Virginia Historical Society
Department of Manuscripts and Archives
Chamberlayne Family Papers, 1849-1954
Description & Guide
Main Entry: Chamberlayne Family Title: Papers, 1849-1954 Size: Ca. 3,000 items (6 archival boxes) Biographical Note: Four generations of Chamberlayne and Gibson family members from Richmond and Petersburg, Va. Chiefly represented is Churchill Gibson Chamberlayne (1876-1939) of Richmond. Scope Note: Include correspondence and estate materials of Mary Walker (Gibson) Chamberlayne (1849-1905) of Richmond and Petersburg, Va. Also, include correspondence, accounts, notes, materials on Chamberlayne and St. Christopher's schools, and other records of Churchill Gibson Chamberlayne (1876-1939) of Alexandria and Richmond, Va. Also, include correspondence, accounts, miscellany and estates materials of Elizabeth Breckinridge (Bolling) Chamberlayne (1887?-1978) of Richmond, Va. Also, include records of Edward Pye Chamberlayne (1915- ), John Hampden Chamberlayne, Martha Burwell (Dabney) Chamberlayne, Ann Elizabeth Jones (Gibson) Bartlett Gibson, Churchill Jones Gibson, George Gibson, Lucy Fitzhugh (Atkinson) Gibson, Helen S. (Bartlett) Hudson, Martha Dabney (Chamberlayne) Valentine Hudson, Martha Dabney (Chamberlayne) McNeill, and Lucy Atkinson (Chamberlayne) Scott Maynard; and general and family miscellany. Provenance: Gift of Mrs. Jerome Kambourian, Richmond, Va., in 1981. Accessioned 22 August 1985. Restrictions: None.
The collection begins with a letter and several accounts of Martha Burwell (Dabney) Chamberlayne (1802-1883).
Materials of Petersburg minister Churchill Jones Gibson (1819-1892) include correspondence and estate materials, while those of his wife, Lucy Fitzhugh (Atkinson) Gibson (1815-1894), include correspondence and accounts.
George Gibson (1821-1896), brother-in-law and first cousin of Churchill Jones Gibson, was a Richmond merchant. A check stub register of Spotts and Gibson, wholesale grocers, is contained herein. There is also correspondence and a scrapbook, kept in New York, belonging to Gibson's wife, Ann Elizabeth Jones (Gibson) Bartlett Gibson (1817-1897), as well as correspondence of her daughter, Helen S. (Bartlett) Hudson (1840-1888).
John Hampden Chamberlayne (1838-1882), son of Dr. Lewis Webb Chamberlayne and Martha Burwell (Dabney) Chamberlayne, was an artillery captain during the Civil War. Afterwards, he worked for newspapers in Petersburg and Norfolk before moving to Richmond in 1876 to establish The State. His papers include correspondence, accounts and miscellany. His wife, Mary Walker (Gibson) Chamberlayne (1849-1905), was the daughter of Churchill Jones Gibson and Lucy Fitzhugh (Atkinson) Gibson. Her correspondence includes a folder of general correspondence and individual folders containing letters from each of her six children. A folder of estate materials follows her correspondence; additional estate information can be found in the general correspondence of Churchill Gibson Chamberlayne with the Virginia Trust Company in 1937 and 1938.
The major figure in this collection is Churchill Gibson Chamberlayne (1876-1939), son of John Hampden Chamberlayne and Mary Walker (Gibson) Chamberlayne. CGC was an Episcopal minster, educator and author and his papers reflect his various avocations and interests.
Born in Richmond, Churchill Gibson Chamberlayne moved to Petersburg at the death of his father in 1882. There he attended McCabe's University School. After working as a clerk in Richmond for five years, Chamberlayne entered the University of Virginia, where he graduated in 1901. His post-graduate education included three years (1901-1904) at the Theological Seminary of Virginia, in Alexandria, and two years (1904-1906) at the University of Halle- Wittenberg, Germany, where he was awarded a Ph.D. in history. Chamberlayne spent a year doing missionary work near Charlottesville, VA., before serving as chaplain and history teacher at the Gilman Country School in Baltimore, Maryland. He returned to Richmond in 1911 and opened the Chamberlayne School. In June 1920, the school was purchased by the Episcopal diocese and renamed St. Christopher's School, with Chamberlayne serving as it headmaster until his death in 1939.
A minister and educator by training, Chamberlayne also shared a life-long interest in Virginia history. He was a member of the Virginia Historical Society's Executive Committee and transcribed and edited several parish vestry books as well as a volume of his father's Civil War letters.
Chamberlayne's papers begin in Box 1 with an appointment book for 1934. This is followed by a section of general correspondence, which is arranged alphabetically by year, two folders of accounts and one folder of general financial materials. These precede materials pertaining to Chamberlayne School, which include correspondence, accounts, financial materials and miscellany. The correspondence, which consists of requests for information, letter from parents, applications from prospective teachers and similar matters, is arranged alphabetically by school year. There is no correspondence for the 1911-1912 session, the school's first. Accounts, beginning in 1911, are also arranged alphabetically by school year and here it becomes necessary to interject a work of caution. Opened in September 1911, the Chamberlayne School was originally located at 3311 Grove Avenue (now 3211 Grove Avenue), the home of CGC and his wife. The main building was not only the headmaster's dwelling, but also dormitory and dining room for the school. It is almost impossible to separate personal accounts from school accounts and, since no distinction was made by Dr. Chamberlayne, none has been made here. Financial and miscellaneous materials follow the accounts; the miscellany includes a copy of the purchase agreement between Chamberlayne and the Diocese of Virginia.
Under the terms of the 1920 agreement, Churchill Gibson Chamberlayne remained at St. Christopher's as headmaster. Because of his changed status, as well as the relatively small amount of material for St. Christopher's, the school is treated here as a separate entity. A large amount of correspondence (which is again arranged alphabetically by school year) exists through the 1922-1923 session, but only several dozen letters document Chamberlayne's last sixteen years at the school. There are accounts covering the 1920 to 1938 period, yet most of these concern the 1920-1921 session. A folder of miscellany follows the accounts.
As previously mentioned, CGC edited a volume of his father's Civil War letters, and materials concerning Ham Chamberlayne - Virginian include correspondence and notes. The correspondence, 1929-1933, consists primarily of letters from descendants of John Hampden Chamberlayne's comrades, as well as inquiries with potential publishers. A folder of correspondence from 1937 to 1938 documents a later attempt by the author to have his book published nationally. Following this correspondence are two folders titled Ham Chamberlayne - Virginian: Notes on Correspondents and Others. These are notes on correspondents and other persons mentioned in JHC's letters and arranged alphabetically. A folder of miscellaneous notes concludes this section.
The final box (Box 6) contains correspondence concerning Chamberlayne's transcription and editing of several parish vestry books and these letters primarily consist of request for copies of these volumes and genealogical inquiries. Folders of speeches and sermons, information concerning Chamberlayne's Virginia Historical Society activities, materials pertaining to the Diocese of Virginia, miscellany and estate materials conclude CGC's papers.
In 1911, Churchill Gibson Chamberlayne married Elizabeth Breckinridge Bolling (1887?-1978) of Bedford County and this collection includes some of her papers. A folder of general correspondence precedes one containing letters from his son, Edward Pye Chamberlayne. Accounts, miscellany and estate materials of EBBC are also contained herein.
The collection also contains some correspondence of two of CGC's sisters, Martha Dabney (Chamberlayne) Valentine McNeill (1874-1952) and Lucy Atkinson (Chamberlayne) Scott Maynard (1875-1944), as well as that of his son, Edward Pye Chamberlayne (1915- ). Other materials pertaining to Edward Pye Chamberlayne include accounts, financial information and miscellany.
The last items in Box 6 represent miscellaneous materials and several unidentified items. A household account book, 1855-1856, and a scrapbook, ca. 1852-1861, both kept in or near Richmond, as well as several nineteenth-century letters and sermons are among the unidentified items. Family materials include newspaper clippings and genealogical notes on the Chamberlayne family.
Series I. Martha Burwell (Dabney) Chamberlayne (1802-1883), Richmond, Va.
Box 1: correspondence, 1868; accounts, 1860-1871
Series II. Churchill Jones Gibson (1819-1892), Petersburg, Va.
Box 1: correspondence, 1879; estate
Series III. Lucy Fitzhugh (Atkinson) Gibson (1815-1894), Petersburg, Va.
Box 1: correspondence, 1864-1888; account, 1884; miscellany
Series IV. George Gibson (1821-1896), Richmond, Va.
Box 1: check stub register, 1882-1883
Series V. Ann Elizabeth Jones (Gibson) Bartlett Gibson (1817-1897), Richmond, Va.
Box 1: correspondence, undated; scrapbook
Series VI. Helen S. (Bartlett) Hudson (1840-1888), Hagerstown, Md.
Box 1: correspondence, 1862
Series VII. John Hampden Chamberlayne (1838-1882), Petersburg and Richmond, Va.
Box 1: correspondence, 1868-1880, miscellany
Series VIII. Mary Walker (Gibson) Chamberlayne (1849-1905), Petersburg and Richmond, Va.
Box 1: general correspondence, 1864-1904; correspondence with her children, 1897- 1904; estate
Series IX. Churchill Gibson Chamberlayne (1876-1939), Alexandria and Richmond, Va.
Box 1-3: appointment book, 1934; general correspondence, 1904-1939 (arranged alphabetically by year)
Box 3: accounts, 1920-1939; financial materials
Boxes 3-5: Chamberlayne School: correspondence, 1912-1920 (arranged alphabetically by school year); accounts, 1911-1920; financial materials; applications, 1918- 1920; miscellany.
Box 5: St. Christopher's School: correspondence, 1920-1939 (arranged alphabetically by school year); accounts, 1920-1938; telephone register; Pine Needle ad book; miscellany
Box 5: Ham Chamberlayne - Virginian: correspondence, 1929-1933, 1937-1938; notes on correspondents and others (arranged alphabetically); miscellaneous notes
Box 6: correspondence concerning parish vestry books: Bristol, Christ Church, Kingston, Petsworth, St. Paul's, St. Peter's and Stratton Major; miscellaneous notes on parishes; notes on articles; speeches, sermons and lessons; Virginia Historical Society; diocese of Virginia; miscellany; estate
Series X. Elizabeth Breckinridge (Bolling) Chamberlayne (1887?-1978), Richmond, Va.
Box 6: general correspondence, 1912-1938; correspondence with Edward Pye Chamberlayne, 1927-1939; accounts, 1920-1939; miscellany; estate
Series XI. Martha Dabney (Chamberlayne) Valentine McNeill (1874-1952), Richmond, Va.
Box 6: correspondence, 1904-1937
Series XII. Lucy Atkinson (Chamberlayne) Scott Maynard (1875-1944), Baltimore, Md., Norwich, Conn., Monrovia, Liberia and Manila and Baguio, The Philippines
Box 6: correspondence, 1922-1937
Series XIII. Edward Pye Chamberlayne (1915- ), Richmond and Charlottesville, Va.
Box 6: correspondence, 1922-1936; accounts, 1929-1936; financial materials; University of Virginia; miscellany
Series XIV. Miscellaneous family materials
Box 6: miscellaneous correspondence; unidentified household accounts book, 1855- 1856; unidentified scrapbook, ca. 1852-1861; unidentified correspondence; miscellany; clippings; genealogical notes on Chamberlayne family