Chuck Wilson - WilsonCcwilson@aol.com
George Shaw Jr. the elder brother of Edwin Shaw was born in Attica,
Wyoming County, NY, on 18 May 1823. He was the son of George
Shaw, Sr., of Massachusetts and wife Jane (maiden name unknown) who was born
in Attica, NY.
George settled in East Pembroke, Genesee County in 1841 when
he was 18 years old. His occupation at that time was farmer and carpenter.
At the age of 22, in 1845, George shipped on board a whaling vessel and,
after a voyage of 2 1/2 years, returned to the Batavia - Pembroke area.
On his return, he worked first in the mills (lumber mills?) for Joseph Ellicott
and later took up his trade as carpenter.
The 1850 census lists George as single, living with an innkeeper, James
M. Neasmith. He was employed as a joiner at that
time. Late in 1850 or early in 1851, George married
Mary Jane McWain. Mary Jane was the eldest daughter of
Asa McWain. She was also the sister of Ellen McWain, wife
of George's brother Edwin Shaw. Grandmother, Clara Cheney, always referred
to Mary Jane as Aunt Jane. Biological children of George Shaw and Mary
Born about 1852
Born about 1854
Born about 1856
Born about 1862
Born about 1865
In about 1860, George, Mary, and the three children
Helen, Charles, and George, went to Southern Missouri for about a year.
The reason for the move is not known. However, in 1860, George’s
brother Warren Shaw was living in Weston, Platte County, MO. The census
lists him as a furniture dealer. In any event, George and family returned
to Genesee County after about a year and remained there for the rest
of their lives.
After the family returned from Missouri, another daughter, Emma
H., was born in 1862, and a son, Henry P. in 1865. The year 1865
brought tragedy to the family. The following article appeared in the
Republican Advocate for Tuesday, 19 December 1865:
Two little boys aged 9 and 11, sons of George Shaw, residing
Pembroke, were drowned in the mill pond at that place on Friday last.
is supposed they went to the pond to slide - on their way to school - and
getting on the thin ice fell through. The basket containing
the little boys' dinner was found on the lee near where they were supposed
to have fallen in.
The brothers are buried in Hillside Cemetery, East Pembroke. The marker
George and Charles
were both amiable and lovely,
In their lives
and in death they were not parted.
In early 1866 so soon after the death of their two sons, both
George’s brother Edwin and Edwin’s wife Ellen McWain died leaving two
sons John A. and Walter L. Shaw aged 4 and 2. George and Mary
Jane took the boys in and reared them as their own.
The 1870 Federal Census reveals George Shaw and his family: Mary J., Helen
J., John A., Emma H., Walter L., and Henry P., living between the families
of John Searles and Ebenezer Dickinson. The Pembroke Town Map, dated
1876 giving the lot numbers of property owners, shows a Nathan Peck as property
owner between Searles and Dickinson. George Shaw may have been renting
the Peck property in 1870; or else he owned it in 1866 and sold it to Nathan
Peck before 1870. It could be that George and Mary Jane did not want
to stay on the property after the death there of their two sons in 1865.
The property is on what is now Cleveland Road between East Pembroke and North
Mary Jane lived until 3 January 1888 when she died after an illness
of several weeks and in the 51st year of her age.
George lived on until 26 August 1902:
"George Shaw, long a resident of Genesee County, died at
2 o’clock this morning at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Helen J. Lanning
of East Pembroke. He was stricken with paralysis about eight weeks ago and
for ten days had been in an unconscious condition. The funeral will
be held from the house tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock..... Mr. Shaw
is survived by three children: Mrs. Lanning, with whom he lived;
Mrs. Emma Galloway, near Oakfield, and H. P. Shaw of Buffalo.
He also leaves one brother, O. F. Shaw of Dansville, Michigan.
Information on the biological children of George and Mary Jane Shaw is as
1. Helen J. Shaw. Born about 1852 in East Pembroke,
NY. Married Mr. Lan- ning. Lived in East Pembroke all her life.
Her father, George Shaw, lived with her in his declining years and died at
her residence on 26 August 1902.
2. Charles H. Shaw. Born about 1854 in East Pembroke, NY. Died at age
11 along with his brother George by drowning in a pond near the family
home on 15 December 1865.
3. George Shaw. Born about 1856 in East Pembroke, NY. Died at
age 9 on 15 December 1865. Drowned with his brother Charles.
4. Emma H. Shaw. Born about 1862 ² in East Pembroke,
NY. Married Mr. Gal- loway. Lived near Oakfield, NY.
5. Henry P. Shaw. Born about 1865 in Pembroke, NY. Apparently,
he was a troubled young man. According to the Batavia Daily News for
3 December 1887: “Henry P. Shaw, an East Pembroke young man, has been
acting strangely for several weeks, living in the woods in this and Wyoming
Counties and studiously avoiding all his friends. No reason is
known for his peculiar conduct except that he is not in his right mind.
His friends are worried about him and his father, GEORGE SHAW of East Pembroke,
will pay a reward for information as to his where-abouts and for his return
to East Pembroke. Mr.. Shaw hopes that Wyo- ming Co. newspapers will
give publicity to this item."
Thursday, 8 December 1887: "Henry P. Shaw of East Pembroke, who
has been wandering about the counties of Genesee and Wyoming, eluding his
friends was found by F. J. Jewett of Attica about 10 o’clock Wednesday
night in that village. Mr. Jewett will take charge of the young man
until his father calls for him."
January 10, 1894: “When Deputy Sheriff Dickinson arrived here on the noon
train yesterday with the man who was arrested in Akron on suspicion of burglarizing
H. P. Ellinwood’s house last Sunday the depot steps were crowded with
men anxious to see the prisoner, who proved to be Henry P. Shaw, a well known
young man around here. Shaw was taken to the hotel, where Justice
John Cleveland was to hold an examination,
but Shaw waived the examination and his case will go to the grand
jury in March. The prisoner has owned up to the crime.
The watch was found in his pocket and $3 in bills of the $5 stolen was found
under the sweatband of his hat. Miss Helen Ellinwood identified her
watch and D. L. Wilkinson, whose house was entered two or three
weeks ago, identified the re- volver Shaw had and
a pair of rubber boots he had on as property belonging to him.
Deputy Sheriff Dickinson took the prisoner to the County jail in Batavia.
Shaw as a boy lived in this place, but has been away from home for several
years. He is well connected, and the family have the sympathy of all in their
1900: "Henry P. Shaw of Pembroke pleaded guilty in Buffalo
yesterday to stealing a cow from Philip Burkhardt of Lancaster
and was sent to the E.C.P. for three months” (E.C.P. may be Erie
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