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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Shotwell

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1084-1087 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The first definite account of a Shotwell in America is of Abraham Shotwell, who was one of the earliest settlers of Elizabethtown, New Jersey, in 1665. It is said that the name in England was originally Shadwell, and that one of the name, in an archery contest before the king, shot with such precision that the monarch exclaimed in delight, "Well done, Shot well," and that thereafter that form of the name was adopted. In the early Friends records of Flushing, Long Island, the name is commonly written Chatwell. Abraham Shotwell was probably one of the many Englishmen who fled to America after the death of Cromwell and the restoration of Charles II to the throne. Hatfield's History of Elizabeth, New Jersey, states that Abraham Shotwell was fourth in the list of the sixty-five persons in that town, who, on February 19, 1655, took the oath of allegiance to King Charles II of England and to the proprietors of the province. He was the owner of five acres of valuable land in the heart of the town. In the contentions between the people of the town of Elizabeth and the proprietors, he was bold and outspoken in his opposition to the tyranical and oppressive exactions enforced by the governor, Captain Philip Carteret, which course rendered him obnoxious to that officer. There is a tradition in the family that, meeting the governor on the bridge over the creek that passes through the town, they had a personal altercation, which resulted in his pitching the governor into the water. He became the victim of the governor's wrath. Certain it is that his house and grounds were confiscated and he forced into exile. His valuable property was sold at auction April 25, 1675, and a few days afterward came into possession of Governor Carteret for the small sum of 14 pounds. Mr. Shotwell retired to New York, and did not again reside permanently in New Jersey. He obtained a grant of land in New York, and located, it is believed, not far from the site of the first Brooklyn bridge. Riker, in the History of Harlem, says (p. 383) "Elphinstone had erected a leather mill and other buildings upon his tract, with the assistance of a copartner, Abraham Shotwell, late of New Jersey, to whom the patent was made out. October 30, 1677, Elphinstone sold all his interest in the farm houses and mill to Shotwell, who in payment gave his obligation in the form of a note for £52, 10s." Abraham Shotwell, "with consent of his son John," sold the farm and improvements in 1679 to John Robinson. He probably died in New York city about the year 1680. The name of his wife has not been ascertained. He certainly had a son John, who is the ancestor of the Shotwells of Rahway, Plainfield, New Jersey, and Johnstown, New York (see forward).

(II) John, son of Abraham Shotwell, is supposed to have been born in England, about 1650. He was associated with his father in land transactions, although he lived most of his life on Staten Island, only removing to New Jersey (Woodbridge) a few years before his death, which occurred "7th mo. 22 day, 1719." He is buried in the Friends burying-ground at Woodbridge, New Jersey. To him his father's confiscated real estate in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, was restored May 12, 1683, after the death of Governor Carteret, as appears in the "Record of the Governor and Council in East Jersie anno Dom 1682-1703." The next authentic account of him is found in the minutes of the Woodbridge monthly meeting of the Society of Friends. He was the first Shotwell to belong to that society, although for many subsequent generations that was the family religious faith, and is still adhered to by many of the name. His will was proved at Amboy, New Jersey, October 5, 1719. In it he mentions "well beloved wife," sons John and Abraham, daughters, Elizabeth, wife of John Laing, and Sarah Smith, leaving bequests to each. He also mentions "my negro Tom," whom he directs shall be sold, with other items of personal property. His wife, whom he married in 1679, was Elizabeth Burton, who bore him the four children named in his will.

(III) John (2), son of John (1) and Elizabeth (Burton) Shotwell, was born at Shotwell's Landing (now Rahway), New Jersey, 1686, died there 1762. He married, 1709, Mary, daughter of Joseph and Mary Thorne, and had children: Joseph, John, Elizabeth, Mary, Abraham, Jacob, Samuel and Benjamin (mentioned below).

(IV) Benjamin, son of John (2) and Mary (Thorne) Shotwell, was born at Shotwell's: Landing, Bricktown (Rahway), New Jersey, 1726, died 1793. He married, in 1746, Ame, born 1727, died 1796, daughter of Richard and Amy (Bowne) Hallet. Children:

  1. Sarah, born 1748, married, 1768, William Hampton, who died 1781; she married (second) Jacob Lundy (2), born 1751, died 1806. She was the mother of six children.
  2. Ame, born 1750, married, 1788, Charles Brooks; she married (second), 1794, Samuel Hicks.
  3. Mary, born 1752, died 1823.
  4. Richard, born 1756, died 1833; married, 1782, Mary, born 1756, died 1844, daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth (Burling) Martin.
  5. Benjamin, born 1759, died 1848; married Bathsheba, born 1763, died 1848, daughter of Zachariah Pound. They had eight children.
  6. Elizabeth, born 1762, died 1794; married, 1787, Joseph Lundy, born 1762, died 1846. A son of this marriage was Benjamin Shotwell, the philanthropist, born 1789, died 1839.
  7. Thomas, born 1764.
  8. William (mentioned below).
  9. Lydia, born 1769, died 1844; married Philip Dorland; married (second) Isaac Griffin.

(V) William, son of Benjamin and Ame (Hallett) Shotwell, was born at Rahway, New Jersey, April 27, 1766, buried in the Friends' burying-ground in lower Rahway, April 29, 1855. He inherited the family homestead from his father, and there engaged in farming, manufacturing brick and shipping same by vessel to New York and elsewhere. About the year 1800 twenty vessels freighted with brick left "Shotwell's Landing" and neighboring docks for New York. In 1879 not a brick was made within seven miles of that place. He married a second wife in 1827, and about ten years later sold the old homestead at the "Landing" and removed to Waterloo, New York, where he purchased a farm. In 1855 he returned to his old home at the "Landing" much broken in health, and went to the residence of his son William, where he lived but a short time, dying April 26 of that year, his burial occurring three days later. He was a man of great industry and of great, kindly heart. He owned slaves, but in 1816, when New Jersey became a free state, his negroes willingly remained with their old master. He was a member of the Society of Friends, was married by their ceremony, and was buried in the faith which he loved and honored. He married (first) at Rahway, New Jersey, October 25, 1792, Elizabeth Moore, of Woodbridge, who died at Shotwell's Landing March 13, 1826, aged sixty-four years. He married (second), in Friends' meeting, Junius, Seneca county, New York, September 27, 1827, Achsah (Lundy) Laing, widow of John Laing, and daughter of Samuel and Sarah (Willits) Lundy. She was born March 21, 1777, died September 26, 1854. They settled at Rahway, and she became a member of the Rahway meeting by certificate from the Junius monthly meeting. It was in regard to her wish that the removal, in 1838, was made to New York state, where they both became members of the Junius meeting. Children:

  1. Benjamin (mentioned below).
  2. Elizabeth, born 1795, died 1827; married, 1815, Samuel Moore (2).
  3. William, born 1798, died 1876; married Catherine Pettit.
  4. Harvey, born 1800, died 1848; married, 1823, Louisa Shotwell, born 1800, died 1889, daughter of Nathan Shotwell.

Child of second marriage:

  1. David, married Margaret Prall.

(VI) Benjamin, eldest son of William and Elizabeth (Moore) Shotwell, was born 1793, died 1859. He lived at Shotwell's Landing (Rahway), New Jersey, and was a member of the Society of Friends. He married Mary, daughter of James and Sarah Hunt, of Middlesex county, New Jersey, granddaughter of Marmaduke and great-granddaughter of Solomon Hunt. Children:

  1. Elizabeth V., married Elijah M. Bacon, and resided at St. Clair, Michigan;
  2. Lydia D., married Melvin Gordon, and lived at Milltown, New Jersey;
  3. Harriet H., married General Simeon B. Brown, and removed to St. Clair, Michigan;
  4. Sarah, married John Hart;
  5. William J., married Mary N. Mellick, and removed to Orange, New Jersey;
  6. Jeannette C.;
  7. Samuel Harvey (mentioned below);
  8. Esther C.

(VII) Samuel Harvey, son of Benjamin and Mary (Hunt) Shotwell, was born in East Woodbridge, Middlesex county, New Jersey, January 9, 1836, died in Gloversville, New York, November 30, 1909. He was educated in the public schools, finishing his studies at a private school in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Deciding on a mercantile career, he became a clerk in a grocery at Rahway, New Jersey, where he remained for a year and a half, then went to New York city, where he entered the wholesale house of David H. Decker as clerk. He later became a partner, and for fourteen years was connected with this house. In 1873 he located in Gloversville, New York, as managar of a branch of the importing house of Rose, McAlpin & Company, for the sale of glovers' materials. For twelve years he continued in this capacity, building up a prosperous business, and becoming well known as a reliable, capable business man. In 1885 he became proprietor of the business by purchase, continuing the same lines successfully until 1902, when he added a leather dressing mill. This enterprise grew rapidly, until it became one of the largest plants of its kind in the country. He continued in business until his death as the head of S. H. Shotwell & Son, having admitted Edward Carle Shotwell, his eldest son, to a partnership. He was an exceptionally capable business man, noted for uprightness, energy and benevolence. His public spirit was manifested in the readiness with which he supported every enterprise designed to affect the prosperity of Gloversville. He was interested in the construction of the first electric road between Gloversville and Fonda, and since 1893 had been a director. He was one of the promoters of the New Kingsborough Hotel; was one of the original subscribers to the guarantee fund for the Nathan Littauer Hospital, and a member of the board of managers from 1892 to 1894. He belonged to the Leather Dressers' Association, was connected with the Fulton County National Bank, and served as chairman of the board of trustees of the Congregational church, of which he was a devoted communicant. He was a Republican in politics, and firmly believed in the principles of his party. In 1886 he was trustee of the village corporation, and in 1890 served on the school board. He was a member of the Eccentric Club for many years, and showed an active interest in that peculiar organization. His public and private interests covered all departments of city activity, and in all he was more than an observer. He had great faith in the future of Gloversville, and saw its development from a quiet village to one of the world's important manufacturing centres. He married, by Friends' ceremony, at Rahway, New Jersey, December 8, 1874, Jane Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Everit, of Rahway, New Jersey, a leather merchant of New York city, and his wife, Mary C. Carle, died October 21, 1860. She was born in Rahway, New Jersey, March 9, 1839, died in Gloversville, New York, January 30, 1908. Children:

  1. Marie Louise, born October 2, 1875; married Harry J. Allen, and has a son, John C. Allen (2) (see Allen).
  2. Edward Carle (mentioned below).
  3. Walter Harvey, born May 24, 1884; married Gladys A. Kingsley, born April 10, 1890.
  4. Everit, born April 20, 1886.

(VIII) Edward Carle, eldest son of Samuel Harvey and Jane Elizabeth (Everit) Shotwell, was born in Gloversville, New York, May 14, 1877. He was educated in the public schools, by private tutors, at Packard's College, New York city, and graduated at Riverview Military Academy, class of 1895. He at once began an active business life by entering his father's employ and becoming master of the various processes of dressing skins used by glove makers, and in other lines of leather manufacture. In 1900 he was admitted to the firm, which became S. H. Shotwell & Son; and on the death of Mr. Shotwell senior, Edward C. succeeded him as head of the business, which he continues under the same name, S. H. Shotwell & Son. His preparation for this responsible position was thorough, and under his direction the house continues its career of unvarying prosperity. He is a director of the City National Bank, of Gloversville, and is a worthy successor of his honored father. He is a member of Gloversville Lodge F. and A. M.; Johnstown Chapter No. 78, R. A. M.; Holy Cross Commandery No. 52, K. T.; and Cyprus Temple A. A. O. N. M. S. His clubs are the Eccentric, of Gloversville, Colonial, of Johnstown, and the Antlers, of Amsterdam. He married, March 9, 1904, in Johnstown, Eleanor Argersinger, born June 9, 1878. Children:

  1. Catherine, born December 28, 1904;
  2. Edward Carle (2), born February 17, 1907.

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