Register Report First Generation

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Original Source Material

Bourbon County Court Will Book A, pp. 116-117

Inventory of Daniel Shawhan Deceased

1 Black Cow--2/15

1 Red Cow--3

1 Red Cow & Calf--3

1 Red Cow & Calf--3

1 Black Stear--1/10

1 red do--1/10

1 black do--1/10

1 heifer--1

1 stear 18p 1 do 20p 1 do 5p--2/3

1 Ewe 12p 3 ewes & 1 Lamb 36p--2/3

4 _____and a Ram--2/10

30 Hogs--6/6

one Chestnut Coloured Mare--12

one Grey Horse--9

one Bay Horse--9

one Black Mare--5

one Black Colt--5

one Still Wipels (?)--16

one Waggon--5

one grinstone--1/8

one loom & Tacking--2/10

4 ? chains & 4 Collars & Hames (?)--2/10

3 Spinning wheels--1/4

1 Big wheel & check (?) Reel--/8

4 pots Bake oven _amel Tongs & Sho____--4/14

one ___Chisels & Drawing Knife--/12

one plow & _adding--1/10

3 sickels 6/ 2 clivices(?) 3/ plow Irons 7/6--/16/6

one hand saw & old Iron--/15

one Gun 25/ pewter(?) 34/6--2/19

Tin Ware--/8


1 p pocket Hettiards(?)

1 Tea kettel and pepper Mill--/10

Earthen Ware--/6

3 p lards

1 frying and Flat Irons--/7

one X Cutt Saw--/12

one Saddle and Bridle--/16

one Saddle--/12

4 Bags

Bedtyche(?) & Sheets--/10

Wooden Vessels--/5

28 lots Wool--2/16

14 lots Do--1/18


cock Lock & Razor/7

Bedstead Bed & Furniture--/2/6

Bed & furniture--7/10

one chest--4/16

Table & chairs 25/ Knives & forks 4/ How Shovel & ____ 12/--2/1

cloaths 24p Silver Spoons 10p Woolen cloth £4 19/8--6/13

Ballance of a note 18/ a Bond £26:8--27/6/4

A Debt 24p one small trunk 1p one Lub(?) 3p

Asses 25p property ec’d by John Shauhan £33--34/5

Apl Court 1792

Wm McCune

Jacob Spears

Joseph Pew

Recd & Recorded

John Edwards

A.R. Cure (?)


Filson Club Publication No. 27, page 121––petition No. 57 a request of the inhabitants of Bourbon Co. for the establishment of a town at Bourbon C. H. lists the names of DANIEL SHAWHAN, Daniel Shawhan, Jr., and John Shawhan, July 1788. (NOTE: The Kentuckian-Citizen, Paris, Ky. Tuesday, March 28, 1944, p. 2.)


DANIEL SHAWHAN, JR. was born December 17, 1738, in Kent County, Maryland, to Daniel Shawhan, Sr.(1709-1770) and Jennett (surname unknown). There is nothing known about Daniel ’s early years.Daniel moved with his family to Frederick County, Md., and then to Hampshire County, Va. It was here in 1762 that Daniel fell in love with and married the beautiful Margaret Bell, the daughter of Robert Bell (1710-1765) and Agnes Fleming (1707-1785). Family lore gives us a most wonderful expression of Margaret ’s beauty. It is said that Margaret "...had hair like sunsets filled with gold and red."
The Bell family had immigrated from County Antrim, Belfast, Ireland, in the early 1740’s. Margaret was born about 1742 either in Ireland or after the family crossed the ocean and settled four miles from Romney, Va., on the south branch of the Potomac river.From a recent family narrative, an interesting story is told about the Bells in this early period:
"Mr. Bell had many narrow escapes from the Indians of that forest. In company with two other young men, named Vaughan and Scisson, one day Robert Bell was in search of strayed horses, when the party was surprised by an Indian ambushcade on a branch of __augherty Run, Va. Vaughan was killed, a savage threw his toma- hawk at Bell and wounded him. Scisson turned on his horse and fled. After the fight Mr. Bell was able to get on his horse, but he only went a short distance when he fell off. Mr. Bell ’s horse arrived home before Scisson did and a party at once was formed to search for Bell. The party met Scisson at the Ohio River and he related what had happened to Mr. Bell. They supposed he was dead and returned to their homes. Within a week later they found Bell at Ft. Pitt, his wounds dressed by Dr. Knight, who figured conspicuously at the burning of Crawford.
"Robert Bell served in the expedition of 1754, during the French and Indian War, and was among the number who accompanied General George Washington on his first trip on the Kanawha. General Washington made a note in one of his diaries of those who accompanied him in his canoe.
"The Bells had eight sons and two daughters. Another Bell family tale involves their son, James Bell, Sr. Though the story is not directly related to our subject, it illustrates the all-too-precarious situation our ancestors faced in those early years. When James was a small lad of ten years, his father went to Patterson Fort for a wagon load of wood. James and his brother went along, their father wanted them to gather wood while he was hauling some home. The two boys were busy gathering wood when the Indians attacked them. They caught James but his brother ran and the Indians shot at him and he fell under a log, the Indians thinking he was dead; he was not hurt, however, and later went home and told that James was captured. The Indians took James to Indiana and kept him there till he was returned by treaty. When his father went after him he took two horses that James might ride home. When they met, James got on the horse but had ridden only a short distance when he saw a woman and some children who were also set free. James dismounted, letting the woman ride.
"When he arrived home it was at night. His mother, hearing the wooden latch lift with a string, called: ‘Is that you, James?’ and his father answered, , yes. It was a joyful meeting. James had many stories to relate of his capture. Among them, was that when the Indians took him the Ohio river they made a canoe and put him in it and they had nothing to eat save what they called ‘cush meat. ’ He always claimed they crossed into Pennsylva-- nia and came through Chartiers Valley, near Chartier ’s Creek. He told how they would have two lines of Indians and would make him run between the lines. And of an old Indian squaw who would be angry if they struck him, but he was a fast runner and did not get struck often. They pulled all his hair out of the top of his head and put rings in his ears. After he had been with them awhile the Indians got very friendly with him and when he left the old Indian squaw cried."
Sometime during 1765 while returning to Virginia after scouting for land in Pennsylvania, Robert Bell was "instantly killed when the breaking of the saddle girth threw him when his mount "Drednot " attempted to leap a brook. "After the death of Robert Bell, Agnes and her children, in about 1768, moved to present-day Allegheny Co., Pa.; at that time the area was being claimed by both Pennsylvania and Virginia. It is thought that this move prompted Daniel and Margaret to also migrate to the same locale, in the early 1770s; Daniel probably received Virginia land warrants. It is recorded that Daniel purchased 640 acres six miles out of Ft. Pitt, in the vicinity of the Old Mt. Lebanon Presbyterian Church, a section now called Carnegie, Pa. but then called St. Clair Twp.
Daniel was a farmer and a whiskey distiller in Pennsylvania, both very popular occupations in Western Pa. during this time. He developed his brand, called "Monongahela Red ", named after the Monongahela Valley in which he farmed.
Daniel served in the American Revolution with the Maryland Flying Camp, then with the Maryland 2nd Regiment, and later with the 7th Co., 5th Bn., of the Washington Co., PA Militia in defense against the Indian raids staged at the instigation of the British during that War.
Daniel finally returned home to resume his life as a farmer and whiskey distiller. In 1787 the "House of Daniel Shaughan, on Chartiers Creek . . was designated as a place for holding elections ". However, on the horizon events were conspiring that would change the course of his life. The events in question are what the history books call "The Whiskey Rebellion " and it is an ugly chapter in the first difficult years of the newly formed United States. The presenting problem was the call by some legislators for an excise tax to be placed upon the sale of whiskey. The western states, particularly western Pennsylvania and the Allegheny region of Virginia, did not take kindly to what they considered unfair taxation. However, as is always the case with volatile issues of this sort, much deeper problems lay beneath the surface. For these westerners, life on the edge of the frontier was, at best, dangerous and, at worst, a matter of sheer survival. For us today, it is difficult to imagine the terrible conditions under which the early settlers endured. It is easy to understand why the average Pennsylvanian had little sympathy for the new government ’s need to collect revenue. From his perspective, the government was doing little to protect its citizens on the frontier and, to add insult to injury, it sought to tax one of the few profitable commodities produced in the wilderness. The so-called Whiskey Rebellion reached a head in 1794 when President Washington sent in troops to quell the opposition. Ironically, the excise tax was overturned several years later by President Thomas Jefferson.
By 1788, Daniel had had enough and he and his family, joined by others, took a fleet of flatboats down the Ohio River to Limestone (now Maysville, KY) and made their way inland to the vicinity of Ruddles Mills, within the Kentucky District of Virginia — he brought his copper stills and his secret whiskey recipe with him. . He soon purchased 130 acres from Reuben Rankin, and began building a cabin to live in and a stillhouse, made of native stone, taking advantage of the natural limestone water of the area as a key ingredient for his whiskey. Soon his product, which he called "bourbon ", was well known for its smooth taste The Shawhan brand of whiskey continued to be distilled through the 1970s, when a Shawhan Distillery was located in Bardstown, KY, producing a brand called "Old Miner ." The little town of Shawhan, KY, a still existing hamlet near Paris, KY, was established in the early 1800s as a shipping point for the whiskey produce of the area.
Family legend has it that the family stopped over night at a spot near Townsend Creek, located about 6 miles north of present day Paris, Kentucky, and just behind the present day Mt. Carmel church. Daniel drank from a limestone spring and declared to his wife that the water was good for distilling whiskey. Family tradition (bolstered by some Bourbon County newspaper articles written in the mid-1800 ’s)also claims that Daniel Shawhan was the originator of Bourbon whiskey.
This claim, while making for great folk-lore, is probably not true. c What is true, however, is that Daniel Shawhan can rightly claim to be among the first generation of whiskey distillers to produce the distinctive liquor called "Bourbon. "
Unfortunately, Daniel did not live long enough to reap the rewards of his efforts; he died at the age of 52 on May 11, 1791, leaving no will. He is buried in the Old Stoner Presbyterian Cemetery, Ruddle ’s Mills, Kentucky.
We are left with very little information on the fate of Daniel Shawhan ’s wife, Margaret. Records indicate that Daniel ’s son John lived on the 130 acres of land of his father Daniel, taking care of his widowed mother Margaret (Bell) Shawhan, his sisters and young brothers. He cleared the land about the house and made improvements and raised crops toward their support. Shortly after 1809, his mother and youngest brother Joseph went to live together near an improvement set up by John ’s brother Daniel, after John married and had several children of his own. e We have no record of her death or where she was buried. Presumably she was buried next to Daniel in the Stonermouth Presbyterian cemetery. (NOTE: Margaret may have died in Pennsyl- vania or Indiana. Recent information from William Hill ’s records indicate that Margaret removed to Pennsylvaniawith her daughter Nancy. A deposition from Margaret, dated October 9, 1827, shows her living with daughter Jane Shawhan Beckett, in Clark County, Indiana. --REF)


Shawhan is a Bourbon county community on what was once the Covington and Lexington Railroad near Townsend Creek. A Townsend post office (named for the creek, which was named for John Townsend) opened in the area in 1854 and moved to the new tracks the next year. The station and post office were known as Lilley's Station, named for George Lilley, the postmaster. In 1857 they were both renamed Shawhan to honor pioneer Daniel Shawhan. The post office closed in 1955.



(Reprint from "The Liberty Ledger")

The community of Brookline, a residential district of the city of Pittsburgh, is made up from parts of old West Liberty Borough, former Lower St. Clair Township, and part of Baldwin Township. Baldwin Township was erected in 1814 from parts of Upper St. Clair, Lower St. Clair, Jefferson and Mifflin Townships. West Liberty Borough was erected from the Villages of Bandi, Belleville, and Boggsville, and parts of Lower St. Clair Township in 1876. Brookline was never incorporated as a separate and distinct municipality but was merged with the City of Pittsburgh in 1907, and was made part of the original 44th Ward of same. At present, it comprises the 21st to the 27th election districts of the 19th Ward, having 8500 registered voters and an estimated population of 18,000. (NOTE: It now comprises part of the 19th and 32nd Wards of the City of Pittsburgh, and is made up of W. Liberty, E. Brookline, Ebenshire Village, and Brookline-although the name "Brookline" is now assigned to the entire area.)
Prior to the erection of Allegheny County in 1788, the district was part of Washington County, and civic-minded citizens had to travel long distances over poor roads in order to cat their ballot on election days. The earliest voting place was at Shawhan's (later Colonel Espy's) at Pioneer and West Liberty Avenues. After 1788, they voted at Obey's place on Carson Street, where the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad Company station now stands. This was termed the lower district of St. Clair, which gave the township its name.
In 1763 (during the French and Indian War) the Indians went on the warpath burning all cabins and killing all whites except those who escaped to Fort Pitt. A track of 395 acres, patented in 1786 to David Strawbridge, in pursuance of Virginia Certificate was called "Castle Shannon." The first permanent settlers, up to the year 1800, were farmers who migrated from southeastern Pennsylvania and Maryland. Many of these hardy pioneers were veterans of the American Revolution. A search of old records reveals the family names of Strawbridge, MacKay, Shawhan, Kennedy, McDermott, Hughey, Broddy, and Brison. Early in the 19th Century, we find such families as Espy, Plummer, Sylvester, Fetterman and Knowlson. The area was a prosperous farming district.
In 1762 Daniel married Margaret Fry BELL, daughter of Robert BELL (1700/1710-1765) & Agnes FLEMING (about 1716-1785), in Hampshire County, Virginia. Margaret Fry was born in Belfast, County Antrim, Ireland, in 1742. Margaret Fry died in Clark County, Indiana, after April 22, 1830; she was 88.5 Margaret Fry was buried in Ruddell’s Mills Cemetery, Bourbon County, Kentucky; Later, Battle Grove Cemetery, Cynthiana, Harrison County, Kentucky.
Margaret (Bell) Shawhan, wife of Daniel (3), has been described as having "hair like the sunsets, filled with gold and red." Born in Virginia, she was the daughter of Robert Bell of County Tyrone, Ireland, and his wife Agnes (Fleming) Bell, of Edinburgh, Scotland, who had settled on land 4 miles Romney, Va. (W. Va.) on the south branch of the Potomac River. Robert Bell was "instantly killed when the breaking of the saddle girth threw him, when his mount 'Drednot' attempted to leap a brook." Her two elder brothers, James and John Bell, subsequently migrated west and surveyed/tomahawked (marked trees) land in the Chartiers Valley, St. Clair Twp., now Allegheny Co., Pa.; their mother and the remaining 10 children arrived in 1769. {R.T. Shawhan, p. 4}
Margaret's Birthdate 1742 {ES}

Eric Shawn claims that Margaret was born near Belfast. Ken Lindsay, (p. 26) claims that she was born in Romney, VA.


April 22, 1830

State of Indiana Clark County

Pughs Heirs plaintive vs. John Shawhan defendant

The deposition of Margrit Shawhan

The deposition of Margrit Shawhan to be read as evadence (sic) in the Bourbon Circuit Court in the case whair in Pughs heirs is complainent and John Shawhan is defendant being of lawful age and duly sworn deposeth as follows:

My husband Daniel Shawhan moved to the State of Kentucky in May 1789. That summer he purchased one hundred and thirty acres of land from Reubin Rankin and moved to it in the month of October or November following and there he departed this life on May 1791. Sum six or seven years after his death my daughter Nancy Williams came to Kentucky and was thair Several weeks when she returned home I went home with her to Pennsylvania on our way thair the conversation came on with (word illegible) the Estate of her father’s (word illegible) Nancy Williams told me that her brother John was to have her part of the said one hundred and thirty acres of land by certain arrangements they had made between them selves and that they had closed thair contract but very shortly before she had left Kentucky but as to the particulars how it was as what she got or was to git I do not now recollect

Further the deponant saith not—


Margrit Shawhan


Taken sworn before us this 22nd of April 1830

(Illegible signature) Justice of the Peace
They had the following children:

4 i. Robert (1764-1833)

5 ii. Daniel (1765-1840)

6 iii. Agnes (Nancy) (1767-)

7 iv. John (1771-1845)

8 v. Jane "Jennie" (1775-1863)

9 vi. Elizabeth (1779-1853)

10 vii. Joseph (1781-1871)

Fourth Generation


Family of Daniel SHAWHAN Jr. (3) & Margaret Fry BELL

4. Robert SHAWHAN (Daniel3, Daniel2, Darby1).6 Robert was born in Hampshire County, VA/WVA, on March 5, 1764. Robert died in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, on February 25, 1833; he was 68.

Robert served during the Rev. War as a , Pa. Militia, in Capt. Zadock Wright's Co., under Lt. John Cannon and Ensign George Brice. When the rest of the family migrated to the Kentucky District of VA, Robert elected to remain in Pennsylvania, taking over his father Daniel's farm. Like many others in western PA, he farmed staples such as rye and corn, primarily for the eastern markets. Transportation over the mountains, however, was quite difficult and expensive - - a horse could carry only four bushels of grain. So Robert joined hundreds of others in the area in the distillation of whiskey -- the equivalent of 24 bushels of grain could be converted into two large wooden kegs and loaded across a horse's back. A gallon of rye whiskey became a standard bartering medium, as there were few hard pieces of shilling available. The 1790 Census lists Robert as being in Allegheny Co., PA. In March 1791, the young American Federal government was desperate for funds and the Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, pushed thru an excise tax upon distilled spirits, to be paid in hard money. The resultant uproar among the farmers of western Pa. erupted into what history calls "The Whiskey Rebellion". The unrest was finally calmed in 1794, when President Washington dispatched 13,000 troops under "Light Horse Harry" Lee to western Pa. to quell the rebels. In the interim, however, federal revenue agents were tarred and feathered or worse, and regular skirmishes occurred in confrontations between the "Whiskey Boys" and those who were trying to enforce or pay the hated tax; friends became enemies as some farmers elected to pay the tax while the majority refused to do so. "Pennsylvania Historical Collections", by Sherman Day, pub. 1843, in its summary of the "Whiskey Insurrection", records, "In January 1794, further violence commenced. Robert Strawhan (Shawhan), a complying distiller, had his barn burnt". Robert's will left his farm to his eldest son, Daniel, and describes the property as being near Chartiers Creek, adjacent to the lands of John Bell -- John Bell was a member of the same Bell family from which came Margaret Bell, the spouse of Daniel Shawhan, 1738-1791. The Bells and the Shawhans both migrated to the Chartiers area, from Hampshire Co, VA/WV, probably in the late 1770s. Many of the critical dates re Robert's family were taken directly from his Bible which, in 1938, was in the hands of Margaret Barclay, one of his descendents.



"In the name of God Amen. I Robert Shawhan of the borough of Birmingham, County of Allegeny, State of Penn, being weak in body but of sound and disposed mind and taking into consideration the uncertainty of Life and the certainty of Death do make and publish this my last will and Testament, in manner and form following. 1st. after the payment of any debt I give and bequeath to my eldest daughter Margaret Beci Larimer the sum of one hundred dollars. 2nd. I give and bequeath unto my second daughter Jane Pearsons the sum of one hundred dollars. 3rd. I give and bequeath my third daughter Sidney Brook the sum of one hundred dollars. 4th. I give and bequeath unto my fourth daughter Mary Shawhan the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars with one bed and beding and one set of table silver spoons. 5th. I give and bequeath to my third son Joseph Shawhan the sum of one hundred dollars. 6th. I give and bequeath unto my fourth son Robert Perry Shawhan one hundred dollars. 7th. I give and bequeath unto my fifth and last son Shepley Holmes Shawhan the sum of two hundred dollars. 8th. I give and bequeath unto Daniel Shawhan my first and eldest son my wagon, gears, and six horses, being the team the said Daniel now drives, and I bequeath and desire unto the said Daniel my farm situated on or near Chartiers Creek, Allegeny County, Penn, adjoining lands of John Bell and others to him 'and his heirs forever together with all and singular the appurtenances and heradelaments thereunto opportuning. 9th. I give and desire unto my second son John Shawhan the house and lot which he now occupies situated in the borough of Birmingham subject to or on his paying to my executors the sum of one hundred dollars. 10th. All my personal property undisposed of by me herein to be sold by my executors on a credit of six months. 11th. and all my other real estate wheresoever situated and not herein above disposed of to be sold by my Executors on a credit of one year. 12th. All the money or monies that may remain after the payments of debts and lagacies above mentioned to be distributed equally among Mary Shawhan, Daniel Shawhan, Joseph Shawhan, Shepley Holmes Shawhan, the four last mentioned and none others. 13th. I do hereby nominate, constitute, and appoint my son Daniel Shawhan and my friend William Symmes executors to this my last will and testament.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty first day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty three.
Witnessed By:
R.A. Bussman

James Barr

Hugh Jackson
(Transcribed by Ronald Shawhan, 14 Evergreen Ave., New Providence, NJ, 07974, 11/12/91)
About 1788 Robert married Mary WILLIAMS, daughter of WILLIAMS, in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Mary died in April in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Mary was born on July 12, 1766.
They had the following children:

i. Margaret Bell. Margaret Bell was born in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, on November 1, 1789.

About 1810 Margaret Bell married Joseph LARIMER, in Pennsylvania. Joseph was born about 1787.

11 ii. Jane (1791-1877)

iii. Sidney. Sidney was born in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, on September 23, 1793.

Sidney married George BROCK, in Pennsylvania. George was born about 1791.

12 iv. Mary (1795-1849)

13 v. Daniel (1797-1881)

14 vi. John (1799-1859)

15 vii. Joseph (1801-1880)

16 viii. Robert Perry (1807-~1880)

ix. Elizabeth. Elizabeth was born in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, on April 2, 1804. Elizabeth died in Alleghany, Pennsylvania, about 1805; she was <1.

x. Shepley Holmes. Shepley Holmes was born in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, on May 10, 1810. Shepley Holmes died in Pennsylvania on November 24, 1846; he was 36.

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