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Sherman Serendipity

I happened upon a treasure the other day. While contemplating the next step in my Sherman family research, for some reason I looked into a desk drawer that I had not opened in a while. There I found a folder marked “Sherman.” I had forgotten all about it.

It contained several Sherman-related documents I have collected over the years. I had tossed them in the folder awaiting a time when I could focus on the Shermans. Surprisingly, some of the papers were documents I had just been considering seeking as a next step in my research. What a find! (not to mention the opportunity to clean out something from the desk drawer).

First I turned my attention to a Civil War Widow’s pension file. It pertains to my ancestor Thomas Sherman’s brother-in-law, John Alvey. I learned the following from this file:

  1. Private John Alvey’s widow Evaline (Thomas’ older sister) filed for a pension in 1867, and she began receiving $8 per month. The pension continued until her death in 1922—a period of 55 years.
  2. The discrepancy on the 1851 Alvey marriage record between her name Evaline Sherman and the recorded name Emeline Shearer was explained as an Estill County, KY scrivener’s error.
  3. Pvt. John Alvey enlisted as a Union volunteer in August, 1862 at Hendersonville, KY. He served in the 8th Kentucky cavalry.
  4. Pvt. John Alvey died of diphtheria in January 1863 in a hospital at Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
  5. When Evaline filed for the pension, both she and two sisters who served as witnesses (Elizabeth Sherman Glover and Gilla Sherman Cobb) had moved from Kentucky to Williamsburgh, Indiana.
  6. Evaline and John Alvey’s only child, Roena, was born December 25, 1852.

Finding this Sherman folder just when I needed it becomes another example of that genealogy serendipity I experience every so often. Other genealogists talk about it, too. It is almost as if our ancestors want to be found, and they nudge us in the right direction. I cannot wait to see what else I find in this long-forgotten folder.

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