Col. William Candler1

Male, #45841, (21 Apr 1736 - Sep 1789)
Birth*21 Apr 1736 He was born on 21 Apr 1736 at Virginia.1 
Marriage*1761 He married Elizabeth Anthony in 1761.1 
Birth of Son1762 His son Major Henry Candler was born in 1762 at Bedford Co., Virginia.2,3 
American Revolution*between 1775 and 1783 He provided service in the American Revolutionary War between 1775 and 1783
(DAR Listing: William Candler, born 21 Apr 1736 in Ireland, died Jul 1784 in Georgia, married Elizabeth Anthony, Colonel, Georgia).4,5 
Birth of Son1779 His son Daniel Candler was born in 1779 at Columbia Co., Georgia.1 
Death of Spouse14 Jul 1784 His wife Elizabeth Anthony died on 14 Jul 1784. 
Death*Sep 1789 He died at Columbia Co., Georgia, in Sep 1789 at age 53.1 
Biography* Allan Daniel Candler, in his book "Colonel William Candler of Georgia, His Ancestry and Progeny", stated unequivocally that William Candler was born, raised, and married in North Carolina. He was misinformed. Wherever William was born, he grew to manhood and married in South River Settlement along the James River in Virginia. Daniel Candler (William's father) was probably settled at South River by the late 1740's. William would have been 14 years old when his brother, John, married a South River girl, Elizabeth Gibson, c1750.
     In 1755, at age nineteen, William joined the Quaker meeting at South River (present-day Lynchburg, VA). Several years thereafter, he was elected clerk of the Quaker Meeting. He acquired modest tracts of land at South River including one sharing property lines with his future father-in-law Joseph Anthony and his father Daniel. The grant survives at the Library of Virginia.
     In 1760, William Candler contracted (with Joseph Ray at Fort Lewis -- present-day Salem, VA) to carry supplies to soldiers stationed at Dunkard Bottom on the New River (present-day Radford, VA). In 1761, he married Elizabeth Anthony. In 1763, he and his brother John and cousin Zachariah Moorman, along with Robert Brooks, appraised two estates (in behalf of neighbor Charles Lynch a prominent South River man). These estates, belonging to Valentine "Felty" Yoacom (Yokum) and Frederick See, were located in present-day Greenbrier County, WV. At the time, this was on the extreme western frontier of Virginia. Yoacom was killed in the Indian massacre at Muddy Creek.
     William Candler was the executor of his father's 1765 will filed in early 1766 in Bedford County, VA.. Later in 1766, he asked the Quaker meeting officials to settle his business -- to give him a certificate of good standing for departure. There are records of land and property sales in 1767 and early 1768.
     After this he may have moved his wife and children to Cane Creek, North Carolina. William would have been relocating among friends and cousins. In 1755, he had received a certificate to travel to the Cane Creek meeting. The Candlers were obviously fine woodsmen, and had no doubt traveled and worked in the VA/NC area. A group of men from South River had gone on to Carolina in 1756 to settle. Some stayed and some returned. It is family legend that William was one who had gone and returned (although these old legends are another story in themselves).
     A group of Quaker colonizers from Cane Creek, under the leadership of Joseph Maddock, moved to Georgia in about 1770 to take up a large grant given to them by Georgia governor Wright. They named this colony Wrightsborough. A short time later, William Candler was appointed as Surveyor of the County. I suspect that he went to Georgia ahead of the other Quakers and surveyed the land grant for the future settlement. Records show that he sold a slave in Georgia in 1769 (named Chester), a slave on whom he paid Pittsylvania County, Virginia tax in 1767.
     Whatever the exact circumstances, William does not appear in Quaker records of the Wrightsborough meeting. The events of the Revolution overtook the details of normal life at South River. The Quaker meeting there was practically closed during the War - many Quakers, against their stated principles, fought against the British foe. When the meeting at South River started up again in 1782, William and Elizabeth Candler were, "discontinued having remove removed from amongst Frs." In common language: they were gone and had not taken up the Quaker ways elsewhere so it was the responsibility of South River Meeting to disown them.
     In Georgia, William became a County Surveyor - in Colonial America this was a major political appointment. George Washington, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, and Andrew Lewis were each a County Surveyor in Virginia. This appointment marked a man of intelligence, education, woodsmanship, and (most likely) military ability. This is a good description of William Candler of Georgia. At first a major in the Royal militia, he resigned his commission and joined the fight for American Independence. His distinction as a Major, then later Colonel of the Georgia "Refugees" of the American Revolution has been chronicled by his descendants.
     Probably the most famous Candler in American history was Asa Griggs Candler the founder of the Coca-Cola Co. This soft drink scion, philanthropist, and mayor of Atlanta was a descendant of Colonel William Candler (c1736-1784) of Georgia who fought bravely for his state in the American Revolution.
     Georgia Governor Allen Daniel Candler (1834-1910) was a cousin of Asa Candler's. He wrote what is arguably the most widely read book on the Candler family in America, Colonel William Candler of Georgia, His Ancestry and Progeny, 1896, the Foote & Davis Co, Atlanta, GA. To my knowledge, this is the first published work on the Candlers of America. Often quoted (and misquoted) by Candler genealogical researchers, it serves as the anchor to which we can fasten subsequent work.
     Governor Candler strove to reconstruct his lineage from scant and poorly preserved Georgia Colonial and State Revolutionary War records, and such as he could find in the Library of Congress (a pursuit he began during his tenure in the U. S. House of Representatives). He uncovered much valuable data, but he was unaware that his Georgia ancestor had emigrated from Virginia, and thus did not explore the wealth of Candler data in that state.
     He was aware that there were North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland Candlers, and he speculated that they might share a common ancestor, but he did not know. Subsequent editions of his work included the Virginia connection.
     Today (1999), we have proof that there was indeed a common ancestor of these branches. His name was Daniel Candler. He lived in the Virginia Colony of England, along the James River at South River Settlement (present-day Lynchburg, Virginia). There is documentary proof that Daniel Candler was settled at South River by 1753, and good circumstantial proof for a time just before 1750. He died in late 1765 or early 1766.
     As stated above, Allen D. Candler did not know of Col. William Candler's life at the South River Settlement; but it was there that William joined the Quakers, and there that he married Elizabeth Anthony. Thus it is valuable to "revisit" this life as we find it chronicled in early land grants, civil court and Quaker records (the richest source of details by far).4 


Elizabeth Anthony (10 Mar 1746 - 14 Jul 1784)
Marriage*1761 He married Elizabeth Anthony in 1761.1 
Last Edited30 Apr 2012


  1. Todd & Gail Cason, compiler, Cason Family Genealogy.
    (Could not find site in Dec 2005).
  2. E-mail written 2004-2011 to Warren Culpepper from Mary Nelson Pazur (3-gt-gd of #50002), Kennesaw, GA, e-mail address.
  3. RootsWeb WorldConnect Project, Rootsweb.
    Elton Lacey's Family Files; e-mail address.
  4. Ed Marsh, compiler, Lynchburg Candlers: The First Generations, 1999.
  5. DAR Patriot Index, Washington, DC: National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, 2003.