The Shattucks of Pompey, New York: unraveling the tale of an NPE

The story of the Shattucks and Pomeroys in Pompey, NY is adapted from Running Barefoot by Nancy Maliwesky. It appears in its entirety here.

by Susan Hughes, Director, American Pomeroy Historic Genealogical Association

Editor's note: I discovered Bill Pomeroy among my matches when I got my results back from the DNA testing company at the very beginning of my genetic genealogy studies several years ago. I was curious why Bill was showing up near the top of my list of matches, given his last name. He enthusiastically replied to my request for a joint investigation of the connection. He and Susan had already determined that Bill was probably descended from a Shattuck who lived in Pompey, New York. But the connection was unsupported by a paper trail and little other evidence was available, not surprising when you consider his ancestor's impending birth would have been greeted with alarm by his grandparents and their neighbours. Thus began a two year journey of discovery to uncover the mystery presented by his genetic results. Susan Hughes tells us the story so far... Philip Shaddock

Presbyterian Church, Pompey, NY. Built in 1817. 1939 Postcard, Pomeroy Collection

The Military Tract

The town of Pompey in Onondaga County, New York was formed in 1795, part of New York State's Military Tract. This land was occupied by the Onondaga, a part of the Iroquois Confederacy. After the Americans successfully secured independence in the Revolutionary War, they needed funds to pay their troops. With little to no currency, the new government appropriated land to use in lieu of cash payment for service. New York State “set aside” the Military tract for this purpose. The land was surveyed and divided up into parcels of approximately 600 acres each and given to soldiers from New York State who had served. The majority of land was never settled by New York soldiers, however, but instead sold to large land speculators who later resold the land at an often considerable profit.

One can get a good sense of what Pompey was like at the turn of the 19th century by reading the 1875 publication, Re-Union of the Sons and Daughters of the Old Town of Pompey, Held at Pompey Hill, June 29, 1871. The biographical sketches of some of the early settlers paint a picture of a tight-knit community. It was not uncommon for a new family to temporarily reside in a home built by an earlier settler. These were probably simple log dwellings, with few amenities. There is frequent reference to settlers “reclaiming the wilderness”, and indeed, back in 1795, this area was mostly forest. Pompey, especially Pompey Hill, became a favorable location as its elevation provided escape from the swampland in the surrounding area. One such swampland would become Syracuse, NY.

The Shattucks of Pompey

The story of the Shattuck family is indicative of the problems faced by many early settlers of the Military Tract. Joseph Shattuck was born 29 Sep 1749 in Deerfield, Franklin County, Massachusetts, to parents Samuel and Sarah (Closson) Shattuck. He married Chloe Scott 23 Nov 1775. In 1780, Joseph served a total of 8 months and 20 days under Captain Isaac Pope, in the Fourth Massachusetts Regiment (also known as the Third Continental Regiment) during the Revolutionary War. About 1795 he purchased part of lot 47 in Pompey, New York, where he and his family settled. On 19 Oct 1796 he was one of the founding members of the First Congregational Church of Pompey.

Joseph and Chloe (Scott) Shattuck were the parents of nine boys - Stephen, born 14 Jul 1777; Zebina, born 12 Jan 1780; Joseph, Jr., born 16 Apr 1782; Chester, born 17 Aug 1784; Eli, born 1787; Ansel, born 10 Aug 1789; Lucius, born 15 Oct 1791; Alfred, born 15 Aug 1794; and Truman, born 4 Apr 1798.

By 7 Sep 1801, Joseph Shattuck and his family had been forced to leave what they thought was their property on lot 47, and had moved nearby to lots 37 and 38. This move was precipitated by a lawsuit brought by Conrad Bush, the legitimate owner of the property. The title dispute was a great hardship to Joseph and his family, as they had cleared sixty acres, and built a log house and barn on the land. Still determined to help build the community of Pompey, on 15 Mar 1802, Joseph joined 59 other property owners in signing a petition to the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York to establish the Pompey Academy and provide a formal education for their children.

Mary Ann Pomeroy (1839-1882), Mary Ann Coe’s granddaughter and namesake. In 1865, she married Sergeant Merrick Collins Smith in Sandusky, OH.

Ithamar and wife Sarah (Ball) Coe lived in Ballstown, (now) Saratoga County, NY in 1783. Mary Ann, their fourth child, was born 8 Jun 1790. By 1792, the Coe family was living in Paris, Oneida County, NY, about 90 miles to the east of Pompey. In May of 1795, Ithamar Coe purchased 600 acres of military tract land in Pompey, NY; it does not appear that the family lived there until several years later. Not many details have emerged about young Mary Ann Coe’s life in Pompey prior to her marriage in 1807. We assume she lived with her parents on property they owned on lot 37. Pompey Road Books give us glimpses of the Coe’s near neighbors, at least those who lived on the same road as the family. In 1801 the Coe family is identified as living near the Chenango road - the same road as Jonathan Ball, Ithamar’s brother-in-law, and Joseph Shattuck.

Pliny Pomeroy and Sarah Allen were married in Northampton, Hampshire County, Massachusetts in 1757. Part of the extensive Pomeroy family living in Hampshire County, Pliny and Sarah had settled on ancestral land owned by his father, Lt. Daniel Pomeroy. Daniel had been killed in the 1755 Battle of the Bloody Morning Scout, the opening engagement of the Battle of Lake George in Upstate New York.

Spencer Pomeroy probably arrive in Pompey, NY with his widowed mother Sarah and his sister Clarissa in the spring of 1806. Sisters Nancy and Charlotte were already married and it is likely that Nancy and husband James Higgins were living in Pompey as James is identified in the 1803 town tax rolls.

When Spencer Pomeroy, 26, and Mary Ann Coe, just 16, were married in Pompey on 3 Mar 1807, there may have been more reasons for the marriage than love. Five months later, Mary Ann would give birth to a son, Francis W. Pomeroy.

Shattucks relocate

Title to the property Joseph Shattuck purchased after being evicted from Conrad Bush’s land also came into question, and he was again evicted. In 1805, he moved about 100 miles west to Cohocton, Steuben County. While six of his sons also moved to Cohocton, several remained in Pompey, married and settled there.

Of these was Joseph’s eldest son Stephen Shattuck who married Rebecca Pixley in 1799 and who is found in the 1800, 1810, and 1820 US Federal Census records in Pompey, New York. He was admitted to the Pompey Presbyterian Church 5 Sep 1823 and in 1827 was appointed a delegate to the Synod at Ithaca.

Zebina Shattuck, second son of Joseph, married Sally Barlow 3 Jul 1801 in Pompey, but was living in Cohocton by 4 Feb 1808, where his son Stephen L. Shattuck was born.

Joseph Shattuck, Jr. married Susanna Smith 31 Dec 1806 in Pompey and was in Steuben County, NY when the 1810 US Federal Census was taken. On 29 Apr 1813, the first town meeting of Cohocton was held in his house according to the Historical Gazetteer of Steuben County. According to the book Memorials of the Descendants of William Shattuck, Joseph Shattuck, Jr., died in Kentucky in 1841 “as it is supposed” – a rather cryptic statement.

Chester Shattuck, the fourth son of Joseph, married first on 19 Feb 1808 to Melinda More, in Pompey, NY. Melinda gave birth to a daughter Melinda on 29 Sep 1810 who died 20 Oct 1810, outliving her mother by 11 days. A Chester Shattuck is listed as head of household in the 1810 US Federal Census, living in Pompey, NY. He remarried in Pompey on 4 Mar 1812 to Caroline Beach and was found in the 1820 US Federal Census, still living in Pompey. Chester and Caroline had at least ten children, all born in Pompey. He was listed twice in 1826 in the Pompey Road Book, and died 5 Dec 1849 in Pompey. He was buried in the Berwyn (Maplewood) Cemetery, in LaFayette, NY. Caroline lived with her son Alvin and his wife Helen in Grand Rapids, Michigan before her death in that city on 31 Aug 1885. She was buried in the Berwyn (Maplewood) Cemetery with her husband.

Eli Shattuck, Joseph’s fifth son, married Harriet Murray in Pompey on 11 Sep 1810. A cooper who worked and resided in West Bloomfield, NY, he also served in the War of 1812 and died 1 Aug 1853 in Vernon, Michigan. Harriet Murray, Eli’s first wife, was the daughter of Reuben Murray; his second wife, Sarah Knickerbocker, was a widow of David Griffin. Reuben Murray was born 17 Feb 1743 in East Guilford, Connecticut, married Sarah Guthrie about 1766, and was a veteran of the Revolution, serving as a lieutenant in the 17th New York Regiment. Murray served as Justice of the Peace for Columbia County, New York between 1786 and 1792 and died 26 Nov 1810 in Pompey, where he was buried in the Sweet Cemetery. Interestingly, Reuben’s first wife, Sarah Guthrie, was the daughter of John Guthrie and Abigail Coe, great grandaunt of Ithamar Coe. Eli and Harriet (Murray) Shattuck had at least 8 children, all born in West Bloomfield, NY.

Ansel Shattuck, Joseph’s sixth son, married Rachel Bump on 25 Jan 1809 in Pompey. He was a farmer and contractor of public works in Pompey, where he died 8 Feb 1849. Ansel and Rachel had at least nine children, all born in Pompey.

Lucius Shattuck, Joseph’s seventh son, appears to have removed to Cohocton, NY after 1805, probably with his parents. He built a log hotel there in 1810. He married Hitty Chamberlin, with whom he had at least eight children, on 6 Feb 1814. Hitty died 12 Jul 1847 in Cohocton and Lucius remarried on 5 May 1848 to Elizabeth Cornell. He died on 20 Nov 1852 in Cohocton.

Alfred Shattuck, Joseph’s eighth son, also appears to have removed to Cohocton with his parents. He married on 28 May 1820 to Sarah V. Collyer in Avoca, NY. He died 13 Aug 1847 in Plymouth, Michigan. He and Sarah had at least twelve children.

Truman Shattuck, Joseph’s ninth and youngest son, also appears to have removed to Cohocton with his parents. He married on 27 Dec 1821 to Huldah Lathrop, daughter of Ichabod Lathrop and Esther Pixley, and was occupied as a farmer. About 1855 he removed to Jackson, Michigan. Huldah’s father Ichabod was a founding member of the First Congregational Church of Pompey along with Joseph Shattuck. Truman and Huldah had at least four children, all born in Cohocton.

Baby Pomeroy or Shattuck?

Almost 200 years later, around 2006, some doubt arose as to Francis W. Pomeroy’s paternity when a YDNA test taken by a direct male descendants of Francis did not match any other Pomeroys participating in a YDNA study. Bill Pomeroy, founder of the American Pomeroy Historic Genealogical Association, was the first American to participate in the study sponsored by the Pomeroy Family Association in England. Bill is able to document his lineage to Eltweed Pomeroy (ca. 1585-1673), the progenitor of a large branch of the family who had arrived in the Connecticut colony, about 1650. Despite this paper trail, FTDNA results linked Bill to Shaddocks living in the southern United States.

As Mary Ann Coe Pomeroy had given birth to Francis on 24 Aug 1807 - a short five months after her marriage to Spencer Pomeroy - simple math says she was pregnant at the wedding. Was Spencer Pomeroy the biological father? In trying to trace the possible paternity of Francis W. Pomeroy, we began looking at other males living in Pompey at the time Mary Ann would have become pregnant. This, of course, included the Shattucks.

Our research had hit the proverbial brick wall until July 2015 when Linda Shaddock Rogers, of the South Carolina Shaddocks, reached out to Bill on behalf of her brother Kenneth Dale Shaddock. Shortly after, Philip Shaddock also contacted Bill. The question on everyone’s mind: how were they so closely related through YDNA without any Shaddocks in Bill’s family tree? Thanks to Lee Shattuck of the North Dakota Shattucks, we seem to have found the answer. If you’ve been following Philip’s blog, you know he wrote about it in his Latest News entry of September 12: (excerpt)

Bill Pomeroy and Susan Hughes have been on a long hunt for Bill's biological ancestor. His DNA results do not match any Pomeroys but they do match many Shattockes, Parrishs and Byars or Byas, as well as other Shattocke NPEs like the Halls. So we have known for a long time that Bill is probably genetically a Shattocke, but we were not certain it was a Shattuck or other lineage of Shattockes.

As you may recall from the Aug. 5 "Latest News," I said that his direct ancestor was Mary Ann Coe, who married a Pomeroy and gave birth to Frances Pomeroy in 1807. But the DNA results say he was fathered by a Shattocke, not a Pomeroy. Bill and Susan had long suspected it was a Shattuck neighbor in the town of Pompey in NY state, but the true father of the baby was not a matter of record. So we tested a likely descendant (Lee Shattuck) of the lineage of Shattucks who were neighbors to Mary Ann Coe. Today's YTree result confirms that Lee Shattuck belongs to the same Shattuck lineage as Bill, but what is really exciting is that YTree provides an estimate of when that common ancestor lived: 1791. Since the baby was born in 1807, the date makes it virtually certain that one of the Shattuck males who was a neighbor to Mary Ann Coe was the father of her child. The common ancestor between Bill and Lee, Samuel Shattuck, lived between 1716 and 1760, so the date may appear to be off by three decades. But that is within the margin of error, and the YFull method of calculation assumes the individual is 60 years old. Pretty amazing is it not? I have put a question mark beside the name of the father because we don't know which Shattuck male was the father. Bill is conducting further testing to find out which member of the family was the father.

Philip describes the Shattuck lineage that Bill belongs to in the page North Dakota Shattucks. Stay tuned – the story is still unfolding!

If you are a direct male descendant of the Shattucks of Pompey, NY, we’d love to hear from you! If you qualify, you may be eligible for free DNA testing. Please contact Philip here.