Notes on William and Hannah Shaw
William and Hannah Shaw, with their two children, John and Ann, arrived in America in the summer of 1829. They were from Yorkshire, England. Exact data (names, places, and genealogical backgrounds) is very sparse. Hearsay and oral communication indicates William Shaw’s father was named John, and that he had at least two brothers, one (also named john) who migrated to Australia, and the other (name unknown) who migrated to Canada. Hannah Shaw, (maiden name Hannah Peacock) was the daughter of Thomas Peacock. Her brother, also Thomas Peacock, was one of the first of her family to come to America. Her mother had the surname of Moody. Due primarily to lack of information on the names of the parishes in Yorkshire from which the Shaw’s and Peacock’s originated, other progenitors of these two family lines are not know. See chart below.
Yorkshire Background: History and Nomenclature
Yorkshire, one of the largest counties in England, is located on the southern border of Scotland. The land has suffered many incursions from invaders. The Romans established a frontier base there a short time after A.D. 70. This lasted until the fifth century. The Saxons occupied the land of the sixth and seventh centuries. The Danes came in the ninth century, resulting in an Anglo-Scandinavian culture. Following this, the Normans invaded from the south. Remains of these incursions and settlements are yet to be seen. It is said to contain a strange landscape of lovely ruins and beautiful villages. Visitors go there to see the ruins of Fountains Abbey, Kirkstall Abbey, Bolton Abbey, Byland Abbey, Rievaulx, and Haworth. York, an ancient city, is the administrative seat of the shire. The cathedral there, which has more stained glass than any cathedral in England, is a great tourist attraction. Fine old castles such as Bolton, Middleham and Helmsely are to be found in Yorkshire. The shire is also noted for its many examples of medieval mansions. At the present time it is highly industrialized, noted for foundries and steel mills. In the early nineteenth century, when William Shaw and Hannah Peacock left their native land, agriculture and the wool trade were the principal occupations of the inhabitants.
The surname Shaw witnesses to the diverse cultures and languages that have prevailed in Yorkshire. The Romans, the Norsemen, the Saxons, and the Normans left their marks not only on the landscape, but in the bloodlines. The surname haw is thought to be from the Scandinavian word Schall, meaning originally a collection of small huts erected by the invaders to form a settlement, probably for security reasons. A book on the source and significance of English surnames states that a shaw or schwa was a small woody shade or covert. Another view has it that a shaw was a small enclosure in which animals and birds were kept. The surnames Hindshaw, Henshaw, Ramshaw et. Al. designated the name of the keeper of specific enclosures or cages; the name Shaw was a general name for persons following this occupation. By the time William Shaw was born in 1800 the epithet had evolved into a family name and had no significance with any specific occupation. Surnames have also derived from the special significance attached to outstanding characteristics attached to birds and animals, i.e., a person gifted with singing ability became known as Finch. In like manner if a person exhibited a propensity to extreme pride, he was nicknamed Peacock or Pocock as it was first pronounced. The surnames Shaw and Peacock are common to every country in England. By 1800 they had no bearing on family characteristics, status, social, or economic standing.
Why Did William and Hannah Shaw Leave England?
Breaking home ties, leaving relatives and friends, starting on a sea voyage of at least six weeks, and establishing a home in a new and strange land was a bold and dangerous venture for William and Hannah Shaw and their two young children, John and Ann, ages five and one. What motivated them to immigrate to America in 1829? The reasons were probably explained to their children in later years, but not one of them saw fit to make them a part of the family record. By conjecture, therefore, it is assumed that they migrated for much the same reason as people before and since have done. Basically, it was dissatisfaction with economic, political, or social conditions, plus a high degree of wanderlust, desire for new experience, new opportunities, and security. William Shaw must have been gainfully employed, probably in agriculture, prior to coming to America. At least he had put aside enough capital for the expense of the trip and to get started in the new land. At that period in English history it was difficult to gain ownership of land for farming and allied purposes. Property was held in large estates by the landed gentry. Since the ownership of these estates was matter of social status and class distinction, the gentry would resist every effort to break them up. Instead, they employed farm labor or allowed farmers the use of their property on a sharing basis. It was frustrating for Yorkshire farmers and sheep men to know that no matter how hard they worked or saved their earnings they would never have a property they could call their own. This probably was the reason why many of them came to America in the early nineteenth century.
So far as the Shaw-Peacock families were concerned, it is a confirmed fact that a representative of a land-development project in America, representing land-purchase opportunities at Waddington on the St. Lawrence River, appeared among them and presented his prospectus as follows:
LANDS FOR SALE
On the River St. Lawrence.
As many of the Emigrants who arrive at Quebec or in the different parts of the United States from Europe, in search of lands, are frequently at a loss where to locate themselves, the subscriber, at the solicitation of many respectable individuals who have emigrated to this place, has thought it desirable, in the form of an advertisement, to offer for sale, in Farms to suit
purchasers, the lands remaining unsold in the township of Madrid, county of St. Lawrence and the state of New York. This tract of land is situate 110 miles above, or south-west of the city of Montreal, fronting 10 miles upon the river St. Lawrence, and extending in depth a little distance. Its population at the present period exceeds four hundred families, and it possesses most of the conveniences and advantages of an old settled country, among which may be enumerated those of schools, roads, grist mills, carding machines, clothiers’ shops, saw-mills etc. etc. In the principal village, situate on the river St. Lawrence, and known by the name of Waddington,………………………………………………………………………………………...
These Lands are generally of the first quality, the climate is healthy, and Montreal furnishes a good, easy and convenient market for all their products. The price of unimproved lands will be continued the ensuing year at 5 dollars per acre, upon a credit of three, five, and seven years, interest being paid annually. There are several improved farms for sale in the vicinity of the village. ……………………………………………………………………………………………
They might be purchased at from ten to fifteen dollars per acre, according to their improvements.
The usual price of a passage from England, Scotland, or Ireland to Quebec, is six guineas for grown persons, and half that price for children. From Quebec to Montreal, in the steam-boat, the passage is two dollars, and half price for children; and from thence (a person finding his own provisions) may proceed by water to the village of Waddington for the additional sum of two dollars.
Persons desirous of purchasing or settling upon the Lands, may apply to David A. Ogden, one of the Proprietors, residing opposite the said village, or to the subscriber residing in the same village.
Waddington, December 28, 1819.
The John Peacock-Elizabeth Hoggard family, a cousin, Thomas Peacock II, and Ann, his wife, living in Yorkshire, responded. It was an answer to the economic frustrations they had been experiencing. With all their children, they journeyed to Waddington in 1823. The cousin, Thomas Peacock II, was a brother of Hannah (Peacock) Shaw, the wife of William Shaw. It seems obvious, therefore, that the William Shaw family left Yorkshire in 1829 for the same reasons as their relatives, the Peacocks, left in 1823. It also seems to follow that they chose the Waddington destination because the Peacocks were already there and they had been corresponding with them in the years between 1823 and 1829.
“Then Westward ho!”
A few days out on the rough Atlantic, and the prospect of several weeks of sailing ahead, surely must have had certain effect on members of the Shaw family. Of course, daughter Ann, still an infant, could not have cared less. John, the five-year-old, when not playing with other children, found ample entertainment in exploring the ship and watching the sailors at work. William, the father, had stars in his eyes; the dream of owning his own farm would soon be fulfilled. But Hannah, the mother, had her misgivings. “It’s not that ahm ‘gainst goin”’, she told her husband in her best Yorkshire vernacular, “but ah’ve bean thinkin’ aboot t’owd people” (parents and grandparents).
No small wonder that she had second thoughts. The hazards and uncertainties of pioneer life she could accept, but leaving her father and mother, relatives and friends forever; that was something else. She thought of the Moody’s, her grand-parents on her mother’s side. They were important people, kinfolk she never knew except through conversations with her mother. A daughter of the Moody’s, her mother had told Hannah of incidents connected with life in the mansion: parties, nice clothes, servants, teachers, and all such advantages as were characteristic of affluent English society. This would have been her life-style if she had not had a love affair with Thomas Peacock, Hannah’s father. It was not that her father was not a good man; he was just not good enough in terms of social status. She married him anyway, a footman on the estate, against her father’s explicit order and contrary to the social code of the gentry. The marriage was not tolerated, the Moody family withdrew from her, and she was disinherited. Hannah pondered much on this matter. She was to tell her children about it later, even naming a son “George Moody” Shaw.
Rather than enter the United States through the port of New York as their cousins, the Peacocks, had done six years before, the Shaw’s took the St. Lawrence passage. When they disembarked from their vessel at Quebec it seemed good to set foot on solid land again. Six weeks on the open sea, subject to the vagaries of tempestuous weather, close confinement, and sea-sickness, plus many days of shear boredom and not a little anxiety, had left them with a feeling of fatigue and weariness. They got some rest while waiting for the steam boat to take them to Montreal. The final lap of their journey was a boat ride of one hundred miles from Montreal to Waddington. Hannah purchased a few provisions at Montreal so the family would have a cold lunch on the way. In due time the village of Waddington came into view. William and Hannah Shaw were delighted to see their destination at last and wondered how soon they would meet their relatives: Hannah’s brother, Thomas and Ann Peacock and their son; and her cousins, John and Elizabeth Peacock with their five children.
The Peacock Connection
The ship Indian Chief with Captain Humphrey, crew, fifty passengers and children, docked in New York harbor on June 23, 1823. Among the passengers were John Peacock, age 32, his wife Elizabeth Hoggard, age 30, and their four children: Jane, age 6, Matthew, age 5, Thomas, age 3, and Ann, age 1. In addition, there was Thomas Peacock, age 30, a cousin, and Ann Peacock, age 36, his wife, and their son, Thomas, age 6. John was listed as a tailor and Thomas as a farmer.
Bessie Levier (born in 1897), great-great-granddaughter of John Peacock and Elizabeth Hoggard, and family historian, wrote vividly of the family journey northward from New York harbor in 1823:
John Peacock and his wife Elizabeth came to the United States from England in 1823. They landed at New York harbor after a voyage of six weeks on the ocean. They came up the Hudson to Albany. They had been accompanied from England by a cousin, Thomas Peacock, a bachelor who was quite wealthy. At Albany, Thomas bought a team of oxen and a wagon for John and his family. The wagon box was so deep the children could just see over the side. Thomas bought a horse and came by horseback ahead and made arrangements for the family. Their route is not known but was probably by way of Vermont. John and family located in the town of Madrid and built the stone house on the Waddington-Madrid road known as Peacock’s Corners. Thomas (the cousin) located in Waddington Village and built the stone house on St. Lawrence Avenue across from the bank.
John Peacock and his sons, Thomas and John, were known as “journeyman tailors” and went from house to house making suits for men and boys. He always took with him a small iron kettle and package of tea which he made each P.M. at four o’clock.
John’s wife, Elizabeth, after the death of her husband, lived with her daughter Jane Bardon at Chamberlain’s Corners, until her death in 1870. She always wore a little white cap which she tied under her chin.
Mail came from England to New York City post paid and then 25 cents had to be sent to New York for each letter. A considerable time elapsed before the letter was received.
There were two Peacock families settled in the Waddington-Madrid area when the Shaw’s arrived in 1829. They were Thomas Peacock II, Hannah Peacock Shaw’s brother, his wife Ann, and their son Thomas Peacock, Jr. and John Peacock, his wife Elizabeth, and their children. Since Thomas Peacock owned a prominent stone house on the river bank, within sight of the dock, the Shaw’s had no difficulty in finding him. They accepted his hospitality until rested from their journey and William Shaw could find employment.
The next morning, Hannah busied herself unpacking and checking over their luggage; all they had besides the clothes they wore, was a big sea chest William had made (with numerous compartments and even a secret drawer), a Gladstone bag, her small satchel, and a suit box tied with strong cords. In the meantime, William strolled along the waterfront, motivated partly by curiosity and partly in search of future work. He could not help but notice that Waddington had the potential of becoming a boom town. There was a large island opposite the village. Since the river dropped considerably at this point, the water between the island and the mainland flowed so swiftly it had hydraulic power potentiality. He marveled at the practicality of the power canal, and was inclined to agree with the Ogden’s that Waddington would some day be the center of an industrial empire. There were already saw mills, carding mills, paper mills, asheries, a tannery, and a distillery. As he told Hannah later, it was “summat to look at.”
Being an industrial worker, however, was not a lifestyle for William Shaw, and he knew it. He was a-man of the soil, a farmer, He had come to America in the first place to own and operate a farm of his own. When he investigated the price of farm land in the Waddington area, he found land values had increased; a place of his own was still out of his reach. This was the period before sophisticated farm machinery and every farm needed its “hired hands.” Therefore, he had no difficulty in finding work. This provided him with host of the necessities of living and gave him a modest income. His labors were mainly in the Madrid area a few miles south of Waddington, and close to the home of Hannah’s cousin John. This is where he was when the United States Census of 1830 was taken. Also, it was the place where his third child, Jane, was born on August 14th of that year, the first of the family to be born on American soil.
Each year of farm labor and doing odd jobs added to William Shaw’s little nest egg he had in reserve to buy a farm. It grew in size, but so also did land values. Not only that, but he began to have his doubts if he really wanted a farm in St. Lawrence County. The soil was thin and rocky, and the markets too far away. By the end of the third year in Waddington he was convinced that his dream of owning land would not be fulfilled at this place. People were talking about land-buying opportunities in Ohio. He noticed many Vermont families were now by-passing upper New York in favor of cheap virgin soil in Ohio. Then he discovered a circular from Medina County, Ohio that described a new area in that county called York Township which had just opened for settlers. The price was within his reach, three dollars an acre. It was described as being well-suited to agriculture, and that it was crossed by what was called the Norwalk Turnpike, a well traveled road to mill and market. In addition, the township had a waterway called Mallet Creek which was reported to abound in speckled trout. A true Yorkshire man, he was cautious and penurious by nature. He was now thirty-two years of age. He had a wife and three children. It was time he located in a place where he could send down roots. The prospectus on the land offered in Medina County looked good, especially the price. But he was not ready to buy acreage in Ohio, sight unseen.
Hannah knew him well enough to know that he had been pondering something in his mind for some time. She finally asked him what it was all about, “Well, ah’ll tell ye,” he answered, and tell her he did. First, he expounded on his dream of being the owner of an estate, then he told her of the opportunities he had read about in the new Ohio country, and finally he announced his decision to go to Ohio and look over the land, walking the entire distance if necessary. Hannah, surprised and taken aback, was disconcerted. She expressed feelings of apprehension about the far western frontier of wild animals, and wild Indians. Furthermore, she did not relish being left alone with three children, and one more on the way, while her husband was on a risky and hazardous mission to an unknown wilderness from which he might never return. “Ye be jokin.” she said. “Nay, ah’m not jokin’ nor jestin’,” he replied. Then he told her his mind was made up, that he would leave for Ohio in early spring when the roads opened up. Hannah believed him. She knew there was no man quite so obstinate and mulish as a Yorkshire man.
With “goodbyes” to his family, pack on his back and a rifle in his hand, he started for Ohio soon after the Spring thaw. With the exception of an occasional “lift” offered by an obliging farmer or migrant family, the entire distance, over 500 miles, was covered on foot. On inspection of the real estate in York Township of Medina County, he found out that not all the claims made on the circular were true. The fabulous Norwalk turnpike turned out to be a mud path, and the speckled trout turned out to be speckled frogs. Nevertheless, he found the soil was of good quality, well-drained, was not too far from the village of Medina, had a great deal of standing timber, and the water supply was adequate. Before he left Medina County he contracted to purchase sixty acres of uncleared land. This may have seemed like a small tract to the average farmer in the early 1800s, but to this Yorkshire yeoman it was large estate. Before returning to Waddington he marked off his property, cut down a few trees for a clearing, and prepared to build a small cabin. He had to enlist the aid of a distant neighbor to haul the logs with his ox-team and help him put them in place; time rest of the structure was his own work. This meant laying the roof with straight stringers and covering them with hand-hewn clapboard shingles. This finished, he had to make a fireplace of stone with a chimney of sticks and clay. The last big task was filling time cracks between the logs with yellow clay, and installing a puncheon floor. He surveyed his work with no little pride. Now, he told himself, he could go back to Waddington and get his family. Before leaving, he cultivated again his little patch of Indian corn, potatoes, and pumpkins, trusting that in fall they would have a start on their winter provisions. It would not be much, but with wild game being plentiful in the forest, and with what he could afford to buy at the store in town, it would carry them through the winter.
William Shaw’s arrival in Waddington almost coincided with that of his fourth child, born July 22, 1833, a few days after his father got home. It was a boy and Hannah insisted on naming him Thomas. This was a favorite name in the Peacock family. It was her father’s name. It was her brother’s name, and her cousin John had a thirteen year old boy by the name of Thomas Peacock. William Shaw wanted to leave for Ohio at once so the family could get settled before winter. Hannah remonstrated, but it did no good. Her big argument was that Thomas was a babe in arms, too young to endure time hardship of travel. But William was impatient and headstrong. He told her, “Aye. reckon e’s a sturdy lad. A bit of fresh air be good for ‘im; so let’s get on.” They packed their baggage, including the sea chest, sold some expendable items they had accumulated in the past four years, said their farewells to relatives and friends, and departed on the stage. William did not like the extra expenditure of commercial travel. Speed was essential, however, and wisdom triumphed over his natural bent to frugality. They reached the eastern terminus of the Erie Canal in record time, enjoyed the convenience of canal travel to Buffalo harbor where they boarded a schooner bound for Cleveland. Passage was expensive, by immigrant standards, five cents a mile including food, but it had the advantage of traveling one hundred miles a day. At Cleveland, a village of 1,076 persons in 1833, the family rested a bit while the father bought some needed supplies for the cabin, a few agricultural tools and made a deal with the operator of a freight wagon to transport the material and his family to their new home.
The trip from Cleveland to York Township was interesting and exciting. They were among the first immigrants to use the new Cleveland-Wooster turnpike, completed just that year. William, the driver, and Hannah with baby Thomas in her arms, occupied the seat in the buckboard; John, Ann, and Jane were stashed away with the luggage and supplies. As the vehicle pointed southward, out of Cuyahoga and into Medina County, they discovered the countryside was covered with a thick growth of timber beginning to show its autumn colors, the forest was broken here and there with a cabin in a lonely clearing made by some settler who had preceded them. When they finally arrived at their own clearing in a large timber covered wilderness, with a little log home at the center, they were overcome with emotion. It was the fulfillment of a dream, the end of a five-year quest across an ocean and part of a continent. “Ah’m aboot knockered,” declared Hannah, “but ah allus ‘awd a feelin’ we ud make hit.” John asked, Are we th’ fust ‘uns in ‘ere?” “Aye, lad,” his father responded, “the fust.”
Being the first to settle in a new land had its advantages. It also had its drawbacks. William and Hannah Shaw told themselves they had only made a beginning, that there were hardships and privations to face in the future. If they had comprehended the enormous task ahead of them, they may not have had the courage to face it. Once, after a particular and trying experience, William told his wife in candor, “Aim moost have been proper daft to ever come ‘ere.” It was six years before the farm began to show a little profit: six years of cutting and burning prime timber, six years of planting around stumps to get a meager crop, six years of erecting sheds, barns, and fences; any financial gain over mere subsistence living was not used for family comfort, but for farm improvements. It was a long time before the family had a real house made with timbers processed at a local saw-mill. If the family had not increased by three more children in that period, the building of a home may have been delayed longer.
Pioneering in a new land has been said to require physical toughness, a love for the land, ability to keep going hour after hour, and willingness to live on a shoe-string budget. William Shaw had all these qualities. His only flaw was a lack of normal compassion for man and beast. A prodigious workman, his hours extended from before daylight until long after dark. He drove himself to the utmost, and expected other members of the family (even his horses) to do the same. Hannah did not seem to mind. With her it was a labor of love. The father’s work ethic was particularly hard on John. He had reached the age of nine when the family arrived in Ohio and was obligated to work for his father until he became of age. This was a time when hard physical labor was needed on the farm. By the time his younger brothers had reached this age the back-breaking job of land-clearing was almost over, their father could afford draft horses and more sophisticated farm equipment. Farming was still not easy, but the burden was lighter. The experience of trying to keep up to his father’s expectations may have turned John against a farming career; he left home and ventured into other occupations as soon as it became possible. His three younger brothers, when on their own, pursued agricultural interests as had their father, and with his same success-oriented motivation. William Shaw not only had a predilection for hard work, but for careful and meticulous management as well. To this end he kept an account book. Every purchase he made (including the nails for his house and groceries), and every sale between 1834 and 1861 was recorded. Since he lived many years before the Internal Revenue tax and farm subsidies, and no bookkeeping was required, this policy was unusual. His goal was to become well supplied with lands, goods, and money; by the standards of rural Medina County and for his times, he reached it. To his credit, he felt a financial responsibility toward his sons who had labored for him. When the time came, and they needed it, he gave each one a substantial sum to get him started on his own farm.
Within a year after the immigrants had settled in Ohio, William Shaw decided to make a complete break with the past. His allegiance was to the future, and the future was the United States. In June, 1834, he went down to the Medina Court House to sign his first naturalization papers. Final certification was issued in May, 1839. He, and members of his family born in Yorkshire, by these acts, became citizens of the United States.
The Shaw family lived on the York Township farm for eighteen years. As the family grew, so did time homestead. Originally a sixty acre tract, it was expanded to 206 acres, all improved by hard work. N. B. Northrup, himself a pioneer in Medina County, wrote a poem about the early setters. The following stanza, certainly not good poetry nor even doggerel, nevertheless, is particularly descriptive of the enormity of the pioneer’s undertaking.
The slashing and logging, ditching and bogging,
Shifting and turning, piling and burning,
Digging and hoeing, plowing and sowing,
Threshing and reaping. carting and heaping,
Stocking and seeding, marking and boring,
Loading and drawing, planning and sawing,
Time salving and swathing, nursing and bathing.
The last stanza of the rhyme is directed toward the woes and joys of the pioneer household. If Hannah Shaw ever read this in Northrup’s book, and she probably did, she would endorse the sentiment with the words, “Aye, that ud be us!”
The sobbing and sighing, laughing and crying,
Hugging and squeezing, tewing and teasing,
Telling and teaching, singing and preaching,
The scolding and spanking, the praying and thanking,
And many other things beyond my power to name.
That with the founding of these loving households came;
I ask you all ye living men, what pen can tell,
The toils and cares that on these households fell.
Of the nine children born to William and Hannah Shaw, two were born in England, two in New York, and five on the York Township farm. William H. Shaw was born the next year after the family reached Ohio; his sister, Hannah E. Shaw, came the next year. The family had been on the farm five years when George Moody Shaw was born, and Emilia Shaw followed him by two years. Mary Ann Shaw was last, being born six years after her sister, Emilia. Hannah Shaw had her hands full. There was never a dull day.
After eighteen years, and in 1851, it was decided to leave the farm and move to a new location in Montville Township, one mile south of Medina Village. Both William and Hannah had passed the fifty-year mark, considered to be “old folks” in those days; it was no longer necessary to be absorbed in the strenuous pursuit of material gain. John P. Shaw had already left home base. Anne E. Shaw had married John S. Eggleston, and Jane Shaw had married George Ariel Miner the year before. Of the six children who moved to Medina, Thomas was eighteen, William H. was seventeen, Hannah E. was sixteen, George Moody was thirteen, Emilia T. was eleven, and Mary Ann was five. It was a good farm of some one hundred acres in a prestigious location. Within walking distance to the village center, its business places, its schools (public and private), its churches: it offered social, cultural, and economic advantages for the family. William Shaw’s second eighteen years in Ohio was spent at this place. Some two or three years before he died in 1869, he built a large five-bedroom brick home on his property, facing the Cleveland-Wooster turnpike. As he compared it to his first log-cabin home built in the woods in 1833, it must have given him a great deal of satisfaction.
William Shaw died on September 1, 1869. He was first buried in the old Medina cemetery on East Liberty Street. The body was transferred to the new Spring Grove cemetery in 1883 and a suitable monument erected. After her husband’s death, Hannah Shaw moved into Medina Village. She outlived him by eleven years, passing away on November 26, 1880. Her body was also removed later to the family plot in Spring Grove cemetery.
When William Shaw came to America in 1829 he had expected to find that making a living would be different from what it was in Yorkshire, but he was confident that he could cope with it. He also knew that as the years would go by there would be social, economic, and political changes, it was inevitable. But sitting in a rocking chair on his front porch of his new home in Medina and letting his mind wander back over the forty years he had been in America, he realized he had experienced more changes than he had ever envisioned, even in his wildest dreams. He thought about Medina, as it now was and as it had been, remembering the old Ohio Gazetteer he had acquired when he made his first pilgrimage to Ohio in 1833, and wishing to refresh his memory of the village as he had first seen it, he took it from the book shelf in the parlor and read:
MEDINA, the seat of justice of Medina County, is pleasantly situated on a considerably elevated and commanding eminence. It contains about 50 families, five mercantile stores, two taverns, a pretty capacious brick court-house, a handsome two-story brick edifice in which the public offices are kept, a substantial new brick jail, three practicing lawyers, and (although together with the surrounding country, remarkably healthy) four physicians, two ministers of the gospel, two schools, one printing office, from which a weekly paper is issued, one tannery, one ashery, one saddllery, three tailors, three blacksmiths, one coach and wagon maker, one chair maker, one boot and shoemaking establishment, several house joiners, carpenters, etc. Mechanics, not contained in the foregoing enumeration, would, it is presumed, meet within fair encouragement. In short, this place is rapidly improving. A number of handsome buildings, designed for dwelling houses, are under way; and, in the course of the season, some twenty or thirty edifices bid fair to be erected.
Medina Village had grown considerably, he concluded, but the county in general had not kept pace with the population growth in the rest of the nation. There were hordes of land-hungry immigrants moving westward, but they passed through Medina County in quest of cheaper land or to take advantage of the Homestead Act passed by Congress in 1862. They were on their way to Texas, Oregon, California, and places between. This, he could understand, he had been lured to Ohio for the same reason. Andrew Jackson was his first President. His own life style corresponded within the Jacksonian era with its agrarian emphasis, opposition to concentration of political and economic power, and its stress on a versatile, self-reliant, ingenious, citizenry bent on the rights of the common people. It was difficult for him to realize that the invention of steam power, creating a revolution in industry and transportation, had changed all this that new highways, canals, railways, and improved communication had bound the nation into an inevitable entity. Therefore, he had been disturbed by the events that led to the Civil War. The war itself appalled him. In it he thought he saw his life-long dreams being shattered. The fact that he was not a native-born American did not help matters. It made it more difficult for him to understand. He had come to America partly to escape the sectional strife so rampant in the Old World. Time and place circumstances dictated otherwise. He deplored the necessity of the Civil War and shared the grief of his friends and neighbors at the loss of their sons in the conflict. Some twelve percent of Medina’s service men had been casualties. Nor was he happy with the political aftermath of the war. He wondered if order and justice would ever be restored to his adopted country.
As he pondered these matters he realized also that he had been granted a good life - a hard one to be sure - but successful. He had come to America as an immigrant, almost penniless in a lifetime he had accumulated a substantial amount of property (which to him was very important), and he had been given sons and daughters who had followed in his footsteps and were themselves doing very well. There were other things which could be counted on the credit side of his life, but affluence and family had been the essence of his dream from the very beginning, even before he left Yorkshire. America had been good to him, but it was not a free gift. He had earned it.
This is taken from Henry King Shaw’s work titled “Yorkshire Heritage”, chapter one. He wrote an explanation of his work and I quote “This project had its inception in a term paper written for a college course in Genetics in 1927. Interest in the Shaw family history developed slowly, however, and it was not until 1972, after retirement, that serious research had a beginning. It was realized then that while the older folks were still living and documentary evidence was still available, the information should have been collected. Nevertheless, by checking court records, probing the memories of the living, reading inscriptions on tombstones, researching local histories, writing numbers of letters, and driving thousands of miles, it was possible to fill in some of the gaps.
This work is not completed. No book is ever really finished. But believing it should be printed before it became too late, the task was undertaken.
Yorkshire Heritage is a “do it yourself” project. This includes the research, typing, editing, collating, sewing, and binding. There are fifteen copies only, and you now have one of these. Return your copy if you do not want it, so it can be given to some other relative. An unbound master duplicating original has been retained. It can be revised with corrections and additions, which we hope you will submit. If the demand warrants it, a better anymore complete edition may be published.
Descendants of the Yorkshire Shaw’s are now very numerous, and scattered far and wide. You now have a means of learning who they are, and perhaps the opportunity of getting acquainted with them. H.K.S.”
Here is hoping that a descendant or two might find this website and that I might get acquainted with them.
Thanks to Sam Shaw, my 4th cousin, who provided me with a copy of his Grandfather’s work.
 Charles Wareing Bardlsey, English Surnames. Their Sources and Significations. (Rutland Vermont: Charles E. Tuttle Co., Pub., 1968) pp. 116, 493-4
 Pauline Tedford and Torn Fife, Waddington, St. Lawrence County, New York, A Look at our Past
(Ogdensburg, New York: Ryan Press, 1976) p. 16. This is a typescript of a photo-copy of the original
 See details of the Peacock connection further on.
 Adapted from Yorkshire dialect as presented in books by James Herriot
 See W.H. Perrin, J.H. Battle, and W.A. Goodspeed, History of Medina County and Ohio (Chicago:
Baskin and Battey, Historical Publishers, 1881) pp. 855-56. This story appears in the biographical sketch of her son George Moody Shaw. It is also confirmed in oral family history. Years later, Hannah’s elder son, John Peacock Shaw, received a communication from Yorkshire advising him of a Moody inheritance. Since to receive it would require a personal appearance and he could afford the journey (and there was no guarantee of success anyway) he discussed the matter in his home with his younger brothers. A younger brother offered to make the trip at his own expense, providing he receive the entire legacy. This arrangement did not meet the approval of the other brothers. Eventually, after much heated argument (witnessed by the family of the elder brother) the matter was dropped.
 Since the Peacocks were already in Waddington, Madrid Township, and this was to be the Shaw destination, it seems reasonable to suppose that they took the St. Lawrence passage.
 This is a change from H.K. Shaw’s original date of 09/30/1823. This was taken from a list of Ship’s docking in New York harbor collected by Precision Indexing, Bountiful Utah.
 From Transcripts made by the State Department. Published by Magna Carta Book Company, Baltimore, Maryland, 1969.
 Miss Levier was misinformed concerning the statement, “Thomas Peacock was a bachelor.” He was not a bachelor, but the husband of Ann and the father of Thomas Peacock III, age six, who accompanied the John Peacock family on the ship Indian Chief. The names and ages of Thomas and Ann correspond with those on the Court House record at Canton, New York, i.e., she was his senior by six years. Ann Peacock and her son were passengers in the wagon that took the families from Albany to Madrid. Since Thomas Peacock II was a benefactor of the John Peacock family, it is not unreasonable to suppose that he assisted his sister’s Hannah’s family as well. Described as a wealthy man in the above note, the source of his wealth may have been his grand-father Moody’s estate. He was born in Yorkshire in 1791 and died in 1869. His son, Thomas Peacock III, was town clerk, merchant, and volunteer fireman in Waddington in the 1850s. His wife, also called Ann, died in 1860. He married Hannah E. Shaw, his cousin in Ohio, in 1864. He died in 1871, leaving his widow (who became Hannah E. Rutherford) to rear his son Walter. When he reached maturity, Walter moved to Portland, Oregon. Incidentally, Thomas Peacock III must have been well-to-do in relation to his time period. He left a considerable estate. After a hundred years, all the existing branch of the Peacock family know of Thomas Peacock Sr. is contained in the Levier account.
 Pauline Tedford and Torn Fife. op. cit. pp. 5-9. Background material.
 N.B. Northrup, Pioneer History of Medina County (Medina: George Redway, Printer, 1861) pp. 222-223.
 Actually twenty-five families had preceded them to York Township, an area of over 14,000 acres of timber-filled uncleared land.
 This was a European tradition, generally followed when possible.
 The home is still standing though it is now faced with stone. The period of its erection is calculated from an account told by his grandson, Charles P. Shaw. The grandson claimed that when he was a small boy about nine years of age he helped the bricklayers on the construction project, and that he waved to father John P. Shaw every day as he drove the Cleveland-Wooster stage past the place.
 The 1833 Ohio Gazetteer. or Topographical Dictionary. Being a Continuation of the Work Originally Compiled by the Late John Kilbourn. (Columbus: Printed and Published by Scott and Wright, 1833) p.305.
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