|Will the Real
Reverend William Shaw
Please Stand Up!
|Some descendants believe that this is the only likeness of William that survives to the present.||Others maintain that this portrait which hung in the Shaw Mansion until the 1950's is Rev Shaw.|
for this question is being actively pursued by several
Shaw researchers. At the time that the Shaw Mansion was
sold in the 1950's, the portrait is said to have been
donated to the Methodist Church in Barton, MD, the church
founded by Reverend William Shaw. The portrait no longer
hangs in the church, but older members remember the time
when it did. That lends credence to the possibility that
Reverend William is the subject of the portrait.
Reverend Shaw is one of the Allegany County pioneers. He fought in the Revolutionary War and two years after his discharge in 1783, William (1757-1815) married Charlotte Trimble (1765-1844). They settled along George's Creek in Allegany County. They had eight children, five sons and three daughters who lived to adulthood. Of these children, I have only researched the third and fourth sons to any extent. These are Henry N. and William, Jr, respectively. At the present time, I have no pictures from Henry's line to share with you, but have managed to collect a considerable number of pictures from William's line.
|The photo on
the right is known to be one of William Shaw, Jr. When
compared with the man in the portrait, it would be easy
to believe that the portrait is of William, Jr. and not
his father. There are considerable similarities, but then
fathers and sons often resemble each other.
One thing is for certain. William, Jr held his father in high regard. When he laid out the town of Barton, he named the new town after the birthplace of his father, Barton-upon-Humber, Lincolnshire, England. It seems reasonable that he might have commissioned a portrait of his father to be painted. Then again, William, Jr. was a wealthy man, and may have wanted to preserve his own immortality with a portrait. Another possibility might even be that William, Jr posed for the portrait, and then suggested alterations to convert the painting to the image of his father. Another, and probably the simplest option, is that the portrait is actually one of Reverend William Shaw. The possibilities will only be narrowed if and when the portrait is located.
Without finding the portrait, but rather having had the
chance to sift through a Shaw treasure chest belonging to
Jack Sanders, the portrait mystery has been solved.
|Three of William Jr's sons, Capt. and Dr. Benjamin Burbridge Shaw, William Burns Shaw and Andrew Bruce Shaw will be the topic of this next segment. Of the three, I have pictures of Captain Benjamin B., Andrew (A.B.) and his sister-in-law, Louisa S. Koontz, wife of Andrew's favorite (according to some sources) brother, William Burns.|
|On the left is Louisa S
On the right is Andrew Bruce Shaw.
and William answered the call to preserve the union.
Benjamin formed Company D of the second regiment of the
Potomac Home Brigade. Jack Sanders, a Shaw descendent
(his maternal grandmother), rescued the records of
Company D from destruction and has collected many of the
records in the book, "Guarding the River, the Canal,
and the Railroad."
What became of Benjamin at the end of the war was uncertain until notes in A. B. Shaw's diary indicated that Benjamin died October 13, 1865. Evidence indicates that he became quite ill before the end of the war. A.B. Shaw recounts a letter from his brother, while making notes in his own diary.
William Burns Shaw enlisted in September 1861 as a member of Company C, Third Regiment Va Cavalry. Records seem to indicate that he was 43 at the time. He was elected Captain, but by May 1862 had resigned, citing health reasons. William died in 1876, having been in poor health since his civil war days. Louisa, filed for widow's pension benefits in 1878, listing Oscar Kemp(?), Benjamin Franklin and Mary Burns as children under 16 years of age when William B. died.
In the 1860 census, Andrew Bruce, age 22, is listed with his father, now 63, a farmer, with $105,000 worth of property. By this time, William Jr's wife, Patsy Burns, had died, and the only other children living at home were Margaret (19) and Henry C. (17). Andrew has no occupation listed, but Henry is a farmer like his father.
Andrew married Mary Martha Dawson, from Springfield, Ohio on September 15th,1868. Mrs. Shaw was noted for decorating the Shaw Mansion and making it the center of local social gatherings. Immediately below is Martha's photograph. The Mr and Mrs Dawson pictured below Martha, are her parents.
Andrew did become a surveyor, and evidence suggests that he also learned some handy business skills from his father. Like his father, he accumulated considerable wealth. Much of his wealth can be associated with the growth of the town of Barton, which his father founded in 1853. Andrew added more lots to the town, nearly doubling it's size. By 1897, the town, a successful coal mining town, was prospering and still growing.
|Moving to the
fourth generation, below is a photograph of Helen Marr
Shaw, d/o William Burns and Louisa Koontz Shaw, born
1859. This photo may have been taken inside the home of
William Shaw Jr. and possibly at the same time as the
photo of William Jr.
When William Burns died, Helen was still a teenager, at most 17 years old. She and James Santmyer applied to the court for a marriage license on August 20, 1875, but it is not clear if they married immediately.