Sunday, June 15, 2014

52 Ancestors: #24 - Jacob SHIFLETT

Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued a challenge:  write one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor.  It can be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem – anything that focuses on one ancestor.



Jacob SHIFLETT was my 4th great grandfather.  While it might seem pretty impressive to trace one’s lineage that far back, I can do better.  Jacob was the son of John, who was the son of Thomas (and Patience), who was the son of John, my 7th great grandfather.  Ta Da! 

In many ways, Shiflett research is easy because there are so many Shiflett researchers who over the years have collaborated on various research projects now available at The Shiflett Family Genealogy website begun in 1998.  The databases and analyses of family connections are outstanding.  Updates are ongoing.  Anyone with ties to Greene, Albemarle, Orange, or Madison counties in Virginia should check this website because likely there will be a connection to the Shifletts in some way.

But Shiflett research also can be maddening due to the usual suspects:  transcription errors, varied spellings, absence of very old records, family members avoiding (deliberately?) any dealings with the government, multiple wives with the same name, even multiple children with the same name. 

Take Jacob, for example.  His father was John, for sure, based on some deeds and will.  But who was his mother?  John named his wife Susannah in his will, along with a number of children, most of whom were born before Susannah entered the picture.  Jacob was likely the son of John’s first wife, whoever she was.  Despite the vast number of documents available, there is no clue to who that wife and mother was.  I’m resigned to accepting the question mark as my 4th great grandmother.

Thankfully, Jacob’s own family is easier to study.  For the most part they lived within the law creating good records like deeds, wills, and even a few unusual ones.  For example, Jacob along with George Airey and John Shiflett (Father?  Brother?  Cousin?  Neighbor?)  signed a bond of recognizance for Miley Shiflett.  The Overseers of the Poor were going to make sure Miley took care of the “base born child of Ann Rains,” and Jacob agreed to make sure he did.

While Jacob took the moral high ground in that situation, his own life seemed, in a sense, a contradiction.  For some reason, Jacob and the mother of his children did not marry, but they were a solid and steady family nonetheless.   His common-law wife was Polly JARRELL.  The former Mary “Polly” SELF had married Easom/Isham Fitzgeral January 28, 1801 in Orange County.   [Note how “Fitzgeral” was shortened to “Garrell” and then ultimately became spelled “Jarrell.”]  Did he die young?  Did they divorce?  I do not know.   They were not married long before Polly moved on with Jacob.  Perhaps Easom died suddenly.  Or maybe he was older and had actually prepared a will, and maybe he provided money and land to Polly on the condition that she not marry again.  Lots of men did that.  That could explain why she remained Jacob’s common-law wife the rest of her days.  But that’s speculation.

Jacob and his family lived on a farm on Lick Mountain along Lynches River, in what was then described as the upper part of Orange County, an area that became Greene County in 1838.  Jacob purchased 100 acres from his father John in 1818, and then he was granted another 38 ¼ acres in 1836.

Jacob willed the land to Polly upon his death in 1841, provided she remain a single woman.  Fifteen years later Polly had to fight to hold onto that land.  In 1856 Polly filed a caveat in Greene County against Henry B. Shiflett’s grant of 340 acres claiming that 139 acres of it belonged to her by the will of Jacob Shiflett and by the fact that she had paid taxes on that land for over 40 years. 
 
Survey of Jacob Shiflett's grant for 38 1/4 acres 1836
In 1860, Polly’s land was valued at $1000 and her personal property at about $360.  It sounds like she did pretty well. 

Jacob and Polly had 5 children, 3 boys and 2 girls.  There could have been others who were born and died between the censuses, but from 1820-1840, the family looked just like this.  Jacob named each child in his will, and he provided for them equally.  He must have been a pretty good man.

Jacob Shiplett/Shiflett
1841
Greene Co. Will Book 1 p.11


In the name of God Amen, I Jacob Shiflett of Green County Va being weak in body but sound in memory and understanding thanks be to God for his mercies Having considered the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the ----- of, and being desirous to settle my worldly affairs that I may be the better prepared to leave this world whenever it so pleases God to call me, Thence, do make and publish this (my last will and testament) in measure and form following. To Wit first let all my just debts be paid then I give and bequeath as followeth:

Item 1st. I give and bequeath unto Polley Garrell formerly Polley Self all my land that I possess with all the appertainences thereunto belonging and my stock of every description household and kitchen furniture etc. the above named property that is to say land, Horses, Cattle, Sheep, Hogs, etc. I give the same to Polley Garrell during the time she may remain a single woman, if she should Marry, I only give her two hundred dollars and the remainder to my children by her the said Polley Garrell, formerly Polley Self and after her decease or time of her single life of her the said Polley Garrell I devise and bequeath unto my children born unto me by by[sic] her as followeth.

Item 2nd. I give unto my daughter July Ann Catharine one hundred dollars as apart of her legacy in my estate.

Item 3rd. All the rest residue and remainder of my estate both real and personall goods and chattles of whatsoever kind I will and order shall appraised and equally divided between each and every of my children born unto me by the said Polley Garrell namely Madison, Burton, Jefferson, Virenda Jane and July Ann Catharine. I to them and their heirs forever. I give and bequeth unto sd. Polley Garrell on the same conditions as I have given my other property unto her all my interest in land and all other property in my Fathers estate and when she is dcd the saim it shall be equally divided betwinxt all my children as is named in the third Item of this my will and lastly I hereby appoint Polley Garrell my Solo executrix to this my last will and testament hereby revoking all other wills by me made in Witness wereof, I have herunto set my hand Seal this 21 day of April one thousand eighth hundred and forty one.
Jacob (his x mark) Shiflitt



Three Generations:
Jacob SHIFLETT (about 1780 Orange Co, VA - after 21 Apr 1841 Greene Co, VA ) & Mary “Polly” SELF JARRELL ( 1788 Orange Co, VA – after 1860 )  [common law wife]

1. Jefferson SHIFLETT ( 1807 Orange Co, VA –  08 Apr 1887 Shelby, OH  ) & Mary Polly BRACKNEY ( 1820 Ohio  - )  m. 20 Apr 1840 Allen Co, OH
  • Hardinia SHIFLETT ( 1840 Ohio - )
  • Madison SHIFLETT ( 1841 Ohio - 1869 Shelby, OH ) & Elizabeth FOWLER (28 Aug 1847 Ohio - 23 Apr 1932 Marshfield, Coos, Oregon ) 27 Nov 1864 Ohio
  • George W. SHIFLETT ( 1843 Ohio -  ) & Sophrona DAVIS (16 Feb 1843 Shelby, OH - 23 Jan 1918 Dayton, OH)  17 Aug 1862 Shelby, OH
  • July Ann Catherine SHIFLETT ( 1846 Ohio - )
  • Elizabeth A. SHIFLETT ( 1848 Ohio – before 1860 Shelby, OH )
  • Asa W. SHIFLETT ( Jun 1854 Ohio - 30 Jan 1907 Miami Co, OH )  & m1) Arvella PENCE (1856 Ohio – before 1893 Ohio)  09 Mar 1874 Auglaize, Allen, OH ; & m2) Christena Ida BRANDON (Feb 1871 - ) about 1893 Darke, OH
  • Virenda  J. SHIFLETT ( 29 May 1856 Shelby, Ohio - )
  • Elizabeth Rachel SHIFLETT ( 04 Sep 1862 Shelby, OH - 29 Dec 1911 Wapakoneta, Auglaize, OH) & Frank L. KANTNER (12 Sep 1859 Ohio - Jun 1936 Wapakoneta, Auglaize, OH ) 17 Sep 1882 Ohio
2. James Madison SHIFLETT ( 1809 in Orange Co, VA -  May 1887 Greene Co, VA ) & m1) Lucinda SHIFLETT ( 1819 – 1870 ) 13 Dec 1844 Greene Co, VA ; &  m2) Parrenia HERRING ( 1845 - ) 03 Jul 1870 Greene Co, VA

James Madison SHIFLETT and Lucinda SHIFLETT had the following children:
  • Matthew SHIFLETT ( 1847 Greene Co, VA - )
  • Burton SHIFLETT ( 1849 Greene Co, VA  - 20 Oct 1866 Greene Co, VA )
  • Rebecca Jane Catherine SHIFLETT ( Aug 1850 Greene Co, VA - 1936 Albemarle Co, VA ) & Burton MCALISTER ( Feb 1842 – 1933 Albemarle Co, VA ) 06 Aug 1867 Greene Co, VA
  • Noah W. SHIFLETT ( 10 Apr 1856 Greene Co, VA - 12 Sep 1856 Greene Co, VA )
James Madison SHIFLETT and Parrenia HERRING had the following child: 
  • Ardenia SHIFLETT ( 1872 Greene Co, VA - )
3. Burton SHIFLETT (1814 Orange Co, VA - 22 Oct 1860 Greene Co, VA ) & Nancy Elizabeth FRAZIER (14 Feb 1811 - 22 Jan 1895 Lacey Spring, Rockingham Co, VA )01 Dec 1834 Albemarle, VA
  • Ola SHIFLETT ( 1835 – before 1850 )
  • Jacob Haskell SHIFLETT ( about 1836 - before 08 Oct 1871 ) & Lucretia JOLLETT (18 Sep 1838 Rockingham Co, VA - 31 Dec 1911 Rockingham Co, VA )  05 Aug 1858 Page Co, VA 
  • John Conway SHIFLETT ( 02 Jun 1840 Greene Co, VA - 09 Feb 1917 Albemarle Co, VA ) & m1) Lucretia SHIFLETT ( 1846 Greene Co, VA – before  Jul 1880 Greene Co, VA )  07 Dec 1863 Greene Co, VA ; & m2) Mary D. SHIFLETT (1849 – 1924 Albemarle Co, VA ) 28 Jul 1880 Greene Co, VA
  • Lucy Ann SHIFLETT ( 1843 in Greene Co, VA - 1884 Greene Co, VA ) & James Franklin JOLLETT  (17 Nov 1836 Rockingham Co, VA – 03 Jun 1930 Augusta Co, VA ) 12 Nov 1859 Greene Co, VA
  • Francis M. SHIFLETT ( 1844 Greene Co, VA - )
  • Jeremiah SHIFLETT ( 1847 Greene Co, VA - )
  • Nancy Frances SHIFLETT ( 1849 Greene Co, VA -  1926 Fairfax, VA ) & William Gordon MORRIS JR. ( 1851 Greene Co, Va – before 1900 Greene Co, VA ) 20 Sep 1872 Greene Co, VA
  • Susan Clementine SHIFLETT ( 22 Jun 1851 Greene Co, VA - 29 Dec 1928 Greene Co, VA ) & George Austin  MORRIS ( 06 Apr 1848 Greene Co, VA - 14 Nov 1934 Greene Co, VA ) 12 Dec 1870 Greene Co, VA
  • Victoria SHIFLETT ( Mar 1854 Greene Co, VA - before 1930 ) & Ambrose VERNON ( 1854 - ) 26 Dec 1875 Greene Co, VA
  • George W. SHIFLETT ( 20 Apr 1856 Greene Co, VA - )
  • Unnamed SHIFLETT ( 1857 in Greene Co, VA - 10 Mar 1857 Greene Co, VA )
4. Virenda Jane SHIFLETT ( 1821 Orange Co, VA -  before 1900 Greene Co, VA ) & Michael P. “Miley” FRAZIER (Feb 1814 – 1900 Albemarle Co, VA)  14 Jul 1844 Greene Co, VA
  • Julia Ann FRAZIER ( 1845 Greene Co, VA - ) & Thomas  J. FRAZIER ( 1840 – about 1918 ) 04 Jul 1864 Greene Co, VA
  • John T. FRAZIER ( 1847 Greene Co, VA -  1860 )
  • Henry Timber FRAZIER ( 12 Aug 1849 Greene Co, VA - 12 Feb 1931 Greene Co, VA ) &. Eliza Susan LAWSON ( Oct 1857 Rockingham Co, VA - ) 03 Jan 1874 Rockingham Co, VA
  • Jacob Emanuel FRAZIER ( 1851 - 1920 ) &  Frances Jane MORRIS 26 Dec 1883 Greene Co, VA
  • Austin Jackson FRAZIER ( Jun 1855 Albemarle Co, VA - Dec 1921 Greene Co, VA ) & Nancy Frances MORRIS  (May 1852 Greene Co, VA - ) 02 Mar 1876 Greene Co, VA
  • J. M. FRAZIER ( 1859 Albemarle Co, VA – 1920 ) & T. J. MORRIS  06 Dec 1883 Greene Co, VA
  • Polly Jane FRAZIER ( 1862 Greene Co, VA - 09 Apr 1936 Greene Co, VA ) & Elvis Sturdivant SHIFLETT (1862 Greene Co, VA – before 1900 Greene Co, VA )  07 Jun 1885 Greene Co, VA
  • George Dallas FRAZIER ( May 1866 Greene Co, VA - 13 Sep 1949 ) & Pauline Ann “Polly” MORRIS (1862 Greene Co, VA – after 1930 ) 21 Oct 1886 Greene Co, VA
5.  Julia Ann/July Ann Catherine SHIFLETT ( 1827 Orange Co, VA - ) & Pemberton LAMB  26 Jan 1847 Greene Co, VA
  • Melissa A. LAMB ( 1850 Greene Co, VA  - )  & James W. TAYLOR ( 1841 - ) 13 Jan 1871 Greene Co, VA
  • Hiram J. LAMB ( 22 Sep 1854 Greene Co, VA - 1922 Greene Co, VA ) & m1) Lucy Ann GEAR 1876 Greene Co, VA ; & m2) Sis BREEDEN 09 Apr 1919 Greene Co, VA
  • Houston LAMB ( 1858 Greene Co, VA - ) & Ardista JARRELL (1872 Greene Co, VA - )

4 comments:

  1. Well, Wendy, ya made me look! When you mentioned Greene County, and the prevalence of that Shiflett surname, I pulled up my own database to see. No luck. I have several ShiPletts, but no ShiFletts. So once again, we have a near miss with relatedness. Ah, with names as popular as that (and Davis), what can we say? I suspect we'll have to get a bit closer to Adam and Eve before we find any connection...

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    1. Don't stop now -- look at those ShiPletts again. Jacob is usually indexed as ShiPlett although his name was probably really Shiflett. My Philip Pendleton ShiPlett snagged this spelling although his brothers and sisters used ShiFlett. There are some others in the mix as well.

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  2. Wendy, my head is reeling at the amount of information you have been able to gather. 52 Ancestors also sounds like a good book title.

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  3. WoW! I am impressed!I am just second generation in the U.S!

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