Nancy Jane Chambers: the Girl with Two Names

When I First Learned About Her

When I first started working on my family history back in my teens 3/4 of my grandparents were living and I went to my grandmothers often for information. My paternal grandmother (Mam) told me (always and consistently) that my HUBBARD-line 3rd great grandmother was Nancy Jane STONE and she married John Allen HUBBARD and this couple gave birth to my 2nd great grandfather, Alford Allen HUBBARD (mother of Edith HUBBARD DRAKE). She was eerily accurate on 99% of the family history but this one- well, she was right, but she wasn’t right.

This “right and yet not right” information caused me some grief over the years and it took me a long time to get anywhere with this line. You see, Nancy was really born Nancy Jane CHAMBERS. She was the one and only baby born to William C. and Rhoda A. (ALLEN) CHAMBERS. Nancy’s dad died sometime within a year after Nancy was born. When Nancy was about 2 ½ years old (sometime within the year after William died), Rhoda remarried to James J. STONE, a local widower. Rhoda and James had 10 more children in addition to the children he brought into the marriage and the child Rhoda brought into the marriage. With that many siblings and her mother having remarried when Nancy was so little, it’s not surprising that in the family history her name was passed down as Nancy STONE as opposed to Nancy CHAMBERS. James raised Nancy, not William. So you see- Mam was right and not right all at the same time. Everything else I found out about Nancy I had to learn on my own but at least my Mam got me started with a name and I’m grateful for that and for having had an interest when I was young enough to ask the questions.

All the Other Information I Learned

My biggest breakthrough on Nancy came fairly recently (within the last several years) when I connected with someone on Ancestry who was able to provide that missing piece- the information that Nancy was actually a CHAMBERS and how it came to be that she was known as a STONE. Sadly, I’ve only made it back one more generation. Still, that’s progress and I’ll take it.

Nancy married John Allen HUBBARD when she was only 16 years old. John was 23 years old at the time they married. Nancy and John lived in Harrison County, Missouri for around 20 years. They had most of their children (possibly all of them) while living there. By 1900 they were living in Douglas County, Missouri. There is lots to be learned from each census. For instance, I know that when Nancy was 11 she and her family were living in Polk, Taylor County, Iowa and her stepdad was claiming to be a doctor (this is one of at least 3 different professions he claimed over the years). At that time, she was censused as Nancy STONE. In both the prior and the subsequent federal censuses (1850 and 1860) the family lived in Harrison County, Missouri. I have no idea why they moved to (or from) Iowa. Particularly interesting in Nancy’s case though is the 1900 census. In 1900 women were asked how many children they’d given birth to and how many of those children were still living. Nancy told the census taker she had given birth to 8 children (this count of 8 remained the same in 1910). As of now, I can only account for 6 of those 8 children. Only 4 of the 6 that I can account for lived past 1900. John and Nancy’s daughter Rhoda died at age 29. Their daughter Sedanie died before age 11. That leaves Julia (who married a PRUETT), Sereptia (who married a HARVILL), Alford (my 2nd great grandfather who married Laura A. BUTLER), and Sylvia (who married a STAFFORD). Out of those 4, only my 2nd great grandfather moved down into Southwestern Missouri/Northeastern Oklahoma area. I don’t have any photos of Alford with his mom Nancy but I do have one photo of Alford with his sister Julia and her family.


Far right is Alford HUBBARD and standing next to him is his sister Julia and Julia’s husband John. I think the young girl is either John and Julia’s daughter or granddaughter.

The other thing I found interesting about Nancy’s children are the death certificates I found for 2 of her children- Julia and Sylvia. Sylvia’s death certificate says she died from Consumption (Tuberculosis). The person giving the information must have been trying to make a point because the exact cause of death the person listed on her certificate states:

Consumption
Used Patent Medicine
Had no physician

I’m thinking this person had a particular dislike for the snake oil salesmen and for the people who refused to go to doctors. I wonder if health care costs were high back then, too?

Sylvia died at 10:00 p.m. on 27 February 1912. I’m betting they had a long night ahead of them. Julia’s death certificate was much less wordy. Julia died at 12:30 a.m. on 17 June 1946 from Cancer of the Liver. Another long night for the HUBBARD family and another long, drawn out death.

The End of the Line

I wish I could tell you what happened to John and Nancy at the end of their lives but I can’t. The last record I can find for them is the 1910 census. They were living in Lincoln Township, Douglas County, Missouri. All the children had moved out and they were by themselves. His age was listed as 71 and hers as 65. They were living in between Julia and her family and Sylvia and her family. So we’ll leave them there, nestled between people they loved and people who loved them back.

I do want to make a sort of endnote. Those of you who carry the Allen name that was handed down through the HUBBARD generations (like my cousin Richard), I believe that ultimately your Allen name came from Nancy’s mom, Rhoda ALLEN CHAMBERS STONE. So you carry more than a middle name of previous ancestors (like Alford and his dad, John). You carry the surname of Rhoda and those who came before her.

In case you’re making cupcakes with me, you can refer back to this past Sunday’s blog post for the link to the cupcake recipe I’m making to honor our birthday girl, Nancy Jane CHAMBERS HUBBARD. You can also click on over to Becky’s blog at Down in the Root Cellar. I hear she’s planning a fabulous blog post coming soon.

Until tomorrow,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

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