Mary Saylor & Gabriel Shutts

Mary Saylor & Gabriel Shutts

New Jersey to New York

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Tim Parrott of Iowa City suggested that Mary Saylor (1794-1861) may be a daughter of Samuel Saylor and Margaret Jones of Springfield Tp., Burlington Co., NJ. The challenge is to gather supporting documents and secondary sources to see if the supposition has merit. Tim and I believe the supposition is true based on the argument below and have cautiously added her to the family.

Use these links to jump up and down this page.
  1. Background
  2. An account of the lives of Gabriel Shutts and Mary Saylor
  3. The children of Gabriel Shutts and Mary Saylor
  4. Facts that suggest that Mary Saylor is the daughter Samuel Saylor and Margaret Jones
  5. A competing claim - Coates Family
  6. Records of the Shutts family
  7. Some research questions

1. Background
Samuel Saylor and Margaret Jones were married in 1773 and their banns state that Samuel Sayler is of New Hanover Tp., Burlington Co., NJ. This township is right beside Springfield Tp. One of their sons, Charles Saylor is born in 1786 and his Bible states that he was born in Springfield Tp, Burlington Co., NJ . There is good reason to believe that the family lived in Springfield Tp.

Records show a Mary Saylor is a daughter of Samuel Sayler and Margaret Jones. It is our assertion that this Mary Saylor married Gabriel Shutts in 1794.

2. An account of the lives of Gabriel Shutts and Mary Saylor
Tim Parrott writes that, "The Shutts family is known to have been living in Springfield Township, Burlington County, New Jersey as early as 21 Oct. 1765, when a marriage license was issued to Jacob Shutts of Springfield and Anne Taylor of Springfield. (See: Archives of the State of New Jersey, First Series. Vol. XXII. Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey, Marriage Records 1665-1800. Published 1909.)

Burlington County tax lists indicate that the Jacob Shutts family was still living in Springfield Township in 1770 and 1773. This proves their son Gabriel Taylor Shutts’ place of birth on 8 June 1771 was indeed Springfield Township, Burlington County, New Jersey.

Gabriel Shutts undoubtedly grew to adulthood in Springfield Township, and according to a family Bible was married there on 14 Oct. 1794 to Mary Saylor. Family Bible records indicate she had been born on 10 Jan. 1774. The couple’s two oldest children were born in New Jersey. However, in about 1798, the family moved to Cayuga County, New York, where the next seven children were born. Gabriel Shutts is listed in the 1800 U.S. Census of Scipio Township, Cayuga County, New York.

He next appears on an “Assessment Roll of each person’s Real and personal estate in the Town of Scipio, County of Cayuga & State of New York, taken in the month of May one thousand eight Hundred and three,” as follows:
Name: Gabriel Shutts
Real Estate: [none]
Personal Estate: $30.00
Taxes: $0.04

The family appears in the 1810 U.S. Census of Scipio Township, Cayuga County, New York:


26-44 years of age:
10-15 years of age:
0-10 years of age:
26-44 years of age:
10-15 years of age:
0-10 years of age:
 1 (Gabriel)
 1 (Samuel)
 2 (William C., Charles S.)
 1 (Mary)
 2 (Sarah W., Lovina)
 2 (Nancy M., Rachel C.)

In 1813, Gabriel Shutts reputedly served in the War of 1812, defending the city of Buffalo when it was burned by the British.

In 1814, Gabriel Shutts purchased 30 acres (Ulysses, 66, 30 Acres) in nearby Tompkins County, New York from Isaac and Sally Avery (New York Land Records, 1630-1975, Tompkins County Deeds, LDS web site, Book C, page 115).

The family appears in the 1820 and 1830 U.S. Census of Hector Township, Tompkins (now Schuyler) County, New York, and in the 1840, 1850 and 1860 U.S. Census of Townsend Township, Sandusky County, Ohio.

From The Wyandot Pioneer (Upper Sandusky, OH), 24 Apr 1856, page 2, column 4:
ONE OF THE PIONEERS -- One of the oldest settlers in this section of the country, who came to the West when it was a wilderness, and who has seen the habitations of men spring up around him, Mr. Gabriel Shutts, desires to hear from his relatives if any are living. He was born in New Jersey, and now lives in Townsend, Sandusky Co., in the State. He is eighty-six years of age, and it has been fifty or sixty years since he has seen any of his relatives, of whom, a brother is said to have moved to the West, within the past ten or fifteen years, but whose residence is not known. Any information concerning him will be gratefully received, and editors are respectfully requested to give publicity to this notice.-- Sandusky Register.

Gabriel Shutts’ search for his long-lost brother apparently ended successfully, based on another newspaper article the following year. Sandusky Daily Commercial Register (Sandusky, OH), 3 July 1857, page 3, column 2:
An old friend and subscriber sent us the following some weeks ago, and we give as a reason for its not appearing sooner, that as is very frequent in an editor's drawer, this communication became mixed up with other papers, and was consequently overlooked until this morning, when it accidentally "turned up," and has received the attention that is its due:

EDITOR REGISTER: -- On the 8th inst. [= 8 June 1857], I had the pleasure of witnessing a great family re-union at the residence of GABRIEL T. SHUTTS, of Townsend, Sandusky Co., Ohio; the occasion being the celebration of his 86th birthday. A pic-nic dinner was provided by the different members of the family, consisting of a great variety of the good things of life, of which all partook at the hour of 1 P.M. There were present seventy-eight persons, of whom over sixty were his descendants, and the remainder connected by marriage. There are thirty more of the family whom distance prevented from being present. It was indeed a novel sight to see convened a company of nearly eighty persons, all members of one family, of all sizes and ages, from the infant up to the aged father of 86 years. Mrs. SHUTTS is also in her 85th year.

There was also present a brother of Mr. SHUTTS, whom he had not seen for more than 60 years until this Spring, and who is the only connexion on the paternal side, any of the descendants have ever seen.

This is a specimen of one of our western families, that if any one can beat, I would like to hear from them.                            
A SPECTATOR, Sandusky, June 18th, 1857.

Gabriel T. Shutts, Sr. would celebrate four more birthdays, achieving the advanced age of 90 years and 28 days. As noted in the Freemont Weekly Journal on 19 July 1861 (page 3, column 1):
In Townsend, Sandusky county, O., at 6 o'clock, P. M., on the 6th inst., of palsey, GABRIEL SHUTTS, aged 90 years and 28 days. The deceased left a widow with whom he had lived 67 years, having raised a family of eleven children, seven of whom are still living, whose posterity numbers over a hundred souls now living, comprising five generations. --  Bellevue Independent.

Gabriel’s widow, Mary (Saylor) Shutts, survived only three months after her husband’s death. She died in Townsend Township, Sandusky County, Ohio, on 12 Oct. 1861."

3. The children of Mary Saylor & Gabriel Shutts
Note:  The information below comes a single family Bible. Tim writes that, "It includes both parents and all of the 11 children of Gabriel and Mary (Saylor) Shutts. If it weren't for those records, we would probably never have known about the fifth child, Thomas Coates Shutts, who died before his 2nd birthday."
MARY SAYLOR was born on 10 Jan 1774 in Burlington Co, NJ. She died on 12 Oct 1861 in Townsend Tp, Sandusky Co., OH. She married Gabriel Taylor Shutts Sr, son of Jacob Shutts and Anne "Nancy" Taylor on 14 Oct 1794 in NJ. He was born on 08 Jun 1771 in Springfield Township, Burlington Co, NJ. He died on 06 Jul 1861 in Townsend Tp, Sandusky Co., OH.
Gabriel Taylor Shutts Sr and Mary Saylor had the following children:
                  i.    SARAH WRIGHT SHUTTS was born on 16 Jul 1795 in Burlington Co, NJ. She died on 1 Sep 1834 in Sandusky Co., OH. She married Major McIntyre Sr on 17 May 1814 in Seneca Co., NY. He was born in 1789. He died in 1842.
                 ii.    SAMUEL SAYLOR SHUTTS was born on 25 Mar 1797 in Burlington Co, NJ. He died on 20 Nov 1881 in Ballville Tp., Sandusky Co., OH. He married Hannah Letts on 28 Dec 1825 in Tompkins Co., NY. She was born in 1800. She died in 1855.
                 iii.    LOVINA TAYLOR SHUTTS was born on 11 Nov 1799 in Cayuga Co., NY. She died after 1870 in Sandusky Co., OH. She married Banfield on 29 Aug 1819.
                 iv.    NANCY MARIA SHUTTS was born on 09 Feb 1802 in Cayuga Co., NY. She died on 28 Dec 1874 in Sandusky Co., OH. She married Street Davenport on 19 Apr 1827. He was born in 1775. He died in 1867.
                  v.    THOMAS COATES SHUTTS was born on 24 Dec 1803 in Cayuga Co., NY. He died on 8 Apr 1805 in Cayuga Co., NY.
                 vi.    WILLIAM COATES SHUTTS was born on 08 Sep 1805 in Cayuga Co., NY. He died on 6 Mar 1884 in Sandusky Co., OH. He married Clarissa Ann Prichard on 30 Nov 1826 in Cayuga Co., NY. She was born in 1807. She died in 1879.
                vii.    RACHEL COATES SHUTTS was born on 08 Jul 1807 in Cayuga Co., NY. She died on 19 Jan 1876 in NY. She married Elihu Barker Jr on 03 Feb 1830 in Tompkins Co., NY. He was born in 1783. He died in 1860.
               viii.    CHARLES SAYLOR SHUTTS was born on 06 Jul 1809 in Cayuga Co., NY. He died on 3 Nov 1859 in York Tp., Sandusky Co., OH. He married Susanna Richey on 19 Jan 1832. She was born in 1808. She died in 1878.
                  ix.    GABRIEL TAYLOR SHUTTS JR was born about 1811 in Cayuga Co., NY. He died in 1841 in Sandusky Co., OH. He married Caroline Story on 10 Jan 1836 in Sandusky Co., OH. She was born about 1818. She died before 1860.
                   x.    MARY M. SHUTTS was born on 16 Jul 1814 in Tompkins Co., NY. She died on 13 Sep 1861 in Townsend Tp, Sandusky Co., OH. She married Hiram Hawkins on 16 Aug 1836 in Sandusky Co., OH. He was born in 1809. He died in 1872.
                  xi.    JONATHAN DARWIN SHUTTS was born on 04 May 1818 in Tompkins Co., NY. He died on 06 Feb 1901 in Dunkirk, Jay Co., IN. He married (1) CAROLINE STORY (widow of his brother) on 26 Mar 1843 in Sandusky Co., OH. She was born about 1818. She died before 1860. He married (2) ELIZABETH TAYLOR on 22 Oct 1862 in Sandusky Co., OH. She was born in 1829. She died in 1900.

4. Facts that suggest that Mary Saylor is the daughter of Samuel Saylor and Margaret Jones.
  • Some researchers have Mary born in Springfield Tp but no record has been cited that we know about.
  • Mary's husband, Gabriel Shutts was born in Springfield Tp., Burlington Co., NJ. 
  • Mary was born in 1774 and that would make her the oldest child of Samuel and Margaret given that Samuel and Margaret were married in 1773.
  • There is no other Saylor family in Springfield Tp. at that time.
  • Mary and Gabriel name their oldest son Samuel, a later daughter Mary and two other children Lovina and Charles possibly after the siblings of Mary who moved to Canada.
  • Judging from the birth locations of the children and census data, the couple moves from NJ to Cayuga Co., NY by 1799 staying till 1814 when they move a few miles south to nearby Tompkins Co., NY and then after 1818 to Sandusky Co., OH. It is recorded in PLBQ in 1904 that Charles Saylor and Lavinia Saylor and their mother came to Upper Canada around 1810 from Dutchess County. Could it be that they left NJ with Mary Shutts, the eldest daughter, and moved with them to Cayuga County instead. Many families came to Upper Canada from Dutchess County and these stories can get intermingled over time. Cayuga County is north of Dutchess near Syracuse.
  • There is a Mary Sailor/Saylor who married John Irick in 1761. See the Samuel Saylor web page - section 7 for details. The name Irick is continued with Samuel Sailer, (son of Samuel Sayler and Margaret Jones) and his wife Hannah Craft who named a son John Irick Sailer (b. 1801). It's interesting to note that Gabriel and Mary (Saylor) Shutts' daughter Mary M. (Shutts) Hawkins named one of her sons Irick Hawkins, born June 1851 in Townsend Township, Sandusky County, Ohio, and died 13 Jan. 1911 in Sandusky County Infirmary, Sandusky County, Ohio.
  • Jonathan D. Shutts, son of Mary and Gabriel, dies on 6 Feb 1907 in Indiana and his death certificate names his parents as Gabriel Shutts, born in NJ and Mary Saylor born in CANADA!! We know from the family Bible and the 1850 and 1860 census that Mary was born in NJ. This was reported by J.D Gracy who may be a relative of Jonathans. Mary died in 1861 and so over 45 years had elapsed but the person reporting the information knew of a connection to Canada and assumed incorrectly that Mary was born there. This connection would be Lavina and Charles Saylor, Mary's siblings and her mother Margaret who all settled in Prince Edward County just across Lake Ontario. Source: Indiana State Board of Health, Certificate of Death, Dunkirk, Richland Township, Jay County, #475,  Jonathan D Shutts, found by Tim Parrott, June 2016.

5. A competing claim - Coates family
Tim Parrott writes that, "Many researcher's have assumed that Mary Saylor (wife of Gabriel Shutts) was descended from (or somehow related to) the Coates family, since that name appears as the middle name of three of their children: Thomas, William and Rachel. It is possible that their daughter, Rachel Coates Shutts (born 1807), was named after Rachel Jones, of Springfield, Burlington County, NJ, who married Henry Coates, of New Hanover, Burlington County, NJ, in 1783. Perhaps this Rachel (Jones) Coates was related in some way to Margaret (Jones) Saylor, perhaps a younger sister? If so, that could be the connection that resulted in Gabriel and Mary (Saylor) Shutts naming 3 of their children after members of the Coates family. I also noticed that a Henry Coates appears in the 1810 census of Scipio, Cayuga County, New York ... as a neighbor of Gabriel and Mary (Saylor) Shutts, which adds some weight to the connection.

6. Some Records of the Shutts family
Reg 20 Nov 1795, John Shutts Jr and Abraham Shutts Jr, sole surviving brothers and heirs of Peter Shutts, deceased, who served in the First NY Regiment in the Line of the State of NY during the late war with Great Britain.
John & Abraham Shutts, 203, Grantor - See image 140 for Indenture.

17 Oct 1796, James Shatts and Anne his wife of Herkimer Co, NY
James Shutts, 217 Grantor - See image 148 for the Indenture.

Tim Parrott writes that, "I did know about the Shutts families in Cayuga County prior to Gabriel's arrival there. I also did quite a bit of research on them. I stopped researching them when I established they were not from New Jersey. Thus, they definitely weren't close relatives. The same thing happens in Tompkins County, New York (where Gabriel and Mary settled for a time prior to moving to Sandusky County, Ohio)."
Source: NY Land Records 1630-1975, Cayuga Deeds (Onondaga County) 1796-1797, Vol E-F, FamilySearch web site, see index image 9

Formation of CAYUGA COUNTY - Onondaga County was formed in 1794 by the splitting of Herkimer County. Cayuga County was formed in 1799 by splitting Onondaga County. Cayuga at this time was much larger than the present Cayuga and included the present Seneca and Tompkins Counties. Skipio was formed in 1798 when Cayuga County was formed. It was part of the Central NY Military Tract which was land reserved for veterans of the Revolutionary War.

Gabriel Shutts: 1 male under 10, 3 females under 10, 1 female bet'n 26 - 45.
[Gabriel, Samuel age 3, Sarah age 5, Lovina age 1, ?, Mary age 27. Could the third female be Lavinia Saylor, b. Nov 1789 and a younger sister of Mary's?]
Note: No other Shutts, Saylor, Schaffer families are found in Scipio in this census.
Source 1: 1800 Census, Cayuga County, Town of Scipio, pg's 628/9, reel M32-28, transcription on Genweb (search Shutts)
Source 2: Population schedules of the second census of the US, 1800, New York, p. 628, film on line at, image 337

Tim Parrott writes that, "There is a Saylor family cemetery in Hector Township, right where the Shutts family and McIntyre family settled. The oldest member of the Saylor family buried at this Saylor cemetery (about 1 miles west of Mecklenburg) was Henry Sayler, Sr., born 12 Apr. 1758 and died 16 Apr. 1821. He's not old enough to be another candidate for Mary (Saylor) Shutts' father, and too old to have been an older brother, etc. Also, I found this family was also not from New Jersey, but rather from Pennsylvania."

Images from an old roads survey copy book for Cayuga County is on line. The book notes the surveying of roads and often names the farmer on land nearby. The town of Aurelius [now Auburn] is dominant and Scipio is present. I have searched images 39 to 129 [1797 to 1814] and not found any reference to Shutts or Saylor. This book is listed as "Original Town of Aurelius Government Minute Book" on this web page. The link is in the middle of the links at the bottom of the page.

WAR of 1812
Herman C. Shutts was born in Sandusky County, Ohio, June 6, 1839, a son of Charles and Susan (Ritchie) Shutts, natives of Tompkins County, NY. His grandparents, Gabriel and Mary (Sailor) Shutts, were natives of New Jersey. Gabriel Shutts was a militia man in the war of 1812.
Source:  History of Steuben County, Indiana, Chicago, Inter-State Publishing Co., 1885, 538. Tim Parrott writes that, "There are other secondary sources that repeat this information. I do know that one of the sources specifically mentioned his supposed involvement in the defense of Buffalo."

7. Some research questions.
  1. Why did Mary Saylor and her husband Gabriel Shutts leave NJ for Cayuga County, NY around 1798? Were they following friends or extended family for better farm land?
  2. Who is the extra female under 10 in the 1810 census? Perhaps this is an error or a daughter who died very young. Or could it be Lavinia Saylor, younger sister of Mary, who was 10 or 11 at the time. Lavinia eventually made her way to Upper Canada with her brother Charles and mother, Margaret (Jones) Shaffer at that time.
  3. Mother Margaret (Jones) Saylor and children Charles and Lavinia also left NJ sometime in the 1790's and came north before settling in Prince Edward County, Upper Canada in 1810. PLBQ states that they came to Canada from Dutchess County. Could it be that they were in Cayuga instead with oldest daughter Mary Shutts? Margaret Saylor remarried a man named Schaffer at some point. No Schaffer or Saylor is found in Cayuga records so this story does not seem to have legs.