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Descendants of William Shreve and Freelove Dyer



Luther Allen's History and Genealogy is the primary source of information about the offspring of William Shreve and Freelove Dyer. Allen records the following children: William, Elizabeth, Mary, James, and Benjamin. There is evidence to suggest that at least three sons are missing from this accounting: Daniel, Joseph and John.
Establishing the parentage of Daniel, Joseph, and John is crucial to solving the problem of the “Loudon Shreves” and their link to the West Virginia lineage. This has been a thorny problem for Shreve genealogists. In the October, 1989 issue of the Shreve News, Sherry Shreve March comments: “then there are the branches overlooked by Allen; most notably the West Virginia Shreves . . . .” In this issue she advances the argument that there are three missing sons; it is an argument supported by other Shreve genealogists, including Anne Shreve Norris, Curtis Lin Chewning, Estyl C. Shreve, Donna McCray, Marilyn Jones and the present authors.
The primary documentary evidence for the “missing sons hypothesis” given here is Daniel Shreve's 1749 will, a set of land warrants, and a 1750 court record from Fairfax County listing a William Shreve as Daniel Shreve's “heir at law.” Conclusions drawn from these documents are substantiated by secondary evidence from tax lists and county records. This evidence is given under the entry for the appropriate person.
The Shreve brothers of Loudoun County dispersed throughout Virginia. Almost all of the Shreves in West Virginia today are descendants of James Shreve and John Shreve of Loudoun County. John Shreve Senior settled in Pendleton County where his son John Shreve founded the Pendleton County lineage. John's son William, the ancestor of the Randolph County Shreves, settled near Valley Bend and Mill Creek in Randolph County. James Shreve moved on into Harrison and Monongalia Counties. Benjamin Shreve and William Shreve apparently remained in Loudoun County. Daniel Shreve and Joseph Shreve appear to have had no offspring.
Joseph Shreve's Harrison County will of 1811 provides significant documentary evidence of two generations of Shreves (abstracted from complete will in Appendix I):
I Give and Bequeath unto Joseph Shreve and Abraham Shreve four hundred and twenty acres of land lying in the County of Randolph Virginia on the waters of the dry fork of Cheat. . .unto ____Cox (whose Christian name I do not recalled if I ever heard) who married the Daughter of my Brother John Shreve senr. The Balance of three surveys in Pendleton County...I give and Bequeath unto Benjamine Shreve sone of Benjamine Shreve my brother all the obligations, notes Bonds & Claims. . .against James Dobbins. . .I give and bequeath unto Benjamine Shreve (son of James Shreve My Brother) all the sums he may stand indebted to me by note Bond or otherwise...
Joseph, Abraham and Benjamin mentioned in the will are the sons of James Shreve (see James Shreve, son of William and Freelove). Benjamin, son of Benjamin, appears to be the child of Benjamin Shreve and Anna Berry who remained in Loudoun County. John Shreve, son of John Shreve Sr. is the founder of the Pendleton County line and went with his father to Pendleton County most likely between 1805 and 1809.

Linked toFamily: Shreve/Dyer (F12)

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