Henry Chambers (ca1755 to 1812+) of Ashe County, North Carolina

A Reconstruction


This write-up – James R. Murphy, last revision 1 December 2017.  This information should be useful for family historians wanting the full story and who might be interested in expanding the research work.   This research is still a work in progress and future findings could change our understanding.   


Over-view of Henry Chambers (ca1755 to 1812) of Ashe County, North Carolina

1st Wife __ and 2nd wife Martha Eggers (~1775 to 1850+)


Researching Henry Chambers became quite personal for me.   Henry is related to me through his 2nd wife - Martha Eggers.  He lived almost next door to my Morphews (Murphys) on the waters of New River in Ashe County, North Carolina.   When they all first arrived on New River lands on or before 1787, they lived within the independent State of Franklin (1784-1788).      


Parents and origins of Henry Chambers are not known.   Henry and Rev. James Chambers owned land on Meat Camp Creek of New River in Ashe County in the 1790’s.    After a review, their relationship is still not known, if any.


The 1812 will of Henry Chambers indicates two marriages, but did not name his children by his 1st marriage.  He married 1st about 1779 to an unnamed wife or a wife possibly named Rachel.   Two children from this marriage emerge: Rachel Chambers Norris (1781/83 to 1846) and Samuel Chambers (~1783/85 to 1862).   Norris descendants claimed Henry Chambers was ½ Cherokee Native American, although no one could prove it.   Samuel Chambers (~1785 to 1862) did become a Cherokee Indian and migrated to tribal lands in Oklahoma!


Grandson Lorenzo Dow or L.D.  Chambers named five additional children of Henry Chambers:, John “Jack” Chambers, George Chambers, William Grimmet, Jane Campbell, and Tookah Chambers (an Indian name).    So far, none surface where Henry lived and questions of doubt arise.   Three such names including one sometimes called “Chambers Stepson” can be found on an 1835 list of “Dispossessed Indians,” who were mostly from Alabama (Mississippi Territory) and Georgia.   Many of these Indians walked or rode the notorious “Trail of Tears” into exile.   This was a low point in American History, as many Cherokees died on the winter trail to Oklahoma.   Despite the similarities in names and the “Chambers Stepson” name, the Ashe County Chambers need to be separated from Chambers and Grimmetts who lived in Georgia; i.e. Maxwell Chambers (1793 Georgia to 1868 Oklahoma).            


His second marriage is estimated roughly 1795 to Martha Eggers who had to be rather young compared to Henry Chambers.  They had five children.   Martha Eggers (~1775 to 1850+) was the eldest daughter of Daniel Eggers (1752 to 1825+) and Pheby Rider (1755 to 1810/1820) and married three times.   One of Martha’s names has been given as Mary Martha on website family trees, but makes little sense since she has a sister by the name of Mary Eggers (1795-1878) who married Enoch Wright in early Indiana.  


After Henry Chambers died, Martha Eggers Chambers married 2nd on 28 August 1817 at Wayne County, Indiana to “John Seaney” (county record).   The correct surname spelling is “Keeney.”   After she married Keeney, land that Henry Chambers purchased was divided to his youngest children as directed by his 1812 will.  This land was originally thought to be in Indiana and not Ashe County, North Carolina, but this may be wrong.   John Keeney died shortly after his 1820 Fayette County, Indiana census and more land is sold to his widow Martha Keeney in 1823 Union County by James Tatum and Daniel Eggers.


 It appears that Martha married 3rd between 1823-1827 to Jonathan Allen (ca1770 to 1830/40) in either southeast Indiana or Estill County, Kentucky.   Their marriage record has not been found.  


1811 Ashe County, North Carolina Court of Pleas/Quarter Sessions records a Henry Chambers purchasing four tracts of lands in 1809 including one for 150 acres. *   After he died, no Ashe County grantor deeds could be found showing lands being passed from Henry to his children.  It is not known if he ever left Ashe County.   

* Minutes of the Ashe County, North Carolina Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions 1811, on newrivernotes.com/ashe_government 


Searching for the Unknown Parents of Henry Chambers

And his early origins


                1 - Descendants from Rachel Chambers Norris, Henry’s daughter from his first marriage, suggest he possibly came from the southwest corner of North Carolina near the Georgia border where Cherokee Indians lived.    


2 - Surry County, North Carolina was established 1771 from Rowan County.    There is a certain Henry Chambers in 1771 and 1772 Surry County tax records who appears too old to be our subject.  Could he be related?   In tracking him earlier, there are a number of Chambers in Rowan and (later) Iredell Counties. 


3 –  This next possibility assumes several assumptions to be true; (1) that Grandson, Lorenzo Dow Chambers recalled correctly a brother of his father who was named William Grimmet/Grimmett and (2) that the name Grimmet could indicate a child from an earlier marriage by his first wife, or an adoption, or someone who joined the family at some point in time.    That being said, the surname of Grimmett is extremely rare and tracking them might lead to Henry Chamber’s early years.  One such Grimmett family line is found in Henry County, Virginia (established 1777 from Lunenburg Co.), which has a border with North Carolina.  Some from Henry County migrated to early Georgia and others to Tennessee.    They are possibly the only Grimmett family line in the US at this time.   


4 - Revolutionary War Pension Records show a William Chambers, born in Lunenburg County, Virginia, enlisted in Surry County, North Carolina where his residence was (and next Wilkes County – J. Murphy), then moved to Madison County, Kentucky for 8-9 years, thence to Jackson County, Indiana, where at the age 86 died Salt Creek Township in 1832.  He had a brother Nathaniel who served in the Revolutionary War with this soldier and resided in Washington County, Indiana. *   Surry County deed abstracts do mention only once William Chambers witnessing a 1773 deed of Thomas Mullins of Guilford County to William Davis land on the south side of Dan River above upper Saura Town (a Saura Indian village). **   The 1787 State Census of Wilkes County, NC does list a William Chambers, but he is not near Henry Chambers.    

* Virginia - West Virginia Revolutionary War Records, Volumes 1-6 by Patrick G. Wardell, CD #1382, Heritage Books Archives. 

** Surry County, North Carolina Abstracts, Deed Books A, B, and C (1770-1788 by Mrs. W. O. Absher, 1981.   


Details for Henry Chambers (ca1755 to 1812+)

And 2nd wife Martha Eggers


Surry County, North Carolina

Surry County was established 1771 from Rowan County


(Not our subject) 1771 and 1772 - Surry County, North Carolina tax record: Henry Chambers, 1 pole

North Carolina Taxpayers 1701-1786, by Clarence E. Ratcliff, 1984/2003

Comment: This 1771-1772 Henry Chambers is too young to be our subject and should be someone else.   Could he be related - ???    Surry County deed abstracts (1770 to 1788) do not mention any Henry Chambers.*   If this is an earlier generation Henry Chambers, his back-trail would point to Rowan County where there is another set of similarly named (and wealthy) Henry Chambers in Rowan and Iredell Counties (established 1778 from Rowan).   This includes a Henry Chambers “I” (maybe 1708 to maybe 1782) and “II” (~1750 to 1817).  In fact, one Henry Chamber’s 1796 Iredell County estate file listed distributions to Henry Chambers – son of Robert; Henry Chambers – son of Henry; and Henry Chambers – son of Arthur.

* Surry County, North Carolina Abstracts, Deed Books A, B. and C (1770-1788) by Mrs. W. O. Absher, 1981. 


Also, given this is a 2nd Henry Chambers in early Surry County, a question arises on which Surry records belong to him and not to our subject Henry Chambers.   In fact, do any Surry County records belong to our subject Henry Chambers (~1755 to 1812+)?


(consider) 1777 August 27 – Surry County, NC: Inventory of estate of Ann Elliott deceased:  Long list of buyers at sale of estate include Benjamin Burk (sister married James Morphew “I “), Henry Chambers, William Riddings, Joseph Chadwick (likely brother to Betty Chadwick who married James Morphew “II”), and James Murphew.     James Murphew is James Morphew “II” (~1750 and died 1829/1830 Preble County, Ohio, about 2 miles from Union County, Indiana border).  

Surry County NC Wills 1771-1827 Abstracts by Jo White Linn, 1992, page 17


(consider) 1777 November 25 – Inventory of Estate of William Logan, deceased and sale buyers include William Riddings, Jr., John Allen, Henry Chambers.

Surry County NC Wills 1771-1827 Abstracts by Jo White Linn, 1992, page 15


American Revolutionary Soldier Records for Any Henry Chambers in North Carolina


(likely someone else) 1780/81 Roster of North Carolina Soldiers: All are local or State Militia (rather than Continental), Salisbury District.  Robert Chambers No. 2534, Henry Chambers No. 4036, Arthur Chambers No. 2665, William Chambers No. 857, and James Chambers No. 4799.   Rowan County’s Henry Chambers “II” was probably a Lieutenant.

Roster of Soldiers from North Carolina in the American Revolution, N.C. Daughters of the American Revolution, 1932/2003, page 327.


Wilkes County, North Carolina

Wilkes County was established 1777 from Surry County


1787 Wilkes County, N.C. State Census: Henry Chambers, 1 w. male 20-60, 3 white males under 21 or above 60, 2 white females any age, no slaves.   


Henry Chambers is two entries away from Young Coleman who married Sarah Morphew (~1754 to >1840) and who probably had living them Mary Burk Morphew (1732 to 1802) - widow of James Morphew “I” (ca 1720 to 1775/83).    


Pushing the limits of speculation on this census, Henry had up to 4 children with 3 being boys and 1 girl…if...they are all children.   Wilkes County also had a William Chambers with 1 male 21-60, and 3 males under 21 and above 60, and 2 females all ages.  William Chambers lived nowhere near Henry Chambers on this census. 


 1789 May 18 – Wilkes County, NC: Land Grant to Henry Chambers, 300 acres, New River…Tilleys corner…Joseph Ayers corner.   New River is in future Ashe County and this land was on the west side of the Blue Ridge Mountains divide.  The steep divide made traveling across it rather difficult during these early years and kept people apart.

(DB 1-A/page 217 as noted in Wilkes County, N.C. Deeds 1778-1803, by Mrs. W.O Absher, 1989/2007)


1789 May 18 – Wilkes County, NC: Grant to Andrew Baird…200 acres east side New River…to Henry Chambers corner.  (DB 1-A/500, ibid source)


1790 US Census of 8th Company, Wilkes County, NC: Henry Chambers – 1 white male under 16; 2 w. male 16+, 4 w. females all ages, no slaves.   At end of Wilkes County census is a statement that it took 18 months to complete the census.


Again, pushing the limits of the 1787 and 1790 census records, the second oldest male age 16+ might be a step son – William Grimmet.   If so, his oldest birth date could be estimated as 1790 – 16 = ~1774, but only if we have the right person and he is a step son.   The two census records suggest Henry could have up to 6 children by 1790.  Also, his marriage date to his first wife might be roughly estimated about ~1779.   


In the 1790 census, two entries away is Thomas Ellison (who married Anna Morphew), next is Mary Murphy (Mary Burk Morphew), followed by Sarah (Morphew) Coleman.   Also, nearby is Daniel Eggers.   This 8th company Wilkes County census is reported to be the extreme western part of Wilkes County, that part which would become Ashe County in 1799.   There are other Chambers now in Wilkes County, but none of them in the 8th Company. 


1790-1800+ Three Forks Baptist Church of Wilkes-Ashe-Watauga Counties:   Claims it is the oldest such church west of the Blue Ridge, beginning in 1779.  From 1790+, members include Daniel Eggers, Sr. and Jr., Sarah (Morphew) Coleman, Avis Eggers (who married Joseph Morphew), Joannah Eggers, Landrine Eggers, Mahala Eggers, Elizabeth Morphew (think she was the one who married Silas Morphew), Jonathan Allen, Catherine Allen.   On the Chambers side, members were James Chambers, Anna Chambers, Elijah Chambers, Martha Chambers, Nancy Chambers, Rachael Chambers, Elisha Chambers, Henry Chambers, Asa Chambers, and Margaret Chambers.  

History of Watauga County, North Carolina, by John Preston Arthur, 1915.  Watauga County was established 1849 from Ashe County, North Carolina.   The Three Forks Baptist Church and some of the early settlers were actually located in today’s Watauga County. 


No Tatums or Norris are mentioned.  Member’s list indicates it was taken from 1790 to 1800 and doesn’t tell us which Chambers women had married Chambers.  Some of these Chambers’ names could be the children of Henry Chambers and James Chambers.  It is not clear the minimum age to be listed as a member.   Are young children included?   


1794 February 1 – Wilkes County: Deed from Jesse Council to James Chambers…100 pounds money, 400 acres, Meat Camp Creek, to Reeces’ line, to Joseph Ayers line.  Witnesses – Thomas Wade and William Brown.  Signed – Jesse Council DB B1/344

Wilkes County, N.C. Deeds 1778 – 1803 and 1795 - 1815 by Mrs. W.O. Absher 1989/2007 and 1990/2007)


1796 April 2 – Wilkes County NC: Henry Chambers deeded to John Farguson.. for 4 lbs…5 acres north side New River...part of tract granted Chambers by State.  Witnesses:  Thomas Wade, Valentine Reese, James Jackson, and William Brown.  Signed Henry Chambers.  (DB B-1;529, ibid source)


1798 December 5 – Wilkes County NC: North Carolina Grant #1654 to Henry Chambers…100 acres Meat Camp Creek.  Meat Camp Creek is near Three Forks of New River, and northeast of today’s City of Boone, Watauga County, North Carolina (Appalachian State College).  (DB D/689 from Wilkes County, N.C. Deeds 1795-1815 by Mrs. W.O. Absher 1990/2007)


Ashe County, North Carolina

Ashe County was established 1799 from Wilkes County


1800 US Census of Morgan, Ashe County NC:  Henry Chambers.  1 w. male 45+, 3 w. females 0-10, 1 w. female 16-25, no slaves. 


1 male 45+ is Henry Chambers

1 female 16-25 is Martha Eggers Chambers his wife

3 females 0-10; one is Rebecca Chambers (~1797) who married later James Tatum “II.”  Remaining 2 females -10 are question marks.  Missing is Nancy Chambers who might belong here.   Possibly Anna or Mary might belong here as this census could be as late as 1802.


This census list is alphabetical and doesn’t tell us who lived nearby.   If the ages are correct in this census, it appears Henry Chambers was born 1755 or earlier and wife (Martha) 1775 or later.  That is quite a contrast in their ages.  Notice that the young males noted in 1787 and 1790 census records are already missing; perhaps old enough to leave home.  This census gives no room for their son James Chambers to be born before the census was taken, but could be misleading.   On this Ashe County census is Enoch Chambers and a James Chambers - age 45+.    


1810 US Census of Ashe County, NC: “H. Chambers” with 3 w. males and 1 w. female 0-9, 1 w. female 10-15, 1 w. female 26-44, 1 w. male 45+ and no slaves. 


What can this census tell us?  There is no one of interest living near him.  Did they all move away or did he move to a new location?   Also, Henry is now the only Chambers in the 1810 Ashe County census.  Projected names in his 1810 household:


1 male 45+ is Henry Chambers

1 female 26-44 is Martha Eggers his wife

1 female 10 – 15 is Rebecca Chambers, single before she married James Tatum “II.”

1 female 0-9 is either Mary Chambers or Anna Chambers.   One of them is missing from census.

3 males under 10.  One should be James Chambers, but the other two are unknowns who are not mentioned in his will.   Henry’s 1812 will mentions only one son within the five youngest children.  Their ages are too young to be sons from his first marriage.  We don’t know who these two were.  


This is also a good time to review whether the 1787 to 1810 census takers knew Henry Chambers and family were partly native American, if this claim is correct.    US Census takers would not place them under free whites, but under a column called “number of other free persons except Indians not taxed.”   With Henry Chambers, this did not happen.    Native Americans in tribal areas were “except Indians not taxed” and not included until many years later.


1811 Ashe County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions – four deeds to Henry Chambers:

A deed from Nathan Horton to Henry Chambers for 50 acres.  (Actually signed 27 March 1809)

A deed from John Henson to Henry Chambers for 150 acres.  (Actually signed 27 March 1809)

A deed from John Hinson to Henry Chambers for 50 acres. (Actually signed 27 March 1809)

Another deed from John Hinson to Henry Chambers for 50 acres.

* Minutes of the Ashe County, North Carolina Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions 1811, on newrivernotes.com/ashe.government. 


                Ashe County deed index shows only one grantor deed by Henry Chambers.  Land is sold to Nathan Horton DB/303 and there are no grantor deeds by Gilbert Norris.  Ashe County has no deeds for any James Chambers, John/Jack Chambers, George Chambers, or William Grimmett.


1812 May 13 - Ashe County, North Carolina: Will of Henry Chambers abstracted from original: to wife Martha all his estate and property, but should she marry again, to be divided among “these last children Rebecca Chambers, Ann Chambers, Nancy Chambers, James Chambers, & Jane Chambers."  Bequeaths to “each and every one of my children that I had of my first wife” one English shilling.  Executors: Martha Chambers (his wife) and Landrine Eggers. 


The probate did not follow and could not be found.   We do not know when Henry died.  Also, children could be in order of age – oldest to youngest which could be a clue to estimating the 2nd marriage date and ages of five youngest children.  Census records suggest this didn’t happen.   An earlier NC Archive abstract differs slightly by naming Mary Chambers instead of Nancy Chambers. 

From the original will, North Carolina Probate Records 1735-1970, Ashe County, North Carolina Wills 1801-1857, Vol. A/27 as found on familysearch.org


Indiana – Counties of Franklin, Union, Fayette, and Wayne


1816 Franklin County, Indiana Deeds: (1) Thomas Keeney and Nancy his wife to John Keeney, Sr.  Section 29, Township 14, Range 14 East; recorded 1817 and (2) Thomas Keeney and Nancy his wife to Jonathan Keeney, S 29, T 14, R14E.   This land was in Franklin County until 1818; Fayette County 1819 and 1820, then Union County 1821+.  John Keeny and John Seney are the same person and had a number of lands in the general area.  Jonathan Keeny is included for separation and his wife’s name on two 1822 Union County deeds was Mary.

Early Settlers of Indiana’s “Gore” 1803-1820, by Shirley Keller Mikesell, 2008


1817 August 28 – Wayne County, Indiana (southern part became part of Union County in 1821): Marriage of “Martha Chambers” to “John Seaney” (county record).


1820 US Census of Fayette County, Indiana, Jennings Township:

John Keeny: 1 male and 1 female 10-16, 1 male and 1 female 45+   Nearby is:

Jonathan Keeny: 3 males and 1 female 0-9, 3 males 10-16, 1 male 16-25, 1 male and 1 female 25-45


Very close by on same census page is James Eggars (Eggers), brother William Eggars (Eggers), and a James Chambers: 3 males and 1 female 0-9, 1 male and female 26-45.  If this is our James Chambers, son of Ashe County, NC Henry Chambers, then this census indicates he is older than his sister Rebecca Chambers Tatum.  Care is needed here because James Chambers is a very common name to confuse. 


1822 September 11 – Union County, Indiana: Elisha Wright deeded to James Tatum 30 acres of land for $23 “which I have by my wife Anna which is a daughter of Henry Chambers, deceased”  …which is the 5th part of that land.  Witnessed by Daniel Eggers and William Rash.   Recorded 30 June 1824.  (DB A/288)


1822 September 11 – Union County: Jesse Dollar deeded to James Tatum “my part in full of said 30 acres that I have by my wife Mary, which is daughter of Henry Chambers, deceased”...of said land which is the fifth part of it.  Witnessed by Matthew Tatum and Daniel Eggers and recorded 30 June 1824.  (DB A/288)


These two deeds are unlike other Indiana deeds and do not specifically state where the land was.  There is no section, township and range.  Could they be in Ashe County, North Carolina?


1823 August 2 – Union County, Indiana: Daniel Eggars deeded for $60 to Martha Keeney for 30 acres  - SE part, Section 35, Township 12, Range 1 in Union County, Indiana.  (DB A/287)


1823 August 3 – Union County: Martha Keeney of Union County, Indiana deeded to Samuel Kalkner of same county for $54, land in Union County, part of S35, T12, R-1, 12 acres.  Signed: Martha “x” Keeney.  Witnesses Willis Wright, J.P. and Mathew Talmer.  Recorded 23 June 1824.  (DB A/281)   


1823 August 23 – Union County, Indiana: James Tatum of Estill County, Kentucky deeded to Martha Keiney of Union County, Indiana for $80, land in Union County, S35, Twp12, Range 1. Witnesses were Mathew Tatum and Martha (x) Keeney. (DB A/288)


This 3 August 1823 Union County deed is the only one sold by Martha Keeney.   A search for a “Martha Allen” or “Jonathan Allen” in Union County grantor deeds came up empty, but Wayne County hasn’t been checked.   An Union County 1821-1826 will index lists a John Keeney (Will Records, Volume 1, page 95).  This microfilm was ordered from familysearch.org but their Volume 1 ran only to page 75 and next wills had a twenty year gap.  Perhaps, this will was destroyed in a courthouse fire years later.


Estill County, Kentucky


1826-1830 – Estill County, Kentucky (actually in Owsley County):  Elk Lick Baptist Church.   This is the same church that Eggers, Hogan, Allen, and Murphys (Morphews) were members from about 1825 to 1829.  These records are our only linkage of Martha to Jonathan Allen.  Even without these records, Jonathan Allen is the best candidate to be her 3rd husband.  

Tfkrha.org/Owsley/elk_lick_baptist_church.htm; can be googled – “Elk Lick Baptist Church Owsley.”  Information was compiled by Dr. D. L. Brewer. 


1826 June – 1st Saturday – Elk Lick Baptist Church: Earliest mention of Brother Jonathan Allen.   In September, James Agger (Eggers), Jonathan Allen, and J. W. Reynolds became Trustees. 

1827 May 1st Saturday – Elk Lick Baptist Church: Martha Allen received by letter (and) Jonathan Allen received by experience.

1829 January 1st Saturday - Elk Lick Baptist Church: Dismissed Sister Martha Allen by letter

1829 February 1st Saturday – Elk Lick Baptist Church: Samuel Isaacs let the church know he was aggrieved with Brother Johnathan Allen for not giving Sister Martha Allen her letter...  The church took up the matter and “find an agreement between Brother and Sister Allen.   Sister Allen gives up the letter by agreement….”    Martha Allen is not mentioned again.

1830 November 1st Saturday – Elk Lick Baptist Church: This is the last mention of Jonathan Allen.


Further Notes on Jonathan Allen (ca1765/70 to 1830+)

1790 US Census of Burke County, North Carolina, 9th Company: Jonathan Allen 1 male 16+, 2 females any age; Next to Jonathan Allen, Sr. 1 male 16+ and 1 female any age.

1790-1800 – Three Forks Baptist Church – Wilkes/Ashe/Watauga Counties NC: Membership included Jonathan Allen.   1798 – Dismissed by letter: Jonathan Allen, Catharine Allen.

1800 US Census of Ashe County: Jonathan Allen, 2 males and 3 females 0-9, 1 male and 1 female 26-44.  Census is alphabetical and can’t tell who lived nearby. 

1810 US Census of Wilkesborough, Wilkes County, NC: Jonathan Allen 2 males and 1 female 0-9, 2 males and 1 female 10-15, 1 female 16-25, 1 male and 1 female 26-44.  Nearby on same page is James Murphy (Morphew) and Silas Murphy (Morphew, son of James).

1814 – Franklin County, Indiana: Jonathan Allen, Section 18, Township 11N, Range 13E.  (Early Settlers of Indiana’s “Gore.” By Shirley Keller Mikesell, 2008)

1820 US Census of Wayne County, Indiana: Jonathan Allen 3 males and 1 female 10-15, 1 male and 1 female 45+.  On same page as his son John Allen (1 male 1 female 16-25), Daniel Eggers Jr. and Sr.

1830 US Census of Estill County, Kentucky: Jonathan Allen, 1 male 15-19, 1 male 20-29, 1 male and 1 female 60-69.   Nearby on same page is John Allen (age 30-39, wife 20-30 + family) and David Allen (age 20-30 + family).   The Elk Lick Baptist Church also noted a Foster Allen.   Notice the Estill County census indicates he and his wife were ages 60-69 (birth dates ~1761-1770), which conflicts with Martha Eggers Chambers Keeney Allen’s birth date of about 1775.  


Putnam County, Indiana For Martha Allen


(probable) 1840 US Census of Jefferson Township, Putnam County, Indiana: Martha Allen, 1 male 5-9, 1 female 30-39, 1 female 60-69.   Her age is right on, but Martha is not living near anyone recognizable which seems odd.  The young female, age 30-39 with 1 young boy might be a widowed daughter, or daughter in law, but who?


Jefferson County, Iowa


(probable) 1850 US Census of Locust Grove, Jefferson County, Iowa; Martha Allen, age 89 is found on the 1850 US Census of Locust Grove, Jefferson County, Iowa in the family of James Tatum “III” (1818/19 to 1885+).   Martha Allen’s age (89) is wrong if she is our subject Martha Eggers Chambers, whose age should be in the 70’s.    This particular census record is considered defective, as one name is completely wrong and every age is outside accuracy limits.    All that said, this writer considers this Martha Allen to be Martha Eggers who married three times.


Children of 1st Marriage of Henry Chambers to ___*


Care is needed to sort out Henry Chamber’s children.  The son’s name of Samuel Chambers is from Rachel Chambers Norris’ write-up on findagrave.com and earlier Norris website listings. ^   She also mentions an unnamed sister.  With the loss of early Ashe County marriages, we miss marriages for the years 1799 – 1812+.   Henry Chamber’s 1812 will is a little fuzzy.  It implies, but doesn’t concisely state the five youngest children belong to his 2nd wife.   Why did Henry Chambers bequeath children from the first marriage only one shilling which is very little inheritance?    


(1). Rachel Chambers (birth estimated 1781/83 North Carolina and died 1846 Overton County, Tennessee and buried in an unmarked grave at Wells Cemetery, Oak Hill, Overton County, Tennessee per findagrave.com).   Rachel Chambers, “daughter of Henry Chambers,” married Thomas “Gilbert” Norris (1780/1 to 1873 Overton County).  They had 11 children with their first child about 1799.   Descendants reported “she often told her children she was ¼ blood Cherokee.”   “Her father, Henry Chambers, was ½ blood Cherokee.”  They reported “by the time Henry’s descendants, the children of Rachel, emigrated to the Indian Territory, there was not factual proof” for their beliefs, and “her descendants could not later prove it. ^   Check out the following write-up’s:

^ findagrave.com under Rachel Chambers Norris 1781 – 1846 Overton Co., Tennessee

^^ findagrave.com under Thomas Gilbert Norris 1780 – 1873 Overton Co., Tennessee

^^^ findagrave.com under Johnathon Riley Norris (1818-1896) Norris Cemetery, Carroll Co, Arkansas.  Son of Rachel Chambers and Gilbert Norris.

“The Case for Cherokee Ancestry in the Butt Family,” Genealogy.com forum under Thomas. K Butt.

“Genealogy Report: Ancestors of Rufus Eugene (Gene) Norris”; 14. Gilbert Norris and 17. Rachel Chambers, found on genealogy.com.  Can be directly entered through google.com


1800 US Census of Morgan, Ashe County, North Carolina: Gilbert Norris, 1 male 0-9, 1 male and 1 female 16-25.  Census is alphabetical so can’t tell who lived nearby. 

1810 February 5 – Minutes of the Ashe County, NC Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions 1810:  Ordered by the Court that Gilbert Norris (overseer) of the road from the Cross Road to the Ford of the Roaring Fork of Meat Camp (Creek) and have Jno. Northern, Jno. Brown, Jno. Ford, Isaac Green and Eli Brown to work thereon.  (newrivernotes.com)

1811 May Term – Minutes of the Ashe County, NC Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions 1811:

A deed from William Hinson to Gilbert Norris for 100 acres proven (witnessed) by Henry Chambers on Little Horse Creek of the North Fork of New River. (Actually signed 1 August 1809)

(added information from newrivernotes.com)

A deed from William Hinson to Gilbert Norris for 30 acres proven (witnessed) by Henry Chambers on the same creek.  (actually signed 28 August 1809)

(added information from newrivernotes.com)

1830 US Census of Wilkes County, North Carolina: Gilbert Norris, 1 male 0-4, 1 male and 1 female 10-14, 2 females 15-19, 1 male 30-39, 1 female 40-49, 1 female 50-59.

1840 – 1870 US Census of Overton County, Tennessee, (P.O. Oak Hill in 1860/70): Gilbert Norris.  First wife Rachel Chambers Norris died 1846.  Gilbert married 2nd wife Emmaline Hammoc (1817-1865) about 1847 and had two children - Gilbert Norris and Martha Norris.


(2). Samuel Chambers (~1785 to 1862 Flint District, Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma), married Nancy Jordan (died 1846).   Sister - Rachel Chambers Norris reported he left for Indian Territory in 1819. ^ *    L. D. Chambers or Lorenzo Dow Chambers (~1842 to 1909), a son born very late to Samuel Chambers, made a 31 January 1907 Guion Miller Application #16093 for monetary claims for his 1st wife Lydia Faulkner as an Eastern Cherokee Indian.  At this time, he lived at or near P.O. of McKey, Northern District, Indian Territory, Oklahoma.  This application was rejected because she had died prior to a required date of 28 May 1906.  L.D. stated he was born 65 years before at Flint District of Cherokee Nation (Oklahoma).   


L.D. wrote that his father - Samuel Chambers’ Indian names were Gah-ner-nah-wah and Oo-tau-auh-der.   His father Samuel Chambers died in 1862 and mother Nancy (maiden name not remembered on this part of application) in 1846.   He did not remember the names of his Chambers grandparents, but did remember his mother’s grandfather – Sam Jordan.   L.D. Chambers is the only known source for the Sam Jordan name and may be misleading.   On his application, Lorenzo Dow Chambers (Samuel Chambers’ son), named his brothers and sisters: Elizabeth, William, Jack, Anderson, Clementine, Jack, Jane, and Ruthy.   This compares favorably with an 1851 Flint District Indian census.   Also named were the children of Chambers’ grandparents -  Jack Chambers, George Chambers, William Grimmet, Jane Campbell, and Tookah Chambers.   All were deceased by the time of this application. 


This is our only source for Henry Chamber’s children (3) through (6) with his first wife.  Does he mislead us?  Notice that L.D. Chambers did not mention Rachel Chambers.   Norris relatives surmised that Rachel Chambers could possibly be Tookah Chambers. 

* findagrave.com under Lorenzo Dow Chambers 1842 – 1909 Sequoyah County, Oklahoma.    Claims he is son of Samuel Chambers. Claim number “#16093 L.D. Chambers.  Rejected.  Applicant claims wife’s share, died prior to 28 May 1906.”   

Found in “Eastern Cherokee Applications August 29, 1906 – May 26, 1909 – US Court of Claims.  Family History Library film 578450 with on line images.


Details for Samuel and Nancy Chambers


(problematic -?) 1810 US Census of Wilkesborough, Wilkes County, North Carolina: Samuel Chambers, 1 female 0-9, 1 male and 1 female 16-25, 1 female 26-44.   Not in Ashe County and not near anyone recognizable.  Also possibly a big problem or not: 1807 October 15 – Wilkes County:  Marriage of Samuel Chambers to Priscilla Curry.


(Consider) 1830 & 1815 - 31 Independence County, Arkansas: S. Chambers

(Consider) 1836 – 1839 Independence County, Arkansas: Samuel Chambers 

All Arkansas Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index 1819-1870, ancestry.com


1841 – Flint District, Cherokee Nation: Councilors from Flint – Samuel Chambers.  Flint District was in today’s Adair County, Oklahoma near Stillwell.  Oklahoma became a territory in 1890 and State in 1907.

History of the Cherokee Indians by Emma Starr, 1922, page 281 found on google books              


1851 - Flint Hill, Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma Census: Group 1 – Samuel Chambers, Eliza Chambers, George Chambers with Elizabeth, Anderson, and John.  Group 2 – Wm P. Chambers - alone.   

Cherokee Old Settlers Roll 1851 by Histree, 1993, page 17 found in Google Books   


Notice that L.D .Chambers’ brother Jack is now missing, and the last three daughters are missing or had left home.   An William P. Chambers lived in the next Flint District “group.”   George Chambers was a Cherokee Senator from 1847 to 1853.


1853 – Flint District Cherokee Nation: Senators from Flint (District) – Reverend Walter Adair Duncan and Samuel Chambers

History of the Cherokee Indians by Emma Starr, 1922, page 272


1860 – Flint District, Cherokee Nation: Samuel Chambers

All Arkansas Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index 1819-1870, ancestry.com


Additional Children associated with Henry Chambers’ 1st Marriage


The following names are from Lorenzo Dow Chambers.  Nothing more is known about these children, unless Tookah Chambers was Rachel Chambers Norris.     According to “The Source,” “kinship terms have varying meanings among many Native Americans.  For example, ‘father’ does not always denote the natural parent.  …with descent and property being passed down through the mother’s line…thus the children of two sisters were brothers and sisters to each other; they were all of the same tribe.  So, also were the children of two brothers but of two different tribes…. “ 

The Source – A Guidebook of American Genealogy by Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, 1997 under the chapter “Native American Family History, pages 533-523.    


Consider (3). Jack Chambers

Consider (4). George Chambers

Consider (5). Jane Campbell.   

Consider (6). Tookah Chambers


Other “Children” of Henry Chambers – William Grimmett


(7). William Grimmet or Grimmett (birth date estimated ???).   L.D. Chambers, alone, connects William Grimmet to our subject Henry Chambers.   This William Grimmett may be the poorly understood William Grimmet/Grimmett of Alabama (Mississippi Territory) who took the Indian name of “Chambers Stepson.”  The author, David L. Price states this William Grimmett - “Chambers Stepson,” (born 1791) was a son of Robert Grimmett, Jr. of Henry County, Virginia who migrated to early Georgia.  He offers nothing to explain “Chambers Stepson” name.   

The Grimmetts of Virginia of the Revolutionary War Era and Their Descendants, by David L. Price, 1982, a book with full contents found online at Family History Library. 


Details on William Grimmett (Indian name - “Chambers Stepson”)


1814 March 27 – Mississippi Territory: “Chambers Stepson,” was a volunteer Cherokee Soldier on Capt. John M. Lemore’s Company of Cherokee Volunteers, under General Andrew Jackson in the Creek Indian War.  His Pension Application file #15121 is under the name William Grimmett and he was eligible for bounty land, reg-144257-50.  Chambers Stepson fought at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend this day and was wounded.  Capt. John Lemore was killed.   This battle was in today’s central Alabama.   Bounty land number has one too many numbers and could not be identified.

War of 1812 Pension Application Files Index, 1812-1815, National Archives and Records Administration, found on ancestry.com 


1835 Cherokee Census of Alabama: Heads of family for Little River - William Grimmett.  For Tarpin Creek - George Chambers

US Census Records and Cherokee Muster Rolls 1835-1838, ancestry.com


1835-1838 Claims of Dispossessed Cherokees – 1835 - “Trail of Tears” Roll per cherokeeregistry.com: (includes) William Grimmett, Jack Grimmet, Susan Grimmett, George Chambers, James Chambers, John Chambers, Maxwell Chambers.    

Claims of Dispossessed Cherokee – 1835; Office of Indian Affairs 25 July 1835 online at cherokeeregistry.com


1847 – Councilors from Flint District, Cherokee Nation: Bark Flute, William Grimmett, and George Chambers.     Speculation: Flint District was an excellent place to have William Grimmett meet our subject Samuel Chambers and exchange family information.    

History of the Cherokee Indians, Emmet Starr, 1922 found online Google Books. 


Children of Henry Chambers and 2nd wife Martha Eggers


(1). Rebecca Elizabeth Chambers (1796 to 19 January 1867 at Floyd County, Iowa) married Wayne County, Indiana on 10 February 1814 to James Tatum “II” (6 February 1791-2 February 1887).  They named one son “Henry Chambers Tatum.”  See James Tatum “I” Chapter for details.    


(2). Ann or Anna Chambers (1802/03 to 1860+) married on 20 February 1817 Franklin County, Indiana to Elisha Wright by Elenezer Howe (county record). * 

* from Indiana Marriages 1810-2001 on ancestry.com, image 1649/69045 


1822 September 11 - Union County: Elisha Wright deeded to James Tatum 30 acres of land for $23 “which I have by my wife Anna which is a daughter of Henry Chambers, deceased,”…which is the 5th part of that land.  Witnessed by Daniel Eggers and William Rash in Union County, Indiana.   (Union Co. Deed Book source missing)


(consider) 1850 US Census of Owsley County, Kentucky: Elish Wright 50 farmer, SC, Anna Wright 48 NC, Marion Wright 16 (m) Ky, Lucinda Wright 12 Ky, Hamilton Wright 7 Ky, Nancy King 18, Ky.

(consider) 1860 US Census of Proctor, Owsley County, Kentucky: Elisha Wright farmer 59 NC, Anna Wright 57 Ia (?), Lewis H. Wright 20 Ky, Hamilton W. Wright 18 Ky, Nancy J. Wright 8, Ky.


(3). Nancy Chambers


(4). James Chambers

(5). Mary Chambers (1802/05 to ?) who could be Jane Chambers from will, married Jesse G. Dollar (~1796/97 to 1880+)

1819 March 30 – Fayette County, Indiana: Mary Chambers married on 30 March 1819 in Fayette County, Indiana, to Jesse G. Dollar (6 October 1797 S.C. to 9 November 1880 Polk County, Mo.); source - possibly a family record - county marriage record not yet found.   Reported 6 children.   

1822 September 11 – Union County, Indiana: Jesse Dollar deeded to James Tatum “my part in full of said 30 acres that I have by my wife Mary, which is daughter of Henry Chambers, deceased” ...of said land which is the fifth part of it.  Witnessed by Matthew Tatum and Daniel Eggers and recorded 30 June 1824 Union County, Indiana.  (Union County Deed Book Source missing).

1830 US Census of Montgomery County, Indiana: Jesse G. Dollar, 1 male 0-4, 1 female 20-29, 1 male 30-39.   Question: why no children for first 8 - 10 years?  Are we seeing the same wife – Mary Chambers?

1835 Illinois State Census, Fulton County: Jesse Dollar

1850 – 1880 Polk County, Missouri:

1850 US Census of Polk County, Missouri:  Jesse G. Dollar, 56 farmer SC, Mary Dollar 48 NC, James Dollar 19 farmer Iowa, William Dollar 14 Ill, John Dollar 12 Ill, Melinda Dollar 10 Ill, Samuel Dollar 4 Ill.

1860 US Census of Marion, Polk County, Missouri: Jesse Dollar 62 SC, Mary Dollar 55 NC, Samuel Dollar 13, Missouri

1870 US Census of Polk County, Missouri: In the family of Elizabeth Powell 67 NC with Becca Dollar age 40 Tn and others, last entry is Jesse Dollar, farmer, SC.  

1880 US Census of Jefferson, Polk County: Jesse Dollar, widower, boarder, age 83, SC; parents born England.


William Chambers of Wilkes County, North Carolina

Useful Information Only


1790 August 18 – Wilkes County, NC: William Chambers purchased 240 acres on the south side of Fishers Creek on the Yadkin River.  Fishers Creek is on the east side of the Blue Ridge crest and flows toward the Atlantic Ocean whereas New River is on the west side and flows to the Ohio River.  (DB B-1/511/512).


Further Notes on William Chambers and Fisher’s Creek Chambers 

1795 July 8 – Wilkes County, NC: John Chambers purchased 2 tracts of land on Fishers Creek.  Witnesses on both included William Chambers, Eve “x” Chambers and Elizabeth “x” Lenderman. (DB D/539-530)

1797 March 18 – Wilkes County NC:  There five deeds on Fishers Creek of Yadkin River this date.   Thomas Newberry of the State of Georgia sold three 40 acre tracts on Fishers Creek to John Andrews for 20 pounds each.  Witnesses were John Chambers, Elijah Chambers, and Elisha Chambers.   Thomas Newberry next sold three more 40 acre tracts for 10 pounds each to John Chambers with two listed as Fishers Creek and one Bushy Mountain.  Witnesses were John “x” Andrew, Elijah Chambers, and Elisha Chambers.  (DB D/533-538 found in Wilkes County, N.C. Deeds 1795-1815 by Mrs. W.O. Absher 1990/2007)

1805 June 20 – Wilkes County: William Chambers of Sevier County, Tennessee sold 50 acres of his Fishers Creek lands.  Witnesses included John Chambers (DB F-1/229.  Keep in mind that the 1800 US Census of Wilkes County includes three William Chambers.