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Peter Shaver — Original Settler

* ~ 1715
~ 1765
married: Margaretha Schaeffer


Tradition has it that our ancestor, Peter Shaver, came to America about the year 1764 or 1765, but conflicting evidence, supported by documentary data show that this date, 1765, the traditional time of arrival in America, has been confused with the same date, 1765, at which time Peter Shaver’s two sons, Peter, with John Shaver, petitioned the proprietaries for the right to inherit the land of their father after his tragic death.

Tradition also claims that there were four brothers who came to this country at the same time. From officials in the State House at Harrisburg we learn that it is doubtful, if not impossible to ascertain documentary facts concerning any particular German entering this country. Pennsylvania was the only colony that required the registration of immigrants arriving at Philadelphia, but the captains of vessels prepared their lists carelessly and without regard to uniformity or orthography. Few gave complete lists and many were lost, and in transcribing the Captains’ lists to Colonial books, errors were made in dates, names, etc., which became mixed and confused. Unaccountable thousands entered other ports in the east and south.

According to authentic data, Peter Shaver was in Philadelphia in 1738, and partly confirming tradition of four brothers, the publication “Pennsylvania German Immigrants, 1727 to 1878, edited by Strausberger and Hinke, shows that: Peter Shaver, aged 24 years, John Adam Shaver, aged 30 rears, Christ Shaver, age 52 years, and Christ Shaver Jr., aged 16 years, had fled German persecution and arrived in Philadelphia on August 27, 1738 (actually, 1739. See: ship's log or try the list at Olive Tree).

In 1744 Peter Shaver had settled in Bucks County, one of the three counties formed in 1682, and in the same year, 1744, he was licensed as an Indian Trader, to ply his trade to the Ohio River. The license was granted in Cumberland County, then a part of Bucks County, still embracing Cumberland County which was not erected until 1750. Cumberland County was then called “The Mother County,” because of its vast area.


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