1. Oral/Family Histories - thanks to Mrs. Freddie Mae Price Richardson (deceased).
2. Federal Census Records 1870 - 1930
3. Oral/Family Histories - thanks to Mrs. Juanita Allen Matthews.
4. Ervin Shaw M. D. of Sumter County, South Carolina.
5. The Marlin Democrat (newspaper archives), Marlin, Falls County, Texas.
6. Sumter County Genealogical Society - Sumter County, South Carolina
7. Godfrey Memorial Library Archives - Middletown, Ct.
The Shaw Ancestors:
The information gathered on this page was gathered with the help and efforts of Mrs. Freddie Mae Price Richardson (Bertha Mae Shaw Matthews --->Henry Shaw --->Carolina Shaw) and her daughter Sadie E. Richardson Allen. Thanks go also to Ervin Bartow Shaw Jr. M. D. (a white Shaw) of Sumter County, South Carolina for his willingness to help and assist in our genealogical efforts. Dr. Shaw has established several genealogical websites, one of which is shawfamilytree.org.
Our history begins with Carolina Shaw. Carolina was a black man born into slavery in South Carolina , we believe, on the William Shaw plantation. According to Federal Census records, he possibly had two wives. According to the 1870 Federal Census, Carolina Shaw (b. 1835) and his wives Gracey (b. 1839) and Mary (b. 1844) were all born as slaves in South Carolina. They have been traced back through census, state and county records to Swimming Pens Township, Sumter County, South Carolina. Swimming Pens is no longer in existence, but there are several families of Shaws still residing in the county, both black and white. A very prominent family of Shaws (white) still live in the area and once owned the plantation where our antecedents (Carolina and Mary) are presumed to have lived.
Carolina's first wife ( his slave wife) was named Gracey and bore him 3 daughters. Their names were Fanny (1861 SC), Cecilia (1863 SC) and Hannah (1868 SC). Why he left her and his first family in South Carolina is known only to Carolina.
Carolina's second wife Mary (married after slavery) was the wife that he chose to accompany him on his journey to Texas. He and Mary migrated to Texas (Marlin, Falls County) between 1867 (birth of daughter Susan in SC) and 1869 (birth of son Tom in Texas) because they are listed in the 1870 Federal Census residing in Marlin, Texas (even though Gracey still lists him as her head of household in SC). Indeed he may have been living between two households while in South Carolina with his slave wife (Gracey) and his "freedom" wife (Mary). Looking at the births of his children, Susan in 1867 (Mary), Hannah in 1868 (Gracey) and Tom in 1869 (Mary), Carolina was communicating with both women until he moved to Texas.
According to the 1880 Federal Census, Carolina and Mary had 7 children in the household. They were Ben/Benjamin (1866 SC), Susan (1867 SC), Tom (1869 TX), Milly (1872 TX), Silas (1875 TX), Samuel (1877 TX) and Henry (1879 TX). At that time, our "Papa" Henry was only a year old and his baby brother Calvin (1884 TX) had not yet been born. This was a total of 8 children that Carolina had with his second wife, Mary.
After Carolina's death, Mary married a prominent neighboring widower, Solomon Oliver (1830 Ms). With Mary, Solomon fathered Winnie Oliver (1892 TX). At the time of Winnie's birth, her parents Solomon and Mary (aged 62 and 48 respectively) were a little past the child-rearing age of modern times. Thankfully, there were not only her 8 Shaw siblings, but also her 7 Oliver siblings ( George , Lindy , Phoeby , Maggie , Liza , Milly  and Mabel ). So Solomon & Mary had plenty of children and step children to help out with baby Winnie.
Henry Shaw is our antecedent. According to Freddie Mae Price Richardson (his grand daughter and my mother), he always bragged that he had a large family of 17 brothers and sisters. Well I have uncovered 18 children including step brothers and sisters: 8 Shaws with Mary, 3 Shaws with Gracey & 7 Olivers through Mary and Solomon Oliver's late in life marriage. That makes Papa Henry very correct when he used to tell people that he had 17 brothers and sisters.
Henry (b. 1879 - d. 1958) came to Itasca, Texas from Marlin around the turn of the 19th century on a "Cotton Pick", as did his future son-in-law Amos Matthews decades later during the mid-20's. "Papa Henry" settled into the growing African-American community in Itasca and became one of the more prominent Steward/Trustee members of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. At that time, Bethel was the largest church in that community. Methodism became a family denominational venture because "Papa", along with his siblings that moved to Itasca, all became prominent members of Bethel. We have kept informed with the whereabouts of Silas, Tom, Calvin(Daisy Lee), Susan, Milly and Winnie(Prince Kelley) because they all moved to Itasca with their brother Henry and established homes there. They never went back to Marlin to live after that, but did go frequently to visit . Samuel has been lost to us over the decades and not much is known about him or Benjamin.
There are a vast number of Shaw relatives that still live in Marlin. Papa Henry had a first cousin named George Shaw (they were 2 brothers' children) that lived in Marlin. Other cousins were King Mo' (Moore?), who ran a cafe' in Marlin, and Feene (Josephine?). Queries and investigations into Falls County relatives and their connections are scheduled to be done as time permits.
Solomon Oliver (b. 1830) and his wife Milly Oliver (b. 1835) were both born in Mississippi. According to the 1880 Federal Census, they had 6 children in their household in Marlin, Falls County, Texas. Those children were George (b. 1855-MS w/wife Mary b. 1860-TX), Lindy (b. 1862), Phoeby (b. 1863-TX), Maggie (b. 1865-TX), Liza (b. 1868-TX) & Milly (b. 1871-TX). Also living in the household were Charlott Rawlings (b. 1825-MS), Solomon's Aunt, along with her two sons Anderson (b. 1858-MS) & Fred (b. 1860-MS).
Maggie Oliver (b1865-) married Benjamin Phillips and bore him several children. Among them were Tom, Bennie, Patra Ann, Laura, Solomon, John, and Francis "Frank". She later married, upon Benjamin's death, Hillery "Preacher" Woods and had their marriage produced one son, Carl.
Phoeby Oliver (b. 1863 - d. 1928) married George Anderson and bore him several children. Among them were Callie, Sam, Arthur "Bill", Saul, Amos, Solomon, Lonnie and George.
Henry Shaw (b. 1879) married Callie Anderson (b. 1885), daughter of Phoeby Oliver Anderson, in Itasca at the turn of the century between 1899 and 1903. To this union was born four children:
Vernell Shaw Sr. (wife Gladys Sedberry Shaw)
Rosetta Shaw (husband Caddo Jarman)
More information on the descendants of Carolina Shaw, Mary Shaw-Oliver & Solomon Oliver can be found in the Book The Black Shaw Family of Texas: A Chronicle of One Family’s Life From Slavery to the Present. This book is finished and will be distributed at the The Matthews-Shaw family reunion on July 5, 2008.