"The Hendons From Gunpowder River"
few words about this book and its author
**Please remember this is my personal opinion**
Grace Hendon Chancey was about 70 years old
when she decided to write "The Hendons From Gunpowder River." Mrs.
Chancey did her best in researching and subsequently writing her book.
We should remember that her tasks must have been overwhelming for a woman
her age. Since the book was published in 1977, much additional information
concerning the british connections to the family have been discovered and
over one hundred Hendon / Henden descendants are actively researching their
Mrs. Chancey chose to omit some relevant information
from her book because it did not fit into her personal realm of morality.
The most glaring example follows: According to Mrs. Chancey, Captain James
F. Hendon (1778-1845) married a widow, Margaret Whitehead, about 1830.
Margaret brought five children (from a previous marriage) to her new marriage.
Good old James loved those children as his own and even legally adopted
each of them before his death in 1845. What a wonderful, warm, fuzzy story!
Unfortunately it's not true and
Mrs. Chancey knew that before she included it in the book.
Actually, James Hendon and Margaret Whitehead lived together as husband
and wife without going to the trouble of getting married. Jim hendon was
indeed the father of the five children. A descendant of that family, Aubrey
Morris, told me that showed Mrs. Chancey the proof while she was in Georgia
researching for her book. But, she ignored the facts because she was embarrassed
about the living arrangement and because the relationship resulted in five
Capt. James hendon was an elected public
official (sheriff of Clarke County, Georgia), having served numerous terms
in office and likely wanted to keep his personal life private! Who are we
to judge the actions of an ancestor from almost two hundred years ago?
"The Hendons From Gunpowder River "
contains numerous mistakes: lineages; names; birth dates; marriages; etc.
A few people have vocally criticized Mrs. Chancey's work and one has even
suggested that "almost nothing in the book is accurate." that statement
is of course ridiculous.
Olive Stone of Salt Lake City researched her
Hendon roots for several decades and gladly shared her findings with many
people, including Grace Chancey. Sadly, Mrs. Stone was not given sufficent
credit for her material which was utilized in "The Hendons From Gunpowder
However, all Hendon descendants owe Mrs. Chancey our thanks for writing
the book at all. In spite of its shortcomings, it was better than nothing!
Maybe those who are so critical should write their own book.
I own a copy of "The
Hendons From Gunpowder River" and have done "lookups" for several years.
This practice has brought some criticism toward me by one person who accused
me of "spreading misinformation"! The fact is, I was simply answering
a query about the book. In spite of my efforts, my own book, "Hendon
Family Chronicles", also contains errors
for which I truly regret.
it's time for the self-righteous to take a close look at themselves.
Jealousy is that unpleasant emotion you feel
when you think someone’s trying to take what’s yours; Envy is wanting what
someone else has and resenting them for having it. source:
always, your comments are welcomed.
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