Keeping on track – Nancy M. J. Beatty is the mother of Anna M. Beatty Scott.
Nancy Margaret Jane Beatty was born 9 August 1853 in Indiana County, Pennsylvania. At least that’s the information her husband Peter Shaffer provided on her 1909 death certificate.1 She is a daughter of James Beatty and Rebecca Beatty. Yes, Beatty is her maiden name. According to the information Peter provided, her father James was from Canada and her mother Rebecca was from Ireland.
Some of the confusion for this woman comes with name changes. She was baptized Nancy Margaret Beatty in the Plumcreek Presbyterian Church, Indiana County on 4 Oct 1853, daughter of James and Rebecca Beatty,2 and she appears on the 1860 census as Nancy M. Beatty.
However, beginning with the 1870 census and continuing through the remainder of her life, she is Nancy J.3 It is probable that she took Jane in honor of her older sister Jane Isabella Beatty who appears to have died before 1860, as she does not appear on that census. Her tombstone states her middle initial as “J.” In Viola Lawton Scott’s and her son’s genealogy pages, they both refer to her as Nancy Jane Beatty. Both Viola and her son had a good relationship with her husband Peter and spent time in the household of her daughter Anna M.
Due to these documents, I have chosen to refer to her as Nancy M.J. to avoid any confusion with the numerous other Nancy Beatty’s in the area.
The other small wrinkle that appears is the middle name of Ellen. This one is provided in the 1976 obituary of her son Chrisopher Nesbitt Shaffer.4 In this obituary, it lists Nancy Ellen (Beatty) Shaffer. It also lists his father as Peter Levi Shaffer. Both of these are new middle names. The information for this obituary was no doubt given by Christopher’s wife Zula, who would have been about 82 at this time – or one of his children. One family researcher told me that she was told, Christopher’s daughter Nancy Ellen was named for his mother. All these lend weight, but I have found no document with the initial E. or the name Ellen except for this obituary. None of the other obituaries for Nancy’s children list a middle initial for their mother. Nor have I found any Beatty or Shaffer family members (of Nancy’s generation or prior) named Ellen.
Nancy married Peter Shaffer about 1873 or 74 in Armstrong County. I will cover her children with Peter in a later post about Peter and his family line. Nancy died of apoplexy in Elderton. She appears to be reasonably well documented by the census records, and I can establish a family based on those.
This may be one of the rare instances where tracing a family has been better accomplished through the women.
On the 1870 census Nancy J., age 16, is with her widowed mother Rebecca, who was born about 1826 in Ireland, and also in the home is Sarah Beatty born about 1779, along with Nancy’s siblings, Elizabeth A. age 18 and Wm J. age 9. (Missing from this record is Caroline age 11.)
On the 1860 census5 I find Nancy M. age 6 with older sister Elizabeth A. and younger sister Caroline age 1. Caroline as you recall is listed with her mother Rebecca on the 1880 census next door to Peter Shaffer. Mother Rebecca is from Ireland and so is father James born about 1849 in Ireland. More on James and his birthplace to come in a later post.
I followed her mother Rebecca back to the 1850 census6 and located the family in Washington Township, Indiana County, and found a large family group of Baty[sic] people. [Just a reminder that when I cite a census records, I list the people as they appear on the record complete with misspellings.]
James Baty age 20 from Ireland,
Rebecca Baty age 24 from Ireland,
Avyaline age 10 months (December 1849). [Angeline]
This location of the family lends credence to the birthplace of Indiana County which Peter listed on Nancy’s death certificate.
Nancy M.J. Beatty’s family as I had found it based on the baptismal records, census records and her death certificate is:
James Beatty born abt 1830 in Ireland
Rebecca Beatty born abt 1826 in Ireland
Elizabeth Angeline Beatty born Dec 1849
Jane Isabelle Beatty born before 18 May 1851
Nancy M. J. Beatty born 9 Aug 1853
Caroline Beatty born about 1859
William J. Beatty born about 1861
My next post will deal with James and Rebecca Beatty, Betty, Batty, Baty, etc.
1. Pennsylvania Department of Health, death certificate 12340 (1909), Mrs. Nancy Shaffer; Division of Vital Records, New Castle, Pennsylvania.
2. Treasures of the Past, “Plumcreek Presbyterian Church Baptism Records,” database, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 Mar 2011), Beatty, Nancy Margaret, baptized 4 Oct 1853.
3. 1870 U.S. census, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Plumcreek Twp., p. 360, dwelling 153, family 153, Nancy Beatty; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M593, roll 1301.
4. Death Record, “Christopher N. Shaffer,” The Simpson Leader Times, 10 Jul 1976, p. 7, col. 8; digital images, NewspaperArchive (http://www.newspaperarchive.com : accessed 19 Dec 2011), Historic Newspapers.
5. 1860 U.S. census, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Burrell, p. 72, dwelling 258, family 251, Nancy Beaty; digital images, Ancestry (http://www.Ancestry.com); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M653, roll 1116.
6. 1850 U.S. census, Indiana, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Washington Twp, p. 220, dwelling 141, family 141, Rebecca Baty; digital images, Ancestry (http//www.ancestry.com); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M432, roll 785.