The Chumley/Chumbley Research Members

The Chumley Research Project

by Kathy Chumley and Alice Chumbley Ray Lora

The Chumley research Project began in the fall of 2010 with the goal of compiling the work of many reputable Chumley researchers and publishing a book about the Chumley/Chumbley (with its variant spellings) family history. I was impressed with how much research had already been compiled and by how many people were already involved.

To begin, special recognition must be given to Arva Chumley, a wonderful woman who started many of us on our family searches. Arva traveled the United States, interviewing and visiting Chumley families, homesteads, and cemeteries in order to trace the Chumley family roots. When she could no longer travel, she still aided many of us. Some of us visited her, some of us telephoned her, some of us corresponded by letters. Arva eagerly and generously shared the information she had collected, and then she would suggest further research possibilities. When Arva died in 2006, we all lost a good friend and fellow genealogist. The goal of this publication is to establish a written legacy for our Chumley family, completing the work what Arva began many years ago.

By the summer of 2011, we had twelve members in our group and in June of that year, eight of them accepted my invitation to attend my family’s annual Chumley Reunion in Tennessee, where our oldest proven Chumley ancestor lived. We had such a wonderful time sharing stories and information, touring the countryside where our ancestors once lived, and eating a bountiful meal enjoyed by nearly 200 family members gathered to renew old friendships and establish new ones.

Our membership has grown and we are now a group of 50 researchers, and still growing. Our team has spent numerous hours researching, comparing, and rechecking our information in order to present as accurate an account as possible of the five generations of the Robert and Elizabeth “Betsy” Chumley family. 

Some of our members

KATHY CHUMLEY: I began researching my family history around 2001, beginning with interviews and collecting data from my family in Claiborne County, Tennessee. At the time I was making a family scrapbook and I kept running into dead ends. In the fall of 2010, I opened my account for more serious researching to find supporting records to prove/disprove my data, which is how I met these wonderful researchers. I am probably the least experienced one in our group, but I am learning, with the help of everyone in the group. What I lack in experience, I make up for with my computer skills and data processing work. email:
Memberships/affiliations:,, Claiborne County Historical & Genealogical Society, Virginia Genealogical Society, Amelia County Historical Society, creator of and Chumley Family Tree Facebook page.
Family Line: Robert & Elizabeth Chumley/Lewis & Mary Freeman Chumley/Daniel Huff & Matilda Bryant Chumley/Lewis Garrett & Annie Hammock Chumley/Van Weem and Dellar Bussell Chumley

Family Line: Robert & Elizabeth Chumley/Lewis & Mary Freeman Chumley/Daniel Huff & Matilda Bryant Chumley/James Franklin & Sarah Cline Chumley/Susanah Chumley Prince

BILL CHUMLEY (Bill passed away June 2018 and is sorely missed.  He gave Kathy his paper records and digital tree with extensive notes to aid in our research.) 

Bill’s experience: Most of my efforts, for many years, especially the “early ones”, were devoted to attempting to “bridge the gap” from Robert Chumley and Betsy Ford, backward, into England, resulting in collecting “hard copies” of all info and articles. I was naïve enough to believe there had to be an answer hidden somewhere, so over the years, Peg and I expanded research, traveling and spending many hours in several libraries searching for ANYTHING REMOTELY RELATED to any version of the “Chumley” name. We spent a lot of time finding and copying document pages from Richmond and Cumberland Counties in Virginia and later to Nashville, Tn (attempted to locate Charles Ballard’s “trail” and/or grave, in Wilson Co.) then to Pine Bluff, Ark, Claiborne Co, Tn (has much more than many larger libraries) & many hours were spent, as we copied most all of the genealogy library in Knoxville’s “McClung” Lib. I also spent time researching in the Mormon Church Genealogical Lib, here in Cocoa, Fl. My territory also included the Claiborne Co.,and the Oneida, Tn area, along with the Ewing, Rose Hill “tip of Virginia”, section.
Family Line: Robert & Elizabeth Chumley/Charles B & Delina Carroll Chumley/William Horace & Emeline Runions Chumley/Joseph Horace Chumley/Kleber Doyle Chumley

BARBARA BERRY MEGER: My interest in genealogy began as a teenager in the 1960’s when my great-aunt Helen Lyngar Kennedy learned that Thedra Lyngar Edge, daughter of James Harvery Lyngar and his second wife Mary Anderson, was still living. We visited and interviewed Thedra, and we corresponded for a few years. She and my Aunt Helen were able to put me in touch with distant cousins so that I could acquire more basic family information. Some 10 years later I visited the little private cemetery in Polk County, Missouri, where Thedra had told me were buried J. H. Lyngar’s first wife Eliza Chumley and her children who died young. What a surprise to also find Robert Chumley’s gravestone and those of Malinda Chumley Slatten and a couple of her children! Fast forward to the late 1990’s when life let me start doing some serious research as I realized that I needed to find source documentation for what I had been told. I live near Washington, D.C., so did a lot of digging at the DAR Library. By that time I was also finding Internet connections and traded a lot of information via the Chumbley List at RootsWeb. Time for research is hard for me to find these days as life has taken me in different directions, though the interest is still very strong.
Memberships/affiliations: Member of DAR.
Family Line: Robert & Elizabeth Chumley/James H & Eliza Chumley Lyngar/Andrew & Adeline Spivey Lyngar/Walter Noble & Edith Gould Lyngar/Sarah Lyngar Jennings email:

MARY NEW HELD: In the mid to late 80’s I began searching for my roots. Problem was that most everyone had already passed and I had not paid attention to family talk when I was younger; I only knew my grandparents names (on both sides). I had two aunts still living that told me what they could. By 1995, I retired early and soon was ‘hooked’ on tracing my roots. I posted queries/messages on the web and Family Tree Maker; visited cemeteries, court houses, libraries. Chumbley cousins found me through the FTM and message boards. email:
Memberships/affiliations: FindAGrave, sites (most concerning Pulaski, Casey & Russell Co, Ky.),, Rootsweb, Chumbley Rootsweb List. I also search for family trees on the web and try to contact the owners, try to verify information.
Family Line: Robert & Elizabeth Chumley/Brittain & Margaret Russell Chumbley/Lewis & Elizabeth Gossett Chumbley/Martha Chumbley & John Thomas Spears/Mary Spears New

SHARON FORD: I began researching my family history in Jan 1981, two months following the death of my mother. Fortunately, at the same time, my mother received a small inheritance from a Nickel (paternal) cousin. Since she was deceased, my brother and I inherited the small amt of money, and I gained the names and contact info of all my mother’s Nickel cousins. This led to my mother’s maternal side, the Goodmans and the Chumbleys, and a couple of her cousins. By then I definitely had the “bug”. email:
Family Line: Robert & Elizabeth Chumley/John & Malinda Sharp Chumbley/America Chumbley & Edwin McMasters Goodman/Emma Goodman & Josephus Nickel/Helen Nickel Christie

CRAIG LAURENCE: Project manager to The Cholmondeley DNA Project: email:

MARY ANN CHUMLEA WARD: one of our first members: Experienced genealogist whose oldest ancestor is believed to be Robert’s brother. Mary Ann’s family tree: account:

ALICE CHUMBLEY LORA: Partly because my Chumbley family did not have local reunions, and I had little family history written down, I started my own search around 1998, when I retired from teaching. We moved to my husband’s hometown of Bluffton, Ohio, a Swiss Mennonite Community, and I became very involved with the Swiss Historical Society and researching his family roots. But then I turned to my own roots, the Chumbleys of Russell County, Kentucky. The Civil War was of particular interest, so I researched my Chumbley family’s involvement in that war. That was only the beginning. I joined and began connecting online with folks such as Arva Chumbley, who was not herself online, but who was in contact with many others who were. Because of the internet I was able to contact several cousins who then sent me pictures and information about my Russell County, Kentucky family of Chumbleys.
Memberships/affiliations:,, Swiss Community Historical Society [my husband’s family roots]
Family Line: Robert & Elizabeth Ford Chumley/Andrew & Elizabeth Cadle Chumbley/James F & Lucy Ellen Fry Chumbley/John William & Rebecca Hart Chumbley

GAIL CHUMLEY INGRAM: My interest in genealogy began in the early 1960’s when my father inherited the Allred Family Bible that had belonged to my 3rd great grandmother. It wasn’t long after that when I heard about the letter Arva Chumley from Texas had written requesting information for a book she was writing on the Chumleys. My Aunt Evelyn was collecting our information and I gave her a copy of all that I had collected which she sent to Arva. Living too far away from my roots in Tennessee and Alabama. and without funds to do much traveling, further research became an on and off hobby until the 1990’s when I took my first ventures into cyberspace. After retirement, when time was no longer a restraint, I joined Ancestry and and research became an addiction. I entered two trees on Ancestry in 2010. It was in early 2011 when I began to concentrate on the Chumley tree that Kathy noticed the activity and contacted me. That began the journey we are on now.
Family Line: Robert & Elizabeth Ford Chumley/Lewis & Mary Freeman Chumley/Daniel Huff & Matilda Bryant Chumley/Edward Kettron & Venetia Allred Chumley

Other Research Members

Patti Chumley Malone
Family Line: Patti Chumley Malone/Edsel Everett Chumley/Louis Franklin Chumley/James Franklin Chumley/Daniel Huff Chumley/Lewis Chumley/Robert Chumley

Travis Chumley
Family Line: Travis Chumley/Jerry Chumley/Clayton Chumley/James Roy Chumley/Lewis Garrett Chumley/Daniel Huff Chumley/Lewis Chumley/Robert Chumley

David Chumley
Family Line: John David Chumley/Franklin D Chumley/William Wheeler Chumley/Lewis Garrett Chumley/Daniel Huff Chumley/Lewis Chumley/Robert

Donna Poore Chumley
Family Line: Donna’s husband, Mike Chumley/Jake Chumley/Garrett Neal Chumley/Lewis Garrett Chumley/Daniel Huff Chumley/Lewis Chumley/Robert Chumley

Michele Damron Hughes
Family Line: Michele Damron Hughes/Marvin David Damron/Mary Frances Chumley-Damron/Ward Chumley/Robert Dudley Chumley/Daniel Huff Chumley/Lewis Chumley/Robert Chumley

Sheila Jane Spruell Belcher
Family Line: Sheila Jane Spruell Belcher/Bernard Riley Spruell/Mary Jane Chumley/Robert “Bob” Chumley/Lewis Chumley/Robert Chumley”

Randy Chumley
Family Line: Randy Chumley/James Chumley/Hadley Chumley/William Alphes Chumley/Robert “Bob” Chumley/Lewis Chumley/Robert Chumley 

Rory Van Tuyl
Family Line: Rory Van Tuyl/Bob Lynn Van Tuyl/Ardo Rena Van Tuyl/Malinda Viola Chumbley/Samuel Chandler Chumbley/John Chumbley/Robert Chumley

Barbara Harp Driskell and her husband James
Family Line: Barbara Driskell Harp/Ulysses B Harp/Sara Matilda Chumley Harp/Charles Ballard Chumley/Robert Chumley

Gloria Herbert
Family Line: Gloria’s husband, David Herbert/Karolyn Eldridge Herbert/Dorothy Chumbley Eldridge/James Marion Chumbley/Alexander Chumbley/Brittian Chumbley/Robert Chumley

Lewis Eugene Chumbley and his daughter Glenna
Family Line: Lewis Eugene Chumbley/Coke Eugene Chumbley/George Alexander Chumbley/James Marion Chumbley/Alexander Chumbley/Brittian Chumbley/Robert/Chumley”

Barbara Hayes Enloe and her cousin, Anne Chumbley McGrew
Family Line: Barbara Hayes Enloe/Ilene Chumbley Hayes/Josiah Wilson “Joe” Chumbley/Alexander Chumbley/Brittian Chumbley/Robert Chumley

Rae Ann Chumbley Kincer
Family Line: Rae Ann Chumbley Kincer/Robert Allen Chumbley/Luco Marion Chumbley/Lewis Chumbley/Brittian Chumbley/Robert Chumley

Barbara Lamm Cline
Family Line: Barbara Lamm Cline/Eva Bolton Lamm/Pearlie Lingar Bolton/U.T. Lingar/Lewis “Louis” Lingar/Sarah Chumley Lingar/Robert Chumley

Penny Lydic Daughtry
Family Line: Penny Lydic Daughtry/Esther Lingar Lydic/Charles Huston Lingar/Leander Lingar/Sarah Chumley Lingar/Robert Chumley

Barbara Patton Nivision
Family Line: Barbara Patton Nivison/Robert Harold Patton/Mildred Lingar Patton/James Dudley Lingar/Lewis “Louis” Lingar/Sarah Chumley Lingar/Robert Chumley

Sally Thomas Sunderhaus
Family Line: Sally Thomas Sunderhaus/Willard Walter Thomas/Charles Horace Lingar/Phoebe Ellen Linger/Sarah Chumley Lingar/Robert Chumley

This list in not inclusive of our members, just the ones I have worked with the most. Forgive me if someone was not recognized. It was not my intention to leave anyone out who contributed to our research.

3 responses to “The Chumley/Chumbley Research Members”

  1. Hello my mother was a Chumley. Her father was Walter Chumley.. Is he listed in your findings?

    • Hi Ginny, I do not have a Walter Chumley in my research. However, it is very possible that I have his ancestors. We have not included Chumley families past the 5th generation of Robert and Betsy, our oldest known ancestors. Do you know his parents or grandparents names? Also it would help if you knew where they lived; city/county and state. You can email me the information at and I will do some hunting for you.
      Thanks for contacting me, Kathy Chumley

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