A Guy You Want to Add to Your Family Tree #52Ancestors

George Marshall, Mary Ellen Williams Marshall, William Lloyd Marshall

George Shriver Marshall, Mary Ellen Williams Marshall, William Lloyd Marshall

My great grandfather George Shriver Marshall seems to be the kind of guy a girl would like to add to her family tree. Let me tell you why.


George was born 26 August 1868 to Susannah Van Meter and James Hayes Marshall Jr. Now George had seven half brothers and sisters from his father’s first marriage. Add to that his mother Susannah brought a child into this second marriage before having three other children along with George. This produces a house teeming with kids of all ages.


My first thought is that George, the second youngest, would get lost in this menagerie of family but as I research that isn’t the case. Named after a maternal uncle he seemed to have a close tie with his mom and as the years progressed valued his family enormously.


As this era would dictate George’s education was complete after the second grade. Maybe he was needed to work on the farm or perhaps once he learned to read and write that was all the education he needed. Whatever the reason he only attended school for two years.


As a young man George didn’t go far to find amour. He married a girl from the farm next door. On 31 October 1891 he wed the love of his life Mary Ellen Williams. He and Mary Ellen had three children, Gladys (my grandmother), Freda and William.


I find it really interesting that just 8+ years later in the 1900 Federal census George’s mother, Susannah, is living with the young family. In fact she lived with them until early 1908 where a newspaper clipping notes Susannah went to live with a daughter nearby when George’s wife took sick. (I’m surprised George’s mom is living with him to begin with and not with the nearby sister.)


Sadly one of the darkest events in my family history took place soon after when George’s wife Mary Ellen died of consumption leaving him to raise their three children alone. That loss seemed to follow George for the rest of his life. He never remarried and once his oldest daughter Gladys married he lived with her and her family the rest of his life.


Now that puts George within my reach. My mom grew up with him, her granddad, in her home. She shared a few stories about him with us kids. My mom remembered her granddad sitting in the backyard on a straight back chair one 4th of July. He always smoked a pipe. The kids had fire crackers and lit them from his pipe throwing the burning little bombs deep in their backyard. She’d smile at the memory mentioning it was a wonder no one ever got hurt.

Marshall, Lowery, Williams Family History

George Shriver Marshall


He slept in a “three-quarter bed” in a room off the kitchen. The handmade quilt that covered the bed was drug out once a year and given a good airing on the clothes line out back.


The best I can put together at this time is that George kept the farm for awhile and daughter Gladys and husband Basil had a home in town. My mom spoke of both places as belonging to all and that granddad would walk the railroad tracks from the farm into town to eat and stay the night with the family on a regular basis. George seemed to be a family man and was a big part of my mom’s growing up years. She always spoke of him with warm memories.


There are many, many family photos of the widower George and his three children. It seemed to be important that when these four were together a picture was taken. There are several photos of an aged George and one of his older sisters. My guess is they were the only two left living in this area. Then there are the grandkids. There are many pics of George and his grandchildren, with several three generation photos as well. I’m thankful George’s life is documented by many photos.


Marshall, Lowery, Williams Family History, genealogy

George Shriver Marshall

Eventually George quit farming and the farm was sold. He slowed down considerably using a cane to get around in his later years. I have that cane today. He passed away at his daughter Gladys’ home on 12 November 1944.


As I said at the beginning George S Marshall was the kind of guy a girl would like to add to her family tree. He made sure his elderly mother had a home, he never got over the death of his wife, and he was a strong father and family man.


You know what? I’m not only glad I can add him to the family tree I’m proud of it.


  1. […] – “A Guy You Want to Add to Your Family Tree” (George Shriver Marshall) by Cindy Freed on Genealogy […]

  2. […] by and produce several grandchildren. Mary Ellen marries a young man from the neighboring farm, George Marshall. Isaac purchases land and gives it to Mary Ellen as a gift for the newly wedded […]

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