The DNA profile of Roger Sherman
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The DNA of a former U.S. Senator
Roger Sherman was a major unsung hero of the American Revolution and one of the fathers of the U.S. Constitution. His many political achievements have had a lasting impact on the paths and foundations of American history.
Roger Sherman was born in Newton, Massachusetts, on April 19, 1721, the second of seven children of William and Mehetabel Sherman. He was the older brother of the first American astronomer and mathematician, John Sherman, and a distant relative of William Tecumseh Sherman, one of the great generals of the Civil War.
Sherman's father, William, was a shoemaker and Roger followed him in that trade. When his father died, Roger was 19 years old and responsible for supporting his younger siblings. Despite this challenge, he taught himself law and was admitted to the bar in 1754.
His political career began in 1755 when he was elected Surveyor of Lands for New Haven County, Connecticut. He quickly made a career for himself and was appointed to the Connecticut Judicial Commission in 1765. He served as a judge of the Connecticut Supreme Court from 1766 to 1789, throughout the American Revolution and long after.
Roger Sherman is one of the five men who signed both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. He played a central role in the Continental Congress and was a major contributor to the Connecticut Compromise, also known as the Great Compromise, which calmed tensions between the smaller and larger states and changed the way the United States was governed. Sherman also led a committee that reviewed the draft Bill of Rights.
From a genetic and genealogical standpoint, Roger Sherman belongs to haplogroup R-M269. This genetic group is highly prevalent in Western Europe and produces many of the European ancestors of today's Americans. It is believed that the first carriers of this haplogroup appeared in Europe about 4,000 to 8,000 years ago and spread from there across the continent during the Neolithic Revolution. Haplogroups are components of human DNA that are passed on in a direct line from father to son. Thus, they remain unchanged as long as they are inherited on the male line.
Sherman's great legacy did not end with his death in 1793, and many of his descendants played important roles in American history. These include the aforementioned Civil War general William Tecumseh Sherman and aviation pioneer Wilbur Wright. Roger's grandson, Roger Sherman Baldwin, was governor of Connecticut and a U.S. senator, and was instrumental in the process that led to the abolition of slavery in the United States.
Roger Sherman was a humble man who fought against challenges and adversity and rose to a position of leadership and prominence. His life and contributions to America's founding documents have left an indelible mark on the history and culture of the United States. His haplogroup and lineage demonstrate the strong connection between America's founding fathers and their European roots, and provide insights into the genetic and historical patterns that shape our modern understanding of identity and heritage.
Roger Sherman belonged to haplogroup R-M343 (subgroup R-FGC5494) in the paternal line.
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