1824 New Milford CT
1917 Cedar Rapids IA
This is an unpublished 84 page booklet created by Edith Sherman Averill in August 1936.
It is an original typed copy in a three ring binder
It was a treasured part of the estate of Sara Sherman, the youngest daughter of Henry David Sherman.
Placed online by Third St Book Exchange located downtown Marysville WA, as a free resource. The original remains with Ed Bartholomew, Sara's friend for the last decade of her life.
I was born the eighth of October, 1824, in the town of New Milford, Connecticut, in a log house that was situated about three and one half miles northwest of New Milford village, just north of Boardman's pine grove, on the east bank of the Housatonic River; the bed of the Housatonic railroad now occupies the ground where the house stood. My parents were Justin and Phoebe (Main)Sherman, both descendants of families that had been impoverished since the Revolutionary War.
From my youth I have kept a diary, my life has covered an interesting period of the country's history, and now in my eighties I am minded to set down in consecutive form some of the incidents of my own career as they are interwoven with memories of matters beyond my immediate ken but passed on to me by an earlier generation.
A hobby that has been a source of continually unfolding interest since I was a young man in the twenties has been a compilation of a genealogical record of my immediate line of the Sherman family and at the end of this volume will be found my direct line of ascent to the Honorable Samuel Sherman with documentary evidence to prove its authenticity.
No satisfactory genealogy of the Sherman family has been published and I doubt that such an accomplishment would ever be possible as there are records of ten or more original colonial immigrants and others whose names only are known but who doubtless were progenitors of large families as were most of our early forebears.
From what I have been able to glean, the descendants of Thomas Sherman of Diss, England, whose offspring we are, were, for some generations before migration to America, substantial middle-class people, in trade, with an occasional member who was privileged to write "Gentleman" after his name,
The colonial immigrants to New England were mostly middle-class, the rich and titled were
content to stay where they were and the ignorant and poverty-stricken could do nothing else. Thus it transpired that a certain strain of hardihood was bequeathed to the New England men and women who helped make our country's beginnings.
My own ancestor who made contribution to the work of founding the Colony of Connecticut was the Honorable Samuel Sherman whose name is found through many years of the Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut. He came to this country in 1634 with his father, Edmund Sherman, and a brother, Edmund, Jr. They went first to Wethersfield, Connecticut: Edmund, the father, moved to New Haven where he died and was buried five years later; son Edmund returned to England to live, and Samuel settled in Stratford. The father was sixty-two years old when he came to America and Samuel was about eighteen.
Samuel married Mary Mitchell whose brother, the Reverend Jonathan Mitchell was a Fellow at Harvard College. Mary's father, Matthew MitchellĽ is said to have been the richest and at the same time the most belligerent man who ever reached New England's shore. At any rate the proceedings in the Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut of his being elected judge, then deposed because of his arrogance, and his fight against his enemies, make interesting reading.
History gives Samuel Sherman, Jr., son of the Honorable Samuel and Mary, standing in his community as a land owner, member of the Colonial Militia, and a generally dutiful citizen. He married Mary, daughter of Daniel Titterton who had moved from Boston to Stratford and who made a place for himself in the Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut,
Another son of the Honorable Samuel was John, who moved early to Woodbury, Connecticut. He was Town Clerk there twenty-five years; Captain in Militia, Speaker of the House, 1711, 1712, Judge of Probate Court nine years, and Judge of County Court forty-four years,
In the third generation, Daniel Sherman, son of Samuel, Jr, and Mary, was born in Stratford and
married there, Rebecca, daughter of Sergeant John and granddaughter of Lieutenant Thomas Wheeler,
The country north of Stratford had been a wilderness but now it was opening up, and evidently the pioneer spirit was reasserting Itself, for some time after their marriage we find Daniel and Rebecca settled In Newtown where Daniel appears as a Selectman In 1758 and where their deaths are later recorded.
Among the six children of Daniel and Rebecca there appears another Samuel, born 1707, who married, first, Elizabeth, second, Mary. As far as I know the record of neither of these marriages has been found. Elizabeth was my great great grandmother. Her last child, Sabra, was born in April, 1736, and that Elizabeth did not long survive her birth we learn from this brief pathetic record in Newtown: "Elizabeth, wife of Samuel Sherman, died Dec. 10, 1736". However, my great uncle, Jotham Sherman, grandson of Samuel and Elizabeth, has told me that he was certain Elizabeth was born a Botsford. Jothamís mother was born Hepsibeh Botsford and he said that his mother and grandmother had the same maiden name though he did not know what their relationship may have been.
Samuel III of the fourth generation must have been an enterprising prosperous man as he lived to be only forty years old but in the Inventory of his estate the land alone was valued at 2795 pounds. According to the value of the entire estate each of his children should have inherited approximately 5000 dollars - a goodly sum for that early day. He left two sons. Justin, my great grandfather, born in February, 1730, and Jotham, born in February, 1735, both sons of his first wife, Elizabeth. Jothamís history and his lines of descent are easy to follow, but historians and genealogical searchers alike have lost Justin at birth or they have confused his death-date with that of his father. It was many years before I un- (understood)
-derstood (understood) the reason for this though even as a child I realized there was a mysterious link in our family chain in this generation.
The only record I have found of Justinís marriage is in the Family Bible belonging to his son, Jotham of the sixth generation. This record states that Justin Sherman married Hepsibeh Botsford "of Hurd's Hill near Brookfield", but does not give the date of the marriage. The date of the birth of their first child, Betsy, is given as 1756. Hurdís Hill of that day is now called Whisconier Hill, an elevation of some height between Newtown and Brookfield. My sister Maria Mansfieldís family once lived in that vicinity.
The failure to find a further record of Justinís marriage is probably accounted for by the following circumstances: The church of the Botsford and Sherman families was Trinity Episcopal of Newtown. The Rev. John Beach was rector there for more than fifty years and died before the close of the Revolutionary War. Some years ago a relative who wished to write the life of Mr. Beach borrowed the church records and disastrously lost them from a boat on which he was traveling.
I do not know just when Justin and Hepsibeh moved to New Milford but they were living there when Daniel, their third child and first son, was born.
As I look back I recall the dread word "Tory" being used sometimes when questions were asked about this generation of the family and that the subject would be quickly changed. I was middle-aged before I learned that great grandfather Justin was a Loyalist and that he had died in the British Army. Both the Sherman and Botsford families were early communicants and staunch adherents of the Episcopal church. Many, perhaps most, Episcopalians were Loyalists and apparently Justin did his duty as he saw it though it meant the loss of all his property and torrents of abuse from
his neighbors. He joined the British forces on Long Island, in November, 1776, taking with him his son Daniel, a lad of sixteen. The full tragedy will never be understood but it is known that Justinís estate was confiscated, he having been adjudged "an Inimical person", that Hepsibeh his wife died while he was away, and that Justin himself died in March, 1782, still in the British Army, Daniel deserted the British forces after his father's death, returned to New Milford and later joined the Colonial Army where he served for about a year, Evidently Jotham, Justin's only brother, did not have as radical Loyalist convictions as did Justin, though he too was a pillar in the Episcopal church. He lived in peace and prosperity to a ripe old age and passed on a go ally estate to his children. Justin's children, left penniless, were obliged to cast about for a new start in life. About 1785 two of Justin Ľs daughters, Betsy and Vashti, started with their husbands for Nova Scotia where England had promised to reward the families of Loyalists with gifts of farm land or lots in the city of St. John. Betsy was drowned on the way and Vashti fell off a wagon. in which she was riding and broke her neck
A controversy went on for many years as to the ownership of the territory that afterward became the state of Vermont. It was new country and tempted the pioneer spirit. So many residents of Connecticut moved up there before and during the Revolutionary War that in a convention assembled in January, 1777, it was decided to declare the territory an independent state and call it New Connecticut. In July of the same year however, in a second convention, the name was changed to Vermont and its territory was admitted to the Union in 1791.
In the spring of 1795, Daniel Sherman who had married in 1789, Ollie Peck, daughter of Nathaniel and Mary (Foot) Peck of Newtown, moved his family to Hinesburgh, Vermont. It is known that Ollie's father and mother also moved to Hines- (Hinesburgh)
|76-80||81-84||misc.||Third St Books|
free genealogy placed online June 2005
@2005 all rights reserved.