The History of the Shinn Family in Europe and America
by Josiah H. Shinn, A. M.
Migration from North Carolina to Arkansas
This is an appropriate place to introduce the great migration from North Carolina into Arkansas. The latter State had just been admitted into the Union, and its rich lands were an attraction to residents of other states. The estates gathered by the elder Shinns in North Carolina (Samuel, the ancestor; Isaac, Benjamin, Silas and Joseph, sons) had passed to a large extent into other hands; Silas, the grandfather of the children named above, had lost his in the maintenance of that fashion which his position in life demanded; and what he earned as a surveyor was expended in the same way; this large family of grandchildren turned their eyes to the West. And as a great cavalcade of emigrants had accompanied Samuel into North Carolina in 1750, so a great cavalcade, in 1837, prepared for an exodus out of it. Covered wagons were the vehicles; the party was made up of Benjamin Daniel Ranson Shinn and family, James Madison Shinn and family, Littleton Crankfield Shinn and family, Nathaniel Duncan Shinn and family, Elizabeth (Little) Shinn and her younger sons, Silas Monroe Shinn and Oliver Shinn; Claiborne Freeman Reed and family, David Harkey and family, Isaac Harkey and famlly, John Harkey, with Mary, the mother of the three Harkeys; Robert McNulty and family, Nellie and Catherine Harkey, Pink Fowler, John Linken and family, Jackson Shandy and family, Charles Pless and William Brooks. For many weeks they traveled over mountains, and through dense forests, until at last they set down in Pope County, Arkansas, where they settled and remained. To write their history further would be to write the history of Pope County. From the loins of one of the children named above have sprung over eight hundred descendants, so that the blood of Shinn is widely disseminated into families of that region that wear other names. Where the flourishing town of Russellville now stands there was but a single house, that of Dr. Russell. Near this the Shinns and Harkeys located. And although the town bears the name Russellville, its life and history are built upon the lives and deeds of men who wore the surnames Russell, Harkey and Shinn.