Register Report First Generation

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Second Generation


Family of Darby SHAWHAN (1) & Sarah MEEKS

2. Daniel SHAWHAN (Darby1). Daniel was born in Kent County, Maryland, in 1709. Daniel died in Hampshire County, Virginia, in 1770; he was 61. Daniel was buried in Hampshire County, Virginia, in 1770; he was 61. Occupation: Owned shoe factory; raised horses and cattle.
Daniel was raised on his father Darby's farm, known as "Darby's Desire", a 100 acre plot of land that Darby had purchased in 1709 from a tract called "Shad's Hole", owned by Francis Bellows. He learned the business of farming, particularly that of tobacco which was the primary staple at the time in Kent Co., Maryland. He also learned the trade of a cordwainer/tanner -- i.e. one skilled in the leather business. Typical of the period, this included making shoes, belts, clothing, saddlewear, and even fire buckets. Daniel was 27 years old when his parents died in 1736; a bequest from his father's will included "unto my beloved son Daniel Shawrn one long gunn and no more." Daniel was the Administrator of his father's estate.Debt records also show that Daniel was responsible for 50 acres of the land formerly held by his father Darby, in the tract known as "Shad's Hole". How he came into possession of this is not known, but it's suspected that he acquired it from his brother, David, who had received it as part of his inheritance from their father Darby's estate. By November 25, 1728, he was well thought of, enough to witness Daniel Huddleston's will. In 1736 he was the bondsman for John Gleaves, administrator of Sarah Gleaves' estate in Kent County. He also was a bondsman for Robert Meeks, a possible relation of Daniel's mother, who was born Sarah Meeks.As a farmer and tanner, Daniel made a modest living, but it wasn't enough for him to stay in Kent County where he saw the soil becoming leached from the tobacco crops, and opportunities limited for his growing family. On October 14, 1740 he and his wife, Jennett,sold his land, part of a tract called "Shad's Hole",previously received from his father Darby's estate, to his brother "John Shawhawn", and migrated west with their two children, Margaret and Daniel, to the Appalachian section ofMaryland, considered to be the extreme western part of Baltimore County, where he settled about 7 miles west of Frederick, near Jefferson and Catoctin. This section of Maryland was formed into Frederick Co., MD in 1748. The "History of Frederick County, Maryland", by T. J. Williams, pub. 1910, identifies Jefferson as being the community in which the "Shawens" were early settlers. Daniel and Jennett's last four children, David, Darby, Sarah, and Mary, were born in Frederick County. For years, French trappers and traders had lived among the Indians; they spoke their languages and supplied them with the tools and weapons they needed, and they didn't cut down the forests like the English did. As the Indians saw more English move westward into settlements, they grew increasingly alarmed, and. supported by the French, they often raided the thinly settled regions, including western Maryland. The setters formed militia groups to defend themselves. In 1748 Daniel served as a Corporal in Capt. Stephen Ransberger's Company of the Maryland Colonial Militia in defense against the French-led Indian raids which often hit that section of the frontier. He was also there in 1755 when General Braddock's troops passed through, using "Ye Ferry of Shann" over the Opeckon River, on their way to attack the French at Ft. Duquesne (present Pittsburgh); he also saw the bloodied remnants return, after their terrible defeat at the hands of the French and their Indian allies who fought from cover and ambush and not in the massed, closed-ranks, open style that the British troops used. Braddock was killed and it was only through the efforts of a young colonial officer, Colonel George Washington, that more were not lost. Frederick Co. records show that Daniel, on April 9, 1756, received 2 pounds, 14 shillings from the estate of Edward Beatty; his daughter Margaret received 7 shillings from the same estate.Daniel remained in Frederick Co., until 1759 when he sold horses and cattle to one Samuel Beall and pushed further west into the wilderness of Hampshire Co., VA/WV, near Romney. It took considerable courage for Daniel and his family to make their way westward, as that frontier was still subject to Indian raids spurred on by the French who wanted to do everything possible to keep the English east of the Appalachian Mountains. These pioneers became a breed among themselves -- stern, violent, and clannish, but brave, upright, and wildly independent. The year 1758 had seen the British finally push the French and their Indian allies out of Ft. Duquesne, renamed it Fort Pitt, and thus offered the opportunity for brave men to venture westward, despite the dangers offered by the Indians under Pontiac and other warlike chieftains. Daniel and his family soon had land cleared of stumps, had sowed rye and other seed brought with them from Maryland, and had planted a crop of Indian corn. Trees were hewn into timber for the building of a cabin and other buildings, which may have included a stillhouse to turn grain into whiskey, a most popular and profitable product of the settlers. The Shawhans may have become distillers through necessity, but they knew a good thing when they saw it, and the name of Shawhan whiskey was to become well-known from these early times into the Twentieth Century. It's believed that Daniel died in the early 1770s, shortly after, on November 13, 1770, he transferred a deed to his son Darby, stating "I Daniel Shaughen, Sr. of Hampshire Co. and colony of Virginia, shoemaker, .. leave unto Darby Shaughen, my beloved son, .. etc.". (Deed Book 2, page 203, Hampshire Co., VA).


Isobel Madsen NOTES: Prior to 1740, he had a shoe factory and leather treating business, both small but profitable. In 1740, Daniel sold land in Kent County to his brother John Shawhan and moved to Frederick County, Maryland. He served in the French and Indian Wars in 1748 as a corporal in Captain Stephen Ransberger's Company, Maryland, Colonial Militia (see D.A.C. Lineage Book, Vol. 6, page 340, No. 5984, Nell Downing Norton; also Maryland Historical Magazine, Vol. 9 (1914), No. 4/354.).
In 1756 Daniel and his daughter Margaret Shawhan received (reason ) a small legacy from the estate of Edward Beatty of Frederick County, Maryland, Bk, 1/26.

Daniel and his family remained in Frederick County until 1759 when he sold his horses and cattle to one Samuel Beall (D.B. F/248) and pushed into the wilderness of Hampshire County, Virginia, where it is believed he died in or after 1770 or 1779. In November 13, 1770, he signed a deed to his son Darby Shawhan of Hampshire County, Va., to which he signed his name Shaughen, the old spelling (see Hamp. Co. Va. D.D. 2/203). {Madsen, pp. 8-9}

Birth Date: 1709

Birth Place: Kent Co., Maryland

Death Date: 1770

Death Place: Hampshire Co., VA

Occupation: Shoemaker

The oldest son of Darby and Sarah, Daniel, a cordwainer (shoemaker and worker in leather) sold Shad's Hole to his brother, John, in 1740 and left the Eastern Shore for Frederick County. Daniel and his wife, Jennet, settled about seven miles from Frederick. Daniel served in the French and Indian War in 1748 and moved in 1759 to the vicinity of Romney in Hampshire Co., Virginia (West Virginia). Daniel and Jennet are ancestors of the Kentucky and Ohio Shawhans. Daniel, son of Daniel and Jennet, was a pioneer of Bourbon County, Kentucky. Darby, the youngest son of Daniel and Jennet, pioneered in Warren County, Ohio.

The Daniel branches of the family have been researched and summarized by several descendents including Wm. G. Hills of Chevy Chase, MD in 1939, Marie Perrin Lemley, a genealogist in Los Angeles, California, Violet Romer Shawhan of Oakland, California, Nell Downing Norton of New London, Missouri in 1944, Isobel Chandler Madsen of Geneva, Ohio in 1962, Kenneth G. Lindsay of Evansville, Indiana in 1964, and Ron T. Shawhan of New Jersey in 1983.

1709. Kent Co., Md.

1740. Moved to Frederick Co., Maryland.

1748. Served in French and Indian War.

1759. Moved to Hampshire Co., Virginia.

7 Jan 1736. Name of Daniel Shawhan on bond of John Gleaves, administrator for Sarah Gleaves. (Hills, p. 129)

Name of Daniel Shawhan on the bond of Robert Meeks.
25 Nov 1728. Daniel Shawhan witness to will of William Huddlestone, Kent Co., Md.
1740. Daniel sells land in Kent Co. to his brother, John.
1748. Daniel served as a Corporal in Capt. Stephen Ransberger's Co., Maryland Colonial Militia during the French and Indian Wars in 1748.
1756. Daniel and daughter, Margaret, received small inheritance from the estate of Edward Beatty of Frederick Co., Md.
1759. Daniel sold his horses and cattle to Samuel Beall of Frederick Co., Md.
13 Nov. 1770. Daniel signed a deed to his son, Darby of Hampshire Co., VA.
About 1733 Daniel married Jennett, in Maryland. Jennett was born in Maryland about 1713.
They had the following children:

i. Margaret. Margaret was born in Shrewsbury Parish, Kent County, Maryland, on March 8, 1735.

Ron Shawhan e-mail correspondence with Sandy and Bob Beatty (


Apparently you inquired about the source document that referred to an Edward Beatty estate which mentioned Daniel Shawhan and his daughter, Margaret Shawhan.

The original reference was found by another Shawhan researcher, William G. Hills, in the 1930s. His notes state that he found this particular Edward Beatty estate reference, dated April 9, 1756, in the Frederick Co., MD Adm Bk 1, p. 29; the estate executor was shown as Thos Beatty, Jr..

BTW, you mentioned a Beatty family in Warren Co., OH. A Shawhan family member, Amos Shawhan, of Warren Co., m. Anne Beatty, b. 9/5/1802 in Culpeper Co., VA, d. 12/20/1877, in Warren Co., OH. Anne was the d/o John Beatty, b. 1766, d. 1/10/1852 in Warren Co.

Good luck with your research.

Ron Shawhan
3 ii. Daniel (1738-1791)

iii. David. David was born in Frederick County, MD, about 1741. David died in Frederick County, MD, about 1798; he was 57.

Records indicate that David Shawhan was also known as David "SHAWEN" and "SHAWAN"; his descendants generally used "SHAWEN" as their surname. The "History of Frederick County, Maryland", by T. J. Williams, pub. 1910, Identifies David Sheon in the 1790 Census, and that the "Shawens" were early settlers in Jefferson, near Catoctin. Other records show David Shawhan as voting Federalist (for John Adams), in the 1796 Presidential Election and as selling household goods, wagons, and personal effects to his son, David Shawhan, Jr. in August 1797.


CHANCERY COURT (Chancery Papers) , 1790/09/14

4920: David Shawhan and George Clem vs. Frederick

Heffner. FR. Injunction against execution of

judgment on Rocky Hill.

Accession No: 17,868-4920. MSA S512-5071 1/37/1/
iv. Darby. Darby was born in Frederick County, MD, in 1748. Darby died in Warren County, Ohio, on January 21, 1824; he was 76.

Born in Frederick Co., MD in 1748, Darby accompanied his parents on their migration west to Hampshire Co., VA/WV in about 1758. He is mentioned in that county's records, on November 13, 1770, as "Darby Shaughan", when he received a land deed from his father, Daniel. In the mid 1770s he traveled west to Washington Co., PA, in the Redstone District, near the Monongahela River. There he married Priscilla and started his family, Daniel being his first child, in 1779. He is listed in the Penn. Archives, Fifth Series, Vol. IV, as being a Private in Stockley's Rangers, during the period 1778-1783, also as a member of the Washington Co. Militia, under Ensign David Rubles, Lt. Jonathan Harned's Company. In 1781 he was taxed for 80 acres, three horses, and five cattle; the PA 1790 census shows him as still being in Washington Co.; records also indicate his sale, on October 14, 1791, of 126 acres, in East Bethlehem Twp, Washington Co., to Peter Snyder. Shortly thereafter, he followed his older brother, Daniel, then deceased, to western Virginia, Kentucky District, near Ruddles Mills, in the Bourbon County locale; his son Joseph was born in that area in 1795. Shortly thereafter, he traveled north, across the Ohio River, to what would became Warren County, Ohio, east of the Little Miami River -- probably in company with the Mounts family, also one of the prominent pioneers in that county; Darby's last son, Amos, was born there in 1799. This land was in the middle of the Virginia Military District, formed for the benefit of Revolutionary War veterans -- Darby may have benefited accordingly. Warren County was formed in 1803, out of Hamilton County, being named after the patriot who sent Paul Revere on his ride, and who subsequently died at the Battle of Bunker Hill. A Warren Co. deeds entry, dated Oct. 16, 1804, lists Darby purchasing land from Alexander Hamilton and his wife, Martha. Darby and his sons, Joseph and David, occupied land on the western edge of present day Morrow, Ohio, east of the Mounts family, overlooking the Little Miami River. The 1810 Census lists Darby and his son David in Hamilton Twp, Warren County. When Darby died, intestate, in 1824, he owned 211 acres. He and his wife were buried in the Zoar Cemetery, also known as the Baker/Ditmar Cemetery, about two miles west of Morrow, in Salem Twp, on the south side of the Cincinnati - Wilmington Highway (US RT 22/3). Darby's Estate Record from the Warren Co., OH Probate Court, reads: "In due obeisance to the request of Priscilla Shawhan, widow and relic of Darby Shawhan, dec'd, late of our said county, and her heirs viz: Daniel Shawhan, Mary Leggett and William her husband, David Shawhan, Rhody Coburn and Francis her husband, John Shawhan, Joseph Shawhan and Amos Shawhan, legatees of the estate of the said dec'd, we the undersigned, Andrew Whitacre, Thomas, Ireland, and Mahlon Roach, have proceeded to divide the estate of the late Darby Shawhan of our said county by giving to the widow of said dec'd, Priscilla Shawhan, 64 acres of land running from the river (Little Miami) and on each side line so far as to include all the buildings and two ten acre fields, said dividing line to run clear across said tract as laid down on said plot and also to David Shawhan, 26 acres of land adjoining his farm as by special bargain agreed upon by and between said heirs as said plot will more particularly show, and also 27 acres of land, also agreed upon by and between said heirs being Daniel Shawhan's agreed quantity including the improvements where the said Daniel now lives as the plot will more particularly show, the said David and Daniel shears as respectively laid out to be clear of and independent of the widow's wright of dower. And also the other five shears to run through the widow's wright of dower from the river and contain Lot No. 1, 35 acres drawn by John Shawhan as by their agreement. Lot No. 2, Francis Coburn and wife, 31 acres; Lot No. 3, 28 acres, 2 rods, and 24 poles drawn by Joseph Shawhan, and Lot No. 4, William Liggett and wife, 31 acres, and also Lot No. 5 drawn by Amos Shawhan for 33 acres,which said land we have divided according to the best of our judgement, being a part of King's and Mr. McIntyre's surveys in our said county of Warren, Ohio. Given unto our hands this 27th day of August 1825. Andrew Whitacre Thomas Ireland Mahlon Roach Note: Additional estate matters were signed Nov. 29, 1841 and received for record Jan. 11, 1849, in the Warren Co. Recorder's Office, detailing further land changes among Darby's heirs, reflecting that Daniel Shawhan was then living in Delaware Co., IN, that Joseph was dec'd, etc.
About 1784 Darby married Priscilla, in Washington County, Pennsylvania. Priscilla was born in Pennsylvania in 1764. Priscilla died in Warren County, Ohio, on April 9, 1837; she was 73. Priscilla was buried in Near Zoar, Warren County, Ohio, in April 1837; she was 73.

v. Sarah. Sarah was born about 1750. Sarah died in Redstone District of Washington County, Pennsylvania., in 1787; she was 37.

For further record of her marriage and children see files in Duncan Tavern Memorial Library, Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky. {Madsen, p. 10}

Sarah had five children, three of whom died in early infancy. After her death, John Manning moved to Miami Co., Ohio. {R.T. Shawhan, p. 4}

In 1770 Sarah married John MANNING, son of John MANNING & Sarah HALL, in Redstone District of Washington County, Pennsylvania. John was born in Maryland in 1748. John died in Miami County, Ohio, in 1817; he was 69.

vi. Mary. Mary was born circa 1754. Mary died in Oldham County, Kentucky, in 1816; she was 62.

Wayne (& Spencer),

OK -- fortified with Wayne's most recent submission re Mary Shawhan, let me summarize what we may possibly/probably know about her: b. apx 1754 in MD to father Daniel & spouse; m. William Bell (b.1749) had nine children, the first seven b. in PA -- the last two, twins, b. Bourbon Co; first child b. 4 June 1771 - twins b. 11 Jan 1790.; at least first two children were m. in Bourbon Co -- in 1788 & 1790; first record of Indiana shows son Daniel Bell m. 24 Dec 1811.

So where does all this leave us?? It strongly suggests to me that Mary was

also a child of Daniel Shawhan (1709-1770/79), first son of Darby

(1673-1736) and Sarah Meeks, and Daniel's wife Jennett. Daniel migrated from Kent Co in about 1740 when he sold his land to his bro John and moved to

Frederick Co. MD. where he stayed until about 1759 when he sold horses and

cattle to Samuel Beall of that county; he then pushed on into Hampshire county, VA/WV and subsequently died sometime in the 1770s. Evidence suggests that Daniel and Jennett had children at least as late as 1750. We know that Margaret Bell's bros, as well as she and Daniel Shawhan (1738-1991), went to PA, in the vicinity of Alleghany County, during the 1770s - - many subsequently went down the Ohio River to Kentucky County, VA in about 1787, locating in what is now Bourbon County -- it makes sense to think that William and Mary accompanied Daniel and Margaret on such a journey. After the Indians were somewhat subdued, a further migration began, from Kentucky, to such points as Ohio and Indiana, beginning in the early 1800s. It's possible that Mary Shawhan Bell's family was part of that migration. Make sense?? Of course, I also have a note by William G. Hills, an outstanding early Shawhan family researcher, that says that William Bell's wife's name was Nancy -- no last name is given -- she died in Henry Co. IN!! Perhaps the name could have been "Mary Nancy Shawhan" ??

Hey, is this fun or not??


From Ken Lindsey to Ron Shawhan:


What you just wrote makes very good sense and I agree with your logic.

My records show that William Bell lived near Harrod's Creek, Kentucky.

I'll have to dig a little deeper on this, but I think this was in Bourbon County. Give me a few days and I'll search my Bell files.

Keep in there and hang tough!

Ken Lindsay

Mary married William BELL, son of Robert BELL (1700/1710-1765) & Agnes FLEMING (about 1716-1785). William was born in Near Romney, Hampshire County, Virginia, about 1746. William died in Oldham County, Kentucky, on July 15, 1816; he was 70.
William Bell was born about 1746 near Romney, Hampshire County, Virginia. He married Mary Shawhan, born about 1754 and died 15 July 1816 in Oldham County, Kentucky. Mary was the daughter of Daniel Shawhan who settled in Harrison County, Indiana. William purchased land 20 May 1782 from David Rankin in Washington County, Pa., for 15 shillings per acre. This land lay on the water of Chartiers River. In a will dated 19 July 1783, William Bell, the brother of Jane (Bell) Reno was named guardian of her minor son William Reno until he became of age. Their daughter Sarah was born in Kentucky in 1790. William Bell was licensed to operate a tavern in his town of Westport and a ferry from the town of Westport across the Ohio River to the opposite in 1809. (Henry Co., Kentucky Court Order Feb. Court 1809). He and his wife, both over the age of 45, appear in the 1810 census of Westport, Henry Co., Ky. One male and two females, all between the ages of 16 and 26 were enumerated with them. He died July 15, 1816 in Oldham Co. On 20 February 1837 (Oldham County, Kentucky Land Records D 122) a land record stated that: "This indenture made this 20th day of February 1837 in, and between Sally McGaughey, Arthur McGaughey, Polly Brown, Charlotte Smith, John Smith, Jane Tooby, William Tooby, Luvica Bell, John Bell, James Bell, David Bell and heirs and legal representatives of William Bell deceased of the first part…convey to the complainant (defendant) John Varble a lot #167 in the town of Westport in the bill mentioned by deed…" ("Robert BELL, " pp. 22-23)

Third Generation


Family of Daniel SHAWHAN (2) & Jennett

3. Daniel SHAWHAN Jr. (Daniel2, Darby1). Daniel was born in Kent County, Maryland, on December 17, 1738. Daniel served in Revolutionary War Veteran. Daniel died in Bourbon County, Kentucky, on May 11, 1791; he was 52. Daniel was buried in Ruddles Mills Grave Yard, on May 11, 1791; he was 52. Occupation: Whiskey Distiller.
Paris True Kentuckian dated November 11, 1874:

BOURBON WHISKEY When, Where and by Whom-First Distilled-How the name "Bourbon" Originated.

It was during the latter part of Washington's last Administration that the noted Whiskey Rebellion of Pennsylvania took place. At that time the mountain recesses of the Alleghanica, west of what is now known as Cumberland Valley, was the great whiskey district of the country. It was very sparsely settled. All the grains that were grown, save a scant supply for provender for the live stock, and food for the inhabitants wee distilled into whiskey upon what is known now as the "sour-mash" hand-made, copper-distilled" plan. Soon a large demand for these whiskies sprung up in Philadelphia and Baltimore, and the supply being limited a ring was formed a "corner" made, and the goods put at high figures. The National Government, then as now, was hard pressed for revenue. Repudiation was then staring it in the face, and it was without money at home or credit abroad. A happy thought struck the Congressional delegation from New England. It was-as it would not tax their constituents a dollar- to levy a tax of $500 on each still that was used for manufacturing spirits. Their ideas were enacted into laws. The following season revenue officers were sent out from Washington to assess and collect the tax. The distillers previously met, formed a union, and upon the arrival of the officers defied them to put their laws into force. The officers upon their arrival in the insurrectionary district, seeing that they could not execute the law, and fearing the loss of their lives, returned in haste to Washington. By this time the season was far advanced, and it was decided, upon the part of the authorities to await for the-beginning of the next season before again attempting to enforce the collection or the tax. The following Fall the officials backed up, then as now, by the ever ready "troops," set out on their mission again. They arrived at the anticipated scene of their troubles in due time, but they met with an unexpected disappointment. The distillers had decided that there was to be no more distillation until the law was repealed. The officers after having marched up the hill marched down again. Thus ended the rebellion.
Many of the old frontiersmen tired of being harrassed in front by the government and the rear by the Indians, determined to plunge boldly into the then unexplored wilderness beyond the mountains. Among this number was a man by the name of Shawhan. He had a large family, was well-to-do, and packing everything moveable that he had that was necessary for such a lifelong expedition into a wagon, he set across the mountains. He took along with him the cause of his removal, the "still". Two months later (this was about the Fall of 1796), he and his family, consisting of his wife and several children, were busily engaged in distilling in Bourbon county, Ky., on Townsend creek, erecting temporary cabins to shelter them during the winter. The country was full of wild animals, and still wilder Indians. It was twenty miles to the nearest fort.
By tact and skill they avoided coming in contact with the savages. When the long winter in the wilderness was over they, having in the meantime cleared a few acres, planted a patch of corn. An abundant harvest greeted their labor, The "still" having been erected, it was put into operation and then it was the first whisky ever manufactured in Kentucky, or in the Mississippi Valley, commenced.
In Pennsylvania they called whisky "Monougahela," it being called after the county in which it was manufactured. Shawhan, following the same example, called the whisky manufactured by him after the county in which his new home was situated, "Bourbon."
The third year out the father died, and it then devolved upon his son Joseph to carry on the business. He being industrious, their little farm was soon extended, and assumed respectable size. The excellency of his whiskies soon gave him a wide reputation, and the large emigration kept up a heavier demand than could be supplied. He though, bent his energies to his work, increased his capacity as a distiller, and "Bourbon" soon became a household word. Joseph Shawhan recently died at the age of 85. He left property valued at upwards of a quarter of a million of dollars.
(The emigrant from Pennsylvania was Daniel Shawhan, father of the late Joseph Shawhan, who died at the age of 90 years, from being thrown from a horse. At the time of receiving the injury he was quite vigorous, and in the enjoyment of good health, looking as if he might live many years. His relatives still produce the same quality of hand-made fire copper and Bourbon as originally. T.E. Moore, who married Joseph Shawhan 's granddaughter, in connection with his partner, H.C. Bowen, is largely engaged in the distilling business at Shawhan, Bourbon county, as is also Mr. J. Snell Shawhan, a grandson of Joseph Shawhan, and many others in Bourbon, which still maintains her reputation for distilling pure Bourbon and rye whiskies.-ED KEN.).


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