Link to Completed Trees <– takes you to list of completed family trees.

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In 2021, CFA launched a new venture, called the Four Generations Project, under the leadership of Glen Smith, CFA Vice President, CFALD Administrator and DNA Project Co-Administrator.

CFA’s mission is to strengthen Chandler fellowship and kinship and “to perpetuate the memory and genealogy of the ancestors and descendants of the Chandler family.” In short, to build community and do quality genealogy.

Key elements that help us achieve our mission include:

  • The CFA Newsletter presents stories of our ancestors, living members, and much more.
  • The Annual Meeting (in non-Pandemic years) provides not only learning opportunities and a chance for CFA business, but face-to-face interaction, travel, and sightseeing.
  • The Genealogy Panel assists others in re-searching their Chandler roots.
  • The Chandler DNA Project guides the genetic studies that provide the basic structure to our genealogical research.
  • The research and recording of the Chandler family tree.


Figure 1: Tree Image

As illustrated by the tree image above, we Chandlers don’t just have different family branches. The trunk of the tree is made up of distinctly separate family lines.  Our DNA Project has identified over 120 of those separate family lines so far.

The Chandler family tree is maintained in a genealogy software package. That database of information is known as the Chandler Family Association Lineages Database (CFALD).

The history of CFALD begins with Jim Reeves, who spent over 20 years building the John Chandler Descendant Chart Book (JCDCB). In the early years before our DNA studies, many Chandler researchers were trying to link their family lines back to this John Chandler, born 1600 in England (Figure 2).

Figure 2: John Chandler, b. about 1600

By 2005, there were 114,000 individuals in Jim’s Chart Book. This number was reduced to under 80,000 when duplicates, extended female descendant lines, and extraneous individuals were removed.

DNA Project Administrators Dick Chandler, Dr. John Chandler (DNA expert), and Joseph Barron “Joe” Chandler, Jr., collaborated for several years to move the Lineages Database from concept to reality. Dr. Chandler converted Jim Reeves’ JCDCB data into a format accepted by today’s computer technology. Then Dick Chandler took over to present the data in a uniform style, removing duplicates, correcting errors, and standardizing names, abbreviations, place names, etc. Dick also began adding documentation for the thousands of facts in the database (aka “sources”).

Of the 118,000 individuals in CFALD, over 24,000 of those have Chandler surnames and over 29,000 are living individuals. CFA is duty bound to protect the private information of these living individuals. This is the most important reason why the database is only open to a limited number of CFA researchers.

Another important reason that CFALD isn’t open to all is that most of our family trees are a work in progress, and we don’t want to spread incorrect information.

Two very important factors in genealogical research are accuracy and documentation. Having collected 118,000 records is impressive, but what is the quality of our work? In the end, as researchers we must ask ourselves this question: Is the evidence sufficiently stated and documented so that another reasonable person would come to the same conclusion?

The vast majority of individual records in CFALD are either sourced only to the original submitter of the information or are totally unsourced.

We believe that we as an organization desire to be the preeminent Chandler research group in the genealogical community. Our research conclusions shouldn’t be accepted by others just “because CFA says so”. It is time to take our research to the next level of reliability by properly documenting our existing trees and doing a better job of documenting new individuals that are added to CFALD.

Another aspect of the problems we face has to do with the sorts of websites represented below (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Sample Genealogy Websites

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Genealogy Research

One definition of genealogy is that it is the study and research of families, family history, and the tracing of their lines of descent. If we accept this definition, then a lot of what takes place on commercial websites is more like scrapbooking, and not genealogy. These folks might be referred to as “copy and paste” genealogy hobbyists.

Many of these hobbyists either don’t have the ability or the motivation to do good research. Taking the easy “copy & paste” way often doesn’t lead to quality genealogical work.

Figure 4 is an example of what a well-researched family page looks like on Notice the middle column of sources for this individual’s life.

Figure 4: Well-documented Family Page on

By contrast, Figure 5 shows a record that lists only one source – someone else’s family tree.

Figure 5: Little-to-No Documentation

It is common, when searching for information on a particular individual through Ancestry’s member family trees, that you find multiple listings for that person. All too often the individual is listed in a tree with NO records of documentation. In Figure 6, we have added the red zeros to highlight the lack of supporting documentation.

Figure 6: Missing Documentation

If the information were always correct, there wouldn’t be a problem. But when the information is incorrect, bad information gets copied and pasted from one tree to another. Once the bad information starts to propagate, it’s basically impossible to correct on commercial websites.

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This Project

This project uses 4-generations as a guideline (hence, the project name).  As such, the Earliest Known Ancestor (EKA) for a group is used as the “starter” and the next 3 generations are documented, with proper sources.  Our version would have four generations that include a progenitor Chandler, his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and their spouses.

As project originator and leader for this project, Glen Smith chose his own lineage for the pilot — Chapter 3 (James Chandler; James the 1st). They thought a simplified version of the result might look something like this Four Generation Chart for James the 1st. In this example, there are 16 total individuals.

Figure 7: Sample 4-Generation Chart

Glen and his team immediately found this choice was more complicated than anticipated by there being two Earliest Known Ancestors as progenitors and approximately 650 descendant individuals to document. 

Hezekiah and Richard Chandler (both born about 1775) were initially listed as descendants of immigrant John Chandler born about 1600 (Y-DNA Group 7A). Hezekiah’s exact relationship to Richard Chandler is unknown. Descendants of both Hezekiah and Richard that have participated in Y-DNA testing showed a matching paternal ancestry to each other but were different from John the immigrant. Hezekiah and Richard are now assigned to CFA genetic family Group 3.  For more information on James, Richard and Hezekiah, please read the information on the Chapter 3 webpage.

What can we do about it?

We believe that we need to take a two-pronged approach to the problems mentioned here:

  1. We need to make significant research updates to CFALD.
  2. We need to make significant amounts of reliable information available to the public.

Challenge 1: If we want to update CFALD, how are we going to do it? The fifteen or so individuals who are active in CFA can’t do the work they do for the Association plus work up the 98,000 undocumented records in CFALD – at least not in the short-term. We need our membership to help.

PLEASE VOLUNTEER TO HELP. You don’t have to be an expert. We have those folks here to help and guide you. And we don’t expect you to work on thousands of records. Every little bit will help. Get more active in Chandler research. Join the Genealogy Panel, or fully document your own or some other Chandler line and work with Glen Smith to update it in CFALD.

Challenge 2: The second challenge is to make reliable information available to the public. The option proposed to our organization is called the Four Generations Project. The proposal was for Chapter 3 (Glen Smith’s lineage) to run a pilot project and, if successful, offer it as a template for other chapters and research projects to emulate.

A special thanks to Sanford Chandler and Sheila Romine and other members of Chapter 3 for their help on this project.

The known data and relevant sources are documented in CFALD, where our volunteer genealogists can reference them for Chandlers all over the world. 

In addition, Glen Smith, CFALD Administrator, extracts the data for the 4 generations and provides that data to the Web Editor for posting to the CFA Website, where it is available to all users.

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In summary, a ton of work and progress has been made in Chandler research over the years. But so much more remains to be done. If you have the time, and skills, contact one of your CFA leaders and come join in the fun!

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Completed Trees

Below are the 4-generation charts currently available:

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If you are interested in seeing your Chapter data or Genetic Family data posted, please contact either Glen Smith, the CFALD Database Administrator, , or Jim Light, CFA President, JimLight@admin

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