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Shaw Family Lines in South Carolina

As I got into a family tree (genealogy hobby) in the 1960s, I quickly discovered many apparently different Shaw family lines with similar first names. [back to genealogy portal page] If you are from one of the Shaw lines, below, please let me know so that I can make the connection in the family tree website.

All pre-1800 Shaw families came into S. C. through either the port of Charleston, S. C. or by way of the Wagon Road from Pennsylvania, that road emptying into interior S. C. near present-day Lancaster, S. C. and spilling through just into near Augusta, Georgia. So, without having all family origins documented for sure (as of Thanksgiving 2004), I'm dividing the "backcountry" and port families into Upcountry
(western S. C....probable Wagon Road immigrants) & Lowcountry (eastern & coastal S. C....probable Charleston port entry immigrants) groups.

My friend, Sharon Styles, sent me a link (Dec. 2017) to a You Tube video on using DNA testing, especially because of its value in mixed-race/ethnicity offspring, out-of-wedlock offspring, the "taking in" of a neighbor birth and raising as your own without official adoption, etc., HERE (there are many other videos on that site about DNA). In my own family, maternal side, we wondered for years if my great-grandfather was a "taken in" baby (but mystery maybe is solved). And, then, there is the famous instance of the child born of white, deceased Sen. Strom Thurmond having an out-of-wedlock, transracial relation (HERE) in racial segregation times that was kept quiet until after Thurmond died (her burial). Many, many things happen in families...since the beginning of time...that are either unknown or kept very quiet!

If you think that you may be from one of the below lines, please e-mail me (Ervin Shaw, M. D.) & let me be in touch with you & possibly update your information. In 2003-4, I was contacted by two African American descendants of slaves owned by white Shaw families in S. C. (sharing common connections). The SCIway website has links to all S. C. town websites (here) & a ton of info about S. C., including genealogy. The family tree info from my computer files on many of Shaw individuals WAS posted in my on-line genealogy file website (which I discontinued & took down in 2012.

Also, here are some other lines I've come across & on which I have information (in my computer or vertical files or on the website):


North Carolina:

  • Collin Shaw and kin of the Cape Fear area Shaw family.
  • John Shaw (1788-1858) & Nancy Worthy Shaw (1788-1846); grandfather William from England and father James maybe from Main to N. C. To S. C. & John born in N. C. & died in Mississippi.
  • John C. Shaw (about 1801-1860) & some descendants to Texas through Louisiana; possibly a grandson of a John Shaw (1730-1788) and wife Mary Donaldson  of N. C. who had a son, Jonas.   
  • John Shaw (1774 England-1846 Wake Co., N. C.) & Fanney Martin had children, and one was Calvin High Shaw whose great grandson was Dr. William Henry Shaw of Columbus, Ga. who indicated many relatives in Durham, N. C. area (Dr. Shaw at one time possessed an old family ledger).
  • William Shaw, cabinet maker; (b. 1820 in N. C.) (possibly William Francis Shaw or Francis William Shaw) & father supposed to be William Walter Shaw born in Scotland. Was in Indiana in 1839, obtaining a land grant in Clark Co., Illinois where he married Sarah Morgan (maiden name, Sharp)
  • William Shaw (1754 Onslow Co, N. C.-1827 Wake Co., N. C.) & Mary his will, they had no descendants. 

Georgia: A number of S. C. Shaw lines went to Georgia.

South Carolina:


  • Abbeville & Ninety-six, S. C.: This was the 1st town settlement in the western South Carolina upcountry & seat of first courthouse & jail just after the Rev. War (present town 2.5 miles north of Old Settlement). Underwent name change to Cambridge in 1787 (Cambridge about 0.25 miles from Old Settlement), which dwindled to 1 or 2 stores by 1835. County seat shifted a few miles away to present day Abbeville, a town so named for the French hometown of a founding French Huguenot. In Pendleton District.

    William Shaw, Sr., Esq, from Great Britain & "now of Cambridge", mother lives in Maryland, died 1788.

    Alexander Shaw arrived in Charleston from Ireland 1795 & to Pendleton District.

  • Anderson, S. C.
  • Chester, S. C.
    William Shaw (about 1729-1794), from England to Main, to N. C., to S. C., "Practitioner of Physick" & private in Rev. War.

  • Chesterfield, S. C.:
    Murdock Shaw (died 1904) & Roderick Shaw (1813-1903) from Scotland

  • Edgefield, S. C.: Established in 1785, it is located just east of the Savannah River & is home to S. C.'s oldest weekly newspaper, The Edgefield Advertiser.
  • Greenwood, S. C.
  • Greenville, S. C.
  • McCormick, S. C.
  • Rock Hill (York/ Union District), S. C.:
    William Shaw (1757-1842) & Gilbert Shaw (1757-1842) from York, Pa.

  • Winnsboro, S. C.
    James Warnock Shaw (about 1830-1858), jeweler & maybe from Ireland.


  • Aiken, S. C.
    John Shaw (1738-?) from Ireland

    Capt. Alexander Shaw (died 1765)

  • Beaufort & Port Royal & St. Helena (Prince William parish), S. C.
    Alexander Shaw & Capt. Anthony Shaw (1762-1798) of Galloway, Scotland.

    William Shaw (about 1738-1769), merchant, bachelor

    Charles Shaw (about 1740-after 1783), plantation manager, and went to Florida.

    Launch Shaw (about 1704-1761), son Lachlan Shaw (about 1724-1761)

  • Bishopville, S. C. (at headwaters of Black River)
  • Camden, S. C.
    George W. Shaw (1820-1860), merchant & "northerner by birth".

  • Charleston, S. C.
    Capt. David Shaw (about 1770-after 1812) a sea-captain & merchant from Scotland.

    Pott Shaw(about 1749-1790), merchant

    Peter Shaw (about 1700-1744), shopkeeper & Constable

    Richard Shaw (1765-1812)

    William (about 1760-?) Shaw of Ireland & in Rev. War...his son William B.(1801-1851) Shaw moved to Indiana.

    William D. Shaw (1786-1818), Irish merchant, from Athens, N. Y.

    Zachariah Shaw (1772-1804) & James Shaw (1775-1804) (James a merchant from Maryland).

  • Cheraw, S.C. (on the Pee Dee River):
    James Calvin Shaw (about 1919-?)

  • Georgetown, S. C.:
    Daniel Shaw, died 1745

  • Kingstree, S. C.
    Henry Daves Shaw (1796-1866)...Descendant family genealogists, Sharon Styles & Ernest Shaw, have found (after receiving their DNA test results) and working with their genealogical research
    and military records for United States Colored Troop Anthony Shaw, that it appears a great number of the African American Shaws that migrated to Marlin, Texas were on the Kingstree plantation of Henry D Shaw and/or his son Robert Henry Shaw and stepsons William and Sam Tisdale. .

    Ernest Shaw (Irmo, S. C.) family (descendants of one of Henry Daves Shaw's slaves)

  • Marion, S. C.
    William Shaw (1759-1863) Rev. War, HERE.

  • Sumter, S. C.:
    John Shaw (1750-1810), Belfast area, Ireland

    Sadie Allen's (Texas) Shaw
    line & Sharon Johnson Styles' (descendants of Carolina Shaw, a slave of one of John Shaw's offspring...possibly slave of William Alexander Shaw)

[Immigration to S. C. story] [my other family tree links]

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(posted 25 November 2004; latest adjustment 6 Dec. 2017)