Genetic Chandler Family 18
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The Y chromosome DNA testing which led to the discovery of this distinct genetic family identified the family’s Y-DNA 37 marker haplotype as
The Chandler DNA project links traditional Chandler family history research and Y-DNA haplotypes in order to study several centuries of Chandler genealogy. Haplogroups, on the other hand, classify human development over many thousands of years. Haplogroups consist of groups of haplotypes which have a common ancestor at some time in pre-history and, somewhere in their genes, a specific genetic mutation unique to that haplogroup.
The haplogroup of Chandler family 18 is I2b1 (original classification) or I-M223 (revised classification with the same meaning). Haplogroups, with initial letters A through R, are the main branches of the human phylogenetic tree, with A being the oldest, emerging from Africa, and R (the most common in Western Europe) being the most recent (appearing a few thousand years ago).
The Group 18 haplogroup is only carried by about 4% of British men – a very small minority. Among almost 100 genetic Chandler families encountered to date, only four have this haplogroup – again, about 4%.
The “pop” DNA companies – who like to give “sound-bite” names to haplogroups to make them more interesting and easier to talk about – have called I2b1 “the Viking strain”. I2b1 traces back to the geographic distribution of man in Europe, roughly at the end of the most recent ice age, about 12,000 years ago. The I2b1 “clan” was part of the re-population of northwest Europe following the retreat of the ice at the end of the last ice age – they occupied an area roughly where modern Scandinavia is found. It is believed that the occupation from which our surname is derived – candlemaking – was developed in those colder climates of Northern Europe, where olive oil, used for illumination in warm climates, was scarce.
From there, thousands of years and many generations later, Vikings and Norse settlers and their descendants colonized parts of Europe. One of the areas colonized was in north-western France, including the province of Normandy. So it is possible that this is why Group 18 has the quite rare (in Britain) I2b1 haplogroup – when a man named le Chaundeler (possibly because he was responsible for the lighting of a noble house) migrated from Normandy to England following the Norman Conquest by Duke William in 1066. It could equally be the result of other Viking settlements in England.
The Group 18 vignette identifies the English counties in which known ancestors of the six ancestral lines of this family lived – in Hampshire, Surrey, Middlesex and Sussex, a fairly large area. The family must have originated in one place, and spread from there. It is tempting to say that the line with the earliest known ancestor is probably the origin of the whole family. But with that argument, each time an early ancestor in one of the six lines is discovered, the possible area of origin changes.
Genealogy research is very difficult in the 1500s and earlier because there are few records available. We have tried to establish where people named Chandler or similar were living when the 14th Century Poll Tax returns were compiled. No Chandlers were found in Surrey or Middlesex. In Sussex there was only one Chandler family taxed, headed by Adam Chandeler at East Marden, which lies only about 10 miles from Lurgashall, where Group 18’s George Chandler was christened 300 years (perhaps 10 generations) later, in 1680. In Hampshire there was also only one Chandler family taxed in 1379, headed by Nicholaus Chan**** at Meonstoke. This is particularly interesting, because about a hundred years later a wool merchant named Walter Chaundelor had become one of the richest men in nearby Winchester. We are particularly anxious to trace a living male descendant of this Walter for DNA testing, because it is highly likely that the result will be a match with Group 18 or Group 7.
In summary, it seems likely that the family either began in Hampshire and spread east from there, or in Sussex, spreading west and north.
Finally, it is worth observing that, in addition to the geographic spread of this family, it has other diverse elements. Socially, family members have included those who worked the land, artisans, mariners, and shop-keepers, and those whose marriages indicate quite prestigious social status. In matters of religion, too, the family has provided prominent members of the established church and radical non-conformists.
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Updated August 2, 2016|
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