In 1975 after finding the Anderson Family Bible I went on the search for answers for what I had found. I was told by my mother to connect with Virginia Norris. I knew very little about her, but Virginia was dad’s first cousin, named Evelyn Virginia Stevens Norris.
That’s what I did-- I called Virginia and she started talking. I knew then I had to go to her house and she talked about the Anderson family like they had just left. She told me stories about our great-great grandfather, Thomas R. Anderson who was her great-grandfather, a B&O Railroad engineer, and a very well respected man of Newark , Ohio. Tom Anderson had told had told the story of his father who in 1851 or thereabouts went to the Gold Rush, leaving his family and was gone for many years. Virginia was not sure how long he was gone. Thomas had two brothers and Virginia told of how one of them went west to look for their father. (We have now identified this as his brother, George who was a stage coach driver). “Are these stories real?” I thought to myself –they sounded good so I listened to more and when she told me that the brother found his father in Montana she had me hooked. Also, she said something about a Governor Wilson Shannon being a relative, and that was not hard to find out about.
I left and told my wife what had been said--; we searched for many years to try proving the story told to me but never found a connection to Gov. Wilson Shannon to what we knew was “our” Shannon grandmother (gr-gr-great-grandmother, Elizabeth Shannon who wed John McLaughlin in January 1817 in Licking Co., Ohio). Well, that was because we were looking for the wrong side of grandpa Tom McLaughlin’s lineage for a Shannon who was a relative of Ohio’s first native born Governor, Governor Wilson Shannon--it was on his grandfather Anderson’s side of the family where this Shannon grandmother 4th great-grandmother-paternal side came from-Lavonia Shannon who md. Humphrey Anderson, who were the parents of the Gold Rush 3rd great-grandfather, William Brashear Anderson (1820-1890). What might have hurried us down our path years ago was if we had known Wilson Shannon had a group of men, including himself, who went to California for the Gold Rush!
In the year 2007 my wife found a book “The Irish Blessing” by Carolyn June Cross Hall, and this is the book that told the story that I been told bits and pieces of thirty years before.
“Irish Blessing” is written by the daughter of Zula Stella Moore, who a few months ago
was still living (1917-). Also Zula is the the person who told Virginia the story of your great-great-great-grandpa Anderson, for Zula’s grandmother was Louvenia Anderson
Flood and twe discovered that Zula was source of this info. If we had been more diligent or at least sat and replayed a tape of Virginia’s interview done by myself, we would have been chasing this line more completely a long time ago. I would urge you to buy the book “Irish Blessing” which we bought through Amazon.com for under $20 including shipping. The entire story is part truth, part fiction, but we are finding the truth using the book as a springboard into proving what we can.
Governor Wilson Shannon, the first native born governor of Ohio, was the brother of Louvenia Shannon Anderson, your gr-grandmother (5th generation) , a d/o George Shannon and his wife, Jane Milligan Shannon. Louvenia Shannon Anderson had several other illustrious brothers-one being George Shannon, the youngest member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition; one brother was David Shannon, a secretary to the first court of Escambia County, Florida and once secretary to Andrew Jackson during the Florida campaign. Another brother, James married the daughter of the Governor of Kentucky (Isaac Shelby)-her name being Susannah Hart Shelby, and James died on his way to the Honduras to become the charge ‘de affaires of Central America. Louvenia Shannon Anderson’s brother Thomas was a Ohio senator and member of the