THE SHAVER FAMILY
from The Town of Fulton, Schoharie Co., NY
For the past few years, I have been doing research on two Schaeffer/Shaver/Shafer families other than this Shaver family who settled the Town of Fulton, Schoharie Co., NY. Usually, the spelling of the surname has no significance. People in the same family and different generations used different spellings, but this family has insisted on the spelling, "Shaver," with one family exception.
My first Schaffer family interest was the family of Maria Schaffer and her two sons, Johannes and Heinrich, who settled in Schoharie, Schoharie Co., NY, and are documented in Henry Z. Jones' book, THE PALATINE FAMILIES OF NEW YORK 1710, 1985. Johannes Schaffer is my line of descent.
Then I became aware of the Schaeffer family who settled in the Town of Andes, Delaware Co., NY, founding the hamlet of Shavertown. Since New York City created the Pepacton Reservoir for a water supply, this area is now flooded. Two brothers, Jacob and John Shaver, came from Dutchess Co., NY, and later more of their family did also.
I also found out about the Town of Fulton Shavers. I attended four of the family reunions with their researcher, Lois Donovan, now deceased. I also had conversations with Katherine Latham, RD 1 Box 18B, Westerlo, NY 12193, Tel: 518-797-3295 and Roger Shafer, HCR 1 Box 5, Central Bridge, NY 12035, Tel: 518-868-2589.
I was constantly looking for a link between the families, my Schoharie Schaffers, the Shavertown Shavers and the Town of Fulton Shavers.
The Town of Fulton, Schoharie Co., NY, Shaver family held the "60th Shaver Family Reunion", 8 September 1996, at the Max Shaul State Park located on State Route 30 in Fultonham, NY. The Max Shaul State Park is located not very far from the George Shaver Homestead on Rossman Hill. This is where all the Shaver children were born, not actually in the house standing at present, but a log cabin on this property near this site.
This Shaver family does not know the names of the parents of their patriarch, George Shaver but do know his exact date of birth, 30 November 1800. The 1855 census says that he was born in Schoharie County, NY. They know the exact date of birth of his wife, Jane Mulford, 26 May 1805, and place of birth according to the 1855 census, Blenheim, Schoharie Co., NY. Another Shafer researcher, Martha Foland, is pretty certain that George Shaver is the son of Johannes Schaeffer and Dorothy Stam. Johannes was born and baptized in St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Town of Schoharie, Schoharie Co., NY, and Dorothy Stam was born in Palatine, Montgomery Co., NY. They were married in Trinity Lutheran Church, Stone Arabia, T-Palatine, Montgomery Co., NY. They had four other children: Margareta, Maria, Johann, and Anna. George's date of birth, 30 November 1800, is compatible with the rest of the children in the family who are born between 1796 axd 1805. However, I have been unable to find baptismal records for any of his four children in any of the Montgomery, Herkimer, or Schoharie Co. churches for which I have churchbooks that are transcribed by Kinship. This might indicate that he moved out of the area.
In the death certificate of one of George's children, Pasco, it is stated that both his mother and father's birthplace is Germany, but in the death certificate of his daughter, Margaret, and son; Adam Clark, the parents' birthplace is given as New York State. So, we don't have any agreement here with his children as to their parents' birthplace.
I find it hard to believe that no one knows the parents of George Shaver for quite a few reasons. One, a couple years ago I met with Roger Shafer's grandmother, Emma (Cole) Shafer, born 11 December 1896. (Note that his family spells the name "Shafer" and all the rest of the family insist on the "Shaver" spelling.) She was born 11 December 1896. She was really "sharp," remembering dates of birth of all the Shafer ancestors I asked her about. Very qood memory! Three of George's children, Pasco died in 1919, Mary Catherine, died 1927, and Adam Clark, died 1924, were living at the time Emma (Cole) Shafer was a teenager, and she probably knew some of these people, but most certainly knew their children and children of the other members of the family. No one asked the question as to who the parents of George were?
Another missing link is in the family of George's daughter, Mary Catherine Shaver who married James Snyder. She is Catherine Snyder's ancestor. Certainly the ancestry of George Shaver must have been talked about. No one ever asked who his parents were?
WHO WERE GEORGE SHAVER'S PARENTS?
Let's speculate and try out different theories! In the "old days," Victorian 1800's, there were things that were just not talked about, such as illegitimate births, "Indian blood," etc. But, in this "modern age" we are more liberal and understanding, and ususally "call a spade a spade"! Who were this George's parents?
Another twist to this Shaver Puzzle was received, 9 August 1995. Ian McGiver, 1356 East Madison Park, Chicago, IL 60615, has done extensive research on the settlers of the Byrne Patent, T- Fulton, Schoharie Co., NY, and has written a treatise, "So Many Changes & Abandonments: Euroamerican Settlement of the Byrne Patent, 1790-1810". "This brief article is intended to advertise a larger project which will trace and analyze the long-term migration and settlement patterns of the families that attempted to settle the Byrne Patent, located in the present-day town of Fulton, Schoharie County, New York. This project will be, in effect, the genealogy of a neighborhood....."
On page 62 Ian MC Giver tells about one of the settlers of the Byrne Patent. "SHAVER--In May 1806, the family of John Shaver took over the leasehold to lot #54, which had been settled by the Cornelius Van Dyke family. By June 1810, they had been replaced in turn by another family. It is not clear where the Shaver family came from or went to, but theirs was a family name dating to the pre-Revolutionary settlements of the Schohaire Valley. And Shavers (also, Shaffer, Shafer) persisted as farmers in the area up to and including the present."
Lot #54 of the Byrne Patent is located northeast of West Fulton. Do you suppose that our "John" (Johannes) is the one who took over the leasehold of Lot #54, became disenchanted with the hilly topography and low viability of the land and moved on. Then he moved elsewhere in Schoharie County and his son George was born, 30 November 1800, in Schoharie County. George was born in Schoharie County according to the 1855 census but only lived there for 24 years, living elsewhere for 30 years. As an adult George Shaver, married with one child, Moses, being born in Greene Co., NY, moved to Rossman Hill, Town of Fulton, which is almost directly south of West Fulton, across the Panther Creek, and lived there his remaining days, being buried there.
1. It is entirely possible that George is a child of Johannes Shaffer and Dorothy Stam as discussed earlier. We have included him in this book hoping that some of you readers can supply more information about George Shaver and Jane Mulford and their family.
2. Was his father born in Germany as Pasco's death cetificate states? I don't think so, since his mother, Jane Mulford, is also listed as being born there. Family information and census data say they were both from "Schoharie Co., NY".
3. Was George's father a Loyalist in the Revolutionary War and he and the family were ashamed of this fact, so it was never discussed?
4. According to the 1855 census George was 54 years old, born in Schoharie Co., but only lived there for 24 years. His wife is also listed as being born in Schoharie Co., and living there 24 years. His son Moses is listed as 27 years old and born in Greene Co., NY. So George must have been living in Greene Co., NY, and his son Moses was born there. Where did he live for 30 years? In Greene Co.? 5. Maybe George was illegitimate and was never told of his parentage. People didn't discuss things like this in the "old days."
There is some compelling reason why George's parentage was never recorded? Why? I'm certain that family members knew, but never talked about it. I'm certain that Emma (Cole) Shafer knows! I don't think anything ever got past her. She is very sharp! WHAT'S YOUR THEORY?????
Herman W. Witthoft, Sr.
141 Hudson Ave.
Chatham, NY 12037-1431
Table of Contents, Schaffer
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