The Probable Identity of the Daughters of Roger Chandler

Source: Frederick G. Warner, “The Probable Identity of the Daughters of Roger Chandler of Duxbury,
Mass.,” American Genealogist 27[1951]:1-6.

The Mayflower Descendant (Vol. 11, p. 129) shows that Roger Chandler, say-worker, single man, from Colchester in England, married Isabel Chilton, single woman, from Canterbury in England, on July 21, 1615, in Leyden, Holland. Henry and Morton Dexter, in The England and Holland of the Pilgrims (1906) state that Roger Chandler, his wife Isabella, and children Samuel and Sarah, were living in Zevenhuysen, Leyden, on October 15, 1622. The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (Vol. 63, p. 201) gives the baptism of Isabell, daughter of James Chilton, on January 15, 1586, at St. Paul’s Church, Canterbury, England. Bradford in his history Of Plimouth Plantation states that James Chilton, his wife and daughter Mary, came on the Mayflower, and that “They had an other doughter, yt was maried, came afterward.”

Plymouth Colony Records show that Roger Chandler was taxed 9 s. on March 25, 1633, and that he was listed as a freeman of Duxbury the same year. He was granted land in Duxbury on November 2, 1640, was living there in February, 1644, when he sold land, and on May 5, 1646, he sued Kenelme Winslow for his daughter’s clothes which Winslow “detaineth upon pretence of some further service which he required of her.” The court ordered Winslow to deliver the clothes. Chandler’s name appears on a list of freemen of Duxbury made about 1658. He died before October 3, 1665.

On that date (Oct. 3, 1665), “one hundred and fifty acres are granted by the Court unto the three sisters, the daughters of Roger Chandler, deceased, viz., to each of them fifty acres, lying between the Bay line and the bounds of Taunton, according to the desire of John Bundy” [Plymouth Colony Records, Vol. 4, p. 110].

William L. Chaffin in his History of Easton, Mass. (1886) states that this land lay in the part of Taunton North Purchase which later became the town of Easton. Samuel H. Emery in his History of Taunton (1893) states that on June 1, 1668, fifty-three Taunton men purchased of Plymouth Colony, a tract of about 60 square miles which lay north of Taunton, west of Bridgewater, south of Massachusetts Bay line and east of Rehoboth, “excepting only a small parcel granted unto John Bundy and also a grant made unto Thomas Briggs.” This tract of land became known as the North Purchase of Taunton.

The Old Records of Taunton North Purchase (Vol. 1, p. 27) at the Registry of Deeds in Taunton show that on January 6, 1684, the proprietors of Taunton North Purchase appointed Thomas Leonard, John Richmond, and John Hathaway “… to see that such lands that are Granted to particular persons, by the Court, and are within the said North Purchase, be laid out unto the persons concerned according to their grants.” The committee report, filed on October 3, 1701, states that “We did many years agoe lay out and bound unto the Right of the Daughters of Roger Chandler, one hundred and fifty acres of land as follows: We began the northeast corner at a white oak with three branches standing in the line between said North Purchase and Bridgewater township, from thence we ran west 150 rods to another white oak with three branches which we marked for a corner and from thence we ran four sides for a corner, it stands on the south side of a hill that an old cartway went over, and then we turned the corner and ordered the range to be due east unto the line between said North Purchase and Bridgewater township above mentioned….”

Taunton Land Records (Book 2, p. 49) contains a deed, dated December 18, 1689, in which John Leonard of Bridgewater of the Colony of “Plimouth” sold to Abiah Whitman of the town of Weymouth “… one hundred acres of land be it more or less, being two third parts of a lott of land, the other third part being the land of Stephen Bruff of the town of Boston in New England, which said lott of one hundred and fifty acres is bounded by ye line which runs between Taunton and Bridgewater easterly with a white oak tree marked on four sides growing out with three great limbs on the top of said tree, the said marked tree growing on the northeast corner of said granted lott, extending from the said marked tree running westward about 150 rods to another marked [an evident omission here in the recorded copy] on the four sides standing and growing upon the south side of a steep, high hill, extending from the said marked black oak tree running east reaching to the aforesaid line running between Bridgewater and Taunton together with all … priviledges … whatsoever unto the two thirds of the said lott being one hundred acres belonging or in any wise appertaining, with all the right property claim and interest of him the said John Leonard in the two thirds part of the said tract of land … Also the said John Leonard do grant, assign and confirme unto the said Abiah Whitman … the full two thirds part of ten acres of meadow land which is belonging to the afore said tract of land to have and to hold the said two third parts of ten acres of meadow land….”

Although a line or two of the original deed describing the westerly boundary of the tract were apparently omitted by the recorder in making the copy, the description given is sufficient to identify positively the one hundred acres sold by John Leonard as part of the one hundred and fifty acres laid out to the right of the daughters of Roger Chandler.

The original record of a grant of ten acres of meadow to the three daughters of Roger Chandler has not been found. However, page 11 of the Book of Votes of Taunton North Purchase Proprietors shows that at a meeting of proprietors held on May 31, 1697, it was “voted that whereas there hath been some controversy about the meadow granted to the Daughters of Roger Chandler within the tract of land called Taunton North Purchase, the proprietors of said North Purchase voted and agreed this 31st day of May, 1697, that Thomas Randall, John White, Thomas Harvey, Sr., and Nicholas White or the major part of them shall measure and set bounds to said meadow where the Leonards have formerly pitched to prevent further inconveniency and what said men or the major part of them shall do according to the Court grant to the said daughters shall be firm and good.” On the same page, the committee return dated the 10th day of June 1697 reads “… we the subscribers have laid out ten acres of meadow and meadowish land to the right of the three daughters of Roger Chandler according to the Court Grant in Taunton North Purchase in a meadow called and known by the name of Cranberry meadow bounded….” Signed by Thomas Randall, Thomas Harvey, Sr., Nicholas White, Sr., and John White, measurer.

Page 16 of the same Book of Votes shows that on March 6, 1698/9, the proprietors voted, “… that Abiah Whitman shall have his meadow in Cranberry meadow joining to the meadow he bought of John Leonard so that he do not hinder others from draining their meadows through his meadow.” On page 12, Volume 1, of the Records is the following: June 14, 1699, there was laid out to Abiah Whitman, eight acres of meadow on the right of Robert Crosman, deceaased, bounded by “Whitman’s acres of meadow which was laid out to the right of Roger Chandlers daughters lying on the west side of said meadow — thence by a trench dug westward to the upland which is called Cranberry Meadow Neck thence by said upland to the northeast corner of said WHITMANs ten acres….” Taunton Land Records show that Robert and Martha Crossman of Taunton sold all of their rights in Taunton North Purchase to Abiah Whitman on May 3, 1690.

Therefore it is apparent that John Leonard sold two thirds of the ten acre meadow laid out to the right of Roger Chandler’s daughters to Abiah Whitman as well as two thirds of the one hundred and fifty acres granted to them.

On page 152 of Book 11 of the Plymouth Land Records is recorded a deed dated December 7, 1687, which reads in part as follows: “To all Christian People to whom this deed shall come, Samuel Leonard of the town of Bridgewater in ye County of Plymouth in New England and James Bundy Sendeth Greeting, know ye that the said Samuel Leonard and James Bundy being in Partnership together proper owners of a certain tract of land bordering westerly upon the township of Bridgewater on the westerly side of the river commonly called Cutting Cove River, containing a hundred acres together with two third parts of ten acres of meadow land belonging to ye same, the said Samuel Leonard for and in consideration of other land properly belonging to John Leonard of the town abovesd, and James Bundy aforesd for and in consideration of the full sum of four pounds in currant pay, themselves each of them being fully satisfied and contented for the same, have by these presents for and in behalf of themselves … sold … unto John Leonard of the town abovesd all the abovesd premises….” The deed was acknowledged at Preston, Conn., by Samuel Lenorson on August 9, 1709, and by James Bundy on July 2, 1709.

From the above facts, it is very apparent that the one hundred acres of land and the two thirds of a ten acre meadow which Samuel Leonard and James Leonard jointly sold to Samuel’s brother John Leonard were parts of the land originally granted to Roger Chandler’s daughters.

The other one third of the 150 acres of land and of the ten acres meadow laid out to the three daughters of Roger Chandler would be accounted for if Stephen Bruff of Boston had sold it to John Leonard’s brother Jacob by an unrecorded deed. John Leonard’s deed of December 18, 1689, stated that the other one third of the 150 acres was owned by Stephen Bruff. The May 31, 1697, vote of the proprietors of North Purchase indicated that someone by the name of Leonard had “pitched” or settled on land near to the ten acre meadow. Taunton Land Records show that on October 22, 1697, Jacob Leonard and wife Susannah of Taunton sold to James Harris of Bridgewater, 59 acres of upland and meadow in Taunton North Purchase, “… the land lying near the land of Abiah Whitman and bounded on the easterly end by Bridgewater line and southerly by the land of Abiah Whitman containing by estimation 59 acres of land be it more or less with the house that is on it … also a parcell of meadow land lying at a place called Cranberry meadow, it being the third part of ten acres of meadow….” The proprietors of Taunton North Purchase, on October 5, 1698, in connection with a court action in which James Harris, residing in North Purchase, sued John Phillips and Clement Briggs, did not question the legality of the residence of James Harris in North Purchase.

Taunton Land Records also show that on March 4, 1699/1700, Abiah Whitman deeded to his daughter Elizabeth, wife of Timothy Cooper, as full portion of his estate, part of a lot in North Purchase, “… joining to the west four mile line of Bridgewater, 53 acres, being half of that lot of land which I bought of John Leonardson of Bridgewater, whereon standeth Timothy Cooper’s house (the whole lot being laid out for one hundred acres) bounded north by John Harris, east by the Bridgewater line … also one third part of the meadow which I bought of John Leonardson lying in North Purchase….” Therefore, in 1700, James Harris lived on the north third, Timothy Cooper lived on the middle third, and Abiah Whitman owned the south third of the 150 acres laid out to the three daughters of Roger Chandler, and each owned one third of the ten acre meadow. At that time Stephen Bruff and his wife Damaris, daughter of Lt. Batholomew Threeneedles, were living in Boston, where their daughter Damaris was born on October 27, 1701.

The original will of John Bundy of Taunton, dated April 5, 1681 and proved October 29, 1681, is filed at the Plymouth Registry of Probates. It directs that 15 acres of his land in North Purchase be sold to Malachi Holloway, and bequeathed “the rest of my land in North Purchase to my son James Bundy….” James Bundy was born in Taunton on December 29, 1664, eldest son of John and Martha Bundy. Since the original grant to the three daughters of Roger Chandler was made at the request of John Bundy, and the records of the proprietors of North Purchase do not show any land laid out to the right of John Bundy, it seems certain that James Bundy’s mother Martha was one of Chandler’s daughters. She was probably the youngest, and the one mentioned in Chandler’s court action against Kenelm Winslow.

Samuel Leonard of Bridgewater was the eldest son of Solomon and Mary Leonard of Duxbury and Bridgewater. Solomon Leonard died before 1671, as proved by a deed from Samuel Leonard to his brother John, dated May 1, 1671, recorded at Plymouth, which reads in part as follows: “As much as my father Solomon Leonard of Bridgewater while he was living did with my mother freely bestow on my brother John Leonard, fifty acres….” On June 2, 1674, Samuel Leonard confirmed an exchange of land made by his father before his death, with Nicholas Byram, and on October 27, 1675 he gave bond as administrator of his father’s estate.

Plymouth Colony Records show that on October 27, 1675, “In reference to the disposal of the estate of Sollomon Lenardson of Bridgewater, deceased, the court ordered that such particulars as belong to Samuel Lenardson, the eldest son of said Sollomon Lenardson being firstly sett apart, viz, 50 acres of upland lying on the south side of Nunckatatasett River; and 20 acres more adjoining to it on the northerly side thereof; and 12 acres lying at the town of Bridgewater on which the house standeth and three lots of meadow containing two and one-half acres each; and fifty acres appertaining to John Lenardson, the second son of said Sollomon Lenardson; and all debts owing to any from said estate being first payed, the Court ordered as follows: Samuel to have a double portion and the remainder to be divided amongst the rest of the children in equal portions.” The fact that Samuel Leonard had a double portion of his father’s estate, that he never lived in Taunton, and that he and James Bundy of Taunton were joint partners owning two thirds of the two parcels of land granted to the three daughters of Roger Chandler, makes it very probable that his mother Mary was also one of Chandler’s daughters.

Incidentally it should be noted that John and Martha Bundy named their first son James, perhaps after James Chilton; that Solomon and Mary Leonard named their first son Samuel, perhaps after Roger Chandler’s son Samuel; and that John Leonard named a daughter Martha, perhaps after Martha Bundy. Samuel Leonard moved to Preston, Conn., before 1700, and James Bundy moved there from Rhode Island sometime after May 31, 1703, which affords further evidence of close relationship between the two families.

Plymouth Colony Records show that there was an Edmond Brough in the colony as early as November 2, 1640, and that Edward Brough was a freeman of Marshfield in 1643. Very little else is known about him. He may have married Roger Chandler’s daughter Sarah. If so, Stephen Bruff of Boston was probably a grandson.

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