Information on the Shotwell Family
Origins of the Name Shotwell
There are two "theories" regarding this surname. Located today in Lanarkshire, Scotland is the small town of Shott (called Shotts in earlier times), of which the staple industry was the mining of coal and the production of lead shot. This process involved the pouring of liquid metal through a specialized screen, where the molten shot passed into a well of water for cooling. Thus evolved the variant surnames of Shat(s)well, Shat(s)wall, Shatteswell, all evolving from Shotteswell, many of whom are found in the english shire of Warwickshire.

The second theory, more recently uncovered, is that this name means "cool spring with some connection to Scott's Spring"; this from a veteran Shotwell researcher, who also verifies that the name Shotwell, and other variant spellings, derive from Warwickshire.

Immigrant John Shotwell and his son Reuben Shotwell
Having spent close to three years attempting to find the predecessors of John Shotwell and Sarah/Sally Ridgeway, this author had believed there was likely a connection to the large Shotwell contingent of New Jersey. But as more information was uncovered, it became increasingly suspect that this was the case. Especially noted was one Shotwell family in the well-known voluminous Ambrose Shotwell book, one William Shotwell who had been, at the time of publication of this book, not yet connected to the New Jersey Shotwells. Additional Quaker records found, while not disproving this theory, did not substantiate any connection to New Jersey. Extensive research by a relative years ago also made a statement concerning this Shotwell line of Halifax, Virginia as having come from Culpeper, Virginia, with connections to Meckenberg, Virginia. Also questionable to the New Jersey theory was that this author knew that this Virginia Shotwell line were slave-owners, while the Quaker Shotwells of New Jersey were opposed to slavery.

Some time ago, while browsing the Shotwell Genforum, all of these issues were resolved. The Shotwell line of Virginia, while probably somewhat distantly related in England to the Shotwells of New Jersey, descend from another immigrant Shotwell. Very little is know about the first two generations of this family. The immigrant was John Shotwell, who came from Warwickshire and arrived in Middlesex Parish (now Lancaster County) in 1670. While the author has no record to substantiate this, the information came from a common descendant of this author's Shotwell family. The name of John's wife is not known, nor is anything about his life, other than that he had at least one son, Reuben Shotwell, who settled in Westmorland County, Virginia in 1700.

John Shotwell and Sarah Worley
The only known child of Reuben Shotwell was John Shotwell, about whom much more information is known. John Shotwell married Sarah Worley in St. Paul's Parish, Stafford County, Virginia on 26 Jun 1725. Sale of 200 acres, from William Whiting to John Shotwell, "of Washington Parish in Westmoreland County", is recorded in a Westmoreland County deed, November 20, 1730. He also purchased 408 acres of land in Orange County, Virginia in 1743.

Sometime just after 1744, John Shotwell removed to Culpeper County, Virginia, in Shotwell Hollow (which is now located in Madison County). He evidently left no will, or at least one that has survived, but his estate underwent appraisal in August/September 1756.

John Shotwell and Elizabeth
John Shotwell, of Brumfield Parish in Culpeper County, appears in many Culpeper court records spanning 1756 to 1769. He is cited in a 1763 land record as "John Shotwell son and heir at law to John Shotwell, deceased, of Culpeper County..." and in another deed transfer record names two of his brothers, Robert and William. It also appears that he and wife Elizabeth began selling much of their land in Culpeper in preparation for their own move to Mecklenburg County, which occurred sometime between 1769 and 1774, the latter year in which he purchased 410 acres in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. His will was written on 5 September 1790, and proved on 9 January 1798.

One record which may indicate the maiden name of wife Elizabeth is a document dated March 19, 1789, Mecklenburg County, which states "know all men by these presents that I Peter Cox of the County of Mecklenburg, State of Virginia, for and in Consideration of the Support of myself and my wife Margaret Cox during our Natural lives, do bargain sell, deliver, make over and Confirm to John Shotwell his heirs and assigns forever each and every part or parcel of my estate hereafter Mentioned....".

John Shotwell and Sarah Ridgeway
It appears that only two children were born to John and his wife Sarah (also called Sally), a daughter, Ann, and a son, William Shotwell. The only actual record this author has found for this couple is that of their marriage.

William Shotwell and Patience Hurt Hubbard
William and Patience were married in Pittsylvania County, Virginia 8 June 1830; likely her father, Rev. Joel Hubbard, performed the ceremony. After the birth of the second of their two sons in 1836, Patience died at the age of about 22 years.

Research conducted by a relative in the 1960s states that the "family story" is that William Shotwell gathered up his sons and departed Virginia for Kentucky but that his two sons, Robert and John, later returned to Virginia when still boys, and lived with, and were raised by, their maternal grandparents in Pittsylvania County. As the story goes, William never returned to Virginia and died, and is supposedly buried, in "Hickson", KY. What this author has found is that not only is this story true, but that William remarried twice more, first in Tennessee, and then again in Kentucky; this has been verified by a direct descendant in Texas, who traces to William Shotwell and his third wife. William Shotwell died after 1860 (the last year in which he appeared on the census), and is buried in Hickman, Fulton County, Kentucky.

William's sons, John and Robert, returned to Pittsylvania County, Virginia, probably around the time of William's third marriage. When Rev. Hubbard died, he provided very well for his two Shotwell grandsons, leaving both land and a home.

John Shotwell and Frances "Fanny" Elizabeth Osborne
John Shotwell, along with his brother Robert, left Kentucky and returned to Virginia sometime after their father's third marriage; research by Joe Shotwell of Texas, a descendant of William by his third wife, states that both John and Robert appear on the 1850 census for Fulton, Kentucky.

John Shotwell and Fanny Osborne were married in 1859 in Halifax County, Virginia, her place of residence, and lived on the land given to John by his maternal grandfather. The old Shotwell estate was later passed to their son William Thomas "Buck" Shotwell.

There is some slight discrepancy in two records found concerning the exact name of Fanny Osborne; one record shows her as Elizabeth Frances, while another shows her as Frances Elizabeth.

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