Posted Letters
The Following Are Letters I Have Received From Various Shoemake/Shuemake Connections. I Have Listed These For The Purpose Of Providing Information For Those
Who Would Visit This Site

Dear Mr. Shuemake,

I have been doing research on my boyfriend, Ira Lack’s genealogy, and was at a puzzling point when I did a search and found your genealogy web site. I hope you will forgive my presumption in asking you if a lady who is one of his ancestors was part of your family tree, also, or if she was married to a Shoemate who died in the Civil War.

Here is the family story, including my notes, taken from our Lack family web site. “Margaret Jane Shoemate was born 1842. She died 1915 in Tennessee. Shumate Gerald Hope lists her last name alternately as Shoemake. There is a Shoemake genealogy page at: which indicates they lived in Bledsoe County, Tenn., and were part Cherokee Indian, but don't know if this is the same family or not.

Margaret Jane married Charles Ferguson on November 26, 1872 in Pikeville, Bledsoe, TN. Charles (parents Thomas L. Ferguson and Matilda Childress) was born October 28, 1840 in Bledsoe County, TN. He died November 23, 1904 in Pikeville, Let, Bledsoe County, TN. (See this page 1850 census: middle of page)

Margaret Jane Shoemate and Charles Ferguson had the following children:
1. Julia Ellen (Ella) Ferguson was born October 21, 1863 in Bledsoe County, Tennessee. She died September 24, 1954 in Los Angeles, LA County, CA.
2. Walter Ferguson was born August 3, 1873. 3. Annie Ferguson was born January 29, 1876.
4. Hallie Ferguson was born September 27, 1878.
5. John Ferguson was born May 23, 1884.
6. Maggie Ferguson was born April 27, 1887.”

Here is the mystery for us. Ira is descended from Julia Ellen Ferguson, who was born in 1863, long before Charles and Margaret Jane got married! His story, including his Civil War pension applications, states that his surviving children did NOT include Julia Ellen. Since she lived to be 91, she certainly didn’t die before he applied for the pension. So, this leaves us up a bit of a creek.

I read your pages with the Bledsoe County, TN info very carefully, but saw no mention of a Margaret Jane of the right age. So we have been speculating that Margaret Jane, born with an unknown surname in 1842, married someone, perhaps a Shoemake/Shoemate, who survived enough of the Civil War to provide her with a daughter, Julia Ellen, in 1863, then died, leaving the widow to marry Charlie Ferguson and raise Julia Ellen along with his own children.

I don’t know if this is true, but it seems like it could be. We would love to extend the family research in this direction, but are truly stuck here. We have the other side of his family tree back to 1124 (yikes!), thanks to longtime family researchers, so our curiosity is raging. We would appreciate any information you might have. We do know that she attended a “fancy finishing school” in Chattanooga, TN, and was well-to-do, as she and Charley sent what was (for those days) a large amount of money every year to Julia Ellen after she and her husband moved to Texas. My speculation here is that the money came to Julia Ellen rather than the other kids because it was a bequest from her first husband, but I might be just imagining things! I hope this isn’t too much intrusion, but we appreciate any help you can give us! Thanks so much,

Daphne Mitchell
Ira Lack
Daphne Mitchell

(If you have any information on this person, please contact her at the above email address


Hi there. I have seen your posts and am wondering if my line of Shoemakes are some of the ones you are talking about.

My Great Grandmother was Martha J. Shoemake(r). Her father was Andrew Jackson Shoemake(r). He was married to a Nancy (no last name) I can follow Andrew Jackson Shoemake threw the Overton Co. census for the years 1870 and 1880.

My Andrew was born in 1826. I looked for a Shoemake in the 1850 census and found a John Shoemake, married to a Hannah...with a son named Jackson ( I believe this to be my gggrandfather ..the dates are right) The census says John was from SC and Hannah was from NC. John would have been born about 1795 and Hannah about 1789. The census in 1850 list them as being 55 and 61 years of age. Would you know of this line? Would you have any further information? My father said we have indian blood in us. From what I can see, if we do, it has to come from the Shoemake line somehow. So far, I have nothing to prove this. I would appreciate any info you can offer.

Thanks sheri

Email Sheri if you have any information


Harring: Your copy of the application of Morris K. Shoemake, first page, has items added by someone that are not on the original I received from the Tennessee Archives. Where did you get your copy? It says Archives in Washington. But the handwriting of added information does not match the original.

The name of Morris' wife is not on my application. Where did that information about his wife being Luraner Sampley come from? On William F. Shoemake's application, the son of Morris, he said his mother was Lorrania Sankley.

On my application copy Morris names his brothers and sisters and their death dates which includes James, died 1905, John Fletcher, died 1863, Sallie Sampley died 1886, Lorraine Long, died 1901 and Mary Sampley died 1906. I have written to Marion County for a search of probate for these brothers and sisters. I would dearly love to know what happened to Brother John Fletcher who died in 1863. He was not in the Civil War Soldiers database on


Note: Morris K. Shoemake's wife was named Lauraner, and in one listing on the census it was listed as Lou.

In District 4, Marion County, TN 1880
Morris Shumate (Apparently Morris K. Shumate) born in 1840, in Tennessee
----Lou Shumate, born in 1845, in Tennessee
----Thomas. Son, born in 1861 in Tennessee,
----Jackson, son, born in 1864 in Tennessee
----William, son, born in 1866 in Tennessee
----Mary J., daughter, born in 1870 in Tennessee
----James, son, born in 1873 in Tennessee
----Alas, daughter, born 1875 in Tennessee
----Orpha, daughter, 1877 in Tennessee


Dear H. D.

I received an interesting letter from another genealogy enthusiast, she looked in a book and found her is a quote from her email. This evening, I thought I'd flip through my copy of Bledsoe County Tennessee - A Pictorial History, just in case there were some Shoemate/Shoemake family there. What luck! On page 274, there is a photo of Margaret Jane Shumate! It says she was born in Bledsoe County in April of 1842. She died October 5, 1915 and is buried in Humble Cemetery. She married Charles Ferguson on November 6, 1873 in Pikeville. They were married by M. P. Swain. The photograph of her was taken in 1912. I do not know who submitted the photo, but I can probably find out from the Bledsoe County librarian.

Throughout the book, there is mention of a woman named Catherine Shumate Card. Perhaps she is a sister to Margaret! There were numerous folks with the Shoemate spelling of the surname. Do you have access to a copy of this book? I wasn't sure if you lived in Tennessee or were from another area. Our library here in Chattanooga has a copy of this book, but if you do not live nearby, I would gladly copy any pages for you. In another email she gave me the info to contact the Bledsoe County librarian, who helped put the book together, so she is the next one I need to get in contact with. (BTW, the reference in the one email about your site was made after seeing your’s just part of the Family Story section on the family tree.)

Thanks so much for staying in touch, Daphne Mitchel
Daphne Mitchell

Richard Arthur Shoemake
Stevenson, Alabama

Jackson County

NOTE: Thomas Jefferson Shoemake was a son of Morris K. Shoemake. Morris K., was the son of John Fletcher Shoemake. (See Tennessee And Alabama Shoemakes).Also, it is believed that John Fletcher was the son of the John who appears in Jackson County, Alabama 1830-1850, who was the son of John Sr. wo was the son of Samuel Shoemake of Checterfield County, SC that died there prior to 1790.(This note is subject to revision)

Note About Hannah Shoemake of Bledsoe County, Tennessee
Mr. Shuemake: I am a descendant of Susan Shoemake McGarr, whose mother was named Hannah, and who lived in Bledsoe County, Tennessee, through much of the nineteenth century. I believe Susan's mother was the same Hannah Shoemake you discuss at your website, . Susan Shoemake was born in late June or early July (it seems) of 1823. In the 1860 and 1870 census records for Bledsoe County, she appears next to or one dwelling removed from J.S. Shumake and his family (dwellings 14 and 13 respectively in the 7th civil district on the 1870 census). It may be that J.S. and Susan were brother and sister. Perhaps this small piece of information will help identify Hannah Shoemake's husband. Your Shuemake Journal website is very helpful and well-crafted. My thanks for all the effort that's gone into building it. R. Grant Jones . If anyone has further information on Hannah, please contact me at

From R. Grant Jones

January 25, 2003

Dear Mr. Shuemake:

Some weeks ago I wrote to inform you that Hannah Shumake had a daughter, named Susan, born in 1823. I've learned a bit more since then, some of which relates to the material at your web site, particularly to the presence of Shumake children in the Sutherland family in 1850. Since I suspect it may interest you also, I'm passing it along.

I first heard that Hannah Shumake was Susan's mother back in 1967 when I drew up my family tree for a school project. I was given more details in a 1990 letter from my grandmother. She wrote, "William Isaac McGarr married Susan Shoemake. Her mother's first name was Hannah. We don't know her last name. He was born in Ireland and it is believed Susan was too. ... He came to America as a stowaway on a ship, so she must have come later.

"Their sons were Frank, James K. Polk, and John R. Their daughters were Scotty, Emma, Margaret, Martha Ann (who was your great great grandmother) and Annie."

Let me say that this family tradition is remarkable because, although it correctly records the names of Susan's children, it is demonstrably false in other ways. For instance, I have yet to find William Isaac McGarr, though Susan did marry a James McGarr, who appears in the 1860 census for Bledsoe County, Tennessee (dwelling 356). (Perhaps William Isaac was James' father.) The children do not share a single father, but seem to have three separate fathers. Also, Susan was born in Tennessee, not Ireland. An examination of the census records makes me wonder whether Susan was, indeed, Hannah's daughter. She may have been her daughter-in-law.

You have an image posted at your web site of a portion of the 1850 census for Bledsoe County, TN, which includes the Sutherland family. Thomas Sutherland, age 60, is the head of household. Susannah, age 27, is there as well, followed in the listing by two older Sutherland children. Then Scotty Shumake's (12) name appears, followed by Margaret (9), Emily (7) and David F. Sutherland (10 months). Susannah is plainly Susan Shoemake: she is the right age and the children have the right names. (I believe David F. is Frank; the 1860 census makes this plain.) She is also only four dwellings removed from Hannah.

(In 1840, Susan would have been 17, and her daughter Scotty, 2. They could thus be the two females, one zero to five, the other fifteen to twenty years old, who appear in Hannah's household in that year.)

Susan seems to have given birth to three Shumake children, then married the elderly Sutherland, who fathered her fourth child, Frank. On the hypothesis that Susan was Hannah's daughter, and a Shumake herself, why were the first three children (Scotty, Margaret and Emily) given the Shumake name? The most likely alternatives are: (1) the children were illegitimate; and (2) Susan Shumake had married another Shumake. Another option is that (3) Susan was not Hannah's daughter, but had married one of her sons. I do not yet possess enough information to decide among the alternatives.

By 1860, Mr. Sutherland has passed on, and Susan has married James McGarr (dwelling 356). Margaret (18), Emily (15), and Frank (10, Franklin = David F.) are shown under the McGarr name. The new children, Martha (7), James K. Polk (6), and John R. (3), are there as well, as is Scotty (20). She appears to have been married to a Hasting and given birth to three children: Eliza (6), Alice (2), and James F. (four months).

In 1870, James McGarr is no longer in the household (dwelling 14, seventh civil district), but the youngest daughter, Anna, is present, along with her older siblings (except Scotty, Frank, and Martha Ann). (Martha has married Lowra M. Merriman and has a son and daughter of her own.) Out of curiosity, I've searched for Scotty and her son James in the online 1880 U.S. census, but to no avail.

Again, I'm sending this in the hope that this information, coupled with whatever others may provide, will eventually result in the discovery of Hannah's husband's identity. Perhaps someone has the key to the true relationship between Hannah and Susan Shumake McGarr as well.
Sincerely, R. Grant Jones

Taken from a post, posted by Kenith Shoemake:

My Remarks
Ken Shoemake has posted the following but it does not make sense. Here is why. The John in Jackson County, Alabama was 84 years of age in 1850, according to the Census. This would have made him to be born in 1766. It is more reasonable to think that this John was the one who was in Knox county or Roane County in 1813 and later migrated on down to Alabama. There are several other reasons why I believe Ken is wrong.

Also, if one will note he has taken a page from my website and posted it. It has to do with the lynching of William Shuemake. To show you this is true, you can go to the bottom of the page and click on home and it will take you to my website. Amazing.
There are many of his quotes that are incorrect according to my research. He makes the following statement:

Ken Shoemake Said:

"John Shumak of Roane County apparently died about 1813 in Bledsoe County. I have established that his likely son, John, purchased land in 1825, 1831 and 1834. The location of this land was in District 7 in 1836. I have collected and studied maps of the area and can almost pin point where in Bledsoe County the family lived. The 1840 census shows John Shoemake, white, with a family of free colored persons. This family corresponds exactly with the John Shoemake family in 1850 in Marion County." (My Notes: This person was John Fletcher Shoemake)

There is record of the death of a John who died in Bledsoe County abt., 1813. His will was administered by a John Thomas. However, it is believed that this John was not the John who appears in Jackson County Alabama in 1850, who I believe was the father of the John Fletcher, Robert, William and James. I spoke with Arthur Shoemake, who lived in Jackson County Alabama in 1980, and he said his people sold their land and built a houseboat and came down the Tennessee River to Jackson County.

Ken Shoemake said
"Ken Shuemake's line comes from Sampson Shoemake, a son of John Shoemake of Marion County. He was born in Bledsoe County."

The 1850 census show Sampson to be a son of John Fletcher Shoemake, son of John Shoemake. Sampson was listed as being 23 years of age, thus making him to be born in 1827. His siblings were listed as being: James A., 24; Sarah, 24; John (Who was identified by Morris K. Shoemake, as being John Fletcher, Jr.), age 22; Lorena 18; Morris K., age 17; and Mary, age 15.

Ken Shoemake said:
"So, as I believe, the Shoemake line is as follows:
Jean de la Chaumette
---Samuel, born about 1710 married Lucy Blackley
---Samuel, Jr. born about 1730/40 (was in Bledsoe County in 1830)
---John, died about 1813 in Bledsoe County
---John, born 1795 in SC and in Bledsoe County 1840 and Marion Co. 1850"


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