Robert Chamberlain, Jr. and Sr. of Chester County, Pennsylvania

Robert Chamberlain, Jr. and Sr. Families

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Robert Chamberlain, Jr., was son of Robert and Mary Chamberlain who came to Chester County some time before mid-1692. (More information on Robert and Mary Chamberlain is given at the end of this page.) Robert Chamberlain, Jr., married (1) Sarah Woodward and (2) Cicely (surname unknown)

Sarah Woodward was daughter of Richard and Jane Woodward of England and Chester County, Pennsylvania. Robert Chamberlain, Jr., and Sarah Woodward were married on 10/27/1714, at Chester Monthly Meeting in Chester County, Pennsylvania. We have been unable to determine if Robert and Sarah had any children and are posting this page in the hopes of hearing from someone who can clarify this situation {email Web Master Nadine on the About Us Page}. More on the possibilities below.

Sarah Woodward Chamberlain apparently died before 1721 as Robert Chamberlain married Cecily in 1721. We have not discovered Cecily's maiden name but Hall has been suggested though no proof offerred. After Robert Chamberlain Jr.'s death, Cecily married again, to William Brinton . We are including information on Robert and Cecily on this page (1) in the hopes of hearing from descendants who might know more about Sarah Woodward Chamberlain, and (2) because children of Robert and Cecily connected to some of our Thornbrough families.
  Robert Chamberlain, Jr.
born 8/17/1694 Chester Co, Pa
died 1731 Chester Co, Pa
Cecily (Surname unknown)
born unkown
died bet 1/27/1775 and
11/14/1782 Chester Co, Pa

  Married:Before 12th month 1721 in Chester County, Pennsylvania. 5th of 12th mo 1721 Robert Chamberlain, Jr. acknowledged his error in marriage contrary to practice of Friends at Concord Monthly Meeting.

Jacob Chamberlain
Susanna Chamberlain married (1) Jacob Yearsley and (2) Edward Thornbrough
Robert Chamberlain, III; married Ann Painter
John Chamberlain; married Rebekah Ford
James Chamberlain

One or more of these children might belong to Sarah Woodward Chamberlain. We do not know their birthdates but the order is likely as above as they were usually named in order in wills (will of Robert Chamberlain, Jr. below.)

Children of Robert Chamberlain as named in Wills

Will of Robert Chamberlain, Jr.

The will of Robert Chamberlain, Jr. names five children:
(Pennsylvania Wills CD A:356 ) Date: 28 Dec 1731 Prove Date: 10 Mar 1732 Remarks: Chamberlin Jr., Robert. Concord, yeoman. To wife Cicely use of plantation during widowhood for bringing up children afterward to 5 children, viz Jacob, Susanna, Robert, John and James. Son Robert being lame to have 5 lbs more than the others. Executors: wife Cicely and Jonathan Munroe of Concord.

We would love to hear from anyone who has further information on Jacob and James Chamberlain (email posted above.)

Will of Mary Chamberlin, mother of Robert

In the abstract of the will of Mary Chamberlin, mother of Robert, we find "To the 5 children of son Robert, viz. to Robert 3 pounds, to John 20 shillings, to Susanna, wife of Jacob Yearsley, 50 shillings,..." and then does not name two more children. Were they deceased? The full abstract of the will is given below in the section about the parents of Robert Chamberlain, Jr.

Wills of William and Cicely Chamberlain Brinton

Second wife of Robert Chamberlain, Jr., Cicely Chamberlain Brinton, wrote her will: Date: 27 Jan 1775 Prove Date: 14 Nov 1782 Remarks: Brinton, Cicely. Widow. Concord. Jan. 27, 1775. Nov. 14, 1782. To sons Robert and John Chamberlin 5 shillings each. To daughter Susanna Thornbrough 5 shillings. To Hannah, daughter of son John Chamberlin, bed, etc. and to her sister Ruth, same. Remainder divided between above-named Hannah Chamberlin, Mary Chamberlin, daughters of son Robert, and Hannah Yearsley that was now wife of Thomas Howell, share and share alike. Executor: Robert Mendenhall.

William Brinton, second husband of Cicely, wrote his will 27 Jan 1759 and it was proven 23 March 1761: Provides for wife Cisely. To grandson Joseph Walter, son of Joseph and Jane, messuage in Concord containing by estimate 100 acres when he is 21, he paying to his brother James 5 lb and to his sisters Hannah, Elizabeth and Phebe 5 lb each and to Robert and John Chamberlain 5 lb. To son in law Joseph Walter 5 shillings and to his wife, my only daughter Jane, dishes that was her mother's . To granddaughter Hannah Walter case of drawers. Remainder to wife Cisly. Executrix: Wife Cisly. Witnesses: Robert Mendenhall, Abraham Johnson, Stephen Hall. The witness Stephen Hall may be the connection to Cisly as a Hall? Daughter Jane was evidently daughter of William Brinton's first wife Hannah Buller, since she named her first daughter Hannah.

More on Daughter Susanna Chamberlain Yearsley

Daughter Susanna Chamberlain married first to Jacob Yearsley, son of John and Sarah Yearsley. Jacob Yearsley died before 4/11/1761 in Westtown, Chester County, Pennsylvania. According to the abstract of his administration Jacob and Susanna Chamberlain Yearsley had children Mary Yearlsey married to Richard Thornbury, Hannah Yearsley married to Thomas Howell, Ann Yearsley married to James Clark, Phebe Yearsley married to James Simcock, Rachel Yearsley, and Jacob Yearsley. The administration also includes "Administration to Susanna Yearsley, daughter of Robert Chamberlain and Cicely." (Chester County, Pa Wills 1713-1825). This proves that Susannah was daughter of second wife Cicely (unless the note was added at a later date by a transcriber!)

Mary Yearsley, daughter of Jacob and Susanna Chamberlain Yearsley, married Richard Thornbrough, son of Thomas and Elizabeth Woodward Thornbrough on 4/12/1764 at Old Swede's Church on the Delaware. (More on their children on the Thornbrough page.)

After Jacob's death, Susannah Chamberlain Yearsley next married Edward Thornbrough, also son of Thomas and Elizabeth Woodward Thornbrough, and brother of Richard Thornbrough who married her daughter Mary. We have not found a record of this marriage but it is believed to have occurred sometime in 1765 as Edward Thornbrough was disowned for his marriage out of unity on 8/16/1765 (more on the Thornbrough page).

More on Son Robert Chamberlain, III

Son Robert Chamberlain, III, married Ann Painter, daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Painter of Birmingham, 3/28/1747 at Concord Monthly Meeting. The will of Robert Chamberlain, III, (written 4/1/1786, probated 7/20/1786) names wife Ann, sons Joseph, Robert, Thomas, John, William, James and Isaac, and daughters Mary, Hannah, and Elizabeth. The will of wife Ann written 7/24/1805 and probated 6/1/1807, confirms the children and mentions the Chamberlain "plantation." This Joseph Chamberlain is probably the one who married Martha Palmer, daughter of Moses and Abigail Palmer, on 4/22/1772 at Concord Monthly Meeting.

More on Son John Chamberlain

Son John Chamberlain married Rebekah Ford , daughter of William and Ann Ford of Brandywine Hundred, Newcastle County, on 7/15/1748 at Concord Monthly Meeting. Sisily Brinton signed as mother of the groom on the marriage certificate.

Robert and Mary Chamberlain, Parents of Robert Chamberlain II

Sandra Ferguson, an avid Chester County researcher, Woodward descendant, and owner of the Old Chester County Mailing List, tells us there were two groups of Chamberlains in Chester County: One line descends from Robert Chamberlain of Concord, subject of this page; the second group descends from Jonas Chamberlain who came from Ireland in 1731 and settled in Sadsbury.

In addition we find a Robert Chamberlain was received on certificate (dated 2/3/1706) at Philadelphia Monthly Meeting on 1/28/1707 from Horslydowns Monthly Meeting in England. We know our Robert Chamberlain was in Chester County much earlier than this, so we do not know for sure if this is another Robert Chamberlain, or our Robert Chamberlain belatedly providing his Quaker certificate. An undated deed in Deed Book A, page 129 [last page of the book] next after one dated 14 June 1692, for a Robert King references land lying in Concord, bounded by land of Robert Chamberlins...Nicholas Newlin..., so we know Robert was in Concord prior to that date.

Robert Chamberlain, Sr., was son of Elizabeth, wife of Francis Hickman, by her former husband, a Chamberlain. This information comes from Fuhey and Cope's "History of Chester County, Pennsylvania". We know from wills that Elizabeth was daughter of Anthony and Margery Barley Stroud and also a sister of Joane Stroud Mendenhall, wife of Thomas Mendenhall (parents of Mary Mendenhall who married Nathaniel Newlin). The proof of Elizabeth Chamberlain Hickman's parentage is found in the wills of Anthony Stroud, Margery Stroud, and Benjamin Barley which are posted on a Mendenhall Documents Web Page. We find further from Fuhey and Cope that Robert Chamberlain had at least three Chamberlain sisters named in Elizabeth's will in 1698. One is verified: Sarah Chamberlain who married Richard Arnold on 2/19/1681 at the house of John Woolston in Burlington, New Jersey. They had children Thomas, Anthony, and Grace Arnold, and perhaps others. F&C also tells us that Robert had a half sister Mary Hickman who married Joseph Edwards about 1694 in Chester County.

Robert Chamberlain was born in Wiltshire, England. We do not know exactly when he came to America or if he married before or after he came. We do not find a marriage in Chester County records so he probably came with his wife and had married her in Wiltshire, England. We do not know the history of his wife, Mary Chamberlain, or her surname.

Although Robert Chamberlain purchased much land, his occupation is given as "felter" in 1713, and as "hatter" in 1716. It was the habit of Quakers to purchase as much land as possible in order to have a legacy for their children that would keep them nearby and in the Quaker faith.

Children of Robert and Mary Chamberlain

The children that we can verify include Robert Chamberlain, Jr., born 8/17/1694, Chester County, Pa; married (1) Sarah Woodward, and (2) Cecily Unknown . (History given above).

Brothers and sister of Robert, Jr. include: Susanna Chamberlain born unknown, married John Pyle; Mary Chamberlain born 10/21/1698 Chester Co, Pa; married Daniel Pyle, brother of John Pyle and son of Robert and Ann Pyle; Joseph Chamberlain born unknown, married Susanna Sharples, daughter of Joseph and Lydia Sharples. John Chamberlain, born unknown, married Lettice Key, daughter of Moses and Elizabeth Key. (more below)

The LDS Ancestral file gives another possible child, Jacob Chamberlain, who died in 1726. We find no proof of this but it is possible as the name Jacob runs in the family. The Ancestral file is interesting as it alternates children born in England and Pennsylvania - one imagines pregnant Mary Chamberlain sailing back and forth, back and forth. (We don't mean to poke fun here but merely to point out that Ancestral file records are not documented and must be used with care.)

Wills of Robert and Mary Chamberlain

Robert Chamberlain, Sr., wrote his will 26 Mar 1730 Prove Date: 12 Apr 1732 Remarks: Chamberlin, Robert. Concord, yeoman. Provides for wife Mary including plantation containing 93 acres in Concord during widowhood afterward to son Joseph he paying legacies as follows. To sons John and Robert and daughter Susanna wife of John Pyle 5 lb each; also to grandson Jacob son of Robert Chamberlin 5 lb; also to said grandson 20 acres of land being the remainder of my tract over and above the 93 acres during life afterward to son Joseph. To son in law Daniel Pyle 1 shilling. To kinswoman Eliza Moore 20 shillings. Remainder in 5 equal shares to sons, John, Robert, daughter Susanna, son Joseph and the 2 daughters of son in law Danl. Pyle, viz Susanna and Mary. Executors: wife Mary, Henry Osbourn and John Taylor to be assistants. Note this is yet another mention of Jacob as a son of Robert Chamberlin Jr. and shows he was alive in 1730.

Mary Chamberlain wrote her will: Remarks Mary Chamberlin. Widow. Concord. 11/21/1750/1. October 31, 1751. C. 315. To daughter Susanna, wife of John Pyle 15 lb and to her children, viz., Jacob, William Ebenezer, Stephen and Israel 10 shillings and to her daughters Mary, and Susanna 20 shillings each. To the 5 children of son Robert, viz., to Robert 3 lb, to John 20 shillings, to Susanna, wife of Jacob Yearsley, 50 shillings. To granddaughter Mary, wife of Joseph Sharpless 6 lb. To granddaughter Susanna, wife of John Griste 5 lb. To granddaughter Hannah, wife of Robert Pennell articles named. To grandson Benjamin Chamberlain 20 shillings. To granddaughter Mary Baker 3 lb and to her brother John Chamberlain 50 shillings and to her other 2 brothers William and Isaac 3 lb each and to their sister Ann 5 shillings. Remainder to son Joseph Chamberlain, also Executor.

Robert and Mary's son John Chamberlain is not named in Mary's will as he died intestate and letters of administration were granted to Lettice Chamberlain 29 September 1732 according to Chester County will abstracts. He was married to Lettice Key, daughter of Moses and Elizabeth Yearsley Key. Lettice Key Chamberlin, widow, married Thomas Vernon on 8/31/1734 at Concord Monthly Meeting. We believe the list of granddaughters named in Mary Chamberlin's will: Mary Baker, John Chamberlain, William, Isaac, and Ann Chamberlain refers to the children of John and Lettice Chamberlain. John and Lettice Chamberlain also had a daughter Elizabeth. She is documented as their daughter in her marriage record to William Hughes on 3/2/1744 at Concord Monthly Meeting.Son William married Martha Palmer on 9/16/1748. William and Martha's daughter Lettice Chamberlain married James Woodward, son of John and Sarah Barnard Woodward on 9/16/1789 at New Garden Monthly Meeting. Still another Woodward connection.

Land Records in Chester County

12 December 1693 deed from Charles Brooks of Chester County, to Robert Chamberlin now of Concord...tract in Aston bounded by Chester Creek and land of Thomas England containing 150 acres...Witnesses Benjamin Mendenhall and John Hodgskins

2 July 1707 Robert and Susanna Chamberlin witnessed a deed by Thomas Woodward. Who was Susanna Chamberlin? Sister of Robert? His daughter Susanna would have to have been born in 1689 to sign the deed and why would she?

28 Dec 1709 deed to Thomas Woodward for land bounded by Concord line, land of Robert Fletchers, Robert Chamberlain and Chester Creek. This gives us a pretty good idea of the location of Robert Chamberlain's land (see Chester County Map page). Thomas Woodward was brother of Sarah Woodward who married Robert Chamberlain, Jr.

22 Oct 1713 Deed from Thomas and Moses Martin to Robert Chamberlain of Concord, feltmaker, 100 acres.

30 May 1716 Deed from Wm Hancock of NJ to Robert Chamberlain of Concord, hatter, 100 acres

26 March 1724 Deed by John Baker for tract in Thornbury adjoining land late of Robert Chamberlain (Since Robert Chamberlain was not yet deceased the land may simply have been sold).