SHERLIN - WILSON FAMILY HISTORY
October 16, 2009
Revised November 16, 2014
NOTE TO THE READER
As you begin looking through this History and Genealogy of the Sherlin Family this Writer would like to bring a few things to your attention. Historical Research and Genealogy is a very difficult and time consuming effort. It requires patience and a great amount of travel to many places which include Libraries, Government buildings, Cemeteries, States and Countries. Sometimes the cost in dollars is demanding and excessive. Genealogy is a trip through time and history, it is like working a grand puzzle of endless pieces. One find leads to another which ends up requiring additional research and working out the many discrepancies found in records, documents and even family information passed down. I have spent many years working out such discrepancies and errors and have been able to trace back almost 1300 years.
You may wonder how a person can ever trace back so far. Since the Sherlin's mainly descend from Norman, English, Irish, Danish, & Spanish lineage I can tell you it has not been easy. These peoples were Celtic in early origins and Royal, Clan, and Tribal history was passed down through the Druidic Bardagh as far back as 40 generations until Christianity came into these areas and the Monks began writing down the histories, many of which are still preserved today. Queen Elizabeth of England outlawed the Bards in Ireland in the 1500's which created a devastating loss of history because the Monks and future Scholars could not record all of the histories the Bards had. A tragic fire in Dublin, Ireland around 1922 destroyed most written history of Old Ireland which made research difficult at the least. Had it not been for local Parish records and records recorded in England some of what is available today would not be accessible.
The Iberian Gaels (Spain), and Gaul (France, Normandy) Druidic Bards who were among the Gauls and Gaels who conquered the early tribes of Erin (Ireland) kept history and genealogy alive for centuries and the world is grateful for their guardianship of this history.
ERRORS in the spelling of the Sherlin name are common and the researcher needs to be on constant alert for them. For instance, many Census and Vital records found in U.S. Historical records have the name under various spellings. Some of this was most likely due to uneducated Census Takers and local officials. The Sherlin name is found spelled "Sherling, Shearling, Shirlin, Sherlon,Sherin, Shervin, Sherwin, etc" in many records. By verifying the family members and the dates most can be verified as "Sherlin". As I state in the family history Sherlin's were "Gentry" in Ireland in the 1600's when Cromwell's Army invaded Ireland and dispossessed them of their Estates. Keep in mind though that some of these different spellings of the Sherlin name are correct for different families. Some are indeed spelled in the variants described above. The Sherlin line I have researched is spelled "SHERLIN" though.
May your journey through History and work in Genealogy be as wonderful and joyful as it has been, and continues to be, for me.Steven Scott Sherlin October 10, 2009
July 2, 2007
Revised August 8, 2011
HISTORY OF THE SHERLIN FAMILY
A WORD FROM THE WRITER
The following historical account of the Sherlin family was written by my own hand and conceived in my own thoughts. I have tried to always give credit to all sources and family members who have provided information in this wrtitten history. In veritably there will be times when this Writer may insert information without giving said credit. This will never be done intentionally and will be corrected as soon as the Writer is made aware of it. Any and all of this historical writing I give freely to anyone wishing to use it. The one thing that I do require is that credit is given where credit is due. If indeed anyone chooses to use any part of this writing you must insert the information about where you got it and give my name and website address showing original authorship.
This history of the Sherlin family is a compilation of over 41 years of research that was and continues to be very time consuming, costly, sometimes frustrating, but always very rewarding.
It has been a labor of love and is dedicated to my grand children and all those who follow after. My hope is that it also will be an exciting and wonderful door into the past for all of my immediate family, cousins and other family who will undoubtedly find this account helpful to them in their research in years to come.
I know that there are accounts in this history that will be revised and corrected in the days and years to come, but it is for the most part, very accurate and correct. There are some dates and information that has been compiled from bits and pieces of information that is vague and difficult to verify. Some information has come from other family members who have done their own research and offered information that has been passed down from previous generations.
So, this is the account of my personal research and is done by my own hand. My name is Steven Scott Sherlin, born February 6, 1955 in the city of Athens, McMinn County, Tennessee.
The name Sherlin is a rare and interesting surname. Our ancestors come from a colorful and exciting past that was filled with war, love, religion, patriotism, and immigration to the newly independent colonies of America from our homeland of Ireland.
Before the Norman conquest of England in 1066 there were really no surnames in use in the known world. Most people were known from their area of habitation or as the “son of” a certain individual.
The earliest account of the Sherlin name comes from the historical records of a Templar Knight who came from Normandy to England around the year 1199. His name, Sir Robert de Scirland. The name de Scirland refers to an area of habitation and means “of the bright land”. The descendants of Robert de Scirland are vague and the name evolved into many varitations. Some variations include Schyrland Syrlund Sherling, Shrood, Shirling, Sherlin, and several others. There are historical records in England of many people of these names. In particular, there was a Sherlin who migrated to the island of Ireland in the mid to late 1200’s. From this Sherlin it is believed that our family line in Ireland came.
THE EARLY SHERLIN’S OF IRELAND
Half a century before the first Sherlin set foot in his new homeland of Ireland the Irish had been invaded by the French-English King Henry II of the Plantagenet dynasty from Anjou, in France. His vassal, lord de Clare, best known to fighting men as Strongbow had taken a strong foothold in the land of the Irish. This was the beginning of 800 years of grief for the Irish people. It was during this turbulent time that the Sherlin’s lived in Ireland. Like many others over the centuries before, who came to Ireland from France, Germany, England, and the Netherlands, Sherlin’s would become completely and unreservedly Irish in blood, heart, and soul.
It is most certain that the early Sherlin’s were of the Catholic faith up until the reformation movement by John Calvin and Luther who brought the ideals of the Protestant faith into conflict with the Catholic faith all over the known world. Exactly when any Sherlin may have left the Catholic faith and become Protestant is not known. When the last of the French-English Plantagenet Kings were overthrown by Henry Tudor in 1485, which began the Tudor dynasty, the Renaissance and Reformation made overwhelming inroads into Irish society and faith. It is suspected that some time after this occurred that some Sherlin’s converted to the Protestant faith. Although there are still some Sherlin’s who claim the Catholic faith, most are Protestant today. For purposes of staying true to my own Sherlin direct descendents who came into America in 1800 I will refer to the Sherlin’s as Protestants, who were of the Baptist, Methodist, & Presbyterian faith, and from which churches most current Sherlin historical records can be found in America.
WAR, UPRISINGS & PATRIOTISM
From the time of Henry Tudor in 1485 to around 1800 when my Sherlin descendants left Ireland for America there were numerous wars, battles, and uprisings by the Irish against the English oppressors. Being patriotic Irish, whether Catholic or Protestant we can be certain that our Sherlin ancestors were involved in the uprisings and battles. It is recorded that there were a few Sherlin’s who were exiled to the Penal Colonies in Australia during the Uprising’s from 1798 to the early 1800’s. It was during these uprising’s that we find the recorded historical facts of my direct line leaving Ireland and coming to America. It is also during this period that we find the account of James Bernard Sherlin, born in Dublin May 6, 1729, died June 15, 1816 in Dublin, Ireland. He had three sons that are known of: James Bernard (or H.) Sherlin born about 1780 in Dublin, Ireland; George Thomas Sherlin born about 1782 in Dublin, Ireland; and, my direct ancestor, Richard L. Sherlin born May 7, 1784 in Dublin, Ireland, died April 16, 1868 in the Notchy Creek area of Monroe County, Tennessee USA.
SHERLIN’S IN AMERICA
During the turbulent times of the uprisings in the late 1700’s we find that two son’s of James Bernard Sherlin left Ireland for the independent colonies in America. In the summer of 1800 Richard L. Sherlin and his brother James arrived in a Savannah, Georgia port from their homeland of Ireland. They left Savannah to settle in Sevier County in the mountains of East Tennessee.
This historical record shows many things about what the Sherlin’s were looking for in this new land. One of which was to be free, and the other, to be in an area that closely resembled their beloved homeland. You see, being from Dublin, Ireland they would have enjoyed the majestic Wicklow Mountains and great open Liffey Plain. The area which is now East Tennessee offered much of the same landscape with its Great Smoky Mountains and expansive Tennessee Valley. The only thing that it did not offer was the great ocean on its coast. I have no doubt that they were well pleased and felt much at home in this wonderful place.
After setting off from Savannah in the summer of 1800 Richard and James arrived in Sevier County Tennessee at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains.
In 1801 James decided that he would leave East Tennessee for the great mountain area of Ashville, North Carolina. His descendents would populate that area and spread out all into Western North Carolina. Richard L., however, remained in Sevier County until sometime after 1819 when Monroe County was formed out of the Hiwassee Purchase from the Cherokee Indians. He moved his family to the Nothcy Creek area of current day East Tennessee which lies between current day Madisonville and Tellico Plains and raised them there as a farmer until his death April 16, 1868. His children were:
Richard Dickie Sherlin born about 1818 in Sevier County, he died April 9, 1879 in McMinn County, Tennessee. Note: Monroe County was not constituted until 1819 when the Hiwassee Purchase was made with the Cherokee Indians.
Samuel Sherlin born about 1822 in Monroe County, Tennessee
Thomas Sherlin born Jan. 16, 1824 in Monroe County, Tennessee
John Tyler Sherlin born May 14, 1829 in Monroe County, Tennessee
Robert R. Sherlin born June 9, 1843 in Monroe County, Tennessee
Bessie Mae Sherlin born Sept 20, 1844 in Monroe County, Tennessee
Frank Sherlin born Dec 19, 1846 in Monroe County, Tennessee
Bertie Sherlin born March 29, 1848 in Monroe County, Tennesee
SHERLIN’S OF MCMINN & MONROE COUNTIES
From this point on I will give information on my direct line from Richard Dickie Sherlin. I truly believe there is enough information for anyone researching Sherlin history to follow their own lines back. Richard Dickie Sherlin a farmer, was raised and lived in the Notchy Creek area of Monroe County. He later moved into McMinn County and died there April 9, 1879. He married Elizabeth (Betsy Ann) Watson born about 1827. They were married according to the records of the Madisonville Court House on Sept. 4, 1842 in the Notchy Creek area of Monroe County. They had thirteen children:
George W. Sherlin born Oct 2, 1851 in Monroe County
Sarah Sherlin born About 1845 in Monroe County (Married Marne Sutton)
William Sherlin born about 1848 in Monroe County
John Sherlin born about 1849 in Monroe County (married: Sarah)
Hiram Sherlin born Aug 14, 1844 in Monroe Co. died Aug 31, 1891 Monroe Co. Westview Cemetery, Sweetwater, TN
Samuel Sherlin born about 1857 in Monroe County
Dock Abraham Sherlin born Dec 24, 1854 in Monroe County died Mar 17, 1929 McMinn County, buried old Mt,. Harmony Baptist Church. (married: Rinda Bonine)
Martha Sherlin born about 1856 in Monroe County
Jefferson Davis Sherlin born Aug 1862 in McMinn County (married: Evelyn McDaniel born Feb 8, 1883 in McMinn County)
Thomas Gullhagan Sherlin born Oct 6, 1866 in McMinn County (married: Gussie Belle Burger)
Mollie Sherlin born about 1866 in McMinn County (married Pasqual Coleman)
James Harrison Sherlin born about 1870 in McMinn County
Ella Sherlin born Mar 8, 1872 in McMinn County died Aug 29, 1954 in McMinn County, (married: Joseph Lafayette Kelly Aug 21, 1892 McMinn County)
My line continues through George W. Sherlin, a farmer and a local Grocer, son of Richard Dickie Sherlin. George married Sarah E. Hicks born May 5, 1855, she died Jan 5, 1945 in McMinn County. George died June 9, 1916 in McMinn County and both are buried in the Cedar Grove Cemetary in Athens, TN. Sarah E. Hicks descended from Shadrach Hicks who is listed an early pioneer and first families of Tennessee in Historical records in Monroe County. George and Sarah had seven children:
Fred Sherlin born June 15, 1879 in Athens, TN.
William Sherlin born July 30, 1881 in Athens, died Feb 4, 1963 in Athens, TN ( married: Thanie)
My direct great grandfather Fred Sherlin was a laborer and died Jan 13, 1964 in Athens, TN. He married Martha Queen, daughter of Charles Queen and Sarah Hayes. She was born June 16, 1883 in McMinn County, and died July 24, 1946 in Athens, TN. Fred and Martha are buried in the Cedar Grove Cemetary in Athens, TN. They had five children:
Herbert Sherlin born Feb 15, 1905 in Athens, TN
Gilford Sherlin born in Athens, TN
Ralph Sherlin born in Athens, TN
Isabel Sherlin born in Athens, TN
Oliver (Polly) Sherlin born in Athens, TN
My grandfather Herbert Sherlin was a laborer and died July 12, 1973 in Athens, TN. He married Ruby Lee Barnett but divorced after about 12 years and married Reba Malone until his death. Herbert and Ruby had one son:
Herbert Ray Sherlin born June 14, 1935 in Athens, TN.
My father Herbert Ray Sherlin died June 20, 2010 and was a Foreman with Bowater Paper Mill in Calhoun, TN. He is retired and living in Athens, TN. He married Sandra Darlene Ray. She was born April 26, 1938: They had four children:
Steven Scott Sherlin born Feb 6, 1955 in Athens, TN
Herbert Ray Sherlin, Jr. born June 25, 1956 in Athens, TN
Mark William Sherlin born Aug 17, 1962 in Athens, Tn died Dec 15, 2000 Meigs Co. TN
Anna Darlene Sherlin born Aug 17, 1962 in Athens, TN
We now come to me, Steven Scott Sherlin. I am the Retired Plant Manager for P.I., Inc in Athens, TN. I married Kathy Sue Wilson born Aug 23, 1957 in Athens, TN. We have three children:
Angela Maria Sherlin born Dec 19, 1974 in Bradley Co. TN (married Jeremy Bell of Manchester, TN)
Steven Andrew Sherlin born June 7, 1977 in Bradley Co. TN (Married Amanda Miller of Manchester, TN)
Amy Elizabeth Sherlin born Feb 17, 1979 in Bradley Co. TN
My son Steven Andrew Sherlin is an IT Professional in Murfreesboro, TN. He married Amanda Lachelle Miller born Oct 31, 1979 in Nashville, TN. They have two sons and one daughter:
Jacob Mark Sherlin born Sept 4, 2003 in Murfreesboro, TN.
Jonah Scott Sherlin born August 1, 2007 in Murfreesboro, TN.
Everleigh Rose Sherlin born February 25, 2010 in Murfreesboro, TN
My daughter Angela Maria Sherlin is an Optometrist in Tullahoma, TN. She married Jeremy Bell born April 10, 1974 in Tullahoma, TN, he is an Attorney in Tullahoma. They have two daughters:
Emma Grace Bell born Nov 10, 2005 in Winchester, TN.
Emily Faith Bell born Nov 3, 2009 in Murfreesboro, TN.
There are two sets of Sherlin Coat of Arms and Crests. The first is English and comes from Sir Robert de Scirland. The colors are blue and white. Upon the blue shield there is a small white square in the upper right corner. It holds 14 Norman-English crosses. In the blue field of the shield there are five lions. Three at the top, two in the center, and one at the bottom. At the top of the Shield sits a knights helmet in grey with a blue ploom to the back. At the top of the helmet sits a griffin holding in its paw a fleur de lis or. Around the sides of the helmet and the shield is draped a display of leaves in blue and white.
The Irish coat of arms is fashioned after the English one with some significant changes. The shield is divided into five sections, the four main quadrants and one smaller square in the center. The upper left quadrant has the letter “S” in old English Script on a grey field, the upper right quadrant has a green griffin on a red field, the lower left quadrant also has a green griffin on a red field, the lower right quadrant has three grey and two black stripes from top to bottom, the center square is a green field. At the top of the shield is a knight’s helmet with leaves and cloth surrounding the whole thing. At the top of the helmet there are two battle boots with two battle axes crossed over them. At both sides of the whole coat of arms are two large swords crossed from top to bottom that go behind the shield and protrude from the bottom.
Although I refer to this section as the conclusion, it is not, in fact, it is only the beginning. As I have time, and the more I discover, this history of the Sherlin’s will no doubt expand. I would like to even see it expand into a published book one day, if not by myself, then perhaps, by another member of our family. A person needs to know their history, the good and the bad. To know where you come from and what your ancestors lived like and what they faced gives an individual a sense of belonging and a determination to live life to its fullest to the end.
There is much more I wanted to add to this history but I am subdued by the constraints of time in this fast and busy world in which we live today in the 21st Century. There are a few comments I would like to interject in this conclusion though.
You may be wondering what ever happened to the third son of James Bernard Sherlin. I have no factual evidence of what I am about to write, but the puzzle of geneology and time would seem to piece together the evidence in a convincing manner.
The third son of James Bernard Sherlin did not leave Ireland with his brothers James and Richard. Instead, he stayed in Ireland with his father. There are no records to be found concerning a George Thomas Sherlin in the early 1800’s in America. Although there were other Sherlin’s in Ireland at this time and I tend to believe that he had a family and they became some of the Sherlin’s who came to America during the great potato famine of the mid 1800’s when millions died or left Ireland. The United States census’s and immigration records clearly point out that most Sherlin’s in the United States came from Ireland in the mid to late 1800’s. England had a small number of Sherlin Immigrants to the U.S., and other countries had single digit numbers. I have also found where some Sherlin’s were exiled to the Austrailian Penal colonies in the 1800’s. No doubt they were part of the United Irishmen of the time who were causing the uprisings to try and free themselves from English tyranny. The leaders of the United Irishmen were usually executed and all the rest of their followers were sent to America or to Australia.
It is a possibility that Richard L. Sherlin and his brother James fled Ireland in 1800 to escape capture if they were a part of the United Irish cause. Time, and the discovery of records will no doubt bring these things to light in the future. Sadly, many of the vital records of the early 1800’s back were destroyed in a fire in Dublin, Ireland in 1922.
As for the Sherlin’s in America, those of us who came from Richard L. Sherlin or his brother James, I assure the reader of this: The greater part of us are still here in East Tennessee and western North Carolina. Those of us from Richard L Sherlin are mostly concentrated in McMinn, Monroe, & Bradley Counties. Those from James Sherlin are spread out all along the Western portion of North Carolina. There are others of us scattered all across this land though.
Sherlin is indeed an unusual name. Recently, it was recorded that there were only about 900 of us in whole of the United States.
I am glad to know that my son, and my grandson’s will continue to carry my part of the line forward into history. Perhaps, they will make some great or small contribution to this world that will cause us all to be proud to be called “SHERLIN”.
If you have or find information concerning the Sherlin history I would greatly appreciate you contacting me so as to make additions or corrections. I truly hope this concise history will be of help to you in your own search for your Sherlin ancestors.
Today, there are few, if any, Sherlin’s left in Ireland. It would be a great and wonderful thing if at some point in the future if our family returned to our homeland to live and find the wonders that our fore-father’s loved and fought for so long ago.
I can be reached by using the information below:
Steven S. Sherlin
1410 Crestway Drive
Athens, Tennessee 37303