First, a note about Edmund Chandler and his family. The opinion of the great Mayflower researcher, George Ernest Bowman, was that there were many serious errors written about Edmund Chandler and his descendants. According to Eugene Aubrey Stratton, former Historian General of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, Bowman was able to correct some of the mistakes. Unfortunately, there are many old books still around that, though sincere efforts by their authors, are riddled with errors that have been perpetuated on the Internet. See Myths, Mix-ups and Questions. We have tried to provide the most reliable information that we could find; however, if we made errors, let us know!
The origins of Edmund (also spelled Edmond) Chandler are still a mystery (see Where did Edmund Chandler Originate from?). We think that he was probably born in the 1580s or no later than 1592, as he had to have been an adult when he was admitted to citizenship of Leiden, Holland in 1613. Another clue to his age was the “Able to Bear Arms” list for Duxbury in 1643. All able-bodied males between 16 and 60 were required to be on the list and Edmund was not, which would probably indicate that he was aged 60 or older in 1643 or not able-bodied. There was also a “Nathanell Chaundor” on that “Able to Bear Arms” list, but nothing more is known of him. Was he a relative of Edmund? What happened to him? We don’t know, as that is the only mention of him in the records.
Documents still surface from time to time that may shed light on Edmund’s origins and life. We hope future DNA studies of his male direct line descendants may eventually lead to his origins in England. Chandler is an occupational name, so there is probably no one place or person from which all Chandlers originate. As Chandler is a common name in Wiltshire and Hampshire perhaps his origins will be found there. Other possibilities are Essex and Berkshire.
We do not know the names of Edmund’s wives. We know that he had at least two marriages. He did not marry Elizabeth Alden. His grandson married an Elizabeth Alden. See Myths, Mix-ups and Questions or go directly to Edmund Chandler and Elizabeth Alden.
It is believed that Edmund was probably related to Roger Chandler as they were together in Leiden. They were members of the Separatist congregation of Rev. John Robinson. Separatists believed in complete separation from the (Catholic) Church of England, unlike the Puritans who only wished to “purify” (i.e. radically simplify) it. Roger arrived in Plymouth after the 1627 cattle division in Plymouth as he was not on the list of residents that received cattle and goats. It is believed that all of the residents of the colony were on the 1627 list with the exception of transients. Roger also later moved to Duxbury as did Edmund. Duxbury was part of the Plymouth colony’s expansion. Edmund probably arrived in Plymouth Colony in 1629 or 1630 as that is when arrangements were made to bring the last of the Leiden congregation over. A few stragglers may have arrived later, but in any case he arrived before 1633 as he was on the list of Duxbury freemen for that year, the first mention of him in the Plymouth colony.
Only menial occupations were available to the Separatists in Holland. Edmund was a draper, say-weaver (a weaver of coarse blanket-like cloth) as was Roger, and a pipe- maker. When Edmund died a parcel of books was listed in an inventory of his estate. So he was almost certainly literate. Many people in those days were not, and not many people owned books. When Edmund came to Duxbury, he became active in the governing of the town. He became the Constable of Duxbury (the equivalent of Chief Executive Officer) and participated in other civic activities. Like many other colonists, he became active in acquiring real estate. He acquired land by both grants and purchase. The Plymouth colonists obtained land by purchase from the Native Americans. Stephen Hopkins, one of those who arrived on the Mayflower, was quoted as saying “The King doesn’t own the land, the Indians do.”
Plymouth expanded the colony, by establishing the towns of Duxbury, Scituate, Marshfield, Barnstable, Sandwich, Yarmouth, Taunton, Eastham, Rehoboth, Bridgewater, Dartmouth (Mass.) among others. Like many colonists he became a Proprietor, but not a resident, of what would become early towns like Bridgewater. The land that he didn’t sell or trade he left to his sons.
When he died he left “3500 weight of sugar” in the Barbados to his daughters. It is unknown if he meant pounds of sugar when he referred to “weight” in his Will. How he acquired the sugar is unknown, although sugar was used as money in that time. It would have been virtually impossible for Edmund to have owned a sugar plantation before he came to Duxbury as some old books say. (See The Edmund Chandler Sugar Plantation Myth in the Myths, Mix-ups and Questions section.)
The children named in Edmund’s Will were sons Samuel (believed to have been born to his first wife), Joseph and Benjamin and daughters Sarah, Anna, Mary and Ruth. It is believed that his second wife had died before him. His son, John, died about 10 years previously on the way to Barbados (See Myths, Mix-ups, and Questions for Those Confusing John Chandlers and The Edmund Chandler Sugar Plantation Myth). His only male children that are believed to have had children were Joseph and Benjamin.
November 11, 1613
April 27, 1615
March 26, 1619
May 5, 1623
April 17, 1626
July 31, 1628
1629 or 1630
January 1, 1633
October 20, 1634
January 3, 1636/37
June 7, 1636
January 29, 1638/9
April 2, 1638
May 30, 1637
June 4, 1639
July 19, 1639
September 1, 1640
October 5, 1640
November 2, 1640
June 8, 1650
June 7, 1651
May 4, 1653
July 15, 1653
July 3, 1656
April 2, 1659
May 2, 1662
May 2 to June 2, 1662 < br> Edmund died between May 2nd and June 2nd when his estate was inventoried.
“Plymouth Colony, Its History and People 1620-1621” by Eugene Aubrey Stratton, Ancestry Publishing, 1986. Stratton was the former Historian General of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. Original source material is listed in this book.
“The Genealogy of Edward Small of New England and the Allied Families with Tracings of English Ancestry” by Lora Altine Woodbury Underhill (Cambridge, Mass. 1910). This is considered the most complete, meticulously documented genealogy of the early Chandlers. Original sources are listed. Chapter 13, The Chandler Family, is 68 pages long and covers Edmund and several generations of his descendants. There have been discoveries since it was first written. John was found to be Edmund’s son and not his brother, as was Samuel. We still have not found more information about Nathaniel (Nathanell Chaundor).
Pilgrim Archives. http://www.pilgrimarchives.nl/. This Dutch website was created to show documents regarding the Pilgrims discovered by Dutch researchers.
The Chandler Family Association|
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The Chandler Family Association
Posted June 6, 2015|
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