A perusal of the web and ancestry.com for the genealogy of Roger Shaw of Cambridge and Hampton reveals a mishmash of bad research or a complete lack of research and a lot of what I call "copy and paste" genealogy. Extensive and exhaustive research was done by Edgar Joseph Shaw which he compiled in his article "The English Origins of Roger and Ann Shaw of Cambridge, Massachusetts and Hampton, New Hampshire". This article was published in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register in 2004. Many genealogies use the book "Shaw Records: A Memorial of Roger Shaw" by Harriette F. Farwell as the basis of their information. This book is full of errors, some almost laughable. I especially love the claim that he received a grant of land from King Charles II on 15 November 1647. If you don't get it you'll have to look it up yourself.
According to most family trees available on the internet Roger was born in London to a Ralph Shaw, past researchers used the fact that he was never again mentioned in any record in England as proof of his departure for New England. If he was in fact born in London in 1594 and arrived in Massachusetts in 1638, he lived 44 years in London with no records of marriage or children. This seems unlikely to me and I would not think it compelling evidence that this was Roger the immigrant.
|Gawsworth Parish Church, Photo by Colin Park|
|The White Lion, Congleton|
In his article Shaw also discusses his research into the parents of Roger Shaw. Based on a search of the probate records found in the Archdeconary Court of Chester, he was able to pinpoint the parents of Roger to Roger and Margery Shaw of Astbury and Hulme Walfield, and also identify a brother, Humphrey. In his will, Roger Sr. left his estate to his two sons, Roger and Humphrey, and in Humphrey's will of 1652 he left the land be bought of his brother Roger Shaw to one of his sons.
arrival in america
His daughter Mary, born in Gawsworth, died in Cambridge in 1639, but another daughter Mary was born in 1645. Roger's wife Ann died sometime after this birth and his remove to Hampton where Roger was assigned a seat in the meeting house and no wife was named, but a seat was saved for a future Mrs. Shaw.
|The Cooper Frost Austin house, oldest in Cambridge, MA|
On 15 Nov 1647 (the date from earlier in the article) Roger bought an estate in the town of Hampton from John Crosse, Sr. for 101.15 pounds. The estate included houses, grounds, marsh, meadow, swamp, upland and commonage. Roger was not one of the original petitioners for the formation of the plantation of Hampton. That petition was presented to the General Court on 6 September 1638 and headed by the Reverend Stephen Bachiler.
As he did in Cambridge, John was immediately active in service to the town of Hampton. He served as Deputy to the General Court, as Constable, he was appointed to end small causes, and served on both petit jury and the grand jury. It is also widely stated that Roger was given permission by the General Court to operate an "Ordinary" in Hampton. An ordinary was where you sold alcohol. I have read through all the records of the General Court and the Quarterly Courts and cannot find any mention of this action. The fact that he was supposed to be operating an ordinary was given as further proof that he was the Roger Shaw of London, son of Ralph, who was a vintner.
In 1653 Roger remarried to Susanna, widow of William Tilton. In a prenuptial agreement, he agreed to take care of her sons by her first husband. Unfortunately, she died the following year. Roger did not marry again. He died in Hampton on 29 May 1661.
Roger and Ann Shaw had the following children:
Margaret bp. Gawsworth, Cheshire, 4 July 1626, d. Hampton 15 April 1704, m. Thomas Ward
Mary bp. Gawsworth 8 Nov. 1629, d. Cambridge 26 Jan 1639/40
Ann bp. Gawsworth 22 April 1632, d. Hampton 1663 m. Samuel Fogg
Joseph bp. Gawsworth 12 Nov 1635 d. Hampton 8 Nov. 1720 age 85
Ester b. Cambridge 1638 d. after Aug 1660, named in her fathers will of that date
Benjamin b. Cambridge July 1641 d. Hampton Dec. 1717
Mary b. Cambridge 1645 d. 1668 m. Thomas Parker
Joseph married Elizabeth Partridge daughter of William and Ann Spicer Partridge.
If you think I have made any errors in this article please comment and let me know, especially the bit about Roger running an ordinary.
|Shaw Memorial Stone at Hampton, NH|
Harriette Favoretta Farwell, Shaw Records, 1903
Edgar Joseph Shaw, " The English Origins of Roger and Ann Shaw of Cambridge Massachusetts and Hampton, New Hampshire", The Register, October 2004, pp. 309-316
"England,Cheshire Bishop's Transcripts, 1598-1900," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/N4RG-L9Z : accessed 12 May 2012), Joseph Shaw, 1635.
Lucius Robinson Page, History of Cambridge, Massachusetts. 1630-1877: With a Genealogical Register, Boston 1877
Alan Rodgers, Murder and the Death Penalty in Massachusetts, 2008, p. 8