Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Sherrod Family Mystery

I've been working on the Forrest line of my ancestry (the Forrest page of Haywood County Line will be up soon) and it's brought to light a very difficult question to answer. Who were the parents of three different Sherrod women: Zilpha Sherrod, Ann W. Sherrod and Susan Sherrod? Each is connected in one way or another to the Forrest and Yelverton families and they also have small connections to each other.

It really shouldn't be this hard to figure them out...but it seems to be nearly impossible.

Zilpha Sherrod 

Click to Enlarge

Charles and Nancy Jane Yelverton Lovelace, Jim Lovelace
and Shirley Lovelace Williams

Zilpha Sherrod, (1797 - 1870) my fourth great grandmother, married Samuel William Forrest (1794 - 1860). They were the foster or adopted parents of Ann M. Sherrod (1834 - 1880) who was the mother of Nancy Jane Yelverton Lovelace (1861 - 1936), who was the mother of Jim Lovelace (1885 - 1968), who was the father of Guy Lovelace (1916 - 1997), who was the father of my mother, Shirley Lovelace Williams.

(Shout out to researcher Doug Radar, Ph.D. for lots of really helpful info about all the families mentioned below.)

Sam was born 25 November 1794 in Wayne Co., N.C. to George Forrest (1760 - 1827) and Winifred Joyner Forrest (1760 -1835). The Forrest family was large and they had a lot of land and slaves.

In 1813, Sam was 19 and he moved with his parents from Wayne County to Pitt County, N.C.

Because there were no Sherrods in the 1810 U.S. census in Pitt County but three in Wayne County, I am going to assume for now Zilpha was from Wayne County.

Samuel was either already married to Zilpha Sherrod when he moved or married her after arriving with his family in Pitt County.

It was in trying to determine the identity of Zilpha Sherrod's parents that I ended up spending many research hours on several different generations of the Sherrod family and ultimately figured out a mistake I had made in the identity of my third great-grandmother, Ann.

Click to Enlarge

Sherrods in the 1810 Wayne County, N.C. Census

The three Sherrods in the 1810 census in Wayne County were Benjamin, James and William.
In Benjamen Sherrod's household were two males of ten years and under 16; two males of 16 and under 20; one male of 45 and upwards; two females of ten years and under 16; and one female of 45 and upwards. If interested, check out Ben's 1826 will. It include's mentions of Polly, wife; Patience Reville, daughter; Henry Sherrod, son; Nancy Ward, daughter; William Sherrod, son; Smitha Best, daughter; Benjamin Sherrod, grandson; and William Sherrod, brother.

In James Sherrod's household were two males ten years and under; one male of 26 and under 45; one female under 10; and one female of 26 and under 40.

In William Sherrod's household (Benjamen's brother?) was one male of 45 and upwards; four females under 10 years of age; three females of 10 years and under 16; and one female of 26 and under 40.
If Zilpha was indeed born in born in 1797, in 1810 she would be 13 years old.

Zilpha is said to have possibly been the daughter of William Sherrod (died before 13 Nov 1841) and a mother whose last name was Smithy and William did have three females in his household who were ages 10 - 16. Although Benjamin also had daughters in that age range, he makes no mention of Zilpha as one of the five children in his will.

Zilpha and Sam left North Carolina on Thursday 16 Mar 1826 and arrived in Haywood County, Tenn. 11 May. They traveled with a number of families in covered wagons including Browns, Dickinsons, Forrests, and Musgraves.”

Annie W. Sherrod

In the U.S. Census of 1850, Sam and Zilpha Sherrod Forrest had a “daughter” named Ann W. who had been born in 1834 in Tennessee. I had assumed her name was Ann W. Forrest.

Click to Enlarge

Death certificate of Nancy Jane Yelverton Lovelace

However, when you look at the death certificates of Ann W. Forrest’s son and two of her daughters (Etheldred Yelverton, Nancy Jane Yelverton Lovelace and Polly Whitney Yelverton Curlin), the name of their mother is not listed as Ann W. Forrest.

It’s listed as Annie Sherrod.

So it's logical to conclude that Zilpha had a family member living in Tennessee who died or who could not raise a child and, at some point before that child was 14, she went to live with Sam and Zilpha Sherrod Forrest. They seem to have had no other children.

So Ann W. Sherrod and Zilpha Sherrod are likely connected somehow and it's possible the connection was in Haywood Co. since Ann was listed as being born in Tennessee. However, looking through the census records for Haywood and Madison Counties for 1830, I could find no Sherrods listed.

How did the Yelverton family get mixed into this family line? 

Sam Forrest had a sister named Mary A. Forrest (1791 - 1862) who used the nickname, "Polly." She married Etheldred Yelverton (1784 - 1851) around 1808 during the decade when her parents had moved the family to Wayne Co., N.C.

When the Forrests moved on, Polly stayed behind with Etheldred.

Etheldred and Polly had many children so it's no surprise, at some point, they allowed their son Samuel to migrate to Haywood County, Tenn. to live with Polly's brother, Sam Forrest where there was plenty of new land available for him to settle.

Sam and Zilpha had lots of room since they had no children other than Zilpha's relative they were raising, Annie Sherrod.

I guess love was in the air at the Forrest house and at some point Samuel Yelverton and Annie Sherrod married. Their first child, Polly Whitney Yelverton was born in 1851. Samuel and Annie would go on to have 11 children together.

Click to Enlarge

Hardy Joyner Marbury, Lena Booth Marbury,
Allie Ern Marbury Brantley, Virginia Brantley Lovelace and
Shirley Lovelace Williams

Their second daughter, Maggie Yelverton was born in 1853 and married Ben F. Marbury in 1868 and they are my 3rd great-grandparents. Their son, Hardy Joyner Marbury, married Sarah Evelena "Lena" Booth and they were the parents of Allie Ern Marbury Brantley who was the mother of Virginia Brantley Lovelace  who was the mother of my mother, Shirley Lovelace Williams.

This is why my grandparents used to joke they were cousins "somewhere down the line."

Click to Enlarge

1877 Map of Haywood County, Tenn.
Compiled and Published by D.G. Beers & Co., Philadelphia

Sam and Ann Sherrod Yelverton's farm is notated on a map of Haywood County from 1877 around the middle of District Four. They were south of the "Forrest Home" and the farm of J.T. Forrest.

Susan Sherrod

Another Sherrod/Forrest connection occurs in the U.S. census of 1860. Then, living in the household with Samuel and Zilpha Forrest when they were in their mid-60s, was 14-year-old Susan Sherrod.

Susan was born in 1846 in Tennessee.

According to family researcher, Soni LaPee, this Susan Sherrod had several brothers and sisters also living with other families in Haywood Co. in 1860:
Mary Sherrod was married to Pleasant Bowmen and living in Madison County which is next to Haywood County.
William Sherrod was the oldest son at 18 and was living with Baker and Becky Harrell and their five children. Later, he married a girl named Tennessee Powell. He served in the 6th Tennessee Division during the Civil War and lost a finger in the battle of Shiloh.

Roxana Sherrod was 12 and living with Travis and Margaret Thune.

Ben Sherrod was 10 and living with Wesley and Mary Willis.

Allen B. Sherrod was four and living with Isaac and Sarah Gregory and their five children.
By 1880, all these Sherrod children had moved to Faulkner County, Ark.

So, how was Zilpha connected to Ann M. Sherrod other than being her foster mother? How were they connected to Susan Sherrod? Who were Zilpha, Ann and Susan Sherrod's parents?

For now, I do not know. This appears to be a brick wall that is going to be difficult to bust through but I will continue to try.

For more blog entries, visit my Blog Home Page or to check out the genealogy research about my specific family lines, go to my Haywood County Line Genealogy Website.


  1. Scott the old Yelverton house is I think still standing on Yelverton Lane, it goes from Hwy. 138 around to the Woodland Road, come out just at the old Forrest Home Place. Some of them are buried in Woodland Cemetery. There were two Forrest Family Cemeteries, we moved the stones from one because lumber men had pushed them up in a pile against a tree....I think one of the is Zilpha, I will check that out today, we put them in the Forrest Family cemetery on Rice Road just behind the home place. That house and 15 acres is for sale, it belongs to Gene Forrest. Bill

  2. My name is Cole Sherod I was told from my father Jeffrey Allen Sherod a story about the four Sherrod brothers were split on two sides of the Civil War 2 brothers on the north side 2 brothers on the south I actually have family trees from my great grandmother my grandfather's name is actually Allen Sherod I remember him specifically saying the tradition was to give the first born males take the fathers name as there middle and the second born takes the first borne as there middle he also mentioned that we dropped one of the r's in the last name after the civil war due to the fact the slaves of my ancestors were released and took the family name I can get intouch with my father and get the family trees and more information about our family history my email is my number is