Abiel Sherman

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ChartsAncestors of Adele La Force
Abiel Sherman to Adele (Force) Cooke
Abiel Sherman, whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), was born 7 March 1744.1,2 He died at Nassau, Rensselaer Co., New York, 31 July 1834, aged 90 yr, 4 mo, 24 da.1 Both he and his wife were buried at Nassau-Shodack Cemetery, Nassau, Rensselaer Co., New York, where his inscription reads:
Abial Sherman, died July 31, 1834, aged 90 yr 4 mo. 24 ds
and hers reads
Mary, wife of Abial Sherman, died Nov. 2, 1840.1,3
Abiel married Mary Boughton, whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), at Salem, Westchester Co., New York, 15 November 1767.4,2

Abiel Sherman enlisted with the Fourth Regiment, Westchester County Militia. He fought and was wounded at the battle for Fort Independence, January 1777, for which he was later awarded a pension by the State of New York, and later, the United States..5,2

In 1790, his household was probably the one enumerated at Pawling, Dutchess Co., New York, with 3 free white males over 16, 1 under 16, and 4 free white females.6

His pension application:
Whereas I Abiel Sherman of the town of Nassaw in the county of Rensselaer and State of New York by virtue of a certificate issued by Richard Varick and Richard Platt bearing date of the sixteenth day of March 1787 and now on file in the War department have received a certain sum of money in said certificate mentioned as a pension for a certain wound and disability as in said certificate also particularly set forth from the first day of April one thousand seven hundred and seventy seven, with some additions to said sum for the later part of said period up to the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty three, and whereas, owing to an entire misunderstanding as to what was required of me to entitle me to a continuation of such pension from the year last above mentioned, I have not received any part thereof from said year up to the present time although the same disability continued during the whole of the intervening period, and whereas some time in the month of March or April of the year one thousand eight hundred and thirty one, I employed John Koon of the town of Nassaw, aforesaid to confer with the proper officers of the said War Department as to the proper means to be adopted to procure the continuation of such pension for the future and to obtain if practicable, the back pay which had accrued thereon from the year one thousand eight hundred and twenty three. And whereas such proceedings were thereupon had, that the said war Department adjudged and determined, as I am informed by a communication from J. S. Edwards Esqr bearing date the 9th day of August AD 1831 That the evidence adduced on my part was sufficient to authorize the Secretary of War to place my name again on the pension Roll, but that agreeably to the construction given to the Act of March 3rd 1819 the Amount claimed from 1823 could not be paid. And further that if I was willing to receive what the law allowed a new pension certificate would be granted on my signifying my acquiescence in the decision of the said department. That if I refused to accept the pension from that date I could not obtain relief but by a special act of Congress. And whereas as I am informed and verily believe the said John Koon did thereupon signify to the said department my willingness [to accept] the above mentioned decision thereof upon condition that my right to apply to congress for such special act should not there by be banned or impaired, and whereas the said J. S. Edwards Esqr by his letter bearing date the 14th day of September 1831 set forth the final determination of the said War Department in the premises in the words following to wit “Sir, In reply to that part of your Letter of the 29th ultimo which relates to the case of Abiel Sherman I have to inform you that pension certificate cannot be issued for him until he makes an application writing and signifies his determination in the case either to accept what is offered by the department conditionally or relinquish his claim to back pay”

Now therefore I, the said Abiel Sherman do hereby fully consent and agree to accept the said pension certificate from the date above mentioned, conditionally that is that I do not, thereby waive my right to apply to Congress for such back pay, and I do hereby expressly signify my determination to that effect and make application for such new certificate given under my hand at Nassaw aforesaid the nineteenth day of June AD 1832.

Abiel x Sherman

Signed in the presence of John Koon

Also in the file are surgeons’ statements:

By satisfactory evidence and accurate examination it appears that on or about the tenth day of January in the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy seven, being engaged with the British Troops at or near a place called Fort Independence in the State of New York, he received a wound in his right hand by a musket ball by which the two [ ] were fractured in a severe manner and the tendons upon the back of that part of the hand fractured entirely severed by [ ] whereof the corresponding tendons upon the inside of the said hand have become so contracted as to draw the fourth and fifth fingers close to the palm of thereof and thereby depriving him in a great degree of the use of that hand in the performance of his ordinary labor
And the [ ] and is thereby not only incapacitated for military duty, but in the opinion of the undersigned, is one half disabled from obtaining his subsistence from manual labor

General William Heath was leading a force of nearly 6,000 American Troops to Manhattan in January 1777. Along the way they attacked Fort Independence near Spuyten Duyvil, just north of Kingsbridge on the Hudson River. Although the Hessians were taken by surprise, the Hessian commander refused the surrender demand and fought for several days. A relief force of Tory and British soldiers made Heath's effort futile. Apparently at some point the American troops panicked and Heath was forced to withdraw. Washington reprimanded Heath for the action, and he was never again entrusted to lead important field operations.2,7

Abiel left a will dated at Nassau, 14 April 1824,
In the name of God Amen. I Abial Sherman of the Town of Nasau in the county of Rensselaer & State of New York being weak in body but of sound & disposing mind & memory do make constitute publish & declare my last Will & Testament in manner following which is to say

First I give devise & bequeath to my beloved wife Mary the House in which I now live and the garden spot adjoining the same to her use during her natural life also all my household furniture of every description including beds bedding & all other moveables now in the house during her natural life. Also the sum of One Hundred dollars in cash Also my Brindled milch cow during her natural life. The above Devises & bequests to be besides and Independent of my Wife’s claim of Dower on my real estate.

Second I give & devise to my sons Stephen Sherman Lewis Sherman David Sherman Enock Sherman & Thomas Sherman & to their heirs & assigns forever equally to be divided between them All my Real estate situate in and being in the town of Nassau aforesaid as follows to wit The farm on which I now live Bounded north by Jacob Benedict East by Enoch Sherman and Thomas Sherman South by Peter P Decker & West by Thomas Hoag containing fifty three acres & half be the same more or less. Also my certain other Lot situate as aforesaid & Bounded North by Thomas Hoag, East by Peter P. Decker, south by Nicholas T Smith, & West by Isaac Phillips containing thirty three & half acres be the same more or less Said Real estate being subject to my wife’s claim of dower therein. It is also my will that said real estate shall not be divided nor taken possession of by my sons Stephen Lewis & David until the expiration of one year after my decease during which year it is my will that my sons Enock & Thomas should have the use thereof subject to the claim of dower aforesaid.

Third I give and bequeath to my daughters Hannah Betts wife of Isaiah Betts Mary Francher wife of Seth Francher, Betsey Deveraux widow of Theodore Deveraux Phebe Palmer wife of Fenner Palmer, Sally Hodges wife of Nehemiah Hodges & Anna Bouton wife of John Bouton twenty dollars each to be paid by my executors hereinafter mentioned. Also all the personal property above bequeathed to my wife during her natural life to be equally divided between my said daughters after the death of my wife share & share alike. Also all the residue of my personal estate if any to be equally divided between them.

Fourth I hereby nominate constitute & appoint Enoch Sherman and Thomas Sherman Executors of this my last Will and Testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this fourteenth day of April in the year of our Lord One thousand Eight hundred & Twenty four.

Signed Sealed published & declared by the said testator as and for his last Will & Testament in the presence of us who at his request in his presence & in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as Witnesses thereto.

S. B. Ludlow Eben D Bapett George H. Hoff


Abial Sherman (his mark)

His codicil
I Abial Sherman of the Town of Nassau in the County of Rensselaer do hereby make constitute and declare this to be a Codicil to my last Will & Testament bearing date the fourteenth day of April in the year One thousand Eight hundred & twenty four and desire the same to be attached & annexed and I do hereby attach & annex this Codicil to the same.

First I give devise & bequeath to my sons Enoch Sherman, Thomas Sherman & to their heirs & assigns forever All my Real estate situate lying & being in the Town of Nassau and particularly [described] in the last Will and Testament aforesaid to which this is a Codicil.

Secondly I give and Bequeath to my sons John Sherman Lewis Sherman and David Sherman Two hundred & fifty dollars each to be paid to them by the said Enoch and Thomas within one year after my decease and I do hereby charge my aforesaid real estate with the payment thereof which is to be in full of all & each of their claims of every name and description on my estate real & personal.

Thirdly I hereby Revoke any and every disposition of my Real Estate heretofore made by me either in the said last Will & Testament to which this is a Codicil or in any other manner whatsoever & consistent with the present disposition thereof Signed sealed published & declared by the said Abial Sherman as & for a Codicil to his last Will & Testament.     Abial (his mark) Sherman

Hereunto annexed in the presence of us who at his request in his presence and in the presence of eath other have subscribed our names as witness thereto,

]S. B. Ludlow Jehiel Bouton Polly Harris.8


Mary Boughton b. abt. 24 Jul 1750, d. 2 Nov 1840
  • Mary Sherman9 b. 22 Dec 1767, d. 22 Dec 1767
  • Stephen Sherman9,2 b. 26 Mar 1769
  • Lewis Sherman10,2 b. 7 Apr 1771
  • Hannah Sherman10,2 b. 2 Aug 1772
  • Enoch Sherman11 b. 27 Feb 1774, d. 12 Aug 1777
  • David Sherman+12,2 b. 21 Jan 1776, d. 1 Dec 1845
  • Mary Sherman13,2 b. 23 Nov 1777
  • Betsey Sherman14 b. 23 Apr 1780, d. bt 1824 - 1840
  • Phebe Sherman14,2 b. 31 Mar 1782
  • Nathan Sherman15 b. 19 Feb 1784, d. 6 Mar 1784
  • Enoch Sherman15,2 b. 13 Feb 1785, d. 9 Aug 1842
  • Thomas Sherman16,2 b. 27 Aug 1786
  • Sally Sherman16,2 b. 12 Jul 1789
  • Anna Sherman17,2 b. 1 Sep 1790, d. 12 Jan 1870
This person was last edited on15 Dec 2022


  1. [S454] Ralph D. Phillips, "All Inscriptions of the Nassau-Schodack Cemetery Nassau, Rensselaer County, N. Y.", New York State Library, Albany, New York: typescript, 1935, microform copy: FHL Film/Fiche #532618, item #7, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, 54, further cited as "Nassau-Shodack Cemetery."
  2. [S630] "Revolutionary War Pensions," database and digital images, Fold3 (https://www.fold3.com), Abiel Sherman, File #W.19354; original data: Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, National Archives microfilm publication M0804, 2670 rolls, roll #2172.
  3. [S1546] Karen Weihe Hulford, Find A Grave memorial #21228851 & #21228938, added 28 Aug 2007, online http://www.findagrave.com, accessed Jan 2020, further cited as Find A Grave.
  4. [S1045] "Records of the Church of Christ in Salem, Westchester Co., N. Y.: First Church in the Town with some Places Adjacent," The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, 31 (April 1900): 88, further cited as "Records of the Church of Christ in Salem."
  5. [S1046] James A. Roberts and Frederick G. Mather, New York in the Revolution as Colony and State: Bound with Volume II, [Supplement](second ed., 1898-1901; reprint, Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., two volumes in one, 1996), 1:216, 273, further cited as Roberts and Mather, New York in the Revolution.
  6. [S2161] Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790, 12 vols. (Washington D.C.: Department of Commerce and Labor, Bureau of the Census, 1907-1908), NY:86, further cited as Heads of Families, 1790.
  7. [S864] Barnet Schecter, The Battle for New York: The City at the Heart of the American Revolution(New York: Walker & Company, 2002), 269-270, further cited as Schecter, Battle for New York.
  8. [S629] Rensselaer Co., New York, Probate records, 1791-1921; index to probate records, 1794-1916, 18:106-108, FHL microfilm 550013, further cited as Rensselaer Co., NY Probate.
  9. [S1045] "Records of the Church of Christ in Salem," 32 (April 1901): 76.
  10. [S1045] "Records of the Church of Christ in Salem," 32 (July 1901): 165.
  11. [S1045] "Records of the Church of Christ in Salem," 32 (July 1901): 166.
  12. [S1045] "Records of the Church of Christ in Salem," 32 (July 1901): 167.
  13. [S1045] "Records of the Church of Christ in Salem," 32 (July 1901): 168.
  14. [S1045] "Records of the Church of Christ in Salem," 32 (October 1901): 242.
  15. [S1045] "Records of the Church of Christ in Salem," 32 (October 1901): 243.
  16. [S1045] "Records of the Church of Christ in Salem," 32 (October 1901): 244.
  17. [S1045] "Records of the Church of Christ in Salem," 33 (January 1902): 38.