I shall have occasion to mention some of these in the
body of this work.
A year ago I came across the original records of the
old Virginia Company, which was organized in 1606, and operated at
Jamestown, Virginia, during the first quarter of the century. One of the
most trusted men in this company was one George Chambers. This information
caused me to make some changes in my notes. Throughout my investigations I
have uniformly held to the theory that the Chambers families that can not
relate on this side of the Atlantic, if the facts were obtainable, would in
a few centuries unite back in England or Scotland; very few families would
hitch on beyond the English Channel.
After the sale of this book is completed, should some
one desire a copy, please write me; I shall hold the forms set up just as
long as I can, for such emergencies.
Assuring all readers that I have made an effort to
treat fairly the various patriarchs bearing the Chambers name,
I am very sincerely,
WILLIAM DAVIS CHAMBERS
CHAPTER I: ORIGIN
While browsing among some old Virginia records I found
the following clipping: "Virginia genealogists claim that the name Chambers
is a royal name in direct line of descent from Henry III of England. Ann
Chambers Bispham of Mt. Holly, New Jersey, left notes proving her descent to
be of this royal line." If this is true, it is quite probable that most
persons of the Chambers name did not cross the English Channel with William
the Conqueror, as claimed by some authorities, but that they trailed to the
island after Henry II's marriage to Countess Eleanor of Provence in 1272.
History tells us that "relatives of the new queen flocked into England,
expecting and obtaining high offices in Church and State, titles, and grants
of land. The queen's uncle became Archbishop of Canterbury."
Note how well the following statement from the letter
of Charles Edward Stuart Chambers fits into this theory: "Gillaume
(William) de la Chambre signed the regimen roll of Edward I (son of Henry
III) at Berwick on the Tweed in 1296, as Baillee of Peebles." No doubt
Gillaume was related in some way to the king, and for this reason he was
given a position of honor and trust in his government. Berwick at this time
was larger than London, and as the kind was planning the reorganization of
Scotland, it was a position of high honor. In 1345 the records of
Worcester, England, speak of Robert de la Chambre. The name was found early
in this century in London, Yorkshire, Kent, and even in the Ross-shire
toward the north of Scotland.
In the year 1618, under the "Five Articles of Perth,"
King James restored certain rights to the Catholics. For this reason, many
thousands of Protestants took passage for America. The real contest,
however, in this half century was between the Episcopal Church of England
and the growing Presbyterian Church. This date corresponds closely with the
growth of Jamestown and the landing of the Pilgrims and other
non-conformists. George Chambers of Virginia, and Robert Chambers of Perth
Amboy, New Jersey, came over at that time.
In 1637, Oliver Cromwell and John Hampden planned to
leave England for Ireland or America, but their passage was arrested.
Perhaps it would have been better for the Stuart Royalty to have permitted
them to peacefully withdraw from the island. In 1643, William Chambers, a
Scottish Divine, was a leader in public thought in the Isles. In 1646,
Richard Chambers headed a famous petition to Charles I. In 1650, Humphrey
Chambers received big honors as a Biblical author. In 1652, Peter Chambers
wrote a treatise on treason, and how it should be punished. George
Chambers, in 1655, wrote against judicial astrology.
After the signing of the "Westminster Confession of
Faith" in 1646, there followed in rapid succession the Cromwellian Civil
War, the Restoration of Charles II, the overthrow of King James II, and the
political and religious liberty of the reign of William, Prince of Orange.
This was a half century of religious controversy. As early as 1670 the
Quakers began to spread throughout Ireland in friendly competition with the
Catholics for supremacy. It was in the next decade that Benjamin Chambers
joined the party of William Penn on his first voyage to America.
William, Prince of Orange, came to the throne of
England in 1689. The Catholics had lost control of the island, and James II
had fled to France for help and protection. Ireland was made the fighting
ground between the Catholics and Protestants, and William, being an
excellent military leader, was the idol of his men. After his death, there
was organized in his honor a secret society bearing the name of
"Orangemen." Ireland was rent throughout with discord and bloodshed. There
were in Ireland about 800,000 Catholics, 100,000 Anglicans, and 200,000
Non-conformists, including Quakers, Presbyterians, Baptists, and other
independents. The Catholics were losing much of the land in Ulster, Antrim,
and Connaught; and even middle and southern Ireland contained a number of
Protestants. Many Scotchmen had entered Ireland for conscience' sake, but
in 1704 Parliament passed the Test Act, or Holy Communion Act, which made
the government Anglican, rather than Catholic. In 1714, the Schism Act was
passed. This act required that all who taught or in any way conducted
religious services should belong to the Anglican church. The wealthier
Independents, -- Presbyterians, Baptists, Quakers, et al -- disposed of
their property and immigrated to America, where they hoped to find religious
liberty. Many of the most devout Independents, however, were forced to
abide their time to get passage to America. But during the third of a
century following Queen Ann, thousands of Non-Conformists, "Orangemen," and
even Catholics found refuge in America from Anglican oppression. It was
during this period that the patriarchs of most of the Chambers families
first saw America.
In the pages which follow, if an immigrant is spoken of
as Irish, his ancestors were probably in the mad rush for possessions in
Ireland under Queen anne, or before her time. The name Chambers per se is
not Irish, and became so only by insulation among those who were Irish. If
he is spoken of as Scotch-Irish, his stay in Ireland was brief, or he is the
son of a Scotch father and Irish mother, or vice versa, or a descendant of
such parents. If he is spoken of as Scotch, he may have sailed to America
from and Irish port, but his blood was pure Scotch. Many Scotch immigrants
left brothers and sisters in Ireland, whose descendants became Scotch-Irish,
or perhaps, if there long enough, Irish.
The Virginia Company, for the purpose of colonization
in America, was formed in 1606. Settlement was made at Jamestown in 1607.
After 1609, this company had a Governor and Council. A share of stock in
the company was twelve pounds and ten shillings, and no oath of fidelity was
required of the stockholders. A charter was granted them by King James I in
1619, an in April of that year their first general Court was held. The
following facts are taken directly from the records of this Court:
"For auditors the Court in like sort have now made
choice for the succeeding term," etc. On this committee one member was
And again: "June 28, 1619."
"Auditors to be at the next Court to take their oaths
and also against that time an exact account be given of the state of the
cash and what debts is owing, that if may be, half a capital may be divided
among the adventurers." George Chambers took this oath as an auditor.
On July 7, 1620, the Court grouped the members of the
General Committee for special work as follows: "(1) For the laws of
England; (2) For the Orders for Virginia: (3) For the particular
Corporation: (4) For military discipline." George Chambers was a member of
the third group.
On July 18, 1620, George Chambers was appointed on a
special committee "to consider the fittest course for a magazine or
storehouse for tobacco." This committee was "to act with the Archbishop of
Canterbury in regard to supplies intended to be sent to the colony this
year." Also, in July 1620, George Chambers was appointed on a committee "to
confer with the Lord Mayor in regard to bringing children to America." Many
other references were made to George Chambers, but these are quite enough to
show the esteem in which he was held by the old Virginia Company.
In April Court, 1625, James Chambers was places upon a
committee; again, in 1634, he was mentioned. Also, in 1625, Thomas and John
Chambers were recognized in some way by the Virginia Court. The above were
English representatives of the Chambers family.
Robert Chambers, in company with others, left
his home near Stirling, Scotland, and settled at Perth Amboy, New Jersey.
Later he returned to Scotland. He is supposed to be the ancestor of many
other Americans of the Chambers name. The fact that his old home was near
Stirling identifies him as being of Scotch lineage.
Even before the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth
Rock, the Chambers name was gaining a foot-hold in Virginia. From Virginia
the name pushed westward into the newer states and up the coast even into
Nova Scotia and Quebec. These immigrants were English. In the Blue Ridge
section of North Carolina, as will be reported in succeeding chapters, most
of the settlers bearing the Chambers name were Scotch, yet on the Yadkin,
the Catawba, and along the rivers generally could be found traces of the
names among the English settlements.
In August, 1922, I attended a reunion at Brookside
Park, Indianapolis. Learning that in another part of the park a group of
Chamberses were holding their reunion, I joined them long enough to find out
that they were of English nationality, and that they had come to Indiana
from New York. My cousin, Rev. E. M. Chambers, had quite an extensive
conversation with representative men of this group and was well pleased with
the courtesies extended him. He was glad to claim them as kinsmen, even
though the tie which binds us to them is somewhat obscured by the passing
THREE BROTHERS OF 1689
The revolution against James II broke out in England in
the fall of 1688. James II fled to France and prevailed upon the French
king to aid him in the recovery of his English throne. William Prince of
Orange, the husband of Mary (the oldest daughter of the old king), was
invited to England to resist the pretensions of the French king. This war
became a religious war, England representing Protestantism; France,
Catholicism. For more than a century the House of Orange had been ardent in
its support of the Reformation. William II was the man of the hour.
War broke out in America between the English colonies
and the French settlements lying to the North and West. The Jesuit
missionaries encouraged the Indians along the border to resist the English
advance. As a protection to the English settlers, soldiers were sent from
the Isles to America. In 1689 five companies landed at New York. Many
other companies landed at Boston, and other New England ports.
Among the soldiers who came to New York were three
brothers by the name of Chambers. These were sent to different parts as a
defense to the settlers. As the story goes (evidence collected from three
sources agree on this point), these boys did not return to England. Living
among the settlers for six or eight years, they became reconciled to the New
World and married here, one making his home in New York, one in Virginia
(perhaps West Virginia), and the third in Pennsylvania.
A part of this New York family crossed the boundary
line, and perhaps for half a century lived in Canada, leaving there at the
time of or soon after the war of 1812. In proof of his I submit the
following letter from Mrs. Luella Wolff of LaFountaine, Huntington County,
Joseph Chambers was born in
Canada, Feb. 29, 1792. He and his father, whose name we have lost, were
both in the war of 1812. The mother's name was Sarah. Sarah's family were
Joseph (mentioned above), Minor, Thomas Whiten, Amanda, and Sarah. Thomas
went to Peoria, Illinois; Amanda married Henry C. Andrews; Sarah died in
childhood. (Minor will be discussed later.) There came to Canada from New
Jersey a family by the name of Gibbs. Joseph Chambers married Sally Gibbs.
From Canada both the Chambers and the Gibbs families moved to Switzerland
County, Indiana, and in about 1822, removed to Bartholomew County, Indiana
and were among the early settlers of that county. Joseph Chambers was about
5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed about 190 pounds, smooth face, dark hair,
brown eyes, rather quiet joker. He died Sept. 1, 1853. His wife, Sally
Gibbs, was born Feb 8, 1794, and died at the home of Charity Carter, May 14,
1874, at the ripe old age of eighty years. Joseph and Sally were married in
Canada, March 31, 1815.
To this union were born:
Sally Ann, married William Gibbs;
born Aug. 11, 1816.
David James, born Nov. 10, 1818.
John Anson, my grandfather, born
April 1, 1820.
Cyrenus W., born Sept 13, 1823.
Benjamin S., born Dec. 25, 1825;
died March 8, 1826.
Amos (lived for years in Texas),
born March 15, 1827.
Benjamin (the 2nd Benjamin), born
Sept. 22, 1830.
Nelson, born July 11, 1832; died
Aug. 31, 1834.
Charity, married Jonathan W.
Carter; born Aug. 16, 1834.
Martha J., married John Allen
Williams; born Aug. 20, 1838.
Sally, Charity, and Martha lived
to be quite old. Most of the sons also lived to be old. On Dec. 23, 1838,
John Anson Chambers married Rachel Smith, who was born near Lawrenceburg,
Indiana, Nov. 21, 1820. The following are the names of the children born to
Sallie Ann, Mary Ellen, Charles
Lewis (my father), John P. , Minerva Jane, and William Rush."
Mrs. Wolff's letter contains much interesting
information concerning the Gibbs, the Carter, and the Simmons families which
I cannot use in this history. I hope some local historian will gather these
facts and ultimately weave them into history.
Mrs. Wolff gave no information concerning Minor
Chambers, but I have accidentally found his progeny. I shall let William L.
Chambers, Clerk of the Circuit Court at Brookville, Indiana, recite the
story of his ancestry:
Mr. William D. Chambers,
Here is some of my family history, and
I wonder whether I am a descendant of any of the Chamberses you have some
Minor Chambers (my great-grandfather),
was born in Germany. When a young man he went to Canada, then to Switzerland
County, Indiana, where he died (date unknown). He had married a Miss Lee in
Switzerland County, Indiana. Their children were: Sally C., who married a
Cunningham: Palace C., who married a Fisher: Elizabeth, who married a
William Snook: Thomas W., who married Lovey Lewis -- who were my
grand-parents; and David Chambers, who married and located in Iowa as a
The children of my grandfather were:
Margaret, died at age 22, Jacob, died at age 21; Sarah Carmine, died at age
74; Moluda Carmine, living; Mary Clark, living; William, living; Charles,
died at age of 40, has a son Charles who is living; and Lewis Calvin, living
who is my father.
Would be glad to hear from you, and
would want a book if it included my ancestry.
Yours very truly,
William L. Chambers
W. L. is quite sure that his great-grandfather was born
in Germany, then went to Canada and later to Switzerland County. As a man
by the name of Minor Chambers was born in Canada, then came with others of
his family to Switzerland County, it would seem that one historian or the
other must be wrong. I hope that this book may be helpful in straightening
out the kinks, so that the truth may appear to each. Evidently there are
many descendants of this old family scattered here and there that the
relatives know nothing about. Perhaps this book will help them get
C. A. Chambers, Detroit, Michigan, was for many years
manager of the Consolidated Coal Company. He was born at Paris, Kentucky,
and his father, C. T. Chambers, at Roanoke, VA. In Pioneer times, three
brothers came to America, one settling in VA, one in N.Y. and one in PA.
CHAPTER II: OUR SCOTCH ANCESTORS
“Spero dum Spiro”
In lieu of an old debt due Admiral Penn, his son,
William Penn, in 1681 became the owner of 40,000 square miles of land in
America. He immediately advertised throughout England, Scotland, and
Ireland for men to join him on a voyage to his new possessions. His terms
were as follows:
"Those who wished to sail on board his vessel, the
"Welcome," could have land by paying one hundred pounds Sterling for 5,000
acres, and annually thereafter a shilling rent for every hundred acres.
Those who did not have money to pay in this way, could have two hundred
acres or less at the rate of a shilling per acre." (See Fisher's "The True
About 1655-60 were born, south of Stirling, (perhaps
near the Clyde or Tweed in Scotland), four baby boys, who became the heads
of four great American families.
These boys -- John, Benjamin, Peter, and Alexander --
may have been brothers, but I find no evidence of it and, therefore, shall
not assume a certain relationship, but shall simply state the facts I have
at hand, leaving the reader to determine his own conclusions. Whatever
their relationship may be, it is easy to think of them as grandsons of
Robert Chambers, previously mentioned as having returned to Stirling from
Perth Amboy, New Jersey.
Benjamin raised the necessary money, and sailed on
board the "Welcome" in 1682. No doubt he was present when Penn made his
famous treaty with the Indians at Chester. Whether Benjamin bought much or
little land, will perhaps never be known, but it is established that after a
brief stay in America, perhaps two or three years, he returned to Scotland
John, perhaps a brother, left Scotland with
his family -- no doubt in company with Thomas Story, and settled just a
little north of Chester on the river Delaware. As the country developed, he
moved farther north, and died at Trenton, New Jersey, in 1746.
Alexander, perhaps a fourth brother, raised his family
in the hills near the Clyde or Tweed in Scotland, and was buried there.
Peter came to America early in the century, and
established a Scotch settlement in Virginia on the upper Rappahannock.
A contemporary of these four probable brothers was
James Chambers of Peebles, Scotland, in easy range with Stirling, who signed
his name in a Bible, now in the possession of Charles Edward Stuart
Chambers, head of the Chambers Journal House, Edinburgh, Scotland, in the
year 1664. There is but little doubt that James was related to these men,
but as the facts are not obtainable, the nature of this relationship will
never be known.
DESCENDANTS OF JOHN
Mention is made in certain New Jersey records of John
Chambers, who was prominent there in 1729. This John was the son of the
elder John mentioned above. Among the sons of this John Chambers were two
men known in New Jersey military history, which see later.
The following letter is from David Abbott Chambers,
attorney, of Washington, D.C.:
Washington, D.C., Jan. 22, 1904
William D. Chambers, Esq., Muncie,
I have received from my son Laurance,
at Indianapolis, your letter to him of the 4th inst., and have also received
your letter to me of the 9th inst., about the Chambers family.
I could get interested in genealogy if
I had time for it, but I haven't.
My great great grandfather was named
David Chambers, and he was commissioned Colonel of the Third Regiment,
Hunterdon County, N.J., Militia, June 19, 1776, commissioned Colonel of the
Battalion of New Jersey State Troops, November 27, 1776; and commissioned
Colonel of the Second Regiment of Hunterdon County Militia, September 9,
1777; took part in the battle of Monmouth, June 28, 1778, and resigned, May
Perhaps this Colonel David Chambers is
the same David Chambers mentioned in your letter of the 4th inst., (as the
son of David Chambers who lived in Rockbridge County, Virginia), but I have
no means of determining whether your great uncle, David Chambers, is also my
great great grandfather. My great great grandfather had a son Joseph Gaston
Chambers, and he a son David Chambers (my grandfather) and he a son David
Chambers (my father) and I am David Abbott Chambers, and have a son David
I enclose a sketch of the life of my
grandfather, David Chambers, written by himself.
Some years ago I had some
correspondence with the Rev. Theodore Frelinghuysen Chambers of German
Valley, N.J., who was then getting up a Chambers book. At that time he sent
me a proof of some pages of his book, which I enclose to you for your study,
and will ask you to return the same to me when you are through with it.
I am sorry I can't make my letter more
interesting and more lengthy. I shall be glad to hear from you.
If you come to Washington, please call
on me. I suppose you are in Indianapolis occasionally, and I hope you will
go and see my son, who is with the Bobbs-Merrill Company.
FOLLOWING IS A SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF DAVID CHAMBERS
REFERRED TO IN THE ABOVE LETTER:
Col. David Chambers was born in the village of
Allentown, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, the 25th of November, 1780. His
mother's maiden name was Mary Woosey. His father, Joseph Gaston Chambers,
also a native of Pennsylvania, was an educated man, a graduate of Princeton
College, New Jersey, at the commencement of the revolution; and was not only
a belle-lettre scholar, but also an inventive genius -- which was evidenced
by the invention of a peculiar species of repeating gunnery, patronized by
the naval department of the U.S. government during the last war with
England; which was ready to be developed on Lake Ontario, where a large ship
was prepared for action, armed with these guns, under command of Commodore
Chauncey. Peace supervened before a battle was fought or a gun fired in
action, and the invention fell dormant. As to the utility and destructive
character of the invention, it is sufficient to state that it met the entire
approval and warm commendation of Major Gen. Jacob Brown, and Commodore
Rogers. In addition to this, J. G. C. invented a new alphabet, or an
attempt to form a complete system of letters, with a view to the more easy
and perfect spelling and pronunciation of the English language. After much
expense in founding type to print, that invention also became a nullity.
Col. David Chambers received his entire education at
the hands of his father, who adopted teaching as a pursuit. That education
was thorough in English and its various branches, together with a fair
course in the Latin and Greek languages and the German. At a very early age
he was placed in adventurous and responsible situations and employments. In
the year 1794, at the age of 14 he was employed as a confidential express,
at Williamsport in Maryland, to carry dispatches from Gen. Henry Lee of
Virginia (commandant of the Army detailed to quell the whiskey insurrection
in Western Pennsylvania) to President Washington, then at Carlisle in
Penna. He there had private conversation with the President, and General
Alexander Hamilton, then Acting Secretary of War; and received other
dispatches from Gen. Hamilton to be delivered to Gen. Lee at Cumberland in
Maryland--at the same time the General conferring pointed commendation and
encouragement on the youthful agent, to carry the dispatches with speed and
safety, and accompanying the compliment with a douceur from his purse. In
1796, after serving a term as clerk in a retail store, he was placed in the
Aurora daily newspaper office
in Philadelphia, then conducted by Benjamin Franklin
Bache (grandson of Dr. Franklin), to learn the art of printing. His
father's fortunes induced him in the fall of the same year to move west,
and, as there
was no binding agreement, the son was recalled from the
handling of type, in which he had promptly become a proficient, and placed
at the plow tail in Washington County, Western Pennsylvania, where the
inhabitants then lived in a very primitive state, enjoying but little of
conveniences, and none of the luxuries of life. Mr. Bache, in a letter to
D. C.'s father, gave a most excellent character to the apprentice, and
desired that he should continue with him; alleging that "the business was
respectable, and would increase in usefulness, and no doubt would thrive in
it." In 1801, he made a perilous trading voyage in a flat-boat loaded with
flour, down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans, then under
Spanish government. From New Orleans he returned by ship to New York,
occupying fifty-six days in passage, and suffering much privation from want
of provisions and water.
At the age of 21 he married Susannah Glass, and settled
on a fertile farm in Brooke County, Virginia, a short distance from the
present seat of Bethany College; his wife being foster sister of Miss Brown,
the first wife of Rev. Alexander Campbell, president and founder of that
institution. After pursuing agriculture in a laborious way for thirteen
years, he sold his possessions in Virginia and removed to Zanesville, Ohio,
in October, 1810 -- that place having been made the seat of the State
Government, which it retained only two years. He bought one-half of a
newspaper establishment, then a year in operation, entitled the "Muskingum
Messenger"; became its chief editor, and was appointed State printer by the
Legislature, during the two years that remained. On the return to the
legislature, temporarily, to Chillicothe, he sought and obtained the office
of Secretary of the Senate; and obtained the same appointment at the first
and second sessions of the Legislature at Columbus, the permanent seat of
In 1812-13 he acted as aid to Major General Lewis Cass,
and executed various orders of that officer, in detailing organizing militia
companies for the seat of war. In 1816, at the organization of the Bank of
the United States, he was appointed by the President of the United States
one of the Commissioners to receive subscriptions to that institution in
Ohio. Having occupied at different times the offices of Mayor of the town
and clerk of the common pleas and Supreme Courts; in 1821 he was elected one
of the six representatives to which Ohio was then entitled in the 17th
Congress; his competitor being the Hon. John C. Wright, afterwards a
representative from a different district, and also a Supreme Judge. He was
never absent from his seat in Congress more than a single day during the
entire term. He voted for the resolution declaring the slave trade piracy;
and also the resolutions acknowledging the independence of the South
American Republics. Failing in a re-election from causes not worthy of
detail, in the Spring of 1823 he retired to an extensive farm he had
improved, five miles above Zanesville on the west bank of the Muskingum
river, where he continued an agricultural life, being a constant operative
up to the year 1856.
During this period he was elected by his fellow
citizens of Muskingum County to represent them in the State legislature nine
different terms; seven sessions in the house and two sessions in the Senate;
and at last term, in 1844, was elected Speaker of that body, which closed
his legislative career.
In 1850 a convention was called to frame a new
constitution for the State, and he was elected a delegate in conjunction
with Judge Richard Stillwell to represent the old County of Muskingum in
that body; who perfected a constitution at an adjourned session in the City
of Cincinnati in March, 1851, which closed Col. C.'s public official
labors. He then, in 1856, became again a resident of Zanesville, the seat
of his early labors, nearly half a century past -- a man of leisure, in good
health, 78 years of age, having eleven living children, and one dead--eight
sons and four daughters, with a numerous posterity, some of the third
generation. His stature is 5 feet 10 inches, tolerably robust make; dark
complexion and eyes; an aquiline prominent Roman nose; having a strong
voice, and fluent in speech. His present wife was Mrs. Triphenia M'Gowan, a
second marriage at the age of 66.
In early life he adopted Democratic Republican
principles, and was a zealous political disciple of the school of Thomas
Jefferson. Supported the War of 1812, together with the administration,
editorially in his newspaper. Voted for Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, J. Q.
Adams, Wm. H. Harrison, and Z. Taylor for President. Followed the wake of
H. Niles of the Baltimore Register, James Madison and Henry Clay, as men he
esteemed of incorruptible virtue, and ever worthy of honor. Belonged to the
old Whig Party--then a Republican as of old--and a sworn opponent to the
extension of slavery, and the aggressive schemes of South Oligarches.
Col. David (1730-1790), was a brother of Alexander, and
was a soldier of the Revolution. David married Anna Gaston.
Joseph Gaston Chambers was born in 1759, at Allentown,
PA.; married Mary Woolsey, and died June 1, 1829. There were four children
in his father's family.
Joseph Gaston, 7 children:
David (see David Abbott's
letter. Also below).
William C., probably
ancestor of W. G. Chambers of the University of PA.
No record is available of
the following children: Harriet, Mary, Charlotte, Joseph, and John.
1. David (Nov 25, 1780; Aug 8, 1864). Married Susanna
Glass in 1801. (See autobiography). Twelve children:
Maria Peters (Feb. 16, 1803;
1881), Brooke Co., W. VA.
Ann (Cox), (June 8, 1805;
May 16, 1883), Brooke Co., W.VA.
Joseph Gaston (1807; 1887),
Brooke Co., W.VA.
31,1808; April,1887),Brooke Co., W.VA.
Samuel Glass (Nov.21,1810;
Apr.7,1896), Zanesville, OH.
June 13,1813;June 13,1902), Zanesville, OH.
David (1815;1840), father of
David Abbott, Zanesville, OH
Charles Fox (Mar.20,1823;
May 16,1898), Zanesville, OH.
Albert G. (Nov 14, 1824;
1887), Zanesville, OH.
Robert and Benjamin (Mar.
11,1826; Robert died Feb.16,1912; Benjamin died April 7, 1891), Zanesville,
Glass married Louisa Adams; seven children: Alice married Carey Inskeep,
Ottumwa, IA, Maria Louise married John W. Edgerly, Ottumwa, IA; Edward Adams
married Lenora Tinkham, Ottumwa, Iowa; Harriet T. married J. W. Murphy,
David married Anna Sunderland, Portland Oregon, 1923.
Horatio C. married Rosa Lee; 2 children.
Turner died when a child.
Edward Adams, four children: John E. married Elizabeth
Polk, Shelbyville, IN; Katherine married Raymond D. Sprout, Gasport, NY;
Irene M., teacher, Department of English, Ward-Belmont school, Nashville,
TN; Edith died when a child.
David, McConnellsville, OH, May 5, 1855; six children:
Mary Louisa, Samuel Sunderland, David Albert, Paul, Fred Edward, and Ruth
Anna. David formed the firm name "D. Chambers & Sons," Portland, Oregon.
The sons, Samuel, David A., and Fred E. are engaged in the optical business
with their father. Paul, born in Chicago, died in infancy. Ruth is
instructor in Physical Education at Marshfield, Oregon.
Horatio C. had two children: Helen, who died young, and
Charles E., the well known artist, who lives at Riverdale-on-Hudson, NY.
Mrs. Inskeep had seven children: Charles C., Louise,
Fred, Edmund Ambrose, Alice Carey, Theodore, and Maria.
Mrs. Edgerly had seven children: Dr. Edward Tyler,
Adine, Alice, John, Helen, George, and Denison.
While I cannot trace ancestry very far in lines not of
the Chambers name, yet I must extend to F. L. Griffin of Reed College
Portland, Oregon; Warren S. Peters, principal of the high school,
Shelbyville, IN; William Allen Wood, an Indianapolis attorney and his
accomplished daughter, Allyn Louise Wood; and to George Chambers Calvert,
Secretary of the Indiana Sons of the Revolution, my thanks for encouragement
in the preparation of this work.
Mr. William D. Chambers, Dupont,
Dear Mr. Chambers;
I have received prospectus of your
Chambers History, "Trails of the Centuries," and believe it will make a very
interesting thing for members of the Chambers family.
Mr brother-in-law, Dr. F. L. Griffin,
after corresponding with you, requested that I send you complete record of
our branch of the family, which we have clear back to Col. David Chambers of
the Revolutionary War. You have the record, no doubt, the same as ours up
to the sons of Col. David Chambers of Ohio, and we send this record more to
give you data regarding the offspring of his son Samuel Glass Chambers,
where we tie into your record.
On page two there are a couple of
items missing on the record of the family of Edward Adams Chambers and also
Horatio C. Chambers. I have written to Miss Irene M. Chambers, daughter of
Edward Adams Chambers, to send to you at once the data which I have
requested of her, which will fill in the complete record of Edward Adams
Chambers. I have also written to Charles E. Chambers of New York, for
complete data of his family, the children of Horatio C. Chambers.
I made out the blanks for them to fill
in, and at the top of each sheet have stated that the data therein contained
refers to these two items on page two of the record which I send.
Trusting that this is the information
you desire, I am,
Very truly yours,
As has been stated, David Chambers, who fought at
Monmouth, had a brother Alexander, who also did service in the American
Revolution, holding the position of Commissary in the Army; later an
alderman. He is perhaps the father of John C. Chambers, who was born in New
Jersey in 1779. When fourteen years of age this John started out for
himself, and sailing down the Ohio from Fort Henry (now Wheeling), he
stopped near Maysville, KY, where he went to work (perhaps on the
Wheeling-Zanesville-Maysville pike, then under construction by Col. Ebenezer
Zane). He must have received a good education back in New Jersey, for in a
few years we find him practicing law at Washington, the county seat of Mason
Co., KY. He became a soldier, and in 1812-14 he fought the British and
Indians. In the battle of the Thames he was one of the famous squad of
cavalry that captured the notes and private papers of the British General
Proctor. For his dashing bravery in this battle he received honorable
mention in the notes of Gen. Harrison. We quote from Collin's Historical
Sketches of Kentucky:
"John Chambers, Esq., one of those who followed Major
Payne (1813) in his dashing pursuit against General Proctor at the battle of
the Thames, was mounted on a splendid charger. The pursuit was so hot that
Gen. Proctor was forced to abandon his carriage and take refuge in a swamp,
leaving all his baggage and his papers, public and private, in the hands of
the victors. In Gen. Harrison's official report it is stated that the first
battalion inspired confidence wherever it appeared."
In 1827, John Chambers was elected to the U. S.
Congress; retiring for six years, he was again elected in 1835; and a third
time in 1837. In 1841 he received the appointment by President Harrison as
Governor of the territory of Iowa, which he held for four years. It was
while acting Governor of Iowa that he was so much sought throughout the
northwest as an Indian Commissioner.
After the expiration of his office as Governor, he
returned to Kentucky and renewed his practice of law. In 1852 he died at
Ezekiel F. Chambers was born in Kent, MD in 1788, and
died at Charleston, MD in 1867. He was a member of Congress 1826-34; member
of Maryland Constitutional Convention 1850; Judge Maryland Court of Appeals
until 1857. He may have been a brother of John of Kentucky or of David of
Ohio. There is but little doubt that he is at least a descendant of the old
New Jersey branch.
John Story Chambers, financier and engineer, was born
at Trenton, N.J. in 1782. This name is another hint that the elder John
Chambers and Thomas Story settled together along the Delaware in 1697, as
Mrs. Mary Louisa Chambers Griffin of Portland, OR
traces her descent thus: David, her father, Samuel Glass, David, Joseph
Gaston, Colonel David (1730-1790).
William C. Chambers, the second son of Joseph Gaston
Chambers, born about 1782, at or near York Co., PA, crossed the mountains by
wagon, following the National Pike, and settling in Westmoreland County,
PA. Among his sons were George, John, Joseph and William. George was the
grandfather of William grant Chambers, Dean of the School of Education in
the University of Pittsburgh, PA, for so many years; more recently a
professor in the University of Pennsylvania. I have two opportunities to
connect this college man: (1) with the New Jersey line, as I have done: (2)
with the "Ship Protection, 1812" line. A single circumstance has led me to
this connection: that is, the fact that he uses simplified spelling. The
careful reader may make the same observations.
After the above had been sent to the printer, I learned
from Mary Chambers Bright that the second view is the correct one. She says
that W. G. C. is a cousin to her father.
Charles Julius Chambers, a leading American journalist
and author, long connected with the New York Herald, was born in
Belfontaine, OH in 1850. For years he was a member of the Lotos Club, New
I regret that I have no picture to represent this large
family. Pictures add to the cost of the book, but usually the purchasers
like to see them.
CHAPTER III: DESCENDANTS OF BENJAMIN
As has been previously stated, one of the passengers on
"The Welcome" in 1632 was
Benjamin Chambers. After his return to Antrim,
Ireland, four of his sons (about 1726) embarked for America to live. These
sons were James, Robert, Joseph, and Benjamin. This family, being
influenced by the Westminster Confession of Faith, carried Presbyterianism
into the New World.
Landing at Philadelphia, these boys forsook the
Delaware and sailed up the Susquehanna to a point one hundred miles to the
northwest, where they established a mill with a part of their remaining
capital. This mill stood at the mouth of Fishing Creek on the eastern bank
of the Susquehanna, a few miles above where Harrisburg now stands. Learning
of the opening of the West, these brothers each entered land for himself, as
will hereinafter be stated.
James, the oldest brother, moved by way of Carlisle to
Newville, twenty-five miles inland, where he spent the remainder of his
life. Robert moved to a point at the head of Middle Spring near
Shippensburg, ten or fifteen miles southwest of his brother, James. Joseph
and Benjamin moved fifteen miles further southwest to a point afterwards
known as Chambersburg. Benjamin, the younger son, remained here, but his
brother, Joseph, returned to their former home at Harrisburg.
James had two sons, Ranold and Rowland. Ranold was
born in Antrim, Ireland, ten years before their passage, and died at the age
of 30, leaving a large grant of land in Cumberland Co., PA, to his son
James. There were other children in this family but their names have not
James, the son of Ranold, was commander over three
companies of soldiers during the French and Indian War, and fought a hard
battle at Sideling Hill in April 1756. James had a son, John, whose home
was also in Cumberland Co., who was the father of William, who became a
Colonel in the American Revolution. William fought at Trenton and Princeton,
and died in 1809.
The second son of the elder James, Rowland, had a son,
George, and a daughter, Catharine. Her our genealogy is broken. Rowland was
also born in Antrim, Ireland, perhaps about 1720. The two brothers were
buried at Meeting House Springs on the State Road.
As a digression, it is perhaps proper to state that
there was another Rowland Chambers (1759), honored in Great Britain as an
eminent Presbyterian clergyman. He was perhaps of this family in Antrim,
hence similarity of name.
Dr. William Chestnut Chambers, son of Colonel William
Chambers, was born in 1790, and died in 1857. He was a classmate of
President Buchanan in Dickinson College, and later studied in the Medical
department of the University of Pennsylvania. He afterward became a flour
and iron manufacturer.
Talbot Wilson Chambers, S.T.D.,L.L.D., son of Dr. W.
C., was born at Carlisle, PA, in 1819. He was a graduate of Rutgers
College, and studied theology at Princeton. He was pastor of the Collegiate
Dutch Church of New York, and was regarded as one of the greatest clergymen
of the century.
Benjamin Chambers, the younger of the four brothers,
made deposition Dec. 8, 1736, that he was a millwright and that he was
twenty-eight years of age. He, therefore, was born in 1708. When eighteen
years of age he came to America, and in 1730 founded Chambersburg. In 1755
he and others built there a stone fort and stockade. In 1764 lots were laid
out and sold to settlers. In 1788 Benjamin died, leaving at and near
Chambersburg, a valuable estate. In 1803 Chambersburg was incorporated; in
1864, burned. For many years Chambersburg was known as falling Spring, and
near it were the three natural parks, Wolfe Lake, Mont Alto, and PenMar.
The notes of Rev. Theodore Frelinghuysen Chambers, the
historian of the Benjamin Chambers branch, have been and invaluable help in
the choice of material for this chapter.
Another George Chambers was born at Chambersburg, PA in
1786; died 1866. He graduated at Princeton in 1804; was a member of
Congress 1833-1837; member of the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention
1846-47; and was appointed Judge of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 1851.
Washington College conferred upon him the L.L.D. degree in 1864. He was an
author of note and wrote among other things his "Tribute to the Scotch-Irish
in America," which is still to be found in Eastern libraries."
Here is given a quotation from a letter written by Hon.
Henry A. Chambers, of Chattanooga, TN: "I have a pamphlet sketch of the
Hon. George Chambers, son of Benjamin Chambers, the founder of Chambersburg,
and from this I learn that after founding this place, Benjamin Chambers
returned to his native place in the old country, and induced a great many of
his old friends, and acquaintances to come to America." (This George was
perhaps a grandson of Benjamin).
The pamphlet to which Henry A. refers is doubtless the
one published in 1873 by the Pennsylvania Historical Society, which contains
Here a little and there a little and we are prepared to
write the biography of another prominent member of this family. Benjamin
Chambers was born at or near Chambersburg, PA, about 1745. He was a soldier
of the Revolution, and later a government surveyor. He carried his chain
and compass over the land where Rising Sun, Ohio County, Ind., now stands in
the spring of 1798. In 1803 he had built a double log house and moved his
family there. He sold land to settlers, most of whom came from
Pennsylvania. In October 1807, he and Lewis Davis were given a large grant
of land by the U.S. government for efficient services. On March 7, 1803, he
was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel and Commandant of the Dearborn County
Militia; on December 10th, 1805, he was commissioned Judge of Common Pleas
in and for Dearborn County (Ohio County was formed from Dearborn in 1844).
By proclamation of Gov. W. H. Harrison the first House
of Representatives of Indiana Territory convened at Vincennes, Feb. 1,
1805. It consisted of nine members, elected for a period of two years. At
this meeting five persons selected from a list of ten were appointed a
Legislative Council. The first regular session of the General Assembly was
held at Vincennes, IN, July 29, 1805. Benjamin Chambers of Dearborn County,
was elected president of the Legislative Council. The second session of the
First General Assembly convened on the last Monday of October 1806.
Benjamin Chambers was again president of the Council. He continued to hold
this position till the close of 1808, when he resigned. For many years
Judge Chambers was held in high esteem in his adopted state. We do not have
the facts concerning his declining years, but we have reasons to believe
that he removed back east before the time of his death.
(Recent letters almost definitely determine that
Cincinnati was chosen as his home after his removal from Rising Sun.)
On May 16, 1901, while passing through the town of St.
Omar, Decatur Co., I made an accidental discovery of relationship in this
branch. An interview was held with the aged John S. Chambers, the substance
of which is given below:
"My name is John Shimar Chambers. I was born at
Monmouth, NJ, in 1811. My father's name was George, and my grandfather's
name was Daniel. I remember seeing my grandfather once. My father and
family were moving from New Jersey to Ohio. We stopped in grandfather's.
He lived on land now in Chambersburg. The three brothers (three hills) were
on grandfather's place, which was then pastured largely with sheep. He
joked us about climbing to the top of a high hill for the fun of rolling
down again. Grandfather was quite wealthy, and we understand that inquiries
have been made for his heirs, but we have been too poor to employ counsel to
look after our interests there." John S. had two brothers, Joseph of
Kokomo, IN, and Daniel, who died in Ohio. It is quite probable that these
are the Joseph Chambers branch, that is descendants of the third of the four
Isaiah Meneh Chambers was born at Mifflinsburg, PA in
1865. He is a Presbyterian clergyman of note, and resides at Merchantsville,
CHAPTER IV: DESCENDANTS OF ALEXANDER
Little is known of
Alexander Chambers of Scotland, or
his son, Reynolds, further than they are supposed to have lived on the line
of the Clyde-Tweed Valley in Southern Scotland, and that they were not
financially able to make the voyage to America with their families, so
father and son remained in Scotland till the end came to each.
Reynolds Chambers was born about 1700. My Uncle
Alexander, in one of his letters, wrote me that he was familiarly called
"Runnels" by his grandson and great-grandsons. For ten years or more I
worked on the theory there was a kinship between the Chambers family and the
Sir Joshua Reynolds family. I still think there is a relationship, but I
find myself, with the books I have at hand, unable to prove it. As in other
families, so in our family there is a tradition of a soldier ancestor. -- a
soldier trained under the direction of that matchless leader, William Prince
of Orange, but after years of investigation, I find no such origin for my
own lineage, but I have a thought that Peter, the founder of the
Rappahannock Scotch Settlement, was that soldier.
Henry Chambers, whom succeeding events seem to prove to
be a brother of Reynolds, and three young men, Samuel, David, and James,
sons of Reynolds, and perhaps some girls of the families along with their
husbands, at different times, set sail for America. Henry was doubtless the
first to come. He may have come with the four brothers in 1726, but not
having lands assigned him, he did not reside in Penn Territory. While he is
reported to have lived in Maryland, no doubt he knew Peter, the founder of
the Rappahannock Settlement, who had preceded him to the new world.
Of the sons of Reynolds, perhaps Samuel was the oldest;
David, the second; James, the third. Samuel was born about 1720. As I see
it, Samuel is the name of the lost ancestor of the Knox County branch, also,
the ancestor of a large progeny in Tennessee and other points west. Proofs
can be best shown by reverting to his son
ALEXANDER, head of the Knox County Branch.
Note the following letter:
Lewis, P.O. Vigo Co., Ind.,
March 31, 1906.
In answer to your letter I will
say that we have lost the name of our great grandfather. I am regarded as
the historian of the Knox County Branch, but all I have been able to find
out concerning him is that he came from Ireland to Philadelphia about 1765,
leaving his oldest son, William, who had recently married, back in Ireland.
My grandfather, Alexander, was fifteen years of age when the voyage was
made, and was so delighted with the sea, that his parents thought it best to
bind him out (by indenture) to a man eighty miles inland to keep him from
becoming a sailor.
When Alexander was of age (1771)
he went back to find his parents but to his great surprise the family had
gone away. (On account of the cholera many families had left Philadelphia,
never to return). Alexander never saw his folks again. He made many
attempts to locate them, but never succeeded. When my father was about
grown, he accompanied grandfather on two long trips through Virginia,
Carolina and Georgia, and even down into Florida, making prolonged search
for his parents, but they were everywhere disappointed. Alexander married a
Miss Balden in Ohio moved to Carolina; then to Kentucky; then in 1808, to
Knox Co., Indiana. He often visited the Chamnberses at or near Gosport. The
older set (Elijah and Asa) were cousins to Grandfather. I am now 75, and am
the youngest of father's family. Now, if you ever heard of that lost boy,
you may know something about my folks. I saw William and Samuel Chambers of
Spencer, some years ago. I am sending you diagram of our family.
SPIER BRUCE CHAMBERS
The fact that this family crossed the ocean as late as
1765 would seem to indicate that there is no relationship between them and
David and James, but this letter of authority removes every doubt.
Samuel (?) no doubt was prevented in some way from
leaving Ireland till he was almost fifty years of age, but his passion could
not be assuaged. He finally came. Upon his arrival in America, the first
thing he did was to secure a place for his oldest son, Alexander. Then the
scourge of 1765-67 reported in history almost depopulated Philadelphia, and
scattered this and many other families. Samuel, no doubt, learned of the
Blue Ridge home of other relatives, and sought them, and finding them, lived
among them. When search was made for them by a son and a grandson with
bridle in hand and rifle on shoulder, the fact that there was an attractive
"New Scotland" in the far west was overlooked. This accounts for the
failure. No doubt search was made for Alexander, too, after his time had
expired, but he, too, could not be found.
About the end of the century the Chambers families
along with others heard of the wonderful Ohio River Country. David's
descendants found a home in Jefferson Co., Indiana, in 1809; James, being
younger and quite strong, accompanied his sons to Owen County in 1818,
making several stops on the way; Samuel and his family had lost the spirit
of adventure, and remained south of the Ohio, perhaps in Tennessee and
Kentucky. The Madison Courier in an article on pioneer history speaks of
Samuel as David's father. This fact, along with other good and sufficient
reasons has convinced the author that Samuel was an older brother of David,
and died in Tennessee, or not far on the way to the North back in the old
century, thus causing this confusion in ancestry.
But Spier Bruce tells us in his letter that Alexander
and Elijah were cousins. If so, the two Alexanders were cousins, and the
three branches are one. Alexander of Knox County was born in Ireland in
1749 and died in Knox Co., Indiana in 1835. From current history it may be
discovered that Ellick Chambers was a soldier under the celebrated George
Rogers Clarke. The name of Ellick Chambers does not appear in "Clarke's
Grand," which was sent aside for the officers and soldiers, but the
inference is drawn that when no actual service was needed, he was always to
be found with his family. From the Pension Bureau at Washington we obtained
the following facts:
Alexander Chambers enlisted in the
Revolution in 1777; was with the Army of Virginia for three months as a
private; became First Lieutenant and was placed in charge of the wagon guard
at the battle of Germantown. Moved to Washington Co., near Jonesboro, TN
(then North Carolina) in 1779. Application for pension on file in Pension
Office--Washington Gardner, commissioner.
Very early in the first decade of the new century he
established his home near Vincennes, where he raised his family, David,
Samuel, Polly, Joseph, John, James, and Levi. (It should not be forgotten
that in 1798, another Alexander moved near Vincennes, but later returned to
In the year 1906, I had the delightful pleasure of
spending Saturday and Sunday with Prof. Walter H. Woodrow and wife at the
home of this father-in-law, Albert chambers, who was a son of Benjamin, and
a grandson of Samuel, the second son of Alexander. Visiting the "Friendly
Grove Baptist Church," I was shown the tomb of Samuel Chambers, one of the
heroes of his generation. In the afternoon the Clerk's records of the
proceedings of the Maria Creek Baptist Church were read from which the
following particulars were gleaned:
Maria Baptist church, organized May
During the years 1812-13 the people on
the frontier were exposed to the dangers and alarms of Indian warfare. They
lived in small forts and blockhouses scattered over the country, and at all
times wend armed whenever they went out of their forts--whether they went
into their fields to work, or to their places of meeting to worship,
prepared to fight any indians who might be prowling around, watching for an
opportunity to kill and scalp, or capture one or more they might find
unprotected. They were subject to all these hardships of pioneer life, and
to the difficulties of obtaining the necessary food and clothing for
themselves and their families. Yet, notwithstanding all these trails and
hardships, they maintained the organization of their church and, with one or
two exceptions, kept up their regular meetings. Isaac McCoy, their pastor,
trusting in God, and armed with his Bible and musket, traveled from fort to
fort, preaching to the people, encouraging the brethren and sisters, warning
sinners, and inviting them to come to Christ. And thus they passed through
the war, maintained and organization; and prospered as a church. Not one
was lost or hurt during the war, except their church clerk, William Polk,
who received a wound at the Battle of Tippecanoe, from which he soon
In these Indian battles none were more
active than the Chambers brothers. Samuel and Joseph followed the trail and
engaged in most of the battles from Vincennes to Tippecanoe. Some of the
younger men of the next younger generation accompanied their uncles and
fathers in these wars.
In the church controversy of 1819 and
afterwards, Joseph and Samuel Chambers were counsel for the Church in favor
of the Missionary movement. Elder Daniel Parker, a member of Lamotte
Church, and sustained by that church, let the other side. In 1820, Elder
Daniel Parker published a pamphlet against missions. He regarded election
and predestination as fundamental, opposed an educational qualification for
the ministry, and regarded as unorthodox the appointment of Boards of
Missions. The Chambers brothers won."
Samuel and Joseph and many of the
younger brothers and nephews were engaged in the Indian wars of 1810-11,
following the trail from Vincennes to Tippecanoe.
During the years 1812-13 the people on
the frontier were exposed to the dangers and alarms of Indian warfare. When
leaving their forts and blockhouses, either for work or worship, they went
armed; their church organization was maintained continuously.
From 1811 to 1884 there were enrolled
upon the church records of Maria Creek Church the names of seventy-one
members bearing the Chambers name.
It is a joy to add to our roll of kinsmen this prolific
family, so long separated by only a few counties. The fact that this branch
had kept their records so well indicates that family ties are not lightly
considered by them. May they join with us in the larger brotherhood of all
SPIER BRUCE'S DIAGRAM
Descendants of Alexander.
Rachel married Spier Bruce; Margaret married Samuel
Welch; Isaac, the preacher; Joseph, Levi, John, Alexander, Christiana
married Abraham Stark; Isabella married W. W. Hollingsworth; Martin died
young; Spier Bruce and a sister -- twins.
Samuel (1783-1865); Sarah, Letha, Emmett, John,
Marshall, Benjamin, Polly, Rice, Samuel Scott, Thomas, Margaret.
Samuel was an ensign in the Knox County Militia in
1814; was made Justice of the Peace in 1814; was Lieut. of the 1st Regiment
in 1815. He fought in almost every battle with the Indians along the line
from Vincennes to Tippecanoe. (From history--Author.)
Polly married Joseph Thomas; Joseph died in 1858; Polly
married Nathan Robinson; Nancy married Edward Robinson; Alexander, Eli;
Malinda married John Ferguson; Elizabeth married Warren Heath; Levina
married David Bowers; Joseph, Albert B., Emily. (Hon Smiley N. Chambers,
for years one of the leading lawyers of Indianapolis, was the son of
John: Calvin, Samuel, Benjamin, Thomas, Jane, Nancy
Ann, Sarah and Alexander--twins. (For years Benjamin was a prominent
teacher in the schools of Clay County.)
James: Patsy, Levi, Lucinda, Jesse Perry, Charles.
(Charles lived at Worthington, Indiana.)
Levi: Carey, Levi, and Tumbleson.
Judge Carl N. Chambers, of Oklahoma City, connects with
No doubt, Spier Bruce Chambers was the only relative
who possessed all the above facts. They are given to the reader just in
time to escape oblivion.
Prof. W. H. Woodrow of the Indiana State Normal School,
Terre Haute, Indiana, gave me as a reference J. B. Chambers of Olympia,
Washington. In answer to a letter, J. B. made the following observations:
I will take a copy. I belong to the
Knox County Branch as mentioned in your "prospectus." Will hand your letter
to my brother, T. E. Chambers, who has some interesting records.
There is a large family of pioneers
scattered over this coast country. These came out in the 50's and have
taken no small part in the development of the country. I have been unable
to connect them with my branch.
I am very much interested in your
success, and will gladly help you all I can.
Below is the letter received a little bit later from
Olympia, Washington, R.F.D. No. 3
Nov. 1, 1924
Dear Mr. Chambers:
My father, Samuel Scott Chambers, died
in 1883. He had in his possession all the private papers and records of his
father so far as I know; I have them now, and can find no mention of his
ancestors. I have records showing that he was Justice of the Peace for
Lewis Township, Clay County, in the 30's and 40's.
I am told that Samuel Chambers and his
wife, who was a Thomas, came to Vincennes by pack horse from Ohio, but I do
not know the date, and that he served under William Henry Harrison in
defense of Vincennes. It is the understanding among my people that two
brothers came to this country from Ireland in an early day, and became
separated, one going south, the other going west. There are a number of
Chamberses in the West who tell the same story of their ancestors. The
oldest record I have I will enclose in this letter. After having examined
it, please return it.
Wishing you success, I am
T. E. CHAMBERS
The records sent me by T. E. Chambers are as follows:
1. Samuel Chambers was appointed by Territorial
Governor Thomas Posey, as Ensign of the First Regiment of Indiana Militia.
His commission was signed by Thomas Posey and his Territorial Secretary,
John Gibson, at Jeffersonville, IN on February 3, 1814. 2. Samuel
Chambers, on June 11, 1814, at Vincennes, Indiana, took oath required of all
officers, civil and military, to carry into force the duelling law, passed
December 13, 1813, and certain other statutes.
The reader will easily observe that the Samuel
Chambers herein mentioned is a brother of Joseph Chambers, and son of
Alexander, pioneer of Know County, Indiana, previously honored in these
The smallpox epidemic at Philadelphia explains the
separation of Alexander from the rest of the family. The brother mentioned
by T. E. doubtless spent the Revolutionary War period in western North
Carolina with relatives, as stated elsewhere.
I tried to secure pictures to represent this
neighboring family, but I could not get hold of any. I hope they will
appreciate the book any way.
CHAPTER V (part 1): DAVID
David Chambers, one of the sons of Reynolds, was born
in Southern Scotland about 1725. Before he reached his majority he went via
Ireland to America. He may have remained in Ireland long enough to make his
passage money, but not long enough to become Scotch-Irish. There is but
little doubt that he sailed directly to Philadelphia with the immigrant
party of 1743, and after acquainting himself with the location of his
relatives, he went to work. Becoming interested in a German girl, he chose
her for his life companion, took her with him to the Rappahannock-Scotch
settlement, and for ten years made Orange County (after 1749, Culpeper
County), Virginia, his home.
Four of his children were born in this Scotch
settlement: John, William, Samuel, and Tetty. In 1754, or thereabouts,
David, influenced by the Indian troubles preceding the French and Indian
War, left the Rappahannock settlement, and found a place of apparent safety
in Rockbridge County, Virginia, far up the mountain side to the southwest.
Here Alexander and David were born. After the Treaty of Peace was signed
(1763), David, with his entire family, went still farther west, joining a
Scotch settlement in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, where he
remained till near the close of the century, when he went with his sons to
Boonesboro, Kentucky, his last resting place.
In North Carolina, for more than a third of a century,
David lived in Rutherford Co., near the Burke Co., border, in the same
neighborhood as James Chambers and his family, and followed the trail to
Boonesboro, KY, where, in the neighboring county of Jessamine, James and his
sons again became neighbors of David and his family.
While in North Carolina the Revolutionary War was
fought. No man could give more to its success than David. All his sons were
in it. Two of them never came back, and a third, the youngest, returned
only for a brief time, then went back east with the plan in mind ultimately
to rejoin his relatives in a new home on the Ohio.
A peculiarity of the elder David was that in his old
age he kept his head shaved, as he said, to prevent nervousness. It has
been said that his wife was a stout woman, and that during their last days
they lived with or near their eldest son, John.
John Chambers, the oldest son of David, was born in Culpeper, Virginia, in 1748. He was said to be a very strong man. My
uncle, Alexander, says of him that he found no one who could lift against
him, and no equal in physical endurance. It is probable that he married six
or eight years before the beginning of the Revolution. In support of this
view, I submit his census report for 1790. John Chambers of Rutherford
County, North Carolina, gave to the enumerator these facts: "1 man, 4 women
and girls, 3 boys under sixteen." For David, this report: "1 man, 3
women." For Alexander, "1 man, 1 woman, 1 boy." From this report it
appears that John had six children in 1790, three girls and three boys.
Returning safe from the Revolutionary War, he remained near his parents till
the general exodus of 1799, when the several families started to the
Northwest Territory via the upper Tennessee to the Kentucky border, then,
clambering as best they could over the watershed, floated down the Kentucky
to their destination at Boonesboro, Madison County, Kentucky. Daniel Boone
had built a fort at this point in 1775, and for three years had defended it
As John's parents were getting old, it was thought best
not to attempt the rigors of a life beyond the Ohio while they were living,
so for a few years he and his sons remained at or near Boonesboro. In 1810,
John Chambers and most of his family continued their course, and settled at
a point two miles north of Paris in Jennings County, Indiana, where he
resided till his death in 1845. John was quite prosperous. My uncle
Alexander wrote me that at one time John had forty or fifty horses on his
Paris farm, besides a large amount of other property.
John had five sons -- John, Alexander, James, Samuel,
and Enoch; and one daughter, Margaret, who married Joel Earnwood, and came
with the family to Indiana, the other daughters marrying in Kentucky. All
of these children were born in North Carolina prior to 1790.
My report of the whereabouts of this family is less
direct than that of most families for the reason that there is no historian
who has the details, except in a few instances.
The Indianapolis News of Jan. 29, 1900, reported the
sixty-second marriage anniversary of Alexander Chambers and wife of
Danville, IN. This news item stated that Alexander at that time had eight
children and fifteen grandchildren, and that Mrs. W. D. Cooper of
Indianapolis was one of the children. Not being able to place him in my
notes, I wrote Alexander, giving him my descent, and requesting an answer.
I quote from Alexander's letter:
Danville, Ind., Feb. 4, 1900
Mr. W. D. Chambers, Redkey, Ind.
Dear Sir: Your letter of January
30 received, and I note with interest what you have to say touching the
family history, and in reply will say that I am a member of the same family.
My father's name was James
Chambers, the son of John Chambers of North Carolina. Avery Chambers's
father is a brother to my grandfather, whose name was John Chambers.
The names of my father's brothers
were John, Alexander, Samuel, and Enoch. My uncle, John Chambers, lived in
Decatur County, Indiana, the last time I heard from him. He had a large
family of children. My father died when I was a small boy. I was raised
with or in the same neighborhood as your grandfather, Avery, and his
brothers. Your grandfather married a lady named Blankinship, she being a
niece of my mother. My father raised six children, named Elizabeth, Jemima,
Malinda, Jane, and Mary. Mary and I are the only living children.
I might be able to give you more
information if you and I were together. However, if you care to ask for any
more information, do not hesitate to write, and I will be pleased to serve
I also quote from the article in the Indianapolis News:
Mr. and Mrs.
Alexander Chambers Celebrate Their
Indianapolis News, Jan 29, 1900)
The sixty-second marriage
anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Chambers of Danville, Indiana, was
celebrated by a dinner today, at the home of their daughter, Mrs. W. D.
Cooper, Fifteenth street and College avenue. Only the intimate relatives
attended. Mr. and Mrs. Chambers were married near South Hanover, January
39, 1838. In 1841 they moved to Valparaiso, where they remained until
November, 1853, when they went to Danville. They have occupied their present
home forty years, and three of their children were born there. In his
younger day, Mr. Chambers was employed on a farm. He was reared by his
uncle, his father having died in his early youth. After going to Danville
he was associated with L. C. Cash in operating a grist, saw, and planning
mill. The plant was finally destroyed by fire, and the site is now covered
Mr. Chambers has been connected
with the M.E. church over seventy years. For fifty years he was connected
with the official board, only recently retiring because of advanced age.
Eight children resulted from this union, of whom Mrs. W. D. Cooper, of this
city; Mrs. Kennedy of Martinsville; Mrs. Vincent Miller, of Sunnyside; Mrs.
Alice Lewis, of Mt. Vernon, N.Y.; and Mrs. James W. Dempsey, of Danville,
are living. A daughter Nannie Nave, and their two sons, Frank and Elder are
Mr. Chambers is eighty-three years
old, and Mrs. Chambers is three years his junior. They were born and reared
in Jefferson County. They have fifteen grandchildren and two
This letter unites Alexander of Danville to our family,
but he is unable to give information concerning his [father James’]
brothers. In 1901 I was in Decatur County; stayed overnight with one
Chambers, and ate dinner with another, but could find no trace of the
descendants of John. Not until the summer of 1923 did I find the solution.
While looking up some records in the State Library at Indianapolis, I found
that William H. Chambers entered land in Bartholomew County, IN, in 1821.
This land was located near Flat Rock, on the turnpike leading from Madison
via Paris, over the Vallonia bridge, and on toward the north. William H.,
the son of John, stopped at Flat Rock; Alexander, the son of James, went
farther north. In 1920, I met Mrs. W. D. Cooper, the daughter of
Alexander. She gave me an account of their journey north. The entire
family rode in a jolt wagon. The team would often stall in the mud, then
they would get out and assist as best they could.
Near Anderson and Muncie, Ind., there is a large
Chambers family that has lost its origin. I have attended three of their
reunions, and have talked with their old men. They belong to the Christian
Church. Their ancestors came from "Hawpatch Hill," near Flat Rock. The
Chambers family was a Baptist family. Flat Rock Baptist Church was founded
in 1822; a few years later it became "New Light;" after the preaching of
Alexander Campbell it changed to "Disciples"--now "Christian." These facts
can be found in Esarey's History of Indiana, and in church records. William
H. Chambers, the son of John, and the grandson of John, of the Revolution,
is their lost ancestor. I can give no very good account of the other sons
of John except that in the "Indianapolis News" item it states that Alexander
was reared by his uncle (probably not John). "his father having died in his
early youth." This uncle, probably Alexander or Samuel, lived in Northern
Indiana. My thought is that all of the sons of the elder John lived in
Indiana for a number of years, and that the reading of this book will make a
reorganization of the relatives quite easy.
In 1854 Hiram Chambers and his wife, John Chambers and
his wife, Susan and Mary Chambers and Nancy Scott organized the Chambers
Christian Church in Madison County, IN. These Chambers people were no doubt
the children of the old pioneer, William H. Chambers, of the Flat Rock
settlement. For this item I am indebted to Mrs. F. W. Chambers of Muncie,
IN, one of my good friends.
During the Christmas holidays, Mrs. and Mrs. F. W.
Chambers visited me, and gave me the few facts they had concerning their
ancestors. I sought confirmation or criticism from other members of the
family, but these notes are going to press without change.
The sons of their unknown ancestor (William H.) were
James, Hiram, Francis, and John. The children of James were by his marriage
with a Miss Martin, one son, Milas Chambers; by his marriage with Susan
Drybread, two sons and two daughters:
George married Rebecca Walters.
Smith, born about 1840, married Sarah Ann Pugsley.
Mary (called Polly) married Daniel Walters.
Julia Ann married Miles Walters.
The children of Hiram were William, Elijah, Malinda,
who married Betterton; Emily who married Fosnot; Jane who married Nelson;
Lydia who married Lawler, and Carolina, who married Pittsford.
I do not have the progeny of Francis, the third of
these sons of William H. John, the fourth son, married Julia Ann Drybread.
To them were born a son and a daughter: Seneca Chambers whom I once met in
charge of the Chambers Reunion, and Sarah Chambers Eshelman, wife of Allen
B. Eshelman, the present President. To them were born two sons and a
daughter: Dr. William A. Eshelman, Lafayette, Indiana; Rev. Homer Eshelman,
for a number of years pastor of the Christian Church at Easton, Indiana; and
Anna, who married Charles Walters.
F. W. Chambers, who gave me these notes, is the son of
Smith, and grandson of James. The sons of Smith are: Francis Wilburn, who
married Belle Priest; George W., who never married, and Casper E., who
married Nellie Harmon. At the next Reunion, steps should be taken to add to
this outline the descendants of Francis, before it is too late. Without
doubt, the children of this Reunion have an ancestry of at least eight
generations now of record. Do not forget the "Hawpatch" tie that binds you
to the progressive post-Revolutionary fathers. "There were giants in those
William, the second son of David, was also born at Culpeper, Virginia. He was captured by the Indians in one of the
Revolutionary battles, and was taken to Arkansas where he lived with the
Indians till he became reconciled to their customs, and finally married a
chieftain's daughter, and became quite rich in lands and other property. My
Uncle Alexander wrote me that there are many descendants of William in
Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, who are proud of their Indian blood.
Samuel, the third son of David, was also born at Culpeper, Virginia. In one of North Carolina's Indian battles he was killed
and scalped by the Indians.
There wee perhaps more than one daughter in the family
of David, but the name of Tetty is remembered for the reason that she
married a man by the name of Byram Barnett, and along with her brothers made
her way through Kentucky, and found a home beyond the Ohio.
ALEXANDER, Soldier in Continental Army.
Alexander, the 4th son of David Chambers, my
great-grandfather, was born May 15, 1756, in Rockbridge County, Virginia,
and died June 29, 1857, in Jefferson County, Indiana. When a boy seven years
of age he removed with his parents to Rutherford County, North Carolina,
where he grew to manhood.
He was mustered into service as a soldier of the
Revolution under Colonel W. Avery, and early in 1777 he was transferred to
the Continental Army of Virginia. After three years of effective service he
was given (1790) an honorable discharge at Fort Pitt, Pennsylvania, but
there being urgent need for a brief campaign, he joined Colonel John
Gibson's command for another three months service. These facts I obtained
from a genealogist of Richmond, Virginia. After his final discharge, he
made a brief visit among friends in Virginia, then returned to his parents'
home in North Carolina. In 1789 he married Rachel Ann Monroe, a niece of
President James Monroe. The census of North Carolina for 1790 reports that
his family consisted of himself, his wife, and one small son.
Before settling permanently Alexander tried a series of
experiments, which the Minutes of the Coffee Creek Baptist Association
report as follows:
1. In 1790 he left his parents under the care of his
brother John, and moved to East Tennessee.
2. In 1794 (perhaps through Cumberland Gap, which was
known at that time) he moved to Kentucky.
3. In 1797 (the Madison Courier reported this event
under date 1806), he moved to Illinois via Kentucky, Ohio, and Wabash
rivers. On that trip he got lost from the company of movers under the
following circumstances: He went out to shoot a buffalo from a herd that
was in view, and after having killed one and having taken from the carcass
as much as he could carry, it being about sunset, he missed the trail, there
being no roads. Darkness set in and he traveled all night. For sixteen days
he wandered alone in a then entire wilderness. The company, after stopping
one day and searching for him, moved on, supposing that he had been killed
by the Indians. On the seventeenth day, the Indians found him nearly
starved. They took him to their camp, placed him in the care of an old
squaw, who fed and nursed him for a few days. The Indians then sent two of
their warriors with him to his family. He had been from them twenty-seven
days. After living in that place (Illinois) two years, he moved back to
Shelbyville, Kentucky (1799) where he lived ten years, then moving to
Indiana in 1809, then lived in sight of the same place for forty-seven
The Madison Courier gives these additional facts:
1. On account of Indian hostilities and unhealthy
climate, he returned to Boonesboro, KY., (His son, John, was born in
Shelbyville, KY in 1800) and in 1809 removed to Jefferson County, Indiana,
where he and his son William built a blockhouse in which a number of
families lived during the next two years.
2. He was a regularly ordained Baptist minister, and
with the help of others constituted the White River Baptist Church just in
front of the fort. Also he aided in the organization of the "Long Run
Baptist Association,” just across the Ohio, in 1803.
3. At the age of one hundred one years, one month and
fourteen days, he was buried by the side of his faithful wife in the old
White River burying ground in front of the old church. Two large trees now
mark their graves.
Alexander Chambers was a member of the first grand jury
drawn in Jefferson County. His stockade was a rendezvous for the weary
pioneers who passed that way. I quote from the History of the Coffee Creek
Elder Chambers was converted while
living in Kentucky: aided in constituting White River Baptist Church in
1811; was licensed to preach in 1816; labored many years in the Master's
service; was one of the solid men of the community; a man of strict
integrity and unblemished moral character; passed to his rest on the 29th
day of June, 1857, in the 102nd year of his age.
WILLIAM CHAMBERS -- 1791--1879
William Chambers, the oldest son of Alexander, was born
in Rutherford County, North Carolina, in 1791. The "Gresham Biographical
and Historical Souvenir," published in 1889, says that "He removed with his
father to near Boonesboro, Kentucky, in 1799, and that they resided there
till 1806, when with about three other families, Alexander removed to the
Wabash country near Vincennes, where they resided about two years, when
Chambers, with his family moved back to Kentucky and remained there one
This statement is not in accord with the facts, as I
find them. (See previous entries in connection with the wanderings of
Alexander.) The following facts from Gresham's "Souvenir," however, are no
doubt authentic: "In the war of 1812, William Chambers was a soldier in
Captain Williamson Dunn's company of Rangers. Just before the battle of
Tippecanoe, Dunn's company was order to join General Harrison's army, and
started to do so, but when near where Columbus, IN now stands, Colonel
McFarland countermanded the order and sent the Rangers under Dunn back to
the settlements: reports were sent them of threatened attacks by the
Indians. William Chambers was one of a detachment of twenty-five men that
went to the "Pigeon Roost" massacre-ground, the day after the massacre, and
assisted in burying the bodies of the twenty-three persons who were
butchered by the Indians."
Again, Mr. Gresham is in error: "After peace, William
Chambers married Sarah Blankinship in the year 1816." This marriage, the
first one solemnized in Jefferson County, was in 1811. The authentic
history continues: "From this marriage, one child, James B., was born in
1825, the mother dying that same year. The next year he married Catherine
Blankinship, a sister of his first wife. Nine children were the fruit of
this marriage, all of whom are dead, except one son, J. G. Chambers, of the
firm of Branham & Chambers, furniture dealers, Madison, Ind. and one
daughter Mrs. Le Roue of Evansville, IN.
William Chambers was a member of the Baptist Church, at
White River, which was organized at the fort in June, 1811, where they held
their services of worship for a number of years. His membership extended
over a period of time of more than sixty years; for more than fifty years he
was a deacon in the church.
In 1823, when returning from a trip to New Orleans, on
the steamboat, "Old Tennessee" the boat sank on the night of February 9, in
the middle of the Mississippi River, near Natchez. He saved his life by
swimming ashore, leaving all his money, which was gold, tied around the
banister of the boat. William Chambers died July 16, 1879, at the age of
He married Sarah Blankinship in 1811. For fourteen
years this pair were childless, but in 1826 James B. Chambers was born. The
mother died. Later, William married Katy Blakinship, a sister of his first
wife. By this marriage there came to the fond parents a family of eight
children. The following are the children of William Chambers, and their
1. James B., Mar. 18, 1826 - July 13, 1905. He was a
member of White River Baptist Church from 1844 till its dissolution in 1882,
when he united with the Kent M.E. Church. He was married at the age of
His first wife, Margaret Marshall; the children:
William Finley, Mar. 15, 1845-Mar. 26, 1906; Alexander, 1848-1915 (His son
Paul wrote me from Oklahoma); John B., 1851-1856; Emma Chambers Cooperider,
Jan. 22,1857 - Sept. 17, 1919; Robert M., Mar. 1, 1859 - Oct. 11, 1916;
Thomas Hendricks, Dec. 6, 1862 (Received a good letter from Tom; he lives in
Deputy, IN); Sarah Chambers Logan, Nov. 22, 1865 (Mrs. Logan gave me much
help in this work).
James B.'s second wife, Alice Blankinship; marriage,
Mar. 18, 1875. Clara Ruth Chambers Wells, Feb. 18, 1878 - Aug. 26, 1913;
Anna Elizabeth Chambers Giltner, June 25, 1880 (Received most of my dates
from her); James Allen, Sept. 30, 1882 - June 28, 1908; Mary Chambers
Giltner, Feb. 16, 1884.
2. John -- died at the age of sixteen from swallowing
a copper cent.
3. Alexander -- no record.
4. Alice -- no record.
5. William A. Chambers became a teacher, and later, a
preacher. While delivering a splendid sermon, in 1867, in the church of
which he was a member, White River, he fell upon the floor dead. Being
popular in his several charges, his death made a profound impression upon
the church generally.
6. Joseph Y. -- Married Jane Buxton, daughter of
William Buxton of near Kent, Indiana. To this union there were born two
sons, Charles and Edward. My information is that charles lived for a number
of years in Jennings County, Ind.
E. M. is now a retired Methodist minister, living at
3417 E. 16th Street, Indianapolis, IN. During the State Teachers'
Association of 1923, I was the guest of Ed and his estimable wife. As the
Jennings-Jackson-Scott County Reunion is held at Brookside Park, near his
home, on the third Sunday of August of each year, he can usually be found
there. Like many of the rest of us, Ed began his life as a teacher, but
being a trenchant writer he drifted into the editorial field, where no doubt
he would have remained, had he not felt supremely the call to the ministry.
7. Ann married Isaac LeRoue. The family moved to
8. Sarah married David Wheat. Doctor Wheat, whom I
once knew at Borden, IN (now of Palo Alto, CA) is of this descent.
9. John Green. In my young manhood there was no one
who gave me greater inspiration to become of some account in the world than
John G. Below are excerpts from John G.'s letters:
I have always tried to impress upon
the minds of my children and grandchildren the importance of knowing
something of their ancestors.
Like my grandfather, Alexander
(1756-1857), and my father William (1791-1879), I, now an octogenarian, have
voted at every presidential election. I consider it a patriotic duty to
vote at each election.
I am sending you orders for two
copies, one each for my daughter, Mrs. H. R. Lowry, and for myself.
Since retiring from the Chambers
Furniture Company, founded by myself thirteen years ago, my wife and I have
been living in our own comfortable cottage at 1072 Mallory Street, Portland,
Oregon. Ella, our daughter, lives next door to us. Her husband is
assistant transportation manager of the Portland Electric Street Car
I still sing (80 year old, mark
you), and am a member of two quartettes: 1st, the G.A.R.; 2nd, Mt. Hood
Lodge of Masons. I am a Past Commander of the G.A.R. Department of Oregon;
also a Past Senior-Vice-Commander-in-Chief of the G.A.R. I am a Past Master
of Mt. Hood Lodge No. 157. This lodge was organized with 31 members; now it
has a membership of 700. I was the first Master. More important than these,
I am a deacon in the Baptist Church.
I have a number of grandchildren of
whom I am very proud.
In regard to John Chambers,
grandfather's older brother, I know but little. There were two daughters:
one married a man by the name of Earwood, who lived near Vernon; the other
married a Stott -- I think a brother of William Taylor Stott, the pioneer
Baptist preacher. John W. Rice, whom you know so well, was a great-grandson
of John, his mother being an Earwood -- "Aunt Rachel," as we called her.
I wish I could have inserted John G.'s letters in full;
I can but feel that I have cut the heart out of his sayings by thus
abbreviating them, but it is so done.
Elder William Blankinship came from Kentucky to the
White River settlement a year or so after the stockade was built. He met
Betty Chambers there and married her soon after. Under the preaching of
Elder Jesse Vawter he felt the need of pardoning mercy and gave himself to
the church. In 1818 he was licensed to preach. He died about 1835. My
impression is that his faithful widow survived him a good many years.
The two boys, Sanders and Reynolds, died young.
Evidently these boys lost their lives through exposure during the wanderings
of the family through Eastern Tennessee and Kentucky. The wonder is that the
next born, by own ancestor, made the trip to Illinois and back to
Shelbyville, Kentucky, in safety.
AVERY CHAMBERS -- 1797-1865
Avery Chambers was born at Boonesboro, Kentucky, Mar.
12, 1797. When he was only a few months old his parents moved to Illinois,
where for almost two years they endured the contagion of that region,
returning to Shelbyville, Kentucky, where Avery grew to a lad of eleven or
twelve. The family settled permanently on the Indiana side of the Ohio. On
New Year's Day, 1818, Avery married Rhoda Blakinship. Twenty years later he
had found his permanent home about a day's journey west of his ancestral
home. In 1838, Avery and Rhoda Chambers, William and Lydia Davis, John and
Jane Swincher, and Samuel Hopper constituted the Bethany Baptist Church.
From the minutes of the Association I find the following facts:
Deacons: Avery Chambers, J. B. Swincher, Harvey Seburn,
Barnet Gaddy, W. C. Mitchell, John Litson, James Seburn, James McCaslin,
John Cain, and W. H. Davis.
Clerks: Wm. Davis, J. Hankins, M. McLean, James Seburn,
M. S. Hancock, Alex. Chambers, S. A. Shrewsbury, W. H. Davis, and Isaac
Four years after the church was formed, James B.
Swincher, a member of this church, began a series of sixteen years as the
minister. The first deacon and the first clerk were my grandfathers. All
of the organizers were buried there. To Avery and Rhoda Chambers were born
1. Sarah, April 16, 1820 - June 26, 1855; married
Major S. Hancock, Jan. 29, 1840. Major Hancock, June 11, 1815-Nov. 16,
1875. To this union were born: Mary Lavina, Feb. 2, 1841; Minerva Jane
Jones, Apr. 10, 1842 - Oct. 14, 1862; Malinda Ellen, June 16, 1843 - Oct.
18, 1843; Nancy Louise Alcorn, Sept. 6, 1844; Rhoda Ann, Nov. 6, 1845-Oct
18,1854; Avery Chambers, July 16, 1847; Lemuel Jefferson, Dec. 29, 1848,
Sarah Ellen Williams, May 30, 1850; Salem Pierce, Nov. 7, 1852.
All of the above are dead except Avery, Lemuel and
Salem, but I do not have dates for all. Avery is now at Fort Myers,
Florida; Lemuel at San Francisco, California; Salem at Montezuma, Indiana,
where he is president of the Montezuma State Bank. Clella, Ellie, and Laura
were children by a later marriage.
Recently I have received very interesting letters from
each of the three Hancock brothers:
Avery C., now resides in Ft. Myers, FL. He sent me his
picture, taken ten years ago, which is inserted below. I know that his
immediate relatives will be glad to see him again, even by photograph.
Lemuel J. resides at No. 3874 22d St, San Francisco,
CA. He reports that his wife is still living, and that his son, Arthur, his
only child, is a very busy man. He has just retired from the profession of
teaching (age 76). He says, "And so I shall hereafter probably stay at
home." He reports that he is probably the only relative living who every
saw great-grandfather, Alexander. (Perhaps John G. may have seen him.)
Salem P. lives at Montezuma, IN. He is president, and
his son, J. E. is cashier of the State Bank of Montezuma. A few years ago
he called upon me at Muncie, IN for a short talk. In his letter, Salem says
that he still hustles to try to make ends meet. The average age of these
three brothers is now more than 75.
2. Jas. Blakinship, May 7, 1822 - Dec. 24, 1894; Nancy
(Davis) Chambers, June 24, 1819 - Jan. 24, 1891. To these parents were born
eight children, six being girls--quite enough to clothe and feed during
Civil War times, yet at their feet grew up six public school teachers. The
following are the children:
Elizabeth T., Feb. 2, 1842 - Feb. 2, 1924; married
Doctor John A. Sarver, Mar 7, 1869. To them were born Mina, who married
John Hord, Maud, who married Harvey Napier; Charles and Doctor Fred, who are
dead; John, former trustee; Doctor Walter; Homer, Effie, who married James
Whitsitt; and Clifford, whose photograph will be seen on another page.
At the time of her death a score of children called her
Grandma, and a number were her great-grandchildren. Prior to her marriage
she was a teacher. Her progeny includes a number of young people of talent
Sarah F., Feb 6, 1844 - Mar 13, 1923; married William
T. Spear, Aug. 16, 1866. To them were born six children: Lola, Ida, Homer
B., Edith, Jessie, and an infant daughter that lived only a day. Lola and
Homer also died in infancy. Ida died at the age of 21, and Jessie at the
age of 37.
Edith is still living and was married to George
Everhart, Oct 17, 1895. They have three children: Claude Carroll, Juanita,
and Therma. Carroll married Marie Wolf, Nov. 24, 1917. They have four
children: Carroll, Margaret, Robert, and Norma (see picture). Sarah was
also a teacher.
Mary J., Dec. 19, 1847 - Nov. 29, 1923. There being
six teachers in this family, it fell to the lot of Mary to stay at home and
assist in the work. In May, 1881, she married Louis Roberts, a veteran of
the Civil War. For more than a quarter of a century Louis and Mary lived
happily together at Dayton, Ohio, and Swanville, Indiana. After the death
of Mr. Roberts, mary was well supplied with funds from her property and by
the Pension Department of the Federal Government. She died on Thanksgiving
Day, Nov. 29, 1923.
Melita, May 22, 1851 - Jan. 17, 1853.
Frank P., Mar. 6, 1854; married Mary L. Scott, May 24,
1881. To this union four children were born, but only one, Harriet
(Chambers) Ellis survived. On the death of his wife, Oct. 17, 1913, he
married Jennie R. Scott, his first wife's oldest sister, Mar. 15, 1915.
Jennie died Aug. 16, 1916. On Sept. 8, 1917, Frank married Miss Belle
Douthitt of Jeffersonville, a former Scott County teacher. For a number of
years Frank taught school, but farm interests requiring his time and
attention, in middle life he quit the profession and devoted his energies to
the farm. Seven years ago he retired as an agriculturist, and now lives at
Scottsburg, Indiana. He has written a number of articles for the "Indiana
Farmer" and other farm journals.
William Davis, Nov. 22, 1856; married Della A.
Patterson, June 22, 1887; graduate Indiana State Normal School; A. B.
Degree. Indiana University; teach for more than forty years. Has two sons,
Virgil Roscoe and William Durment, and one grandson, Virgil Jack, a lusty
lad of seven, the son of Virgil and Pearl. The boys, Virgil and Will have
both succeeded quite well in salesmanship. Virgil now resides at Muskegon,
Mich; Will claims Indianapolis as his home. The author of this book lives
at 515 West Main Street, Muncie, Indiana, but mail will more speedily reach
him at Dupont, Indiana, where he is Principal of the Public Schools.
As a tribute to my mother, you will pardon a brief
digression. William Davis (1792) and his wife, Lydia Davis, left their home
near Maysville, KY in 1823, and settled near Bethany Church in Jefferson
Co., IN, where they raised their family consisting of Benjamin, John, Nancy,
my mother, Elizabeth, William H., James S., Mary Jane, Jesse, Sarah, and
Thomas. I was personally best acquainted in two of these families, those of
William H. and James S. The children of W. H. Davis were Artemisia, Dexter,
Emeretta, Cyrus L., Hattie, Marshall and William Harvey; those of James S.
were Francis Marion, Letha, Della, and Laura. William Davis, my
grandfather, was an expert gunsmith and a fine shot. When a lad of ten or
twelve, in company with my brother, I visited him. He asked us if we would
like to see him kill a squirrel. Of course we wanted to see this done.
Walking about one-eighth of a mile to a clump of trees, he checked us, asked
my brother to shake a bush, and fired his rifle, bringing to the ground a
squirrel, shot through the head. There are many relatives of this Davis
family still living in Eastern Kentucky.
Mattie E., Oct, 1859; married John B. Crawford, Mar.
17, 1886. Her husband died April 17, 1909. Before her marriage, Mattie was
a teacher. To this union were born:
Nellie R., April 8, 1887, lives in Indianapolis, IN.
Joseph Monfort, Nov. 4, 1889; married, lives in Indianapolis, is a veteran
of the World War and a Mason. Ruth J., Oct. 24, 1891; married, Aug. 31,
1922 to Stephen B. Catchus, disabled army veteran; one child, Ruth Patricia,
dead; they reside in Denver. CO. Nettie I., Nov 27, 1894 Oct. 8, 1912.
Warren William, Nov. 24, 1896-July 2, 1912; died by drowning, at Greensburg,
IN. Ethel A., July 17, 1899; teacher in Anderson public schools. Ernest
Everett, Oct. 9, 1901; lives in LaMirada, CA.
Mattie and her daughter, Ethel live at 312 Jackson St.,
Nancy Rosella, Sept. 25, 1864 - June 8, 1885. Rose, as
we called her, at the time of her death held the highest grade of license
given teachers of our county. On her tombstone are inscribed the words: "A
good name is rather to be chosen than great riches."
3. Alexander, Aug. 23, 1825 - Nov. 22, 1901; married
Melita Rice, Oct 7, 1847; was married by Elder John Chambers; to this union
Margaret M., Aug 2, 1848 - Dec. 1, 1918; was married to
William Tipton McCaslin, her father officiating, Aug. 20, 1867. The only
child by this marriage is a son, Charles C. McCaslin, now Trustee of
Lancaster Township, Jefferson County, Indiana. He has just completed the
construction of the Dupont Elementary and High School building, which is
regarded as one of the best of its kind in Indiana. It is now a
commissioned high school, giving its graduates college preferment.
On Sept. 15, 1897, Charles C. McCaslin was married to
Maggie M. Spicer -- his grandfather, Alexander, officiating. To this union
were born two daughters:
Ethel S. (McCaslin) Austin, born June 27, 1898.
Virginia L. McCaslin, born Jan. 24, 1903. Virginia is now a teacher at
Lancaster, four miles south of her home.
Narcissa, Feb. 7, 1850 - Feb. 13, 1880; married James
Reynolds, Nov., 1869. The fruits of this marriage were two girls: Laura
S., Feb., 1862, died same year. Ida N., Feb. 5, 1880; became a teacher;
married E. A. Humphrey, Apr., 1904.
Lavinia, Sept. 24, 1854 - May 20, 1919. Like many of
her relatives, "Venia: chose the profession of teaching, but on account of
ill health was forced to give it up. After many years of suffering she was
called to her eternal home.
Laura, April 28, 1856 - May 31, 1861.
Oscar R., April 10, 1858; married Lola Blocher, Nov.
26, 1891. To this union were born: Zelma M., Aug. 13, 1903; married A. R.
Ford, Mar. 15, 1924. Alexander B., Mar. 15, 1906 - June 30, 1909.
Oscar, even in his declining years, possesses rare
ability as a musician. For years he was leader in music in his home church.
It was Alexander Chambers who gave me my first
knowledge of family traditions. By examination of the census report for the
year 1790 for Rutherford County, North Carolina (q.v.), I find that his
account of Revolutionary days is fully sustained by the records.
4. John. W. Chambers, third son of Avery Chambers, was
born in Jefferson County, Indiana, Feb. 24, 1831, and died at Browstown,
Jackson County, IN July 31, 1864. At an early age he was apprenticed to a
carpenter and cabinetmaker, and after serving his apprenticeship, located at
Tipton, Tipton County, IN, where he worked at his trade, taught school
several terms, and was elected treasurer of Tipton County for two terms. He
also was editor of the Tipton County Advocate for about two years, though
not the owner of the paper, and wrote many stirring articles and editorials
during the exciting times of the breaking out of the civil war.
In 1863 he removed with his family to Brownstown, and
was deputy treasurer of Jackson County at the time of his death. While
living in Brownstown he was a member of the "Home Guards" and was one of the
leaders in opposing Morgan's Raid through southern Indiana, and spent three
weeks with a company from Jackson County in an effort to protect life and
property in that part of the state. On several other occasions he devoted
time to similar war activities and just before his death had been out for
three weeks and upon his return was stricken with a sickness which resulted
in his death ten days afterward. Before he returned home he told some of
this relatives and friends that he intended to enlist in the war upon his
arrival home, although he had been opposed to the war previously, from
principle, and had refused to volunteer.
He was married to Jennie E. Boyd, of Tipton, IN at
Indianapolis, IN, Nov. 27, 1856. To this union five sons were born: Albert
G., Oscar C., Avery St. Clair and Thomas Hendricks (twins), at Tipton, IN,
and John willis, at Brownstown, IN. Albert G. and Thomas H. died in infancy.
Oscar C. Chambers, son of John W., and Jennie E.
Chambers, was born at Tipton, IN, Nov. 25, 1858, and died at Ephrata,
Washington, Nov. 30, 1922. At the age of 14 he began the study of pharmacy
at Brownstown, IN and five years later embarked in the drug business for
himself at Ewing, IN. In 1887 he purchased a drug store at West
Indianapolis, which he and his brother Avery conducted for twenty years,
then retiring from the drug business on account of poor health, and in 1909
moved to Ephrata, Washington, where he was employed in the printing business
with his brothers and became one of the firm in the publication of the Grant
County Journal and job printing business.
Avery St. C. Chambers, son of John W. and Jennie E.
Chambers, was born at Tipton, IN, May 3, 1962. When he was about 15 years
of age, he began his apprenticeship in the printing business at Brownstown,
on the "Banner," and afterward worked in various printing offices in
Indianapolis, IN, Louisville, KY, St. Louis, MO, and in many other towns
throughout Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin and Missouri. He was engaged
with his brother, John W., in their first newspaper venture in the
publication of the "Enterprise" at Crothersville, IN. In 1887 he joined his
brother Oscar C. in the drug business at Indianapolis, and remained in that
business until it was disposed of in 1906. Again taking up the printing
trade, he joined his brother John W. at Ephrata, Washington, in 1909, and
later became a partner in the business and still works in the office as
foreman, having sold the business then days prior to the death of his
brother John W., in April 1918. He was never married, and resides at
Ephrata, Washington, with his mother.
John Willis Chambers, son of John W. and Jennie E.
Chambers, was born at Brownstown, Jackson County, IN, Aug. 21, 1919. At the
age of 14 he also started to learn the printing trade on the "Banner" at
Brownstown, where he worked for several years, and in 1881 he and his
brother Avery embarked on their first newspaper venture at Crothersville,
In 1882 he married Hattie E. Daniels, and they resided
in Crothersville for a number of years, being engaged in the newspaper
business. Later he moved to Wisconsin where he conducted a newspaper at
Belmont, and later, at Benton. A year or so was spent in southern Illinois
at farming, and about 1906 he moved to the State of Washington and after a
year on the coast at Seattle he homesteaded near Mae, in Grant County.
In the spring of 1909 he was injured by the accidental
discharge of a shotgun, losing the toes of his right foot, and was brought
to Ephrata for medical treatment, and as soon as he was able to get about on
crutches, went to work setting type on the Grant County Journal, a newspaper
that had been started only a few months previous, on the organization of the
county, and on August 6, 1909, he took over the control of the paper and his
brothers from Indiana to join him. He remained with the business until
August, 1918, when poor health compelled him to retire and he removed to
Arizona, hoping that beneficial results might be obtained in that climate.
He was married twice. His first wife died, March 24,
1916. To this union was born three daughters; Blanch, now Mrs. Henry Ragge,
residing at Seattle, Wash.; Edith who married F. H. Ceis, and died in 1917
at Seattle; and Jennie who married Loren Morse and now resides in Portland,
OR. He was married a second time, to Ina L. Phillips, at Neppel, Washington
in April, 1917. To this union one daughter was born, Catherine. He was
buried at Fayette, OH, the home of his second wife.
Jennie E. (Boyd) Chambers was born in Lebanon, Warren
County, Ohio, Sept. 10, 1837, and moved to Indiana with her parents when
about six years of age, locating on a farm near Shelbyville, in Shelby
County; later to Tipton, Tipton, County. She was married to John W.
Chambers, Nov. 27, 1856, who died July 31, 1864. Left a widow with three
children, without means, she succeeded by teaching school and engaging in
the millinery business, in rearing them to that age when they could
contribute to the support of the family. She taught in the public schools
at Lexington, Scott County, IN, and at Brownstown, Jackson County, IN. At
the latter place she taught for eight years in succession in the public
schools. She removed to Ephrata, Washington, with her sons Oscar and Avery,
and at the age of 88 years is active in her household duties, keeping house
for her son Avery, and keeping abreast of the times by keeping posted on all
the current events as the history of the country and world transpires.
5. Stephen Avery, Dec. 10, 1839 - May 8, 1907; married
Elizabeth Kennedy in January, 1862. To this union were born three children:
Ida Lenore, who was born March 20, 1864, and married to James L. Snyder in
July, 1886; now living at New Castle, PA. Edith, June 17, 1866 - 1920; she
was married to James D. Underwood in 1890. Effie Jane, April 15, 1868 -
Sept. 13, 1892; married Abner Royster, April 17, 1885.
I am indebted to Ida Chambers Snyder for the following
Ida (Chambers) Snyder, March 8, 1864; lives at
Newcastle, PA: three sons: John, Dec 6, 1887 - Oct, 1, 1910; Eugene, July 1,
1891 -- has a son Paul and a daughter Eugena; James C., Jan. 16, 1901, lives
with his mother at Newcastle.
Edith (Chambers) Underwood, June 17, 1866 - June 17,
1918; two sons: Percy, Jan. 27, 1892 - Dec. 7, 1905; Paul, Sept. 30, 1894,
lives in New York City, works for the Chemical National Bank.
Effie (Chambers) Royster, April 17, 1868-Sept. 10,
1891; one daughter, Addie Lee Royster, Paducah, Kentucky.
Stephen A. married his second wife, Laura Ellen Snyder,
Jan. 20, 1874. There were three children in this second group: George
Walter, born Mar. 28, 1875; married Ethel Vernan Nance, Dec. 24, 1902.
Stephen Herbert, born Nov. 9, 1879; married Mollie Davidson in 1903; now a
fruit dealer in New York City. Mary Hodge, born Dec. 1, 1884; married John
Dodgin, June 12, 1918.
George Walter Chambers, who gave me the facts stated
below, holds the following merits and degrees; L. I. Peabody Normal; A.B.,
University of Nashville; A. B. Peabody College; M.D. University of
Michigan. For a number of years he was a teacher in the schools of South
Carolina, Mississippi, and Florida. He taught Latin in the Florida State
Normal, was Principal of the High School at Anderson, South Carolina, and
taught Anatomy in the University of Michigan. He is now one of the leading
physicians in his state. He has three children: Dorothy Ethel, now in her
15th year; Florence LeRoy, and George Walter, Jr.
In the winter of 1885, I visited Uncle Stephen at his
home in New Albany, where he was Principal of the High School. Later I
received from him the following letter:
Brevard, N.C. Jan. 7, 1897
My Dear Nephew:
On my recent trip to Waynesville,
N.C. I passed within twelve miles of the sport where my grandfather,
Alexander Chambers, spent his boyhood from eight years of age to twenty. My
great-grandfather, David Chambers, came from Culpeper, Virginia, via
Rockbridge County, to Rutherford County, N.C., in 1763. After the close of
the Revolutionary War, Alexander married Rachel Ann Monroe, a niece of
President James Monroe, as I recollect, in Fauquier County, VA.
YOUR UNCLE STEPHEN
In all points except one, this letter is in harmony
with the facts as I find them. I have fully investigated the records of
Fauquier, Loudoun, and two or three other counties in which the Monroes
lived, and I find no record of marriage. It is quite probable that the
Monroes joined in this immigration to the west, and that the marriage was
solemnized in North Carolina rather than Virginia. This view makes it
easier to explain the presence of the two families in Kentucky and Indiana.
For a number of years I had the impression that the
elder David Chambers and his wife were buried in North Carolina. This
letter supports me by inference in the theory that they "moved on," as
In regard to the services of Stephen Avery Chambers, I
shall quote from a letter from his son, Dr. George Walter Chambers of
Anderson, South Carolina:
He was closely identified with educational progress and
Christian growth in Indiana and Kentucky, and in North Carolina. He was a
teacher of the higher type, and was much in demand for leadership in the
best schools. For four years he was Superintendent of the Henderson, KY,
City Schools. He held similar positions in the high schools at Lebanon,
Waynesville, Brevard, Gaffney, and at other points in North and South
Carolina. At Utica, Indiana, the high school was established through his
influence, and he was kept in charge of it for many years.
As a minister of the Gospel he served many churches,
and under his preaching many hundreds found the Master. He was a man of the
highest Christian type, and has left his mark on the rising generation."
JOHN CHAMBERS -- 1800-1882
John Chambers, the fourth child of Alexander, was born
at Shelbyville, KY in 1800, June 5. When a lad of nine years he crossed
with his parents into Indiana Territory to make his future home. He was too
young to aid much in the building of the stockade, but he was useful in
helping to clear the land for cultivation. In 1823 he married, and
purchased a farm of his own. In 1834 he united with White River Baptist
Church, was licensed to preach in 1841, and was ordained in 1842. He read
the circular letter to the Association in 1838, the year that Bethany Church
was organized, and many times later. He served the White River Church as
its pastor for twenty-five years, and the New Bethel Church seventeen
years. He was frequently clerk of the Coffee Creek Association, and in
1844, 1863, and 1872 was Moderator. In 1874 he was stricken with paralysis,
and for eight years was quite helpless. In 1881 he was brought to the
platform of the Association for a short time as a courtesy, in recognition
of his faithful services to the cause of Christ. On Aug. 5, 1882, he was
Elder J. C. Tibbets, in his history of the Coffee Creek
Baptist Association, says:
Elder John Chambers was sound in
doctrine, was a safe counselor, and was ever a beloved pastor. His moral
standing and integrity were highly appreciated, and many times he was chosen
as Justice of the Peace. Township Trustee, County Commissioner, County
Treasurer, and member of the State Legislature.
"Uncle John," as we called him,
visited my father about 1868, and preached at the country school house. I
remember somewhat of his form and manner of speech from this single
meeting. Twenty years later I visited his grave, near Lancaster, Jefferson
County, IN. He left one daughter to mourn his departure.
I do not have complete statistics from the Monroe
family. I wrote Paul Monroe, a professor of Columbia University, asking for
particulars, but my letter was referred to his wife in his absence, so I
have come down to the end with only a slight record. Nancy Chambers,
however, married George Monroe, probably a son of that White River pioneer,
Robert Monroe. From the records I learn that George Monroe succeeded John
Chambers as clerk of White River Church. To this union were born at least
one son and two daughters, but I have no assurance as to names. In the
neighborhood live a few persons by the name of Monroe. To each of these I
have sent my prospectus, but I have received no answers. Before closing
this record, I wish to state that I have had the pleasure on two or three
occasions to hear addresses delivered by William Y. Monroe, who is in some
way related to us. His address, delivered at Scottsburg about 1880, to the
Odd Fellows Lodge was considered a masterpiece.
MARY AND RACHEL
The progeny of these younger daughters of Alexander
ought to be easily discovered, but I have failed. It is my thought,
however, that a man by the name of Tull married one of them.
George Chambers, the youngest child of Alexander's
family, lived near the ancestral home until after the death of his father,
when, as near as I can learn, the entire family, in 1869, removed to some
point in Iowa. Among the offspring of George are the following: Andrew J.,
John, William, and Betty. I haven't the address of any one of these, but
should they or their children learn of this history they will no doubt
appreciate it as well as many who have been better favored. I have thought
that the descendants of Alexander and his faithful wife should make a
collective effort to have placed at their graves a monument to show
appreciation of their fine services in bringing the name from the Southland
to our own state of Indiana. Perhaps after the publication of this book, a
suitable monument may be erected.
DAVID, Lieutenant in Continental Army
David, the younger brother of John and Alexander, was
about sixteen years of age when he entered the war of the American
Revolution. He volunteered in one of the companies under the command of
Col. W. Avery, who went out from western North Carolina. After a few months
of fighting in defense of his state and other parts of the extreme south, he
was transferred to the Continental Army with headquarters in Virginia and
points north. It is a tradition of the family that David was expert in all
the requirements of the battle front.
After the war was over, David returned to the home of
his parents in North Carolina, but, like his brother, Alexander, there were
attractions for him back East, and he could not resist their influence.
After Alexander's marriage in 1789, he left the East forever, but David
never rejoined his father's family, only temporarily.
The problem of repaying the soldiers for their services
in the Revolution was one of the most perplexing problems confronting the
new government, but during the first administration of President Washington,
this question was adjusted, and the soldiers were paid. David Chambers
received in satisfaction of his claim, in addition to such money as he may
have been paid, a tract of 100 acres of land, situated in Rockbridge County,
Virginia, his native county. For a time he doubtless resided on his claim,
but, inspired with the zeal of his ancestry, he looked to the growing west
as the land of opportunity. Selling his claim, he set out for Western
Pennsylvania, no doubt with the expectation of joining his relatives in the
In support of these statements, below is quoted a
letter to the author, written by his friend, Gordon Smith, who visited
Lexington, Virginia, in 1900:
From Deed Book C, page 559 --
David Chambers, and Isabella, his wife,
convey to William Martin, Dec. 28, 1797, one tract or parcel of land
containing 100 acres, lying and being in the district set forth for the
officers and soldiers of the Virginia Continentals; line on the Waters of
Beaver Dam, bounded, etc.
There can be no doubt that this 100 acres was assigned
to Alexander's brother, David, for gallant services in the Continental
Army. The date of sale corresponds with the movements of his father's
family in scenting the trail to the great Northwest. For years David's
relatives north of the Ohio, no doubt, waited for his boat to drop down the
river, that the family might be re-united on Indiana soil, but the boat
never came. Perhaps David's plans could not be carried out. Perhaps
Western Pennsylvania, the Pan Handle of West Virginia, or the fertile lands
of Ohio enchanted him. Perhaps he dropped down the Ohio at an inopportune
time, and his relatives failed to met him as he had anticipated.
While facts are not at hand to explain David's
subsequent actions, yet there are circumstantial reasons for believing that
after the sale of his property in 1797, he, with his family, crossed the
hills to the head waters of the Shenandoah, then rowed down the Shenandoah
to the Potomac, then up the Potomac into Pennsylvania, then via the National
Road to the point of destination. I have traced a number of persons bearing
the Chambers name back to Somerset, Fayette, Greene, and Washington
Counties, PA., and to the Pan Handle of W. VA, but in every case these have
been found to belong to other lineage. Should some historian have
suggestive information in regard to the descendants of David, such facts
would be thankfully received. More recent consideration of old material has
led me to believe that after David made his sale in 1797, he sought the
Ohio, and sent a letter to Alexander, telling him where to meet him.
Alexander's experimental trip to Illinois may have been made in search of
his brother's new location. If so, we should expect to find David's
descendants in the West or South. This idea has given me renewed hope of
CHAPTER V (part 2), JAMES: OWEN COUNTY BRANCH
Spencer, Ind., Mar. 24, 1906,
Father and grandfather came from North
Carolina in 1818, and settled one-fourth mile from where I now live.
Grandfather came from Maryland to Burke County, and settled on the Catawba
River. He was a minister of the Regular Baptist Church for fifty-seven
years, and died at the age of eighty-four in 1854. Rev. James Chambers, a
brother of grandfather, died at a ripe old age. Can get his age at the
cemetery. Joel Chambers was an uncle of my father. Do not know where he
settled in Indiana. I have a sister, eighty-two. Grandfather's family was
large, -- five boys and three girls. My father, the oldest, was born in
N.C., Dec. 8, 1798. My father's name was
Zaccheus. My uncles were John,
Jesse, James, and Elisha. My aunts were Biddie, Allie, and Rebecca. All
are now dead. My father was killed by a falling tree in 1869.
ROBERT E. CHAMBERS."
(A second letter)
My dear Sir and Brother:
I am guessing from your letter that you
have traveled East. I was at the cemetery today where
James Chambers was
buried. He was born March 28, 1728, and died April 15, 1828. He was a
Regular Baptist preacher for fifty years. James is my great-grandfather.
Elijah, my grandfather was born Sept 30, 1772, and died in 1854. Rebecca,
the wife of Elijah, was born May 24, 1776, and died Oct. 5, 1855. She is my
grandmother. Her maiden name was Moore. I have taken the above names and
dates from the tombstones. I saw my older sister since I wrote you. She
says that James was born in Scotland and came to Maryland; from Maryland he
went to N.C. and from there to Indiana. Elijah is my grandfather. Isaac
and Asa are two of grandfather's brothers. They had a sister Rachel who
married a Baptist preacher by the name of Brown. I have heard my father
talk about the Chambers that was lost and found by the Indians. The
Chamberses named in the history of Clay and Owen Counties, on pages 331,
537, and 541, are not of our family. My father married Isabella Blair, a
I was born in 1838, and my brother,
Samuel N., in 1840. John (1825) and Elisha (1833) were sons of John.
ROBERT E. CHAMBERS
The facts herein stated were a revelation. The year
1906 gave me quite a shake-up. Spier Bruce and Robert E. in Knox and Owen,
strangers to one another, family historians, almost octogenarians, gave
proof of a common brotherhood beyond the Revolution. A later chapter will
summarize this proof.
No account has been given of the descendants of Isaac
and Asa, and only a part of the descendants of Elijah, but should subsequent
revision be made, perhaps these facts may be added.
An old record states that when the town of Spencer was
laid out, in 1820, Asa Chambers owned 8 lots; Elijah, 2 lots; and Zaccheus,
2 lots. Elijah Chambers, son of James, was a member of the first grand jury
of Owen County in 1819, and was president of the Board of County
Commissioners in 1832. It will be noted that Isaac bought no lots.
It is perhaps proper to state here that it appears that
Elijah was not the oldest son of James. James was forty-four year of age
when Elijah was born, and it was the custom of those times for families to
be prolific. Then in Robert E.'s letter he says: "Among his sons were
Elijah, Isaac and Asa." Robert E. did not claim to know the extent of
James's family. There is scarcely a doubt that a number of his children
were born back in Maryland. At least we know that before leaving Burke
County, N.C. his children were all grown, and many of them married. Elijah
was born as late as 1772. The Chamberses who were left behind in the
journey northward, of course, belong to that large unclassified list, so
dominant in Kentucky and Tennessee, and perhaps in other parts of the South.
Of the three families of Samuel, David and James, some
are lost. Only Alexander of the sons of Samuel was known in Indiana.
David's sons, William and David, strayed, the one to Arkansas and the other
to Pennsylvania and later, perhaps to the West via the Ohio River. A part
of James's descendants are unknown. The better part of life is to seek the
unknown by grouping the known.
From a Bloomington item in the Indianapolis Morning
Star we learn that James Chambers (1835) was killed in a runaway accident.
He was doubtless of the Owen County family.
FROM A KENTUCKY HISTORY:
James Chambers moved with his
family from North Carolina to Jessamine County, Kentucky, about 1804. He
was called to the care of the Clover Bottom Baptist church. After two or
three years, leaving his family behind, he returned to the care of churches
in North Carolina. Later, he joined his family in Kentucky, and in 1818,
they crossed the Ohio River and proceeded to their future homes in Indiana.
As James was ninety years of age
when he left Kentucky, no doubt he left behind him, in Kentucky and
Tennessee, some of his progeny.
Robert E., the sixth son of
Zaccheus and Isabella Blair Chambers, was born April 24, 1838, and died July
29, 1913. He was united in marriage to Elizabeth C. Summit, sunday, Oct. 1,
1865. To this union eight children were born: Zona A., Robert E.V., Malora
A., Jane E., Endamila T., Minnie I., Winzor E., and Ivan. The widow and
children are all alive; all are married except Ivan.
After the death of Robert E., his
son Ivan kept in touch with my progress by writing me an occasional letter.
In his last letter, a part of which follows, he said. "You will have to
overlook my delay, for I have been serving on the petit jury." Of course,
under such circumstances, I was glad to extend him just a little more time.
Our reunion was held on Sept. 21.
We held our reunion at the church on ground that was once owned by
grandfather. The officers elected are as follows: Ivan Chambers, president,
Gosport, IN; Emmett Chambers, secretary, Spencer, IN; W.P. Sandy, treasurer,
Our reunion next year will be at
the same place on the third Sunday of September.
Chambersville is on State road
number 32, four miles east of Spencer, twelve miles northwest from
Bloomington, and five miles south of Gosport. Chambersville was formerly a
village, but it is only a name now.
(signed) IVAN CHAMBERS
A RECENT DISCOVERY
As I have previously stated, many emigrants from North
Carolina and points South and East entered Tennessee, then, after a little
delay, passed through Cumberland Gap into Kentucky. A Kentucky author puts
it in this way: "The first settlers except those who came by way of the
Ohio River, crawled through the Cumberland Gap like lines of ants across the
nicked rim of a honey jar. The honey lay in the Bluegrass saucer and the
river basin, lands made rich by alluvial deposits and the crumbling deposits
of phosphatic limestone base, where two crops may be grown in one year."
The route of travel lay on a line from near Somerset toward Frankfort. The
first railroad was built between Danville and Frankfort in 1835. Among
these early emigrants were a few bearing the Chambers name.
It will be remembered that James Chambers and his sons
Isaac, Asa, and Elijah left their home in Burke County, North Carolina via
this route. From the Owen County records we learn that Elijah and his sons
and Asa bought lots and became identified with the community in which they
lived, but no mention is made of Isaac. Elijah was born in 1772. Isaac,
being an older son, must have been born prior to 1770. The fact that the
father, James, endured the journey through Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana
at an advanced age, reaching Owen County at the age of ninety, and the
further fact that he accompanied a younger son, Elijah, rather than his
first son, Isaac, leads me to the conclusion that Isaac was hindered from
making this journey through Indiana; and that he is the head of a family
unknown to the relatives in Owen County. Let us see who these people are:
Nabbs, Ind., Nov. 12, 1924
Dear Mr. Chambers:
I visited the spot in Kentucky
where the Chambers family made their first stop. There is an old graveyard
there, and many tombstones were seen bearing the Chambers name, some of
which were Anthony, Amasa, Thomas, and others. While there I was informed
that one of the Chambers boys was killed by the Indians while he was out
hunting for the cows. I was shown the exact spot where the first Baptist
church stood, in that settlement. My aunt, Mrs. Mayfield, told me that our
ancestors came to Kentucky from Tennessee. My grandparents came to Indiana,
in 1816, from the Rolling Fork of Salt River in Nelson County.
ISAAC C. STOUT.
The following facts are selected from Gresham's
Biographical and Historical Souvenir:
Captain Isaac Chambers was born in
Melton County, Kentucky, May 28, 1795. (This statement is incorrect for the
reason that there is no such county in Kentucky. The reference applies to
Nelson County, lying between Jessamine and Louisville, Kentucky.) He was a
soldier in the war of 1812-15, and fought in the battle of New Orleans.
(History reports that one-fourth of the soldiers under Jackson at New
Orleans were Kentucky riflemen.) After the battle, he walked back to his
home in Kentucky, and raised a crop there. He entered a tract of land in
Monroe Township, Jefferson Co., IN in 1815. He built his cabin, then
returned to his old home in Kentucky to raise a crop. The following year he
moved his family to his new home. In 1840 he was elected as a member of the
Indiana State Legislature. For years he was a captain of the State
Militia. He died in 1865.
James Chambers was a son of Isaac
Chambers. He married Mary Baxter. To this union were born nine children,
as follows: Ira B., Indiana, Nancy A., James W., John M., Mary J., Robert
D., Isaac D., and George A.
Ira Chambers was born Dec. 7,
1842. He enlisted in the 10th Indiana Cavalry, and on the 14th day of Dec.,
1864, he was taken prisoner at Huntsville, Alabama. For four months and
fourteen days he was prisoner at Andersonville, when he escaped and found
his way to the Union lines at Jacksonville, Florida, on April 29, 1865. He
was married to Nancy J. Potter in 1865. There were seven children:
Burdette, Charles, Mollie, Harry, Willie, Frank, and Stella. He became
prematurely old, due to exposure during the Civil War. He was a member of
From the above quotations I am led to the following
very definite conclusions:
1. The frequent use of the name Isaac is favorable to
relationship with the Owen Co. branch of the family.
2. The date of the birth of Isaac, the Indiana pioneer
(1795), makes it reasonable that he was the son of the elder Isaac, who was
then a man about fifty-five years of age, or at least closely related to
3. The names Anthony, Amasa, and Thomas are Bible
names. James, the father of Elijah and Asa, was a Baptist preacher for more
than fifty years, and Bible names continue in Elijah's progeny.
4. The Owen County branch have been unable to account
for the descendants of Isaac, and perhaps of others of this family.
For these reasons I am convinced that these families
are thus closely related. Should Ivan Chambers, Rural Route No. 3, Gosport,
IN, who has been such an inspiration to me in the preparation of this work.
Should anyone desire to get closer to this new family,
I would suggest that he correspond with one of the following descendants of
1. Mrs. Mary J. Elliott, Dupont, IN
2. Roy Chambers, Dupont, IN
3. William H. Stout, Lyceum manager, Indianapolis, IN
Note: From Mrs. Elliott I learn that the sons of
Anthony were John, Amimihaz, Barrett, and Jephtha. The greater part of this
big family never crossed the Ohio, but the descendants of Isaac are, most of
Willard Chambers of the firm of Chambers-Wilson Motor
Car Co., Bryan, Texas, gives a very clear account of his ancestors. Thomas
Chambers lived on Chambers Creek in eastern Tennessee in the early part of
the century and died in 1868, leaving four sons; Anthony, James, Jack, and
William. William, the great-grandfather, moved to Newton Co., Mississippi.
His sons were Joseph, Frank, Columbus, and James. His direct ancestry then
moved to Biloxi, then to Mobile, and from there to Texas. Williard has an
uncle on Red River, Texas; his father is prominent in the Chamber of
Commerce at Cameron, Texas.
The names Anthony and Thomas seem to connect this
family with the descendants of James, of the Owen County branch. Older sons
of James lived in eastern Tennessee.
CHAPTER VI: HENRY CHAMBERS
After the surprises of 1906, annexing two big families
as kinsmen, I once more turned my attention to the South, with the following
letters as the result:
Chattanooga, Tenn., Feb. 14, 1913
W. D. Chambers, Muncie, IN
Your letter of Jan 14, 1913, addressed
to the Principal of Schools at Morganton, North Carolina, seems to have been
referred to Hon. A. C. Avery, former Supreme Court Judge of North Carolina.
He had two sisters who married men by the name of Chambers, kinsmen of
mine. Judge Avery has referred the letter to me for reply.
I was born and raised in Iredell County,
North Carolina. That county is the second county east of Burke, of which
Morganton is the countyseat. It has so happened that I have become, from
various circumstances, to be considered as the historian of my branch of the
Chambers family, and I suppose that is the reason Judge Avery, -- as he and
I are related by marriage, -- sent your letter to me.
The most remote ancestor of which I have
any direct account was
Henry Chambers, of Lancaster or Chester County,
Pennsylvania, who, in 1754, acquired lands in that part of the colony of
North Carolina which is now the eastern part of Iredell county. I was
practically raised on the place where he settled soon after he acquired
these lands, and have often seen the last house he built and used as a
residence. That place remained in the possession and ownership of his
direct descendants until 1898, when the then owner, Maj. Pickney B.
Chambers, then residing in Statesville, the county seat, became too old to
look after the place, which was eight miles east of Statesville, and sold it
to some other parties.
From time to time since my early
manhood, when I had leisure, I have endeavored to trace his descendants. He
had a large family of children, most of whom were born before he obtained
the lands in North Carolina. Only two or three remained in the vicinity of
his North Carolina home, and the other moved West or Southwest. I have been
able to trace only a few of them. In my investigations, I have not been able
to trace any of my branch of the family to any part of North Carolina, west
of Iredell County, except one of the cousins who married Judge Avery's
sister. He lived a part of the time at Morganton, and his younger children
were born there or in the vicinity. His name was Joseph Franklin chambers.
His children are Mrs. Jessie Co. Dickson, now of Jackson, Mississippi; Mrs.
Kate L. Ross, wife of Dr. C. E. Ross of Morganton, North Carolina; and two
sons: William Pinckney of Spartanburg, South Carolina, and Waightsill
Moulton, who, I think, lives at Charlotte, North Carolina.
If any other persons by the name of
Chambers lived in Burke or Rutherford counties, I cannot now recall the
During the Confederate war I heard of
some soldiers by the name of Chambers from the western part of North
Carolina, but did not get acquainted with them and have no memorandum
indicating that anyone belonging to my branch of the family ever lived west
of the Blue Ridge in North Carolina.
I happen to have a carbon copy of one of
the statements about the Chambers family, prepared for some other person,
which gives the names of the children of the Pennsylvania Henry and also of
his sons Henry and Arthur, which I enclose for your information. Arthur was
my great-grandfather, and, as you will see from the enclosed memorandum, his
son, Maxwell, born February 1, 1791, moved to Indiana and died in Jasper
County, February 9, 1847. I have no record of his descendants; possibly,
you may be one.
As I am sometimes called upon, as now,
for information, I would be glad if, when you have gotten such information
as you want from it, that you would return to me the enclosed memorandum.
If you desire any further information
about my branch of the Chambers family, please let me know and I will
furnish it if I can.
HENRY A. CHAMBERS.
Chattanooga, Tenn., Feb. 20, 1913
W. D. Chambers, Esq., Muncie, IN
Your letter of February 17, 1913, in
regard to the Chambers family, and returning my memorandum of the early
North Carolina members of my own branch of the family, has been received and
read with interest.
Your letter, however, does not enable me
to give any general information additional to that contained in my former
In answer to your specific inquiries, I
beg to say:
I am the son of Joseph, who was the son
of Henry, who was the son of Arthur, who was the son of Henry of
Pennsylvania, who, in 1754, obtained the lands now in the eastern part of
Iredell County, North Carolina, as stated in my former letter. My father,
Joseph Chambers, was born March 22, 1820, married Ellen Cashion, August 20,
1840, and died May 15, 1842, leaving me, his only child.
Maj. Pickney Brown Chambers (the last
owner of "Farmville," the old Henry Chambers place) was the son of Joseph,
who was the son of Henry, who was the son and namesake of the Pennsylvania
Henry. He was born January 28, 1821, married Harriet Justena of Burke
County, North Carolina, August 11, 1853, and lived in Statesville, Iredell
County, North Carolina, after the Civil War, until the death of his wife,
and then went to his son, J. Lenoir Chambers in Charlotte, North Carolina,
where he died Saturday, Feb. 18, 1905.
(I) A copy of a letter dated September
23, 1899, from me to Dr. Edward Chambers Laird, then resident physician at
Hot Springs, Madison County, N. Carolina; and
(2) A copy of a letter dated February
22, 1909, from me to Mrs. Rebecca Barnhill Hall of Corinth, Mississippi.
These letters contain the information I
then had about the Chambers family. From them you may glean something of
service to you. When you have made such memorandum from them as you wish,
please return them to me. I am getting old and somewhat lazy and
disinclined to write long letters, and will want these copies to use in a
similar way with others, who, like you, may make inquiries about the family.
I am referring your inquiry as to your
grandfather, Avery Chambers, to Judge A. C.Avery of Morganton, North
Carolina. Judge Avery is now seventy-seven years of age and still busy in
the practice of law, but in not very robust health. He could hardly give
much time to investigation; but he is thoroughly proficient upon the history
of the Avery family and, being a native and lifetime resident of Burke
County, probably already knows as much about the old families of that county
as anyone could without investigation. He is also well acquainted in
Rutherford and other adjoining counties. The fact, however, that he sent me
your first letter for reply indicates that he could not answer your
It may be, as you suggest, that the
Chambers family kept along the hill country near the Blue Ridge, because it
resembled somewhat the country of their ancestors in Scotland.
My recent investigations in the
preparation of a sketch of the Chambers family of Iredell County, North
Carolina, for the Historical Society of that county, leads me to believe
that my ancestor, Henry Chambers, like many others of the early settlers of
Pennsylvania, left that colony because of the Indian troubles on the border
about 1750 to 1760. The peace-loving, non-combatant Quaker government of
Pennsylvania refused to protect the border settlers or to help or encourage
them to protect themselves from the hostile Indians, and a great many
settlers left that colony on that account.
In my correspondence years ago, as
indicated in the copies of the letters enclosed, I was surprised, after
coming to Tennessee, to find so many people by the name of Chambers in
Tennessee and the Southwest; but I was unable to trace many of them, with
any certainty, to my own branch of the family. Those of that name in east
Tennessee were generally unable to give me much information about their
ancestors. One family, however, traced back to a sailor who stopped off at
Charleston, South Carolina. I take it, however, that of the Virginia, North
Carolina and Southwestern members of the family could trace back to
Pennsylvania. As you probably know, quite a number of people by that name
live in Kentucky, some of whom, at least, trace back to Pennsylvania. One
John Chambers of Kentucky was a great friend of William Henry Harrison and
was, as I recollect, made Governor of the Northwestern territory.
I have the same information about the
four Pennsylvania brothers that you have, -- one of whom is the founder of
I would be glad to hear from you further
in your investigations.
HENRY A. CHAMBERS
Our traditions are not clear prior to
1754. Henry had a family of nine children: Ann (Robinson) 1736; Robert,
1742, died in Georgia in 1814; Jane (Steele, afterwards Hart) 1744, died in
Missouri in 1824; Catharine (Reid) 1746, died in Georgia in 1837; Elizabeth
(Steele) 1748 died in 1810; Henry, 1750, died on "Farmville" place in 1817;
Arthur, 1753, died in Iredell Co., N.C.., in 1819; James, 1755, died in
1804; Joseph, 1757, died at Salisbury, N.C., in 1784.
Of the next generation, I have the
Henry, 1776-1801; Jane, Elinor, David,
Joseph, Nancy, Catherine, Maxwell, Margaret and Ransom. Major Pinkney B.,
the son of Joseph, married Justena Avery of Burke Co., N.C.; J. Lenoir
Chambers of Charlotte N.C., was their son.
Jane (Steele), 1777-1817; Samuel, who
moved to Mississippi; Henry, father of Joseph, and grandfather of Henry A.,
the author of these notes; Sarah (Brem); Joseph; David; Maxwell, died in
Jasper Co., IN in 1847; James and Robert.
I am glad to receive from you notes of
families unknown to me. Should you come to Chattanooga, go to Temple Court
Bldg. and you will easily find the law firm of Richmond, Chambers & Bowlin.
Before you publish your history, I would be glad to know you personally,
Very truly yours,
HENRY A. CHAMBERS.
Henry A. Chambers, only child of Joseph and Ellen
Cashion Chambers. Born May 17, 1841, in eastern part of Iredell County,
North Carolina. Private in Company "C" of 4th Regiment of North Carolina
State. Captain of Company "C" of the 49th Regiment of North Carolina Troops
in the Confederate Army from May 3, 1861 to Dec. 2, 1862. Troops in
Confederate Army from December 3, 1862, to the end of the Confederate War.
Taught boys' school and at same time read law at
Morgantown, N.C. from mid-summer 1865 to end of 1866.
January 30, 1867, near London, Tennessee, married Miss
Laura Lenoir, who died in 1891. Had two children by this marriage, one of
whom, Henry Lenoir, born March 6, 1871, died April 5, 1872; the other Joseph
Pinckney, never married, became a fine business man; was born October 6,
1875, and died November 16, 1920.
On May 1, 1867, Henry A. Chambers located at
Madisonville, Monroe County, Tennesee, to practice law; as a Democrat was
elected to represent that county in the Tennessee Legislature of 1871; and
after he removed to London County in 1874, was elected as a Democrat to the
State Senate of Tennessee of 1877.
Located at Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1888 to practice
law, and has been a resident of that city ever since. Was elected as an
Alderman of that city several terms, and after change of form of City
Government was first chairman of the City Civil Service Commission.
Was made a Mason of Morgantown, N.C. in 1865, and was
Worshipful Master of the lodge at Madisonville, Tennessee, several terms,
and also of the lodge at London after removal there, for several terms; and
in 1894 was Grand Master of the Masonic Grand Lodge of the State of
Tennessee; and since 1904 to the present time has been the Chairman and has
prepared the reports of the Committee on Foreign Correspondence of that
On December 31, 1895, he married Widow Lizzie Walker
Tumor of Knoxville, Tennessee, who was a full cousin and principal
bridesmaid of his first wife. This last wife died at Chattanooga,
Tennessee, September 13, 1919. No children resulted from this last
J. E. CHAMBERS & COMPANY, SCHOOL ROOM EQUIPMENT
Waco, Texas, Dec. 26, 1924
Mr. W. D. Chambers,
My dear Mr. Chambers:
I recall your visit to Waco some years
ago when you were on your way to Bryan to teach. I never heard from you
after that and had wondered what became of you.
I now have news of you, through Mr.
Davis, who tells me you are back in Indiana. I am glad to hear from you
again and trust you are enjoying good health and that the world has been
kind to you and yours.
As to my ancestors, I do not know a
great deal, for which I am very sorry. My people came of Scotch-Irish stock
and settled in North Carolina before the country freed itself from Great
Britain. I had some people in Washington's army, and sometime after the war
closed my great-great-grandfather moved from North Carolina to northern
Georgia and settled on what is known as Big Sandy Creek. That part of the
state was at that time a wilderness with no habitation except Indians.
My great-grandfather was W. A. (Will)
chambers, and a very common name among my people. Allen is another name
frequently found in my family. My grandfather left Georgia about the middle
of last century and settled in Texas. He had a number of brothers who left
Georgia about the same time. Some of them went west and settled in Ohio and
other western states, and some to Kansas and Missouri. Soon the war broke
between the states and there was a period of four or five years in which
there was no communication between the North and the South. After its close
we never heard of my people again so far as I know, outside of my immediate
I have told you very little and wish
sincerely that I could tell you more. I am deeply interested, myself, but
have so very little to start out with that I have never done much in that
direction. Mr. Davis tells me that you are preparing to write the history
of the Chambers family in America. I wish you may have much success and
that I may be honored with a copy when it is finished.
With all good wishes, I am
As a chapter will be devoted later to circumstantial
evidence of relationship of all these Scotch Revolutionary heroes, only a
few brief words will be thrown in here.
For years, Henry A. Chambers and others of the South
have thought that in some way they were related to the four brothers who
came over in 1726. Theodore Frelinghuysen Chambers in his notes always
speaks of his ancestors as "the four brothers." The four were James,
Robert, Joseph, and Benjamin. Henry was born in 1708; also Benjamin was
born in 1708. If Henry and Benjamin were brothers, they were twin
brothers. If such had been the fact, this relationship would have been
easily established. Then Henry was not a brother of "the four brothers."
After 1726, the next Chambers immigration appears to
have been in 1743. David, James and others came at that time. Evidently,
Henry came with the "four brothers" in 1726, or with Peter, even prior to
this time. If he had come in 1743, his wife and two of his children would
have been foreign born. The "Farmville records" would not have overlooked
Henry, who resided in Pennsylvania (and perhaps,
Maryland), until his family was about formed, felt the need of better home
protection, as stated by Henry A., and, joining the Daniel Boone movement
with his neighbors and friends, he became a pioneer of "New Scotland," as
this western colony was called, on account of its high altitude and
democratic spirit, and during the rest of his life, Iredell Co., North
Carolina, was his home. How natural it was that the other relatives should
follow, as it is a colonial law that kinfolks group together, travel
together, and bury together.
(The man of mystery)
Learning from my uncles that my ancestor, David, lived
at or near Culpeper, VA, for a number of years after his marriage, I
attempted by correspondence to find such facts as were of record in that
county in the hope that I might learn something of his life before he
started South and West.
I wrote to the superintendent of schools at Culpeper,
asking a favor of him. He made the investigations asked for, but the
information obtained was quite different from what I thought I had a right
to expect. I append his letter and his findings from the court records of
Culpeper, VA, April 28, 1906
W. D. Chambers, Muncie, IN
I send you notes of entries in the
Clerk's office of Culpeper County to and from Thomas Chambers. The lease is
so long that I do not have time to copy it, but I hope, however, I am
sending you the data you want. I am sending you notes of all the records
relating to Thomas chambers in this county. But Culpeper did not become a
county until 1749, consequently all prior records would be found in Orange
County. I find no record of David Chambers.
T. W. HENDRICKS, Supt. of Schools
Deed Book A., Page 370. 1744. A lease for life to
Thomas Chambers and Elizabeth, his wife, from the executors of the estate of
Alexander Spotswood, deceased, to 150 acres of land, lying, etc.
Deed Book A., page 374, 1747. Thomas Chambers assigned
all his right and title in the above tract of 150 acres of land to one
Richard Nalle, etc., etc. After this entry, the Chambers name does not
again appear until 1791.
Succeeding investigations only deepened the mystery.
The Culpeper settlement seemed to be a non-slaveholding Scotch center, but I
could find nothing concerning its origin. This mystery continued till the
summer of 1923, when I unexpectedly ran across this statement:
Early in the 18th century, under the
direction of Peter Chambers, a large Scotch colony was formed on the upper
Rappahannock. For a number of years he would acquaint himself with the
arrival of immigrant ships, and if there were any Scotch on board, he would
persuade them to unite with the Rappahannock settlement. Even as late as
1723 he was interested in building up this Virginia settlement.
After reading this statement, I studied the geography
of the Rappannock settlement and found that Culpeper County (formerly Orange
County) was the site of this early colony; hence, Thomas Chambers is a
probable son of Peter, The Rappahannock pioneer. There are those who claim
descent from the boys of 1689; that is, descent from the son who made New
York his home. It may be that Peter is the Virginia soldier of that date,
but I hardly think so. My impression is that Peter fought under the Prince
of Orange in England or Ireland, and that he came across in the first or
second decade of the new century, not later than the passage of the Schism
Act in 1714, when as a good and faithful "Orangeman" he sought religious
liberty in America. Coming not alone, but with a colony of Orangemen, he
was able to secure lands from the Good Governor Spotswood on favorable
conditions, entirely separate from the lands of other colonies. How natural
it would be that when the time came to organize a county, they should call
it Orange, in honor of the Prince of Orange. How natural that, as
slaveholding interests began to press upon them, and as Indian troubles
threatened their peace and happiness, that the Scotch settlers should move
Thomas Chambers, selling his land in 1747, is not heard
of again in the settlement. Evidently he led the way to a new home in the
West. The colonel law of kinship may have urged him a little ahead of the
colony that he might find a suitable burial place for his father. At least
from family traditions it is known that David did not leave the Rappahhock
settlement until seven years later. Any reader of Virginia history ought to
know that the name "Culpeper," given to the new county of 1749, would be
offensive to an Orangeman. Most of the ardent enthusiasts sought new lands
in North Carolina, and when the time came to name their county, they gave it
the name of the former Protestant Prince, "Orange." Here, for more than
half a century, the inhabitants enjoyed that political and religious liberty
for which their ancestors had fought. Peter and Thomas Chambers were both
laid to rest. The new generation met the urge of the Northwest. From the
headwaters of the Ohio down to the Carolinas every man heard the call to new
territory. Some, of course, could not go, but there were but few families
that did not at least lose a relative in it. Note the following facts,
clipped from Indiana history:
In 1808, Joel Chambers erected his cabin
at the head of Lick Creek, near Half Moon Springs, in Indiana. (Perhaps some
settled as early as 1800, but no names until 1808). In 1811 the little
settlement was considerably increased by a party of North Carolinians who
were on their way to Vigo County on the Wabash, but meeting Zacharias
Lindley (perhaps the first settler), and having known him in their native
state, they were prevailed upon by him to stay and settle in this county.
Among the party of fifteen families was
Samuel Chambers, who opened the first store in the county and put into it
$600.00 worth of stock. The village about this store became known as
Chambersburg. It was laid out as a town in 1822. The plat consisted of 272
lots. The first white child born in the county was William, the son of
Samuel chambers (1812). These people were most all Quakers, being
descendants of Quakers back in Orange County, North Carolina.
William left no children. Henry Chambers, of Paoli,
belongs to this branch, but has lost the whereabouts of his ancestors and
In 1814, Samuel Chambers was chosen
Justice of the Peace in Washington County, IN. Two years later, Orange
County was formed and he was made Justice of the Peace in this county.
Toward the end of 1816, he was made Associate Judge of Orange County.
In 1818, Samuel Chambers was first sent
to the Legislature of his state. From that time until 1837 he was generally
to be found either in the Legislature or the Senate.
How the descendants of so prominent an ancestor should
so completely lose themselves is a puzzle to me. There is no tradition.
All the facts given above have come from the record. By the way, how does
this argument hold together: Peter, the "Orangeman" of the Rappahannock;
Thomas, the lessee of Orange County, Virginia; Joel, the grandson, Orange
County, North Carolina; Samuel, the legislator, Orange County, Indiana; then
lost off the map? Can someone close up the last century? I have not
succeeded in tracing the progeny, and have only vague notions of their
As this book is going to press, I am led to believe
that the relatives fell back to the Ohio, and are now immersed in the
population of Louisville, Kentucky.
CHAPTER VII: MORE RECENT IMMIGRANTS
“Lux mihi laurus”
When traveling as a salesman for the International
Encyclopedia in 1900, I became acquainted with Hon. David W. Chambers of
Newcastle, Indiana. He took me to his home, introduced me to members of his
family, and gave the following account of his people:
FROM SCOTLAND TO CINCINNATI
Alexander B. Chambers, alone of his father's family,
came to America. He left in Scotland three brothers: William, David, and
James. William was a soldier in the British army. He was 6 feet 4 inches
tall, and was a man of great strength. He was with the Duke of Wellington
in his Spanish war. He was awarded a medal, which is now in the possession
of D. W. Chambers of Newcastle, his nephew. It was willed to him. On one
side of this medal is a picture of Queen Victoria, with the language
"Victoria Regina." On the other side are the dates "1795-1814," and "To the
British Army," and on parallels are these words: "Neville, Vittoria,
Salamanca," the names of three great battles in which William Chambers
Alexander B. Chambers came to Cincinnati from Scotland
in 1828. He was a machinist by trade, and worked in the manufacture of
steamboats at Cincinnati. He also worked at New Orleans in the manufacture
of sugar mills. There is a tradition that at one time he saved the life of
a drowning man on the lower Mississippi as he was sinking a third time.
Before coming to America, he had traveled to Portugal and other adjacent
lands. He learned the Portuguese language. D. W. Chambers, his son, has a
copy of an old Portuguese grammar, which the father had studied.
The following facts pertain to the sons of
1. David, the oldest son, died at Cincinnati in 1832.
2. Robert M. the second son, is a prosperous farmer
near Newcastle. His residence is in the city of Newcastle. Is getting
quite old. (1901)
3. Alexander, the third son, lived in Newcastle for a
number of years, but later moved to Florida, where he died in 1884.
4. David William, the youngest son, was named for his
Uncle David. There are two Davids in this family.
DAVID W. CHAMBERS
David W. Chambers of Newcastle, Ind., was born in Union
County, Ind., in 1836, and died Dec. 27, 1912. He came to Newcastle when
quite a youth. He has three children: Walter S., editor of the Newcastle
Times; Lillian, a graduate of Indiana University, and high school teacher;
and Mrs. Willard Mogel, Newcastle, Ind. Walter S. was a trustee of State
Institutions under Governors Marshall, Ralston, and Goodrich; has been twice
elected to the Indiana State Senate, and twice as chairman of the Democratic
State Central Committee.
David was a soldier and officer in the Civil War. He
was a Republican till 1872, when he was a delegate to the Cincinnati
convention that nominated Horace Greely. After that election he was a
Democrat. For years he was on the Democratic State Central Committee. In
1876 he was on the Democratic State Central Committee. In 1876 he was the
Domocratic candidate for Congress in his district, which had a normal
Republican majority of more than a thousand. He was beaten by a majority of
276 votes. On questions of reconstruction he was in accord with the
Republicans, but he was opposed to a high protective tariff, and favored a
graduated income tax. The family are all presbyterians. David W. had lived
in the same house for sixty-four years. For a number of years David was
President of the Board of School Trustees of his home town, and was
otherwise honored by his fellow citizens.
Robert M. Chambers.
Belle (Chambers) Bailey, 1105 N.E. 2d Ave, Miami,
Mrs. F. C. Hosea, 1115 Church St., Newcastle, IN
Mr. Frank Chambers
Grandchildren of Robert;
L. A. Estes, 4802 Wash. Blvd., Indianapolis, Ind.
IMMIGRANTS OF 1812
William Annan Chambers, son of Hugh and Hannah
Chambers, was born and reared near New Castle in Lawrence County, PA. After
attending a local township high school he entered Grove City College,
graduating in 1889. Following his graduation he was elected Instructor in
his Alma Mater, and after teaching two years, entered Pittsburgh Theological
Seminary, from which he was graduated in 1893. Rev. Chambers has held
pastorates in Ellwood City, PA., Struthers and Akron, Ohio, and has been
pastor of the Beechview United Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh, PA, since
October, 1916. He is the author of the "History of the Poland Avenue
Church." Struthers, Ohio, and publisher of the "Beechview Evangel." Dr.
Chambers was married to Margaret Elizabeth Steel in 1898, and has one
daughter Margaret, now living in Florida, and one son, William Warwick, a
student in Washington and Jefferson College.
James A. Chambers, attorney at law at Newcastle, PA.,
and H. B. Chambers of Mahoningtown, PA, have given valuable papers which I
greatly appreciate. Please note the following:
Newcastle, PA, Oct. 17, 1924
W. D. Chambers, Dupont, Ind.
My Dear Sir:
My great-grandfather, Alexander
Chambers, came to America from County Down, Ireland, sometime prior to
1812. There came with him at this time three brothers and three or four
cousins. Two of his brothers settled out near the town of Washington, in
Washington county, Pennsylvania; the other brother settled near Poland,
Ohio; my great-grandfather settled in Shenango Township, Lawrence County,
Pennsylvania, near the town of New Castle; the cousins all settled in North
Beaver Township, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, and quite a number of the
descendants still live in that vicinity. I know nothing of my
great-grandfather's brothers. My great=grandfather had six children: two
sons and four daughters; one daughter married a man named Hanna; another a
man named McClearen; and the other two married brothers named McKee. The
sons were named William and James. James left no family. William, my
grandfather, had three sons: Joseph B., my father; Thomas W., and
Alexander; they are now all deceased; Sarah married to Patrick boyle: Jane,
married to John Waddington; Margery, married to Herbert Douthitt; Margaret,
Mary and Nancy, unmarried. My uncle, Alexander, had six children: two boys
and four girls: Thomas W., William, Ella, Jennie, Ida, Jessie. The
following are still living: William, Ella Widle, and Ida. Thomas W. had
three children: Charles L., Frank, and Etta Lusk. My father had five
children: Agnes, Anna, Nancy, Maude, and myself. All are dead except for my
sister, Nancie Edie, and myself.
If I can be of any further service to
you in this matter, I would be glad to have you call upon me. Yours truly,
JAMES A. CHAMBERS
HISTORY OF CAPTAIN CHAMBERS
Mahoningtown, PA., Dec. 1, 1924
My Dear Sir:
In the year 1812 there came to America
from Belfast, County Down, Ireland, Wm. Chambers and his wife Mary Haelton
Chambers, and five Children. They sailed from Belfast on the ship
"Protection," commanded by Captain Barnes.
Three weeks and three days were consumed
in making the voyage to New York. Three weeks were spent in the metropolis.
They then took a sloop to Philadelphia, PA., remaining a short time in the
Quaker City before commencing the tedious journey to Pittsburgh, PA. The
trip was made in the old "Conestoga" wagons, paying their fare as on stage
routes. From Pittsburgh they came to Lawrence County, PA., stopping at the
home of John Dinsmore on Hickory Creek, -- a relative of Mr. Chambers who
started in the virgin territory about 1800. When the Chamberses arrived he
had quite a piece of land cleared, and was operating a cotton and loom shop.
Wm. Chambers settled on a farm of 200 acres on the south side of Hickory
Creek in North Beaver township, not far from the present site of Mt.
Jackson, erecting the first brick building in the township--the brick for
the structure being made and burned on his Hickory Creek Farm. The land was
mostly forest and was purchased from Maj. Chamberlain of Revolutionary war
frame. The neighbors there in those days were Samuel Asit and William
Woods, grandfather of the late Gen. Wm. McClellan, well known captain of
Battery B., and afterward Adj., Gen. of State under Gov. Pattison. Soon
after this, Wm. Chambers and several neighbors laid out the village of Mt.
Jackson, Naming it after Gen. Andrew Jackson, who later became President of
the U.S. He helped to build the first schoolhouse there, which was built of
logs and had greased paper for windows. Although he offered his services
for the war of 1812, as he had not yet become a U.S. citizen he was not
accepted, but afterward he commanded a company of State Militia and was
always known thereafter as Captain Chambers. Soon after the foundation of
Mt. Jackson was laid, a little group of buildings clustered around the
spot. It supported two dry goods stores, two grocery stores, and a number
of mechanics who made their wares by hand. Before long there were hatters,
tailors, shoe makers, chair makers, wheel wrights, blacksmiths, carpenters,
and stone masons.
North Beaver township today is
remarkable for the number of well-to-do people possessing thrift and
intelligence. Its citizens have a grater amount of money at interest than
any other township in the county.
Mr. and Mrs. William Chambers were
parents of nine children: Samuel, Alexander, James, Robert and Isabel, all
born in Ireland; and John, Elizabeth, Mary, and William Jr. first saw the
light of day in America, near Mt. Jackson. all these have passed to the
Great Beyond, leaving many descendants in Lawrence County.
Very truly yours,
H. B. CHAMBERS.
The following letter gave me my first knowledge of this
branch of the Chambers family:
St. Louis, Sept. 12, 1917
W. D. Chambers, Muncie, Ind.
Your esteemed favor of the 9th instant,
in reference to what family of Chambers I belong to, received. I have to
advise you that all I know of my antecedents is given in the enclosed letter
of Rev. W. A. Campbell. His first wife was a cousin of my father. He is a
minister of the United Presbyterian church located in Wilmington,
Pennsylvania, where the college of this church is located.
My father died when I was 3 years old,
and my mother when I was 13. My father died in Newburg, Pennsylvania, which
was at that time Beaver Co. but is now Lawrence Co. This small town is
located three miles from Enon Station, Pennsylvania. Before my father died
he had a country store in Enon. At my father's death, my grandfather,
William Taylor, who is the father of my mother, located on a farm two miles
from Enon, raised me until I was 13, at which time I started to make my own
After having learned harness making in
New Castle, PA, I worked a while on journey work, until I had possession of
a little money. I started the harness business in Beaverdam, Wis. I being
rather a wild boy, my money and business was soon all gone. During this
time I married my wife, and my first child was born when I was about 20. I
then drifted to Chicago, and on arriving there my money was all gone. I
went to a book publishing office to get a position to canvass books.
Suffice to say, I followed this business, traveling to different large
cities for some six years. During this time I worked most of the large
cities including New Orleans, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, New York, and
St. Louis. The publishers in New York thought I was a success in the
business so they gave me the general agency in St. Louis. This was over 60
years ago. Suffice to say that I made a success and accumulated over
I am now a man about 81, and have
retired from active business. My two sons, Arthur T., and Leslie T.,
conduct the above company of which they are secretary and treasurer, and I
am the president. We are located in our new building which we just
finished, at the above address, which the company owns and is paid for.
I have always understood that my
grandfather on the Chambers side, as well as my grandfather on the
Taylor side, came from County Antrim, Ireland, which is near Belfast. The
only relations of the Chambers family that are now living are located in
West Alexander, PA. One of them is a millionaire; others of them are
well-to-do farmers. I visited them once, about four years ago.
I have some knowledge of Robert and
William chambers, who belonged to the original stock in Edinburgh,
Scotland. One of the brothers was a publisher and he published the Chambers
encyclopedia. He owned a business there, which is very large; had one
child, a daughter. This is all I know about them. There is quite a large
estate there, that is in Edinburgh, which all these heirs will be entitled
to some portion of, but as far as I am concerned, I am too old to enter into
All the generations of Chamberses are
connected with the Lord Ross of Scotland. As stated in Campbell's letter,
Bessie Ross married a Chambers, and she died in mid ocean on the voyage to
America, and was buried at sea. I belong, myself, to the Ross Clan in
America, which consists of over 100 most prominent men in Canada and the
United States with the exception of myself.
My father had only one brother, John
Chambers, who moved to Savannah, Ashland County, about the time my father
was 25 years old. This John Chambers became a very prosperous farmer, and
raised quite a large family of boys and girls, almost all of whom are dead,
excepting three of his grandchildren who reside in Los Angeles, California,
whom I visited. This family consists of two sons and one daughter; they are
now about from 40 to 60 years old. there is one daughter of John Chambers
who married Samuel Bebout (deceased). She is a practicing physician in
Norwalk. Her mother died only about two years ago. I have frequently
visited this family. I visited this daughter, the doctor, about two years
You know the name Chambers is very
common. There are several families living here in St. Louis, only one of
whom I think probably could be os some relation to me. There is a
resemblance, although him being a Roman Catholic. His name was B. M.
Chambers. I had not much association with him, although thee was a similar
resemblance. He came from some of the southern states, I think Virginia,
but I am not quite sure as to this. He is now deceased. He was at one time
the most generous and prominent Roman Catholic in the city, and was located
on a fine farm 8 to 10 miles from St. Louis, very near where I have several
farms. He was one time president of the Roman Catholic Bank in St. Louis.
I think it is possible that your family may be some relation to this B. M.
Chambers. He was undoubtedly of an Irish descent, from the south of
My family of Chambers, and probably
yours, originally came from the northern part of Ireland. In conclusion
now, my friend, you will pardon me for having to ask you if you are a
Christian. If so, may God prosper you abundantly, for this is the only life
to live if we would reach that haven of eternal rest. I give most of my
time now trying to convince the unsaved of the love that Christ has for
JAMES H. CHAMBERS
Dufur, Oregon, Sept. 28, 1924
My Dear Mr. Chambers:
I am enclosing check for eight dollars
to cover cost of plate (as per your letter of Sept. 18) and am sending photo
of my father which I would like used. Needless to say, I value this picture
very much and want it back as soon as convenient.
MRS. ETHEL CHAMBERS INGELS
The following letter I prize very much, as it is only
one from the extreme South. Please note:
New Orleans, U.S.A., August 22, 1924
Prof. Wm. D. Chambers, Dupont, Indiana
I have your interesting announcement of
the proposed Chambers History. I am enclosing my subscription to same. I
anticipate a great deal of pleasure from its perusal and trust that its
issuance will not be overly delayed. I am enclosing a list of the
Chamberses in our telephone directory, all men of substance whom you can
doubtless interest in the forthcoming work. (I wrote each person named but
did receive an answer.)
I have been a high school and college
professor for twenty-five years, as you will see by referring to "Who's Who
in America." Increasing deafness caused me to go into business. My
authorship is only a side line. I have eight or nine books to my credit and
quite a number of short stories, essays, special articles, etc.
My branch of the family traces back to
New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland, through Chicago, and St. Johns New
Brunswick. I have never been able to learn of other members in County
Wexford, except a Dr. Chambers some years ago. I assume the Wexford
Chamberses are of Scotch origin, remaining in Ireland while a majority of
the Scotch immigrants to Ireland moved on to america after a while and
became our Scotch-Irish element in the population of the U.S. It will be
very gratifying to me if your proposed work touches upon this line of
Wishing you success, I am, Cordially,
HENRY E. CHAMBERS
Another college man dates back to 1753. Note his
Lansdowne, Pa., Oct. 16, 1924
Mr. W. D. Chambers, Dupont, Indiana.
Your plans for a Chambers History
interest me very much.
I am a son of John Wilson Chambers, born
1847; a grandson of Lewis Chambers, born 1820; a great-grandson of John
Chambers, born 1784; and a great-grandson of John Chambers, born 1784; and a
great-great-grandson of Robert, born in Ireland in 1753.
The last mentioned came over in time to
serve seven years in the American Revolution. After the Revolution he
settled along the Octoraro Creek, Lancaster County, Penna., where, in a
little log cabin, he raised a family of eight children. I could name them
and many of their descendants if you wished me to do so.
Yours sincerely, GEO. GAILEY CHAMBERS
At my request, G. G. wrote me a second letter, which
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Oct. 27, 1924
My Dear Friend:
The names of the eight children raised
by Robert Chambers (1753) were Alexander, John, Samuel, James, Isabella,
Olive, Catherine, and Martha.
James migrated to Ohio before 1830.
Possibly that may help some of the western Chamberses to find "the trail."
GEO. GAILEY CHAMBERS
About 1710 there was born in Ulster, Ireland, John
Chambers, who came to New York when quite a young man, and settled in Ulster
County, New York. When twenty-seven years of age he was elected to the New
York Assembly. In 1754 he became a member of that famous Albany Convention,
the forerunner of the Continental Congress. Later he became Chief Justice
of New York. He died in 1765. There may be a close relation between this
John and the New Jersey pioneers, but evidence is wanting.
John Chambers, an immigrant from the north of Ireland
prior to the Revolution, received a grant of land in Jefferson County,
Georgia, and settled there. He fought in the Revolution.
William F. Chambers of Cincinnati, Ohio, died Dec. 16,
1918. Eva R. Chambers, his widow, still survives him. He left two children:
Fyffe Chambers, born Nov. 14, 1874, and Arthur B. Chambers, born June 2,
1879; both sons are lawyers. Fyffe Chambers lives in Cincinnati; and Arthur
B. in Huntington Beach, California. I do not have their ancestry.
Just before going to press, I received the following
"David Chambers, Aug. 27, 177-Sept. 21, 1843, married
Prudence Steward, April 16, 1801, who was born July 19, 1783, died July 12,
1835. To this union was born: Margaret, Nov. 11, 1802 - Dec. 13, 1879;
Benjamin S., Feb. 13, 1805 -- no record; Rebecca, Nov. 8, 1807 - May 13,
1869; Mary, Feb. 11, 1910-April 7, 1864; William Templeton, Mar. 20,
1813-April 9, 1831; John, Mar. 24, 1814-Aug. 7, 1855; James Monroe, Oct. 11,
1817-Mar. 1, 1859; George Washington, Mar. 20, 1820-Aug. 11, 1874; Silas,
May 16, 1824-Aug. 29, 1827.
George Washington Chambers married Eliza Gibbs in 1848.
Their children were: William Fyffe, Nov. 1, 1850-Dec. 26, 1918; married Eva
Rebecca Barton, Oct. 21, 1872; children: Eva, Nov. 1, 1873 - Nov. 10, 1874;
Fyffe, Nov. 14, 1874 -- lawyer at Cincinnati, married Sallie Littlepage,
Aug. 15, 1904; Arthur Barton, June 2, 1879 -- lawyer. Benjamin, Sept. 8,
1852; not married; living.
Benjamin S. (1805) lived to be 80 or 90 years old, and
had a family of 12 children. He lived somewhere in Kansas. Some of his
children became prominent and wealthy."
This entry does not go back far enough to make certain
I have this impression as to relationship: It will be
remembered that Benjamin, the surveyor, the president of the first, second
and third Indiana Territorial Councils, disappeared from the old home near
Rising Sun, Indiana. Where did the family go? Perhaps only a few miles up
the river to the growing city of Cincinnati. This would make David (1777)
the son of the statesman Benjamin, which is a reasonable solution of this
problem. If I were to re-write this book I would change the setting of this
entry accordingly, and would doubtless make further connections to the elder
John D. Chambers, M.D. of Ft. Wayne, Ind., was born in
Genesee Co., New York in 1844. He was of Irish stock, the son of James Boyd
Chambers, whose parents left Monaghan, Ireland, in 1798. Though Irish, the
family are presbyterians, indicating Scotch kinship back home.
F. C. Chambers of Steubenville, Ohio, writes that his
great-grandfather came from Ireland to New York in 1804, about the time of
the Burr-Hamilton duel. Edward G. Chambers of Shreve, Ohio, belongs to this
branch. Josiah Chambers was born near Steubenville, Ohio, in 1807. His
family moved back to W. VA, but he remained in the West. He became a
flat-boatman at Cincinnati, but getting hurt he quit the job and moved to
Aurora, farther down the Ohio in 1840. Here he entered the mercantile
business. In 1851, John Chambers became a member of the firm, but he died
in 1856. Josiah continued the business till his death in 1876.
On account of lack of time, I did not attempt to
collect further facts from F.L.C.
Eugene, Oregon, Nov. 15, 1924
F. L. Chambers, born Nov. 8, 1865,
My father was James Blair Chambers, born
1833, Quincy, Ohio; his father was Manlove Chambers, born 1791, Cumberland,
Allegany Co., MD., (Married Sarah Carlisle in Delaware; Carlisle family
still lives in southern Delaware); his father, John Chambers, was born in
Ireland about 1750; met Ann Manlove on boat from Scotland; lived in Chester
Co., Md; married later; moved to Quincy, Ohio, 1832 or 1833.
I have more if this comes in your line.
John Chambers came to America from Ireland near the
beginning of the Revolutionary War. On the same vessel there sailed Miss
Ann Manlove and her parents. Later, John and Anna became husband and wife.
To them were born six children:
1. John -- went west, was never heard from again by
2. Violet -- married Stephen Lee; later, a man named
3. Manlove -- born 1791, at Cumberland, Alleghany Co.,
Md., and died, 1876, at Quincy, Ohio. He taught school back in Maryland,
fought in the War of 1812, and moved, by covered wagon, to Quincy, Ohio, in
1832-33. Married Sarah Carlisle, Dec. 19, 1816. Their children were William
John Carlisle, Ann Matilda, James, John Manlove, Margaret Jane, Sarah
Elizabeth, Absalom, James Blair, and Maria Mary Ann.
4. Margaret -- married John Holmes; children: Manlove,
John, Violet, and Margaret.
5. No record.
6. Absalom -- born 1797, died 1868. Also lived at
Quincy, Ohio. His wife was named Elizabeth, a Virginia girl.
Jas Blair Chambers (1833-1902); moved to Eugene,
Oregon; married Martha Josephine Nies, Jan 29, 1865; children Frank L., now
a banker at Eugene, Oregon (making this report); Charles Nies, who died this
year 1925; Fred E. Frank L. writes that he was delayed making his report by
taking a trip via Panama Canal and New York City. Was called home by death
of his brother Charles. Manlove is the test name in this family."
CHAPTER VIII: THE UNION JACK -- THE
Charles Edward Stuart Chambers
“Non praeda, sed victoria”
On August 23, 1900, a letter was received from Charles
Edward Stuart Chambers, Edinburgh, Scotland, who has been for several years
the head of the Chambers Journal house, which was founded in 1820 by his
grandfather and grand-uncle, Robert and William Chambers. This letter is
given below in full:
W. D. Chambers, Muncie, Ind.
In reply to your letter of recent date,
I have pleasure in giving any information I possess. Ephraim Chambers was
no connection of my own family. (See Dictionary of National Biography by
Leslie Stephens for available information.)
David Chambers flourished in Ross-shire,
Scotland, during the 16th century, and died in 1592. (See Biographical
Directory of Eminent Scotsmen by Robert Chambers). There is no other
printed chronology of my own family than the above except the Memoirs of
William and Robert Chambers, published by my own firm. This book can be
obtained from my agents, J.B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia. This work is
widely read, and I am surprised that you do not have it. (Compare with
letter of James H.)
I am sorry I cannot help you as to
Reynolds Chambers, or others of the name who emigrated to America. About
these I have no information. The first record of my own family is contained
in our family Bible, now in my possession. This book contains the autograph
of James Chambers, 1664, from whom I am 8th in descent; also many later
autographs. James Chambers claimed descent from Gillaume de la Chambre, who
signed the Regimen Roll or Bond of Allegiance to Edward I at Berwick in
1296, as Baillee of Peebles. My family belonged to Peebles until William
and Robert came to Edinburgh and founded the firm of W. & R. Chambers
(1820), publishers, of which I am now the head. They founded the Chambers
Journal in 1832. I am about to publish an article myself with reference to
ancestors of my family, in the Christmas part of Chambers's Journal. This
may also be obtained from my American agents, when published.
Sir William Chambers, the famous
architect, was no relation of my branch (that is, the Peebles branch). (See
Chamber's Encyclopedia, published by my own firm, or the Dictionary of
National Biography by Stephens, for information concerning him.) The
beautiful portrait of Lady Chambers, by the celebrated artist, Sir Joshua
Reynolds, is a very well known, and of this I possess a fine mezzo-tint
engraving, and the same of Miss Chambers her daughter, who was also a
beauty. These prints are still obtainable,--by paying for them! (See Leslie
Gaylor's Life of Sir Joshua Reynolds for further information.)
I may mention that the name never was
Chalmers, but always
Chambers, a totally different name. My
friend, Gen. James Grant Wilson, of New York, can give much interesting
information regarding my grandfather, author of "Traditions of Edinburgh."
His own father was at school with Robert at Peebles early in the century.
"Stories of Old Families," by William Chambers, my grand-uncle, might also
Charles E. S. Chambers, the author of the interesting
letter quoted above, was born in 1860 and became the head of the Chambers
Journal House in 1888. He is well known as an editor and author, and it has
given me more than twenty years of opportunity to hitch on to his ancestry,
but there is still work to do before this claim can be made.
For a few years after receiving this letter I thought I
had found in it reasons for the name Reynolds of my immediate lineage, but
after hours and days of reading in the library it has been found that the
facts do not warrant any direct relationship with either Sir Joshua Reynolds
or the Chambers families of England. All of our traditions and what little
available biography we have been able to find, point to Southern Scotland as
the home of Reynolds Chambers, as well as the home of the ancestors of other
branches of Scotch or Scotch-Irish descent.
Our ancestors, no doubt, were closely related to James
Chambers, from whom Charles is 8th in descent, but the gap is wide, and we
may never be able to connect with them, but as our problem has been to unify
the American pioneers, bearing the Chambers name, I am content to rest with
the facts as they are. James H. Chambers, in one of his letters, says all
the generations of Chamberses are connected with the Lord Ross of Scotland.
He further says that he belonged to the Ross Clan in America, which consists
of over 100 of the most prominent men in Canada and the United States. This
is another evidence of our common origin across the Channel.
Australia, India, the Philippines, and scores of other
countries and states have welcomed the Chambers name, but these are all
transplants, and, no doubt, have knowledge of just where to "hitch on" back
William Chambers (1800-1883) was a Scottish author and
publisher. He was joint author with his brother, Robert, of Chambers's
Cyclopedia, ten volumes, so popular in America for more than half a
century. He visited the U.S. in 1853. He was born at Peebles, Scotland.
Robert Chambers (1802-1871) belonged to the Chambers
Journal firm of William and Robert Chambers, of Edinburgh, Scotland. Robert
wrote "Vestigaes of the National History of Creation." This great work
prepared the way for such writers as Darwin, Huxley, and Doctor William
Charles H. Chambers was born in London, 1819. He was
the author of many legal treatises.
Richard Chambers (1809) was a noted English
George Chambers (1803-1840) was an eminent English
Ephraim Chambers about this time (1680-1740) wrote a
scientific dictionary that was an "invaluable treasury of scientific
knowledge." He was not of the Scotch-Irish or of the earlier Scotch
branch. He may, however, be a descendant of Gillaume, the Provencal, who
signed the regimen roll of Edward I in 1296. If so, there is an earlier
Sir William Chambers (1726-1796) was born at Stockholm,
Sweden. He wrote a treatise on the decorative art in civil architecture.
This work is regarded as authority on English and Swedish art.
Charles Chambers (1755) wrote "Earthquakes at Madeira."
Sir Robert Chambers (1737-1803) was Chief Justice of
the Supreme Court of Judicature in Bengal, India.
Richard Chambers (1710) wrote a noted series of
Charles Chambers (1715 to 1733) was a well known
authority on the Bible. He was a brilliant sermonizer.
James Chambers, an eminent lawyer, was for many years
the King's counsel at Dublin.
Brooke Rynd Chambers (1834) was a Major General in
India. He was wounded at Lucknow in 1857. He won many medals for brilliant
Robert H. Chambers (1853) is a prominent educator of
Robert H. Chambers (1833) was a soldier in china,
India, and Afghanistan. Many medals were given him for brilliant service.
H. Kellet Chambers (1867) is authority in dramatic
art. He is the author of a number of books. He now resides in New York
Walter James Frederick Chambers (London, 1864) has long
been in the Consular service of the British Empire.
George Frederick Chambers, King's College, England, is
an eminent authority on astronomy. He is the author of a number of books.
George Chambers was a well known English Marine
Richard Chambers (1809) was noted throughout the Empire
as an expert mathematician.
Sir Newman Chambers is a high official at Londenderry
CHAPTER IX: THE CANADIAN FLAG
EDW. THOS. DAVIES CHAMBERS
“Facta Non Verba”
Below is given a letter from a brother not of Scotch
blood. This letter will be followed by a list of names representing what
our English relatives have been doing on the earth, while many of us,
perhaps, have been resting in easy obscurity.
DEPARTMENT OF COLONIZATION
Mines and Fisheries, Province of Quebec,
Fish and Game Branch
W. D. Chambers, Muncie, Ind.
My father, Edward Thomas Chambers, was
born about 1828, in Chelsea (London); was educated at Battersea, and prior
to his coming to this country was Master of and English public school. But
thinking there were better opportunities for his children in an undeveloped
country, he left his work in England and came to Canada. He died in
Montreal in 1901.
The copy of "Who's Who" from which you
gained your information concerning us, evidently contains some errors. My
name is Edward Thomas Davis Chambers, and my brother's name is Ernest John
Chambers. He is now Chief Press Censor for Canada; he is also Gentleman
Usher of the Black Rod in the Senate of the Dominion. My other two brothers
are the Rev. Canon William Percy Chambers and Arthur Haddon Chambers,
"barrister," both of Montreal.
My father's father was a master builder
in London, and his father, I believe, was an architect. From the fleur de
lis on our coat of arms and from traditions of relatives, our ancestors came
to England with William, the Conqueror. On my book-plate (a copy of which I
enclose for you), you will see our coat of arms, surmounted by our Crest
which is a "falcon belled."
My parents and brothers came to Canada
directly from England in 1870. The address on your letter is a very old
one, for I retired as Editor of the Quebec Chronicle twenty years ago, and
am now the expert officer of the Fish and Game Department of the Province of
E. T. D. CHAMBERS
THREE CANADIAN BROTHERS
Robert Chambers, son of Robert Nesbit Chambers, was
born in Ontario in 1849. For years he was a Presbyterian missionary in
Turkey and in Asia.
James Chambers, son of Robert Nesbit, was born at
Holbrook, Ontario, in 1851. He is a Presbyterian clergyman at Norwich,
Ontario in 1853. He was a missionary to Syria and Armenia for a number of
years. His last known address is Germantown, PA. (See Miscellaneous
Problems for further names.)
SUMMARY OF EVIDENCE
It has been said that circumstantial evidence is often
more convincing than direct affirmation. In attempting to establish
Chambers relationships it often happens that we are not supported by direct
proof, when every circumstance points to a definite conclusion. I have
tried to indicate such cases as they came to us, but it may be well to
review the evidence just a little.
In support of the conclusions mentioned under origin,
note that James H. Chambers says about the Ross Clan, to which he at one
time belonged; also note that Ross-Shire was known and occupied by the
Chambers people in the 15th century.
In support of the theory that Benjamin, John, Peter,
and Alexander were brothers, we have no direct evidence. Tradition is our
Scores of letters have been written to fix the
relationship between the New Jersey branch and the Pennsylvania branch, that
is, between John and Benjamin Chambers. The historians of both branches
concede relationship, but have found no proof in the records, as to just
what that relationship is.
A New Jersey genealogist wrote me that he could find
this information, but it would require some time and money, but not having
either time or money, and having what seems conclusive proof, this genealogy
has been neglected, and the book has gone to press without these facts.
The basis for this classification, that is, that John
and Benjamin are brothers, is found, as shown below:
1. Benjamin in 1682 visited the land that John entered
in 1697. A clipping says: "Thomas Story and John chambers, two Quaker
preachers from Dublin, Ireland, settled along the Delaware."
2. William Penn was a personal friend of each, and
influenced each to make the trip to America.
3. Being of similar ages, if related at all, they were
brothers or cousins, or at least knew one another personally.
4. The two branches have traditional evidence of
After much correspondence with historians of the
Pennsylvania branch, Hon. Henry A. Chambers of Chattanooga, says that
without doubt his ancestor, Henry, was either a brother or a cousin of the
four brothers. The fact that Henry would have been a twin brother with
Benjamin of Chambersburg, both being born in 1708, and that there would have
been five brothers instead of four, makes them relatives but not brothers.
The Chambersburg records were burned in 1863, but the traditions of the
family were in good hands, and there can be but little doubt that the four
brothers and Henry were relatives. Then Benjamin and Alexander must have
been even closer in relationship. Perhaps brothers.
Henry's lands were in Iredell Co., North Carolina, two
hundred miles inland; David's in Rutherford; James's in Burke; Maxwell's in
Rowan. Rutherford joins Burke on the south, Iredell is twenty miles east of
Burke, and was originally formed from Rowan. The town of Chambers is in
Burke near the Rutherford line. Morganton was the chief town. Many deeds
of heroism are associated with it.
No doubt, the good Uncle Henry entertained each of his
nephews on his journey and gave counsel as to the lands near him. The
records established these four homes prior to the Revolution. They were all
Scotch and were separated from others bearing the Chambers name by a good
many miles. The Colonial law is that kinfolks live together, travel
together, and are buried together.
After the cholera broke out in Philadelphia, 1766-67,
what became of Alexander's father? Alexander and his son, David, with
bridle in hand and rifle on shoulder, scoured the settlements from
Pennsylvania to Florida, but found no trace of Samuel. Where had he gone
with his family? Evidently to New Scotland with the other boys. Perhaps
north of Burke near the state of Franklin. The Madison Courier in
discussing "The Trail to the North-west," mentions Samuel Chambers, as
having died before the families started northward. That is, Samuel did not
reach the Kentucky or Ohio. But even though he did not reach the Blue Ridge
settlement, where the other boys lived, his relationship is established
anyhow. Spier Bruce Chambers in his letter says that Alexander an the Owen
County boys were cousins and frequently visited one another.
Peter Chambers seems to have been sponsor for the
Culpeper settlement on the Rappahannock. David Chambers, the son of
Reynolds, came over in 1743, married a German girl, then went to the Scotch
settlement at Culpeper to live. Four of his children were born there.
Before the beginning of the Frank and Indian War the settlement broke up,
and the Chambers name did not again appear in Culpeper County till 1791.
The fact that David sought the Culpeper Scotch settlement in preference to
other settlements indicates relationship, and it is reasonable to infer that
Peter and David's grandfather were brothers, and that Thomas was his uncle.
Let us see what these ties are:
1. John and Benjamin are brothers--William Penn, the
2. Benjamin and Alexander are brothers--Henry C., the
3. Alexander and Peter are brothers--David C., the
The names John, James, David, Alexander, Samuel, and
Benjamin were familiar names in many pioneer families, but the names Maxwell
and Avery are unusual names, and will not be given without a good reason,
yet is has been shown that each of these names is used in each of two
families time after time.
Maxwell in the families of Maxwell and Henry.
Avery in the families of David and Henry.
For the reason that Colonel Avery of the Revolution,
had a German "given name," I am led to believe that his mother was a sister
of David's wife, who was also German. This explains why the name Avery
occurs so often in Alexander's family. The name Maxwell seems to have come
to America from one of the Isles. The Colonel law binds the family to us as
relatives, but the facts are not clear as to what the relationship is.
In support of the theory that James was a brother of
David we have these evidences:
1. They were about the same age.
2. The record of ages of James's children indicates
that he was older than David at the time of marriage. James did not need to
form a residence with the Scotch at Culpeper. The French and Indian War,
however, caused him to leave his recent home in Maryland and Pennsylvania,
and to seek safety in the Blue Ridge near his brother.
3. For a third of a century the two families got their
mail at Chambers, near the Burke-Rutherford County line; a Baptist church
was formed there with James as pastor.
4. Alexander, the son of David, blazed the way to the
Northwest Territory. The two older families followed. David was buried at
Boonesboro, in Madison Co., KY.
James and a number of his sons passed through
Boonesboro, then settled in Jessamine County, an adjoining county, where
they remained till after the death of David, and the departure of their
relatives, when they, too, left Kentucky and came through Jefferson county
on their trip to Owen County, where they permanently settled. The
descendants of Isaac, one of James's sons settled, scarcely a day's journey
from their relatives, Alexander and John, of my own line, in Jefferson
Samuel, the unknown parent, was the head of the Knox
County line; David, the head of the Jefferson and Jennings County lines;
James, the head of the Owen County line.
A = B
B = C
therefore A = C
Therefore, Samuel, David, and James were brothers.
John D. Chambers, M.D. Ft. Wayne, IN, was born in
Genesee County, New York in 1844. He was of Irish stock the son of James
Boyd chambers, who was born in Washington County, New York, in 1804. James
Boyd's parents left Monaghan, Ireland in 1798. Though Irish in speech, the
family were Presbyterian in religion.
Henry C. Chambers (1785-1826) was graduated at William
& Mary's College; was a member of the Alabama Constitutional Convention in
1819; was U. S. Senator from Alabama from 1825 till his death the next
year. He died at Flatrock, Mechlenberg Co., VA, at the old "Chambers home."
Edward Chambers, brother of Henry C., resided at
Flatrock, VA. He was a jurist of note, serving as judge of the Superior
Court of the State of Virginia.
Henry C. Chambers of Mississippi, was educated as a
lawyer at Princeton. He was a member of the Confederate Congress, and was
said to possess great colloquial powers. He was the son of Henry C.
Joseph C. Chambers of Montgomery County, N.C. went to
the Legislature occasionally.
Maxwell Chambers, (perhaps a son of the Yadkin
pioneer), of the Yadkin River line, was a prominent member of the Rowan
County Committee of Safety 1774-1776, and was a member of the North Carolina
House of Commons in 1779, and again in 1789. Joseph chambers represented
the county in 1810; Henry, in 1816, and William, in 1835.
General James M. (M. for Maxwell) Chambers, traced his
ancestry back to Rowan County. Before the Civil War James M. Chambers was a
man of wealth and influence. He was the founder of the Phoenix Mills at
Columbus, GA., and for a time published "The Soil of the South" an
William Henry Chambers, son of General James M.
Chambers, was a lawyer and lecturer of Columbus, GA. He was always in
demand for the Fourth of July and other patriotic occasions for his
matchless oratory and sound logic.
Porter Flewellen Chambers, physician, was born in
Russell county, AL. He has been consulting surgeon in hospital service
since 1900. In 1912 he became clinic gynecology in Columbia University.
His home is at 18 East 94th Street, New York, N.Y.
Robert William Chambers, author and artist, was born at
Brooklyn in 1865. He is one of America's most voluminous and popular
novelists. Since 1893 he has published more than fifty attractive books,
that are read by millions of readers in this country, and in Europe. He is
a member of the "National Institute of Art and Letters." His home is at 43,
83rd Street, New York, NY.
William Lea Chambers, lawyer, was born at Columbus, GA
in 1852. He practiced law at Montgomery, AL for fourteen years; was Chief
Justice International Court, Samoa, 1890-1891; was a member Spanish Treaty
Claims Commission 1901-1910; was chairman Boards of Arbitration between
labor organizations and railroads, 1910-1913; has been Commissioner of
Mediation and Conciliation since 1913. His home is at Sellman, MD; his
office, Southern Bld., Washington, D.C.
Julius Chambers, F.R.G.S., author and newspaperman, was
born at Belfontaine, Ohio in 1850. He entered newspaper work as a reporter
on the New York Tribune. Later he joined the staff of the New York Herald,
and became city editor in 1876. For fifteen years he represented the Herald
in foreign countries. He became managing editor of the New York World in
1889. For more than thirty years he has given his time to literature and
travel. His address is Lotus Club, New York.
John M. Chambers, a banker of Maysville, KY is the
grandson of Gov. John C. Chambers.
Francis T. Chambers is a patent lawyer at 712 Walnut
Street, Philadelphia. His old home was Cincinnati, Ohio.
William R. Chambers of Lebanon, Tennessee, belongs to
the Tennessee-Missouri branch.
James E. M. Chambers is pastor of the M.E. Church at
The first lodge of Odd Fellow in America, not of the
Independent Order, was Fulton Lodge No. 135. This lodge was opened in the
old Shakespeare House or Tavern, New York in the year 1806. This hall was
between Nassau Street and Broadway. William E. and John C. Chambers were two
of its leading members.
Edward Chambers was born at Waukegan, IL in 1859. He
entered railroad service when a young man, and has been promoted from time
to time, into the most responsible positions in the service. During the
World War he was appointed Director of U.S. Food Administration. His office
(1920) is at the Railway Exchange, Chicago, IL.
Francis T. Chambers, patent lawyer, was born at
Cincinnati, OH, in 1855. His office is at 1411 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.
Frank Taylor Chambers, civil engineer, was born at
Louisville, KY in 1870. He has done much expert work on American Waterways
and Ship Canals. He is the author of a special report to the National
Government on Water Terminals and Transfer Facilities. His home is at 1625
16th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.
Washington Irving Chambers, naval officer, was born at
Kingston, N.Y. in 1856. He was in continuous service from 1876 till his
retirement in 1913. He received many gold medals for expert work. He is a
member of the "Army and Navy Club," the "Aero Club," His home is Kingston,
George Frederick Chambers, J. P. F. R. & S., Inner
Temple, barrister-at-law, parliamentary bar. He was born in 1841; has
filled many responsible positions in England; is an author of authority. He
also write a number of books on Astronomy. He was regarded as an expert on
legal questions, and was often called upon to speak or testify before Royal
Commissions and Parliamentary Committees. He wrote an English, French, and
German Conversational Dictionary for Travelers in 1908.
James Chambers, K.C. Ireland; member Parliament, South
Belfast, since 1910.
James Chambers, clergyman; born at Holbrook, Canada,
1851; B.A. Princeton, 1872; M.A. 1875; Presbyterian; delivered sermon in
1894 that started campaign against Tammany Hall; moderator Presbytery of New
York; editor "Church Work," 12 years; writer of religious, critical, and
reform articles. Address, Norwick, New York.
B. J. Chambers of Texas, candidate for Vice President
of the United States on the Prohibition ticket, with Neal Dow of Maine, in
Sir Theodore Gervase Chambers, K.B.E., Associate Royal
School of Mines; Fellow of the Surveyor Institution; Fellow Geological
Society; Vice Chairman Nation War Savings Committee; born in 1871; son of
Charles Harcourt Chambers, barrister-at-law; started practice as Surveyor
and Land Agent, 1893; received Penfold Gold Medal, 1896, address, 8 North
Street, Westminster, S. W. I.
Major-General Robert Macdonald Chambers, Bombay
Infantry; born 1833; entered the army in 1858; Major-General, 1891. He
served in the Indian Mutiny, 1860; China War (medal); Afghan War (medal).
Address, Springfield, Buildford.
Rev. Robert Hailey Chambers, M. A.; Headmaster Christs'
College, Brecon, since 1895.
Colonel Philip Roper Chambers, D.S.O., 1916. Served
European War in France, Gallipoli, Salvonica, Suez Canal, Senussi. He is
the son of Col. C.J.O. Chambers, of the Indian Army.
Sir Newman Chambers, J.P. & D.L. Knighted at
Londonderry for official services during the World War.
Graham Chambers, B.A., M.B.; Associate Professor of
Clinical Medicine, University of Toronto, since 1908; son of Major Robert
Chambers. Makes frequent contributions to Medical Journals. Address, 26
Gerrard St., East Toronto, Canada.
Lieut-Col. Joseph Charles Chambers; late commanding
49th Divisional Train in World War.
Walter Boughten Chambers, architect, born at Brooklyn
1866; a brother of William; A.B. Yale 1887; studied at Paris 1889; member
American Institute of Architects, and New York Chapter of same. Home, 161
East 64th Street; Office, 109 Broad Street, New York.
Isaiah Meneh Chambers, clergyman,; born Mifflinsburgh,
PA., 1865; A. B. Lafayette College, 1889; A.M., 1892; built a $10,000 church
before his graduation; Presbyterian; pastor First Church, Merchantville,
N.J. since 1892. Inaugurated in 1907, "The Syndicate of Love," and
organization now reaching around the world, for the distribution through
personal letters the "hopeword" for the sorrowful and discouraged. Author:
"At the Beautiful Gate," Reuben the Builder," "Harold Payson," "The Modern
Devil," "Satan or Christ." Home, Merchantville, N.J.
In 1780 an act was passed by the Georgia Tory
Legislature and was signed by the Governor, condemning 151 Georgians by name
as inciting "wicked and unprovoked rebellion" in the Georgia Colony. This
list of names is now Georgia's cherished "Roll of Honor." Peter Chambers, a
shopkeeper, perhaps a descendant of Peter of the Rappahannock Colony, was
one of these Sons of Liberty of the rebellious South.
About 1775, Jesse Chambers was born in Virginia. In
1810 he settled in Fayette Co., Ind. In the 30's, 40's, and 40's his son
Frank taught school near Connersville. Frank has three sons: James, Jesse,
and John. John was a Civil War veteran, and resided at Muncie, Indiana,
till his death about 1915. I have personal acquaintance with two of his
sons, Edward and Arthur.
Judge A. C. Avery, born 1836, was a native resident of
Burke Co., N.C. and a relative of Henry A. of Chattanooga. In my own line
we have an Avery born in 1797; Stephen Avery, born in 1839; Avery Chambers
Hancock; and our newspaper Avery, now of Ephrata, Washington. Does anyone
doubt a relationship?
The River Chamberses on the Yadkin were regarded as kin
to the Henry Chambers line. Maxwell Chambers of the "River" line was a
prominent member of the Rowan County Committee of Safety, 1774-1776, and was
a member of the N.C. House of Commons in 1779, and again in 1789. Joseph
chambers represented the county in 1810; Henry, in 1816; and William in
1824. James M. Chambers connects with this line. If I have been able to
provoke a little correspondence with this line, I think I could have joined
to us a large Southern relationship, but sometimes "silence is golden."
James M. Chambers was a land owner in Salem Township,
Delaware Co., Ind., in 1831-1836. He was perhaps a brother of William H.
Chambers, the pioneer of Flat Rock, Bartholomew County. See the statement
of the late Alexander Chambers of Danville in regard to John Chambers and
Alexander Chambers, born 1832, was a graduate of the
U.S. Military Academy. In 1863 he was made Brigadier General of a division
of Iowa infantry. In 1867 he was made a Major General of the 22nd Iowa.
George Chambers, in 1835, signed the Cherokee treaty at
Red-Clay, Whitfield Co., GA. By the terms of this treaty the Cherokees left
their Georgia lands and moved beyond the Mississippi. As this event is of
record, anyone may inform himself concerning it, should he so desire.
John M. Chambers was one of the pioneers of Cherokee
John T. and Joseph Chambers were two of the first
settlers in Carroll Co., GA. John Chambers was a pioneer of Fayette Co.,
Charles Augustus Chambers, son of Joseph Augustus
Chambers, was born at Portland, Maine, in 1873. He is a horticulturist with
Luther Burbank, San Francisco.
John Story Chambers, financier and civil engineer, was
born at Trenton, N.J. in 1782. He was probably a grandson of Alexander, who
was alderman and commissary of the Revolution. At least he was of the
descent of the elder John Chambers, the friend of Thomas Story, who died at
Trenton in 1746.
A. Chambers (1794) settled at Florida, or "Snaketown,"
in Henry Co., Ohio. From this stock was one William Chambers, a resident of
Flat Rock Township, Henry Co., known there in 1837.
William Chambers of Frederic Co., VA, cast a vote for
George Washington in 1758.
Alexander Chambers and his brother David entered the
Confederate Army of Virginia for a term of three years.
President Washington let the contract for building the
National Road from Fort Henry (Wheeling) to Maysville, KY, to Col. Ebenezer
Zane in 1796.
A newspaper correspondent of the Indianapolis News,
whether from the records or from his own vivid imagination, I know not, has
honored the Chambers name in this fashion:
"From musty lore I reproduce these facts: Chambers
--business and executive ability, strong, courageous, frugal, reserved in
manner, and if only slightly known, not popular.
"Spiro dum spiro (While I breathe I hope).
Non praeda, sed victoria (Not the spoil, but the
Lux mihi laurus (Light is a laurel to me)."
Now where the news-gatherer found the above can only be
surmised. It is quite probable, however, that these mottoes are not thrust
upon us, but are ours from choice. For five centuries at least the alumni
rolls of colleges and universities have contained the Chambers name. To
illustrate, from Indiana University, we find: