John Major and Rebecca Chandler
data complied and contributed by Herbert D. Hendricks

  John Major of Charles City Co., Virginia and Rebecca Chandler of Cumberland Co., Virginia with Descendants in Old Pendleton District, SC

(Published 2006 CAROLINA HERALD)

by Herbert D. Hendricks (contributed to Newberry County, SC Genealogy Trails with his permission)

VA - Major, VA - Smith and SC - Hendricks descendant.

The above two persons are my ancestors from Virginia that migrated with the Chandler and Eddins Families in VA (1770s-1780s), to NC (1780s-1790s) and then into Newberry County, SC in the mid-1790s. For the past 30 years, having lived in VA for 42 years, I have searched out all the Major families of Virginia, mainly at the VA Archives, Library of the College of William and Mary and the Charles Taylor Library, Hampton, VA and have them well documented (219 pages) up through at least 1800 ( VA Archives file 24384).

In addition I have done a thorough search of the Major families of NC at the NC State Archives. In addition I have ferreted out more Major family records from the SC Archives than have ever been reported before.

If you are from South Carolina and are kin to this Major family as well as the Hendricks and Smith families that intermarried you will be interested to note that these results are not consistent with those reported by Leonardo Andres and Nora Fields of South Carolina. This collection of records is most certainly divergent from a number of modern day publishers that continue to publish family histories without checking their fact and records. [Also note Nimmons, Teague, Holland and Marshall family connections (late 1700s and early 1800s) in SC to this Major family.]

During the 1930-1950s time frames numerous studies on this set of Major, Hendricks and Smith families were made in South Carolina. The James Hendricks m Jane family records have been found to be consistent with original family history records back 9 generations and substantiated by DNA records ( The John Smith m Margaret Harrington of Old Augusta Co., VA family history goes back even further to 4 generations before 1700 in England (see Col. John Smith Society Records).

The records of the John Major family found 1790-1810s in Newberry County and old Pendleton District SC by Leonardo Andrea for Mary Lee Robbins (a Hendricks Family descendant) of Longview, Texas (see Mary Lee Robbins Room Hendricks data files in Longview, Texas Public Library) shows wide disagreement with the official State and County records of the Virginia Counties of Charles City, Cumberland, Pittsylvania and Henry. Also the records of old Surry, Wilkes and Stokes Co., NC also show the proof of the records in the listed counties of Virginia. Records in Newberry County SC regarding the Major, Chandler and Eddins families of VA and NC also substantiate the NC and VA records. These records validate the one mistake that James Branch Cabell made in his book THE MAJORS AND THEIR MARRIAGES published in 1915. The mistake was that Cabell did not know who Bernard Major Sr. was, much less who his descendants were. He confused Bernard Major Srís family with his Bernard Major Srís brother James Major. As Charles City is a partially burned County this was a logical mistake to be made in 1915. In 1955 C.T. Major of Charles City Co., VA rectified this when he brought a copy of Bernard Majorís 4 February 1777 will to the Virginia Archives in Richmond, Virginia for copying and recording for genealogist. Bernard Major Srís will clearly shows his family and is further proved by records in Charles City Co., VA that have been abstracted by Benjamin Weisinger in numerous books about Charles City Co., VA records as well as the Charles City Co., VA County records.

Nora Fields wrote a book on the ďBowens, Nimmons and FieldsĒ Families in which she documented who she thought our John Major was. She even threatened a law suit with Patti Major Bostick over her conclusions which did not fit with what Patti Major Bostick had summarized. Out of all the groups in SC who studied this Major family it seems only one person, Samuel Gamewell Major, really had any idea that Rebecca Chandler was John Majorís wife (see Tolbert Family file South Carolinana Library, Columbia, SC). This was not a figment of the imagination named Martha Elizabeth Epps who Nora Fields stated was John Majorís wife and did not prove that Martha Elizabeth Epps was the wife of John Major. If you join the FRANCIS EPPS ASSOCIATION in Virginia it provides you a massive documentation of all the Epps connections. Not only did Richard Epps not have a daughter named Martha Elizabeth Epps who married a John Major, the Francis Epps Association will tell you so. In fact the only marriage of an Epps woman to a Major family member was to Edward Glarster Major of Charles City Co., VA in the 1830s (see Charles City Co., VA records).

What is even more concerning is that people in these modern times (1999) keep proliferating this unsubstantiated information. Instead of doing any research, they copy old and antiquated Family Genealogies and publish them as fact.

Needless to say the Bernard Major Sr. will of 4 February 1777 shows the John Major of Leonardo Andrea reports and Nora Fields Family Histories is really John Major son of Bernard Major Sr. who dies in 1810 in Charles City Co., VA. The final probate of James Majorís estate in 1793 and other supporting evidence of Charles City Co., VA in particular those abstracted by Benjamin Weisinger, prove beyond a shadow of doubt that he had sons named John Major and James Major as well as other children. The documented search (VA Archives file 24384) of the Major families of Virginia document where a James Major and John Major are living in the 1770s and 1780s in Pittsylvania and Henry Co., Virginia. All other John and James Major men of Virginia of this age are accounted for in afore cited document.

Furthermore, independently of the above referenced study, the CHANDLER FAMILY ASSOCIATION had documented the marriage of John Major to Rebecca Chandler in the 1769/1771 time frame and further carried the records forward with their migration into Wilkes Co., NC (1780s-1790s) and into Newberry Co., SC. in the mid-1790s to 1810. All the immediate above data was all brought to light by the diligent research of Anne Major Doggett of Highland, NC. The Chandler Family Association had well documented the history of their Chandler Family in Virginia along with Rebecca Chandler marrying John Major.

The following is a brief outline of the Ancestors and the immediate children of John Major m Rebecca Chandler. I donít provide in this document exacting references to the myriad of 25+ years of research documents supporting the information I have discussed and provided. However for a meager $1.63 (postage of $0.83 and cost to make CD of $0.80) I will send you a copy of all the documentation including my 219 page document on the CD (VA Archives file 24384) of the Major family records in the VA Archives, numerous images of wills and probates of Charles City Co., VA, documentation of Cabellís mistake in Majors and Their Marriages and the analysis data base showing exactly who John Major and Rebecca Chandlerís children were as well as a written in depth analysis of the data.

From Virginia records, it is indeterminate as to which John Major, the son of Bernard Major Sr. or the son of James Major is the one listed in the 1776 Militia unit of Charles City Co., VA. However both John Major men qualify as patriots for their contributions to the Revolutionary War otherwise (see VA Publik Claims records). It is noteworthy to say that the John Major m Rebecca Chandler was reimbursed in Henry County Court Records ďPublik ClaimsĒ in 1783 for a Rifle Gun provided to a Captain Martin for use in the militia of Henry Co., VA during the Revolutionary War. This gives you at least some fruit for thought that this may have been the John Major of Charles City Co., VA Militia. Also noteworthy are the records (400+ pages) of the John Major son of Bernard Major Sr. deposited at the College of William and Mary Foundation, Williamsburg, VA which provide no claim as to being the John Major of 1776 Militia of Charles City Co., VA. Other researchers have concluded this but their records show their lack of understanding that two John Major men were in and around Charles City Co., VA during this period of the Revolutionary War.

John Major m Rebecca Chandler Family History Chart

John Major b ca 1740-50 Charles City Co., VA d aft 1810 Newberry District, SC m 1769/1771 in Pittsylvania Co., VA Rebecca Chandler b either New Kent, Henrico, Goochland or Cumberland Co., VA d Newberry District, SC

Most probable Children of John Major m Rebecca Chandler

Epps Major b VA 1772 m Susanna Teague,

Sarah Major b VA 1773 m David Hendricks Sr.,

John Perry Major b VA 1775 m Mary Marshall,

Kitura Major b VA 1776 m Joseph Nimmons,

Nancy Major b VA 1778 m Henry Hendricks Sr.

Mary Chandler Major b NC 1788 m Wayman Holland,


(The less than 10 year old girl in the John Major Sr. family in the 1810 Census of Newberry District., SC)


Barnet Major and Joseph Major, two sons who died early, taken from family tradition as no other connections could be documented. These entries complete the most probable children based on census and county records from VA, NC and SC for John Major m Rebecca Chandler.

HDH Note: The above family profile is consistent with 1790 Wilkes Co., NC census records, 1800 and 1810 Census records of Newberry District, SC. This is also consistent when taken forward with SC Census records from 1810 through 1870 of the children of the family and their age profiles and groupings. See Cited CD for further evidence.

The following are erroneously concluded to be children of John Major and Rebecca Chandler.

**Rebecca Major m John P. (or Thomas) Neighbors (no formal records to document this connection),

**James Major says SC Census b 1789 Edgefield Co., SC in both 1850 and 1860 Census m Elizabeth Ellis (not possible as John Major was in NC at that time),
**Jane Major m John Swinford (Swinford Family says no connections Ė no data in SC records supports this)

** James Major b 1782 SC - 1850 SC Census; d 1852 Anderson District. SC m Margaret Breazeale. Note: John Major would have been in Henry Co., Virginia during his birth year if he was a son. This James Major not a son of John Major and Rebecca Chandler.

**Susannah Major from SC Census records 1850 says b 1763 MD m David Sloan 1784 in Wilkes Co., NC. From Wilkes Co., NC Records she the daughter of John Majors m Rebecca Pollard of MD.

** not children of John Major and Rebecca Chandler.

William Major is cited by some in SC as the husband of Mary Chandler who produced the daughter Mary Chandler Major who married Weyman Holland. Try as you might you canít find such a person who is not accounted for in VA, NC and SC records and elsewhere. See referenced CD. In fact the only two William Major men found in SC is William Major of the Poor Irish Immigrants 1767 who disappears off the face of the earth and William Major ca 1830/40 Anderson District, SC who is also identified in the cited CD. Mary Chandler Majorís records conform to being a child of John Major and Rebecca Chandler.

Ancestry Chart for John Major married Rebecca Chandler

John Major m Rebecca Chandlerís most probable ancestors and kin. (HDH Note: Data from 1 to 4 below taken from other people research in particular James Branch Cabell.)

1.* Edward Major b England bef. 1615 arrives VA 1630s m Martha Butler; Lt. Col. in Virginia Militia, Charles City Co., VA; Member of House of Burgesses

2. Edward Major b ca 1636

2. Martha Major b ca 1637

2. Robert Major b ca 1640

2.* William Major b bef. 1639 d 4 Oct 1716 m Elizabeth Mason

3. Lemuel Major b ca 1670

3.* William Major (HDH note: To me this seems inconsistent)

(HDH Note: Data below this point is well documented in the files provided in the CD cited.)

4.* John Major b ca 1677 of York Co., VA d bef. 1737 Charles City Co., VA m 1705 Anne Ballard b ca 1690 d aft 1743 Charles City Co.

5. John Major b 1705 d 1768 Westover Parish, Charles City Co., VA

5. Edward Major b 1707 York Co., VA m Sarah

5. Miss Major b ca 1722

5. Bernard Major b ca 1710 Charles City Co d aft 1777 m Sarah Sorsby (see Bernard Majorís will written 4 Feb 1777)

6. John Major b 21 Sept 1740 d 1810 Charles City Co., VA m Martha Marable b 3 August 1759 {This is the John Major confused by many in SC to be John Major of Newberry and Abbeville District., SC also see below John Major m Rebecca Chandler.}.

6. Many others found in Bernard Majorís will of 4 Feb 1777 Charles City Co., VA. (Children, in-laws and grandchildren)

5.* James Major b ca 1720 died at his home in Charles City

Co., VA ca 1780 from RW wounds as a soldier; m Mary Ballard [see Charles City Co., final probate of James Major estate in 1793 and Ballard Majorís petitions to Virginia Assembly.]

6. Ballard Major m Ann Hillard disappears from Charles City Co., VA 1799. See Ballard Majorís petitions to VA. State Assembly for James Majorís service in Revolutionary War.

6. Sarah Major

6. James Major found in 1778-1793 in Henry Co., VA

6. John Major m 1769-1771 Rebecca Chandler [Found in Henry Co., VA 1778-1783 with Jesse and Robert Chandler brothers of Rebecca].

Court and land documents confirm. Relationship confirmed with Joell Chandlerís will of 1755 in Cumberland Co., VA. John Major and Rebecca are found in 1787 in Wilkes Co., NC (Estate papers of Joell Chandler - Wilkes Co., NC Estate File) suing Robert Chandler for Rebecca Chandlerís inheritance from her father. The results of the suit are found in the Civil Action papers of Wilkes Co., NC. John and Rebecca Major in Oct 1790 were awarded L32+ from Robert Chandler. Jesse Chandler, a brother of Rebeccaís, stayed in Henry Co., VA until 1793 where he removed to Laurens Co., SC. Bailey Chandler, son of Robert Chandler, leaves Wilkes Co., NC 1787 and is found in the 1800 census of Newberry Co., SC. Robert and his son Josiah leave Wilkes Co., NC 1793 for SC. No Chandler or Major family is found in Wilkes Co., NC after 1793, (see Wilkes Co., NC tax lists.)

*Direct Ancestors of John Major m Rebecca Chandler.

John Major is found in Newberry County/District, SC ~1796-1810 as his son in law David Hendricks Sr. m Sarah Major, John Majorís daughter. See Newberry Co., SC land deeds in particular the land transactions 1798 with John and Thomas Hendricks and Elisha Rhodes, John Major witness and Sarah wife of David Hendricks.

John Major is listed as on the property that Henry Hendricks Sr. m Nancy Major in Newberry Co., SC bought in 1801 from John Speak. John Major is found in Newberry Co., SC in Newberry District, SC 1800 census and again in 1810 Newberry District, SC census as John Major Sr. and next door to John Perry Major, his son b in VA 1775 per 1850 census of Anderson Co., SC, m Mary Marshall.

John Majorís daughter Sarah Major married David Hendricks approximately 1796/7. Their first child Rebecca Hendricks was born in Newberry Co., SC in Feb. 1798. One logically concludes that John Major and Rebecca Chandler Major and family came into SC between 1793/4 and no later than 1795/6 from Wilkes Co., NC.

An in depth analysis of the John Major m Rebecca Chandler family members from 1790-1870 census data, official records and other Major family records well document and support the above conclusions as to the make up of the family (Ref. above CD).

Herbert D. Hendricks 12/01/2005
Retired NASA Physicist
Group Administrator Hendricks (on) DNA Project
Secretary Hendricks (Frontier Hendricks) Family Association
2418 Lebanon Road
Pendleton, SC 29670
864 2616636

Free 37 Marker Y-DNA tests for Major/s Family Descendants 6/5/2008

  1. Seek Living male descendant from Richard Major (owned land in New Kent Co., VA) arrived VA abt 1634 Ė Family apparently migrated to King and Queen Co., VA, Caroline Co., VA to Culpeper Co., VA and to at least KY.

  1. Seek Living male descendant of Edward Major (member House of Burgesses Ė later descendants found in Charles City Co., VA) arrived VA abt 1634

  1. Seek Living male descendant of Richard Major (Apparently from PA and a Protestant Preacher) Loudon Co. VA in late 1700s.

  1. Seek Living male descendant of the Accomack Co Major family of the very early 1600s and thereafter.

If you know or are one of the above Major Families, the Major DNA Project will fund you to a free 37 marker Y-DNA test provided you can show a well documented lineage of your Major/s Family and are a living male descendant or have a known Family member.

Note also if you are a descendant from the Baltimore Co, MD Majors Family that migrated into Surry Co., NC in the late 1760s and can do the same as above we will also support you to a free 37 marker Y-DNA test.

Note we limit the 37 marker Y-DNA test to only one member of each Major Family. However if you can show a separation in the Major/s Family via different brothers we will consider supporting a second 37 marker Y-DNA test.

You have to have a living male Major/s from the Major families listed above because the DNA information is passed only from father to son to grandson, etc. forever. Therefore only a living male would be suitable for the test we are interested in performing.

In addition we have now in hand a number of Major Family Y-DNA test results and are interesting in qualifying them and the above by the DNA testing described.

Herbert D. Hendricks Group Administrator Major/s DNA Project

Contact me:

Herb Hendricks
Retired NASA Physicist
2418 Lebanon Road
Pendleton, SC 29670
864 2616636
Group Administrator Hendricks DNA Project
Secretary Hendricks Family Association
Current Research Families; Major, Smith, Craig, Hendricks, Eskew, Rochester
Web site =

Looking For Living Male Descendants from Major/s Families of Anderson and Pickens Co., SC for free Y-DNA Testing to
solidify Major/s Family Genealogies. 10/8/2007

  1. Benjamin Majors ca 1760 RWS-SC from possibly Pendleton District area to Kershaw Co., SC to Dallas Co., AL. Son William Major m Margaret

  2. Daniel Majors into SC ca 1765 wife Elizabeth into Old Pendleton District, SC.

  3. James Major into SC ca 1767, Irish Immigrant wife Elizabeth and sons John, David and William. John Major, oldest son who inherited James Majors estate, d 1805 Fairfield Co., SC with son Nathaniel and wife Sarah Probating his estate. Possible descendants William Majors and James Majors into Anderson District, SC

  4. James Majors b ca 1789 wife Elizabeth Ellis Old Pendleton/Pickens District, SC

  5. James Majors b ca 1790 wife Margaret Breazeale Old Pendleton/Anderson District, SC

  6. Epps Major b ca 1772 Pittsylvania Co., VA wife Elizabeth Teague, Old Pendleton District, Pickens District, SC. Epps the son of John Major and Rebecca Chandler of VA.

  7. John Perry Major b ca 1773 Pittsylvania Co., VA into Anderson District ca 1838 m Mary Ann Marshall. John Perry the son of John Major and Rebecca Chandler.

  8. Elijah Majors into Fairfield Co., SC and possibly later into Old Pendleton/Anderson District, SC.

If you, a living male descendant of the above Major/s Families, have a reasonable lineage showing your connection to any of the above Major/s Families, Herb Hendricks will sponsor you to a free 37 marker Y-DNA test at Family Tree DNA.

If interested in discussing this; e-mail Herb at or call 864 261-6636 and leave message.

Herb Hendricks
2418 Lebanon Road
Pendleton, SC 29670

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