chandler Christy say that his mother was a Chandler, when in actuality it was his paternal grandmother, Permelia, whose surname was Chandler. She married John Christy who probably died when Francis Marion Christy was very young.  As a boy Howard’s nickname was “Smiley” and when he was older he went by the nickname of“Poppy.”
Howard’s family was aware of their early New England roots and that they were eleventh generation descendants of Capt. Miles Standish.  Howard’s ancestor, Joseph Chandler married Elizabeth Delano, the great-granddaughter of Miles Standish.  Howard was always a patriotic supporter of our country which was reflected in so much of his art work.

It was Joseph Chandler, grandson of Edmund the immigrant, who left Duxbury for Litchfield Connecticut in 1745.  That move began the westward migration of this branch of the Chandler family.  Joseph’s children moved to New Hampshire, where his son, Benjamin, was killed in the Revolutionary War. Benjamin’s son, also named Joseph, moved to Vermont where his son Daniel was born.  Daniel moved to Ohio where his daughter, Permelia, was born.
Howard Chandler Christy’s grandfather, John Christy, probably died before the 1850 US census.  The 1850 US census for St. Clair, Butler County Ohio, shows only Permelia and her children, with the exception of older brother Albert, listed.  Albert was living with his grandparents, Daniel and Mary Chandler in Morgan County, Ohio according to the 1850 US census.
By the 1860 US census for Morgan, Morgan County, Ohio, Permelia and her children including Francis Marion Christy were now also living with Daniel and Mary Chandler on their farm.  Permelia’s name has also shown up misspelled as Pamelia and Pamela in subsequent censuses.

Howard’s middle name of Chandler was most likely his father’s way of honoring Permelia and Daniel and Mary Chandler, because he was raised by them.
Howard’s artistic ability became apparent at a very early age as he was sketching animals when he was only 3 years old and by the time he was 4 years old, his father bought him his first set of watercolors. He had little interest in academics and left school at the age of 12 and went to work on his family’s farm. His favorite activities centered on the Muskingum River where he played, sketched, painted, fished and rode the paddle-wheeled steamboats.
With $100 of his own savings and $200 from his parents, Howard left the farm in Duncan Falls, Ohio at only 16 years of age to study art in New York . He enrolled at the Art Students League and was a student of William Merritt Chase, but the money ran out and he had to return home.

He spent two years in Ohio earning money doing farm work and then received a loan from a wealthy relative which allowed him to resume his studies with Chase.  His art classes lasted two years including summers in Long Island, New York where drawing and painting outdoors were emphasized which meshed perfectly with Howard’s love of the outdoors and sketching nature.  Chase was a devotee of the “plein air” painting movement. Plein air is a French term for in the open air which when applied to painting, meant painting outdoors
In 1893, Howard entered the National Academy of Design and won two prizes in draftsmanship.

After attending the Art Students League, Howard attended the National Academy of Design. It was most likely while there that the standout student caught the eye of the editors of “The Century” magazine. He received his first commission from that magazine at only age 22.

He had the good fortune not only being extremely talented, but of being at the right place at the right time as it was the beginning of the golden age for illustrators because of technological advances in reproducing color illustrations.

Howard enjoyed his study of fine art, but his funds were running low again and not wanting to borrow more money from his family, he realized that he had to make a living, and illustrations offered a better source of income than fine art.
He developed a relationship with the top publishers of the time, which included G.P. Putnam and Sons, Dodd and Mead, Life, Scribners Magazine, Harpers New Monthly Magazine and others.

The Capture of El Caney by Howard Chandler Christy

He had just finished illustrating a series on the Revolutionary War for Scribner’s Magazine, when the Spanish American War broke out in 1898. He was only 25 when the magazine sent him to Cuba to cover the Spanish American War as an illustrator correspondent.  He met Teddy Roosevelt on the way and drew many illustrations of the Rough Riders. He sketched battles where he was an eyewitness and as well as the day to day activities of the soldiers.  He sent his sketches back to the US to be published in magazines.

Soliders Dream by Howard Chandler Christy

After the war, he was back in New York labeled as a military illustrator.  He didn’t want to be stuck in that pigeon hole, so he introduced what became his signature, “The Christy Girl.”  The first “Christy Girl” appeared in a drawing entitled, “The Soldier’s Dream” which appeared in Scribner’s.  It depicted a beautiful girl in the pipe smoke of a war hero.
Christy’s own comment on what a “Christy Girl” should be was, “High-bred, aristocratic and dainty though not always silken-skirted; a woman with tremendous self-respect.”

This was the beginning of Howard’s depiction of the ideal American woman – modern, educated, outdoor and sports-loving.  Men liked her because of her beauty and charm while women liked her for her independence, freedom and air of adventure.  Of course the other famous “girl” of the times was, the “Gibson Girl” painted by Charles Dana Gibson, one of his contemporaries.
There was no one actual “Christy Girl” nor “Gibson Girl.”  They were the artist’s interpretation of their models.  In fact, Howard married one of his models, Maybelle Thompson.  He and Gibson were the stars of their day, unlike today where the models are the superstars.

Howard’s Christy Girl began appearing everywhere, and he in turn became both famous and rich earning an estimated $50,000 in 1910.  One contract alone with William Randolph Hearst paid him $18,000 per year in 1912. McClure’s Ladies Home Journal, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Collier’s and Hearst all featured illustrations by Howard.

His lovely Christy Girl graced magazine covers, sold hats and dresses and appeared in enlistment posters for World War I encouraging young men to join the navy and marines and people to buy War Bonds. His book illustrations were done primarily between the years of 1895 to 1920.
Even the move back to his home in far- from- the- mainstream Ohio didn’t diminish his ability to get top paying commissions.  He enlarged his childhood home called, The Barracks, and added a studio. It is a now a National Historic Monument.  He moved back to New York in 1915 where he created posters for the war effort.  In 1917 he moved into the Hotel des Artistes’ where he built a studio.

After World War I,  he divorced his wife and married Nancy Mae Palmer who was introduced to him by Charles Dana Gibson. She modeled for him and her face was the face of the Christy Girl for years.

Douglas MacArthur by Howard Chandler Christy

In the 1920s he began painting portraits of the rich and famous.

With the Roaring Twenties in full swing, he became a ‘in demand’  portrait artist. Anybody who was somebody wanted their portrait painted.  He painted dictator, Benito Musselini, Crown Prince Umberto of Italy, Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker, the World War I ace, humorist Will Rogers, aviator, or aviatrix to use the term of the day, Amelia Earhart and US presidents, Franklin Roosevelt, Coolidge, Hoover, Polk, Van Buren, Garfield, and the magazine and newspaper tycoon and wife, Mr. and Mrs. William Randolph Hearst.  He traveled to Europe, mingled with celebrities, and was busy with exhibitions and commissions. Norman Rockwell said of Christy, “The short, stocky, pugnacious Christy, boomingly cheerful, publicity and he are right for each other … like cole slaw and church suppers.”

The Great Depression not only devastated the nation, but Howard also became very depressed. The champagne days of the 1920s were over.  Now he painted what was close to his heart – landscapes and beautiful women.  Again, a beautiful model, artist and former Zeigfield dancer named Elise Ford, caught his eye and became his companion as well as model for the next 15 years. She was also the mother of his daughter.

When he added murals and screens to his repertoire, his career flowered again. He painted the murals of nudes at the Café des Artistes in New York which was on the ground floor of his studio building.

His commissions now were of paintings depicting historical events, commemorative paintings and also celebrity paintings.
His most famous painting is “The Signing of the Constitution” which hangs in the rotunda of the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.   After much Congressional wrangling, Congress passed a bill to finance a painting for the sesquicentennial of the signing of the Constitution.  The painting depicts the signers of the Constitution in Independence Hall in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787.  It was a $30,000 commission for Christy.
It was a huge undertaking for Christy both in size and complexity.  It was an 18-by-26-foot canvas. 

Signing of the Constitution of the US by Howard Chandler Christy

If you go to this site, you can roll your mouse over the picture and find out the identity of each person at the signing.. Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States by Howard Chandler Christy

Howard researched the dress of the times including borrowing George Washington’s breeches from the Smithsonian.  He depicted artifacts and furniture from delegates and included Jefferson’s books.  To depict the light in the room properly, he went to Independence Hall in September at the same time of day that the Constitution was signed to study how the light angled into the room and onto the glass chandelier.

The painting was so big that he painted in the sail loft of the Washington Navy Yard.  He used enlisted men as models for the figures.  He spent five years of research and seven months of painting “The Signing of the Constitution”  When it was put into its Azeglio Pancani gold-leaf finished frame, it was an immense 20-by-30 feet in size.  In May 1940 it was dedicated in the Rotunda of the Capitol where it was on view for 16 months. Being in Washington, more debate took place over where it should be hung permanently.  Finally, it was decided to install it in the east grand stairway of the house where it can be seen today.

He remained an active artist and was still painting in the 1950s. Howard Chandler Christy died peacefully at age 80 in 1952 in his Hotel des Artistes’ studio in New York on March 3, 1952.


Howard Chandler Christy (1873 – 1952) – Find A Grave Memorial

Lafayette College – Howard Chandler Christy Papers – Biographical Sketch

A very nice biography complete with a photograph of Howard Chandler Christy.  Unfortunately, there is that same mistake that shows up everywhere regarding his mother.  She was not a Chandler.  His paternal grandmother was a Chandler.

Howard Chandler Christy Biography

Another nice biography with illustrated with Christy’s own works. Interestingly, he illustrated the Longfellow poem, “The Courtship of Miles Standish” of whom he descends through the Chandler line.

Howard Chandler Christy, H C Christy
A big selection of best and most vividly colored illustrations which are copyrighted so we can’t use them here, but you can take a look by clicking the above link.

Howard Chandler Christy Prints and Posters at
You can buy a copy of a Howard Chandler Christy poster here starting at less than $10. Howard Chandler Christy Scene at the Signing of the Constitution Art Poster Print – 13×19: Home & Garden
You can buy a copy of  “The Signing of the Constitution”  by Howard Chandler Christy for less than $5.00 at Amazon.
NMAI: Howard Chandler Christy

A brief biography along with some very nice illustrations of his work.

Signing of the Constitution by Howard Chandler Christy
This is a government site that gives a lot of back story on the creation of the painting.

Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States by Howard Chandler Christy
Explains who the signers were and why he painted them the way he did.


The following obituary was found on USGenWeb Story County Iowa;

  “Mr. Able Chandler died at the county poor farm on Monday last. Aged 83 years. Rev. Thornbrue officiated at the funeral on Tuesday.” From Story County Watchman October 14, 1881

There are two official records of a Phebey Matney marrying an Abel Chandler.  The first one was in Missouri in 1846 and the second  was in 1860 in Illinois. It seems very unlikely that there were two sets of them. There may be another explanation and vital records do have mistakes. This remains a mystery.  It doesn’t seem really likely that our Abel Chandler, who descends from Edmund, married a Phebey Matney as the 1850 US census for Illinois shows our Abel but not Phebey. The 1860 US census for Illinois shows a Phebey Chandler with a daughter born in Missouri, but no Abel.
It does appear also that Abel’s daughter, Louise or Louisa, died young then he had a second daughter also named Louise who died shortly after she was born.
Rev. Abel is at rest, however the mystery surrounding his marriage and family members are ongoing.


When our group was first formed, I used to joke that our alternative name should be the Brick Wall Club as most of us had a brick wall and that brick wall was usually a Chandler.  We have broken down many of those brick walls since then.

Here are a few tips on breaking down a brick wall, including how to do a history search.  
1.  Don’t be too quick to accept information as gospel, that includes family history. Just because you heard those stories for ages does not make them completely true. There is usually truth in family stories only it is often mixed up, sometimes really mixed up.  Two of our members were stymied for a long time because  they didn’t realize that they had two ancestors with the same first name and the information had become so garbled that it appeared that there was only one person.

2 . If concentrating on just one ancestor is getting you nowhere broaden your search. Look for relatives. Look to see who the relatives married.  Check children’s names, sometimes the mother’s maiden name may show up as a first name.  Siblings of one family often married siblings of another family so check them out.

3. Be flexible about names.  You may have always heard of your great grandfather as “Henry” for example, but that may have been a nickname or a middle name.  Also, as you go through the censuses, he may have gone from one nickname to another nickname, or from his first name to his middle name and back again, or you may only find initials.

3. Still stuck? Go broader still. When you are dealing with any state in its earliest frontier incarnation, it can be a complete mystery where these people came from.  This is where switching over from a genealogical search to an historical search can save you.

Do a Google search and a Google book search of the history of the town, county, or region to find out where the people came from originally.   For a plain Google search, type in the name of the town or the county and the word “history” and your ancestor’s full name or last name.  You may get lucky and find your ancestor, or his family right away, if not just leave the surname out and try again.

One of the benefits of a Google search and Google book search for town and county histories is that they often have genealogies which tell where people lived, what they did, and even where their descendants migrated to.  As these are old histories, they are often based on recollections so they may be flawed and they are not primary sources, but they can give you great clues.  To show you the power of a good Google search, much to my surprise I found my Czech ggg-grandfather in what is now the Czech Republic from a Google book search.  It was written in German, but I found an on line dictionary so I could do a translation

While researching Chandlers in early frontier New York, I had no idea where they came from.  By Google searching the history of the towns and counties, I found out that most of the early Chandlers who settled there had received land bounties for their service in the Revolutionary War.  It turned out that their regiments came from Connecticut and had served in the then frontier of New York.  From there I began matching up the New Yorkers to their birth records in Connecticut and found most were descendants of William and Annis Chandler.

As I studied New York further, I found a cluster of Roger Chandler of Concord, Mass descendants and a cluster of William of Newbury, Mass descendants, but no Edmund cluster.  The few Edmund families that I found who tried New York left and went back to their home states, with the exception of a few women who married New Yorkers and stayed.  It is still possible that I may come across an Edmund family in the future in early New York, but the odds are low.

As you do your county or town history searches , remember that boundaries change!  So check U.S. State and County Boundary Maps and Old American Atlas Maps and to find names of obscure places where you know the name, but don’t know where it is try,  Place Names – Gazetteer of Countries, Regions and Cities Worldwide  These are both free sites.

                OF INTEREST ON TV

                WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE
Good news for you who are fans of “Who Do You Think You Are”, the NBC genealogy show.  It has been renewed for the third season and will be back in 2012.  I am guessing most likely in January.  Reruns are playing now in my area on Saturday nights on NBC.  Lisa Kudrow, of “Friends” fame is the producer of this program. Past episodes included researching the family histories of actresses, actors, football players and singers and visiting their ancestral homelands.  Sarah Jessica Parker’s family tree included a New England “witch”, but so far no Chandlers have turned up. is their main sponsor and they provide the legions of researchers.  We all know it is not as easy as they make it look!

                THE HISTORY CHANNEL
Our treasurer and co-chairperson, Bob, told me about a program called “How the States Got Their Shapes.”  If you learn about history and part of that history comes from geography, you will be able to make much greater progress with your genealogy.  Land that could be reached by ships was settled first, hence the coastline, then areas where there were navigable rivers.

Most of you probably know about this station, but I just got cable so it was new to me.  I found lots and lots of programs about tractors, new tractors, old tractors and ancient restored tractors along with farm implements. Besides shows on tractors there are also episodes on how farming was done in the olden and not so olden days
Just about all of our early ancestors were farmers.  There were farmer/sea captains, farmer/blacksmiths, farmer/coopers and so forth.  On an episode of Rural Heritage on RFD TV they were pounding out square nails in the blacksmith shop, which brought to mind all of those early Chandler blacksmiths.  Making nails was a tedious job assigned to apprentices in the old days. As genealogy is so much more than just collecting names, seeing how people lived way back when is fun as well as informative.


The series, which airs on PBS, features a group of researchers helping people  seek answers to questions they have, usually centering around a family heirloom, an old house or other historic object or structure. It devotes itself “to exploring the complexities of historical mysteries, searching out the facts, myths and conundrums that connect local folklore, family legends and interesting objects.    To find  the schedule for the show go to;     

Our sister group, The Chandler Family, is having a reunion in Texas this August.  They represent all Chandlers who are not Edmund descendants. The CFA was founded on the premise that they were all descendants of John Chandler of 1610 Jamestown, Virginia; however, with DNA testing and modern research tools and techniques, they found out that there were many different Chandler families other than just descendants of John Chandler.  Most of their members hail from the South
Our member, Cynthia plans to attend and represent both us as she is an Edmund descendant and her other Chandler line which is southern.

The Fall issue which should be out sometime in October, will feature a new Chandler discovery in Maine, more news from the Jamboree including what is new at Familysearch, finding your ancestor’s land on line and free and more.  If you have news, a Chandler photo, or would like to write about one of your Chandler ancestors, let us know so we can post it.
Until next time, happy hunting!


1 Comment

Filed under Chandler News

One response to “SUMMER 2011 NEWS FROM EDMUND CHANDLER FAMILY by Carol May

  1. H.C. Christy was born in 1872, not 1873. This is another common mistake that has been perpetuated over time, including by the artist himself. Eventually, he corrected it, but it was late in his life and too late to change the previous biographies. Also, Nancy Palmer Christy’s middle name was spelled “Mae” rather than “May.”

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