1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

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 Wetmore-Sherman Family Papers

 Family papers of Newport, RI and New York

 Papers, 1730-1970. Bulk, 1802-1955

 Size: 1.5 ft.

 Catalog number: MSS 1078

 Processed by: Karen Eberhart, September 2001

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            George Peabody Wetmore was governor of Rhode Island for two terms from 1885-1887. He also served for three terms as a U.S. Senator for the period 1894-1912. The other great interest of his life was genealogy. When he was in his late 20's, Mr. Wetmore started his genealogical work by doing research on his great grandfather General William Shepard. From there his research expanded to include all the lines in his family and many in his wife's family. Mr. Wetmore was able to trace his ancestry back to English forebears in the 1600's.

            The interest in family history was taken up by Mr. Wetmore's niece, Georgette (Sherman) Brown. She studied the materials her uncle had collected. Notes found throughout the documents indicate that she passed the information along to her niece Sybil (Sherman) Sellar. The two of them compiled genealogical lists and tables and wrote up biographies of many members of the Sherman line. The collection of documents then passed to Sybil's daughter Iris (Sellar) Veeder.

            Mr. Wetmore's ancestors settled in upper New York state and in Massachusetts. His father, William S. Wetmore, was a successful businessman in the China trade and built, in 1851, a summer residence in Newport, RI which he called Chateau-Sur-Mer. The Wetmore family divided their time between New York City and Newport.

see also: George Peabody Wetmore Papers MSS 798


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Scope and content:

            These papers relate to a wide range of the extended family of George P. Wetmore and his wife Edith Keteltas Wetmore. The records consist mostly of correspondence, copies of wills and genealogical notes and biographies. The papers are organized according to the following family groups. When known, relationships between the individuals have been noted in the inventory.

1) Shepard Family. George P. Wetmore's great grandfather, Gen. William Shepard (1737-1817), was a Revolutionary War officer. As a general in the Massachusetts militia, he played an important part in defending Springfield during Shay's Rebellion in 1787.

2)Wetmore Family. This section includes the papers of George P. Wetmore and his paternal ancestors, father William S. Wetmore (1801-1862) and grandfather Seth Wetmore (1769-1830). These Wetmores resided in Middletown, Conn.; St. Albans, Vt.; New York City and Newport, RI. George P. Wetmore's wife Edith (Keteltas) Wetmore and their three children William S.K., Maude and Edith are also represented here. Included in this section is a 1773 account book of Abraham Keteltas that was later used as the Keteltas family register through at least 1887. The Keteltas family lived on Long Island and in New York City.

3) Pickman Family. George P. Wetmore's maternal ancestors, including the Pickman, Derby and Rogers families. These families for the most part hailed from Salem, Massachusetts.

4) Sherman Family. William W. Sherman (1842-1912) married Annie D.R. Wetmore (1848-1884), and was thus the brother-in-law of George P. Wetmore. The collection includes papers of his father Watts Sherman (1809-1865), his mother Sarah Maria (Gibson) Sherman, grandfather Henry Bicker Gibson, and daughter Georgette (Sherman) Brown. This family resided in New York - in Canandaigua, Albany and New York City. Georgette (Sherman) Brown married into the prominent Brown family of Rhode Island and divided her time between New York City and Newport, RI.

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            The structure of the collection suggests that it was gathered together by Georgette (Sherman) Brown, who apparently inherited her uncle George P. Wetmore's genealogical notes, and added them to the collected notes and papers from her father's family. She died in 1960 without children, and the papers were probably left to her niece Iris (Sellar) Veeder (1908-1983), who died in 1983 and left the papers to her son Paul L. Veeder II.

            These papers were donated to the Rhode Island Historical Society in 1985 by Paul L. Veeder II (b.1933). He was the son of Iris (Sellar) Veeder (1908-1983), the grandson of Sybil K. (Sherman) Sellar (1875-1953), and the great-grandson of William W. Sherman and Annie D.R. (Wetmore) Sherman.

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Processing note:


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Shepard Family

            William Shepard (1737-1817) - great grandfather of George P. Wetmore

box 1, folder 1 U.S. Army Accounts                                                             1778

                         Massachusetts Militia Accounts                                             1787-88

box 2, folder 2 Correspondence                                                                     1781-1808

Pickman Family

box 1, folder 3 Bible photostats containing family records                           1730's - 1880's

            Benjamin Pickman (1740-1819)

box 1, folder 4 , Will and papers                                                                    1788, 1817, 1819

            Mary (Toppan) Pickman (1744-1817) - wife of Benjamin Pickman (1740-1819)

box 1, folder 5 , Memorial written by her son Benjamin Pickman                 1817

            Benjamin Pickman (1763-1843) - son of Benjamin (1740-1819) and Mary Toppan

box 1, folder 6 , Will                                                                                      1843

            Love Rawlins Pickman - daughter of Benjamin (1740-1819) and Mary Toppan

box 1, folder 7 Will                                                                                       n.d.

            Sarah Pickman

box 1, folder 8 Estate                                                                                     1812

Wetmore Family

Seth Wetmore (1769-1830) - grandfather of George P. Wetmore; son-in-law of William Shepard

box 1, folder 9 Correspondence                                                                     1802, n.d.


William S. Wetmore (1801-1862) - son of Seth Wetmore, father of George P. Wetmore

box 1, folder 10 Correspondence and papers                                                 1845-61

box 1, folder 11 Financial statements                                                            1832-40

box 1, folder 12 Profit and loss ledger                                                           1834-39

box 1, folder 13 Profit and loss ledger                                                           1834-40

            William Shepard Wetmore Jr. (1844-1858) - son of William S. Wetmore

box 1, folder 14 Lock of hair                                                                         c. 1858

            George P. Wetmore (1846-1921) - son of William S. Wetmore

box 1, folder 15 Correspondence - Derby Family                                         1886, 1912-21

box 1, folder 16 Correspondence - Dudley Family                                       1899-1915

box 1, folder 17 Correspondence - Pickman book                                        1920-21

            [see also: box 1, folders 24, 32, 33 ]

box 1, folder 18 Correspondence - Pickman Family                                     1920-21

box 1, folder 19 Correspondence - Rogers Family                                        1887-1920

box 1, folder 20 Correspondence regarding Gen. William Shepard              1874-90

box 1, folder 21 Correspondence regarding Gen. William Shepard Monument 1914-19

box 1, folder 22 Correspondence regarding William S. Wetmore                1906,1917-28, n.d.

            Edith (Keteltas) Wetmore (1848-1927) - wife of George P. Wetmore

box 1, folder 23 Correspondence                                                                   1909-22, n.d.

box 1, folder 24 Correspondence - Pickman book                                        1924-27 

            Abraham Keteltas (1732-1798)

box 1, folder 25 Account book and Keteltas family register                                     1773-1887

            William S.K. Wetmore ( -1925) - son of George and Edith Wetmore

box 1, folder 26 Newspaper article                                                                1915

            Edith M.K. Wetmore (1870-1966) - daughter of George and Edith Wetmore

box 1, folder 27 Correspondence and papers                                                 1915-66

box 1, folder 28 Estate inventory                                                                  1966

box 1, folder 29 Estate inventory                                                                  1966

            Maude A.K. Wetmore (1873-1951) - daughter of George and Edith Wetmore

box 1, folder 30 Correspondence and papers                                                 1902-51

box 1, folder 31 Correspondence regarding Gen. William Shepard              1931-33

                                    silver bowl by Paul Revere

            Edith M.K. Wetmore, Maude A.K. Wetmore, Henry A. Vale

box 1, folder 32 Correspondence regarding Pickman book                           1924-28

box 1, folder 33 Correspondence acknowledging receipt of Pickman book 1928-34

Sherman Family

            Henry Bicker Gibson (1783-1863) - father of Sarah Maria (Gibson) Sherman

box 1, folder 34 Estate                                                                                   1863-64, 1875

            Sarah (Sherman) Gibson (1796-1881) - wife of Henry Bicker Gibson

box 1, folder 35 Correspondence and will                                                     1865, 1878, n.d.

            Cornelia Sherman - sister of Olivia Sherman

box 1, folder 36 Correspondence from her sister Olivia Sherman                1822

            Olivia Sherman - sister of Cornelia Sherman

box 1, folder 37 Correspondence                                                                   1878

            Sally Sherman

box 1, folder 38 Correspondence                                                                   1811

            Watts Sherman (1809-1865) - son in law of Henry and Sarah Gibson

box 1, folder 39 Correspondence and papers                                                 1833-65

box 1, folder 40 Deeds                                                                                  1836-58

box 1, folder 41 Deeds - Albany                                                                   1822-41

box 1, folder 42 Estate                                                                                   1864-71

            Sarah Maria (Gibson) Sherman (1816-1878) - wife of Watts Sherman, daughter of Henry and Sarah Sherman

box 1, folder 43 Correspondence                                                                   1835-76, n.d.

box 1, folder 44 Correspondence from Watts Sherman                                1830-63

box 1, folder 45 Deed and will                                                                      1860, 1875

box 1, folder 46 Diary                                                                                   1838-39

box 1, folder 47 Diary                                                                                   1839

box 2, folder 1 Diary                                                                                   1839-40

box 2, folder 2 Diary                                                                                   1840

box 2, folder 3 Diary                                                                                   1866

box 2, folder 4 Passports                                                                             1854, 1873

            Duncan Sherman - son of Watts and Sarah Maria (Gibson) Sherman

box 2, folder 5 Transfer orders                                                                    1868

            William Watts Sherman (1842-1912) - son of Watts and Sarah Maria (Gibson) Sherman

box 2, folder 6 Correspondence                                                                   1863-85

            Annie D.R. (Wetmore) Sherman (1848-1884) - wife of William Watts Sherman, daughter of William S. Wetmore

box 2, folder 7 Correspondence                                                                   1856-68

box 2, folder 8 Will                                                                                     1878

            Georgette (Sherman) Brown - daughter of William Watts and Annie D.R. (Wetmore) Sherman, wife of Harold Brown 

box 2, folder 9 Correspondence                                                                   1908-35

box 2, folder 10 Estate                                                                                   1902-58

box 2, folder 11 Sherman family historical notes and excerpts                     n.d.

            Harold Brown (1813-1900) - husband of Georgette (Sherman) Brown, son of John Carter Brown

box 2, folder 12 Will                                                                                      1899

            Sybil (Sherman) Sellar (1875-1955) - sister of Georgette (Sherman) Brown

box 2, folder 13 Correspondence                                                                   1923

box 2, folder 14 Sherman family notes and biographies                               1955, n.d.


            Iris (Sellar) Veeder (1909?-1983) - daughter of Sybil (Sherman) Sellar

box 2, folder 15 Correspondence and notes                                                  1955, n.d.

            Francis Veeder - husband of Iris (Sellar) Veeder

box 2, folder 16 Correspondence                                                                   1955, n.d.

Miscellaneous files on family and friends

box 2, folder 17 Cyphering book - "Algebra and the Mathematics"             n.d.

box 2, folder 18 Death dates - Wetmore extended family and friends          1877-1967

box 2, folder 19 Deed - James Howard and Catharine Howard to                1835

                                    Ramsay M. Henry, Baltimore County

box 2, folder 20 John and Alexander Greig                                                   1857, 1868

box 2, folder 21 Newspaper clippings                                                           1855-1967

box 2, folder 22 Henry A. Vale - Obituaries                                                 1939

box 2, folder 23 Wetmore Mansion - Chateau Sur Mer                                1969-70

box 2, folder 24 Unidentified correspondence                                              1871?, 1909

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Chateau-Sur-Mer (Newport, RI)

Cyphering Books.

Diaries, 1838-1866

New York - Social life and customs.

Rhode Island - Social life and customs.

Shays' Rebellion, 1786-1787.

Brown, Georgette (Sherman), 1872-1960.

Brown, Harold, 1813-1900.

Gibson, Henry Bicker, 1783-1863.

Gibson, Sarah (Sherman), 1796-1881.

Hancock, John, 1737-1793.

Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 1809-1894.

Keteltas, Abraham, 1732-1798.

Lincoln, Benjamin, 1733-1810.

Pickman, Benjamin, 1740-1819.

Pickman, Benjamin, 1763-1843.

Pickman, Mary (Toppan), 1744-1817.

Sellar, Sybil (Sherman), 1875-1955.

Shepard, William, 1737-1817.

Sherman, Annie D. R. (Wetmore), 1848-1884.

Sherman, Duncan.

Sherman, Sarah Maria (Gibson), 1816-1878.

Sherman, Sophia Augusta (Brown), 1866-1947.

Sherman, Watts, 1809-1865.

Sherman, William Watts, 1842-1912.

Vale, Henry Ambler, 1867-1939.

Veeder, Iris (Sellar), c.1909-1983.

Wetmore, Anstiss Derby (Rogers), 1822-1889.

Wetmore, Edith (Keteltas), 1848-1927.

Wetmore, Edith M. K., 1870-1966.

Wetmore, George Peabody, 1846-1921.

Wetmore, Maude A. K., 1873-1951.

Wetmore, Seth, 1769-1830.

Wetmore, William S., 1801-1862.

Wetmore, William S. K., 1875-1925. 

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