Janet and Robert Wolfe Genealogy --- Go to Genealogy Page for William Shreve

Notes for William Shreve

1737 William Shreve was born on 4 of month 8. [1]

1756 William Shreve and Anna Ivins, both of Springfield, Burlington County, were married on May 8. [2] [3]

1768 William Shreve and Rhoda Ivins married on 15 of month 12. [4]

1779 William Shreve and Anne (Woodward) Reckless married on February 21. [5]

A biosketch [6] reports:

William Shreve, the fourth child and third son of Benjamin Shreve and Rebecca French, was b. Aug. 4th, 1737, in Burlington Co., N. J.; m. 1st, Anna Ivins, of Springfield, Burlington Co., N. J., May 8th, 1756; 2d, Mrs. Ann Reckless, July 17th, 1779. He d. in 1812 in Burlington Co., N. J.

The book of "Marriage Licenses" at Trenton, N. J., contains this entry: William Shreve, of Springfield, Burlington Co., New Jersey - Yoeman - married May 8th, 1756, Anna Ivins, of Springfield, Burlington Co., New Jersey. Bondsman—Moses Ivins, of Springfield, Burlington Co., N. J., Yeoman. Witnesses - Gab Bland. Sam'l Peart.

The Military List "Official Register of the Officers and Men of New Jersey in the Revolutionary War" contains the entry: William Shreve, ist Maj: First Reg Burlington Sept. 28 1776 Lieut. Col. ditto March 15 1777 Col ditto April 18 1778. Little has been ascertained of Col. William Shreve's career before his services during the Revolutionary War. After that period he was a man of business, and owned at one time vessels on the sea.

His marriage occurred when he was nineteen years of age, and his oldest child was Jeremiah Warder, who also married young, in 1775, or when eighteen years of age. It is mentioned among descendants that at one time father and son courted the same girl and in the conquest for her hand the son came out victorious. Col. William Shreve married the second time Mrs. Ann Reckless, widow of Joseph Reckless and daughter of Joseph and Hannah Woodard; this was in 1779. It appears that during his military career he was a widower. While on duty in the army the British plundered, burned and destroyed his property, consisting of house, barn and outhouses with contents, amounting in value to £1,355.15. The property was located in Burlington County, and its destruction occurred June 23d, 1778.

After the close of the war he was shopkeeper in Mansfield, but in 1782 the business proved disastrous, and on Nov. 2d of that year he and his wife assigned "all their real and personal estate to Jeremiah Warder, Jr., Mordecai Lewis and Samuel Coates, merchants of Philadelphia, in trust for his creditors, he being by misfortune and losses in trade rendered incapable to pay the full amount of his indebtedness, but nevertheless is desirous as far as his power to satisfy his creditors, for 5 shillings he and his wife Ann convey to above merchants everything, to go to his creditors, and if anything is left over, to be for his and his wife's use."

Dec. I2th, 1789, these same men convey the above premises to Moses Ivins for divers sums and £2,537.

He and his wife, with others, in 1788, crossed the Allegheny Mountains; his brother. Col. Israel, then emigrating to his future home in Fayette County, Pa., where the son of the latter (Capt. John Shreve) had preceded two years before. There is no record of his permanent residence there, or of his investing in property in that vicinity.

He probably resumed business In Burlington County, acquiring quite a competency before death. Any real estate he might have possessed was disposed of before the making of his will, which was dated May first, 1810, and devised only personal property amounting to $2,043.17, of which $1,500 were in bonds.

Mrs. Maria M. Whitmore, of Ottawa, 111., was the oldest grand daughter of Anna Shreve and Nathan Shumard. She well remembers many incidents related to her by her grandmother, who was the daughter of Col. William Shreve. July, 1896, she writes as follows: My mother has told me that after her mother's—Anna Shreve —marriage to Nathan Shumard, that they moved on Olbanion Creek, where their surroundings were not very good, and they soon after moved, buying a farm on Stone Lick, in Clermont Co., O., on which there was a fine mill site. He soon had a small mill in operation. As his boys grew up, the family got along very well, as well as their neighbors—fellow pioneers. This mill and farm is still in possession of his descendants. My grandmother was loved by her many friends and neighbors and all her children and grand children that knew her rise up and call her blessed. After I was grown my grandfather remarked how good she had always been to him and the children. After the custom of the Quakers she would have no nicknames, all the children must be called by their full names. Although so young, I can well remember her kindness to me. Her character seemed to be made up of love and kindness to all with whom she was in contact. Her last sickness was short. She was in usual health in the morning, but died at four o'clock in the afternoon. The funeral was preached at the house, and she was laid to rest on a high hill selected for the family burying ground, only a short distance from the house. As a child I remember the men carrying her up the hill and we all following, and on our return the prevailing sadness, knowing we had lost our best and dearest one.

I was six years of age when grandmother died, but remember her very well, and often heard her speak of her brothers in Jersey. I do not remember her speaking of her sisters. During the late war, when visiting a friend in North Vernon, Ind., I met an elderly gentleman who had come from Monmouth Co., N. J. On ascertaining I was of Shreve descent, he was much interested, claiming to have known my grandparents before their marriage. He said Anna's father thought a great deal of Nathan, but thought he was too easy and v/ould not take care of property, for he said they were very rich, consequenty he was not very willing for them to marry. He said her father gave them a mill, for Nathan was a miller and fixed them with fine property. I had often heard this from my mother, who said they had such a nice place and she wished her father had stayed in Jersey. Grandfather and mother wanted a deed, but her father did not think best, so they moved to Ohio with his brother, Samuel Shumard. This gentleman, whose name I cannot recall, had stayed in Monmouth Co. with a George Shreve, who, he said, was an own cousin of my mothers. Mother related two incidents I well remember—one was how she was cured of the ague. After she had had it a long time, grandfather said to his wife: "Suppose we have Rebecca to tie the ague to a tree." He was sure it would cure her. So they procured a blue yarn string and all three started across the field to the timber. Mother could hardly walk ; she was shaking so hard. She tried to climb the fence, but fell and cried. She did not believe it would do any good, but they again urged her. Soon they came to the timber and her grandfather tied the string around a tree and told my mother to take hold of the end and go around the tree, repeating: "Fever and Ague, you have tormented me, and now I'll tie you to this tree," until the string was all wound up. Then grandfather said: "This tree shall never be cut down." Mother said she never had any more of the ague while they lived in Jersey. It seems foolish and silly, but it was a superstition of those days, I suppose. Mother used to talk so much about Jersey. The other incident was when the Redcoats came up the street in Monmouth. I do not know whether before or after the battle. Mother said she saw them coming and hollowed. They looked so pretty, their brass buttons glistening in the sunlight, but directly her grandfather came running and said they were after him, and asking "Where shall I go?" some replied, "In the house and hide." He said: "No ; they will burn the house." "Then go to the barn." Pie said: "They are bound to have me and will burn the barn." So he retreated to a thicket and hid. They burned the house and barn. He was near, and the fire so hot he could hardly bear it. The British hunted everywhere for him, as they thought, without finding him. They remounted their horses and left. The family were greatly frightened, and only relieved when they found her grandfather all right. Mother has told me that her great grandfather Shreve had ships sailing on the sea."

Research Notes:

Perhaps Anna Ivins was a daughter of Isaac Ivins and Lydia Brown [7], whom we show with spouses Levi Nutt and Hugh Hutchins. We seek further documentation about the identity of Ann Ivins.


[1] Howard Barclay French, Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas French, Volume 1 (1909), 222, [HathiTrust].

[2] William Nelson, Documents relating to the Colonial History of the State of New Jersey. Archives Vol. 22. (Marriage Records, 1665-1800) (1900), 214, [HathiTrust], [GoogleBooks], [InternetArchive].

[3] Howard Barclay French, Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas French, Volume 1 (1909), 222, [HathiTrust].

[4] Howard Barclay French, Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas French, Volume 1 (1909), 222, [HathiTrust].

[5] Howard Barclay French, Genealogy of the Descendants of Thomas French, Volume 1 (1909), 222, [HathiTrust].

[6] L. P. Allen, The Genealogy and History of the Shreve Family from 1641 (1901), 262, [GoogleBooks], [HathiTrust], [InternetArchive].

[7] Janet and Robert Wolfe, Genealogy Page for Ann Ivins, daughter of Isaac Ivins and Lydia Brown, [JRWolfeGenealogy].