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Erie County (PA) Genealogy

Biography of Daniel Sherrod (1766-1844)

Contributed by Marilyn Konruff

The information below was provided by Marilyn Konruff, who is a fourth great grand daughter of Daniel Sherrod, Sr., the subject of this biography. Marilyn has been a Sherrod family researcher for over 25 years. All material submitted below is believed to be accurate and backed up with source information although discrepancies can occur. She welcomes all documented corrections and additions and can provide additional documentation if necessary. Marilyn has also provided additional information concerning the Sherrod Hill Cemetery which is titled Sherrod Hill Cemetery - Supplemental Data. Some of the source information used in the preparation of the biography is listed below. Any comments or questions concerning this article should be sent directly to Marilyn Konruff.

DANIEL SHERROD (1766-1844)

Daniel Sherrod (also Sheritz, Sherrit, Sherad) was a grandson of Arnholt Scheretz, who immigrated from Prussia in 1754 to York Co., PA. Several dates have been given for Daniel’s birth from 1732, 1758, 1766 to 1776! His parents, Jacob and Elizabeth (Rausch) Sheritz, were married in 1763, which makes the 1766 date of birth more credible. Some records attributed to this Daniel were for an uncle with the same name and conflicting dates abound. (While Daniel’s tombstone date indicates he died in 1844 "Aged 86 Yrs", it is probable that no one knew his real age.)

Daniel grew up in Northumberland Co., where his father was an early settler of Penn (later Beaver) township. Daniel and his brothers Andrew, Michael, and George last appeared in Beaver twp., Northumberland County records in 1800. Land agents began recruiting settlers in that Susquehanna River valley to establish new colonies in western PA and the newly formed state of Ohio. The brothers sold their lands in the Susquehanna River valley shortly after 1800 and set off on horseback to western PA. Two of the younger brothers, Andrew and Michael, were early settlers of Crawford Co. and brothers George, Adam and William continued further west into eastern Ohio.

Daniel Sherrod was one of the earliest pioneer settlers in Elk Creek Township. [In the Bates "History of Erie County, PA" published in 1884, his name was miss-transcribed as "David" Sherrod in the Elk Creek Township chapter but correctly in the Washington Township chapter. In studying various early records, his name could easily be taken for "David" in colonial cursive script.]

By 1802, Daniel had acquired 400 acres between Elk Creek and Washington Townships, six miles west of the village of Edinboro. Eureka Road eventually bisected his land between the two townships at the top of a gentle rise, which became locally known as "Sherrod Hill." His home, built of chestnut logs, was situated in Elk Creek twp. bordered on the west by Cussewago Creek and south by the Crawford County line.

Daniel Sherrod was described in one of the Erie County histories as a "large man of powerful physique" who "killed 107 bears in one year and was the father of 21 children". While his physical description remains unproven, it was not an uncommon feat to kill large quantities of black bears and other game in Erie Co. in those early years of dense wilderness. Daniel once shot a large black bear out of a chestnut tree on the neighboring Meabon farm, which afterwards became known as the "Bear Tree".

Regarding the 21 children, Daniel was obviously married prior to coming to western PA, although nothing is known about his first wife. His known wife, Juliana (Julia) was nineteen years his junior, but little is known about her origins. Their first child was Daniel, Jr., who was born at Sherrod Hill in the fall of 1801. By the 1810 Federal Census, Daniel was listed with a total of 11 in his household - (5 male children and 4 female children). The fourteen known and documented children include: Daniel, Jr., Michael, Frederick, John, Andrew, Polly, George, Betsey, Rosannah, Mariah, Christena, Margaret (Pagey), Catherine and Susan. Most male children, upon reaching adulthood, were deeded portions of the original tract and settled around him. (Some of Daniel’s undocumented and older children could have been adults at the time he moved into western PA. Some may have gone on to Ohio with their uncles or stayed in Northumberland Co.)

From an inventory of Daniel’s estate, we know that the farm was prosperous at the time of his death. Besides crops of wheat, oats, flax, corn and potatoes, there was a fruit orchard and vegetable garden. Sheep were raised for wool and Juliana had several spinning wheels and two weaving looms. By 1820, Daniel and his sons had cleared enough land to accommodate several outbuildings and were also raising beef and milk cows. A second log structure was built down the slope from the first house and was occupied by Daniel, Jr. and his family. Later, a two-story frame house was built just east of the first log cabin, which became a barn/tool shed. Eventually, a Methodist Episcopal Church and a schoolhouse (#12) were built near the intersection of Sherrod Hill and Eureka Roads.

Daniel wrote his will on June 6, 1841, requesting burial in the family cemetery and willed the remaining 107 acres to sons Andrew and George. Daniel died on October 24, 1844. The inventory was filed on March 21, 1845 by Daniel’s neighbors, David Proudfit and John Meabon. The majority of livestock, including some fine horses, was purchased by sons Daniel, Jr., Andrew, Frederick and George. Juliana (Julia) was still living at Sherrod Hill at the time of the 1850 Federal census with son Andrew. In the 1860’s, George and Daniel, Jr. sold their properties and moved to Michigan. [We have not found a headstone for Juliana (Julia) in the Sherrod cemetery. She may have moved to Michigan with one of her sons or died before the 1860 census.]

Daniel and Juliana’s oldest known son, Daniel, Jr. (b. 1801) married Rebecca Kyle (b. 1802) from Ohio. They had one son, Philip (b. 1829) who lived to adulthood. Rebecca died at age 31 in 1833 and was buried in the Sherrod Hill cemetery. Two years later, Daniel married Hannah Cole (b. 1804) from New York and they had seven children: Hiram Jackson (b. 1835), Lorenzo (b. 1842), Sarah, Jesse (b. 1847), Almond A. (b. 1849), Frank (b. 1850) and Matilda (b. 1852). They all moved to Van Buren Co. MI on land previously purchased through land agents by Daniel and his older son, Philip, after the Civil War ended in 1865.

Daniel’s second known son, Michael (b. 1802) married Fanny Morris (b. 1808) from New York in 1825. He farmed part of his father's 400 acres in Elk Creek Township. Their living children were Andrew (b. 1827), John Morris (b. 1829), Sylvester (b.1833), Ruhama (b. 1836), Cordelia (b. 1838) and Lewis (b. 1840). Michael died between October, 1857, when his Will was written and January, 1858, when it was probated. The property was bequeathed to Fanny, and two youngest sons, Sylvester and Lewis, who managed it until the Civil War, when both enlisted and were subsequently killed. Fanny outlived her other sons as well and died at age 87 in 1895. By 1885, all of Michael and Fanny's children, with the exception of Cordelia Reynolds, left Pennsylvania for Kansas, Iowa, Dakota and Michigan. Michael and Fanny were buried in the family cemetery (see cemetery notes).

Daniel’s son Andrew (b. 1818) married a woman named Roxana and inherited part of his father's estate in 1844. They had four children: Alfred, Chester, F.J. and Electa. Andrew purchased the majority of his father’s farm equipment and implements, including the horses and wagons, according to the inventory. In the 1850 census, Andrew’s mother and younger brother, George, were living with them. On 12 Apr 1852, Andrew and Roxana sold their 65 acres of land at Sherrod Hill to Horace Webster, with the exception of the family cemetery, which was transferred to Martin Greenfield and Levi White. This sale probably took place due to Andrew’s apparent ill health and no legal heirs of age (his four children were very small). He died one month later at age 33.

One of Daniel’s known daughters was Polly (b. 1820), who married Caleb Greenfield, a son of Sherman and Nancy (Lick) Greenfield. She and her husband were active members of the Edinboro community and the Methodist Episcopal Church at Sherrod Hill. They had seven children: Melissa A. (1840-1912 m. Luke W. Hotchkiss), Daniel J. (1842-1908 m. Mary M. Lewis, Jasper (died young), Alice (died young), twins Leon and Lillie, and Cora (m. Albert Wood).

Daniel’s son, George (b. 1825) was living with his brother, Andrew, in the 1850 PA Census for Erie Co. George inherited a portion of his father's estate but sold his land and moved to Van Buren Co., MI after 1852. He appeared on the 1870 and 1880 census for Van Buren, Co. MI. He and his wife, Marilla Margaret had children Sumner, Eva and Cyrus M., Addie M.and Julia, all born in Michigan.

One of Daniel’s youngest children was Maria(h) (b. 1832) who lived with her sister, Polly, and appeared on several Elk Creek township censuses.

Very little is known about Daniel’s other documented children Frederick, John, Betsey, Rosannah, Christena, Margaret (Pagey), Catherine and Susan. Hopefully, this website will bring descendants forth. Unfortunately, Daniel’s brothers Andrew and Michael, in bordering Crawford Co., named their children similarly, so it is hard to differentiate between the cousins.

In 1887, the Daniel Sherrod property was purchased by the Hotchkiss family, where it has remained through the 20th century. Luke Hotchkiss married Melissa Greenfield, a granddaughter of Daniel Sherrod’s. Although both original log structures were torn down in the late 1950’s, an old hitching post was still imbedded in the front yard of the two-story frame house. Even though most of the Sherrod descendants left Erie County, ties remained strong and reunions were still held until the 1930’s.

Some Source Documents:

Erie County PA – Will Book "B", p. 99. Will and Inventory for the estate of Daniel Sheritz, filed 27 and 29 March 1845.

Erie County PA – Will Book "C", p. 80. Will for the estate of Michael Sherrod, File No. 31826, dated 16 October 1857.

1800 Federal Census for Beaver twp., Northumberland Co., PA as Daniel Sharid, brothers Andrew, George and Jacob [Roll M32-37, #196]

1810 Federal Census for Elk Creek twp., Erie Co. PA as Daniel "Sheretz" [Roll M252-48, #130]

1820 Federal Census for Elk Creek twp., Erie Co., PA as Daniel "Sherads" [Roll M33-102, #150]

1830 Federal Census for Elk Creek Twp., Erie Co., PA as Daniel "Shered"

1850 Federal Census for Elk Creek Twp., Erie Co, for Michael, Andrew, George, Julia, Maria Sherrod, Polly Greenfield [Roll M432-778 #210]

Warner Beers’ History of Erie County, PA, pages 211, 214, 770, 793-796; published 1884.

1865 Plat Maps of Elk Creek and Washington townships.

Miscellaneous sources include unpublished private documents provided by family researchers for various descendants of Daniel Sherrod, Sr. and his brothers.

Field trip to Edinboro and Elk Creek Township and interviews with Hotchkiss and Meabon families at Sherrod Hill in May, 1990.

This page was last updated on  Sunday, July 14, 2002 .

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