by Carol May

I am hoping to focus on the New Hampshire Chandlers and the Revolutionary
War in an upcoming issue, but in the meantime, here is a short update on the news –


by Carol May

Results are still coming in from the Englishmen who took the DNA test after responding to the 500 letter Chandler DNA project mailing. The latest is that a match has been found between the descendants of Roger Chandler, who arrived in Concord, Mass before 1637, and an Englishman. The English testee traced his Chandler line to William Chandler who married in Yorkshire, England in 1763. Yorkshire is in northern England. Roger of Concord’s daughter married a Heald whose roots go back to North Umberland which is also in Northern England.

In the past, it was wondered if Roger Chandler of Concord, Roger Chandler of Duxbury and Edmund Chandler of Duxbury were all related. DNA tests show that descendants of Roger of Concord do not match the descendants of Edmund Chandler so they are not related through the male line.

Roger of Concord was not mentioned in any documents, deeds or birth records showing a connection to Roger of Duxbury and he was not in his will. Also, if the age that was given on Roger of Concord’s gravestone is correct, Roger of Duxbury’s wife, Isabella Chilton, would have been in her early fifties when he was born, not a plausible scenario. Roger Chandler of Duxbury has no known male line descendants as his documented son, Samuel, died without issue so we cannot do a DNA test on his line. With all of that, it seems very unlikely that Roger of Concord was Roger of Duxbury’s son, although it could be possible that they were related.

However, there is a stronger circumstantial link between our Edmund and Roger Chandler of Duxbury. Perhaps they were brothers or cousins. Edmund and Roger of Duxbury were in Leiden, Holland at the same time and both were witnesses on the same legal document. They also both emigrated at about the same time from Leiden, Holland to Duxbury. They both had sons named Samuel, which leads me to my pet theory is that Edmund’s and/or Roger’s father may have been named Samuel – just speculation on my part.

Roger of Duxbury married in Kent which is in the southern part of England. If Roger came from Kent, maybe Edmund also came from Kent. Our member, Dick, has tried to find a connection between Edmund’s other known associates and their English origins without luck.

Some have wondered if Roger and Edmund were brothers, why weren’t their children or grandchildren named Roger? Probably the reason is that most of the Plymouth colonists chose names from the Bible for their children as they were very religious. You see few non-Bible names like Henry, William, Charles or Roger appearing in the second generation of the Plymouth colony. Names from the Bible dominated for over 150 years in the Plymouth colony.

Now onto another New England Chandler whose male line descendants have been on our wish list to test for years, William Chandler of Newbury, Mass. A male line descendant of his has been found and hopefully will be DNA tested soon. Most of the New England Chandlers whose roots are pre-1800 go back to one of four Chandler families – William of Roxbury, the most prolific, Edmund of Duxbury, probably the second most prolific, Roger of Concord, and William of Newbury. I call them the “Big Four.” Will the William of Newbury descendant match any of the other Chandler families, one of the unmatched Chandlers, or possibly an Englishman? We don’t know but hope to find out.

Still on our list to test is a male line descendant of Zebedee Chandler of Plympton, Mass. We think that he is part of the Edmund Chandler family, but are not sure. He was born c. 1711. We want to find out and are still offering a free DNA test for a proven descendant as a match could rule him in or out. If any of you come across a possible candidate for DNA testing let us know.

Also, I am in the hunt for a descendant of a couple of very obscure Chandlers, William Chandler of Portsmouth, New Hampshire and possibly a couple of Boston Chandlers for DNA testing.

The more Chandlers that are tested the better as we may find a match for Edmund in England, which is our main focus now, or anywhere in the world as a distant cousin of Edmund could have had descendants that migrated to even places as far away as Australia. Trace that person’s roots and we might find where Edmund came from.


by Carol May

sons of liberty

As we are currently focusing on the Revolutionary War, it is fortuitous that the History Channel will have a multi-part series beginning on January 25th called the “Sons of Liberty.” This is a dramatic telling of the story of the people who were the prime movers of the American Revolution in New England – Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Paul Revere and others. The Sons of Liberty came together in Boston and their protests and actions — liberty poles, the tea party, bonfires where effigies of English official were burned, and secret meetings in taverns — were mirrored in the other towns of New England and in the actions of our Chandlers. The Committees of Correspondence and Safety sprang (see previous issues of the Courier for Chandler involvement) from these early protesters of taxation and laws inhibiting the freedom of the colonists.
Sons of Liberty meetings were held in secret in Boston’s Green Dragoon Tavern. If you missed the story on Bell Tavern and the role that taverns played in early New England, go to a previous of the Courier to read it.

To show what an influence the Sons of Liberty had, in response to the 1773 Boston Tea Party of which they were the instigators, a committee of men in New Gloucester, Maine paid a visit to Peleg Chandler, owner of the Bell Tavern, to enter a protest and the seize the box of tea he owned. Chandler replied “I bought that box of tea and paid the price and if any man attempts to seize it I will shoot him.” The leader of the committee went back and reported “Peleg Chandler says that he will shoot any man who attempts to take his tea, and by G—he is a man of his word!” The tea was not molested. This was from the Lewiston (Maine) Evening Journal, Aug. 30 1924 sent to me by our member, Steve.

Lest anyone think that Peleg had Tory inclinations, he was a fervent patriot and risked life and fortune by serving on the New Gloucester Committee of Safety and later as its chairman. See a previous issue for the full story of Peleg Chandler. He probably figured that once he bought and paid for that box of tea it was his and free of any Tory taint.
Whether or not the TV mini-series “Sons of Liberty” is a stirring story of the Boston patriots or a dramatic dud, I don’t know as I haven’t seen any reviews, but give it a look and then you can decide for yourself.



by Carol May

This PBS series is back on Tuesday evenings (check your local listing). Unlike the other popular TV genealogy programs, this one focuses on ordinary folks. You submit your story and family genealogical mystery and if your question is persuasive enough, you might get chosen. The lucky picks get top genealogists to crack those cases and the results are shown on TV.


Happy New Year and may more brick walls come tumbling down!


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