Group 4 of the Chandler DNA Project has five members. Three were early DNA Project participants and have virtually identical DNA. Robert of Dinwiddie County, Virginia, is a descendant of Thomas' son William. Albert Benjamin (Ben) of Versailles, Kentucky, and Bill Jaynes Chandler, also Kentucky born, descend from Thomas' son Thomas. (In this account, these two Thomases are referred to as Thomas the Elder and Thomas the Younger.) Robert and Ben are exact matches in the 37-marker test, and Bill differs from them by just one step. Over the course of centuries, we may expect one or two steps of difference to crop up in a group of this size through random mutation. In particular, the match of Robert and Ben, which links two men whose most recent common ancestor was evidently born not much short of 300 years ago, points to the integrity of this line. The newest members of Group 4 are Larry Douglas Chandler of Kentucky and his son, Jeffrey Douglas Chandler, proven descendants of Manson Hardaway Chandler, a probable grandson of Thomas the Elder.
Thomas the Elder (the Patriarch)
There was another Chandler in Virginia who may have been related to Thomas, a Martin Chandler who in 1722 acquired from William Yarborough 200 acres of land in the Reedy Creek area of King William County that is now in Caroline. Little is known of him; very few records of that time now exist where he resided. The following is known:
The foregoing makes it plausible that Thomas the Elder was Martin's son (or possibly heir as grandson, nephew, or even brother?), that he followed the Yarboroughs to Amelia where he acquired land and in the next year sold the land in Caroline that earlier had been Martin's. In the end, the best that can be said is that all that is known about Martin and Thomas, sketchy though it is in the case of the former, supports this hypothesis.
In 1752 Thomas and his wife Catherine (parents not known) sold the tract they had bought in 1747. In 1755, he patented 400 acres close by in Prince Edward County (taken from Amelia). They sold this land in 1760. Thomas was granted another 400 acres to the west in Halifax County, in soon-to-be Pittsylvania County; the survey of it in his name was done in 1754. In 1767, Pittsylvania's tithables list showed Thomas as a resident of Dinwiddie County, where he and Catherine were also living when in 1768 they sold the Pittsylvania tract. Why they moved to Dinwiddie is not known. Obviously already an enterprising fellow, Thomas, with the acquisition of at least 500 to 600 acres of land along White Oak Creek and a half dozen slaves, settled down in Dinwiddie as a planter. He died in 1795 and Catherine followed in 1799 or 1800. In the substantial but patchy records of their lives, nothing, beyond his probable link to Martin, establishes their lineage or indicates to whom, other than their sons, they were related.
The sons of Thomas and Catherine Chandler were Thomas, William, Martin, John, and Britain; no daughters are known. They all probably were married in the 1770s. Thomas, with two sons by 1775, may have been the oldest. As with the parents, the lack of surviving records in Dinwiddie County from before 1833 – wills, marriages and deeds included – limits knowledge of them. The county's tax records survive and are the source of much that is known about this family.
William and Britain remained in Dinwiddie County, as John also may have done, while Martin moved to Amelia. Thomas stayed not far away until in old age he went westward.
The Five Sons of Thomas the Elder
Bill said, "I went to the Sunday service at the church . . . and talked to older members who remember the Chandlers, but, according to them, and my research there, none remain. I hoped, of course, to identify a male descendant (for a Y chromosome DNA test), but was unable to do so. Nor could anyone there point to anyone who might know of such."
Thomas the Younger
*This history of Genetic Chandler Family Group 4 is largely based on “Thomas Chandler (? – 1795) of Virginia – His Probable Origins and Some of His Descendants” by Bill Jaynes Chandler, published in the Spring 2007 Chandler Family Association Newsletter. Bill Jaynes Chandler, a CFA member, is Emeritus Professor of History at Texas A&M University-Kingsville and the author of three books of Brazilian and Italian (Sicilian) history. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Florida in Latin American history and taught at the State University of New York at Albany before moving to Texas A&M-Kingsville. Additional contributions to the Group 4 story were made by Joseph M. Joyner, Jr., deceased; Anne Meredith; and Larry Douglas Chandler.
1The documentary research that linked these three Chandlers is set forth for the most part in Annamae Barber Chandler, comp., "Blue Book," pp. 3-36. That work is a cooperative effort that contains some factual errors and questionable assumptions.
2William Yarborough to Martin Chandler deed, acknowledged by the latter on 21 Feb. 1722, King William County Records, Book 2, pp. 89-90, 93 (available on microfilm at the courthouse and the Library of Virginia); George Bagley to Thomas Chandler, 18 Mar. 1747, Deed Book 3, p. 14; Josias Randle’s list...1748, Amelia County Tithables Lists, Library of Virginia; Chandler to Pettross, Caroline County Order Book, 1747-1754, p. 81.
3Thomas and Catherine to Adam Jones, 27 Sept. 1752, Amelia County Deed Book 4, p. 490; Virginia Land Office Patent Book No. 31, p. 663; Thomas Chandler to Abraham West, 8 Dec. 1760, Prince Edward County Deed Book 2, p. 685; Halifax County Entry Record Book, p. 210; Thomas and Catherine to Beverley Shelton, Pittsylvania County Deed Book 1, p. 86. Thomas and Catherine are known in Dinwiddie County solely from land and personal property tax records, because its deed record before 1833 no longer exists, nor much of any other records, either. Its uncommonly informative tax records show that Thomas upon his death left 500 acres of land.
4William’s line has been developed principally by two of his descendants, Joseph M. Joyner, Jr., deceased, and Anne Meredith; see the "Blue Book," pp. 6-11. Bill Jaynes Chandler has verified to his satisfaction the overall accuracy of the research on this line.
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Posted March 21, 2010
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