SHIELDS-L ArchivesArchiver > SHIELDS > 2001-05 > 0989035214
Subject: [SHIELDS] Shields of Tennessee
Date: Sat, 5 May 2001 00:00:14 EDT
About 1740, William Shields .. then in his seventies... and his three sons,
James (1694), Thomas (1699-1765) and John (1709-1773), left Chester County
and moved southward into the central Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, settling
on and near the vast Borden grant in Augusta County, near the boundary of
present day Rockingham and Augusta counties. Lyman Chalkley's Chronicles of
the Scotch-Irish Settlement of Virginia; Extracts from the Original Court
Records of Augusta 1745-1800 contains many references to these Shields and
their families. With them they bought, among other necessities for
establishing new homes, seeds -- and very probably seedlings -- from the
Chester County (and perhaps Kent County) apple trees. Two of the three
brothers are listed in the records of the time as "yeoman" or farmers; the
third James, was a "cordwainer" or shoemaker, but he to owned and no doubt
farmed land in the Beverly Manor portion of the Borden grant.
William Shields of Kent County died in Augusta County in 1741, as by the
early 1770's had the last of his three sons. Their careers and, to a certain
extent, those of their children are matters of fairly extensive record. (The
1790 Hathaway "History" of the Shields family .. a two paragraph description
of these early generations -- is one widely circulated source of such
The history of the family's apple trees (although doubtless some of their
progency went with many other members of the Virginia family in their
far-ranging migrations) is carried forward, for purposes of this account,
through the line of a son of John Shields 1709, Robert who was born about
1740. Married to Nancy Stockton, and later living farther south in the
Shenandoah Valley, in Botetourt County, Robert was the father of one daughter
and ten sons who reached adulthood. IN 1784-85 Robert and his family
migrated into the East Tennessee wilderness, settling in an area of
present-day Sevier County which lies between the modern towns of Sevierville
and Pidgeon Forge. There he bought land, built a stockaded home known as
Shields Fort, reared the family of the "Ten Brothers" and tilled the soil to
feed his large family. Planted in the rocky, hilly land near the Fort were
the Shields family apple trees, for seeds or cutting brought from Virginia.
Much has been written of the Ten Brothers and their careers on the wild
Tennessee frontier. The events of their lives and their own subsequent
migration comprise a rich story in its own right. Beginning in the early
1800's as they reached the fullness of their own adults lives conditioned for
successful lives on the frontier by the rigors of their early lives in
Tennessee, various of the Ten Brother moved northward into the Indiana
Territory, which in 1808 was as wild and challenging as East Tennessee had
been twenty-five years earlier. And with them, among other possessions, went
the Shields apple trees.
Seven members of the Ten Brothers family -- including Janet Shields Tipton,
widowed early in her married life, and the only daughter of Robert and Nancy
Stockton Shields -- migrated to Indiana beginning in 1808. The six brothers
who did go -- William, James, Robert, Joseph, Benjamin and Jesse -- only
Robert returned permanently to Tennessee. David is also known to have
traveled to and within the Indiana Territory, but apparently not as a
settler. One account of the migrations states that in 1808 James, David,
Robert, Jesse and Mrs. Tiptop migrated to the Northwest Territory on
horseback. From accounts written later we are told that at least several of
these migrants carried with them scions of the family apple trees.
The Tennessee Migration of the Family of Ten Brothers
(from"Three Kansas Pioneer Families, Stalker -- Shields - Martin by John
Arthen Shields of Seymour, Indiana 1949)
Robert Shields and Nancy Stockton were the parents of one daughter and eleven
sons (one died in infancy), all born hear Harrisonburg, Rockingham County,
Va. between 1762 and 1782. In 1784 the family settled in the western
wilderness, near the present village of Pigeon Forge, Sevier County, Tenn.
<sic> Robert's choice of a location was doubtless was influenced by his
oldest son, Thomas, who had spent three years exploring the unsettled regions
of East Tennessee.
In 1784 the Shields and McMahan families (Mrs. McMahan was Nancy Stockton's
sister), with their possession in three wagons, embarked ont he long trail
down the Shenandoah Valley. Only the women and small children rode; the
other walked. At Big Lick (Roanoke) the party divided. One wagon, in charge
of Robert's son James, age 13, with Nancy, Janet and small Shields boys, went
to the Yadkin Settlement of North Carolina, where they remained with Robert's
cousins a year before proceeding to Tennessee. The other two wagons
proceeded so far as the settlement on the Wautauga, where the McMahans and
Thomas' and Richard's wives remained till the following year. In 1785 the
McMahans and the Yadkin party of the Shields family went on with their pack
animals, via the old Traders trail.
<sic> lengthy description about their fort and its' construction.
Thomas Shields, eldest of the Ten Brothers, was the only member of that
frontier family to died at the hands of savages. The Annals of Tennessee p.
609 states: March 4, 1797. "Thomas Shields was killed by the Indians in
Sevier County. They cut his head nearly off, ripped open his body, took out
his bowels, and otherwise shockingly cut and mangled him."
John Shields of the Lewis and Clark expedition was raised on the Tennessee
frontier. He was erroneously described as being from Kentucky.
John was the fifth of ten son of Robert (b. 1740) and Nancy Stocking Shields,
grandson of John (1709) and Margaret Perry Shields, great grandson of William
(1668) and Jeannette Parker Shields, second great grandson of James Shields
(1633) the immigrant Cromwell deportee, and the third great grandson of
William Shields who was born in County, Antrim, north Ireland about 1690.
John Shields, born in Virginia in 1769, had moved to Sevier County, Tennessee
site of the family's stockaded home which they named Shields Fort, in 1784
when he was in his fifteenth year. With his father and four older brothers
he helped build his family's wilderness home at the foot of Shields Mountain,
not far from the site of present Sevierville or Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The
following year his mother, sister, five younger brothers, and other
accompanying relatives joined the family, having "wintered in" at the Yadkin
River settlements in North Carolina.
His daughter refer to as Martha and Jennie, Jennett or Janet and a
combination of both names. Was the only child of his deceased wife, name
unknown. She married her first cousin John Shields Tipton, son of Joshua
(who was slain by Indians) and Janet Shields Tipton. <sic> John Shields
Tipton later became a United State Senator, wealthy landowner and developed,
divorced Martha (Jennie) Shields in July 1817.
"Before leaving Virginia for Tennessee in 1793, David (Shields, older brother
of John) had married a girl named Lewis near Harrisonburg. They had a son
named Robert Lewis Shields. He was "very puny" and left with the Lewis
grandparents. After they arrived at Shields Fort they had another son,
Joseph. Then the mother died. In a year or so David married Susan, daughter
of Robert Edwards and by her had a 'whole raft' of children, all of whom he
brought with him to Louisville about 1808.
The Lewis girl, David's first wife was a relative of Meriwether Lewis, of the
Lewis and Clark Expedition, who was from Harrisonburg, Virginia. The Canton,
Illinois, branch of the family insists she was Meriwether's sister.
The Genealogy of John Shields:
William Shields (born ca. 1600, Co. Antrim Ireland)
James Shields (born 1633, Armagh, Ireland; deported by Cromwell)
Brothers: William, Daniel (?), John
William Shields (born 1668, Kent Co., Md. m. Jeanette Parker)
John Shields (born 1709, Chester Co., Pa.; m. Margaret Perry)
Siblings: James, Jane, Thomas, Eliza)
Robert Shields (born ca. 1740, Augusta Co., Va.; name of spouse unknown)
siblings: John, Thomas, William, Mary
John Shields (born 1769 August Co., Va.; name of spouse unknown)
Siblings: Janet, Thomas, Richard, David, William, James, Robert, Joseph,
Benjamin, Jesse and one brother who died in infancy.
John Edgar Shields (1970)
This is all I have. THIS IS NOT MY LINE. Martha