Sunday, June 29, 2014

52 Ancestors: #26 - Burton 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.



Week 26 - it's the halfway point in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.  Half a year already?? 

Burton Shiflett and Nancy Elizabeth Frazier were my third great-grandparents, just one of MANY couples created by the intermarriage of Shifletts and Fraziers of Greene County, Virginia.  In fact, one of Nancy’s brothers married one of Burton’s sisters. 

While there was a lot of love between the two families, there was also a lot of fussin’ and fightin’ and feudin’.  Probably nothing changes the family dynamic quite as dramatically as killing one’s own, and that is exactly what happened in October of 1860. 

Nancy was made a widow at the hand of her oldest brother, Leland Frazier (aka Leland Shiflett).  Ironically, in 1840, Leland Frazier was a member of the Committee of Vigilance for Greene County.  The purpose of such groups of private citizens was to maintain law and order particularly where local government was inadequate, which seems to have been the case in Greene having been established for only two years. 

Yet twenty years later, Leland stood indicted for the murder of his brother-in-law, Burton Shiflett.  He pleaded “Not Guilty.”  While I have not found the motive, the means was stabbing.  It took several days for a sequestered jury of his peers to find Leland Frazier guilty NOT of murder but of Voluntary Manslaughter.

From the Greene County Circuit Court Law Book, pp. 116-117
 “We the Jury find the prisoner is guilty of Voluntary Manslaughter, and fixed his term of imprisonment to four years in the penitentiary house, Nov. 20, 1860.” And thereupon it being demanded of him, if anything for himself he had or knew to say why the Court should not now proceed to pronounce judgment against him according to law, and nothing being offered or alleged in delay of judgment, It is considered by the Court, that the said Leland Shiflett commonly called Leland Frazier be imprisoned in the public jail and penitentiary house of this Commonwealth for the space of four years, the period of the Jurors in their verdict ascertained. And the prisoner is remanded to jail.”

Voluntary Manslaughter suggests Leland killed his sister’s husband in the heat of the moment, that there had been no premeditation.  Perhaps Burton had even provoked the incident.  I wish I knew what they were fighting over.


THREE GENERATIONS: 

Burton SHIFLETT ( 1814 Orange County, VA - 22 Oct 1860 Greene Co, VA) & Nancy Elizabeth FRAZIER (14 Feb 1811 - 22 Jan 1895 Rockingham Co, VA )  01 Dec 1834 Albemarle, VA

1. Ola SHIFLETT ( 1835 –  Before 1850 )

2. 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
  • Mary E. SHIFLETT ( May 1859 – Before 1955 ) & George R. MAYHEW ( Jul 1947 New York - )  17 Mar 1879 in Page Co, VA
  • Martha F. S. SHIFLETT ( 1863 - Before 1955 ) & George W. MCCAULEY ( Aug 1852 – Before 1920 ) 08 Jun 1882 Rockingham Co, VA
3. 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) Nancy  J. SHIFLETT ( May 1848 - ) ; & m3) Mary D. SHIFLETT ( 1849 – 1924 ) 28 Jul 1880 Greene Co, VA 

John Conway and Lucretia SHIFLETT had the following children:
  • Eudora A. SHIFLETT ( 01 Jul 1866 - 28 Dec 1932 ) & John Lewis GIBSON ( 1863 - ) 18 May 1884 in Greene Co, VA
  • Joseph Ottobine SHIFLETT ( 30 Mar 1868 - ) & m1) Edie COLEMAN 10 Mar 1909 Augusta Co, VA ; & m2) Rosa L. ROBERTS ( 1892 - )
John Conway and Nancy J. SHIFLETT had the following children:
  • John Conway SHIFLETT JR. ( 05 Oct 1877 - 27 Apr 1947 ) & Alice E. SHIFLETT (01 Aug 1887 - 02 Dec 1973 )  11 Oct 1901 Albemarle Co, VA
  • Lucy Ann SHIFLETT ( 05 Oct 1877 - 30 Sep 1947 ) & Adam K. WYANT ( 02 Nov 1855 - 21 Jan 1941 )
John Conway and Mary D. SHIFLETT had the following children:
  • Maude B. SHIFLETT ( Feb 1883 - 31 Oct 1957 ) & George Burress SHIFLETT (17 Sep 1872 - 21 May 1948 ) 29 Dec 1904 Albemarle Co, VA
  • Wilford Clement SHIFLETT ( 05 Apr 1888 - 05 Aug 1961 ) & Lutitia Jane “Lishie” MORRIS (1885 – 02 Dec 1965 ) 27 Oct 1921 Greene Co, VA
  • Woodford H. SHIFLETT ( 20 May 1890 - 02 Feb 1926 ) & Louise LEWIS ( 21 Aug 1896 – 02 Jul 1964 ) 06 Mar 1916 Albemarle Co, VA
4. Lucy Ann SHIFLETT ( 1843 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
  • Burton Lewis JOLLETT ( 1860 Greene Co, VA - Before 05 May 1934 Greene Co, VA ) & m1) Louisa SULLIVAN ( 1861 – Before 1900 ) 20 Jan 1881 ; & m2) Cornelia MORRIS ( Nov 1844 – Before 1920 ) 19 Sep 1900 Greene Co, VA
  • Emma  F. JOLLETT ( 01 Feb 1863 Greene Co, VA - 10 Apr 1945 Shenandoah, Page, VA ) & Andrew Jackson “Jack” COLEMAN (29 Jul 1858 Greene Co, VA - 04 Oct 1947 Shenandoah, Page, VA ) 26 Nov 1880 Greene Co, VA
  • Laura E. JOLLETT ( 30 May 1865 Greene Co, VA - 30 Jul 1947 Shenandoah, Page, VA ) &  William J. SULLIVAN  (13 Jan 1866 - 22 May 1942 in Shenandoah, Page Co, VA  ) 14 Jan 1886 in Greene Co, VA
  • Columbia Ann Leanna JOLLETT ( 14 Mar 1867 Greene Co, VA - 20 Sep 1936 Greene Co, VA ) & James Mitchell KNIGHT (09 May 1866 Greene Co, VA - 16 Feb 1942 Greene Co, VA  )01 Mar 1885 Greene Co, VA
  • Mary Frances JOLLETT ( 10 Jan 1870 Greene Co, VA - 22 Feb 1950 Harrisonburg, VA ) & Walter Beriah  Sylvester DAVIS (12 Sep 1867 Rockingham Co, VA - 31 Oct 1934 in Shenandoah, Page Co, VA ) 11 Feb 1890 Greene Co, VA
  • Sarah Catherine “Sallie” JOLLETT ( 11 May 1872 Greene Co, VA - 07 Jul 1944 Washington DC ) & George Thomas CLIFT 30 Mar 1891, divorced 1914
  • Victoria Elizabeth JOLLETT ( 19 Mar 1878 Greene Co, VA - 02 May 1944 ) & Decatur Bainbridge BREEDEN (15 Sep 1877 - 27 Sep 1952 Washington DC ) 1902
  • William Isaac  JOLLETT ( Jan 1880 Greene Co, VA - Jul 1903 Newport News, VA )
  • Ulysses Finks JOLLETT ( 26 Jan 1883 Greene Co, VA - 30 Jan 1931 Baltimore, MD ) & Sadie Janiero LAMB ( 07 Jul 1880 – 05 Feb 1961 ) 23 Nov 1903 Greene Co, VA
5. Francis M. SHIFLETT ( 1844 Greene Co, VA - )

6. Jeremiah SHIFLETT ( 1847 Greene Co, VA - )

7. 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
William Layton MORRIS ( 1874 Greene Co, VA -  03 Feb 1895 ) & Ida Mary DAVIS ( 25 Jun 1869 - )  12 Dec 1890
  • Upshur MORRIS ( 1875 – 1891 )
  • Addie MORRIS ( 27 Mar 1876 - Apr 1901 ) & Henry ARMENTROUT ( 1875 - )
  • Lemuel Belvin MORRIS ( 16 Dec 1877 - Oct 1947 ) & Emma  C. UNKNOWN 1906
  • Marvin Tollie MORRIS ( 07 Aug 1878 Greene Co, VA -  1943 ) & Virginia  RHINEHART ( 1872 - )
  • Ethel MORRIS ( Jul 1881 - After 1940 ) & Peter DAVIS (1866 - ) 1908 Greene Co, VA
  • Vessie Lelia MORRIS ( 15 Feb 1883 - 06 Mar 1950 Fairfax, VA ) & Paul Edgar RHINEHART ( 1873 - )
  • Margaret Elizabeth “Maggie” MORRIS ( 13 Sep 1884 - ) & Unknown WILLS
  • Blanche Cornelia MORRIS ( 27 Feb 1887 - 25 Dec 1968 Greene Co, VA ) & Levin P. SMITH (1880 – 1971 )
  • William Gordon “Bill” MORRIS III  ( 12 Feb 1891 - 09 Jul 1968 Greene Co, VA ) & Dorothy SNIVLEY.
8. 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
  • Ida Belle MORRIS ( 15 Oct 1871 Greene Co, VA - 02 Apr 1917 Greene Co, VA ) & George Allen KNIGHT (11 May 1867 - 08 Sep 1948 Greene Co,  VA )  11 Jul 1894 in Greene Co, VA
  • Francis Monroe MORRIS ( 21 Jul 1873 Greene Co, VA - 10 Aug 1936 Albemarle Co, VA ) & Ludelia MORRIS (06 Oct 1877 Greene Co, VA - 17 May 1958 Greene Co, VA )  28 Dec 1899 in Greene Co, VA
  • Leviston Ervin MORRIS ( 01 Mar 1874 Greene Co, VA - 25 Dec 1957 Albemarle Co, VA ) &  Roberta Ella MORRIS (17 Mar 1878 Greene Co, VA - 30 Mar 1958 Greene Co, VA )  28 Dec 1899 Greene Co, VA
  • Altie Zora MORRIS ( 02 Dec 1876 Greene Co, VA - 29 Dec 1954 ) & Charles PERKEY ( 19 Dec 1872 Rockingham Co, VA -  02 Jan 1943 ) 23 Dec 1902 Greene Co, VA
  • Mary An n MORRIS ( 02 Dec 1878 Greene Co, VA -  18 Jun 1947 Greene Co, VA ) & James Charles SULLIVAN (11 Jul 1875 Greene Co, VA - 21 Mar 1913 Greene Co, VA )  19 Sep 1900 Greene Co, VA
  • John Paul MORRIS ( 30 Mar 1880 Greene Co, VA - 21 Dec 1916 Greene Co, VA )
  • Rhoda Green MORRIS ( 17 Nov 1882 Greene Co, VA - 22 Apr 1902 Greene Co, VA )
  • Columbus Abell MORRIS ( 02 May 1884 Greene Co, VA - 20 Apr 1964 Pennsylvania ) & Elizabeth “Bessie” COLLINS  ( 16 Aug 1891 Pennsylvania - 11 Nov 1938 Greene Co, VA )  1913
  • Sylvester E. MORRIS ( 22 Feb 1886 Greene Co, VA - 12 Nov 1967 Charlottesville, VA ) & Nettie Jane MORRIS (28 Apr 1909 Greene Co, VA - 26 Apr 1978 Greene Co, VA )   05 Aug 1930 Greene Co, VA
  • Myrtle Nelson MORRIS ( Feb 1887 Greene Co, VA - 01 Mar 1970 Gordonsville, VA )  & m1) Iola CRAWFORD (1890 Greene Co, VA - ) ; & m2) Anna COLLIER ( 10 Aug 1886 Greene Co, VA -  Jan 1965 Gordonsville, VA )  05 Aug 1930 Greene Co, VA
  • Willie Lee MORRIS ( 27 Feb 1889 Greene Co, VA - 15 Jul 1918 France )
  • George Washington MORRIS ( 1892 Greene Co, VA - 1892 Greene Co, VA )
  • Julia Catherine MORRIS ( 02 Apr 1893 Greene Co, VA - 01 Jun 1979 Alexandria, VA ) & George C. GILMER        ( 10 Aug 1884 Rockingham Co, VA - 08 Sep 1962 Charlottesville, VA )   03 Jul 1918 Greene Co, VA
  • Eveline Marie MORRIS ( 12 Mar 1895 Greene Co, VA - 26 Jul 1976 Great Falls, Fairfax, VA ) & Robert Lee COLLIER  (28 Dec 1889 Greene Co, VA - 05 Jan 1963 Loudoun Co, VA)  22 Jun 1922 Albemarle Co, VA
  • Mabel Alice MORRIS ( 12 Dec 1897 Greene Co, VA - 27 Jun 1966 Baltimore, MD ) & Isaac Jackson RICE
  • (20 Dec 1893 Tyler, WV - 16 Jun 1965 Ann Arundel, MD )
  • John Joseph MORRIS ( 24 May 1907 Camden, NJ - 11 Nov 1957 Charlottesville, VA ) & Genevieve EDDINS ( 16 Nov 1914 Madison Co, VA - 30 Mar 2011 Charlottesville, VA )
9. Victoria SHIFLETT ( Mar 1854 Greene Co, VA - Before 1930 ) & Ambrose VERNON 26 Dec 1875 Greene Co, VA
  • Ira McClellan VERNON ( 1876 Greene Co, VA - )  & JoAnn “Josie”  MARSHALL ( 1877 - ) 27 Jan 1898 Greene Co, VA
  • Madie VERNON ( 1878 Greene, VA - )
  • Unnamed VERNON ( Mar 1880 Greene Co, VA )
  • John F. VERNON ( Oct 1881 Greene, VA - )
  • Lucy Ann VERNON ( 13 Jun 1884 Greene, VA - 03 Feb 1972 ) & Beauregard George SNOW ( 1877 – 1961 )  23 May 1906 Greene Co, VA
10. George W. SHIFLETT ( 20 Apr 1856 Greene Co, VA - )

11. Unnamed male SHIFLETT ( 1857 Greene Co, VA - 10 Mar 1857 Greene Co, VA )


11 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Yeah, what do you say to your brother after that?

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  2. Sometimes, you don't even want to know what those fights were about...that's the kind of family feuding that just sucks everyone right in to the midst of it.

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    Replies
    1. Probably so, still inquiring minds want to know. Whatever little town newspaper was in print in 1860 didn't get included in genealogybank or other archives.

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  3. Probably a moonshine still? Although I joke, it really is a sad story.

    I have faith you will find the answer to the question what were they fighting about.

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  4. I am just like you Wendy, in that I would want to know everything possible about such an incident, but I also had the thought that it is possible that such an act was not a result of a single disagreement, but possibly an ongoing issue between them that built up over time and then exploded over a relatively small thing. Oh I do hope you find out more though and that you share it.

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    Replies
    1. I'm working on that. I contacted my Greene County Historical Society and they think the courthouse in Stanardsville might have the whole file from the court case.

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  5. Wendy, you uncovered quite a story! Was this a story handed down in the family that you documented or did you discover this awful tale in your research?

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    1. No, I actually was told the story by a Shiflett researcher many years ago when I was working on Frazier research.

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  6. What a tragic story! You have to wonder how Nancy felt about her brother after this. I'm also wondering why Leland went by the last names of Frazier AND Shiflett. Wasn't Frazier his actual surname at birth? Why then would he go by the surname of his brother-in-law?

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    Replies
    1. I know -- how did the family sit down together at Thanksgiving after that???

      Interesting that you should ask about Leland's name. I always assumed that since his birth date preceded his parents' marriage that he went by his mother's surname which was Shiflett. In his will John Frazier referred to Leland as his son, so then I assumed he really was Leland's father but delayed marriage for whatever reason. However, just this week I found a person through Ancestry.com who says Leland's mother Lucy Shiflett had been married previously (she was Lucy Hardin Shiflett) and that Leland was a child of her first marriage. It makes sense -- Leland's middle name was Hardin. After Lucy married John Frazier, he adopted Leland; now whether that was in fact or in spirit, I don't know. But it explains why Leland went by both last names.

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