Shinabarger Family

The Dozen Ss of the Shinabarger surname
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About us

Shinabarger is surely not the original spelling of my family surname. Conjecture exists that our ancestors originated from Switzerland and lived in Germany before immigrating to America, probably via Virginia and Pennsylvania to Ohio. The Anglicization of the Shinabarger name and its several variations found in early records has created a stumbling block in finding the patriarch of the family surname. Another block is the knowledge that there were several families who sailed to America with variations of the Shinabarger name, thus the “Dozen Ss” pseudonym. The earliest record of my ancestor, John Shinabarger, is found in histories of Wayne County, Ohio: “John Shinabarger emigrated from Virginia, in 1802, to Pennsylvania, from thence to Mount Vernon Twp. Ohio and in 1810 from the last named place to Mohican Township where he erected a sawmill and resided until his death, 7 March 1837, aged 74 years. When he removed to Mohican Township, his wife and seven children constituted his family, the only survivor of whom, residing in Ashland County, is James S. Shinabarger, of Perry Township” of whom Horace S. Knapp was "endepted for the following" entry in his History of Ashland Co. OH. No documentation has been found concerning the whereabouts of John Shinabarger before his appearance in Wayne County, Ohio by 1808. Yet, it is fairly certain he was born about 1764 in the state of Virginia. His parents are not known. Research would indicate John married about 1793 and his son Jacob was born 1794 and is thought to be his first child. It remains a mystery the mother of his children . Passing through PA, John met allied families into which his children later married. His first four children consistently site their place of birth as Virginia. John married second spouse Mehetable Crofoot Murdock in 1820. John Shinabarger's sons later move further west to establish their families in Indiana, Missouri and Iowa before descendants reached the Pacific Coast. Research has been ongoing on the John Shinabarger family since the 1950s. No patriarch has been found. It is my hope that Y-DNA will enable the families of the Dozen Ss to unite and find their common patriarch. This is happening slowly, but it is happening. For discoveries and several detailed reports about family history and DNA discoveries, visit my genealogy web pages at There you may download any of several reports. And yes, Shanabarger, Shinaberry and Shinabarger families are sharing a common ancestor. Any variation of the Dozen Ss surname is welcome to join this group.