Joseph Benjamin Chinnis

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Joseph Benjamin Chinnis

Birthplace: Marion County, South Carolina, United States
Death: Newport, Clay County, Texas
Immediate Family:

Son of Hardy Harbert Chinnis and Sarah Chinnis/Chinners
Husband of Unknown Chinnis and Lucinda Chinnis
Father of Joseph Benjamin Chinnis
Brother of Sarah Martha Ann Lambert

Managed by: Susanne Floyd - on and off the grid
Last Updated:

About Joseph Benjamin Chinnis




Joseph Benjamin Chinners, an apparent ancestor of the Hemingway Chinnes family, was born about 1829. Hardy Chinners was involved in numerous land transactions in the early 1820s. The Lambert family history recorded that his plantation of 1,734 acres was assembled in three transactions dating from 1900. For some unexplained reason, the Marion County sheriff seized the Chinners land and sold it at public auction around 1830. a David Gibson of Marion County bought the land and his subsequent deeding of 50-acre tracts of land to each of the two children indicated "a close family friendship must have existed," according to the Lambert family history.

Court records show that Sarah Chinners' husband, Benjamin Lambert, in 1848 sold her 50 acres to her brother, Benjamin Chinnes. This deed was recorded in Marion County in 1854. No further reference to Hardy Chinners was found in the Marion County censuses or court records after 1830. But the life of his son, and apparently his son's son, became closely linked to the family of Timothy Stanley, a farmer in the Britton Neck area. Stanley must have been a close relative or an intimate friend of the Chinners clan.

Joseph Benjamin Chinners, whom we will refer to as Benjamin, went to live in the Stanley household. In 1840, six children were living with Timothy Stanley, about 42, and Frances Stanley, about 35; but, earlier censuses listed only the names of the heads of households. Apparently, Benjamin, then about 11, and Sarah, about 12, were both living there as was a Frances Chinners. Frances' background and her link with Benjamin and with the Stanleys remains a mystery. Perhaps she was a relative of Mrs. Stanley, who may possibly have been a Chinners.

The 1850 Census also listed six children, two of them named Chinners, as living with the Stanleys. These children were: Mary Stanley, 12; Jane Stanley, 9; Harriett Stanley, 6; Benjamin Chinners, then listed as 19, and Frances Chinners, then 16.

Little is known about Benjamin Chinners' schooling during this period; but, school records from 1855 and 1856 show that the Stanley family was attentive to educating their charges. Four of the Stanley children studied reading, writing, spelling, and arithmetic in Brittons Neck schools.

Little do we know much about the 100 acres that had come into Chinners' hands, including 50 acres from David Gibson and 50 he bought from his brother-in-law. By 1860, we find Chinners living next door to the Stanleys as the head of his own family and the Census lists assets of $1,000 worth of real estate and a personal estate of $100 for Chinnes.

Chinners and his wife, Lucinda, are both listed as 26 years old but more likely records suggest he was 31 and she was 32. Living with them was John Chinnes, age 4. Lucinda was the daughter of Abner Legette, one of several brothers of a colorful and prolific family in the Brittons Neck whom one historian described as a free spirit and woodsman.

Another Chinners, whom we believe to be a direct ancestor was living with the Stanley family in 1960. We believe he is the son of Joseph Benjamin Chinners. Thus, we have another indication of the close Stanley link to the Chinners family. Stanley is listed in the 1860 census as a 63-year-old farmer who holds some real estate and Frances Stanley as 55 years old. Living with them besides Joseph Chinnes were Mary Stanley, 18, and Matilda Stanley, 33. Incidentally, Frances Chinners was then an immediate neighbor, listed as a 23-year-old "laborer" with three other youngsters in her household: Allen, 6; Frances, 3; and Judah 17. (Judah was probably a Stanley since records indicate he sent her to school in 1855 and 1856).

The older Benjamin Chinnes served in the Civil War beginning in 1862 and an official war record notes he was in need of clothing in 1864 near the end of the war. We also have documentation of his wife, Lucinda, acting as an appraiser in a civil court case involving one of the Legettes in the mid-1860s. The older Chinners appears in the 1870 census. (During the Civil War, records spelled his name as Chenis and Chennis). In addition to John, 14, the couple had two other children, English 12, and Harbert, 5, who was obviously named for his grandfather.

After 1870, Chinners moved to Texas. Family descendants in Texas have compiled extensive information on Chinners and his descendants.

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Joseph Benjamin Chinnis's Timeline

June 1829
Marion County, South Carolina, United States
Newport, Clay County, Texas