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Below is a family biography included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.   These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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SHIELDS FAMILY. The progenitor of the family was James Shields, of English descent and Quaker proclivities, native of Ireland, who settled in Chester county, Pa., at the latter part of the seventeenth century. His grandson, Thomas, was a goldsmith in Philadelphia, and Thomas’ son, David, was a merchant in the West India trade. He settled in Little Washington about 1800, and shortly after married Eliza, only child of Maj. Dan Leet. David Shields was born Aug. 16, 1780, and died Nov. 2, 1857; his widow died March 21, 1872, aged eighty-eight years. His children were: Mrs. Maria Wilson, Daniel Leet, Thomas L., Misses R. B. and Hannah Shields, Eliza, Susannah (wife of Rev. Isaac Cook). Thomas L. Shields was born in April, 1809, in Little Washington, Pa.; he died in the Sewickley valley in 1879. He was a member of the Philadelphia bar, also practiced in this and surrounding counties. He was a fine speaker and an able attorney. He was a whig, and one of the original organizers of the republican party, at Lafayette hall. He was a good agriculturist and horticulturist, and a keen sportsman. He married Amelia, daughter of John and Harriet (Craig) Chaplin, the latter of whom was a daughter of Mayor Isaac and Amelia (Neville) Craig. Mrs. Craig was a daughter of Gen. John and Winnifred (Conway) Neville, and a sister of Gen. Presley Neville, serving on Gen. Lafayette’s staff during the revolutionary war.

The children of Thomas Shields are: Eliza S. William C., David, Amelia (wife of James B. Oliver), Lydia H. (wife of William L. Jones), Wilhelmina, Rebecca and Thomas L. Shields. Of these William C. was first lieutenant of Co. G, 28th P. V. I., and was killed in front of his company at Chancellorsville, Va., May 3, 1862. David Shields enlisted in Co. F, 63d P. V. I. He participated in many battles, and was promoted to captain. The last two years of service he was a personal aid-de-camp of Gen. Alexander Hays; was honorably discharged before he was twenty years old, for wounds received in action. Maj. Dan Leet was of English descent; he was a brigade-major in the revolutionary war, and second in command at Crawford’s defeat. He removed to Washington county in 1775. He was a surveyor, and under the direction of David Reddick, Esq., vice-president of Pennsylvania, he surveyed the internal survey of the Allegheny reserve; and, under the directions of the supreme executive council, surveyed the depreciation lands of the second district, a part of which is in the Sewickley valley. It was made in 1782-86. He and Reynolds surveyed Gen. Washington’s lands in Kentucky. He died June 18, 1830.

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This family biography is one of 2,156 biographies included in the History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania published in 1889 by A. Warner & Co.

View additional Allegheny County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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