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.


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

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

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.


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