Shade Shadrach Ishmael Sr.

Is your surname Ishmael?

Research the Ishmael family

Shade Shadrach Ishmael Sr.'s Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Shade Shadrach Ishmael, Sr.

Also Known As: "Real name was Shadrach Meshach Abednego after the biblical figures who escaped the burning furnace unscathed. "Shade" was short for Shadrach."
Birthdate: (80)
Birthplace: Giles, Tennessee, United States
Death: November 22, 1903 (76-84)
Shirley, Hopkins County, Texas, United States
Place of Burial: Hopkins, TX, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Benjamin R. Ishmael Sr. and Darkis Ishmael (Cross)
Husband of Minerva Ishmael and Mary Eleanor "Mollie" Ishmael (Forsyth)
Father of Martha Jane Fatheree Stringer (Ishmael); Henry Campbell Ishmael Sr.; Mary Tyree (Ishmael); Dorcus Matlock (Ishmael); Elizabeth "Lizzie" Ishmael and 15 others
Brother of Anne Ishmael; Private; Charles Casswell Ishmael; James Pleasant Ishmael; Henry Ishmael and 6 others
Half brother of Benjamin Russell Ishmael, Jr; Shade Shadrack Ishmael; William Pickney Ishmael; Anne Ishmael; John G Ishmael and 5 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Shade Shadrach Ishmael Sr.

Shade Ishmael, 1823-1903

Grandfather Shade heeded the biblical admonition to go forth and multiply. He took two wives and sired 20 offspring, the last healthy baby being my mother, Irene Minerva Stewart (Ishmael), born in 1896. A set of twins and another child were born after 1896 but died at birth or soon after.

Shade was born in 1823 in Giles, Tenn., and moved to Illinois with his parents, Benjamin Russell Ishmael and Darkis Ishmael (Cross). Dad Benjamin was no slouch himself when it came to having children. He and Darkis had a brood of nine boys and a girl by the time they decided to make another move, this time to Arkansas. (Some researchers suspect that Darkis died in Illinois and that Benjamin took a second wife, but there's no documentation of that.)

Misfortune awaited the Ishmaels in Arkansas. An influenza epidemic swept Lawrence County in 1835, killing both parents and leaving the children as orphans. Shade and most of his siblings were able to stay together and fend for themselves, but two brothers, Henry and Thomas, were given to separate families to be raised as indentured servants. The remaining children, led by oldest brother John, settled in the St. Francis River Bottoms of Arkansas, living on cracklins and wild game.

Despite hard times the family survived and, when conditions improved, Shade took as his bride Minerva McCracken, an Illinois native born about 1826.

Sometime between 1850 and 1860, Shade, two of his brothers and their families picked up stakes and moved to Texas. Coming west (although perhaps not at the same time) were Shade, brother "Pink" (short for the mouth-filling moniker of William R. Pickney Ishmael) and Charles Casswell Ishmael. Shade and Minerva, by this time the parents of three children, settled where the community of Bright Star sprang up. The acreage that he owned eventually became what is now Sulphur Springs, the Hopkins County seat.

From Bright Star the growing family made a shorter move -- to Retina in the southern part of Hopkins County. It was there that several more Ishmaels were born and Shade got a taste of military life, however briefly. In 1861 as the Civil War raged in states to the east, Shade enlisted for home guard duty in the 9th Brigade of the Confederate Army. The brigade was a reserve unit with members attending training sessions but not going to war. Shade is listed on one muster roll and when he was furloughed from service.

During that decade, the Ishmael family would make one more move, this one to be their last as a group. Sherley in southwest Hopkins County, an area of rich sandy loam soil for farming and wooded areas for hunting, became the family home for the next hundred years.

It was in Sherley, which later came to be spelled "Shirley," that Shade's wife, Minerva, passed away. We don't know the exact year of her death, but it was probably in the early 1870s because on an August day in 1876 the 53-year-old Shade walked down the aisle with a 19-year- old bride. She was Mary Eleanor "Mollie" Forsythe, a native of Carthage and my grandmother.

Shade took Mary Eleanor back to Sherley where they enjoyed 27 years of married life and produced 11 children before his death in 1903 and her passing in 1907.


Shade's birth date is a story in itself. He apparently delighted in giving incorrect information on himself to census takers. In 1850 he said he was 26, which would have him being born circa 1823; in 1860, age 32, birth year 1828; in 1870, age 45, birth year 1825; in 1880, age 61, birth year 1819; in 1900, age 78, birth year 1822. Shade's descendants favor the 1850 census and the 1823 birth date.

About that name...

Shade always said that his name was short for the Shadrach in the Bible who with Meshach and Abednego emerged unharmed from a fiery furnace after refusing an order to bow down to a golden idol. He may or may not have been joking, but on census forms and other official papers, Shade's name is listed with the initials "S.S."

--Bob Stewart

Additional information on Shade can be found at:

Shade Shadrach Ishmael Sr.


History of Sulphur Springs

Sulphur Springs derives its modern name from the fact that when the area was first settled, springs of sulphur water were abundant. Before the first settlers arrived, local Native American tribes often used the areas around the springs as their home. When the settlers began arriving, they, too, used the springs as their camping grounds.

A man by the name of Eli Bib, one of the first settlers, ran a store from his cabin that sold staples, whiskey, persimmon beer, and slabs of ginger cake. In 1849, Dr. and Mrs. Davis moved into the area. Dr. Davis envisioned the spot as a future city.

In 1850 the residents organized the area's first church, the Methodist Episcopal. Construction of the church was completed in 1853. In 1852, the Presbyterian Church was organized. At this point in time, the population of the village was 441. In order to serve the growing group of people, commodities began to be brought in from nearby Jefferson and new stores began to spring up.

The village became a city in 1854 when the first post office was established. The city's name was originally Bright Star. Mail to and from the city was delivered by the Pony Express.

On May 18, 1871, the county seat of Hopkins county was moved from Tarrant to Sulphur Springs. The name "Bright Star" was removed from the postal directory.,_Texas#History


A brother who came to Texas with Shade was Charles Casswell Ishmael. Lanning Ishmael, Shade's grandson, notes on the back of a picture of Charles Casswell Ishmael that he was seven years older than Shade. That would make Shade being born circa 1823, which would jibe with the 1850 census when he said he was 26. Also, it would have him dying at about age 80.


Shade's Civil War Military Record


Ishmael, S. S., age unknown, born unknown, Pvt., Hopkins Co. Beat No. 7

These enlistments should not be confused with enlistments in the 9th Texas Infantry, Confederate States Army. They are not the same.

Texas was divided into Military Districts before the War Between the States. Lamar and Hopkins counties were the 9th Military District. These units were mustered for home guard duty and were not allowed to leave the State. Many of these men went on to join the regular Confederate Army.

. . .

Compiled by Ron Brothers



Ishmael, S. S.: age Unk, b. abt. Unk, Pvt., in Hopkins Co. Beat No. 7, 9th Brigade, Texas Militia.


A great deal of confusion arises over the 9th Brigade. Many people confuse it with the 9th Texas Infantry organized by Sam Bell Maxey. In the service records of these men the letters TM and TST indicates Texas Militia and Texas State Troops. Records with these indicators are what confuse most beginners into believing these men were a part of the 9th Texas Infantry Confederate States Army. They were not. The two units were entirely different.

Texas was divided into Military Districts to provide for local defense. Hopkins and Lamar counties were the 9th Military District. Each district was ordered by law to form a Brigade of volunteers within its borders. These volunteers were not allowed to leave the state as a Military fighting unit. Thus they were home guards only. I have yet to find an occasion were this Brigade was brought together for a battle with Indians or any other threat to the two counties. As a matter of fact it is highly unlikely that the Brigade was ever in one single location in its full compliment. Mostly, each voting Precinct (or beat) enlisted the men of their area, got together to elect officers, drilled for a few hours and then went home. There is very little documentation of the activities of the Brigade, all of which is in the Brigade Correspondence section below. The commanding General of the Brigade was hard pressed to keep his rolls updated because many of the men enlisted in regular army and cavalry units at different times. In the beginning there were over 2000 men on the muster rolls of the 9th Brigade. It took only a few weeks before this was reduced to 500 or less when most of the men joined regular troops and went off to the war in the east. The Brigade was left with men mostly too old to fight or enlist in the regular army.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------Lanning Ishmael told me this story. When Shade and Pink mustered out of the Civil War at Camp Roberts (near Paris, TX) in 1864. They walked straight back to Hopkins County, Texas without stopping. The only time they stopped was to watch two bull buffaloes fight.

- Jim Stewart, Shade's great grandson


About Shirley (Sherley), home of the Ishmael family

SHERLEY, TEXAS. Sherley (Shirley), previously known as Barker Springs and as Frazier, is a farming community on State Highway 19 eight miles southwest of Sulphur Springs in southwestern Hopkins County. It was first settled around 1870 and was originally called Barker Springs after a local pioneer family. The Barker Springs Baptist Church was organized in 1881, and Presbyterian and Methodist churches were established sometime later. In 1887 the community received a post office; it was called Frazier and was housed in the store of Robert L. Frazier. When Andrew N. Smith became the postmaster in 1889, the town name was changed to Sherley. By 1892 Sherley included a general store and three churches. A public school was in operation there by 1900 and it had an enrollment of forty-nine in 1905. That year the post office was closed and local mail was routed through Sulphur Springs. In 1930 Sherley had a population of 116. In the mid-1930s Sherley consisted of the school, two churches, two cemeteries, and a number of scattered houses. The school was later consolidated with those of Sulphur Springs, and by the mid-1960s the Sherley community included two churches, two cemeteries, and a few houses. In the late 1980s Sherley was a dispersed rural community. No population figures were available in 2000.

Another community named Shirley, located about ten miles northeast of Sulphur Springs, was in existence by the early 1900s. This rural settlement no longer appeared on highway maps by the 1990s.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Florene Chapman Adams, Hopkins County and Our Heritage. (Sulphur Springs, Texas: 197–?).


1860 Cenus Info:

187-185 S Ishmael 35 M - Day Laborer - 1000 Tennessee

- M Ishmael 30 F - - - - Illinois

- Martha Ishmael 13 F - - - - Arkansas

- Henry Ishmael 10 M - - - - Arkansas

- Mary Ishmael 8 F - - - - Arkansas

- Dorcas Ishmael 5 F - - - - Arkansas

- William Ishmael 2 M - - - - Arkansas


More on Shade at







Compiled by Ron Brothers

This unit organized in Precinct (or Beat) No. 7 of Hopkins County Texas and filed muster roll and election returns on 17 Aug 1861. No ages or year of birth appears on the muster roll. A copy of the muster roll is located in the Texas State Archives. It states the following:

The State of Texas, County of Hopkins, We the Judges and Clerks of an Election held in the Town of Sulphur Springs Precinct No. 7, on Saturday the 17 day of August 1861 in said County do hereby certify after being duly sworn that the annexed result of the election as counted out by us is correct and true...

W. S. ___?, Judge Eli Bible, Judge J. L. Garrison, Clerk W. P. Ramsey, Clerk F. M. Rogers, President and Enrolling Officer Genl. H. Shelton

Sulphur Springs Aug 19, 1861

Sir- I send you results of Election for officers active service. I have enrolled 150 men. All did not vote on of sickness.

F. M. Rogers Enrolling Officer Precinct No. 7, Hopkins Co., Texas

Alexander, Jos., Pvt. Alsobrook, William (Tom), Pvt. Barnes, H. L., Pvt. Bell, W. W., Pvt. Bellstead, George, Pvt. Bibb, Eli, Pvt. Brown, Anderson, Pvt. Brown, S. M., Pvt. Brown, W. S., Pvt. Buford, J. C., 3rd Sgt. Bullion, W. D., Pvt. Carter, G. B., Pvt. Carter, S. D., Pvt. Connally, C. P., Pvt. Connally, Drury, Pvt. Craig, Alonzo, Pvt. Cross, W. H., Pvt. Crumb, J. S. M., Pvt. Davidson, John, Pvt. Davis, F., Pvt. Davis, W. L., Pvt. Davis, William, Pvt. Dugger/Duggin?, Wiley K., Pvt. Easley, J. M., Pvt. Elliot, John B., Pvt. Ferguson, J. R., Pvt. Flanagan, William, Pvt. Foster, H. H., Pvt. Frost, A. B., Pvt. Fuqua, William M., Pvt. Gafford, A. J., 2nd Lt. Gafford, Samuel O., 4th Sgt. Gafford, William L., Pvt. Garrison, John L., Pvt. Garrison, William, Pvt. Ghant, Jas., Pvt. Gilliland, J. L., Pvt. Gilliland, John, Pvt. Green, J. F., Pvt. Green, Miller A., Pvt. Harris, R. T., Pvt. Hazelwood, Robert, Pvt. Henderson, A. N., Pvt. Henderson, J. H., Pvt. Hudson, C., Pvt. Hyde, J. J., Pvt. Ishmael, S. S., Pvt. Jacquet, Joseph, Pvt. Johnson, Cyrus, Pvt. Johnson, W. H., 1st Cpl. Jones, B. F., Pvt. Knighten, J. H., Pvt. Lardin, John, Pvt. Leftwich, J. A., Capt. Lovelady, L. L., Pvt. Lovelady, W. D., Pvt. Lyster, J. Y. H., Pvt. Lyster, T. F., Pvt. Lyster, William C., Pvt. Mann, J. W., Pvt. Mann, J. W., 3rd Cpl. Manning, G. S., Pvt. Martin, J. O., Pvt. Mauney(Mooney?), Jas., Pvt. Mayfield, A. B. P., Pvt. McCorkle, Logan H., Pvt. McCrumby, J. S., Pvt. McLemore, W. M., Pvt. McLeroy, J. M., Pvt. McLeroy, William, Pvt. Melton, John, Pvt. Miller, J. H., Pvt. Mounts, F. M., Pvt. Mounts, J. R., Pvt. Movering, W. M., Pvt. Newman, W., Pvt. Nicholson, W. M., Pvt. Nolan, W. C., Pvt. Pate, J. W., 1st Sgt. Patrick, F. H. (J. N.?), Pvt. Patrick, Felix H., Pvt. Payne, W. M., 1st Lt. Ramsey, W. P., 3rd Lt. Reeves, J. Judson, Jr., Pvt. Reeves, J. Judson, Sr., Pvt. Rogers, F. M., Pvt. Rogers, H. C., Pvt. Russell, Lafayette, Pvt. Sartin, John, Pvt. Searles, Thomas, Pvt. Sewell, John J., Pvt. Smith, Volney H., Pvt. Stephenson, John, Pvt. Stillwell, Thomas, 2nd Sgt. Thorp, Jas., Pvt. Tomlinson, E. I. W., Pvt. Tomlinson, J. A., 4th Cpl. Tomlinson, S. G., Pvt. Town, A. L., Pvt. Vansickle, B. A., Pvt. Weaver, J. A., Pvt. Wells, John T., Pvt. Whitstone, J. S. J., Pvt. Williams, W. B., Pvt. Wilson, A. J., Pvt. Withers, J. D., 2nd Cpl. Wortham, W. A., Pvt. Wynn, G. F., Pvt. Yeary, S. S., Pvt.

view all 25

Shade Shadrach Ishmael Sr.'s Timeline

Giles, Tennessee, United States
January 23, 1841
Age 18
Green, Arkanasas, United States
Age 25
Big Creek, Green, Arkansas, United States
Age 30
Hopkins County, TX, United States
Age 32
Arkansas, United States
Age 34
Hopkins County, TX, United States
Age 37
Retina, Hopkins, TX, United States
June 16, 1863
Age 40
Hopkins County, Texas
Age 43
Hopkins County, Texas, United States