MARGARET PILCHER - Wife of Hiram Shaw, Lexington Hatter

Margaret "Peggy" Pilcher was born to Joshua and Nancy in Culpeper County, Virginia in about the year 1777.  In 1793 the family headed west, probably over Swift Run Gap in the Blue Ridge and down into the Shenandoah Valley making their way on foot or horseback along the Wilderness Road and then following Boone's old trail north into the town of Lexington, five hundred miles from Culpeper County.

The town, which was the trade, social, and intellectual nucleus of Kentucky, contained about three or four hundred homes which were clustered around the court-house.  Although not a major market place, it consisted of smiths, shoemakers, hatters, and a local brewer.  Land could be bought for seven shillings or $1.20 per acre, but in 1795 her father Joshua arranged to share crop a tract south of town below the road linking Lexington to Frankfort on the west  and to Clark Courthouse in Winchester on the east.

It was here that Margaret grew up and on 25 Dec 1800 and was united in marriage to Hiram Shaw in Lexington.  Hiram had been born in North Adams, Massachusetts and had come to Lexington sometime between 1785 and 1798 when he announced “the making of all kinds of furr and wool hats, at his factory on northeast corner of Main and Cross Streets."

Of the seven children known to have been born, their first, Sarah E. Shaw was born on 29 Mar 1802.  Their second and first son, Nathaniel, was born 31 Jan 1804 and would later work in the county clerk's office as a writer who was preparing to study law; but upon the death of his father, he became an apprentice under Thomas B. Megowan in the cabinet making trade where he worked for several years.  He then secured work as clerk on the Mississippi River on steamboats operated by the Hull and Marsh families at Madison, Indiana, and was Captain of the Brandywine at the time he married Emma, the daughter of Richard and Catherine (Milward) Marsh.  In about 1833 he engaged in hat making with James C. White of Woodford County.

In 1805 Hiram’s partner, John Lowry, turned over the hat making business to him and it was under Hiram's apprenticeship that Margaret’s youngest brother, Joshua Pilcher, the fur trader and Indian Agent (who later succeeded William Clark as Superintendent of Indian Affairs) learned the hatter trade.

The next children born to Margaret and Hiram were Ann T. Shaw, born 18 Apr 1806 and son Ammi Shaw born 18 Dec 1807.  Their fifth child, Hiram Shaw, was born on 13 Aug 1809.  At the age of 14 he was apprenticed to Joseph Putman who manufactured wool carding machines and remained with him for about ten years.  Several years after his brother Nathaniel and James White had gone into business, Hiram purchased White's interest and the firm became known as N & H Shaw. He was married to Ann E. "Nancy" Marsh, daughter of Richard Marsh and Catherine (Milward) in 1838 and they were the parents of five children.  He was listed as a hatter in the 1850 census, and in the 1859 and 1860 Lexington Directories he was listed as a clerk boarding at south side of Short between Spring and Jefferson.

The following year, in the mid-summer of 1810 Margaret’s father died at the age of sixty-one.  The family's crops, stock, furniture, and utensils were sold off and her mother Nancy moved in with one of her married children.

Margaret named her sixth child and youngest daughter who was born 31 Jan 1812, after her mother.  This Nancy married her cousin Fielding “Lewis” Pilcher, son of Fielding Pilcher and Sarah (Collins) in 1830.  They were the parents of only three children as her husband died a month after the birth of their last child Nathaniel who had been born in September of 1839.  The last child to be born to Margaret and Hiram was John Pilcher Shaw who was born 29 Oct 1814.

In October of 1822 Margaret was widowed.  Sadly, Hiram’s firm had not prospered and Margaret and the children were said to have been left in near destitute circumstances.   By 1850 she was listed in the census records residing with their son Hiram and remained with him.  Fortunately, he had become a very successful hat manufacturer.

Margaret died on 24 Mar 1861 in Lexington and was laid to rest in the Lexington Cemetery in Section C, Lot 25, Part S½.  Son Hiram and daughter Nancy Pilcher were also laid to rest at this cemetery.

Note:  See also my Early St. Louis blog, "The Liggett and Myer Tobacco Company" successors to Hiram Shaw and Co.


  1. Kentucky Obituaries 1787-1854 compiled by G. Glenn Clift, index by Anita Comtois, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Frankfort, KY, 1977
  2. The Lexington Cemetery - Established in 1849
  3. Perrinn, William Henry, History of Fayette County, Kentucky, Southern Historical Press, 1882
  4. Peter, Robert, History of Fayette County, Kentucky, O.L. Baskin & Co., Chicago, 1882
  5. Pilcher, Margaret Campbell, Historical Sketches of the Campbell, Pilcher and Kindred Families, Press of Marshall & Bruce Co., Nashville, TN, 1911.
  6. Shaw, Ralph M., Typescript of The Shaw Pilcher Families, Missouri History Museum
  7. Sunder, John E. Joshua Pilcher Fur Trader and Indian Agent, University of Oklahoma Press, 1968
  8. United States Census, 1850 index and images, FamilySearch: Margaret Shaw in household of Hiram Shaw, Fayette county, Fayette, Kentucky, United States; citing family 585, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  9. United States Census, 1860 index, FamilySearch: Margaret Shaw in household of Hiram Shaw, Ward No 1 City Of Lexington, Fayette, Kentucky, United States, household ID 686, NARA microfilm publication M653, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.; FHL microfilm 803,365


Rosaline's Short Life and Worn Headstone

The Old Petersburg Cemetery in Monroe Co., Michigan is also known as the Petersburg Village Cemetery and more commonly as the Wing Cemetery.  It is the final resting place of my husband's  3rd great grandparents, Richard Peters and his wife Polly (Wilcox) who had migrated from Harpersfield, New York in 1824 and purchased about 600 acres from the US government in Summerfield Township, Monroe County, Michigan. Their children (Mary and Richard) were the first and last to be interred in the one-acre cemetery which is located on the north side of Center Street.

In 2009 a group of local volunteers began a restoration project to repair the old stones.  By November 2011 eighty-two graves, many of which had fallen over or were completely unreadable had been cleaned and repaired.  About the same time of the restoration, fellow researcher Steve Shaffer very kindly photographed and sent me several images of the headstones.  I was able to positively identify all but one: Rosaline.

Barely visible in row 6, this worn headstone is believed to be that of Rosaline or Rosalyn Trombley. The very brief information extracted from the Old Petersburg Cemetery Index compiled by Marjorie Kite in 1968 indicates she was born in 1851, died at the age of twenty on 21 Aug 1871, and was the wife of (_______) Trombley.

A search into the marriage records for a Rosaline, Rosalyn, or Rosalind married to a Trombley or Trombly turned up nothing. When I searched the census records, I realized that the Rosaline I found listed with an Eli Trombley could not be the same woman because although she was born about 1848, this couple had been enumerated in census records well after the date of Rosaline's death.  In fact, this Rosaline lived until 1926 and was buried in Whiteford Union Cemetery in Lambertville, not in the Old Petersburg Cemetery.

I searched further and found a Michigan death record for a Rosaline Trombley as the married daughter of Peter and Amelia Anteauh of LaSalle. She is listed as having died at Summerfield on 26 Aug 1876 of consumption at the age of 18 years, 1 month and 1 day. A calculation of her date of birth from age at death would indicate she had been born on 25 July 1858. However, birth and baptismal records listed in The Genealogy of French Families of the Detroit River Region, by Rev. Dennissen, state she had been born on the 28th of March, 1858 and baptized on the 18th of  April, 1858.

Although the dates are not a perfect match, I think it is worth considering for a moment that the date of the inscription was so worn on the old stone that the number sixes may have easily appeared to Ms. Kite as the numeral 1 and perhaps the worn 8 as a 6 when she walked the cemetery and indexed the headstones. For example, 21 Aug 1871 appearing as 26 Aug 1876 or 1856 vs 1858.  I offer this scenario because a "Roseline Trombly" was recorded in the online GENDIS records from the Michigan Dept. of Community Health, and also a hand-written record by the Monroe County Clerk at FamilySearch.org.  Both also list her as the married daughter of Peter and Amelia Anteauh of LaSalle who died at Summerfield on 26 Aug 1876 of Consumption at the age of 18 years, 1 month and 1 day.

Believing I had determined her parents, I searched for this family in the census records.  The parents appear in the 1850 census in Monroe Twp. with their two month-old daughter Mary - the older sister of Rosaline. The 1860 census lists a family which is most probably the same family.  Most of the entries match up except daughter Rosaline is not listed in the household. Instead, a Juley of the same age is listed. "Rosa" does, however, appear in their household in 1870, and a birth record for her sister Victory/Victoria who is listed in the household supports the data that they were the daughters of "Peter" and "Emily" Anteauh - as they appear in the census.

Headstone of Ed & Adda, children of
Moses & Edesse/Edith/Addie (Drouillard) Trombley
I suspect, but have not proven, that this may be the Rosaline or Rosalie who is buried near Edward Trombley - whose stone, I might add, is very similar to hers. Edward, or Edwin as he was also known, was the son of Moses and Edesse/Edith (Drouillard).  His death certificate confirms he had been widowed at the time of his death in December of 1879 when he was but twenty-eight years of age.

This, coupled with the fact that the surnames and given names of these early French families were so often interchanged with various spellings, adds to my speculation.  Rosaline's father was listed by Dennissen as Laurence, son of Augustin Antaya/Antailla and Isabella Bourdeau who resided on Otter Creek near Monroe and was married to Amelia/Emily in 1849.  His death certificate then lists him as Lorance Anteau or Auteau, farmer, born 1828 in Michigan, aged 72, first married at age 19 and father of 11 children, six who were living at the time of his death.  Still yet, his headstone at St. Joseph's Cemetery in Monroe, Michigan is inscribed as "Lawrence Antiau," but listed at Find A Grave as Laurence Antiau born 1829.

As so often is the case with family research, some "facts" are often contradicted by the very documents we typically use to confirm a date, place or event.  Rosaline's dates are conflicting to say the least. As a detailed researcher I personally would have enjoyed comparing the inscriptions with the available records so that these early settlers would be well documented, and had hoped the restoration committee might have joined up with the historical society to do so.

Perhaps someone who is like-minded or related to the Antaya/Anteau/Antiua or Trombley/Trombly families or is a resident of Petersburg, will one day walk the cemetery and be able to confirm my findings.  Until then, I must be satisfied that I've done my best to honor the very short life of Rosaline.

Special thanks to Steve Shaffer for his photographs and Dawn Pirolli, lifelong resident of Petersburg for her correspondence and restoration work at the Old Petersburg Cemetery.

For additional burials relative to the Antaya and Trombley families, see "Old Petersburg Cemetery" at my website, The Peters - Early Settlers of Monroe County, Michigan.

Additional Notes: Nancy Elder Peterson, Volunteer Host of the ELDER DNA project, has noted a similar problem which she reported the the Monroe Museum regarding Edith Druyor Trombley's stone in the same cemetery.  "Moses Trombley's stone is too damaged to read") Cemetery book mixed up their dates. Edith Trombley was born 2 Oct. 1827, (Edesse Drouillard from Denissen's book) married 26 Jan 1847 Moses Trombley, St. Antoine, she died March 23, 1885 at age 59."  The following link to Nancy's Trombley page also includes a photo of the headstone and house.

  1. Dennissen, Rev. Fr Christian. The Genealogy of French Families of the Detroit River Region. H F Powell, editor. 2. N.p 19: Detroit Society for Genealogical Research, 1937,1987; also page 376
  2. Headstone of Lawrence Antiau, buried at St. Joseph Cemetery, Monroe, Michigan with 2nd wife Caroline (Poupard) at Find A Grave
  3. Headstone of Rosalie at Old Petersburg Cemetery photographed by Steve Shaffer, presented at PDP's website, Early Settlers of Monroe Co., Michigan
  4. Headstone of Ed Trombley at Old Petersburg Cemetery photographed by Steve Shaffer, presented at PDP's website, Early Settlers of Monroe Co., Michigan.
  5. Find A Grave Index," index, FamilySearch: Rosaline M. Vesey Trombly, 1926; Burial, Lambertville, Monroe, Michigan, United States of America, Whiteford Union Cemetery; citing record ID 29333119
  6. Kite, Marjorie J., compiler, Old Petersburg Cemetery, Petersburg, Michigan, Monroe County, Doctor Manasseh Cutler Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, 1968
  7. Michigan, Births, 1867-1902," index and images, FamilySearch: Victory Anteau, daughter of Peter and Emily; 004206204 > image 268 of 760; citing Department of Vital Records, Lansing.
  8. Michigan, Deaths, 1867-1897," index and images, FamilySearch: Edwin A. Trombley, 10 Dec 1879; citing p 238 rn 225, Summerfield, Monroe, Michigan, Department of Vital Records, Lansing; FHL microfilm 2363667.; handwritten image
  9. Michigan, Deaths, 1867-1897, index and images, FamilySearch: Rosaline Trombly, 26 Aug 1876, image 842 of 1418; citing Department of Vital Records, Lansing.
  10. Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1952, index, FamilySearch: Rosaline Trombly, 17 Mar 1926; citing Summerfield, Monroe, Michigan, United States, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics, Lansing; FHL microfilm 001973024.
  11. Ryan, Carl, Volunteers Restoring Old Cemetery; news article published in the  Toledo Blade, 5 Oct 2011
  12. Seeking Michigan, death record of Larance Anteau, 11 Mar 1900, Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan
  13. Trombley - A family history compiled by Nancy Elder Petersen
  14. U.S. Census 1850, Monroe, Monroe Co., MI, extracted by P. Davidson-Peters; Early Settlers of Monroe Co., Michigan website
  15. U.S. Census 1860, Monroe, Monroe Co., MI, extracted by P. Davidson-Peters; Early Settlers of Monroe Co., Michigan website
  16. U.S. Census 1870, Monroe, Monroe Co., MI, extracted by P. Davidson-Peters; Early Settlers of Monroe Co., Michigan website
  17. U.S. Census, 1910, index and images, FamilySearch: Rosaline M Trombley in household of Eli Trombley, Summerfield, Monroe, Michigan, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 108, sheet 1B, family 20, NARA microfilm publication T624, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.; FHL microfilm 1374677
  18. Wopshall, Al, Wiki, WikiTree of Laurence Peter Antaya (1829-1900)


Beyond the Tragic Death of William Luff Meredith

Killed in 1901 at Guy’s Drug Store, Seattle

Headlines ran in newspapers telling of the fateful day William Luff Meredith died. Even his memorial at Find A Grave reprints the article from the Morning Oregonian.  The headlines for the June 26th article reads: “Death Ends Feud, Ex-Chief Meredith Shot and Killed by John Considine, Dead Man Fired First Shot,” and included the side by side photo sketches of the “Principals in Tragedy at Seattle.”

Rather than re-hashing Meredith’s death, I wanted to present some ancestral highlights that trace his lineage to Luff Meredith for whom he was named. 

William Luff Meredith drew his first breath in Indiana on the 12th day of October, 1868.  His father, William Morton Meredith, was a Captain in the Civil War, having served under the command of Col. Benjamin Harrison with the 70th Indiana.  At the time he married, in 1867, he was a foreman at the Indiana Journal having learned the printing trade from his father.  His 2nd wife, the mother of William Luff’, was Terressa Adelia Richey, who was more than twelve years his junior but age twenty at the time their son was born. 

During the early years of William Luff’s life, his father worked for the St. Louis Globe, and later the Western Bank Note Company of Chicago.  He was so employed until 1889 when he was appointed by Secretary Windom as Director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington D.C.  In 1891 he assigned “the first colored lady,” Miss Frances Flood, to press despite the opposition and indignations.  He died on 24 Dec 1917 in Centerville, Wayne Co., Indiana, and was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.

The grandfather of William Luff was Samuel Caldwell Meredith, one of eight known children born to John Wheeler Meredith and Elizabeth (Busby).  Born in Greene Co., Pennsylvania, on 27 Nov 1807, he became a printer, learning the trade in Dayton, Ohio as an apprentice to Robert J. Skinner.  In 1829 he was married to Margaret Ballard in Springfield, Illinois and they became the parents of five children:  John Ballard born in 1830, and Mary J., born in 1832 died in their infancy; William Morton, the father of William Luff, was born 1835 and was married 1st to Emeline Shellenberger, and 2nd to Tereressa Richey, as noted; James H, who was born in 1838 and died at age 7; and Emily Ellen who was born in 1842, and married Capt. Edward W. Nicholson and had two children including Indiana author Meredith Nicholson.

William’s great-grandfather was John Wheeler Meredith who was born in Kent Co., Delaware on 10 Feb 1761.  He was a shoemaker who was on board a merchant vessel en route for Delaware when it was attacked during the hostilities leading up to the Revolution.  He was wounded and held prisoner, and afterwards enlisted at Dover in 1777 and was with General Horatio Gates at Saratoga, and also fought at the Battle of Cowspen.  He built a small flat boat at the mouth of the Little Whiteby Creek and in the spring of 1815 came down the Ohio River landing at Columbia, a few miles above Cincinnati.  After living a couple years on a farm near Lisbon, he settled on a tract of land in Miami County, Ohio which he had received as a bounty land grant from his service during the Revolutionary War.   He remained there several years and then removed to Troy in Concord Township.  He died 8 Aug 1844 and was laid to rest at Rose Hill Cemetery.

According to various histories of Delaware, the great-great grandfather, Luff Meredith, was one of three brothers who migrated from Wales to Bucks County, Pennsylvania in about 1670.  In about 1702 or 1703 they moved to Pencader Hundred.  Devout Baptists, their migration to Delaware coincides closely with the time in which William Penn granted thirty thousand acres of land thereafter known as "The Welsh Tract," to be divided and deeded to settlers from South Wales.

Thus are the direct ancestors of William Luff Meredith briefly outlined.

After his death, his widow and children spent several weeks in Oak Park, Illinois and two weeks in Washington D.C. before returning to Seattle for the trial of John Considine.  His widow, Nellie N. Jennings died the following year on the 4th of August, 1902. The daughter of Frederick A. Jennings and Elisabeth (Galliher), she was born in Council Grove, Kansas and was married to Luff in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1891.  Laid to rest beside Luff at Lake View Cemetery in Seattle, she was survived by their two children, Russell and Dorothy.

Thanks to my Ballard cousin Margaret (Meredith) Arrington I had been able to learn through our correspondences over the last decade much more about the Meredith line and her uncle, William Luff Meredith.  

Additional thanks to my daughter, Lara, who visited Lake View Cemetery and photographed the final resting place of Luff and Nellie, which consequently led to additional information.

Happy Birthday Margaret, this one’s for you.

Select Sources:
  • 1900 U.S. Census King Co., WA ED ED 88 Precinct 3 Seattle city Ward 2; image 21 of 32; citing NARA microfilm publication T623
  • Bible Records of John W. Meredith - Margaret (Meredith) Arrington papers
  • British Columbia, Canada, British Columbia Archives film number B11372, Division of Vital Statistics, Victoria; FHL microfilm 198352
  • Family history of Patsy Skeels
  • History of the Sate of Delaware from the Earliest Settlements to the Year 1907 by Henry C. Conrad, Wilmington, Delaware, 1907
  • Indiana and Indianans, a History of Aboriginal and Territorial Indiana and the Century of Statehood by Jacob Piatt Dunn, Vol III, The American Historical Society, Chicago and New York, 1919
  • John Wheeler Meredith to son Samuel C. Meredith. Letter dated 13 October 1826; Margaret (Meredith) Arrington papers
  • Lake View Cemetery – William Luff Meredith 2014 headstone photo by Lara L. Peters
  • Old Familiar Faces by Meredith Nicholson
  • Skid Road, an Informal Portrait of Seattle by Murray Morgan, Viking Press, 1951
  • The Washington Post August 7, 1903 (Obituary of Terressa A. Meredith)
  • Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans. Vol. I-X. Boston, MA, USA: The Biographical Society, 1904
  • Welsh Tract Baptist Meeting (New Castle County, Del.) by Winny Jones, The Historical Society of Delaware
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