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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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WILLIAM CONNER SHAW, physician and surgeon, Pittsburgh, was born in Versailles township, this county, Feb. 7, 1846, son of William A. and Sarah Y. (Conner) Shaw, former of whom was born on the same farm July 6, 1809, the latter in Washington county, Pa. David and Jane Shaw, the grandparents of our subject, were natives of County Antrim, Ireland, and York county, Pa., respectively. David came to America when twelve years old with his parents, Samuel and Sarah (Lowery) Shaw, settling in Versailles township on a farm; here David and his wife lived and died, the former in 1834, aged seventy-three years, and the latter in 1866, aged one hundred and two years and twelve days. William A. Shaw was the youngest of six boys and three girls, and he and Mrs. Robert Carothers, of Patton township, are the only ones surviving. Rev. William, a United Presbyterian minister, and Margaret (Murdock) Conner were the maternal grandparents of Dr. Shaw. The subject of this memoir attended school in Versailles township and at Newell Institute. He then entered the sophomore class at Washington and Jefferson College in September, 1866, graduating in 1869; then read medicine with Dr. W. R. Hamilton, and entered Bellevue Hospital Medical College, New York City, where he graduated in 1872; then studied six months with a private tutor, passed the competitive examination, and entered Bellevue hospital as ambulance-surgeon, being advanced each six months until he became house-surgeon of the hospital. Leaving there in 1874, he accepted the position of clinical assistant to Prof. Stephen Smith, of the medical department of the University of New York, but changing his plans he resigned the same and located, Nov. 5, 1874, on Wylie avenue, Pittsburgh, where he has built up a large practice. He was physician to the Pittsburgh Free Dispensary from 1876 to 1882, becoming thereby a life member; physician to Mercy hospital from 1876 to 1878, inclusive; surgeon alternate to the Pennsylvania railroad from Jan. 1, 1877, to Jan. 1, 1880, and the same to the P., C. & St. L. R. R. 1876 to 1881; surgeon to Mercy hospital, 1878 to 1887, and at present is examining physician for six insurance companies, carries seventy-two thousand dollars life and ten thousand accident insurance. Dr. Shaw is a member of the Allegheny County and State Medical societies, and a fellow of the American Academy of Medicine and Society of Alumni of Bellevue hospital, of New York. Is a member of the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce, and has two life memberships in the Western Pennsylvania Exposition society.

Dr. Shaw married, Nov. 1, 1877, Martha M., daughter of J. C. Lewis (whose sketch appears elsewhere), and they had three children: Sadie L., Jennie E., and James Lewis, who died Oct. 11, 1883. Mrs. Shaw died suddenly of heart disease Oct. 24, 1887; her ailment was due to a severe attack of rheumatism when a schoolgirl, caused by falling through the ice on the old canal at Sharpsburg, then going to school with her wet clothes on and remaining there all day. She was a member of the First U. P. Church of Pittsburgh. The doctor is a member of the same church, and of its session since 1878. He is a republican, very active and useful to the party. He has written many articles for medical journals and local papers. Dr. Shaw, in an article to the Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette, dated May 19, and published May 20, 1887, first called public attention to the propriety of celebrating the centennial of the county in September of the following year, and a few months later (October, 1887) the idea was advanced in the Chamber of Commerce by Mr. Morrison Foster, and adopted by the chamber.

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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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