Are you still working on the Shearman-Goss families? I quite agree with your posting. It seems highly unlikely that Thomas Goss only had one wife considering the long child-bearing period. I also wonder if John Shearman may have had a wife prior to Catherine who was mother of the first Mrs. Goss. Thomas Goss and his first wife did not seem to name a dau Catherine, but it is more a matter of the gap within the children of John Shearman that raises this question, though many of the birth dates are unknown and I have not given it much thought.
Have you worked on the Shearman family? I rather think more could be done on the subject, though it may well lead into some burned record county. There is evidence more Shearmans showed up in Granville Co besides John and his family, but I have not really investigated them.
I have been curious about a single reference in the 1770's in Charles City County, Virginia, to a Michael Shearman who was a school master. It was that same county which had a Michael "Sherman" from the late 17th century through the 1720's. It is a burned record county, of course. but if the 1770's Michael Shearman is a descendant of the earlier man it is evidence the family may have used both spellings of the surname. The schoolmaster is probably not John Shearman's son who was apparently in Granville during the 1770's. However, there was apparently a degree of education within the John Shearman family as books are mentioned twice within John's will. They were all given to Michael except for two books of Bunyan's works given to John. The given name Michael is not rare, but it is fairly uncommon. (I assume the spelling, "Mishael" in John Shearman's will is just a mistake?)
I do not know if I have ever checked to see if an inventory or any additional papers exist for the John Shearman Sr estate. Have you inquired? I have the file for John Shearman Jr who died intestate and it was extremely helpful in proving his children. During the period of settlement most of John Jr's children were in Russell Co Va. (I descend from John Jr though his dau Elizabeth who married John Burch.)
Any thoughts or any more information?
Gary E Young
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