Samuel Chandler's biography was published in The New Zealand Genealogist, July 1984, in an article titled ‘Samuel Chandler, 1829–77’, written by his granddaughter, Lyn Hughes. Her research shows that Samuel Chandler was born in 1829 in Ancoats, Manchester. He was the son of Sarah (nee Gower) and James Chandler, a 'piecer' (one who twists together broken threads on spinning machines in a cotton mill). Sarah and James were buried in Rusholme Road Cemetery, which was known as the Dissenters' Burial Ground in 1841. 

At Salford, in 1846, at the age of 17, Samuel enlisted in the 76 Regiment. He served overseas in the Ionian Islands, Malta and New Brunswick before returning to Britain in 1857, and went for training in the use of a new type of rifle at the School of Musketry in Hythe, Kent. There, in 1858, Samuel became a Sergeant Instructor of Musketry; and in 1860 he was posted to the 18th Royal Irish Regiment.

In 1861, at Cheriton Church near Hythe, Samuel married Mary Ann Smith (born about 1844). She was the daughter of William Smith of the 52nd Regiment, a pensioner, then living in Hythe, who had been invalided out of the army in 1813 after his feet were severely frostbitten during the Peninsular War.

Later in 1861, the 18th Royal Irish went to Portsmouth, then to the Channel Islands in 1862. In 1863, Samuel, Sarah and their first two children sailed for New Zealand with the 18th Royal Irish Regiment aboard the Norwood, arriving at Auckland in August 1863. He served in the Maori Wars, reaching Wanganui in early 1865. It is interesting to note that another branch of the family was living in the same area at that time: Jane and William Davis, whose granddaughter married Sidney Herbert Barcham, had settled on land at Inglewood and had to seek shelter in the blockhouse at Bell Block during the Maori Land Wars

In 1870, when the regiment left for Australia, Samuel Chandler took his discharge and joined the Armed Constabulary in Wellington, soon rising to the rank of Sergeant Major.

Mary Ann and Samuel Chandler had ten children: Elizabeth Sarah (b. 12 September 1861, at Clarence Barracks, Portsmouth); Albert Edward (b. 10 March 1863, at Parkhurst Barracks, Isle of Wight); Samuel William (b. 29 July 1865, at Otahuhu, Auckland); Mary Ellen (b. 5 March, 1867, at Patea, Taranaki); Lavinia (b. 20 September 1868, at Albert Barracks, Auckland); Madeline Emma (b. 27 April, 1870, at Wellington); Rosalind Hannah (b. 20 November 1871, at Wellington); Joseph James (b. 17 October 1873, at Wellington); Emma Martha (b. 11 June 1875, at Wellington); Bertie John (b. 8 April, 1878, at Wellington).

The last child was born 20 weeks after his father died. Samuel died of typhoid at Mount Cook Barracks in Wellington on 16 November 1877, and was buried the following day with full military honours. 

In 1878 or 1879, Mary Ann Chandler married James Check. Mary Ann died in 1912.