Lecture presented before the Wheeling Historical Society & the annual meeting of The Union Mills Homestead Foundation maintained by the Shriver Family

Written and Researched By Paul Burig.


     Before I start telling you everything I know about the Shriver Family, I would like to outline how I came by most of my information. My interest in the Shriver Grays and the Shriver Family began in 1991 when a group of Wheeling historians banded together to put on the Greenwood Cemetery Tour. One of the people I researched for that presentation was Samuel Spriggs Shriver, whom I will talk about later.

     I became interested in this Wheeling family who gave up their homes and most of their belongings and left because they sided with the Confederacy.

     I scoured the Ohio County Public Library and local sources and came up with more questions than I did answers. As a result I have traveled to Charleston, WV, Richmond, VA, Suffolk, VA, Parkersburg, WV, Cumberland, MD, Virginia Military Institute at Lexington, VA and the New Market Battlefield in my search for information. I also received a great deal of help and encouragement from a number of people (local historians) who have lent assistance:

Robert Meader
Charles Cullen
Margaret Brennan
Audra Wayne (deceased)
Beverly Fluty
Jim Powell

     You never actually reach the end of a research project because you will always have questions that beg for answers.

     More recently I have been communicating with your president, James M. Shriver, III and David Shriver Lovelace of New York City and have traded the heart of my files and research with them and they in turn have added information and corrections. So today's presentation is the most recent version of my work.

     During the 1840s, 1850s, and until May of 1861 the Shriver families stood out as among the leaders in Wheeling, Virginia. They were respected in the community and enjoyed the honors leading citizens were accorded. 1861 and the outbreak of the Civil War would change all that. The secession of the State of Virginia tore apart the western counties where the sentiment was divided between those who were loyal of the government in Richmond and those who were loyal to the Union and President Abraham Lincoln. There was mob violence in the streets and utter turmoil as the two sides solidified their forces. Initially the sentiment was about evenly divided but as the movement toward secession advanced those siding with the Federal Government gained the upper hand.

     The Shriver families were steadfast in their loyalty to Richmond and secession. The Sweeney families, some living next door to William W. Shriver, were divided in their loyalty. So were the Zane families.

     The Zane families were the descendants of the original settlers of Wheeling dating back to 1769. As a result of their preeminence they became quite wealthy because of the large land holdings they had acquired. William W. Shriver benefited from the Zane affluence when he married Caroline Zane.

     Jacob married equally well when he took the daughter of Amelia Hay McElheran Sprigg to be his bride, who was the daughter of a member of George Washington's staff during the Revolution. Amelia married twice to Revolutionary War veterans who received huge tracts of land in Northern Virginia and Eastern Ohio as a result of their war service. Amelia outlived both of her husbands, both of whom were lawyers, and was a very wealthy widow.

     The Zane families and widow Sprigg donated a lot of the land to the city and various organizations which was built upon as the city grew after the completion of the National Road from Cumberland, Maryland to Wheeling in 1818. The city grew by leaps and bounds for the remainder of the 1800s, bolstered by the construction of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad in 1852 and the growth of river transportation during the migration westward. Wheeling should erect a golden arch because for much of this period it was the gateway to the gateway to the west at St. Louis, Missouri.

     And the Shriver families prospered along with the city they had chosen as their homes.

     Now let's look more closely at these two families.


     The first Shriver I will talk about is Jacob, son of David Shriver, Jr. Jacob was born at Westminster, Md., in 1805. His father was commissioned by the Federal Government as superintendent for the location and construction of the National Road from Cumberland to Wheeling. It was through this commission that Jacob became associated with the Ohio Valley.

     He married Eliza Hay McElheran, the daughter of Amelia Hay MeElheran Sprigg, a wealthy widow. Jacob and Eliza were living in Mead Township, Belmont County, Ohio during the 1830 census. Her mother's first husband, McElheran, founded Shadyside, Ohio and held a large acreage of land in that area. The census listed five children and also a male between 20 and 30 years of age that I can't account for. The 1850 census for Wheeling listed three children born in Ohio and also lists two sons born in Virginia, now West Virginia. Jacob was appointed postmaster of Wheeling from 1850 to 1853 and lived on Eoff St., opposite the present Catholic Cathedral. In 1852, Jacob was appointed to the committee for the celebration of the completion of the B&O Railroad. At the outbreak of the Civil War he was listed in the City Directory as head of Shriver & Co., a wholesale liquor firm which was located on Monroe Street, one of the most important steets in the growing city.

     According to a family history published in Baltimore, Md., Jacob moved his family from Wheeling to "Greenwood" on the Bayou La Fourche, near Thibodeaux, Louisana, where he owned and managed a sugar plantation during the period between his tenure as postmaster of Wheeling and the outbreak of the Civil War. No dates are given concerning his residence in Louisana.

     Jacob and his family sided with the Confederacy. His son, Daniel, became captain of a unit recruited in Wheeling which became known as the Shriver Grays.

     Jacob, his wife, and his son, David, left Wheeling for parts unknown. I believe they went to Richmond, Va. One source indicates that Jacob had a sister living in Richmond. This is doubtful because his only sister, Elizabeth, married the Hon. Andrew Stewart of Uniontown and Fayette County, Pennsylvania and spent her life there or in Washington, D.C., when her husband was a U.S. Congressman or held other government posts.

     There is no evidence in the Official Records of the National Archives that Jacob ever served with the Shriver Grays. The years between 1861 and 1864 are unaccounted for. The only records in the National Archives for Jacob list him as Colonel, Chief of Ordinance. The papers are headed, The Commonwealth of Virginia, which leads me to believe that his commission was with the Virginia Militia.

     After the end of the war, Jacob and Eliza, came back to the Ohio Valley to live and located in Bellaire, Ohio. The assets of Jacob and his family had been seized during the war years and sold at auction. However, Jacob must have been able to retain a large portion of his wealth because in 1868 he purchased a large plantation of about 1000 acres in Nansemond County, Virginia near Suffolk. I visited the Public Library and the County Courthouse in Suffolk and found a number of records of the family.

     A Suffolk historian listed the farm as one of the finest in the area and referred to Col. Shriver as a wealthy man from West Virginia. The family consisted of the Colonel, his wife and two sons, Samuel and David. Jacob lived there until Eliza died in 1875. Jacob died in 1876 and according to his obituary in "The Wheeling Intelligencer", his body was shipped by railroad to Wheeling from Richmond, which suggests that he was living in Richmond at the time of his death.

     The funeral for Jacob was held in the home of his daughter, Amelia S. Woods, wife of Robert B. Woods, who lived at No. 26 20th Street, Wheeling. Jacob and his wife are buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Wheeling, West Virginia.


     Daniel was the eldest son of Jacob and Eliza. He was listed as 25 years old at the beginning of the Civil War and had been associated in a wholesale liquor business with his father at Shriver & Co., and with Sheehan & Co., a distillery with a plant in South Wheeling. He had been a member of the local militia prior to the war and was unmarried. He was elected Captain of Co. G of the 27th Virginia Infantry, which became known as the Shriver Grays.

     One of the earliest records of his service is from the Official Records where a letter written by Daniel to Col. T. J. (Stonewall) Jackson urged that a force be sent to Wheeling to prevent the takeover by the Union sympathizers led by A.W. Campbell, editor of "The Intelligencer."

     I won't dwell too long on the Grays so we can touch on a number of other people who belonged to this family.

     I do want to note that the Shriver Grays were in the center of the action that turned the First Battle at Manassas in favor of the Confederates which sent a shock wave throughout the Union forces.

     The Shriver grays were assigned to the Stonewall Brigade throughout the war. The Brigade had the reputation of being one of the toughest of either in the army.

     Daniel was severely wounded on June 13, 1862 at the Battle of Port Republic. By the time of the Battle at Gettysburg, Daniel had been promoted to Lieut. Colonel and was in charge of the regiment. Following the retreat to Virginia, Daniel was elected to represent the Confederate soldiers from northwestern Virginia in the Virginia General Assembly. Despite objections of General Robert E. Lee, he was released from duty.

     When the session ended, Daniel petitioned the authorities, including President Jefferson Davis, to be commissioned Colonel of Cavalry for the purpose of raising a regiment of mounted riflemen in northwestern Virginia. There is no indication that he was ever able to recruit the unit. There are no records that I am aware of that account for his service during 1864 and 1865.

     The next record of Daniel was concerning his death in Ohio County in July 1865 of convulsions. The cause of the convulsions is not given. His funeral was held from the home of his sister, Effie, who was the wife of William H. Russell who lived in Elm Grove and he is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Wheeling, West Virginia.


     The youngest son of Jacob, Samuel was 18 when the Civil War broke out in 1861. The headstone on his grave in Greenwood Cemetery lists him as Captain, Co. G, 27th Regiment, although his name does not appear in the records of that unit in the National Archives or the Virginia Archives. The history of the "27th Virginia Infantry" published by H. E. Howard, Inc., of Lynchburg, Virginia does not list him among the roster of the regiment.

(Photo from VMI Archives, Lexington, Va.)

     He enrolled as a cadet at Virginia Military Institute, January 1, 1862. In May of 1864, the cadets were called out to fight in the Battle of New Market. According to VMI, Samuel was a Cadet Captain and "was struck in his left elbow by a piece of shell which knocked him down. Recovering his feet he continued to lead his company until a musket ball struck the same elbow and forced his retirement from the battle. His arm was stiff for the rest of his life.

     The VMI records continue, "After recovering from the wound he was detailed as inspector of arms in the Ordnance Department at Richmond. He was then put in command of the "Galvanized Corps," as it was called, in North Carolina." David Shriver Lovelace has been researching the service of Samuel during the Civil War and has been able to document additional information about his service in North Carolina.

     "After the war he studied law in the Office of (the) Hon. Charles Russell, in Baltimore, and was admitted to the bar but did not practice." In 1868, he joined his father, mother and brother, David, on the plantation near Suffolk. There he was engaged in farming and was elected to represent that area in the Virginia General Assembly in 1877-78. He died, unmarried, on August 17, 1881 and is buried in the family plot in Greenwood Cemetery, Wheeling, West Virginia.

     His will divided his estate between his sisters, Amelia S. Woods of Wheeling, Effie M. Russell of Elm Grove, and his brother, David, who was living on the plantation. Each received $1,000 from the estate.


     One of the questions that has puzzled me has been "Where was David?"

     He was the second son of Jacob and Eliza and was born in 1840 in Virginia and was 20 years old when the Civil War broke out. He is listed in the Wheeling City Directory up until the Civil War but there is nothing that I have been able to find that indicated that he served in the armies for either the North or South.

     His name doesn't reappear until the family settled near Suffolk. The plantation was sold in 1882 to settle the estate of his brother, Samuel. Sometime subsequent to his leaving Suffolk he married Annie Paull of New Jersey.

     I have been unable to find records of David until his death when his obituary appeared in the "Wheeling Register". On April 12, 1916, the obituary stated that "The body of David Schriver (sic) which arrived in this city yesterday morning from West Bank, N.J., where he succumbed to a brief illness, was interred in Greenwood Cemetery immediately following the arrival in the rain."

     David apparently had two children. Pauline Hay Shriver died in infancy in 1888 and is buried in Greenwood. His son, David, Jr., died in December 1918 in Detroit, Michigan at age 34. The obituary in "The Intelligencer" stated that he was well known as a resident of Wheeling. There is no indication that he was married. His body was accompanied by his mother, Mrs. Annie Schriever. (sic) There are misspellings in both of the Shriver names in the obituaries but I am fairly certain based on the dates that they are the descendents of Jacob.


     William was a son of David Shriver, Jr., and was born in 1810 at Westminster, Maryland and was a brother of Jacob. He married Caroline Zane, daughter of Noah Zane, and granddaughter of Ebenezar, founder of Wheeling.

     William was Mayor of Wheeling from 1847-1848 and was the fourth to hold the position after it was chartered a city in 1836. The City Directory listed him as a pork packer and later listed him as an insurance broker. His office was located in the McLure House at the corner of Monroe and Market Streets in the very center of the business district. The B & O railroad station was three blocks south of that point and the wharf on the Ohio River was two blocks west. It was a prime location.

     Some sources refer to William as "General." I have not been able to account for this title. He did not serve in either the Union or Confederate Armies.

     In an account from The History of Allegany County Maryland published in 1923 is a yarn about the stocking of the Potomac River with black bass which were transported from Wheeling to Cumberland by "General" W. W. Shriver in about 1854. According to the story, Shriver caught the bass in Wheeling Creek and was able to transport them to Cumberland by placing them in the water tank attached to a locomotive on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. He apparently accomplished the stocking of the Potomac with bass on at least two occasions and the fish were able to thrive in the river and William entered into a discussion with the Agricultural Chemist of Maryland on the possibility of stocking streams in the state with other varieties of fish.

     William's two daughters, Marion and Cornelia, were Southern sympathizers. "Whenever there was a southern victory, their mother gathered the family together and closed the shutters and locked the doors for the northern sympathizers were so infuriated they gathered and threw eggs, vegetables, etc., over the front of the house and they never knew what else they might do in their anger and they often feared for their safety."

     William Shriver had a son, William, who, according to a news item in "The Wheeling Intelligencer" enlisted in the Fourth Kentucky Cavalry on May 23, 1861 as a Lieutenant in Louisville, Ky. I have not been able to determine if this was with the North or South. There were units on both sides that could have been designated as the 4th Kentucky Cavalry. William had been employed by a store in Washington Hall which was across the street from the McLure House.

     Then there is James Shriver, son of William. He would have been 18 or 19 in 1861. There was a James Shriver who enlisted in Wheeling with the Shriver Grays. However, he was later listed as a deserter. Additional research indicates that his name was James C. Shriver, Jr., and enlisted in Wheeling May 17, 1861 at age 18. I have not been able to validate either James C. Shriver or his son in Wheeling or Ohio County. They may have lived in a neighboring county and came to Wheeling to enlist. It is one of many unanswered questions I have about the Shrivers of Wheeling. There is a J. W. Shriver buried in Greenwood Cemetery.

     (During my visit to the Homestead Foundation at Union Mills, Maryland a descendant of James Wagoner Shriver, Mrs. Darrell L. Apple, of Platesburg, MO, informed me that he is buried in Missouri. If so, who is the J. W. Shriver buried in Wheeling. A son, perhaps.)

     And lastly, Hampden Zane Shriver, William's eldest son became a prominent Wheeling attorney who paid for the plot where the Noah Zane and William W. Shriver families are buried. According to the cemetery records he was buried on July 3, 1912 and his son, Hampden Zane Shriver, Jr., was buried in the same plot June 7, 1897. The death notice in the "Wheeling Register stated that he the son died at Terra Alta, Preston County, West Virginia. The Shriver family had a cottage located there.

     In the center of the plot is a large granite monument in honor of his grandfather and grandmother Noah Zane and his wife Mary Lovely Chapline erected by Hampden Zane. No one seems to know anything about a Hampden Zane. It appears that for some reason he left Shriver off his name. There are no headstones for either him or his son. There is nothing to indicate that either of the grandparent Zanes is buried in the plot. If not where?

     Hampden Zane Shriver was a highly respected attorney and had his office in the McLure House. When he died he was living in Richmond where he had extensive holdings, according to a sketch published in a Wheeling Newspaper.

     The next information I will be dealing with comes mainly from a volume on file at History House in Cumberland, MD. Tracing the family is very difficult because of the frequency that many of the members of the family had the same first names.

     According to the information in that volume, "The Shriver family is of German extraction. The first to settle in America was Andreas Shriver, who was born in Alsenborn, Germany, in 1673, and emigrated to this country in 1721, settling in the vicinty of Goshenhoppen, on the Schuylkill River in Pennslyvania."

     Andreas had a son named, Andrew, who had a son named David, the person whose descendents include all of the Shrivers I have mentioned to this point.


     David Shriver, Sr., was born in Conewago, Pa., in 1735 and died in Little Pipe Creek, Md., in 1826. According to information from the Daughters of the American Revolution, David, Sr., was a member of the Committee of Safety and also a member of the Convention of 1776, which adopted and established the Declaration of Rights and Constitution of the State of Maryland. He is also listed as having been commissioned a Lieutenant Colonel. No information is given in the document which provided this information about the details of these positions.


     David Shriver, Sr., had at least five sons and three daughters. I will be concerned with only his first three sons: Andrew, David, Jr., and Abraham in that order. I have no significant information about Rachel, Mary, Isaac, Jacob, and Susanna.

     Let's look at David Shriver, Jr., first. He was born at Little Pipe Creek, Carroll County, Md., in 1769. This area is now known as Union Mills, Md. His first occupation was with his brother, Andrew, in the improvement of property at Little Pipe Creek. He gave up this business and as a civil engineer was appointed as superintendent for the location and construction of the Reisterstown Turnpike, northward from Baltimore.

     There is nothing in the historical records to indicate his educational background that led to a civil engineering career. In 1806, upon completion of that project, he was appointed by the Federal Government to superintend the location and construction of the National Road from Cumberland to Wheeling. He appointed Frederick Dent as his assistant. Julia Dent Grant, wife of Ulysses S. Grant, was a daughter of Frederick Dent. He also appointed a nephew, James Shriver, also a civil engineer as another assistant.

     The National Road was completed to Wheeling by 1818 but it appears that David continued to be associated with the maintenance and operation of the road.

     By 1824, his work concerning the Cumberland to Wheeling section of the National Pike was completed and he was commissioned to extend his work westward on the extension of the National Road to Missouri. It was during this time that he moved his family to Wheeling.

     On January 5th, 1827 a bill was passed by the Virginia General Assembly to permit David Shriver and five other men of Wheeling to operate a ferry from their lands lately owned by Jonathan Zane in the County of Ohio, across the Ohio River, to the opposite shore. The act also provided guidelines for the setting of rates for various types of goods.

     During the time when David Shriver was engaged in the construction of the National Road westward, he undoubtedly came in close contact with Ebenezar Zane who much earlier had been commissioned by the Federal Government to layout what became known as the Zane Trace across the state of Ohio to Chillicothe.

     Zane got peeved with the people who were in control of Wheeling and eventually moved his family across the river to the State of Ohio. He was involved in the formation of the settlement which bears his name, Zanesville, and is buried in Walnut Cemetery, Martins Ferry, Ohio. The name Zane was to become famous in more recent years. Zane Gray, author of a large number of novels about the west, some of which were made into movies, is a descendant of the same family. The Zane Gray Museum is located near present day Zanesville.

     In 1833, when he had left the government in the construction of the National Pike and other engineering projects, David returned to Cumberland and became president of the Cumberland Bank of Allegany which was the successor bank to one that David had been a member of the board since its formation in 1811. He served as its president until his death in 1852. He was the first of a series of Shrivers who were president of that bank.

     David and his wife, Eve Sherman, had at least four children: Jacob Sherman, whose career in Wheeling and the Civil War I have already given, Elizabeth, (wife of Andrew Stewart of Uniontown, Pa., who as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and one of the chief proponents of the National Pike,) William Wagoner, also previously discussed, and George, who was born in 1815 and died in 1818.


     Abraham Shriver was the third son of David, Sr. His early occupation was as a farmer and then in mercantile business. Although he had only a meager education, in 1805 he was appointed associate judge of the Fifth Judicial District of Maryland. He served as judge for 35 years until failing eyesight and blindness forced his retirement.

     He was active politically and was one of the founders of the Democratic Party in Frederick. He was a confidant of several justices of the U.S. Supreme court including Chief Justice Rodger B. Taney, famed for the Dred Scott decision.


     Edward Shriver was a son of Judge Abraham Shriver. He was educated for law and practiced in Frederick and Baltimore. At the outbreak of the Civil War he was in sympathy with the Union and was called upon by Governor Bradford to aid him in furnishing men in response to the demand of the Federal government for the state's quota for the Union Army.

     He served as Secretary of State for two different governors and held several other governmental positions in Frederick and Baltimore.

     Edward was the last of Judge Abraham Shriver's descendents of the Shriver name. The rest of Edward and Abraham's children were all daughters.


     Thomas Shriver was the second son of Andrew, son of David Shriver, Sr. He is described as a self-taught practical engineer, machinist and inventor. During the War of 1812 he organized a company of volunteers for the defense of Baltimore and was engaged in the Battle of North Point.

     Some of his accomplishments:

Operated a horse-powered saw mill,
Invented an improved spring for carriages,
Installed a water system to pipe water from mountain springs to serve Frederick, Md.
Located and constructed the Franklin Turnpike,
Prospected the route for the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore railroad,
In 1834, acquired an interest in the Good Intent Stage Company, which operated on the National Road,
Invented a spring that was used in coaches,
Elected mayor of Cumberland and personally supervised improvement of the streets,
Organized construction of a plank-road from Cumberland to West Newton,
Improved navigation on the Youghiogheny River,
A steamboat named the Thomas Shriver operated between West Newton and Pittsburgh,
In 1853, started an omnibus line in Philadelphia, which was bought out by a passenger railway company,
Started a foundry in New York, T. Shriver & Co., which he sustained to the close of his life.

     He was active in the Whig Party, and was chosen as one of the escorts for General Zachary Taylor from Wheeling to Cumberland when he was on his way to Washington to be inaugurated president. The trip during a severe winter storm is a story all its own and too long to relate here.

     Thomas was ninety when he died.


     As I previously mentioned, James Shriver was the third son of Andrew, son of David Shriver, Sr.

     James was a civil engineer and his Uncle David appointed him as an assistant in the construction of the National Pike from Cumberland to Wheeling.

     In 1824 he became involved with the engineering of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal. He prepared a map and gave a summary of estimates and other matters relative to the construction of the canal.

     In 1825, he collected material on the construction of the mountain division of the canal.The following year he was commissioned to make surveys for the Wabash Canal, Indiana and while he was working on that project he became ill with typhus fever and died.

     Now a few words about more recent descendents of the Shriver clan.

     As far as I know, there are no descendents of the David Shriver clan bearing the name of Shriver living in the Wheeling area.

     Edna Shriver Shelton was a daughter of Hampden Zane Shriver son of William W. Shriver. I believe that there are descendents of Edna still living in this area but I have not had reason to investigate that family further.

     Notables of more recent times include Sargent Shriver of Rockville, MD, brother-in-law to President John F. Kennedy. He was the first director of the Peace Corps, appointed by President Kennedy, and was the vice presidential nominee in 1972. According to the president of the Allegany County Historical Society in Cumberland, Sargent Shriver is a descendent of the same Shriver clan which was so prominent in Cumberland and Wheeling. When I was talking to her, she did not volunteer to trace the lineage so I am taking her at her word.

     His daughter, Maria, is a news correspondent for one of the television networks, and is the wife of the Hollywood star, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Just recently there was an article in People magazine about his youngest son, Anthony, who organized Best Buddies, an organization for the support of mentally disabled persons.


     Since this lecture was compiled, some questions have been raised about information regarding William and James Shriver. David Shriver Lovelace claims that both William and James would have been too young to have served in the Confederate Army based on a 1888 Genealogical Record contained in a history of the Shriver family.

     The information I have included about William enlisting in the Fourth Kentucky Cavalry was given to me by a research genealogist, Audra Wayne, of Wheeling. Unfortunately, Mrs. Wayne has since died and I cannot question her about the source of the information. The news item probably appeared in "The Wheeling Intelligencer" some time after May 23, 1861. I have not been able to find the item and it is like finding a needle in a haystack with the way the news was presented in that era.

     The 1850 census for Wheeling and Ohio County list William, age 10, and James, age 8, under the members of the household of William W. Shriver. Also, the City Directory lists William Shriver as employed by a grocery store across the street from the office of his father in 1860. Both pieces of information lead me to believe that both William and James "could" have served in the Civil War. After the Civil War William does not appear in the Directory.

     Later information about James Shriver who deserted from the Confederate company commanded by Daniel M. Shriver gives his name as James C. Shriver, Jr. I believe that this makes it clear that he was not the son of William W. Shriver. I have been unable to locate James C. Shriver, Sr., or James C. Shriver, Jr., in the records of Wheeling or Ohio County, Virginia (West Virginia).