Shavertown is a census-designated place (CDP) in Kingston Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, United States. It lies approximately northwest of the city of Wilkes-Barre and southwest of Scranton. The population of the CDP was 2,019 at the 2010 census.
Shavertown is named for an early settler, Peter Shaver. Peter Shaver, came to America about the year 1764 or 1765, but conflicting evidence, supported by documentary data show that this date, 1765, the traditional time of arrival in America, has been confused with the same date, 1765, at which time Peter Shaver’s two sons, Peter, with John Shaver, petitioned the proprietaries for the right to inherit the land of their father after his tragic death.
Tradition also claims that there were four brothers who came to this country at the same time. From officials in the State House at Harrisburg we learn that it is doubtful, if not impossible to ascertain documentary facts concerning any particular German entering this country. Pennsylvania was the only colony that required the registration of immigrants arriving at Philadelphia, but the captains of vessels prepared their lists carelessly and without regard to uniformity or orthography. Few gave complete lists and many were lost, and in transcribing the Captains’ lists to Colonial books, errors were made in dates, names, etc., which became mixed and confused. Unaccountable thousands entered other ports in the east and south.
According to authentic data, Peter Shaver was in Philadelphia in 1738, and partly confirming tradition of four brothers, the publication “Pennsylvania German Immigrants, 1727 to 1878, edited by Strausberger and Hinke, shows that: Peter Shaver, aged 24 years, John Adam Shaver, aged 30 rears, Christ Shaver, age 52 years, and Christ Shaver Jr., aged 16 years, had fled German persecution and arrived in Philadelphia on August 27, 1738 (actually, 1739. See: ship's log or try the list at Olive Tree).
In 1744 Peter Shaver had settled in Bucks County, one of the three counties formed in 1682, and in the same year, 1744, he was licensed as an Indian Trader, to ply his trade to the Ohio River. The license was granted in Cumberland County, then a part of Bucks County, still embracing Cumberland County which was not erected until 1750. Cumberland County was then called “The Mother County,” because of its vast area.
Following the erection of Cumberland County Peter Shaver was then a resident of the new County and on December 21, 1751 he was granted 200 acres in Pennsboro Township, Cumberland County. In 1753 he was naturalized as a Quaker and in the same year he took steps to protect his land from squatters as follows:
“Edward Shippens, then a proprietary, entered a caveat against a warrant or patent of any kind of grant issuing to any person or persons for the land whereon Peter Shaver, an Indian Trader, is living, on the North side of Conodoguinet Creek, in Pennsboro Township, Cumberland County.” (Locate Conodoguinet Creek)
The geographical areas of most of the present day counties, originally embrace considerably more territory then is shown in our maps of today. Historians have placed these early settlers in present day counties, as is only natural, but these pioneers began their settlements in counties not then erected. This has added to the difficultly of tracing the wonderings of the founders of Pennsylvania.
Here is an example of the confusion that surrounds the localities in which our ancestor settled:
We first located Peter Shaver in Philadelphia and then in Bucks County. Bucks County, one of the three original counties erected in I682, embraced all the land lying west of the Susquehanna and Schuylkill rivers to the extent of the province. Cumberland County was erected in 1750 and Peter Shaver’s land then was a part of Cumberland County. But Bedford County claimed Peter Shaver in 1771 when that county was erected from Cumberland County. Still fate or fortune followed Peter Shaver for his property lay in that part of Bedford that Huntingdon County carried him along when, in 1787, that County was erected from Bedford County. So now we have Peter finally settled in Huntingdon County, where historians have placed him, on the North bank of Conodoguinet Creek, at the mouth of Shaver's Creek, which bears his name.
There is no documentary data pertaining to the marriage of Peter Shaver and Margaretha Schaeffer obtainable, but a presumptuous statement infers that the marriage was consummated in Philadelphia prior to establishing their settlement in Bucks County, later in Cumberland County and still later in Huntingdon County. In 1752 a son was born and in 1753 he was baptized as Peter Shaver, a junior. Another son was named John.
In 1754 history records him as having made improvements upon his land located, by historians, at the mouth of Shaver's Creek, in Huntingdon County. In 1744 he, with Andrew Montour, Hugh Crawforn and Thomas Simpson, appointed by Governor Hamilton, of the province, as a committee, met in December at Augwick, Huntingdon County, and held a hearing on a protest against George Grogan, also an Indian Trader, accused of promiscuously dispensing liquor to the Indians.
Professor J. Simpson Africa in his "History of Huntingdon county" records our original pioneer ancestor, Peter Shaver, as one of the earliest settlers in Logan Township, Huntingdon County, and Lewis Clark Wilkinshaw, in his fourth volume of "Annals of Southwestern Pennsylvania" substantiates the record of Professor Africa, and says that “the earliest permanent settlement effected within the limits of Huntingdon County, was at Standing Stone(now Huntingdon Borough)” and that “in 1754 Peter Shaver commenced a settlement at the mouth of Shaver's Creek, which bears his name.
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The authentic date of Peter Shaver's death is not officially recorded, but Professor Africa includes in his “History of Huntingdon County" a story of the tragic death of Peter Shaver as follows:
"There is a tradition that he (Peter Shaver) was murdered one evening while putting his horse in the pasture lot. From the fact that he was beheaded, but not scalped, it is believed that the crime was perpetrated by a white man. It is said that the most liberal reward offered failed to secure the least clue by which the author of this cruel deed might become known -- Shaver is buried on the right bank of Shaver’s Creek, below the present railroad bridge at Petersburg where, afterward there was established one of the earliest grave yards in the valley". (see paragraph 2 under the heading 'Fort Anderson,' on this page)
Whether or not the tradition is an authentic narrative describing Peter Shaver's death, there seems to be no record of the Shaver family until June 25, 1765, when the closing chapter of the life of this venerable o1d pioneer, Peter Shaver, was written in the following:
"On June 25,1765 Samuel Anderson, on behalf of Peter and John Shaver, minor children of Peter Shaver, an Indian Trader, entered a caveat against the acceptance of a survey or patent being granted to John Lytle, or any other person, for the tract of land, at the mouth of Shaver’s Creek, about four miles above the Standing Stone, whereon the said Peter Shaver, the father, made an improvement about the year 1754, the said Samuel Anderson alleging that the right of claim to the improvement is vested in the said children.”
In recording the above facts the writer started and continues his search from a previous effort which ended prior to the record of the untimely death of our ancestor, Peter Shaver, as related above.