Fazewell / Fazwell / Tazwell Sheffey’s correct name

Census records can be a real bugbear for anyone researching their family tree.  It’s even more daunting if someone in your tree has an unusual name which census takers and local officials just could grapple with.  One gentleman in the Sheffey family tree is a perfect example.

Fazewell, Fazwell and Tazwell  are the names associated with one Marion, Virginia ancestor.  Trying to determine his correct name has been a task that myself and a handful of newly found distant relations have been grappling with for over a year.  Well, I’m pleased to say that a newly re-discovered Sheffey cousin has put us straight.  Vanessa Williams emailed me to say that his proper name is Iazwell Sheffey.  Many thanks go to Vanessa and her grandmother, Margaret Sheffey, for providing the information.  I look forward to finding out more about your branch of the family!

5 thoughts on “Fazewell / Fazwell / Tazwell Sheffey’s correct name

  1. Brian
    I believe the the I in Iazwell should be a L as in Lazwell. I will confirm this with Wm Graham his g-gson.

    Ps I will be in whytheville, VA in the 3rd wk of May. Let me know if you needed something looked-up. Keep up the outstanding work.

    Cousin Fontaine Sheffey, Jr.

  2. The envelope please.
    After many different discussions from various family members: Vanessa and Mary indicating the name was Iazwell.

    Then there was Wm Graham who insisted his gg uncle’s name via marriage was Lazwell.

    Based on my research the correct name issssssssssss


    Tazewell Sheffey b1833(1835 per 1870 US Census) was named after Tazewell County, Virginia.

    This is also the name given on the marriage certificates of his sons, Royal and J. B. Sheffey in 1913. They both list Tazewell Sheffey as their father and Ellen Hill as their mother.

    On his own marriage licenses on 12/29/1870 his first name is listed as T. Sheffey(not I Sheffey or L. Sheffey)

    Fontaine Sheffey, Jr.

    1. Hello cousin Fontaine

      Thank you for the information. While trying to unravel the msytery of this gentleman’s name – the one great thing is the number of extended family members this mystery has brought together. lol I’d love to know something more about this man who has led to so many people from the wider family becoming reunited. Does anyone have a picture of him?

      All the best for your visit to Wytheville. If you have any time, there are two things I’d like to know more about. Jemimah Sheffey (Jacob and Jama Sheffey’s mother) – who owned her? Did she have other children? Any details about the father of her children? This would be a goldmine of information.

      Also, if possible, I’d love to know more about our mutual great-great uncles: John Sheffey, Wade Sheffey and Jefferson Sheffey. Were they adopted (and changed their surname)? Did they die in childhood? It’s odd that all records of them cease after the 1866 Cohabitation Register.

      All the best


  3. Hi cousin

    I’ll get on it right away.
    Currently, I am looking at 3 slave owners in particular.
    One of which was the former owner of our gg grand, Daniel Sheffey,Sr.(b1820).
    Her name is Susan Spiller(husband Wm). Her maiden name was Susan Crockett. Now, we know how Crockett Sheffey got his name.
    So far, I haven’t been able to locate a will for her.

    Can you provide me with a little bit of info, please.
    Can you provide me with Giles & Mitchell’s parent’s names, yr of birth if possible, and the source of the info.
    I think I may have stumbled on to something.

    All the Best

    1. Hi Fontaine. That’s brilliant news – and exciting. I’ll email you the same information that I’ve posted here.

      Susan Spiller appears as the last owner of Daniel Sheffey, Margaret Clark and their children. The Spillers and the Crocketts are related to the white side of the Sheffey family through marriage. So it’s interesting to see that the black side of the family was still being associated with the white side of the family – even if it was within the extended family and not the central part of the family.

      This is what I have for Giles & Mitchell Sheffey:

      Giles P. Sheffey – born abt 1831 (no county of birth found so far. YoB via census returns)
      1900 & 1910 – living in Wytheville with his wife Sarah C Stephens and their children – via censues returns

      James Z Mitchell Sheffey – born abt 1827 in Wythe Co
      YoB and county of birth via marriage certificate: https://familysearch.org/search/records/index#count=20&query=%2Bsurname%3Asheffey~%20%2Bbirth_place%3Avirginia~%20%2Bbirth_year%3A1827-1827%20%2Bspouse_givenname%3Adicy~%20%2Bspouse_surname%3Award~

      Of all the Sheffeys, he has proven to be the most problematic. He has a number of names and switched between them quite often (sometimes using James, other times Mitchell and once he cited himself as Zack). He married Dicey Ward. However, he had children by the following women: Dicey Brock (she might be the same as person as Dicey Ward. I’ve kept the two Diceys separate as they have different years of birth), Jersey/July/Judy Clark (who might be an ancestor of Margaret Clark, Daniel Sheffey Sr’s wife), Emily Cook and Martha Ann Hill.

      It would be great to know more about him. He seems like quite the character 🙂 His branch of the family is the largest by far.

      The parents of Mitchell and Jacob were:
      Jacob Sheffey (b. 1800 in Wythe County). He is the son of Jemimah Sheffey ( b. abt 1770 in VA, county not given. I’m not sure if she is a Sheffey by birth or by marriage). My hunch is that she was owned by the VA statesman, Henry L. Sheffey. He was the first male Sheffey to own slaves. His parents were immigrants from Germany and resided in Maryland.

      Elsey George (b. abt 1805 in VA, no county given – via 1870 census). That’s all I know about her, I’m afraid.

      In my (humble) opinion, I think Jemimah is the key – she is a ‘linchpin’ ancestor. The only other black Sheffey I have come across within her generation is Abraham Sheffey, b abt 1771 in VA who emigrated to Canada. So far, I can nly attribute two children to her: Jacob and his sister Jama (b. abt 1800 in VA. She had two daughters. I haven’t found the name of her first child. Her second was Isaballa Sheffey (b. 1830 in Wythe Co. She married a Mr Winn. They lived in Wythe until 1900, when they moved to Richmond).

      It’s a bit confusing, but here’s a link to a family tree. I hope it helps as a reference. http://genealogyadventures.wordpress.com/2011/04/07/the-sheffey-sheffy-sheffie-family-tree-virginia/


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