The World of Grandpa Don

 Family Line

Our Chamberlin line in America begins with Francis Chamberlain, born in England in 1580. He visited Virginia in 1621 but returned to England where he died soon after. He was my 9th great grandfather. His son William later migrated to Massachusetts to establish the Chamberlain line permanently in America. Our line from him continues through Anne Chamberlin who married William Dean in 1782 and then through their granddaughter Delight Adeline Dean who married Chauncey Butler Doolittle in about 1842.

I have  Cousin Joan Gooding to thank for  corrections to Francis Chamberlain (1580-1623) & Agnes Haiden as well as info about General Joshua Chamberlain.. 

This is their story, as I know it.

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In England/France & Beyond

The Chamberlain Ancestors

The Chamberlain ancestors came to England from Normandy with William the Conqueror, also known as William the Bastard, in 1066. At that time the family surname was Tankervile and before that they were of Viking stock with origins in Norse mythology. For that story see Chamberlain/Tankerville/Norse Heritage.


In England


Francis Chamberlain (1580-1623) & Agnes Haiden (1580 - 1621)

We know little of this couple except that Francis was of a long line of distinguished Chamberlins with origins in Normandy and the Norse countries. (see  Chamberlain/Tankerville/Norse Heritage ) He was born cir 1580 at Great Burstead, Essex, England and married Agnes Haiden. Of their children we only know of William Chamberlain Sr.. Agnes died at age 30 in 1621 within months of William's birth and Francis sailed to Virginia on the the Marmaduke that same year. His visit was short and he returned to England where he died in 1623.

There are trees on which purport that Francis and his wife came to Massachusetts early in the 1620's and raised several children however their arrival would have been after her death and they show children born after her death and his. These accounts also show the Chamberlain family as living at communities that were not settled at the time. 


In America


Generation 1

William Chamberlain Sr. (1620 - 1706) & Rebecca Shelley Addington (1625 - 1692)

William Chamberlain, Born in Hingham, Norfolk, England in 1620 was apparently raised by relatives when his father left for Virginia shortly after he was born. He, in turn immigrated to America in 1648 at the age of 28.  That very year he married Rebecca Shelley Addington who had been born at Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, in 1625. She was one of four children of Isaac Addington Jr and Anne Fitch Leverett. It is possible that Rebeca's parents had sailed from England on the same ship as William.

The family lived in Woburn, MA until about 1653 and relocated to Billerica.

William and Rebecca had 13 children between 1649 and 1681. Several years after the birth of their last child, Rebeca was accused of witchcraft. She was never convicted of the charge but died in Cambridge prison in 1692. William died at Billerica, Middlesex, Massachusetts, in 1706.

The following ( see Billerica  ) is listed as "speculation:

Although there is no testimony to such, it is the belief and speculation of many that John Durrant and Rebecca Chamberlain were also victims of the Salem witch hunts. In the History of Middlesex County (Boston, 1885), Samuel Adams Drake writes “Rebecca, the wife of William Chamberlain and John Durrant, both of Billerica, died in prison in Cambridge where they were incarcerated for witchcraft.” Rev. Henry Hazen, in the History of Billerica (1883), states that Rebecca Chamberlain “died in prison at Cambridge, 1692, Sept. 26, possibly charged with witchcraft.”  And of John Durrant, Hazen states that he “dyed in prison, at Cambridge, 1692, Oct. 27. The date suggests Farmer’s [An Historical Memoir of Billerica by John Farmer] probable conjecture that the charge against him was witchcraft.”

In 2012 I participated in the DNA project. My DNA was a match to that of a person who was identified as "annotwalthall". In comparing our family trees it was discovered that our closest common ancestor was this William Chamberlain. That led to the discovery of my Chamberlain Heritage in Great Brittan, Normandy and beyond.


2nd Generation 

Edmund Chamberlain (1660 - 1740) & Mercy Abbott (1660 - 1697 )

Edmund Chamberlain, sixed child of William and Rebeca, was bon at Billerica, MA on 15 Jul 1660. He married Mercy Abbott, daughter of John and Mercy Abbott of Woburn, MA. We know nothing of this family except that they had at least one son, also named Edmund.  Edmund, Sr. died 28 Jul 1740 and Mercy on 27 Feb 1697, both in Billerica.


3rd Generation

Edmond Chamberlain (1695 - 1766) & Sarah Furbush (1697 - 1769)

Edmond, the younger, was born at Billerica, MA in 1695. He married Sarah Furbush who was born in 1697 at Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts. Nothing more is known of her or her family. The family apparently lived in Reading. They had at least one son, named Joseph. Edmond is listed as dying in , Somme, Picardie, France in 1766 but it is unknown as to his reason for being there. Sarah died in Reading, in 1769


4th Generation

Joseph Chamberlain (1721 - 1802) & Mary Ward ( - 1802)

Joseph Chamberlain was born 24 Feb 1721 at Reading, Ma. He married Mary Ward but nothing is known of her birth or parentage. The couple had at least one child, Anne born 26 Mar 1802 at Mansfield, Tolland, CT. Both parents are listed as dying that same year in the same place. Was there a family tragedy? It is not known who raised their daughter. Mary must have been quite a bit younger than Joseph since he was 80 when they died.


5th Generation

Anne Chamberlain (1762 - 1846) & William Dean ( 1758 - 1836)

Anne Chamberlain was born 26 Mar 1802 at Mansfield, Tolland, CT. In Mar of 1782 she married William Dean. He was born 23 Jan 1758 at Coventry, Tolland, CT. He was the son of Solomon Dains and Ruth Neff. William's grandfather listed the family name as Daynes. They were probably attempting to Americanize the pronunciation and spelling. See William Dean Pedigree chart.

The couple had 12 children. About 1800 the family relocated from Connecticut to Paris, New York. All their children were given the surname "Dean". William died in Paris, NY 01 Feb 1836. Anne followed in death on 23 Aug 1846.


6th Generation

Alba Dean (1793 - 1869) & Sally Morgan ( 1795 - 1886)

Alba Dean was born in 1793 at Oswego, Oswego, New York the 4th child in a family of 12.  In 1806 he married Sally Morgan born 08 Feb 1795 in Vermont, the daughter of Joseph Morgan and Eunice Doolittle. See Sally Morgan Pedegree.

 The couple lived in Oswego and had 7 children. Alba died 10 Jun 1869 and Sally on 04 Feb 1886 having moved to Elmira; ; NY.


7th Generation

Delight Adeline Dean (1820 - 1897) & Chauncey Butler Doolittle ( 1803 - 1863)

Delight and Chauncey were 4th cousins. For a continuation of this line from this point through the Thayer and Copeland lines see The Doolittle Family .


Click to view ...
Relationship Chart

Pedigree Chart for Anne Chamberlain


Added Interest:

We have also unearthed the photo of my 5th cousin 4X removed, General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain.

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (September 8, 1828 – February 24, 1914), born as Lawrence Joshua Chamberlain, was an American college professor from the State of Maine, who volunteered during the American Civil War to join the Union Army. He became a highly respected and decorated Union officer, reaching the rank of brigadier general (and brevet major general). For his gallantry at Gettysburg, he was awarded the Medal of Honor. He was given the honor of commanding the Union troops at the surrender ceremony for the infantry of Robert E. Lee's Army at Appomattox Court House, Virginia. After the war, he entered politics as a Republican and served four one-year terms of office as the 32nd Governor of Maine. He served on the faculty, and as president, of his alma mater, Bowdoin College.

Joshua Chamberlain - Brady-Handy.jpg

 You may read more of this highly decorated cousin of ours at and you can see our relationship at Chamberlain relationship.



© Grandpa Don Plefka
aka Harry Ronald Cecora
Rev. 04/19/13
Rev. 11/03/15


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