Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Rev. James Sherman

Male Abt 1651 - 1718  (~ 67 years)

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Generation: 1

  1. 1.  Rev. James Sherman was born about 1651 (son of Rev. John Sherman and Mary Launce); died on 3 Mar 1718 in Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

    Other Events:

    • Alternate birth: 1645


    Minister at Sudbury, Massachusetts, Elizabethtown, New Jersey, and Salem, Massachusetts.

    James married Mary Walker on 13 May 1680 in Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts. Mary (daughter of Thomas Walker and Mary Stone) was born on 9 Aug 1661 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts; died after 11 Mar 1709. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

    1. Dr. John Sherman was born on 20 Nov 1683 in Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts; died on 28 Nov 1774 in Brimfield, Hampden, Massachusetts.

Generation: 2

  1. 2.  Rev. John Sherman was born on 26 Dec 1613 in Dedham, Essex, England (son of Edmund Sherman and Grace Makin); died on 8 Aug 1685 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts; was buried in East Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

    Other Events:

    • Baptised: 4 Jan 1614, Dedham, Essex, England


    "Said by Cotton Mather to have come to New England in 1634, possibly the John Sherman, aged 20, enrolled on the Elizabeth of Ipswich, 30 April 1634, although Great Migration has assigned that record to his cousin of about the same age who became known as Captain JOHN SHERMAN (GM2, 6:287-94) of Watertown. Rev. John Sherman's parents and several siblings came to Watertown in 1635 and he removed with them to Wethersfield the same year. John moved on to Milford in 1640 and New Haven, Connecticut, before returning to Watertown in 1647." [Early New England Families Study Project, citation details below]

    "He was dismissed from the Watertown, Mass. church, 29 May 1635, and came to Wethersfield, Connecticut with the early settlers. He represented Wethersfield as Committee (Deputy) in the Connecticut General Court, May 1637. He joined the Milford settlers, probably in 1640, and was the first minister of Branford, 1 Oct. 1644 to Jan. 1646/7. He was Deputy for Milford to the New Haven General Court, Oct 1643. In 1647 he was called to Watertown, Mass., to fill the pastorate there, and continued in this office until his death." [Donald Lines Jacobus, citation details below]

    He was a Fellow of Harvard College, where he lectured for over thirty years. According to F. L. Weis's 1936 The Colonial Clergy and the Colonial Churches in New England, "his sermons were distinguished for beauty of style and language; he was a recognized authority in astronomy."

    "Mather's [Magnalia Christi Americana says of the Rev. John Sherman that] 'His intellectual abilities, whether natural or acquired, were such as to render him a first-rate scholar, the skill of tongues and arts, beyond the common rate, adorned him. He was a great reader...he read with an unusual dispatch, and whatever he read became his own. From such a strength of invention and memory it was, that albeit he was a curious preacher, nevertheless, he could preach without any preparatory notes of what he was to utter...He was witty, and yet wise and grave, carrying a majesty in his very countenance; and much visited for council, in weighty cases; and when he delivered his judgment in any matter, there was little or nothing to be spoken by others after him.' His hobby was mathematics and Mather claimed that Sherman was one of the best mathematicians 'that ever lived in this hemisphere.' '...among other things very valuable to me, in the temper of this great man, one was a certain largeness of soul, which particularly disposed him to embrace the Congregational way of church-government, without those rigid and narrow principles of uncharitable separation, wherewith some good men have been learned.' 'And there was one thing in his preaching, which procured it a singular admiration: this was a natural and not affected loftiness of stile; which with an easie fluency bespangled his discourses....'" [Early New England Families Study Project, citation details below]

    He was taken suddenly ill while delivering a guest sermon at Sudbury and died three days later in his house at Watertown. The Latin inscription on his tombstone there translates as "Sacred to the memory of John Sherman, a man distinguished for his piety, character, and truth; a profound theologian; as a preacher a veritable Chrysostom; unsurpassed in his knowledge of the liberal arts, particularly mathematics; a faithful pastor of the Church of Watertown in New England; an Overseer and Fellow of Harvard College."

    "Rev. Mather's account of the career of Rev. John Sherman states that he entered 'Immanuel' (Emmanuel) College in Cambridge but did not graduate. Later historians apparently matched the name John Sherman with records of a man who entered Emmanual College in 1638, but who could not be the same as Rev. John Sherman of New England, who was in Connecticut by then. Another attempt was made to match him with the John Sherman who graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge, recciving his B.A. in 1629-30 and MA in 1633. The problem here is that this man was a tutor at Trinity from 1636 to 1644, received a B.D. in 1640, and a D.D., per Literas Regias, in 1660." [Early New England Families Study Project, citation details below]

    John married Mary Launce about 1647. Mary (daughter of John Launce and Isabella Darcy) was born about 1625; died on 9 Mar 1710 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  2. 3.  Mary Launce was born about 1625 (daughter of John Launce and Isabella Darcy); died on 9 Mar 1710 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts.


    One of AP's two gateway ancestors.

    Cotton Mather, in Magnalia Christi Americana, called Mary Launce, second wife of the Rev. John Sherman, a "young gentlewoman [...] a Person of good Education, and Reputation, and honorably descended," whose mother was "daughter to the Lord Darcy, who was Earl of Rivers." She certainly was not, and in his pioneering 1860-64 Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, James Savage took delight at exercising his well-known animus against Mather, who "tells of this wife calling her mother daughter of Darcy, Earl Rivers, one of the Popish Counsellors of Charles I who had no daughter that married a Launce." Savage continues: "If [Mary Launce Sherman] did give [her husband] these myths of her noble descent [...] either she was insane, which he had not sanity enough to discover, or she was irreverently playing on his bottomless credulity." It was left to the great Donald Lines Jacobus, founder of the twentieth-century "Jacobus School" of skeptical, fact-based genealogy, to point out, in a 1944 article, "The Family of Rev. John Sherman" (citation details below), that Mary Launce's mother really was a Darcy, albeit one of the Darcy family of Kent. Isabella Darcy of London, daughter of Sir Edward Darcy, a confidant and ally of Elizabeth I, first married John Launce of Cornwall and, secondly, the Rev. Sydrach Simpson, master of Pembroke Hall at Cambridge University. Her 1668 will names, with others, her sons James Launce and Darcy Launce, and her daughter Mary Sherman. In a subsequent article, "The Darcy Ancestry of Mrs. John Sherman" (citation details below), Jacobus put forth further proofs of Mary Launce's parentage, calling it a "perfect chain of evidence" and remarking that "Few English lines of early colonists are so thoroughly proved."

    Descendants of the Rev. John Sherman and Mary Launce include Norman Rockwell, Declaration of Independence signer Robert Treat Paine, and the 68th governor of Massachusetts, William Weld.

    Regarding the date of her death, the Early New England Families Study Project (citation details below) states only that she "[d]ied probably at Watertown between 15 October 1705 and 24 December 1712. She was living on 20 October 1704, when she acknowledged a deed." But Watertown records (citation details below) clearly state "ms Mary Sherman (widow of mr. John Sherman Late: Rd: pastor of the church in watertown) deceast march : 9 : 1709/10".

    1. 1. Rev. James Sherman was born about 1651; died on 3 Mar 1718 in Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

Generation: 3

  1. 4.  Edmund Sherman was born about 1572 (son of Edmund Sherman and Anne Pellett); died between 29 Oct 1640 and May 1641 in New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut.

    Other Events:

    • Alternate birth: Bef 1574, Dedham, Essex, England
    • Alternate death: May 1641, New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut


    He and his wife emigrated to New England in 1635. First at Watertown, them Wethersfield by 1638, and New Haven by 1640.

    Edmund Sherman (<1574-1641) = Grace Makin (d. 1643)
    Hon. Samuel Sherman (1618-1700) = Sarah Mitchell
    Deac. John Sherman (1651-1730) = Elizabeth
    John Sherman (1687-1727) = Emm Preston
    Hon. Daniel Sherman (1721-1799) = Mindwell Taylor
    Hon. Taylor Sherman (1758-1815) = Betsey Stoddard
    Charles R. Sherman (1788-1829) = Mary Hoyt
    Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891)

    Edmund married Grace Makin before 1599. Grace (daughter of Tobias Makin and Katherine Westbrome) was born about 1578; died after 14 Jun 1643. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  2. 5.  Grace Makin was born about 1578 (daughter of Tobias Makin and Katherine Westbrome); died after 14 Jun 1643.
    1. 2. Rev. John Sherman was born on 26 Dec 1613 in Dedham, Essex, England; died on 8 Aug 1685 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts; was buried in East Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
    2. Grace Sherman was born before 18 Jun 1616; died on 14 Jan 1691 in Chelmsford, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

  3. 6.  John Launce was born about 1597 in of Penair in St. Clement, Cornwall, England (son of Robert Launce and Susan Tubb); died before 25 Jun 1635; was buried on 25 Jun 1635 in St. Clement, Cornwall, England.


    John Launce was described by Cotton Mather in Magnalia Christi Americana as "a Puritan gentleman [...] whose lands in Cornwall yielded him fourteen hundred pounds a year. He was a Parliament man, a Man learned and pious, and a notable Disputant; but once disputing against the English Episcopacy [...] he was worsted by such a way of maintaining the Argument, as was thought agreeable; that is, by a Wound in the Side, from his furious Antagonist; of which Wound at last he died."

    John married Isabella Darcy about 1619. Isabella (daughter of Edward Darcy and Elizabeth Astley) was born about 1600; died between 29 May 1668 and 4 Aug 1669. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  4. 7.  Isabella Darcy was born about 1600 (daughter of Edward Darcy and Elizabeth Astley); died between 29 May 1668 and 4 Aug 1669.

    Other Events:

    • Alternate death: 1669, London, England


    Her second husband was the Rev. Sydrach Simpson, Master of Pembroke Hall at the University of Cambridge.

    1. 3. Mary Launce was born about 1625; died on 9 Mar 1710 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

Generation: 4

  1. 8.  Edmund Sherman was born about 1548 in of Dedham, Essex, England (son of Henry Sherman and Agnes); died before 22 Dec 1600; was buried on 22 Dec 1600 in Dedham, Essex, England.

    Edmund married Anne Pellett on 25 Apr 1569 in Dedham, Essex, England. Anne (daughter of William Pellett) was born about 1549; died on 8 Jun 1584; was buried on 8 Jun 1584 in Dedham, Essex, England. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  2. 9.  Anne Pellett was born about 1549 (daughter of William Pellett); died on 8 Jun 1584; was buried on 8 Jun 1584 in Dedham, Essex, England.
    1. 4. Edmund Sherman was born about 1572; died between 29 Oct 1640 and May 1641 in New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut.

  3. 10.  Tobias Makin was born in in of Fingringhoe, Essex, England (son of John Makyng and Agnes); died between 14 May 1610 and 10 Sep 1610.

    Tobias married Katherine Westbrome. Katherine (daughter of Thomas Westbrome and Elizabeth) died after 14 May 1610. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  4. 11.  Katherine Westbrome (daughter of Thomas Westbrome and Elizabeth); died after 14 May 1610.
    1. 5. Grace Makin was born about 1578; died after 14 Jun 1643.

  5. 12.  Robert Launce was born in in of Penair in St. Clement, Cornwall, England (son of John Launce and Mary Polewhele); died before 5 Sep 1623; was buried on 5 Sep 1623 in St. Clement, Cornwall, England.

    Other Events:

    • Alternate death: Aft 1620

    Robert married Susan Tubb. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  6. 13.  Susan Tubb (daughter of George Tubb and Eleanor Rasheley).
    1. 6. John Launce was born about 1597 in of Penair in St. Clement, Cornwall, England; died before 25 Jun 1635; was buried on 25 Jun 1635 in St. Clement, Cornwall, England.

  7. 14.  Edward Darcy was born about 1543 in of Dartford, Kent, England (son of Arthur Darcy and Mary Carew); died on 28 Oct 1612 in Dartford, Kent, England; was buried in St. Botolph's, Aldgate, London, England.


    Edward Darcy was Groom of the Privy Chamber to Elizabeth I, 1583-1603. He graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge in 1561, and was admitted at the Inner Temple in Nov 1561. Special ambassador to Francis, Duke of Anjou and William of Orange in 1583. Burgess (M.P.) for Truro, Cornwall, in 1584; justice of the peace in Kent from 1604 to his death.

    His lifelong cupidity appears to have been notable even by the standards of Elizabethan court society. From his entry in the History of Parliament: "In 1594 the attorney-general protested at the nomination of one Wiseman to the post of clerk of the outlawries, after Darcy had virtually put up the office for auction, and in 1600 the widow of Edward Denny petitioned against Darcy's attempt to obtain part of the proceeds of the sale of her late husband's office. He had little need, she wrote, 'to suck this small portion of her Majesty's favour from the hungry mouths of my children'. [...] His patent for searching and sealing leather, which he was granted in 1592 (or 1593), led him to commit 'such exactions and outrages as disquieted all England', and his privileges were first reduced (in 1595) and then (before May 1598) replaced by a new patent for the monopoly of importing and manufacturing playing cards." Sometime between then and 1602, Darcy sued Thomas Allin (also spelled Allain, Allein, Allen, etc.), haberdasher of London, for infringing on his playing-card patent. In what came to be regarded as a landmark case in English law, known to history as the "Case of Monopolies," the King's Bench ultimately ruled against Darcy, declaring his patent void because monopolies are ultimately damaging to the public good. The arguments set forth in the verdict were later much quoted in the various deliberations leading to the creation of modern antitrust and competition law.

    His loss in court can't have broken his stride too badly; he was knighted the next year, on 23 Apr 1603, and retired to live the comfortable life of a wealthy man.


    Edward Darcy (1543-1612) = Elizabeth Astley
    Robert Darcy = Grace Reddish
    Edward Darcy = Elizabeth Stanhope [1]
    Katherine Darcy (d. 1713) = Erasmus Phillips (d. 1697) [2] [3]
    Elizabeth Phillips (b. abt 1664) = John Shorter [4]
    Catherine Shorter (1682-1737) = Robert Walpole (1676-1745) [5]
    Horace Walpole (1717-1797)

    [1] Daughter of Philip Stanhope, 1st Earl of Chesterfield.

    [2] Erasmus Phillips and Katherine Darcy were parents of Sir John Phillips of Pembrokeshire, a leading Welsh social and religious reformer.

    [3] Through his mother, Elizabeth Dryden, Erasmus Phillips was a first cousin of the poet John Dryden, a second cousin once removed to Jonathan Swift, and a first cousin once removed to Mrs. Ann Marbury Hutchinson, the antinomian religious reformer who was famously cast out of the early Massachusetts Bay colony.

    [4] John Shorter was a son of John Shorter (1625-1688), Lord Mayor of London.

    [5] Robert Walpole is generally considered to have been the first Prime Minister of England in the modern sense.

    Edward married Elizabeth Astley. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  8. 15.  Elizabeth Astley (daughter of Thomas Astley and Mary Denny).
    1. Robert Darcy was born in in of Dartford, Kent, England; died before 1632.
    2. 7. Isabella Darcy was born about 1600; died between 29 May 1668 and 4 Aug 1669.