Mariah (Maria) Shriver #52 Ancestors

#52 Ancestors in 52 WeeksThis week’s #52 Ancestors post is about my 3x great grandmother Mariah (Maria) E. Shriver from my mother’s family. This post is going to be short and sweet. Not because I lack time. No unfortunately I lack the information that makes her more than some compiled dates. I lack “her story” but let me tell you what I do know.

Mariah was born 25 February 1812 in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania. Her parents were Johann and Maria Pollock Shriver and she was the youngest of their five children. On 16 December 1832 Mariah married James Downing Van Meter.

This young couple settled in Monroe Township, Allen County, Ohio where they farmed. They had nine children. Their oldest, Susannah is my great-great grandmother. I haven’t done a great deal of research on Mariah but one thing I have learned from her life is that she must have been a very loving, hospitable woman.

James D and Mary E (Shriver) Van Meter

James D and Mariah Mary E (Shriver) Van Meter

The Van Meter home was open to all family members that needed a roof over their heads. Oldest daughter Susannah was an unwed mother in 1860. Certainly not acceptable in that era yet Susannah is not kicked out of the house.

Another instance is when Mariah’s brother-in-law, husband James’ brother John dies suddenly in 1851 and his son, nephew James, is living with them in 1860. I also suspect when nephew James died in 1864 during his Civil War service it was James D. and Mariah that secured a proper burial for him.

Mariah died 1 October 1878 at 66 years old in Allen County, Ohio. Let me just add that I’ve found her name listed as Mariah, Maria and finally Mary as you see here on her headstone. Oddly enough Mary is the least used name I have found yet it’s the one on her grave marker.

I may not know much more about my 3x great grandmother than her vital statistics but I really have a sense that she was a warm and caring person. I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to research that but I’ll let you know how I do.


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