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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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THOMAS W. SHAW was born May 1, 1796, in Pittsburgh, Pa., where his father, John Shaw, had a nursery. The genealogy of the Shaw family dates back to four brothers — George, a cabinet-maker, of Philadelphia; Peter, a tanner, of Meadville, Pa.; Alexander and John, who settled in Pittsburgh. They were natives of Glasgow, Scotland, where they all learned their trades, Alexander and John being blacksmiths. Just after the revolutionary war they came to America, where they all married and had children. John Shaw lived in Wilkinsburg several years, and then came to Pittsburgh, where he followed the blacksmith’s trade, and ironed the first cannon cast in Pittsburgh. He made a great many hoes for plantation use in the south. In 1803 he moved to Glenshaw, where he followed his trade; also had a flour and saw-mill on Pine Creek; here he died in August, 1839. He was a whig, and an elder of the Presbyterian Church. Thomas W., the subject of this sketch, was eldest of a family of seven children, learned the sickle-maker’s trade with Samuel McIlhaney, and followed the business for forty years, making as many as one thousand dozen per year. The old factory is still standing, and was afterward used as a meeting-house. He married Sarah, daughter of Samuel Scott, and to them were born eight children: Thomas W., Elizabeth, Margaret, Sarah Jane (deceased), Martha, Mary Scott, Ellen K., Catherine Louisa (died in infancy). Since the war he has lived a retired life. He was a whig and is now republican. He has always been a Presbyterian.

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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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