The Mysterious Michael

Michael Shively

Well I have finally finished scanning the photos from the Christmas albums! Whew! It takes some time to scan 100 photos!

An interesting side effect of finding all these photos of my husband’s family. They have started to seem like real people to me. Before I started doing genealogy, if I thought about my ancestors at all, it was like trying to see someone in the fog. There was a vague outline of a person, but no details. Nothing of their personality, their lives and loves and losses. I knew my grandparents. I even knew one set of great-grandparents. But relatives much beyond that seemed lost and unreachable.

Now that I’ve started researching my family, I’m finding there are more details out there to be discovered than I ever imagined, and those details resemble my own life in astonishing (although decidedly lower-tech) ways. They may have lived a hundred years before me, but they bought and sold homes, got married, raised children, went to church and sometimes even got in trouble. Just like me. (Except for the trouble part — I NEVER get in trouble… wink, wink.)

Suddenly 1911, even 1811, doesn’t seem so remote anymore. And having actual pictures of family members who lived back then just reinforces the feeling. Which leads me to Michael. I know at some point I’m going to have to take a break from the Shivelys and pay some attention to other branches of my tree, but I just can’t leave it until I’ve figured out Michael.

Michael Shively is the oldest Shively on my tree. He was born in what is now West Virginia in 1807. By 1832 he had moved to Hamilton County, Ohio, where he married his first wife Keziah Laboyteaux — how’s that for a name? In 1834 he was issued a land patent for property in Henry County, Ind. A patent was also issued that same day for a Philip Shively, and the two properties adjoined each other. Michael and Philip were surely family, but what was their relationship? Brothers? Father and son? Uncle and nephew? Later on there’s record of a Philip Shively in Henry County who was said to be born in 1790. It seems like it could be the same Philip, but I don’t know for sure.

And what were they doing in Ohio? There are Shivelys there, but how do I know it was this family? I suppose the next step is to send off for Michael’s death record. Since he lived into his 90s, passing away in 1900, I should have a good shot at finding one I think. Does anyone out there in the blogosphere have suggesstions on solving the mystery that is Michael?


Family Tree Firsts is an ongoing blog series featuring newbie genealogist Nancy Shively of Skiatook, OK. Read all her posts at Family Tree University.

16 thoughts on “The Mysterious Michael

  1. Nancy, if time permits I would really like to correspond with you. I have worked on the Shively lines for many many years. You may have discovered some missing photos that may help us clear up some loose ends. We have a Shively family DNA project which proves the WVA Shivelys and a group of the KY Shivelys are related. The first known ancestor is a Michael Shively. Michael had known sons: Henry, Michael, John, Christian, Jacob. The children of Michael Sr moved west except for his son Michael, who remained in WVA. The children of the son Michael did move west but later than the others. The suburb of Louisville, KY called Shively is named for ancestors of Michael Sr son, Christian. An ancestor of this Christian Shively and my ancestor Michael Shively have our family trees on If interested we would like you to invite us to view your family tree and likewise you would be welcome to access our trees. Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Larry Shively, Chicago, IL

  2. Hi Diane! Yes, I’m pretty sure its the same family. There were a variety of spellings of that name but apparently the Laboyteaux’s were some of the original settlers of Hamilton County. This bunch was from Mt.Healthy and there is a family graveyard there.

  3. just a note, but alot of families moved up and down and
    within the TEn Mile Creek area which spread from W Va, Va
    Pa, Ohio and some people filtered into Western Md and
    parts of NJ….its a well know trail that lots of people
    moving down from NY, Phila and Balto and such used to
    move to the free lands and also spread to Ky and out
    to the west. Their is a book written by Howard Leckley
    called The Ten Mile Country and Its Pioneer Families

    Betty Harkey

  4. Nancy, I am so curious now. Did you contact Larry Shively above and did you find that connection you were looking for?

  5. Actually, I talked to him last night! There is connection. Its pretty far back but he and my husband are definitely cousins. My next post tells all.

  6. Thanks Betty, I’ll have to check that out. Being a native Okie I’m pretty familiar with OK and MO but all points north and/or east are a little fuzzy!

  7. Nancy, Your story is so close to my own that I had to check for Shively’s on my tree. Many of the families from WV came to Ohio (I’m still here) and then moved west.

  8. Hello, Nancy and all responders! I love the photo!
    I, too, researched Shivelys/Shiveleys/Shivleys in southwestern Ohio to Indiana last year for a family friend. Since I am in the process of moving, it’s all packed away.
    BUT, you’re on the right track with Larry, Diane and Becky — that is so great that the photo and handwritten note helped so many researchers!
    I think I even corresponded with Larry once in my search.

  9. Hi, Nancy,

    I’ve been trying to find out more on Shivelys as my cousin (Marjorie Bonen) married a Robert L. Shively in the early 1940s around/near Marion or Galion, Ohio. Bob’s father was Fred Shively who probably came from Lawrence county Ohio. Lawrence is in the very southern part of OH, right across the river from Kentucky. Are any of the Shivelys you’ve researched a branch of the one I’ve researched?

    Would love to find out more!

    All the best,


  10. If Kizzy LeBoyteaux (LaBoiteaux) family is among the original settlers in the Cinncinati area, it might be probable that they date back to the French Canadian furtraders and soldier-settlers in the outlying forts.
    So your quest might take you back to the French Canadian parish records in Montreal & Quebec!!

  11. Nancy,
    I was born in Henry co., IN, and my paternal aunt was Lillian (Parkison) Shively Younce Igo. Aunt Lillian had a son named Salem J. Shively. Both are now deceased.
    In the 1930 Prairie Twp, Henry Co., In census:
    family 27 Emil Younce 37 married 3 yrs b. IN
    Lillian Younce (my aunt) wife 33 married 3 years b. IN
    Salem Shively (my cousin by marriage) son age 9 b. IN parents b. IN
    Emma Younce mother (of Emil) age 68 widowed b. IN

    family 28 Salem Shively 62 widowed b. IN f b. WV m b OH
    stock dealer
    (Lillian (Parkison) Shively Younce Igo is buried beside ehr last husband, my oldest Uncle Leroy Igo, in the Mt. Summit Cemetery, Prairie Twp, Henry Co, IN off St. Rd. 36 just east of Mt. Summit, In and just a little further east is the Shively home and barn which has the early date of its start as a family farm painted on the side.

    Someone had asked about a Shively Cemtery on St. Rd. 36, and I beleive they were talking about what is called in Henry Co., IN the Batson Cemetery near Millville, Liberty Ywp., Henry Co., IN. THIS cemetery is where your ancester, Michael Shively and his first wife, Keziah (Laboyteaux) Shively are buried along with Michael’s second wife, Amanda Shively.

    Check out the Henry /county Genealogical Society (Henry Co., Indiana) website for the Batson Cemetery. You will find:
    Michael Shively b. 1807 d. April 22, 1902
    inscribed 92 y 11m 6 d
    Keziah Shively d. 14 Nov 1860 46 y 10 m 10 d wife of Michael
    Amanda Shively d. 29 Mar 1878 61 y 8 m 13 d
    2nd wife of Michael
    Martha Ann Shively d 27 May 1870 39 y 3 m 28 d

    There are also other Shivelys buried in the Mt. Summit, Henry Co., IN Cemetery.

    (There are still Shivelys and Laboyteauxs in Henry Co., IN. My Mt. Summit H.S. Librarian was Phyllis Shively who said “You read too much.” My H.S. Latin and English teacher was Clariss Shively, wife of J. Frank Shively.
    A local auctioneer was a Shively who played the team doctor in “Hoosiers” a movie set in Knighstown, Henry Co., IN.)

    There is a Shively newsletter for $8 a year that I just found out about today:
    Shively Newsletter
    Larry Shively
    P.O. Box 1462
    Hines IL 60141-1462

    There is also a Shively Memorial Park in Henry Co, IN where an interurban used to stop and which is widely used by Henry Co., folks for family reunion and 4-H fair activities and fireworks on the 4th of July. It’s a beautiful park. I hope you see it one day.

    Good luck,
    Diana Igo
    Bloomington, IN

  12. Oh my goodness! My fourth great-grandmother’s name was Kezia too! I had never seen that name before and don’t even know how it would be pronounced. What do you think?

  13. Hi just wondering if there is any connections to the shivley’s of the Morgantown WV area? My mothers maiden name is Shivley. My grandfathers name was Claude Rex Shivley. The thing that caught my eye is that claude Rex’s fathers, my great grand father name was Michael. My Uncle’s name is Michael and my middle name is Michael just made me wonder if this is past family

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