This book is for all of those who, in the years to come shall inherit the proud heritage of the Shryock family. For they will ask the same questions that I have asked and will nurture the same curiosity about their family's past as have all before them. As the years slip quietly by, the traces of those who came before us grow ever fainter until, finally there remain only questions with no answers. It is for the preservation of this proud heritage that this book has been written.
When work first started on this book I had no real idea of either the magnitude of the task or of the massive amounts of information which would be uncovered. I discovered several manuscripts, papers, and even one complete book covering the history and lineage of the Shryock family or a portion of it. The most noteworthy of these are included in this book as supporting reference material. These are located in the later sections of this book. The basic goal was to provide the reader with a document covering the history of the Shryock family that, in and of itself would constitute a complete collection of all of the known documents, papers, and books dealing with such. Such a book would make an ideal single document to be passed through the generations.
However, with so much material it quickly became apparent that any book that was to be of less than massive physical proportions must contain only selected information. Therefore, it was decided that this undertaking would yield two volumes instead of only one. This first volume contains a narrative history of the ancestors and descendants of my grandfather, Lewis Gilbert Shryock. The second volume will contain a collection of information about every Shryock relative that can be confirmed.
This book has been carefully organized as it appears now. My intent was to provide basic historical information about the Shryock name, the origins and stories surrounding our European roots, to allow the reader to quickly review the actual line of the Shryock name, peruse brief sketches of the men in the line, or cover these men and their families in depth. This is exactly the way this book is assembled.
As you read this work you will probably notice a glaring absence of formality. This informality was not the result of an oversight or total disregard for generally accepted literary standards. I felt that most of the people that would read it would be related to me, whether close or far removed ..... mostly Shryocks or direct descendants ..... family! I have tried to convey the heritage of an entire family to that family's members as effectively as possible. I wanted to make it as easy to read and understand as possible by keeping it simple. I can only hope that this has been accomplished.
It seems the dream of most every genealogist is to discover that they are descended from nobility or other person of prominence. Often such a dream can overshadow the truth until the facts are forgotten. Whether or not this is the case of the Shryock lineage is uncertain. There are several widely accepted genealogical references that claim that the Shryock family is descended from Dutch nobility. However, there appears to be no real evidence to support such a claim to nobility by the Shryock family. Even so, I have included the more noteworthy of these claims simply for their preservation.
At the risk of sounding unnecessarily apologetic, it should be explained that this work, as do the vast majority of the genealogical works, contain unavoidable errors. As basic research was done, some of the pieces to the puzzle fell perfectly into place. However, for some of the pieces there simply was insufficient evidence to unequivocally define circumstances or family content. In these instances where positive proof could not be found, I have tried to very logically, methodically, and rationally put the pieces together. Hopefully proof will be forthcoming for all such questions. However, for the sake of publishing this history during my lifetime, I felt that it was only prudent to use what I knew, include the speculative items and thoroughly explain them as such. I would ask that, for the sake of preserving the truth for future generations the reader make note of any questionable items or items for which you may have proof positive and make an effort to provide this to me for any future genealogical publications on the Shryock family. (Webmasters note: Please carbon copy me at firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion here.)
One lasting impression that working on this book has made on me is one of realizing the hard life that our ancestors had. The trip that the three brothers made to this country in 1733 on a small wooden ship with none of the conveniences that we all deem so necessary, crowded with other people, taking several weeks to complete the journey; the early days in this country, starting life over with nothing providing a sense of security for their families; the period during the Revolutionary War where the future was so uncertain, and the loss or destruction of everything that they had loomed as a very real possibility; the move from Maryland to Kentucky, overland through the wilderness, most likely made in wagons and on horseback; the hard life of farming and simply trying to provide and care for their families in the early 1800's; the building of a successful business, only to see it collapse and result in the loss of everything that their families own; the horrible years of the Civil War and the haunting uncertainty and deep sense of loss that all Americans felt. When viewed in this light, the experiences of our ancestors become even more awe inspiring. Indeed, their sacrifices are worthy of the gratitude of all of their descendants.
The research and preparation of this book have been a real joy for me. Woodrow Wilson "Bub" Shryock, my father, and I have walked through more old cemeteries than could be quickly recalled, looked through old courthouse records, talked to many close and distant relatives, discovered wonderful family pictures from old family photo albums, walked through thick woods and underbrush in search of the site of the old Shrvock's Ferry across the Kentucky River... in short it has been a lot of fun. Indeed, the opportunity to work on this with my father is an experience that I shall always treasure.
In the interest of helping other family members in further researching the history of their specific branch of the family, I have provided below the address and telephone number for both myself and my brother. I would be glad to provide whatever assistance that I can to any such effort.
|Paul W. Shryock
|7838 Westcroft Drive
||338 Pine Bluff Street
|Sylvania, Ohio 43560
||Malvern, Arkansas 72104
|( 419 ) 885-5181
||( 501 ) 332-6326