Joseph Sanders Chambers (1799-1858) &

Frances Asbury Stinchcomb (1802-1894)

Submitted by Sara Jane Overstreet

 

Joseph S. Chambers (1799-1858) and Frances Stinchcomb Chambers (1802-1894) were married (1822) in Elbert County and moved to Henry/Fayette after Joseph's older brother William had established himself in the area.

Their children were:

Sarah (1823-1840) married William Mills

Mary Frances (1825-1912) married (Rev.) Bogan Mask

Rebecca Ann (1828-1908) married (Rev.) Daniel McLucas

Martha (1830-1913) married John Lamb

James Absalom (1833-1905) married Mary Dorman

Elmira (1840-1907) married James Andrew Bull

Joseph (1845-1846)

 

Excerpts from The Chambers Family Record by Sadie Chambers Burdett, 1950:

In the shadows back of Over-the-River rose the Henry County homeplace of Grandpa's father, JOSEPH S. CHAMBERS and his wife, FRANCES STINCHCOMB. My great-grandfather JOSEPH died before I was born. From the stories I heard of Great-Grandpa, I know he was a "local" Methodist preacher, one who did not give his entire time to the work of an organized church but who earned his living in some other way (in Great-Grandpa's case it was farming) and who preached out of the overflowing gladness of his heart. I used to think of Great-Grandpa as a sort of ecclesiastical Paul Revere--his broad hat glistening with raindrops, his black cape-collar flying in the wind; urging his horse onward through rain or sleet or snow as he shouted, "Rouse ye! Rouse Ye! for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!" In great-grandpa's day local preachers and circuit-riders alike proclaimed a militant gospel.

 

Great-Grandmother FRANCES STINCHCOMB died when I was too young to have known her. Of her, also I had very definite ideas. Great-Grandma was the Lady in our family. Little in stature, among tall sons and daughters, she was always dainty and sweet in black silk dress and snowy cap and apron. In a busy household, she was the director. Without raising her voice she influenced sons and daughters and the slaves she had brought from her father's house, to do her bidding. She was revered by everyone for her graces; and for her forefathers who had come with families, household goods, and slaves from Virginia in the distant past. For even more than these, Great-Grandma was a person set apart--because she was a niece of WILLIAM PENN! Nor did it occur to any of her descendants to doubt that Great-Grandma's uncle was the great Quaker who established the province of Pennsylvania.

 

As I think of the Henry County homeplace, I am reminded how much of life is taken up with marrying and giving in marriage. It was here that Great-Grandpa and Great-Grandma gave two of their daughters in marriage to two preachers---Aunt MARY to Uncle BOGAN MASK, a godly man whose church was not only a building, but was wherever he saw a soul in need; Aunt ANN to the gentle and beloved Uncle DAN'L McLUCAS, so recently from Scotland (*Later information reveals that it was Uncle Dan'l's mother who came from Scotland as a child of twelve years) that he spoke with a delightful accent when he read the marriage vows at the wedding of my father and mother. From here Aunt MARTHA went home with some of the Alabama cousins and there met her future husband, Great-Uncle JOHN LAMB. Here Aunt SARAH married the brilliant young WILLIAM MILLS; and here, when their son, JAMES JOSEPH MILLS, was born, Aunt SARAH died. From this place Aunt EL journeyed by horseback one winter day to the home of Great-Great-Uncle JOHN CHAMBERS at Chambers' Mill in Fayette County. Aunt EL was to assist with the festivities incident to a wedding in Great-Uncle JOHN's household. We are not sure which of Uncle JOHN's daughters was the bride that winter. It may have been Cousin POLLY, who married WILLIAM RICE; or Cousin MARTHA, who married DUDLEY GLASS of Alabama. The tenderness with which Aunt EL in later years recounted details of that visit--of riding horseback over frozen roads with laughing groups of young folks; of gathering Christmas greens from the woods, of decorating the wedding cake, or molding candles to light up the house--leads us to believe that it may have been at that time she met JAMES ANDREW BULL. At any rate, meet him she did, to fall head over heels in love with him, as he with her. Later they were married and lived "happily ever after".

 

It is not these days nor these weddings that I associate principally with the Henry County homeplace, though it was while he was attending school near here that Grandpa met and married his young teacher, MARY ANN DORMAN. Uppermost, instead is the period of the Civil War, when Yankee soldiers occupied the place and pitched their tents all over the hillside. That was after Grandpa and his fifteen year-old brother had left to join the Confederate Army--along with all the other men in the family connection. When war-clouds gathered over the South, Great-Uncle JOHN LAMB brought Aunt MARTHA and the children from Alabama to be near their folks while he joined the colors. From far-away Mississippi came Great-Uncle JAMES ANDREW BULL, with Aunt EL and her two babies.

 

It was from the Henry County homeplace, and the dwellings scattered among the shady groves near by that the gray-clad soldiers went away; and to these wasted acres they returned.

 

Grandpa came back soon after the war was over. Great-Uncle JAMES ANDREW BULL came, too. In the Battle of the Wilderness Great-Uncle JOHN LAMB gave up his life for his beloved South.

 

All were accounted for, save one. For weeks and months they waited for Great-Uncle JOE. He was only a boy when he went away; only a boy when he fell wounded in battle; a boy, lonely and sick, "up North" in a Yankee prison; a frightened boy on the long trail home. Walking all the way, sleeping out of doors wherever he could find a place, he would build fires at night for comfort as well as for light and warmth. What thoughts were his as he sat by his lone campfires, what he endured of hunger, loneliness and fear, his sorrow-stricken family never knew. It was a year from the time he was released from prison until he stumbled up the chestnut lane at home. ......

 

The poignant story of Uncle JOE came to Cousin JESSIE from her grandmother, my Great-Aunt EL. When her father died in 1858, Aunt EL inherited a part of the homeplace and purchased from the other heirs their shares. So it came about that, while her husband and brothers were fighting in Virginia, she was carrying her burden at the homeplace. Her story is the same as that of Great-Aunt MARTHA LAMB; of Great-Aunt MARY MASK; of Grandma MARY ANN DORMAN CHAMBERS and Great-Aunt ANN McLUCAS--in their homes near-by; and of many another woman in the South during the tragic days of the war and the bitter reconstruction years that followed. She was in the house the day the Yankee soldiers came--with her young son and a dear niece, one of Aunt MARY MASK's daughters. With them was the slave-girl, QUEEN, and her husband, JACK. From the windows they watched the soldiers moving about in the grove. When darkness fell, they blew out the lamps and kept vigil in the glow of the "light 'ood" fire. For hours they watched, frightened at every sound.

 

It was nearly "sun-up" when Aunt EL finally fell asleep, to be wakened by the voice of a Yankee officer ordering torches to be lighted. When Aunt EL heard the dread words, she knew what they meant. The house was to be set on fire--the house her father had built, where he had died; the house of a thousand memories---where she had been born, where she had been married---and there was nothing she could do to prevent it.

Suddenly she thought there might be a chance. Her husband had said that a brother Mason might be a brother still, in spite of war. Perhaps this Yankee soldier was a Mason. It was worth trying anyway. Taking a tiny emblem from its hiding place, she flung open the door and called to the officer in charge. She could not remember afterwards what she had said, nor did she recall the officer's reply. She only knew that he turned at last and signaled the soldiers, and the torches were extinguished.

 

Yet, though the house was spared, it was stripped of all supplies and goods, fences were destroyed, fruit trees were cut down. These things Aunt EL could bear, though it was hard. But when the careless hands tore apart a tiny trunk, scattering its contents--the folded, yellowed garments of a baby who was dead--it was as if they were tearing her heart out, too....

 

Another face which was part of Great-great Uncle JOHN's household (and of Great-Grandfather JOSEPH's, too) was the sad sweet face of their mother, MARTHA. But our Great-Great Grandmother MARTHA POSEY CHAMBERS really belongs to another chapter.

 

At the Henry County homeplace lived:

JOSEPH CHAMBERS (my Great-grandfather)--b. about 1799--d. 1858

FRANCES STINCHCOMB (my Great-grandmother)--b. about 1802--d. 1894

(They were married Aug. 29, 1822)

Their children were:

SARAH, MARY, MARTHA, JAMES ABSOLOM, REBECCAH ANNE, ELMIRA VICTORIA, JOSEPH

 


James Absolom Chambers (1833-1905) &

Mary Ann Dorman (1824-1908)

James Absolom Chambers--son of Joseph Sanders Chambers and Frances Asbury Stinchcomb--was born 10-20-1833 and died 10-4-1905. On 6-17-1849 married Mary Ann Dorman--born 9-4-1824 died Feb. 1908. The wedding was performed by William S. Chambers, the groom's uncle. Their children were:

1--Joseph Alfred--b. 2-12-1852, d. 3-20-1914, m. 1) Margaret Lewis 2) Lillian Bohannon

2--Sarah A. E.--b. 9-7-1853, d. 12-31-1876, m. F. P. Dorton

3--John William--b. 2-28-1855, d. 3-15-1928, m. Iola Ellen Cellestia Womack

4--Mary Frances--b. about 1857, m. John Archer

5--James Absolom Stinchcomb--b. 4-22-1859, d. 12-6-1938, m. Minerva Frances McLucas

6--Martha Caroline--b. 2-22-1861, d. 4-4-1934, m. David Young Jones

7--Lucy Catherine--b. 7-29-1862, d. 12-7-1932, m. Lemuel Evans Womack

8--Daniel Wesley--b. 3-8-1866, d. 6-4-1940, m. Lizzie Ophelia Martin

9--Dora--b. 11-24-1867, d. 11-20-1920, m. Ned Whitmarsh

This historical review lists Mary Ann Dorman's father as being Alfred Dorman. In The History of Fayette County 1821-1971 she is listed as a child of John Dorman, and her brothers are Alfred and Hiram--both Methodist ministers.


Excerpts from The Chambers Family Record by Sadie Chambers Burdett, 1950:

In the year 1900--which is as good a year as any for the opening chapter in this pilgrimage into the past--our family had come to live on the northern outskirts of Atlanta. My father had been a singing-school teacher and singing schools were now out of fashion. There were, however, organs, pianos, and talking-machines to be sold; there were protracted meetings--where song leaders were needed--to be held; and song-books, occasionally, to be compiled. In a suburban community, convenient to outlying villages--yet near enough to the city for its advantages, educational and economic--there was a rambling which house to be had for a song. A song was our principal form of currency. So we came there to live.

A white frame church stood in a grove of trees across the road. Whenever either of its two front doors was opened, some--or all--of our family crossed its worn threshold. When church sociables--ice cream festivals, watermelon cuttings, or oyster suppers--were held, the place, more often than not, was the large front parlor, the long porches--front and back--or the lawn at our house. This place had been the summer home of a well-to-do Atlanta family and afforded more space than the parsonage next to the church.

 

These parties usually ended with the singing of songs, both secular and sacred. Among the favorites of that period were "Two Little Girls In Blue", "I have Seen Such a Pair of Bewitching Brown Eyes I Can Never Love Blue Ones Again", "Ship That Never Returned”, "Bird In a Gilded Cage”, "Just Tell Her That You Saw Me”, and one called "No, Sir" which the grown-ups always ended in gales of laugher. One of the popular tunes for the children was a Sunday School song--"Over The River". As we used to sing it, vaguely we thought the words referred to our grandfather's home a little way "over the river" from the village of Inman in Clayton County; from which we had come, and to which we often returned for family reunions, Sunday School celebrations and all-day singings.

 

"Over the river faces I see---" happily we would sing, while our minds went wandering to the curving road which led from the railroad station at Inman to Over the River; wandering to the sugarcane fields in the bottoms; to the little bridge from which we could catch a first glimpse of the house--a story-and-a-half dwelling with a door-yard of hard-packed sand; to the orchard and the birds singing in the tree-tops; to the fresh-plowed ground in the garden, to the fig-bushes, the bee-hives and the scuppernong arbor; to Grandma's flower-yard where pairs of cape-jessamine and evergreen bushes made a dark-green background for the bright color in the beds of roses, petunias, nasturtiums; of "old Maids", garden pinks, lilies, lemon-verbena and ribbon-grass.

 

"Over the river faces I see

Watching and waiting, looking for me-

Fair as the morning, bright as the day,

Dear ones in glory, looking this way."

 

Whatever these words may have meant to the others, to me at the age of five or six years, the faces in the song were the faces of the dear ones at Over the River, smiling a welcome to the children coming home.

 

The face of Grandpa himself--JAMES ABSOLOM CHAMBERS, Esquire--I can barely remember. It was a ruddy, full face which grew ruddier still when he talked politics with Papa and the boys. Grandpa's blue eyes were of a size and shape which caused him to be known in some circles as "big-eyed JIM CHAMBERS". I never heard that until a year or two ago-(when for a startled moment I thought my informant had said "Big-I" JIM.) This same informant referred reminiscently to Grandpa as a "singin' piece o' plunder". He accented "singin'" in a complimentary manner, as one would say "He really was a fine singer." I was told by someone later that Grandpa had frowned upon that gentleman, years ago, as a beau for one of his daughters.

 

However all of that may be, it is certain that on occasions when we gathered at bedtime in the front room at Over the River, Grandpa's eyes were big enough and sharp enough to penetrate every corner of the room. He always sat at the marble-topped table which held the Bible and the family album. From there he could see the double oaken bed with its spotless white counterpane and stiff white pillow shams, bright with red embroidery. He could see around the organ and the fireplace where a fire was always laid, though seldom lighted, since the everyday life of the family centered in the dining-room. Grandpa's eyes, by the light only of the big china lamp, its white globe decorated (and dimmed) by clusters of red roses, could be very sure that not a single child was missing at family prayers.

 

I cannot remember clearly the face of my grandmother, MARY ANN DORMAN. She was always so busy--tying on her apron over her Sunday dress as she hurried to the cook-room the minute she came home from church; hurrying the aunts to get dinner ready for the dozens of uncles, aunts and cousins, and for the preachers, both in and out of the family. Important among these were Grandma's father, ALFRED DORMAN, her brother, HIRAM--both circuit riders--and her brother, ALFRED, who-a hundred years ago-was the first pastor of Liberty Chapel, nearest church to Over the River. But from scattered communities, other preachers came---from Mr. Zion, New Hope, Salem Camp Ground, Harmony Grove. To my childish imagination, inspired, probably, by the sight of their long gray beards, they came also from Corinth and Philippi and Ephesus-in-the-Bible. There was one silver-haired gentleman--Professor EDWARD T. POUND, my father's teacher and later his singing partner--who, I thought must surely be St. Paul.

 

Such Sunday dinners my grandmother served them---chicken and dressing, chicken and dumplings, great platters of fried chicken with gravy and hot biscuits. There was home-made sausage and fresh country ham, when hog-killing time had come. In the summer there were fresh string beans and new potatoes; watermelon-rind and sweet peach pickles; clusters of tiny tomatoes soaked in vinegar. Always there were sweet potato custards and cakes and pies by the dozen.

 

Grandma seldom sat at the first table. She "waited" with the youngest of the grandchildren, and often saw to it that favorite pieces of chicken were put aside for the second table. Grandma further endeared herself to the children by keeping dozens of tea-cakes (only northern people called them "cookies") on hand, carefully packed in clean white flour-sacks.

 

Other faces at Over-the-River I recall more clearly; kindly Uncle ALF'D, first-born son in the family; Aunt SARAH, who died before I was born, but whose memory was kept alive by my aunts, her sisters; Aunt FANNY (sweet-faced Aunt FANNY, whose name was written down as MARY FRANCES, as witness on the wedding-certificate of my father and mother). There was Aunt CARRIE, whose fine dark eyes proclaimed that she was a woman of intelligence and spirit, as did her keen observations in times of family council; and the youthful face of Uncle DAN, the "littlest brother", who--to his dying day--was loved by his elders as Benjamin-in-the-Bible was loved by Joseph and his brethren. Uncle JIM (Dr. JAMES ABSOLOM STINCHCOMB CHAMBERS) in the opinion of his kin and of many others besides, was a better doctor than a dozen of the specialists of later years all put together; for Uncle JIM ministered to men's spirits as well as their bodies. There was Aunt LUCY, who was doubly dear to us because of her marriage to LEMUEL EVANS WOMACK, my mother's brother; though no nearer than Aunt DORA who, for many years a spinster, seemed a part of all the families, as she would help about each household in turn, would fashion pretty hats and dresses for her young nieces, and talk about the husbands she might have had. Sometimes her brothers and sisters would smile at these stories, but they loved her dearly. At last, she took her small inheritance from Grandpa's estate and went away to a church school in Nashville (which later became Scarritt College) to learn to be a home missionary. Then her face was happier than she ever had been before or ever was again, though rather late in life she married NED WHITMARSH and went to Lincoln, Nebraska to spend her remaining years.

 

I recall the faces of the darkies at Over-the-River--field-hands and some who farmed on shares; the darkey wives who helped Grandma with the family washing, and with their children worked in the fields at cotton picking and "chopping" time. There was old Aunt SUSAN who presided, with Uncle JIM, at the "borning" of all "Squire Chambers'" grandchildren. Last but definitely not least, there was Raw-Head-and-Bloody-Bones---that phantom face in the loft, the very mention of whose name was enough to send awe-struck children scampering through the house to the shelter of their mothers' arms.

 

The sons and daughters of JAMES ABSOLOM CHAMBERS and MARY ANN DORMAN at Over the River were: SARAH, JOSEPH ALFRED, MARY FRANCES, MARTHA CAROLINE, JOHN WILLIAM, JAMES A. S., LUCY CATHERINE, DANIEL WESLEY, DORA.

Resources:

The Chambers Family Record, by Sadie Chambers Burdett, unpublished, 1950

The History of Fayette County 1821-1971, by Fayette County Historical Society, 1977


 

CHAMBERS FAMILY RECORD

BY SADIE (CHAMBERS) BURDETT

Retyped by Sara Jane Overstreet 1996

Other notes by family members included in order to update genealogical materials

MAIN FAMILY CONNECTIONS

Chambers

Stinchcomb

Penn

Posey


In her lovely book "Precious Bane," Mary Webb writes: "To conjure even for a moment, the wistfulness which is the past is like trying to gather in one's arms the hyacinthine colour of the distance. But, if it be once achieved, what sweetness!--like the gentle, fugitive fragrance of spring flowers dried with bergamot and bay. How the tears will spring in the reading of some old parchment---' to my dear child, my tablets and my ring'---or the yellow letters with the love still fresh and fair in them though the ink is faded---' and so, good-night, my dearest heart, and God send you happy'. That vivid present of theirs, how faint it grows! The past is only the present grown invisible and mute; its memoried glances and its murmurs are infinitely precious. We are tomorrow's past. Even now we slip away like those pictures painted on the moving dials of antique clocks--a ship, a cottage, sun and moon, a nosegay. The dial turns, the ship rides up and sinks again; the yellow painted sun has set, and we that were the new thing gather magic as we go. The whir of the spinning-wheels has ceased in our parlors, and we hear no more the treadles of the loom, the swift silken noise of the flung shuttle, the intermittent thud of the batten. But the imagination hears them, and theirs is the melody of romance.

 

Part I

In which we look backward from 1949 for four hundred years or so

For as long as I can remember I have had something of this feeling--expressed so beautifully by Mary Webb--about the past. I have told myself that one day, when I had the time, I would set down on paper legends and stories which had been told to me as a child. I have resolved to spend long hours with the older ones and learn of them the things they could recall. At last the day came when I had the time: but when I began to seek out the older ones, most of them were gone. Of my father's and mother's generation no more than three or four remained. I came to the conclusion that, if any of the family lore were to be preserved for the children in years to come, one of my own generation must see to its recording.

I began to inquire among the kinsfolk, and found that the stir of childhood and ancestral memories possessed them, too. Particularly was this true of my Cousin LONNIE BULL and Cousin JESSIE BULL RICHARDS, son and grand-daughter of my father's aunt, ELMIRA CHAMBERS, and her husband, JAMES ANDREW BULL. They wondered, as I did, what sort of lives our forefathers lived. We wondered what moved them to leave their homes--wherever those homes may have been--to begin new lives in a new world. We wondered how our forefathers--and even more, why our foremothers happened to come to this particular part of the New World.

Well, it will be a long time before we can learn about all of them--if, indeed, we ever can--but we can make a beginning now, in 1949. We can compile a record which may give us a glimpse of our forefathers who no longer are living, and of the places once familiar to them. We can tell as much of their history as careful research for several years has revealed. Of those which in living memory, each of us will have his individual impressions and opinions. We shall arrange the record in such a manner that each may write his own impressions and conclude the story of his own branch of the family. When--as we hope--other information becomes available, we shall add it from time to time.

For the record, I am the ninth child in a family of ten children. My father was JOHN WILLIAM CHAMBERS of Clayton County, Georgia, thirty miles south of Atlanta. My mother was IOLA ELLEN CELESTIA WOMACK, whose childhood home was in Newton County, thirty-five miles southeast of Atlanta. Their children were:

JAMES FRANCIS ALDINE b. Mar. 8, 1876

LULA BELLE b. Oct. 23, 1878

WILLIAM EVANS b. June 25, 1881

VINNIE LEAL b. May 13, 1883

MILTON LESTER b. Mar. 9, 1886

MARY AMANDA b. May 20, 1888

JOHN REMBERT b. Mar. 26, 1890

HEWITT WOMACK b. Sept. 1, 1892

SADIE CELESTIA b. Apr. 9, 1894

WALTER ABSOLOM b. May 27, 1896

 

Chapter 1

In the year 1900--which is as good a year as any for the opening chapter in this pilgrimage into the past--our family had come to live on the northern outskirts of Atlanta. My father had been a singing-school teacher and singing schools were now out of fashion. There were, however, organs, pianos, and talking-machines to be sold; there were protracted meetings--where song leaders were needed--to be held; and song-books, occasionally, to be compiled. In a suburban community, convenient to outlying villages--yet near enough to the city for its advantages, educational and economic--there was a rambling which house to be had for a song. A song was our principal form of currency. So we came there to live.

A white frame church stood in a grove of trees across the road. Whenever either of its two front doors was opened, some--or all--of our family crossed its worn threshold. When church sociables--ice cream festivals, watermelon cuttings, or oyster suppers--were held, the place, more often than not, was the large front parlor, the long porches--front and back--or the lawn at our house. This place had been the summer home of a well-to-do Atlanta family and afforded more space than the parsonage next to the church.

These parties usually ended with the singing of songs, both secular and sacred. Among the favorites of that period were "Two Little Girls In Blue", "I have Seen Such a Pair of Bewitching Brown Eyes I Can Never Love Blue Ones Again", "Ship That Never Returned', "Bird In a Gilded Cage', "Just Tell Her That You Saw Me', and one called "No, Sir" which the grown-ups always ended in gales of laugher. One of the popular tunes for the children was a Sunday School song--"Over The River". As we used to sing it, vaguely we thought the words referred to our grandfather's home a little way "over the river" from the village of Inman in Clayton County; from which we had come, and to which we often returned for family reunions, Sunday School celebrations and all-day singings.

"Over the river faces I see---" happily we would sing, while our minds went wandering to the curving road which led from the railroad station at Inman to Over the River; wandering to the sugarcane fields in the bottoms; to the little bridge from which we could catch a first glimpse of the house--a story-and-a-half dwelling with a door-yard of hard-packed sand; to the orchard and the birds singing in the tree-tops; to the fresh-plowed ground in the garden, to the fig-bushes, the bee-hives and the scuppernong arbor; to Grandma's flower-yard where pairs of cape-jessamine and evergreen bushes made a dark-green background for the bright color in the beds of roses, petunias, nasturtiums; of "old Maids", garden pinks, lilies, lemon-verbena and ribbon-grass.

"Over the river faces I see

Watching and waiting, looking for me-

Fair as the morning, bright as the day,

Dear ones in glory, looking this way."

Whatever these words may have meant to the others, to me at the age of five or six years, the faces in the song were the faces of the dear ones at Over the River, smiling a welcome to the children coming home.

The face of Grandpa himself--JAMES ABSOLOM CHAMBERS, Esquire--I can barely remember. It was a ruddy, full face which grew ruddier still when he talked politics with Papa and the boys. Grandpa's blue eyes were of a size and shape which caused him to be known in some circles as "bid-eyed JIM CHAMBERS". I never heard that until a year or two ago-(when for a startled moment I thought my informant had said "Big-I" JIM.) This same informant referred reminiscently to Grandpa as a "singin' piece o' plunder". He accented "singin'" in a complimentary manner, as one would say "He really was a fine singer." I was told by someone later that Grandpa had frowned upon that gentleman, years ago, as a beau for one of his daughters.

However all of that may be, it is certain that on occasions when we gathered at bedtime in the front room at Over the River, Grandpa's eyes were big enough and sharp enough to penetrate every corner of the room. He always sat at the marble-topped table which held the Bible and the family album. From there he could see the double oaken bed with its spotless white counterpane and stiff white pillow shams, bright with red embroidery. He could see around the organ and the fireplace where a fire was always laid, though seldom lighted, since the everyday life of the family centered in the dining-room. Grandpa's eyes, by the light only of the big china lamp, its white globe decorated (and dimmed) by clusters of red roses, could be very sure that not a single child was missing at family prayers.

I cannot remember clearly the face of my grandmother, MARY ANN DORMAN. She was always so busy--tying on her apron over her Sunday dress as she hurried to the cook-room the minute she came home from church; hurrying the aunts to get dinner ready for the dozens of uncles, aunts and cousins, and for the preachers, both in and out of the family. Important among these were Grandma's father, ALFRED DORMAN, her brother, HIRAM--both circuit riders--and her brother, ALFRED, who-a hundred years ago-was the first pastor of Liberty Chapel, nearest church to Over the River. But from scattered communities, other preachers came---from Mr. Zion, New Hope, Salem Camp Ground, Harmony Grove. To my childish imagination, inspired, probably, by the sight of their long gray beards, they came also from Corinth and Philippi and Ephesus-in-the-Bible. There was one silver-haired gentleman--Professor EDWARD T. POUND, my father's teacher and later his singing partner--who, I thought must surely be St. Paul.

Such Sunday dinners my grandmother served them---chicken and dressing, chicken and dumplings, great platters of fried chicken with gravy and hot biscuits. There was home-made sausage and fresh country ham, when hog-killing time had come. In the summer there were fresh string beans and new potatoes; watermelon-rind and sweet peach pickles; clusters of tiny tomatoes soaked in vinegar. Always there were sweet potato custards and cakes and pies by the dozen.

Grandma seldom sat at the first table. She "waited" with the youngest of the grandchildren, and often saw to it that favorite pieces of chicken were put aside for the second table. Grandma further endeared herself to the children by keeping dozens of tea-cakes (only northern people called them "cookies") on hand, carefully packed in clean white flour-sacks.

Other faces at Over-the-River I recall more clearly; kindly Uncle ALF'D, first-born son in the family; Aunt SARAH, who died before I was born, but whose memory was kept alive by my aunts, her sisters; Aunt FANNY (sweet-faced Aunt FANNY, whose name was written down as MARY FRANCES, as witness on the wedding-certificate of my father and mother). There was Aunt CARRIE, whose fine dark eyes proclaimed that she was a woman of intelligence and spirit, as did her keen observations in times of family council; and the youthful face of Uncle DAN, the "littlest brother", who--to his dying day--was loved by his elders as Benjamin-in-the-Bible was loved by Joseph and his brethren. Uncle JIM (Dr. JAMES ABSOLOM STINCHCOMB CHAMBERS) in the opinion of his kin and of many others besides, was a better doctor than a dozen of the specialists of later years all put together; for Uncle JIM ministered to men's spirits as well as their bodies. There was Aunt LUCY, who was doubly dear to us because of her marriage to LEMUEL EVANS WOMACK, my mother's brother; though no nearer than Aunt DORA who, for many years a spinster, seemed a part of all the families, as she would help about each household in turn, would fashion pretty hats and dresses for her young nieces, and talk about the husbands she might have had. Sometimes her brothers and sisters would smile at these stories, but they loved her dearly. At last, she took her small inheritance from Grandpa's estate and went away to a church school in Nashville (which later became Scarritt College) to learn to be a home missionary. Then her face was happier than she ever had been before or ever was again, though rather late in life she married NED WHITMARSH and went to Lincoln, Nebraska to spend her remaining years.

I recall the faces of the darkies at Over-the-River--field-hands and some who farmed on shares; the darkey wives who helped Grandma with the family washing, and with their children worked in the fields at cotton picking and "chopping" time. There was old Aunt SUSAN who presided, with Uncle JIM, at the "borning" of all "Squire Chambers'" grandchildren. Last but definitely not least, there was Raw-Head-and-Bloody-Bones---that phantom face in the loft, the very mention of whose name was enough to send awe-struck children scampering through the house to the shelter of their mothers' arms.

The sons and daughters of JAMES ABSOLOM CHAMBERS and MARY ANN DORMAN at Over the River were:

SARAH

JOSEPH ALFRED

MARY FRANCES

MARTHA CAROLINE

JOHN WILLIAM

JAMES A. S.

LUCY CATHERINE

DANIEL WESLEY

DORA

 

Chapter 2

In the shadows back of Over-the-River rose the Henry County homeplace of Grandpa's father, JOSEPH F. CHAMBERS and his wife, FRANCES STINCHCOMB. My great-grandfather JOSEPH died before I was born. From the stories I heard of Great-Grandpa, I know he was a "local" Methodist preacher, one who did not give his entire time to the work of an organized church but who earned his living in some other way (in Great-Grandpa's case it was farming) and who preached out of the overflowing gladness of his heart. I used to think of Great-Grandpa as a sort of ecclesiastical Paul Revere--his broad hat glistening with raindrops, his black cape-collar flying in the wind; urging his horse onward through rain or sleet or snow as he shouted, "Rouse ye! Rouse Ye! for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!" In great-grandpa's day local preachers and circuit-riders alike proclaimed a militant gospel.

 

Great-Grandmother FRANCES STINCHCOMB died when I was too young to have known her. Of her, also I had very definite ideas. Great-Grandma was the Lady in our family. Little in stature, among tall sons and daughters, she was always dainty and sweet in black silk dress and snowy cap and apron. In a busy household, she was the director. Without raising her voice she influenced sons and daughters and the slaves she had brought from her father's house, to do her bidding. She was revered by everyone for her graces; and for her forefathers who had come with families, household goods, and slaves from Virginia in the distant past. For even more than these, Great-Grandma was a person set apart--because she was a niece of WILLIAM PENN! Nor did it occur to any of her descendants to doubt that Great-Grandma's uncle was the great Quaker who established the province of Pennsylvania.

 

As I think of the Henry County homeplace, I am reminded how much of life is taken up with marrying and giving in marriage. It was here that Great-Grandpa and Great-Grandma gave two of their daughters in marriage to two preachers---Aunt MARY to Uncle BOGAN MASK, a godly man whose church was not only a building, but was wherever he saw a soul in need; Aunt ANN to the gentle and beloved Uncle DAN'L McLUCAS, so recently from Scotland (*Later information reveals that it was Uncle Dan'l's mother who came from Scotland as a child of twelve years) that he spoke with a delightful accent when he read the marriage vows at the wedding of my father and mother. From here Aunt MARTHA went home with some of the Alabama cousins and there met her future husband, Great-Uncle JOHN LAMB. Here Aunt SARAH married the brilliant young WILLIAM MILLS; and here, when their son, JAMES JOSEPH MILLS, was born, Aunt SARAH died. From this place Aunt EL journeyed by horseback one winter day to the home of Great-Great-Uncle JOHN CHAMBERS at Chambers' Mill in Fayette County. Aunt EL was to assist with the festivities incident to a wedding in Great-Uncle JOHN's household. We are not sure which of Uncle JOHN's daughters was the bride that winter. It may have been Cousin POLLY, who married WILLIAM RICE; or Cousin MARTHA, who married DUDLEY GLASS of Alabama. The tenderness with which Aunt EL in later years recounted details of that visit--of riding horseback over frozen roads with laughing groups of young folks; of gathering Christmas greens from the woods, of decorating the wedding cake, or molding candles to light up the house--leads us to believe that it may have been at that time she met JAMES ANDREW BULL. At any rate, meet him she did, to fall head over heels in love with him, as he with her. Later they were married and lived "happily ever after".

 

It is not these days nor these weddings that I associate principally with the Henry County homeplace, though it was while he was attending school near here that Grandpa met and married his young teacher, MARY ANN DORMAN. Uppermost, instead is the period of the Civil War, when Yankee soldiers occupied the place and pitched their tents all over the hillside. That was after Grandpa and his fifteen year-old brother had left to join the Confederate Army--along with all the other men in the family connection. When war-clouds gathered over the South, Great-Uncle JOHN LAMB brought Aunt MARTHA and the children from Alabama to be near their folks while he joined the colors. From far-away Mississippi came Great-Uncle JAMES ANDREW BULL, with Aunt EL and her two babied.

 

It was from the Henry County homeplace, and the dwellings scattered among the shady groves near by that the gray-clad soldiers went away; and to these wasted acres they returned.

 

Grandpa came back soon after the war was over. Great-Uncle JAMES ANDREW BULL came, too. In the Battle of the Wilderness Great-Uncle JOHN LAMB gave up his life for his beloved South.

 

All were accounted for, save one. For weeks and months they waited for Great-Uncle JOE. He was only a boy when he went away; only a boy when he fell wounded in battle; a boy. lonely and sick, "up North" in a Yankee prison; a frightened boy on the long trail home. Walking all they way, sleeping out of doors wherever he could find a place, he would build fired at night for comfort as well as for light and warmth. What thoughts were his as he sat by his lone campfires, what he endured of hunger, loneliness and fear, his sorrow-stricken family never knew. It was a year from the time he was released from prison until he stumbled up the chestnut lane at home. His family did know that, for years afterwards, there would come times in the night when no house could hold him. He must be out-of-doors again. He must build a campfire under the stars. The people on neighboring farms became uneasy for fear he might set a house or barn on fire. His loved ones knew he was seeking only to still his restlessness. He was afraid only of the darkness and the cold. So it was until the day he died.

 

The poignant story of Uncle JOE came to Cousin JESSIE from her grandmother, my Great-Aunt EL. When her father died in 1858, Aunt EL inherited a part of the homeplace and purchased from the other heirs their shares. So it came about that, while her husband and brothers were fighting in Virginia, she was carrying her burden at the homeplace. Her story is the same as that of Great-Aunt MARTHA LAMB; of Great-Aunt MARY MASK; of Grandma MARY ANN DORMAN CHAMBERS and Great-Aunt ANN McLUCAS--in their homes near-by; and of many another woman in the South during the tragic days of the war and the bitter reconstruction years that followed. She was in the house the day the Yankee soldiers came--with her young son and a dear niece, one of Aunt MARY MASK's daughters. With them was the slave-girl, QUEEN, and her husband, JACK. From the windows they watched the soldiers moving about in the grove. When darkness fell, they blew out the lamps and kept vigil in the glow of the "light 'ood" fire. For hours they watched, frightened at every sound.

 

It was nearly "sun-up" when Aunt EL finally fell asleep, to be wakened by the voice of a Yankee officer ordering torches to be lighted. When Aunt EL heard the dread words, she knew what they meant. The house was to be set on fire--the house her father had built, where he had died; the house of a thousand memories---where she had been born, where she had been married---and there was nothing she could do to prevent it.

Suddenly she thought there might be a chance. Her husband had said that a brother Mason might be a brother still, in spite of war. Perhaps this Yankee soldier was a Mason. It was worth trying anyway. Taking a tiny emblem from its hiding place, she flung open the door and called to the officer in charge. She could not remember afterwards what she had said, nor did she recall the officer's reply. She only knew that he turned at last and signalled the soldiers, and the torches were extinguished.

 

Yet, though the house was spared, it was stripped of all supplied and goods, fences were destroyed, fruit trees were cut down. These things Aunt EL could bear, though it was hard. But when the careless hands tore apart a tiny trunk, scattering its contents--the folded, yellowed garments of a baby who was dead--it was as if they were tearing her heart out, too.

 

Like many another Southern woman in that day, Aunt EL's best friends were the darkies. To them she owed her livelihood during the war years. Often afterwards she told of digging and planting side by side with them. To their cabins she fled for help when the soldiers came riding over the hill from Jonesboro. It is no wonder that, years later, when her eldest son (Cousin JESSIE's father) and his wife were teaching school in Alabama--when the darkey, QUEEN, came with a wagon-load of kith and kin from a farm nearby, she was received as a loved and honored guest.

 

Other faces than all of these are associated with the Henry County home-lace. To that home, when Great-Grandfather JOSEPH was alive, frequently came his brothers and sisters. Great-great Aunt FRANKIE PLEDGER came with her husband, Uncle JOE. Great-great Uncle BILLY brought his wife, Aunt SALLY. Cousin MOLLY LEE, of Kenwood, who is ninety-one years old, recalls Uncle BILLY and Aunt SALLY. From her soft little laugh and the lighting up of her face at the memory, Uncle BILLY and Aunt SALLY must have been very special people when Cousin MOLLY was a little girl. Cousin MOLLY herself is a very special person now, and the oldest living member of the CHAMBERS family. I saw her one day last summer, walking in her garden. In the late afternoon light, with the faint scent of boxwood mingling with the fragrance of the flowers all about her, she made a lovely picture; just such a picture (I like to think) as her grandmothers and mine must have made in other gardens in other days.

 

Cousin MOLLY remembers hearing of Great-great Uncle JIM, who used to come to the Henry County home-place from as far away as Alabama, and Great-great Uncle JOHN, who came often with his wife, ELIZABETH SHEPHERD (who was said to have been related to the WASHINGTONs back in Virginia). Uncle JOHN was the owner of Chambers' Mill (later Williams', then Jester's) and of hundreds of fertile acres of ground in Fayette County. In later years, when the descendants of Uncle John came visiting at Over the River, it seemed to my mother and the aunts that they were more prosperous than the rest of us. There was Cousin POLLY RICE; and Cousin EMMA GLASS, from Alabama, who was always dressed in elegant fashion and always had a beautiful surrey drown by a pair of handsome horses. There was Cousin BARBARA, who was BARBARA LEE--when the widow MALONE when she married Cousin JOSIAH. There was Cousin DOLLY, who had been to Europe! There was Cousin PETER, the lawyer,---prominent in state legislative circles, who later moved to Tennessee and then to New York. There was Cousin FRANCES and her husband, Dr. FRANCIS SMITH, a dentist, whose visits were received with mixed emotions by the children. (At that time both dentists and doctors called on patients at home.)

 

Another face which was part of Great-great Uncle JOHN's household (and of Great-Grandfather JOSEPH's, too) was the sad sweet face of their mother, MARTHA. But our Great-Great Grandmother MARTHA POSEY CHAMBERS really belongs to another chapter.

 

At the Henry County homeplace lived:

JOSEPH CHAMBERS (my Great-grandfather)--b. about 1799--d. 1858

FRANCES STINCHCOMB (my Great-grandmother)--b. about 1802--d. 1894

(They were married Aug. 29, 1822)

Their children were:

SARAH

MARY

MARTHA

JAMES ABSOLOM

REBECCAH ANNE

ELMIRA VICTORIA

JOSEPH

 

Chapter 3

 

If the faces at the Henry County homeplace are shadowy as I think of them, those of Elbert County are as ephemeral as cloud-faces which appear in the sky for a moment and--even as we look--go drifting away.

 

The home of Great-great Grandfather JAMES CHAMBERS and his wife, MARTHA POSEY, was another "Over the River"; this time across the Savannah River (from Elbert County, Georgia) in Abbeville County, South Carolina. Their home life was as happy; their circumstances as comfortable as others whose farms and plantations lay along the Savannah. In their family were four sons---JOHN, WILLIAM S., JOSEPH B., and JAMES E.---and a daughter, FRANCES (FRANKIE). While the children were small, Great-Grandfather "went on a bond" for a friend. As yet, we have found no written record of the transaction. It is possible that there is no record in writing, for in that day and among the people of that community, a man's word was his bond. So it was a double tragedy which struck the household when the bond was forfeited. Aunt EL recalled being told over and over by her grandmother how their home-place had to be sold to meet the debt. Over and over she was told how her grandfather took two slaves and a pair of mules and set out for Texas to redeem his fortunes (as many another man did in those days)--planning to stake out a claim for a homestead and to return for his family. Grandmother struggled to rear her young family, strengthened by the letters which came--presumably by the hand of Indian traders. How often she gathered her young ones about her--when the long days' work was over--and read and re-read those letters. We can imagine some of the things our great-great-grandfather wrote. History tells us of the early explorations into Texas by Spanish adventurers from Mexico; of the early establishments of missions by the French Jesuit fathers; and the resultant territorial disputes between Spain and France, which came to a close with the French cession of Louisiana to Spain in 1762. With the transfer of mission posts from the priests to Mexican civil authorities in 1794, Texas was thrown open to immigrants.

 

Grandpa's letters told of the droves of American families who, even as late as the 1800's, pushed into the territory to take up free land. He wrote of the place he himself had obtained on high ground near the Brazos River. (As late as the 1920's just before Aunt FANNY's death, she talked often of the homestead her great-grandfather had established near Waco.) At last, after two years, Great-great-Grandfather wrote that the time had come when he was ready to return for his family; to return with enough money to repay those who had aided his loved ones during the long months he had been away. They might expect him within a fortnight or a little more. We can imagine the eagerness with which Grandmother prepared for his home-coming and for the long journey back to Texas. But, the weeks lengthened into months, the months into years, and Grandfather never returned.

Grandmother's burden was lightened by the action of her brother, THOMAS POSEY (?), who restored to her the homeplace, but her load was still heavy. Cousin MOLLY LEE was told as a child how Grandmother for years had worked "at the loom"; how, even when she was old, she could weave fabrics of great beauty. We can only guess what sorrow and heartache went into the weaving, but never any bitterness. Great-great Grandmother believed that her husband may have fallen ill from anxiety or exposure; or perhaps, the mighty Mississippi went on a rampage--as it has done many times since. Great-great Grandfather and his companions may have been swept away down the river; or they may have suffered death at the hands of Indians on the way. More probably he was killed by members of his own race, for the gold in his saddle bags. Her faith in him never wavered, and her sons shared their mother's faith. The records show that each of them named a son JAMES for his father. JAMES was the name of Great-Grandfather's and Grandmother's own youngest son who was born in 1803. It must have been soon after this that my grandfather went away.

Looking back, we wonder why his children did not seek to find the place in Texas. They must have thought of it. By the time they were grown, however, conditions in Texas had changed. There were strong efforts by the Mexican government to stop the flow of immigrants. These efforts led to a revolution and the Texans' declaration of independence on March 2, 1836. With the air full of rumors of these stormy times, we can imagine that Grandmother used all her influence to keep her sons from meeting the same fate which had befallen their father.

 

Grandmother continued to live with her daughter and her four sons in Abbeville or Elbert County. Her sons and her daughter grew to young manhood and young womanhood. They worked long hours on week-days, and--undoubtedly--they "supported the church and all its institutions", every Sunday. I am very sure that, on many a Sabbath morning when the willows trailed their branches on the waters of Dove's Creek, my Great-Grandfather JOSEPH--as a young man--dressed up in his Sunday clothes, hitched horse or mule to his buggy, and went riding over the rolling, sunny hills to Stinchcomb Church.

 

I love to picture Great-Grandfather setting forth on, say, the third Sunday of June in the year 1821. (In the country, even in my father's day, time was measured by Sundays. Instead of saying, as in the Bible, "and very early in the morning on the first day of the week", one would say "It was the second--fourth--or fifth Sunday of the month that this meeting or that took place.") If Grandpa were like his many descendants, he was singing as he rode along; singing a favorite hymn or the "Fossil-la" music of the Sacred Harp. Sacred Harp singing, with its series of notes instead of proper words, today would be called "folk-music" and considered quaint. But my great-grandfather (and my father, for that matter) knew nothing of folk songs ---- --- --- --- except as they were the songs folks sang in mighty chorus at many an all-day singing in years past. (I used to love to look through the oblong, gray song-books; their drawings, explanations and interpretations of Sacred Harp music helped to pass away the hours for a child weary at having to sit still in church while one leader after another led the singing. As for the sound of the booming "fa- sol- la's", I always associated that with the sad notes of the exiled Children of Israel, when they "hung their harps on a willow tree"--discouraged at trying to sing the Lord's song in a strange land.)

 

But when Great-Grandfather raised his strong baritone voice on the way to Stinchcomb Church of a Sunday morning, he was thinking cheerfully of FRANCES STINCHCOMB; remembering how pretty she was the last time he saw her. She looked almost like a child in a brand-new dress and bonnet, through by her father from Augusta, where he had gone to sell his cotton. As he thought of her, may grandfather may have begun to whistle suddenly; if he were like his descendants, that would mean that a feeling of mournfulness had descended upon him--no doubt for fear that my grandmother-to-be might not share the happiness that welled up within him at the prospect of seeing her--perhaps of walking in the grove a while before the meeting at the church began. He found it hard to believe that such a pretty thing as she could think much of a great tall fellow like himself. Looking back, we know that FRANCES STINCHCOMB did share his happiness, as she was to share the joys and sorrows of his life for many years. They were married in 1822--somewhere in Elbert County. We love to think it was at the white frame church which came by its name because of the love of its people for FRANCES' father, my great-great-grandfather, ABSOLOM STINCHCOMB, I am afraid I have never appreciated him at his proper value because of his queer, quaint name.

 

The church which bore that name, however, had a part in the family stories as far back as I can remember. As a child, I did not know where it was; only that it was somewhere within the vast boundaries of the North Georgia Methodist Conference. This church, more than the houses in which they lived, (and in spite of its name) was to me the homeplace of our forefathers back of Henry County. Recently, with Cousin JESSIE and her son, WILLIAM, I went to Elbert County in search of associations. We failed to find any of the houses. From new-found relatives near-by we learned that the old SEWELL place across the road from Stinchcomb Church, as it stands today, is not the one where Great-Great-great Aunt POLLY SEWELL lived, and where her father and mother, ABSOLOM and MARY PENN STINCHCOMB, died. But the church is there; and so strong and sturdy it stands, it must be nearly the same as it was in the day when Great-great grandfather sat in the Amen Corner and his family sang in the pews.

 

We looked at the rich fertile country with its well-tended fields, its pasture lands dotted with farm houses, and asked ourselves and each other why our Great-Grandfather and his brothers left this pleasant country. That they found no easier place of living, we know--it must have been more difficult to till the arid soil of Henry County.

 

As WILLIAM's firm hand guided our car along the smooth highway, I found myself wishing we could know more of the details of the life my Great-great-grandmother CHAMBERS lived with her five children there in Elbert County. What were the things they talked about when neighbors and friends gathered at log-raising, at quiltings and at church?

 

I am sure they talked of General GEORGE MATTHEWS, who had come to this part of the country during the Revolutionary War; and who was not happy after the war until he came back, bringing with him friends and relatives from Virginia and North Carolina to establish a settlement. Most of the settlers had come with General MATTHEWS, and at the friendly gatherings they talked of the long drive in covered wagons; of the dangers from Indians and wild animals all along the way. There was talk of the War, its battles and its heroes; of individual bravery and wounds received in combat. They talked of the amazing neighbor woman, NANCY HART; and of the TYNER sisters (TYNER or TIGNER, NANCY & PAMELA----see Elder Family History--V. Dixon), stolen by the Indians from their home on the very edge of the settlement. They talked of the murder of the girls' mother and her baby; and of their young brother who was saved only by hiding in the hollow log, where he lay all night, shivering at the sound of moccasined feet above his very hiding place.

 

As time went on, the tone of their conversations began to change. There was less talk of the past and more of the present; of the increasing boldness of the Indians which resulted at last in open warfare. When the Indian Wars were over, the theme of the talks was the future. Young folks had a great deal to say of free land to be had for the asking. The Creek Indians, after much wavering, had ceded land to the U.S. Government as reparations for the part they played in fighting on the side of the British in the Revolution and the War of 1812. Out of these lands five new counties were to be established--Henry, Fayette, Dooley, Houston, and Monroe.

 

Among the eager, excited young people were the two older sons and the daughter of my great-great-grandmother. As children of a Revolutionary soldier, they were eligible for two "draws" each when land in these new counties was distributed in the Land Lottery of 1821.

 

I can imagine Uncle BILLY and Aunt SALLY, Uncle JOHN and Aunt BESS, with their three or four small children coming from their own homes to Grandma's house on a summer evening after supper. They were joined there by Aunt FRANKIE and JOE PLEDGER, whom she was to marry. Some of them sat on the low door-step, some with Grandma on the porch. I would love to know which was the spokesman at first. I believe Uncle JOHN was the eldest. Perhaps he began the conversation, but I am sure the others joined in very soon, for that is the way in our family.

My grandmother, I know, breathed a deep sigh as she listened. She may have snipped the dead leaves from a geranium on a three-tiered stand beside her chair. She may have brushed aside a tear. She would have been thinking of the hardships in the lives of these, her children. Farming was about the only way of making a living in that section at that time. Tobacco and cotton were about the only crops. The raising of cotton and tobacco on land that was young, by hands that were young--with few, if any, slaves, and the nearest market, Augusta, four days journey away--must have been an impossible task for my grandmother and her sons.

 

When my grandmother considered all these things, I believe she listed with complete sympathy to her childrens' plans. They should "take up land" with her blessing. I know Grandmother realized then that she was happy at the thought of their having for their very own more acres than she could ever hope to give them. And there was an added satisfaction. I am very sure that my grandmother was glad that, though her two older sons and her daughter were grown-up now, they still might feel with pride that the land they came to possess was an inheritance from that Revolutionary soldier who was their father.

 

I believe my great-great grandmother and her two younger sons remained in Elbert County for several years after the older ones took up land in Henry and Fayette Counties. Perhaps Great-grandfather JOSEPH stayed because his wife, FRANCES STINCHCOMB, was reluctant to leave her father's family. Perhaps my Great-great Uncle JAMES was not old enough to draw land. Perhaps my grandmother, MARTHA, nurtured faint hopes that Grandfather still might reach home. At any rate, we have no record of any of these three in Fayette County until 1827, when my great-great-grandmother was listed as the widow of a Revolutionary soldier living in Fayette. That was the year (1827) when the counties of Coweta and Carroll were established. In 1829, my Great-Grandfather JOSEPH purchased land in Henry County from his elder brother, WILLIAM.

 

My great-great-uncle JAMES E. CHAMBERS remained in Elbert until 1832, the year of the first Gold lottery. This land was known as the Cherokee Purchase and extended from the Chattahoochee River to the state of Alabama on the west; to Tennessee and North Carolina on the north. Lots of forty acres were supposed to contain gold and were known as "gold lots". Uncle JIM-(present day citizens of Chambers County, Alabama, recall him as "Uncle JIMMY CHAMBERS") had one draw in the Gold Lottery of 1832, and "took up land" in what is now Alabama, where his descendants live to this day.

 

So the last of the CHAMBERS family--our branch of it, that is--left Elbert County; the young ones filled with ambition and the desire to get on in the world; the mother drawn by love for her daughter and her sons and the land where they lived---although a part of her would always remain among the green fields over the river from Elberton, where her heart lay buried.

 

In Elbert County lived:

JAMES CHAMBERS

MARTHA POSEY (his wife)

Their children were:

JOHN

WILLIAM S.

FRANCES

JOSEPH B.

JAMES E.

 

Chapter 4

 

At this point we entered uncharted trails on our pilgrimage into the past, and with very little to guide us. One signpost seemed to point towards Chambers County, Alabama. Some correspondence with Judge J. V. CHAMBERS of LaFayette, a grandson of our great-great-uncle JIM revealed only that he knew no more than we about the early history of our family and was as anxious as we to learn. Another path led towards Chambers County, Texas. Since our great-great-grandfather set out for Texas in the early 1800's, perhaps he may have planned to join some relative there. We followed this trail, by letter, to Anahuac, near Galveston. Notes on this correspondence will be found in Part II. In Part II also, will be notes on what we found at the end of a broad highway which led to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; from there to Middleton on the Susquehanna, and then south to Rowan County, North Carolina. Our fourth trail proved to be a mystic maze of pathways crossing and recrossing all over South Carolina, details of which we will leave to Part II.

 

The fifth was not actually a path, but a chart which was shown us by Dr. GEORGE CHAMBERS, in Anderson, S.C.--a chart pointing to dim and far-away regions--in the form of a History of the CHAMBERS family, by WILLIAM D. CHAMBERS of Indiana. This history included a clipping from an old Virginia record:

"Virginia genealogists claim that the name CHAMBERS is a royal name in direct line from HENRY III of England. ANNA CHAMBERS BISPHAM of Mt. Holly, New Jersey left notes to prove her descent from this royal line. If this is true," says the author of the CHAMBERS history, "it is quite probably that most persons of the CHAMBERS name did not cross the English Channel with WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR, as is claimed by some authorities, but that they trailed to the island after HENRY III'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, continues the author, the following letter from EDWARD STUART CHAMBERS, author and publisher of CHAMBERS' Journal Edinburgh (about 1920-25) fits into this theory.

 

"GILLAUME (WILLIAM) DE LA CHAMBRE," writes EDWARD STUART CHAMBERS, "signed the regiment roll of EDWARD I (son of HENRY III) at Berwick of the Tweed in 1296--as Baille of Peebles. No doubt GILLAUME was related in some way to the king, for this was a post of honor. Berwick, at that time, was larger than London, and as the kind was planning a reorganization of Scotland, it was a position of high honor. In 1345 records of Worcester, England speak of ROBERT DE LA CHAMBRE. The name is found early in this century in London, Yorkshire, Kent, and even in Rosshire toward the north of Scotland---".

 

The closing notes of the CHAMBERS history tells us that the name is not Irish, though some of the family were probably in the mad rush for possessions in Ireland under QUEEN ANNE or before her time---If such a one is spoken of as Scotch-Irish, his stay in Ireland was brief, or one of his parents was Scotch, the other Irish.

 

Some day some of us may explore these fascinating trails, though I believe we may be happier to leave them veiled in mist, as a pretty fancy which "might have been". For now, we shall set out for places farther afield. Our grandmother, MARTHA POSEY, came to Elbert County from Virginia or Maryland. Notes on the Posey family will be found in Part II.

 

Legends of our grandmother, FRANCES STINCHCOMB, and her family led to one of the most amusing experiences of our entire pilgrimage. Grandmother FRANCES was a niece of WILLIAM PENN. We had been told that time and time again. When we began seriously to trace that relationship, we learned that, if she were indeed the niece of WILLIAM PENN, she would have to have been his niece several times removed. From an elderly physician, a descendant of ABSOLOM STINCHCOMB, we heard that the first ABSOLOM who came to this country was supposed to have come with WILLIAM PENN to Pennsylvania and to have married WILLIAM's sister, ANN. Arduous searching of many volumes revealed much thrilling and interesting information; but it revealed no ANN who had any connection with WILLIAM PENN of Pennsylvania--except one, who was the divorced wife of WILLIAM's grandson and who had no PENN children.

 

At about the same time we made this discovery, we learned of--and later saw--a quaintly-worded document---a record in Amherst County, Virginia--which stated that ABSOLOM STINCHCOMB, bachelor, and MARY PENN, spinster, were married there on the 24th of December, 1785--with JOEL WALKER, surety, and with the consent of MARY's father, PHILIP PENN.

 

We could not waste too many tears over the explosion of our favorite legend; for in meeting our great-great-grandmother MARY, spinster, who married our great-great-grandfather ABSOLOM, bachelor, on Christmas Eve in 1785, we came to know others of the interesting PENN family of Virginia, beginning with that WILLIAM PENN who came from England to Westmoreland County in 1652.

 

Before we go further along the road to the ancestral home of the PENNs, properly we should try to find out more about the first of the STINCHCOMBs to come to this country. Up to now, our authentic information has been meager. Cousin LONNIE has found the name in early records in Maryland, Kentucky, and Ohio. The only one who came to this part of the country--so far as we have been able to establish--was our great-great-grandfather ABSOLOM STINCHCOMB. The westward trend of the family caused us to wonder if, perhaps, the first ABSOLOM---instead of coming to Pennsylvania---may not have come to Spotsylvania County, Virginia. He may have been one of the "Knights of the Golden Horseshoe" who went with Governor SPOTSWOOD on his historic ride over the Blue Ridge Mountains.

 

ALEXANDER SPOTSWOOD came from England as Lt. Governor of Virginia in 1710. At that time settlement had not passed the head of the tide-water, though some brave souls had explored the regions farther west. SPOTSWOOD organized a band, drove as far as possible by coach, then went on by horseback. Some fifty-odd set out along the Rappahannock and after thirty-six days from Williamsburg scaled the mountains near Swift Run Gap, and for the first time white men looked down on the beautiful Shenandoah. With elaborate celebration they took possession of the land west of the Shenandoah in the name of the kings.

 

When the governor and his party returned to Williamsburg SPOTSWOOD established the Order of the Golden Horseshoe. To each man he gave a horseshoe set with diamonds, upon which was engraved the words "Sic juvat transcendere montes" (In this manner he helped to cross over the mountains). At once all this great country which had been seen by SPOTSWOOD was organized into the county of Spotsylvania in honor of the governor. It extended from the head of the tidewater on the Rappahannock across the mountains into Ohio.

 

That our forefather may have come with Governor SPOTSWOOD, or followed afterwards, is of course, pure surmise---but interesting, nevertheless, and there may be some grounds for the assumption. In 1724 Governor SPOTSWOOD formed a partnership with Mr. ROBERT CARY for the mining of ore and the manufacture of iron; of leather, flax, linen and woolen goods; which leads us to follow a thread of surmise to the Cotswold country of England.

 

The Cotswold range of hills extends thirty to forty miles east and west in the county of Gloucestershire. From Winchcombe Hill on the north to the truly mountainous-looking Stinchcombe Hill on the south, the distance is fifty miles. R.A.J. WALLING says, "It is a county of luxuriant woods, sudden hillsides, peaks bare of any growth same the short turf of high places such as the group of elevations clustered around Wotton-on-Edge. The most striking of them all is Stinchcombe, with its tower commemorating WILLIAM TYNDALE, translator of the English Bible. The hanging woods and the queer shapes of the knolls, not only at Stinchcombe and at Wotton, but all around, contributed to the memorable impression."

And here we begin to conjecture. The name STINCHCOMBE, we believe, is pure English--as are WINCHCOMBE, SHEEPSCOMBE, ILFRACOMBE, THORNCOMBE, CHILCOMBE, CHARLCOMBE and many other "combe's" in Gloucesterchire. The family may have taken its name from the cliff in ancient times, or the cliff may have been named for the family. If the family lived in the Cotswolds they very probably had something to do with the wool industry. In medieval times the Cotswolds were the center of the wool trade; Cotswold fleece was sent all over the known world. In that day everyone connected with the wool trade prospered---the shepherds, the weavers, the stone masons who built houses for the wool merchants, and the merchants themselves, who were most prosperous of all.

 

Today travellers remember the Cotswold country for its lovely villages; for its winding streams; its manor-houses built of Cotswold stone which, though gray, gives the impression of being yellow, as if, says one writer, "it had absorbed the sunshine of all the years since the Golden Age of the wool trade." They remember the high-walled gardens, the mills and meadows. S.P.B. MAIS writes, "If you want to catch the essential loveliness of England, its quietude and serenity, you will find it more abundantly in the Cotswolds on a June night in wild-rose time than anywhere else in the world."

 

The exquisite country-side in the Cotswolds must truly be the fairest spot in England, if not in the world. If it is so beautiful, we cannot help be wonder how anyone ever had the heart to leave it! Yet we know that the Golden Age of the wool trade passed. Many a prosperous merchant lost his noble manor-house; many a shepherd gave up the market for his sheep; many a young man dreamed of the day when he might have a manor-house of his own.

 

Is it too much to conjecture that one of our forebears was one of these? He may have been the son of a wool-merchant and "to the manor born". He may have been a weaver bearing his loom from house to house, or a shepherd on a green hill-side. He may have heard of Governor SPOTSWOOD and the beginning of the wool industry in the faraway colony of Virginia. Perhaps on a misty autumn morning he climbed to the crest of Stinchcombe Hill, moving through what has been described as "a world of wet gold, with the earth beneath the elms and beeches carpeted with yellow leaves." He would not have been oblivious of all this beauty as he resolved to set sail for America to make his fortune. He would have expected to return to this very spot, once his fortune had been made. He may even have been looking across towards the neighboring county of Buckinghamshire when he came to his decision.

 

Now, Buckinghamshire was the ancient seat of ROGER PENN and of WILLIAM PENN, his son. But our imaginary STINCHCOMB ancestor in his imaginary vigil, would not have been aware of this. He would not have dreamed there ever was to be any connection between ROGER PENN, of Bucks, and himself. Yet, years later, ABSOLOM STINCHCOMB, bachelor---in Amherst County, Virginia--was to marry (and did marry) MARY PENN, spinster, of the same county. That MARY PENN was the great-great-great-granddaughter of ROGER; and she was the great-great-grandmother of us.

 

Part II

In which we look forward from Generation to Generation, Beginning about 1590

One of the rhymes my mother laughingly used to quote to her children (at times when there was "confusion worst confounded" in the household) ran:

"O the bable and the Babel,

O the flutter and the fuss,

That began with Cain and Abel

And that finished up with us!"

We did not know how we would "finish up"; but even the least of us knew where we began. We knew that the ancestry of all good Christians began with Adam and Eve at the beginning of the Bible; and that every person in the world was a brother or sister of every other person. For our very earliest lineage, then, we must refer to the Old Testament. But, between the ages past, when men began to multiply upon the face of the earth, and the ages when the known records of the human family (and ours) began, there were many hundreds of years.

Of our fathers who came in later times from the places where they dwelt even to this exceeding good land, these are the generations and the names.

In Later Times

 

At the beginning of Part I we suggested that it would be interesting to consider some of the reasons why our forefathers came to this country. If we take a long look backward and, in imagination, reproduce the troublous years of the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe--particularly in the British Isles--we may be able to understand, to a greater extent, their reasons.

 

Within those years the Protestant Reformation took place, beginning with protests of MARTIN LUTHER (1483-1546) in Germany, Zwingli in Switzerland and JOHN CALVIN in France against the Catholic church of that day; and resulting in the establishment of various state churches.

At the beginning of the Reformation, HENRY VII (1457-1509) first of the Tudor kings, ruled England; but it was his son, HENRY VIII who abolished the Roman Catholic Church in that country; who took over the monasteries and divided the enormous properties among his own loyal nobles, declaring himself, as kind, the temporal head of the church, and the Archbishop of Canterbury it spiritual head. The Church of England, as it is today, became established during the reign of ELIZABETH (HENRY VIII's daughter)-(1533-1603) though it was in the process of formation during the reigns of ELIZABETH's brother, EDWARD VI (1537-1553) and her sister, MARY (1516-58). The state churches had protested against the Catholics, but as time went on, many protests rose against the state churches.

 

Among the first to withdraw from the Church of England were the English Baptists.

After the death of ELIZABETH, JAMES STUART (son of MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS) succeeded and Scotland became a part of the United Kingdom. This King JAMES was the one to whom the English-speaking world will forever be indebted for the beautiful authorized Version of the Bible; but the same JAMES whose steadfast belief in the "divine right of kings" caused untold suffering among his people. When Scotland became a part of the United Kingdom and the Established Church of England was forced on their land, many Scots emigrated to Ireland, rather than sacrifice their allegiance to JOHN KNOX and the Scottish Church (Presbyterian).

 

JAMES I's reign (1603-1633) was marked by a great struggle between the Parliament of England and the king. This reached its height during the reign of JAMES and of his successor, CHARLES I (1625-1649) and culminated in the Civil War. The Parliament was made up largely of the middle class and was opposed to the privileges which the king claimed as a divine-right monarch and to the authority of the Established Church. Both JAMES I and CHARLES I were unyielding in their insistence that Parliament had no rights except such as were granted by the king.

In 1642, during what was called the Long Parliament, nineteen demands were made of KING CHARLES, among them the reform of the English Church along Puritan lines; the persecution of Roman Catholics; and Parliamentary control of the Administration and the Army. CHARLES refused to accept the demands and Civil War followed. The "Cavaliers", supporters of the king, were defeated by the "Roundheads", the adherents of Parliament led by OLIVER CROMWELL, who became Lord Protector and ruled the Commonwealth of England for nine years. The result of the Puritan Revolution was the greater influence it gave to the democratic element of the English people. The power of the king was permanently limited and the power of Parliament guaranteed. With the Puritan Revolution came the end of the Reformation. With bitter struggles between Parliament and the king, and confusion, bickering and persecution rampant in the churches, there was much restlessness among the people, many of whom fled to Ireland only to find equal confusion and persecution. Beginning with the reign of HENRY TUDOR (HENRY VII) and continuing through many years, a policy of enlarging English influence by settling large "plantations" of English and Scots in Ireland, had been carried on. The fact that the land was possessed by Irish tribesmen was totally disregarded.

 

When CHARLES I had his hands full with the Long Parliament, Ireland rebelled over the policy of losing whole tracts of land to English and Scottish intruders and put to death thousands of Protestants (settlers)-(1641). OLIVER CROMWELL reconquered the country and more land was taken from a desperate peasantry to be distributed among the English. (After the death of CROMWELL-1648), CHARLES II, son of CHARLES I, was called to the throne of England from France to which country (the land of his mother) he had fled during the Revolution.

 

All these things served to drive harassed Puritans to the New World. And what of our own people during these years? Our CHAMBERS' fathers were among the early Protestants. WILLIAM D. CHAMBERS, in his history of the family, gives these details. In 1643 WILLIAM CHAMBERS, a Scottish divine, was a leader of public thought in the British Isles. In 1646 RICHARD CHAMBERS headed a famous petition to CHARLES I. In 1650 HUMPHREY CHAMBERS received honors as a Biblical author. In 1652 PETER CHAMBERS wrote a treatise on treason. JOHN CHAMBERS, a minister of Dublin, was prominent among Scotch-Irish Quakers in 1716.

 

Undoubtedly the CHAMBERS and allied families were represented in every denomination. Among my mother's English forebears were several clergymen of the Established Church. One of them LAWRENCE WOMECKE, Bishop of St. David's in Suffolk, England, was a leader, and took part in controversial issues in the kingdom.

 

RICHARD CHAMBERS, one of the early Maryland settlers, was a member of the Established Church (Episcopal) in Somerset County, Maryland. Many of our very early ancestors probably were Quakers, both before and after they came to America. Quakers settled in this country first in 1656 and during the remainder of the 17th century they migrated in large numbers. The climax of their migration was reached in the settlement of Pennsylvania and the launching of WILLIAM PENN's Holy Experiment in 1682.

 

Those who came from Ireland in the 1700's however, may well have been Methodists, for it was in Ireland that Methodism gained a stronghold about 1750, in spite of severe persecutions. In 1760 Methodism, to which many of our later ancestors pledged allegiance, was planted in America, though its strength in the southern states was gained after the Revolution.

 

The CHAMBERS brothers who came to Pennsylvania probably were Presbyterian. A rather pretty story is told of one of them, who gave land for the construction of the Presbyterian church. The consideration was to be the yearly payment of a rose, if "the descendants of Colonel BENJAMIN CHAMBERS so desired."

 

From Places Where They Dwelt:

1. France first, then England--POSEY family, ALEXANDERs and THORNTONs

2. England--PENNs, TAYLORs, PENDLETONs, STINCHCOMBs, WYCHEs, GRANVILLEs.

3. Scotland, by way of Ireland--CHAMBERS family, DORMAN family.

To This Exceeding Good Land:

1. POSEY family to Maryland.

2. ALEXANDERs, THORNTONs to Virginia.

3. STINCHCOMB family to Maryland.

4. PENNs, TAYLORs, PENDLETONs to Virginia.

5. CHAMBERS family to New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia

6. DORMANs to Virginia.

 

From these original settlements they scattered throughout the country.

The Generations and The Names

POSEY--FRANCIS POSEY, ancestor of my great-great-grandmother, MARTHA POSEY, was born in 1600. He was one of the original settlers of St. Mary's County, Maryland, a member of the House of Burgesses and prominent in the affairs of the colony.

 

Among his descendants was Captain JOHN POSEY, one time friend and neighbor of GEORGE WASHINGTON; onetime (1765) vestryman of Truro Parish, for which office he received 259 votes, the same number of votes as Washington (see Rockbridge County, Virginia, History). Captain POSEY's wife was LUCY FRANCES THORNTON, connected with WASHINGTON and ALEXANDER families. Captain JOHN POSEY "fell on evil days", lost his standing in the community and moved to Kentucky, from which state he may have returned to Virginia. He had a number of children, among them, perhaps, our great-great-grandmother, MARTHA POSEY. MARTHA POSEY, however, may have been grand-daughter of Capt. JOHN POSEY and his wife, LUCY FRANCES THORNTON. If so, she may have been the daughter of THOMAS L. POSEY, a Revolutionary soldier who, as Lt. Colonel, brought a number of Virginia troops to Georgia.

 

A number of members of the POSEY family from Virginia and Maryland settled in South Carolina and Georgia. Among them were a THOMAS, BELAIN, JOHN B., and HUMPHREY who is listed in Chronicles of Coweta County as "that good old man, HUMPHREY POSEY died Dec. 26, 1846. He was forty years a missionary to the Cherokee Indians.

 

As said before, FRANCIS POSEY was born in 1600. He was one of the original settlers of St. Mary's County, Maryland, a member of the house of Burgesses and prominent in the affairs of the colony. He died in 1670.

 

Among his descendants was Captain JOHN POSEY who married LUCY FRANCES THORNTON.

 

Most prominent of this family was THOMAS POSEY, born in Virginia on July 9, 1750. A Brigadier General in the Revolution, he served under General WAYNE at Stoney Point and with General GREEN in the South. In 1794 he settled in Kentucky, was a member of the state Senate and appointed to fill the vacancy in the United States Senate for his state in 1812. Pres. MADISON appointed him Governor of Indiana Territory. He served until it became a state. He married in 1773 MARTHA, daughter of SAMPSON MATHEWS, a prominent Revolutionary leader of Augusta County, Virginia; and again in 1784 was married to MARY, widow of Major GEORGE THORNTON and daughter of JOHN ALEXANDER, founder of Alexandria County, Virginia and his wife, LUCY THORNTON. General POSEY died at Shawneetown, Illinois March 18, 1818.

Note: MARTHA MATHEWS, first wife of General POSEY, was a niece of JOHN MATHEWS and a cousin of General GEORGE MATHEWS who brought the first settlers to Elbert County, Georgia and who later became Governor of Georgia.

 

STINCHCOMB---NATHANIEL STINCHCOMB was one of three brothers who settled in Maryland in 1663. The fact that the concluding battle of the Puritan Revolution in England took place at Stow-on-the-Wold, not far from Stinchcomb Cliff, may have had some bearing on their emigration.

 

The numerous descendants of the three brothers settled in Anne, Arundel and Baltimore Counties. They were land-owners and married into prominent families. Their properties bore quaint names, according to the custom in Maryland. Among them were "Pistole" and "addition to Pistole", "Eislington", "Absalum's Resolution", "Martin Luther's Mount". In 1702 one of our ancestors bought a tract of 393 acres called "The Tanyard" in Baltimore County. A map of this tract--showing "Stinchcomb Park" and other Stinchcomb home-places, is in existence today. Records of STINCHCOMB-OWINGS-SIKES families may be seen in Mt. Olive Cemetery.

 

Other Allied Families---TEALs, HOWARDs, WORTHINGTONs

From Maryland Calendar of Wills Vol. 5, page 33

EDWARD TEALE--Baltimore County, May 1720-leaves to son EMANUEL and daughter RUTH "The Tanyard and Addition". Should both die without issue land to pass to JOHN STINCHCOMB. (Note: JOHN STINCHCOMB's mother may have been the daughter of EDWARD TEALE.)

 

From the Maryland room in the Enoch Pratt library in Baltimore and the Mt. Vernon library in Washington, cousin LONNIE obtained these notes.

1. SARAH HOWARD, daughter of CHAS. and SARAH HOWARD married ENOCH STINCHCOMB March 5th, 1792 in Baltimore Co., Md. ENOCK STINCHCOMB and wife were named Executors of CHAS. HOWARD'S WILL IN 1799.

 

2. In 1781 Lieut. CHAS. GARMAN and MAJOR GIST of Col. HAMMONDS BATTALION resigned their commissions. The Battalion at a meeting recommended that Captain NATHANIEL STINCHCOMB be appointed at Lieut. Col. stating they supposed he would be equal to anything the Battalion, and if approved would be pleased to forward his Commission. Archived Md. Vol 47

 

3. HENRY HOWARD was born in Anne Arendale Co., Md. and married HENRIETTE STINCHCOMB, Dec. 22nd, 1794. She was called "HENNIE" and was Executor of her father's Estate.

 

4. JOHN WORTHINGTON and wife SARAH HOWARD were born in 1689, and died in 1766. Their Son THOMAS received three tracts of land, in the "Brice Shore", "Stinchcomb Park", and "Wilkshire" on the Patapso river in Baltimore Co., Md. totaling 1760 acres, and negroes. VACHAEL WORTHINGTON was devised only negroes, and did not share in his Father's real estate.

 

5. RICHARD BOONE, son of ROBT and ELIZ. BOONE married HANUTAH STINCHCOMB June 6th 1754. Their only son was lost at sea.

Other STINCHCOMBs mentioned in early Maryland records were CHRISTOPHER and AQUILLA.

 

Our great-great-grandfather ABSOLOM STINCHCOMB was a son of JOHN STINCHCOMB of Baltimore County, who died in 1807. (See Inventory Book 25, p. 83, Baltimore Courthouse.) This JOHN STINCHCOMB left property to his son ABSOLOM $1.00 no more, the same to his daughter HANNAH MILLER and to the two children of his daughter ELIZABETH; to his son JOHN, he left a horse; and the residue of his property was to go to his five sons, NATHANIEL, JOHN, VICTOR, LEVI AND VACHEL. Evidently he had given ABSOLOM his share before he left Maryland, for on "the first day of April, 1817, ABSOLOM STINCHCOMBE of the County of Elbert in the State of Georgia, sold to JOHN STINCHCOMBE of Baltimore County, in the State of Maryland, for $120 all said ABSOLOM's one-eighth part undivided real estate of JOHN STINCHCOMBE, SR. late of the County of Baltimore, Maryland, deceased, land called Luther's Mount and 17 acres of land lying adjoining-----" 26 April, 1817, were present PETER_____ and PHILIP STINCHCOMB in Elbert County, and saw ABSOLOM STINCHCOMB give ELIAS and ANDREW ELLICOTT power of attorney. (Liber W.G. 141, p. 228, Baltimore Courthouse)

 

Note: ABSOLOM STINCHCOMB's mother may have been a daughter of JOHN WORTHINGTON and SARAH HOWARD and a sister of VACHEL WORTHINGTON, though I have no record as to that.

 

Records of STINCHCOMB Family in Virginia and Georgia

1785--Marriage Records, Amherst County, Virginia

ABSOLOM STINCHCOMB, bachelor, and MARY PENN, spinster, Dec. 24, 1785. JOEL WALKER, Surety. Consent of her father, PHILIP PENN.

1791--Original Land Warrents, Elbert County.

ABSOLOM STINCHCOMB, 25 acres, Sept., 1791.

1793--PHILIP PENN to ABSOLOM STINCHCOMB, a slave, CHARITY about 11 years old, "which girl I give to said STINCHCOMB about 7 years ago". Sept. 16, 1793. See Folio 24 Deed Book "B", Elbert County Court House. ABSOLOM STINCHCOMB mentioned in several transfers of land on Dove's Creek.

1795--Constitutional Convention of 1795--See Chapter 6, McIntosh's History of Elbert County. Participating in election, ABSOLOM STINCHCOMB.

1784-1797--Among Soldiers of Indian Wars--ABSOLOM STINCHCOMB.

1790-1805--Among Justices of Peace of Elbert County--ABSOLOM STINCHCOMB.

ABSOLOM STINCHCOMB must have been a splendid person, loved by his family (whose name they honored for three generations) and by his friends who named a church in his honor, a church which still stands--one of the oldest in Georgia--in the Dove's Creek community.

Children of ABSOLOM and MARY PENN STINCHCOMB

BETSY, m. GABRIEL BOOTH, July 26, 1806

LEVI, m. POLLY RIDGEWAY, July 27, 1806

PHILIP, m. OLIVER ___ ___

(Note: PHILIP moved to Walton County. His wife is said to have been related to Dr. CRAWFORD LONG, discoverer of anesthesia.)

CATY, m. BURLEY ANDREW, Jan. 15, 1818

FRANCES, m. JOSEPH S. CHAMBERS, Aug. 22, 1822

NATHANIEL, m. ?

(Note: NATHANIEL came to Fayette County, perhaps married there).

LUCY, m. SIMEON HALL, July 29, 1828

POLLY C., m. JOSEPH SEWELL, Nov. 1, 1827

(Note: I have original wills of ABSOLOM STINCHCOMB--probated 1833-in which he leaves property along Dove's Creek, slaves, etc. to his children; and of MARY, his wife-probated 1837--. MARY PENN STINCHCOMB left a sum of money and some personal gift to each child, her daughter FRANCES CHAMBERS' gift being a Bible.)

 

From "The PENN family of Virginia" a Chronological Record 1915--William L. Clemens, Publisher,-45 William St., N.Y.

1763--Jan. 21, PHILIP PENN of Spotsylvania County to Merchants of Glasgow mortgage left the said PHILIP PENN by his father, JOSEPH PENN, dec'd, etc. -----.

1776--See Virginia Soldiers of 1776 by Burgess

PHILIP PENN-Corporal, Captain WILLIAM TUCKER's Co., Vol III, page 1262, Virginia Soldiers of 1776.

Pay Roll of Captain WILLIAM TUCKER's Militia from Amherst County, Virginia. Joined the Army Jan 14, 1781; discharged Mch. 26 following; seventy-two days. PHILIP PENN, Corporal.

(Note: PHILIP PENN and others of her family evidently moved from Spotsylvania to Amherst between 1763 and 1776.

From Amherst County Records

1782--Deed from PHILIP PENN to AUGUSTINE STEEL. Nov. 4, 1782

1787--PHILIP PENN and JAMES NOWLAND, June 25, 1787

1789--Page 40, Book F.

"PHILIP PENN and MARTHA, his wife to NICHOLAS DAVIS of Bedford County, Dec. 22, 1789.

These just prior to time family came to Georgia. Evidently several, if not all, of JOSEPH PENN's children came to Elbert County. (Note: MARTHA wife of PHILIP, is not mentioned in early Elbert records. She may have died before 1790.)

1791--From Elbert County Records.

The rank and arrangement of militia of Elbert County June 21, 1791 lists

Eighth Company

THOMAS PENN, Gentleman--1st Lt.

(Note: brother or son of PHILIP)

1793--PHILIP PENN to ABSOLOM STINCHCOMB, slave-girl CHARITY.

1795--Constitutional Convention-THOMAS PENN.

1798--PHILIP PENN, THOMAS PENN, LARKIN GATEWOOD (who married CATHERINE PENN) are mentioned in Elbert History.

1806--Land Lottery. ELIZABETH R., FANNEY, THOMAS, BENJAMIN, PHILIP and WILLIAM drew land.

1821--Land Lottery. PHILIP PENN drew land. This is, I believe, the last time his name is mentioned in Elbert History.

(Note: Other records of PENN Family in Georgia--perhaps brothers of PHILIP PENN--may be seen in D.A.R. Historical Collections, Vol. 3. at Rhodes Archives Building, Atlanta.)

JOHN PENN, SR. m. LUCY GRANVILLE

________________________________________________

1--George I. m. Ann

ch: Philip and others

2--Joseph m. Mary Taylor

ch: Philip m. Martha

their ch: Mary m. Absolom Stinchcomb

3--Moses m. Catherine Taylor

ch: John the Signer

PENNs--From "Original Lists of Persons of Quality Who Went from Great Britain to the American Plantations 1600-1700"

"Grant made to WILLIAM PENN, Esquire, of a tract of land with the islands belonging to it, in America, bound on the east by Deleware, Etc."

From "The PENN family of Virginia" by MARY L. PENN

ROGER PENN--Bratten County (was living April 10, 1638 in Wiltshire, England.)

1st generation--WILLIAM PENN I--Minety England (will dated 1590). m. - Miss GEORGE

2nd gen.--1st child, WILLIAM PENN II--was lawyer, died before 1591. m. -MARGARET RASTALL.

3rd gen.--1st child, GEORGE (was executor of will of his grandfather WILLIAM PENN I in 1590). m.-Elizabeth____.

(other children of WILLIAM PENN and MARGARET RASTALL were SARAH, SUSANNAH, MARIE, WILLIAM and Captain GILES PENN, who was father of Sir WILLIAM PENN and grandfather of WILLIAM the Quaker, who established province of Pennsylvania.)

4th gen.--1st child, WILLIAM PENN of Westmoreland County, Virginia, co-patentee of land in 1652. m. ELIZABETH MARKHAM (?)

5th gen.--1st child, JOHN PENN, SR. m. LUCY GRANVILLE, daughter of Sir BEVILLE GRANVILLE and JANE WYCHE, daughter if Sir PHILIP WYCHE. (Note: Our grandfather PHILIP PENN may have been named for his great-grandfather, Sir PHILIP, or for his grandfather, PHILIP PENDLETON.)

6th gen.--1st child, GEORGE PEN I (d. 1755) of Caroline County, Virginia, married ANN ___)will made in 1794, Amherst County when she was ANN PENN DUDLEY. In will she named her PENN children. They were FRANCES- m. RUCKER; GEORGE II, PHILIP-married and had several daughters who married into LEE and PENDLETON families; GABRIEL- m. SARAH CALLOWAY; ABRAM- m. RUTH STOVALL. Col. ABRAM was quite prominent in Revolution; as was WILLIAM Lt. later Capt. of First Continental Dragoons; awarded 2666 acres of land for services; made will before going to war, mentioned brothers GEORGE, PHILIP, GABRIEL and ABRAM. (Will Book I, Amherst County, Va.) MOSES PENN Jr., youngest child of GEORGE and ANN PENN. Bachelor. Mentions in his will brother PHILIP; niece PARMELIA, daughter of brother GABRIEL; nephew GEORGE, son of brother GEORGE; brother WILLIAM; nephew RICHARD LEE and niece, NANCY LEE. (Note: doubtless the LEEs were grandchildren of his brother PHILIP, first cousin of our great-great-great-grandfather PHILIP.) MOSES PENN JR. died at Norfolk, Va. while serving his country as a soldier. 1744 (See "Our Kin" by Ackerley, p. 187)

6th gen. 2--MOSES PENN b. d. Nov. 4, 1759. m. CATHERINE TAYLOR, daughter of JOHN TAYLOR, of Caroline County, Va. MOSES PENN and CATHERINE TAYLOR were parents of JOHN PENN, Signer of the Declaration of Independence. See notes on PENN--TAYLOR--PENDLETON forthcoming.

6th gen. 3--JOSEPH PENN. d. soon after 1763. Planter of Dryadale Parish. He married first Feb. 3, 1735--MARY TAYLOR, (b. May 30, 1716, d. Sept. 13, 1757) daughter of JOHN TAYLOR of Caroline County, and sister of CATHERINE TAYLOR who married MOSES PENN.

Mrs. MARY TAYLOR BLACKWELL owned the JOHN TAYLOR Bible and her great nephew, JOE W. TAYLOR of Waco, Texas copied from it in 1870 the following record:

"Feb. 3, 1735 I gave my daughter MARY in marriage to JOSEPH PENN. July 4, 1739 I gave my daughter CATHERINE in marriage to MOSES PENN."

"MOSES PENN died Nov., 4, 1759."

"Son of MOSES and CATHERINE PENN---JOHN PENN, born May 4, 1740. Died Sept. 14, 1778. Signer of the Declaration of Independence."

(See William and Mary Quarterly, 1902-04, Vol. 12, p. 129)

The children of JOSEPH and MARY TAYLOR PENN were:

1:7 GABRIEL PENN (b. Dec. 17, 1736)

2:7 JOSEPH PENN (b. Sept. 27, 1738)

3:7 CATHERINE PENN (b. Mar. 17, 1741. Married LARKINE GATEWOOD.)

4:7 PHILIP PENN (b. Feb. 6, 1742. our ancestor)

5:7 MOSES PENN (b. Dec. 3, 1744, d. 1796 at Oglethorpe, Ga.)

6:7 JAMES PENN (b. Aug. 12, 1748)

7:7 ELIZABETH PENN (b. __ 25, 1746)

8:7 THOMAS PENN

JOSEPH PENN's second wife was ELIZABETH ___.

1:7 GEORGE PENN

2:7 WILLIAM PENN -(our great-grandmother's uncle, whence came the story that she was a "niece of WILLIAM PENN".)

3:7 JOHN PENN

4:7 FRANCES PENN

On April 28, 1739 JOSEPH BROCK of Spottsylvania County St. George's Parish, conveyed to JOSEPH PENN, of Drysdale Parish, Caroline County 350 acres of land, the same being part of patent originally granted to LARKIN CHEW.

In 1761-63 deeds by JOSEPH PENN and his wife ELIZABETH of Spottsylvania County are recorded.

In 1763, JOSEPH PENN conveyed his estate to JOHN TAYLOR in trust for his wife and children. The wording of this paper virtually constitutes a will:

"Sept. 19, 1763, JOSEPH PENN of Spottsylvania County, Virginia to JOHN TAYLOR of Caroline County, Virginia. In trust for purposes hereinafter names: Slaves, stock, lands, etc. for use of said JOSEPH PENN during his natural life, then to his son PHILIP PENN; son, MOSES PENN; son, THOMAS PENN; daughter, CATHERINE PENN, wife of LARKIN GATEWOOD; daughter, MARY PENN; daughter, FRANCES PENN; son, JOHN PENN; and wife, ELIZABETH PENN."

JOSEPH PENN appears to have gone back to his lands in Caroline County prior to his death, which must have taken place soon after 1763, as this is the last time his name appears as living. (See p. 182 of "Our Kin" by ACKERLY and PARKER.)

7th gen. PHILIP PENN--m. MARTHA _____

8th gen. MARY PENN - m. ABSOLOM STINCHCOMB

MARY and CATHERINE TAYLOR (who married JOSEPH and MOSES PENN) were daughters of JOHN TAYLOR and CATHERINE PENDLETON.

From William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 12, p. 129

Data, alleged, taken from Family Bible of JOHN TAYLOR, SR.

JOHN TAYLOR, b. Nov. 18, 1696; d. Mar. 22, 1788.--son of JAMES and MARY TAYLOR. Married CATHERINE PENDLETON (b. Dec. 8, 1699--d. July 26, 1774) daughter of PHILIP and ISABELLA PENDLETON.

Among children: MARY (b. May 30, 1718. d. Sept. 13, 1757 m. Feb. 3, 1735--JOSEPH PENN.

CATHERINE (b. Dec. 30, 1719. d. Nov. 4, 1774. m. July 4, 1739 MOSES PENN--d. Nov. 4, 1759.)

PENN--TAYLOR--PENDLETON Notes

From SANDERSON's "Biography of the Signers".---JOHN PENN, patriot, statesman, signer of the Declaration of Independence, was the only child of MOSES PENN and CATHERINE TAYLOR. Note: in PITTMAN's biography of PENN we are told that he had a sister (no name was mentioned). He was born in Caroline County near Port Royal, on May 17, 1741. He was married to SUSANNAH SYME, of Granville County, N. C., July 28, 1763 and to this union were born three children, one of whom--WILLIAM PENN removed to Virginia, established his home in what afterwards became Henry County and became the progenitor of the large and influential family of that name, throughout Virginia and other states. Many direct descendants of JOHN PENN are widely known tobacconists in Martinsville and Danville and in Reidsville, N.C. A Mr. T. R. PENN was living there in 1912, whose sons afterwards became the heads of the American Tobacco Co. JOHN PENN died Sept., 1788 at his home in Granville, N.C.; buried near Island Creek. In 1894 his remains were reinterred in Guilford Battle Grounds, a few miles from Greensboro.

From WINGFIELD's History of Caroline County, Va.

In the galaxy of stars which scintillate in the firmament of Caroline's history, there is no luminary which burns with greater brilliance or with steadier flame than that which represents JOHN PENN, patriot, statesman and signer of the Declaration of Independence.

JOHN PENN's father being possessed of a considerable fortune, could have educated his son in the best seminaries of his time, but having a limited education himself, and being quite indifferent to educational matters, the son reached the age of 18 years with only two or three years instruction.

After his father's death, PENN became a member of the family of his uncle EDMUND PENDLETON , with whom he "read Law" at Bowling Green. Later he became widely known as a defense lawyer.

His eloquence was of a sweet, persuasive kind, which excited all the tender emotions of the soul and possessed a controlling power, at time, irresistible.

(Other authorities give EDMUND PENNDLETON as "kinsman" rather than uncle--evidently very close ties of kinship between families. Actually, he was double-first cousin of JOHN PENN's and PHILIP PENN's mothers, CATHERINE TAYLOR and MARY TAYLOR. JOHN PENN, the Signer, was double first cousin of PHILIP.)

From a North Carolina History

"Brought up in an atmosphere of refinement, JOHN PENN was quite familiar with the social usages of the most exclusive circles and moved with ease and grace in all circles and on all occasions. His colleagues in the Continental Congress, recognizing his superior social tastes, wrote from Philadelphia the following,- "In the social life of Philadelphia we propose that PENN shall represent the whole state." (North Carolina)

While in Philadelphia PENN became involved in a personal difficulty with the President of the Congress--Mr. Laurens, a fellow-boarder, who challenged PENN to a duel. The "affair of honor" was arranged and when the day arrived PENN and LAURENS, after breakfasting together, set out for the place of meeting which was opposite the Masonic Hall on Chestnut St. At the crossing on Fifth St. was a deep mud-hole, in approaching which Mr. PENN offered his hand to Mr. LAURENS, the older of the two, to aid him in crossing over. The hand was accepted and the magnanimity so impressed Mr. Laurens that he withdrew his challenge and the matter was amicably settled on the spot.

From History of Caroline County (Wingfield)

 

The TAYLOR family is one of historic interest and dignity and has been closely associated with the development of this country from its earliest colonial struggles. Among the English gentry who established homes in Tidewater Virginia was JAMES TAYLOR who was born in Carlisle, England and in 1665 settled in that part of Virginia which became Caroline County in 1727. He married first FRANCES___; and second, MARY GREGORY and has issue: ANN, MARY, EDMUND, ELIZABETH, JAMES and JOHN.

TAYLOR Family

JAMES I - b. 1635: m. 1--FRANCES___

2--MARY GREGORY

1st generation--Gen. JAMES TAYLOR and MARY GREGORY

2nd gen.--1. ANN TAYLOR

2:2. MARY TAYLOR. m. HENRY PENDLETON (their son was EDMUND PENDLETON)

2:3. EDMUND

2:4. ELIZABETH

2:5. JAMES II m. MARTHA THOMPSON or THOMPKINS (see forthcoming section)

2:6. JOHN m. CATHERINE PENDLETON (daughter of PHILIP and ISABELLA PENDLETON)

JOHN TAYLOR and CATHERINE PENDLETON had children:

3rd gen.--1. MARY m. JOSEPH PENN (was double first cousin of EDMUND PENDLETON and mother of PHILIP, or grandfather)

3:2. CATHERINE m. MOSES PENN (was double first cousin of EDMUND PENDLETON and mother of JOHN PENN--Signer)

3:3. JAMES TAYLOR m. ANN POLLARD (JAMES was double first cousin of EDMUND PENDLETON and father of famous "JOHN TAYLOR of Caroline")

From WINGFIELD's "History of Caroline County"

JAMES TAYLOR I was a large land-owner and prominent in the colony. A seal-ring which belonged to him and which bore the crest and motto, of the TAYLOR arms, has been handed down to the present generation, and with this seal-ring has also descended a legend to the effect that on a certain occasion the King of England was enjoying a chase in one of the royal forests when a wild boar, hard-driven, turned upon the loyal huntsman, whereupon there sprang to his defense one of the knights who slew the boar. The king, out of gratitude, gave this knight a crest, the distinguishing mark of which was an uplifted arm with lance in hand, accompanied by the motto: "Consequitur quo cunque petit". "Wheresoever he strives he will conquer."

Note--2nd gen.--5th child---JAMES TAYLOR II, m. MARTHA THOMPSON (or TOMPKINS) about the year 1700 and became progenitor of the TAYLORs of Orange County and of the Valley of Virginia.---Of the nine children of JAMES TAYLOR and MARTHA THOMPSON two became grandparents of Presidents of the United States--namely FRANCES TAYLOR who married AMBROSE MADISON; and ZACHARY TAYLOR who married ELIZABETH LEE.

PENDLETON Family

PHILIP PENDLETON and his brother, the Reverend NATHANIEL, came from Lancashire, England to Virginia in 1676 and settled in that part of the state which afterwards became Caroline County.

PHILIP--m. ISABELLA

1st gen.--PHILIP and ISABELLA

2nd. gen.--1. HENRY m. MARY TAYLOR (daughter of JAMES TAYLOR I and MARY GREGORY. Their son was EDMUND PENDLETON, whose labors had so much to do with shaping the life of the state and nation, and who has been called "Caroline County Virginia's most distinguished son".)

2nd gen.--2. CATHERINE m. JOHN TAYLOR (Their daughters, MARY and CATHERINE, married JOSEPH and MOSES PENN. MOSES was father of JOHN PENN, the Signer of the Declaration. JOSEPH was father of PHILIP PENN, my great-great-great-grandfather.)

 

CHAMBERS

WILLIAM D. CHAMBERS' History says that to New Jersey in the early 1600's came ROBERT CHAMBERS.

Early Virginia records mention THOMAS and JAMES CHAMBERS.

To Pennsylvania BENJAMIN CHAMBERS came with WILLIAM PENN. Many others of the CHAMBERS name were among the early Quakers who settled in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

From other sources we know that the best-known of these who emigrated to America were the four brothers---JAMES, ROBERT, JOSEPH and BENJAMIN CHAMBERS---who came from the County of Antrim, in Ireland, between 1726 and 1730, and settled near what is now Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. BENJAMIN became the first white settler in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and with his sons, established Chambersburg. Colonel JAMES CHAMBERS, son of BENJAMIN, was distinguished officer in the Revolutionary War.

A descendant of JOSEPH CHAMBERS, of Chambersburg, was JULIUS CHAMBERS, prominent journalist and author (1850-1920). At one time, JULIUS CHAMBERS, with the connivance of his city editor on the New York Tribune, arranged to be committed as insane in the Bloomingdale Asylum, in order to obtain authoritative information as to the alleged abuse of the inmates. Friends secured his release after ten days. His reports and stories resulted in needed reforms.

A ROWLAND CHAMBERS kept the Susquehanna Ferry in Pennsylvania in very early days. According to certain records in the Congressional Library in Washington some of ROWLAND's descendants came to North Carolina. The most distinguished descendant of ROWLAND was JOHN CHAMBERS, once governor or Iowa.

A brother of ROWLAND CHAMBERS was JOHN, who--in 1751--lived in Antrim Township, Pennsylvania. This probably was the JOHN who married ELIZABETH RUTTER and settled in South Carolina.

RICHARD and STEPHEN CHAMBERS were very early settlers of Maryland. JOHN CHAMBERS of Maryland was a sea-captain in the Revolution. A JOHN CHAMBERS was a sergeant in the Maryland line. a JAMES took the oath of allegiance in Maryland in 1778. BENJAMIN of Maryland was a Revolutionary general and grandfather of U. S. Judge EZEKIEL NOWMAN CHAMBERS (1873).

Among the numerous JOHNs and WILLIAMs, the ALEXANDERs, the THOMASes, THOROUGHGOODs and JOSIAHs living in Virginia in the 1700's, one or two families are of particular interest. THOMAS CHAMBERS, of Orange County, had two wives and twenty children. The best-known of these was THOMAS JEFFERSON CHAMBERS, famous Texas patriot. On April 26, 1832, THOMAS JEFFERSON CHAMBERS received a grant of two leagues of land from the Mexican government a large portion of which was the site where now stands the city of Waco.

On August 1, 1837, THOMAS JEFFERSON CHAMBERS sold the two leagues of land to JOHN S. SYDNOR for a recited consideration of 18,072.58 or slightly more than two dollars per acre. The above mentioned deed was executed in Galveston, Texas. It is believed that CHAMBERS never lived in Waco but had large land holdings over the state of Texas. Legend has it that he pledged his entire personal fortune to help finance the Texas Revolution and that the sale of the land at Waco was to raise money with which to pay off the debt so incurred. General CHAMBERS' home was called "Chambersea" in Anahuac County, near Galveston.

(This information came to me from the Vaughan Abstract Company in Waco. This story was probably given some publicity during the time when the descendants of General CHAMBERS were endeavoring to recover oil lands in the 1920's. Some of our family thought our great-great-grandfather who went to Texas may have been related to General CHAMBERS. I have been unable to establish any connection.)

Another Virginian, THOMAS CHAMBERS, Gentleman, of Lunenburg County, had fourteen children. This THOMAS CHAMBERS was a man of prominence, a vestryman of Cumberland Parish at a time when, according to Bishop Meade, vestries were the real depositories of power (1769-1780). He was also a Justice of the County Court (1764-83). He had fourteen children, one of whom, EDWARD, married MARTHA COUSINS. Their son, Dr. HENRY CHAMBERS, was an early citizen, of Alabama. A history of Alabama says:

"HENRY CHAMBERS, one of our early public men, was a Virginian by birth and came to Alabama (Madison County) about 1815. He was then about 30 years old, a physician, an educated gentleman and a man of property. He represented Madison in the convention which framed the State Constitution and in the lower house of the legislature in 1820. Twice defeated for Governor, he was elected to the Federal Senate, and died on the way to Washington. Chambers County, Alabama was named for him."

Another Alabama history reveals that Dr. CHAMBERS was active in Georgia politics before he went to Alabama. An Elbert County, Georgia history mentions a THOMAS and an EDWARD CHAMBERS, who were probably of this Virginia family.

In Prince Edward County, Virginia in the 1780's lived JOSIAH CHAMBERS, his wife MARY WATSON and their seven children. JOSIAH CHAMBERS had been a captain of Prince Edward County militia in the Revolution. When he died in 1781, Captain JOSIAH willed considerable property and twenty-four slaves to his wife, his sons--JOHN, ALLEN and JOSIAH, and his daughters--ELIZABETH ALLEN, KEZIA ALLEN, BETTY ANN and SUSANNAH CHAMBERS. (Of this family, JOHN undoubtedly settled in Abbeville County, S.C. and ALLEN in Newberry County. The will of JOHN CHAMBERS, probated in Abbeville in 1792, mentions sons JOSIAH, JOHN, STEPHEN, PIE and daughters KEZIA and MARY.)

Deeds in Albemarle County, Virginia (1749-51) reveal that WILLIAM CHAMBERS sold property there to WILLIAM SAUNDERS and moved to Granville County, N.C. Albermarle records recognize, also, ALEXANDER CHAMBERS.

Records in Rowan County, North Carolina, list MAXWELL, JOSEPH, EDWARD and DAVID as prominent among early citizens. These, according to suggestions in records found in the Congressional Library in Washington, may have been descendants of ROWLAND CHAMBERS of Pennsylvania.

To understand the history of our more immediate family, it is important that we recall something of the history of South Carolina in the 1700's--particularly of the famous Ninety-Six Precinct, just across the Savannah River from Georgia.

South Carolina in the middle 1700's needed to increase the proportion of white settlers to the negro slaves in the rich rice-plantations in the low country. She needed aid in protecting the colonists from the Indians in the territory west of the present Spartanburg, Greenville, Abbeville and Anderson line. For these reasons bounty lands were offered, and a tide of migration from Virginia and Pennsylvania followed. The raising of land prices of Pennsylvania hastened the movement, but the migration of the Pennsylvanians and Virginians was primarily an incident in the persistent movement from the settled regions to frontier lands. WALLACE's History of South Carolina says that the middle country--including the present Lancaster, Fairfield, Newberry, Saluda and Edgefield Counties--was filled in by the migration of settlers in the 1750 to 1770's.

At this period JOHN CHAMBERS who may have been the brother of ROWLAND of Pennsylvania, settled in South Carolina in the forks of Lynch's Creek, near Camden, Cheraw County; later (driven by the Tories during the Revolution) moving to York County. Born in Derry County, Ireland, JOHN CHAMBERS came to America in 1717. He married ELIZABETH RUTTER, a Swiss woman of remarkable character. JOHN CHAMBERS was prominent in the Revolution, a captain in Sumter's army. The children of JOHN CHAMBERS and ELIZABETH RUTTER were JOHN (captain in the War of 1812), married MARGARET SMITH and had 13 children; JAMES-m. POLLY GORDON and had a son, EDMUND RUTTER; BENJAMIN-m. ANNIE GORDON, then HARRIET ROSS and had ten children; WILLIAM- never married; SAMUEL-m. ELIZABETH ELLISON and had five children. (Note: A SAMUEL CHAMBERS, probably older than this one, is mentioned in Mrs. J.E. HAYS' life of ELIJAH CLARKE as a deserter in the Revolution.)

The next migrations may be understood more readily if we remember the tremendous part played by South Carolina in the Revolutionary War. It is said that greater suffering was inflicted on South Carolina than any other colony endured. When General GREENE and his Continentals arrived in 1780, there already had been thirty-four battles in South Carolina during that year--counting the siege of Charleston as only one. Many soldiers from Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina, who fought in South Carolina returned to that fertile and healthful region when the war was over.

Newberry County records show that a number of members of branches of the CHAMBERS' family acquired land during those years--DAVID in 1780; WILLIAM in 1794; JAMES in 1801; ALLEN, SAMUEL, THOROGOOD and ALEXANDER. ALEXANDER was the second tax-collector and a merchant. Of him "Annals of Newberry" says: (at the time he left Newberry County for Alabama by way of Clayton County, Georgia).--that his epitaph might well be--(at a future time when his life was done)--that "he was honest, loyal, just and true in every relation of life."

CHAMBERS Family in Georgia

1787-1793. JAMES CHAMBERS was born in __ in __. He was the son of __ CHAMBERS and his wife, ___.

I believe JAMES CHAMBERS and his wife, MARTHA POSEY, were among the colony of settlers who came with General GEORGE MATHEWS (who may have been a kinsman of MARTHA POSEY) to Georgia in 1787, establishing what is now Elbert County. The first mention of JAMES CHAMBERS in Georgia is found in DAVIDSON's D.A.R. Historical Collections, Vol. 3, page 203.

1793. ROBERT CHAMBERS and wife, LETTICE, of Greene County, to STEPHEN HEARD of Elbert County 899 acres on both sides of Beaverdam Creek adjoining CHARLES COSBY, WILLIAM MOSS and WILLIAM DANIEL, Aug. 22, 1793, ALEX. REED JR, H. MCDONALD, JAMES CHAMBERS, Test.

(ROBERT CHAMBERS--probably a brother of JAMES, and his wife LETTICE are mentioned as buying and selling land in Elbert County in 1791, 1792 and 1793. There is no other record of JAMES CHAMBERS in Elbert County.)

In 1800 JAMES CHAMBERS and MARTHA CHAMBERS were administrators of the estate of ADAM CHAMBERS in Newberry County, S.C.

In 1801 JAMES CHAMBERS purchased land from DANIEL REEDER in Newberry County--in the forks of King's Creek, a branch of the Enoree River.

In 1805 JAMES CHAMBERS' estate was administered upon, with SAMUEL CHAMBERS as administrator. Among items sold was a still. Appraised at $4.00 was a Bible (no record of this being purchased.) There were only household goods, cattle and hogs, etc. listed in this sale, and no real estate. Although this estate was appraised and sold in 1805, the final settlement was made in 1813, with ANN CHAMBERS and SAMUEL KENNER, administrators.

These details led me to believe that JAMES CHAMBERS lost his farm--as we had always heard--in 1805; that he set out for Texas in October of that year; that he was presumed dead and an appraisal warrant issued, according to custom, one month after his death, or on Nov. 12, 1805.

I believe his wife was allowed to keep the Bible. (What would we not give to find it?)

Among buyers at the administrative sale were SAMUEL, ALEXANDER, MARGARET and JANE CHAMBERS.

Living (or owning property) in Newberry County at that time were DAVID CHAMBERS, who acquired land as early as 1780; WILLIAM in October, 1794; ALLEN CHAMBERS and THOROGOOD CHAMBERS; ADAM, SAMUEL and ALEXANDER, who was the second Tax-collector in Newberry District (1832-1836), later moving to Alabama.

I believe that, after the final settlement of her husband's estate, MARTHA CHAMBERS returned to Elbert County, Georgia, where her children married.

From Elbert County Marriage Records:

1814--JOHN CHAMBERS m. ELIZABETH SHEPHERD Dec. 29, 1814

1819--WILLIAM S. CHAMBERS m. SARAH SHEPHERD, Nov. 18, 1819

1822--FRANCES P. CHAMBERS m. JOSEPH P. PLEDGER, Jan, 3, 1822

1822--JOSEPH S. CHAMBERS m. FRANCES A. STINCHCOMB, Aug. 29, 1822

Note: JAMES E. CHAMBERS, youngest son of JAMES and MARTHA CHAMBERS, presumably married here also, though I have found no marriage record.

In 1827, in Elbert County, MARY A. R. CHAMBERS married JAMES J. Y. ALSTON. If she was any connection of our family, I do not know of it.

In the 1820's and early 1830's, MARTHA CHAMBERS and her children left Elbert County.

1821--Land Lottery (Elbert County) Capt. BENJAMIN PENN's District

JOSEPH P. PLEDGER (who married FRANCES CHAMBERS)--1 draw

JOHN CHAMBERS--2 draws

WILLIAM S. CHAMBERS--2 draws

Note: This was the land ceded by the Creek Indians at the Treaty of Indian Springs. Signing of the treaty against the wishes of some of the Indians cost the Creek chieftain, General MCINTOSH, his life. Part of this tract was what is now Henry, Clayton and Fayette Counties.

1824--JOHN CHAMBERS is listed among the jurors in the first Grand Jury in Fayette County. We know he and his brother, WILLIAM S., moved from Elbert to Fayette and Henry Counties after drawing land in 1821.

1823--Elbert County. See D.A.R. Historical Collections Vol 3.

EDWARD M. CHAMBERS is mentioned in CHARITY ALSTON's will (wife of Lt. Col. WILLIAM ALSTON) as son of her daughter SARAH, wife of THOMAS CHAMBERS. Will signed Apr. 20, 1823. Probated May 5, 1823. H. BANKS, Test. So far as I know there is no relation here. The only significance might be that the name SARAH came into the family records about this time.

1827--Fayette County. Reprint Land Lottery 1827, Pamphlet by MARTHA LOU HOUSTON.

600 Revolutionary Soldiers and Widows of Soldiers Living in Georgia--lists MARTHA CHAMBERS Fayette County.

1832--Elbert County (see Historical Collections, Vol. 3, page 257) Gold Lottery.--Major JAMES E. CHAMBERS' Battalion, Capt. JOHN CANNING's District.--JAMES E. CHAMBERS--2 draws.

1838--Fayette County. Cherokee Land Lottery, 7th District, 4th Section--MARTHA CHAMBERS, w.R.s., Fayette County.

I believe MARTHA CHAMBERS may have died in the late 1840's. She drew land in 1838; she, or some "older person" was listed as part of the household of JOHN D. CHAMBERS in the Fayette County census of 1840. She lived long enough for Aunt EL, who was born in 1840, to have remembered poignant stories of her courage in the face of difficulties; she was not listed in the 1850 census.

Ist Generation

Of the children of JAMES CHAMBERS and his wife MARTHA--

II--JAMES and MARTHA CHAMBERS

III rd generation--1. JOHN D. m. ELIZABETH SHEPHERD (1814). Their children a.-JOHN WILLIAM m. 1-MAHULDA WEAVER. Had a daughter, FRANCES CLEMENTINE, who married Dr. FRANCIS POWELL SMITH (a dentist whom members of our family remember.) Our cousin COLA SPEARS (EMMA COLA), daughter of FRANCES CLEMENTINE CHAMBERS and Dr. FRANCIS SMITH. She was for many years a teacher and principal in the Atlanta school system. Her only son, FRANCIS, died in 1949. She lives in a beautiful home on Ivy Road, is retired, and may be seen constantly working with her flowers. She has several brothers and sisters.

III--2. PETER CHAMBERS (second son of JOHN D. and ELIZABETH CHAMBERS) was a lawyer, a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1868. He moved later, from Georgia to Tennessee and then to New York.

III--3. JOSIAH, m. 1-MARY JANE ANDREWS, m. 2-The Widow MALONE, whose maiden name was BARBARA LEE. By her first husband, Cousin BARBARA had a son, CHARLES MALONE, who is recalled by VINNIE as unusually attentive to his mother when she was old. CHARLIE MALONE was a member of the firm of RAGAN-MALONE, prominent Atlanta Manufacturers.

III--4. RICHARD (named, probably, for RICHARD SHEPHERD, of Fayette County, who may have been his uncle). RICHARD had seven or eight children whose names Cousin COLA does not recall.

III--5. MARY, m. WILLIAM RICE.

III--6. MARTHA, m. DUDLEY GLASS, and had a daughter, EMMA, who Cousin LONNIE remembers as visiting his family, coming from her home in Alabama.

III--7. WILLIAM. Cousin COLA's grandfather JOHN WILLIAM CHAMBERS' second wife was CAROLINE CAMPBELL. Their children were--

III--8. CHARLIE, m. _____, and had a daughter DOLLIE, now DOLLIE CALLIER, who lives in Washington, D.C.

III--9. BALLIE, m. __MCDONALD and had a son, WALTER, now a member of the Public Service Commission.

******

II--2. WILLIAM S. CHAMBERS, m. SARAH SHEPHERD. Cousin MOLLY and Cousin COLA recall Uncle BILLY and Aunt SALLY. Their children were a.-WILLIAM S.P.CHAMBERS and b.-JAMES R.P.CHAMBERS. PAUL CHAMBERS, one of their descendants, recalls that WILLIAM S.P.CHAMBERS was named WILLIAM STEVENS (or STEPHEN) POSEY, for his two grandmothers. May have been grandmother and great-grandmother since his father was WILLIAM S. (perhaps STEVENS).

II--3. FRANCES P. CHAMBERS-probably FRANCES POSEY, who married JOSEPH PLEDGER and had a son, JOSEPH PLEDGER.

II--4. JAMES E. CHAMBERS, m. 1--___and had three children--JOSEPH, FRANCES and THOMAS. m. 2--EMILY AVERY. Moved to Alabama. Cousin MOLLIE LEE and Cousin LONNIE BULL recall visits from Aunt EMILY and Uncle JIMMIE with various members of the family. Among their descendants now living in Alabama is JAMES VERNON CHAMBERS, Probate Judge of CHAMBERS COUNTY.

II--5. JOSEPH S. CHAMBERS, my great-great-grandfather, and his wife, FRANCES A. STINCHCOMB (who, Cousin MOLLY recalls, was named ASBURY for the giant leader of Methodism) moved to Henry (now Clayton) County between 1825 and 1830. JOSEPH bought land from his brother, WILLIAM S. CHAMBERS. Their home was the Henry County Homeplace (referred to in Part I). It is located about six miles from Jonesboro, near Gov. HERMAN TALMADGE's farm. The house is no longer there, but some of the foundation stones may be seen on a plot of high ground next to a pine-thicket just north of New Hope Church.

JOSEPH S. CHAMBERS was born in 1799 died in 1858, and is buried at the CHAMBERS family graveyard near New Hope Church, m. Aug. 29, 1822, FRANCES A. STINCHCOMB who was born in 1802, died 1894 at the home of her daughter and son-in-law, REBECCA ANN and DANIEL MCLUCAS. Their children were:

III--1. SARAH, b. about 1823, d. 1840. m. WILLIAM MILLS. Had one son, J.A.MOSES MILLS (probably this MOSES was named for MOSES MILLS of Elbert County who married MARY A. RUCKER in 1843, and who was Clerk of Superior Court of Elbert, 1858-61. Probably brother of WILLIAM MILLS.) J.A.MOSES MILLS and his father moved to Texas. MOSES MILLS, when he grew up, became a Methodist minister, prominent in the Texas Conference.

III--2. MARY FRANCES, b. 1825, d. 1912. m. Rev. BOGAN MASK, b. 1821, d. 1898. Their children were ELIZABETH ANN, MARTHA FRANCES, JOSEPH SILAS, JAMES WILLIAM, ELMIRA, MARY JANE (Cousin MOLLY who married JOSEPH SEYMOUR--Cousin JOSEEMS--LEE), and JOHN DANIEL.

III--3. REBECCA ANN, b. May 22, 1828, d. Sept. 13, 1908. m. Rev. DANIEL MCLUCAS. Their children were MARY FRANCES, JOSEPH ARCHIBALD, JAMES ANDREW, MARTHA JANE, MARGARET, and JOHN L.

III--4. MARTHA, b. 1830, d. 1913. m. JOHN LAMB, who was killed in the Battle of the Wilderness during the Civil War. Their children were JOSEPH, WILLIAM (BUCK), JAMES (CANN) and JOHN.

III--5. JAMES ABSOLOM, b. Oct. 20, 1833. d. Oct. 4, 1905. m. MARY ANN DORMAN, b. Sept. 4, 1824, d. Feb. 1908. (my grandparents).

III--6. ELMIRA VICTORIA, b. 1840. d. 1907. m. Dec. 1858, JAMES ANDREW BULL, b. 1835, d. 1891. Great-uncle "JEEMS" ANDREW BULL was a son of WILLIAM IZZARD and MARY SMITH BULL. He was a nephew of JAMES MILTON SMITH, of Colloden, first governor of Georgia after "carpet-bagger" days--1878. Their children were MILTON SANDERS (my brother, MILTON LESTER, was named for Cousin MILTON), WALTER HAMILTON, EDGAR ALEXANDER, IDA SARAH, MARTHA ALICE, WILLIE ANNIE and ALONZO THEODORE.

III--7. JOSEPH, b. 1850, d.___. never married

 

Will of my great-grandfather, JOSEPH S. CHAMBERS

State of Georgia In the name

Clayton County of God, Amen.

I JOSEPH S. CHAMBERS of said state and county being of advanced age and knowing that I must shortly depart this life, deem it proper right both as respects my family and myself that I should make disposition of the property with which a kind Providence has blessed me with do therefore make this my last will and Testament hereby Revoking all others heretofore made by me. First Item, I desire and direct that my body be buried in a descent and Christian like manner suitable to my circumstances and condition in life. My soul I trust Shall Return to rest with God who gave it as I hope for Eternal Salvation through the merit and atonement of the blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ whose Religion I have professed and as I humbly trust enjoyed for thirty-one years.

Second Item, I desire and direct that all my Just debts be paid without delay by my Executors here in after Appointed as I am unwilling that my creditors should be delayed out of their rights. Especially as there is no necessity for delay.

Third Item, I give bequeath and devise to my beloved wife FRANCES the tract of land that I now live on. Part of Lot number (112) in the fifth district containing one hundred acres more or less and forty acres on Lot number Seventy-nine in the north east corner of said Lot during her natural life.

Fourth Item, I give bequeath to my beloved wife for and during her natural life my negro woman FANNY about fifty-five years of age and my negro man CHARLES about twenty-five years old and my negro woman QUAN (QUEEN) about twenty-four years old.

Fifth Item, I give bequeath and devise to my beloved wife during her natural life all of my stock of Every kind and household and kitchen furniture and all my plantation tools of Every kind.

Sixth Item, I hereby direct at the death of my wife that my property Shall be sold or divided Equal among all my children and direct that JAMES A. M. MILLS shall have his mother's part with the rest of my children.

Seventh Item, I hereby constitute and appoint my beloved wife FRANCES executrix and my son JAMES A. CHAMBERS Executor and to be trustee for my son JOSEPH a minor and They may give my son JOSEPH his Property when he needs it--they shall act on my last will and testament. December 30th 1858

JOSEPH S. CHAMBERS

Signed Sealed declared and Published by JOSEPH S. CHAMBERS as his last will and testament in the presents of said Testator at his special instance and request and of each other this 30th Decbr 1858.

W.S.CHAMBERS

MARY J. CHAMBERS

B. H. FORTSON

 

III--5. JAMES ABSOLOM CHAMBERS, b. Oct. 20, 1833. d. Oct. 4, 1905. m. MARY ANN DORMAN, daughter of ALFRED DORMAN.

Grandmother's father was a cousin of CHARLOTTE HIGHTOWER MCLUCAS, whose daughter MINERVA FRANCES (Aunt "TANK") married my father's brother, Dr. JAMES ABSOLOM STINCHCOMB CHAMBERS.

My grandfather, JAMES ABSOLOM, "Squire CHAMBERS", was a 'remarkable man'. Besides being a successful farmer and a "singin' piece o' plunder", he was a lawyer, having read law without benefit of teachers. His pleasure was to keep abreast of legal problems when his grandson, my brother ALDINE, was studying law in Atlanta under the tutelage of Judge JAMES K. HINES. He was extremely proud of ALDINE's mental capacities as well as being unusually devoted to him.

Grandfather was a private in Company C, 53rd GA Regt, Confederate Army. How much his war service meant to him--as such service meant to every Southern soldier--was demonstrated to my husband and me years after Grandfather died.

My father, JOHN WILLIAM CHAMBERS, and my husband's father, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN BURDETT, accompanied my husband, our two children, and me on an automobile trip one summer. As we drove around Chattanooga, our fathers--both in their sixties at that time--pointed out to our children historic points, described in detail events which had occurred there during the Civil War; to such an amazing extent that it was almost impossible to believe they were living over experiences of their two fathers. They had each been less than ten years old when the War ended in 1865.

III--5. JAMES ABSOLOM CHAMBERS, b. Oct. 20, 1833, d. Oct. 4, 1905, m. MARY ANN DORMAN, b. Sept. 4, 1824, d. Feb. 1908, m. June 17, 1849. The ceremony was performed by WILLIAM S. CHAMBERS (Uncle BILLY), my grandfather's uncle.

IV--1. JOSEPH ALFRED, b. Feb. 12, 1852, d. Mar. 20 1914.

m. 1-MARGARET LEWIS, b. Nov. 26, 1852, d. June 27, 1881.

m. 2--LILLIAN BOHANNON, b. 1867, d. 1919

IV--2. SARAH A.E., b. Sept. 7, 1853, d. Dec. 31, 1876, m. F. P. DORTON.

IV--3. JOHN WILLIAM (my father) b. Feb. 28, 1855, d. Mar 15, 1928, m. Dec. 17, 1874, IOLA ELLEN CELLESTIA WOMACK, b. Aug. 24, 1856, d. Dec. 17, 1921.

IV--4. MARY FRANCES, b.___, d.____, m. JOHN ARCHER.

IV--5. JAMES A.S., b. Apr. 22, 1859, d. Dec. 6, 1938, m. MINERVA FRANCES MCLUCAS, b. Feb. 13, 1873, d. May 17, 1917.

IV--6. MARTHA CAROLINE, b. Feb. 22, 1861, d. Apr. 4, 1934, m. Dec. 19, 1881--DAVID YOUNG JONES, b. Apr. 23, 1856, d. July 29, 1935.

IV--7. LUCY CATHERINE, b. July 29, 1862, d. Dec. 7, 1932, m. Dec. 21, 1882 to LEMUEL EVANS WOMACK, b. Dec. 5, 1859, d. Mar. 30, 1896

IV--8. DANIEL WESLEY, b. Mar. 8, 1866, d. June 4, 1940, m. Dec. 25, 1887 to LIZZIE OPHELIA MARTIN, b. May 22, 1871

IV--9. DORA, b. Nov. 24, 1867, d. Nov. 20, 1920. m. NED WHITMARSH.

CHAMBERS-WOMACK Family

IV--3. JOHN WILLIAM CHAMBERS, born Feb. 26, 1855, died March 15, 1928. Reared on the farm at Over-the-River, at an early age became interested in music; studied with several teachers, chief among them Prof. POUND. Along with farm duties, conducted singing-schools in near-by communities. At a school near Jonesboro, met and married, Dec. 17, 1874, IOLA ELLEN CELESTIA WOMACK (b. Aug. 1856, d. Dec. 17, 1921). She was a daughter of FRANCIS S. WOMACK and JULIA AMANDA THOMPSON of Newton County, Georgia. At her father's death in 1871, she went to Jonesboro to live with her uncle and aunt, GILES T. and MARTHA WOMACK ROBERTS. JOHN and OLA CHAMBERS lived for a number of years in Clayton and Pike Counties, in 1896 moved to Atlanta. Our father was, for many years a salesman for Phillips and Crew Piano Company, later a deputy-sheriff on the staff of Sheriff WHEELER MANGUM of Fulton County. For several years before his death in 1928, he was active in the real-estate business with his son, LESTER, and his son-in-law, ARTHUR BURDETT.

Children of JOHN and OLA CHAMBERS

1--JAMES FRANCIS ALDINE CHAMBERS, m. 1-EUNICE ETHEL JONES. m 2-HATTIE SPOARS

2--LULA BELLE, m. THOMAS HAYDON BRYANT

3--WILLIAM EVANS, m. EVA MATILDA THOMAS

4--VINNIE LEAL, m. CHARLIE WAYNE SMITH

5--MILTON LESTER, m. INEZ ADAIR

6--MARY AMANDA, m. 1-CHARLES CARSON ELLIOTT, m. 2-WILLIAM W. FINCHER

7--JOHN REMBERT, m. BONNIE HARDY

8--HEWITT WOMACK, m. GRACE REDWINE

9--SADIE CELESTIA, m. ARTHUR CLINTON BURDETT

10--WALTER ABSOLOM, m. CATHERINE PARSONS

V--1. JAMES FRANCIS ALDINE (named for his two grandfathers and for ALDINE POUND, son of Professor POUND, our father's singing-teacher, partner and friend) b. Mar. 8, 1876, d. Sept. 8, 1928. Educated at schools in Clayton County and at Jonesboro Academy. Studied law under Judge J.K.HINES, admitted to the bar about 1900, and entered firm of WALTER R. DALEY (later Judge of DeKalb County Superior Court). Was prominent lawyer, active in politics, member of City Council, Young Mens' Democratic League, several times delegate to national Democratic conventions, mentioned in LUCIAN LAMAR KNIGHT's "Famous Georgians". m. 1-EUNICE ETHEL JONES, b. May 23, 1880, d. July, 1911. married Aug. 2, 1905.

Their children were a.-FRANCIS ETHEL, b. June 4, 1906, graduated Agnes Scott College, taught Fulton County School System, m. May 19, 1928 JEHU BARTOW WING, JR., son of J.B.WING SR. and HATTIE SUDDETH, of Bulloch Hall, Roswell, Georgia. Now teacher and librarian Roswell High School. J.B.(TONY), b. July 15, 1908. Educated Fulton County Schools, and Georgia Tech. Entered Army Nov. 11, 1942 as 2nd Lt. Served in 37th Engineers Reg't. in Louisiana, California, Guadalcanal and Philippines. Discharged July 15, 1945 as Captain. Now head of J.B. WING Poultry and Feed Company. One daughter, HARRIET FRANCES WING, b. Feb. 21, 1929. m. Apr. 17, 1948--WALTER THOMAS RIGGS, teacher and athletic coach, Fairburn High School. One son, GEORGE PATRICK RIGGS, b. Apr. 1, 1949.

b.-JOHN THOMAS CHAMBERS, b. Apr. 21, 1909. Educated Fulton County Schools and Georgia Tech. Served with U.S. Engineers in civilian capacity during World War II in this country and in posts in South America. Now assistant superintendent of parks, Fulton County. m. July 3, 1931 SARAH WINN JACKSON, b. June 10, 1911--one daughter, JACQUELINE, b. Sept. 14, 1933.

J.F.A.CHAMBERS married-2. June 7, 1913, HATTIE BELLE SPEERS, b. Feb. 26, 1877, d. Dec. 29, 1946. Principal of one of Atlanta schools at time of marriage, later teacher in DeKalb county system. One child died in infancy.

V--2. LULA BELLE, b. Oct. 23, 1878. Educated Clayton County schools and private teachers. Specially interested in music, organ accompanist for her father. m. Oct. 20, 1901 THOMAS HYDEN BRYANT, who, in 1900 became associated with Swift and Company in the engineering department. Retired in 1934. Now resides in Decatur with eldest son.

a.-HAYDEN CHAMBERS BRYANT, b. Oct. 30, 1902. Educated Atlanta schools and Emory University (A.B.1925) University of Chicago (M.A.1929). For 17 years teacher and superintendent of Druid Hills schools. Studied at Peabody Institute, Nashville, Tenn. (Ph.D.1950). Will become professor in Department of Education, Mercer University, March 1950. m. Feb. 22, 1930 MILDRED SCHANZENBACHER of Louisville, Kentucky, who was a fellow-student at the University of Chicago. Member of Kappa Phi Kappa and Phi Delta Kappa educational fraternities. Two children, HAYDEN, JR. and BARBARA JEAN.

b.-LOY WARWICK, b. Apr. 23, 1904. Educated Atlanta schools and Monroe A. and M. College, Mercer University (A.B.1930), University of North Carolina (M.A.1935). Taught at Monroe A. and M., Riverside Military Academy and five years in Atlanta school system. Now Registrar Southern Technical Institute, a unit of Georgia School of Technology. m. JULIET HEARN.

c.-WADE, b. Sept. 1, 1905. Educated in Atlanta schools and at Monroe A. and M. College. For a number of years connected with the Texas Oil Co. in Atlanta and in Indianapolis, Ind. Became an invalid, developing arthritis following a back injury. Died Mar. 6, 1941.

d.-WALTER, b. Sept. 1, 1905. Educated Atlanta schools and Monroe A. and M. College. For many years connected with Simmons Mattress Company, an official in the auditing department, which post he now holds. m. JULIA WALLACE.

e.-ANNIE, b. Feb. 1907, d. 1909.

f.-MARIE ALLEN died in infancy, 1910.

V--3. WILLIAM EVANS, b. June 25, 1881, d. May 1948. Educated in Clayton County schools, special courses in Fulton County business schools. Was merchant in his young manhood, for many years official in the office of comptroller-general of City of Atlanta, later city Purchasing agent. m. Aug. 16, 1913 EVA MATILDA THOMAS, prominent in business and political circles. Their children: (a) ROBERT MARSHALL, b. Nov. 26, 1914 educated Atlanta schools and University of Georgia. On leaving University, became associated with Sloan Paper Co., where he now holds an important post. m. Feb. 12, 1938 ANNA CAROLYN AVERY. Two children, CAROL ANN, b. June 8, 1939 and MARY BARBARA, b. Mar. 21, 1946.

b.-HELEN DOROTHY, b. Sept. 30, 1916, m. Aug. 18, 1940, A.J. Wallace of Kansas City, Missouri. HELEN DOROTHY was educated in Atlanta schools. After graduating from Girls' High, entered business field, was secretary Brewer-Head Reality Co., lived in Texas, where her husband was stationed for some time during World War II. Now lives in Kansas City. One son, RICHARD CLAY WALLACE, b. Nov. 7, 1947.

c.-MARGARET LUCILLE, b. Mar. 5, 1919. Educated Atlanta Schools--graduated Girls' High, entered business field. m. Feb. 2, 1942 FREDERICK WILLIAM COOK, who was stationed in Texas in World War II. Now connected with the Southern Railway. Live on Spalding Dr. in North Fulton County. Two children--ROBERT FREDERICK, b. Mar. 18, 1943 and JANET ELAINE, b. Oct. 24, 1945.

V--4. VINNIE LEAL, b. May 13, 1883. Educated in Clayton and Fulton County schools and private teachers. Interested in outdoor sports. Housewife for many years. On death of her husband took over his work in circulation department Atlanta Constitution; later was associated with Emory University Hospital as Hostess of Nurses Home and served in Record Room Grady Memorial Hospital during World War II. m. Dec. 18, 1904 CHARLIE WAYNE SMITH of Conyers, Georgia, who was for some time partner of EVANS in mercantile business, later connected with Central of Georgia Railway system. At the time of his death he was associated with the Atlanta Constitution circulation department. Two children:

a.-CHARLIE WAYNE JR., b. Dec. 15, 1905. Educated at Atlanta schools and Monroe A. and M. College. Several years of ill-health caused him to become interested in the newly developed X-ray. He became expert in this field, was for 12 years connected with Emory University Hospital as instructor and X-ray technician. Now associated with the James E. Paullin Clinic. m. Feb. 1934 SARAH SEWELL of Lavonia, graduate of Georgia Baptist School of Nursing, who is with the Medical Clinic of DeKalb County.

b.-GEORGE WILLIAM, b. Oct. 15, 1909. educated Atlanta schools. On graduation from high school entered training school of Hartford Insurance Co., Hartford, Conn. Was connected with the Hartford Co. for 17 years. Was superintendent of Marine and Automobile Department when he resigned to become assistant manager of the Southeastern Department of the National Surety Corporation. m. MARGARET BOSTWICK MASSENGALE. Two children GEORGE WILLIAM JR., b. Sept. 29, 1940 and SARA MARGARET, b. June 2, 1944.

V--5. MILTON LESTER, b. Mar. 9, 1886, d. June 26, 1939. Educated Clayton and Fulton County schools, special courses in business and journalism in Atlanta and New York, where he held positions on leading newspaper. Connected for many years with Atlanta newspapers, circulation manager Atlanta Georgian, later editor and publisher of his own paper in Texas. Served with Oklahoma troops in World War I. Realtor and builder in Atlanta at time of his death in 1939. m. June 28, 1922 INEZ ADAIN, daughter of RUFUS L. and MOLLY THOMASON ADAIR, pioneer citizens of Atlanta. Their children:

a.-MILTON LESTER, JR. b. Apr. 22, 1923. Educated in Atlanta schools and at Emory University (B.A.1949) (M.A.1950) President Sigma Nu Fraternity, active in student activities. Associated with Atlanta Constitution. Served in European Theater World War II.

b.-MARY INEZ, b. Aug. 5, 1925, Educated Atlanta schools and at Wesleyan College (A.B.1948). Active in student activities, President Student Government, voted "Miss Wesleyan", 1947-48. Now executive Personnel Department Davison's Inc., Atlanta.

c.-CAROLYN, b. May 29, 1932. Now Senior in High School, outstanding student, winner Pan-American Essay prize and others.

d.-RUFUS, b. May 11, 1934. Outstanding in scholastic and military activities at Joe Brown High School.

V-6. MARY AMANDA, b. May 20, 1889. Educated Atlanta Schools and at Reinhardt College. Leader in school activities, gifted musician, particularly vocal. Prominent in church circles throughout Georgia. m. 1-CHARLES CARSON ELLIOTT, Methodist minister, graduate of Emory, president of Sparks Collegiate Institute, 1907-07 /sic./. One child, SARAH, b. Mar. 21, 1908. Educated Canton, Georgia schools and Wesleyan College. m. Dec. 2, 1937 GEORGE BOVE of Brooklyn, N.Y. Graduate of St. Joseph's University School of Law. Now associated with firm (founded by ELIHU ROOT, Sr.) of Root, Ballantine, Harlan, Bushby and Palmer. Three children: CAROLYN, GEORGE JR. and CHRISTINE.

m-2. WILLIAM W. FINCHER of Canton, Ga. Educated at Cherokee County schools and graduate of Reinhardt College and Atlanta (now Southern) School of Pharmacy. Owner and president of Canton Drug Company, active in church and civic circles. Their children:

a.-WILLIAM W. JR., b. May 16, 1914. Educated in Canton schools and at University of South Carolina. Owner and president of Fincher Drug Co. of Chatsworth Georgia. m. EUNICE LOUGHRIDGE, who attended Maryville College, Maryville, Tenn., graduated University of Georgia, teacher in Chatsworth school. Three children: MARY JANE, PHYLLIS and FRANCES.

b.-JACK, b. Nov. 22, 1916. Educated in Canton schools and Reinhart College. Now student at Southern School of Pharmacy. Associated in business with his father in Canton Drug Co. Served in Medical Corps in European Theater during World War II. m. CATHERINE WINK, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J.H.C. WINK of Dalton Georgia. Two children, JACKIE and JOHNNY.

c.-IOLA, b. Sept. 22, 1918, Educated Canton schools and at Centenary College, Shreveport, La. where she was active in student activities and member of Chi Omega sorority. m. Dec. 23, 1943, ANDREW BERRY of Lake Charles, La., a fellow-student at Centenary. Served in Hawaii with civilian engineers during World War II. Now partner in hardware business with his brother in Lark Charles. One child: MARY ELIZABETH

V-7. JOHN REMBERT, b. Mar. 26, 1890. Educated in Atlanta schools and at North Georgia Agricultural College, Dahlonega. Has lived in Texas for many years. Interested in development of oil-lands. President of Crestview Memorial Park. m. BONNIE HARDY, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. DAN M. HARDY of Wichita Falls, a gifted musician. Four children:

a.-BEN HARDY, b. 2-18-1917. Educated at Texas School of Technology. m. FLOYD RUSSEL (PETE) OWENS, fellow-student, outstanding in athletics and campus activities. Now associated with Draughan's Business College.

b.-JOHN JR., b. 8-14-1919. Educated at Texas Tech. Served as lieutenant in Air Corps in World War II; remained in the Service. Stationed at San Angelo. m. MARY TOM BOSTON.

c.-DAN HEWITT, b. 2-12-1922. Educated at Texas Tech. Outstanding student, now studying law.

d.-JANE, b. 10-13-1925. Educated in Wichita Falls schools and at Texas Tech. Also Peabody Institute, Nashville (M.A.1949). Teacher in Wichita Falls school system.

V-8. HEWITT WOMACK, b. Sept. 1, 1892. Educated in Atlanta schools, Reinhart College, Sparks Collegiate Institute and Atlanta Law School, where he graduated in 1915. Active in church, political and civic circles. Prominent lawyer and Clerk of the Civil Court of Fulton County. Lt. in European Theater in World War I. Captain and Major in World War II. m. GRACE REDWINE, daughter of HULSEY and EMILY L. WATSON of Fayette County.

V-9. SADIE CELESTIA, b. Apr. 9, 1894. Educated at Miss Hanna's School for Girls (graduated 1910) and the Atlanta Conservatory of Music and Oratory 1914 (at the time Fine Arts Department of Cox College). Post-graduate courses with Miss FRANCES GOOCH, head of spoken English Dept. of Agnes Scott College. m. June 29, 1916 ARTHUR CLINTON BURDETT. Educated in Fulton County schools and Atlanta Law School (graduated 19--). Prominent in business and civic affairs. For forty years associated with Burdett Reality Co., of which he is now president. Two children: DOROTHY ANN (POLLY) b. July 9, 1919. Educated in Fulton County schools and at Randolph-Macon Womans College, Lynchburg, Va. where she was active in student affairs and member of Phi Mu Sorority. Was a member of Junior class at Emory University at time of her marriage, Mar. 25, 1939, to ROBERT WILLIAM MILES, of Cleveland, Ohio. Educated in Cleveland schools and at Denison College, Granville, Ohio. Served as Lt., Ordinance Dept. in World War II in this country and in Pacific Theater on island of Saipan. Associated as partner and head of Insurance Dept., Burdett Reality Co. Three children: ROBERT WILLIAM JR., ARTHUR CURTIS and JENNY MEREDITH.

b.-ARTHUR CLINTON JR., b. Apr. 2, 1922. Educated Fulton County schools and at Princeton University (A.B. 1943). Member of College Band and Dial Lodge. Served as sergeant in ground force of Air Corps i World War II in this country and on island of Tinian in the Pacific. Now associated as partner in Burdett Realty Co. and senior in Lamar School of Law, Emory University. m. DORIS ELISE BURKHALTER of Claxton, Ga., Sept. 8, 1949. Educated at Mercer University, teacher in Atlanta school system.

V-10. WALTER ABSOLOM, b. May 27, 1896. Educated Atlanta school system and North Georgia Agricultural College. Special courses at Massachusetts Institute of Technology during World War I when he was a naval air cadet. Studied journalism at Columbia and other New York institutions. For a number of years on staff of New York Herald-Tribune and other leading newspapers. Articles published in American and other national magazines. Author of "Samuel Seabury, A Challenge" and "Labor Unions and the Public". Now associated with U.S. Department of Labor, assistant editor of Labor Bulletin. m. CATHERINE PARSONS of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, associated with U.S. Government as Link instructor in Air Corps--stationed in Atlanta, later in Corpus Christi, Texas. One child: ANNE, b. ---. Educated in Atlanta and Corpus Christi schools. Now student at University of Texas, where she is outstanding in scholastic and campus activities.

********

We began this story with a quotation by MARY WEBB. We close with a quotation from that same author. Again in "Precious Bane" she writes:

"It is all gone over now, the trouble and the struggling. It be quiet weather now, like a still evening, with the snow all down, and a green sky and lambs calling. I sit here by the fire with my Bible in hand, a very old woman, and a very tired woman, with a task to do before she says good-night to the world."

Well, I am not so very old--at least I do not feel so, though I hear the voices of my grandchildren calling to each other beneath my window as I write. Nor am I a very tired woman since, thanks to my father's household and later to my husband's--"the lines of my life have fallen to me in pleasant places". But I have set myself the task--as I said in the beginning--of giving some glimpses of our forefathers and of the places once familiar to them.

As we go over the names of our kinsmen of the past three or four hundred years, it is as if we know them better than some in our own day; as if we actually have lived with them moments in their lives in Georgia, in the Carolinas, in Virginia and in Seventeenth Century England; and, learning of them, we become aware that we are reviewing the history of the times in which they lived.

Among them were some families of distinction; some "younger sons" of landed gentry; some few of the minor nobility. But for the most part, they were country folks with no pretence to spectacular living. As I think of them, I am reminded of a verse my mother used to quote--when we would ask about them.

"Howe'er it be, it seems to me

Tis only noble to be good.

Kind hearts are more than coronets

And simple faith than Norman blood."

Our grandfathers and grandmothers had the true nobility which comes from simple faith. We cannot doubt that they did many things they should not have done; that they left undone many things they should have done, even as you and I. But we only love them the more because of the few faults we can imagine among their many virtues. If we but imitate their virtues; if we use the greater advantages which are ours in modern times, to the extent that they used the fewer opportunities of earlier days, we may be worthily their successors.

If our ears are tuned to the sound of these voices long stilled; if we could hear them sum up in a single phrase the intangible something, the feeling about life which possessed them. I believe that phrase would be "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord".

I believe these same words express what my generation would leave as a priceless legacy to those who follow after. Certainly I can think of no words more eloquent as I take a backward glance at the earthly dwelling places of our family; a glance over the river--the tiny Flint River; over the golden Chattahoochee; the Savannah and the Enoree; the Rappahannock, the Shenandoah, the Potomac and the James; the Charles River, the Susquehanna, maybe the Hudson; Over the Severn, the Thames, the Seine, the Shannon and the Tweed--far-away rivers in England and France; in Ireland and in Scotland.

"As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord". No words more eloquent as I set my foot on the road towards the one more river still to be crossed. In fancy I stand on the banks of that river; in fancy see the windows of that last long home, and the faces of the dear ones there.

"Over the river faces I see

Watching and waiting, looking for me;

Fair as the morning, bright as the day.

Dear ones in glory, looking this way".

 

Of the Allied Families I Ran Across some References

ARCHER--(see William and Mary Quarterly 1895, page 283) Capt. GABRIEL ARCHER, GEORGE and Capt. JAMES ARCHER, York County, Va.

BOHANNON--(see William and Mary Quarterly 1897, p. 198) AMBROSE BOHANNON of Scotland, settled in Gloucester County, Va. His will is dated Jan. 18, 1753.

BRYANT--Orange County Census 1782. THOMAS BRYANT--6 in family--1 slave.

DORMAN--A branch of the DORMAN family lived in Rockbridge County, VA. in the 1700's. JOHN DORMAN, a lad, was a seaman on the Brig "Liberty" during the Revolution.

JONES--(see William and Mary Quarterly Jan. 1900, page 229, re: Charles City County Patents) DAVID HONES, July 4, 1635, 300 acres over against Tapahanna Marsh a little below the point. "Annals of Newberry" South Carolina also mentions DAVID JONES.

LAMB--(William and Mary Quarterly, Ja. 1900 page 195) Marriage Bonds: JOHN LAMB and FANNY FINCH, (spinster, WM. FINCH's daughter) Nov. 26, 1770. Orange County, Va. records. Census 1782--

JOHN LAMB and 11 children

RICHARD LAMB 11 children.

LEE--Many records; first of family in this country, Colonel RICHARD LEE. (see William and Mary Quarterly 1895 page 136-37.)

LEWIS--Many LEWISES, among them THOMAS, first surveyor of Augusta County, Va.

LUNSFORD--(William and Many Quarterly Jan. 1900, p. 183) Sir THOMAS LUNSFORD was among the cavaliers who came to Virginia in 1649. Elbert County History (Georgia) mentions Capt. ROWLAND LUNSFORD.

MARTIN--JOHN MARTIN of Prince Edward County, Va. came to Abbeville County, S.C.: owned plantations along Savannah River. Probably married a POSEY.

MASKS--mentioned in N.C. records.

MCLUCAS--from S.C.

WOMACK--from Virginia and N.C.

The Library of Congress given the following description of the coat-of-arms for the "PENN family, beginning with WILLIAM PENN of Minety England as follows; PENN, BUCKS, a demi-lion, rampart, ar. gorged with a collar, sa., charged with three plates. The motto is Dum Clarum R------- which means "While I hold to glory, let me hold to right".


S. J. Overstreet

Sara Jane Overstreet

child of Winton DeVan Overstreet, Jr. & Vernon Loreen Phillips

W. D. O., Jr.--child of DeVan Overstreet, Sr. & Sara Nancy Banks

Sara Banks Overstreet--child of Alexander G. Banks (b. 1882) and Lula E. McLucas (b. 1881)

Lula McLucas Banks--child of Arch J. McLucas (b. 1856) & Sara Jane Lunceford (b. 1858)

Arch J. McLucas--child of (Rev.) Daniel McLucas (b. 1832) & Rebecca Ann Chambers (b. 1828)--listed as Aunt Ann in this text, married to (Scottish) Uncle Daniel as per Chapter 2

 


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Compilation Copyright 2008 - Present by Linda Blum-Barton