The roots of the Chinnes family of Hemingway can be traced back to the 17th Century with the arrival in the Carolinas of a Huguenot emigrant.  Thomas Chiner, who received a warrant for 200 acres of land, apparently arrived around 1690—the year he received a warrant for 200 acres of land.  There are several variations on the spelling of Chinnes, most  notably Chinners, the main early spelling of the family name.


Between 1704 and 1718,  Thomas Chinner(s), who became an Indian trader, received by grant 233 acres in Berkeley County.  His wife, Elizabeth Chinner, also apparently, received 100 acres July 8, 1704.   a record dated November 25, 1713, shows John Midon and Thomas Chinners received 413 acres.  Also recorded was a deed of property from Thomas Chinners to Captain Peter Paul LeBas and Rene Ravenel Sr. of Berkeley County dated 1715.  Thomas Chinners died around 1755, (10-a Says 1739).  He had at least two sons, Abraham Chinners and Isaac Chinners.

Abraham Chinners married Ann, a daughter of John Sandiford, and remained in Berkeley County.  His will, recorded in the Charleston probate court in 1759, refers to John Sandiford Chinnes as his only son.


Isaac Chinners moved to Craven County, South Carolina, receiving a grant of 450 acres in that County September 30,  1736.  In the Journal of the Council of South Carolina, May 4, 1757, he was listed as Captain of the Little Pee Dee Company, and his son, Thomas Chinners, was listed as "ensign."  The appraisal of Isaac's estate, dated June 28, 1766, listed six slaves and the total  value of the estate in pounds, 4082'1+'0.

Isaac was apparently married twice, first to Wineford Chinners, then to Rebecca Chinners.  Isaac's children by his marriage to Wineford apparently included Ezekiel, Wineford, Thomas, Rebecca, Ann, and Sarah.  He had one daughter from his marriage to Rebecca; namely, Mary, who was born in 1737.

Isaac apparently served in the Second Regiment in the Revolutionary War although one source indicates he died April 8, 1765.  Among the property listed in Isaac's will was  Chinners Swamp.  An extensive marsh-swamp flows near the town limits of Aynor, South Carolina.  Also at Aynor is a prominently marked highway called Chinners Creek Road.


Ezekiel Chinners married Sarah Woods, who was born in 1770.  They had one son, Hardy Harbert Chinners, and one daughter, Sarah Ann Elizabeth Chinners.


Hardy Chinners, a planter in the Brittons Neck community in the early 1800s, was married on November 12, 1818, to Sarah Ann Elizabeth Chinners.  Chinners is listed in the Marion County 1830 census as between 30 and 40 years old--the head of a household that included a female, aged 20 to 30, presumably his wife, and two children, Joseph Benjamin Chinners and Sarah Martha Anne Chinners.

Sarah Chinners was born January 17, 1828, and died April 4, 1897, according to the Lambert family history. She married Benjamin G. F. Lambert, who lived in the area, and they eventually moved to Hemingway.  Hemingway grew from Lamberts Crossroads, which was named for a Lambert descendant.

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.


As we noted, Joseph Chinnes was living with Timothy Stanley in 1860; but, in the 1880s, he was listed as a 29-year-old farmer living in Williamsburg County.  He was married to Ellen Elizabeth Chinnes and living next door to his presumed aunt, the former Sarah Martha Anne Chinnes who married Benjamin Lambert.  They had been busy, as they had five children, ranging in age from infancy to nine.  The relationship of young Chinnes to Mrs. Lambert is confirmed by the Ginn Family Bible, a revealing document.   Ellen Elizabeth Eaddy Chinnes died in 1903, then  Chinnes married Laura Spring, who died in 1941.  The children from the Chinnes-Eaddy union were listed separately and it is obvious the family has been prolific.

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