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by William D. Chambers

   Press of Scott Printing Co., Muncie, IN, 1925

 [The following transcription is intended to be used as a workbook to identify family groups for the genealogical researcher tracing the Chambers line.  What follows is a direct quote from the text.  The only changes have been to abbreviate the names of the states in some instances to conform with modern two letter abbreviations.  I have added others site links for more information about this family line.]


Chapter I:  Origin    p. 4

Chapter II:  Our Scotch Ancestors     p. 8

Chapter III:  Descendants of Benjamin    p. 14

Chapter IV:  Descendants of Alexander   p. 15

Chapter V:  David    p. 19

                 James (Owen County Branch)    p. 33

Chapter VI:  Henry Chambers    p. 37

Chapter VII:  More Recent Emigrants    p. 43

Chapter VIII:  The Union Jack--The Thistle   p. 50

Chapter IX:  The Canadian Flag    p. 54


The Author’s Preface

A few years ago, the scientific world was startled by the announcement by a noted chemist, Mr. Atkinson, that he had discovered how the ancient Egyptians had made the bricks used in their walls and buildings.  The process was a stubble and straw process that had been unknown to modern experimentation, and was re-discovered by him from a cursory reading of the biblical accounty of the Israelitish captivity.  Mr. Atkinson found the truth of the axioms:  “the old is ever present in the new.”  “The past is our heritage for the asking.”

Rational research was the price he had to pay for this discovery.  It is ever thus.  The present has its roots deeply hidden in the past, and he who would comprehend the present must diligently dig among these branching roots for the causes of its existence.

Very early in life I became interested in the traditions of my ancestors.  In the summer of 1862, before I was six years of age, I made my first experiment in working out family history.  A two-days journey was taken among relatives near Madison, IN.  If course, I cannot forget the popcorn, the apples, and the cookies, but the one thin that impressed me most was that on the home-trip, as we were ascending the Madison hiss, we were able to count fourteen boats coming and going upon the Ohio--a much larger number than we would find afloat now. 

Genealogy, as generally used, is exclusive, it inhibits the “no kin” to suit the genealogist writing.  His interest in a family name narrows to the immediate ties of his ancestry.  Beginning with “self” he says, “These are ours; those are not of us.”

Early in the ‘80’s, in the city of Terre Haute, I met a man who had for two or three weeks received my mail, wondering from day to day what it all meant.  His name was the same as my own, even to the initials.  Meeting him at his office, I traced my ancestry back to the Revolution; he did the same with his ancestry.  We could not hitch on then, but just one generation further back reveals a tie of relationship.  From this time on I became more alert in discriminating between my kith and kin and unrelated families of the Chambers name.  At the request of my two uncles, Alexander and Stephen Avery, I began to reduce all facts I learned to writing, especially the facts of tradition which they were able to give me concerning my own people. 

Before the end of the 19th century I had collected much data concerning a number of families in this country, and had received from Charles Edward Stuart Chambers, head of the Chambers Journal House of Edinburgh, Scotland, much useful information concerning his ancestry.  It was about this time that I began to prepare my notes for publication, but as I was hardly able, financially, to attempt so thankless a project, I have postponed from year to year this undertaking, thinking, perhaps, that next year my notes will surely be given to the printer.

But in fact, I was not ready to go to press.  Since 1900, three printed pamphlets, prepared by exclusive historians, have come to me.  I have received much help from these.  By means of letter-writing I have come in touch with most of the Chambers families in this country and in Canada.  Letters have been sent to genealogists, family historians, school superintendents, county clerks, pastors of churches, secretaries of lodges, librarians, accidental references, etc., for special facts desired.  I have gleaned state and county records, have visited old churchyards, have studied pioneer trails, and have added to my ever-changing stock of old material all new facts thus found.  Often have I met those who were anxious to give me the names of father, mother, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, and those of all the children, even down to the latest arrival, but when the name of grandfather or great-grandfather was asked for, their information suddenly came to an end. 

Guided by the rule of court procedure which assumes the innocence of the accused until proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, I have assumed that all members of the Chambers order have a common kinship, and that our doubts and ignorance of facts should not be accepted as evidence of non-relationship.  The Chambers name in America includes those of English, Scotch, and Scotch-Irish descent.  In some families there is an ad-mixture of French, Spanish, Indian, Negro, or Mexican blood.  During the World War I was a teacher in a military school at Bryan, TX.  One day I found with my mail a letter addressed to Mary Chambers.  It had been given to me by mistake.  Mary Chambers was a young colored woman of the community.  In the same city I became well acquainted with Willard Chambers, Texas’ representative of the Ford Automobile Company, and president of the Chambers Wilson Motor Company.  He gave me a ride now and then, and told me about his people.  Among the Chambers historians who have contributed to this volume are the following:

Attorney David A. Chambers, McGill Bldg., 908 G. Street NW, Washington, DC; Attorney Henry A. Chambers, Chattanooga, TN; Alexander Chambers, Danville, Hendricks Co., IN; Spier Bruce Chambers, Lewis P. O., Vigo Co., IN; Robert E. Chambers, Spencer, Owen Co., IN; E. T. D. Chambers, Fish Commissioner, P. of Quebec, Quebec; Attorney David W. Chambers, Newcastle, IN; Alexander Chambers, Deputy, Jefferson Co., IN; Stephen Avery Chambers, Brevard, NC; William Grant Chambers, Dean of the School of Education, University of Pittsburg, PA; James H. Chambers, president Dios Chemical Company, St. Louis, MO; Willard Chambers, mgr. Chambers-Wilson Motor Company, Bryan, TX; John Chambers, veteran Civil War, Muncie, IN; F. C. Chambers, salesman, Steubenville, OH; C. A. Chambers, mgr. Consolidated Coal Corp., Detroit, MI; Henry Chambers, author and publisher, New Orleans, LA; George Chambers Calvert, banker, Indianapolis, IN.

In the above list there are the names of four attorneys, three school professors, seven business men, three authors and publishers, and two farmers.  More than half of these are now dead, and all of their records have been entrusted to me, to be used in the publication of this History.  In addition to these lists and a number of smaller lists, I have had the privilege of checking up with three printed pamphlets sent me.  These were genealogical, and credit is given the authors for the facts used. Without these lists and pamphlets this book could not have been written.

It may be of interest to know of the following geographical references:


Chambers Street, New York City


Chambers County, Alabama


Chambers County, Texas,


Chambers, Floyd County, Georgia


Chambers, Holt County, Nebraska


Chambers, Burke County, N. Carolina


Chambers, Pittsburg County, Okla


Chambersburg, Brown County, IL


Chambersburg, Orange County, IN


Chambersburg, Miami County, OH


Chambersburg, Gallio County, OH


Chambersburg, PA


Chambers Island, Green Bay, WI


Chambers River, Inlet Lake Itasca


Chambers Creek, TN


Chambersville, Calhoun County, AR


Chambers River, North Australia


Chambers Pillar, North Australia

I shall have occasion to mention some of these in the body of this work.

A year ago I came across the original records of the old Virginia Company, which was organized in 1606, and operated at Jamestown, Virginia, during the first quarter of the century. One of the most trusted men in this company was one George Chambers.  This information caused me to make some changes in my notes.  Throughout my investigations I have uniformly held to the theory that the Chambers families that can not relate on this side of the Atlantic, if the facts were obtainable, would in a few centuries unite back in England or Scotland; very few families would hitch on beyond the English Channel.

After the sale of this book is completed, should some one desire a copy, please write me; I shall hold the forms set up just as long as I can, for such emergencies.

Assuring all readers that I have made an effort to treat fairly the various patriarchs bearing the Chambers name,

I am very sincerely,






While browsing among some old Virginia records I found the following clipping: "Virginia genealogists claim that the name Chambers is a royal name in direct line of descent from Henry III of England.  Ann Chambers Bispham of Mt. Holly, New Jersey, left notes proving her descent to be of this royal line."  If this is true, it is quite probable that most persons of the Chambers name did not cross the English Channel with William the Conqueror, as claimed by some authorities, but that they trailed to the island after Henry II'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 the following statement from the letter of Charles Edward Stuart Chambers fits into this theory:  "Gillaume (William) de la Chambre signed the regimen roll of Edward I (son of Henry III) at Berwick on the Tweed in 1296, as Baillee of Peebles."  No doubt Gillaume was related in some way to the king, and for this reason he was given a position of honor and trust in his government.  Berwick at this time was larger than London, and as the kind was planning the reorganization of Scotland, it was a position of high honor.  In 1345 the records of Worcester, England, speak of Robert de la Chambre.  The name was found early in this century in London, Yorkshire, Kent, and even in the Ross-shire toward the north of Scotland.


In the year 1618, under the "Five Articles of Perth," King James restored certain rights to the Catholics.  For this reason, many thousands of Protestants took passage for America.  The real contest, however, in this half century was between the Episcopal Church of England and the growing Presbyterian Church.  This date corresponds closely with the growth of Jamestown and the landing of the Pilgrims and other non-conformists.  George Chambers of Virginia, and Robert Chambers of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, came over at that time.

In 1637, Oliver Cromwell and John Hampden planned to leave England for Ireland or America, but their passage was arrested. Perhaps it would have been better for the Stuart Royalty to have permitted them to peacefully withdraw from the island.  In 1643, William Chambers, a Scottish Divine, was a leader in public thought in the Isles.  In 1646, Richard Chambers headed a famous petition to Charles I.  In 1650, Humphrey Chambers received big honors as a Biblical author.  In 1652, Peter Chambers wrote a treatise on treason, and how it should be punished.  George Chambers, in 1655, wrote against judicial astrology.

After the signing of the "Westminster Confession of Faith" in 1646, there followed in rapid succession the Cromwellian Civil War, the Restoration of Charles II, the overthrow of King James II, and the political and religious liberty of the reign of William, Prince of Orange.  This was a half century of religious controversy.  As early as 1670 the Quakers began to spread throughout Ireland in friendly competition with the Catholics for supremacy.  It was in the next decade that Benjamin Chambers joined the party of William Penn on his first voyage to America.

William, Prince of Orange, came to the throne of England in 1689.  The Catholics had lost control of the island, and James II had fled to France for help and protection.  Ireland was made the fighting ground between the Catholics and Protestants, and William, being an excellent military leader, was the idol of his men.  After his death, there was organized in his honor a secret society bearing the name of "Orangemen."  Ireland was rent throughout with discord and bloodshed.  There were in Ireland about 800,000 Catholics, 100,000 Anglicans, and 200,000 Non-conformists, including Quakers, Presbyterians, Baptists, and other independents.  The Catholics were losing much of the land in Ulster, Antrim, and Connaught; and even middle and southern Ireland contained a number of Protestants.  Many Scotchmen had entered Ireland for conscience' sake, but in 1704 Parliament passed the Test Act, or Holy Communion Act, which made the government Anglican, rather than Catholic.  In 1714, the Schism Act was passed.  This act required that all who taught or in any way conducted religious services should belong to the Anglican church.  The wealthier Independents, -- Presbyterians, Baptists, Quakers, et al -- disposed of their property and immigrated to America, where they hoped to find religious liberty.  Many of the most devout Independents, however, were forced to abide their time to get passage to America.  But during the third of a century following Queen Ann, thousands of Non-Conformists, "Orangemen," and even Catholics found refuge in America from Anglican oppression.  It was during this period that the patriarchs of most of the Chambers families first saw America.

In the pages which follow, if an immigrant is spoken of as Irish, his ancestors were probably in the mad rush for possessions in Ireland under Queen anne, or before her time.  The name Chambers per se is not Irish, and became so only by insulation among those who were Irish.  If he is spoken of as Scotch-Irish, his stay in Ireland was brief, or he is the son of a Scotch father and Irish mother, or vice versa, or a descendant of such parents.  If he is spoken of as Scotch, he may have sailed to America from and Irish port, but his blood was pure Scotch.  Many Scotch immigrants left brothers and sisters in Ireland, whose descendants became Scotch-Irish, or perhaps, if there long enough, Irish.


The Virginia Company, for the purpose of colonization in America, was formed in 1606.  Settlement was made at Jamestown in 1607.  After 1609, this company had a Governor and Council.  A share of stock in the company was twelve pounds and ten shillings, and no oath of fidelity was required of the stockholders.  A charter was granted them by King James I in 1619, an in April of that year their first general Court was held.  The following facts are taken directly from the records of this Court:

"For auditors the Court in like sort have now made choice for the succeeding term," etc.  On this committee one member was George Chambers.

And again: "June 28, 1619."

"Auditors to be at the next Court to take their oaths and also against that time an exact account be given of the state of the cash and what debts is owing, that if may be, half a capital may be divided among the adventurers."  George Chambers took this oath as an auditor.

On July 7, 1620, the Court grouped the members of the General Committee for special work as follows:  "(1) For the laws of England; (2) For the Orders for Virginia: (3) For the particular Corporation: (4) For military discipline."  George Chambers was a member of the third group.

On July 18, 1620, George Chambers was appointed on a special committee "to consider the fittest course for a magazine or storehouse for tobacco."  This committee was "to act with the Archbishop of Canterbury in regard to supplies intended to be sent to the colony this year."  Also, in July 1620, George Chambers was appointed on a committee "to confer with the Lord Mayor in regard to bringing children to America."  Many other references were made to George Chambers, but these are quite enough to show the esteem in which he was held by the old Virginia Company.

In April Court, 1625, James Chambers was places upon a committee; again, in 1634, he was mentioned.  Also, in 1625, Thomas and John Chambers were recognized in some way by the Virginia Court.  The above were English representatives of the Chambers family.

In 1635, Robert Chambers, in company with others, left his home near Stirling, Scotland, and settled at Perth Amboy, New Jersey.  Later he returned to Scotland.  He is supposed to be the ancestor of many other Americans of the Chambers name.  The fact that his old home was near Stirling identifies him as being of Scotch lineage.

Even before the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock, the Chambers name was gaining a foot-hold in Virginia.  From Virginia the name pushed westward into the newer states and up the coast even into Nova Scotia and Quebec.  These immigrants were English.  In the Blue Ridge section of North Carolina, as will be reported in succeeding chapters, most of the settlers bearing the Chambers name were Scotch, yet on the Yadkin, the Catawba, and along the rivers generally could be found traces of the names among the English settlements.

In August, 1922, I attended a reunion at Brookside Park, Indianapolis.  Learning that in another part of the park a group of Chamberses were holding their reunion, I joined them long enough to find out that they were of English nationality, and that they had come to Indiana from New York.  My cousin, Rev. E. M. Chambers, had quite an extensive conversation with representative men of this group and was well pleased with the courtesies extended him.  He was glad to claim them as kinsmen, even though the tie which binds us to them is somewhat obscured by the passing centuries.


The revolution against James II broke out in England in the fall of 1688.  James II fled to France and prevailed upon the French king to aid him in the recovery of his English throne. William Prince of Orange, the husband of Mary (the oldest daughter of the old king), was invited to England to resist the pretensions of the French king.  This war became a religious war, England representing Protestantism; France, Catholicism.  For more than a century the House of Orange had been ardent in its support of the Reformation.  William II was the man of the hour.

War broke out in America between the English colonies and the French settlements lying to the North and West.  The Jesuit missionaries encouraged the Indians along the border to resist the English advance.  As a protection to the English settlers, soldiers were sent from the Isles to America.  In 1689 five companies landed at New York.  Many other companies landed at Boston, and other New England ports.

Among the soldiers who came to New York were three brothers by the name of Chambers.  These were sent to different parts as a defense to the settlers.  As the story goes (evidence collected from three sources agree on this point), these boys did not return to England.  Living among the settlers for six or eight years, they became reconciled to the New World and married here, one making his home in New York, one in Virginia (perhaps West Virginia), and the third in Pennsylvania.

A part of this New York family crossed the boundary line, and perhaps for half a century lived in Canada, leaving there at the time of or soon after the war of 1812.  In proof of his I submit the following letter from Mrs. Luella Wolff of LaFountaine, Huntington County, Indiana:

Joseph Chambers was born in Canada, Feb. 29, 1792.  He and his father, whose name we have lost, were both in the war of 1812.  The mother's name was Sarah.  Sarah's family were Joseph (mentioned above), Minor, Thomas Whiten, Amanda, and Sarah. Thomas went to Peoria, Illinois; Amanda married Henry C. Andrews; Sarah died in childhood.  (Minor will be discussed later.)  There came to Canada from New Jersey a family by the name of Gibbs. Joseph Chambers married Sally Gibbs.  From Canada both the Chambers and the Gibbs families moved to Switzerland County, Indiana, and in about 1822, removed to Bartholomew County, Indiana and were among the early settlers of that county.  Joseph Chambers was about 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed about 190 pounds, smooth face, dark hair, brown eyes, rather quiet joker. He died Sept. 1, 1853.  His wife, Sally Gibbs, was born Feb 8, 1794, and died at the home of Charity Carter, May 14, 1874, at the ripe old age of eighty years.  Joseph and Sally were married in Canada, March 31, 1815.


To this union were born:

Sally Ann, married William Gibbs; born Aug. 11, 1816.

David James, born Nov. 10, 1818.

John Anson, my grandfather, born April 1, 1820.

Cyrenus W., born Sept 13, 1823.

Benjamin S., born Dec. 25, 1825; died March 8, 1826.

Amos (lived for years in Texas), born March 15, 1827.

Benjamin (the 2nd Benjamin), born Sept. 22, 1830.

Nelson, born July 11, 1832; died Aug. 31, 1834.

Charity, married Jonathan W. Carter; born Aug. 16, 1834.

Martha J., married John Allen Williams; born Aug. 20, 1838.


Sally, Charity, and Martha lived to be quite old.  Most of the sons also lived to be old.  On Dec. 23, 1838, John Anson Chambers married Rachel Smith, who was born near Lawrenceburg, Indiana, Nov. 21, 1820.  The following are the names of the children born to this union:

Sallie Ann, Mary Ellen, Charles Lewis (my father), John P. , Minerva Jane, and William Rush."

Mrs. Wolff's letter contains much interesting information concerning the Gibbs, the Carter, and the Simmons families which I cannot use in this history.  I hope some local historian will gather these facts and ultimately weave them into history.

Mrs. Wolff gave no information concerning Minor Chambers, but I have accidentally found his progeny.  I shall let William L. Chambers, Clerk of the Circuit Court at Brookville, Indiana, recite the story of his ancestry:

Mr. William D. Chambers,

Dupont, Indiana.


Here is some of my family history, and I wonder whether I am a descendant of any of the Chamberses you have some history of.


Minor Chambers (my great-grandfather), was born in Germany. When a young man he went to Canada, then to Switzerland County, Indiana, where he died (date unknown).  He had married a Miss Lee in Switzerland County, Indiana.  Their children were: Sally C., who married a Cunningham: Palace C., who married a Fisher: Elizabeth, who married a William Snook: Thomas W., who married Lovey Lewis -- who were my grand-parents; and David Chambers, who married and located in Iowa as a farmer.


The children of my grandfather were: Margaret, died at age 22, Jacob, died at age 21; Sarah Carmine, died at age 74; Moluda Carmine, living; Mary Clark, living; William, living; Charles, died at age of 40, has a son Charles who is living; and Lewis Calvin, living who is my father.


Would be glad to hear from you, and would want a book if it included my ancestry.


Yours very truly,

William L. Chambers

W. L. is quite sure that his great-grandfather was born in Germany, then went to Canada and later to Switzerland County.  As a man by the name of Minor Chambers was born in Canada, then came with others of his family to Switzerland County, it would seem that one historian or the other must be wrong.  I hope that this book may be helpful in straightening out the kinks, so that the truth may appear to each.  Evidently there are many descendants of this old family scattered here and there that the relatives know nothing about.  Perhaps this book will help them get together. 

C. A. Chambers, Detroit, Michigan, was for many years manager of the Consolidated Coal Company.  He was born at Paris, Kentucky, and his father, C. T. Chambers, at Roanoke, VA.  In Pioneer times, three brothers came to America, one settling in VA, one in N.Y. and one in PA.


In lieu of an old debt due Admiral Penn, his son, William Penn, in 1681 became the owner of 40,000 square miles of land in America.  He immediately advertised throughout England, Scotland, and Ireland for men to join him on a voyage to his new possessions.  His terms were as follows:

"Those who wished to sail on board his vessel, the "Welcome," could have land by paying one hundred pounds Sterling for 5,000 acres, and annually thereafter a shilling rent for every hundred acres.  Those who did not have money to pay in this way, could have two hundred acres or less at the rate of a shilling per acre."  (See Fisher's "The True William Penn.")

About 1655-60 were born, south of Stirling, (perhaps near the Clyde or Tweed in Scotland), four baby boys, who became the heads of four great American families.

These boys -- John, Benjamin, Peter, and Alexander -- may have been brothers, but I find no evidence of it and, therefore, shall not assume a certain relationship, but shall simply state the facts I have at hand, leaving the reader to determine his own conclusions.  Whatever their relationship may be, it is easy to think of them as grandsons of Robert Chambers, previously mentioned as having returned to Stirling from Perth Amboy, New Jersey.

Benjamin raised the necessary money, and sailed on board the "Welcome" in 1682.  No doubt he was present when Penn made his famous treaty with the Indians at Chester.  Whether Benjamin bought much or little land, will perhaps never be known, but it is established that after a brief stay in America, perhaps two or three years, he returned to Scotland to live.

About 1697, John, perhaps a brother, left Scotland with his family -- no doubt in company with Thomas Story, and settled just a little north of Chester on the river Delaware.  As the country developed, he moved farther north, and died at Trenton, New Jersey, in 1746.

Alexander, perhaps a fourth brother, raised his family in the hills near the Clyde or Tweed in Scotland, and was buried there. 

Peter came to America early in the century, and established a Scotch settlement in Virginia on the upper Rappahannock.

A contemporary of these four probable brothers was James Chambers of Peebles, Scotland, in easy range with Stirling, who signed his name in a Bible, now in the possession of Charles Edward Stuart Chambers, head of the Chambers Journal House, Edinburgh, Scotland, in the year 1664.  There is but little doubt that James was related to these men, but as the facts are not obtainable, the nature of this relationship will never be known.


Mention is made in certain New Jersey records of John Chambers, who was prominent there in 1729.  This John was the son of the elder John mentioned above.  Among the sons of this John Chambers were two men known in New Jersey military history, which see later.

The following letter is from David Abbott Chambers, attorney, of Washington, D.C.:

Washington, D.C., Jan. 22, 1904

William D. Chambers, Esq.,  Muncie, Indiana

Dear Sir:


I have received from my son Laurance, at Indianapolis, your letter to him of the 4th inst., and have also received your letter to me of the 9th inst., about the Chambers family.


I could get interested in genealogy if I had time for it, but I haven't.


My great great grandfather was named David Chambers, and he was commissioned Colonel of the Third Regiment, Hunterdon County, N.J., Militia, June 19, 1776, commissioned Colonel of the Battalion of New Jersey State Troops, November 27, 1776; and commissioned Colonel of the Second Regiment of Hunterdon County Militia, September 9, 1777; took part in the battle of Monmouth, June 28, 1778, and resigned, May 28, 1779.


Perhaps this Colonel David Chambers is the same David Chambers mentioned in your letter of the 4th inst., (as the son of David Chambers who lived in Rockbridge County, Virginia), but I have no means of determining whether your great uncle, David Chambers, is also my great great grandfather.  My great great grandfather had a son Joseph Gaston Chambers, and he a son David Chambers (my grandfather) and he a son David Chambers (my father) and I am David Abbott Chambers, and have a son David Laurance Chambers.


I enclose a sketch of the life of my grandfather, David Chambers, written by himself.


Some years ago I had some correspondence with the Rev. Theodore Frelinghuysen Chambers of German Valley, N.J., who was then getting up a Chambers book.  At that time he sent me a proof of some pages of his book, which I enclose to you for your study, and will ask you to return the same to me when you are through with it.


I am sorry I can't make my letter more interesting and more lengthy.  I shall be glad to hear from you.


If you come to Washington, please call on me.  I suppose you are in Indianapolis occasionally, and I hope you will go and see my son, who is with the Bobbs-Merrill Company.


Col. David Chambers was born in the village of Allentown, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, the 25th of November, 1780. His mother's maiden name was Mary Woosey.  His father, Joseph Gaston Chambers, also a native of Pennsylvania, was an educated man, a graduate of Princeton College, New Jersey, at the commencement of the revolution; and was not only a belle-lettre scholar, but also an inventive genius -- which was evidenced by the invention of a peculiar species of repeating gunnery, patronized by the naval department of the U.S. government during the last war with England; which was ready to be developed on Lake Ontario, where a large ship was prepared for action, armed with these guns, under command of Commodore Chauncey.  Peace supervened before a battle was fought or a gun fired in action, and the invention fell dormant.  As to the utility and destructive character of the invention, it is sufficient to state that it met the entire approval and warm commendation of Major Gen. Jacob Brown, and Commodore Rogers.  In addition to this, J. G. C. invented a new alphabet, or an attempt to form a complete system of letters, with a view to the more easy and perfect spelling and pronunciation of the English language.  After much expense in founding type to print, that invention also became a nullity.

Col. David Chambers received his entire education at the hands of his father, who adopted teaching as a pursuit.  That education was thorough in English and its various branches, together with a fair course in the Latin and Greek languages and the German.  At a very early age he was placed in adventurous and responsible situations and employments.  In the year 1794, at the age of 14 he was employed as a confidential express, at Williamsport in Maryland, to carry dispatches from Gen. Henry Lee of Virginia (commandant of the Army detailed to quell the whiskey insurrection in Western Pennsylvania) to President Washington, then at Carlisle in Penna.  He there had private conversation with the President, and General Alexander Hamilton, then Acting Secretary of War; and received other dispatches from Gen. Hamilton to be delivered to Gen. Lee at Cumberland in Maryland--at the same time the General conferring pointed commendation and encouragement on the youthful agent, to carry the dispatches with speed and safety, and accompanying the compliment with a douceur from his purse.  In 1796, after serving a term as clerk in a retail store, he was placed in the Aurora daily newspaper office

in Philadelphia, then conducted by Benjamin Franklin Bache (grandson of Dr. Franklin), to learn the art of printing.  His father's fortunes induced him in the fall of the same year to move west, and, as there

was no binding agreement, the son was recalled from the handling of type, in which he had promptly become a proficient, and placed at the plow tail in Washington County, Western Pennsylvania, where the inhabitants then lived in a very primitive state, enjoying but little of conveniences, and none of the luxuries of life.  Mr. Bache, in a letter to D. C.'s father, gave a most excellent character to the apprentice, and desired that he should continue with him; alleging that "the business was respectable, and would increase in usefulness, and no doubt would thrive in it."  In 1801, he made a perilous trading voyage in a flat-boat loaded with flour, down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans, then under Spanish government.  From New Orleans he returned by ship to New York, occupying fifty-six days in passage, and suffering much privation from want of provisions and water.

At the age of 21 he married Susannah Glass, and settled on a fertile farm in Brooke County, Virginia, a short distance from the present seat of Bethany College; his wife being foster sister of Miss Brown, the first wife of Rev. Alexander Campbell, president and founder of that institution.  After pursuing agriculture in a laborious way for thirteen years, he sold his possessions in Virginia and removed to Zanesville, Ohio, in October, 1810 -- that place having been made the seat of the State Government, which it retained only two years.  He bought one-half of a newspaper establishment, then a year in operation, entitled the "Muskingum Messenger"; became its chief editor, and was appointed State printer by the Legislature, during the two years that remained.  On the return to the legislature, temporarily, to Chillicothe, he sought and obtained the office of Secretary of the Senate; and obtained the same appointment at the first and second sessions of the Legislature at Columbus, the permanent seat of government.

In 1812-13 he acted as aid to Major General Lewis Cass, and executed various orders of that officer, in detailing organizing militia companies for the seat of war.  In 1816, at the organization of the Bank of the United States, he was appointed by the President of the United States one of the Commissioners to receive subscriptions to that institution in Ohio.  Having occupied at different times the offices of Mayor of the town and clerk of the common pleas and Supreme Courts; in 1821 he was elected one of the six representatives to which Ohio was then entitled in the 17th Congress; his competitor being the Hon. John C. Wright, afterwards a representative from a different district, and also a Supreme Judge.  He was never absent from his seat in Congress more than a single day during the entire term.  He voted for the resolution declaring the slave trade piracy; and also the resolutions acknowledging the independence of the South American Republics.  Failing in a re-election from causes not worthy of detail, in the Spring of 1823 he retired to an extensive farm he had improved, five miles above Zanesville on the west bank of the Muskingum river, where he continued an agricultural life, being a constant operative up to the year 1856.

During this period he was elected by his fellow citizens of Muskingum County to represent them in the State legislature nine different terms; seven sessions in the house and two sessions in the Senate; and at last term, in 1844, was elected Speaker of that body, which closed his legislative career.

In 1850 a convention was called to frame a new constitution for the State, and he was elected a delegate in conjunction with Judge Richard Stillwell to represent the old County of Muskingum in that body; who perfected a constitution at an adjourned session in the City of Cincinnati in March, 1851, which closed Col. C.'s public official labors.  He then, in 1856, became again a resident of Zanesville, the seat of his early labors, nearly half a century past -- a man of leisure, in good health, 78 years of age, having eleven living children, and one dead--eight sons and four daughters, with a numerous posterity, some of the third generation.  His stature is 5 feet 10 inches, tolerably robust make; dark complexion and eyes; an aquiline prominent Roman nose; having a strong voice, and fluent in speech.  His present wife was Mrs. Triphenia M'Gowan, a second marriage at the age of 66.

In early life he adopted Democratic Republican principles, and was a zealous political disciple of the school of Thomas Jefferson.  Supported the War of 1812, together with the administration, editorially in his newspaper.  Voted for Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, J. Q. Adams, Wm. H. Harrison, and Z. Taylor for President.  Followed the wake of H. Niles of the Baltimore Register, James Madison and Henry Clay, as men he esteemed of incorruptible virtue, and ever worthy of honor. Belonged to the old Whig Party--then a Republican as of old--and a sworn opponent to the extension of slavery, and the aggressive schemes of South Oligarches.


Col. David (1730-1790), was a brother of Alexander, and was a soldier of the Revolution.  David married Anna Gaston.

Joseph Gaston Chambers was born in 1759, at Allentown, PA.; married Mary Woolsey, and died June 1, 1829.  There were four children in his father's family.

Joseph Gaston, 7 children:

David (see David Abbott's letter.  Also below).

William C., probably ancestor of W. G. Chambers of the University of PA.

No record is available of the following children:  Harriet, Mary, Charlotte, Joseph, and John.

1.  David (Nov 25, 1780; Aug 8, 1864).  Married Susanna Glass in 1801.  (See autobiography).  Twelve children:

Maria Peters (Feb. 16, 1803; 1881), Brooke Co., W. VA.

Ann (Cox), (June 8, 1805; May 16, 1883), Brooke Co., W.VA.

Joseph Gaston (1807; 1887), Brooke Co., W.VA.

Susan (Carhart),(Oct. 31,1808; April,1887),Brooke Co., W.VA.

Samuel Glass (Nov.21,1810; Apr.7,1896), Zanesville, OH.

Clara (Bosworth)(Baldwin), June 13,1813;June 13,1902), Zanesville, OH.

David (1815;1840), father of David Abbott, Zanesville, OH

Charles Fox (Mar.20,1823; May 16,1898), Zanesville, OH.

Albert G. (Nov 14, 1824; 1887), Zanesville, OH.

Robert and Benjamin (Mar. 11,1826; Robert died Feb.16,1912; Benjamin died April 7, 1891), Zanesville, OH.

Samuel Glass married Louisa Adams; seven children:  Alice married Carey Inskeep, Ottumwa, IA, Maria Louise married John W. Edgerly, Ottumwa, IA; Edward Adams married Lenora Tinkham, Ottumwa, Iowa; Harriet T. married J. W. Murphy, Middletown, OH;

David married Anna Sunderland, Portland Oregon, 1923.

Horatio C. married Rosa Lee; 2 children.

Turner died when a child.

Edward Adams, four children: John E. married Elizabeth Polk, Shelbyville, IN; Katherine married Raymond D. Sprout, Gasport, NY; Irene M., teacher, Department of English, Ward-Belmont school, Nashville, TN; Edith died when a child.

David, McConnellsville, OH, May 5, 1855; six children:  Mary Louisa, Samuel Sunderland, David Albert, Paul, Fred Edward, and Ruth Anna.  David formed the firm name "D. Chambers & Sons," Portland, Oregon.  The sons, Samuel, David A., and Fred E. are engaged in the optical business with their father.  Paul, born in Chicago, died in infancy.  Ruth is instructor in Physical Education at Marshfield, Oregon.

Horatio C. had two children: Helen, who died young, and Charles E., the well known artist, who lives at Riverdale-on-Hudson, NY.

Mrs. Inskeep had seven children:  Charles C., Louise, Fred, Edmund Ambrose, Alice Carey, Theodore, and Maria.

Mrs. Edgerly had seven children: Dr. Edward Tyler, Adine, Alice, John, Helen, George, and Denison.

While I cannot trace ancestry very far in lines not of the Chambers name, yet I must extend to F. L. Griffin of Reed College Portland, Oregon; Warren S. Peters, principal of the high school, Shelbyville, IN; William Allen Wood, an Indianapolis attorney and his accomplished daughter, Allyn Louise Wood; and to George Chambers Calvert, Secretary of the Indiana Sons of the Revolution, my thanks for encouragement in the preparation of this work.

Mr. William D. Chambers, Dupont, Indiana

Dear Mr. Chambers;


I have received prospectus of your Chambers History, "Trails of the Centuries," and believe it will make a very interesting thing for members of the Chambers family.


Mr brother-in-law, Dr. F. L. Griffin, after corresponding with you, requested that I send you complete record of our branch of the family, which we have clear back to Col. David Chambers of the Revolutionary War.  You have the record, no doubt, the same as ours up to the sons of Col. David Chambers of Ohio, and we send this record more to give you data regarding the offspring of his son Samuel Glass Chambers, where we tie into your record.


On page two there are a couple of items missing on the record of the family of Edward Adams Chambers and also Horatio C. Chambers.  I have written to Miss Irene M. Chambers, daughter of Edward Adams Chambers, to send to you at once the data which I have requested of her, which will fill in the complete record of Edward Adams Chambers.  I have also written to Charles E. Chambers of New York, for complete data of his family, the children of Horatio C. Chambers.


I made out the blanks for them to fill in, and at the top of each sheet have stated that the data therein contained refers to these two items on page two of the record which I send.


Trusting that this is the information you desire, I am,


Very truly yours,


As has been stated, David Chambers, who fought at Monmouth, had a brother Alexander, who also did service in the American Revolution, holding the position of Commissary in the Army; later an alderman.  He is perhaps the father of John C. Chambers, who was born in New Jersey in 1779.  When fourteen years of age this John started out for himself, and sailing down the Ohio from Fort Henry (now Wheeling), he stopped near Maysville, KY, where he went to work (perhaps on the Wheeling-Zanesville-Maysville pike, then under construction by Col. Ebenezer Zane).  He must have received a good education back in New Jersey, for in a few years we find him practicing law at Washington, the county seat of Mason Co., KY.  He became a soldier, and in 1812-14 he fought the British and Indians.  In the battle of the Thames he was one of the famous squad of cavalry that captured the notes and private papers of the British General Proctor.  For his dashing bravery in this battle he received honorable mention in the notes of Gen. Harrison.  We quote from Collin's Historical Sketches of Kentucky:

"John Chambers, Esq., one of those who followed Major Payne (1813) in his dashing pursuit against General Proctor at the battle of the Thames, was mounted on a splendid charger.  The pursuit was so hot that Gen. Proctor was forced to abandon his carriage and take refuge in a swamp, leaving all his baggage and his papers, public and private, in the hands of the victors.  In Gen. Harrison's official report it is stated that the first battalion inspired confidence wherever it appeared."

In 1827, John Chambers was elected to the U. S. Congress; retiring for six years, he was again elected in 1835; and a third time in 1837.  In 1841 he received the appointment by President Harrison as Governor of the territory of Iowa, which he held for four years.  It was while acting Governor of Iowa that he was so much sought throughout the northwest as an Indian Commissioner.

After the expiration of his office as Governor, he returned to Kentucky and renewed his practice of law.  In 1852 he died at Paris, KY.

Ezekiel F. Chambers was born in Kent, MD in 1788, and died at Charleston, MD in 1867.  He was a member of Congress 1826-34; member of Maryland Constitutional Convention 1850; Judge Maryland Court of Appeals until 1857.  He may have been a brother of John of Kentucky or of David of Ohio.  There is but little doubt that he is at least a descendant of the old New Jersey branch.

John Story Chambers, financier and engineer, was born at Trenton, N.J. in 1782.  This name is another hint that the elder John Chambers and Thomas Story settled together along the Delaware in 1697, as previously stated.

Mrs. Mary Louisa Chambers Griffin of Portland, OR traces her descent thus:  David, her father, Samuel Glass, David, Joseph Gaston, Colonel David (1730-1790).

William C. Chambers, the second son of Joseph Gaston Chambers, born about 1782, at or near York Co., PA, crossed the mountains by wagon, following the National Pike, and settling in Westmoreland County, PA.  Among his sons were George, John, Joseph and William.  George was the grandfather of William grant Chambers, Dean of the School of Education in the University of Pittsburgh, PA, for so many years; more recently a professor in the University of Pennsylvania.  I have two opportunities to connect this college man: (1) with the New Jersey line, as I have done: (2) with the "Ship Protection, 1812" line.  A single circumstance has led me to this connection: that is, the fact that he uses simplified spelling.  The careful reader may make the same observations.

After the above had been sent to the printer, I learned from Mary Chambers Bright that the second view is the correct one. She says that W. G. C. is a cousin to her father.

Charles Julius Chambers, a leading American journalist and author, long connected with the New York Herald, was born in Belfontaine, OH in 1850.  For years he was a member of the Lotos Club, New York.

I regret that I have no picture to represent this large family.  Pictures add to the cost of the book, but usually the purchasers like to see them.


As has been previously stated, one of the passengers on "The Welcome" in 1632 was Benjamin Chambers.  After his return to Antrim, Ireland, four of his sons (about 1726) embarked for America to live.  These sons were James, Robert, Joseph, and Benjamin.  This family, being influenced by the Westminster Confession of Faith, carried Presbyterianism into the New World.

Landing at Philadelphia, these boys forsook the Delaware and sailed up the Susquehanna to a point one hundred miles to the northwest, where they established a mill with a part of their remaining capital.  This mill stood at the mouth of Fishing Creek on the eastern bank of the Susquehanna, a few miles above where Harrisburg now stands.  Learning of the opening of the West, these brothers each entered land for himself, as will hereinafter be stated.

James, the oldest brother, moved by way of Carlisle to Newville, twenty-five miles inland, where he spent the remainder of his life.  Robert moved to a point at the head of Middle Spring near Shippensburg, ten or fifteen miles southwest of his brother, James.  Joseph and Benjamin moved fifteen miles further southwest to a point afterwards known as Chambersburg.  Benjamin, the younger son, remained here, but his brother, Joseph, returned to their former home at Harrisburg.

James had two sons, Ranold and Rowland.  Ranold was born in Antrim, Ireland, ten years before their passage, and died at the age of 30, leaving a large grant of land in Cumberland Co., PA, to his son James.  There were other children in this family but their names have not been learned.

James, the son of Ranold, was commander over three companies of soldiers during the French and Indian War, and fought a hard battle at Sideling Hill in April 1756.  James had a son, John, whose home was also in Cumberland Co., who was the father of William, who became a Colonel in the American Revolution. William fought at Trenton and Princeton, and died in 1809.

The second son of the elder James, Rowland, had a son, George, and a daughter, Catharine.  Her our genealogy is broken. Rowland was also born in Antrim, Ireland, perhaps about 1720. The two brothers were buried at Meeting House Springs on the State Road.

As a digression, it is perhaps proper to state that there was another Rowland Chambers (1759), honored in Great Britain as an eminent Presbyterian clergyman.  He was perhaps of this family in Antrim, hence similarity of name.

Dr. William Chestnut Chambers, son of Colonel William Chambers, was born in 1790, and died in 1857.  He was a classmate of President Buchanan in Dickinson College, and later studied in the Medical department of the University of Pennsylvania.  He afterward became a flour and iron manufacturer.

Talbot Wilson Chambers, S.T.D.,L.L.D., son of Dr. W. C., was born at Carlisle, PA, in 1819.  He was a graduate of Rutgers College, and studied theology at Princeton.  He was pastor of the Collegiate Dutch Church of New York, and was regarded as one of the greatest clergymen of the century.

Benjamin Chambers, the younger of the four brothers, made deposition Dec. 8, 1736, that he was a millwright and that he was twenty-eight years of age.  He, therefore, was born in 1708. When eighteen years of age he came to America, and in 1730 founded Chambersburg.  In 1755 he and others built there a stone fort and stockade.  In 1764 lots were laid out and sold to settlers.  In 1788 Benjamin died, leaving at and near Chambersburg, a valuable estate.  In 1803 Chambersburg was incorporated; in 1864, burned.  For many years Chambersburg was known as falling Spring, and near it were the three natural parks, Wolfe Lake, Mont Alto, and PenMar.

The notes of Rev. Theodore Frelinghuysen Chambers, the historian of the Benjamin Chambers branch, have been and invaluable help in the choice of material for this chapter.

Another George Chambers was born at Chambersburg, PA in 1786; died 1866.  He graduated at Princeton in 1804; was a member of Congress 1833-1837; member of the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention 1846-47; and was appointed Judge of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 1851.  Washington College conferred upon him the L.L.D. degree in 1864.  He was an author of note and wrote among other things his "Tribute to the Scotch-Irish in America," which is still to be found in Eastern libraries."

Here is given a quotation from a letter written by Hon. Henry A. Chambers, of Chattanooga, TN:  "I have a pamphlet sketch of the Hon. George Chambers, son of Benjamin Chambers, the founder of Chambersburg, and from this I learn that after founding this place, Benjamin Chambers returned to his native place in the old country, and induced a great many of his old friends, and acquaintances to come to America."  (This George was perhaps a grandson of Benjamin).

The pamphlet to which Henry A. refers is doubtless the one published in 1873 by the Pennsylvania Historical Society, which contains similar facts.

Here a little and there a little and we are prepared to write the biography of another prominent member of this family. Benjamin Chambers was born at or near Chambersburg, PA, about 1745.  He was a soldier of the Revolution, and later a government surveyor.  He carried his chain and compass over the land where Rising Sun, Ohio County, Ind., now stands in the spring of 1798. In 1803 he had built a double log house and moved his family there.  He sold land to settlers, most of whom came from Pennsylvania.  In October 1807, he and Lewis Davis were given a large grant of land by the U.S. government for efficient services.  On March 7, 1803, he was commissioned Lieutenant Colonel and Commandant of the Dearborn County Militia; on December 10th, 1805, he was commissioned Judge of Common Pleas in and for Dearborn County (Ohio County was formed from Dearborn in 1844).

By proclamation of Gov. W. H. Harrison the first House of Representatives of Indiana Territory convened at Vincennes, Feb. 1, 1805.  It consisted of nine members, elected for a period of two years.  At this meeting five persons selected from a list of ten were appointed a Legislative Council.  The first regular session of the General Assembly was held at Vincennes, IN, July 29, 1805.  Benjamin Chambers of Dearborn County, was elected president of the Legislative Council.  The second session of the First General Assembly convened on the last Monday of October 1806.  Benjamin Chambers was again president of the Council.  He continued to hold this position till the close of 1808, when he resigned.  For many years Judge Chambers was held in high esteem in his adopted state.  We do not have the facts concerning his declining years, but we have reasons to believe that he removed back east before the time of his death.

(Recent letters almost definitely determine that Cincinnati was chosen as his home after his removal from Rising Sun.)

On May 16, 1901, while passing through the town of St. Omar, Decatur Co., I made an accidental discovery of relationship in this branch.  An interview was held with the aged John S. Chambers, the substance of which is given below:

"My name is John Shimar Chambers.  I was born at Monmouth, NJ, in 1811.  My father's name was George, and my grandfather's name was Daniel.  I remember seeing my grandfather once.  My father and family were moving from New Jersey to Ohio.  We stopped in grandfather's.  He lived on land now in Chambersburg. The three brothers (three hills) were on grandfather's place, which was then pastured largely with sheep.  He joked us about climbing to the top of a high hill for the fun of rolling down again.  Grandfather was quite wealthy, and we understand that inquiries have been made for his heirs, but we have been too poor to employ counsel to look after our interests there."  John S. had two brothers, Joseph of Kokomo, IN, and Daniel, who died in Ohio.  It is quite probable that these are the Joseph Chambers branch, that is descendants of the third of the four brothers.

Isaiah Meneh Chambers was born at Mifflinsburg, PA in 1865. He is a Presbyterian clergyman of note, and resides at Merchantsville, NJ.


Little is known of Alexander Chambers of Scotland, or his son, Reynolds, further than they are supposed to have lived on the line of the Clyde-Tweed Valley in Southern Scotland, and that they were not financially able to make the voyage to America with their families, so father and son remained in Scotland till the end came to each.


Reynolds Chambers was born about 1700.  My Uncle Alexander, in one of his letters, wrote me that he was familiarly called "Runnels" by his grandson and great-grandsons.  For ten years or more I worked on the theory there was a kinship between the Chambers family and the Sir Joshua Reynolds family.  I still think there is a relationship, but I find myself, with the books I have at hand, unable to prove it.  As in other families, so in our family there is a tradition of a soldier ancestor. -- a soldier trained under the direction of that matchless leader, William Prince of Orange, but after years of investigation, I find no such origin for my own lineage, but I have a thought that Peter, the founder of the Rappahannock Scotch Settlement, was that soldier.

Henry Chambers, whom succeeding events seem to prove to be a brother of Reynolds, and three young men, Samuel, David, and James, sons of Reynolds, and perhaps some girls of the families along with their husbands, at different times, set sail for America.  Henry was doubtless the first to come.  He may have come with the four brothers in 1726, but not having lands assigned him, he did not reside in Penn Territory.  While he is reported to have lived in Maryland, no doubt he knew Peter, the founder of the Rappahannock Settlement, who had preceded him to the new world.

Of the sons of Reynolds, perhaps Samuel was the oldest; David, the second; James, the third.  Samuel was born about 1720. As I see it, Samuel is the name of the lost ancestor of the Knox County branch, also, the ancestor of a large progeny in Tennessee and other points west.  Proofs can be best shown by reverting to his son

ALEXANDER, head of the Knox County Branch.

Note the following letter:

Lewis, P.O. Vigo Co., Ind.,

March 31, 1906.

Dear Relative:


In answer to your letter I will say that we have lost the name of our great grandfather.  I am regarded as the historian of the Knox County Branch, but all I have been able to find out concerning him is that he came from Ireland to Philadelphia about 1765, leaving his oldest son, William, who had recently married, back in Ireland.  My grandfather, Alexander, was fifteen years of age when the voyage was made, and was so delighted with the sea, that his parents thought it best to bind him out (by indenture) to a man eighty miles inland to keep him from becoming a sailor.


When Alexander was of age (1771) he went back to find his parents but to his great surprise the family had gone away.  (On account of the cholera many families had left Philadelphia, never to return).  Alexander never saw his folks again.  He made many attempts to locate them, but never succeeded.  When my father was about grown, he accompanied grandfather on two long trips through Virginia, Carolina and Georgia, and even down into Florida, making prolonged search for his parents, but they were everywhere disappointed.  Alexander married a Miss Balden in Ohio moved to Carolina; then to Kentucky; then in 1808, to Knox Co., Indiana. He often visited the Chamnberses at or near Gosport.  The older set (Elijah and Asa) were cousins to Grandfather.  I am now 75, and am the youngest of father's family.  Now, if you ever heard of that lost boy, you may know something about my folks.  I saw William and Samuel Chambers of Spencer, some years ago.  I am sending you diagram of our family.


Yours truly,


The fact that this family crossed the ocean as late as 1765 would seem to indicate that there is no relationship between them and David and James, but this letter of authority removes every doubt.

Samuel (?) no doubt was prevented in some way from leaving Ireland till he was almost fifty years of age, but his passion could not be assuaged.  He finally came.  Upon his arrival in America, the first thing he did was to secure a place for his oldest son, Alexander.  Then the scourge of 1765-67 reported in history almost depopulated Philadelphia, and scattered this and many other families.  Samuel, no doubt, learned of the Blue Ridge home of other relatives, and sought them, and finding them, lived among them.  When search was made for them by a son and a grandson with bridle in hand and rifle on shoulder, the fact that there was an attractive "New Scotland" in the far west was overlooked.  This accounts for the failure.  No doubt search was made for Alexander, too, after his time had expired, but he, too, could not be found.

About the end of the century the Chambers families along with others heard of the wonderful Ohio River Country.  David's descendants found a home in Jefferson Co., Indiana, in 1809; James, being younger and quite strong, accompanied his sons to Owen County in 1818, making several stops on the way; Samuel and his family had lost the spirit of adventure, and remained south of the Ohio, perhaps in Tennessee and Kentucky.  The Madison Courier in an article on pioneer history speaks of Samuel as David's father.  This fact, along with other good and sufficient reasons has convinced the author that Samuel was an older brother of David, and died in Tennessee, or not far on the way to the North back in the old century, thus causing this confusion in ancestry.

But Spier Bruce tells us in his letter that Alexander and Elijah were cousins.  If so, the two Alexanders were cousins, and the three branches are one.  Alexander of Knox County was born in Ireland in 1749 and died in Knox Co., Indiana in 1835.  From current history it may be discovered that Ellick Chambers was a soldier under the celebrated George Rogers Clarke.  The name of Ellick Chambers does not appear in "Clarke's Grand," which was sent aside for the officers and soldiers, but the inference is drawn that when no actual service was needed, he was always to be found with his family.  From the Pension Bureau at Washington we obtained the following facts:

Alexander Chambers enlisted in the Revolution in 1777; was with the Army of Virginia for three months as a private; became First Lieutenant and was placed in charge of the wagon guard at the battle of Germantown.  Moved to Washington Co., near Jonesboro, TN (then North Carolina) in 1779.  Application for pension on file in Pension Office--Washington Gardner, commissioner.

Very early in the first decade of the new century he established his home near Vincennes, where he raised his family, David, Samuel, Polly, Joseph, John, James, and Levi.  (It should not be forgotten that in 1798, another Alexander moved near Vincennes, but later returned to Shelbyville, KY.

In the year 1906, I had the delightful pleasure of spending Saturday and Sunday with Prof. Walter H. Woodrow and wife at the home of this father-in-law, Albert chambers, who was a son of Benjamin, and a grandson of Samuel, the second son of Alexander. Visiting the "Friendly Grove Baptist Church," I was shown the tomb of Samuel Chambers, one of the heroes of his generation.  In the afternoon the Clerk's records of the proceedings of the Maria Creek Baptist Church were read from which the following particulars were gleaned:


Maria Baptist church, organized May 20, 1809.


During the years 1812-13 the people on the frontier were exposed to the dangers and alarms of Indian warfare.  They lived in small forts and blockhouses scattered over the country, and at all times wend armed whenever they went out of their forts--whether they went into their fields to work, or to their places of meeting to worship, prepared to fight any indians who might be prowling around, watching for an opportunity to kill and scalp, or capture one or more they might find unprotected.  They were subject to all these hardships of pioneer life, and to the difficulties of obtaining the necessary food and clothing for themselves and their families.  Yet, notwithstanding all these trails and hardships, they maintained the organization of their church and, with one or two exceptions, kept up their regular meetings.  Isaac McCoy, their pastor, trusting in God, and armed with his Bible and musket, traveled from fort to fort, preaching to the people, encouraging the brethren and sisters, warning sinners, and inviting them to come to Christ.  And thus they passed through the war, maintained and organization; and prospered as a church.  Not one was lost or hurt during the war, except their church clerk, William Polk, who received a wound at the Battle of Tippecanoe, from which he soon recovered.


In these Indian battles none were more active than the Chambers brothers.  Samuel and Joseph followed the trail and engaged in most of the battles from Vincennes to Tippecanoe. Some of the younger men of the next younger generation accompanied their uncles and fathers in these wars.


In the church controversy of 1819 and afterwards, Joseph and Samuel Chambers were counsel for the Church in favor of the Missionary movement.  Elder Daniel Parker, a member of Lamotte Church, and sustained by that church, let the other side.  In 1820, Elder Daniel Parker published a pamphlet against missions. He regarded election and predestination as fundamental, opposed an educational qualification for the ministry, and regarded as unorthodox the appointment of Boards of Missions.  The Chambers brothers won."


Samuel and Joseph and many of the younger brothers and nephews were engaged in the Indian wars of 1810-11, following the trail from Vincennes to Tippecanoe.


During the years 1812-13 the people on the frontier were exposed to the dangers and alarms of Indian warfare.  When leaving their forts and blockhouses, either for work or worship, they went armed; their church organization was maintained continuously.


From 1811 to 1884 there were enrolled upon the church records of Maria Creek Church the names of seventy-one members bearing the Chambers name.

It is a joy to add to our roll of kinsmen this prolific family, so long separated by only a few counties.  The fact that this branch had kept their records so well indicates that family ties are not lightly considered by them.  May they join with us in the larger brotherhood of all men.


Descendants of Alexander.

David (1776-1845)

Rachel married Spier Bruce; Margaret married Samuel Welch; Isaac, the preacher; Joseph, Levi, John, Alexander, Christiana married Abraham Stark; Isabella married W. W. Hollingsworth; Martin died young; Spier Bruce and a sister -- twins.

Samuel (1783-1865); Sarah, Letha, Emmett, John, Marshall, Benjamin, Polly, Rice, Samuel Scott, Thomas, Margaret.

Samuel was an ensign in the Knox County Militia in 1814; was made Justice of the Peace in 1814; was Lieut. of the 1st Regiment in 1815.  He fought in almost every battle with the Indians along the line from Vincennes to Tippecanoe. (From history--Author.)

Polly married Joseph Thomas; Joseph died in 1858; Polly married Nathan Robinson; Nancy married Edward Robinson; Alexander, Eli; Malinda married John Ferguson; Elizabeth married Warren Heath; Levina married David Bowers; Joseph, Albert B., Emily.  (Hon Smiley N. Chambers, for years one of the leading lawyers of Indianapolis, was the son of Alexander.)

John:  Calvin, Samuel, Benjamin, Thomas, Jane, Nancy Ann, Sarah and Alexander--twins.  (For years Benjamin was a prominent teacher in the schools of Clay County.)

James:  Patsy, Levi, Lucinda, Jesse Perry, Charles. (Charles lived at Worthington, Indiana.)

Levi:  Carey, Levi, and Tumbleson.

Judge Carl N. Chambers, of Oklahoma City, connects with this line.

No doubt, Spier Bruce Chambers was the only relative who possessed all the above facts.  They are given to the reader just in time to escape oblivion.

Prof. W. H. Woodrow of the Indiana State Normal School, Terre Haute, Indiana, gave me as a reference J. B. Chambers of Olympia, Washington.  In answer to a letter, J. B. made the following observations:

I will take a copy.  I belong to the Knox County Branch as mentioned in your "prospectus."  Will hand your letter to my brother, T. E. Chambers, who has some interesting records.


There is a large family of pioneers scattered over this coast country.  These came out in the 50's and have taken no small part in the development of the country.  I have been unable to connect them with my branch.


I am very much interested in your success, and will gladly help you all I can.

Below is the letter received a little bit later from the brother:

Olympia, Washington, R.F.D. No. 3

Nov. 1, 1924

Dear Mr. Chambers:


My father, Samuel Scott Chambers, died in 1883.  He had in his possession all the private papers and records of his father so far as I know; I have them now, and can find no mention of his ancestors.  I have records showing that he was Justice of the Peace for Lewis Township, Clay County, in the 30's and 40's.


I am told that Samuel Chambers and his wife, who was a Thomas, came to Vincennes by pack horse from Ohio, but I do not know the date, and that he served under William Henry Harrison in defense of Vincennes.  It is the understanding among my people that two brothers came to this country from Ireland in an early day, and became separated, one going south, the other going west. There are a number of Chamberses in the West who tell the same story of their ancestors.  The oldest record I have I will enclose in this letter.  After having examined it, please return it.


Wishing you success, I am



 The records sent me by T. E. Chambers are as follows:

1.  Samuel Chambers was appointed by Territorial Governor Thomas Posey, as Ensign of the First Regiment of Indiana Militia.  His commission was signed by Thomas Posey and his Territorial Secretary, John Gibson, at Jeffersonville, IN on February 3, 1814.  2.  Samuel Chambers, on June 11, 1814, at Vincennes, Indiana, took oath required of all officers, civil and military, to carry into force the duelling law, passed December 13, 1813, and certain other statutes.

 The reader will easily observe that the Samuel Chambers herein mentioned is a brother of Joseph Chambers, and son of Alexander, pioneer of Know County, Indiana, previously honored in these notes.

The smallpox epidemic at Philadelphia explains the separation of Alexander from the rest of the family.  The brother mentioned by T. E. doubtless spent the Revolutionary War period in western North Carolina with relatives, as stated elsewhere.

I tried to secure pictures to represent this neighboring family, but I could not get hold of any.  I hope they will appreciate the book any way.

CHAPTER V (part 1):  DAVID

David Chambers, one of the sons of Reynolds, was born in Southern Scotland about 1725.  Before he reached his majority he went via Ireland to America.  He may have remained in Ireland long enough to make his passage money, but not long enough to become Scotch-Irish.  There is but little doubt that he sailed directly to Philadelphia with the immigrant party of 1743, and after acquainting himself with the location of his relatives, he went to work.  Becoming interested in a German girl, he chose her for his life companion, took her with him to the Rappahannock-Scotch settlement, and for ten years made Orange County (after 1749, Culpeper County), Virginia, his home.

Four of his children were born in this Scotch settlement: John, William, Samuel, and Tetty.  In 1754, or thereabouts, David, influenced by the Indian troubles preceding the French and Indian War, left the Rappahannock settlement, and found a place of apparent safety in Rockbridge County, Virginia, far up the mountain side to the southwest.  Here Alexander and David were born.  After the Treaty of Peace was signed (1763), David, with his entire family, went still farther west, joining a Scotch settlement in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, where he remained till near the close of the century, when he went with his sons to Boonesboro, Kentucky, his last resting place.

In North Carolina, for more than a third of a century, David lived in Rutherford Co., near the Burke Co., border, in the same neighborhood as James Chambers and his family, and followed the trail to Boonesboro, KY, where, in the neighboring county of Jessamine, James and his sons again became neighbors of David and his family.

While in North Carolina the Revolutionary War was fought. No man could give more to its success than David.  All his sons were in it.  Two of them never came back, and a third, the youngest, returned only for a brief time, then went back east with the plan in mind ultimately to rejoin his relatives in a new home on the Ohio.

A peculiarity of the elder David was that in his old age he kept his head shaved, as he said, to prevent nervousness.  It has been said that his wife was a stout woman, and that during their last days they lived with or near their eldest son, John.


John Chambers, the oldest son of David, was born in Culpeper, Virginia, in 1748.  He was said to be a very strong man.  My uncle, Alexander, says of him that he found no one who could lift against him, and no equal in physical endurance.  It is probable that he married six or eight years before the beginning of the Revolution.  In support of this view, I submit his census report for 1790.  John Chambers of Rutherford County, North Carolina, gave to the enumerator these facts:  "1 man, 4 women and girls, 3 boys under sixteen."  For David, this report: "1 man, 3 women."  For Alexander, "1 man, 1 woman, 1 boy."  From this report it appears that John had six children in 1790, three girls and three boys.  Returning safe from the Revolutionary War, he remained near his parents till the general exodus of 1799, when the several families started to the Northwest Territory via the upper Tennessee to the Kentucky border, then, clambering as best they could over the watershed, floated down the Kentucky to their destination at Boonesboro, Madison County, Kentucky. Daniel Boone had built a fort at this point in 1775, and for three years had defended it in person.

[Note:  It was found that John Chambers was actually in Rutherford Co., NC, until about 1806, buying and obtaining property between then and 1800.  It was in 1806 that he sold his property in Rutherford Co., while living temporarily in Burke Co.  About 1807, several families, including the Whitesides (Whitsetts) and Chitwoods, left Rutherford Co. to settle in Indiana--the Chitwoods at least ended up in Kent, Jefferson Co., IN, near Alexander Chambers.  In the 1790 census, we find David, John, and Alexander.  In the mid-1790’s Alexander sold his property in Rutherford Co., and we find him in Shelby Co., KY, in the 1800 census.  John is the only Chambers left in Rutherford Co., NC, according to their 1800 census--either David was living with John at the time, or else he was already dead.  I believe that David actually died in Rutherford Co., and that sometime afterward, in about 1807, John moved his family with several of his neighbors’ to Indiana. Polli Turner]

As John's parents were getting old, it was thought best not to attempt the rigors of a life beyond the Ohio while they were living, so for a few years he and his sons remained at or near Boonesboro.  In 1810, John Chambers and most of his family continued their course, and settled at a point two miles north of Paris in Jennings County, Indiana, where he resided till his death in 1845.  John was quite prosperous.  My uncle Alexander wrote me that at one time John had forty or fifty horses on his Paris farm, besides a large amount of other property.

[Correction:  Both census and probate records indicate that John Sr. died about 1826.  Polli Turner]

John had five sons -- John, Alexander, James, Samuel, and Enoch; and one daughter, Margaret, who married Joel Earnwood, and came with the family to Indiana, the other daughters marrying in Kentucky.  All of these children were born in North Carolina prior to 1790.

[Correction:  two of the sons were born after 1790, if the census was correct.  Another daughter, Mary, or Polly, may have been the oldest daughter of John, and was married in Rutherford Co., NC to Isom Blankenship in 1799.  PT]

My report of the whereabouts of this family is less direct than that of most families for the reason that there is no historian who has the details, except in a few instances.

The Indianapolis News of Jan. 29, 1900, reported the sixty-second marriage anniversary of Alexander Chambers and wife of Danville, IN.  This news item stated that Alexander at that time had eight children and fifteen grandchildren, and that Mrs. W. D. Cooper of Indianapolis was one of the children.  Not being able to place him in my notes, I wrote Alexander, giving him my descent, and requesting an answer.  I quote from Alexander's letter:

Danville, Ind., Feb. 4, 1900

Mr. W. D. Chambers, Redkey, Ind.

Dear Sir:  Your letter of January 30 received, and I note with interest what you have to say touching the family history, and in reply will say that I am a member of the same family.


My father's name was James Chambers, the son of John Chambers of North Carolina.  Avery Chambers's father is a brother to my grandfather, whose name was John Chambers.


The names of my father's brothers were John, Alexander, Samuel, and Enoch.  My uncle, John Chambers, lived in Decatur County, Indiana, the last time I heard from him.  He had a large family of children.  My father died when I was a small boy.  I was raised with or in the same neighborhood as your grandfather, Avery, and his brothers.  Your grandfather married a lady named Blankinship, she being a niece of my mother.  My father raised six children, named Elizabeth, Jemima, Malinda, Jane, and Mary. Mary and I are the only living children.


I might be able to give you more information if you and I were together.  However, if you care to ask for any more information, do not hesitate to write, and I will be pleased to serve you.


Yours truly,


 I also quote from the article in the Indianapolis News:


Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Chambers Celebrate Their

Wedding Anniversary.

(Special to Indianapolis News, Jan 29, 1900)

The sixty-second marriage anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Chambers of Danville, Indiana, was celebrated by a dinner today, at the home of their daughter, Mrs. W. D. Cooper, Fifteenth street and College avenue.  Only the intimate relatives attended.  Mr. and Mrs. Chambers were married near South Hanover, January 39, 1838.  In 1841 they moved to Valparaiso, where they remained until November, 1853, when they went to Danville. They have occupied their present home forty years, and three of their children were born there.  In his younger day, Mr. Chambers was employed on a farm.  He was reared by his uncle, his father having died in his early youth.  After going to Danville he was associated with L. C. Cash in operating a grist, saw, and planning mill.  The plant was finally destroyed by fire, and the site is now covered with homes.


Mr. Chambers has been connected with the M.E. church over seventy years.  For fifty years he was connected with the official board, only recently retiring because of advanced age. Eight children resulted from this union, of whom Mrs. W. D. Cooper, of this city; Mrs. Kennedy of Martinsville; Mrs. Vincent Miller, of Sunnyside; Mrs. Alice Lewis, of Mt. Vernon, N.Y.; and Mrs. James W. Dempsey, of Danville, are living.  A daughter Nannie Nave, and their two sons, Frank and Elder are dead.


Mr. Chambers is eighty-three years old, and Mrs. Chambers is three years his junior.  They were born and reared in Jefferson County.  They have fifteen grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

This letter unites Alexander of Danville to our family, but he is unable to give information concerning his [father James’] brothers.  In 1901 I was in Decatur County; stayed overnight with one Chambers, and ate dinner with another, but could find no trace of the descendants of John.  Not until the summer of 1923 did I find the solution.  While looking up some records in the State Library at Indianapolis, I found that William H. Chambers entered land in Bartholomew County, IN, in 1821.  This land was located near Flat Rock, on the turnpike leading from Madison via Paris, over the Vallonia bridge, and on toward the north.  William H., the son of John, stopped at Flat Rock; Alexander, the son of James, went farther north.  In 1920, I met Mrs. W. D. Cooper, the daughter of Alexander.  She gave me an account of their journey north.  The entire family rode in a jolt wagon.  The team would often stall in the mud, then they would get out and assist as best they could.

Near Anderson and Muncie, Ind., there is a large Chambers family that has lost its origin.  I have attended three of their reunions, and have talked with their old men.  They belong to the Christian Church.  Their ancestors came from "Hawpatch Hill," near Flat Rock.  The Chambers family was a Baptist family.  Flat Rock Baptist Church was founded in 1822; a few years later it became "New Light;" after the preaching of Alexander Campbell it changed to "Disciples"--now "Christian."  These facts can be found in Esarey's History of Indiana, and in church records. William H. Chambers, the son of John, and the grandson of John, of the Revolution, is their lost ancestor.  I can give no very good account of the other sons of John except that in the "Indianapolis News" item it states that Alexander was reared by his uncle (probably not John). "his father having died in his early youth."  This uncle, probably Alexander or Samuel, lived in Northern Indiana.  My thought is that all of the sons of the elder John lived in Indiana for a number of years, and that the reading of this book will make a reorganization of the relatives quite easy.

In 1854 Hiram Chambers and his wife, John Chambers and his wife, Susan and Mary Chambers and Nancy Scott organized the Chambers Christian Church in Madison County, IN.  These Chambers people were no doubt the children of the old pioneer, William H. Chambers, of the Flat Rock settlement.  For this item I am indebted to Mrs. F. W. Chambers of Muncie, IN, one of my good friends.

During the Christmas holidays, Mrs. and Mrs. F. W. Chambers visited me, and gave me the few facts they had concerning their ancestors.  I sought confirmation or criticism from other members of the family, but these notes are going to press without change.

The sons of their unknown ancestor (William H.) were James, Hiram, Francis, and John.  The children of James were by his marriage with a Miss Martin, one son, Milas Chambers; by his marriage with Susan Drybread, two sons and two daughters:

George married Rebecca Walters.

Smith, born about 1840, married Sarah Ann Pugsley.

Mary (called Polly) married Daniel Walters.

Julia Ann married Miles Walters.

The children of Hiram were William, Elijah, Malinda, who married Betterton; Emily who married Fosnot; Jane who married Nelson; Lydia who married Lawler, and Carolina, who married Pittsford.

I do not have the progeny of Francis, the third of these sons of William H.  John, the fourth son, married Julia Ann Drybread.  To them were born a son and a daughter: Seneca Chambers whom I once met in charge of the Chambers Reunion, and Sarah Chambers Eshelman, wife of Allen B. Eshelman, the present President.  To them were born two sons and a daughter:  Dr. William A. Eshelman, Lafayette, Indiana; Rev. Homer Eshelman, for a number of years pastor of the Christian Church at Easton, Indiana; and Anna, who married Charles Walters.

F. W. Chambers, who gave me these notes, is the son of Smith, and grandson of James.  The sons of Smith are:  Francis Wilburn, who married Belle Priest; George W., who never married, and Casper E., who married Nellie Harmon.  At the next Reunion, steps should be taken to add to this outline the descendants of Francis, before it is too late.  Without doubt, the children of this Reunion have an ancestry of at least eight generations now of record.  Do not forget the "Hawpatch" tie that binds you to the progressive post-Revolutionary fathers.  "There were giants in those days."

[Correction:  Per a researcher in the line of William H. Chambers, he was not descended from John Sr. and John Jr.  I believe the author had learned that John Jr. had a son named William, and made a wild leap of a guess from there.  John Jr. did have a son William, but the extended family emigrated to Harrison and Mercer Co., MO, about 1845, where a local history tells of their place of origin.  Thus is solved the mystery of the disappearance of Alexander’s uncle John of Decatur Co.!  Polli Turner]


William, the second son of David, was also born at Culpeper, Virginia.  He was captured by the Indians in one of the Revolutionary battles, and was taken to Arkansas where he lived with the Indians till he became reconciled to their customs, and finally married a chieftain's daughter, and became quite rich in lands and other property.  My Uncle Alexander wrote me that there are many descendants of William in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, who are proud of their Indian blood.


Samuel, the third son of David, was also born at Culpeper, Virginia.  In one of North Carolina's Indian battles he was killed and scalped by the Indians.


There wee perhaps more than one daughter in the family of David, but the name of Tetty is remembered for the reason that she married a man by the name of Byram Barnett, and along with her brothers made her way through Kentucky, and found a home beyond the Ohio.

ALEXANDER, Soldier in Continental Army.

Alexander, the 4th son of David Chambers, my great-grandfather, was born May 15, 1756, in Rockbridge County, Virginia, and died June 29, 1857, in Jefferson County, Indiana. When a boy seven years of age he removed with his parents to Rutherford County, North Carolina, where he grew to manhood.

He was mustered into service as a soldier of the Revolution under Colonel W. Avery, and early in 1777 he was transferred to the Continental Army of Virginia.  After three years of effective service he was given (1790) an honorable discharge at Fort Pitt, Pennsylvania, but there being urgent need for a brief campaign, he joined Colonel John Gibson's command for another three months service.  These facts I obtained from a genealogist of Richmond, Virginia.  After his final discharge, he made a brief visit among friends in Virginia, then returned to his parents' home in North Carolina.  In 1789 he married Rachel Ann Monroe, a niece of President James Monroe.  The census of North Carolina for 1790 reports that his family consisted of himself, his wife, and one small son.

Before settling permanently Alexander tried a series of experiments, which the Minutes of the Coffee Creek Baptist Association report as follows:

1.  In 1790 he left his parents under the care of his brother John, and moved to East Tennessee.

2.  In 1794 (perhaps through Cumberland Gap, which was known at that time) he moved to Kentucky.

3.  In 1797 (the Madison Courier reported this event under date 1806), he moved to Illinois via Kentucky, Ohio, and Wabash rivers.  On that trip he got lost from the company of movers under the following circumstances:  He went out to shoot a buffalo from a herd that was in view, and after having killed one and having taken from the carcass as much as he could carry, it being about sunset, he missed the trail, there being no roads. Darkness set in and he traveled all night.  For sixteen days he wandered alone in a then entire wilderness.  The company, after stopping one day and searching for him, moved on, supposing that he had been killed by the Indians.  On the seventeenth day, the Indians found him nearly starved.  They took him to their camp, placed him in the care of an old squaw, who fed and nursed him for a few days.  The Indians then sent two of their warriors with him to his family.  He had been from them twenty-seven days. After living in that place (Illinois) two years, he moved back to Shelbyville, Kentucky (1799) where he lived ten years, then moving to Indiana in 1809, then lived in sight of the same place for forty-seven years.

The Madison Courier gives these additional facts:

1.  On account of Indian hostilities and unhealthy climate, he returned to Boonesboro, KY., (His son, John, was born in Shelbyville, KY in 1800) and in 1809 removed to Jefferson County, Indiana, where he and his son William built a blockhouse in which a number of families lived during the next two years.

2.  He was a regularly ordained Baptist minister, and with the help of others constituted the White River Baptist Church just in front of the fort.  Also he aided in the organization of the "Long Run Baptist Association,” just across the Ohio, in 1803.

3.  At the age of one hundred one years, one month and fourteen days, he was buried by the side of his faithful wife in the old White River burying ground in front of the old church.  Two large trees now mark their graves.

Alexander Chambers was a member of the first grand jury drawn in Jefferson County.  His stockade was a rendezvous for the weary pioneers who passed that way.  I quote from the History of the Coffee Creek Baptist Association:

Elder Chambers was converted while living in Kentucky: aided in constituting White River Baptist Church in 1811; was licensed to preach in 1816; labored many years in the Master's service; was one of the solid men of the community; a man of strict integrity and unblemished moral character; passed to his rest on the 29th day of June, 1857, in the 102nd year of his age.

WILLIAM CHAMBERS -- 1791--1879

William Chambers, the oldest son of Alexander, was born in Rutherford County, North Carolina, in 1791.  The "Gresham Biographical and Historical Souvenir," published in 1889, says that "He removed with his father to near Boonesboro, Kentucky, in 1799, and that they resided there till 1806, when with about three other families, Alexander removed to the Wabash country near Vincennes, where they resided about two years, when Chambers, with his family moved back to Kentucky and remained there one year."

This statement is not in accord with the facts, as I find them.  (See previous entries in connection with the wanderings of Alexander.)  The following facts from Gresham's "Souvenir," however, are no doubt authentic:  "In the war of 1812, William Chambers was a soldier in Captain Williamson Dunn's company of Rangers.  Just before the battle of Tippecanoe, Dunn's company was order to join General Harrison's army, and started to do so, but when near where Columbus, IN now stands, Colonel McFarland countermanded the order and sent the Rangers under Dunn back to the settlements:  reports were sent them of threatened attacks by the Indians.  William Chambers was one of a detachment of twenty-five men that went to the "Pigeon Roost" massacre-ground, the day after the massacre, and assisted in burying the bodies of the twenty-three persons who were butchered by the Indians."

Again, Mr. Gresham is in error:  "After peace, William Chambers married Sarah Blankinship in the year 1816."  This marriage, the first one solemnized in Jefferson County, was in 1811.  The authentic history continues:  "From this marriage, one child, James B., was born in 1825, the mother dying that same year.  The next year he married Catherine Blankinship, a sister of his first wife.  Nine children were the fruit of this marriage, all of whom are dead, except one son, J. G. Chambers, of the firm of Branham & Chambers, furniture dealers, Madison, Ind. and one daughter Mrs. Le Roue of Evansville, IN.

William Chambers was a member of the Baptist Church, at White River, which was organized at the fort in June, 1811, where they held their services of worship for a number of years.  His membership extended over a period of time of more than sixty years; for more than fifty years he was a deacon in the church.

In 1823, when returning from a trip to New Orleans, on the steamboat, "Old Tennessee" the boat sank on the night of February 9, in the middle of the Mississippi River, near Natchez.  He saved his life by swimming ashore, leaving all his money, which was gold, tied around the banister of the boat.  William Chambers died July 16, 1879, at the age of eighty-eight years."

He married Sarah Blankinship in 1811.  For fourteen years this pair were childless, but in 1826 James B. Chambers was born. The mother died.  Later, William married Katy Blakinship, a sister of his first wife.  By this marriage there came to the fond parents a family of eight children.  The following are the children of William Chambers, and their families:

1.  James B., Mar. 18, 1826 - July 13, 1905.  He was a member of White River Baptist Church from 1844 till its dissolution in 1882, when he united with the Kent M.E. Church.  He was married at the age of eighteen.

His first wife, Margaret Marshall; the children:  William Finley, Mar. 15, 1845-Mar. 26, 1906; Alexander, 1848-1915 (His son Paul wrote me from Oklahoma); John B., 1851-1856; Emma Chambers Cooperider, Jan. 22,1857 - Sept. 17, 1919; Robert M., Mar. 1, 1859 - Oct. 11, 1916; Thomas Hendricks, Dec. 6, 1862 (Received a good letter from Tom; he lives in Deputy, IN); Sarah Chambers Logan, Nov. 22, 1865 (Mrs. Logan gave me much help in this work).

James B.'s second wife, Alice Blankinship; marriage, Mar. 18, 1875.  Clara Ruth Chambers Wells, Feb. 18, 1878 - Aug. 26, 1913; Anna Elizabeth Chambers Giltner, June 25, 1880 (Received most of my dates from her); James Allen, Sept. 30, 1882 - June 28, 1908; Mary Chambers Giltner, Feb. 16, 1884.

2.  John -- died at the age of sixteen from swallowing a copper cent.

3.  Alexander -- no record.

4.  Alice -- no record.

5.  William A. Chambers became a teacher, and later, a preacher.  While delivering a splendid sermon, in 1867, in the church of which he was a member, White River, he fell upon the floor dead.  Being popular in his several charges, his death made a profound impression upon the church generally.

6.  Joseph Y. -- Married Jane Buxton, daughter of William Buxton of near Kent, Indiana.  To this union there were born two sons, Charles and Edward.  My information is that charles lived for a number of years in Jennings County, Ind.

E. M. is now a retired Methodist minister, living at 3417 E. 16th Street, Indianapolis, IN.  During the State Teachers' Association of 1923, I was the guest of Ed and his estimable wife.  As the Jennings-Jackson-Scott County Reunion is held at Brookside Park, near his home, on the third Sunday of August of each year, he can usually be found there.  Like many of the rest of us, Ed began his life as a teacher, but being a trenchant writer he drifted into the editorial field, where no doubt he would have remained, had he not felt supremely the call to the ministry.

7.  Ann married Isaac LeRoue.  The family moved to Evansville, IN.

8.  Sarah married David Wheat.  Doctor Wheat, whom I once knew at Borden, IN (now of Palo Alto, CA) is of this descent.

9.  John Green.  In my young manhood there was no one who gave me greater inspiration to become of some account in the world than John G.  Below are excerpts from John G.'s letters:

I have always tried to impress upon the minds of my children and grandchildren the importance of knowing something of their ancestors. 


Like my grandfather, Alexander (1756-1857), and my father William (1791-1879), I, now an octogenarian, have voted at every presidential election.  I consider it a patriotic duty to vote at each election.


I am sending you orders for two copies, one each for my daughter, Mrs. H. R. Lowry, and for myself.


Since retiring from the Chambers Furniture Company, founded by myself thirteen years ago, my wife and I have been living in our own comfortable cottage at 1072 Mallory Street, Portland, Oregon.  Ella, our daughter, lives next door to us.  Her husband is assistant transportation manager of the Portland Electric Street Car Company.


I still sing (80 year old, mark you), and am a member of two quartettes: 1st, the G.A.R.; 2nd, Mt. Hood Lodge of Masons.  I am a Past Commander of the G.A.R. Department of Oregon; also a Past Senior-Vice-Commander-in-Chief of the G.A.R.  I am a Past Master of Mt. Hood Lodge No. 157.  This lodge was organized with 31 members; now it has a membership of 700.  I was the first Master. More important than these, I am a deacon in the Baptist Church.


I have a number of grandchildren of whom I am very proud.


In regard to John Chambers, grandfather's older brother, I know but little.  There were two daughters: one married a man by the name of Earwood, who lived near Vernon; the other married a Stott -- I think a brother of William Taylor Stott, the pioneer Baptist preacher.  John W. Rice, whom you know so well, was a great-grandson of John, his mother being an Earwood -- "Aunt Rachel," as we called her.

I wish I could have inserted John G.'s letters in full; I can but feel that I have cut the heart out of his sayings by thus abbreviating them, but it is so done.


Elder William Blankinship came from Kentucky to the White River settlement a year or so after the stockade was built.  He met Betty Chambers there and married her soon after.  Under the preaching of Elder Jesse Vawter he felt the need of pardoning mercy and gave himself to the church.  In 1818 he was licensed to preach.  He died about 1835.  My impression is that his faithful widow survived him a good many years.

The two boys, Sanders and Reynolds, died young.  Evidently these boys lost their lives through exposure during the wanderings of the family through Eastern Tennessee and Kentucky. The wonder is that the next born, by own ancestor, made the trip to Illinois and back to Shelbyville, Kentucky, in safety.

AVERY CHAMBERS -- 1797-1865

Avery Chambers was born at Boonesboro, Kentucky, Mar. 12, 1797.  When he was only a few months old his parents moved to Illinois, where for almost two years they endured the contagion of that region, returning to Shelbyville, Kentucky, where Avery grew to a lad of eleven or twelve.  The family settled permanently on the Indiana side of the Ohio.  On New Year's Day, 1818, Avery married Rhoda Blakinship.  Twenty years later he had found his permanent home about a day's journey west of his ancestral home.  In 1838, Avery and Rhoda Chambers, William and Lydia Davis, John and Jane Swincher, and Samuel Hopper constituted the Bethany Baptist Church.  From the minutes of the Association I find the following facts:

Deacons: Avery Chambers, J. B. Swincher, Harvey Seburn, Barnet Gaddy, W. C. Mitchell, John Litson, James Seburn, James McCaslin, John Cain, and W. H. Davis.

Clerks: Wm. Davis, J. Hankins, M. McLean, James Seburn, M. S. Hancock, Alex. Chambers, S. A. Shrewsbury, W. H. Davis, and Isaac Wheat.

Four years after the church was formed, James B. Swincher, a member of this church, began a series of sixteen years as the minister.  The first deacon and the first clerk were my grandfathers.  All of the organizers were buried there.  To Avery and Rhoda Chambers were born the following:

1.  Sarah, April 16, 1820 - June 26, 1855; married Major S. Hancock, Jan. 29, 1840.  Major Hancock, June 11, 1815-Nov. 16, 1875.  To this union were born:  Mary Lavina, Feb. 2, 1841; Minerva Jane Jones, Apr. 10, 1842 - Oct. 14, 1862; Malinda Ellen, June 16, 1843 - Oct. 18, 1843; Nancy Louise Alcorn, Sept. 6, 1844; Rhoda Ann, Nov. 6, 1845-Oct 18,1854; Avery Chambers, July 16, 1847; Lemuel Jefferson, Dec. 29, 1848, Sarah Ellen Williams, May 30, 1850; Salem Pierce, Nov. 7, 1852.

All of the above are dead except Avery, Lemuel and Salem, but I do not have dates for all.  Avery is now at Fort Myers, Florida; Lemuel at San Francisco, California; Salem at Montezuma, Indiana, where he is president of the Montezuma State Bank. Clella, Ellie, and Laura were children by a later marriage.

Recently I have received very interesting letters from each of the three Hancock brothers:

Avery C., now resides in Ft. Myers, FL.  He sent me his picture, taken ten years ago, which is inserted below.  I know that his immediate relatives will be glad to see him again, even by photograph.

Lemuel J. resides at No. 3874 22d St, San Francisco, CA.  He reports that his wife is still living, and that his son, Arthur, his only child, is a very busy man.  He has just retired from the profession of teaching (age 76).  He says, "And so I shall hereafter probably stay at home."  He reports that he is probably the only relative living who every saw great-grandfather, Alexander.  (Perhaps John G. may have seen him.)

Salem P. lives at Montezuma, IN.  He is president, and his son, J. E. is cashier of the State Bank of Montezuma.  A few years ago he called upon me at Muncie, IN for a short talk.  In his letter, Salem says that he still hustles to try to make ends meet.  The average age of these three brothers is now more than 75.

2.  Jas. Blakinship, May 7, 1822 - Dec. 24, 1894; Nancy (Davis) Chambers, June 24, 1819 - Jan. 24, 1891.  To these parents were born eight children, six being girls--quite enough to clothe and feed during Civil War times, yet at their feet grew up six public school teachers.  The following are the children:

Elizabeth T., Feb. 2, 1842 - Feb. 2, 1924; married Doctor John A. Sarver, Mar 7, 1869.  To them were born Mina, who married John Hord, Maud, who married Harvey Napier; Charles and Doctor Fred, who are dead; John, former trustee; Doctor Walter; Homer, Effie, who married James Whitsitt; and Clifford, whose photograph will be seen on another page.

At the time of her death a score of children called her Grandma, and a number were her great-grandchildren.  Prior to her marriage she was a teacher.  Her progeny includes a number of young people of talent and honor.

Sarah F., Feb 6, 1844 - Mar 13, 1923; married William T. Spear, Aug. 16, 1866.  To them were born six children: Lola, Ida, Homer B., Edith, Jessie, and an infant daughter that lived only a day.  Lola and Homer also died in infancy.  Ida died at the age of 21, and Jessie at the age of 37.

Edith is still living and was married to George Everhart, Oct 17, 1895.  They have three children:  Claude Carroll, Juanita, and Therma.  Carroll married Marie Wolf, Nov. 24, 1917. They have four children:  Carroll, Margaret, Robert, and Norma (see picture).  Sarah was also a teacher.

Mary J., Dec. 19, 1847 - Nov. 29, 1923.  There being six teachers in this family, it fell to the lot of Mary to stay at home and assist in the work.  In May, 1881, she married Louis Roberts, a veteran of the Civil War.  For more than a quarter of a century Louis and Mary lived happily together at Dayton, Ohio, and Swanville, Indiana.  After the death of Mr. Roberts, mary was well supplied with funds from her property and by the Pension Department of the Federal Government.  She died on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 29, 1923.

Melita, May 22, 1851 - Jan. 17, 1853.

Frank P.,  Mar. 6, 1854; married Mary L. Scott, May 24, 1881.  To this union four children were born, but only one, Harriet (Chambers) Ellis survived.  On the death of his wife, Oct. 17, 1913, he married Jennie R. Scott, his first wife's oldest sister, Mar. 15, 1915.  Jennie died Aug. 16, 1916.  On Sept. 8, 1917, Frank married Miss Belle Douthitt of Jeffersonville, a former Scott County teacher.  For a number of years Frank taught school, but farm interests requiring his time and attention, in middle life he quit the profession and devoted his energies to the farm.  Seven years ago he retired as an agriculturist, and now lives at Scottsburg, Indiana.  He has written a number of articles for the "Indiana Farmer" and other farm journals.

William Davis, Nov. 22, 1856; married Della A. Patterson, June 22, 1887; graduate Indiana State Normal School; A. B. Degree.  Indiana University; teach for more than forty years. Has two sons, Virgil Roscoe and William Durment, and one grandson, Virgil Jack, a lusty lad of seven, the son of Virgil and Pearl.  The boys, Virgil and Will have both succeeded quite well in salesmanship.  Virgil now resides at Muskegon, Mich; Will claims Indianapolis as his home.  The author of this book lives at 515 West Main Street, Muncie, Indiana, but mail will more speedily reach him at Dupont, Indiana, where he is Principal of the Public Schools.

As a tribute to my mother, you will pardon a brief digression.  William Davis (1792) and his wife, Lydia Davis, left their home near Maysville, KY in 1823, and settled near Bethany Church in Jefferson Co., IN, where they raised their family consisting of Benjamin, John, Nancy, my mother, Elizabeth, William H., James S., Mary Jane, Jesse, Sarah, and Thomas.  I was personally best acquainted in two of these families, those of William H. and James S.  The children of W. H. Davis were Artemisia, Dexter, Emeretta, Cyrus L., Hattie, Marshall and William Harvey; those of James S. were Francis Marion, Letha, Della, and Laura.  William Davis, my grandfather, was an expert gunsmith and a fine shot.  When a lad of ten or twelve, in company with my brother, I visited him.  He asked us if we would like to see him kill a squirrel.  Of course we wanted to see this done.  Walking about one-eighth of a mile to a clump of trees, he checked us, asked my brother to shake a bush, and fired his rifle, bringing to the ground a squirrel, shot through the head. There are many relatives of this Davis family still living in Eastern Kentucky.

Mattie E., Oct, 1859; married John B. Crawford, Mar. 17, 1886.  Her husband died April 17, 1909.  Before her marriage, Mattie was a teacher.  To this union were born:

Nellie R., April 8, 1887, lives in Indianapolis, IN.  Joseph Monfort, Nov. 4, 1889; married, lives in Indianapolis, is a veteran of the World War and a Mason.  Ruth J., Oct. 24, 1891; married, Aug. 31, 1922 to Stephen B. Catchus, disabled army veteran; one child, Ruth Patricia, dead; they reside in Denver. CO.  Nettie I., Nov 27, 1894 Oct. 8, 1912.  Warren William, Nov. 24, 1896-July 2, 1912; died by drowning, at Greensburg, IN. Ethel A., July 17, 1899; teacher in Anderson public schools. Ernest Everett, Oct. 9, 1901; lives in LaMirada, CA. 

Mattie and her daughter, Ethel live at 312 Jackson St., Anderson, IN.

Nancy Rosella, Sept. 25, 1864 - June 8, 1885.  Rose, as we called her, at the time of her death held the highest grade of license given teachers of our county.  On her tombstone are inscribed the words:  "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches."

3.  Alexander, Aug. 23, 1825 - Nov. 22, 1901; married Melita Rice, Oct 7, 1847; was married by Elder John Chambers; to this union were born:

Margaret M., Aug 2, 1848 - Dec. 1, 1918; was married to William Tipton McCaslin, her father officiating, Aug. 20, 1867. The only child by this marriage is a son, Charles C. McCaslin, now Trustee of Lancaster Township, Jefferson County, Indiana.  He has just completed the construction of the Dupont Elementary and High School building, which is regarded as one of the best of its kind in Indiana.  It is now a commissioned high school, giving its graduates college preferment.

On Sept. 15, 1897, Charles C. McCaslin was married to Maggie M. Spicer -- his grandfather, Alexander, officiating.  To this union were born two daughters:

Ethel S. (McCaslin) Austin, born June 27, 1898.  Virginia L. McCaslin, born Jan. 24, 1903.  Virginia is now a teacher at Lancaster, four miles south of her home.

Narcissa, Feb. 7, 1850 - Feb. 13, 1880; married James Reynolds, Nov., 1869.  The fruits of this marriage were two girls:  Laura S., Feb., 1862, died same year.  Ida N., Feb. 5, 1880; became a teacher; married E. A. Humphrey, Apr., 1904.

Lavinia, Sept. 24, 1854 - May 20, 1919.  Like many of her relatives, "Venia: chose the profession of teaching, but on account of ill health was forced to give it up.  After many years of suffering she was called to her eternal home.

Laura, April 28, 1856 - May 31, 1861.

Oscar R., April 10, 1858; married Lola Blocher, Nov. 26, 1891.  To this union were born:  Zelma M., Aug. 13, 1903; married A. R. Ford, Mar. 15, 1924.  Alexander B., Mar. 15, 1906 - June 30, 1909.

Oscar, even in his declining years, possesses rare ability as a musician.  For years he was leader in music in his home church.

It was Alexander Chambers who gave me my first knowledge of family traditions.  By examination of the census report for the year 1790 for Rutherford County, North Carolina (q.v.), I find that his account of Revolutionary days is fully sustained by the records.

4.  John. W. Chambers, third son of Avery Chambers, was born in Jefferson County, Indiana, Feb. 24, 1831, and died at Browstown, Jackson County, IN July 31, 1864.  At an early age he was apprenticed to a carpenter and cabinetmaker, and after serving his apprenticeship, located at Tipton, Tipton County, IN, where he worked at his trade, taught school several terms, and was elected treasurer of Tipton County for two terms.  He also was editor of the Tipton County Advocate for about two years, though not the owner of the paper, and wrote many stirring articles and editorials during the exciting times of the breaking out of the civil war.

In 1863 he removed with his family to Brownstown, and was deputy treasurer of Jackson County at the time of his death. While living in Brownstown he was a member of the "Home Guards" and was one of the leaders in opposing Morgan's Raid through southern Indiana, and spent three weeks with a company from Jackson County in an effort to protect life and property in that part of the state.  On several other occasions he devoted time to similar war activities and just before his death had been out for three weeks and upon his return was stricken with a sickness which resulted in his death ten days afterward.  Before he returned home he told some of this relatives and friends that he intended to enlist in the war upon his arrival home, although he had been opposed to the war previously, from principle, and had refused to volunteer.

He was married to Jennie E. Boyd, of Tipton, IN at Indianapolis, IN, Nov. 27, 1856.  To this union five sons were born: Albert G., Oscar C., Avery St. Clair and Thomas Hendricks (twins), at Tipton, IN, and John willis, at Brownstown, IN. Albert G. and Thomas H. died in infancy.

Oscar C. Chambers, son of John W., and Jennie E. Chambers, was born at Tipton, IN, Nov. 25, 1858, and died at Ephrata, Washington, Nov. 30, 1922.  At the age of 14 he began the study of pharmacy at Brownstown, IN and five years later embarked in the drug business for himself at Ewing, IN.  In 1887 he purchased a drug store at West Indianapolis, which he and his brother Avery conducted for twenty years, then retiring from the drug business on account of poor health, and in 1909 moved to Ephrata, Washington, where he was employed in the printing business with his brothers and became one of the firm in the publication of the Grant County Journal and job printing business.

Avery St. C. Chambers, son of John W. and Jennie E. Chambers, was born at Tipton, IN, May 3, 1962.  When he was about 15 years of age, he began his apprenticeship in the printing business at Brownstown, on the "Banner,"  and afterward worked in various printing offices in Indianapolis, IN, Louisville,  KY, St. Louis, MO, and in many other towns throughout Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin and Missouri.  He was engaged with his brother, John W., in their first newspaper venture in the publication of the "Enterprise" at Crothersville, IN.  In 1887 he joined his brother Oscar C. in the drug business at Indianapolis, and remained in that business until it was disposed of in 1906. Again taking up the printing trade, he joined his brother John W. at Ephrata, Washington, in 1909, and later became a partner in the business and still works in the office as foreman, having sold the business then days prior to the death of his brother John W., in April 1918.  He was never married, and resides at Ephrata, Washington, with his mother.

John Willis Chambers, son of John W. and Jennie E. Chambers, was born at Brownstown, Jackson County, IN, Aug. 21, 1919.  At the age of 14 he also started to learn the printing trade on the "Banner" at Brownstown, where he worked for several years, and in 1881 he and his brother Avery embarked on their first newspaper venture at Crothersville, IN.

In 1882 he married Hattie E. Daniels, and they resided in Crothersville for a number of years, being engaged in the newspaper business.  Later he moved to Wisconsin where he conducted a newspaper at Belmont, and later, at Benton.  A year or so was spent in southern Illinois at farming, and about 1906 he moved to the State of Washington and after a year on the coast at Seattle he homesteaded near Mae, in Grant County.

In the spring of 1909 he was injured by the accidental discharge of a shotgun, losing the toes of his right foot, and was brought to Ephrata for medical treatment, and as soon as he was able to get about on crutches, went to work setting type on the Grant County Journal, a newspaper that had been started only a few months previous, on the organization of the county, and on August 6, 1909, he took over the control of the paper and his brothers from Indiana to join him.  He remained with the business until August, 1918, when poor health compelled him to retire and he removed to Arizona, hoping that beneficial results might be obtained in that climate.

He was married twice.  His first wife died, March 24, 1916. To this union was born three daughters; Blanch, now Mrs. Henry Ragge, residing at Seattle, Wash.; Edith who married F. H. Ceis, and died in 1917 at Seattle; and Jennie who married Loren Morse and now resides in Portland, OR.  He was married a second time, to Ina L. Phillips, at Neppel, Washington in April, 1917.  To this union one daughter was born, Catherine.  He was buried at Fayette, OH, the home of his second wife.

Jennie E. (Boyd) Chambers was born in Lebanon, Warren County, Ohio, Sept. 10, 1837, and moved to Indiana with her parents when about six years of age, locating on a farm near Shelbyville, in Shelby County; later to Tipton, Tipton, County. She was married to John W. Chambers, Nov. 27, 1856, who died July 31, 1864.  Left a widow with three children, without means, she succeeded by teaching school and engaging in the millinery business, in rearing them to that age when they could contribute to the support of the family.  She taught in the public schools at Lexington, Scott County, IN, and at Brownstown, Jackson County, IN.  At the latter place she taught for eight years in succession in the public schools.  She removed to Ephrata, Washington, with her sons Oscar and Avery, and at the age of 88 years is active in her household duties, keeping house for her son Avery, and keeping abreast of the times by keeping posted on all the current events as the history of the country and world transpires.

5.  Stephen Avery, Dec. 10, 1839 - May 8, 1907; married Elizabeth Kennedy in January, 1862.  To this union were born three children: Ida Lenore, who was born March 20, 1864, and married to James L. Snyder in July, 1886; now living at New Castle, PA. Edith, June 17, 1866 - 1920; she was married to James D. Underwood in 1890.  Effie Jane, April 15, 1868 - Sept. 13, 1892; married Abner Royster, April 17, 1885.

I am indebted to Ida Chambers Snyder for the following facts:

Ida (Chambers) Snyder, March 8, 1864; lives at Newcastle, PA: three sons: John, Dec 6, 1887 - Oct, 1, 1910; Eugene, July 1, 1891 -- has a son Paul and a daughter Eugena; James C., Jan. 16, 1901, lives with his mother at Newcastle.

Edith (Chambers) Underwood, June 17, 1866 - June 17, 1918; two sons: Percy, Jan. 27, 1892 - Dec. 7, 1905; Paul, Sept. 30, 1894, lives in New York City, works for the Chemical National Bank.

Effie (Chambers) Royster, April 17, 1868-Sept. 10, 1891; one daughter, Addie Lee Royster, Paducah, Kentucky.

Stephen A. married his second wife, Laura Ellen Snyder, Jan. 20, 1874.  There were three children in this second group: George Walter, born Mar. 28, 1875; married Ethel Vernan Nance, Dec. 24, 1902.  Stephen Herbert, born Nov. 9, 1879; married Mollie Davidson in 1903; now a fruit dealer in New York City.  Mary Hodge, born Dec. 1, 1884; married John Dodgin, June 12, 1918.

George Walter Chambers, who gave me the facts stated below, holds the following merits and degrees; L. I. Peabody Normal; A.B., University of Nashville; A. B. Peabody College; M.D. University of Michigan.  For a number of years he was a teacher in the schools of South Carolina, Mississippi, and Florida.  He taught Latin in the Florida State Normal, was Principal of the High School at Anderson, South Carolina, and taught Anatomy in the University of Michigan.  He is now one of the leading physicians in his state.  He has three children:  Dorothy Ethel, now in her 15th year; Florence LeRoy, and George Walter, Jr.

In the winter of 1885, I visited Uncle Stephen at his home in New Albany, where he was Principal of the High School.  Later I received from him the following letter:

Brevard, N.C. Jan. 7, 1897

My Dear Nephew:


On my recent trip to Waynesville, N.C. I passed within twelve miles of the sport where my grandfather, Alexander Chambers, spent his boyhood from eight years of age to twenty. My great-grandfather, David Chambers, came from Culpeper, Virginia, via Rockbridge County, to Rutherford County, N.C., in 1763.  After the close of the Revolutionary War, Alexander married Rachel Ann Monroe, a niece of President James Monroe, as I recollect, in Fauquier County, VA.


As ever,


In all points except one, this letter is in harmony with the facts as I find them.  I have fully investigated the records of Fauquier, Loudoun, and two or three other counties in which the Monroes lived, and I find no record of marriage.  It is quite probable that the Monroes joined in this immigration to the west, and that the marriage was solemnized in North Carolina rather than Virginia.  This view makes it easier to explain the presence of the two families in Kentucky and Indiana.

For a number of years I had the impression that the elder David Chambers and his wife were buried in North Carolina.  This letter supports me by inference in the theory that they "moved on," as stated elsewhere.

In regard to the services of Stephen Avery Chambers, I shall quote from a letter from his son, Dr. George Walter Chambers of Anderson, South Carolina:

He was closely identified with educational progress and Christian growth in Indiana and Kentucky, and in North Carolina. He was a teacher of the higher type, and was much in demand for leadership in the best schools.  For four years he was Superintendent of the Henderson, KY, City Schools.  He held similar positions in the high schools at Lebanon, Waynesville, Brevard, Gaffney, and at other points in North and South Carolina.  At Utica, Indiana, the high school was established through his influence, and he was kept in charge of it for many years.

As a minister of the Gospel he served many churches, and under his preaching many hundreds found the Master.  He was a man of the highest Christian type, and has left his mark on the rising generation."

JOHN CHAMBERS -- 1800-1882

John Chambers, the fourth child of Alexander, was born at Shelbyville, KY in 1800, June 5.  When a lad of nine years he crossed with his parents into Indiana Territory to make his future home.  He was too young to aid much in the building of the stockade, but he was useful in helping to clear the land for cultivation.  In 1823 he married, and purchased a farm of his own.  In 1834 he united with White River Baptist Church, was licensed to preach in 1841, and was ordained in 1842.  He read the circular letter to the Association in 1838, the year that Bethany Church was organized, and many times later.  He served the White River Church as its pastor for twenty-five years, and the New Bethel Church seventeen years.  He was frequently clerk of the Coffee Creek Association, and in 1844, 1863, and 1872 was Moderator.  In 1874 he was stricken with paralysis, and for eight years was quite helpless.  In 1881 he was brought to the platform of the Association for a short time as a courtesy, in recognition of his faithful services to the cause of Christ.  On Aug. 5, 1882, he was called home.

Elder J. C. Tibbets, in his history of the Coffee Creek Baptist Association, says:

Elder John Chambers was sound in doctrine, was a safe counselor, and was ever a beloved pastor.  His moral standing and integrity were highly appreciated, and many times he was chosen as Justice of the Peace.  Township Trustee, County Commissioner, County Treasurer, and member of the State Legislature.


"Uncle John," as we called him, visited my father about 1868, and preached at the country school house.  I remember somewhat of his form and manner of speech from this single meeting.  Twenty years later I visited his grave, near Lancaster, Jefferson County, IN.  He left one daughter to mourn his departure.


I do not have complete statistics from the Monroe family.  I wrote Paul Monroe, a professor of Columbia University, asking for particulars, but my letter was referred to his wife in his absence, so I have come down to the end with only a slight record.  Nancy Chambers, however, married George Monroe, probably a son of that White River pioneer, Robert Monroe.  From the records I learn that George Monroe succeeded John Chambers as clerk of White River Church.  To this union were born at least one son and two daughters, but I have no assurance as to names. In the neighborhood live a few persons by the name of Monroe.  To each of these I have sent my prospectus, but I have received no answers.  Before closing this record, I wish to state that I have had the pleasure on two or three occasions to hear addresses delivered by William Y. Monroe, who is in some way related to us. His address, delivered at Scottsburg about 1880, to the Odd Fellows Lodge was considered a masterpiece.


The progeny of these younger daughters of Alexander ought to be easily discovered, but I have failed.  It is my thought, however, that a man by the name of Tull married one of them.


George Chambers, the youngest child of Alexander's family, lived near the ancestral home until after the death of his father, when, as near as I can learn, the entire family, in 1869, removed to some point in Iowa.  Among the offspring of George are the following:  Andrew J., John, William, and Betty.  I haven't the address of any one of these, but should they or their children learn of this history they will no doubt appreciate it as well as many who have been better favored.  I have thought that the descendants of Alexander and his faithful wife should make a collective effort to have placed at their graves a monument to show appreciation of their fine services in bringing the name from the Southland to our own state of Indiana.  Perhaps after the publication of this book, a suitable monument may be erected.

DAVID, Lieutenant in Continental Army

David, the younger brother of John and Alexander, was about sixteen years of age when he entered the war of the American Revolution.  He volunteered in one of the companies under the command of Col. W. Avery, who went out from western North Carolina.  After a few months of fighting in defense of his state and other parts of the extreme south, he was transferred to the Continental Army with headquarters in Virginia and points north. It is a tradition of the family that David was expert in all the requirements of the battle front.

After the war was over, David returned to the home of his parents in North Carolina, but, like his brother, Alexander, there were attractions for him back East, and he could not resist their influence.  After Alexander's marriage in 1789, he left the East forever, but David never rejoined his father's family, only temporarily.

The problem of repaying the soldiers for their services in the Revolution was one of the most perplexing problems confronting the new government, but during the first administration of President Washington, this question was adjusted, and the soldiers were paid.  David Chambers received in satisfaction of his claim, in addition to such money as he may have been paid, a tract of 100 acres of land, situated in Rockbridge County, Virginia, his native county.  For a time he doubtless resided on his claim, but, inspired with the zeal of his ancestry, he looked to the growing west as the land of opportunity.  Selling his claim, he set out for Western Pennsylvania, no doubt with the expectation of joining his relatives in the Great Northwest.

In support of these statements, below is quoted a letter to the author, written by his friend, Gordon Smith, who visited Lexington, Virginia, in 1900:

From Deed Book C, page 559 --

David Chambers, and Isabella, his wife, convey to William Martin, Dec. 28, 1797, one tract or parcel of land containing 100 acres, lying and being in the district set forth for the officers and soldiers of the Virginia Continentals; line on the Waters of Beaver Dam, bounded, etc.

There can be no doubt that this 100 acres was assigned to Alexander's brother, David, for gallant services in the Continental Army.  The date of sale corresponds with the movements of his father's family in scenting the trail to the great Northwest.  For years David's relatives north of the Ohio, no doubt, waited for his boat to drop down the river, that the family might be re-united on Indiana soil, but the boat never came.  Perhaps David's plans could not be carried out.  Perhaps Western Pennsylvania, the Pan Handle of West Virginia, or the fertile lands of Ohio enchanted him.  Perhaps he dropped down the Ohio at an inopportune time, and his relatives failed to met him as he had anticipated.

While facts are not at hand to explain David's subsequent actions, yet there are circumstantial reasons for believing that after the sale of his property in 1797, he, with his family, crossed the hills to the head waters of the Shenandoah, then rowed down the Shenandoah to the Potomac, then up the Potomac into Pennsylvania, then via the National Road to the point of destination.  I have traced a number of persons bearing the Chambers name back to Somerset, Fayette, Greene, and Washington Counties, PA., and to the Pan Handle of W. VA, but in every case these have been found to belong to other lineage.  Should some historian have suggestive information in regard to the descendants of David, such facts would be thankfully received. More recent consideration of old material has led me to believe that after David made his sale in 1797, he sought the Ohio, and sent a letter to Alexander, telling him where to meet him. Alexander's experimental trip to Illinois may have been made in search of his brother's new location.  If so, we should expect to find David's descendants in the West or South.  This idea has given me renewed hope of finding them.



Spencer, Ind., Mar. 24, 1906,

Dear Sir:

Father and grandfather came from North Carolina in 1818, and settled one-fourth mile from where I now live.  Grandfather came from Maryland to Burke County, and settled on the Catawba River. He was a minister of the Regular Baptist Church for fifty-seven years, and died at the age of eighty-four in 1854.  Rev. James Chambers, a brother of grandfather, died at a ripe old age.  Can get his age at the cemetery.  Joel Chambers was an uncle of my father.  Do not know where he settled in Indiana.  I have a sister, eighty-two.  Grandfather's family was large, -- five boys and three girls.  My father, the oldest, was born in N.C., Dec. 8, 1798.  My father's name was Zaccheus.  My uncles were John, Jesse, James, and Elisha.  My aunts were Biddie, Allie, and Rebecca.  All are now dead.  My father was killed by a falling tree in 1869. 


Yours truly, 



(A second letter)

My dear Sir and Brother:

I am guessing from your letter that you have traveled East. I was at the cemetery today where James Chambers was buried.  He was born March 28, 1728, and died April 15, 1828.  He was a Regular Baptist preacher for fifty years.  James is my great-grandfather. Elijah, my grandfather was born Sept 30, 1772, and died in 1854. Rebecca, the wife of Elijah, was born May 24, 1776, and died Oct. 5, 1855. She is my grandmother.  Her maiden name was Moore. I have taken the above names and dates from the tombstones.  I saw my older sister since I wrote you.  She says that James was born in Scotland and came to Maryland; from Maryland he went to N.C. and from there to Indiana.  Elijah is my grandfather.  Isaac and Asa are two of grandfather's brothers.  They had a sister Rachel who married a Baptist preacher by the name of Brown.  I have heard my father talk about the Chambers that was lost and found by the Indians.  The Chamberses named in the history of Clay and Owen Counties, on pages 331, 537, and 541, are not of our family. My father married Isabella Blair, a Kentucky girl.


I was born in 1838, and my brother, Samuel N., in 1840. John (1825) and Elisha (1833) were sons of John.

Yours truly, 


 The facts herein stated were a revelation.  The year 1906 gave me quite a shake-up.  Spier Bruce and Robert E. in Knox and Owen, strangers to one another, family historians, almost octogenarians, gave proof of a common brotherhood beyond the Revolution.  A later chapter will summarize this proof.

No account has been given of the descendants of Isaac and Asa, and only a part of the descendants of Elijah, but should subsequent revision be made, perhaps these facts may be added.


An old record states that when the town of Spencer was laid out, in 1820, Asa Chambers owned 8 lots; Elijah, 2 lots; and Zaccheus, 2 lots.  Elijah Chambers, son of James, was a member of the first grand jury of Owen County in 1819, and was president of the Board of County Commissioners in 1832.  It will be noted that Isaac bought no lots.

It is perhaps proper to state here that it appears that Elijah was not the oldest son of James.  James was forty-four year of age when Elijah was born, and it was the custom of those times for families to be prolific.  Then in Robert E.'s letter he says:  "Among his sons were Elijah, Isaac and Asa."  Robert E. did not claim to know the extent of James's family.  There is scarcely a doubt that a number of his children were born back in Maryland.  At least we know that before leaving Burke County, N.C. his children were all grown, and many of them married. Elijah was born as late as 1772.  The Chamberses who were left behind in the journey northward, of course, belong to that large unclassified list, so dominant in Kentucky and Tennessee, and perhaps in other parts of the South.

Of the three families of Samuel, David and James, some are lost.  Only Alexander of the sons of Samuel was known in Indiana. David's sons, William and David, strayed, the one to Arkansas and the other to Pennsylvania and later, perhaps to the West via the Ohio River.  A part of James's descendants are unknown.  The better part of life is to seek the unknown by grouping the known.

From a Bloomington item in the Indianapolis Morning Star we learn that James Chambers (1835) was killed in a runaway accident.  He was doubtless of the Owen County family. 


James Chambers moved with his family from North Carolina to Jessamine County, Kentucky, about 1804.  He was called to the care of the Clover Bottom Baptist church.  After two or three years, leaving his family behind, he returned to the care of churches in North Carolina.  Later, he joined his family in Kentucky, and in 1818, they crossed the Ohio River and proceeded to their future homes in Indiana.


As James was ninety years of age when he left Kentucky, no doubt he left behind him, in Kentucky and Tennessee, some of his progeny.


Robert E., the sixth son of Zaccheus and Isabella Blair Chambers, was born April 24, 1838, and died July 29, 1913.  He was united in marriage to Elizabeth C. Summit, sunday, Oct. 1, 1865.  To this union eight children were born:  Zona A., Robert E.V., Malora A., Jane E., Endamila T., Minnie I., Winzor E., and Ivan.  The widow and children are all alive; all are married except Ivan.


After the death of Robert E., his son Ivan kept in touch with my progress by writing me an occasional letter.  In his last letter, a part of which follows, he said.  "You will have to overlook my delay, for I have been serving on the petit jury." Of course, under such circumstances, I was glad to extend him just a little more time.


Our reunion was held on Sept. 21.  We held our reunion at the church on ground that was once owned by grandfather.  The officers elected are as follows: Ivan Chambers, president, Gosport, IN; Emmett Chambers, secretary, Spencer, IN; W.P. Sandy, treasurer, Spencer, IN.


Our reunion next year will be at the same place on the third Sunday of September.


Chambersville is on State road number 32, four miles east of Spencer, twelve miles northwest from Bloomington, and five miles south of Gosport.  Chambersville was formerly a village, but it is only a name now. 



As I have previously stated, many emigrants from North Carolina and points South and East entered Tennessee, then, after a little delay, passed through Cumberland Gap into Kentucky.  A Kentucky author puts it in this way:  "The first settlers except those who came by way of the Ohio River, crawled through the Cumberland Gap like lines of ants across the nicked rim of a honey jar.  The honey lay in the Bluegrass saucer and the river basin, lands made rich by alluvial deposits and the crumbling deposits of phosphatic limestone base, where two crops may be grown in one year."  The route of travel lay on a line from near Somerset toward Frankfort.  The first railroad was built between Danville and Frankfort in 1835.  Among these early emigrants were a few bearing the Chambers name.

It will be remembered that James Chambers and his sons Isaac, Asa, and Elijah left their home in Burke County, North Carolina via this route.  From the Owen County records we learn that Elijah and his sons and Asa bought lots and became identified with the community in which they lived, but no mention is made of Isaac.  Elijah was born in 1772.  Isaac, being an older son, must have been born prior to 1770.  The fact that the father, James, endured the journey through Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana at an advanced age, reaching Owen County at the age of ninety, and the further fact that he accompanied a younger son, Elijah, rather than his first son, Isaac, leads me to the conclusion that Isaac was hindered from making this journey through Indiana; and that he is the head of a family unknown to the relatives in Owen County.  Let us see who these people are:

(A letter)

Nabbs, Ind., Nov. 12, 1924

Dear Mr. Chambers:


I visited the spot in Kentucky where the Chambers family made their first stop.  There is an old graveyard there, and many tombstones were seen bearing the Chambers name, some of which were Anthony, Amasa, Thomas, and others.  While there I was informed that one of the Chambers boys was killed by the Indians while he was out hunting for the cows.  I was shown the exact spot where the first Baptist church stood, in that settlement. My aunt, Mrs. Mayfield, told me that our ancestors came to Kentucky from Tennessee.  My grandparents came to Indiana, in 1816, from the Rolling Fork of Salt River in Nelson County.




The following facts are selected from Gresham's Biographical and Historical Souvenir:

 Captain Isaac Chambers was born in Melton County, Kentucky, May 28, 1795.  (This statement is incorrect for the reason that there is no such county in Kentucky.  The reference applies to Nelson County, lying between Jessamine and Louisville, Kentucky.) He was a soldier in the war of 1812-15, and fought in the battle of New Orleans.  (History reports that one-fourth of the soldiers under Jackson at New Orleans were Kentucky riflemen.)  After the battle, he walked back to his home in Kentucky, and raised a crop there.  He entered a tract of land in Monroe Township, Jefferson Co., IN in 1815.  He built his cabin, then returned to his old home in Kentucky to raise a crop.  The following year he moved his family to his new home.  In 1840 he was elected as a member of the Indiana State Legislature.  For years he was a captain of the State Militia.  He died in 1865.

James Chambers was a son of Isaac Chambers.  He married Mary Baxter.  To this union were born nine children, as follows: Ira B., Indiana, Nancy A., James W., John M., Mary J., Robert D., Isaac D., and George A.


Ira Chambers was born Dec. 7, 1842.  He enlisted in the 10th Indiana Cavalry, and on the 14th day of Dec., 1864, he was taken prisoner at Huntsville, Alabama.  For four months and fourteen days he was prisoner at Andersonville, when he escaped and found his way to the Union lines at Jacksonville, Florida, on April 29, 1865.  He was married to Nancy J. Potter in 1865. There were seven children:  Burdette, Charles, Mollie, Harry, Willie, Frank, and Stella.  He became prematurely old, due to exposure during the Civil War.  He was a member of the G.A.R.

 From the above quotations I am led to the following very definite conclusions:

1.  The frequent use of the name Isaac is favorable to relationship with the Owen Co. branch of the family.

2.  The date of the birth of Isaac, the Indiana pioneer (1795), makes it reasonable that he was the son of the elder Isaac, who was then a man about fifty-five years of age, or at least closely related to him.

3.  The names Anthony, Amasa, and Thomas are Bible names.  James, the father of Elijah and Asa, was a Baptist preacher for more than fifty years, and Bible names continue in Elijah's progeny.

4.  The Owen County branch have been unable to account for the descendants of Isaac, and perhaps of others of this family.

For these reasons I am convinced that these families are thus closely related.  Should Ivan Chambers, Rural Route No. 3, Gosport, IN, who has been such an inspiration to me in the preparation of this work.

Should anyone desire to get closer to this new family, I would suggest that he correspond with one of the following descendants of Isaac Chambers:

1.  Mrs. Mary J. Elliott, Dupont, IN

2.  Roy Chambers, Dupont, IN

3.  William H. Stout, Lyceum manager, Indianapolis, IN

Note:  From Mrs. Elliott I learn that the sons of Anthony were John, Amimihaz, Barrett, and Jephtha.  The greater part of this big family never crossed the Ohio, but the descendants of Isaac are, most of them, here.

Willard Chambers of the firm of Chambers-Wilson Motor Car Co., Bryan, Texas, gives a very clear account of his ancestors. Thomas Chambers lived on Chambers Creek in eastern Tennessee in the early part of the century and died in 1868, leaving four sons; Anthony, James, Jack, and William.  William, the great-grandfather, moved to Newton Co., Mississippi.  His sons were Joseph, Frank, Columbus, and James.  His direct ancestry then moved to Biloxi, then to Mobile, and from there to Texas. Williard has an uncle on Red River, Texas; his father is prominent in the Chamber of Commerce at Cameron, Texas.

The names Anthony and Thomas seem to connect this family with the descendants of James, of the Owen County branch.  Older sons of James lived in eastern Tennessee.


After the surprises of 1906, annexing two big families as kinsmen, I once more turned my attention to the South, with the following letters as the result:

Chattanooga, Tenn., Feb. 14, 1913

W. D. Chambers, Muncie, IN

Dear Sir:

Your letter of Jan 14, 1913, addressed to the Principal of Schools at Morganton, North Carolina, seems to have been referred to Hon. A. C. Avery, former Supreme Court Judge of North Carolina.  He had two sisters who married men by the name of Chambers, kinsmen of mine.  Judge Avery has referred the letter to me for reply.



I was born and raised in Iredell County, North Carolina. That county is the second county east of Burke, of which Morganton is the countyseat.  It has so happened that I have become, from various circumstances, to be considered as the historian of my branch of the Chambers family, and I suppose that is the reason Judge Avery, -- as he and I are related by marriage, -- sent your letter to me.


The most remote ancestor of which I have any direct account was Henry Chambers, of Lancaster or Chester County, Pennsylvania, who, in 1754, acquired lands in that part of the colony of North Carolina which is now the eastern part of Iredell county.  I was practically raised on the place where he settled soon after he acquired these lands, and have often seen the last house he built and used as a residence.  That place remained in the possession and ownership of his direct descendants until 1898, when the then owner, Maj. Pickney B. Chambers, then residing in Statesville, the county seat, became too old to look after the place, which was eight miles east of Statesville, and sold it to some other parties.


From time to time since my early manhood, when I had leisure, I have endeavored to trace his descendants.  He had a large family of children, most of whom were born before he obtained the lands in North Carolina.  Only two or three remained in the vicinity of his North Carolina home, and the other moved West or Southwest.  I have been able to trace only a few of them. In my investigations, I have not been able to trace any of my branch of the family to any part of North Carolina, west of Iredell County, except one of the cousins who married Judge Avery's sister.  He lived a part of the time at Morganton, and his younger children were born there or in the vicinity.  His name was Joseph Franklin chambers.  His children are Mrs. Jessie Co. Dickson, now of Jackson, Mississippi; Mrs. Kate L. Ross, wife of Dr. C. E. Ross of Morganton, North Carolina; and two sons: William Pinckney of Spartanburg, South Carolina, and Waightsill Moulton, who, I think, lives at Charlotte, North Carolina.


If any other persons by the name of Chambers lived in Burke or Rutherford counties, I cannot now recall the fact.


During the Confederate war I heard of some soldiers by the name of Chambers from the western part of North Carolina, but did not get acquainted with them and have no memorandum indicating that anyone belonging to my branch of the family ever lived west of the Blue Ridge in North Carolina.


I happen to have a carbon copy of one of the statements about the Chambers family, prepared for some other person, which gives the names of the children of the Pennsylvania Henry and also of his sons Henry and Arthur, which I enclose for your information.  Arthur was my great-grandfather, and, as you will see from the enclosed memorandum, his son, Maxwell, born February 1, 1791, moved to Indiana and died in Jasper County, February 9, 1847.  I have no record of his descendants; possibly, you may be one.


As I am sometimes called upon, as now, for information, I would be glad if, when you have gotten such information as you want from it, that you would return to me the enclosed memorandum.


If you desire any further information about my branch of the Chambers family, please let me know and I will furnish it if I can.

Yours truly, 


 Chattanooga, Tenn., Feb. 20, 1913

W. D. Chambers, Esq., Muncie, IN

Dear Sir:

Your letter of February 17, 1913, in regard to the Chambers family, and returning my memorandum of the early North Carolina members of my own branch of the family, has been received and read with interest.


Your letter, however, does not enable me to give any general information additional to that contained in my former letter.


In answer to your specific inquiries, I beg to say:


I am the son of Joseph, who was the son of Henry, who was the son of Arthur, who was the son of Henry of Pennsylvania, who, in 1754, obtained the lands now in the eastern part of Iredell County, North Carolina, as stated in my former letter.  My father, Joseph Chambers, was born March 22, 1820, married Ellen Cashion, August 20, 1840, and died May 15, 1842, leaving me, his only child.


Maj. Pickney Brown Chambers (the last owner of "Farmville," the old Henry Chambers place) was the son of Joseph, who was the son of Henry, who was the son and namesake of the Pennsylvania Henry.  He was born January 28, 1821, married Harriet Justena of Burke County, North Carolina, August 11, 1853, and lived in Statesville, Iredell County, North Carolina, after the Civil War, until the death of his wife, and then went to his son, J. Lenoir Chambers in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he died Saturday, Feb. 18, 1905.


Enclosed Find:

(I)  A copy of a letter dated September 23, 1899, from me to Dr. Edward Chambers Laird, then resident physician at Hot Springs, Madison County, N. Carolina; and

(2)  A copy of a letter dated February 22, 1909, from me to Mrs. Rebecca Barnhill Hall of Corinth, Mississippi.


These letters contain the information I then had about the Chambers family.  From them you may glean something of service to you.  When you have made such memorandum from them as you wish, please return them to me.  I am getting old and somewhat lazy and disinclined to write long letters, and will want these copies to use in a similar way with others, who, like you, may make inquiries about the family.


I am referring your inquiry as to your grandfather, Avery Chambers, to Judge A. C.Avery of Morganton, North Carolina. Judge Avery is now seventy-seven years of age and still busy in the practice of law, but in not very robust health.  He could hardly give much time to investigation; but he is thoroughly proficient upon the history of the Avery family and, being a native and lifetime resident of Burke County, probably already knows as much about the old families of that county as anyone could without investigation.  He is also well acquainted in Rutherford and other adjoining counties.  The fact, however, that he sent me your first letter for reply indicates that he could not answer your questions.


It may be, as you suggest, that the Chambers family kept along the hill country near the Blue Ridge, because it resembled somewhat the country of their ancestors in Scotland.


My recent investigations in the preparation of a sketch of the Chambers family of Iredell County, North Carolina, for the Historical Society of that county, leads me to believe that my ancestor, Henry Chambers, like many others of the early settlers of Pennsylvania, left that colony because of the Indian troubles on the border about 1750 to 1760.  The peace-loving, non-combatant Quaker government of Pennsylvania refused to protect the border settlers or to help or encourage them to protect themselves from the hostile Indians, and a great many settlers left that colony on that account.


In my correspondence years ago, as indicated in the copies of the letters enclosed, I was surprised, after coming to Tennessee, to find so many people by the name of Chambers in Tennessee and the Southwest; but I was unable to trace many of them, with any certainty, to my own branch of the family.  Those of that name in east Tennessee were generally unable to give me much information about their ancestors.  One family, however, traced back to a sailor who stopped off at Charleston, South Carolina.  I take it, however, that of the Virginia, North Carolina and Southwestern members of the family could trace back to Pennsylvania.  As you probably know, quite a number of people by that name live in Kentucky, some of whom, at least, trace back to Pennsylvania.  One John Chambers of Kentucky was a great friend of William Henry Harrison and was, as I recollect, made Governor of the Northwestern territory.


I have the same information about the four Pennsylvania brothers that you have, -- one of whom is the founder of Chambersburg. 


I would be glad to hear from you further in your investigations.

Yours truly,



Our traditions are not clear prior to 1754.  Henry had a family of nine children: Ann (Robinson) 1736; Robert, 1742, died in Georgia in 1814; Jane (Steele, afterwards Hart) 1744, died in Missouri in 1824; Catharine (Reid) 1746, died in Georgia in 1837; Elizabeth (Steele) 1748 died in 1810; Henry, 1750, died on "Farmville" place in 1817; Arthur, 1753, died in Iredell Co., N.C.., in 1819; James, 1755, died in 1804; Joseph, 1757, died at Salisbury, N.C., in 1784.


Of the next generation, I have the following records:



Henry, 1776-1801; Jane, Elinor, David, Joseph, Nancy, Catherine, Maxwell, Margaret and Ransom.  Major Pinkney B., the son of Joseph, married Justena Avery of Burke Co., N.C.; J. Lenoir Chambers of Charlotte N.C., was their son.



Jane (Steele), 1777-1817; Samuel, who moved to Mississippi; Henry, father of Joseph, and grandfather of Henry A., the author of these notes; Sarah (Brem); Joseph; David; Maxwell, died in Jasper Co., IN in 1847; James and Robert.


I am glad to receive from you notes of families unknown to me.  Should you come to Chattanooga, go to Temple Court Bldg. and you will easily find the law firm of Richmond, Chambers & Bowlin. Before you publish your history, I would be glad to know you personally,

Very truly yours,


Henry A. Chambers, only child of Joseph and Ellen Cashion Chambers.  Born May 17, 1841, in eastern part of Iredell County, North Carolina.  Private in Company "C" of 4th Regiment of North Carolina State.  Captain of Company "C" of the 49th Regiment of North Carolina Troops in the Confederate Army from May 3, 1861 to Dec. 2, 1862.  Troops in Confederate Army from December 3, 1862, to the end of the Confederate War.

Taught boys' school and at same time read law at Morgantown, N.C. from mid-summer 1865 to end of 1866.

January 30, 1867, near London, Tennessee, married Miss Laura Lenoir, who died in 1891.  Had two children by this marriage, one of whom, Henry Lenoir, born March 6, 1871, died April 5, 1872; the other Joseph Pinckney, never married, became a fine business man; was born October 6, 1875, and died November 16, 1920.

On May 1, 1867, Henry A. Chambers located at Madisonville, Monroe County, Tennesee, to practice law; as a Democrat was elected to represent that county in the Tennessee Legislature of 1871; and after he removed to London County in 1874, was elected as a Democrat to the State Senate of Tennessee of 1877.

Located at Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1888 to practice law, and has been a resident of that city ever since.  Was elected as an Alderman of that city several terms, and after change of form of City Government was first chairman of the City Civil Service Commission.

Was made a Mason of Morgantown, N.C. in 1865, and was Worshipful Master of the lodge at Madisonville, Tennessee, several terms, and also of the lodge at London after removal there, for several terms; and in 1894 was Grand Master of the Masonic Grand Lodge of the State of Tennessee; and since 1904 to the present time has been the Chairman and has prepared the reports of the Committee on Foreign Correspondence of that Grand Lodge.

On December 31, 1895, he married Widow Lizzie Walker Tumor of Knoxville, Tennessee, who was a full cousin and principal bridesmaid of his first wife.  This last wife died at Chattanooga, Tennessee, September 13, 1919.  No children resulted from this last marriage.


Waco, Texas, Dec. 26, 1924

Mr. W. D. Chambers,

Muncie, IN

My dear Mr. Chambers:

I recall your visit to Waco some years ago when you were on your way to Bryan to teach.  I never heard from you after that and had wondered what became of you.


I now have news of you, through Mr. Davis, who tells me you are back in Indiana.  I am glad to hear from you again and trust you are enjoying good health and that the world has been kind to you and yours.


As to my ancestors, I do not know a great deal, for which I am very sorry.  My people came of Scotch-Irish stock and settled in North Carolina before the country freed itself from Great Britain.  I had some people in Washington's army, and sometime after the war closed my great-great-grandfather moved from North Carolina to northern Georgia and settled on what is known as Big Sandy Creek.  That part of the state was at that time a wilderness with no habitation except Indians.


My great-grandfather was W. A. (Will) chambers, and a very common name among my people.  Allen is another name frequently found in my family.  My grandfather left Georgia about the middle of last century and settled in Texas.  He had a number of brothers who left Georgia about the same time.  Some of them went west and settled in Ohio and other western states, and some to Kansas and Missouri.  Soon the war broke between the states and there was a period of four or five years in which there was no communication between the North and the South.  After its close we never heard of my people again so far as I know, outside of my immediate relatives.


I have told you very little and wish sincerely that I could tell you more.  I am deeply interested, myself, but have so very little to start out with that I have never done much in that direction.  Mr. Davis tells me that you are preparing to write the history of the Chambers family in America.  I wish you may have much success and that I may be honored with a copy when it is finished. 


With all good wishes, I am

Sincerely yours,


 As a chapter will be devoted later to circumstantial evidence of relationship of all these Scotch Revolutionary heroes, only a few brief words will be thrown in here.

For years, Henry A. Chambers and others of the South have thought that in some way they were related to the four brothers who came over in 1726.  Theodore Frelinghuysen Chambers in his notes always speaks of his ancestors as "the four brothers."  The four were James, Robert, Joseph, and Benjamin.  Henry was born in 1708; also Benjamin was born in 1708.  If Henry and Benjamin were brothers, they were twin brothers.  If such had been the fact, this relationship would have been easily established.  Then Henry was not a brother of "the four brothers."

After 1726, the next Chambers immigration appears to have been in 1743.  David, James and others came at that time. Evidently, Henry came with the "four brothers" in 1726, or with Peter, even prior to this time.  If he had come in 1743, his wife and two of his children would have been foreign born.  The "Farmville records" would not have overlooked such facts.

Henry, who resided in Pennsylvania (and perhaps, Maryland), until his family was about formed, felt the need of better home protection, as stated by Henry A., and, joining the Daniel Boone movement with his neighbors and friends, he became a pioneer of "New Scotland," as this western colony was called, on account of its high altitude and democratic spirit, and during the rest of his life, Iredell Co., North Carolina, was his home.  How natural it was that the other relatives should follow, as it is a colonial law that kinfolks group together, travel together, and bury together.


(The man of mystery)

Learning from my uncles that my ancestor, David, lived at or near Culpeper, VA, for a number of years after his marriage, I attempted by correspondence to find such facts as were of record in that county in the hope that I might learn something of his life before he started South and West.

I wrote to the superintendent of schools at Culpeper, asking a favor of him.  He made the investigations asked for, but the information obtained was quite different from what I thought I had a right to expect.  I append his letter and his findings from the court records of Culpeper County.

Culpeper, VA, April 28, 1906

W. D. Chambers, Muncie, IN

Dear Sir:

I send you notes of entries in the Clerk's office of Culpeper County to and from Thomas Chambers.  The lease is so long that I do not have time to copy it, but I hope, however, I am sending you the data you want.  I am sending you notes of all the records relating to Thomas chambers in this county.  But Culpeper did not become a county until 1749, consequently all prior records would be found in Orange County.  I find no record of David Chambers.


Yours truly,

T. W. HENDRICKS, Supt. of Schools

Deed Book A., Page 370.  1744.  A lease for life to Thomas Chambers and Elizabeth, his wife, from the executors of the estate of Alexander Spotswood, deceased, to 150 acres of land, lying, etc.

Deed Book A., page 374, 1747.  Thomas Chambers assigned all his right and title in the above tract of 150 acres of land to one Richard Nalle, etc., etc.  After this entry, the Chambers name does not again appear until 1791.

Succeeding investigations only deepened the mystery.  The Culpeper settlement seemed to be a non-slaveholding Scotch center, but I could find nothing concerning its origin.  This mystery continued till the summer of 1923, when I unexpectedly ran across this statement:

Early in the 18th century, under the direction of Peter Chambers, a large Scotch colony was formed on the upper Rappahannock.  For a number of years he would acquaint himself with the arrival of immigrant ships, and if there were any Scotch on board, he would persuade them to unite with the Rappahannock settlement.  Even as late as 1723 he was interested in building up this Virginia settlement.

After reading this statement, I studied the geography of the Rappannock settlement and found that Culpeper County (formerly Orange County) was the site of this early colony; hence, Thomas Chambers is a probable son of Peter, The Rappahannock pioneer. There are those who claim descent from the boys of 1689; that is, descent from the son who made New York his home.  It may be that Peter is the Virginia soldier of that date, but I hardly think so.  My impression is that Peter fought under the Prince of Orange in England or Ireland, and that he came across in the first or second decade of the new century, not later than the passage of the Schism Act in 1714, when as a good and faithful "Orangeman" he sought religious liberty in America.  Coming not alone, but with a colony of Orangemen, he was able to secure lands from the Good Governor Spotswood on favorable conditions, entirely separate from the lands of other colonies.  How natural it would be that when the time came to organize a county, they should call it Orange, in honor of the Prince of Orange.  How natural that, as slaveholding interests began to press upon them, and as Indian troubles threatened their peace and happiness, that the Scotch settlers should move westward.

Thomas Chambers, selling his land in 1747, is not heard of again in the settlement.  Evidently he led the way to a new home in the West.  The colonel law of kinship may have urged him a little ahead of the colony that he might find a suitable burial place for his father.  At least from family traditions it is known that David did not leave the Rappahhock settlement until seven years later.  Any reader of Virginia history ought to know that the name "Culpeper," given to the new county of 1749, would be offensive to an Orangeman.  Most of the ardent enthusiasts sought new lands in North Carolina, and when the time came to name their county, they gave it the name of the former Protestant Prince, "Orange."  Here, for more than half a century, the inhabitants enjoyed that political and religious liberty for which their ancestors had fought.  Peter and Thomas Chambers were both laid to rest.  The new generation met the urge of the Northwest.  From the headwaters of the Ohio down to the Carolinas every man heard the call to new territory.  Some, of course, could not go, but there were but few families that did not at least lose a relative in it.  Note the following facts, clipped from Indiana history:

In 1808, Joel Chambers erected his cabin at the head of Lick Creek, near Half Moon Springs, in Indiana. (Perhaps some settled as early as 1800, but no names until 1808).  In 1811 the little settlement was considerably increased by a party of North Carolinians who were on their way to Vigo County on the Wabash, but meeting Zacharias Lindley (perhaps the first settler), and having known him in their native state, they were prevailed upon by him to stay and settle in this county.


Among the party of fifteen families was Samuel Chambers, who opened the first store in the county and put into it $600.00 worth of stock.  The village about this store became known as Chambersburg.  It was laid out as a town in 1822.  The plat consisted of 272 lots. The first white child born in the county was William, the son of Samuel chambers (1812).  These people were most all Quakers, being descendants of Quakers back in Orange County, North Carolina.

William left no children.  Henry Chambers, of Paoli, belongs to this branch, but has lost the whereabouts of his ancestors and their descendants.


In 1814, Samuel Chambers was chosen Justice of the Peace in Washington County, IN.  Two years later, Orange County was formed and he was made Justice of the Peace in this county.  Toward the end of 1816, he was made Associate Judge of Orange County.

In 1818, Samuel Chambers was first sent to the Legislature of his state.  From that time until 1837 he was generally to be found either in the Legislature or the Senate.

How the descendants of so prominent an ancestor should so completely lose themselves is a puzzle to me.  There is no tradition.  All the facts given above have come from the record. By the way, how does this argument hold together: Peter, the "Orangeman" of the Rappahannock; Thomas, the lessee of Orange County, Virginia; Joel, the grandson, Orange County, North Carolina; Samuel, the legislator, Orange County, Indiana; then lost off the map?  Can someone close up the last century?  I have not succeeded in tracing the progeny, and have only vague notions of their whereabouts.

As this book is going to press, I am led to believe that the relatives fell back to the Ohio, and are now immersed in the population of Louisville, Kentucky.


When traveling as a salesman for the International Encyclopedia in 1900, I became acquainted with Hon. David W. Chambers of Newcastle, Indiana.  He took me to his home, introduced me to members of his family, and gave the following account of his people:


Alexander B. Chambers, alone of his father's family, came to America.  He left in Scotland three brothers: William, David, and James.  William was a soldier in the British army.  He was 6 feet 4 inches tall, and was a man of great strength.  He was with the Duke of Wellington in his Spanish war.  He was awarded a medal, which is now in the possession of D. W. Chambers of Newcastle, his nephew.  It was willed to him.  On one side of this medal is a picture of Queen Victoria, with the language "Victoria Regina." On the other side are the dates "1795-1814," and "To the British Army," and on parallels are these words: "Neville, Vittoria, Salamanca," the names of three great battles in which William Chambers fought.

Alexander B. Chambers came to Cincinnati from Scotland in 1828.  He was a machinist by trade, and worked in the manufacture of steamboats at Cincinnati.  He also worked at New Orleans in the manufacture of sugar mills.  There is a tradition that at one time he saved the life of a drowning man on the lower Mississippi as he was sinking a third time.  Before coming to America, he had traveled to Portugal and other adjacent lands.  He learned the Portuguese language.  D. W. Chambers, his son, has a copy of an old Portuguese grammar, which the father had studied.

The following facts pertain to the sons of Alexander B. Chambers:

1.  David, the oldest son, died at Cincinnati in 1832.

2.  Robert M. the second son, is a prosperous farmer near Newcastle.  His residence is in the city of Newcastle.  Is getting quite old. (1901)

3.  Alexander, the third son, lived in Newcastle for a number of years, but later moved to Florida, where he died in 1884.

4.  David William, the youngest son, was named for his Uncle David.  There are two Davids in this family.


David W. Chambers of Newcastle, Ind., was born in Union County, Ind., in 1836, and died Dec. 27, 1912.  He came to Newcastle when quite a youth.  He has three children:  Walter S., editor of the Newcastle Times; Lillian, a graduate of Indiana University, and high school teacher; and Mrs. Willard Mogel, Newcastle, Ind.  Walter S. was a trustee of State Institutions under Governors Marshall, Ralston, and Goodrich; has been twice elected to the Indiana State Senate, and twice as chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee.

David was a soldier and officer in the Civil War.  He was a Republican till 1872, when he was a delegate to the Cincinnati convention that nominated Horace Greely.  After that election he was a Democrat.  For years he was on the Democratic State Central Committee.  In 1876 he was on the Democratic State Central Committee.  In 1876 he was the Domocratic candidate for Congress in his district, which had a normal Republican majority of more than a thousand.  He was beaten by a majority of 276 votes.  On questions of reconstruction he was in accord with the Republicans, but he was opposed to a high protective tariff, and favored a graduated income tax.  The family are all presbyterians.  David W. had lived in the same house for sixty-four years.  For a number of years David was President of the Board of School Trustees of his home town, and was otherwise honored by his fellow citizens. 

Robert M. Chambers.

Belle (Chambers) Bailey, 1105 N.E. 2d Ave, Miami, Florida

Mrs. F. C. Hosea, 1115 Church St., Newcastle, IN

Mr. Frank Chambers

Grandchildren of Robert;

L. A. Estes, 4802 Wash. Blvd., Indianapolis, Ind.


Mrs. James B. Shively, Newcastle, Ind., R.F.D. No. 6


Mr. George Chambers, Springport, Ind.


Mr. Fred Chambers, Newcastle, R.F.D. Broad St.,


Mr. Robert Chambers


Mr. R. C. Hosea, 942 S. 15th St., Newcastle, Ind.


William Annan Chambers, son of Hugh and Hannah Chambers, was born and reared near New Castle in Lawrence County, PA.  After attending a local township high school he entered Grove City College, graduating in 1889.  Following his graduation he was elected Instructor in his Alma Mater, and after teaching two years, entered Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, from which he was graduated in 1893.  Rev. Chambers has held pastorates in Ellwood City, PA., Struthers and Akron, Ohio, and has been pastor of the Beechview United Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh, PA, since October, 1916.  He is the author of the "History of the Poland Avenue Church." Struthers, Ohio, and publisher of the "Beechview Evangel."  Dr. Chambers was married to Margaret Elizabeth Steel in 1898, and has one daughter Margaret, now living in Florida, and one son, William Warwick, a student in Washington and Jefferson College.

James A. Chambers, attorney at law at Newcastle, PA., and H. B. Chambers of Mahoningtown, PA, have given valuable papers which I greatly appreciate.  Please note the following:

Newcastle, PA, Oct. 17, 1924

W. D. Chambers, Dupont, Ind.

My Dear Sir:

My great-grandfather, Alexander Chambers, came to America from County Down, Ireland, sometime prior to 1812.  There came with him at this time three brothers and three or four cousins. Two of his brothers settled out near the town of Washington, in Washington county, Pennsylvania; the other brother settled near Poland, Ohio; my great-grandfather settled in Shenango Township, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, near the town of New Castle; the cousins all settled in North Beaver Township, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, and quite a number of the descendants still live in that vicinity.  I know nothing of my great-grandfather's brothers.  My great=grandfather had six children: two sons and four daughters; one daughter married a man named Hanna; another a man named McClearen; and the other two married brothers named McKee.  The sons were named William and James.  James left no family.  William, my grandfather, had three sons:  Joseph B., my father; Thomas W., and Alexander; they are now all deceased; Sarah married to Patrick boyle: Jane, married to John Waddington; Margery, married to Herbert Douthitt; Margaret, Mary and Nancy, unmarried.  My uncle, Alexander, had six children: two boys and four girls: Thomas W., William, Ella, Jennie, Ida, Jessie.  The following are still living:  William, Ella Widle, and Ida. Thomas W. had three children:  Charles L., Frank, and Etta Lusk. My father had five children: Agnes, Anna, Nancy, Maude, and myself.  All are dead except for my sister, Nancie Edie, and myself.


If I can be of any further service to you in this matter, I would be glad to have you call upon me.  Yours truly,



Mahoningtown, PA., Dec. 1, 1924

My Dear Sir:

In the year 1812 there came to America from Belfast, County Down, Ireland, Wm. Chambers and his wife Mary Haelton Chambers, and five Children.  They sailed from Belfast on the ship "Protection," commanded by Captain Barnes.


Three weeks and three days were consumed in making the voyage to New York.  Three weeks were spent in the metropolis. They then took a sloop to Philadelphia, PA., remaining a short time in the Quaker City before commencing the tedious journey to Pittsburgh, PA.  The trip was made in the old "Conestoga" wagons, paying their fare as on stage routes.  From Pittsburgh they came to Lawrence County, PA., stopping at the home of John Dinsmore on Hickory Creek, -- a relative of Mr. Chambers who started in the virgin territory about 1800.  When the Chamberses arrived he had quite a piece of land cleared, and was operating a cotton and loom shop.  Wm. Chambers settled on a farm of 200 acres on the south side of Hickory Creek in North Beaver township, not far from the present site of Mt. Jackson, erecting the first brick building in the township--the brick for the structure being made and burned on his Hickory Creek Farm.  The land was mostly forest and was purchased from Maj. Chamberlain of Revolutionary war frame.  The neighbors there in those days were Samuel Asit and William Woods, grandfather of the late Gen. Wm. McClellan, well known captain of Battery B., and afterward Adj., Gen. of State under Gov. Pattison.  Soon after this, Wm. Chambers and several neighbors laid out the village of Mt. Jackson, Naming it after Gen. Andrew Jackson, who later became President of the U.S.  He helped to build the first schoolhouse there, which was built of logs and had greased paper for windows.  Although he offered his services for the war of 1812, as he had not yet become a U.S. citizen he was not accepted, but afterward he commanded a company of State Militia and was always known thereafter as Captain Chambers.  Soon after the foundation of Mt. Jackson was laid, a little group of buildings clustered around the spot.  It supported two dry goods stores, two grocery stores, and a number of mechanics who made their wares by hand.  Before long there were hatters, tailors, shoe makers, chair makers, wheel wrights, blacksmiths, carpenters, and stone masons.


North Beaver township today is remarkable for the number of well-to-do people possessing thrift and intelligence.  Its citizens have a grater amount of money at interest than any other township in the county.


Mr. and Mrs. William Chambers were parents of nine children: Samuel, Alexander, James, Robert and Isabel, all born in Ireland; and John, Elizabeth, Mary, and William Jr. first saw the light of day in America, near Mt. Jackson.  all these have passed to the Great Beyond, leaving many descendants in Lawrence County.

Very truly yours,


 The following letter gave me my first knowledge of this branch of the Chambers family:

St. Louis, Sept. 12, 1917

W. D. Chambers, Muncie, Ind.

Dear Sir:

Your esteemed favor of the 9th instant, in reference to what family of Chambers I belong to, received.  I have to advise you that all I know of my antecedents is given in the enclosed letter of Rev. W. A. Campbell.  His first wife was a cousin of my father.  He is a minister of the United Presbyterian church located in Wilmington, Pennsylvania, where the college of this church is located.


My father died when I was 3 years old, and my mother when I was 13.  My father died in Newburg, Pennsylvania, which was at that time Beaver Co. but is now Lawrence Co.  This small town is located three miles from Enon Station, Pennsylvania.  Before my father died he had a country store in Enon.  At my father's death, my grandfather, William Taylor, who is the father of my mother, located on a farm two miles from Enon, raised me until I was 13, at which time I started to make my own living.


After having learned harness making in New Castle, PA, I worked a while on journey work, until I had possession of a little money.  I started the harness business in Beaverdam, Wis. I being rather a wild boy, my money and business was soon all gone.  During this time I married my wife, and my first child was born when I was about 20.  I then drifted to Chicago, and on arriving there my money was all gone.  I went to a book publishing office to get a position to canvass books.  Suffice to say, I followed this business, traveling to different large cities for some six years.  During this time I worked most of the large cities including New Orleans, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, New York, and St. Louis.  The publishers in New York thought I was a success in the business so they gave me the general agency in St. Louis.  This was over 60 years ago.  Suffice to say that I made a success and accumulated over $200,000.


I am now a man about 81, and have retired from active business.  My two sons, Arthur T., and Leslie T., conduct the above company of which they are secretary and treasurer, and I am the president.  We are located in our new building which we just finished, at the above address, which the company owns and is paid for.


I have always understood that my grandfather on the Chambers side, as well as my grandfather on the Taylor side, came from County Antrim, Ireland, which is near Belfast.  The only relations of the Chambers family that are now living are located in West Alexander, PA.  One of them is a millionaire; others of them are well-to-do farmers.  I visited them once, about four years ago.


I have some knowledge of Robert and William chambers, who belonged to the original stock in Edinburgh, Scotland.  One of the brothers was a publisher and he published the Chambers encyclopedia.  He owned a business there, which is very large; had one child, a daughter.  This is all I know about them.  There is quite a large estate there, that is in Edinburgh, which all these heirs will be entitled to some portion of, but as far as I am concerned, I am too old to enter into any litigation.


All the generations of Chamberses are connected with the Lord Ross of Scotland.  As stated in Campbell's letter, Bessie Ross married a Chambers, and she died in mid ocean on the voyage to America, and was buried at sea.  I belong, myself, to the Ross Clan in America, which consists of over 100 most prominent men in Canada and the United States with the exception of myself.


My father had only one brother, John Chambers, who moved to Savannah, Ashland County, about the time my father was 25 years old.  This John Chambers became a very prosperous farmer, and raised quite a large family of boys and girls, almost all of whom are dead, excepting three of his grandchildren who reside in Los Angeles, California, whom I visited.  This family consists of two sons and one daughter; they are now about from 40 to 60 years old.  there is one daughter of John Chambers who married Samuel Bebout (deceased).  She is a practicing physician in Norwalk. Her mother died only about two years ago.  I have frequently visited this family.  I visited this daughter, the doctor, about two years ago.


You know the name Chambers is very common.  There are several families living here in St. Louis, only one of whom I think probably could be os some relation to me.  There is a resemblance, although him being a Roman Catholic.  His name was B. M. Chambers.  I had not much association with him, although thee was a similar resemblance.  He came from some of the southern states, I think Virginia, but I am not quite sure as to this.  He is now deceased.  He was at one time the most generous and prominent Roman Catholic in the city, and was located on a fine farm 8 to 10 miles from St. Louis, very near where I have several farms.  He was one time president of the Roman Catholic Bank in St. Louis.  I think it is possible that your family may be some relation to this B. M. Chambers.  He was undoubtedly of an Irish descent, from the south of Ireland.


My family of Chambers, and probably yours, originally came from the northern part of Ireland.  In conclusion now, my friend, you will pardon me for having to ask you if you are a Christian. If so, may God prosper you abundantly, for this is the only life to live if we would reach that haven of eternal rest.  I give most of my time now trying to convince the unsaved of the love that Christ has for them.

Your relative,


 Dufur, Oregon, Sept. 28, 1924

My Dear Mr. Chambers:

I am enclosing check for eight dollars to cover cost of plate (as per your letter of Sept. 18) and am sending photo of my father which I would like used.  Needless to say, I value this picture very much and want it back as soon as convenient. 

Very sincerely,


The following letter I prize very much, as it is only one from the extreme South.  Please note:

New Orleans, U.S.A., August 22, 1924

Prof. Wm. D. Chambers, Dupont, Indiana

Dear Sir:

I have your interesting announcement of the proposed Chambers History.  I am enclosing my subscription to same.  I anticipate a great deal of pleasure from its perusal and trust that its issuance will not be overly delayed.  I am enclosing a list of the Chamberses in our telephone directory, all men of substance whom you can doubtless interest in the forthcoming work.  (I wrote each person named but did receive an answer.)


I have been a high school and college professor for twenty-five years, as you will see by referring to "Who's Who in America."  Increasing deafness caused me to go into business.  My authorship is only a side line.  I have eight or nine books to my credit and quite a number of short stories, essays, special articles, etc.


My branch of the family traces back to New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland, through Chicago, and St. Johns New Brunswick. I have never been able to learn of other members in County Wexford, except a Dr. Chambers some years ago.  I assume the Wexford Chamberses are of Scotch origin, remaining in Ireland while a majority of the Scotch immigrants to Ireland moved on to america after a while and became our Scotch-Irish element in the population of the U.S.  It will be very gratifying to me if your proposed work touches upon this line of descent.


Wishing you success, I am, Cordially,


Another college man dates back to 1753. Note his ancestry:

Lansdowne, Pa., Oct. 16, 1924

Mr. W. D. Chambers, Dupont, Indiana.


Your plans for a Chambers History interest me very much.


I am a son of John Wilson Chambers, born 1847; a grandson of Lewis Chambers, born 1820; a great-grandson of John Chambers, born 1784; and a great-grandson of John Chambers, born 1784; and a great-great-grandson of Robert, born in Ireland in 1753.


The last mentioned came over in time to serve seven years in the American Revolution.  After the Revolution he settled along the Octoraro Creek, Lancaster County, Penna., where, in a little log cabin, he raised a family of eight children.  I could name them and many of their descendants if you wished me to do so.

 Yours sincerely, GEO. GAILEY CHAMBERS

At my request, G. G. wrote me a second letter, which see:

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Oct. 27, 1924

My Dear Friend:

The names of the eight children raised by Robert Chambers (1753) were Alexander, John, Samuel, James, Isabella, Olive, Catherine, and Martha.

James migrated to Ohio before 1830.  Possibly that may help some of the western Chamberses to find "the trail."

Yours sincerely,


About 1710 there was born in Ulster, Ireland, John Chambers, who came to New York when quite a young man, and settled in Ulster County, New York.  When twenty-seven years of age he was elected to the New York Assembly.  In 1754 he became a member of that famous Albany Convention, the forerunner of the Continental Congress.  Later he became Chief Justice of New York.  He died in 1765.  There may be a close relation between this John and the New Jersey pioneers, but evidence is wanting.

John Chambers, an immigrant from the north of Ireland prior to the Revolution, received a grant of land in Jefferson County, Georgia, and settled there.  He fought in the Revolution.

William F. Chambers of Cincinnati, Ohio, died Dec. 16, 1918. Eva R. Chambers, his widow, still survives him.  He left two children: Fyffe Chambers, born Nov. 14, 1874, and Arthur B. Chambers, born June 2, 1879; both sons are lawyers.  Fyffe Chambers lives in Cincinnati; and Arthur B. in Huntington Beach, California.  I do not have their ancestry.

Just before going to press, I received the following facts:

"David Chambers, Aug. 27, 177-Sept. 21, 1843, married Prudence Steward, April 16, 1801, who was born July 19, 1783, died July 12, 1835.  To this union was born:  Margaret, Nov. 11, 1802 - Dec. 13, 1879; Benjamin S., Feb. 13, 1805 -- no record; Rebecca, Nov. 8, 1807 - May 13, 1869; Mary, Feb. 11, 1910-April 7, 1864; William Templeton, Mar. 20, 1813-April 9, 1831; John, Mar. 24, 1814-Aug. 7, 1855; James Monroe, Oct. 11, 1817-Mar. 1, 1859; George Washington, Mar. 20, 1820-Aug. 11, 1874; Silas, May 16, 1824-Aug. 29, 1827.

George Washington Chambers married Eliza Gibbs in 1848. Their children were:  William Fyffe, Nov. 1, 1850-Dec. 26, 1918; married Eva Rebecca Barton, Oct. 21, 1872; children: Eva, Nov. 1, 1873 - Nov. 10, 1874; Fyffe, Nov. 14, 1874 -- lawyer at Cincinnati, married Sallie Littlepage, Aug. 15, 1904; Arthur Barton, June 2, 1879 -- lawyer.  Benjamin, Sept. 8, 1852; not married; living.

Benjamin S. (1805) lived to be 80 or 90 years old, and had a family of 12 children.  He lived somewhere in Kansas.  Some of his children became prominent and wealthy."

This entry does not go back far enough to make certain connections.

I have this impression as to relationship:  It will be remembered that Benjamin, the surveyor, the president of the first, second and third Indiana Territorial Councils, disappeared from the old home near Rising Sun, Indiana.  Where did the family go?  Perhaps only a few miles up the river to the growing city of Cincinnati.  This would make David (1777) the son of the statesman Benjamin, which is a reasonable solution of this problem.  If I were to re-write this book I would change the setting of this entry accordingly, and would doubtless make further connections to the elder Benjamin.

John D. Chambers, M.D. of Ft. Wayne, Ind., was born in Genesee Co., New York in 1844.  He was of Irish stock, the son of James Boyd Chambers, whose parents left Monaghan, Ireland, in 1798.  Though Irish, the family are presbyterians, indicating Scotch kinship back home.

F. C. Chambers of Steubenville, Ohio, writes that his great-grandfather came from Ireland to New York in 1804, about the time of the Burr-Hamilton duel.  Edward G. Chambers of Shreve, Ohio, belongs to this branch.  Josiah Chambers was born near Steubenville, Ohio, in 1807.  His family moved back to W. VA, but he remained in the West.  He became a flat-boatman at Cincinnati, but getting hurt he quit the job and moved to Aurora, farther down the Ohio in 1840.  Here he entered the mercantile business.  In 1851, John Chambers became a member of the firm, but he died in 1856.  Josiah continued the business till his death in 1876.

On account of lack of time, I did not attempt to collect further facts from F.L.C.

Eugene, Oregon, Nov. 15, 1924


F. L. Chambers, born Nov. 8, 1865, Oregon Missouri.


My father was James Blair Chambers, born 1833, Quincy, Ohio; his father was Manlove Chambers, born 1791, Cumberland, Allegany Co., MD., (Married Sarah Carlisle in Delaware; Carlisle family still lives in southern Delaware); his father, John Chambers, was born in Ireland about 1750; met Ann Manlove on boat from Scotland; lived in Chester Co., Md; married later; moved to Quincy, Ohio, 1832 or 1833. 


I have more if this comes in your line. 



John Chambers came to America from Ireland near the beginning of the Revolutionary War.  On the same vessel there sailed Miss Ann Manlove and her parents.  Later, John and Anna became husband and wife.  To them were born six children:

1.  John -- went west, was never heard from again by his relatives.

2.  Violet -- married Stephen Lee; later, a man named Brown.

3.  Manlove -- born 1791, at Cumberland, Alleghany Co., Md., and died, 1876, at Quincy, Ohio.  He taught school back in Maryland, fought in the War of 1812, and moved, by covered wagon, to Quincy, Ohio, in 1832-33.  Married Sarah Carlisle, Dec. 19, 1816. Their children were William John Carlisle, Ann Matilda, James, John Manlove, Margaret Jane, Sarah Elizabeth, Absalom, James Blair, and Maria Mary Ann.

4.  Margaret -- married John Holmes; children: Manlove, John, Violet, and Margaret.

5.  No record.

6.  Absalom -- born 1797, died 1868.  Also lived at Quincy, Ohio. His wife was named Elizabeth, a Virginia girl.

Jas Blair Chambers (1833-1902); moved to Eugene, Oregon; married Martha Josephine Nies, Jan 29, 1865;  children Frank L., now a banker at Eugene, Oregon (making this report); Charles Nies, who died this year 1925; Fred E.  Frank L. writes that he was delayed making his report by taking a trip via Panama Canal and New York City.  Was called home by death of his brother Charles.  Manlove is the test name in this family."


Charles Edward Stuart Chambers

Edinburgh, Scotland

“Non praeda, sed victoria”

On August 23, 1900, a letter was received from Charles Edward Stuart Chambers, Edinburgh, Scotland, who has been for several years the head of the Chambers Journal house, which was founded in 1820 by his grandfather and grand-uncle, Robert and William Chambers.  This letter is given below in full:

W. D. Chambers, Muncie, Ind.

Dear Sir:

In reply to your letter of recent date, I have pleasure in giving any information I possess.  Ephraim Chambers was no connection of my own family. (See Dictionary of National Biography by Leslie Stephens for available information.)


David Chambers flourished in Ross-shire, Scotland, during the 16th century, and died in 1592.  (See Biographical Directory of Eminent Scotsmen by Robert Chambers).  There is no other printed chronology of my own family than the above except the Memoirs of William and Robert Chambers, published by my own firm. This book can be obtained from my agents, J.B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia.  This work is widely read, and I am surprised that you do not have it.  (Compare with letter of James H.)


I am sorry I cannot help you as to Reynolds Chambers, or others of the name who emigrated to America.  About these I have no information.  The first record of my own family is contained in our family Bible, now in my possession.  This book contains the autograph of James Chambers, 1664, from whom I am 8th in descent; also many later autographs.  James Chambers claimed descent from Gillaume de la Chambre, who signed the Regimen Roll or Bond of Allegiance to Edward I at Berwick in 1296, as Baillee of Peebles.  My family belonged to Peebles until William and Robert came to Edinburgh and founded the firm of W. & R. Chambers (1820), publishers, of which I am now the head.  They founded the Chambers Journal in 1832.  I am about to publish an article myself with reference to ancestors of my family, in the Christmas part of Chambers's Journal.  This may also be obtained from my American agents, when published.


Sir William Chambers, the famous architect, was no relation of my branch (that is, the Peebles branch).  (See Chamber's Encyclopedia, published by my own firm, or the Dictionary of National Biography by Stephens, for information concerning him.) The beautiful portrait of Lady Chambers, by the celebrated artist, Sir Joshua Reynolds, is a very well known, and of this I possess a fine mezzo-tint engraving, and the same of Miss Chambers her daughter, who was also a beauty.  These prints are still obtainable,--by paying for them! (See Leslie Gaylor's Life of Sir Joshua Reynolds for further information.)


I may mention that the name never was Chalmers, but always

Chambers, a totally different name.  My friend, Gen. James Grant Wilson, of New York, can give much interesting information regarding my grandfather, author of "Traditions of Edinburgh." His own father was at school with Robert at Peebles early in the century.  "Stories of Old Families," by William Chambers, my grand-uncle, might also interest you.

 Charles E. S. Chambers, the author of the interesting letter quoted above, was born in 1860 and became the head of the Chambers Journal House in 1888.  He is well known as an editor and author, and it has given me more than twenty years of opportunity to hitch on to his ancestry, but there is still work to do before this claim can be made.

For a few years after receiving this letter I thought I had found in it reasons for the name Reynolds of my immediate lineage, but after hours and days of reading in the library it has been found that the facts do not warrant any direct relationship with either Sir Joshua Reynolds or the Chambers families of England.  All of our traditions and what little available biography we have been able to find, point to Southern Scotland as the home of Reynolds Chambers, as well as the home of the ancestors of other branches of Scotch or Scotch-Irish descent.

Our ancestors, no doubt, were closely related to James Chambers, from whom Charles is 8th in descent, but the gap is wide, and we may never be able to connect with them, but as our problem has been to unify the American pioneers, bearing the Chambers name, I am content to rest with the facts as they are. James H. Chambers, in one of his letters, says all the generations of Chamberses are connected with the Lord Ross of Scotland.  He further says that he belonged to the Ross Clan in America, which consists of over 100 of the most prominent men in Canada and the United States.  This is another evidence of our common origin across the Channel.

Australia, India, the Philippines, and scores of other countries and states have welcomed the Chambers name, but these are all transplants, and, no doubt, have knowledge of just where to "hitch on" back home.

William Chambers (1800-1883) was a Scottish author and publisher.  He was joint author with his brother, Robert, of Chambers's Cyclopedia, ten volumes, so popular in America for more than half a century.  He visited the U.S. in 1853.  He was born at Peebles, Scotland.

Robert Chambers (1802-1871) belonged to the Chambers Journal firm of William and Robert Chambers, of Edinburgh, Scotland. Robert wrote "Vestigaes of the National History of Creation." This great work prepared the way for such writers as Darwin, Huxley, and Doctor William James.

Charles H. Chambers was born in London, 1819.  He was the author of many legal treatises.

Richard Chambers (1809) was a noted English mathematician.

George Chambers (1803-1840) was an eminent English marine painter.

Ephraim Chambers about this time (1680-1740) wrote a scientific dictionary that was an "invaluable treasury of scientific knowledge."  He was not of the Scotch-Irish or of the earlier Scotch branch.  He may, however, be a descendant of Gillaume, the Provencal, who signed the regimen roll of Edward I in 1296.  If so, there is an earlier relationship.

Sir William Chambers (1726-1796) was born at Stockholm, Sweden.  He wrote a treatise on the decorative art in civil architecture.  This work is regarded as authority on English and Swedish art.

Charles Chambers (1755) wrote "Earthquakes at Madeira."

Sir Robert Chambers (1737-1803) was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Judicature in Bengal, India.

Richard Chambers (1710) wrote a noted series of sermons.

Charles Chambers (1715 to 1733) was a well known authority on the Bible.  He was a brilliant sermonizer.

James Chambers, an eminent lawyer, was for many years the King's counsel at Dublin.

Brooke Rynd Chambers (1834) was a Major General in India. He was wounded at Lucknow in 1857.  He won many medals for brilliant service.

Robert H. Chambers (1853) is a prominent educator of England.

Robert H. Chambers (1833) was a soldier in china, India, and Afghanistan.  Many medals were given him for brilliant service.

H. Kellet Chambers (1867) is authority in dramatic art.  He is the author of a number of books.  He now resides in New York City.

Walter James Frederick Chambers (London, 1864) has long been in the Consular service of the British Empire.

George Frederick Chambers, King's College, England, is an eminent authority on astronomy.  He is the author of a number of books.

George Chambers was a well known English Marine painter.

Richard Chambers (1809) was noted throughout the Empire as an expert mathematician.

Sir Newman Chambers is a high official at Londenderry Ireland.



“Facta Non Verba”

Below is given a letter from a brother not of Scotch blood.  This letter will be followed by a list of names representing what our English relatives have been doing on the earth, while many of us, perhaps, have been resting in easy obscurity.


Mines and Fisheries, Province of Quebec,

Fish and Game Branch


W. D. Chambers, Muncie, Ind.

Dear Sir:

My father, Edward Thomas Chambers, was born about 1828, in Chelsea (London); was educated at Battersea, and prior to his coming to this country was Master of and English public school. But thinking there were better opportunities for his children in an undeveloped country, he left his work in England and came to Canada.  He died in Montreal in 1901.


The copy of "Who's Who" from which you gained your information concerning us, evidently contains some errors.  My name is Edward Thomas Davis Chambers, and my brother's name is Ernest John Chambers.  He is now Chief Press Censor for Canada; he is also Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod in the Senate of the Dominion.  My other two brothers are the Rev. Canon William Percy Chambers and Arthur Haddon Chambers, "barrister," both of Montreal.


My father's father was a master builder in London, and his father, I believe, was an architect.  From the fleur de lis on our coat of arms and from traditions of relatives, our ancestors came to England with William, the Conqueror.  On my book-plate (a copy of which I enclose for you), you will see our coat of arms, surmounted by our Crest which is a "falcon belled."


My parents and brothers came to Canada directly from England in 1870.  The address on your letter is a very old one, for I retired as Editor of the Quebec Chronicle twenty years ago, and am now the expert officer of the Fish and Game Department of the Province of Quebec.

 Yours truly,



Robert Chambers, son of Robert Nesbit Chambers, was born in Ontario in 1849.  For years he was a Presbyterian missionary in Turkey and in Asia.

James Chambers, son of Robert Nesbit, was born at Holbrook, Ontario, in 1851.  He is a Presbyterian clergyman at Norwich, Ontario in 1853.  He was a missionary to Syria and Armenia for a number of years.  His last known address is Germantown, PA. (See Miscellaneous Problems for further names.)


It has been said that circumstantial evidence is often more convincing than direct affirmation.  In attempting to establish Chambers relationships it often happens that we are not supported by direct proof, when every circumstance points to a definite conclusion.  I have tried to indicate such cases as they came to us, but it may be well to review the evidence just a little.

In support of the conclusions mentioned under origin, note that James H. Chambers says about the Ross Clan, to which he at one time belonged; also note that Ross-Shire was known and occupied by the Chambers people in the 15th century.

In support of the theory that Benjamin, John, Peter, and Alexander were brothers, we have no direct evidence.  Tradition is our only tie.

Scores of letters have been written to fix the relationship between the New Jersey branch and the Pennsylvania branch, that is, between John and Benjamin Chambers.  The historians of both branches concede relationship, but have found no proof in the records, as to just what that relationship is.

A New Jersey genealogist wrote me that he could find this information, but it would require some time and money, but not having either time or money, and having what seems conclusive proof, this genealogy has been neglected, and the book has gone to press without these facts.

The basis for this classification, that is, that John and Benjamin are brothers, is found, as shown below:

1.  Benjamin in 1682 visited the land that John entered in 1697. A clipping says: "Thomas Story and John chambers, two Quaker preachers from Dublin, Ireland, settled along the Delaware."

2.  William Penn was a personal friend of each, and influenced each to make the trip to America.

3.  Being of similar ages, if related at all, they were brothers or cousins, or at least knew one another personally.

4.  The two branches have traditional evidence of relationship.

After much correspondence with historians of the Pennsylvania branch, Hon. Henry A. Chambers of Chattanooga, says that without doubt his ancestor, Henry, was either a brother or a cousin of the four brothers.  The fact that Henry would have been a twin brother with Benjamin of Chambersburg, both being born in 1708, and that there would have been five brothers instead of four, makes them relatives but not brothers.  The Chambersburg records were burned in 1863, but the traditions of the family were in good hands, and there can be but little doubt that the four brothers and Henry were relatives.  Then Benjamin and Alexander must have been even closer in relationship.  Perhaps brothers.

Henry's lands were in Iredell Co., North Carolina, two hundred miles inland; David's in Rutherford; James's in Burke; Maxwell's in Rowan.  Rutherford joins Burke on the south, Iredell is twenty miles east of Burke, and was originally formed from Rowan.  The town of Chambers is in Burke near the Rutherford line.  Morganton was the chief town.  Many deeds of heroism are associated with it.

No doubt, the good Uncle Henry entertained each of his nephews on his journey and gave counsel as to the lands near him. The records established these four homes prior to the Revolution. They were all Scotch and were separated from others bearing the Chambers name by a good many miles.  The Colonial law is that kinfolks live together, travel together, and are buried together.

After the cholera broke out in Philadelphia, 1766-67, what became of Alexander's father?  Alexander and his son, David, with bridle in hand and rifle on shoulder, scoured the settlements from Pennsylvania to Florida, but found no trace of Samuel. Where had he gone with his family?  Evidently to New Scotland with the other boys. Perhaps north of Burke near the state of Franklin.  The Madison Courier in discussing "The Trail to the North-west," mentions Samuel Chambers, as having died before the families started northward.  That is, Samuel did not reach the Kentucky or Ohio.  But even though he did not reach the Blue Ridge settlement, where the other boys lived, his relationship is established anyhow.  Spier Bruce Chambers in his letter says that Alexander an the Owen County boys were cousins and frequently visited one another.

Peter Chambers seems to have been sponsor for the Culpeper settlement on the Rappahannock.  David Chambers, the son of Reynolds, came over in 1743, married a German girl, then went to the Scotch settlement at Culpeper to live.  Four of his children were born there.  Before the beginning of the Frank and Indian War the settlement broke up, and the Chambers name did not again appear in Culpeper County till 1791.  The fact that David sought the Culpeper Scotch settlement in preference to other settlements indicates relationship, and it is reasonable to infer that Peter and David's grandfather were brothers, and that Thomas was his uncle.  Let us see what these ties are:

1.  John and Benjamin are brothers--William Penn, the tie.

2.  Benjamin and Alexander are brothers--Henry C., the tie.

3.  Alexander and Peter are brothers--David C., the tie.

The names John, James, David, Alexander, Samuel, and Benjamin were familiar names in many pioneer families, but the names Maxwell and Avery are unusual names, and will not be given without a good reason, yet is has been shown that each of these names is used in each of two families time after time.

Maxwell in the families of Maxwell and Henry.

Avery in the families of David and Henry.

For the reason that Colonel Avery of the Revolution, had a German "given name," I am led to believe that his mother was a sister of David's wife, who was also German.  This explains why the name Avery occurs so often in Alexander's family.  The name Maxwell seems to have come to America from one of the Isles.  The Colonel law binds the family to us as relatives, but the facts are not clear as to what the relationship is.

In support of the theory that James was a brother of David we have these evidences:

1.  They were about the same age.

2.  The record of ages of James's children indicates that he was older than David at the time of marriage.  James did not need to form a residence with the Scotch at Culpeper.  The French and Indian War, however, caused him to leave his recent home in Maryland and Pennsylvania, and to seek safety in the Blue Ridge near his brother.

3.  For a third of a century the two families got their mail at Chambers, near the Burke-Rutherford County line; a Baptist church was formed there with James as pastor.

4.  Alexander, the son of David, blazed the way to the Northwest Territory.  The two older families followed.  David was buried at Boonesboro, in Madison Co., KY.

James and a number of his sons passed through Boonesboro, then settled in Jessamine County, an adjoining county, where they remained till after the death of David, and the departure of their relatives, when they, too, left Kentucky and came through Jefferson county on their trip to Owen County, where they permanently settled.  The descendants of Isaac, one of James's sons settled, scarcely a day's journey from their relatives, Alexander and John, of my own line, in Jefferson County.

Samuel, the unknown parent, was the head of the Knox County line; David, the head of the Jefferson and Jennings County lines; James, the head of the Owen County line.

A = B

B = C

therefore A = C

Therefore, Samuel, David, and James were brothers.


John D. Chambers, M.D. Ft. Wayne, IN, was born in Genesee County, New York in 1844.  He was of Irish stock the son of James Boyd chambers, who was born in Washington County, New York, in 1804.  James Boyd's parents left Monaghan, Ireland in 1798. Though Irish in speech, the family were Presbyterian in religion.

Henry C. Chambers (1785-1826) was graduated at William & Mary's College; was a member of the Alabama Constitutional Convention in 1819; was U. S. Senator from Alabama from 1825 till his death the next year.  He died at Flatrock, Mechlenberg Co., VA, at the old "Chambers home."

Edward Chambers, brother of Henry C., resided at Flatrock, VA.  He was a jurist of note, serving as judge of the Superior Court of the State of Virginia.

Henry C. Chambers of Mississippi, was educated as a lawyer at Princeton.  He was a member of the Confederate Congress, and was said to possess great colloquial powers.  He was the son of Henry C. Alabama.

Joseph C. Chambers of Montgomery County, N.C. went to the Legislature occasionally.

Maxwell Chambers, (perhaps a son of the Yadkin pioneer), of the Yadkin River line, was a prominent member of the Rowan County Committee of Safety 1774-1776, and was a member of the North Carolina House of Commons in 1779, and again in 1789.  Joseph chambers represented the county in 1810; Henry, in 1816, and William, in 1835.

General James M. (M. for Maxwell) Chambers, traced his ancestry back to Rowan County.  Before the Civil War James M. Chambers was a man of wealth and influence.  He was the founder of the Phoenix Mills at Columbus, GA., and for a time published "The Soil of the South" an agricultural paper.

William Henry Chambers, son of General James M. Chambers, was a lawyer and lecturer of Columbus, GA.  He was always in demand for the Fourth of July and other patriotic occasions for his matchless oratory and sound logic.

Porter Flewellen Chambers, physician, was born in Russell county, AL.  He has been consulting surgeon in hospital service since 1900.  In 1912 he became clinic gynecology in Columbia University.  His home is at 18 East 94th Street, New York, N.Y.

Robert William Chambers, author and artist, was born at Brooklyn in 1865.  He is one of America's most voluminous and popular novelists.  Since 1893 he has published more than fifty attractive books, that are read by millions of readers in this country, and in Europe.  He is a member of the "National Institute of Art and Letters."  His home is at 43, 83rd Street, New York, NY.

William Lea Chambers, lawyer, was born at Columbus, GA in 1852.  He practiced law at Montgomery, AL for fourteen years; was Chief Justice International Court, Samoa, 1890-1891; was a member Spanish Treaty Claims Commission 1901-1910; was chairman Boards of Arbitration between labor organizations and railroads, 1910-1913; has been Commissioner of Mediation and Conciliation since 1913.  His home is at Sellman, MD; his office, Southern Bld., Washington, D.C.

Julius Chambers, F.R.G.S., author and newspaperman, was born at Belfontaine, Ohio in 1850.  He entered newspaper work as a reporter on the New York Tribune.  Later he joined the staff of the New York Herald, and became city editor in 1876.  For fifteen years he represented the Herald in foreign countries.  He became managing editor of the New York World in 1889.  For more than thirty years he has given his time to literature and travel.  His address is Lotus Club, New York.

John M. Chambers, a banker of Maysville, KY is the grandson of Gov. John C. Chambers.

Francis T. Chambers is a patent lawyer at 712 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.  His old home was Cincinnati, Ohio.

William R. Chambers of Lebanon, Tennessee, belongs to the Tennessee-Missouri branch.

James E. M. Chambers is pastor of the M.E. Church at McCracken, Kansas.

The first lodge of Odd Fellow in America, not of the Independent Order, was Fulton Lodge No. 135.  This lodge was opened in the old Shakespeare House or Tavern, New York in the year 1806.  This hall was between Nassau Street and Broadway. William E. and John C. Chambers were two of its leading members.

Edward Chambers was born at Waukegan, IL in 1859.  He entered railroad service when a young man, and has been promoted from time to time, into the most responsible positions in the service.  During the World War he was appointed Director of U.S. Food Administration.  His office (1920) is at the Railway Exchange, Chicago, IL.

Francis T. Chambers, patent lawyer, was born at Cincinnati, OH, in 1855.  His office is at 1411 Walnut Street, Philadelphia.

Frank Taylor Chambers, civil engineer, was born at Louisville, KY in 1870.  He has done much expert work on American Waterways and Ship Canals.  He is the author of a special report to the National Government on Water Terminals and Transfer Facilities.  His home is at 1625 16th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.

Washington Irving Chambers, naval officer, was born at Kingston, N.Y. in 1856.  He was in continuous service from 1876 till his retirement in 1913.  He received many gold medals for expert work.  He is a member of the "Army and Navy Club," the "Aero Club,"  His home is Kingston, New York.

George Frederick Chambers, J. P. F. R. & S., Inner Temple, barrister-at-law, parliamentary bar.  He was born in 1841; has filled many responsible positions in England; is an author of authority.  He also write a number of books on Astronomy.  He was regarded as an expert on legal questions, and was often called upon to speak or testify before Royal Commissions and Parliamentary Committees.  He wrote an English, French, and German Conversational Dictionary for Travelers in 1908.

James Chambers, K.C. Ireland; member Parliament, South Belfast, since 1910.

James Chambers, clergyman; born at Holbrook, Canada, 1851; B.A. Princeton, 1872; M.A. 1875; Presbyterian; delivered sermon in 1894 that started campaign against Tammany Hall; moderator Presbytery of New York; editor "Church Work," 12 years; writer of religious, critical, and reform articles.  Address, Norwick, New York.

B. J. Chambers of Texas, candidate for Vice President of the United States on the Prohibition ticket, with Neal Dow of Maine, in 1880.

Sir Theodore Gervase Chambers, K.B.E., Associate Royal School of Mines; Fellow of the Surveyor Institution; Fellow Geological Society; Vice Chairman Nation War Savings Committee; born in 1871; son of Charles Harcourt Chambers, barrister-at-law; started practice as Surveyor and Land Agent, 1893; received Penfold Gold Medal, 1896, address, 8 North Street, Westminster, S. W. I.

Major-General Robert Macdonald Chambers, Bombay Infantry; born 1833; entered the army in 1858; Major-General, 1891.  He served in the Indian Mutiny, 1860; China War (medal); Afghan War (medal).  Address, Springfield, Buildford.

Rev. Robert Hailey Chambers, M. A.; Headmaster Christs' College, Brecon, since 1895.

Colonel Philip Roper Chambers, D.S.O., 1916.  Served European War in France, Gallipoli, Salvonica, Suez Canal, Senussi.  He is the son of Col. C.J.O. Chambers, of the Indian Army.

Sir Newman Chambers, J.P. & D.L. Knighted at Londonderry for official services during the World War.

Graham Chambers, B.A., M.B.; Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, University of Toronto, since 1908; son of Major Robert Chambers.  Makes frequent contributions to Medical Journals. Address, 26 Gerrard St., East Toronto, Canada.

Lieut-Col. Joseph Charles Chambers; late commanding 49th Divisional Train in World War.

Walter Boughten Chambers, architect, born at Brooklyn 1866; a brother of William; A.B. Yale 1887; studied at Paris 1889; member American Institute of Architects, and New York Chapter of same.  Home, 161 East 64th Street; Office, 109 Broad Street, New York.

Isaiah Meneh Chambers, clergyman,; born Mifflinsburgh, PA., 1865; A. B. Lafayette College, 1889; A.M., 1892; built a $10,000 church before his graduation; Presbyterian; pastor First Church, Merchantville, N.J. since 1892.  Inaugurated in 1907, "The Syndicate of Love," and organization now reaching around the world, for the distribution through personal letters the "hopeword" for the sorrowful and discouraged.  Author: "At the Beautiful Gate," Reuben the Builder," "Harold Payson," "The Modern Devil," "Satan or Christ." Home, Merchantville, N.J.

In 1780 an act was passed by the Georgia Tory Legislature and was signed by the Governor, condemning 151 Georgians by name as inciting "wicked and unprovoked rebellion" in the Georgia Colony.  This list of names is now Georgia's cherished "Roll of Honor."  Peter Chambers, a shopkeeper, perhaps a descendant of Peter of the Rappahannock Colony, was one of these Sons of Liberty of the rebellious South.

About 1775, Jesse Chambers was born in Virginia.  In 1810 he settled in Fayette Co., Ind.  In the 30's, 40's, and 40's his son Frank taught school near Connersville.  Frank has three sons: James, Jesse, and John.  John was a Civil War veteran, and resided at Muncie, Indiana, till his death about 1915.  I have personal acquaintance with two of his sons, Edward and Arthur.

Judge A. C. Avery, born 1836, was a native resident of Burke Co., N.C. and a relative of Henry A. of Chattanooga.  In my own line we have an Avery born in 1797; Stephen Avery, born in 1839; Avery Chambers Hancock; and our newspaper Avery, now of Ephrata, Washington.  Does anyone doubt a relationship?

The River Chamberses on the Yadkin were regarded as kin to the Henry Chambers line.  Maxwell Chambers of the "River" line was a prominent member of the Rowan County Committee of Safety, 1774-1776, and was a member of the N.C. House of Commons in 1779, and again in 1789.  Joseph chambers represented the county in 1810; Henry, in 1816; and William in 1824.  James M. Chambers connects with this line.  If I have been able to provoke a little correspondence with this line, I think I could have joined to us a large Southern relationship, but sometimes "silence is golden."

James M. Chambers was a land owner in Salem Township, Delaware Co., Ind., in 1831-1836.  He was perhaps a brother of William H. Chambers, the pioneer of Flat Rock, Bartholomew County.  See the statement of the late Alexander Chambers of Danville in regard to John Chambers and his family.

Alexander Chambers, born 1832, was a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy.  In 1863 he was made Brigadier General of a division of Iowa infantry.  In 1867 he was made a Major General of the 22nd Iowa.

George Chambers, in 1835, signed the Cherokee treaty at Red-Clay, Whitfield Co., GA.  By the terms of this treaty the Cherokees left their Georgia lands and moved beyond the Mississippi.  As this event is of record, anyone may inform himself concerning it, should he so desire.

John M. Chambers was one of the pioneers of Cherokee County, GA.

John T. and Joseph Chambers were two of the first settlers in Carroll Co., GA.  John Chambers was a pioneer of Fayette Co., GA.

Charles Augustus Chambers, son of Joseph Augustus Chambers, was born at Portland, Maine, in 1873.  He is a horticulturist with Luther Burbank, San Francisco.

John Story Chambers, financier and civil engineer, was born at Trenton, N.J. in 1782.  He was probably a grandson of Alexander, who was alderman and commissary of the Revolution.  At least he was of the descent of the elder John Chambers, the friend of Thomas Story, who died at Trenton in 1746.

A. Chambers (1794) settled at Florida, or "Snaketown," in Henry Co., Ohio.  From this stock was one William Chambers, a resident of Flat Rock Township, Henry Co., known there in 1837.

William Chambers of Frederic Co., VA, cast a vote for George Washington in 1758.

Alexander Chambers and his brother David entered the Confederate Army of Virginia for a term of three years.

President Washington let the contract for building the National Road from Fort Henry (Wheeling) to Maysville, KY, to Col. Ebenezer Zane in 1796.

A newspaper correspondent of the Indianapolis News, whether from the records or from his own vivid imagination, I know not, has honored the Chambers name in this fashion:

"From musty lore I reproduce these facts:  Chambers --business and executive ability, strong, courageous, frugal, reserved in manner, and if only slightly known, not popular.


"Spiro dum spiro (While I breathe I hope).

 Non praeda, sed victoria (Not the spoil, but the victory).

 Lux mihi laurus (Light is a laurel to me)."

Now where the news-gatherer found the above can only be surmised.  It is quite probable, however, that these mottoes are not thrust upon us, but are ours from choice.  For five centuries at least the alumni rolls of colleges and universities have contained the Chambers name.  To illustrate, from Indiana University, we find:


Chambers, Carl Nathaniel, L. L. B., 1911


Chambers, Charles Oscar, A.B. 1891; A.M., 1895


Chambers, David William, A.B. 1858


Chambers, Harry E., L.L.B., 1911


Chambers, John Kisling, A.B. 1904


Chambers, Leo, A. B., 1902


Chambers, Lillian Emma, A.B., 1905


Chambers, William Davis, A. B., 1898

Since 1911, others have graduated.  As it is in this university, so it is in others; so has it ever been.  Light ought to be a laurel to everyone.

Not only has the Chambers name held its form through the centuries, but by an Act of Parliament the name "Cameron" was created to please one who wanted a change.  (See Lanman's Dictionary U. S. Con., published by Belknap and Goodwin, Hartford, Conn.).

In unity there is diversity.  All are not strong, courageous and frugal; all are not reserved in manners; all are not good in business or in general management; and no doubt some are popular at sight, but let us not tear down what comes to us.  What we want is unity -- that unity, that adds to our strength, making us a people all that we ought to be, a family of high ideals.


Soldiers of the Revolutionary War:


Benjamin Chambers, Ensign; MD


Benjamin Chambers, Capt.; PA


Benjamin Chambers, Lieutenant; PA


David Chambers; Colonel, NJ


James Chambers; Colonel, PA

(Wounded at Brandywine.)


Matthew Chambers, Captain; MA


Stephen Chambers, Lieutenant; PA


William Chambers, Lieutenant; NJ


William Chambers, Captain; PA

Soldiers of the War of 1812:


Talbot Chambers, Major; NJ


John C. Chambers, Colonel, KY


David Chambers, Captain; OH

Soldiers of the Civil War:


A. H. Chambers, IA


John G. Chambers, MA


Joseph J. Chambers, NY


Rush W. Chambers, IL


William R. Chambers, NY

Soldiers of the Spanish-American War:


Fred C. Chambers, IA


John F. Chambers, MN


John S. Chambers, KY


Thomas S. Chambers, NJ

(This schedule includes only officers of high rank.  There were many others of lower rank in each of these wars.)

Two Chambers brothers received from Franklin Institute, PA, 1874, a gold medal.

The following information from a son of Avery Chambers came to hand too late for publication under its proper head, so I shall give it space here:

Stephen Herbert Chambers, son of Stephen Avery and Laura Ellen (Snyder) Chambers, was born at Elizabethtown, KY, Nov. 6, 1879.  He was married to Amalia Davidson, (English), at Manila, P.I. April 2, 1902.  To this union were born at Manila:  Aileen Margaret, July 31, 1903 and Marion Adelaide, Nov 11, 1906. Married second wife Sarah Yale, (American), at New York City, April 15, 1919; no children.

He served in the U.S. Army during Spanish-American War, 1898, with 1st South Carolina Regiment.  Served about one month and was discharged.

Joined Regular army, August 17, 1899, and went to Philippine Islands same year; engaged in several battles and expeditions. Discharged July 1, 1901.

Served with U. S. Quartermaster Department as Chief of Record Division, Chief of Property Division, and Chief of Transportation Division, respectively, until 1908.

Since 1908, merchant, jobber, and importer food products; 7 years in San Francisco and 11 years in New York.

During World War served during 1918 as Purchasing Officer of Food Products at New York.

Now department manager with Austin, Nichols & Co., Inc., New York City, one of the largest wholesale grocers in the U.S.

Youngest daughter, Marion (now 18), was premier dancer with "Poppy" a broadway success for one year, during 1923-1924; probably youngest dancer ever to attain such prominence.

Herbert wrote me from Manila, or rather from on board a sunken vessel near Manila, in 1898.  I am glad to hear from him again.


Perhaps the best way to keep in touch with your own lineage is to meet once a year with your relatives in a family reunion. My own branch of the Chambers people have never done this.  In fact, neglect characterizes many branches of this family.  I hope, however, as the years go by, that all will avail themselves of this privilege.  Years ago, when there was no way of travel except the farm wagon or horseback-riding, it would have been difficult to perpetuate such gatherings, but now the times are different, and we can assemble in these reunions, if we want to do it; for the automobile and other means of travel make such meetings simply days of supreme pleasure. 

The descendants of William H. Chambers, who purchased land of the government in 1821, near "Hawpatch Hill" on Flat Rock in Southern Indiana, had lost the name of their ancestor, but they have kept careful records of his progeny, and for a number of years have been holding their reunions on the fourth Sunday of August.  They vary the place of meeting to suit the relatives present from time to time, but the date is never changed.

It has been my pleasure and that of my good wife, Della A. Chambers, to meet with this branch a number of times, and t enjoy the exercises with them.  Their secretary reports births, marriages, deaths, removals, etc. and representative members of the family give talks recounting some of the happenings of the last year, and new facts learned concerning their history. Music, recitations, dialogues, etc. are thrown into the program to make it lively; but perhaps the best number on the program is the dinner.  I cannot give a just description of such a dinner as these relatives do bring for these events, and their methods of serving, but I must say that to go once, is to want to go again.

While I have never met with the Owen County group in their reunions, yet from the reports I have of their meetings, I have no doubt that they are enjoyable, and that the third Sunday of September is a date of interest to a large group of relatives. Ivan Chambers, in one of his letters, has referred to their reunions, and has given the officers for next year.

In the body of this work I referred to the Chambers reunion held at Brookside Park, Indianapolis, on the third Sunday of August.  Mrs. Luella Wolfe of LaFontaine, Huntington County, Ind. is secretary.  Should you be in Indianapolis on that date, I am sure that you would be greeted with a warm welcome, should you attend.

Incidental mention has been made to other reunions in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.  I shall not presume as to their success, for I have no means of knowing the particulars, but I do wish to congratulate the members on attendance at such meetings.  Most families in these reunions make no claim to relationships beyond their own immediate relatives.  In many instances, they do not know of competitive families, but regard such occasional names as they may happen to know as accidents, little thinking that perhaps only a few generations back they might connect a prolific progeny to their own.  It has ever been my purpose to try to eliminate group differences, and wherever possible, to establish relationships here in America, and wherever not possible, to assume insular relationships beyond the Atlantic, basing such connections on facts of history, stated in the earlier part of this book.  There is no excuse for isolation.  It has been said that it is better to give than to receive."  Then it is our pleasure to assist the one who feels his isolation to find his lost brethren.  May it never be said of the Chambers name that "the ninety and nine are lost."

As this work has been a costly and irksome experiment, I shall turn over into other hands a part of the responsibility of the future in the organization of a "chosen people."

Thanking one and all for kindly interest in this movement of endeavor to seek out and follow a few of the many "Trails of the Centuries," I am done.



Ivan Chambers, R.F.D., No. 1, Gosport, Ind.


Mrs. H. M. Huffman, 1539 Ligonier St., Latrobe, PA


W. F. Chambers, 204 Worcester Place, Detroit, MI


Paul Chambers, Holdenville, OK


Mrs. F. B. Ingles, Dufur, OR


Mrs. J. H. Chambers, 6506 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA


Mattie E. Crawford, 312 Jackson St., Anderson, IN


A. F. Chambers, 3954 W. Pine Blvd., St. Louis, MO


D. L. Chambers, (Bobbs-Merrill Co.), Indianapolis, Ind.


John E. Chambers, Fidelity Trust Co., Buffalo, NY


Walter H. Woodrow, Lewis, IN


Mariam Sarver, Lamont, OK


C.J. Chambers, Ithaca, MI


Dr. W. A. Eshelman, Soldiers' Home, Lafayette, IN


D. A. Chambers, 167 Broadway, Portland, OR


A. B. Eshelman, R.F.D. No. 1, Anderson, IN


Minnie C. Chambers, West Alexander, PA


E. M. Chambers, 3417 East 16th St., Indianapolis, IN


E. F. Chambers, Clermont, IN


Mrs. Maud Napier, R.F.D. Scottsburg, IN


John M. Sarver, R.F.D., Tiskilwa, IL


Dr. Walter G. Sarver, Box 375, Tiskilwa, IL


Will Grant Chambers, 315 Park Ave., State College, PA


Henry E. Chambers, 419 Bourbon St., New Orleans, LA


Fyffe Chambers, 519 Main St., Room 202, Cincinnati, OH


John E. Chambers, 217 W. Broadway, Shelbyvile, IN


A. B. Chambers, 1036 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA


J. G. Chambers, 1072 Mallory Ave., Portland, OR


Willard Fosnot, 907 Union Ave., Anderson, IN


Mortimer H. Chambers, 302 S. Jefferson, Saginaw, MI


T. J. Chambers, Okolona, MS


Thomas Chambers, Route 1, Deputy, IN


A. C. Chambers, 4051 Blaine Ave., Detroit, MI


Mary Chambers Griffin, 1444 E. 30th St., Portland, OR


J. B. Chambers, Route 2, Box 83, Olympia, WA


Roy R. Chambers, 455 Manistique, Detroit, MI


James A. Chambers, 601 Lawrence Savings & Trust, New Castle, PA


Geo. Gailey Chambers, 79 Drexel Ave., Lansdowne, PA


M.E. Chambers, Kerkhoven, MN


Clifford L. Sarver, 613 W. Erie, Spring Valley, IL


Avery Chambers, Ephrata, WA


G. W. Chambers, M. D., Anderson, SC


Mrs. Mina B. Hord, R.R.No. 1, Deputy, IN


Mrs. T. D. Logan, Hanover, IN


T. E. Chambers, R.F.D., No. 3, Olympia, WA


Willard Chambers, Chambers-Wilson Motor Co., Bryan, TX


F.P. Chambers, Scottsburg, IN


Frank L. Chambers, 1059 Hilyard St., Eugene, OR


J. B. Chambers, R.2, Box 83, Olympia, WA


William Allen Wood, 2502 N. Alabama, Indianapolis, IN


Walter S. Chambers, New Castle, IN


C. A. Chambers, 1114 West Ray St., Seattle, WA


C. C. McCaslin, Dupont, IN


V. R. Chambers, Larch Court No. 1, Muskegon, MI


O. R. Chambers, R.F.D. No. 1, Wirt, IN


Roy Chambers, Dupont, IN


Indiana Historical Society, c/o W. O. Lynch, Bloomington, IN


Indiana State Library, State House, Indianapolis, IN


George Chambers Calvert, Merchants Bank Bldg., Indianapolis IN


Henry A. Chambers, Chattanooga, TN


Irene M. Chambers, Ward-Belmont, Nashville, TN


F. W. Chambers, 1600 E. Main St., Muncie, IN


W. S. Peters, Prin. High School, Shelbyville, IN


Leander Cooperider, Scottsburg, IN


E.T.D. Chambers, Fish and Game Inspector, Quebec, Canada


Mrs. Luella Wolff, LaFontaine, Huntington Co., IN


H. B. Chambers, Mahoningtown, PA


Charles Edward Stuart Chambers, Chambers Journal, Edinburgh, SC


Mrs. Mary Chambers Bright, Ord St., Elk Lick, PA


Rev. W. A. Chambers, 1535 Westfield St., Pittsburgh, PA


Lillian E. Chambers, 1117 Indiana Ave., New Castle, IN


Leo Chambers Mogle, 1016 Spring St., New Castle, IN


W. H. Stout, 2254 Capitol Ave., Indianapolis, IN


Carrol Everhart, Crothersville, IN


Lemuel Hancock, 3824 22nd St., San Francisco, CA


Rev. W. T. Seburn, North Madison, IN


Isaac Chambers Stout, Nabbs, IN


Mrs. George Everhart, R.R., Deputy, IN


Mrs. S. B. Catchus, 1326 Cherokee St., Denver, CO


S. H. Chambers, 100 Hudson St., New York, NY


W. D. Chambers, 21st and Illinois, Indianapolis, IN


Mrs. Mary J. Elliott, Dupont, IN


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