William W. Shields

Submitted by Carl Shields.

The following information is availabe due to the research conducted by Buford Carl Shields in the years 2003 & 2004. Carl is the great-great grandson of William W. Shields.

William W. Shields was found in the 1860 Federal Census of Winston County, Alabama, Seraloo Post Office, in Roll 26 Book 1 Page 1253. The Census was taken on June 21, 1860. William W. Shields was 35 years old. His property value was listed as $250.00 and personal property $300.00. He was the Post Master.

The Shields Family Bible, Winston County, Alabama Historical Society, Calhoun County Historical & Genealogical Society (Larry Hellums), Monroe County Historical Society, and many census and internet searches by Carl have provided much of this information that follows.

William W. Shields was born May 9, 1825. He married Sarah Ann Livingston on January 15, 1844.

He bought 160 acres of land on December 7, 1855. (Certificate number 25915 in township 9 south, Range 9 West, the southwest quarter of section 31 a little Northwest of Addison in Northeast Winston County).

He was sheriff of Winston County, Alabama from August 23, 1856 to August 1, 1859.

He was the first and only Postmaster at Seraloo from August 29, 1859 to August 3, 1860.

He entered the Civil War on July 28, 1862 and discharged March, 15, 1865. He was in Company B, 3rd Batallion, Mississippi Infantry State Troops.

He died on January 11, 1870 at the age of 45 years. He is buried in Calhoun County at the Methodist Campground Cemetery (Ragland). This cemetery is located in Charlie Crestman's pasture.

It is unknown where William W. Shields and his family were living at the time of his death. What is known is that when Nealy Spencer Shields, grandson of William W. Shields, requested a Confederate tombstone for his grandfather in 1940, he listed William W.'s residence at time of enlistment as Sarepta, MS. His place of enlistment was listed as having been in Northern Alabama or Aberdeen.

The other information is that the 1870 Census, which was taken in June revealed that his wife, Sarah Ann Livingston, and children: Dock Lucratus, Sarah Ann, James William, Mary, Louelzie, and Louisa were all living in Monroe County, MS. It is possible that they were living in Calhoun County when he died, since he was buried there. The family may have moved to Monroe County where William W.'s father and mother were living. Their names were James and Jane Shields. They were also found on the 1870 Census there. William W.s brother, George Bird Shields was also living there with his family.

Another important fact to know is that Richard D. Shields, another brother of William W., was living with his wife, Nancy, and their child, William Bird (2 years old), in Calhoun County as reported in the 1860 Census. Richard and Nancy both died in 1862 about a month apart. Another child must have been born shortly before Nancy died. Maybe she died in childbirth. We do not know the cause of death for either of them. It is interesting to know that the children, William B. and Josephine were found on the Monroe County 1870 Census living in the household of their grandparents, James and Jane Shields.

William W.'s wife, Sarah Ann Livingston, died in 1879. The children: James, Mary, and twins (Louelzie & Louisa) were in Calhoun County in 1880 according to the census. This was soon after their mother's death. They were living alone. James and Mary (20 yrs - 18yrs) must have been caring for the twins who were 11 years old at that time. Another interesting fact is that James, father fo William W., was in the Pontotoc County Federal Census in 1880. He was listed as a widower and lived with his son, George Bird Shields (brother of William W.).

It seems likely that Sarah Ann Livingston is buried in an unmarked grave beside her husband in the Methodist Campground Cemetery in Calhoun County.

James William Shields, son of William W., had a twin brother who died soon after his birth. His name was also William. Maybe they gave both children the name of William and a different second or first name. William Shields, an infant of 1 month, was listed in the 1860 Mortality Schedule of Winston County. The Shields Family Bible backs up this fact although it was difficult to read.

Seaborn Shields was the first son of William W. and Sarah. He was born March 6, 1847 and died March 5, 1865, 6 months before his father discharged from his military duty as a confederate soldier. It is unknown how Seaborn died. Since he died before the Civil War was over, one would wonder if he died as a result of the conflict. There is no evidence found as to the cause of his death.