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Roger Chandler from Canterbury to Zevenhuizen to America

Updated: Jan 25, 2021

Roger Chandler was an early settler of the Plymouth Colony, arriving between 1629 and 1632. He was born in England, abt. 1590, and moved to Leiden, Holland, where he was a say weaver by trade. A say weaver made "say", which was used to make table cloths, bedding, etc. (Source).

As a point of interest, the famous artist, Rembrandt, was born in Leiden in 1606. Roger was married in Leiden on July 15, 1615, to Isabella Chilton, daughter of James and Susanna Chilton. Isabella was born in Canterbury and was baptized there on January 15, 1587. Her father was a tailor in Canterbury.

Dutch Mill by Rembrandt

The Chiltons were Separatist pilgrims who had fled from Canterbury to Leiden, Holland, to escape the religious edicts of the Church of England and persecution by its subjects. Isabella's parents and teen-aged sister, Mary Chilton, left Leiden in 1620, sailing on the famous Mayflower to the new world. James was the oldest passenger on the ship. Sadly, Isabella's parents both died while the ship was anchored for five weeks off Cape Cod, prior to their landing at Plymouth. Isabella's sister, Mary, survived and is said to have been the first of the passengers to step foot onto Plymouth Rock. Mary married John Winslow between 1623 and 1627, a union that produced ten Winslow children. John and Mary Winslow both died in Boston in the 1670s and rest in King's Chapel Burying Ground in Boston.

In 1622, Roger and Isabella were said to have been living in the Sevenhuysen part of Leiden. In trying to locate this place, I found only Zevenhuizen, a hamlet in the Dutch province of South Holland, within the municipalities of Kaag en Brassem and Teylingen. (Source) Zevenhuizen is about 3-4 miles northeast of Leiden. Translated it means "seven houses".

Roger and Isabella's daughter, Sarah Chandler, was born in Leiden in 1616 (baptized Oct. 15, 1622). Other children were: Mary, who was born in 1618, Samuel, who was born in 1622 and appears to have died young, and Lydia and Martha, who were born in 1625. The family left Leiden between 1629 and 1630 with a number of members of the Leiden Congregation. In 1633, Roger was taxed and listed among the freemen of Plymouth (Massachusetts). His son, who bore his namesake, Roger Chandler, was born in 1637.

Roger died between 1646 and 1665. In October of 1665, the Plymouth Court granted 150 acres of land to the three daughters of the deceased Roger Chandler. No mention of Isabella was made, indicating she probably died before him. No mention of their son, Samuel, was made either, indicating he probably died young. There was a Samuel Chandler taxed in Dorchester in 1633, but Roger's son would have only been 11 years old at the time - too young to be on the tax rolls. Another Samuel Chandler of Duxbury was the son of Edmund Chandler - not Roger. There were no other men named Samuel Chandler found.

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Roger Chandler Familypedia [Link]

The Descendants of Roger Chandler of Concord, Mass., 1658, by Charles H. Chandler [Read Online] [Buy a Copy]

Mayflower Families through Five Generations, Vol. 15, by Robert M. Sherman et al., 1997 [Read Online] [Buy a copy]

The Great Migration Begins, by Robert C. Anderson, NEHGS, 1995. [Buy a copy]

The Pilgrim Migration, by Robert C. Anderson, NEHGS, 2004 [Buy a copy]

The Probable Identity of the Daughters of Roger Chandler of Duxbury, Massachusetts, by Frederick C. Warner, The American Genealogist, 1951, 1-6.


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