I've read through all the notes already here, but I'm having trouble deciding how I might be related to all of you. So I shall begin by copying in my own pedigree. Please, please let me know if you overlap in any way. I think I am likely related to everyone who has posted here so far. My father's name was William Hamilton Chain.
Looking forward to discovering new cousins, Elizabeth Chain
Descendancy Register for Mathew Chaine [ed. Elizabeth E. Chain, Ph.D]
1.Mathew Chaine was born about 1690 in [Philadelphia, PA]. He died in Jul 1750 in Philadelphia, PA.
As of 2002 this is the furthest back that the Chain/Chaine family can be traced.
According to Shirley Chain Glorius (1994):
There can be little doubt that the Cheynes originated from one of the Norman families (Raoul de
Quesnai or Osborn de Quesnai) who went to England with William the Conqueror at the time of the
Norman Conquest in 1066, of whom a scion later made his way northward and eventually established in
Aberdeenshire the then distinguished family of Cheyne. Both names are found of the Dives Roll (in the
Church of Dives, on the Normandy coast of France) as having been part of William the Conqueror's
The origin of our surname 'de Quesnai' (pronounced du Kay-Nay) has gone through many alterations
through the centuries, such as: Caisneto, Chesney, le chen, Cheyn, Cheyne, Chayne, Chein, Chene, de
Cheneye, de Cheyng, de Cheen, le Chyne, Chinn, Cheine, Chain, Chaine, and Schen. The prefex 'de'
simply signifies 'from or of' and denotes the local origin of the surname. Until 1400 it is generally written
as le Chen, le Chene, or Cheyne, though English scribes frequently record it as 'le Chien' in documents
relating to the short sway of Edward I as Overlord of Scotland. From 1400 'Chene' becomes the usual
designation until about 1600, when the name Cheyne begins to be commonly used.
Now that we all have surnames, we are apt to forget that it was not always so. The Normans are
thought to have been the first to introduce the practice of fixed surnames among us; and certainly a little
while before the Norman Conquest some of those adventurers had taken family names from their
chateaux in Normandy; thus, in our case, Raoul de Quesnai. But whether in imitation of the Norman
lords, or from the great convenience, the use of fixed surnames arose in France about the year 1000,
came into England sixty years later, or with the Norman Conquest, and reached Scotland about the year
Our forbears in Scotland were of some importance in Aberdeenshire until about 1600 when their rigid
adherence to the Roman Catholic faith brought them into disfavor and led the more influential of them to
try their fortunes elsewhere. Since then no branch of the family has come into prominence, and their
descendants have little beyond a bare record of births, marriages, and deaths to connect them with their
more distinguished ancestry.
One interesting fact which has emerged from this research, conducted largely at the Salt Lake City
Family History Center, was how we came to be part of the Sutherland Clan. It seems Sir Reginald
Cheyne and his wife Mary had two children: Mariota and Mary/Marjory. Mary/Marjory was married in
1362 to Nicholas Sutherland, 2nd son of the 3rd Earl of Sutherland, who fell and the battle of Halidonhill
in 1333. Mary/Marjory was heiress of the barony of Duffus in the county of Elgin (Duffus 5m NW of Elgin)
. In consequence, Nicholas Sutherland added the arms of Cheyne to his paternal coat of Sutherland.
Mathew married Mrs. Chaine . She was born about 1694 in [Philadelphia, PA].
They had the following children:
+2Mi.John Chaine was born about 1716. He died on 12 Sep 1800.
2.John Chaine (Mathew) was born about 1716 in [Montgomery Co, PA]. He died on 12 Sep 1800 in Montgomery Co, PA. He was buried in Sep 1800 in Providence Cm, Norriston, Montgomery Co, PA.
John married Ann Lane about 1747. Ann was born about 1720 in [ Montgomery Co, PA].
They had the following children:
+3Mi.Matthew Chain Chaine was born on 7 Apr 1748. He died on 23 Aug 1827.
4Fii.Anna Chain was born about 1750 in [Montgomery, PA].
3.Matthew Chain Chaine (John, Mathew) was born on 7 Apr 1748 in [Montgomery Co, PA]. He died on 23 Aug 1827.
Matthew married Hannah Hamilton about 1780. Hannah was born on 26 Jul 1756 in [ Montgomery Co, PA]. She died on 11 Feb 1784 in [Montgomery Co, PA].
They had the following children:
5Mi.John H. Chain was born on 16 Dec 1781 in Norristown, Montgomery Co, PA.He died on 9 Apr 1829 in Norristown, Montgomery Co, PA. He was buried in Apr 1829 in Providence Mtg H, Montgomery, PA.
+6Mii.William Hamilton Chain was born on 6 Feb 1784. He died on 23 Jun 1823.
6.William Hamilton Chain (Matthew Chain, John, Mathew) was born on 6 Feb 1784 in Montgomery Co, PA. He died on 23 Jun 1823 in Norristown, Montgomery Co, PA.
William married Sarah Brode or Broad on 20 Sep 1806. Sarah was born on 17 Sep 1785 in [Montgomery Co, PA]. She died on 4 Oct 1823.
They had the following children:
7Mi.Matthew Chain was born on 1 Jul 1807 in Norristown, Montgomery Co, PA. He died on 27 Apr 1838 in Columbus, Franklin Co, OH. He was buried in Apr 1838 in Truro Presby Ch, Madison, Franklin, OH.
+8Mii.William Hamilton Chain was born on 19 Aug 1809. He died on 8 Oct 1855.
9Miii.John H. Chain was born on 15 Nov 1811 in Norristown, Montgomery Co, PA.
10Fiv. Sarah Chain was born on 13 Sep 1814 in Norristown, Montgomery Co, PA. She died after Sep 1873 in Franklin, OH.
8.William Hamilton Chain (William Hamilton Chain, Matthew Chain, John, Mathew) was born on 19 Aug 1809 in Norristown, Montgomery Co, PA. He died on 8 Oct 1855 in Franklin Co, OH. He was buried in Green Lawn, Madison Tp.
William is listed as a farmer in the 1850 OH census living in Hamilton Tp with his wife and 6 children.
Mr. Chain was one of the most worthy and respected citizens of this county, and the news of his death
will be received with much regret by the community.
- Obituary, Madison Tp newspaper clipping
William married Hannah Wagenseller daughter of Peter Wagenseller and Susanna Longaker Longacker on 1 Mar 1831. Hannah was born on 25 Apr 1807 in Norristown, Montgomery Co, PA. She died on 20 May 1880 in Lewistown, Fulton Co, IL. She was buried in May 1880 in IL.
Hannah was listed in the 1860 IL census living with her sons Jacob M. and James A. She was listed in
the 1850 OH census living in Hamilton Tp with her husband and 6 children.
William and Hannah had the following children:
+11Fi.Sarah Susan Chain was born on 27 Dec 1831.
12Mii.Theodore Hamilton Chain was born on 30 Oct 1833 in Norristown, Montgomery Co, PA. He died on 22 May 1852.
13Fiii.Mary Ann Chain was born on 26 Aug 1836 in Columbus, Franklin Co, OH. She died in 1923 in Kankakee, Kankakee, IL.
Mary married Wesley T. Criss on 4 Mar 1856 in , Franklin, OH. Wesley was born about 1832 in [Columbus, Franklin, OH].
+14Miv.Jacob Matthew Chain was born on 23 Jul 1838. He died on 17 Jul 1907.
15Mv.William Hamilton Chain was born on 13 Jun 1841 in Columbus, Franklin Co, OH. He died after 15 Jan 1922.
16Mvi.James Albert Chain was born on 22 Dec 1847 in Columbus, Franklin Co, OH. He died in Feb 1892 in China Sea, Sand Island, Pescadores.The cause of death was their Ship, the Bokhara, went down in the China Sea. He was buried At Sea.
James married Nellie . Nellie died on 12 Oct 1892 in China Sea, Sand Island, Pescadores. She was buried At Sea.
11.Sarah Susan Chain (William Hamilton Chain, William Hamilton Chain, Matthew Chain, John,Mathew) was born on 27 Dec 1831 in Norristown, Montgomery Co, PA.
Sarah married Clinton Fisher on 24 Nov 1858 in , Franklin, OH. Clinton was born about 1827 in [Norristown, Montgomery, PA].
They had 5 children.
14.Jacob Matthew Chain (William Hamilton Chain, William Hamilton Chain, Matthew Chain, John, Mathew) was born on 23 Jul 1838 in Columbus, Franklin Co, OH. He died on 17 Jul 1907 in Utica, Seward Co, NE. He was buried in Jul 1907 in Ultica, Seward Co, NE.
From the Lewiston Democrat, 28 October (Abt 1880): The first services of the Episcopal Church in
Lewistown were held in 1854. These services were held in the Methodist Church, The Reverend John
Benson officiating. The St. James' church is the current Episcopal Church, in a parish which has existed
56 years. J.M Chain was at some time an officer of the parish. Between 1857 and 1859 services were
for a time held in the Chain's Hall south of the square, until the new church was opened.
Jacob studied law while living in Lewiston, IL. He is recorded as a law student in the 1860 ILcensus,
while living with his mother Hannah and younger brother James. He is listed in the 1870 IL census,
working as a Druggist and living with his wife and 3 children. He is listed in the 1880 NE census, working
as a Druggist and living with his wife and 4 children. He is listed in the 1900 NE census with no
profession (presumably retired), living in Seward on Ninth Street with his wife and youngest son Albert.
Written in honor of the Nebraska Centennial in 1967: The Chain name has been associated with
Seward for nearly all of these hundred years, for Jacob Matthew Chain and Amelia Simms Chain moved
to Seward from Lewiston, Illinois, in 1877. Jacob attended the state university and medical school in
Ohio, then became a pharmacist in Lewiston. In Seward, also, he was a pharmacist, and he was
employed by the Dunbar Drug Store.
In 1887, the Jacob Chain family moved to a farm near Utica and a few years later moved into Utica.
Jacob married Amelia Frances Simms daughter of James William Simms and Louisa Jane on 25 Feb 1863 in Lewistown, Fulton Co, IL. Amelia was born in Feb 1847 in Lewistown, Fulton Co, IL. She died in 1927 in Seward, Seward Co, NE. She was buried in Ultica, Seward Tp, Seward Co, NE.
Amelia appeared in the 1910 and 1920 NE census, living alone in Seward, NE at the age of 63/73.
She kept a huge scrapbook of newspaper clippings, some from her days in Illinois and some from her
days in Nebraska. One article notes that "Johnnie Chain was neither absent nor tardy during the month
of April (Lewiston Democrat, 1889)."
Another clipping (about her youngest son Albert): Ideal School district No. 10, under the supervision of
Prof. A.B. Chain takes the lead in school libraries, having recently held a basket social which netted $35.
90 for library books. Other districts should do likewise.
She lost her daughter who died at about the age of 19; she wore black the rest of her life.
Jacob and Amelia had the following children:
22Fi.A. Blanche Chain was born in 1864 in Lewiston, Fulton Co, IL. She died in 1883 in IL.
+23Mii.Frank Simms Chain was born on 1 Apr 1866. He died on 22 Aug 1962.
24Miii.James H. Chain was born in 1868 in Lewiston, Fulton Co, IL.
James and Nettie appeared in the 1920 NE census, living in Seward and working as
merchants in men's and ladies furnishings.
James married Nettie . Nettie was born in 1872 in IL.
25Miv.Charlie Chain was born in 1870 in Lewistown, Fulton Co, IL. He died in 1877 in Lewistown, Fulton Co, IL. He was buried in Sec E, Oak Hill Cm, Lewiston, IL.
26Mv.John N. Chain was born in 1877 in Lewiston, Fulton Co, IL.
John N. Chain attended school in Seward, was in the first class to graduate from the
University of California's College of Medicine, and practiced medicine at Eureka,
California, for more than fifty years.
+27Mvi.Albert B. Chain was born on 25 Apr 1885. He died on 9 Jan 1943.
23.Frank Simms Chain "Daddy Frank" (Jacob Matthew Chain, William Hamilton Chain, William Hamilton Chain, Matthew Chain, John, Mathew) was born on 1 Apr 1866 in Lewiston, Fulton Co, IL. He died on 22 Aug 1962 in Carroll, Carroll Co, IA. He was buried in Dedham, IA.
Frank was listed in the 1900 NE census as a farmer living in Seward with his wife, 2 sons and a boarder.
Frank was a commissioner of Seward County, and his name is on the cornerstone of the Seward
County Court House.
His granddaughter, Frances, lived in their house while she attended college, and walked him partway
home after work. It was the only time they could talk, because once in the house, her grandmother had
to be the center of attention.
Frank married Myrtle Emily Williams "Mama Chain" daughter of Robert Royal Williams and Laura Josephine Smith in Jan 1888 in NE. Myrtle was born on 4 Sep 1868 in Augusta Tp,Hancock Co,IL. She died on 6 Dec 1954 in Carroll Co,IA. She was buried in Dedham,Carroll Co, IA.
Myrtle had graduated from a normal school, and taught school for some time. One year she got caught
at school in a terrible blizzard (called the worst blizzard of the century), and could not keep her students
there overnight, so she managed to get all of them home safely, by having them all hang on to one
another, and with much effort expended by all.
Myrtle worked hard for women's voting rights as a member of the women's section of the Odd Fellows
She played a lot of tricks on Frank. One day he walked in the front door and a pail of water crashed
down on him. One April Fool's Day (also his birthday) she sewed the cutlery to the tablecloth, with just
one thin thread each so it wasn't easily seen.
Myrtle and Frank tried homesteading in South Dakota. She and the boys lived there one year (that was
the requirement), and borrowed books from a local doctor so they could keep up their studies.
Frank and Myrtle had the following children:
28Mi.Robert Chain was born about 1890 in Harvard, NE.
+29Mii.Leo Williams Chain , M.D. was born on 28 Sep 1892. He died in Feb 1962.
30Miii.Ray Hamilton Chain was born in Mar 1895 in Utica Tp,Seward Co, NE. He
died on 14 Jul 1952. He was buried in Dedham Cm, Carroll Co, IA.
Ray had a natural mechanical aptitude, practically a mechanical genius - and he may
have also been a schizophrenic.
Ray appeared in the 1920 NE census with his wife and father-in-law, living in Osceola
City, Polk Co, and working as a driver for Standard Oil. He and Kate had no children.
They both loved cats and always kept a couple in their home.
Ray married Kathryn Salisbury daughter of Byron Salisbury. Kathryn was born in 1895 in IA. She was buried in San Diego, CA.
27.Albert B. Chain (Jacob Matthew Chain, William Hamilton Chain, William Hamilton Chain, Matthew Chain, John, Mathew) was born on 25 Apr 1885 in Seward Co, NE. He died on 9 Jan 1943 in Seward, NE.
Albert appeared in the 1920 NE census, living in Seward with his wife and daughter (on Seward St.) and
working as an undertaker.
In early 1913 Albert moved with his bride to Seward, and Albert was employed in Will Moore's Furniture
and Undertaking business. In 1915 he purchased the business and bought the first motorized funeral
coach ever used in Seward County.
In 1928 Albert sold the furniture store to Walter Gass, and with Faye Wood formed a partnership, Chain
and Wood, and opened the town's first mortuary. Sometime after Albert's death the business became
known as Woods Brothers."
Albert Chain was a member of the Methodist Church.
- from "The Chain Family" by Abby H. Chain
Albert married Abby E. Hall on 31 Dec 1912. Abby was born on 19 Jul 1887 in Hamilton Co,NE.
They had the following children:
+31Fi. Virginia H. Chain was born on 8 Jan 1918.
+32Fii. Priscilla F. Chain was born on 2 Feb 1920.
+33Miii.John H. Chain was born on 1 Mar 1923.
29.Leo Williams Chain , M.D. "Doc" (Frank Simms Chain, Jacob Matthew Chain, William Hamilton Chain, William Hamilton Chain, Matthew Chain, John, Mathew) was born on 28 Sep 1892 in Utica Tp, Seward Co, NE. He died in Feb 1962 in Dedham, Carroll Co,IA.The cause of death was Lung Cancer. He was buried in Dedham Cm, Carroll Co, IA.
Doc graduated from Creighton Medical School in Lincoln, NE. He did his intern work at San Francisco
Hospital, (CA) at the end of WWI. He was recorded at the hospital for the 1920 CA census.
Doc and Jessie moved to Dedham, Carroll County, Iowa, shortly before the birth of their first child. Doc
practiced medicine in Dedham for over forty years. After Doc's death Jessie moved to California to be
closer to her daughter.
Leo married Jessie Eva Gowen daughter of George Riley Gowen and Lydia Jane Bull on 3 Jul 1918 in University Place, Lincoln, NE. Jessie was born on 28 Mar 1893 in Edgar, Lancaster Tp, Lincoln Co, NE. She died on 26 Aug 1989 in San Diego, CA. She was buried in Dedham Cm, Carroll Co, IA. Leo and Jessie had 3 children, one of whom is no longer living:
+35Mii.William Hamilton Chain was born on 16 Jan 1923. He died on 6 Mar 1998.
35.William Hamilton Chain "Bill, Billy, Kohlman, Charlie (Chan)" (Leo Williams Chain, Frank Simms Chain, Jacob Matthew Chain, William Hamilton Chain, William Hamilton Chain, Matthew Chain, John, Mathew) was born on 16 Jan 1923 in Carroll, Carroll Co, IA. He died on 6 Mar 1998 in Chandler, Maricopa Co, AZ.The cause of death was complications due to diabetes. He was buried on 13 Mar 1998 in V.A. National Memorial Cm of Arizona.
William served in the military WWII, 8th Air Force, Tail gunner on B-17, flew 23 missions over enemy-held Europe in 1942/1943.
William was educated at Drake University, graduating in 1952. He worked as a Pharmacist for over
thirty years in Rockford, Illinois.
William was a Mason.
William married (1) Norma Ellen Hayes daughter of Clifford Oscar Hayes and Verna Ellen Hilsabeck on 20 Mar 1948 in Audobon, Audobon Co, IA. The marriage ended in divorce.
William and Norma had the following children:
47Mi.Son Chain was born on 17 Jul 1950 in IA. He died on 17 Jul 1950 in IA. He was buried in Dedham Cm,Dedham, Carroll Co, IA.
48Fii.Elizabeth Ellen Chain , Ph.D. was born in Rockford, Winnebago Co, IL.