John Chandler 1600 - 1660

My 9th Great-Grandfather – David Arthur

John Chandler, believed to be the John, son of John, christened at St Margaret's Church, Westminster, London, England on September 7, 1600. 

See a copy of John Chandler's christening record. –

St. Margaret's Church stands between Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. The present church was consecrated in 1523, making this the very building in which John Chandler was baptized. It may prove to be significant that the church in which John was baptized was located in the most powerful political area in the whole of England.

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On February 28, 1609, Thomas West, Lord Delaware, was named Governor of the English Colony in Virginia.  Recent reports of the dismal condition of the small Jamestown settlement there accelerated Delaware’s plan to go to Virginia to take personal charge of the colony. In early March 1609, he departed London for Virginia.

Until 1752, the New Year began March 25. So it was the year 1610 (although only a couple of weeks later) when Delaware, aboard the flagship De-la-Warr rendezvoused with the Blessing of Plymouth and the Hercules of Rye at the Port of Cowes on the Isle of Wight.

Even though Delaware had restricted the passengers – no women or children allowed – nine-year-old John Chandler was aboard the Hercules. No records have been found to document any relative of John Chandler among the three ships in Delaware’s fleet, nor in the Virginia colony at that time. However, given Delaware’s passenger restrictions, it seems likely that little John was in some way closely connected to someone deemed essential to Delaware’s enterprise.

From Cowes, the fleet set sail westward on April 1, 1610. After 12 days under good sail, the fleet reached the Azores Islands. The next morning a gale pushed the ships to Graciosa Island where they anchored, but on the 15th high winds separated the Hercules from her sister ships. Having lost sight of Hercules for several hours, Delaware ordered the De-la-Warr and Blessing to proceed toward Virginia. Unknown to them, the Hercules was behind them, just beyond the horizon.

On June 6, 1610, the two lead ships dropped anchor at Point Comfort and went ashore. Hercules came over the horizon in the early forenoon and joined the two lead ships. On Sunday, June 10, 1610, the fleet arrived in Jamestown. After months of cramped living, John Chandler stepped off the Hercules onto Virginia’s soil. Thus he became — at nine years old — the youngest known immigrant to arrive that early in the colony.

Given his age and the fact that 75% or more of the colonists who came to Virginia during the Virginia Company years (1606-1624) either did not survive or returned to England, John’s survival and prosperity makes one of the great stories of the early years of Anglo-American colonization.

Documents of the time period between 1610 and 1622/23 do not mention John Chandler. It is not until the "List of the Living and Dead in Virginia" was compiled in February 1623/24 that John Chandler is mentioned again. He was recorded at that time as a single man living in Elizabeth City County. By his 21st birthday (1622), he was caught up in the Massacre of 1622, during which native indians killed fully a third of the English settlers.

Elizabeth City was first settled about 1610 when Lord Delaware moved the newcomers into two small forts - Ft. Henry and Ft. Charles - near Kecoughtan and Point Comfort. Delaware’s plan was to isolate new arrivals while they adjusted to the heat of the Virginia Coast. Today this area is the city of Hampton, Virginia. John Chandler was in the same places at the same time as William (Mayes) Mease, my ancestor of my father’s family.

 The next mention of John Chandler appears in the census of February 1624/25, where he is listed as a “servant” to Thomas Willoughby. The word “servant,” as used here, denotes what we know today as an employee, rather than indentured in the practice of the period.

Muster of the inhabitants of Virginia at Elizabeth Cittie.

 Ensign Thomas Willoughby, his muster:


 John Chaundler aged 24 in the Hercules 1609 

 Thomas _______ aged 20 in the Greate Hopewell 1623

 Robert Bennett aged 24 in the Jacob 1624

 Nicholas Davis aged 13 in the Mariegould 1616

Provision: Corne, 16 barrels; fish 200 ct; houses, 3; pallizado, 1.

 ARMES: Pieces, 4; pistolle, 1; swords, 3; Armors and Coates, 4; powder, 5 lb; lead, 150 lb.

Thomas Willoughby's household appears to have been a sort of military encampment consisting of five men who had full arms and suits of armor. Willoughby, the nephew of a heavy investor in The Virginia Company, had arrived in Jamestown a few weeks after John Chandler. It is surmised that he and John became friends since they were the same age. Willoughby was only 10 years old when he arrived in Virginia.

The muster record documents John Chandler's age as 24 in February 1624/25. It indicates his arrival in Virginia on the ship Hercules occurred in 1609. This date is in error or perhaps arose from the precise nature of the question being asked of the colonists. Research shows that the Hercules did not arrive in Jamestown until the year 1610 as the third ship in Delaware’s fleet.

A “Charter of Orders" in 1618/19 authorized land grants to those surviving early settlers who had arrived in Virginia before Governor Gates’ departure to return to England in 1616. It has been widely assumed that John Chandler was one of those survivors, and he has been designated and accepted as an “Ancient Planter." But there is no proof of this, and, in fact, he was not one of the signers of a 1624 letter that says it contains the names of all the “Ancient Planters now living in Virginia.”

Another Ancient Planter was Lieut. Albiano Lupo, a member of The Virginia Company who came to Virginia in 1610 and settled in Elizabeth City. He died shortly before October 20, 1626 - the date his will (now lost) was offered for probate. His widow, Elizabeth, was just 29 years old. Their daughter, Temperance, was only six.

Not long thereafter, John Chandler married the widow Elizabeth Lupo. Her maiden name was Elizabeth Bassano, the daughter of Jerome Bassano.

 Elizabeth Bassano Lupo’s late husband’s considerable estate, consisting of goods, servants and land, was most likely left to her in fee simple, which meant she owned it outright, without restrictions. She also had 50 acres of land, patented in her own name on September 10, 1624. Thus the land of both Albiano and Elizabeth Lupo came into the Chandler family, where some of it remained until at least 1806, into the 7th generation of descendants. John and Elizabeth’s first son, John, Jr., was born about 1627/28. A second son, Robert, was born about 1629/30.

By 1632 John Chandler was farming land that he owned or leased. During this period, his fortunes advanced considerably.  On July 6, 1636, he patented one thousand acres in the general vicinity of Back River in Elizabeth City County. He received 950 acres for transporting, at his expense, 19 persons into the colony (the grant does not say this). The other 50 acres came through a grant for "the personal adventure of my now wife Elizabeth." Since Elizabeth was granted 50 acres in 1624 (presumably for her initial passage to Virginia being paid by herself or her family), the additional 50 acres was most likely for her having paid her way back to Virginia after visiting England. Of course, she could have merely purchased a headright in Virginia in her own name - perhaps between the death of her first husband and her marriage to John Chandler. That’s all speculation, but her independence and her standing as a woman doing business in her own name is noteworthy for the time. Located west of Harris Creek and easterly toward Point Comfort Creek, John’s 1000 acres was a prime location for incoming settlers.

Between 1632 and 1639, John bought Newport News from John and Daniel Gookin, Jr.  A large portion of this land included a cattle plantation called Marie’s Mount. The bulk of the tract lay in the long, narrow County of Warwick, which fronted the James River. Tobacco wharves and warehouses lined the river’s deep-water docks. The Newport News acreage along the Hampton Roads waterfront also included fresh water springs where ships navigating the James filled their water casks. John later sold the Marie’s Mount portion of the land to Capt. Benedict Stafford, perhaps in the 1650s when his sons were forming their families.

By 1645, John Chandler had become a prominent man in the small colony, with several thousand acres of land in his possession. Large portions of the cities of Hampton and Newport News are parts of land once owned by John Chandler.

He was elected twice to the House of Burgesses. During his first term - 1645/46 - he played a role in three major tax law reforms: (1) wealthier citizens were required to pay more property taxes; (2) the poll tax on those 16 and older was eliminated; and (3) frivolous lawsuits were barred.

Beginning in 1646 and until at least February 1657/8, John served as a County Court Justice, the rough equivalent of both a county judge and county commissioner today, exercising both legislative and judicial powers. As such, he traveled with the Elizabeth City County Court to outlying areas of the county - Accomac across the Bay and Norfolk across Hampton Roads. The last surviving record of John Chandler is dated February 12, 1657/58 when he was listed as present in a court proceeding in Lower Norfolk. His date and place of death are not known; neither is the place of his burial. It seems likely that he and Elizabeth lie in unmarked graves of the third St. John’s Church in Hampton or perhaps on the 350-acre Chandler-Lupo tract, where a tentative homestead has been located.

The John Chandler who was born about 1627/8 and some of whose descendants lived on at least some of the Chandler-Lupo land until 1806 was his oldest son. Robert Chandler who died in 1669 in New Kent County is his second son.

John is the only documented Chandler immigrant to Virginia before 1620. Several Chandlers did arrive in Virginia between 1620 and 1630. However, there is no documented proof they were related to the first John Chandler who stepped off the Hercules onto Virginia’s soil in 1610.






First Generation

John Chandler

 •Baptized September 7, 1600, St. Margaret, Westminster, London, England

•Sailed aboard the Hercules of Rye, the third and smallest ship in Lord Delaware’s fleet on voyage to Virginia

•Arrived in Jamestown, Virginia on June 10, 1610

•Included in the "List of the Living and Dead in Virginia" of February 1623/24 and in the census of February 1624/25

•Designated as an Ancient Planter

•Married circa 1626/7 Elizabeth, the widow of Lieut. Albiano Lupo. She was born circa 1597; arrived in Virginia 1616

•First son - John, Jr. - born circa 1627/8

•Second son - Robert - born circa 1629/30

•July 6, 1636, patented a grant for 1000 acres at Harris Creek, in Elizabeth City County (now Hampton), Virginia

•By 1640 owned Marie’s Mount, the former Gookin land at Newport News, Virginia

•Elected to the House of Burgesses in 1644 and 1646

•Elizabeth City County Court Justice from 1646 until at least February 1657/8

•Last mentioned in surviving records as present in a court proceeding on February 12, 1657/58

•Probably died not long thereafter in Elizabeth City County, Virginia

•Issue: John Chandler, born circa 1627/8

Robert Chandler, born circa 1629/30

Second Generation

John Chandler II (John 1 Chandler) 

 •Born circa 1627, Elizabeth City County, Virginia

•Died between January 28 and March 23, 1656/7, probably in Northumberland County or Elizabeth City County, Virginia

•Married c. 1647 to Mary (possibly Tucker, daughter of Capt. William Tucker), married second (?) Hinton

•Issue: Daniel Chandler, born before September 21, 1647

•John Chandler III, born circa 1650




Robert Chandler son of John Chandler 1600 – 1660 (John 1 Chandler) 

 •Born circa 1628, Elizabeth City County

•Will dated February 21, 1663; proved April 21, 1669, in York County and almost certainly in New Kent County, where he last resided.

Will is at the link above.

•Married circa 1651 to Elizabeth Davis

•circa 1660 settled on 300 acres near York Landing (now Yorktown) in York County

•January 31, 1657/58 served on York County Coroner’s Jury

•January 24, 1660/61 freed Henry Warren; last record in York County

•About 1661/62 moved to New Kent County, Virginia

•Issue: Presumably all born in York County, Virginia in the 1650s and early 1660s - date of birth not known for any child; neither is order of birth:

William Chandler (eldest son according to will)

Robert Chandler, Jr. (second son according to will)

John Chandler

Francis Chandler

Mary Chandler



Third Generation

Robert Chandler (Robert 2, John 1 Chandler)

•Born York County, Virginia, died 1720, St. Peter’s Parish, New Kent County, Virginia

•circa 1684 married Elizabeth Palmer

•Issue: (all born in New Kent County, Virginia)

Joell Chandler, born 1685 OR circa 1685

Robert Chandler, born May 30, 1687

Timothy Chandler, born October 17,

John Chandler, born January 11, 1693

William Chandler, born 6 June 1698

Joseph Chandler, baptized August 11, 1699

Elizabeth Chandler, born 1703


Fourth Generation

William Chandler (Robert 3, Robert 2, John 1 Chandler)

Born 6 June 1698

Married Elizabeth Virginia Frost


Thomas Chandler (born in New Kent County, Virginia)

William Chandler Will and account is at the link above.

Fourth Generation

Thomas Chandler (William 4, Robert 3, Robert 2, John 1 Chandler)

Married Catherine ?


Mary Chandler married Vincent Inge, daughter Martha Inge married Samuel Skinner, son Samuel Skinner married Elizabeth Edmonds, daughter Sallie Ann Skinner married David Overby, son James Washington Overby married Martha Buttner, daughter Bertha Overby married Edgar Arthur, son David Arthur.


Parts of the information contained above are from the “The Chandler Family Association”.


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