Michael Showers, Sr.

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Michael Showers, Sr.

Also Known As: "Schauer", "Schauers"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Rhinebeck, Dutchess, New York, USA
Death: April 05, 1796 (63)
West Flamborough Township, Wentworth, Ontario, Canada
Place of Burial: First United Cemetery Bartonville Hamilton Municipality Ontario, Canada
Immediate Family:

Son of Adam Johann (Schauer) Showers and Maria Elizabeth (Fritz) Showers
Husband of Hannah (Van Tock) Showers
Father of Elizabeth (Showers) Ball; Sarah Ann (Showers) VanEvery; Magdalena (Showers) Depew; Hannah (Showers) Aikman; Lieutenant Michael Showers, II and 4 others
Brother of Elisabetha Schauer; Maria Elisabetha (Schauer) Gottschalk; Michael David Schauer; Magdalena Zufeldt; Wilhelm Schauer and 6 others

Managed by: neil bennett
Last Updated:

About Michael Showers, Sr.

Birth: 1733 Rhinebeck Dutchess County New York, USA

Death: Apr., 1796 Dundas Hamilton Municipality Ontario, Canada

Michael Showers, born circa in 1733 Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, New York, was the son of Johan Adam Schauers and Maria Elisabetha Fritz. In his youth the family resided in or near several places popular with German immigrants including Livingston in Columbia Co, West Bank in Ulster County, Rhinebeck in Dutchess Co., Loonenburg (now Athens, Greene County), and Claverack in Columbia Co again.

Michael married Hannah Von Toch (born ca. b. 1738), and in 1772 Michael led Hannah and their family to new opportunities further west down the Susquehanna River. They settled on new land in the Wyoming Valley of Bradford Co., in NE Pennsylvania.

This came about because a certain Adonijah Stanborough while living at Wyoming, Pennsylvania secured a claim to a number of rights covering several thousand acres. In the deed by which he conveys his claim to William Jones, he describes one piece as containing nine hundred acres, settled by Charles Angars, John Pensil, Conrad Sill, and Adam Simmons, which would locate these in Standing Stone; a thousand acres settled by Jacob Bruner, Henry Anguish, Jacob Sipes (JACOB SYPES was Michael's brother-in-law) and MICHAEL SHAWERS, this tract called Macedonia; and eight thousand acres, settled by the Van Valkenburgs, Larraways, Bruner, and others.

Children of Michael and Hannah: - Sarah (born 1761, died in 1800 in St. George, South Dumfries Twp, Ontario; married David VanEvery in 1782 in Niagara, Ontario); - Elizabeth (born 27 Feb 1764; died on 15 Dec 1844; married to Peter Ball); - Magdalene (born 1765 Pennsylvania; died on 18 Dec 1839 in Burlington Height, Ontario; married to Captain Charles DePew, Sr. on 17 Aug 1795 - see Find A Grave Memoria# 7378174); - Hannah (born 30 Sep 1769; died on 5 Oct. 1861 in Hamilton, Ontario; married to John Aikman on 13 Aug 1787); - Michael, Jr. (born 1771; died on 19 Aug 1853 in Blenheim, Ontario; married to Eleanor Thorne on 23 Aug 1792); - Ann (born 24 Mar 1774, died on 22 Dec 1852 in Millgrove, Ontario; married to Isaac Smith on 4 Jun 1794 in Niagara, Ontario); - John (born 1776 in Pennsylvania; died in 1845; married to Catharine in 1803; he appears to be the John Showers who served in the Wentworth Co. Militia in 1804 according to the Wentworth Historical Society, Vol. 4); - Mary (born in 1782 in Niagara, Ontario, died on 20 Aug 1850; married to William Lottridge on 17 Mar 1804); - Catherine (born 1784 in Niagara, Ontario, married to Charles Stewart in 1805); - Daniel (born 22 Dec 1786 in Niagara, Ontario.; died on 29 Jun 1858 in Cold Springs, Ontario; married to Elizabeth Lawrason in 1809);

The family of Michael's sister Anna "Hannah" accompanied them to the Wyoming Valley. She was born in March 1737 and baptised on 17 July 1737 in Teerbosch as recorded at the Zion Lutheran Church of Loonenburg, wit. by Niclas Rauw Annatje, h.w.. About 1755 in Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, New York, she married as her first husband Johann Joseph Sypes, who had no birth or baptismal record and was born about 1738. Johann Joseph, known as Jacob, appeared on 18 May 1767 in the Militia returns in Captain Jeremiah Hogeboom's Company that was centered in Dutchess County, New York; also shown there was his brother-in-law Wilhelm Shower. Sometime about 1772 Jacob moved his family from Dutchess County to Bradford County, Pennsylvania and probably died there ca. 1776 though it is uncertain whether he might have been killed in skirmishes between the British and American Revolutionary forces.

Michael appears on the 1777 assessment list of the Upper River District in Wyoming Valley. He had a farm at "Asylum" on the Susquehanna River of 300 acres in present Bradford County. The name suggests that conflict was already rife in the area among those oyal to the Crown and those taking the part of the rebells. Both sides tried to gain various tribes as allies, and the British were more successful with the Iroquois.

When Crown forces gave up offensive operations in New York after the disastrous surrender of Gen. Burgoyne in 1777, the British went over to s defensive posture of sudden attacks with their Indian allies along the frontier to spread terror and confusion. This would keep rebel forces guarding the frontier and prevent their marshaling for a march on Quebec.

Such was the situation in the summer of 1778. In the actions leading up to the Battle of Wyoming (Pennsylvania) on July 3, 1778, Michael is named as present and a combatant for the Loyalists.

According to "The History of Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania" Vol. 2, Michael Showers and his family were at Wintermute's Fort with other British supporters as forces loyal to the Crown arrived from the north to harass the rebels (page 991). Elsewhere he is found on a list of Butler's Rangers from 1780-1 (page 944). Indeed, both he and Frederick Anker are specifically identified as joining part of an advance force of "Torries and Indians" on 30 June when they attacked a work party of 12 men and boys from Jenkin's Fort where families had gathered for protection. John Gardner who was unarmed was taken prisoner, and two boys escaped unharmed into the woods, but the other nine must have died in the ambush (page 987-8). Perhaps Michael's fervor for the Crown was enhanced by how his brother-in-law Jacob had died.

This action also suggests Michael was a volunteer among Butler's Rangers who attacked the American militia that had been drawn into a trap near Wintermute's fort which became the Battle of Wyoming Valley on July 3. It was a bloody victory for the British and their Iroquois allies who reported 3 killed and 8 wounded compared to 340 American dead (perhaps including civilians who died of exposure in the woods) and 20 captured. Butler reported his force had taken 227 scalps.

In September came retaliation when an American force of 130 soldiers from Wyoming Valley marched north and destroyed Indian villages as far as Tioga, recovering a large amount of plunder taken during the raid. They skirmished with the hostile Indians and withdrew when they learned that Joseph Brant was assembling a large force at Unadilla. And in the following summer of 1779, the Sullivan Expedition under orders from General Washington systematically destroyed 40 Iroquois villages throughout upstate New York. A tremendous quantity of stored corn and vegetables was captured and destroyed as well. The Iroquois never recovered from the damage they suffered from Sullivan's troops, and many died of starvation that winter. However, this war of terror did not relent on either side and the tribes allied with the British continued to raid Patriot settlements until the end of the war.

With the frontier falling into chaos, Michael with his neighbor Frederick Anker who had fought beside him June 30 and probably on July 3 set out for Niagara in Oct 1778 to officially join Butler's Rangers, leaving his family at home. The detail that his two oldest sons were with him is not supported by other evidence, and as far as we know, they were children at the time. An article entitled "Hannah Showers, U. E. L." by John L. Field appeared in the "Niagara Advocate" on August 30, 1980 narrating the Showers family from the point of view of Hannah Von Toch Showers. In the article it relates that "burning, stealing, and shooting that had become common to the north (Mohawk Valley area) of us began to happen in our own peaceful area. Now we were fugitives. Our house and barns, our cows, sheep, hogs, our yoke of oxen, our cleared land and the crops that we had lately sown, all were in the hands of the rebels. During the days that followed during our trek northward, we sorely missed Michael. I prefer to forget the hunger, the hardships, and the mosquitoes, and to remember the friendly Indians who helped us on our way, until at last we reached Lachine. From there we were conveyed by boat down the St. Lawrence to the Loyalist camp at Machiche on Lake St. Peter."

Michael's sister Anna with her family also must have made this trek with her relatives in 1778. When Anna arrived as a war refugee at Niagra in Canada, she stated she was the widow of a soldier from the French and Indian War. Two of her sons were soon to join their uncle Michael Schauer in Butler's Rangers, and that same year she married Edward Stocks who was also a Loyalist soldier in Sir John Johnson's regiment, and they settled in Canada after the War.

Michael stated he escaped in 1778 to "the army" and served in Butler's Ranger until the end of the war.

In 1781, Lieut. Col. John Butler declared that four or five families newly settled would require for seed sixty bushels of spring wheat and oats, twelve of buckwheat and a barrel of Indian corn. Peter and James Secord, two of the heads of families, were about to build a saw and grist mill.

On May 30, 1781, Capt. Walter Butler in a letter to Capt. Robert Matthews stated "that an old man in the Rangers named Michael Showers tho' he is fit for service, Lt. Col. Butler has permitted him to build a house and he is clearing, planting and commencing farmer, he wants permission to bring up his family from Machies (Machiche) this Colonel Butler would indulge him, if agreeable to his Excellency the Commander in Chief, they can be assisted by four of the Rangers who were left sick in Canada, viz. Philip Burt, James Crowder, Jacob Van Alstyne, and Jacob Augustine, the latter would likewise be of use in the farming way, if his family were allowed to come up as the family he has are not lazye."

On a list of Loyalists at Machiche dated 25 Aug to 24 Sept 1781 appears Mrs. Showers with one woman, three males under age 6, one female over age 6, one female under age 6. A census of the new settlement of Niagara was taken by Col. Butler on August 25th, 1782. Besides the Showers family living there the names of "James Secord, Peter Secord, John Secord, George Stuart, George Fields, John Depuis, Daniel Rowe, Elijah Phelps, Philip Bender, Samuel Lutz, Harmonious House, Thomas McMicking, Adam Young, McGregor VanEvery, and Isaac Dolson" appear. There were sixteen families consisting of eighty-three persons. One was a slave owned by McMicking. Cleared land made a total of 238 acres" (Haldimand papers).

In a "Survey of the Settlement of Niagara, 25 August 1782 Michael was the head of a family with one married woman, 2 boys, 4 girls, 2 horses, 3 hogs, 40 bushel Indian corn, 6 bushel wheat, 15 bushel potatoes, and 12 acres of cleared land.

On a list dated 1 Dec 1783 at Machiche appears Mrs. Showers with one woman, two males under age 6, three females over age 6, one female under age 6.

Listed in the Return of Loyalists being farmers at Niagara, December 1, 1783 - Michael Showers, age 50; Hannah Showers, age 43; Michael Showers, age 12; John Showers, age 7; Elizabeth Showers, age 19; Lana Showers, age 17; Hanna Showers, age 14; Ann Showers, age 9; Mary Showers, age 1, 3 rations per day.

Michael was among a list of farmers with 20 acres cleared in a letter dated 8 May 1784 at Niagara from Colonel John Butler to Major Robert Matthews. The name of Michael Showers appears on a list of persons who subscribed their names in order to settle and cultivate the Crown Lands opposite to Niagara, 20 July 1784 with one man, one woman, four children over age 10, 2 children under age 10, 4 rations per day.

Michael Showers again appears on a list of settlers between the Four Mile Creek and the Mountain Niagara, 1785, muster roll no. 17. They were of Niagara in 1786 and requested a good farm. Supporting affidavits in 1786 were provided by former neighbors Philip Buck and Frederick Anger. Michael Showers and Frederick Anger supported the claim of Philip Buck of Niagara, also with a farm on the Susquehanna, which was abandoned. He appears on a Loyalist victualing list at Niagara of Mr. Tenbrooecks District, 14 Nov 1786 with one man, one woman, two boys over age 10, two girls over age 10, 6 rations per day.

The Claim of Michael Showers: "no. 830, 27 Aug 1787, late of Susquehanna River, Pennsylvania. Claimant stated native of America. Lived on Susquehanna when Rebellion broke out. Joined Col. Butler in October 1778. Served all the War except the last year. He was discharged, being old and having a large family. Produces his discharge in '83. Had disputed lands on Susquehanna, 300 acres. Took it up in 1772, had cleared about 30 acres, built upon it. He had this estate of 300 acres allowed him in order to settle a right to preserve it. He had under Connecticut but had got a promise to have in confirmed by Pennsylvania. Lost stock, 4 cows, 1 yoke oxen, 10 sheep, 8 hogs. The Rangers had these things, his furniture utensils he was obliged to leave when he quitted his place. Frederick Anger, witness: Knew claimant. He and witness went together to join Col. Butler. He had a farm on the Susquehanna, 20 acres clear and good buildings. He had oxen, heifers, cows, & c., lost them by the Rangers and Indians. He left all his furniture and utensils behind."

Michael requested 377 pounds as compensation for his losses, but the war commission awarded him only 86 pounds on Dec., 7, 1787.

Michael resided Dundas, Ontario, and then removed to Ancaster, Ontario. Michael d. Apr 1796 Ancaster and was buried in Dundas, Flamborough Township, Ontario.

According to the "Loyalist Narratives from Upper Canada", by James J. Talman, 1946, p. xl:

"The first Loyalist settler in Upper Canada may have been Michael Showers. On May 30, 1781, Captain Walter Butler reported from Niagara that 'an old man in the Rangers named Michael Showers' had been permitted, although still fit for service, to build himself a house, and had begun planting and 'Commencing Farmer'. At the same time, Butler sought permission to have Showers's family brought to Niagara from Machiche [Lachine]. He added that four sick Rangers, namely Philip Burt, James Crowder, Jacob Van Alstyne, and Jacob Augustine were also available as settlers; but that a smith would be required for mending and making ploughshares, hoes, and axes.'"

Michael's story was also described in the book "Twelve Families..An American Experience", by William F. O'Dell, 1981:

"John Aikman... in 1783 met Hannah Showers. Only a few years earlier Hannah Showers had been living in the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania, two miles north of Wilkes-Barre, when the Revolutionary War startled the family with a vengeance. Hannah's father was Michael Showers, a highly successful farmer. The home was located on the east bank of the Susquehanna River. Michael and his two oldest sons had already joined Butler's Rangers. On this particular day his daughter Hannah, 12 years old, was playing near the River with some of her brothers and sisters. Suddenly her mother and sister Sarah came running madly toward them, shouting for them to run to their river landing and get into the boats. 'They are coming, and they are destroying everything' screamed Hannah's mother. A neighbor had just warned them that some members of the Continental Army were nearing the farm and laying waste to everything in their path. Hannah's mother grabbed an apron as she ran from the house, all she could lay her hands on. The dinner was left on the stove, the cattle and sheep in the barnyard, and the horses in the stable.

"Other Loyalists also scrambled into their boats, and they rowed upstream on the Susquehanna River, hoping to reach New York State before they were overtaken by the Revolutionaries. New York State was some 50 miles away, and here they could enlist the protection of other Loyalists. But Loyalists in New York were also in deep trouble, so the Showers family and others kept moving northward. They soon ran out of what meager food supplies had been collected before leaving their homes back on the Susquehanna. As they moved north the weather turned cold, and shivered during the nights when they lacked sufficient clothing.

"The Showers family finally reached Lachine in Quebec, Canada, where they were billeted by the government. They were provided with scanty rations and some clothing. ...

"That fall, some six months after leaving their Pennsylvania farm home, they were ordered to proceed to Fort Niagara, in their open boats. The route was dangerous and they traveled mostly by night, lying in wait for hours during the daytime. At times the younger children became so famished that several mothers considered killing their dogs in order to provide food. However, friendly Indians gave them black bean bread and berries that lasted until the party was met by British soldiers out of Fort Niagara. They were then convoyed to the Fort.

"The relief brought about by the comparative safety of Fort Niagara was virtually without limit. Families greeted each other with emotional embraces. But, once again the families were billeted out, and Hannah was assigned to the home of Col. John Butler of Ranger fame. Col. and Mrs. Butler, childless, sought to adopt Hannah, but her mother refused.

"Never again did the Showers family see their beautiful farm in the Wyoming Valley along the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania. The property was confiscated and no compensation was ever forthcoming. Michael Showers was the first Loyalist to be offically allowed to cross from Fort Niagara into Canada to farm. At the close of the war, the family moved to West Flamborough in Ancaster Township, Wentworth County, on Michael's grants of lots 12 and 13, Concession 1. He lived there until his death in 1796. In the will in which he left his estate to his wife, the last sentence read: 'I would wish the children to have learning to read and write.'"

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In a petition dated 7 Feb 1797 Hannah Showers, now widow of Michael Showers, late of Butlers Rangers, states that her husband died last spring, and she petitioned for unfilled land grants. Hannah d. 5 July 1825 Barton, Ontario, Canada buried First United Cemetery, Barton.

Hannah's obituary in the "Niagara Gleaner", July 30, 1825: "At the residence of Mr. John Aikman, in Barton, on the 5th inst., Mrs. Hannah Showers, relict of Mr. Michael Showers, late of this Township, aged 87 years. Mrs. S. came to this province at the time of the Revolutionary War, with her late husband; has been a widow twenty-nine years. She has long been remarkable for piety and humanity. Mrs. S. has left Descendants, more numerous perhaps than any other person living in this Province, viz. eleven children, sixty-one grandchildren, one hundred and fifty-four great grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren. All of those who are come to years of maturity are respectable Landholders in this and the neighboring Districts." ("Niagara Gleaner", July 30, 1825).


Family links:

Parents:
 Johan Adam Schauer (1701 - ____)
 Mary Elizabeth Fritz Schauer

Spouse:
 Hannah Von Toch Showers (1738 - 1825)

Children:
 Elizabeth Showers Ball (1764 - 1844)*
 Magdalene Showers Depew (1765 - 1839)*
 Michael Showers (1771 - 1853)*

Sibling:
 Wilhelm Schauer (1731 - ____)*
 Michael Showers (1733 - 1796)
  • Calculated relationship

Created by: Steven Showers Record added: Mar 10, 2013 Find A Grave Memorial# 106478791

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Michael Showers, Sr.'s Timeline

1733
March 1733
Rhinebeck, Dutchess, New York, USA
1754
1754
Age 20
Pennsylvania, USA
1761
December 1761
Age 28
Wyoming Valley, Luzerne, Pennsylvania, US
1765
1765
Age 31
Somerset, Pennsylvania, United States
1769
September 30, 1769
Age 36
Susquehanna County Pennsylvania, USA
1771
July 1, 1771
Age 38
Pennsylvania, United States
1776
1776
Age 42
Fort, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, United States