I guess I am much different than most
people, I have always had a desire to live back in the 1800s. It seems
that in those days if a man had any ambition at all, he could be just
about anything he wanted to be, or could do what he wanted todo without
so much government control. One thing is for sure, in those days, our
country was not all tied up in red tape and various laws that control
every aspect of one's life. Another thing worth mentioning, people had
time to slow down and live and enjoy life. Therefore, I found injoyment
in researching my ancestors and reaching back into the past.
Before I begin to present the historical aspect of this website, I would
like to state that the purpose of this research is to trace my family
history from John de la Chaumette to myself. In doing this, I have begun
with John de la Chaumette, on to his son Samuel who came to the Cheraw
District (Chesterfield County) South Carolina in the 1700s, and on to
Samuel's sons Blackley, Samuel, John, and Moses. This account will show
Blackley leaving the Chesterfield County area and going into Ohio; Samuel
and John moving to Tennessee, and Moses remaining in South Carolina.
It is impossible to trace all the descendants of these four boys. However,
since my line came through Moses, I will try through the process of
ilimination show Samuel and John's descendants, as much as possible
in Tennessee, and show the descendants of Moses in South Carolina.
When I began my research, I placed an
advertisement in a genealogical magazine requesting information regarding
the South Carolina Shuemakes. I received a reply from a lady who told
me about Benjamin H. Shoemaker III, of Germantown, PA, She said he had
already written a book titled Shoemaker Pioneers. I wrote for the book,
paying $25.00 for it and found over 450 pages of research. I found it
very informative and it provided me with much information that I will
pass along as it relates to the Shuemakes who came to West Florida.
A second resourse of information came
from Mrs. T. K. Strong of Los Altos Hills, CA. She is a decendant of
the South Carolina Shoemakes. From her letters and information I was
able to return to Columbia, S.C., at the State Archives Building and
do more research that proved rewarding. Since that time Mrs. Strong
has published her book "Our Shoemake Roots" that has been very helpful
in revising this journal.
A third evidence relating to the Shoemakes
or Shuemakes, you will notice I am using the names interchangeable,
was found in the Darlington County, S.C., Courthouse. This was family
data relating to the "Shumates" compiled by Mrs. McC, Glen and Mrs.
Inez McC. Lawson.
A fourth resource which I have spent
much time with is the census records and other records found in various
courthouses. These courthouses include the ones found in Chesterfield,
Darlington, and Lee Counties. Bishopville is the county seat of Lee
One thing to keep in mind when reading
another man's research is that he may or may not have had all the information
he needed when he wrote down his research findings. I have found new
information almost every time I have gone to South Carolina. Often I
have had to come back to the typewriter and make changes. I am sure
after I complete this journal, I may find myself wrong about some of
the information herein recorded.
I feel that the research I have done
is fairly accurante and reliable. I have found it difficult to write
down all that I want to say and just how I want to say it. However,
I ask that you bear with me as I endeavor to make this presentation.
The Shoemake Families of The Cheraws
The Shoemake families of the Cheraws
District, S.C., an area that included Chesterfield County, were definitely
white and there is a question whether there was any connection with
the Georgetown Shoemakes who were of mixed blood. I shall refer to this
group of Shoemakes later.
Taken from the book Shoemaker Pioneers
the early tax list for Goochland County, Virgina for 1746 lists a Samuel
Shewmate; in 1748 a Samuel Shumake; in 1749 a Samuel Shoemat. This is
the same person but each year the name was spelled differently. Samuel
is said to be the son of Jean (John) de la Chaumette of Rochechouart,
France who left that country at the Edict of Nantes in 1685 and went
to London, England and later came to America. From information provided
to me by Mrs. T. K. Strong who has well researched the background of
the Shoemake families, stated in a letter that the "Shumate Family"
of America, in a book on their family history, page 11, accepts John
de la Chaumette as being the origin of the "Shumates" in this country.
All available information that I have
states that John de la Chaumette married the second time to Elizabeth
Bourgeois Bouvet and moved to the Island of Martinque where she died.
John came on with his four sons to Stafford County, Virgina, arriving
around 1723. The history of the "Shumate Family" states that he came
to Virgina around 1717. This is so stated in tthe book written by Benjamin
H. Shoemaker, III. Also, it is reported that John de la had a brother
by the name of Arnold.
The first record of Arnold shows his
last name to be spelled "Shoomach." He is shown living on Pagan Creek,
Isle of Wight County, Virginia some years prior to 1668. (See Isle of
Wight County History). In his will that was probated in the Isle of
Wight County, February 9, 1697, it mentions his son Moses. Other information
shows Moses moving to King and Queen County, Virginia along with relatives
by the name of Davis (Major James Davis). After the Major died in 1741,
it was learned that the parish was forced to contibute to Moses' support
until his death in 1749. (Recorded in the Shuemake Family, page 7).
On October 11, 1742, Moses was exempted from payment of parish levies.
The Shumate Family states that Arnold
was probably an older brother of John de la Shumate (Chaumette) who
came to Virginia around 1717 or later. It is said that both of these
immigrants were in london, England for a period of time before coming
to the Colonies.
John de la Chaumette
In a study of the name Chaumette, I
refer to a series of letters published in the "Family Data" by Mrs.
Nell McC. Glenn and Mrs. Inez McC. Lawson. Note the following:
The Huguenot Society of Washington
District of Columbia
February 24, 1928
Miss Aline Ward
Dear Miss Ward:
Your letter of February 23rd received
and allowed me to endeavor to correct one or two impressions which I
fear are deeply rooted in your mind. First of all during the wars of
Religion and persecutions that followed many Protestants assumed masked
names; in fact the majority of the Prostentants Nobles did, and many
of them never went back to them just as most European Nobility dropped
their titles at the time of the French Revolution and never assumed
The words "de la, de and du" must never
be assumed to be patents of nobility. They must first of all be historically
or geographically descriptive. Otherwise they are not French. I know
one simple peasant boy whose name is Francois de na'miel de la Bastide
de Serou; there aretwo de's and one de la in his name and his forebearers
were retainer of mountains with honey during the long winters.
No lesser person than Louis XIV and
Mari Antoinette built those darling little cots or Chaumieres at Versailles
where they farmed and milked to get away from the court. The greatest
compliment you could pay either was to call them Monsieur or Mme.de
la Chaumiere. I suggest that origin of your name because I believe it
to be the correct one; it may have been a masked name or even just part
of a name which is most likely. If you recall the mountain behind Aix-les-Bains,
it is called Mont Revard. Well that was the name of one of my Huguenot
ancestors, but during the persecution he put a "B" before the "R" and
to this day we are known as the Brevards, which explains the history
to one who knows the riddle. In genealogy nothing is ever accepted as
final. And is you find that Chaumiere or Chaumine was original "Shumate"
(which by no stretch of the imagination could ever be called French)
then continue your investigation from that point. I merely wanted to
indicate a sign post or two.
John Cabell Wilkerson
Another letter dated February 27, 1928
Dear Miss Ward: Another clue. I have
learned that a family named "Shumay" have entered some of the Huguenot
Societies on their Huguenot Ancestors Chamois. If anyone would pronounce
"Chaumois" with a Yorkshire or Staffordshire accent, I am sure that
something like Shumate would result.
Chamois was a Huguenot. I have his line
here. Can you connect with him?
Cordially and Sincerely
John C. Wilkerson
Extracts of letters from Mrs. Benjamine
K. Shumate of Riverton, VA. Dated September 17, 1927 and October 11,
1927, establishing the original name of Shumate.
To Miss Aline Ward:
"My husband's aunt had a number of old
books with the name 'Chaumette' written in them. Mrs. John W. Larkin
of Buffalo, N. Y. (wife of the Larkin Soap Co.) ran across the Chaumette
coat of arms under which is engraved Lewis Andrew de la Chaumette. She
found it inCanada and recognized the Chaumette as the French form of
my husband's name.
"The coat of arms which Mrs. Larkin
sent me was a steel engraving. I lent it to one of my cousins, who carelessly
or accidently destroyed it. The copy I have was made by my niece, an
artist of portland, Me. (Mrs. J. O. Buck). She looked it up at Tiffany's
but failed to establish its colors. The field isn't blue. It is not
unlike the Wash ington coat of arms."
Extracts of a letter from Mr. Jon Cabell
Wilkerson, Secretary of the Huguenot Society, Washington, D.C., dated
February 21, 1928.
To Miss Aline Ward:
I have read through several times, the
interesting data that you sent to me about the Shumate name and its
origin. I have made a considerable study now for forty years as to the
roots and origins of French names and titles. The most matter of fact,
the rule of thumb, that I can give you, is that, in the final analysis,
each French name, must have been either a geographical or simi-historical
meaning, with a geographical tag to it.
Shumate is not French, nor will you
find it in any of the French patols or dialects; the word is too English
for that. But I am willing to wager you a pretty penny that the name
originally from Chame, or its derivities, Chaumiere or Chaumine, both
of which answer in full the acid test above given.
Chaume means wheat or stubble or wheat
straw after the grains have been threshed out of it. All over that part
of France this Chaume was and is still gathered into flat bundles of
certain size and tied and made to serve as a thatch or roofing for houses
or dwellings which take the name Chaumire from the chaume that covers
them. A Chaumine is a lodge or dower house, or small edition of chaumiere.
Which means that the original Shumate was undoubtly an honest farmer.
Furthermore, the spelling was sometimes
changed so that persons who escaped from France could not be easily
found. One of my Huguenot ancestors was named Revard. When he escaped,
he put a "B" in front of his name and was henceforth known as Brevard.
I am returning your papers to you,
hoping that you will incorporate them into your application to the Huguenot
Society and I am sure you will make the grade. The word "Chaumont" where
Pershing had his headquarters means literally a mountain (mont) of straw
(chaume). Whether this town took its name from your family or your family
its name from the town would be interesting to discover, but the meaning
is both plain and clear.
Signed: John C. Wilkerson
Secly Huguenot Society
Washington, D. C.
From The Memorandums of Mr. Austin McCarthy
3816 Jenifer St.
The Shumates are of French Huguenot
origin. In France the name is "de la" Shumate or probably "de la" Chaumette.
In 1685 when Louis IV promulgated the widely known "Revocation of the
Edict of Nantes" in the frenzy of persecution and property confiscation
which followed, three Shumate (Chaumette) brothers fled France to England.One
settled in London, one in Manchester, and the third in England.
The one who settled in Manchester amassed
a large fortune which he invested in what later became the center of
Manchester. It is alledged that some of his decendants immigrated to
America. A few years ago a gentleman came from Manchester to the U.S.
for the purpose of tracing the American decendants of those immigrates,
with a view, it is said of their participation in the Manchester estate.
It is said he claimed to be pleased with the result of his search, but
nothing further has been heard from him on the subject.
The tradition is that Jean (John) de
la Chaumette (Shumate) the founder of the Shumate Family in America
settled at Elk Run in Fauquier County, Virginia.
(Insert by Harring D. Shuemake: Evidence
also supports that John de la Chaumette was the founder or origin of
the Shoemake/Shuemake Families in South Carolina).
John dela Shumate (Chaumette) son of____________was
born _______________and married Judith Bailey.
The earliest knowledge we have of the
Shumates is in connection with the will of Mark Harden dated March 16,
1734. Judith Shumate and Daniel were two witnesses to the will. (See
Book C, page 36, Prince William County). Harden lived at Kettle Runin,
that part of Prince William which afterwards fell in Fauquier County.
John or Jean (as given in family tradition) de la Shumate was an early
date domiciled on Elk Run in Fauquier County.
He purchased land from William Allen;
the land was patented by Allen when the locality was in Stafford. (See
deed of his son Daniel dated on November 22, 1770, Deed Book 4 , Page
128, Fauquier County).
The name John Shumate appears in the
tax books of Elk Run Settlement in 1759, while still in Prince William
John Shumate (Chaumette) died in 1784.
His will is dated May 19, 1783, probated in 1784 made devises: To wife,
Judith, to children William, John, Joshua, Daniel, Thomas, James, Bailey,
Lettice and Jemima.His brother Daniel, also acquired property in the
I have researched the preceeding information regarding John de la
Chaumette and it is noted that Samuel Shewmake, the son of John de la
Chaumette, which has been spelled Shumate and is claimed by the Shumate
Family to be the beginning of the Shumate family in America, is also
spelled on the tax list in 1748 as Shumake, and in 1749 it is spelled
Shoemat. (I have also seen it appearing in recorded documents as Shoemark
and Shomack). I have found through studying the Federal Census that
in one year the name may be spelled one way and 10 years later when
the census again was taken it would be spelled another way. The spelling
of the name was made by the census taker. Again, it may be spelled Shewmake
one decade and Shoemake the next. So the claim by the Shumates about
John being the beginning of the Shumate Family does not keep him from
also being the beginning of the Shoemake/Shuemake families in America
According to my research, this seems to be the case.
The name Shoemaker is of German origin,
but the name Shumate, Shoemake, and Shuemake is of French origin, seeing
that John de la Chaumette was from France. I have included copies of
letters I received from Mrs. T. K. Strong of Los Altos Hills, California
in April of 1978 and I have quoted from her book Our Shoemake Roots.
Her line is through Blackley, son of Samuel, son of John de la Chaumette.
She has well documented her published information. At one time Blackley
was in South Carolina (prior to 1800) along with his father Samuel and
his brothers John, Moses and Samuel Jr., or as may be referred to as