Meet some of the researchers in our group


Left to right: Craig Laurence, Bill Chumley, Kathy Chumley, Glenda Mounger, Mary Ann Ward, Alice Chumbley Ray Lora, Terry Chumley, Gail Chumley Ingram

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. When I started making connections with reputable Chumley researchers, I could see the potential of combining our experience and research to publish a book of our family history.

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 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.

At the time of this printing, we are a group of twenty-four 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” Ford Chumley family.


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.
Memberships/affiliations:,, member of Claiborne County Historical & Genealogical Society, member of Chesterfield Virginia Historical Society
Family Line: Robert & Elizabeth Ford Chumley/Lewis & Mary Freeman Chumley/Daniel Huff & Matilda Bryant Chumley/Lewis Garrett & Annie Hammock Chumley

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

BILL CHUMLEY (Bill passed away June 2018 and is sorely missed)

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 naive 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 Ford Chumley/Charles B & Delina Carroll Chumley/William & Emeline Runions Chumley/William Horace & Emeline Runions Chumley


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 email: egailing AT

My interest in genealogy began in the early 1960’s when my father inherited the Allred Family Bible that had belonged to my gggrmother. 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 TN. and AL. 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 findagrave and research became an addiction. I enterest 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

TERRY CHUMLEY email: watakush2000i AT
Family Line: Robert & Elizabeth Ford Chumley/Lewis & Mary Freeman Chumley/Daniel Huff & Matilda Bryant Chumley/Edward Kettron & Venetia Allred Chumley

BARBARA MEGER email: megerstch AT

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 Ford Chumley/James H & Eliza Chumley Lyngar/Andrew & Adeline Spivey Lyngar/Walter Noble & Edith Gould Lyngar

MARY NEW HELD email: javaladymh AT

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.
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 Ford Chumley/Brittain & Margaret Russell Chumbley/Lewis & Elizabeth Gossett Chumbley/Martha Chumbley & John Thomas Spears

SHARON FORD email: sharon_ford1 AT

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”.
Family Line: Robert & Elizabeth Ford Chumley/John & Malinda Sharp Chumbley/America Chumbley & Edwin McMasters Goodman/Emma Goodman & Josephus Nickel

Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. Randy Chumley

     /  05/17/2019

    Randy Chumley son of James Chumley. I would like to hear back Please.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: