Thomas Francis Sherwood
  b: 30/Oct/1768 or 15/Oct/1769 - Talbot Co., MD
  d: 7/Mar/1826 - Casey Co., KY - bur: Miller Cem.

Father: Daniel Sherwood
Mother: Frances Linthicum

Spouse: Ann T. *****  - b: 13/Dec/1765 - PA
   d: 10/Mar/1826 - Casey Co., KY - bur: Miller Cem.

Child-1: Hester (Hessey)
          2: Daniel - b: 14/Feb/1797 - NC or KY
                          d: 2/Oct/1835 - Casey Co., KY - bur: Miller Cem.
          3: Thomas E.
          4: Mary A. (Polly) - b: ~1802 - Lincoln Co., KY
                                         d: 1846 - Monroe Co., MO
                                        m: Mathew W. Evans - 11/Jul/1824 - Casey Co., KY
          5: Ann - b: 1805 - Lincoln Co., KY
                       d: ~1853 - KY
                      m: Benjamin W. Austin - 13/Aug/1829 - Casey Co., KY

Biographical Details:

The identity of Thomas Shearwood (i.e., Sherwood) is not known with complete certainty; however, his oldest daughter, Hester Miller, stated for the population schedule of the census of 1880 that her father had been born in Maryland, but that she was born in North Carolina.  The implied chronology provides strong circumstantial evidence for his identification as Thomas Francis Sherwood, oldest son of Daniel and Frances Linthicum Sherwood.  If this is so, then he was probably born on the eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay in Talbot County, Maryland, in October of 1768 or 1769.  Historians of the Sherwood family uniformly affirm the migration of Daniel Sherwood and his family from Maryland to Guilford County, North Carolina, in 1778 and, likewise, name seven to nine children invariably including Thomas, who was apparently the oldest.  Presumably, Thomas married his wife, Ann, in North Carolina about 1789, but her maiden name is unknown.  Concomitantly, again, in the 1880 census population schedule, Hessy Miller reported that her mother had been born in Pennyslvania.

Accordingly, the population schedule of the 1790 US Census for Stokes County, North Carolina, included the household of Thomas Shoarwood.  At this time, Stokes County, which had been formed from Surry County only in 1789, adjoined Guilford County immediately to the northwest.  Moreover, the southern section of the county (subsequently organized as Forsyth County in 1849) had been settled by Moravian Brethren from Pennyslvania, which is, perhaps, consistent with the origin of Thomas' wife, Ann.1  Therefore, it is a reasonable presumption that "Shoarwood" was a misspelling of Shearwood or Sherwood and that this household should be identified with that of Thomas and Ann Sherwood, which included four individuals, viz., two males of sixteen years of age or older and two females.  Although one of the males cannot be identified, it is plausible that one of them was Thomas himself and that the two females correspond to his wife, Ann, and infant daughter, Hester.  Subsequently, a household of Thomas Shearwood was listed in the census population schedule of 1800 for Currituck County, North Carolina.  However, this individual seems to have been at least forty-five years old in 1800 and, thus, born before 1756 and, hence, almost certainly not the son of Daniel and Frances Lithicum Sherwood.  In addition, Currituck County corresponds to a coastal location, which is quite far removed from either Guilford or Stokes Counties.  (Concomitantly, census records indicate that this Thomas Shearwood apparently remained resident in Currituck County until at least 1810.)  Indeed, it would seem probable that Thomas Francis Sherwood and his family left North Carolina prior to 1800.  Within this context, it is known that on March 19, 1799, James Berry surveyed one hundred and ninety acres along the Green River in Lincoln County, Kentucky, which was subsequently patented by Thomas Sherwood.  The patent was entered on November 6, 1799, and was granted on April 14, 1807.2  Moreover, in his history of the Sherwood family, Andrew Sherwood stated that, "Led by Hugh, we are told, it was these (i.e., children of Daniel and Frances Linthicum Sherwood), or some of them, and their children who came from Guilford, North Carolina, into Washington county, Indiana, in the fall of 1817."3  Other researchers have identified Hugh and Daniel as moving to Indiana, but not Thomas.  (Indeed, censuses of 1820 and 1830 confirm that households of Hugh and Daniel Shearwood were then resident in Washington County.)  Therefore, the preponderance of circumstantial evidence would seem to support the settlement of Thomas Sherwood and his family in Kentucky about 1797 or 1798.  Alternatively, it has been asserted that Thomas remained in North Carolina and died there on August 4, 1835.  The basis for such a presumption is not known and does not seem to be supported by extant civil and census records.

Casey County, Kentucky, was created from a portion of Lincoln County in November of 1806 and its territory included the original one hundred and ninety acre patent of Thomas Sherwood.  This land parcel was located about half a mile south of Evans Ford on the Green River and a mile west northwest of the present hamlet of Phil on bottom land just above the confluence of the South Fork.  The household of Thomas Shearwood appeared in the population schedule of the 1810 US Census for Casey County and included two young males of between ten and fifteen years of age, an older male of between twenty-six and forty-five years, two female children less that ten, one female between fifteen and twenty-six, and one female of forty-five years or older.  This is in exact accord with the known family of Thomas and Ann Sherwood.  It is, perhaps, further significant that in 1810 three Linthicum households, viz., Thomas, Thomas, and William, were also resident in Casey County.  This surname is quite rare and the coincidence provides strong additional evidence for the identification of Thomas Shearwood (Sherwood) as the son of Daniel and Frances Linthicum Sherwood.  Moreover, further circumstantial evidence is provided by a land patent surveyed on April 26, 1808, and subsequently granted to James Jones on September 30, 1813, which identified an adjoining parcel as belonging to "Linticom".  In all probability, this was a misspelling of Linthicum and although the location is not entirely certain, it was probably not far from the previously identified one hundred and ninety acre parcel granted to Thomas Sherwood in the previous year. Likewise, the Shearwood household was listed in the 1820 population schedule.  Again, an older male and female corresponding to the parents was indicated.  In addition, one young male who can be plausibly identified as one of the sons, Daniel or Thomas, and two young females who can, similarly, be identified as daughters, Polly and Ann.4  Concomitantly, it is further known that their oldest daughter, Hester, had married John Miller.  The whereabouts of the other son is not known.

Thomas Shearwood made his will on February 8, 1826, which was proved on the following April 24th.  Clearly, this implies that his death occurred between these two dates.5  Moreover, according to tombstone inscriptions, Thomas Sherwood and his wife, Ann, both died in March of 1826 and were buried in the Miller Cemetery in Casey County.  The causes and details of their deaths are unknown, however, it is clear that they died within just a few days of each other, probably, from one of the infectious diseases prevalent on the early American frontier.  In passing, it should be noted that both the Kentucky and Indiana branches of the Sherwood family commonly used the less familiar spelling "Shearwood" in civil and census records.  Of course, such spelling variations were frequent in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and reflect standards of literacy as well as familiy preferences.  Even so, it would seem significant and, thus, indicative of a family relationship.

Source Notes and Citations:
1. "Winston-Salem and Forsyth County began as a Moravian settlement in 1753 when Bishop August Gottlieb Spangenberg acquired a 100,000-acre tract of land from Lord Granville, one of the proprietary lords of North Carolina.  The Moravians called their tract Wachovia after the Austrian estate, Wachau, of Count Nicholas Lewis von Zinzendorf, an early protector of the Moravian church.  Today the Wachovia Tract encompasses all of Winston-Salem and most of Forsyth County.
      The first 15 Moravian Brethren followed the Great Wagon Road from Pennsylvania, arriving at Bethabara (which means House of Passage) on November 17, 1753.  They settled into a cabin that Hans Wagner had built and later abandoned when he moved farther west.  They quickly set about establishing a community, building structures, clearing farmland, and constructing a large mill.  Bethabara grew as a market and trade center, so a new settlement called Bethania was built to the west in 1759.  All the while, the Moravians planned to build their central town, Salem.
      In 1766, construction of the new town of Salem was begun.  One of the earliest planned communities in the colonies, it served as the central town for the Wachovia Tract after Moravian administration and trades moved there from Bethabara in 1771-72.  Other smaller, agricultural settlements were established at Friedberg, Friedland, and Hope in the southern part of the Wachovia Tract.  The skilled Moravian tradesmen from Bethabara constructed new sawmills, breweries, and tanneries.  Salem soon began to grow and prosper as a backcountry trading center and congregation town.
      Winston, just north of Salem, was founded by settlers of Quaker, English and Scots-Irish descent, in 1849.  Winston was named in honor of a local Revolutionary War hero, Joseph
Winston, who had been a frequent visitor to Bethabara.  That same year, the North Carolina legislature created the new County of Forsyth out of part of Stokes County.  Forsyth County was named in memory of Colonel Benjamin Forsyth, a respected Stokes County landowner, who distinguished himself, and was mortally wounded, during a War of 1812 battle at Odelltown, Canada.
      Winston quickly established itself as a major producer of textiles, furniture and tobacco products.  In 1851, the town of Winston was designated the county seat.  The courthouse square was laid one mile north of Salem Square with plans for Main Street to connect the two towns.
      In 1899, the United States Postal Service merged the Winston and Salem post offices, and the hyphen between Winston and Salem first appeared, on the new postmark.  The hyphen became permanent in 1913 when Salem and Winston joined, and the 'Twin City' of Winston-Salem emerged.  In 2003, the city is celebrating the 90th Anniversary of the official merger of Winston and Salem.  Building on the crafts and trades of the early Moravian settlers, Winston-Salem in the 21st century is a city of arts and culture with a diverse economy and a growing biotech industry."  (City of Winston-Salem, "A Brief History of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County",, 2003.)
back to bio.

2. James Franklin Sutherland, Some Original Land Grant Surveys along Green River in Lincoln and Casey Counties, Kentucky, pgs. 28 & 406-7, Casey County Bicentennial Committee, Liberty, KY, 1975.
190 acres surveyed 19/Mar/1799; filed 6/Nov/1799; granted 14/Apr/1807 to Thomas Sherwood
      "Location: Lincoln Co. Ky. on the south side of Green River near the mouth of the South Fork"
      "Beginning: At a sugartree, buckeye and walnut standing on the river bank the upper corner of Quarles' 1000 acre survey extending thence: N 17 E 20 to a hackberry Leonard Richard's corner thence with a line of the same  N 42 E 168 to a dogwood and sassafras on the said line  S 48 E 158 to a white oak and beech  S 42 W 198 crossing the South Fork & cornering on two hickorys and buckeye on Quarles' line on the bank thereof thence with said line  N 45 W 151 to the beginning"
      "Chainmen: Leonard Richards Sr  Leonard Richards Jr"
      "D. S.  James Berry"
      "Recorder: Jonathan Forbis"
back to bio.

3. Andrew Sherwood, Daniel Sherwood and His Paternal Ancestors, Ryder Printing Co., Portland, OR, 1929: pg. 78.
back to bio.

4. Bert Addis Austin, "The Descendants of John Austin and Ann Baden of Albemarle County, Virginia", Austins in America, August 1984:  pg. 116. - "J31. Benjamin W.3 Austin (Jonas R.,2 John1) was born 14 June 1805 in Casey County, Kentucky.  He was married in Casey County on 13 August 1829 to Ann Sherwood by Thomas Wallace, Methodist Minister.  Ann was born in 1805, perhaps a daughter of the Thomas Sherwood who was living in Casey County in 1810, and a sister of Daniel Sherwood.  Benjamin's family appears in the 1830 Census for Casey County.  They moved to Russell County, Kentucky, before Benjamin bought land on Goose Creek in that county in 1833 from Phillip Winfrey of Casey County.  They were in Russell County in 1837 when they sold Ann's right of dower in 190 acres in Casey County.  The family was still in Russell County at the time of the 1840 Census, but had moved before 1843 to Wayne County, Kentucky, for Benjamin was of Wayne County on 26 August 1843 when his assignee Jonas Austin, Jr. bought more land for Benjamin on Goose Creek, this time from William Moore of Russell County.  Benjamin and his wife Ann returned to Casey County before 26 October 1846, the date they sold land on Goose Creek to Jonas Austin.  In 1850 Benjamin and Ann and their four oldest children appear in the census for Casey County, with Benjamin listed as a farmer.  Ann died before the 1860 Census, and Benjamin Austin remarried on 1 September 1857 in Adair County, Kentucky, to Mary Ann Butt, who was born circa 1836 and was 24 in the 1860 Census for Casey County.  A Ben Austin age 69 died in December 1870 of consumption in Casey County, although Benjamin Austin's personal property inventory was dated 4 December 1869. - J311. Mary F., b. circa 1837 m. John S. Sayer, res. Wayne Co. - J312. Elizabeth P., b. circa 1842, m. 29 November 1865 John W. Coffey - J313. Theresa A., b. circa 1844; the Hassey E. Austin b. Casey County who d. 21 September 1858 at age 14 in Casey County of scarlet fever was the child of Benjamin Austin: probably she was this Theresa E. Austin. - J314. John B., b. circa 1847 - J315. Amanda Y., b. circa 1858, m. Samuel B. Shelton, resided Russell County. - J316. Henrietta, b. circa 1860, m. Howard A. Murrell (or Murry), resided Adair County. - J317. Alexander H., resided Winslow, Arizona Territory, in 1884. - J318. Sofa J., resided Wayne County in 1884."  The 190 acres in which Ann had right of dower can undoubtedly be identified with the original land patent of Thomas Sherwood.  By 1837, it seems that both her brothers, Daniel and Thomas, had died, so the only remaining heirs of Thomas Sherwood were his three daughters, Hester, Polly, and Ann.  Polly Sherwood Evans sold her dower rights in this same parcel to her sister, Hester (Hessey) Sherwood Miller in October of 1842.  In the conveyance, it was stated explicitly that Hessey Miller and her family were then resident on the parcel.
back to bio.

5. Be it Remember(ed) that I Thomas Shearwood of the County of Casey & state of Kentucky considering the uncertainty of this mortal life being of sound and perfect mind & memory blessed be almighty God for the same  do make this my last will and Testament, I recommend my body to be buried in a genteel Christian manner my funeral expenses fall my Last debt to be paid out of my estate.  First  I give & bequeath to my beloved wife An(n) Shearwood One third part of all my Estate both Real & personal for and during her natural life and at her death her dower in the Land to be equally divided between my two sons Danl & Thos E Shearwood; and all the balance of her dower, to be equally divided between my three daughters Hessy Miller  Polly Evans and Ann Shearwood, I do also give and bequeath to my sons Danl Shearwood & Thomas E Shearwood, all my Lands together with my farming utensils to be equally divided between them  I do also give and bequeath to my Daughter Ann Shearwood one Jersy Mare  Two head of Cattle  four head of sheep  two feather beds & furniture & such cupboard furniture as I gave to my other two daughters when they were married  I also give & bequeath to my son Danl Shearwood all my stock of hogs reserving a sufficiency for the use of my family during my wifes natural life  all the balance of my estate I give & bequeath to my three daughters Hessy Miller  Polly Evans & Ann Shearwood, to be equally divided between them but such part of said property to remain in the possession of my wife as she may choose to use and occupy at her discretion and when distribution is made to be equally to be equally divided between my sd daughters, it is also my direction not to have my Estate appraised   In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this Eighth day of February Eighteen hundred and twenty six    /s/Thomas Shearwood (seal)  Witness  James Allen  Davis Carpenter  Reuben Baldock  Jefferson Sweeney
      At a County Court held for Casey County on the 24th day of April 1826  The Will of Thomas Shearwood decd was proved by the oaths of James Allen & Reuben Baldock two subscribing witnesses & ordered to be recorded Att Joel Sweeney Ck CC Ct.  (Will Bk. 1, Casey Co., KY, pgs. 118-9.)
back to bio.

Additional Citations:

6. 1790 US Census Population Schedule for Stokes County, North Carolina, National Archives, Washington DC:  pg. 558, (microfilm: roll M637_7; img. 317).

7. 1810 US Census Population Schedule for Casey County, Kentucky, National Archives, Washington DC:  pg. 37, (microfilm: roll M252_9; img. 40).

8. 1820 US Census Population Schedule for Casey County, Kentucky, National Archives, Washington DC:  pg. 222, (microfilm: roll M33_18; img. 120).

9. Nancy Perry,"Miller Cemetery", unpublished. (Casey County KYGenWeb Archives,, 2004.)

10. Miller Cemetery, Casey County, Kentucky (, continuously updated).

11. op. cit. (Sutherland): pgs. 206-7.

Return to Index