are buried in the northeast corner of the Point of Graves, closest to a water inlet of the Piscataqua River. Both are children of William and Nancy (Drisco) Shaw. Documents show that Abraham was born January 9, 1817 and died May 4, 1817; age 3 months, 27 days. Elizabeth Ann Shaw was born January 31, 1823 and died March 28, 1825; age 2 years, 1 month, 23 days. It has been said that the cause of their deaths was Yellow Fever. I have not been able to find documents to verify this, but will add them when/if I do.
*click on images to enlarge
Their gravestone is of a slate material. It has weathered fairly well and the inscription is clearly legible. It reads:
TWO INFANT CHILDREN
WILLIAM NANCY SHAW.
ABRAHAM DIED MAY 4, 1817
AGED 4 1/2 MOs.
ELIZABETH DIED MARCH 23, 1825 AGED 26 MOs.
I find it interesting to note that the inscription doesn’t quite match the documents. Obviously, the stone was made well after Abraham’s death to include both children on the inscription. How many years after Elizabeth died was it placed in this spot? Were the specific details slightly foggy by that time? Maybe it was placed there by family members who lacked those exact details and were relying on the memories of repeated stories.
The grave of these two children is fascinating. Many visitors to the Point of Graves have been drawn to the stone and feel an overwhelming sadness. I have not experienced such sadness, but rather a feeling of ‘heaviness’ and I am very much aware of the water being close by. This happens everytime I am near the three stones located in the northeast corner.
It has been assumed that the stones next to the Shaw children are their parents. Logically, one might draw that conclusion, but it is incorrect. The two stones are made of a marble material that has not weathered well. One is leaning and is in danger of falling over. The inscriptions are very faint or completely worn away. The words at the very bottom of the stones are the clues to who is actually buried in these plots.
William Shaw was born December 2, 1789 to Joseph and Jane Shaw. He married Nancy Drisco in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, September 4, 1813. William was a Merchant/Broker. He had the ship Shaw built in 1825 by master builder William Badger. In 1833-34, the ship transported hay and potatoes from Portsmouth to New Orleans, cotton from New Orleans to Liverpool, and salt from Liverpool back to Portsmouth. William died August 11, 1846.
Nancy Ann Drisco was born September 26, 1790 to James and Elizabeth (Huntress) Drisco. She gave birth to seven children fathered by William. All were born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
1. Emily Ann Shaw born June 23, 1814
2. Albert William Shaw born September 17, 1815. Attended Phillips Exeter Academy at the age of 12. Became a Sailor/Captain. Died Sailor’s Snug Harbor, New Brighton, NY, July 3, 1892.
3. Abraham Shaw born January 9, 1817. Died May 4, 1817 and is buried in the Point of Graves Cemetery, Porstmouth, NH.
4. Izette Ann Shaw born February 11, 1818. Married James D. Seavey (1806-1869)
5. Ann Matilda Shaw born August 14, 1819. Died May 8, 1898, Boston, MA. Married James Sullivan (1819-1871) in 1842. James and Ann are buried in Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Boston, MA.
6. Willliam Franklin Shaw born March 13, 1821. He died October 28, 1900 and is buried in Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Boston, MA.
7. Elizabeth Ann Shaw born January 31, 1823. Died March 28, 1825 and is buried in the Point of Graves Cemetery, Porstmouth, NH.
It appears according to census records that the Shaws moved from Portsmouth to Boston, MA sometime after 1830. They are residing in Boston in the 1840 census. Nancy shows up as ‘Ann’ in the 1860 census in Portland, Maine with two of her daughters and their families. She died October 2, 1861. *I have not been able to find the location of William and Nancy Shaw’s graves. It is probable that they are buried with most of the family in Boston.
Captain James Drisco was a Master Mariner and very successful merchant in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He was born April 16, 1750. He married Elizabeth Huntress, daughter of George and Sarah (Lang) Huntress, on August 12, 1773 in South Church, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Together they had 12 children all born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
1. Elizabeth Drisco born August 28, 1774. Died 1850 (?). She married Captain William Trefethen, Jr. in December 1799.
2. James Drisco, born May 16, 1776. Died June 16, 1807 at sea. There is a gravestone marker in Harmony Grove Cemetery, Portsmouth, NH. He married Margaret Mendum on May 5, 1798.
3. Izette Drisco, born January 28, 1778 Died April 27, 1847. She married Abraham Shaw, master mariner, merchant and son of Joseph and Jane Shaw on August 24, 1797. Abraham was brother to William Shaw. (brothers married sisters)
4. Sarah Huntress Drisco, born March 22, 1780. Died October 15, 1844. She married Nathaniel B. March (1782-1862), son of Nathaniel March and Mary Patten on March. 5, 1805.
5. Joshua Drisco, born November 3, 1781. Died August 18, 1782. ** (9 months, 15 days old)
6. John Drisco, born January 10, 1783. Died September 3, 1783. ** (7 months, 24 days old)
7. Jeremiah Drisco, born January 23, 1785. Died about February 1817, unmarried.
8. Catherine Drisco, born October 24, 1786. Died August 18, 1818. She married James Adams (1784-1821), son of Nathan Webb Adams and Elizabeth Cole on November 3, 1810.
9. Daniel Drisco, born June 4, 1788. Died 1816. Married Mary D. Goodwin on February 17, 1810.
10. Nancy Ann Drisco, born September 26, 1790. Died October 2, 1861. Married William Shaw (1789-1846), merchant of Portsmouth, NH and Boston, MA and son of Joseph and Jane Shaw on September 4, 1813.
11. Charlotte Drisco, born February 16, 1792. Died September 21, 1792. ** (7 months, 5 days old)
2. John Drisco, born April 28, 1793. Died May 4, 1793. ** (6 days old)
Captain James Drisco died March 19, 1812 leaving a significant legacy. At the time of his death, his estate was valued at $35,00. He is buried in the Point of Graves, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The inscription on his gravestone reads:
to the Memory of
Capt James Drisco,
March 19, 1812,
Softly his dying head he lay,
Upon his makers breast,
His maker called his soul away,
And here’s his flesh at rest.”
*click on images to enlarge
Elizabeth (Huntress) Drisco was born March 31, 1751 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire to George and Sarah (Lang) Huntress. She died August 25, 1805 and is buried in the Point of Graves, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The inscription on her gravestone reads:
deposited the body of
Mrs. Elizabeth Drisco,
Capt. James Drisco,
who departed this life
August 25, 1805,
In her was united the amiable &
affectionate wife a tender & indulgent
mother & an agreeable friend.
Sleep on sweet friend & take they rest,
God called thee home, he thought it best.”
*click on images to enlarge
It is the Grandparents of the Shaw children that are buried next to them.
James and Elizabeth Drisco buried 4 infant children. While there are no grave markers for the children, it is not difficult to speculate that they are also buried in the Point of Graves cemetery with their parents, having proceeded them in death. Most likely, the northeast corner of the cemetery was ‘the family’ plot. It is my belief that not only are the Shaw children buried there, but also the 4 Drisco infant children.