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Elizabeth Shake (Shrader? Maybe Not)
Posted by: Donn Neal (ID *****6680) Date: August 01, 2003 at 19:32:19
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The conventional wisdom among most Shrader and Shake researchers, or at least the ones whose work I have seen, is that the wife of Christopher Shake of Kentucky (ca. 1760-1803) was Elizabeth Shrader, usually considered to be the daughter of Jacob Shrader, Sr. The circumstantial evidence to link Elizabeth to the Shrader family is plausible, but as far as I know there is no documentary evidence to do so. I like most researchers have until now tentatively placed her in the Shrader family.

Out of the blue today I received a contact from a researcher who has an 1811 document from Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, that describes the wife of Christopher (here called Christian) Shake as Elizabeth Davis, the daughter of Hanover Davis of that county. I have now seen a copy of this document. In it Elizabeth is identified as the wife of Christopher, deceased, who married Philip Boyer--as Christopher's widow indeed did a few years before 1811.

The document is an Orphan's Court petition by John Davis that lists all seven children of his father, Hanover Davis and his wife. One of these children, Barbara, married David Shrader, and perhaps this is the source of the confusion over Elizabeth's name. (It is quite clear that the Shraders and the Shakes knew one another quite well, probably traveled together, and lived near one another in both Pennsylvania and Kentucky--those points are not at issue.)

Unless there is documentary evidence that solidly links Elizabeth to the Shrader family, or a reason for suspecting the document I refer to, I would argue that Shrader and Shake researchers should disengage her from the Shraders and attach her to this Davis family. Comments?

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