This is the story of two
families that became one.
Both families came to this country many years ago.
They both saw the birth of a nation.
Matthew Shanks and his son James
arrived in Charles Town, South Carolina in 1767.
They had set sail on "Earl of Hillsborough" early in January of 1767.
Originally the family was from Scotland, then Ireland.
They were members of a group of people known as Scotch-Irish.
Matthew and his young son James made their home
in the old 96th District of South Carolina.
In South Carolina Matthew obtained a new wife, family, and home.
When his new country went to war, he served in the militia.
William Daniel and his wife Elizabeth also saw the birth of a new country.
We know nothing of his origins.
He may have also fought in the Revolutionary War,
but we are not certain of where he served or what he did.
He is our "Elusive William Daniel."
Matthew Shanks had a great-grandson named William G. Shanks.
William Daniel had a great-granddaughter named Diademia Daniel.
Through these young people the families were united.
DIADEMIA ELIZABETH DANIEL
WILLIAM G. SHANKS
Their marriage was finalized in Butler County, Alabama on December 18, 1856.
The young couple moved to Louisiana with Diademia's father Leonard.
They had two daughters, Rebecca Francis and Elizabeth.
Life held bright promise for them.
But then war came, and William answered the call.
Never would he realize his dreams for his family.
July 1, 1862 he died in the prime of life in a military hospital.
He died of "meridian's disease," a disease whose nature we have yet to determine.
Information passed down in the family says his fate was unknown to them.
His widow, her widowed sister, also a victim of war, and their father moved to Texas.
There they hoped to make a new life.
It is said that Diademia never remarried because she said William would return.