†††††††††† Life of Robert Shaw 1852-1901

Robert was born in Cadder, Lanark, Scotland, near Glasgow on December 6,1852. His parents, Alexander and Elizabeth Ferguson Shaw had joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints the year before and belonged to the Auchinearn Branch. They endured persecution from relatives, neighbors and people who used to be their friends.

Robert had five older siblings, Jane, Elizabeth, Christina, James F. and Agnes.Before Robertís first birthday his father Alexander was involved in an accident that took his life on Oct. 24, 1853.  He was only 35 years old and his death caused tremendous hardship for the family. The following year Christina, his 6 year old sister died.  Jane, the oldest had to go to work at an early age to help the family get by. 

In 1864 at age twelve Robert was baptized into the church.  The family wanted to go to Zion (Utah), but could not afford it due to their circumstances.  The desire was great so they determined to be as thrifty as possible and save what money they could and finally in 1868 with help from the perpetual immigration fund the Shaw Family made the move to Utah. 

Robert was 15 when they set out for Liverpool, England.They were given passage on the packet ship "Constitution".  William Hatten was the Captain of the ship.  He was easy to get along with and thus made the trip fairly enjoyable.  He even went out of his way to help the Saints celebrate July 24th.  This was the last sailing ship to bring a large Mormon emigrant company across the Atlantic.  There were 457 Saints on board.  Elder Harvey H. Cluff was the President of the company.  Some were from Switzerland, Bavaria, Wurttemberg, the Netherlands and of course the British Isles.  It took 42 days to cross the Atlantic.The food wasn't exactly the best.  Some tell about the "hardtack" they had to eat rather than good old bread.   In fact Robertís older brother James was so seasick, that he promised the Lord if He wouldn't ask him to go across the ocean again, he would do all he could to further the cause of the gospel and live its laws.  He was 21 years old at this time.  The records verify that he fulfilled this promise.

They arrived in New York on August 6, 1868.  The next leg of the journey was by rail.  Immigrants traveling west set up housekeeping in crowded railroad cars, sometimes called "Zulu cars".  They traveled by rail to Benton, Wyoming arriving on Aug 16th.  Waiting for them was Capt. John Gillespie's ox train of 54 wagons.  They set out on Aug 23rd across the prairie and they arrived in Salt Lake on Sep 16, 1868.

The family went to Coalville where they lived and worked for about eight years.  (I wonder if this area was chosen because of the fact that both James and Robert had listed miner as their occupation on the ship roster.)During the Coalville years all of Robertís siblings married.  First Agnes married Leavitt Munson Nov. 24, 1868.  Jane became the plural wife of John Allan on Nov 15,1869.James fell in love with Margaret Robertson. They went to Salt Lake and were married in the Endowment House.  His mother, Elizabeth came with them and received her endowment at that time.  This occurred Sep 5,1870.Elizabeth married Samuel Fletcher on October 31, 1870.  Hers was also a plural marriage.  Only the Fletcher Family continued on in Coalville.

By 1876 Robert and his mother had moved south to Richfield, Utah as did his brother James and family.  (Allans and Munsons had left earlier.)It wasnít too long before Robert met Flora Jane Smith and began courting.When Flora was sixteen she went to work for her Uncle Andrew Ross who lived in that area.  According to a short history written by their son James A. Shaw, Flora was visiting her sister Ellen Rothwell, who lived in Brooklyn and that just happened to be where the Shaw family farmed.James described his dad as a tall handsome man who was a wonderful horseman.When Robert asked Flora to marry him her Uncle and Aunt accompanied them as they made the trip to Springville to tell her parents William and Polly Perry Smith.  Her parents joined them and they went on to Salt Lake City where the couple was married in the Endowment house on December 27, 1877.

It is curious that Robert dated his birth as 4 Sep 1854 on temple records.It would be interesting to know how he arrived at this date especially since his father died in 1853 but thankfully we have the advantage of Branch records to straighten us out.Also we must keep in mind that he would have no memories of his father and his mother had her hands full just trying to feed and clothe her children.

They settled in the Elsinore area next to Robertís sister, Agnes and her husband Leavitt Munson and farmed just across the Sevier River from Elsinore in an area known as Brooklyn.  This union was blessed with seven children.  However Alexander and Henrietta died as infants but Elizabeth, Robert William, James Andrew, Ora and Leo all grew to maturity.


James Andrew said that his father ran the farm and bred fine horses.He ran his herd of horses on the range [in the mountains between Elsinore and Kanosh] and was gone from home a great deal of the time. James A. and his older brother Robert W. would often help their dad on the ranch; in fact they grew up riding the range with him.On 29 Aug 1888 Robert was excommunicated from the church.This must have been a difficult time for the family.He and Flora must have been trying to keep their marriage together since they had the two youngest children after that.Robertís temple blessings have since been restored and his two youngest children have been sealed to him.]

At some point Robert and Flora separated.  He was working as a salesman at a general mercantile in Kanosh and living alone according to the 1900 census.He said he was married.Flora and the 2 youngest children were in Elsinore and she was listed as a widow. (Maybe it felt that way.)†† James A. wrote that after his folks split up his mother got the farm in Brooklyn and his dad added cattle to his herds of horses and moved into Millard County.Robert married Margaret Ann Hall Dorrity on Jul 26, 1901 in Salt Lake City.They had gone into business together running the Kanosh Cash Store.   

Ann had previously been married to James ďLemĒ Lemuel Dorrity and was the mother of 9 children, 5 reached maturity.Lem had died in 1890.

Robert got sick and passed away in Salt Lake City on Nov 12, 1901 of Hodgkinís disease.   They had only been married for a few months.

Kanosh Cash Store

Meanwhile back in Elsinore, Flora, in order to support her family took care of the sick and traveled many miles to help new mothers and their babies come into the world.  She also took in washing and ironing and cleaned houses for fifty cents a day. 

Flora Jane married Robertís brother James F. Shaw on Dec 21, 1910 in the Manti Temple a year after his wife had died from cancer.  They lived in Elsinore for several years, then they moved to Joseph to take care of Floraís Uncle Andrew Ross at his home until he passed away in 1917.According to Floraís son James A. Andrew Ross was a man of some means, and when he passed away he left his home, car and a sum of money to Flora and James F. so they continued to live in Joseph.James had a stroke about 1925.He lived for seven years more until he died May 1, 1932 in Joseph, Sevier, Utah.

A year later Flora fell and broke her arm, some ribs and her collarbone.  After this happened, she went to live with her youngest daughter, Ora Warnock in Idaho Falls, Idaho.  As it turned out all of Flora and Robertís children had moved from Utah and were living in Idaho at that time.She lived with Ora for eight years and was able to visit with the others.  One day Flora complained of being tired and wanted to lie down.  She passed away in her sleep at the age of eighty-one on January 3, 1941 at Ora's home in Idaho Falls, Idaho.She is buried in Springville, Utah near her parents.

I found a death record for Robertís second wife Margaret Ann Hall Dorrity Shaw who passed away in Salt Lake County on May 10, 1933.

It is presumed that Robert is buried in Kanosh but after searching the area for his grave it turns out that there was a flood in the original Kanosh Cemetery in the early 1900ís so the townspeople decided to relocate the cemetery on higher ground.They exhumed as many of the pioneer graves as possible to the new cemetery, which is where we presume Robert to be.

Compiled by John and Sharon Shaw, 4589 W. 1650 N. Ogden, Utah 84404, 801-731-7674





Records of members of LDS Church - Elsinore Ward, 1800'S ed.: Microfilm FHL US/CAN Film [ 25931 ]


LDS Passenger List, FHL, Film # 025692 Ė Also on Mormon Immigration Index CD Rom


Personal histories of James F., James A. and Ivan Shaw and Ora Warnock.


Court Clerk , Millard County, Filmore, Utah, filed in Probate under Margaret Ann Dorrity.  This file contains numerous documents that Ann Dorrity had to file after her first husbandís death in 1890.

Court Clerk, Millard County Utah, Probate Records.  File #163 Petition for letters of administration Ė Estate of Robert Shaw, deceased.  Filed November 20, 1901 by Margaret Ann Dorrity Shaw.


Salt Lake County Register of Deaths, #3139 Utah Archives, Salt Lake City Utah


1880 US Census; Utah > Sevier > Monroe > District 70 (Ancestry on-line)

Robert Shaw26 head all Scot farmer

Flora Shaw †††† 20 wife Ut Ohio ohio

Elisabeth Shaw 1 dau ut


1900 US Census: Kanosh, Millard, Utah; Roll: T623 1683; Page: 4B; ED: 107 (Ancestry on-line)

Robert Shaw45 head Sep 1854 md.25y all scot immi 1868 Na salesman at Gen merc


1900 US Census; Elsinore, Sevier, Utah; Roll: T623 1686; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 133

Cora Jane Shaw40 head May 1860 Wid? mom 7-5 Ut Mo Ohio

Ora Shaw †††††††† 10 dau Oct 1889 Ut

Leo Shaw †††††††† 8 son Oct 1891 Ut

(Robert W and James A must have been off ranching and missed the census)


Groom SHAW: Robert(Western States Historical Marriage Index at BYUi special collections)

Bride DORRITY: Margaret A.

Place:Salt Lake CityDate: 26 Jul 1901

County of Record: Salt Lake State:Utah Volume: L Page: 20


1910 US Census; Elsinore, Sevier, Utah; Roll: T624_1608; Page: 9B; ED: 160 (Ancestry on-line)

Flora J. Shaw head 48 wid Ut Tenn Mo

Robert W. son 28 un all kids Ut scot Ut farmer

James A. son 23 un miner quartz

Ora dau 20 un servant private fam

Leo son 17 un odd jobs


Groom SHAW: James F. (Western States Historical Marriage Index at BYUi special collections)†††

Bride SMITH: Flora J.††

Place: Manti Date: 21 Dec 1910

County of Record: SevierState: Utah†† Volume: BPage: 379


1920 US Census; Joseph, Sevier, Utah; Roll: T625_1863; Page: 1B; ED: 115 (Ancestry on-line)

James F Shaw72 head all Scot

Flora J Shaw 59 wife Ut Tenn MO

Margetaria Carter 80 wid boadr Tenn Us Tenn


1930 US Census; Joseph, Sevier, Utah; Roll: 2422; Page: 2A; ED: 12 (Ancestry on-line)

James F Shaw83 head md. age 21 all Scot

Flora J Shaw 69 wife md. age 18 Ut Tenn NY

Naomi Warnick 17 grndau un all ut

Bernard W Liddell 53 boarder all Ut building contractor

Kenneth S Liddell 19 boarder all Ut carpenter


Name: Margaret Ann Hall Dorrity ShawDeath Date: 10 May, 1933 (Ancestry on-line)

State file number: 1933001760; Gender: FemaleAge: 80County of Death: Salt Lake


Name: James Andrew Ross (Floraís uncle)

Death Date: 26 September, 1917 State file number: 1917003778

Gender: Male Age: 81County of Death: Sevier






























Name: James Andrew Ross

Spouse: †††††††††† Sarah Ann Smith

Parents: †††††††††† Thomas†† Ross , Rachael†† Smith

Birth Place: ††††† Smith, TN

Birth Date: ††††††† 20 September 1836

Marriage Place: ††††††††††† UT

Marriage Date: 1856

Death Place: ††† Smith, TN

Death Date: ††††† 26 September 1917


Details For Marriage ID#14129

Groom Last Name: ††††††† SHAW

Groom First Name: †††††† James A.

Groom Residence: ††††††† Elsinore, Sevier, Utah

Bride Last Name: ††††††††† KEARSLEY

Bride First Name: ††††††††† Beulah A.

Bride Residence: ††††††††† Victor

Place: Driggs

Date: †† 25 Jun 1913

County of Record: †††††††† Fremont

State: Idaho

Volume: †††††††††† 3

Page: †† 57


Groom Last Name:†††††† SHAW

Groom First Name: †††††† James Andrew

Groom Residence: ††††††† Victor, Teton, Idaho

Bride Last Name: ††††††††† KEARSLEY

Bride First Name: ††††††††† Violet Mary

Bride Residence: ††††††††† Victor, Teton, Idaho

Place: Driggs

Date: †† 10 Jan 1918

County of Record: †††††††† Teton

State: Idaho

Volume: †††††††††† 1

Page: †† 75



James A Shaw††††††††††† 32

Violet M Shaw 17

Beatrice B Shaw †††††††††† 5

Wanda M Shaw ††††††††††† 4 2/12

Violet L Shaw †† 1 3/12



James A Shaw††††††††††† 42

Violet Shaw ††††† 27

Bertrice Shaw †† 16

Wanda Shaw ††† 14

Lucille Shaw †††† 11

Gordon Shaw ††† 10

Farrel Shaw ††††† 7

Nadine Shaw ††† 4

Truce Shaw ††††† 2



ID:††††† 105383

Last Name: ††††† Shaw

First Name: ††††† James A.`

Age: ††† ††

Gender: ††††††††††† U

Cemetery: ††††††† Idaho Falls, Idaho--Rose Hill

Birth Date: ††††††† 22 APR 1887

Birth Place: ††††† Elsinore,UT

Date Died: ††††††† 24 NOV 1981

Death Place: ††† Idaho Falls,ID

Father: ††Robert Shaw

Mother: ††††††††††† ††Flora Jane Smith

Spouse: †††††††††† ††Beulah Kearsley -died 2. Violet Mary Kearsley mrd 10 Jan 1918 Driggs, Idaho

Sources: ††††††††† †††Post Register 25 B-9, Williams Mort.

Remarks: †††††††† ††Age at Death: 94 yrs