Much of American history is conceived in terms of large scale movements, often involving massive numbers of people. Within these broad groups, however, we know that individuals have had many different experiences. The purpose of this book is to conceive of American history much more in terms of these individuals who collectively created it.
The vehicle is a detailed study, conceived in standard genealogical terms of reference, of a Sherwood family line. The Sherwood ancestor, Thomas of Fairfield, arrived in Massachusetts in 1634. His 10th generation descendant, Frank P. Sherwood, was residing in Reston, Virginia in 2006. The book is divided into two volumes, with the first covering the first eight generations, generally through the 19th century, and the second, the 9th and 10th generations living in the 20th century.
The goal has been to conceive the members of these generations as participants in, and contributors to, the forces that have brought about change in America. One of the great transformations in the American society, for example, occurred in this family in the latter half of the 19th century, when five of eight children embarked on professional careers as doctors, lawyers, ministers and teachers. No one had engaged in these pursuits before. It was also the generation when the first child graduated from college.
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July 21, 2006
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