Shew me the way!

Looking for Shew cousins

One hundred and forty-three years ago today, they were probably a little nervous. Perhaps a little scared. Certainly more than just a little excited. Perhaps more than a little apprehensive.

W W Shew death certificate 1927

He was just 20 years old in November of 1869, she was only a little older, and they were getting ready to begin their life together the very next day, the 25th of November 1869.

The marriage was performed by John Dickson, a justice of the peace in Etowah County, Alabama, and William Washington Shew and Nancy Elizabeth Allen were pronounced husband and wife — a marriage that would last more than 57 years, until William’s death in Milam County, Texas, in March of 1927.

William was the oldest child of Daniel and Margaret (Battles) Shew, my third great grandparents. His only sister, Martha Louise (Shew) Baird Livingston, was my second great grandmother.

And I would absolutely love to touch base with some of William and Nancy Elizabeth (Allen) Shew’s grandchildren or great grandchildren to find out more about this branch of the family.

William was born on 19 November 1849 in Cherokee County, Alabama.1 He was enumerated in the household of his parents as a one-year-old child in 1850.2

We’re not entirely sure what happened to Daniel, but Margaret was shown as the head of household in 1860, and William was recorded in her household as a 10-year-old boy.3

He and his wife, called Elizabeth, were shown in their own household in Cherokee County in 1870,4 and they were still in Alabama as of the 1870 census, with six children living in their home.5

By 1900, the family had moved to Atascosa County, Texas, where William and Elizabeth were enumerated with their four youngest children.6 They were still in Atascosa County in 1910,7 and in Milam County, Texas, in 1920.8

William died in Milam County in March of 19279 and Elizabeth in 1928.10

All told, William and Nancy may have had as many as 12 children11; the identities of only nine are known for certain: Mary Ella, born c1870, married George W. Yeargain; Martha (Mattie), born 1873, married Stephen S. Wildman; Jonie, born 1875, married Barney McClusky; Thomas Jefferson, born 1876, married Georgia Bynum; Edna, born c1878, married Edward F. Lancaster; Lucretia, born 1880; Eva Luchia, born 1882, married Seaborn J. Langley; Rhoda, born 1883, married William J. Franklin, after the death of her sister Annie; and Annie, born 1887, William Franklin’s first wife.12

Names. Dates. Places. What I call the Begats. But family history is, or should be, so much more. And there is so much more I would like to know about this branch of my family tree.

We have only a few more details about William’s life. We believe he was a minister of the Gospel. His name appears as the officiating minister in an index of marriage records in Alabama in the 1880s.13 We know he was a farmer in Texas, or so the census records say.

But there is so much we don’t know about this branch of the family. Why did William and Nancy Elizabeth move to Texas? Did William serve as a minister at all after the move? Are there records in this branch of the family to tie them more closely to my branch? What can their oral family tradition add to mine about William’s and Martha Louisa’s parents and grandparents and great grandparents?

And, of course, what does their genetic heritage add to the genetic heritage of my branch to paint a clearer picture of our shared ancestry? I have an already-paid-for DNA kit that’s burning a hole in my pocket… and I’d love to touch base with a grandchild of William and Nancy Elizabeth or even a great grandchild (though a grandchild would be better) who’d be willing to test and help nail down our common ancestry by way of DNA.

So how about it, Shew cousins? Who’s out there… and what can each of us tell the other about our family>


 
SOURCES

  1. Texas State Department of Health, death certif. no. 10077 (1927), W.W. Shew (10 Mar 1927); Bureau of Vital Statistics, Austin.
  2. 1850 U.S. census, Cherokee County, Alabama, population schedule, 27th District, p. 136 (back) (stamped), dwelling 1055, family 1055, William Shew in Danl Shew household; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 July 1002); citing National Archive microfilm publication M432, roll 3.).
  3. 1860 U.S. census, Cherokee County, Alabama, population schedule, p. 315 (stamped), dwelling 829, family 829, William Shoe in Margaret Shoe household; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 9 August 2002); citing National Archive microfilm publication M653, roll 5.
  4. 1870 U.S. census, Cherokee County, AL, population schedule, p. 240 (stamped), dwelling 35, family 35, W Shew household; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 Oct 2011); citing National Archive microfilm publication M593, roll 7; imaged from FHL microfilm 545506.
  5. 1880 U.S. census, Cherokee County, AL, population schedule, Beat No. 9, enumeration district (ED) 23, p. 333(A) (stamped), dwelling 37, family 39, William Shew household; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 Oct 2011); citing National Archive microfilm publication T9, roll 6; imaged from FHL microfilm 1254006.
  6. 1900 U.S. census, Atascosa County, TX, population schedule, Justice Precinct 2, enumeration district (ED) 4, p. 228(B) (stamped), sheet 4B, dwelling 71, family 80, William W Shew household; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 13 Oct 2011); citing National Archive microfilm publication T623, roll 1608.
  7. 1910 U.S. census, Atascosa County, TX, population schedule, Justice Precinct 2, enumeration district (ED) 2, p. 36(A) (stamped), sheet 2(A), dwelling 25, family 26-27, W W Shew household; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 14 Oct 2011); citing National Archive microfilm publication T624, roll 1528; imaged from FHL microfilm 1375541.
  8. 1920 U.S. census, Milam County, TX, population schedule, Justice Precinct 4, p. 123, enumeration district (ED) 134(A) (stamped), sheet 4A, dwelling 67, family 69, William W. Shew household; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 Oct 2011); citing National Archive microfilm publication T625, roll 1833.
  9. Texas State Dept. of Health, death certif. no. 10077 (1927), W.W. Shew (10 Mar 1927)
  10. Texas State Department of Health, certif. no. 258 (1928), Nancy Elizabeth Shew (3 Jan 1928); Bureau of Vital Statistics, Austin.
  11. 1910 U.S. census, Atascosa Co., TX, pop. sched., Justice Precinct 2, ED 2, p. 36(A) (stamped), sheet 2(A), dwell. 25, fam. 26-27, N E Shew, mother of 12, 8 surviving.
  12. Sources for the information about William’s and Nancy Elizabeth’s children range from census records to death certificates to marriage records to family group sheets received from descendants. I owe a particular debt of gratitude to Esther Knapp, whose Esther’s Tree website hasn’t been active since 2006.
  13. “Alabama Marriage Collection, 1800-1969,” record for M L Ward and J D Payne, 27 Sep 1885, index, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry com : accessed 23 Nov 2012).
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3 Responses to Shew me the way!

  1. Lynn says:

    I’ve sent the link for this page to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ShewFamilyGenealogy/. We have quite a few members that are from Alabama & Texas. I hope you make a connection. My Shew family is from NC. Good luck!

  2. Pauline Shew Manly says:

    I am the grandaughter of John Shew. I have information on some of the Shew’s if anyone is interested. Simon Shew married Sarah this is John Shew’s grandparents. John’s father is William Henry Shew.

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