Cortland County
Sherwood Article
from Cutters


Thomas Sherwood, immigrant ancestor, was born in Ipswich, Suffolk county, England, in 1593; died in October, 1655, at Fairfield, Connecticut. He came to Boston in the ship “Frances,” in 1634, giving his age as forty-eight, and accompanied by his wife Alice, aged forty-seven, and children: Ann, aged fourteen; Rose, aged eleven; Thomas, ten; Rebecca, nine. They resided for several years in Massachusetts, but settled in Fairfield as early as 1645, and owned land there before 1650. In his will, dated July 21, 1655, he mentioned all his children. He married (first) Alice Seabrook, (second) Mary Fifth. Children: Ann, born 1620; Rose, 1623; Thomas, 1624; Rebecca, 1625; Stephen; Matthew, 1633; Tamsen; Margery; Ruth; Abigail; Mary; Isaac.

(II) Thomas (2), son of Thomas (1) Sherwood, was born in England, in 1623-24, and came with his parents in 1634. He went from Boston to Wethersfield, and thence to Fairfield, where he settled. He was admitted a freeman, at Hartford, October 13, 1664. He married (first) Sarah Wheeler, who died before August 21, 1669, daughter of Thomas and Ann Wheeler. He married (second) Ann, daughter of Benjamin and Mary Turney. He married (third) Elizabeth, widow of John Cable Jr. He married (fourth) Sarah Coley, widow of Peter Coley, and daughter of Humphrey Hyde. Children of first wife: Thomas, born 1654, of Eastchester, New York; Sarah, married John Whitlock. Children of second wife: Mary, married David Whitlock; Benjamin; Samuel; Ruth; Hannah; Abigail. Children of third wife: Isaac, mentioned below; Phebe, married Samuel Bradley.

(III) Isaac, son of Thomas (2) Sherwood, was born in Fairfield, died in 1748. He settled in Norwalk, Connecticut, as early as 1690. He married Mary _______. Children: Isaac, mentioned below; Rebecca, Elizabeth and John.

(IV) Isaac (2), son of Isaac (1) Sherwood, was born about 1720, or earlier, in Norwalk. He married Mary Hayes. His three sons, Jonathan, Isaac and Samuel, settled in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Some of the sons of Samuel and Isaac were soldiers in the revolution. Jonathan Jr. evidently called thus to distinguish him from his uncle Jonathan, mentioned below, died at Williamstown, August 7, 1825, in his sixty-ninth year, and his wife Martha died there, September 24, 1824, in her sixty-second year; their gravestones are standing; also the gravestone of their daughter Anne, who died October 19, 1813, in her twenty-seventh year. Stephen, Timothy and Samuel were soldiers in the revolution from Williamstown, grandsons of Isaac and Mary (Hayes) Sherwood. Another grandson, James, married, June 1, 1789, at Williamstown, Huldah Stratton, and the marriages of four granddaughters are recorded: Mary 3d, married, at Williamstown, February 25, 1785, John McNichols; Polly, married, March 22, 1789, Izbund Gregory; Betty Sherwood, married, December 14, 1786, Thomas Fowler; Rhoda Sherwood, married, November 22, 1787, at Pownal, Vermont, Stephen Pratt. In 1790, according to the first federal census, the following sons and grandsons were of Williamstown: James Sherwood, with two males over sixteen, one male under sixteen and three females; Jonathan, two males over sixteen, two under, two females; Jonathan Jr., one over sixteen, one under and three females; Stephen, two males over sixteen and seven females; Samuel, one over sixteen, one under and two females. Timothy, of the adjoining town of West Stockbridge, and Benjamin, of New Ashford, also having families at the time of the census, were doubtless of this family. Children: Isaac, born 1742, died at Williamstown, August 19, 1814, wife Mary died October 2, 1808, aged seventy-one; Jonathan, mentioned below; Samuel, died at Williamstown, April 12, 1801, aged sixty-two. Probably others.

(V) Jonathan, son of Isaac (2) Sherwood, was born in Fairfield, Connecticut, in June, 1746. He settled before the revolution at Williamstown, Massachusetts. Jonathan was a soldier in the revolution, a private in Captain Samuel Clark’s company, Colonel Benjamin Simond’s regiment, of Berkshire county, and took part in the battle near Bennington, Vermont, August 16, 1777, and was engaged in conveying prisoners to Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He was corporal of the same company and regiment, September 7 to 30, marching to Pawlet, Vermont, by order of Major General Lincoln. He removed from Williamstown, in 1798, to Fairfield, Herkimer county, New York. He married Elizabeth, daughter of Jacob and Sally (Bradley) Leach. Her father was descended from Lawrence Leach, born 1589, surgeon to Edward III, of England. Jonathan Sherwood died January 17, 1799.

(VI) Henry, son of Jonathan Sherwood, was born in Williamstown, May 16, 1777; died July 8, 1831. He was a farmer in Fairfield, New York. He married Abigail Evans. Children, born at Fairfield, New York: Henry J., mentioned below; Gaylord N. and Elizabeth.

(VII) Henry J., son of Henry Sherwood, was born in Fairfield, New York, November 11, 1817; died February 9, 1866, in Memphis, New York. He was a general merchant at Memphis and Elbridge, New York. He married, August 10, 1841, Ann Benham, born in Cohocton, Steuben county, New York, July 6, 1820, died August 14, 1883. Children: Gaylord; Isabel; James D., lives in Cortland, married Anna Rice, and has a daughter, Sarah Emily; Silas William, mentioned below.

(VIII) Silas William, son of Henry J. Sherwood, was born in Memphis, New York, September 27, 1859. He received a common school education, and was for a time in the wholesale boot and shoe business in Syracuse, New York. He came to Cortland, New York, in 1878, and engaged in the retail grocery business, in partnership with his brother James D., under the firm name of Sherwood Brothers. They carried on this business for ten years, when he retired from the firm and accepted a position in the business office of H.F. Benton, who conducted a lumber business. When the H.F. Benton Lumber Company was incorporated, in 1899, he was elected treasurer of the company, and has held that office since. He is active in public affairs in Cortland, and is president of the board of trade. He is a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He married, August 22, 1883, Jeannette Cleveland, daughter of Henry F. and Caroline Lucretia (Putnam) Benton (see Benton VIII below). Mr. and Mrs. Sherwood have no children.


(I) John Benton was of the parish of Epping, county Essex, England, and was married, May 25, 1618, to Mary Southernwood. He was probably the son of Andrew and Maria Benton. Children: Andrew, baptized October 15, 1620, mentioned below; Thomas, baptized August 25, 1622; Marie, baptized June 20, 1625; Elizabeth, baptized August 31, 1628; John, baptized March 10, 1639.

(II) Andrew Benton, immigrant ancestor, was the son of John Benton, of Epping, county Essex, England, and was baptized at Epping, October 15, 1620. In the apportionment of land at Milford, Connecticut, in November, 1639, he was allotted parcel No. 64. It contained three acres, and was situated on the west side of Half Mile Brook. To this there was afterwards added several other parcels of land. He married (first), about 1649, Hannah, daughter of George Stocking, of Hartford, a first settler there, in 1636. They united with the church in Milford, he on March 5, 1648, and she on October 13, 1650, and were dismissed to Hartford, March, 1666. They had removed to the latter town as early as 1662. She died about 1672, and he married (second), probably in 1673, Anne, daughter of John Cole, “a godly man of some public trust.” She was the “bewitched maid” on whose account, chiefly, Nathaniel Greensmith and his wife were hanged for witchcraft, on January 25, 1663. Goffe, the regicide, who was then in hiding at Milford, writes in his diary, February 24, that after the hanging “the maid was well,” and Cotton Mather’s “Magnalia,” in 1684, says of her, that “she is restored to health, united with the church, and living in good repute.” She died April 19, 1685.

Andrew Benton held various public offices in Hartford; fence viewer in 1663-64, juror in 1664-67, freeman in May, 1665, and suppressor of “disorders during public worship” and collector of minister’s rates in 1667. In February, 1670, he separated to the Second Church, with his wife, daughter Hannah and his fathers-in-law, Stocking and Cole. He died July 31, 1683, and was buried in Center Church cemetery, where his gravestone may still be seen. Children, all except the youngest born in Milford: John, April 9, 1650, died May 24, 1650; Hannah, baptized November 23, 1651; Andrew, baptized August 12, 1653; Mary, April 14, 1655; John, October 7, 1656; Samuel, August 15, 1658; Joseph, 1660; Dorothy, probably 1662. Children of second wife, born in Hartford: Ebenezer, baptized January 4, 1674; Lydia, baptized February 13, 1676; Hannah, baptized January 26, 1679; John, baptized May 30, 1680, died young.

(III) Samuel, son of Andrew Benton, was born August 15, 1658, in Milford, and lived in Milford and Hartford, and for a time in Tolland, Connecticut, where he and his son were first proprietors in 1716. He married, probably in 1679, Sarah, daughter of William and Sarah Chatterton, of New Haven, born there, July 19, 1661. He died testate, in Hartford, April 10, 1746. Children, born in Hartford: Samuel, August 8, 1680; Sarah, September 28, 1685; Hannah, March 14, 1688; Abigail, December 9, 1691; Caleb, March 1, 1694; Daniel, June 25, 1696, mentioned below; Jacob, September 21, 1698; Moses, April 26, 1702; Lydia, April 26, 1705. His son Daniel’s name appears in a petition respecting lands in Coventry, in 1708. Samuel Benton, then living in Hartford, gave a deed of Tolland lands, in 1719, to Daniel Benton, of Hartford, “his living son.”

(IV) Daniel, son of Samuel Benton, was born June 25, 1696, lived in Hartford and Tolland, died in Tolland. He united with the Second Church, September 21, 1718. He married, January 3, 1722, Mary, daughter of John Skinner, of Hartford. Children, born in Tolland: Mary, October 17, 1722, died March 16, 1723; Daniel, January 6, 1724, mentioned below; William, November 12, 1725; Mary, April 9, 1727, died October 4, 1745; Elijah, June 30, 1728; Sarah, May 8, 1730, died young; Hannah, July 12, 1731, died young; John, June 17, 1732, died young; Siboam, December 11, 1733, died young; Lydia, May 2, 1735; Abigail, November 25, 1736.

(V) Daniel (2), son of Daniel (1) Benton, was born in Tolland, January 6, 1724, and spent his life there. He married, November 3, 1747, Mary Wheeler. Children: Elisha, born August 9, 1748, a revolutionary soldier; Mary, August 31, 1750; Daniel, April 29, 1752; Azariah, March 29, 1754, a revolutionary soldier; Hannah, May 3, 1756, died October 18, 1757; Hannah, February 18, 1758; Jacob, April 22, 1760, mentioned below; Nathan, May 3, 1764; Silas, June 6, 1766.

(VI) Jacob, son of Daniel (2) Benton, was born April 22, 1760, and lived in Tolland. He was a revolutionary soldier at the age of seventeen and saw four years’ service. He was a dragoon at the battle of Saratoga, and was present at the surrender of Burgoyne, October, 1777. He was pensioned in 1818, and the witnesses in his pension say: “A man of veracity, a fine, honorable, honest man.” He married (first), March __, 1782, Sarah Weston, of Willington, Connecticut. She died September 23, 1787. He married (second), July 1, 1789, Sarah Ladd, of Tolland, who survived him. He died July 9, 1843. Children of first wife: Ann, born February 1, 1783; William, August 29, 1785. Children of second wife: Azariah, June 8, 1790; Ruth, December 8, 1791; Daniel, May 3, 1794; Susanna, February 19, 1796; Chester, February 5, 1798, mentioned below; Jacob, June 1, 1802.

(VII) Chester, son of Jacob Benton, was born at Tolland, Connecticut, February 5, 1798, died at Cortland, New York, November 23, 1875. He moved to Cortland and was a prosperous farmer. He married, February 9, 1826, Tirzah Porter Loomis, born March 27, 1804, died July 18, 1887. Children, born at Cortland: George C., born February 7, 1827; Alphonso L., November 9, 1831; Henry Francis, mentioned below; Melvin I., March 5, 1841.

(VIII) Henry Francis, son of Chester Benton, was born at Cortland, New York, February 3, 1837, died there, April 20, 1910. He spent his youth on the homestead on South Hill, in Cortland, and he attended the public schools of his native town. When he came of age he followed his brother George C., who had gone west and was a lumber merchant in Chicago, and located at Bloomington, Illinois, where he engaged in business, but after a year or two he was induced to return home by his parents, who had been left alone on the farm. He then engaged in the hardware business in Cortland, in the firm of Chamberlain & Benton, in partnership with Norman Chamberlain. In 1866 he sold his interest in that firm and bought the lumber yard of John Harnes and during the remainder of his active life continued in the lumber trade. His business grew to large proportions. In January, 1899, the business was incorporated as the H.F. Benton Lumber Company. The other stockholders and directors were his son-in-law, Silas W. Sherwood, who had been associated in business with him for many years, and Orson A. Kinney. Mr. Benton became president of the corporation and retained that office as long as he lived, though he withdrew from the active management of the business to a large extent.

When the Second National Bank was established, in 1882, Mr. Benton became one of the first board of directors and continued a director as long as he lived. He was elected vice-president in January, 1901, and held the office at the time of his death. From time to time he was interested financially in various business enterprises in Cortland. He was president of the incorporated village of Cortland one year. He took an active part in all the movements designed to better conditions and improve the town. He held the esteem and confidence of all his townsmen and took rank among the most substantial and reliable men of the community. Through almost his whole life he was a member of the Cortland Presbyterian Church, and he was influential and beloved in that society. For many years he was superintendent of the Sunday school, which he had attended from boyhood. For nearly forty-two years he had been a member of the church session, the longest service of any man in the church, and during all those years he was the faithful clerk of the body. He was elected clerk for the first time, October 31, 1868. “He has been the deeply consecrated member, the wise, discreet and conservative counselor, and the active and energetic worker in all that pertained to the welfare of the church. Throughout his whole life he has been liberal in beneficence. Wherever there was a person in need he was sure to find a hearty sympathizer and a ready helper in Mr. Benton, though it was all so quietly done that few ever heard of it. In every way Mr. Benton will be sadly missed in this community.”

He married June 11, 1861, Caroline Putnam, of Cortland, who died June 19, 1899. She was born November 27, 1839, daughter of Hamilton and Jeannette (Cleveland) Putnam. Children: 1. Jeannette Cleveland, married Silas W. Sherwood (see Sherwood VIII above). 2. Mary Putnam, married Charles Wickham Parker, of Chicago; children: Henry Benton Parker, born June 15, 1890; Charles Grosvenor Parker, March 14, 1896; Caroline Putnam Parker, December 24, 1898. 3. Carrie Louise, married Arthur Ford Stilson; children: Chester Benton, born January 16, 1896, in Cortland, and one child who died aged fourteen months, Raymond Putnam.

Picture at right is Henry Francis Benton.

          Entry done by Marilyn Lane on July 1, 1998

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Created on or before 16 July 1998

LAST UPDATED: Saturday, 21-May-2011 13:58:29 MDT

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