Revolutionary War hero gets new headstone - with his name spelled correctly

A new headstone marks the resting place for Captain Daniel Shays (WHAM photo)

Conesus, N.Y. – After nearly 200 years, the headstone for a hero of the Revolutionary War finally has his name spelled correctly.

Captain Daniel Shays led a fight against taxes in Massachusetts that historians now call “Shay’s Rebellion.”

Later in life, Shays moved to Livingston County. After his death in 1825 he was buried in Union Cemetery in Conesus.


But there was a problem: His headstone lacked an “S.”

Properly-spelled historical markers pointed visitors to a grave that read “Daniel Shay.” Philip Shays, a descendant of the war hero, was one of those visitors who actually understood the mistake.

‘Yes, it’s very common,” said Shays. “Back in the old days, anyway, there was a lot of incorrect spellings of names.”

Shays, with the help of The Sons of the American Revolution, set out to raise thousands for a new headstone that could finally fix the error.

Philip Shays now lives in the Buffalo area, and he said he has connected with Daniel Shay’s descendants from across New York and New England.

With no state or federal grant money available, Shays put up the extra money needed after fundraising efforts were complete.

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