Asahel Shumway.

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b. June 3, 1833

No. 2569








Atlantic City, N. J.













Foreword 7

Origin and Early History 10

Descendants of Oliver Shumway 38

Descendants of Jeremiah Shumway 150

Descendants of David Shumway 235

Descendants of Samuel Shumway 319

Descendants of John Shumway 335

Descendants of Jacob Shumway 357

Descendants of Amos Shumway 404


ASAHEL Adams ShUMWAY Frontispiece

George O. Shumway Opposite p. 107

George Brown Shumway and Family , . . . " 119

Noah Shumway " i57

Jeremiah Shumway " 166

Guests at Golden Wedding of Mr. and Mrs. R. E.

Shumway . " 171

Peter Shumway " 188

Chester Shumway " 276

Horatio Shumway " 287

Dr. Samuel Shumway " 293

Edward Samuel Shumway " 294

Dr. Charles William Shumway •' 297

Romanzo Greeley Shumway " 387

R. H. Shumway " 390

Mr. and Mrs. F. E. Catlin and Family ... " 392

The Jabez Shumway Homestead " 406

Thanksgining Day, 1866, Shumway Homestead,

W. Medway, Mass " 409

Mrs. Patience Adams Shumway " 410


Thirty-eight years ago, Mr. Franklin Peter Shumway, a
Boston merchant, issued the following circular, sending it to all
the Shumways of whom he could learn:

Dear Sir:

Is it desirable to have a meeting of the Shumway Family?
Is it not well to erect a Monument of some kind to the memory
of Peter Shumway, ist, a French Huguenot, who left his home
and country on account of reUgious persecution, about the year
1695, came to Boston, Mass., in the same vessel with Peter
Faneuil, (Faneuil Hall) and the Sigourneys; married there an
English Lady, Miss Smith, and settled with a colony of his own
people at Oxford. The place, or farm, where he lived and died
is known, and the place or very near the spot in the old Church-
yard where he was buried. Portions of a fort they built for
protection from Indians are still standing.

The names of his sons were Oliver, Jeremiah, David, John,
Jacob, Samuel and Amos.

All the Shumways in America are unquestionably descend-
ants of the said Peter.

It is the earnest desire of my father, Peter Shumway, now
at the age of 94 years, grandson of Jeremiah and son of Peter,
that I invite your attention to this matter, and ask your interest
and co-operation.

Have not the persecutions of the French Protestants in years
past an important bearing upon the present condition of that
people ?

A very interesting sketch of the Huguenots in France and
America may be found in Harper's Magazine for November,

The writer will be pleased to receive any items of special
interest with reference to the family. Please to circulate this

8 Genealogy of the Shumway Family

note to persons of the same name and if you wish for more I
will send them to you.

An answer at your earliest convenience will oblige,
Yours, Very truly,

F. Peter Shumway.
Leominster, Mass., May i, 1871."

To this circular, and his enthusiasm for a memorial in some
form to our ancestors is due the credit of an influence which
set in motion the work of compiling this Genealogy. The col-
lection of statistics and facts was prosecuted, at first, with no
intention of publication; but as the mass of material increased,
it seemed desirable to give it a permanent form, and also to share
its interest with those bearing the name who might care for it.

It is fitting that grateful acknowledgement should be made
to the hundreds of correspondents who have aided so greatly
in bringing together the statistics and history. Without their
help, this measure of success would have been impossible. Many
have sent in, voluntarily, supplementary reports of births, mar-
riages and deaths, during the years required for preparation of
the book, so that their records are complete to date.

I wish, further, to acknowledge the assistance I have had
from D. B. Hixon in preparing the manuscript for the printer.

Doubtless, some errors will appear. No Genealogy was ever
published, probably, without them. Members of the same family
have disagreed as to dates of births, &c. in the lists furnished.
I have accepted official records as final authority in such cases,
if I had them.

Besides personal letters, the sources of information have
been the official State, Town and Church records, the "old family
Bibles", tombstone inscriptions, newspaper clippings, town his-
tories, etc. The memories of some of the octogenarians of the
family have also been a prolific source of interesting historical
facts which they could recall and narrate. I have had transcripts
made of all items relating to Shumways in the various Town
Records of Oxford, Belchertown, Boxford, Topsfield, Boston,
Worcester, Sturbridge, Webster, Dudley, Charlton, Rowe,
(Mass.) ; Thompson, N. Grosvenordale, (Conn.) ; and Monk-
ton, (Vt).

Genealogy of the Shumway Family 9

The plan of the work is to run out the Hne of posterity
through the oldest child in each successive family until it ends
— either with the present generation, or a married daughter where
the name Shumway is lost; then completing the record of the
latest family, and working back to the original starting point.
The descendants of married daughters are not given beyond the
first family of children in each case (those whose mother was
a Shumway), and such names are not numbered. While it
would have been interesting to have traced these further, it
would have increased the size and cost of the book beyond a
reasonable limit.

In the lists of children, the sign + prefixed to a name
signifies that a personal notice may be found further on, the
page of which may be ascertained by reference to the Index.
The direct ancestors of such names as appear in capitals are in
the parenthesis following the name.

A persistent effort has been made to obtain the military
records of the Shumways in the Revolutionary and earlier Wars,
also the Mexican, Civil and Spanish Wars. Transcripts were
made from the voluminous early records in Boston, and consider-
able information obtained of interest to the present generation.
Personal histories have also been solicited from correspondents,
to which requests many have responded. It is a matter of regret
that much information of this nature which would have enriched
the book further, was not obtainable. This historical matter is
related, necessarily, in a brief, concise manner, to economize
space, as the publication of any Genealogy is an expensive under-

No one realizes the deficiencies of the book more than
myself; yet, I trust it will not prove disappointing to the numer-
ous members of the family, particularly those in the West who
have expressed such enthusiastic interest in its preparation. I
hope it may also kindle a more fervent regard for the sterling
elements of character of our worthy ancestors in the children
of the present generation.

AsAHEL Adams Shumway.
Atlantic City, N. J., September, 1909.

10 Genealogy of the Shumway Family



The traditions, which have come down from one generation
to another, all declare that the SHUMWAY family was of
French origin. They declare further, that the progenitor of the
family in this country was not only a Frenchman, but a Hugue-
not. As it would be exceedingly gratifying to trace the family
to so noble a source, no effort has been spared in the work of
investigation that, if possible, these traditions might be confirmed
as historical facts.

Abiel Holmes, D.D., in his description of visits to Oxford,
Mass., in 1819 and 1825, in search of information concerning the
Huguenot colony which settled that town, uses the following
language (Mass. Hist. Coll. H, 80) : *'We next went in search
of the Johnson place, memorable for the Indian massacre in
1696. Mr. Peter Shumway, a very aged man of French descent,
who lives about thirty rods distant from it, showed us the spot.
The last year I called at Mr. Shumway's (1825), he told me
that he was in his ninety-first year; that his great-grandfather
was from France."

The family name is held, by many, to be a corruption of
the French "Chamois" (pronounced Shamwah). Mr. George F.
Daniels, in his interesting little book, "The Huguenots in the
Nipmuck Country", incorporates the following letter from Mr.
Charles W. Baird:

"My Dear Sir:

In view of the tradition regarding the French extraction of
the Shumway family, I can only ofifer the conjecture that the
name may have undergone a transformation similar to that
which has befallen many Huguenot names in England and
America. If French, the name "Chamois" offers a probable
solution. The transition from this to "Shumway" would be
very easy. A Protestant family bearing this name is mentioned
in a list of fugitives from the neighborhood of St. Maixent
(in the old province of Poitou, in the present department of

Genealogy of the Shumway Family 11

Deux-Sevres), France, at the period of the revocation of the
Edict of Nantes. A number of Huguenots found their way
to New England at an earHer day; and a Chamois, the founder
of the Shumway family, may have been one of these.

Very Truly Yours,

Charles W. Baird.
George F. Daniels, Esq/'

The following from the town records of Topsfield, Mass.,
is of interest in this connection, both for its early date, and its
mention of Peter Shumway:

'May y*^ 20 1685. I Thomas Hunter Atuereney to my
mother Prizzalah Trow alies Hunter doe hereby a quite and dis-
charge y^ Selectmen of Topsfield in y^ behalfe of y^ Towne of
Topsfield of all y*^ moveball Estate yt was Luke Waklens in
Topsfield ; for they have given me a full and true an a Count
of all yt was delivered to Pet Chomway by y^ Selectmen and
delivered it to mee and what was in other men hands- thay have
given mee an a Count of whereby I doe discharge y^ Selectmen
in y^ behalfe of y^ Towne and Peter Chomway from any part
of this Estate before menened in as full ampley a maner as my
Mother Trow aliss Hunter Could a done and if she was here
prsant her selfe, wharby I doe by this prsant a quite discharge
and release y^ Selectmen and Peter Chomway from all and
Everey parte & parcell of yt Estate above menened as witnes
my hand y^ day & yeare above wrighten, Thomas Hunter

This was seigned & delivered in y^ presents of us
William Smith Senr and Joseph Smith"

The letter "C" beginning the name as given in this docu-
ment might be considered a slight confirmation of the theory
already stated.

Some have also attempted to trace the name "Germain"
(Zhermah) through "Jermer" to Shumway. There have been
no records discovered by the compiler of this work, showing the
name in any form by which this theory could be substantiated.

The fact of the French origin of the Shumways may be
considered as fairly well substantiated ; historically, their descent
from the Huguenots, rests thus far, upon tradition only.

12 Genealogy of the Shumway Family


Peter Shumway,

b. April lo, 1635; d. in 1695; m. Frances ; children:

+2 Peter, b. June 6, 1678,

3 John, b. Jan. 20, 1680,

+4 Samuel, b. Nov. 2, 1681,

+5 Dorcas, b. Oct. 10, 1683,

+6 Joseph, b. Oct. 13, 1686.

PETER SHUMWAY, the first of the family in this country,
probably came to America some time between 1660 and 1675.
He was born in 1635, as we learn from his will, reproduced
further on, and would doubtless not leave his home until past
his majority; the records show his name on the roll of the
colonial soldiers of Massachusetts as early as 1675.

It is well known that this was a period of active migration
among the Huguenots ; and as a matter of interest to us, in view
of the tradition previously alluded to, it may be profitable to
note, briefly, the influences which promoted French emigration
during those years.

The restiveness under Papal aggressions and abuses, which
in Germany found expression under the leadership of Martin
Luther, was largely shaped and directed in France by John
Calvin. For many years there had been collisions, and even civil
war between the Papal powers and their adherents on the one
hand, and the French Protestants (called "Huguenots") on the
other. The policy of the Huguenots was to popularize religion.
The Bible was translated from the original Greek and Hebrew
into the French language; its distribution and study among the
nobles and peasants, by the learned and the illiterate were encour-
aged ; the Psalms were arranged in metre and set to tunes, some
of which, it is said "are sung to this day," and this influence
operated powerfully "for the decline of Popery, and the propaga-
tion of the Gospel in France."

Henry, Prince of Navarre, who afterward became Henry
IV. of France, was friendly to the Huguenots ; and after his
accession to the throne in 1589. although, yielding to the neces-
sity of the times he became a Catholic, he still retained his

Genealogy of the Shumway Family 13

friendly feeling toward the Protestants. In 1598 he issued the
famous "Edict of Nantes", which conferred certain privileges
upon them, and guaranteed a degree of religious liberty through-
out the kingdom. The edict was declared to be "perpetual and
irrevocable." It gave to the Protestants liberty of conscience,
and the free exercise of their religion; free access to all places
of dignity and honor ; liberal sums of money for the payment of
their troops; and certain funds for the future maintenance of
their preachers, and their garrisons. In this last provision was
laid the foundation for future conflicts between the two hostile
parties. Possibly also, this continued maintenance of an armed
soldiery was the means of inspiring martial zeal in our ancestor ;
for he is introduced to us as a soldier in his first authentic
appearance in the records. The events of this history become
interesting to us, therefore, as they show the circumstances which
possibly influenced his early life.

The provisions of the Edict were enforced by Henry dur-
ing his reign; but under the succeeding kings, Louis XIII., and
Louis XIV., the Papists began to assert their opposition more
efifectually. One after another, the privileges conferred by the
Edict were denied, and new forms of persecution began to appear,
the aim of which was to drive the Protestants back into the
Romish Church, and to intimidate others from joining them.
Enactments were passed, prescribing heavy penalties upon all
who should become Protestants, also rewarding such as would
recant that faith. The Protestants were excluded from all the
learned professions; skilled mechanics were forbidden by law to
receive them as apprentices. In 1666, they were prohibited from
taxing themselves for the support of their ministers; and in
1680 it was declared unlawful to build a Protestant house of
worship in the vicinity of a Romish church. These and other
acts were the steps which led to a culmination in the repeal of
the Edict of Nantes in 1685. From 1661 to 1674 (a period of
special interest to us) armed collisions, and actual wars between
the contending powers were frequent. The reigning king (Louis
XIV.), was bitterly determined to destroy the Huguenots; hence
it is not strange that multitudes of them gave up all hope of
any future for themselves, or their faith in France, and began
to look elsewhere for a refuge.

14 Genealogy of the Shumway Family

We find them, during this period especially, leaving France
in large numbers, and seeking homes in other lands, but notably
in America. It has been estimated that the number of those who
left their country during the few years immediately preceding
the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, was at least five hundred
thousand. Colonies went to Switzerland, England, Germany,
Holland; while in this country, settlements by the Huguenots
were made in Florida, South Carolina, New York, Rhode Island,
Virginia, and in Massachusetts.

An early trace of authentic history in the life of Peter Shum-
way L, appears in a petition by his son, Peter Shumway, of Ox-
ford, Mass. (Mass. Arch. XLVI. 212), and which we present
herewith :

"To the Honorable Spencer Phips, Esq., Lieut. Governor,
and Commander in Chief in and over His Majestie's Province
of the Massachusetts Bay, in New England :

The Honorable Council and House of Representatives in
General Court assembled:

The Memorial of Peter Shumway of Oxford, most humbly
showeth that whereas your humble memorialist" did many years
ago prefer a petition to the Honorable General Court of this
Province praying that as he is the legal heir and representative
of Peter Shumway of Topsfield who was a long time in the
service of this Country and particularly in the Narragansett war
and taking of the Indian fort there which he in said petition
proved by living testimonies and which he believes the Honorable
John Chandler and others worthy members of this Honorable
Court do yet remember.

And whereas your aged, decrepid and poor memorialist hath
never yet received any gratuity, or reward in land or otherwise
for his said father's services and sufferings as many others have
done, your most humble memorialist again most humbly prayeth
this Honorable Court in their wonted goodness and compassion
would make him a grant of some piece of Country land for said
services, or otherwise as in their great wisdom they (see) fit:
which will oblige your most humble memorialist — as in duty
bound will ever pray.

(Signed) Peter Shumway.

March 23, 1749-50."

Genealogy of the Shumway Family 15

The capture of the Indian Fort in Rhode Island alluded to
in the foregoing petition was an achievement which, for bravery,
heroism, and all soldierly qualities, has been seldom equalled
in the annals of warfare. Had it occurred a century later, it
would have occupied a more prominent place in recorded New
England history; but as only one of the events of those primitive
and stirring times when the inhabitants were few, and scarcely
realized the importance of the history they were making, it has
been obscured to some extent. The petition was probably sug-
gested by a proclamation made to the soldiers at the time by the
Massachusetts Council, that, "if they played the man, took the
fort, and Drove the Enemy out of the Narragansett country,
which was their stronghold, they should have a gratuity in land,
besides their wages."

The part which our ancestor had in this, and other similar
service has caused him to be styled "Peter the Soldier." This
title is also a convenient one by which to distinguish him from
those of his immediate posterity who bore the same Christian
name, which, it seems was a favorite all along the line.

As this engagement at Fort Narragansett is the earliest
event in the life of Peter the Soldier, of which we have an
authentic account, the story may properly be inserted here as
introducing him to us, with almost the abruptness with which
Elijah the Tishbite appears in the pages of Holy Writ.

King Philip was probably the greatest military genius of
the Indian race. He saw the gradual encroachment upon the
territory of the Indian by the white man, and that unless some-
thing was done to check this, the Indian was doomed. He con-
• ceived the idea of allying all the New England tribes in one
decisive campaign against the white settlers. The younger war-
riors insisted upon aggressive movements before the more cau-
tious Philip was ready; and he was finally compelled to yield,
and "King Philip's war" was inaugurated. Swansea, Mass.
(about 25 miles S. E. of Plymouth), was the first town sacked
and burned in July, 1675. Brookfield, and other settlements
followed in rapid succession. The Indians then went into winter
quarters within the territory of Rhode Island, near what is now
the site of Kingston. Here they had built a large stockade, or
fort, on an upland in the midst of a swamp, and known in the

16 Genealogy of the Shumway Family

histories as Fort Narragansett. It covered five or six acres, and
was built of strong palisades, driven into the earth, and piled
inside with trees and brush crowded together, making a barri-
cade of fifteen or twenty feet in thickness. Within this enclosure
were about five hundred wigwams, whither they had sent their
wives and children on the commencement of hostilities, and
where their winter supply of corn, acorns, &c. was stored. Here,
about three thousand strong, they waited for spring, and mean-
time prepared for a renewal of the fight.

The settlers determined to attack the Indians in their strong-
hold, and by one decisive blow, annihilate the enemy, and deliver
the settlements. If the advantage gained by this heroic achieve-
ment had been properly followed up, the result would have been,
doubtless, what was planned. It made heavy demands upon the
courage and endurance of these men, to undertake such a cam-
paign in midwinter; but the volunteers were at once forthcoming
in prompt and patriotic response to the call. The Massachusetts
colony furnished 527 men; Plymouth 159; Connecticut 315;
besides these, 150 friendly Mohegans (Mohicans), led by the
two sons of Uncas, joined the force. Josiah Winslow, governor
of Plymouth colony, was elected commander. The six com-
panies from Massachusetts were mustered on Dedham plain
December 9th (?), 1675. The weather was bitterly cold, and
snow had already fallen. The next day, the column started, and
were joined on the march, by the Plymouth and Rhode Island
men, and pursued their course through the snow toward the
stronghold of the enemy.

About five o'clock in the afternoon, they reached the place
intended for a general rendezvous, and where it was proposed
to encamp for the night. It was discovered, however, that the
buildings had been burned, and there was no shelter for officers
or men; so they were compelled to continue the march through
the snow. Amid these difficulties, they proceeded until one o'clock
in the afternoon of the next day, without fire to warm them, or
even food, excepting what they could eat while they marched.
The cold was so intense that hands and feet w^ere frozen, in many

Suddenly, about one o'clock in the afternoon of December
19th (?), they emerged from the woods and found themselves

Genealogy of the Shumway Family 17

upon the edge of the swamp, and within sight of the enemy.
There was no time for a plan, or consultation as to where and
how to assault. The stockade was surrounded by a deep ditch,
bridged by a single log, which was the only means of access to
it, and which spot was fully exposed to the enemy's fire.

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