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Seeking Michael/John/Daughter Choate/Shoat b. in TN?>>1860 in Butler Co, MO>> 1870-1880 in Jackson Co, IL>> d. ?? date in ??

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Seeking Michael/John/Daughter Choate/Shoat b. in TN?>>1860 in Butler Co, MO>> 1870-1880 in Jackson Co, IL>> d. ?? date in ??

Posted: 1326558917000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Choate Shoat Dempster Demster Shelby Johnston Rouse Browfield Smizer
Seeking Michael/John/Daughter Choate/Shoat b. in TN?>>1860 in Butler Co, MO>> 1870-1880 in Jackson Co, IL>> d. ?? date in ?? place.

Here’s what I know with reasonable certainty:

In the 1880 Fed Census for Degognia Twp, Jackson Co, Illinois:
SHOAT, John N W M 24 Head Married Farmer KY KY KY
“ Emily W F 21 Wife Married Housekeeper IL OH OH
“ Claud E. W M 3/12 Son At Home IL KY IL
Browfield, Ben W M 15 Ad. Son At Home IL IL IL

The wife is Emily MNU Johnston, daughter of George Washington Johnston and Rebecca Rouse (Chester, Randolph, Illinois: Choate, John L / Johnson, Emily / 11/24/1879 D /33 199 / Randolph). I have not yet researched this Ben Browfield. John allegedly d. 13Jan1893, and is buried in Buchanan Cemetery, Degognia Twp, Jackson Co, IL. I have Emily and their 6 known children in the 1900-1930 censuses. Emily allegedly d. 14Mar1939 (not sourced yet), buried Buchanan.

In the 1870 Fed Census for Degognia Twp, Jackson Co, Illinois:
Demster, Reason 63 M W Carpenter PA
“ Margaret 40 F W Keeping Home Tenn
“ Marion 10 M W MO
“ Miles? 7 M W MO
SHOAT, Mary? 13 F W MO
“ John 18 M W Laborer Tenn

I am fairly confident this is the same 1880 John Shoat/Choate, because family legend states:
"Mike Choate, the father of John Liddel Choate, came to Tennessee from Either Northern England or Ireland (date on that unknown). About 1863 or 1864 Mike Choate brought John Liddel and a daughter, whose name we don't know, to Illinois to be left with a Mr. Dempster to be cared for. There was some relation between the Dempsters and the Choates. Mike Choate paid Mr. Dempster in gold to care for the two children. He and an older son returned back to TN . . . It was said they owned a plantation there." It has been hypothesized that 1870 Margaret Demster was born Choate, or at least that the “relation” is thru the maternal side, but any relation is possible at this point.

I conclude from this that Mary Shoat, age 13, is the previously unidentified “daughter”. I have additional evidence below. Others have concluded from this 1870 census alone, because Mary age 13 is shown ABOVE John, that Mary Shoat was born Demster and is John’s WIFE in the 1870 census. I cannot come to this “wife” conclusion. I have seen too many ages out of order in too many censuses.

Now comes the really interesting part. In the 1860 Fed Census for District 1, Butler Co, MO:
Isaac Shelby 30 M W Farmer Tennessee
Margret Shelby 35 F W Housekeeper Tennessee
John SHOAT 8 M W Tennessee
Margret A SHOAT 4 F W Tennessee
William Shelby 3 M W Tennessee
Jane F Shelby 1 F W Missouri
And John Shoat is shown with an X denoting he is a different family in the same dwelling.

AND, most interesting of ALL, in the immediately prior dwelling (presumably right next door) is a Michael SHOAT in the household of a George Smizer.
Michael SHOAT 30 M W Loafer? Tennessee
Also in this same large household, are you ready??
Resen Demster 47 M W Carpenter Pennsylvania
Does this guy look familiar? I mean C’MON! Other than the ages being a little off, this is the same man from the 1870 Census.

Sooooo, I HAVE to conclude from all this that this Michael, John, and daughter (Mary or Margret) SHOAT are the three from the family legend, and are indeed the family I seek. If anyone reading this disagrees with my conclusions, PLEASE email me to present your case, at Of course, the 1860 census violates the legend, at least the part about leaving TN in 1863/1864. Instead, that could be when they left MO, for IL.

As a result, my questions are numerous:

What happened to Michael Shoat? Did he indeed return to Tennessee with his older son, as the family legend says? When? Where? Or did he stay in Missouri? Or move on to Illinois? Does anyone have this Michael SHOAT before or after 1860? If so, who are his parents? Who is the legendary older son? What about possible other children? Wife? PARENTS? When did the “four” CHOATEs/SHOATs leave TN for MO?

And what about Mary(1870)/Margret A (1860)?? Is she indeed the legendary daughter? Where did she go? Did she pass away? Or get married? If married, WHERE? MO? IL? Back to TN? Does anyone have her before 1860 or after 1870? Is Mary and Margret A even the same girl?

I also have unsourced information that Michael SHOAT’s wife was one Mary SHELBY. That’s right, SHELBY. The same name the two kids were living with in 1860.

And what is John’s middle name? Does anyone have a source for N? or L? or Liddel? Does anyone have sources for his death on 13Jan1893? His grave marker is in Jackson Co, IL.

And the most important question of all. Can anyone tell me where this family came from in Tennessee? CHOATEs and SHELBYs see to be all over the durn place in TN!

Any questions/comments/corrections or help would be most welcome.

Larry Wernle

SubjectAuthorDate Posted
Larry Wernle 1326558917000 
Larry Wernle 1522727638000 
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