David Shaw



Contact information on HOME page

Direct descendant is highlighted in red

David M Shaw see FAMILY TREE
Born: 02 March 1847 Innisfil,  Simcoe, Ontario, Canada


Wesley Methodist Baptisms, Simco Co., Canada, Reel 1, pg 394
Born 02 Mar 1847  Bap. 03 Oct 1847 Innisfil, Simcoe, Canada
Father, John Shaw:  Mother, Ellen Shaw


1st  to Sarah Jane Lindsay
 24 May 1875
 Mount Forest, Wellington, Ontario, Canada

2nd to Jennie "Jane" Wray

Marriage record for David Shaw and Sarah Jane Lindsay
parents of David Shaw are John and Helen Shaw
parents of Sarah Jane Lindsay are James and Mary Lindsay
witnesses  Sydney and Maria Smith
Died: 19 March 1910 Chihuahua, Mexico  
Buried: British Cemetery, Mexico City, Mexico Tombstone reads: "Canadian      David Shaw 
                                                 2 Marzo de 1846
                                                 19 Marzo de 1910
Pioneer Railroad Man Dies in Chihuaha

Chihuahua, Mex.  March 21
Col. David Shaw, one of the best known of the pioneer railroad contractors in Mexico, died at his home in this city.  The cause of his death was a complication of physical and nervous troubles from which he had been suffering for the past six years.
Col. Shaw was a Canadian by birth and was 63 years of age at the time of his death.  He came to Mexico in 1881 with the building of the Mexican Central railroad south from El Paso.  He is survived by his wife and two sons, Dr. W. F. Shaw and John Shaw, all residents of this city.
Obituary David Shaw
El Paso Herald, 21 Mar 1910.  pg 4


John Shaw


Helen (Ellen) Blair


Sarah Jane Lindsay

Jennie "Jane" Wray

CHILDREN with Sarah Jane Lindsay

1. William Fredrick Shaw b. 28 Nov 1874 Teeswater, Ontario, Canada

William F Shaw
photo from the Detroit College School of Medicine Souvenir Annual of 1900

CHILDREN with Jennie "Jane" Wray

1. John Ernest Shaw b. 14 May 1886 San Juan Del Rio, Queretaro, Mexico

John Ernest Shaw


David Shaw's father had died by 1861 when David was in his teens.  The family was living in Peel, Wellington, Canada West at that time. He had two older brothers and an older sister, Agnes, who was already married to Erasmus Bell.  There were also two younger sisters, the youngest of which was only an infant having been born about 1859. 

By 1871 the family was in Greenock, Bruce South, Ontario.  The oldest brother, William, had moved out.  The older sister, Agnes and her husband had moved to Teeswater.  David is listed as head of household at the age of 23 and he has his mother and two younger sisters living with him.  He is listed as a tavern keeper.

The family soon moved to Teeswater where David became a bailiff.

In "Teeswater Council Minutes"  pg 135 Monday Dec 31, 1877
David Shaw is paid $4.00 for "Drawing Mrs. Stockdale Corpse to Grave."
Reports and Accounts of the Finance Committee Teeswater, Monday Dec 31, 1877
He married in Mount Forest to Sarah Jane Lindsay on May 24, 1875.  Both were listed as residents of Teeswater.   David's occupation is bailiff.  His parents of record were John and Helen Shaw and her parents of record were James and Mary Lindsay.  Seven months later their son, William Mellis Shaw, was born.  
The birth is recorded on April 3, 1876
The very next day after the birth was recorded  , on April 4, 1876,  David and Jane Shaw of Teeswater are witnesses to a wedding which is being held in their home.   http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~maryc/bruce76.htm

001473-76 (Bruce), Arthur C. WOODMAN, 22, tailor, Linwood, Drayton, s/o William George & Lettitia WOODMAN, to Annie SHERWOOD, 23, Maryborough, Drayton, d/o Elisha & Caroline SHERWOOD, wit: David SHAW & Jane SHAW, both of Teeswater, 4 April 1876, David Shaw residence, Teeswater

David is recorded in the Teeswater Minutes as late as Dec 2, 1878.  But some time after their marriage, the couple split up.  Sarah Jane Lindsay Shawstayed in Canada and remarried about 1885, but David, according to his obituary, went to Mexico in 1881 to help build the railroad from El Paso to Chihuahua taking his son William with him.   For some reason William's name was changed from Willian Mellis Shaw to William Frederick Shaw as noted in the 1937 border crossing.  And somewhere along the way David married Jane Wray.  By May 14, 1886 David had another son who was born in San Juan Del Rio, Queretaro, Mexico

David built the railroad from Veracruz to Puebla in Mexico and from Puebla to Mexico City. It was called the "Queens Own" RR. He lived on the railroad camps and left his wife and children at home a lot.  Jane, also known as Jennie, raised the two boys as her own.  William was sent off to live with David's sister Elizabeth Shaw Kirkland and is found in the 1892 State Census for Walla Walla, Washington.

By 1894 his son William is in Detroit studying to become a doctor.  Jennie went too and ran a boarding house while he studied.   In the R. L. Polk and Co., Detroit City Directory for 1894-1895 Wm. F. Shaw and Mrs. David Shaw board at 41 Butternut.  And Dr. John N. Bell, son of Agnes Shaw and Erasmus Bell also lives at the same address. This Dr. John N. Bell was 10 years older than William, a nephew of David Shaw. It seems William F. Shaw had gone to Detroit to study medicine because his cousin, John N Bell, was already a doctor there and William was boarding with John. The next year, 1895-96, the Detroit city directory has all three, Mrs. Jennie Shaw, Wm F Shaw, student, and John N Bell, physician, all living at 307 Bagg. Jenny's mother-in-law, Helen Blair Shaw, died 25 Oct 1897 and her death certificate, signed by Mrs. David Shaw, gives her residence at 307 Bagg.  At some point after her death Jenny, William F Shaw and John N Bell moved to 178 Bagg where they are listed in the 1900 City Directory. Then in 1900 the census shows David M Shaw and son John E Shaw are living in Detroit at 178 Bagg, but there is no listing for either William F Shaw or Jenny.  He is listed as married for 26 years.  Immigrated to the US in 1892.  Father born in England, mother born in Canada.

David died in 1910 in Chihuahua of diabetes and alcohol. In 1938 his cremated ashes were moved to Mexico City and he was buried with his wife, Jennie.
After her sons married Jane or Jennie lived in Mexico again with her son William at Durango #57. He was a surgeon at what is now the ABC Hospital. She died of an abdominal tumor at Esplanada 970 - perhaps the home of her grandson, William, in 1936.
Two years later, in 1938, their son William died of lung cancer. His wife, Tia Maria, brought David's remains back from Chihuahua and had tombstones made for David, Jennie and for her husband, William Frederick Shaw.

Biography by Chase and Susan Brooke
August 2020