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Leland L. Smith
The name Chamblee, also variously spelled Chamble, Chambles, Chambley, Chambly, Chambey, Chamby, Chamlee, Chamley, Chambless, Chamblis, Chambliss, Shamble, Shamble, Shambley, Shamblie, Shambly, Shambey, Shamby, Shambler, Shamley, etc. has an English origin, meaning a dweller on a ledge or shelf or referring to one with origins in Shambley in Surry, England. However, a French origin of the surname as one from Chambles (Chambly) or Chalmondaly, France has been advanced.
The Chamblee family of interest is an obscure one found in the southern states in the mid-18th century and at and after the time of the Revolution. One may posit that the southern Chamblee family had origins in the earlier 17th century lines in American, but there is a family tradition of migration from Great Britain about mid-18th cemtury, and links from early bearers of the surname to the later families of North and South Carolina, George, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas have not been discovered.
The Chamblee family is associated with the Strickland, Lewis, Cockerell, Driver, and Upchurch families inter alia of late 18th and early 19th century North Carolina and Alabama and with the Burris and Strickland families of North and South Carolina of the same period. Indeed, it is by these associations that the present genealogy was built and the several families followed in their migrations to Texas.
Family traditions state that the Chamblee immigrant ancestors were six brothers: Robert, Isaac, George, John, Jacob and William Chamblee who came to America from Great Britain in the early 18th century, four settling in Wake County, NC by 1780. A variant states four settled in Virginia and two in South Carolina. Indeed, although early 18th century records of the specific family have not been discovered, there are records of the six Chamblee surnames in North Carolina in mid-18th century such that the tradition of six brothers has been incorporated into the present genealogy.
It appears that Chamblee family members were in early Chowan (now Bertie) County, NC: George Chamblee (Chambery, Chambers) c. 1699-1704 and John Crombie (Chombee) 1716-1728. Bertie County, NC was created 1722 from Chowan County;, NC and it is in Bertie County, NC that awareness of our Chamblee family of interest begins in the mid-18th century. Either or both the earlier George Chamblee and John Chamblee might be ancestral to the later family group.
Joshua Burris may be placed in Bertie County NC in 1772, already married to Sarah Chamblee. Joshua Burris had migrated from Bertie County via Martin and Anson Counties, NC into Pendleton County, SC by 1795, and members of the Chamblee family made the same move via Wake County NC during the same period. The later close relationship between the Joshua Burris and Lewis Chamblee families in the Pendleton District, SC is further circumstantial evidence supporting the origin of the Chamblee family of interest in Bertie County, NC before the Revolution.
Known (traditional) Chamblee family members are:
1. Robert (Robin) Chamblee, born ca. 1740 in Bute County, NC, d. ca. Dec. 1819 in Wake County, NC. Married Hester (or Hesther, Esther)___. Robert Chamblee, traditionally the first named of the six brothers who came to America in the early 18th century, is said to be a veteran of the Revolution. He is found in Bertie County, NC 1756-1761, perhaps Edgecombe County, NC 1762-1767, Johnston County, NC by 1768 and Bute County, NC 1768-1769. He settled by 1771 in Little River Township, Wake County, NC, obtaining land there in 1784 and 1789, where he may be placed by census and various other records between 1787-1815. His land lay near the county lines of Wake and Johnston Counties, NC. Chamlees Creek in Wake County, NC bordered his lands there in 1800. He also held lands in neighboring Johnson County, NC 1811-1812 and may have had interests in Franklin and Orange counties, NC 1815-1820.
2. Isaac Chamblee died intestate by Dec. 1800 in Wake County, NC Married Lucretia (tressy, Treacy, Cresssy or Cresy) Jones, died by May 16, 1818 in Wake County NC. Isaac Chamblee was on of the putative immigrant ancestors of the Chamblee family of present interest, having come to America from Great Britain before the Revolution in which he traditionally rendered service. Isaac Chamblee was a farmer and may be placed in Hertford County NC 1779-1784 by tax rolls, in Johnston County NC in 1784 where he had 280 acres of land, but in Wake County NC 1788-1800. After his death Lucretia Jones Chamblee petitioned Dec. 1800 for a ayear's support, granted Jan. 20, 1801. she sold land in Johnston County NC owned jointly by Thomas Driver, Elizabeth Driver and Cresy Chamblee to John Reynolds.
3. George Chamblee, born ca. 1740 and died by July 1813 intestate in Pendleton District SC. Married Sarah (Sally) Bell. George Chamblee served as wagon master in Virginia in the Revolution. He may be placed in Wake County NC where he witnessed the land purchase of his brother Isaac Chamblee in 1788 and was bondsman 1793-1796. He is on a 1794 tax list, bought at estate sales 1793-1798 and had other financial dealings, including a petition of insolvency following the March 1797 law suit of Anne Reynolds 1797. He was jailed for 20 days and apparently was subjected to criminal charges in the matter. Thereafter he may be found in the Pendleton District (now Anderson County) SC 1800-1801, 1807-1811 and as late as 1813.
4. John Chamblee (or Shamblee) John Chamblee may be placed in Bertie County NC 1744-1759 and 1771-1775 by several records. He may be the John Chamblee in Wake County NC 1794, but there are difficulties in distinguishing among records of John Chamblee.
5. Jacob (Jake) Chamblee born Jan. 25, 1752. By tradition Jacob Chamlee moved to Tennessee before coming to Pendleton District SC in 1791. Several items place Jacob Chamberlain here recognized as Jacob Chamlee on the Watauga River in Washington County TN 1775-1789. Jacob Chamlee appears to be one of the earliest Chamblee family members to come to Pendleton District SC he being there by 1791. He may be placed there on the Big Generostee Creek in Sept. 1795 and February 1802 until 1816.
6. William Chamblee born 1750-1760. William Chamblee may be placed in Wake County NC 1778-1789 and 1840. It may be he who bought land in the Pendleton District SC in 1802 from Jacob Chamblee.
Chamblee families in Pickens and Greene Counties in AL
Lewis Chamblee born 1776 (or 1785) in NC, died 1855 in Pickens or Greene Counties in Alabama. Married (1) 1798 in SC to Mary (Polly) Burris by whom he had at least ten children and married (2) by 1850 to Martha ___, born 1817 - 1819 in Alabama, by whom he had at least two children and perhaps four more. Lewis Chamblee received 26 acres of his father's land on Poly Branch, Wake County NC in 1803. By tradition he was an orphan and a veteran of the War of 1812 who became a wealthy planter, holding one hundred slaves. However, in Pickens County, AL he was but a farmer and owned only 12 slaves in 1840. Moreover, no record of his military service has been discovered. Lewis Chamblee appears to have migrated from NC into the Pendleton District SC in the late 18th century where he married. He purchased a tract of land on the Generostee Creek in present-day Anderson County, SC from his father-in-law Joshua Burris about 1804 and lived there until 1825-1830, at which time he moved into Alabama. His move there may have been in company with other family members Isham Chamblee and Robert Chamblee who settled in Blount County, AL. Lewis Chamblee may be placed in Pickens County, AL by 1830, where he obtained a grant in 1832 for lands in Greene County, AL, lands on and just south of the Sipsey River in a region that was ceeded to Pickens County, AL in 1832 but which reverted to Greene County, AL thereafter. He is also placed in Greene County by probate records of 1839 but in Pickens County, Al by 1840 and 1850 census records. After Lewis Chamblee's death his widow married Joseph M. Lewis.
Isham (or Isom or Isam) B. Chamblee, son of Lewis Chamblee, was born 1825 in the Pendleton District in SC and died in Freestone County, TX, buried at Old Rehoboth Cemetery (no marker) near Young, TX. He married (1) Jan. 14, 1847 in Greene Co. AL to Elizabeth Cockerell, b ca. 1835 in Alabama, died 1871 in TX. (She was daughter of John Cockerell, born ca. 1789 and died Aug. 6, 1866, who obtained a land grant in Greene Co. AL in 1823 and in 1828), by whom he had 15 children. Married (2) Oct. 8, 1890 in Freestone Co. TX to Mrs. Julia Ann Arrand Talley, born 1826 in Tennessee and died Jan. 16, 1911 (widow of Colman Talley). Isham B. Chamblee, a farmer, lived with his father in Pickens Co. AL, managing his father's estate. He enlisted in 1862 in the 2nd Alabama Cavalry, CSA and saw service in Florida, Holly Spring, MS, the Atlanta campaign, Nashville, TN and in North Carolina and Georgia, where the regiment was surrendered to General Sherman. Isham B. Chamblee migrated in 1870 to Freestone County, TX where brother-in-law Henry Remps Cockerell already lived, and from whom he bought land.
Laura E. (Sis) Chamblee, daughter of Lewis Chamblee, born Oct. 1850 in Pickens County, AL. Married Feb. 22, 1870 in Freestone Co. TX to D. Pink Bennett.
Marietta (Maryetta, Mary Etta) Chamblee, daughter of Lewis Chamblee, born March 11, 1853 in Pickens County, AL. and died Jan. 2, 1879. Buried in Old Rehoboth Cemetery, Freestone Co. TX. She married Jan. 18, 1871 in Freestone Co. TX to Addison S. (Babe) Cockerell.
Ann (or Annie, Anna) Chamblee, daughter of Lewis Chamblee, b. ca. 1856 in Pickens Co. AL. She married March 18, 1873 in Freestone Co. TX. to Marion M. Mostella (or Mosteller).
Clementine (Tempy or Toba) Ann Chamblee, daughter of Lewis Chamblee, born 1857-1858 in Pickens County, AL. She married Dec. 16, 1875 in Freestone Co. TX to John William Weaver, born 1856 in California.
Goina Chamblee, child of Lewis Chamblee, born ca. 1858 or 1861 in Pickens Co. AL. Goina Chamblee came to Freestone Co. TX by 1880.
Joseph Chamblee, son of Lewis Chamblee, born June 1860 in Pickens Co. AL.
Alice F. Chamblee, daughter of Lewis Chamblee, born ca. 1861 in Pickens Co. AL. Married July 13, 1876 in Freestone Co. TX to Thomas Monroe Driver.
Tillie Chamblee, child of Lewis Chamblee, born ca. 1862 in Pickens Co. Al.
John Chamblee, son of Lewis Chamblee, born Sept. 25, 1866, in Pickens Co. AL and died Jan. 15, 1908, buried at Old Rehoboth Cemetery near Young (Freestone Co. TX.)
Ophelia Chamblee, dau of Lewis Chamblee, born ca. 1868 in Pickens Co. AL. Married Joseph Burnett.