Saturday, January 18, 2014

52 Ancestors - Week 3 - Jacob Shaffer

 I am going to branch out a little bit and go somewhere I haven’t really been yet with my blog, and discuss a collateral ancestor. I’ve really tried to focus on the direct line with my blog, though I have researched lots of collateral lines for various reasons, including the reason I am working on Jacob – I need to find out about his mother. (See Last Week's Blog) I started with him because he is the oldest living child of Abraham and Rebecca (Bennett) Shaffer, if I continue with my assumption that William Bennet/Benason is the son of Rebecca and a previous husband.

I started researching Jacob expecting to run through him, and keep going with all the kids, but as soon as I did a preliminary search on, the first thing that popped up was a link to his Findagrave memorial.  It originally looked like this: (since then it was transferred to me and I fixed it)

And I found a tree on Acom that listed his parents as Solomon Shaffer and someone else, not Sarah. So I had to look into this. I knew I was not wrong and Solomon was definitely NOT married to a Margaret, so I could definitely let that person know that was wrong, which I did. However, looking at it now, I guess he could have been married once before Sarah but that would be very briefly and then that person had Sarah's children attached to her so that part was still wrong! Anyway, Solomon Shaffer and Abraham Shaffer are brothers, both are sons of Jacob and Odilla Shaffer. They also happen to both be my direct ancestors. (That's where this tree gets more bush like! Solomon's great grandaughter Rose married Abraham's grandson Aaron. They were 2nd cousins twice removed. Confused? That's ok, I'll blog about them later. :)

Back to Jacob. I wasn't sure if Solomon and Sarah had a son named Jacob, that is not something I can remember off the top of my head. So I pulled out my stuff and took a look. Here are my proofs that Jacob belongs to Abraham and Rebecca:

1) Solomon and Sarah marriage information, per Vogt and Kethley, Shenandoah County Marriage Bonds 1772-1850 p. 193:

             Not unusual to have a child out of wedlock, but it's unlikely that Jacob would have been born 8 years before his parents were married! Sarah was 20 when they married, she would have been 12 when Jacob was born.

2) Abraham and Rebecca are listed with Jacob as their son in Klaus Wust's Old Pine Church Baptisms 1783-1828, p. 39.

He was likely named after Jacob Nehs (Neese/Nease), his sponsor.

I've located Abraham (Abram Shaver in 1810, Abraham Shaver in 1820 and 1830) in the 1810-1830 censuses, and the family in 1860 and 1870, all in Shenandoah, VA.

Now, since Jacob is buried in Champaign, OH, I have to assume he was part of the family group that migrated to OH in the mid-1850s. He's found in Mad River, Champaign, OH censuses from 1850-1880, and I'll assume he was there on that missing 1890 census since he's buried there in 1893. He was a blacksmith and a farmer, and so was Abraham.  Abraham and Rebecca supposedly did NOT migrate to OH, since I find them still in VA in 1860-70 and the families went to OH in the mid-1800s; but I haven't located their graves yet. I would presume they are buried in Solomon's Lutheran Church graveyard, or maybe there is somewhere else in New Market that I don't know about yet. But that's for another blog.

So that's Jacob. I'm still no closer to figuring out his mother Rebecca, but I at least have some more info on the family and that is what this exercise is all about. Prompting me to work on an ancestor per week! :)


  1. My husband has Zirkles from Shenandoah valley Virginia area in his a "crooked" manor! His aunt married an Easterly from Tennessee. The Easterlys married Zirkles when the family lived in Virginia. Great to make a connection through #52Ancestors! I blog about the Zirkle Mill a couple of times:


  2. Thanks Schalene! I actually have seen your blog, I remember running across the Zirkle Mill entry! Great to meet another relative, no matter how roundabout it is! :)