Shanks, Shanks, Shanks!

My Shanks line. They will drive you to drink, throw things and cuss a little (or a lot).

Every year I sit down with all the paperwork from my grandmother and great grandmother (more about the boxes they left for me) and I try to sort through this line. I know, just go backwards from your person... Nope, nope, nope. Well, you can, and then it gets tangled into a web of I don't know what.

We'll start with my GGGG Great Grandmother, Margaret Anderson who on the 5th of Jan 1837 married Alexander Shanks. Simple? Nope. See, if all this paperwork I have shows anything it is that Margaret and Alexander were cousins. Being cousins isn't the nightmare part of this

Tombstone transcription of
Alexander and Margarets

Lets work this out:

Matthew Shanks b. 1740, Ireland
immigrates with one 3 year old son, James on the Earl of Hillsborough and is granted land. ( No mother on board, at least no woman bearing the Shanks last name.

     1. James Shanks - b 1764
New Wife "Ann"
     2.Matthew Shanks Jr. act 1779, marries Nancy (has son Robert M)
     3. Robert Shanks b. 1780 Abbeville District  - marries Nan (that is all we have) (parents of Alexander we hope)
     4. Margaret Shanks marries Abram Auton 1806
     5. Martha Shanks m John McFerrin
     6. Jenny Shanks b. app 1784 in Abbeville District, NC marries Jonathon Anderson (parents of Margaret Anderson above)

So, this should be it, this should along with finding marriage info, census info and all the good things this should be it. But no.

Each of those kids, has a slew of kids, all named Matthew, Robert, Margaret, Martha Shanks, along with a few more Andersons and an extra Adams or 2 to mix in with my other Adams line and...
I have 4 Roberts all born within 20 years of each other, and each of them could be the father of Alexander, or it could still be my original Robert.

When I look at trees online I start to get excited, maybe this person has untangled this mess, well, very few of them have all the kids listed, Some have Jenny as being a daughter to Matthew Jr, some list her as a different Shanks all together, I don't think they want to admit what could be going on here. Heck, I don't even know what's going on here.

I do know this is the line my great grandmother and her sisters used to enter the DAR, so someone else believes all of this. Yes, there could be lots of new evidence that is now available, there could also be the same old evidence just rearranging the names - I don't know. Like I said, this family drives me bonkers! I do have a few DNA matches that trace back to Matthew Shanks - we just all seem to get there along a different path.

However I'm related to Matthew Shanks I'd like him to know one thing: it was truly acceptable for your kids to use other names when naming their children (yes you could have broken with tradition).


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