Alexander Shaw
Mary Ann Renfrew
Mary Amanda Shaw


Family Links

1. Isaac Beecher

Mary Amanda Shaw 2 3 4 5 6 7

  • Born: 25 Apr 1810, Strasburg, Lancaster, PA 1 2 5 8
  • Marriage (1): Isaac Beecher on 5 May 1826 1
  • Died: 20 Nov 1894, Lima Twp., LaGrange, IN at age 84 5 8 9

   FamilySearch ID: KFJB-M5F.

  Noted events in her life were:

1. Diary:,. Mary Amanda Shaw Beecher's nephew, William Shaw, Jr. kept many letters and other info relating to his family. This includes several letters written by Isaac and Mary Amanda Beecher. In William's memory book he recalls: "I was at the wedding of my father's sister, Mary Shaw, to Isaac Beacher. Rev. William Shaw was the oldest, and Mary was the youngest of all. She was born in 1810, married 1832, died in 1849 at Lima, Indiana. I was about fifteen years old then."

2. Census in 1840 in Tuscawarus Twp., Stark County, OH. 10 In 1840 the household of Isaac Beeker [Beecher] had:

Males (born)
Under 5 (1836-1840) = 1 son Anthony Robert
5-9 (1831-1835) = 1 son Alexander Washington
10-14 (1826-1830) = 1 son John William
30-39 (1801-1810) = 1 father Isaac
Females (born)
Under 5 (1836-1840) = 1 daughter Nellie
10-14 (1826-1830) = 1 daughter Mary Amanda
20-29 (1811-1820) = 1 wife Mary Amanda
70-79 (1761-1770) = 1 mother or mother-in-law.

3. Letter: 22 Feb 1841, East Greenville, Stark, OH. An original letter written by Mary Amanda was placed for sale online on eBay in 2007. A description of the item for sale was also published at and the description follows:

Amanda Mary Becker (or Becher) and her husband Isaac Becker, to her brother James Shaw in Philadelphia
Amanda Mary Becker writes to James Shaw, her brother
eBay item number: 190141273946
This old letter is from a woman Amanda Mary Becker (or Becher) and her husband Isaac Becker, to her brother James Shaw in Philadelphia. the Beckers are in East Greenville, Stark County, OHIO. It is folded and has writing on all 4 sides. Folded as the letter paper usually was it is c 8" x 12 1/2". She begins " East Greenville February 22nd l841 Dear Brother" and writes continuously on 1st and 2nd page. Note that the bottom of the 1st page right is torn and must already have been missing when she penned the letter as she follows the tear. She speaks of her husband Isaac, a trip to Dayton and Cinncinnatti, the slowness of business, the "Wig" (sic)elections, and the religious conflicts in their church. She has children one of whom is 13 yr old William. On page 3, their mother adds a letter to "My very dear son... "showing the date to be February 23. Her letter is conserving of space, a bit hard to read sans magnifying glass but full information on the hard times in Ohio and the cost of whiskey, pork, butter etc. She contradicts her daughter Amanda Mary, calling her "Mary" and saying that business is much worse that Mary had indicated. She discusses her failing health and her trust in god. she signs a tiny "AS" giving some indication of what her name may be. Possible Amand Shaw also. At the very bottom Amanda Mary has added a PS about the son William and what to do about his schooling. The fourth page is actually the envelope with the red wax seal remainder and also some little numbers in the same pen. Also an interesting touch. James Shaw has written at the top when he received the letter which he shows as March 6 l841. He wrote some of this over and over as if practicing his calligraphy. At the other end, someone has written in pencil about the receipt of the letter and I find the names Susan Shaw and the places of Carlise and Lancaster Pa. Also Isaac Becker is mentioned and also Dayton and Cinncinatti, Ohio. It needs some magnification to be read more clearly. If you don't understand something about the photos, and want more, let me know and I will send them. In scanning the full length, I had to cut off the bottom and them rescanned that bottom part so you could see the signatures. This obviously concerns a pre - civil war Ohio family who has close relatives in Pa. It does not concern my family, so I hope someone out there recognizes part of their history. I an mail it for $2.00 in the states. The condition is as seen in photos. Very yellowed but the ink is still clear and full of care in some places and careless in others. It is obvious that both Mary and James like to try their calligraphy. Spelling reflects the times and perhaps the lack of education in women. There a a couple of tiny tears at folder corners but all in all good condition throughout for its age. Alot of History here for the collector and the historian.

4. Census in 1850 in Tuscawarus Twp., Stark County, OH. 11 Isaac Becker, tailor, 40, was living with wife Mary, 39; Alexr, 19; Ann, 15; Anthony, 12; James, 4; and Augustus, 1. Also in the home: Ann Shaw, 85 [mother-in-law]; and Rudy Harris, 23. Everyone was born in Pennsylvania except Ohio for James and Augustus.

5. Census in 1860 in Lima Twp., LaGrange, IN. 12 Isaac Beecher, day laborer, 54, was living with wife Amanda, 50; James, 14; Gustavius, 11; Margaret, 8. Isaac and Amanada were born in Pennsylvania, the children in Ohio. Isaac had no real estate value; his possessions were worth $163.

Living on the same page: James Beecher, 31, boot & shoemaker; his wife Maryann, 27; Louisa L., 8; Daniel B., 6; and Henry M., 1. James' real estate was worth $200 and his personal possessions $150. Everyone was born in Ohio.

On the next page: Alexander W. Beecher, clerk, 28; his wife Adalaid P., 23; Charles H., 3; and Edward, 1. Alexander was born in Pennsylvania, his wife and children in Indiana. His real estate was worth $600 and personal possessions $250.

6. Census in 1870 in Lima Twp., LaGrange, IN. 4 A.R. Beecher, butcher, 32, was living with wife Margaret, 27; and Geo. C., 1. A. R. was born in Pennsylvania, the others in Indiana.

Next door is Isaac Beecher, cigar maker, 64, was living with Mary A, 60; and James H., clerk in store 24. James was born in Ohio, the others in Pennsylvania.

7. Census in 1880 in Lima Twp., LaGrange, IN. 13 Mary A. Beecher, 70, widow, was living alone in the 1880 census. She was born in Pennsylvania and her parents in Ireland.

8. Fact: Notes about family of Mary Shaw Beecher with her family photo, 24 Aug 1894, Lima Twp., LaGrange, IN. 1 "Great" Aunt Mary "Shaw" Beecher says August 24, 1894, "I was born in Stassburg, Lancaster Co., Pa., in the year 1810, April 25. My father's name Alex. Shaw who left Ireland in 1801 at the time of the rebellion against King Craft. He was the son of William Shaw who lived in County Down, Ireland, near Belfast, Ireland. My mother, Anna Renfrew, who lived County "Entram" adjacent to County "Down". My grandfather was of aristocratic stock. His father was a linen merchant and manufacturer and sold his goods at Belfast. My father died in 1809, October, at about 45 years of age with typhoid fever. In 1801 landed in New York City, thence to Philadelphia, Pa., thence to Lancaster County. He had 15 -- William, John, James, and Alex.

9. Obituary: on 21 Nov 1894 in Lima Twp., LaGrange, IN. Mary A. Shaw, daughter of Alexander and Anna Shaw, was born in Lancaster County, Pa., April 25, 1810, and was married to Isaac Beecher, May 5, 1826. She moved with her husband to Stark County, O., in 1839 and in Lima, Ind., in 1854. Her husband departed this life November 2, 1873, and she was called away in death November 20, 1894. There had been born to the above parents nine children, John W., Amand(a) M., Alexander W., Isaac N., Nellie., Anthony R. James H., Gustavus N., and Jennie M., of whom two sons and two daughters are living in California. A.W. Beecher, over 40 years a citizen of Lima, was by location the nearest friend of his mother during her long widowhood and was ever found faithful to his trust. The funeral service of Mrs. Beecher was conducted by her pastor in the Presbyterian Church in which she had been an acceptable member more than 40 years. A large audience of those whom she had long been associated were in attendance.

Mary married Isaac Beecher, son of Emanuel Becher and Elener Chesney, on 5 May 1826.1 (Isaac Beecher was born on 7 Aug 1806 in , Lancaster, PA 2 4, christened on 8 Nov 1806 in New Holland: Trinity Lutheran Church, Lancaster, PA and died in 1873 in Lima Twp., LaGrange, IN 3 5.)


1 Statement from Mary Shaw Beecher (Family story with photograph of Mary Amanda Shaw Beecher and son Alexander Washington Beecher, shared by Selcher1 on, Photo inscribed "Aunt Mary Beecher, Lima, Indiana. Original photo by J. A. Wilson, New Albany, Ind."

2 1860 United States Census, Indiana, LaGrange County, Lima Village, Series: M653 Roll: 274 Page: 649.

3 Lingenfelter, Keith, Keith Lingenfelter Genealogy and Research Collection (Special Collections Department, Meriam Library, California State University, Chico. Online at:, Page 6.

4 1870 United States Census, Indiana, LaGrange County, Lima, Series: M593 Roll: 333 Page: 250.

5 Memorial & Biographical History of Northern California (The Lewis Publishing Co., 1891), Biography of George Champlin at

6 History of Northeast Indiana (Chicago & New York: Lewis Publishing Co., 1920), Page 418.

7, "Indiana, U.S., Death Certificates, 1899-2017," Certificate 13. Alexand W. Beecher. Father Isaac Beecher. Mother Mary Shaw. Informant Charles H. Beecher.

8 LaGrange County, Indiana Health Department.

9 Records of Linda Meyers (Linda Meyers, descendant of Gustavous Beecher), Email 15 Jul 2008.

10 1840 United States Census, Ohio, Stark County, Tuscarawas Township, Series: M704 Roll: 427 Page: 140.

11 1850 United States Census, Ohio, Stark County, Tuscarawas Township District 138, Roll: M432_731; Page: 172.

12 1860 United States Census, Indiana, LaGrange County, Lima Village, Series: M653 Roll: 274 Page: 649-650.

13 1880 United States Census, Indiana, LaGrange County, Lima, Series: T9 Roll: 290 Page: 324.

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