Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
Category: 1 - A study where research using core genealogical datasets and transcriptions is in its early stages.
Contact: Mr Barry Jernigan
About me (Before genealogy):
I was born in 1960 in Michigan. My dad was a Scope Dope (Radar Operator) in the Air Force. We moved when I was a baby to the Chicago suburbs where I lived for most of my early childhood. By the early 1970s our parents were divorced and we lived with our mom in southern Wisconsin where I graduated from high school in 1978. As soon as I was aware of having relatives and that they had some kind of history prior to being "old people" I figured that on both sides paternal (from Alabama) and maternal (from Illinois) that our ancestors probably all came to the U.S. from Europe (UK and Italy) sometime in the 1890s. And I also figured that they all lived in those tenement houses in New York City like a lot of immigrants we read about in school. And then eventually some of them moved to Illinois and some moved to Alabama. I even supposed that my dad's probable English ancestors were from Birmingham, England and worked in the coal mines and moved to (where else?) Birmingham, Alabama and worked in the coal mines. I had heard that much about both sides. I knew my mother's father was Italian and his ancestors worked in the coal mines in Illinois. But, I didn't really know very many surnames. Nor did I really think about their place in history or where specifically (for example in Italy) they had come from. I knew also on mom's side there was a man named Baker and he married a woman named Pye and I thought it was hysterically funny that a Baker married a Pye. I heard one of my Italian-American great-aunts talking about the flu epidemic and how she kept asking for whiskey to ease her suffering when she was very young at that time. I remember my Grandpa and Grandma (great-grandparents) Southcombe and that their family was of English origin (but didn't know from where in England). But overall I really didn't think very deeply about my ancestry on either side. I just knew it was enjoyable to visit with our Grandpa and Grandma Valerio (mom's parents) at their lake resort in northern Wisconsin or to visit with our Mama and Papa (dad's parents) in New Castle, Alabama in a great big old house up on a very steep hill where "up yonder" was further up the hill where they grew a garden and "down in the holler" was where the dogs would sometimes go running in the woods.
About me (After genealogy):
In the late 1990s one of my mom's cousins sent everyone who was descended from our great-grandparents (maternal grandmother's parents), Eddy Everett Southcombe and Alice Edna Baker of Morris, Illinois, these papers (Family Group Sheets) and asked us all to fill them out with as much information as we knew. Also she mailed a little sketch of a partial family tree with names with whom I was completely unfamiliar. Surnames like Sims and Hampton and Tubbs and mentions of place names in Pennsylvania, New York and New England. I was completely fascinated by that little pencil sketched pedigree. From that moment on I went on the journey of trying to find out more about the people in that tree and any other connections they might have.
Fast forward to today and I have done quite a lot of research for my own family lines and for others. I find all of it very enjoyable and I am mostly drawn to the puzzle aspect of it. Putting together the clues to try to figure out what is the correct (or probably correct) answer to the question. I also enjoy doing logic puzzles in little magazines you can sometimes find at a local store in with the crossword puzzles and Sudoku.
Probably over ten years ago I decided to take a Y-chromosome test through Family Tree DNA. I joined the Jernigan DNA Project there and communicated regularly with the administrator (since retired) John C. Jernigan. My initial 12-marker test results came in and I discussed them with him via email. He informed me that my test results did NOT match any of the other guys in the Jernigan Y-chromosome project. Actually this did not really surprise me. Even now, the identity of my direct male line prior to my great-great grandfather, James Silas Jernigan, is unknown. His father and other ancestors are still my biggest Brick Wall. John told me that I could compare my test results with all of the guys who had tested at Family Tree DNA and he advised me how to do that. I did and I got back matches with all of these guys with the surname, "Chandler." I subsequently joined the Chandler Family Association and (other than a couple of years absence) have been a member of that organization ever since. At one time I was the Deputy Chairman of the CFA Genealogy Panel. Dick Chandler was the Chairman. Together we handled the bulk of the inquiries that the GP received. Dick primarily handled the inquiries concerning ancestry in the UK, Australia and Canada. I handled most of the inquiries concerning ancestry in the Southern states of the U.S. Other members handled inquiries for some areas with which they were most familiar (such as New England). Dick and I split up the other U.S. inquiries depending on how busy we were with other ones. I have had my Y-chromosome tested at 111 markers and am considered a bona fide member of Chandler Family Association Y-chromosome Group 7A. The probable ancestor of most Group 7A members was John Chandler, an early immigrant to the Virginia colonies. I also now realize that in my past was a Non-Paternal Event (NPE). This makes the search for my direct male Chandler ancestors almost impossible. Some clues indicate possibly my line back to John Chandler the Emigrant was through an Elisha Chandler of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina in the late 1700s/early 1800s. But which of his sons may be the route forward to James Silas Jernigan is not clear.
Why a One-Name Study?
In the past five or more years, whenever I have done research on any one of my families, I have recognized the importance of not leaving out at least some study of all those (especially within a specific geographic area -- such as a county in Alabama) individuals who have the same surname as the one you are researching. #1) They MAY be relatives and you are just not aware of that and #2) They may NOT be relatives and you may not be aware of that either and you may think they are. I find it necessary to make sure I have a pretty good idea of who all fits in the family puzzle and who doesn't. And actually there is a #3) They are SOMEBODY's relatives and I'm there doing the research. Who better to jot down those names and dates and places, etc? Aside from that I seem to have this tendency to do that anyway. So it only makes sense that I would decide to renew the Chandler One-Name Study. My goal is to collect as much information as possible about Chandlers world-wide. Although the surname is almost 100% of English origin. Therefore it is essential (to me) to focus a large amount of the research in English records. So I look forward to posting information so that anyone interested will receive some benefit. I've already done that in the past. So, I am just continuing what I've already been doing. It's just not necessarily in many spiral notebooks and/or reports in a Word program, but, in a wonderful storehouse where I can contribute whenever and whatever I want and not worry about overwhelming anybody! ;-)
This page and all of the information in it was created by Dick Chandler and he did all of the research and work required which you see below. I am merely, for the time being, the new caretaker of the information. I want to make sure that his research is available and that Chandler research in general continues and I will add more of my own research in the near future. I am also happy to continue the relationship between the Guild of One-Name Studies and the Chandler Family Association and look forward to mutual benefits for both in the areas of Chandler research. I am adding "Chantler" specifically as a regional variant (Kent, England) to these studies. I feel it is important to include that specific variant and to continue that research which was also undertaken under Dick's leadership through our association in the Genealogy Panel of the Chandler Family Association....Barry Jernigan
This page will tell you about the free help available to Chandler family history researchers from the Chandler One-Name Study (ONS) and the Chandler Family Association (CFA) https://www.chandlerfamilyassociation.org/. Both organizations have been in existence for more than 20 years, and in that time we have helped more than a thousand people with their research. The ONS began with British records, then went international. The CFA began with American records, then went international. Together, their collection of nearly two million records represents the largest repository of specific Chandler-related information in the world.
You can contact Barry Jernigan directly at the address below about the ONS, or send a genealogy enquiry using the link on the CFA web site at CFA Genealogy Panel. We may be able to answer your questions directly from our records. Or you may find some helpful information within the reports created for past cases from 2010-2012. The summary notes for these cases can be found at the "CFA Genealogy Panel" link. You certainly don't have to be a CFA member to make use of this assistance, though everyone with a Chandler interest is very welcome to join. Membership costs just US$20 per year and benefits include three editions of our award-winning 20-page newsletter.
You can join online at CFA Membership and pay safely using PayPal, avoiding the need for a bank draft.
A great many possible variations of the Chandler surname have been observed, including Chandelar, Chandeler, Chandeleur, Chandelor, Chander, Chanders, Chandlar, Chandlen, Chandlers, Chandles, Chandless, Chandley, Chandlor, Chandly, Chandor, Chanelar, Chaneler, Chaneley, Channeller, Chanelor, Chanler, Chanley, Chanlor, Channellor, Channiler, Chansler, Chantler, Chantller, Chaundflower (probably a mistranscription/mistranslation of Chaundeleur i.e. Chaundeleur becomes Chaundfleur becomes Chaundflower), Chandeler, Chaundler, Chaundeler, Chaundeleur, Chauntler and Chawner. The Study aims to record all occurrences of these names, because they are frequently interchanged with Chandler, either by accident or intent.
Although its origins are probably the same as Chandler, the surname Candler is phonetically sufficiently distinct to be considered deliberately different, and therefore to be treated as a separate surname rather than a variant of Chandler. The surname Candler is registered separately by another member of the Guild. However, if you suspect that your Candler brick wall may have a Chandler solution, you are very welcome to contact us.
Most people born with the surname Chandler in modern times are descended, in the male line, from men in England who worked as a chandler, making and selling candles. Until about 1350, surnames were only used by the wealthy, and were usually inherited by only the eldest son, along with the family property. The poor - most people at that time - had no need for a surname because they had no land to inherit. It was during the years 1350 to 1450 that the use of hereditary surnames became common throughout the English population. This naming - often by trade (e.g. Baker, Smith, Chandler), sometimes by location (e.g. Hill, Marsh, or the name of a town or village), occasionally by appearance (e.g. Long, Small) - would have happened village by village throughout England. Consequently, most of the people acquiring the surname Chandler in this way would not have been related to each other - they would only have been occupied in the same trade.
Candles - of vital importance in an age without electricity - were made either of wax (for churches and the wealthy) or tallow (for general use). Tallow is obtained from suet (the solid fat of animals such as sheep and cows), and is also used in making soap and lubricants. The Tallow Chandlers, like many other tradesmen, formed a guild in London in or around 1300 for educational, promotional and charitable purposes. The Tallow Chandlers also dealt in vinegar, salt, sauces and oils. Later, the term 'chandler' was used for corn chandlers, and for ships' chandlers who sold most of the fittings and supplies for boats, as well as the candles. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the term 'chandler' was often used simply to mean a grocer.
Some people born with the Chandler surname may descend from followers of William, Duke of Normandy, who ruled England from 1066 to 1087 - bearing names like Reginald le Chandeler, who appears in a survey of London conducted in 1273. The origin of the name is the same - the French for candle being chandelle.
The Chandler DNA Project (see below) has so far identified 105 genetically distinct lines around the world. It is highly probable that - at least as far back as the 1200s - the ancestors of all these testees lived in England. The term 'England' is used deliberately, in preference to 'Britain' or the 'United Kingdom', because the geographic origin of the surname Chandler is firmly in England. We have been wondering how many genetically distinct lines we will ultimately find. A definitive answer can't be given now, but a general feel can be obtained from the following analysis.
As stated above, some Chandlers - a minority - descend from one or more le Chaundelers who migrated to England from Normandy around the year 1200. Most Chandlers, however, descend from people who gained their surname because they were candle-makers in the period 1350 to 1450 when hereditary surnames became common in England. This adoption of surnames was a slow process, taking around 100 years, spreading from the towns into the countryside, and from the south of England to the north. The types of names favoured for adoption varied from area to area - some regions, especially in the west and north of England, tending to prefer locative names (e.g. Hill, Marsh or the name of the village or town where they lived), others favouring occupational names (e.g. Baker, Butcher, Chandler), others selecting patronymic names (e.g. Johnson, Jackson, Richardson) - and the choices made also varied between social classes.
After the 'Black Death' plague (about 1350), the population of England had shrunk to 2.5 million. The 1881 Census of England (before significant immigration from Britain's colonies) shows that Chandlers were 0.0355% of the population. There seems no good reason why this should not be about the same percentage as in 1350, which would yield 888 Chandlers. Assuming a 50/50 split, 444 of these would be male Chandlers. Assuming that possibly 44 of these descend from a single Norman (or several related ones) named le Chaundeler and his (their) descendants during the 150 years they had been in England, that leaves around 400 males who got their surname from the Chandler trade (in areas where that was the practice). Not every candle-maker in England took the Chandler surname; he might become, say, a Johnson (son of John) if that was the regional or personal preference, even though he made candles. Now, the question would be, in all the households where the main breadwinner was a Chandler by trade and chose to give his family the surname Chandler, how many males, of all ages, would have been in each household? Assuming the range was 2 to 4 Chandler men in each family, we are left with 100 to 200 different genetic lines plus the le Chaundeler line. It would probably be at the lower end of that range. The families acquiring the name were not necessarily the nuclear families we know today. They were more likely to be extended families that included miscellaneous 'family' members who would also pick up the Chandler surname. Some lines may have since become extinct for lack of male offspring.
Analysis of the names in the 14th Century English Poll Tax returns also suggests that the number of genetically distinct Chandler lines, now spread around the world, is closer to 100 than 200.
At the age of 10, John Chandler and a number of other passengers sailed from England on the Hercules and landed at what became known as Jamestown, Virginia in 1610. These were not Pilgrims like the Mayflower passengers who landed in Massachusetts 10 years later seeking religious freedom - this was a group of merchant venturers who made the voyage for profit. There are now thousands of people who trace their ancestry to that John Chandler, mainly in south-eastern USA. A number of them belong to the Chandler Family Association (CFA) and have participated in a DNA project to help identify their origins in England (see web page link below). Other DNA Project participants include descendants of:
- Edmund Chandler, a member of the Pilgrim congregation, who migrated from Leiden in Holland to the New World a few years after the main group
- William and Annis Chandler of Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, England who settled in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1637
- George & Jane Chandler who left Wiltshire, England for the New World in 1686: George died at sea but the family survived and settled in Pennsylvania
- Frederick C Chandler who founded the Chandler Motor Company in Cleveland, Ohio in 1913.
Perhaps the most well-known bearer of the name is author Raymond Thornton Chandler, whose detective Philip Marlow has entertained millions of adults, while their children were thrilled by the stories of Uncle Remus and others, written by Joel Chandler Harris; the tales of the Boxcar Children written by Gertrude Chandler Warner; and by the many books for children written by Christine Chaundler. The character Chandler Bing was popular with many viewers of the TV series "Friends". Actor Ira Grossel decided that his career in movies might fare better if he used the name Jeff Chandler. Chandlers controlled the Los Angeles Times for nearly 100 years.
Veterinary surgeon Dr Alexander John Chandler founded the city of Chandler in Arizona. Other places called Chandler exist in Queensland, Australia; Oklahoma and Michigan in the USA; and Quebec, Canada. Astronomer Seth Carlo Chandler Jr discovered the Chandler Wobble, a movement in the earth's rotational axis which some believe is a factor in global warming. Dr Robert Chandler did great work for the hungry of the world. Murray Chandler is a chess grand master who beat Gary Kasparov twice and never lost or drew against him. There have been a number of well-known Chandlers in the English Church, the US Navy, and in politics. Congressman Ben Chandler represented Central Kentucky, following in the footsteps of his grandfather A.B. "Happy" Chandler. Edward Barron Chandler was a New Brunswick politician and lawyer, and is known as one of the Fathers of Canadian Confederation.
In America there were Chandler automobiles, and in England there are Chandler guitars. USS Chandler was a US Navy destroyer, and Chandler is the name of a suite of computer programs aimed at helping groups of people to work on projects. The Chandeleur islands in the Gulf of Mexico form the easternmost point of the state of Louisiana, and La Chandeleur is a French festival, the equivalent of Candlemas in English-speaking countries.
If you think the Chandler name is limited to planet earth, there is a crater on the moon named Chandler.
Looking to the future, the former Kate Middleton, wife of Prince William and therefore likely to be a future Queen of England, is descended from a long line of Chandlers from Painswick in Gloucestershire, England, which has been a Chandler stronghold for centuries.
Throughout most of the 20th Century, the Chandler surname occurred on average at the rate of about 35 for every 100,000 of the population in English-speaking countries, though immigration is causing this Chandler ratio to decline. In the U.S., the rate was 34 per 100,000 in 1990 but 28 per 100,000 in the year 2000. Again in the U.S., the name Chandler was ranked #322 in 1990 and #379 in 2000. In the U.K., the Office of National Statistics ranked the Chandler surname at #421 in 2002.
The Chandler surname is now widely distributed throughout the English-speaking world. In England, it occurs most frequently in the southern counties. If you draw a box starting at Stafford, south to Dorchester, east along the coast to Kent, north to The Wash and then westwards back to Stafford, you will have enclosed more than 80% of all the British Chandlers. The name is relatively uncommon in Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
As an illustration of the quantity and quality of the records in our repository, we have placed 20,000 English Chandler marriage details, covering a period of 100 years, online and searchable on the web at http://www.one-name.org/archives/chandler.html. However, we have found that the best way to help Chandler researchers is not simply to provide a pool of data and allow people to fish in it. It is better to provide friendly but experienced responses to enquiries, which not only answer questions but also suggest avenues for further research. We ask that enquirers summarise the research they have done so far and their family tree as they know it. This has two benefits: it avoids telling people what they already know, and it gives us the opportunity to validate the research and (gently) correct any false trails.
We are building the CFA Lineages Database (CFALD), which will eventually contain records of all known Chandlers, anywhere, any time. It will identify family relationships - both extended families and genetic families. So far, we have records of around 100,000 people in CFALD. You can read much more about the CFA Lineages Database at CFALD.
The CHANDLER DNA project, described technically at http://chandlerfamilyassociation.org/chandna.html, already has more than 500 testees, and some very exciting matches have been found, spanning three continents. For example, an English participant's DNA has been shown to match closely the DNA of a number of American participants whose ancestor migrated to America early in the 1600s. We need more participants, who have to be Chandler male-line descendants because only males carry the Y chromosome, which is handed down, along with the surname, from generation to generation. The ultimate aim is to understand which of the thousands of individual Chandler families belong to each of the genetically distinct lines which are being identified by the project - 105 so far, out of an estimated 150 lines - and to help individuals with their own research along the way.
As an alternative to the technical DNA discussion on the site above, we are collecting the human stories of the different genetic Chandler families, tracking each from the earliest known ancestor to the later generations who began to spread the Chandler name across the globe. This is a work in progress, but you can read the interesting and varied genetic Chandler family accounts developed and published so far, starting at Chandler Genetic Families .
Chandler Family Association web site
CHANDLER DNA project
You may find our other Guild websites of interest: