Early New Englanders and Kin: A Genealogical Tree of more than 12,000 Inter-related Individuals with Roots in Early New England, by Roy Burgess, 1992. This is a book of cross referenced lists. I don't consider the information to be totally accurate. I used it to add a few listings, but mostly to confirm existing ones.

Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island, Comprising Three Generations of Settlers Who Came Before 1690, by John Osborne Austin with additions and corrections, Genealogical Publishing Company, 1969, originally published 1887.

The Narragansett Historical Register, A Magazine, edited by James N. Arnold, Heritage Classic, 1994 - 1996. Vol. 1 1882-3, Vol. 2 1883-4, Vol. 3 1884-5, Vol. 4 1885-6, Vol. 5 1886-87, Vol. 6 1888. Volumes 2 and 3 contain the Sherman genealogy with births to mid 1800’s.

New England Marriages Prior to 1700, by Clarence Almon Torrey, compiled for publication by Elizabeth Bentley, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1985/1992. Supplement to Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700, by Melinde Lutz Sanborn, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1991

The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical, by the American Historical Society, Inc., 1920. For some unknown reason there are two copies of the book with the same title page, but with different contents. They both contain a picture and biography of Albert Keene Sherman, with information about his ancestors and descendants.

A New England Heritage: The 500-year Story of my line of the SHERMAN and MAURAN Families, by Frederick Barreda Sherman, 1969, plus a 1979 supplement. This is a vanity publication that tells the story of Philip Shermans ancestors and life in America and his descendants. Part of this book is narrative speculation, but the author admits when he is guessing and provides all references. MAURAN is his wife's family.

Some of the Descendants of Philip Sherman: The First Secretary of Rhode Island, by Roy V. Sherman, Professor Emeritus, University of Akron, Akron, Ohio, 1968. This and the second book, The New England Shermans, provided the core of my Sherman database. The 662 page book has copies of all the wills and other documents that he was able to find. The male lines are predominate with a good index. Much of the work was actually done by Frank Dempster Sherman.

The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, The New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1847 to present.

The New England Shermans, 1974. This volume contains updated information to the Philip Sherman book, including listings supplied by my family for myself, siblings and spouse. There are still errors and typos. The book also contains information on the other related Sherman lines.


The NAME - also often spelled "Shearman" and sometimes Shereman, Shurman, Shirman or Sharman, meaning "a dresser or cutter of wool or of clothe", or referred to a person who traded in wool or was a clothier, weaver or worked with cloth. It is reputed to be of North German origin and the family is believed to have come to the vicinity of London at the time of the Saxon immigration - or invasion - in the Fifth Century. (The shearing of worsteds, fustians, etc. was known in nearby Norwich as "Shermancraft.")

Possibly descended from Richard le Sherman, merchant, of Hythe - located not far from nearby Colchester - who, in the reign of Edward I, on July 8, 1274, at Westminister was granted a license to trade in wool; and Thomas was almost certainly descended from John Sherman who paid twelve pence in taxes in Yaxley in 1327 and from Henry, John’s son, who was receiver of money for the Prior of Eye in County Suffolk near Yaxley.

Thomas1 SHERMAN was born 1420, died 1493 in Diss, County Norfolk, England. He was referred to as "Gentleman" in the records, a term indicating that while he had no title of nobility, he bore a coat-of-arms and was known to be descended from a family which had always borne one. (According to the records of the College of Arms, the Coat-of-Arms of the Shermans of Yaxley is the same, with slight variations, as that of the Shermans of Essex.) He resided at Diss and Yaxley, England. Diss, which is in Norfolk on the north bank of the Waveney River about seventy-five miles northeast of London. The Waveney marks the boundary between the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk and the village of Yaxley is close to Diss on the south side of the river. (The Suffolk Yaxley is not to be confused with another Yaxley just south of Peterborough near Norman Cross on "Ermine Street.")

When Thomas died in 1493 at the age of 73 his will, written in Latin, gave to his son John his property in Diss and Yaxley and bequeathed to each of the four orders of Friars at Norwich the sum of three shillings and six pence, providing that they "will have an honest Priest celebrate for my soul and the souls of my Parents and benefactors, for the space of four years", he left thirteen shilling and fourpence to the church at Diss while the Yaxley church received three shillings and eight pence and the reparation of the Reydon and Stuston churches was to be aided by bequests of two bushels of corn and four of malt apiece. These ecclesiastical requirements being satisfied, each godchild received the sum of fourpence. From: A NEW ENGLAND HERITAGE, By Frederick Barreda Sherman, 1969.

John2 SHERMAN (THOMAS1) was born 1450 in Yaxley, Cnty. Suffolk, England, and died November 1504 in Yaxley, Cnty. Suffolk, England. John, the Shearman, when the custom of using surnames obtained a practically universal vogue, adopted the name of his calling as his surname, Sherman.

Thomas3 SHERMAN (JOHN2, THOMAS1) was born 1490 in Yaxley, Cnty. Suffolk, England, and died November 1551 in Yaxley, Cnty. Suffolk, England. The History of Rhode Island says he "was born about 1480." He resided at Diss, on the river Waveney, between the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. His will mentions, property, including the manors of Royden and Royden Tuft, with appurtenances, at Royden and Bessingham, and other properties in Norfolk and Suffolk. Jane Waller was probably not his first wife.

Thomas3 Sherman was apparently responsible for a considerable improvement in the family fortunes and definitely responsible for a considerable increase in its size. He also lived in Yaxley and was a "Gentleman". He became an attorney-at-law with a large practice in the Court of Common Pleas. He served as a Deputy Sheriff in 1540 and 1546 and as a church warden of Yaxley, whose parish now owed its allegiance to the King of England instead of the Pope of Rome. He possessed the manors of Royden and Roydentuft at Royden, and Bessingham and other manors and landed estates in the vicinity. A manor may contain one or more villages or hamlets or only part of a village. It is a noble sort of fee, always claimed by prescription; i.e., by long continuance of time beyond the memory of man. Thomas married Jane Waller, daughter of John Waller, Esq., of Wortham, and she bore him ten children - all were sons and all, except one perhaps, married, and all were still living in 1551 when he died and was buried in Yaxley. An item in "Annals of Medical History", December 1921, p. 316, mentions "Richard Sherman, M.D. of Caius College (Cambridge University), 1567" who may quite possibly have been the second son of this Thomas Sherman. From: A NEW ENGLAND HERITAGE, By Frederick Barreda Sherman, 1969

Henry4 SHERMAN (THOMAS3, JOHN2, THOMAS1) was born 1524 in Yaxley, Cnty. Suffolk, England, and died 1590 in Dedham, Cnty. Essex, England. The fourth son of Thomas was Henry Sherman, born in 1524 some thirty miles south of Yaxley in Colchester, County Essex. With him there came a change in the type of life and possibly in the social position of the family for he is termed not "Gentleman" but "Clothier". Henry's wife was Agnes Butler and she gave him five sons and two daughters. Their eldest son was Henry. Their second son, Edmund, was the ancestor of General William Tecumseh Sherman.

Samson8 SHERMAN (PHILIP7, SAMUEL6, HENRY5, HENRY4, THOMAS3, JOHN2, THOMAS1) He was a farmer, and had a farm next to his father's. He later inherited half his father's home farm. He was elected Constable, and served as juror three times at the Colony's Court of Trials and once at its Grand Inquest. Spelled "Shearman" in his will.

Samson10 SHERMAN (JOB9, SAMSON8, PHILIP7, SAMUEL6, HENRY5, HENRY4, THOMAS3, JOHN2, THOMAS1) He lived in Portsmouth, where he spent his entire life, engaged in agricultural. Also spelled Sampson. For a picture of the Sherman Homestead, click here.

Job11 SHERMAN (SAMSON10, JOB9, SAMSON8, PHILIP7, SAMUEL6, HENRY5, HENRY4, THOMAS3, JOHN2, THOMAS1) In 1796 he removed from Portsmouth to Newport Rhode Island, where he became the founder of the business which was conducted under the firm name of William Sherman & Company Dry Goods Concern. The location was moved to 135-137 Thames Street in 1798, where it remained for four generations of Sherman's. It was then sold to William Leys Dry Goods Co. A silhouette of Job.

From the History of Rhode Island, 1920: "He was a leader in the business and financial life of Newport in his day, and was one of the original trustees of the Savings Bank of Newport. He was a staunch Whig, and prominent in public affairs, supporting every movement of importance for the advancement of the welfare of the community. He was a member of the Society of Friends, and for many years served as trustee of the Society in Newport."

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