We’re excited to announce that in June we are publishing the highly anticipated book, The Ancestors of Samuel Sterling Sherman and Mary Ware Allen. It tells the stories of nine generations of former California Genealogical Society’s president, Frederick "Rick" S. Sherman’s family as they move from New England and Kentucky westward to California. Whether you love history, individual family stories or learning new research tips, or all three, we think this book has something to offer you. Whether a genealogist or not, readers will be moved by getting to know these diverse human beings.
This incredible research effort by The California Genealogical Society is a fitting tribute to a man who gave to the society in so many ways as President, Chief Researcher, and Benefactor. His efforts were suddenly cut short by his death in 2008.
“I can attest to the richness of Rick’s research and to the personal stories of his ancestors that he has uncovered. Among them is the story of an ancestor sea captain in the early 1800s attacked by pirates; of a minister who sailed from a religious convocation in Europe to America on the same boat as refugees from the Irish Potato Famine, praying with them as they lost their loved ones during the voyage. Many written accounts have survived and are included in his book, showing his ancestors joys and hardships and acts of bravery and charity. Through these stories we become witnesses to historical moments”, said co-chair of the Manuscript Collection, Georgia Lupinsky.
Ministers, lawyers and politicians appear side-by-side with farmers, merchants and craftsmen, each with their own meticulously told stories, as Sherman unfolds his family saga.
What to expect
The text is richly supplemented with numerous original photos and portraits as well as excerpts from dozens of personal letters and journals, and contains a complete index and a list of all the materials in the Sherman Manuscript Collection. In addition, Sherman’s book is an excellent example for all those who want to know how to tell the story of their own families.
This wonderful paper trail includes numerous letters, diaries, speeches, articles and books. Rick’s great-grandfather, Samuel Sterling Sherman (1815-1914) was a noted educator and later successful businessman. He dictated his autobiography when he was 95, and then made an addendum four years later!
Students of genealogy will be interested in Rick’s research tips that are interspersed throughout the book. For example, he shares his methods of dealing with a “mystery woman” in his ancestry. Whether a genealogist or not, readers will be emotionally moved by getting to know these diverse human beings.
There are three compelling stories focused on California ancestors. The first is Frederick S. Sherman’s maternal grandfather, Russell Carpenter Allen, who made his way to California by way of Panama in 1882. With a partner, he traveled California extensively before settling in Dehesa, near the Sweetwater River in San Diego County.
His first ranching venture was devoted to olives and raisins. In 1890 he took charge of a new citrus ranch in Bonita and this became the family home. His central contribution to economic life was the development of citriculture, both in agricultural and marketing methods. He was an active and well-known pioneer in San Diego County and a director of the Panama-California Exhibition of 1915 in San Diego and a Commissioner for the construction of the California Building which graces Balboa Park to this day.
The second ancestor profiled is Frederick S. Sherman’s maternal grandmother, Ella Bradford (Copeland) Allen. She came to Bonita after her marriage to Russell Carpenter Allen in 1888. She was an active participant in the family fruit business, where they raised lemons, figs, guavas and olives.
Her grandson fondly recalls “the gorgeous and delicious guava jelly she made, and the little kegs of hand-cured olives that she would pack and send to her children and grandchildren when they were away at college.” She was well known for her educational and philanthropic work with the Sweetwater Women’s Club, “Casa de Salud,” a well-baby clinic, and the National City Library Board.
The third story focuses on Frederick S. Sherman’s father, Samuel Sterling Sherman. He came with his family to the San Diego area in 1905. After World War I he decided to try citrus farming and was told to contact Mr. R.C. Allen of Bonita, manager of the Sweetwater Fruit Company.
The most important effect of the meeting with Mr. Allen was becoming reacquainted with Allen’s daughter, Mary Ware Allen, whom Samuel married in 1924. “Their honeymoon was a rugged camping trip on San Pedro Martir, about two hundred miles down into Baja California. An album of photos of this trip, with a charming narrative written mostly by Sam, survives today.” Sadly, Sam died in 1933 at age 35 from bronco-pneumonia, complicated by strep throat.
|Samuel Sterling Sherman with his wife, Mary Ware Allen, |
daughter Eleanor, and son, Frederick "Rick" S. Sherman
How we brought the book to life
Georgia is part of the team of dedicated volunteers that have worked tirelessly to bring this book to fruition. Others include Jane Knowles Lindsey, Cathy Paris, Kathy Beals, Matt Berry, Shirley Thomson, and Marie Treleaven.
The book will be sold through our online publisher, Lulu, beginning in June. We also plan to have a very limited amount of inventory available at the library. If you have questions, please contact Georgia Lupinsky.
We hope you enjoy the book!
Copyright © 2017 by California Genealogical Society