Mary (Unknown) Banks

Mary (Unknown) Banks (1620 - bef. 1694)

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Mary Banks formerly [surname unknown] aka Sherwood
Born in London, Middlesex, Englandmap
Daughter of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Wife of — married about 1638 in Connecticut Colonymap [uncertain]
Wife of — married about 1658 in Fairfield, Connecticut Colony, New Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died before in Fairfield, Fairfield, Connecticutmap
Profile last modified 16 Apr 2019 | Created 21 Jan 2016
This page has been accessed 782 times.

Unknown is the Correct LNAB. There is no evidence that Mary was a Fitch.
A 1938 "Note" by Donald Lines Jacobus, "The Second Wife of Joseph Loomis of Windsor, Conn." published in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register 92:303, discusses the misinformation that Mary 2nd wife of Thomas Sherwood, and 2nd wife of John Banks, was Mary Fitch. Jacobus believes that Elizabeth Hubbell Schenck, in her "History of Fairfield" made a slip of the pen, when writing the 2nd wife of John Banks was Mary Fitch, confusing the wife of Matthew Sherwood, Mary Fitch, with his mother Mary Unknown. He also mentions that no evidence has been found to support Mary's surname as Fitch. Robert Charles Anderson has accepted this position in his Great Migration article on Robert Sherwood.



An estimate birth of 1620 is based on her estimated marriage about 1640/1641.

Marriages and Children

(1) Mary's first husband Thomas Sherwood immigrated to Boston, in 1634, with his first wife and children. He went to Wethersfield in 1635, and then about 1640 went to Stamford, New Haven Colony, and then to Fairfield, Connecticut, about 1648. He died in 1655.[1] Where the couple were married is dependant on whether they were married in Wethersfield, Connecticut before the move to Stamford, New Haven Colony, or if they were married in 1640 then part of New Haven.
(2) Fairfield Deeds 18 Jan 1658 [1658/9] mention that "John Banks hath married Mary Sherwood the relict"[1]

Death and Will

Mary Banks' will was dated at Fairfield 6 January 1693 [1693/4]. After the opening paragraph commending her soul to God and her body to a "comly burial," she made bequests to Ruth Sherwood, daughter of her son Steven Sherwood; Mary Sherwood, daughter of her son Matthew Sherwood; hanah Lomis; daughter Ruth, son Steven; son Izack; all the rest to son Matthew Sherwood named executor. Ens. Wheeler and James Bennett Sr. were to be overseers. Witnessed by Mary Bennett and James Bennett Sen. Mary made her mark. It was presented at Fairfield Court 13 March 1693, along with her inventory of L 71.10.06 or 00[3]
Some Ancestry trees claim that Mary died 1693 in Rye, Westchester, New York, but her estate was probated in Fairfield.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Jacobus, Donald Lines, MA (compiler, editor.) History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield. Fairfield, Conn.: The Eunice Dennie Burr Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution, 1930. p. 548
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Great Migration 1634-1635, R-S. "Robert Sherwood" (Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2012.) Originally published as: The Great Migration, Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volume VI, R-S, by Robert Charles Anderson. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2009.
  3. Connecticut County, District and Probate Courts. Fairfield Probate District 1693 #285. Mary Banks.

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On 4 Jun 2017 at 18:14 GMT Robin Lee wrote:

Fitch-1828 and Unknown-305555 appear to represent the same person because: same husband and story

On 15 Sep 2016 at 17:28 GMT Mildred Guilbeau wrote:

Wheeler-3730 and Unknown-305555 appear to represent the same person because: Appears to be duplicated, please approve merge

On 23 Mar 2016 at 23:21 GMT Daniel Nordlund wrote:

I changed the "bold"ed statement to more accurately reflect the state of knowledge. As Kenneth Kinman, states we can't say that Mary was not a Fitch, because we don't know what her LNAB was. However, there appears to be just one reference to Thomas Sherwood's wife as Mary Fitch (which has been accepted by many), and it was unsourced. Should any evidence be found as to Mary's LNAB, I would welcome replacing Unknown.

But to paraphrase an unknown author, "The plural of anecdote is not evidence."

On 20 Mar 2016 at 15:08 GMT Kenneth Kinman wrote:

Jacobus did not say that Mary was NOT a Fitch, he said "probably not" (thus possibly she was). If she was, we would have Matthew Sherwood marrying his first cousin (not unheard of). Or if Mary Fitch was a third wife of Thomas Sherwood (and not mother of Matthew), Matthew and wife Mary would not be related by blood at all.

Therefore Thomas Fitch Jr.'s sister Mary could have married Thomas Sherwood as a 2nd or 3rd wife, and it wouldn't have been a "slip of the pen" after all. Jacobus could be wrong.

The only way to settle the matter will be GENETIC evidence. In the meantime, it seems too strong and premature to say that Thomas Sherwood did NOT marry a Fitch. And Matthew might have met his 2nd wife Mary Fitch because the Sherwoods and Fitches were already connected by marriage.

Rejected matches › Mary Fitch (abt.1629-)

Mary is 15 degrees from Cari Starosta, 15 degrees from Marie-Antoinette d'Autriche and 10 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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