The History of the African American Shines Family and Relationship to Pres.Thomas Jefferson

The History of the African American Shines Family and Relationship to  Pres.Thomas Jefferson by Ella Shines Goldsmith

Thomas Jefferson

The African American Shines Family is related to President Thomas Jefferson, 
not through the lineage of Sallie Hemmings but marriage.

Genealogist have documented connections of the Shine family to Thomas Jefferson.  It is well documented that a  great  granddaughter of Thomas Jefferson, Maria Jefferson Eppes, married Dr William Francis Shine (b.1832). Her grandmother was Maria “Polly” Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson’s daughter.
Maria Jefferson Eppes *3

The connection to Thomas Jefferson is as follows; Daniel Shine was born in 1690 in Ireland, He came to New Bern North Carolina in 1710. He married Elizabeth Green, Daniel Shine and Elizabeth Green’s first son John ( b. 11/25/1725) had a son named Francis Stringer Shine (b. 1760). He had a son named Richard Alexander (b.1810) that moved to Florida and became a prosperous brick maker. His son, Dr William Francis Shine ( b.1835 -1910) was an important doctor during the civil war, and is buried at Monticello-Thomas Jefferson’s Home. He married Maria Jefferson Eppes in 1868 in St Augustine, FL. Her parents were Francis Eppes and Susan Ware. Her grandmother was Maria  “Polly” Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson’s daughter.    Maria Polly Jefferson married her first half  cousin, John Wayles Eppes, whose mother, Elizabeth Wayles Eppes was a half sister of her mother.  John Eppes served in the US Congress representing Virginia, for a time during Thomas Jefferson’s presidency, and he stayed with his father -in-law at the White House during that time. Thomas Jefferson became president in 1801.  Polly Eppes died in 1804. While Jefferson was still president.   from website:

The African American Shine(s) is related to many famous people in history, don't fret about the relationship or the "s" added to the last name.  The letter to the last name was added sometime in early  1800's.  It was added and dropped along the genealogy trail.  However, It has been proven that the African American Shines' are direct descendants of Thomas Jefferson who signed the original Declaration of Independence and later became a US President.   Another famous Shine in American History is Major Daniel Shines born 1690 in Dublin, Ireland and settled in North Carolina,  married to Elizabeth Green  and was one of the first Shines to settle in America in 1700's with his other two brothers James and John. *1    Other famous Shines' includes Francis Stinger Shine, John Franck Shine, Major George Farragut, who married Sarah E. Shine born 1765,  Major George Farragut came to America in 1776 and served in the Revolutionary War, His son, Admiral David  Glasgow Farragut served in the War between the States. *2

Black Civil War Confederate Soldiers- Andrew and Silas Chandler


Civil War Slaves in Mississippi

Many African American slaves were instrumental in building american plantation homes and railways and community buildings that were occupied by their white slave owners.  The intermingling and mixing of slave and master brought about the mixture of the white Shine Family and the black Shine Family just as it happened in many other interracial 
 families throughout  American history.  My particular ancestor,  John Edward Shines, was born in 1857 in South Butler County, Alabama to James W. Shines Jr born 1820 and his wife Elizabeth Jane Stallings, he was on of their five sons and it is believed that he was shunned from the family because he took up household with a mulatto slave woman named Matilda Weatherley, who was the author's great grandmother.  It is documented in the 1880 US Federal Census that he was living with his sister Susan Shine Brooks and James Brooks her husband, who eventually settled in Texas.

It is believed  that while traveling to Texas via Mississippi, John Edward Shines met his wife Matilda in Attala County, Misissippi where she was born and decided to settle there as a farmer. It was said that John fell in love with a slave woman
and because marriage to a slave was prohibited during that time, he decided to live with
 her and raise their children together.  This could account for the reason he was shunned by
his family and no mention is made of him in other ancestral family trees on 
  John and Matilda had 9 children, 8 survived and one of which was Isidore Shines, who was the paternal grandfather of the author. 
Isidore was born in Attala County, MS in 1888 and was married to an Irish  mulatto woman named Elee Flanagan, also born in 1888 in Attala County, Mississippi.    The letter "s" was added to last name somewhere between the 1860 and 1870 US Federal Census of Shine(s) family lineage. It is believed as John Edward Shines and his wife married they kept the S on the end of their names to distinguish themselves from the "white" side of the family but that reason is not confirmed.  Nevertheless, there is a direct connection to this John Edward Shine and the other Shine family members in history.  Isidore Shines had a son named John William Shines born 1915 in Attala County, Mississippi as well who is the author's father.  
 Hillary Robert Shines, a brother of John Edward Shines served in the Civil War as a private in the Confederate Army, 33rd Alabama Infantry, Co C. (see website;  Although Hillary was a white man and not a slave, It is known that many  slaves accompanied their masters in battle, it is unknown if this was willingly or coerced
Photo, John Edward Shines

The  history of the Shine(s) family is known to have originated in Dublin, Ireland, relocated to America in  early 1700's, settling in Georgia, Massachusetts, Viginia, North Carolina and Florida, then migrating to Alabama, Mississippi and Texas after the Civil War.  Many Shines'participated in The Civil War, World War I and II and Vietnam.  

Photos of WWII Soldiers colorful marching * 4

   Regardless of the reasons, The Shine(s) have been shown to be pioneers of The United States of American and should be recognized as such by all americans Black or White.  

by Ella Shines Goldsmith


1.   Shine, J. W  (1917) , History of the Shines Family in Europe and America. Sault St Marie, Michigan, Genealogy Collection. State Library of North Carolina

2Biographical History of North Carolina from Colonial Times to Present, By Samuel A. Ashe, Vol. III, published 1906) [weblog] Retrieved from blog,

3. Maria Jefferson Eppes - retrieved from  Eppington Foundation,  The People of Eppington
4. Andrew and Silas Chandler - Former Slaves of Andrew Martin Chandler, 44th Mississippi Infantrty (Company F).  retrieved from National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and

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