Last name: Chandler

This interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and is an occupational name for a maker or seller of candles. The derivation is from the Middle English "cha(u)ndeler", ultimately from the Old French "chandelier", Late Latin "candelarius", a derivative of "candela" a candle, from "candere" to be bright, with the agent suffix "-er", one who does or works with (something). The name may also, more rarely, have denoted someone who was responsible for the lighting arrangements in a large house, or else one who owed rent in the form of wax or candles. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century (see below), and can also be found as Chantler and Candler. On February 13th 1562, the marriage of William Chandler and Agnes Gibbs took place at the Church of Harrow on the Hill, London. One of the earliest settlers in the new World was Arthur Chandler, who was recorded as living in Virginia on February 16th 1623. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a silver shield with two black bendlets between five pellets in saltire, the Crest being a black bull's head attired silver. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Matthew le Candeler, which was dated 1274, in the "Hundred Rolls of London", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272-1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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Robert Chandler (UK)

I was always under the impression "Chandler" referred to a candle maker. However, recently someone told me it was also the name of the person on old ships in charge of knots, not sure how true that was though.

Chloe Chandler

I thought so too. turns out, all those with the birthname Chandler all have one ancestor; everyone with our surname could be distantly related.

Mike Tonon

My great grandmother was Irene Chandler, of Deep River, CT. Born around 1906. My close family never knew her, because she took off when my grandma, her daughter, was only around 3.

Dawn nee Chandler
How fasinating all this info is

This is our family crest reflecting the blue an the silver; I have seen the identical with red substituting the blue. I was told that means "wartime vs. peacetime." Does anyone know of another explanation for the color differences? Thank you!

Most Chandler's are of English descent. There are some Chandler's In Wales and Australia.

Jackie chandler curran
My grandpa ran away from home,as a young boy never spoke of home, there was 13 kids I believe they were from New York . Can't find anything on him.

Mark Chandler
I am Mark Chandler from Texas looking for my family origin , my dads name was L.C. Chandler and his dads name was Clyde Chandler which both passed in Texas . Clydes wife was named Pearl and they had another son named Parmolee , not sure of that spelling . Dick can you help me find my roots ?

Were they in Tyler or Austin Texas by any chance?

christina chandler
i am in need of some help in school we are rerseaching Artisans and me teacher told me that Chandler was (one who made or sold candles)

Dick Chandler
Well, Christina, your teacher is correct - you can read more about Chandlers at If you have specific questions, you can send an e-mail to me at

John Chandler
Another derivation was from sailing ships outfitter's. They were called ship's chandlers, or outfitters.

Chloe Chandler

My Grandad was called Dick Chandler, and my adopted great granddad Arthur Richard Clay (survivor of both world wars) was my granddad's adopted dad, Dick Chandler.

Jade chandler
I am also a Chandler! Down in South Carolina, I'm so interested in our family name!!

Dick Chandler
The Chandler Family Association website has a new home at - please come and visit us, you may be pleasantly surprised by what you find.

My line is 7A and this isn't from the DNA test, it's just a clear trace straight back to the youngest immigrant John Chandler arriving at Jamestown

Carys chandler
Hi I am a carys chandler and my grandfather was fredrick chandler and his father was bill short for William I think they lived in bilbrook south staffs and I can't find any further

Dick Chandler
The surname origin at the top of this page refers to Arthur Chandler as one of the earliest settlers in the New World who was recorded as living in Virginia on February 16th 1623. It must be stated that John Chandler arrived in Virginia on the Hercules in 1610 i.e. before Arthur and before the Pilgrim Fathers. John has thousands of descendants in America today.

Dennis chandler
Seeking chandlers of Vermont, in particular lost grandfather Percy. This line moved to New York as orphans. Missing the sister, 3 brothers found.

Dick Chandler
I find your enquiry a little confusing, Dennis. Are you looking for the sister or grandfather Percy? It would help if you provide some names, dates and places. Please let the dog see the rabbit.

Ah I must have misread the article. Could any of our Chandler lines originated from another country? I'm just wondering! Thanks P.S just FYI as it seems important, my father is Alan Chandler (still alive). I'm not sure if the male line has been broken or not and I don't know much information because I never met or knew my grandfather. I don't even know his name....but I have a feeling it's John Chandler. My dad was bought up in Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK if that helps!

Dick Chandler
Laura - I recommend you read what I wrote about the origin of the Chandler name at Since writing that, I have heard it said that some people from Germany surnamed Schindler who migrated to America changed their name to Chandler during the war in order to demonstrate where their loyalties lay. John is the most frequently used forename by Chandlers and many other surnames, so pinpointing one John Chandler in Oxfordshire from what you told me would be very difficult. If you can tell me the month and year of your Dad's birth, I will see if I can work back from there. For privacy reasons it would be better to send that information to me directly by e-mail at I really do appreciate your interest.

sean chandler
Hi am sean chandler from dublin. Ireland my da.s name is peter chandler. My grandda was Eddie short Edward. Eddie once lived in New york as a kid

Rochelle chandler

Just reading into my surname (chandler) and I saw your comment my dad is also called Sean chandler ,interesting that there are so many of us chandlers out there !

Dick Chandler
Hi Jennifer - I will say the same as I said to Laura - if you would like some help with your family tree, please post what you know here or send it to me at and I wll see what I can do to help you. Read more:

Joseph B. Chandler Jr.
My name is Joseph Chandler, originally from Philadelphia, Pa. My grandfather was Harry Chandler, who was related to Chandlers in the western suburbs of Philadelphia, particularly in the West Chester area. When I was young, my father, Joseph Baker Chandler, Sr.,who was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, told me that we were related to the governor of Kentucky, Happy Chandler, and to the Chandlers in California in the newspaper business. Somewhere in the photos in my family records are pictures of very large family reunions held in the West Chester area. Dad also had an uncle Arthur Chandler. I never really believed the connections with Kentucky and California, but would be interested if there is any information available on the Chandlers in suburban Philadelphia. We were told also that an uncle was the mayor of Darby, Pa. Thanks for listening. The historical background is fascinating,

david chandler
hi joseph, i may be in your line of chandlers.hope you get this

Kasey Dawn Chandler
Hey Joseph. Im 25 and live in Henderson Kentucky. My father is Jefferey Paul Chandler and he resides in Lewistown PA. I do know his fathers name is Pete Chandler, and I do know he also lived in California but I was so young when i met him before he passed that I dont really know much about him. I do know that I am also related to Albert Benjamin "Happy" Chandler, Who is very well known here. Other than that I just felt interested in finding out about my background. email me if you would like.

Jennifer Chandler
I am also a Chandler! My father is Robert Chandler and I am Jennifer. Nice to see so much interest in our family name.

Laura Chandler
Hello fellow Chandlers! It's nice to see we are born and bread British....but then who really knows that? I would love to trace my family tree, however I do not have the resources or time. It is fascinating though how we are all really connected to the "first" Chandler, William. :-) Laura