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July 25, 2019 / Joanne Yeck

George Shumaker of Rolfeton, Part I

George Shumaker. Courtesy Vanessa Crews and Kimberly Shumaker Clark.

Slate River Ramblings follower Vanessa Crews has investigated her husband’s deep Buckingham County roots and written about his family at her blog, “Cultivating Family: Discovering the ancestors of Jesse and Vanessa Sykes Crews.”

The following post written by Vanessa details the life of George Shumaker, who lived at Rolfeton in Buckingham County.

George is the great-grandfather of my husband, Jesse Crews. He was born in Buckingham County, Virginia on December 14, 1846. He probably never attended school as census records indicate George could not read or write. George was a farmer and did not own his home. Late in his life, George lived at Rolfeton, a beautiful country home. . . . He may have been a caretaker or renting the farm. He died in Buckingham County on December 1, 1935, from a cerebral hemorrhage. His eighty-ninth birthday was only two weeks away.

George married three times. His first marriage was to Laura Newton, daughter of James Newton and Mahala Ann Taylor. They married on January 25, 1867, in Buckingham County. Seventeen children were born to this couple. Only six of these children are known to have lived to adulthood. Laura probably died soon after the last child was born in July 1885. She was only about 38 years-old. The loss of seven little babies, two small children and their mother, all in the years before 1886, must have left a cloudburst of grief raining over the Shumaker home.

Children of George E. Shumaker and Laura Newton:

  1. Mary Elizabeth Shumaker (Newton): July 3, 1864 – February 26, 1939, married George W. Davis.
  2. Ida Shumaker: December 1867 – Abt. 1911: married Benjamin S. Robertson
  3. Unnamed Baby Boy Shumaker: February 1869 – February 1869.
  4. Jenny Shumaker: August 25, 1870 – Before 1880.
  5. Sarah Jane Shumaker: October 1872 – April 21, 1952, married Joseph Walker Doss.
  6. Margaret Frances “Maggie” Shumaker: September 12, 1873 – March 6, 1952, married Samuel J. Wharam.
  7. George E. Shumaker, October 1874 – Bef. 1880.
  8. Hattie Blanche Shumaker: December 24, 1877 – November 6, 1969, married Peter W. Doss.
  9. John W. Shumaker: 1877 – unknown.
  10. Emma Shumaker: December 1878 – May 1879.
  11. Laura “Dotsie” Shumaker: 1878 – September 17, 1913, married (?) Taylor.
  12. Emma Shumaker: March 10, 1880.
  13. Frank Emmett Shumaker: March 10, 1880. He was shot and accidentally killed by a half-brother. The 1880 census taker recorded that Frank was 3/12 months old and born in February. Two other infants, recorded on the same page by the same census taker, were listed as 3/12 months old. One was given a birth month of March and another April. Frank and Emma were apparently twins born in early spring of 1880. Emma did not survive and wasn’t named on the 1880 census.
  14. No Name Shumaker: March 1882.
  15. No Name Shumaker: June 1883 – August 16, 1883.
  16. No Name Shumaker: January 1884 – June 3, 1884.
  17. No Name Shumaker: July 10, 1885.


For more about Rolfeton, follow this link: Buckingham County Houses: Rolfeton

Coming Next: George Shumaker of Rolfeton, Part II


Leave a Comment
  1. Danny Newton / Aug 13 2019 8:16 pm

    Wonder if this James Newton is any relation to my family. My grandfather was Charles Luchion Newton, Sr. of Arvonia.

    • Joanne Yeck / Aug 14 2019 8:15 am


      Maybe someone will know and comment.


  2. Vanessa Crews / Jul 25 2019 11:40 am

    Hi Joanne, thank you for sharing my Shumaker post. I hope others enjoy it. Kimberly Shumaker Clark is the Shumaker family expert. Her book, The Shumaker/Shoemaker Families of Buckingham County, Virginia, is is a gem.

    • Joanne Yeck / Jul 25 2019 11:44 am

      Hi Vanessa,
      Thanks for sharing the title of Kim’s book. More coming in Monday’s post!


  1. George Shumaker of Rolfeton, Part II | slate river ramblings . . . .

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