Six Months: A Covid Quest

If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character. If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home. If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation. If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world. So let it be!

~ a traditional Scottish wedding toast (and so appropriate for 2020)

This blog post is about my paternal 4th great grandfather, William C. CHAMBERS. I’ve written about him previously and you can read that post here. To orient you, the line of descent is through William CHAMBERS, his daughter Nancy Jane CHAMBERS, Nancy’s son Alford Allen HUBBARD, Alford’s daughter (and my much-loved, much-missed great grandmother) Edith HUBBARD DRAKE. During this search a couple of interesting links came up to two other “mystery” family lines I have on my dad’s side so I’m hoping that this search will result in one or two more blog posts in the near future.

William Chambers: A Primer

William CHAMBERS was born around 1824 in Tennessee according to many researchers. My guess is this estimated date is based on the year he got married. On 9 February 1844 in Cass County, Missouri, William married Rhoda ALLEN.

Missouri marriage record for William C. Chambers and Rhoda Allen found on Ancestry.

Above is the only image I have that I’m certain is connected to my William CHAMBERS.

On 18 March 1845 supposedly in Arkansas, their daughter (and William’s only known child) Nancy Jane CHAMBERS, was born. Sometime around 1846, William died. This is all the information I have about William. Most researchers on Ancestry have William’s parents listed as James CHAMBERS and Margaret Boyd JOHNSTON. I waver on whether or not this is the correct couple. It may be, but I’m not entirely convinced yet and haven’t found any documents that convince me one way or the other. If a grave exists for him, I don’t know where it is. Some researchers associate a will in Cooper County, Missouri with this William CHAMBERS but I’m not yet convinced the Cooper County William is the same person as my William.

2020 Has It’s Own Mind

In December, 2019 I had a plan for my 2020 genealogy research time. But in case you haven’t figured it out yet, 2020 has a mind of it’s own and it’s gonna do what it’s gonna do! On week 1 of 2020 the plan was to do one intensive research session on Rhoda ALLEN (wife of William CHAMBERS). I actually got a head start on that between Christmas and New Year’s Eve in 2019. By the first week of January I was like a hound on a trail and knew I wasn’t going to move on to the next research goal until I knew something more- not about Rhoda but about her first husband, William CHAMBERS. Quarantine helped speed up the process some and for that I’ve been thankful. And now, five and a half months later, here I am finally writing, although there still isn’t much I can bring to you that’s new. It’s been quite a search though!

I’ve searched for William ten ways from Sunday over the last five and a half months. I’ve searched for all CHAMBERS families in Cass County, Missouri in 1844; all CHAMBERS families in Arkansas in 1845; every William CHAMBERS in the US in the 1840’s…it goes on and on. After gathering all of those lists and looking through them I didn’t know much more than when I began. I was discouraged but wasn’t going to quit.

I regrouped and decided it was time to pull out the DNA. I’m not well-versed in using DNA for genealogy. There’s a steep learning curve and a lot of it just doesn’t make sense to my brain yet. But I couldn’t see any other way forward at this time. Four weeks ago everyone was still quarantined. All non-essential businesses were still closed to visitors so I couldn’t go research records in a library. I was stuck with whatever was online including my DNA.

Tenacity

I chose not to give up and I’m really glad I gave it a few more weeks. Before breaking out the DNA results, I did a quick Google search to see if I could find the origins of the CHAMBERS family in America. I read a couple of websites to become familiar with names and try to make any connections I could.

Then, I opened my Ancestry account to review the CHAMBERS names on my family tree. I found a complication. I have CHAMBERS on both sides of my family. My dad’s CHAMBERS are Scottish. My mom’s CHAMBERS are English/German. When you’re searching through names though, there is no way to tell the difference between the English CHAMBERS and the Scottish CHAMBERS. This small complication added extra time to the search.

I opened up my DNA account and searched my DNA matches for anyone with CHAMBERS ancestors. I have a total of 47 people who match my DNA and are also researching CHAMBERS ancestors. I weeded out the ones with no family trees online and the ones that were predicted to match my mom’s side. Then I began opening each of the remaining family trees and searching through them trying to find connections. Before I get into that though, let’s back up to the first step – searching online for the origins of the CHAMBERS family in America.

Step by Step

Polli’s Place has information about the beginnings of the family in America. According to this website, Alexander CHAMBERS had two sons- Reynolds and Henry. Reynolds remained in Scotland near the family home in Tweed Valley in southern Scotland but some of his sons did come to America. Reynolds’ second son, David CHAMBERS, arrived in the US from Scotland in 1743 and settled in Philadelphia. David later settled in Culpepper County, Virginia. His descendants would eventually extend to Jefferson County, Indiana. Reynolds’ first son, Samuel CHAMBERS, arrived in Philadelphia in 1765. He later settled in Kentucky and Tennessee. Reynolds’ third son, Reverend James CHAMBERS, also immigrated to the US from Scotland but I don’t know when. James lived in Maryland, Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky, and finally in Indiana. Henry CHAMBERS, Reynolds’ brother, had enough money for the voyage to America and came here about 1726, settling in Maryland. He later moved to Virginia and afterward settled in Kentucky and then Tennessee.

As far as I know, these 4 men are the beginnings of the CHAMBERS name in this country. I haven’t processed all the information on this website yet but there were some interesting stories. For instance, the William CHAMBERS who was born about 1750 in Culpepper County, Virginia (son of the immigrant David CHAMBERS) was said to have been captured in battle by Delaware Indians during the Revolution. The story goes that William was taken to Arkansas where he lived with the Native Americans until he became accustomed to their traditions. He was said to have married a chieftain’s daughter and became rich in land and other property. According to the website, many of William’s descendants still live in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. I’m not sure about the veracity of the story but it was interesting to note that William’s descendants remained in Arkansas and Oklahoma since my William’s daughter was born there. I do believe we will probably end up connecting to some of the Benton County, Arkansas CHAMBERS eventually. Since I don’t have many photos to share with you in this post, I will post a photo of one of the Benton County CHAMBERS to give you some idea of what one line of CHAMBERS looks like. Below is Nancy Ann CHAMBERS born in Benton County, Arkansas in 1855 and died in 1931 in Benton County, Arkansas. She was the daughter of James Monroe CHAMBERS and Sarah Jane WEBB. James Monroe CHAMBERS is also a descendant of Reynolds CHAMBERS whom you will read about later in this post.

Nancy Ann CHAMBERS, descendant of Reynolds CHAMBERS. Photo found on Ancestry.

Back to the Polli’s Place search/website: Scrolling down to the ‘Fourth Generation’ section it talks about John CHAMBERS, Jr. and Elizabeth HANKINS CHAMBERS who moved to Harrison County, Missouri (the county where Rhoda ALLEN was living before she traveled to Cass County and married William CHAMBERS. This couple had a son named William who would have been an acceptable age to marry Rhoda but there is no mention of a wife named Rhoda in his short biography. In short, there was no William CHAMBERS I could find who seemed to be “our” William.

The above website is sometimes confusing. This site has a fantastic name index and pedigree chart that will help clear things up a bit. Another website with lots of CHAMBERS stories can be found here. There are many other stories of relatives getting lost- some were found again and some were not. The stories are fascinating. Really though, the only story I wanted to hear was the one of my family. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get past William – at least not with any information that is proven to my satisfaction. So now that you’re caught up on my web search for William, we can move on to the DNA.

As I said, I pulled out only the CHAMBERS researchers who had trees online and who were predicted to match on my dad’s side. I traced each tree back to it’s earliest know ancestor. I compared their DNA to each other and then compared their family trees to see where there were similarities with the people on the trees. The trees I could trace led back to Reynolds CHAMBERS so I think we can say Reynolds is also our ancestor and have some amount of confidence in saying it.

Reynolds Chambers, A Scotsman

Reynolds was affectionately called “Runnels” by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Runnels was born on 2 April 1699 in Shettleston, Glasgow, Argyll, Scotland. Shettleston is a district in the east end of Glasgow. This area is important because it is the “gateway” between the Highlands and the Lowlands of Scotland. On 30 April 1725 in Shettleston, Scotland he married Nancy SHAW and together they had 4 known sons. Some accounts of Runnels’ life state he never came to America. Others state he came for a short time and then returned home to Scotland. Some accounts also say that he sent his sons to America to keep them out of the Jacobite Rebellion in 1745 against the English. If this is true, this decision likely saved their lives and ensured the continuance of this branch of the CHAMBERS line. You can learn a little more about the Jacobite Rebellion at the Visit Scotland website. Runnels died 12 August 1765 in Stirling, Scotland. Nancy, his wife, was born on 2 April 1702 in Shettleston, Scotland and died on 2 November 1773 in Shettleston, Scotland.

Miscellaneous Thoughts

My dad wanted to know what the clan tartan looked like so I did a little search. On the TartanClanCrest website you can find all kinds of products with the Clan crest, tartan, coat of arms, and battle cry. I can’t say how accurate the site is but it was fun to look at.

Clan Chambers tartan design, crest, & battle cry/motto.

The tartan design is a “Basic Clan” design and can be worn by any clan member. It’s described on Clan-Cameron as “…sixteen green squares upon a red background sett, with a bright yellow bordering, is for general use by all members of Clan Cameron.” According to the site, Clan Chambers funnels back to Clan Cameron and it is Clan Cameron’s tartan design, etc. that we are supposed to utilize. There are other tartan designs designated for our clan. If you’d like to see them, you can go to the website above and it will explain each tartan design and it’s approved usage. I think the Hunting Cameron design is a nice one. In regard to the crest, the Clan-Cameron website says the crest with five arrows united with one another by a gules ribbon, along with the motto/battle cry of “Aonaibh ri cheile” and the surrounding strap may be used by clansmen to show clan affiliation. The website offers a link to a more detailed explanation of the arrows if you’re interested. The battle cry “Aonaibh ri cheile” can be roughly translated as “Unite” or “Let us unite”. (The arrows connote the “united” message as well. I love the “united” theme!) In the past there was an associated motto “Pro Rege et Patria” which translates to “For King and Country”. Interestingly there is also a song associated with the clan. You can hear it below.

The March of the Cameron Men.

Below is the Clan Coat of Arms take from the TartanClanCrest website mentioned above. One other website I recommend if you’re interested in the Clan Cameron history is Scotland in Oils website. It gives the history, castles associated with the clan, etc.

Clan Chambers coat of arms.

Final Thoughts

Long story short, I can get back to William C. CHAMBERS and then I have to skip all the way to the Scottish ancestor, Reynolds CHAMBERS. Whoever lies between the beginning and ending of our American CHAMBERS line is anyone’s guess. Maybe one day we’ll find out more. Until then, I hope you go to some of the websites I listed above and learn more about our CHAMBERS. The next time there is a Scottish Highlands Games event near you I hope you attend that, too.

Scottish Wisdom for the Road

I want to leave you with two more Scottish wedding toasts. I couldn’t decide on just one and I wish them both for you all.

May the best you’ve ever seen be the worst you’ll ever see. May the mouse never leave your pantry with a teardrop in his eye. May you always keep healthy and hearty until you’re old enough to die. May you always be just as happy as we wish you now to be.

~traditional Scottish wedding toast

May the roof above never fall in; may we below never fall out.

~traditional Scottish wedding toast

Wishing you peace and happiness ~

Until next time,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

Levi Scott Hubbard

On this day in 1905, Levi Scott HUBBARD passed away. He was my paternal 4th great grandfather. I wrote about his wife here. As I noted in that previous post, it appears this family subscribed to the Campbellite faith (Church of Christ).


A photo of Levi and his wife, Indiana, in their later years.

AN ALL-AROUND GOOD GUY

Levi’s obituary appeared in the 2 March 1905 edition of the Bethany Republican newspaper. It stated that Levi died at his home at the age of 88. It also provided information that Levi was an old settler and very respected in the community. I haven’t gotten to see the actual obituary- I’m working off a transcription from another researcher and I haven’t been able to find my own copy. According to the other researcher, the cause of death was “a stroke of paralysis”. Levi never quite recovered after the stroke. His funeral was conducted by Elder Johnson and he was buried at Hoffman Cemetery in Eagleville, Harrison County, Missouri. A notation on the FindAGrave website states that no marker currently exists for Levi.

Levi made at least three appearances as a witness for friends and family testifying that he was acquainted with them and their situation. The first record of his official testimony was dated 15 June 1863 when he appeared on behalf of his widowed daughter, Mariah Jane HUBBARD HUFFMAN. Her husband, Hiram HOFFMAN, contracted measles while serving in the War of 1861 (now called the Civil War) and died. Levi testified that she was Hiram’s widow and that she had children under the age of 16 living with her that depended on her for their care including her daughter with Hiram (Adeline) and the son (James B. HUFFMAN) of Hiram and his first wife. At the time of the affidavit, Adeline was 2 and James was 6. In this pension file, both Levi and his wife Nancy (called Indiana) appeared.

Levi appeared before Judge Hesseltine on 2 Feb 1867 on behalf of Mahala Fish, a long-time acquaintance of his and someone to whom he was related by marriage. He testified that she was indeed the widow of William Fish and that her son, Edwin, had been hers and her younger children’s sole source of support until Edwin was wounded and died while serving in the military during the War of 1861. Levi attested to Mrs. Fish’s worldly goods and finances. It was, in part, Levi’s testimony that helped her get a military pension so she could finish raising the 14-year-old child she still had living in her home as well as keep herself alive. It wasn’t just that Levi’s community thought him a good man at his death. Justice of the Peace Horatio F. Hesseltine of Harrison County, Missouri made a statement about Levi in a court document. Judge Hesseltine stated he was personally acquainted with Levi and Levi was “entitled to full faith and credit” of the court to appear as a witness.

On 8 January 1875, Levi went back to court to testify on behalf of Mrs. Fish regarding the same information listed above. By that time, he had known her for more than 18 years, according to his testimony. In this later affidavit, Levi named two of her sons so I’m wondering if both sons were deceased at that point. I’m guessing that being a Campbellite would include a religious obligation to assist widows and orphans but from the way people talked about him, both in life as well as death, I’m guessing he would have helped her no matter his religious convictions.

I love these affidavits because two of them contain Levi’s signature.


Levi’s signatures. His signatures show evidence of aging. The second signature is shakier than the first.

If you have an interest in Levi and you find information that isn’t included on the blog, I’d love for you to share it with everyone. For now, I’m signing off.

Until next time,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog

It’s a Wrap! Weekend Wrap-up

On Saturdays, rather than posting photos like I’ve been doing on days when I have no blog posts scheduled, I think I’m going to do updates. Becky often supplies me with lots of follow-up information that I didn’t find and I often will find more information after I’ve posted. Another thing that happens is that people will read the story and then afterward provide lots of information that could have been included in the story. So Saturdays will be for updates on past blog posts (ones I’ve done in previous years as well as ones I’ve done the week of the update). I’m hoping this is the final format change for this year. I think it will be a good one.

NANCY CHAMBERS HUBBARD

There is something that I didn’t think to make clear at the start of this year and I need to go back now and clear it up. There are some ancestors for whom I only have a month and year for birth or death dates. Rather than leave them out I decided to include them on weeks where I felt there weren’t many blog posts scheduled. So for instance, Nancy Chambers Hubbard whom I blogged about on the 5th here at this link is one for whom I only had a month and year so I chose to post her blog on the 5th as that was a week when I had fewer blog posts scheduled than other weeks during January. So to be clear, all I know about Nancy’s birthdate is that she was born in January of 1845. I will try to be up front in the future when I do this again. It will happen later in January with David Elick CAWYER and August SCHNEIDENBACH (Bart’s paternal 2nd great grandfater and his maternal 3rd great grandfather respectively).

In addition, Becky sent over this little tidbit of information. She believes this may be where John and Nancy CHAMBERS HUBBARD are buried. Although it was called Patterson Cemetery at the time of the printing of this article it has since been renamed as Dogwood Cemetery. I have not had time to research any of this. Hopefully some of you will have some time to look into it.

One last tidbit of information that I found but did not include in the blog post about Nancy was that in 1860 she seems to have been censused at both her parents’ home in Bodega, Sonoma County, California as well as at her ALLEN grandparents’ home in Washington Township, Harrison County, Missouri. Where she was really at is anyone’s guess. It sure does intrigue me, though! If you want to take on this research project and see if you can discover why she was shown as living in both homes, be my guest! Figure it out and get back to us with the scoop!

I hope you have a great weekend. Remember tomorrow is Sunday so the weekly blog schedule will be posted. I haven’t had great internet service recently so no guarantee that it will be there at 7:00 a.m. but I’ll do my best.

Until tomorrow,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

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