Tombstone Tuesday: Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego Pierson

ShadrackPiersonGraveIn 1754 three sons were born to Charles and Sally (Weathers) Pierson in Culpeper County, Virginia.  The boys were named, perhaps in order of birth, Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego.  Charles and Sally were the parents of at least one other child, Charles.  My internet research indicates that Charles was a wealthy man at one point, but when his warehouses were raided by Revolutionary soldiers he was left penniless.  You see, it is reported that Charles was a Loyalist, and while not finding anything but unsourced anecdotal information, it is clear that he left (probably fled) Virginia at some point, first to South Carolina and then to Wilkes County, Georgia where he lived until his death in 1799.

Three of his children, sons Shadrack, Meshack and Charles, apparently had a different viewpoint than their father’s – they joined the Revolutionaries (more about Abednego later).


NOTE: This article is being re-purposed and is now available for purchase as a PDF download for $1.99 (complete with footnotes and sources).  Contact us here for more information.   Also, please check out our new site:  Digging History is now a digital magazine (PDF download) available for purchase monthly and by subscription soon.


  1. Love this one. Your 2nd Shadrach in less than a month! The Shadrach of December was the brother of my ggg grandmother Sallie David Boaz Williams . Sallie and brother Shadrach’s grandfather was Shadrach as well, and among his brothers were Meshach, Abednego and story is that all boys fought in the Revolution, but no papers have been found on Shadrach. They also settled in Ky (Western).

    I love your posts, so full of history and genealogy tips…like the great reminder that some of the veterans are listed in the 1840 census!

    • Yes, I REALLY enjoyed writing this one (and the surname article on Pierson) — so much history for us all to be proud of! That’s fascinating that your family had so many biblical names. I’ve run across the names Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego more than once in my research, plus some other unusual names — last night on the bounty land grant rolls I found a “Paul Pimple” — what a name!

      Thanks so much for reading the articles and so glad that they are informative and interesting. If you know anyone who wants to know their history but doesn’t have the time or is timid about the internet (or just needs some help searching), please pass along my web site and services to them

  2. Thank you for the wonderful insight into my past. Meshach is my 5th Great Grandfather (on my paternal Grandmother’s line). It’s very interesting to find little tidbits of information, as well as gratifying to learn of our forebears’ contributions to the founding of this great nation!

  3. Hi i am Josh Gilmore my mom maiden name was Nancy Pearson i am a living family member of Shadrack .. i grew up hearing this store told to me

    • Awesome! This was one of my very favorite articles and it’s been very popular since it was published. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing.

  4. Hello! Thank you for writing this up. My 6th great grandfather was Meshack Pierson. His Daughter Elizabeth Pierson Rodgers is my 5th great grandmother. I found a photo of her and my mother resembles her greatly. I found it absolutely fascinating the story of these three brothers. I also cannot imagine having triplets back in those days!! My family went on to stay in Shelby, Kentucky till my mother was born in 1966. Its always nice finding out more about ones family history. Thank you again for posting!

    • Thank you for stopping by! This was one of my favorite stories to write and it has had many views since posting it. The article will probably be pulled, however, as I am converting Digging History to a monthly digital history magazine. Now that I think of it this might make a good “Epitaph” column (one of the magazine’s regular columns) for July when I will highlight the Revolutionary War and finding family heroes. Stop by the new site ( — hopefully up and running by January 15.

      • Sharon – Fascinating article! Thanks so much for posting! Do you know if Shadrack, Meshah and Abednego Pierson had any familial connection to the Roszells of Orange Co., VA, then Bourbon Co., KY and later Decatur Co., IN? Or possibly the Holding or Wherrett families? A family story has come down from my great-grandmother Amanda Roszell McLain Bennett of Shelbyville, IN, that she or her father Nehemiah Stivers Roszell had three great-uncles who were triplets named Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, last name unknown to me. I have tried for years to determine if it was the Pierson triplets, since geographically and on a time line it could work. Also, what are the odds there was another set of triplets so named in that area and time? Any information you or anyone else reading this has would be greatly appreciated!

        • Now that would be interesting to research! Bible names were very common in that day and I’ve seen several men named “Shadrach”
          I would say it’s a real possibility for the family in Orange County to be connected since Culpeper County was formed out of Orange County. I suppose there could have been another set of triplets named that given the penchant for using Bible names — I mean what would be more convenient to pick a set of three names from the Bible!?!

          Thanks so much for stopping by. If you enjoy stories like this you might want to give Digging History Magazine a try. Digging History is going digital soon and many of the articles will be taken down and later used in various issues of the magazine (plus lots of new stories!). I’m hoping for a January 15 launch. The new site ( is still under construction. Sign up a follower and I’ll let you know when it’s ready.



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