Anna Russell
  b: ~1804 - Grayson Co., VA
  d: 15/Nov/1896 - Grayson Co., VA

Father: Phillip Russell, Jr.
Mother: Rebeckah Russell

Spouse: Michael Shuler, III - b: ~1810 - Grayson Co., VA
  d: 26/Aug/1855 - Grayson Co., VA
  m: 9/Mar/1837 - Grayson Co., VA

Child: Samuel M. Shuler - b: 4/Feb/1841 - Grayson Co., VA
                                         d: 4/Jul/1862 - Giles Co., VA

Biographical Details:

Few verifiable biographical details are known for Anna Russell beyond that she was the daughter of Philip, Jr., and Rebeckah Russell and was almost certainly born in Grayson County, Virginia.  She seems to have been known during her life as "Ann" or "Annie".  Indeed, there is considerable uncertainty as to the year of her birth, which is commonly asserted by family researchers as 1818; however, this is not supported by census poplation schedules of the years 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880, which invariably imply that her birth occurred sometime between 1797 and 1804.  Moreover, in Grayson County civil records her brother, John F. Russell, indicated that she was ninety-eight years of age when she died in 1896.  Of course, this implies that she was born in 1797 or 1798.  Even so, population schedules for the years 1830 and 1840 imply that Anna Russell was born after 1800.  Thus, considering all of these details together with the chronology of births in the Russell family, it seems most likely that Anna Russell was born about 1804.  Moreover, it would appear that she remained single, living in the household of her parents, until she was about thirty-three or thirty-four years of age.  According to civil records of Grayson County, Anna Russell and Michael Shuler, III, were married on March 9, 1837, by Jonathan Thomas.  He was born about 1810 and, thus, would have been about six years younger than she was.  It is not known why Anna married so late in life.  It is plausible that she had been married previously to an as yet unknown spouse, but there is no evidence at all for this.  Furthermore, it appears that she was still using her maiden name when she married Michael Shuler, which would imply that she was not a widow.  Alternative possibilities are that she had been seriously ill for some period of time as a young woman or that she had been party to some sort of scandal.  Again, there is no evidence supporting either of these conjectures.  Indeed, it is altogether possible, even likely, that she did not marry at a younger age simply as a matter of opportunity or personal choice.

The household of Michael Shuler appeared in the population schedule of the 1840 US Census for Grayson County and consisted of an adult male between twenty and thirty years of age, an adult female between thirty and forty years of age, and a male child younger than five.  Of course, the adult couple can be identified confidently as Michael and Anna; however, the identity of the child is not certain.  Concomitantly, three children, Samuel, Philemon, and Catherine, are frequently attributed to Michael and Anna Russell Shuler by family researchers.  Of these, only Samuel can be definitely confirmed from subsequent census population schedules of 1850 and 1860; however, it appears that he was born in 1841 and, therefore, would not have been the child implied by the 1840 population schedule.  This suggests that either Michael and Anna had an older son, who subsequently died as a child or that Samuel was born in 1840 instead of 1841.  Accordingly, in the 1850 Grayson County population schedule the household of Michael Shuler included only himself, age forty; his wife, Anna, age forty-six; and a son, Samuel M., ten years of age.  Likewise, in the 1860 population schedule the household consisted only of Annie Shuler, and her son, Samuel, age nineteen.  Obviously, this is consistent with the reported death of Michael Shuler in 1855.  Of further significance, it is clearly evident that in all of these population schedules only one child is indicated, which implies that the putative children, Catherine and Philemon, are very likely spurious.  Indeed, although it is reported that Catherine Shuler married Hezekiah H. Hall, this marriage seems to have taken place in 1828; hence, she would evidently belong to an earlier generation and, therefore, was more likely the sister of Michael Shuler, III, rather than his daughter, i.e., she was probably the daughter of Michael Shuler, Jr.  There is even less evidence for the existence of the son, Philemon Shuler.  What is known is that according to census records of 1870, Ann Shuler, an elderly female, was then living with the newly married couple, "Philemon Russell" and his wife, "Luticia".  Within this context, some researchers have, perhaps, concluded that the Russell surname was in error and should have been Shuler.  Nevertheless, in the 1880 Grayson County population schedule Anna Shuler was indicated as living in the household of James F. and Lutitia Russell.  They can confidently be identified as James Fleming and Martha Leticia Ross Russell, married in Grayson County in August of 1869, and this was almost certainly the same household as that in which Anna Russell Shuler was living in 1870.  Of course, James Fleming was the son of Philip C. and Lucy Perkins Russell and, thus, Anna Shuler was his aunt just as is explicitly affirmed in the population schedule.  Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that "Philemon Russell" was, in fact, James Fleming Russell; the name "Fleming" having been confused with the name "Philemon" by the census enumerator in 1870, and that there never was a Philemon Shuler.  In summary and in the absence of conclusive documentary evidence to the contrary, these presumptions imply that only one child, Samuel, should be definitively attributed to Michael and Anna Russell Shuler.  According to the work of Jeffrey Weaver, Samuel Shuler served with the Grayson County Militia and Confederate forces during the Civil War.1  However, he died unmarried in late June or early July of 1862 and reportedly left his entire estate to his mother.  Further details are provided by Linda Russell DeWitt, who evidently inherited personal papers from Anna Russell Shuler, some contemporaneous with events, which indicate that Samuel Shuler served with Company C of the Forty-fifth Virginia Infantry.2  Therefore, since Anna Russell Shuler was a widow, apparently with no living children, it does not seem surprising that she would have subsequently lived with her nephew and his family.  Moreover, this arrangement seems to have been a congenial one since it appears that Anna lived with James F. and Leticia Russell for the remainder of her life.  Anna Russell Shuler died in Grayson County on November 15, 1896, in excess of ninety years of age.

Source Notes and Citations:
1.  Jeffrey Weaver summarizes the military service of Samuel Shuler as follows:
     "SHULER, SAMUEL, 19, 1860 GCC HH#1240, Grayson Militia."   He is believed to have died in Giles County, Virginia, on July 4, 1862.  It is not known if he was then serving with Confederate forces nor are known any other details surrounding his death.  (Jeffrey Weaver (tr), New River Notes,, 2015.)
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2. Linda Russell DeWitt has in her possession a contemporaneous handwritten pass allowing Privates S. C. Russell and Ephraim Bonham of Co C,  Forty-fifth VA  Regiment to accompany the body of Samuel Shuler back to Grayson County.  At this time, the Forty-fifth was in central Virginia either in Giles or Greenbrier County.  The pass is transcibed as follows:

"HdQrs 45th VA  Regt
July 4, 1862
     Privates S. C. Russell & Ephraim Bonham of Co C,  45th VA  Regt are detailed to accompany the remains of (Samuel) Shuler of same Co & Regt  to Grayson Co. VA.  They will rejoin their Co & Regt in fourteen days from this date.
    Alx.  M.  Davis
Major, 45 VA Rgt"

Privates S. C. Russell and Ephraim Bonham were both first cousins of Samuel Shuler, viz., S. C. Russell was Stephen Campbell Russell, son of Phillip C. and Lucy Perkins Russell and Ephraim Bonham was a son of Joseph and Tabitha L. Russell Bonham.  Moreover, it would seem likely that Samuel Shuler died of disease which was rampant in Civil War camps, since no major actions of the Forty-fifth Virginia appear to coincide with the date of the pass. (unpublised notes)
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Additional Citations:

3. 1840 US Census Population Schedule for Grayson County, Virginia, National Archives, Washington DC:  pg. 304, (microfilm roll - M704_556; imgs. 280-1).

4. 1850 US Census Population Schedule for Grayson County, Virginia, National Archives, Washington DC:  pg. 202A, (microfilm roll - M432_947; img. 87).

5. 1860 US Census Population Schedule for Grayson County, Virginia, National Archives, Washington DC:  pg. 164, (microfilm roll - M653_1348; img. 165).

6. 1870 US Census Population Schedule for Grayson County, Virginia, National Archives, Washington DC:  pg. 224B, (microfilm roll - M593_1649; img. 449).

7. 1880 US Census Population Schedule for Grayson County, Virginia, National Archives, Washington DC:  pg. 418A, (microfilm: roll T9_1368; img. 272).

8. Register of Deaths, 1870-1896, Grayson County, Independence, VA: pg. unk., (LDS Family History Library microfilm: roll #2056981, Salt Lake City, UT, 2002)(Jeffrey Weaver (tr), New River Notes,, 2015.)

9. Jordan R. Dodd (ed), Early American Marriages: Virginia to 1850, Precision Indexing Publishers, Bountiful, UT, 1990-2003. (Available online at


10. Civil War Military Service Records, National Archives, Washington DC, (microfilm: record group - 109; roll - M253).

11. Shirley Campbell Ramos and Patricia Campbell Kratz, Descendants of Phillip and Rebecca Russell, Gregath Publishing Company, P. O. B. 505, Wyandotte, OK, 74370, 1997: pg. 35.

12. Henry Hardy Catron, The Kettenring Family in America, 1619 N. 19th St., Springfield, IL, 1956.  (Reprinted by Unigraphic, Inc., Evansville, IN)

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