MEMORY OF MY FATHER
IVY MONROE SHIVER WINTER PARK, FLORIDA
The within is written from what the writer remembers hearing talked among the older members of the family, from the information that I have been able to gather from the present families, by request of them, and the memories of the writer, now in my seventy-first year.
In the compilation, I expect to record the heads of the families, down through my father’s family, record them separately and in their respective places. Then will be found the record of the oldest child or each couple and his family in some detail, then the second child and his family, so on through to include all that family.
No names will be recorded of any child that died before reaching maturity.
No pretense of literary value or grammatical accuracy in compilation or spelling is claimed for this article.
IVY MONROE SHIVER
In producing this booklet to be published on the Internet and made available to various branches of the SHIVER family who are researching that name, I have made a very few changes to the manuscript. I have not corrected any grammatical errors. I feel that a work such as this should be published as it was written. What I have corrected are typographical errors and punctuation that make the reading of the text a little easier in this particular format. The original manuscript was hand-typed and double-spaced. To conserve space, I have changed the format slightly to be single-spaced and left the majority of Mr. Shiver’s work untouched. Some hand-written notes were added at a later date (it appears from information gathered at a cemetery), which I have incorporated into the text.
In producing this, I make no claim as to its genealogical or historical accuracy. It is always possible of course, that family “legend” is not an accurate representation of fact. This should always be taken into account whenever reading a work of this kind. Some of Mr. Shiver’s assumptions about family movements are based on his “best guesses”, given where the families ended up. Having searched a lot of the written records in many counties, I have found that these assumptions are not always correct. However, this family history is written in a very engaging way that is worth preserving for its insight into the immediate family of the author, and his impressions of his ancestors as well as his appreciation for his descendants. I am grateful to Mr. Shiver for having made the effort to leave such a legacy to his family.
I would also like to thank Farrell Shiver for making this manuscript available to me, in order that I might make it available to all.
Mary Kathryn Kozy
4 Feb 1999
All the above are family names that are in various parts of the country. It seems to me more than probable they all came from the same root-stock. There are many family names in the country today that are contractions or expansions of the original root name.
In meeting and talking with people in various parts of the south-east during the past fifty years, I have been told there are a great number of SHI-VER families in various parts of the eastern, as well as in the southern states. I have been asked if I am related to families in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and the Carolina's, families of our name. I have been told that those asked about are of GERMAN descent. I am reasonably sure that we are of GERMAN ORIGIN too.
In the early eighteenth century and before, I am sure there were two branches of the SHIVER family in Georgia. No doubt they were related but they must have been separated by several generations. The recognizable family and personal differences were evident. Those differences are easily seen today, in more ways than one.
In the 1840’s my grand-father JOHN SHIVER, who represented or was the establisher of one branch of the family in southwest Georgia, came into WORTH COUNTY and found the other branch of the family there. No one knows how long the SHIVER’S had been in WORTH, DOUGHERTY, MITCHELL, LOWNDES and THOMAS COUNTIES. One of the most convincing evidences that I can locate of their long time residence in that section is the “SHIVER GRAVEYARD”.
The "SHIVER GRAVEYARD" is located along the south side of the Albany and Isabella public road, at a point about 3/4 of a mile east of where that road crosses the Dougherty-Worth County line. When I first saw the graveyard, it was in Virgin Woods. In the place of a fence around it, a ditch about five feet deep and four to five feet wide surrounded it. That must have been around sixty-five (65) years ago. In September 1949, my younger sister, Texas, went there expecting to particularly, inspect it again. It was difficult to locate, among the clutter of brush, trees, and briers, etc., and the ditch was so filled that we could scarcely find it. In May 1932, brother Oris and I went and minutely examined it. It was burnt off then and we could see
all that was there. There is approximately an acre and a half in that ditch surrounded area. There were indications of graves all over the plot. In quite a few places we found pieces of granite or marble, broken in such small pieces that no lettering that was on them could be deciphered, but they were no doubt monuments or gravemarkers. Sunken places in the sod in more or less rows, indicated row after row of graves. Almost all buried there were named SHIVER, either by birth or by marriage, or adoption and reared a SHIVER. It must have been abandoned as a burial place sometime in the early 1800s, because the family have been burying their dead at Bethel Church Yard for well over a hundred (100 yrs.) years. My father said it was abandoned long before he could remember. He was born in 1850. Last September I went all over the graveyard at Bethel church; looked closely as I could and I doubt if there is more than enough graves there (in a hundred or more years) to fill one quarter acre of space. From these facts it would seem that SHIVER families must have been using the “SHIVER GRAVEYARD” since probably the fifteenth century. However, the place is filled with large timber and underbrush, the ditch will soon be completely eradicated; in another generation or so there will be no sign that it ever existed.
The SHIVER family in a way are peculiar people, peculiar in many ways that have proven detrimental to their best interests. They have been easily satisfied with life. The earlier ones of them were stock-men as most pioneers were, but their main source of livelihood was and is yet, farming. Until within the last generation there had never been a "professional man" among them; never a teacher, preacher, doctor, lawyer, or politician. Education, the greatest urge upon present generations, held no appeal to a SHIVER prior to the beginning of the present century; and yet they held a high regard for moral standing among them. They were and are yet with few exceptions, indisputably honest and truthful. A promise by one of them was as good as an acceptable bond. They participated in courts and law enforcement only when called to participate as jurors or witnesses. I have never known or heard of but three of the name being accused of crime or arrested. One was for killing a man in self defense; he was cleared of the charge. The other two were minor offenses. They are nominally religious. As far back as I have known anything of them, the older heads of the families are usually members of some church, mostly the BAPTIST CHURCH. Usually their recognizable religious participation was during the summer "BIG MEETING" when more than ordinary interest was noticeable. When a child many times I went to BETHEL with my father to Conference on Saturdays. Several dozen SHIVERS were always members of that church at the same time, but they did not attend conference. Many times my father would be the only one of the bunch present. They would send committees to demand their attendance; some would repent and come and ask for forgiveness and be restored, while others would ignore the committee and at the next Conference they would be turned out. The next "BIG MEETING” doubtless they would return and be accepted again for a time.
INTERMARRIAGE was no doubt their most besetting sin. Generation after generation intermarried. The present descendants of those old original settlers intermarry to this day. The wonder is that no more visible weakening effect has resulted from that practice than has shown up in their offspring. No doubt, however, generation after generation of in-breeding is the major contributing cause for their lack of desire for development and improvement in both body and in mind, a lack of desire for education and the more desirable pursuits of life. My father and his brothers were the first ones that I know of to break away from the practice of intermarriage. All of them married women of other families, where no kinship existed. Some of their sisters did the same thing, but some of them reverted to the old practices and married SHIVERS. Further wonder is that there has never been an imbecile among them that I have ever heard of. Ever since I can remember they were a clannish crew. Fifteen to twenty families lived in a radius of two or three miles. At one time one could see nine SHIVER homes from my father's yard. They didn't want other people in the community either. At that time as far back as I have any knowledge of them, very few of them owned their homes. So many of them had no desire to become homeowners, they were and many of them yet are content to be tenant farmers.
During the eighteen-nineties (1890's) all but six or eight families left the community that I have; mentioned herein in WORTH COUNTY and moved into MITCHELL and GRADY COUNTIES. All of the old and original settler's descendants' families, but two were in that exodus to parts south. Beginning now and dealing specifically with individuals and their records, it is our purpose to record herein not only names, dates and other family data, but something of the revealed activities, professions, vocations and accomplishments of those individuals, as the writer has been able to obtain from them.
MANNING SHIVER and SARAH (LOVE) SHIVER
Born to them:
CLEM MARY (X)
(There were other boys and girls, but I don't recall their names.)
The writer has no knowledge at all of Grandpa Manning, except Grandma Sally's talk about him. She often referred to him in some way. He passed on long before my time. She, Grandma Sally, was undoubtedly a unique individual. Her talk was certainly frightening to us children, so much so that I always dreaded visits to our house. She lived among the various families, visiting at one place a week or two, and moving on to the next place; and in time she would make the rounds all over again.
The home of this old couple where they raised their family was North of the Albany and Isabella public road and almost opposite of the SHIVER GRAVEYARD, just a little West, on a rise or small hill, the home was placed. All of the buildings were gone before I can remember, but there were some large shade trees yet on the spot since I can remember. Grandma liked to talk about that old home, the various members of the family, and particularly, it now seems to me, about William - “My William” the oldest boy. She used to tell us children many tales of ghosts -- spooks, “haunts” - that she had seen around that old graveyard. All “haunts” - headless, shadowy forms of departed people - were to be seen at and around the graveyards of that day. She used to tell us about a man who was riding a horse with gear on, through the woods; the horse ran away, threw him off, and he was caught in the gear and killed by dragging him as the horse ran. She said late evenings, particularly on dark rainy evenings, many times she could hear that horse running through those woods, the chains and other gear clanging, the horse's hoofs pounding the sod and that man crying and moaning as he was beaten to death. She could hear it all as she could glimpse shadowy forms as they passed among the trees around the graveyard where the man was buried. I can't put it down here as she could tell it, but what she would tell would stick in my mind so that a small boy could not sleep. She used to hear women crying and screaming out in that graveyard at night; moon-light nights she could see the shadowy forms flit back and forth headless and dark. Many other experiences she would tell that were just as unreasonable and hair-raising to a small boy. In the winter time - particularly, she would sit in one corner by the fireplace and smoke and tell us children those tall tales. To this day I wonder if she really believed those tales or if they were her idea of being entertaining. I do know that she was not the only one of that day who saw “haunts”, and heard their cries and wailings in and around graveyards.
She always smoked either a corn-cob or clay pipe, with a long reed stem. She kept her “backie” in the pocket of her dress or apron, she would fumble around among the folds in that dress, which was about ten times wider than necessary, and finally locate the entrance to that pocket which was elbow-deep or more; she would bring out a few crumbs of that “backie”, and cram it in that old pipe, and go back for more until she had a charge ready, then would smoke and talk. I can see her now as she sat by the fire, with a shawl or some kind of warp around her shoulders and a “bonnet” on. If I was artist enough I would reproduce a “bonnet” here, because that was an indispensable article of women wear, until a few decades ago. Few of the women today ever saw one.
Grandma Sally must have been born around the beginning of the 1800s she died during the latter 90's at 93 years old, she claimed. I don't remember the incident of her death; neither do I know where she or Grandpa Manning is buried.
William, their oldest child, left home while a boy and settled in central Florida, somewhere south of Kissimmee. In 1925 I saw William’s youngest boy, Lewis, at New Smyrna, Florida. He was an old man then; he lived only a short while after I saw him. He died at or near Titusville. He was the only one of that family I ever saw. Dorcas and Clem also passed away before my time. UNCLE DOW came to our house once that I can remember. ALFRED, his youngest son, was the only other member of his family that I recall. UNCLE IVINE was killed in a gunbattle with one of his neighbors, Frank Boatwright (sic). He was, at the time, a bailiff in the local Justice of the Peace Court. Someone accused Boatright of stealing hogs; took out a warrant for him, and it was given to UNCLE IVINE to serve. When he approached Boatright, he drew a pistol and began shooting; they both began shooting and both fell dead on the spot. No doubt this incident is so particularly impressed upon my mind by seeing UNCLE IVINE'S body with the holes in his breast as he lay on the “cooling board” in his home. They were buried side by side, as I remember it in Bethel Cemetery.
I remember AUNT LIZZIE, MRS. JERRY W. SPRING, very well, and AUNT EM, MRS. JOHN W. WATERS. Both of those women raised big families the most of whom are now gone. Probably the best-known among any of those generations of SHIVER descendants is P.U, (BUCK) WATERS a Baptist preacher. He is yet a pastor after something like fifty years in the ministry.
The family of MANNING and SALLY SHIVER, like many others of that day and previous days, many of whose descendants I can recall and remember bearing spoken about, were part of the multitudinous family that my Grandpa JOHN SHIVER found when he came Into that section in the early 1840’s. I could name many more of them.
JOHN SHIVER and MARY SHIVER
Born - September 29, 1819 Born - May 1, 1832
Died - January 13, 1899 Died - April 6, 1916
Were married in the late 1840’s
Born to them:
SONS MARRIED DAUGHTERS MARRIED
JOSEPH LILLA MOREE (X) PHEMA A. J. (COOT) MOREE
JAMES L. MARTHA CASEY LANNIE ALEX SHIVER
CLEM (FLEMING) MARTHA A. SIMPSON RUTH T. J. WATERS
JESSE MAUDE BRANCH EUGENIE (JEAN) ROBERT LEE (BOB) SHIVER
(Grandpa John Shiver, was married to Harriet Gammage, and they had
one son Jacob; she died before he came to Worth County.)
In the latter days of this old couple, after their children had married and were out for themselves and they were left alone, I, as a boy of twelve to fifteen years old, spent much time with them in their home. Many times I would be there just for a night but the last two or three years they tried to farm for a living, I helped them quite a bit with the work; would stay there a whole week sometimes. It was during this period that I learned to love them most and learned about all that I ever knew about them. Around the fire-side at night they would talk. There I learned much of the contents of these records.
Grandpa said his family came into HOUSTON COUNTY, GEORGIA, from one of the CAROLINA’s, when he was a small boy. He thought they were GERMANS, that is of GERMAN DESCENT. I don't recall hearing him mention but one other member of his family; that was ENOCH, a brother, who evidently came with him to Worth County. ENOCH, (NICK) left two sons: JAMES F. M. (married ELVIRA WHITFIELD, December 3, 1893) Worth Co. Marriage Records (Book #2 - page 968, E. A. Parrish, J.P.), and DAVIS SHIVER. I am sure that I could go to within fifty feet of where I was helping him plant cane one afternoon, and in answer to my questions he told me about himself. He said he was born in 1815 in South Carolina. He was raised in Houston County, Georgia, and after losing his wife he came to Worth County, met and married my father's mother, MARY SHIVER. My father was their second child; the first was a girl and died in infancy. Since he was born in November 1850, they must have married about 1846 or 1847.
I wish I could include here a picture of Grandpa. He was of medium size, rather stocky, perfectly white hair, and a wisp of white beard about four (4) inches long on his chin. My father was very much like him in build, while the other two sons that I remember, UNCLE YOUNK (JAMES L.) and UNCLE JESSE were more like their mother, slender and of rather narrow facial features. I used to watch him talk or eat and that little wisp of white beard working up and down amused me sometimes - it was so much like a billy goat chewing.
He was one among very, very few SHIVERS of his day who owned their own home and raised their families on their own domain. After they both got so they could not work the farm to earn their living, he sold it and spent the rest of their days in quarters provided for them by their boys. Neither of them could read or write; they were unlearned as the world counts learning, but what a wealth of wisdom did he possess. He had a keen conception of justice and right and truth and he was very successful and effective in teaching the same to their children. Religion is one thing I don't recall ever hearing him mention. However, as I think of him I am confident that he was a saved man, as I now know of some of the characteristics of a saved one’s life. His life as I saw it, fits right into the groove of Christian walk. I never heard him use slang, tell smutty jokes or tales, and never heard him use a word of profanity. Too, he was one among the few of his early day who tried to give his children some “schoolin”. I think every one of them who lived to grow up could read and write and cipher, which was really about the full extent of the education for those days. In all these desires for his family and by the examples he set by his own conduct and so taught his children, one of the most outstanding facts of two sections of the SHIVER family, to me at least are proven. Ideas of development and growth in various avenues of life, were no doubt begun in his children so that in after years it has been fed and developed in his descendants, to an encouraging degree, as some of the later records hereof will show.
(In my Memories, which are a portion hereof, a more detailed record of some of the features in the lives of this old couple will be found.)
When Grandpa sold his farm UNCLE YOUNK built them a house in the edge of his yard and they lived there until Grandpa's death. After his death Grandma wanted to live with their oldest son, so my father built her a house in the edge of his yard where she lived many years. She, too, finally passed away, 6 April 1916, and was buried by his side in Old Bethel Church Yard. When she died I was working in a bank in Sylvester, and what little was left of their life earnings, had been left there in the bank. I ordered and had erected a double monumental marker at the root of their graves, and paid for it with the total of their leavings. The data of their births and of their deaths is recorded on that stone
Every one of their children are gone, too. UNCLE JESSE, the youngest son, was the last to go, just two or three years ago. RUTH and LANNIE died when young women; AUNT PHEMA died about middle life, and EUGENIE JEAN at about 40 years of age. UNCLE YOUNK, and UNCLE JAKE lived to be old. All of them left families, many of whom are yet alive. At Mother's birthday, AUGUST 17, 1947, quite a few of the children of those aunts and uncles of ours were present, and when she was buried a few days ago I saw many of them that I had not seen in twenty to forty years. To name them giving dates etc., would be impossible for me.
When Uncle JESSE and Aunt JEAN were single, living at home with their parents. We did not attend their weddings when they each got married, but I recall hearing them talked about.
When Aunt RAUSIE, LUE, and Aunt RILLA and ALFRED were single and lived at home with their parents I recall being at the wedding of Aunt RAUSIE and Uncle JOHN HOUSTON and also being at the wedding of Aunt LUE and Uncle Joe SPRING, but I don't remember a thing about Aunt RILLA getting married, and she was the youngest one and the last to be married. When Aunt RAUSSIE married they had a "real wedding", a big supper and EVERYBODY was there. The tables were placed in the yard between the Big House and the Kitchen. The thing about that situation that has stuck with me is seeing the crowd there in the yard in the light that was furnished by putting a platform on top of some stakes about 6 feet high, covering the platform with dirt and building a big fire on it. Two of those were the “electric lights” of the occasion. Squire Isaac Howard married them.
No doubt that was my earliest recollection of such gatherings is the wedding of DELLA ROUSE and GEORGE W. PRICE. DELLA was Aunt MINDA Bateman's oldest child by her first husband. (AUNT MINDA was GRANDPA MOREE’S sister.) That incident about the wedding that has stuck in my mind and caused me to recall it here, is that my father raised me up and sat me on his shoulder so I could see above the crowd that stood when the marriage was being performed. I recall that I was much disappointed; hearing the wedding talked about so much I expected something - I don't know what - I didn't see a thing just people.
I remember: on September 6, 1886, late afternoon, old man HENRY SHIVER came loping up to our gate and said, “JOE, JEHEW, BUDDY and ROUSE are everyone dead”. Pa later said that he knew when he saw old man HENRY coming on his horse in a lope, that something unusual had happened. He was an old man and seldom rode horseback. Those days it was usually around Sept. 15th before much cotton was ready for market, but that year COUSIN GEHEW, BUDDY SHIVER (HENRY SHIVER’s OLDEST SON) and HENRY ROUSE all got a bale each ready and went to ALBANY with the cotton on this date - Sept. 6th. They carried two wagons, one two-horse wagon and one, one-horse wagon. They stopped under a chinaberry tree out of a shower, lightning hit them and killed all three of them and two of their stock.
I remember that hemmorhagic fever killed three of FALTON SHIVER’S family within one month. In January this year (1950), I rechecked that statement by the markers on those graves in BETHEL CHURCH GRAVEYARD. That was about 1890. Those days it was not unusual to know of one death in a family by hemmorhagic, but three in thirty days made an impression.
The individual is indeed unfortunate who does (not) bear in his mind and memory as long as he lives, the times and incidents and the glories of early childhood at Grandpa's. One never really lived unless he has been the “real favorite of Grandma”. To us those days of my early childhood recollections, the days and nights at Grandpa's, bear some of the fondest and most valued recollections of my life.
My father's parents, JOHN and MARY SHIVER, lived a little more than a mile from us, in a southeasterly direction. I remember being at that home before UNCLE JESSE and AUNT JEAN were married; it was a thrill as I remember it now to be “played-up-to” by uncles and aunts. When they married they left home as usual that left the old people who lived alone, just the two of them for several years. It was during that period that I learned to love them most because I was there a great deal. Between our farm and theirs was only one small settlement; the balance of the way over there was through the woods and by a dimly marked three track trail. After helping get through the chores (tend to the things) at home, many times dark would overtake me before I could walk or run the distance to their home. My whooping and hollering was only to let them know I was coming, but Oh! a relief it was to see the light shining under the door, as I approached.
Of the most appetizing meals that Grandma used to fix her biscuits stand out in my memory as the acme of biscuit making art. They were about 3 inches in diameter, when ready to eat the tops were cone-shaped, browned to a nicety, and the center of them didn't seem to have risen and were not as fluffy as some I have seen, but they were a delicate, delectable substance, that a small boy as I was, will not forget even in old age. She would cook exactly enough biscuits, fry enough bacon, and eggs, and not have a crumb or smear left when we three had finished breakfast.
There was one very unpleasant situation in their home that I never did learn to like. That was their getting up before day each morning. Winter and Summer, rain or shine, Sunday or Monday, they were up every morning before day. While Grandma fixed breakfast he would be out around the barn - feed his horse, attend his hogs, probably bring up the calf from its nightly grazing, and in general get things ready for the days work. I don't yet see what they gained by such industry. Many times they would have to wait in the field for it to get light enough for them to see to do the work they wanted to do. In this connection I am reminded of one little incident of those days that has stuck in my mind. Grandpa went out in early morning to plow, lay-by corn, when it got light enough for him see how to follow the rows of corn. As he plowed along his old mule kept nipping off the ends of the corn blades, occasionally he would nip off the top of a whole stalk. Grandpa thrashed him with the lines, scolded and fussed at him, but he every now and then would reach out and gather another top and sidle away or trot off trying to keep out of reach of that line. Finally Grandpa threw his plow down, went around in front of the mule, held him by the bridle with one hand and hit him right in the center of his broadlike face just as hard as he could with the other hand. That hand was in a sling for many days.
They were a great old pair. Neither of them had any “book larnin'“ at all, but what a wealth of experimental knowledge was theirs. They must have been diligent and successful in imparting that knowledge and their conceptions of life's necessities to their children for they raised a big family, a family that was a credit to themselves and to the country as common desirable citizens.
In 1905 my father sold his old home place where I was born and moved to another, far enough away that I was never with these grandparents much more. Grandpa soon sold his farm and everything they had, since it was impossible for them to operate it, and Uncle YOUNK built them a house in the edge of his yard, and they lived there until Grandpa's death. After Grandpa died my father built a house for Grandma in the edge of our yard, and she lived there many years before she passed away.
They are buried side by side in BETHEL CEMETERY.