Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Lost In Sherrod Research

Haven't written a blog since August.  Unbelievable how fast time passes while life continues outside of this genealogy journey that I love so much.  Not to say I didn't fit a piece in here and there. Passion will always rule if you go with the flow.

The Sherrod branch of my family has dominated a piece here, an hour there and a minute of thought here and there.  Colonel Benjamin Sherrod was recorded in my third great grandfather, Silas Sherrod's US Claim to the United States requesting payment for blacksmith services provided to the Union Troops that came through Town Creek, Alabama during the Civil War needing repairs for their horses.  Having limited material he was creative in meeting their needs according to his account in the claim.  In addition to the services needed, they took supplies from an enslaved family for provisions as a hog, cattle and flour.  Obviously, the troops told Silas Sherrod that the US government would reimburse him.  He followed the process but it was his word only with the support of his previous owner, Walter Sherrod.  Silas' claim was denied since he could not afford to send witnesses to Washington, DC to testify for him.  So oh well he moved on and dealt with life.

The key information on this part of my journey was Silas naming in the claim that he was own by Benjamin Sherrod then Walter Sherrod before freedom.  It was exciting to finally find the owning family on this journey that might move the research back in time.  Hunting around finding that Col. Benjamin Sherrod own in some records 300 and in other 700 slaves scattered around five plantations. Oh my, this blew my mind but I proceeded to find some record of these human enslaved peoples' names and sure enough in his Will of 1846, he named about 300.  It was challenging reading the copy of the will acquired from the Lawrence County Archives in Moulton, Alabama.  The task was more involved than originally thought for first you record the names of slaves, then you determine who in Col. Benjamin Sherrod's family inherited them.  Last you try to determine which plantation they lived on and go from there.  Emotionally, the process was deeper than expected and the progress was slowed by trying to read writing from 167 years ago.  The deed is done along with tracking the descendants of Col. Benjamin Sherrod.  Sure enough his son, Samuel Watkins Sherrod inherited the plantation in Town Creek, Alabama in 1847 upon Benjamin's death.  However, Samuel died in 1848 and his son Walter inherited the plantation along with the enslaved people.  This is what my third great grandfather stated in in US Claim of 1871.  I have at least two more steps to take 1) Sharing the slaves that I've pulled from the records with other Sherrod researchers.  2) Securing a copy of Samuel's will for it my also list slave names.

Oh, what a journey and what a help others could be if they would consider the impact of slavery in their family that affected  other families.

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