Children of Robert and Betsy

The Family of Robert and Elizabeth “Betsy” Chumley

1. ANDREW CHUMBLEY was born on 18 Feb 1803 in Virginia. He died on 19 Oct 1892 in Jabez, Russell, Kentucky.  He married:

(1) ELIZABETH “BETSY” CADLE (daughter of Mark Jackson Cadle and Mary Polly Covey) in Aug 1826 in Claiborne County, Tennessee. She was born in 1804 in Wilkes County, North Carolina. She died about 1865 in Somerset, Pulaski County, Kentucky.

(2) MARY ELIZABETH JANE GOODIN (daughter of John Goodin and Sarah Gums Montgomery) on 01 Apr 1866 in Pulaski County, Kentucky (Second marriage for both. She was previously married to William McClendon). She was born in Oct 1828 in Hawkins County, Tennessee. She died after 1900 in Wolf Creek, Russell, Kentucky.

2. LEWIS CHUMLEY was born about 1806 in Virginia. He died in 1880 in Arthur, Claiborne County, Tennessee (Age: 74). He married Mary Elizabeth “Mae” Freeman in 1830 in Arthur, Claiborne (Age: 74). She was born on 14 Aug 1810 in North Carolina. She died onm08 Oct 1886 in Condray, Dent County, Missouri.

3. JOHN CHUMBLEY was born about 1809 in Virginia. He died after Oct 1850 in Claiborne County, Tennessee. He married Malinda Ellen Sharp about 1831 in Tennessee. She was born on 18 Jul 1806 in Tennessee (Birth Tennessee Recorded in the Ebenezer Church Register). She died about 1865 in Benton County, Arkansas.

4. CHARLES BALLARD CHUMLEY was born about 1814 in Claiborne County, Tennessee. He died on 11 Feb 1847 in Green Hill, Wilson County, Tennessee (Died on the way home from the Tex-Mexican War, about 15 miles from Nashville, Tennessee at William Mastins home.). He married Delina Carroll (daughter of William Carroll) on 06 Feb 1836 in Claiborne County, Tennessee. She was born in 1815 in North Carolina. She died on 25 Apr 1894 in Cumberland Gap, Claiborne County, Tennessee.

5. BRITTAIN CHUMBLEY was born about 1815 in Powell Valley, Claiborne County, Tennessee. He died on 20 Jan 1851 in Pulaski County, Kentucky. He married Margaret Ellen “Peggy” Russell in 1834 in Claiborne County, Tennessee. She was born about 1817 in Claiborne County, Tennessee. She died after Jun 1880 in Pulaski County, Kentucky.

6. SARAH CHUMLEY was born about 1819 in Claiborne County, Tennessee. She died before 1900 in Claiborne County, Tennessee. She married John “Jack” Lingar (son of John V Lingar and Mary Polly) on 15 Feb 1838 in Claiborne County, Tennessee. He was born about 1815 in Mingo Hollow, Claiborne County, Tennessee. He died in 1899 in Claiborne County, Tennessee.

7. MALINDA CHUMLEY was born in Feb 1821 in Claiborne County, Tennessee. She died on 03 May 1881 in Polk County, Missouri. She married John Slatten (son of Hiram Slatten and Sarah unknown) on 06 Sep 1845 in Claiborne County, Tennessee (Looks like image says Sep. Transcription says Aug). He was born about 1825 in Hawkins, Tennessee (birth date per family researchers’ data). He died in 1860 in Polk County, Missouri (Burial: King Cem, Polk County, Missouri).

8. ELIZA CHUMLEY was born about 1824 in Claiborne County, Tennessee. She died on 22 Sep 1870 in Polk County, Missouri. She married James Harvey Lyngar (son of John V Lingar and Mary Polly) on 19 Jan 1843 in Claiborne County, Tennessee (William McNeil, M.G.). He was born on 12 Feb 1821 in Claiborne County, Tennessee. He died on 26 Jan 1902 in Greene County, Missouri.

9. EMILY CHUMLEY was born about 1826 in Claiborne County, Tennessee. She died in 1850 in Claiborne County, Tennessee (Emily died sometime before Aug 1850 when census was taken.). She married Riley Clark on 01 Jan 1850 in Claiborne County, Tennessee (Tennessee State Marriages, 1765-2002). He was born in 1827 in Tennessee. He died on 14 Mar 1894 in Tennessee.

Andrew Chumbley

The following writing is by Alice Chumbley Lora, a direct descendant and a member of the Chumley/Chumbley Research Group:

ANDREW CHUMBLEY, the eldest son of Robert Chumbley and Elizabeth Betsy Ford, was born about 1803 in Amelia (or Giles) County, Virginia. By 1840 he, along with his brothers John, Lewis and Robert Chumbley were living in Claiborne County, Tennessee, where some of the family stayed and put down roots.

But in the early 1840s, Andrew and his brother Britain [also spelled Britain, Briton, Brittain, Britton] moved to Kentucky and were in the 1850 Pulaski County Census. They and two of Andrew’s sons, William and John J, were buying land and settling their families on land that adjoined the Cub Creek and the Cumberland River, along the border of Russell and Pulaski counties, where they were later joined by their brothers Samuel, Robert Green, James Franklin, Elias Britain, and Martin, along with sisters “Mary” Mahala Ann and Martha A.

[to be continued]

Lewis Franklin Chumley’s great-grandson, Van Weems Chumley

Some inserts from my Chumley Family Book, this one about my great-grandfather, Van Weems Chumley.

Van Weems and Dellar Chumley
55th Wedding Anniversary, June 21, 1964

Van Weems Chumley was born the oldest child of Lewis Garrett and Annie Katherine Hammock Chumley on 28 Aug 1887 in Arthur, Claiborne County, Tennessee. Van Weems would learn how to farm the land from his father Lewis, who learned from his father and his father before him. The land was rich and fertile on Powell River and 3 generations would live there on both sides of Powell River during Van Weems’ lifetime. He had 5 brothers, Jack, Jim, Wheeler, Landon, and Neal; and 1 sister Emma, but they called her Emmer. All the children would marry, raise their families, and farm the land in Claiborne County, except one. Landon would die young. In fact, Landon was only 23 when he died of pneumonia and he is buried in the Old Chumley Cemetery, on the East side of Powell River. We believe he was well educated and Uncle Harley mentioned to me that Landon traveled and stayed in Nashville quite often, as well.

By 1910, Van Weems, Dellar, and their first son Lewis were living in their home on Powell River beside Van Weems father and mother, Lewis and Annie, his brother Wheeler and his family, and his brother Jack and his family. Other families mentioned on the census include Dellar’s parents Tom and Rebecca Bussell and the families of Tuttle, Cupp, Ely, Brooks, and Cheek, just to mention a few. Homes of this time commonly were 2 room log homes with fireplaces and iron cook stoves for heating and cooking.

Cabin on Powell River around 1915
Left to right: Otis, Dellar and Van Weems
Front left to right: Agnes, Minnie, Lewis

Wood was plentiful and provided needed materials to build not only homes, but also other essential buildings, such as barns, corn cribs, chicken coops, etc. Wood cutting could be a year-round job, depending how much you had stored up before winter. Wooden sleds and mules were used for gathering and hauling crops out of the fields, because the fields were often on very steep hillsides where it was difficult for wagons and horses. Sleds were built from sawed lumber, and young ash trees were ideal for making the runners for the sled, as you could find them with just the right crook in them that would allow the sled to glide across the field and not burrow into the ground.

Warner Bussell, Van Weems Chumley, Grandpaw Bussell, Henley Bussell, Ed Bussell Powell river farm

Van Weems was a farmer all his life and our family prospered because they worked together and were self-sufficient. They grew their food, made most of their clothing, bartered goods for staples they needed, traded work with others in the community, and kept livestock for food, labor, and/or profit. As soon as the boys were old enough, they would work in the fields. Uncle Harley told me that he was about 14 when he started working in the fields and while he was still in school. They used a bull tongue plow pulled by mules to break up the hard earth on the steep hillsides. Uncle Harley told me Clyde and his daddy would take the mules, Jerry and Joe, and plow up the land and then he, Fred, and John would go behind them, hoe out the rows, and cut the weeds out. He also remembers using a double shovel that had hand handles on it like a plow with 2 and sometimes 3 feet on it that was used for planting corn.

In the fall, there was wheat to harvest. The mules, Jerry and Joe, pulled the thrashing machine and then the wheat was cradled and loaded onto wagons. Once on the wagons, the wheat was taken down to the mill on the creek near Old Underwood, where it would be ground into wheat for the family.

Hay Season Left to right: Tilmon Tuttle, JR Depew, George Chumley, Sarah Chumley, Woodrow Chumley, Van Weems Chumley, Tom Bussell

In addition to farming, grandpaw raised hogs and chickens. I remember once going out to grandmaw and grandpaws to kill chickens and this was quite an education. Over near the barn, grandpaw and the boys were set up for the first stage of the process, chopping off the heads of the chickens. Out back, between the house and the chicken coop, grandmaw had a large black cauldron filled with water that was heated over a wood fire. Once the heads were cut, the chickens were put in the boiling water of the cauldron, which allowed for easy plucking of the feathers. Grandpaw and the other women would pluck the feathers and prepare the chickens for the packaging process. Also, the feathers were washed, dried, and saved to make feather pillows and such. Nothing wasted in this family and their combined efforts provided meat for the winter and soft pillows for comfort. Tennessee is known for producing large quantities of corn and hogs for the country, as far back as pre Civil War, and the Chumleys have done their share. Grandpaw raised hogs and Uncle Harley remembers the hog killings. He said some of the hogs would weigh out at about 200 or 300 pounds. That is a lot of pork!

Grandma took her chickens and eggs to the store to trade for groceries. She would have a table full of food, and when there was not enough room for every-one at the table, the men ate first. When the boys would come home at night, from church or wherever, they were usually hungry; Grandma always left out a bucket of buttermilk and some cornbread for them. Aunt Bessie remembers gathering mussel shells from the riverbank for Grandma to grind up and feed the chickens. On the southeast side of the river (McDowell farm side), there is a natural spring, where the family kept their milk and food cold. They had to row across the river to reach the spring. You can still see where it bubbles up to this day. Grandma kept geese, the feathers of which she plucked for pillows and mattresses. Upon the marriage of any of the children, the new couple would receive one of Grandma’s feather mattresses.

Family photo at their 55th Wedding Anniversary 1964

The moral of this story is it doesn’t matter how many things you have in your life, what matters is what you do with what you have. My great-grandparents did a lot with the little material things they had. They never went hungry and they were self-sufficient on their small farm in Claiborne County, Tennessee. If were to ever have a recession, would we do as well?

Our 5 generation file

We have been on the job proofing our 5 generation report and are slowing making headway. I will make the changes in our report and re-submit the revised report as soon as possible.

Thanks for your patience,

Kathy Chumley

Robert and Betsy Chumley – through 5 generations

Years ago, seems so very long ago, a couple of researchers helped me with proofing and creating a complete family tree through 5 generations starting with our oldest proven recorded ancestors, Robert and Betsy Chumley. What an endeavor we undertook. It was a lofty goal and it took all our research talents to complete the list. We were just wrapping up our research, when life through me a curve ball and I had to put my participation to the research project on hold. I am sure others in the group were discouraged that we would ever get our project of someday writing our Chumley History completed. If they did, they never shared it with me. Instead, a few came along side and sent me words of wisdom, prayers, loving advise, cards and emails kept coming and I got through it all. We have now achieved a huge hurdle; getting this complete family tree out for the world to see. Let me try and explain the process of completing this tree.

Our research group is always looking for more people to help us in our goal to write the Chumley History, people who will bring more information and share it with us and others. We started with just a handful of people, but what each of us had to contribute was amazing! I have a spreadsheet of each person in the group, what talents and skills they bring to our group, and the really amazing part is that we have a representative from each of the family lines that branch off Robert and Betsy Chumley. I think it was just logical for us to think a book must be printed and our history must be preserved.

My dear friend Gail stuck it out until the very end. Together, we managed to make contacts within our group and find out where they got their family information and try and find proof for all names, dates, and events that we had in our Chumley Tree. The platform we used to help us work together was Several in our group had an ancestry account and this was any efficient way we could compare dates and other information, and if there was a discrepancy, we could discuss it as a group and decide the information we would go with. One of the most frequent questions in our group was “Are we going with the headstone date or the death certificate?” Now that might sound like an odd question, but here is the problem with information. Genealogy information is only as good as the person who gave the information. Here are some examples of what I am talking about.

1 – I learned the very quickly from Glenda about the error of dates. I was astonished when she told me how many headstones had the wrong dates on them in my own family cemetery in Claiborne County, Tennessee. This revelation did not detour us from our research, but it did encourage us to dig deeper.

2 – Census records – forget about it! There are many things to beware when taking information from census records. Did the information come from a family member, a neighbor, a child? Did the census taker really visit each home or did he just sit at the end of the road and talk to passerbys?

3 – Death certificates – it is not uncommon that children do not know their mother’s maiden name, or have the incorrect birth date. This is just a couple of examples we found with death certificates.

4. – Draft cards – young men would sometimes lie about their age so they could serve their country during times of war.

I could go on and on, but you can see the quandary of it all. It was painstaking to identify each families data, let alone each person in the household. However, we did persevere and I am so happy to show the fruits of our labor. I feel I need to write some disclaimer at this point, but please understand this was our groups best attempt to give an account of the descendants of Robert and Betsy Chumley. I welcome all questions and please let me know if you disagree with any information.

See Updated 5 generation report dated 7/31/2020.

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