William Chambers and Rhoda Allen, 1844

William and Rhoda are my paternal 4th great grandparents.  Line of descent goes from William and Rhoda to their daughter Nancy, Nancy’s son Alford HUBBARD, Alford’s daughter Edith (my great grandmother).  William and Rhoda were married on this date (9 Feb) in 1844.  They were married by Justice of the Peace George PRESTON in Van Buran County, Missouri.  The JP didn’t file the marriage at the courthouse until 9 July of that year and the Recorder didn’t record it until 24 July of that year.  I’m so glad it didn’t fall through the cracks!

Chambers marriage cert

I have only spoken of this couple in passing in posts I’ve done about their daughter, Nancy.  You can find the posts here:

Nancy Jane Chambers: the Girl with Two Names  (This post talks about the breakthrough I made that helped me get past Nancy to other generations further back.)

It’s a Wrap! Weekend Wrap-Up  (This post provides a little bit of additional information about Nancy and her parents that I didn’t have in time to disclose it in the other post about Nancy.)

Since I haven’t blogged specifically about William and Rhoda, this post will give general background information about the couple.  I will go through the end of their marriage and stop there.  The rest of the story I will save for a later date this year.

The Early Years

I know very little about William.  He was born in Tennessee according to Nancy’s census records but I don’t know when or exactly where.  William died about 1846 so William and Rhoda only had two years together.  Nancy was raised by her stepfather.

I only know of one photo of Rhoda.  This is her:

Rhoda Allen photo

Rhoda was born 16 April 1826 in Cocke County, Tennessee, to Thomas and Louvina “Lena” (HAMPTON) ALLEN.  She had six siblings- one sister and five brothers.

Rhoda shows up on the 1830 census in her parents’ home but if you’ve done much research you already know that the 1830 and 1840 censuses don’t give much information.  In 1830 the family was living in Cocke County, Tennessee.  Living in the home were one 5-10 year old male, one 15-20 year old male, one 20-30 year old male, and one 40-50 year old male.  Also living in the home were a female under the age of 5, a 15-20 year old female, and a 40-50 year old female.  Rhoda would have been the female child under the age of 5.  It’s interesting to note that the census enumerator was Joseph ALLEN.  Other ALLEN families living close to Thomas and Louvina were William ALLEN and James ALLEN.

Sometime between 1830 and 1840, the family moved West.  In 1840 the family was living in Jackson County, Missouri.  Living in the home were a 15-20 year old male, a 40-50 year old male, a 10-15 year old female, and a 40-50 year old female.  I’m guessing the 10-15 year old female was Rhoda.  Living next door was Thomas and Louvina’s son, Callaway, and his family.  Also living nearby was the John HAMPTON family.  Rhoda’s mom, Louvina, was a HAMPTON.  I don’t know if this Hampton family belongs to Louvina, but I’m going to guess they probably do.

Finally, in 1850 there is a census that lists the names of everyone in the home with Rhoda.  William CHAMBERS has already passed away.  Rhoda is married to James J. STONE.  The children living in the home include my 3rd great grandmother- Nancy J. CHAMBERS- who is 5 years old, and the STONE children: James J., Mary J., Eli C., Alma O., Martha C., Sarah E., Nancy V., Charles C., Dervis C., and Willard T. STONE.  There is one ALLEN family on the same page- the Isaiah ALLEN family.  All the children except my Nance were born in Missouri.  My Nancy was born in Arkansas.  Rhoda was born in Tennessee and the stepfather, James, was born in Kentucky.  Mary, Eli, Alma, and Martha attended school within the year that the census covered.  Both the elder and the younger James’ were farming.

James was first married to Elizabeth McHANEY.  Elizabeth died in March of 1847.  James and Rhoda married in June of that same year.  To be fair, it looks like Elizabeth either died in childbirth or very shortly thereafter.  James needed someone to care for his infant.  Rhoda would have had a very difficult time providing for her two-year-old daughter, Nancy.  This situation benefited both of them.  I don’t think they would have had the luxury to grieve much before remarrying.  The STONE children that belong to James and Rhoda include the younger Rhoda (born in 1848; it appears that James and Elizabeth’s first daughter was also named Rhoda but she was born in 1830), Lewis, Willard, Sidania (a girl), Sidney (a boy), Cynthia, Priscila, Thomas, Robert, and Lucy.  Rhoda brought the elder Nancy (William’s daughter, born in January of 1845) into the marriage.  James brought quite a few children into the marriage with him including the elder Rhoda, William, James Jr., Mary, Eli, John, Alma, Martha, Elizabeth, the younger Nancy (also born in 1845 but born in April rather than January).  I imagine this was very confusing at first trying to decide what to call the two Nancy’s who were only 2 months apart in age!  Not to mention the two Rhoda’s, but at least there was a considerable age gap between the two Rhoda’s.)  In case you weren’t keeping count, they had 21 children between the two of them!  The majority of the children ended up in California where most of them lived out their lives.

I’m really looking forward to telling you the rest of Rhoda’s story later this year.  If anyone reading this has any idea about William CHAMBERS, I’d love to receive any information no matter how insignificant you think it is.  I’ve had a hard time researching him.  I’m thinking possibly he died in the Mexican War or maybe he went by a different name and had a different life!  I don’t know at this point.  I just know he has been very difficult to research.

Until next week,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog

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