Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Happy Dance - A New Find

It is time for the Happy Dance!  After an absence of over a year from posting to this blog, posts will begin once again. What prompted this?  I've drifted to another ancestor because  a posting by a patron in opened up the Sarah Sherwood Cramer line!  I want to share this story and what I'm sure will be a journey to learn more about this family.   

Before I tell what happened, may I recommend a 12 minute video, "The John Sherwood Story."  This speaks of the parents of Sarah Sherwood Cramer, John and Lovisa Burtis Sherwood.  It also give a very brief account of each of their five children including Sarah.  Some of the scenes pass very quickly because the program did not allow more time for the sequences.  I apologize in advance for this.

 "The John Sherwood Story," can be found on my last posting (scroll down to this posting) of December 4, 2014 on this blog, or click here to go to the video (Henry and Sarah Cramer are mentioned at 5:55).

Nearly forty years ago, I began to research my 4th Great Grandparents, John Sherwood. John and his wife Lovisa Burtis Sherwood who had five children, Betsey, Sarah, Solomon, John (Jr.), and Jabez.

I found Sarah's children but could go no further.  Finding the descendants of Sarahs' siblings was much more successful. Some of the  results of that research can be found by going to  and  following the links of the children.  There are from two to ten children listed for their children (who would be the grandchildren of John and Lovisa). The links in some cases go down several generations (and back as well).  For example the link from my mother Greeta A Davis (her mother was Cora Sherwood)  and each of her siblings go back nine generations  to Thomas Sherwood, the first Sherwood ancestor in America.

If you want try these links.  Follow the male Sherwood line, or just start from somewhere and go in either direction.  Notice there are no links for Sarah Sherwood Cramer going forward.  That is going to change. Again, try to get back to Thomas Sherwood, the first of this line to come to America.

Fortunately I was able to find the Revolutionary War Pension records which contained the Dutch Book Record listing the six children of Sarah Sherwood who married Henry Cramer.  If it weren't for that one document found in fold3, this family may have been lost to future generations.  However, nothing on their descendants could be located. This was my brick wall.  The tombstones of any of their children could not be found, nor any records indicating if they married and had children UNTIL NOW!!!  Thank You Marilyn Joy Cramer!

Dutch Book Record found in Revolutionary War Pension Records
A recent check of revealed the following information on one of the children of Henry and Sarah Sherwood Cramer.  For the first time, Martin Overlocker Cramer was listed with a wife and three children below. 

I had to know who was responsible for adding the vital information to so I went down the person page to this prompt and clicked "Show All Changes."

The following appeared on the screen:

Sarah Cramer added 10 February 2016
Henry Cramer added 10 February 2016

Elizabeth Cramer added 10 February 2016

When I clicked, the submitter,  Marilyn J Cramer's  name (above) the follow appeared on the screen:

Fortunately Marilyn had left an E-mail and mailing address.  That is not always the case.  I wish there had been a phone number so I could have called her right away, but what more could I ask for.  How great it was Marilyn had chosen to share this information.

The next post will tell about getting in contact with Marilyn Joy Cramer and what was discovered.  Yes, after nearly forty years, it is time for the Happy Dance!

Go forward to see the video.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Home at Last

John Sherwood's (Sr.) home in Dantown, Connecticut is now under a reservoir

.John Sherwood's (Sr.) home in Poundridge  New York was near where the Nathan Olmstead Landmark home (above) is now.  The home may have been on this property (below) as John Sherwood was listed next to Nathan Olmstead by the census taker in 1790.

 The blog, "The Sherwood Story" gives more details on these two locations.

A Home At Last

Sherwood home in Pioche, Nevada

Finally,  a picture of a real Sherwood home.   Their lumber yard was across the street.  It was run mostly by Orin, William, and John Sherwood (Sons of Stephen Sherwood).  Stephen was a grandson of John Sherwood Sr.

Close up picture of the Sherwood home in Pioche, Nevada
 Is the older man on the left Stephen Sherwood? This may have been Orin's home as his brothers, William and John, were living in Clover Valley.  I would say this picture was taken in the 1870's.

Photo courtesy of Tom Irwin
Sherwood home in Pioche, Nevada on Main Street as it looked a few years ago 

   Look closely at the previous two pictures and you will see a resemblance, but they  don't have the air conditioning attached to the front window.  I just want to go inside and look around. 

Photo from Google Earth courtesy of Art Sherwood
Location: 524 Main Street, Pioche, Nevada

After this article was posted, Art Sherwood sent this photo from Google Earth.  Apparently the home has been remodeled since the previous picture was taken. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Pinterest Award

I want to thank Valerie Elkins for her efforts to bring more interest and awareness to family history/genealogy.  Valerie was a speaker at Rootstech 2013.  I felt fortunate to be mentioned when she gave our her 2013 Awards for Family History/Genealogy.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dantown "The Lost District" -- A Place In Time

The area  looked somewhat like this when John Sherwood
 and his family lived near here (1774-1784)
Today the area is under a reservoir

When the land your ancestors owned is under water and not because of a mortgage, but due to a reservoir covering it, how do you find where your ancestor's lived.  This article will attempt to do that without using scuba diving gear.

The John Sherwood Family  purchased land in Dantown, Connecticut  in 1774.  They had been living in Salem, New York, just across the border.   About 1784, they moved back to New York just across the border to Poundridge, New York.

John Sherwood was the grandfather of Stephen Sherwood.

The map below is of Dantown, Connecticut.  The Sherwood family lived here until about 1784, and many of their friends were still living there in 1790 when the first census was taken.  Through the use of this map, land records, military lists, and the 1790 census, it can be determined the approximate location where the Sherwoods lived from 1774-1784 before they moved.

Below are the families listed in order in the 1790 census who may have lived in the Sherwood neighborhood while they were in Dantown (1774-1784)

Note:  When I posted, I noticed print sizes varied for no apparent reason.

Samuel Jones-- "Samuel Jones of Canaan Society listed in baptism register January 24, 1783 on a page labeled "Baptism of Infants."  There is a note that he "Declared conformity to the Church of England" on the same day as John Sherwood and John Dufrees (St. Johns Episcopal Church in Stamford, Connecticut).  Served  in Militia with John Sherwood.
Jonathan Stevens --Served in Militia with John Sherwood.
Ebenezer Weed--Caanan Parish Patriot

17 Houses in between
Nathan Chitester--Served in Militia with John Sherwood.

02 Houses in between
Solomon Stevens--Son of Admer of Stevens.
Augustus Wilkes
Abner Stevens--Owns the land North of John Sherwood in 1788.  Son of Admer Stevens.
Allen (John?) --Possibly father of Reuben Allen who married John's daughter Sarah Sherwood.  See Map (II).               
Israel Slason (Slawson)--Listed next to John Sherwood in the militia.  Buys "narrow strip on land" in 1788 from John Sherwood with Eleazer Slason (Slawson).  He marries Mary Dufrees, a daughter of John Dufrees who "Declared conformity to the Church of England with John Sherwood in 1783."  (see Samuel Jones).  Israel and Eleazer may both have been sons of Elephalet and Mercy Slason or sons of Eleazer and Sarah Slason.
JOHN SHERWOOD--Possible location of John Sherwood in 1784.  John was not listed on the 1790 Census with the people on this list.  John Sherwood is in Poundridge by 1790, but likely lived near here 1774-1784 based on map, census, land, and military sources.
David Slason (Slawson)--See Map (I)--David is listed next to Israel Slason in the 1790 Census which would place him near the Sherwood property which is where he was on the map.
Jonathan Slason Jun--son of John Slason.  Possibly served with John Sherwood in the Militia.
Reuben Stevens--See Map (III)--Served with John Sherwood in the Militia.
Daniel Stevens--Daniel may be the father of Reuben Stevens.  He would have been 33 in 1772.  May have been one of the owners of one of the mills on the map.  Possibly a brother of Admer Stevens.  He owned land just North of some land purchased by Abraham Stevens and John Sherwood in 1785.  John Sold his half in 1789 (possibly just before he moved to Poundridge).
Jonathan Slason--Son of David Slason (See Map (1). Served with John Sherwood in the Militia (or Jonathan above)
Thomas Jones
Samuel Jones Jun--A Samuel Jones was listed next to John in the Militia (could be his father?).
Abraham Stevens--A son of Admer Stevens.  Buys land in 1785 with John Sherwood from Admer Stevens.
Amos Stevens--Possibly a son of Daniel Stevens.
John Stevens--Sells land to Solomon Burtis in 1793.  John is probably the father-in-law of Solomon Burtis (the father of his wife, Ann Stevens).
Solomon Burtis ??-- (Difficult to Read)--Buys land from John Stevens in 1793.  He is on a list in St. Mark's Parish, New Canaan in 1794.  He may have been the brother of Lovisa Burtis Sherwood (wife of John Sherwood).  There is a Solomon See Map (IV) listed.  Could this be Solomon Burtis?   It could be Solomon Stevens as well, or some other Solomon.

21 Houses in between
Timothy Reed--Served with John Sherwood in the Militia.

5 Houses in between
Charles Weed--Caanan Parish Patriot
Abraham Weed
Enoch Comstock--Served with John Sherwood in the Militia
Peter Weed--Served with John Sherwood in the Militia.
Enos Weed
Daniel Weed
James Weed--Caanan Parish Patriot
Josiah Weed--Served with John Sherwood in the Militia (Corporal).
Jonathan Weed--Served with John Sherwood in the Militia.
Hannah Weed
Seth Weed--Served with John Sherwood in the Militia (Sergeant).

13 House in between
Stephen Weed--Served with John Sherwood in the Militia
Obadiah Weed--Possibly Admer Stevens's brother
Sarah Stevens--Possibly Admer's sister
Admer Stevens--Sells land to John Sherwood in 1784.  Sells land to John Sherwood  and Abraham Stevens in 1785.

Note:  I'm not sure why the print types are different.  They all look the same in the draft.

*In some cases there could be an error of those who served with John Sherwood, if it was another person by the same name who was listed in the census.  The fact that they lived close to John Sherwood help verify they are the same person.  Also in some cases is it difficult to determine if it was the father or son, or even another person who served (Samuel Jones, Jonathan Slason).  The fact that John Sherwood served with so many neighbors definitely put him in this neighborhood before 1790.  This is also true of other listings.
It is  Is difficult to determine exactly which person it is in other entries as well when several people in the area have the same name.  The reader will have to look at the total picture of the people who lived in the neighborhood in 1790 and weigh the circumstantial evidence.


The deeds tell us that John Sherwood who lived in Salem, New York bought land in Stamford (Dantown) in 1774 and lived there until about 1784.  He may have lived in Salem from his marriage in 1769-1774.  In 1784, it appears he lived on Old Poundridge Road in Poundridge (Old Poundridge), Westchester, New York just over the border from Stamford (Dantown).  At this time he added to his property in Dantown by buying a strip of land just South of his property.   John purchased it from Admer Stevens. In 1789 John says he is "of Stamford" and his buying and selling land there.  In 1790 he is listed on the 1790 Census across the border in Poundridge, New York

What is a Grog Shop which is listed on the map?  Grog refers to a variety of alcoholic beverages.  The word originally referred to a drink made with water of "small beer" and rum.  Modern versions of the drink are often made with hot or boiling water, and sometimes include lemon juice, lime juice, cinnamon or sugar to improve the taste.  Rum with water, sugar and nutmet was known as bumbo and was more popular with pirates and merchantmen.


Descendants of George Slawson
Descendants of Thomas Stevens
Federal 1790 Census
Map of Dantown, Connecticut
Stamford Connecticut Land Records
St. Johns Episcopal Church Records, Stamford, Connecticut
Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths of Stamford Families.  Compiled by Reverend Elijah B. Huntington Stamford, April 6, 1797.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Blog--"The Sherwood Story"

 Olmstead Home today in Pound Ridge, New York (an older version was near John Sherwood's Property in 1790)

I have added three postings to my blog: "The Sherwood Story."

  • How John Sherwood's Property (approximate location) in Pound Ridge was found
  • Nathan Olmstead Home (near John Sherwood's property in 1790)
  • Lovisa Burtons? Burtous? Burtis?

"The Sherwood Story:  is mostly about the Grandparents of Stephen Sherwood,  John and Lovisa Burtis Sherwood (at least for now).

Thursday, September 5, 2013

"The Great Mining Suit"

Summary of "The Great Mining Suit" of 1873

In 1873, Stephen Sherwood was a witness in "The Great Mining Suit."

By 1870 the town of Pioche was properly surveyed and named.  Three year later the contested story of the founding of Pioche would be told in what The Pioche Daily Record called "The Great Mining Suit."

The court battle centered on two competing mining claims held by the Raymond and Ely Mining Company and the Hermes Mining Company.  The Hermes Company was an investment for George Hearst, father of the newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst

George Hearst
The Hermes Company claimed that the "Raymond and Ely title was based upon purchase of the original Panaca shaft from Stephen Sherwood's crew of Mormons and miners, who not only staked their claims improperly but created illegal mining laws and then voided their strikes anyway through years of abandonment." The jury trial ruled in favor of the Hermes Company, but Judge Fuller eventually ruled in favor of Raymond and Ely.

There was comprehensive coverage of the courtroom drama.  Crowds gathered outside the "Million Dollar Courthouse" eager to get seats blocking the sidewalk in front of the building and clogging all the avenues leading to it.  After the sheriff opened the door, every available seat was occupied.  It seemed to some the fate of the town hung in the balance, especially because rumors ran rampant that William Henry Raymond threatened to close the Raymond and Ely mine should his company lose the suit.

"Million Dollar Courthouse" in Pioche, Nevada
The list of witnesses called to testify included most of the district's founders.  Sherwood and Vandermark were there.  Thomas Box Sr. and Jr. both testified, as did Shirts, Pulsipher and George Hearst.  Expert mining witnesses also took the stand, as did a variety of Mormons peripherally involved in the case.  Noticeably missing from the witness list was Moroni, the Paiute principally responsible for instigating the entire contest, and his partner William Hamblin.  According to family legend, Hamblin had been subpoenaed to testify at Pioche in a similar case the previous year and the litigants, who stood to lose the most from his testimony poisoned his coffee before he could take the stand.  Hamblin was immediately struck sick and died a few weeks later at Clover Valley.  His widow, Mary did return to the scene of Hamblin's demise, as a witness in the Raymond and Ely case.

The details of this trial  and the events leading up to it can be found in Chapter 2 of Making Space on the Western Frontier by W. Paul Reeve.  There are some very interesting stories told in this book.

With all the arguments made, the Pioche founding story told and retold and then contested again and again, the lawyers finally left it in the hands of the jury.   At close to four o'clock in the afternoon of 30 April 1873, the twelve-man jury retired for deliberations.  Rumors spread rampant through the night that jurors had been "purchased like sausages," with some townsfolk freely making bets on how many jurors out of twelve Hearst had safely in his pocket, ranging from five to nine.  By half past eight, news spread through town that the jury had reached a verdict.  It was announced, "We the jurors impaneled in this case find for the defendant."  Nine jurors sided with the Hermes Company, while only three voted for Raymond and Ely.  The court ordered that Raymond and Ely "take nothing by reason of said action" and that they pay $4,987.24, the costs of Herme's defense.

The case did not end there however.  By the end of June, Judge Mortimer Fuller ordered that the previous verdict be "set aside and vacated." Like the earlier court case, interest in Fuller's decision ran high.  Judge Fuller ruled in favor of Raymond and Ely.  Rather then endure another protracted trial, however, Raymond and Ely brought an end to the courtroom drama.  They settled out of court, purchasing Hearst's interest in the Hermes mine for an undisclosed "high figure."  Hearst later recalled it this way:  "Got in with some men who had a set of Pioche mines, sunk a shaft, struck a bed of ore, had a big lawsuit over it, got out of that making two hundred and fifty thousand."

 A Trip To Pioche Being a Sketch of Recent Frontier Travel by Charles A Sumner tells of George Hearst getting on the stage coach in Eureka.  He was on his way to the trial in Pioche.  Pages 12 and 13 describe Pioche in detail as it was in 1873.  Charles A Sumner  described the celebrated Raymond and Ely Vs Hermes case as "The largest milling case, the most hotly contested, and actually, by virtue of the title set up and most ably and vigorously urged on the part of the plaintiff, involving greater interest than were ever before staked in any similar encounter on the Coast."