Every once in a while, I come across a name that I am curious about…today it was Rhetta Shaw. The only thing that I really had on Rhetta was that she was born about 1869 to Mary Pennington and William Shaw. She was the granddaughter of Elijah Ephraim Pennington and Mary Osborne…It is time to see if I can find out some more about her.
My first conclusion is the Shaw must be one of those hard to find names…because it is difficult to find Shaw in the census records, which means that it has been transcribed many ways. I have a note that she was married to a Charlie McCoy, so I approach it from that direction. After a search, I find that her name is Loretta and not Rhetta…that certainly makes sense. I have a cousin whose name is Loretta and is called Rhetta. Then there is a census record for 1910 with a Charles McCoy married to Nancy living in Johnson Co., TN. I go back to the first census record that I found for William Shawn and Mary Pennington and their daughter was named Nancy and was listed as being born about 1869. So…now I believe that Rhetta is now Nancy Loretta Shaw. I find a listing that she is buried in Mock Cemetery which I know is very near where the Pennington family lived – in fact it is literally across the street and up on a hillside. I now believe that this is the correct Rhetta Shaw. I locate her death record and it says that she is about 60 years old and the daughter of Wm Shaw and Becca Pennington and that she is the wife of Chas McCoy. Her cause of death is flux. So, now that I have found Rhetta…what about her mother.
According to the death record that I have just located, Loretta’s mother is listed as Becca Pennington. Now, I have seen Mary Pennington listed at times a Mary Rebecca Pennington so this isn't too much of a stretch. Her husband, William Shaw is listed as dying in 19 Dec 1917 and is buried at the Floyd Welch Cemetery in Ashe Co., NC. However, there is no Mary or Rebecca Shaw in that cemetery. Others have a listing that Mary died on 2 Apr 1942. I do find a death record for a Mat Shaw who died on 2 Apr 1942 in Ashe Co., NC as a pauper in the County Home. Her husband is listed as Bill Shaw. There is no listing as to her parents, birth date or birthplace and she dies of the infirmities of age at the age of 91 years old. She is buried the same day at the County Home cemetery. I suspect that this is the Mary Pennington who is the daughter of Eliajah Ephraim Pennington and Mary Osborne. I know that she had one known daughter who died in 1923 and her husband died in 1917. It is rather sad that she seemed to die all alone in the world when she must have had many nieces and nephews who lived nearby.
Now back to Loretta Shaw and Charlie McCoy…I have seen his death date as 27 Nov 1927, but I would sure like to see a death record. While searching for said record, I find a marriage listing for Charlie McCoy and Nancy Shaw of 20 Apr 1883 in Johnson Co., TN. This isn't a strange occurrence – it was probably a shorter distance to get married in Johnson Co., TN while living in Ashe Co., NC especially up in Laurel Twp. There are a lot of couples who eloped over in Johnson Co., TN. However, this makes Nancy Loretta Shaw 14 years of age when she was married…so elopement seems likely. So after a search, I am unable to locate Charlie McCoy’s death record, but I do have a listing in the Ashe Co., NC cemetery records as being buried in Mock Cemetery as well as a listing for his wife, so I suspect the date is correct. Also listed is that his parents are Harrison McCoy and Caroline Oliver who I know to be Hiram Harrison McCoy and Caroline C. Oliver.
In summary…this is what I have found:
Mary Rebecca Pennington b. abt 1846 d. 2 Apr 1942 m. William Shaw on 8 Dec 1867. (He was born 1843 and died in 1917) Mary died in poverty and was buried as a pauper. I have found one child listed and that is Nancy Loretta Shaw. She was born abt 1869 and died of the flux on 13 May 1923. Her husband, Charlie died in 1927 and both of them are buried in Mock Cemetery. I know that they had two children from census records – Ross McCoy and Riley McCoy, but that is a search for another day!