Isaac Chanler born 1700 is the earliest known ancestor of the genetically distinct family designated #31 by the Chandler DNA Project. Chanler is an established variant of the Chandler surname.
Isaac Chanler was a Baptist minister on the Ashley River in South Carolina (near Charleston). For a time he was the only ordained minister in a large area. One 19th century author, when writing the history of the Baptist Church in South Carolina, said, “Mr. Chanler was a man of distinguished talents, piety and usefulness.” There is one descendant of Rev. Isaac Chanler in the Chandler DNA Project.
In about 1733, Rev. Chanler, newly arrived from England, began working with believers along Ashley River in South Carolina. According to Rev. Basil Manley, writing in 1856, “He was so blessed to the conversion of souls, that it was soon judged expedient to have a separate church constituted at the place where he preached.”
A new Ashley River Church, the second Baptist church in South Carolina (Charleston had the first), was formed on May 24, 1736, with 28 male and female members. The constituents were Isaac Chanler (pastor), William Cater, John Bullein, Richard Bedon Jr., Benjamin Child, John Sheppard Jr., Charles Barker, Charles Filben, Francis Sheppard, Alexander Sheppard, Jacob Bradwell, John Angell, Thomas Ramsay, Richard Bedon Sr., Sarah Baker, Mary Cater, Susannah Bradwell, Christiana Brown, Ann Maam, Elizabeth Chanler, Elizabeth Bullein, Joyel Griffin, Elizabeth Bedon, Elizabeth Salter, Susannah Baker, Elizabeth Marrion, Mary Sheppard, and Ann Peacock.
According to Isaac Chanler descendant Lew Toulmin, early histories of the Baptists in South Carolina indicate that the Ashley River settlement where Chanler was minister was near the settlement of Dorchester, about 30 miles northwest of Charleston. The Ashley River settlement no longer exists, but is commemorated by a state park.
Rev. Chanler assisted the Euhaw Baptist Church when that group came to the decision to separate from the Charleston church. Chanler was later to be called on to assist the Charleston church, which had fallen on hard times and had only a few remaining members. A history of the Charleston church by Rev. Basil Manly, published 1856, states “There was now but one Baptist minister in all this part of the province, to whom the church could look for aid, Rev. Mr. Chanler, pastor of the Ashley River church: and so numerous were his engagements that he could serve them only once a fortnight.”
Rev. Chanler was a published author. One 438-page work, described as “a treatise in small quarto” and “esteemed an able defense of the Calvinistic doctrines,” was published in 1744 under the impressive title “The Doctrines of Glorious Grace. Unfolded, defended, and practically improved. Herein The Fall of Mankind in the first Adam, and the Methods of divine Sovereignty in the Effectual Recovery of a chosen Remnant by Christ, the second Adam, are declared, and set in a scriptural Light.” This was said to be probably the first theological work published from that area of the United States. Another publication had a simpler title: “Treatise on Original Sin.”
A diary left by Rev. Chanler was published in 1898. At the end of the book, his great-granddaughter, Caroline Ann Marshall, provided biographical details gleaned from “History of First Baptist Church, S.C.: Two Centuries of the First Baptist Church, S.C. 1683-1883.” The Baptist history gives Rev. Chanler’s birth date as May 10, 1700, and birth place as Bristol, England. He married Elizabeth Hunley, born Uxbridge, Hertfordshire, England. Their children were Mary, Isaac, Susannah, and Ann.
The journal tells of traveling from Christian home to Christian home in his district and receiving a warm welcome everywhere. He valued his church work, his family, and his many friends – and also a good night’s sleep. Most diary entries begin with gratitude for a restful slumber.
On June 13, 1746, the Reverend wrote this passage in his diary: “. . . though I do not abound in worldly riches, yet I am surrounded with multiplied favours. God hath made me a family like a flock which he hath been pleased to make hopeful and, for a long season to bless them, and even my whole family, with that greatest of temporal blessings “health”, and that too in a distinguishing manner, the Lord feedeth us with food convenient for us and shows us many tokens for good, He gives us the blessed means of grace and the joyful hopes of glory and particularly enabled me his poor creature with a solid joy, to be looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . .”
Rev. Chanler died on November 30, 1749, at the age of 48. He left a long and interesting will dated May 20, 1749. Elizabeth died in 1774. Rev. Chanler’s diary is available to read online at the Lowcountry Digital Library.
The Next Generations
Isaac Chanler, M.D.
He married Sarah White on April 17, 1771. A portrait of Sarah White (Mrs. Issac Chanler) by Henry Benbridge (1743-1812) can be found on numerous websites, including 19th Century American Women.
Isaac and Sarah, according to FamilySearch.org, had three children:
Green, Samuel of the Island of Hilton Head, planter, & Susannah Chanler, daughter of Rev. Mr. Isaac Chanler, late of Charles Town decd. (already married)[sic], 25 Jan. 1770; Charles Grimball, Isaac Chanler, trustees; William Morgan, James Taylor, wit.
According to documents in the possession of Lew Toulmin, the trustees were charged with preserving Susannah’s legacy from the estate of her father of 400 acres and 10 slaves. Her brother-in-law, William Morgan, was one of the witnesses to the marriage.
2David Benedict, A General History of the Baptist Denomination in America, and Other Parts of the World (London: Lincoln & Edmands, No. 53, Cornhill, for the Author, 1813), www.reformedreader.org/history/benedict/baptistdenomination/biographicalaccounts.htm (April 12, 2011)
14Mary Morgan Duggar Toulmin, The Morgan family of Lloyd Llewellyn Duggar, Mary Morgan Duggar Toulmin, Helen Kathryn Duggar Conwell, manuscript, copy in collection of Mobile Public Library, Mobile, Alabama.
22Mary Morgan Duggar Toulmin notes from cemetery visit in Dayton, Alabama, and on the Stewart burials from Thomas J. Morgan's "Recollections” (manuscript). Mary Morgan Duggar Toulmin, The Morgan Family.
23Ellen Elizabeth Morgan, The Morgan Record, manuscript written about 1902, in possession of Llewellyn Morgan Toulmin. This death was reported in City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, 14 Jul 1809; see South Carolina History & Genealogy Magazine, Vol. 33, No. 2, April 1932, 141.
28McCrady, Edward, The history of South Carolina under the royal government, 1719-1776. (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1899), 420, found online at Archive.org, http://openlibrary.org/books/OL24130886M/
31Marriage Notices in The South Carolina and American General Gazette, From May 1766 to February 28, 1781, http://www.accessgenealogy.com/scripts/data/database.cgi?ArticleID=44076&report=SingleArticle&file=Data (April 12, 2011).
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