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CFA Chapter 13
Descendants of Edmund Chandler

born c 1588 England, died 1662 MA USA

Chapter 13
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Where did Edmund Chandler Originate?

by Dick Chandler, CFA Vice President

The honest answer to this question is “we don’t know”. It is regrettable that some family historians seem unable to say those words, preferring to invent an answer that roughly fits the few facts available. The original English parish register extractions performed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) as part of their International Genealogical Index (IGI) were performed to a very high standard of verification. Equally, the early submissions by LDS church members were subjected to scrutiny by Elders. Regrettably the IGI now contains a large number of submissions which have not been subjected to any meaningful scrutiny and contain no source references, and as a result contain “inventions”, thereby corrupting and devaluing what was previously a very valuable genealogical resource. A number of the records displayed by the LDS FamilySearch facility claim to state details of Edmund’s origins and parentage. Many are based on old books which contain incorrect statements. Some are plainly wrong. Others, though plausible, are not corroborated by any source reference and cannot be independently verified by a church record or similar document. The purpose of this paper is to document the Edmund brick wall and state what has been studied to date, to form a basis for further research.

The Edmund Chandler timeline (on another page of this web site) identifies that Edmund was probably born in the 1580s before 1584 and no later than 1592, as he had to have been an adult when he was admitted to citizenship of Leiden, Holland in 1613, probably older than 60 in 1643, yet born late enough to have lived until 1662.

One of the most common errors seen regarding Edmund’s origins arises from the writings of Dr Mary Chandler Lowell, who asserted that he was born in London, England in 1588/9, the son of John and Jane (Gilton) Channdeler (later Chandler) of St Margaret Moyses (the name of a parish in London). This has spawned a host of LDS patron submissions placing the birth of Jane, her marriage to John, and their parenting of Edmund at various widely scattered locations around England. The truth is that the John Channdeler who did marry Jane Gyttin on 15th January 1581 at St Mildred, Poultry with St Mary Colechurch (another parish in London) was the same person as John Chaundflower alias Chaundler who died in 1585. In his Will, John mentions his two fathers-in-law Robert Cole and Robert Gyttens, his second wife Jane and his three children (by Elizabeth Cole, not Jane) named as Robert, John and Martha – no mention of Edmund. It has been suggested that this was because Edmund was a child “in esse”. This term strictly means “in existence”, that is, a child born but not yet named, but it is often incorrectly used to describe a child conceived but not yet born, for which the correct expression is “in posse” – a possible child. If Edmund had been a child in esse or in posse it might have explained how Edmund could be John Chaundflower’s child but excluded from his Will. But Dr Lowell said that Edmund was born in 1588/9, three years after John died – too long for him to have been unborn/unnamed.

Dealing only with the generally reliable extracted records from parish registers, the following are the only Edmund Chandler (or variant) references within the LDS FamilySearch facility in the relevant period:

    • Edmund, son of Edmund Chaundler, christened 20 December 1612 at St Mary, Stoke Newington. It is presumably this record, which evidences the prior existence of an Edmund Chaundler, which has given rise to another common error stating that the Edmund who migrated to New England was the earlier Edmund Chandler, assumed to have been born in Stoke Newington in the 1580s. Obviously the younger Edmund christened in 1612 was not old enough to become a citizen of Leiden in 1613. Edmund the father could not have been the Separatist either, because:
      • In the Calendar to the Middlesex Sessions Records 1616-1618 Session Roll 557/32 Session Reg 2/406 Robert Anthony and Edmund Chaundler of Stoke Newington, silkweavers, give recognizances to keep the peace for Lucy, wife of the said Robert, towards Lucy Atkinson).
      • In addition to young Edmund on 20 December 1612, the father Edmund Chaundler had the following children christened at St Mary, Stoke Newington: Marie on 1 May 1618 (died 8 August 1620); Thomas on 23 November 1619 (died 1621); Katherine on 30 December 1621; and another Thomas on 11 January 1624.

      In short, this Edmund could not have been doing all this in England as well as living as a citizen of Leiden. This discredits the Stoke Newington theory.

Edmund Chaundler, son of Rych Chaundler, christened 22 October 1620 at Stewkley, Buckinghamshire (again, too late to be Edmund the Separatist).

  • Edmud (sic) Chandler, parents not recorded, christened 30 May 1593 at Stewkley, Buckinghamshire. Probably too late to be our Edmund, but possible.
  • Edmonde Chanler married Johane Furfille at Winterbourne Earls, Wiltshire on 10 October 1594. Probably too early to be our Edmond, and in any case this is probably the Edmund Chandler who was buried at All Saints Church in nearby Idmiston, Wiltshire on 4th December 1646.
  • Edmond Chandler married Alis Eyde at St Mary, Woodbridge (near Ipswich in Suffolk) on 4 May 1595. Probably too early to be our Edmond, and in any case this is probably the Edmond Chandler who was buried at St Michael’s Church in nearby Framlingham, Suffolk on 5th January 1632.
  • Edman Chandler married Judeth Partreche 17 November 1616 at Woodbridge (near Ipswich in Suffolk). This could only be our Edmund if he returned to England from Leiden to marry, which seems unlikely.In addition, Boyd’s Marriage Index has:
  • Ed Chaundler married Joan Farney 1603 at St Gregory by St Pauls, London. Further investigation shows that this Ed is Boyd’s abbreviation for Edward.
  • Edm Chandler married Rose Musket 1575 at Haughley in Suffolk. This Edmund could not have lived until 1662.
  • Edm Chandler married An Sarles 1625 at Peasenhall in Suffolk. Again, this could only be our Edmund if he returned to England from Leiden to marry, which seems unlikely.

There is an LDS Church Member submission (with no contact details) showing the birth of an Edmund Chandler at Colchester, Essex in 1582 – this record, which is not corroborated by an extract from a Parish Register, also shows a death date of 1662, so this is obviously intended to refer to Edmund the Separatist. Presumably the alleged place of Edmund’s birth is because a Leiden record shows another Chandler – Roger – as being “of Colcester” (though there is also a contradictory Leiden record saying he is “of Rochester” which is in the county of Kent), and the birth year of 1582 was chosen so that he would be an adult when granted citizenship of Leiden in 1613, but aged over 60 in 1643, so too old to appear on the “Able to Bear Arms” list. If anyone has evidence to support this submission, we would value seeing it. In the absence of evidence, it must be assumed to be incorrect. In the 16th Century Colchester, an ancient English town dating back to the Romans who invaded England in the year 55 BC, did become the meeting place for a number of congregations bitterly opposed to the rites and practices of the established church in England. Roger, and perhaps Edmund too, may indeed have joined one of these congregations, but that does not mean they came from Colchester originally. It is well known that the original homes of the Mayflower passengers were widely scattered throughout England.

An LDS Ancestral File entry shows Roger Chandler “of Colchester” born 1580 in Colchester but christened some 20 miles away at Lavenham, Suffolk on 4th April 1580, the son of James Chandler and an unnamed wife or Roger Chandler and Joan Vale. This record says that Roger married Isabella Chilton at Canterbury in Kent on 21 July 1615 and died on 3rd October 1665 in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. A parish register entry does exist at Lavenham for the christening of Roger Chandelor son of Roger on 4th April 1580. But there is no trace of the Canterbury marriage in the registers of the churches of Canterbury, although an Isabell Chilton was christened at St Paul’s Canterbury on 15th January 1587. In fact, Roger and Isabella married in Leiden. And although the older Roger and two other Chandelors christened a total of seven children at Lavenham in that period, none of them was named Edmond – the boys, all sons of Roger, were named Roger, Isac (sic) who only survived for two months, and Abraham.

It should be noted that only five of the twelve Colchester parishes have registers surviving from the 16th Century. They are St. Botolph, St. James, St. Leonard, St. Mary-at-the Walls and St. Nicholas. All of these five have been searched (by IGI PR extraction batch number), and they contain no Edmund or Roger Chandler (or variants) christening. It remains possible that Edmund did come from Colchester – perhaps via Rochester – the point is that there is no evidence to support this or any other origin.

There is an LDS Church Member submission stating that Edmunde (sic) Chandler married Ann Purdye 17 May 1602 at North Elmham (near Fakenham in Norfolk). This is not corroborated by an entry in the North Elmham church register, though other Chandler entries in the same period appear there.

I have searched the database of the Alumni of Cambridge University in England, which was a hot-bed of religious debate towards the end of the 16th Century. Alumni Records exist for Separatists Wm Brewster born 1565 who entered Peterhouse College in 1580, and for John Robinson born 1576 who entered Corpus Christi College in 1592. Alumni records also exist for two other men who may have been the relevant Separatists – Roger Wilson (no birth year given) entered St John’s College at Michaelmas 1587 and Henry Wood (again no birth year given) who entered King’s College at Easter 1572. There is no record of Edmund or Roger Chandler in the Cambridge Alumni database, so it was not at Cambridge University that Edmund or Roger acquired their Separatist leaning. (There are no Cambridge records for Wm Bradford, Richard Clyfton, John Smyth, Myles Standish, John Alden, John Keble [a common name in Suffolk, including a 1591 christening at Earl Stoneham, 6 miles east of Stowmarket], Roger White, Nathaniel Chandler or Edward Coolidge – there is an Edward Coolidge marriage to Prudence Reader 30 May 1591 at Maidstone in Kent).

There was an Edmond Chandler (Chaundler) of Buckinghamshire born 1568 who attended New College, Oxford between 1588 and 1595, but he went on to pursue a career in the English church.

I have tried to locate Edmund’s origins by researching the origins of the men he guaranteed for citizenship in Leiden, but this has produced no positive result. Similarly, pursuing clues from other Leiden records, I have examined all possible permutations of Mary or Catherine Chandler, Edmonds or Richards marriages, or any of these to a Cubitt, in English online marriage records in the relevant period, to no avail.

Analysis of the 1881 British Census shows 3,816 people with any surname and the forename Edmond, but 27,024 with any surname and the forename Edmund, indicating that the Edmund spelling is far more usual. Most frequent distribution of the forename Edmund at that time was in Middlesex and Lancashire, followed by Sussex and Kent. The surname Chandler, however, does not occur frequently in Lancashire. The popularity of the name Edmund can be traced to the martyrdom of Edmund, a King of East Anglia in England, who was captured by Danish invaders near Hoxne in the county of Suffolk on 20th November in the year 870. He was flayed with flesh-stripping whips, tied to a tree and used for archery practice until his body was covered “like the bristles of a hedgehog”, yet still he refused to renounce his Christian faith. Finally, because Edmund continued to profess his belief, the Danish chief Ivar had him beheaded. After the Danes moved on, Edmund was interred at Beadoriceworth, the town now known as Bury St Edmunds.