Nicholas Shaun, father of Peter, is first seen in records on a list of tax payers in Mount Joy Township of York County, Pennsylvania, in 1779 and 1780. He owned no land but had two horses and three cows at that time. Since he was not included on the roll of 1781 taxpayers in York County, we must assume that he had moved to Frederick County, Maryland, that year.
Nicholas and members of his family appear in records of the German Reformed Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Frederick throughout the latter part of the 1700s. However, in the 1790 census, Nicholas is listed in Washington County, Maryland, the next county west of Frederick.
In 1794, Nicholas moved to a house located in what is now downtown Baltimore at the northwest corner of Paca Street and Cider Alley. In the 1796 Baltimore City Directory, his occupation is listed as bagmaker. In the 1800-1801 directory he is reported to be a laborer. In his will, Nicholas describes himself as a wheelwright. His will, written on 13 October 1801, provides some insight into his status at the time of his death which occurred the following day.
In the name of God amen, I Nicholas Shaun of Raltimore County of state of Maryland, wheelwright, being very sick but of ? perfect mind and memory thanks he given unto God. Calling unto mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, do make and ordain this my last will and testament. That is to say principally and first of all I give and recommend my soul unto the hands of almighty God that gave it and my body recommended to the earth to be buried in decent Christian burial at the discretion of my executors nothing doubting, but at the general resurrection shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God and as touching such worldly estate wherewith it has pleased God to bless me in this life I give, devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form viz first that all my just debts of which there are but few and none of magnitude are to be punctually and speedily paid out of my estate by selling my house and household furniture consisting of all both real and personal and being converted into cash to be disposed of in the following manner -
Item to my eldest son John Shaun one dollar and no more.
Item to my eldest daughter Elizabeth Harrison one dollar and no more.
Item to my second son Peter Shaun one dollar and no more.
Item to my second daughter Barbara Goyer one dollar and no more.
Item to my third daughter Margaret Shaun one dollar and no more.
Item to my fourth daughter Susanna Shaun fifty dollars and no more.
Item to my third son Nicholas Shaun one dollar and no more.
Item to my fifth daughter Catharine Shaun fifty dollars and no more.
Item I give and bequeath to my beloved wife all the rest, residue and remaining produce of my estate both real and personal during her natural life and, at decease of her, to be disposed of as she may think requisite knowing her to be just with all her children. Item I likewise appoint my dear wife Elizabeth Shaun under God whom I likewise constitute, make and ordain the sole executrix of this my last will and testament......
Dated 13 October 1801
Witnesses: Thomas Tool, John Sharatz and 1 James D. Summer
Rrought to probate 31 October 1801.
Inventory of the Goods, Chattels and personal estate of Nicholas Shaun late of Baltimore County deceased.
House and lot······························$400.00
2 bedstead and one bed ..................... 16.00
3 chairs ··································· 1.00
1 table ··································· 2.00
2 blankets ................................. 8.00
chest ...································· 1.00
6 cups and saucers & six plates and 1 tureen 1.00
3 pewter dishes and sundry earthen dishes and one pitcher ............. 1.50
1 mortar and pestle ............................ 0.25
1 pot, 1 Dutch oven and sundry articles, kitchen furniture............... 3.00
1 sheet iron stove ......................... 5.00
Baltimore County to wit the first account of Elizabeth Shaun executrix of Nicholas Shaun. This accountant charges herself with an inventory of the deceased estate $438.70 and she craves an allowance of the following payt and disbursts current money paid funeral expenses $7.50 current money paid Christopher Capeto as acct proved and rect appr. $8.00 current money paid George Koenig as p acct proved and receipt $3.80 current money paid Kitty Shaun as legacy left her by the deceased and as p receipt appears $50 current money paid Susanna Seller a legacy left her by the deceased and as p receipt appears $50 current money paid registers fees arising due on this administration. This accountant's commission on $438.70 at current money retained by this accountant it being the residue of the estate and willed her by the deceased $270.08.
Dated 10 April 1803 in Baltimore.
References:Baltimore County, Maryland Inventory Book 22 Dated 22 April 1802, p188.
Baltimore County Administration Accounts, Book 15, p212.
Baltimore County, Maryland, Will Book F, pp 257-259.