John Shotwell Sr.

John Shotwell Sr. (abt. 1650 - 1719)

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John Shotwell Sr.
Born about in Englandmap [uncertain]
Son of and [mother unknown]
Brother of
Husband of — married 14 Oct 1679 in New York, , NYmap
Husband of — married after 1709 in New Jerseymap
Descendants descendants
Died in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey, British Colonial Americamap [uncertain]
Profile last modified 29 Apr 2019 | Created 14 Mar 2011
This page has been accessed 1,789 times.


John was a Friend (Quaker)

John Shotwell, Sr. was born in about 1650 to Abraham Shotwell and an unknown mother (credible source being sought).

On October 14, 1679 he married by license Elizabeth Burton in NewYork.[1] They had the following known children:

1683 July 25. "Patent to John Shotwell for 4 acres in Elizabethtown, occupied, cleared and improved by his late father Abraham Shotwell." ( Source: )

John Shotwell Sr. died at Woodbridge, New Jersey, on 22 September 1719 and was buried in the Friends Burying Ground at Woodbridge, New Jersey. (Unproven per FAGR memorial)[2]

John Shotwell's will, in which he describes himself as "Being not very well In Bodily health But of Sound and Perfect Mind and Memory (thanks be to God therefore)," was dated 17 July 1719 and proved on 05 October 1719 (at Amboy). [3] [4]

NOTE: September 22nd is the correct date of death. Since the death record shows that he died on the 22nd day of the 7th month, it is sometimes given as July 22nd. However, the Quakers used the old style calendar in which March was the 1st month, so September was their 7th month. [5]


There seems to be at least one Shotwell male descendant who has taken a Y-DNA test, and it indicates that the Shotwells were apparently in Haplogroup R1b. [6]


  1. Marriages by license in NY
  2. Find A Grave Memorial# 126709985
  3. Annals of Our Colonial Ancestors and Their Descendants, by Ambrose M. Shotwell, Published 1895-7; printed by Robert Smith & Co, Printers.
  4. New Jersey State Archives. New Jersey, Published Archives Series, First Series. Trenton, New Jersey: John L Murphy Publishing Company
  5. Swarthmore College; Swarthmore, Pennsylvania; Births 1705-1901 Deaths -1705-1908 Marriages, 1712-1885; Collection: Quaker Meeting Records; Call Number: MR Ph:660

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with John by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with John:

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On 15 Mar 2016 at 06:21 GMT Marty Ormond wrote:


if you are aware of any duplicates for the 2 daughters Elizabeth and Sarah, would start the process to get them resolved

For All: Now we are doing much better with sources and open investigation of some of the data or facts. Did some clean up and the path is clearer for Bio additions. I am sure you have been saving up some worthwhile info that can be drafted into the top Biography section. Dont need 1000 words, but get the ball rolling.

On 15 Mar 2016 at 05:26 GMT Marty Ormond wrote:

Found It, PERFECT Source & Event. Love the Quaker recordkeeping.Image added from MM record. the grandmother Elizabeth, daughters and new grandson John Laing, all together one day. Elizabeth death cant be till after 1709. Sarah topic below is clearly defined as daughter of Elizabeth. Elizabeth was 20, Sarah approx 15, and very soon the records are full of her own children over next decade with Benj Smith.

Full url citation source for record is on the photo details. I can also perhaps put it on profile source of daughter Elizabeth or Eliz Burton profile also.

Because the Eliz Burton death date was revised in last couple days need to post this info on Burton profiles, and frankly request quick input from those impacted. If there are uncertainties about 1712, then I say "after 1709"

On 14 Mar 2016 at 22:57 GMT Kenneth Kinman wrote:

She was mentioned toward the end of the will which was apparently in bad shape:

"Support & Maintenance of my well beloved Wife Sa---- ..... (about 6 words cut off) ... will is that after her decease, the above ..."

On 14 Mar 2016 at 22:16 GMT Marty Ormond wrote:

could you clarify on wife interpretation. I was under the impresssion that when John died his will was a very recent edition and that it seemed to indicate no living wife, but of course children, is that accurate?

On 14 Mar 2016 at 22:08 GMT Marty Ormond wrote:

This would have been period that John Sr is still immersed in Woodbridge/ Plainfield community. Is that correct. Why wouldn't we have Plainfield MM data inserted regarding Eliz the Burying ground there, and Sarah marriage. The will mention is a good addition but I'm uncertain it rules out elizabeth as mother. She would be in range of 40+ years old so that is no problem.

On FamilySearch of course everything has Elizabeth as mother and Sarah taking Smith name from her husband Benjamin Smith. The Plainfield record keeping is usually quite strong evidence. Why don't Shotwell records show up in Blackburn Family data Base?

On 14 Mar 2016 at 15:10 GMT Kenneth Kinman wrote:

I have added a profile for John's 2nd wife (Sa---, probably Sarah).

According to Annals of Our Colonial Ancestors (page 87), John Shotwell Sr.'s will mentions his second wife Sa--- (rest of name missing). Her name was most likely Sarah, and it is possible that she was the mother of Sarah (Shotwell) Smith who was born about 1694. If so, first wife Elizabeth (Burton) Shotwell may have died around 1692. Elizabeth's death date is sometimes given as 1706 or "after 1706", but I could find no source indicating the reason that date is sometimes given.

Source :

Annals Of Our Colonial Ancestors And Their Descendants: Or Our Quaker Forefathers And Their Posterity (1895) by Ambrose Milton Shotwell

On 8 Mar 2016 at 13:49 GMT Kenneth Kinman wrote:

There is no evidence that Abraham Shotwell was in the colonies until 1665, when he was fourth in the list of the 65 persons in Elizabethtown N.J. who on 19 February 1665 took the oath of allegiance to King Charles II of England and to the Lords Proprietors of the province.

Therefore, John Shotwell Sr. was almost certainly born in England. Abraham Shotwell probably moved to New York between 1675 and 1677, and then John Shotwell Sr. was married there in 1679, and the last record of Abraham a bit later in 1679.

As for where the Shotwells originally came from, I suspect that they probably left England from the port of Ipswich, Suffolk, but where they actually came from, who knows? Some say Warwickshire, but I don't know of any evidence backing that up.

On 8 Mar 2016 at 10:10 GMT Marty Ormond wrote:

Good work Kenneth.

You talk about birthplace have you seen any evidence he was born in NY New Amsterdam.? Can you extrapolate locations between Abraham father and John Sr.? First merger I am waiting for is trusted list on Abraham to sign up for the merge.

On 7 Mar 2016 at 17:50 GMT Kenneth Kinman wrote:

I agree, merging is much needed. Thanks.

P.S. I just posted some information this morning about the death (and will) of John Shotwell Sr. (this profile). I also found that at least one descendant of John Shotwell Sr. has taken a Y-DNA test and the result was Haplogroup R1b-M269: Note that it shows his birthplace as Warwickshire (while others seem to think the Shotwells came from Ipswich, Suffolk), but I don't think there is any good evidence for one or the other.

On 7 Mar 2016 at 02:13 GMT David Cordell wrote:

I am fine with this, and I appreciate your efforts. May I ask that you recommend one change at a time?

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