The CFA has a new tool for genealogy research – The Chandler Family Association Lineages Database (CFALD). This is an easily-searchable, computer-based resource. The database already contains more than 100,000 records of Chandler individuals from around the world; it will grow as more Chandler descendants participate in the group‘s research efforts. After several years of planning and preparation, CFALD was unveiled to the membership at the CFA’s 2010 annual meeting in Hampton, Virginia.
Jim Reeves, one of five CFA founders and a former CFA vice president, retired in 2008 as CFA librarian and as author of his monumental project, the “John Chandler Descendant Chart Book” (JCDCB). The JCDCB is the culmination of more than 20 years of data collection and entry by Jim (typing with 2 fingers only!). Although Jim was working on a computer, his output was paper-based, meant to be printed out in hard copy, and the software he started with more than 20 years ago was long since outdated. Jim’s book consisted of three huge text files which printed out as three thick volumes, together weighing 12 pounds.
The impetus for converting these paper-based records into a computer database came about some years ago. Soon after the beginning of the Chandler DNA Project, and analysis of early test results, it became obvious that some of the participants previously believed to be descendants of John Chandler born 1600 were in fact related to other Chandler ancestors.
This led the CFA leadership and the Chandler DNA Project administrators to conceive a database of genealogy records for all Chandlers, whether connected to the 1610 immigrant John Chandler or to one of the other genetically-distinct Chandler lines. By 2010 almost 60 distinct Chandler lines had been identified. Follow this link – genetic_chandler_families.html - to read more about these families.
DNA Project Administrators Dick Chandler, Dr. John Chandler (DNA expert) and Joseph Barron Chandler, Jr., collaborated for several years to move the Lineages Database from concept to reality.
As a starting point, Dr. Chandler converted Jim Reeves’ JCDCB data into a format accepted by today‘s computer technology. Then Dick Chandler took over to present the data in a uniform style, removing duplications, correcting errors, and standardizing names, abbreviations, place names, etc. He also began adding documentation for the thousands of facts in the database.
The software we are using for CFALD is Personal Ancestral File (PAF), provided by the organization which developed the GEDCOM standard for interchange of genealogical data. Although it is no longer being developed or offered for download, PAF does – for now – all that the CFA requires for the CFALD and Family Group databases.
PAF is one of many programs which were specifically designed for genealogy purposes. The main or high-level database is the one that will be known as CFA Lineages Database (CFALD), eventually containing all known Chandlers. There will also be, as a part of the larger CFALD plan, a series of Family Group databases, one for each DNA group (genetic family), as described below.
Within JCDCB, for every Chandler record there are five non-Chandler records. Of course, individual family historians want to record all the lines in their extended family. For the CFA’s future every-Chandler database, however, this 5 to 1 ratio is not sustainable. Consequently, CFALD will only hold records of the first generation of children of Chandler females who marry and take the husband's surname, i.e. the first non-Chandler generation, NOT subsequent generations. For example, CFA member Sharon Parham Maloney is a descendant of Andrew J. Chandler and Nancy (Angeline) Posey through their daughter Mary Ann Chandler. Mary Ann married William W Pickle and one of their daughters, Maudie, married John Parham. Their son, Douglas, is the father of Sharon Parham Maloney. While Mary Ann Chandler, her husband William W. Pickle, and their ten children born with the surname Pickle, together with their spouses, will appear in the CFALD, later generations of descendants will not.
Where more generations of descendants of female Chandlers are currently held within JCDCB, they will be retained in the relevant Family Group database. This policy will allow us to keep the high-level CFALD database manageable and at the same time include all descendants of female Chandlers in their appropriate Family Group database. No Chandlers or Chandler descendants will be discarded, and all descendants of both male and female Chandlers within each family can be recorded.
It is only in the high-level, all-Chandler database – which will potentially contain records of all known Chandlers who have ever existed anywhere in the world – that the lineages will be truncated, stopping with the children of female Chandlers, so that only the first non-Chandler generation will be included in the high-level database.
To support our research and help others trace their Chandler origins, we will need to enter within the high-level CFALD all the individual Chandlers in all of the Family Group databases. This will allow us to look for a person across all the genetic families in one search. Individual members of each genetic family group will be linked together according to their family relationships, so they will all be recorded as descendants of a common ancestor. The genetic families themselves will not be linked together, because they are genetically distinct, not related, and have no common ancestor.
To protect the integrity of the databases, rigorous standards of DNA proof combined with sourced genealogical evidence will be applied. Documenting sources for the information already in CFALD will be an ongoing project for quite some time to come.
You are welcome to use the Genealogy Panel mechanism described below to find out from us what, if anything, is recorded in CFALD about you and your ancestors. When you receive our reply, you may have some corrections or additions to make. Corrections can be supplied to us by e-mail: because corrections by definition contradict what someone else has told us, please be as clear as possible about the source of your information, so that we can record the justification for making the change, which will be attributed to you. Additions (individuals not currently recorded within CFALD) can also be supplied to us by e-mail, though if there are an appreciable number (say, more than 20) we would prefer to receive them as a GEDCOM file from your family history program. In either case, please consult CFALD Data Entry Standards before starting any work, and contact us if you have any questions.
The CFA will use the all-Chandler database to help respond to genealogical enquiries from members and non-members. Send a query to the CFA Genealogy Panel and we will send you a report telling you what we have about the person you enquire about, his/her ancestors and recent descendants. The CFA Genealogy Panel, organized in late 2009, is a group of volunteers who have expressed a desire to help other Chandler researchers. If you would like to work with the Genealogy Panel to solve your Chandler line mysteries, please write an email message that includes all known generations above you; dates and places of your ancestors' births, deaths and residence; and siblings if known. Families often repeat first names in successive generations, so we do need all the names, dates and places you can provide. So that the Genealogy Panel will not retrace research you have already done, please also include a digest of the research you have already done and sources you have already consulted.
If you do not have an email program installed on your computer (perhaps you use one of the online email services like Yahoo or Gmail), you will need to type the address into your message. In that case, please include "for CFA Genealogy Panel" as the subject.
If you have questions, email Dick at Dick Chandler at Chandler Family Association dot org
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Updated April 11, 2016
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