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John Jackson SHIVER and Sarah Ann SWILLEY:
Solution to the "two Jacobs" problem and clearing up of the issue:

Contributed by Ed Mason

I noted in my first e-mail to you that there were not two Jacob Shiver Juniors. Jacob Shiver Sr and Dorcas had at least two known sons, John Jackson Shiver, who moved to AL and Jacob Shiver Jr. who remained in GA close to his parents. Shortly after the 1812 marriage of John Shiver and Sarah Swilley was recorded at the State Capital in Milledgeville, John and Sarah moved back to the safety of SC during the war of 1812. GA was established by the British primarily as a buffer against the Spanish in Florida. From an early date the British established good relations with the Indians to help them with the threat from the Spanish. When Americans revolted during the Rev. War, the British used their influence with the Indians to get help in their fight with the Patriots. At that time many of the GA families moved back to the safety of SC. After the Rev. War there was no love lost between the Indians and the winners of the war. When the second war with the British in 1812, you had the same results and many families moved back across the river to SC. John and Sarah had returned to SC by the time their first child Nicholas was born abt 1813. The war over, they returned to GA shortly after their third child Dorcus was born in SC abt 1817. They had arrived in Georgia before John Shiver was listed on the 1818 Tax Digest. For sure they were back in GA by the time Gilly was born 10 February 1819. The birth dates for these children take some work in reviewing and placing in the correct birth bracket. They also gave conflicting birth state info on census. It is fairly easy to get the correct birth states and the approximate years of birth however.

John Shiver is listed in Capt Wiley Belcher's District in an 1818 Tax Digest. Twiggs Co was created in 1809 from part of Wilkinson Co. All of Wilkinson's land records prior to 1809 were lost. In 1901 all of Twiggs Co records were destroyed in a fire. I am sure that John Jackson Shiver moved back from SC to land in Twiggs Co that he owned when he and Sarah got married in 1812, but there are no surviving land records for that area. In 1819 when people signed up for the 1820 land lottery, Jacob Shiver Sr and Jacob Shiver Jr were next to Nicholas Swilley in a list of persons registering who resided in Laurens Co. GA. Samuel Swilley, Sarah's brother, signed up for the same lottery and was living in Capt Wiley Belchers District of Twiggs Co, the same District John Shiver was living in when the 1818 Tax Digest was compiled.

This places Sarah (Swilley) Shiver, and her husband John Jackson Shiver, living near her brother Samuel in Capt Wiley Belchers District of Twiggs Co, GA. In adjoining Laurens Co, GA, Nicholas (father of Sarah and Samuel) is listed beside Jacob Shiver Sr (John's father) and Jacob Shiver Jr (John's brother).

Recently there were e-mails concerning a land sale that appeared to be a sale of land belonging to an estate by Dorcus, Jacob and Mary Shiver. Jacob Shiver Sr is dead before the date of the document. It appears that the land belonged to Jacob Shiver Sr and that all three selling the land were heirs. Dorcus Shiver is the known wife of Jacob Shiver Sr. Dorcus son, John Jackson Shiver, died prior to this sale so he would not have been involved as an heir. Because of many factors, Jacob Shiver Jr has been listed as a son of Jacob Shiver Sr and his wife Dorcus. This seems to be the final proof that he is a son. Mary would have to be an unmarried daughter. Why would a daughter this old not marry? The federal census in 1850 gives us the answer. She is deaf and dumb. Someone listed her as qualifying for a land lottery in GA. She would have qualified as a spinster over 21 years of age and residing in GA for 3 years. Her birth year is in the same time frame of John Jackson Shiver and Jacob Shiver Jr.

The naming pattern of John Jackson Shiver and Sarah Ann (Swilley) Shiver gives strong cirmstantial proof that John's father and mother were Jacob Shiver Sr and his wife Dorcus. The first son was named Nicholas for Sarah's father. The second son was named Jacob for John's father. The first daughter was named Dorcus for John's mother and their second daughter was named Gilly and if the naming pattern for the first three hold, Sarah's mother was Gilly Payne.

If researchers accept this, then Jacob Shiver Sr is the known father of at least three children, John Jackson Shiver, Jacob Shiver Jr. and Mary Shiver. To identify other children we have only the 1800 SC census as a clue. In that census there was one son born 1784 to 1790. This would be Jacob Shiver Jr. born 1789. There were three sons born 1790 to 1800. One son would be John Jackson Shiver born about 1792. Since we don't have a surviving census for John Jackson Shiver his approximate birth date is based on the birth of his wife Sarah Ann Swilley who was born abt 1792. One of the remaining sons is probably William Shiver, born 1790 to 1800, who was living in Pike Co, AL along with John Jackson Shiver's family. The remaining son, born 1790 to 1800 will require a little searching. Also there may have been a son, or sons, born after 1800 which we may be difficult to prove. There were two daughters born 1784 to 1790 and one daughter born 1790 to 1800. One of the older daughters would be Mary Shiver who was probably the first born child. In 1850 she said that she was born 1782. She was born on the cusp of the age brackets and either was put into the wrong bracket or listed her age two years off. They knew the month and day of birth because it came around every year but in that period of little or no record keeping, no one bothered much with birth years. It is almost the exception to have consistent birth year data. Most birth years differed some from census to census. The birth year situation with Jacob Shiver Sr's wife will take a little more thought. If she is the mother of all the children she would have to be listed in the wrong age category in two out of two census. Has happened before. Will give it some more thought.

When the 1820 federal census was taken, John Jackson Shiver and wife Sarah and family, Samuel Swilley and family and their father Nicholas Swilley either had to be in AL, where none of the 1820 federal census survived, or in Twiggs Co GA where Twiggs Co was one of three GA counties who lost their 1820 census records. Since AL was not created until 1819 and the area in AL where they moved, Pike Co, was not created until Dec 1821, I am fairly confident they were in Twiggs Co, GA and in the 1820 lost census and that they moved to AL together in the early 1820's. This would be just after John and Sarah (Swilley) Shivers son Abraham was born 8 February 1820 in Twiggs Co, GA. and December of 1822 when the AL legislature appointed commissioners for the new Co of Pike. The new commissioners were to select the site for a new court house, select the contractor and supervise construction. The legislature further stated that until the court house could be build that all business of the Co. would be at the house of Samuel Swilley.

As previously stated, I believe they were all in Twiggs Co in 1820, moved to Pike Co, AL after the birth of Abraham 8 February 1820 and December 1822 when the AL legislature named Samuel's house as the temporary Co seat. They had be in AL long enough to build houses before December 1822 and probably moved just before, or just after, Pike Co, AL was created in December 1821.

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