Shankland Family Characteristics
by Anne Shankland, UK
In all families there are, to a greater or lesser extent, family resemblances between family members. These may be physical features - for instance, a high forehead, or dark blue eyes, or above-average height, etc. - which visibly mark individuals out as being members of the same family. A good example would be the Osmond smile!
Alternatively, there may be shared or inherited abilities, interests, or emotional make-up, which may not be so clearly defined but which can still be regarded as family traits.
In the Shankland One-Name Group I naturally come into contact, either in person or by letter or email, with very many Shanklands, not all of whom are related, but very many of whom share certain family characteristics. (In fact, since I'm only a "married-in" Shankland, I can probably see such resemblances more clearly, and certainly I can discuss them with more freedom without appearing unduly conceited about the Shankland virtues!)
I am impressed at how the Shanklands exhibit a talent for communication, especially in writing: the vast majority of the Shankland letters and emails we get are well written by any standards, which is unusual nowadays when few people seem to be able to string more than a couple of words together. Several of the earliest American Shanklands we know of appear to have been connected with newspapers and journalism, and it is clear that this connection continues right down to the present day. For example,
- Robert Henry Shankland (1813-1889) bought up the Ellicotville Republican newspaper as a young man of 22 or so and ran it for twenty years.
- Similarly, Alexander Beaty Shankland (1816-1877) became editor of the Tennessee Baptist newspaper before moving into real estate.
- Emmett Marshall Shankland (1887-1939) was also a journalist and local judge
- Peter Shankland (1901-1995) whose remarkable life included the authorship of nine published books.
- At the present time, there is Stephen Shankland who reports for CNET News on technical and IT matters.
It is possible, too, that the Shankland interest in journalism and publishing is connected with what seems to be a very strong sense of fairness and justice. There are many examples of Shanklands being prepared to stand up for what they see as right even when it might cost them dearly to do so. Thus there are Shanklands who have become eminent and respected lawyers and judges; others who have taken a different path, of activity in trades unions; and still others who have taken up and defended various causes which they considered worthwhile.
- James Horton Shankland, (1846-1910?) son of Alexander Beaty Shankland above, was a prominent lawyer in California.
- William Henry Shankland (1804-1883) was a Justice of the Supreme Court, "a position which he filled with highest credit".
- Samuel Valentine Shankland (1900-1991) who spent most of his life on a Navajo Indian reservation educating the Indian children and working to better the lives of the Indians.
- Peter Shankland (1901-1995), the author mentioned above, who, in WW2, found that his principles would neither let him kill nor allow him to leave the warfare to others - and who was awarded an MBE for his work in mine-clearing.
- David Shankland (1884 - 1946), Welsh trades unionist, of whom it was said: "Such qualities as he possessed, integrity, sincerity, and forthright honesty, are not so common that their loss can be taken lightly, and his workmates mourn him not only as a champion of their cause, but as a comrade in the truest sense of the word."
- Ronald Shankland (1946-2002), Scottish trades unionist. "He was committed to using the collective strength of the union to fight individual cases of injustice, and did it well."
Perhaps it is the same characteristic in the Shankland makeup that leads so many of them to become ministers of religion:
- Veeder John Shankland (1908-1998), who wrote the History of the Shankland Family, became an Episcopalian clergyman in California after a career in the Goodyear Tyre and Rubber Company.
- William Shankland (1881-1933), was a Minister of the United Free Church of Scotland
- Two brothers, David Horatio Shankland (1845-1899) and Benjamin Shankland (1850-1940), sons of a Welsh blacksmith, both became ministers in the Congregationalist Church.
- In addition, we know of another eminent Welshman, Thomas Shankland (1858-1927) who began his working life as a shoemaker but became a Baptist minister (and a noted scholar and bibliophile).
- As for England, the 1901 Census shows two young men (unrelated), Robert James Shankland (1875-1935) and Alfred Shankland (1878-??) as students in two English Theological Colleges, apparently preparing for a life in the ministry or as missionaries.
Additionally, we come across many Shanklands who are talented musically or artistically, which is of course yet another type of communication. There are many examples, including:
- William Lane Shankland (1891-??) and Henry Rex Shankland (1893-??), who were both professional musicians
- Stephen Shankland (b.1971) a Scottish artist who received well-earned fame when he won the prestigious BP Portrait Award in 2004.
- Ronald Andrew Shankland (b.1948) a musician himself from an apparently very musical family.
- Ian - my husband - is pretty good too.
If any readers can provide similar examples of the Shankland talent for communication, or of the Shankland sense of justice and fairness, I should be delighted to receive them.
(And we haven't even begun to look at Shankland scientific or medical abilities, or sporting prowess, or excellence in any other fields - although there is plentiful evidence of these!)