William James Harding.

Ancestry in the line of her father of Adelia Chamberlain Harding online

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A Chamberlain Genealogical




Born I 797, died 1866.

./ ilttguerrrotypt taken in etirhi man





Hbelta Chamberlain Mar&tno


Kev. Hiram Chamberlain


Anna Adelia Griswold



Brooklyn, New York

Begun in December, 1897 Completed in December, 1906

Also the ancestry of

Capt. Miram 5. Cbamberlain

in the line of Leander, son of Peleg Chamberlain

Privately Printed

Salem press :

The Salem Press Co., Salem, Mass.


Xtne of Descent.

Henry Chamberlain
of Hingham and Hull, Mass.

William Chamberlain
of Hull, Massachusetts.

Joseph Chamberlain

of Hull and Hadley, Mass., and Colchester, Conn.

William Chamberlain
of Colchester, Conn.

Peleg Chamberlain
of Colchester and Kent, Conn.

Peleg Chamberlain
of Kent and New Milford, Conn.

Swift Chamberlain
of Kent, Conn., and Monkton, Vt.

Hiram Chamberlain

of Monkton, Vt., and Brownsville, Texas.

Adelia Chamberlain
wife of Col. Wm. J. Harding.

a Cbamberlain IReeorfc)


When I undertook the tracing of my wife's ancestry on her
father's side, little was known in her family on the subject, be-
yond the fact that her father, Hiram Chamberlain, was born at
Monkton, Vt.; that he was educated at Middlebury College, Vt.,
and at the theological seminaries at Andover, Mass., and Prince-
ton, N. J. ; and in early life had been ordained by the New York
Presbytery. Even the Christian name and place of birth of Mr.
Chamberlain's father was not known to them, nor the name of
his mother. Mr. Chamberlain's pastorate duties took him into
the Southern States immediately after his ordination in 1825.
He was twice married before 1842, but of these marriages only
one child, a daughter of the first marriage, attained maturity and
survived her father. There was no issue of the second marriage.
The last sixteen years of Mr. Chamberlain's life (1850-1866)
were spent at Brownsville, Texas, and there the children of
his third marriage were brought up or born, strangers to their
father's old home, and remembered but little about their rela-
tives in far away New England, except that their father had a
brother, named Peleg, and other relatives with whom he some-
times corresponded. The total destruction, soon after Mr-
Chamberlain's death, of the family residence at Brownsville
with all its contents, including Mr. Chamberlain's papers, cor-
respondence and books, during the terrible tornado of 1867,
completely closed all avenues of information, excepting such
general and imperfect recollections of what from time to time
may have fallen from Mr. Chamberlain's own lips with reference
to his kindred.

Accordingly the first step taken was to communicate with
the college authorities and examine the general catalogues of
Middlebury, Andover and Princeton; but these yielded no in-
formation concerning Mr. Chamberlain's parentage. Corres-
pondence was then opened with a Vermont lawyer, practicing


vi a Chamberlain IRecorfc

in the vicinity of Monkton, and the interest and help of my wife's
younger brother, Mr. Edwin Chamberlain of San Antonio,
Texas, was enlisted in the subject. By the end of January, 1898>
Mr. Edwin Chamberlain and I, from different sources, learned
that there were gravestones in Monkton cemetery which bore
the names of Swift Chamberlain, who died in 1828, and of his
wife Mary, who died in 1858. About the same time a helpful
fact was gleaned from the Tuttle Family Genealogy, viz. that

"Polly, daughter of Thomas Tuttle married Chamberlain

of Monkton, Addison County, Vt., and had a large family, of
whom a daughter married Ryland Doughten." The additional
fact that Ryland Doughten was dead, and that Emily Doughten
had lived at Monkton, with Swift Chamberlain's widow, was
clearly of value. From these isolated facts, taken together, the
inference was drawn that Mrs. Harding's grandfather and grand-
mother were Swift Chamberlain and Mary Tuttle; and on this
assumption the investigation was continued; but with the sup-
position that the Chamberlains were of Vermont. The unus-
ual Christian name "Swift," suggesting a maternal surname,
was of peculiar value in instituting further researches, as will
be seen later on.

Correspondence was then carried on with various persons
who were supposed to be possessed of facts which would be help-
ful; but this method was abandoned after it had been prose-
cuted for several years without substantial results.

In 1902 I secured the assistance of Mr. Eben Putnam, of
Boston, an experienced and skillful genealogist, and, guided by
his patient and intelligent investigations, the facts which led to
final success were slowly brought to light. Mr. Putnam at once
expressed doubts of the value of the tradition that Mr. Chamber-
lain's ancestors had quite recently come from England, and
settled at Montpelicr, Vermont; and favored a Massachusetts
origin of the family. None of Mr. Putnam's Chamberlain
"notes" showed a Swift Chamberlain; nor did Ellery's Geneal-
ogy of the Swift Family disclose a marriage with a Chamberlain.
Upon examining the Connecticut Revolutionary War records,
it was found that a Swift Chamberlain and a Peleg Chamberlain
of Kent, in western Connecticut, were Revolutionary soldiers.

a Cbamberlain IRecorb vii

The finding of these significant names was decidedly encourag-
ing; moreover, further research showed that a Peleg Chamber-
lain married, 4th October, 1759, Abigail Swift of Sandwich,
Mass., at Kent, Conn., which indicated how Swift Chamberlain
came by his Christian name — assuming that Peleg and Swift
were father and son.

The next discovery was that a John Chamberlain, born 1626,
of Newport, had a son Peleg, born 1666, and that a Peleg Cham-
berlain, was admitted freeman at Newport in 1707. Much time
was spent in endeavoring to connect this Newport Peleg with
our Kent Peleg, but unsuccessfully, although the necessary re-
searches brought out much that was interesting and ultimately val-
uable, including the fact that John was a son of Henry of Hing-
ham. The difficulty was increased by the condition of the
Newport records, examination of the most important of which be-
ing forbidden on account of their condition, these records hav-
ing suffered greatly during the Revolutionary War.

A critical point in the investigation had now been reached.
About this time, viz., May, 1903, Vol. IX of the Collections of
the Connecticut Historical Society was issued, giving names of
French and Indian War soldiers from Connecticut; and, to our
great joy, was found to contain the names of a Peleg Chamber-
lain of Colchester and a Peleg, Jr., of Kent. It was also found
that when the development of the town of Kent was begun in
1739, several persons of the name of Swift from Sandwich, Mass.,
and many people from Colchester, and Hebron, became inter-
ested in the place.

The Colchester records, being in print, showed that a William
Chamberlain, born 1689, had a son Peleg, born 1713. Here
evidently was our clue.

On further search it was found that there were at least two
distinct families of Chamberlain at Colchester; one, descended
from Richard of Braintree, the other represented by a Joseph
Chamberlain, who it was thought, might be descended from
Henry of Hingham. This Joseph had apparently settled in
Colchester about 1704, and it was soon found, from the Col-
chester deeds, that William, born 1689, was the son of this
Joseph, and the father of Peleg, senior.

viii B Chamberlain IRecorfc

Thus it became possible to construct the following tentative
pedigree: Josepb Chamberlain of Colchester, William of
Colchester, horn L689, PELEG of Colchester, born 1713, Peleg
of Colchester and Kent, married Abigail Swift, Swift of Kent,
died 1828 at Monkton, Vt., married Mary (Tuttle?), Hiram,
born 1797 at Monkton, Vt.

From the records of Hingham and Hull, Mass., and the pro-
bate and other records of Suffolk County, Mass., it appeared
that William Chamberlain of Hull, son of Henry of Hingham,
the immigrant of 1038, had a son named Joseph and another
son named Freedom. This Joseph was traced to Hadley, where
he married Mercy Dickinson, and then to Hatfield, but no record
of him there after about 1687 was found. As this Joseph of
Hadley and the Joseph of Colchester were apparently about the
same age, the former with a brother Freedom, the latter with a
son Freedom, it was felt sure that they were one and the same
person. I would not, however, take this for granted, but con-
tinued the investigation.

After much persistent labor, Mr. Putnam's skill was rewarded
by discovering at Springfield, Mass., the records of a series of
litigation which established the fact beyond question, that Joseph
of Colchester was he of Hadley, and a grandson of Henry of
Hingham. This completed the line from Henry Chamberlain
the immigrant of 1638 to my wife.

All other details, with dates of marriages, births and deaths,
names and pedigrees of the wives, information from wills, deeds,
church records, etc., were gradually looked up and added from
time to time.

Much difficulty was, however, experienced in establishing
the identity of Mary, Swift Chamberlain's wife, and in determin-
ing whether she or a former wife was the mother of Mr. Hiram

The Monkton records of the birth of ten of the children of
Swift and Mary, or Polly Chamberlain began with April, 1799,
and, of course, made no mention of Hiram, who was born in 1797.
Examination of the marriage and other records of Monkton and
nearby towns, and of the recorded deeds and probate proceed-
ings in Addison and adjoining counties of Vermont, failed to

a Cbamberlatn IRecorfc ix

disclose the sought-for information, although much that was
interesting concerning the Chamberlain and Tuttle families was
met with.

Finally, late in 1906, the question was determined through
the United States Pension Records of the Revolutionary War,
which gave the date and place of marriage of Swift Chamberlain
and Mary Tuttle.

Of all that is set forth in the following pages there is ample
proof which would be received and accepted as evidence in any
court of law or equity.

The list of authorities consulted and examined will give some
idea of the scope and extent of the investigation which was ne-
cessary to bring about a successful result.

Brooklyn, N. Y., October, 1907.

Wm. J. Harding.

ancestry of

Hfcelia Cbambcrlain

Wiitc of CoL mm. 3. IHarotno

H Chamberlain IRecorfc

iHenn? Chamberlain

Born about 1596. Died 1674.

Henry Chamberlain of Hingham afterwards of Hull,
Plymouth (formerly Suffolk*) County, Mass., and the first of
that name to emigrate to New England, came in the ship
Diligent of Ipswich, John Martin, Master, probably from
the Parish of Wymondham (Wyndham) near Hingham, County
Norfolk, England, with a company of 133 persons, chiefly from
Norfolk, under the leadership of Rev. Robert Peck. The Dili-
gent sailed from Ipswich, County Suffolk, and arrived at Boston
or Charlestown, Mass., 10th August, 1638. It is stated in the
record made by Daniel Cushing, at one time (1669-1700) Town
Clerk of Hingham, who was born in 1619, and who himself
came in 1638 in the Diligent, that Henry brought with him his
mother, his wife, and two children; but there must have been
three, and perhaps four, children, viz: Susan, Henry, William
and John.f His mother was probably the widow Christian
Chamberlain who died at Hingham 19th April, 1659, aged 81.
Mr. Pope, in his "Pioneers," seeks to identify Christian Cham-
berlain with the "Mrs. Chamberlain" mentioned in the follow-
ing vote of the General Court of Massachusetts: "14 May,
1645. Upon weighty reasons moveing, it is ordred, yt Mrs.
Chamberlin, widowe, sister of Mr. Israeli Stoughton, (lately
a worthy member of y s comon weale,) shalbe alowed out of
Mr. Androws gift either a cowe or five pounds." Israel
Stoughton was brother of Rev. John Stoughton of London,
who married the widow Cudworth. He died in England be-
fore the date of this vote. Except that the Stoughtons were a

* Hull was annexed to Plymouth County in 1803.
t Certainly four: Susan, b. 161 6; Henry and William, b. without
doubt before 1638; John, b. 1626.

a Cbamberlain IRecorfc

Dorcliester family and that Christian Chamberlain, a widow,
was then living, there appears no reason to suppose she is the
one intended in the vote. At that time (1645) there were sev-
eral persons of the name in New England.

Henry had land granted to him the same year by the town
of Hingham, and was admitted freeman 13th March, 1638-9.
He afterwards settled in the adjoining town of Hull, where his
name appears among the proprietors in 1657; and, either he
or his son Henry, was a town officer in 1670. There, during
his last years, he lived with his son William, and died at Hull
15th July, 1674. His wife Jone (Joan) survived him, and died
prior to November, 1686. By his will, which is dated 8th Nov-
ember, 1673, and was proved 29th July, 1674, his sons Henry
and William were named as executors; his wife is referred to
as Jone; and his three daughters Susan, Ursuly and Faith, and
a grandson John, are mentioned by name. The estate, which
was appraised by Nathaniel Bosworth and Thomas Loring
27th April, 1675, included a five-acre lot in Hingham, a lot at
Old Planters' Hill and ten acres on the Plain. Chamberlain's
Run, near Rocky Hill, probably took its name from him. His
wife's surname and the dates and places of her birth and mar-
riage are not known.

Henry Chamberlain's children were Susan, Henry, William,
John, Ursuly and Faith. These, excepting John, who died in
Newport in 1(566, are all named in their father's will. Susan,
according to her own deposition, was born in 1616, and was
probably the first born; she was the wife of Joseph Carter of
Charlestown, and is called Susan Carter in her father's will.
Henry, the eldest son, was co-executor with his brother William
of his father's will, and died in 1678; his will, which is dated
2nd December, 1678, was proved 14th January, 1678-9; he
left two sons Henry and Benjamin, the latter may have been
the soldier of King Philip's War, later a resident of Colchester
and the father of John and Daniel. William (of whom below)
must certainly have been born prior to 1638, and therefore in
England, because in 1652 he was a married man and the father
of a child or of children. John "the father of children" in
1660, the eldest of whom was born in 1654, could hardly

H Chamberlain "Recorfc

have been born after 1638, the date of the arrival of the Diligent,
and Austin* has given the date of his birth as 1626. Ursuly was
named in her father's will as Ursuly Cole, and Faith as Faith
Patterson. John lived in and near Boston, until his Quaker
affiliations caused his removal. That he was Henry's son (which
has hitherto been regarded as doubtful) is now (October, 1906)
proved beyond question. Not only as establishing John's parent-
age, but as a striking commentary upon the religious intolerance
of the times, the following is of interest. A writ against John
Chamberlain was issued 25th March, 1660, "for venting his
wretched opinions in Charlestown Meeting House." The peti-
tion of Henry Chamberlain, senior, and Henry Chamberlain,
junior, respecting John Chamberlain, "a child, a brother,"
prayed that the sentence of banishment under pain of death
be remitted to imprisonment, and that he might be committed
to prison there to work at his trade. There is mention of John
as being the father of children, and "bound by many obligations
of naturall relation unto this place." The deputies ordered his
removal to the Castle, there to provide his own lodging, board,
clothes, etc., 7th April, 1661. He ultimately went to Newport,
R. I., and died there in 1666. f

The parentage of the following is not given in the records
of their baptism at Hingham; viz., Daniel, baptized 17th March,
1639-40; Sarah, baptized 26th September, 1641; Nathaniel,
baptized 26th November, 1643; Ebenezer, died 28th October,
1646. There is no mention of these in Henry Chamberlain's


Chamberlain Association Annual Report 1902, p. 19.

Record made by Daniel Cushing, Town Clerk (1669-1700) of Hingham.

Drake's Founders of New England, pp. 78 et seq.

History of Hingham, published by the town, Vol. II, p. 121.

Pope's Pioneers of Massachusetts.

Records of Massachusetts, Vol. II, p. 113.

Suffolk Probate, Vol. VI, p. 90(54).

* Austin : Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island,
t See Appendix.

a Cbamberlain IRecorfc

Town Records Hingham and Hull.

Bodge, King Philip's War.

Deed of Daniel Chamberlain and John Chamberlain, 1737, at Spring-

Papers in Massachusetts Archives, Vol. X, pp. 266 et seq.

The towns of Hingham and Hull are now in Plymouth County, but

were formerly in Suffolk.

a Cbamberlatn IRecorfc

Milliam Cbamberlain

Born Died 1678.

William Chamberlain of Hull, son of Henry of Hingham
and Joan his wife, came from England with his father in 1638.
He lived for many years at Hingham, and had children born
there, but removed to Hull before September, 1659 and after 1654,
where he died 22nd October, 1678. Although he was a well-to-do
man, and owned considerable real and personal property, William
Chamberlain died intestate, and administration on his estate was
granted 14th January, 1678-9 to his sons John and Job. The in-
ventory showed the value of his personal estate to be £523-0-0, a
large sum in those days, and which the Court ordered 28th Jan-
uary, 1678-9, to be divided between the eldest and eight other
children. That he was also a land owner appears in several ways.
By the indenture dated 29th April, 1679 (soon after his death), ac-
knowledged 12th November, 1680, made between John Chamber-
lain of Hull and Job Chamberlain of Scituate, administrators of
the estate of their father William Chamberlain of Hull, on the
one part, and William Chamberlain of Hull, eldest son and right
heir on the other part, the latter agrees, in consideration of en-
joying the use of the new home and half the land adjoining be-
longing to both houses (the old and the new), and various speci-
fied lots, to pay his brothers Nathaniel and Benjamin, and his
sister Mary, £50 each "when they come of age." By the same
deed John and Job agree "to pay unto their brothers Joseph
Chamberlyn and Freedom Chamberlyn and their sister Sarah
Chamberlyn their severall respective portions," etc. The shares
of the younger children were, the deed provided, to be improved
during minority for their education. At the time this deed was
dated and acknowledged, the only children who were of full age
seem to have been William, John and Job. In 1686 John and
Job, administrators, presented a further account, and reported
"more land in the possession of brother William" and "more,

a Cbamberlain IRecorfc

an estate fallen to us by the death of our grandfather and grand-
mother who lived and died at our father's, £41-14-0." That
William Chamberlain was married twice appears by the agree-
ment of 1685 between his children John, William, Job and Nath-
aniel, brothers by one father and mother, and Benjamin, Joseph,
Mary and Sarah, children by another wife. This deed is re-
ferred to in Charlestown Genealogies and Estates, p. 197. He
and his first wife, whose name has not been traced, were married
probably about 1649 or 50. She must have died soon after Sep-
tember, 1659, and probably at Hull about the time of the birth
of her son Nathaniel. William Chamberlain married a second
time, within a few months, because the first child of the second
marriage (Sarah) probably became of age in 1681, and was born
therefore in 1660. It is conjectured that his second wife was
Sarah Jones, daughter of Thomas Jones of Hull; but it does not
appear with certainty, whether she survived her husband or not.
The old house with land, orchards, etc., which formed a part of
the premises of their father William Chamberlain and was sold
in 1693 by Sarah, William and Joseph to Nathaniel,* was at that
time in the tenure of Thomas Jones, Jr., who may have been the
brother of the second wife.

William Chamberlain's children, all of whom (excepting the
Sarah who died young) are mentioned by name in the deed of
29th April, Hi7 ( .>, were as follows: Of his first marriage: William,
the eldest son, was a weaver and probably a Quaker. He mar-
ried Eunice and had children, was living in Hull in October,
1693, and died 1 lth December, 1 7<) ( .t. Sarah, baptizedat Hingham
6th June, 1652, and died young. John, baptized at Hingham,
27th August, 1654, was co-administrator with his brother Job of
his father's estate, and was probably the "grandson John" named
in his grandfather's will. He married Deborah Templar, and
died at Charlestown 22nd December, 1690, aged 36. Job, was
co-administrator with his brother John of his father's estate.
He was a shipwright, of Seituate and Boston, and had children.
Nathaniel, born at Hull 4-7nio., 1659, was a weaver, of Hull,
but removed to Seituate. He married Abigail and had children,
and was living in 1693 at Hull. Of William Chamberlain's

* Page 8.

a Chamberlain IRecorfc

second marriage: Sarah, born 1660, was living at Newport, "a
spinster," probably with her sister Mary, in 1693. Joseph of
whom below. Mary, was under 14 in 1680 and still a minor
in 1685. She married Captain Nathaniel Sheffield of Newport
prior to 1692. Freedom, a minor in 1680, died on board "Mr.
Cundy's ship now arrived at Boston." Administration was
granted to his brother, John Chamberlain of Charlestown,
14th August, 1685. The inventory mentions a lot at Pedox
Island, wages due from Mr. Cundy, and debts of Job and
Joseph Chamberlain. Benjamin, was under 14 in 1680, and
living in 1685.


Wyman, Charlestown Genealogies and Estates, page 197.

•Suffolk Probate, Vol. XII, page 251.

Suffolk County Court Records at City Hall, Boston, page 563. 28 Jan.,

Suffolk Deeds, Vol. XII, page 35.
Suffolk Probate, Vol. IX, page 334.
Town Records Hingham and Hull.
Suffolk Deeds, Vol. XL, page 181.
Middlesex County Court Records, file 1685, and Probate Records, VI,


H Chamberlain IRecoit)

3oscpb (Xbambciiatn

Born 1665. Dud 1752.

Joseph Chamberlain of Hull and Hadley, Mass.,, and
Colchester, ( !onn., son of William Chamberlain of Hull, was aged
n7 at his death at Colchester in i 7 ~>2, and was horn therefore
in 1665, at Hull, of his father's second marriage. He removed to
Hadley, thence to Hatfield and finally to Colchester, Conn. By
the indenture of 29th April, 1679, already mentioned,* he (with
his brother Freedom and his sister Sarah) was to receive his
portion of his father's estate from his brothers John and Job,
administrators. In 1687, by deed dated 30-lst mo., in which
he is described as of Hull, he sold to his brother William half the
lot on Pettix Island "which was our father's and afterwards our
brother Freedom's and is now mine." This sale was made
about the time of his removal to Hadley where he married in
June of the following year, 1688. At Hadley, 29th May, 1693,
lie gave a power of attorney for himself and his wife to Ids brother
William, under which, in the same year, 13th October, William,
for himself and his brother Joseph and .Mercy his wife, together
with Sarah Chamberlain of Newport, spinster, sold to Nathaniel
Chamberlain "the old house with land orchard etc. now in the
tenure of Thomas Jones, Jr." which was a part of the premises
of their father William Chamberlain late of Hull. In 169.3, 31st
May, Joseph's wife, Mercy, quitclaimed to Nathaniel Chamber-
Iain and John Collier, any right she had in Hull in right of her
husband. Joseph Chamberlain (no residence specified) was,
with John Ingram, Jr., a defendant in an action brought against
them in 1(192 by John Dickinson of Wethersfield, concerning a
house and lot at Hadley; the verdict being for the defendants.
In 1701 Joseph Chamberlain was a petit juror at Hadley, and in
170o there was a decision concerning his taxes at Hadley and
Hatfield. On 13th February, 1702, Joseph Chamberlain of
Hadley entered into an agreement with George Stillman for the

* Page 5.

H Chamberlain IRecorfc

purchase of certain lands in Hadley, which he improved, seem-
ingly without actually consummating the purchase. These im-
provements he probably attempted to take away when he re-
moved to Colchester; foron5th September, 1704, and justpriorto

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Online LibraryWilliam James HardingAncestry in the line of her father of Adelia Chamberlain Harding → online text (page 1 of 4)