If you would like to contribute please e-mail
me with information.
Articles that pertain to the state: the Rhode Island Reading Room.
The descendants of Hon. Philip Sherman, immigrant to New England
The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations: Biographical, by the American Historical Society, Inc., 1920. From pages 254-57.
ALBERT KEENE SHERMAN - In the important occupation of the "shearman," or cloth-shearer, is found the origin of the surname Sherman. The Shear-men, those who sheared the nap and dressed the cloth, formed a company in the York Guild. These guilds were all powerful in the mercantile fields in 'the centuries in which they flourished, and membership in them was highly prized. It was therefore natural that John, the Shearman, should, when the custom of using surnames obtained a practically universal vogue, adopt the name of his calling as his surname - wherefore we have the name in its present form, Sherman.
The Sherman family, in the period when the name had become hereditary, rose to a position of great importance and influence in England, and, supplied many noted men to the nation. The Shermans of Yaxley, of whom the American Shermans whose ancestry is traced through Philip Sherman, are descendants, were an honored and respected family there in the early years of the fifteenth century. The Sherman coat-of-arms is as follows:
(I) Thomas Sherman, the first of the direct line of whom we have definite information, was born about 1420, resided at Diss and Yaxley; England, and died in 1493. He married Agnes --.
(II) John Sherman, Gentleman, was of Yaxley, where he was born about 1450, and died in November, 1504. He married Agnes, daughter of Thomas Fullen.
(III) Thomas (2) Sherman, son of John and Agnes (Fullen) Sherman, was born about 1480, died in November, 1551. He resided at Diss, on the river Waveney, between the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. His will mentions, property, including the manors of Royden and Royden Tuft, with appurtenances, at Royden and Bessingham, and other properties in Norfolk and Suffolk. His wife Jane, who was probably not his first wife, was a daughter of John Waller, of Wortham, Suffolk.
(IV) Henry Sherman, son of Thomas (2) Sherman, was born about 1530, in Yaxley, and is mentioned in his father's wi11. His will, made January 20, 1589, proved July 24, 1590, was drawn at Colchester, where he lived. His first wife, Agnes (Butler) Sherman, was buried October 14, 1580; he married (second) Margery Wilson, a widow.
(V) Henry (2) Sherman, son of Henry (1) Sherman, was born about 1555, in Colchester, and resided in Dedham, County Essex, England, where his will was made August 21, 1610, and proved September 8 of the same year. He married Susan Hills, whose will was made ten days after his, and proved in the following month.
(VI) Samuel Sherman, son of Henry (2) and Susan (Hills) Sherman, was born in 1573, and died in Dedham, England, in 1615. He married Philippa Ward.
(The Family in New England).
(I) Hon. Philip Sherman, immigrant ancestor and progenitor, was the seventh child of Samuel and Philippa (Ward) Sherman, and was born February 1610, in Dedham, England. He came to America when twenty-three years old and settled in Roxbury, Mass., where he was made freeman, May 14, 1634, standing next on the list after Governor Haynes. In 1635 he returned to England for a short time, but was again in Roxbury, November 20, 1637, when he and others were warned to give up all arms, because "the opinions and revelations of Mr. Wheelwright and Mrs. Hutchinson have seduced and led into dangerous errors many of the people here in New England." The church record says that he was brought over to "Familism" by Porter, his wife's stepfather.
In 1636 he was one of the purchasers on the island of Aquidneck, new Rhode Island, and on the formation of a government there in 1639 became secretary under Governor William Coddington. The Massachusetts authorities evidently believed that he was still under their jurisdiction, for on March 12, 1638, though he had summons to appear at the next court, "if they had not yet gone to answer such things as shall be objected." He did not answer this summons, but remained in Rhode Island, where he continued to be a prominent figure in the affairs of the colony.
He was made freeman, March 16, 1641, was general recorder, 1648 to 1652, and deputy from 1665 to 1667. He, was among the sixteen persons who were requested, on April 4, 1676, to be present at the next meeting of the deputies to give advice and help in regard to the Narragansett campaign. He was public-spirited and enterprising. After his removal to Rhode Island he left the Congregational church and united with the Society of Friends. Tradition affirms that he was "a devout but determined man." The early records prepared by him still remain in Portsmouth, and show him to have been a very neat and expert penman, as well as an educated man. His will showed that he was wealthy for the times.
In 1634 he married Sarah Odding, stepdaughter of John Porter, of Roxbury, and his wife Margaret, who was the Widow Odding at the time of her marriage to Porter. From Philip Sherman the line runs through six generations to Albert Keene Sherman, of Newport.
(II) Samson Sherman, son of Philip and Sarah (Odding) Sherman, was born in 1642, in Portsmouth, R. I., where he passed his life, and died June 27, 1718. He married, March 4, 1675, Isabel Tripp, born 1651, daughter of John and Mary (Paine) Tripp. She died in 1716.
(III) Job Sherman, son of Samson and Isabel (Tripp) Sherman, was born November 8, 1687, in Portsmouth, R. I., and died there, November 16, 1747. He married (first) Bridget Gardiner, of Kingston, and (second) Amie Spencer, of East Greenwich, R. I.
(IV) Samson (2) Sherman, son of Job and Amie (Spencer) Sherman, was born July 23, 1737, in Portsmouth, where he spent his entire life, engaged in agricultural pursuits, and died in January, 1801. He married, December 9, 1761, Ruth Fish, daughter of David and Jemima (Tallman) Fish, of Portsmouth. The homestead of Samson Sherman, E. Main Road, Portsmouth, R.I.
(V) Job (2) Sherman, son of Samson (2) and Ruth (Fish) Sherman, was born in Portsmouth, R. I., January 21, 1766, and died in Newport, R. I., January 24, 1848. In 1796 he removed from Portsmouth to Newport, where he became the founder of the business which is now conducted under the firm name of William Sherman & Company. He was a leader in the business and financial life of Newport in his day, and was one of the original trustees of the Savings Bank of Newport. He was a staunch Whig, and prominent in public affairs, supporting every movement of importance for the advancement of the welfare of the community. He was a member of the Society of Friends, and for many years served as trustee of the Society in Newport. Job Sherman married, December 9, 1795, Alice Anthony, who was born June 9, 1772, and died March 11, 1826, daughter of Isaac and Rebecca Anthony, of Portsmouth, R. I.
(VI) Albert Sherman, son of Job (2) and Alice (Anthony) Sherman, was born in Newport, R. I., August 14, 1815. In early life he learned the trade of sailmaker, an occupation which he followed for many years in Newport and later at Poughkeepsie, N. Y., where he was engaged successfully in business until 1841. In that year he returned to Newport and established himself in the dry goods business on lower Thames street, in which field he was highly successful. Ill health forced him to lead a life of comparative retirement, and although he maintained throughout his life a deep interest in public affairs, he never aspired to public office. He was a Republican in political affiliation.
Mr. Sherman was for many years a director in the Merchants' Bank of Newport, and was active in the founding of the Newport Hospital, to which he was a generous donor throughout his life. He was a member of the Society of Friends. On September 2, 1841, Mr. Sherman married Sarah Catherine Marble, daughter of Benjamin and Sarah A. (Holt) Marble, of' Newport. Mrs. Sherman died September 15, 1889, aged seventy-two years. Their children were: 1. Alice Anthony, who died at the age of two years. 2. Albert Keene, mentioned below. Albert Sherman died at his home, June 30, 1884.
(VII) Albert Keene Sherman, son of Albert and Sarah Catherine (Marble) Sherman, was born in Newport, R. I., March 17, 1844. He was educated in private schools in Newport, and in 1857 became a pupil in H. H. Fay's private academy there, where he studied far four years. In 1861, finding business fields more agreeable to his tastes than professional life, he secured his first employment in the grocery store of Captain Oliver Potter, with whom he remained as a clerk for about a year.
On May 6, 1862, Mr. Sherman became connected with the dry goods establishment of William Sherman & Company, which was founded by his grandfather in 1796. In 1866, on the death of David Sherman, he was admitted into partnership in the firm. Thomas G. Brown became a member of the firm in 1873, and in 1885, with the death of the senior partner, William Sherman, Albert Keene Sherman and Mr. Brown succeeded to the management of the business, which under their guidance was developed into one of the largest and most successful of its kind in the State of Rhode Island. The firm dealt extensively in a high grade line of foreign and domestic dry goods.
Mr. Sherman was one of the foremost figures in business and financial circles in Newport until the time of his death. As a shrewd and talented organizer, a keen, far-sighted and able executive, he was universally respected. Strict integrity and justice characterized his every transaction in business and financial fields. He was a director of the Newport National Bank; a trustee of the Savings Bank of Newport; a director of the Aquidneck Mutual Insurance Company; and a trustee of the Long Wharf of Newport. He was deeply interested in historical and genealogical research, and was a member of the Newport Historical Society, the Natural History Society, the Redwood Library, and the Athenaeum. A man of broad culture, he was well versed in literature and the arts, and his home was the center of a refined society.
Mr. Sherman was a member of the Central Baptist Church of Newport (now the Second Baptist), and for many years was clerk of the church. He was active in the work of the Young Men's Christian Association, and treasurer of the Newport Branch for a long period of years. His political affiliation was with the Republican party, and he was a staunch believer in all of its principles and policies. The welfare and advancement of Newport was always near his heart, and he was prominently identified with many movements toward this end.
On September 3, 1874, Mr. Sherman married Mary Eliza Barker, daughter of Robinson P. and Julia Ann (Peckham) Barker, of Middleton, R. I., and a descendant of one of the most prominent branches of the early Barker family of Rhode Island. Mrs. Sherman survives her husband and resides at No. 12 Clarke street, Newport. She is well known in the best social circles of the city. Mr. and Mrs. Sherman were the parents of three children: 1. Kate Robinson, born Aug. 16, 1875, died April 6, 1879. 2. William Anthony, born May 12, 1877; was graduated from Harvard College, class of 1899, with the degree of A. B.; Harvard Medical School, in 1902, with the degree of M. D.; immediately afterward he established himself in practice in Newport, where he has been highly successful and has risen to the highest rank in the medical profession. Dr., Sherman is a member of the medical staff of the Newport Hospital, and of the Medical Society; he is also a director of the Union National Bank of Newport. On June 25, 1902, Dr. Sherman married Kathrine M. Kennedy, of Scranton, Pa., daughter of William and Amelia (Carter) Kennedy.
3. Edward Albert, born July 16, 1879; was graduated from Harvard College in the class of 1901, with the degree of M. A.; Mr. Sherman is now treasurer of the Newport Trust Company, and a prominent figure in financial and public circles in Newport; he served for many years as a member of the school committee of Newport, and in 1906, at the first election held under the new charter of the city of Newport, he was elected a member of the representative council from the Third Ward for a term of three years; he married Hazel Erma Poole, daughter of George W. and Addie Emeline (Hanson) Poole, October 22, 1913. Albert Keene Sherman died at his home in Newport, R. I., December 30, 1915.
ALBERT KEENE SHERMAN, one of the substantial, influential merchants of Newport, R. I., closed his earthly career in 1915, leaving behind him an honorable record as business man and citizen. Quiet and unassuming, but the soul of courtesy and good breeding, he combined with his qualities of mind and disposition a charming personality which won for him many warm friends wherever he was known. As a partner in the long established dry goods store of William Sherman & Company, founded by his grandfather, Job Sherman, in Newport, 1796, he represented the third Sherman generation in the business, and from 1862, when he began as clerk, until his retirement in 1912, he was connected with the firm, and from 1866 as a partner.
Seven generations of this Sherman family have been residents of Rhode Island, beginning with Philip Sherman, born in Dedham, England, in 1610, married Sarah Odding in 1634, came to New England, settled at Roxbury, Mass., but getting on the unpopular side of some of the religious controversies, so abundant in that early day, came to Rhode Island and became one of the purchasers of Aquidneck from the Indians. He was the secretary of this first organized. government, and often thereafter held office in the colony.
The line of descent is through the founder's son, Samson Sherman, of Portsmouth; his son, Job Sherman, of Portsmouth; his son, Samson Sherman, of Portsmouth; his son, Job Sherman, of Portsmouth and Newport; his son, Albert Sherman, of Newport; his son, Albert Keene Sherman, to whose memory this review is inscribed.
Job Sherman, of the fifth generation, opened a dry goods store in Newport, in 1796, which in 1798 he removed to Nos. 135 and 137 Thames street, its location ever since. When he passed to his reward in 1848, his sons, William and David, continued the business under the firm name, William Sherman & Company. Job Sherman was one of the original trustees of the Savings Bank of Newport, was a. member of the Society of Friends, and a man held in high regard. He married Alice Anthony, born June 9, 1772, died March II, 1826, daughter of Isaac and Rebecca Anthony, of Portsmouth.
Albert Sherman was born in Newport, R. I., August 14, 1815, died June 30, 1884. He was a sailmaker by trade, and for several years conducted a sailmaker's loft in Poughkeepsie, N. Y. In 1841 he returned to Newport and opened a dry goods store on lower Thames street, which he conducted very successfully. He was also a director of the Merchant Bank of Newport, interested in the founding of Newport Hospital, a Republican in politics, and a consistent member of the Society of Friends. He married, September 1841, Sarah Catherine Marble, who died September 15, 1889, aged seventy-two years, daughter of Benjamin and Sarah A. (Holt) Marble. They were the parents of a daughter, Alice Anthony, who died aged two years, and an only son, Albert Keene.
Albert Keene Sherman was born in Newport, R. I., March, 14, 1844, died in his native city, December 30, 1915. His education, begun in private schools, was continued until the age of seventeen years, when he completed his studies in the H. H. Fay School His first business position was as clerk in the Captain Oliver Potter Grocery Store, but a year later he entered the employ of his uncles, William and David Sherman, proprietors of the dry goods business, William Sherman & Company. Four years later David Sherman died, and in 1866 Albert K. Sherman was admitted a partner. In 1873 Thomas G. Brown was admitted and in 1885 the business was again disrupted by the death of William Sherman, son of Job Sherman, the founder. Albert K. Sherman and Thomas G. Brown, the surviving partners, then became sole owners, and until the death of Albert K. Sherman in 1915, he continued active in the management of this ancient house which has no superior in the strickly retail dry goods business of New England.
While essentially a merchant and always deeply concerned in store management, Mr. Sherman had other important interests outside the mercantile world. He was vice-president of the Newport National Bank, a director of the Savings Bank of Newport, director of the Aquidneck Mutual Insurance Company, trustee of Long Wharf of Newport, member of Newport Historical Society, Natural History Society, treasurer for several years of the Young Men's Christian Association, member of Central, now the Second Baptist Church, and in politics a Republican. He was thoroughly liked and respected by all who knew him, and with that respect went confidence and trust. He was broad-minded and liberal, public-spirited and progressive, a lover of home, and there was at his best.
Mr. Sherman married, September 3, 1874, Mary Eliza Barker, daughter of Robinson P. and Julia Ann (Peckham) Barker, of Middletown, R. I. They were the parents of a daughter, Kate R., who died aged four years, and of two sons, Dr. William Anthony and Edward Albert Sherman, mentioned below. Dr. William Anthony Sherman was born in Newport, May 12, 1877. He was graduated from Harvard University, A. B., 1899, Harvard Medical School, M. D., 1902, now an eminent medical practitioner of Newport, member of the medical staff of Newport Hospital, and head of a large private practice. He married, June 25, 1902, Kathrine M. Kennedy, of Scranton, Pa., they the parents of a son, William Albert Sherman, born May 12, 1903, of the ninth American Sherman generation, and three daughters.
Edward Albert Sherman was born in Newport, July 16, 1879. After graduating from high school, he entered Harvard University, whence he was graduated, A. B., class of 1901, and A. M., 1902. He began business life with the Newport Trust Company, and has passed the grades of promotion to the present position, vice-president. On July 11, 1918, he purchased the "Daily News" of Newport. He is a Republican in politics, and has served his city as a member of the school committee, and in 1906 was elected a member of the first Council to serve under the new charter, he representing the Third Ward. He served from 1908 to 1912 as aide on the Governor's staff.
Although for the past sixteen years, 1893-1919, Colonel Barkerís business interests have centered in Cuba, he was for two decades engaged in business in Newport, R. I., and is a member of one of Rhode Islandís old and prominent families, the family name dating from 1638 when James Barker came to Portsmouth, R. I. In England the name is traced far into the past, the first Protestant mayor of the city of London being a member of the family. James Barker was a son of James W. Barker, who sailed from Southampton, England, in the spring of 1634, on the ship "Mary and John," but died on the passage. In the family manuscript he is called "of Harwich County of Essex, Eng." James (2) Barker was an officer of Newport, R. I., in 1644, was made a fireman in 1655, was deputy many times, Deputy-Governor, and held other offices. His son, James (3) Barker, and grandson, James (4) Barker, were also influential in public affairs, holding high office. Branches of the family are found in all parts of Rhode Island, Colonel Alvin A.Barker belonging to the Middletown branch, son of Ezra James and Lydia Eunice Barker.
Ezra James Barker was born at the old Barker homestead, near Taggartís Ferry, at Middletown, R. I., April 18, 1829, and died in Newport, R. I., November 30, 1900. He passed the first twenty years of his life at the homestead, his fatherís assistant, then for twenty years, 1852-1872, engaged in business for himself as farmer and cattle drover. In 1873 he moved to Newport, and from 1874 until 1879 he was engaged in the meat business. From 1879 until 1889 he was associated wit his son, Colonel Alvin Arnold Barker, as partner in the grocery, grain and hay business in Newport. From 1887 until 1890, inclusive, he was a member of Newport Common Council, for five years a commissioner of Newport Asylum; member of Newport Board of Aldermen, in 1893, and the same year he was appointed by Governor Brown a member of a commission to divide the city of Newport into wards. From 1894 until 1897, inclusive, he was a member of the Newport Board of Health. He married, in Newport, June 10, 1853, Lydia Eunice Barker, born in Middletown, R. I., November 10, 1828, died in Newport, May 28, 1916, surviving her husband sixteen years. They were the parents of three children: Luella, born I Middletown, R. I., July 18, 1856; Alvin Arnold, of further mention; Isabelle, born in Middletown, Jan. 5, 1862, married, in Newport, Sept. 7, 1880, John D. Richardson, Jr.
Alvin Arnold Barker was born in Middletown, R. I., November 29, 1857, and there spent the first sixteen years of his life. In 1873, he moved to Newport, R. I., with his parents, and prepared for a business career. In 1818 [sic] he established in business for himself as a dealer in groceries, grain and hay. In 1879 his father became his partner and together they continued in business until 1880, Ezra James Barker then retiring. Colonel Barker continued in business until the Spanish-American War. He served in that war, and later settled in Cuba, where since 1903 he has been heavily interested in cattle ranching and sugar growing.
Colonel Barkerís military career began in 1875, when he became a member of Newport Artillery, Rhode Island Militia, and closed June 5, 1919, with his resignation from the Rhode Island National Guard. A detailed account of his service follows: July 27, 1875, joined the Newport Artillery, Rhode Island Militia; 1882-83-84, first lieutenant and quartermaster of Newport Artillery; 1885-86-87, major, Newport Artillery, Rhode Island Militia; 1888, May 29, appointed aide-de-camp to Governor Royal C. Taftís personal staff, rank of Colonel; 1892, August 30, elected lieutenant-colonel, Newport Artillery; 1893, went in command of Newport Artillery to the Worldís Columbian Exposition, Chicago, Ill.; the Newport Artillery was escort and body guard to Governor Brown on Rhode Island Day, October 5, 1893; 1898, April 30, appointed major in First Rhode Island United States Volunteer Regiment Infantry, for service in the war with Spain, taking a furlough from Newport Artillery; at Camp Dyer, R. I., from May 28, 1898, until August 3, 1898; on road march from August 3, 1898, until August 10, 1898; at Thoroughfare Gap, camping in the mud, from August 10, 1898, until August 22, 1898; at Camp Mead, near Middletown, Pa., from August 23, to November 13, 1898; at Camp Fornance, Columbia, S. C., from November 15, 1898, until March 30, 1899, when the regiment was mustered out of the United States service.
He was appointed by William McKinley, President of the United States, captain in the Twenty-sixth Regiment of the United States Volunteer Infantry, commission dated July 11, 1899. Assigned to command of Company C at its organization. Left San Francisco, Cal., September 26, 1899, on United States transport, "Grant." for Philippine Islands. Arrived back at San Francisco, Cal., May 29, 1901. Mustered out of service with regiment, June 13, 1901. He was assigned and held the following commands: Battalion commander of Second Battalion, Twenty-sixth R. U. S. U. Infantry from July 25, 1899, to August 9, 1899; battalion commander of Third Battalion, Twenty-sixth R. U. S. U. Infantry, from October 1, 1899, to June 12, 1900; battalion commander of Second Battalion, Twenty-sixth R. U. S. U. Infantry, from July 29, 1900, to June 13, 1901; command of district of Miagao and Leon, Iloilo Province, Panay, Philippine Islands, from January 6, 1900, to June 12, 1900; about 75,000 inhabitants. Command of Cabatuan and Circle, Iloilo Province, Panay, Philippine Islands, from August 10, 1900, to March 4, 1901; about 80,000 inhabitants. He took part in the following engagements, skirmishes, expeditions, etc.:
He was appointed by William McKinley, President of the United States, June 27, 1901, captain and quartermaster, United States army; accepted June 29, 1901. Commission dated February 2, 1901. Resigned July 7, 1901. On July 31, 1917, assigned to active duty P. O. Special Orders, No. 145, Rhode Island Militia, with Newport Artillery, on February 1, 1918, assigned to command the Home Guard force of Rhode Island, per General Orders 3 A. G. O., January 29, 1918. Headquarters State House, Providence, R. I. April 24, 1918, appointed and commissioned colonel of Rhode Island State Guard. June 5, 1919, resigned from Rhode Island state Guard. General Orders, June 5, 1919.
In 1892 Colonel Barker was elected a member of Newport City Council, but declined reelection. In 1884 he became a member of Cornet Council, Royal Arcanum. He affiliated with Camaguey Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, Camaguey, Cuba, November 19, 1911, and is a charter member of Landmark Lodge, No. 137, Free and Accepted Masons, Camaguey. He is a member of the Havana Country Club, Havana, Cuba, and has lived in Cuba since 1903.
Colonel Barker married, in Middletown, R. I., November 2, 1882, Augusta N. Peckham, born in Middletown, September 14, 1862, died July 26, 1911, daughter of E. Trumand and Elizabeth Braman (Peabody) Peckham. Children, all born in Newport, R. I.; Ezra James, born July 23, 1885, married Hellen Harrah, of Detroit, Mich., Nov. 2, 1918; Lydia E. Elizabeth, born in Newport, R. I., June 10, 1887, died there, Sept. 7, 1914; Myrtalie, born Aug. 30, 1889, married George A. Verrill, Sept. 23, 1912; Alva Arnold, born Dec. 4, 1891, married Charles Steward Townsend, of Nova Scotia, Canada, October 18, 1917.
Return to Newport County Rhode Island Home Page.
Back to Index of the Newport Chapter, RI Reading Room.
To the Next Page of the Newport Chapter, RI Reading Room.
Articles that pertain to the whole state are on the Rhode Island Reading Room page
If you have a (pre-1922) contribution from a Rhode Island book or newspaper you would like to share, please send me an e-mail with the publication title, author, and publisher. Thanks.