Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Rev. John Sherman

Male 1613 - 1685  (71 years)


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  • Name John Sherman  [1, 2
    Prefix Rev. 
    Born 26 Dec 1613  Dedham, Essex, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
    Gender Male 
    Baptised 4 Jan 1614  Dedham, Essex, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4, 5, 7
    Died 8 Aug 1685  Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
    Buried East Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Siblings 1 sibling 
    Person ID I27523  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of AP
    Last Modified 16 Aug 2021 

    Father Edmund Sherman,   b. Abt 1572,   d. Between 29 Oct 1640 and May 1641, New Haven, New Haven, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 68 years) 
    Mother Grace Makin,   b. Abt 1578,   d. Aft 14 Jun 1643  (Age ~ 65 years) 
    Married Bef 1599  [9, 10
    Family ID F12831  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Mary Launce,   b. Abt 1625,   d. 9 Mar 1710, Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 85 years) 
    Married Abt 1647  [5
    Children 
    +1. Rev. James Sherman,   b. Abt 1651,   d. 3 Mar 1718, Sudbury, Middlesex, Massachusetts Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 67 years)
    Last Modified 16 Aug 2021 
    Family ID F16437  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • "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]

  • Sources 
    1. [S3901] Donald Lines Jacobus, "The Darcy Ancestry of Mrs. John Sherman." The American Genealogist 21:169, 1944.

    2. [S4046] Brice Clagett, 25 Oct 2000, post to soc.genealogy.medieval.

    3. [S142] Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families by Douglas Richardson. Salt Lake City, 2013.

    4. [S756] Early New England Families Study Project: Accounts of New England Families from 1641 to 1700 by Alicia Crane Williams. Online database, New England Historic Genealogical Society.

    5. [S950] Michael Johnson Wood, "The Early Shermans of Dedham, Essex, and Their Wives." The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 166:245, October 2012; 167:35, January 2013; 167:149, April 2013; 167:213, July 2013; 167:275, October 2013; 168:16, January 2014.

    6. [S1579] The Royal Descents of 900 Immigrants to the American Colonies, Quebec, or the United States, Who Were Themselves Notable or Left Descendants Notable in American History by Gary Boyd Roberts. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2018., year only.

    7. [S1998] Sherman Genealogy Including Families of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, England: Some Descendants of the Immigrants, Captain John Sherman, Reverend John Sherman, Edmund Sherman and Samuel Sherman, and the Descendants of Honorable Roger Sherman and Honorable Charles R. Sherman by Thomas Townsend Sherman. New York: Tobias A. Wright, 1920.

    8. [S3981] Donald Lines Jacobus, "The Family of Rev. John Sherman of Wethersfield, Milford, and Branford, Conn., and Watertown, Mass." The American Genealogist 20:129, 1944.

    9. [S101] The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, Volumes 1-3 and The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England,1634-1635, Volumes 1-7, by Robert Charles Anderson. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1996-2011.

    10. [S950] Michael Johnson Wood, "The Early Shermans of Dedham, Essex, and Their Wives." The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 166:245, October 2012; 167:35, January 2013; 167:149, April 2013; 167:213, July 2013; 167:275, October 2013; 168:16, January 2014., "about 1598".