Select Page

Battles and Battles and Shew and Shew and…

You have to love it when a new cousin pops up in your DNA results.

And then get frustrated as you see the twists and turns that make it impossible to separate out the shared DNA.

Case in point: a new cousin appeared in The Legal Genealogist‘s results just this morning. We’ll call her DM, and she matches me on AncestryDNA.

She also shares two lines of descent that we’ve been fighting to separate out… and that are just getting more and more entwined.

You see, my fourth great grandparents Boston and Elizabeth (Brewer) Shew moved to Cherokee County, Alabama, between 1840 and 1850, bringing with them their sons Simon and Daniel, my third great grandfather.1

Simon and Daniel then met the daughters of another set of fourth great grandparents, William and Ann (Jacobs) Battles.2


You can write the rest of this one, can’t you? Sarah Battles married Simon Shew and Margaret Battles married Daniel Shew.3

So, of course, a lot of the cousins who show up in my matches are double cousins, sharing both the Shew and the Battles DNA. And, of course, we’d desperately like to find cousins who only match us in the Shew line or in the Battles line (but not both!!) so we could begin to distinguish between them.

And the cousin who popped up this morning doesn’t help one bit.

Yes, she’s a Shew descendant — via Simon.

That means she’s also a Battles descendant — via Sarah.

And there’s thing more here that makes it even harder.

Because she descends from Simon and Sarah via their son John.

Battles-Shew tangled lines

Who married Alice Cranford.4

Whose parents were Jesse Franklin Cranford and Hattie Elizabeth Cranford.5

Hattie Elizabeth (Battles) Cranford.

Sarah’s and Margaret’s sister, Hattie Elizabeth.6


We’re never going to untangle these DNA threads…


  1. For 1840, see 1840 U.S. census, Grayson County, Virginia, p. 20 (stamped), Boston Shoe; digital image, ( : accessed 30 Sep 2018); citing National Archive microfilm publication M704, roll 555. For 1850, see 1850 U.S. census, Cherokee County, Alabama, population schedule, p. 6 (stamped), dwelling/family 75, Boston Shew; digital image, ( : accessed 30 Sep 2018); citing National Archive microfilm publication M432, roll 3.
  2. For their marriage, see St. Clair County, Alabama, Marriage Record 1: 53, Battels-Jacobs, 25 Dec 1829; digital images, “Marriage records (St. Clair County, Alabama), 1819-1939,” FamilySearch ( : accessed 29 Sep 2018).
  3. Daughters “Sallie” and “Peggy” are among the children named in a Southern Claims Commission file focusing on a claim filed by William Battles and later prosecuted by his widow Ann. William Battles, dec’d, v. United States, Court of Claims, Dec. term 1887–1888, Case No. 967-Congressional; Congressional Jurisdiction Case Records; Records of the United States Court of Claims, Record Group 123; National Archives, Washington, D.C. And Sallie Shew, Simon Shew and Margaret Shew signed off on a deed on the William Battles estate, re-recorded in 1884 after the Cherokee County Courthouse burned in 1882. Cherokee County, Alabama, Conveyance Record A: 527-528, William Battles Estate to William Shew, County Court, Centre, Ala.
  4. John Shew and Alice Cranford are listed as the parents on the death certificate of John Curtis Shew, who died in Alabama in 1954. See “Alabama Deaths, 1908-1974,” database, entry for John Curtis Shew, 27 Jan 1954, FamilySearch ( : accessed 30 Sep 2018); citing reference 557, Department of Health, Montgomery; FHL microfilm 1,908,886.
  5. Alice’s parents are listed on her death certificate as Frank Crawford and Elizebeth Battles. Ibid., entry for Alice Shew, 25 Sep 1935; citing reference 23671, Department of Health, Montgomery; FHL microfilm 1,908,535.
  6. Yep, a daughter “Betsy” is in that Southern Claims file too. And Elizabeth and Franklin Cranford signed that deed…
Print Friendly, PDF & Email