Saturday, January 25, 2014

52 Ancestors - Week 4 - Elizabeth Lambert

Before I go into my post for this week, a little housekeeping -- I have a new website,  My intent is to move this blog over there but I don't know yet when I will have a minute to do that. The new address will likely be I will keep you posted. The main blog at Annals of Memory is my "professional" blog - I will be mostly blogging about Public History and things pertaining to what I am learning as I finish my course work for my Master's in Public History. It should be interesting!

Now, on to this week's post!

I am still trying to work on my mystery women (not much, I have a ton of homework), when I went back to Absolom Shaffer and his wife, Elizabeth Lambert, and realized I hadn't yet blogged about her. Elizabeth is another mystery in this tree. Again I know nothing of her until she and Absolom marry. (Absolom is the son of Abraham Shaffer and Rebecca Bennett, who I blogged about in Week 2 of #52Ancestors.) First I will give you Elizabeth's story, and then on to the other mystery woman for this week! 

Elizabeth Lambert and Absolom Sehaffer (sic) are listed on page 190 of Vogt and Kethley's Shenandoah County, VA, Marriages 1772-1850. She was daughter of John, and they were married on 20 Aug 1846. They must have left the Shenandoah Valley pretty soon thereafter, because they are next found in Mad River township, Ohio, in 1850. Family stories and various Zirkle family books indicate a large group of Shaffer and Zirkle families made the trip from the beautiful Shenandoah Valley to the uncharted Ohio wilderness in the mid 1800s.

In 1850 Absolom is a blacksmith. Living with Absolom and Elizabeth are Margaret, who seems to be their daughter, but she is 6 years old (hmmmmm, premature birth??), their son James, who is 3, and their son John, who is 9 months old. Sadly, both John and Margaret passed away that same year and are buried in the Zerkle Cemetery. Poor Elizabeth would have to endure more heartache living in the wilds of Ohio. By 1860 she has had  five more children - Sarah, now 10; Charles, now 7; Abbie, now 5, and Emma, now 4; AJ just born, and James is still living and is now 13. Unfortunately, AJ (Andrew James) and Emma both would pass away that same year. (And both of their headstones are missing from the cemetery)  But, in 1861 she happily gave birth to Aaron Winfield Shaffer, who would grow up and be one of her only two children to have children - Aaron was my great grandfather, and the man who connects this Shaffer and Zirkle line a second time. In the 1870 Mad River twp, Champaign, OH census, Aaron is living a couple doors down from Absolom and Elizabeth, with his brother James and his wife, helping out over there I suppose - James is also a blacksmith. Also by 1870 Elizabeth has had one last child, Mary Ella Shaffer. She would go on to lose one more child, as Abbie passed away in 1871.

Elizabeth had five children to live to adulthood: James, Sarah, Charles, Aaron and Mary Ella. Of these five, only three had children of their own. Sarah and Charles lived together their entire lives and never married. Incidentally, their death records both state they are buried in the Terre Haute cemetery, Champaign, OH; but when I request photos, I've been told they aren't found. Both had an informant on their death record of Nevada Estelle Arbogast. She has helped me figure out who I think Mary Ella Shaffer is. That will be Week 5, which I will deliver a little early while I have time!

In the meantime, I have no idea what to do about Elizabeth. I can't find any John Lamberts in Rockingham, Shenandoah, VA. She died in Mad River, Champaign, OH on 25 Sept 1886. She is buried on a little hill in the Terre Haute cemetery. Her stone says she was 64 years old, which makes her born about 1822. The Findagrave memorial gives Jan. 8, 1822, but obit transcription says Jan. 7:

Transcription of obituary from St. Paris Dispatch, Friday Oct 1., 1886:

MRS. ELIZABETH SHAFFER, who has been wife of ABSOLOM SHAFFER for 40 yrs, severed her earthly relationship with him at her home in Terre Haute, Ohio, on Sept. 25th. She was born in Rockingham County, VA, Jan 7, 1822. Aged 64 yrs, 8 mo, 18 days, she was the mother of 10 children. Two sons and four daughters have passed on before her. She united with the Ev L Church in 1849 and was a member of the same at the time of her death. Funeral services were held at Terre Haute last Monday, conducted by Rev E D Smith.  (Original source is here)

I'll post the other issue I had concerning her daughter Mary Ellen, in the meantime, anyone searching the Lambert family of Rockingham, VA?


  1. This is very interesting! I have read a bit about one Elizabeth Lambert of the 1400's --a mistress of King Edward III I think. I am going to paste a story about her here.i noticed on that there is a Lambert family tree and many others with info re.her in them, and bringing her famiy to America. It might be interesting to see if she is connected! ELIZABETH LAMBERT (c. 1450-c.1527)
    Elizabeth Lambert was the daughter of John Lambert (d.1487), Warden of the Mercer’s Company of London, and Amy Marshall. She is better known to history as “Jane Shore.” How did Elizabeth end up as Jane? Probably because early records of her give no first name, referring to her only as “Mistress Shore,” the name she acquired by her first marriage. Later, writers needed a first name for their fictionalized histories and settled on Jane. However it came about, this young woman was from a good family and taught to read and write. She was married to William Shore, a goldsmith, but the marriage was annulled in 1476 on grounds of his impotence. At about that time, she caught the eye of King Edward IV and became the king’s mistress. Unlike many others who enjoyed Edward’s favors, he kept her until his death in 1483. During that time, her intercession on behalf of Eton College, which Edward wanted to close, earned her that institution’s gratitude. It is due to historians there that we know what little we do of her life. After Edward died, Elizabeth reportedly shared her favors with two noblemen, Thomas Grey, 1st marquess of Dorest and William Hastings, 1st baron Hastings. Neither of them were able to protect her when Richard III declared himself king in his nephew’s stead. Both were accused of treason and “Mistress Shore” faced similar charges. She was charged with sorcery and with conspiring with Edward’s queen, Elizabeth Woodville, to kill King Edward. The accusations were groundless and probably made to coerce her into giving evidence against others. They were reduced to a charge of harlotry and she was made to do penance at Paul’s Cross, after which she was imprisoned in Ludgate. While she was there, the king’s solicitor, Thomas Lynom, fell in love with her and married her, much against the advice of King Richard. Richard, however, eventually pardoned the new Mistress Lynom and the marriage lasted some thirty years during which they had at least one child, a daughter. Most stories say “Jane Shore” died in poverty. This is probably an exaggeration, extrapolated from the account Sir Thomas More left of meeting her during the reign of Henry VIII. She was buried in Hinxworth Church, Hertfordshire. Portrait: her figure appears on her parents’ memorial brass in Hinxworth Church......." Enjoy,,Helen

  2. Thank you Helen! That would be very cool to find out Elizabeth is a descendant of royalty!! I will check into that, I appreciate the info!