Shelton Family History
Mr. Smith

note: Some time back, my uncle gave me a large collection of  documents related to Shelton genealogy. This seven page document was included. I have decided to include it in this web site. At this time, I do not know the full name of the author. I believe him to be a Mr. Smith, from the Shelton and Boyd families.

    One of the most interesting phases of my genealogical research centers around the Shelton lineage. Through tedious hours of research in both the old and new world, the Shelton family has been traced back many generations into early England in the times of Charlemagne (742-814). The line is picked up through the descendants of two sons of Charlemagne. (I have this lineage recorded, but is too vast to record in this history). In the early portion of the 16th century, Lady Anne Boleyn, aunt of  Queen Anne Boleyn, married Sir John Shelton who was the 21st Lord of Shelton. Lady Anne Shelton also served as a governess to Princess Mary who later became Queen Mary of  England. Sir John Shelton served as High Sheriff of Norfolk in 1504; was knighted in 1509; and was at the coronation of King Henry VIII. The children of Sir John Shelton lived on to become Lords and Ladies of the Royal Queen, Knights, Gentlemen Porters of Her Majesty's Tower; a minister to Spain in 1611; Secretary to the Prince of Wales; 1 Lord Mayor of Dublin, Ireland in 1537, and Archbishop of Canterbury (one of the most powerful men in England).
    Captain James Shelton of Canterbury came to Virginia in 1610 with his relative, Lord Delaware. He was a resident of Jamestown in 1620 and a member of the first Courts of America 1619-1624. In 1630, he moved to Bermuda and died there in 1668.
    The name Shelton had many variations of spelling over the generations such as Chelton, Shilton, Sheldon, Charleton, Chilton, and Skelton. In 1730, Richard Shelton was granted 12,000 acres of land in South Carolina and he built his home there. It was called "Sheldon's Plantation" and the old Sheldon Church is still there. Other early American Sheltons were ship owners, ship surgeons, attorneys, ship merchants, ship captain.... all sea-faring men.
    Other plantations built in early America by Shelton ancestors were: Plantation Currioman built by John Shelton in Westmoreland County, Virginia about the year 1660. In 1672, he bought another plantation called "Carotoman" in Lancaster County, Virginia. In the year 1670, he built a family home in Hanover County, Virginia and called it "Rural Plains" which is still owned by make descendants. These homes were inherited by John Shelton's children-- Capt. Thomas Shelton inherited "Currioman" and William Shelton inherited "Rural Plains".
    Other interesting items found concerning the name Shelton include;
1--In the family home, "Rural Plains", Miss Sarah Shelton married Patrick Henry, the famous Virginia Statesman in 1754.
2--Bathurst Shelton married Martha (Patty) Wales in 1766. After his death in 1768, Patty married Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States.
3--Robert Anderson III, hero of Ft. Sumter, married Maria Shelton, daughter of Capt. Clough Shelton, a Revolutionary War hero.
4--Major Thomas Shelton, served with Lafayette, and lived to the age of 104 years. He married for the third time when he was 102 years of age!
5--Alexander Barrett Shelton married Sarah Elmira Royster (who some historians refer to as the "lost" Lenore of noted author, Edgar Allen Poe).
6--In the Plantation home "Rural Plains" there is a bed which was listed in the Doomsday book in 1086 and it is said that Queen Elizabeth I used this bed at one time and for a time it was in the Shelton Castle in Norfolk, England. Visitors in this old house have included Dolley Payne (later Dolly Madison, wife of President James Madison), General John Hancock, and Patrick Henry who spent the first years of his married life in this historical home.
    Later descendants of these early Shelton families migrated into McMinn County, Tennessee. The Miller county and Maries county Sheltons of Missouri are descendants of the McMinn County, Tenn. ancestors.
    In much of my research on the various Miller county families it has been interesting to note that the majority of the older generation who were born in the period of the mid 18th century up to near 1810 were natives of the state of Virginia. At one time, Virginia was a vast territory which included the present state, all of West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana, parts of Michigan and Wisconsin. Therefore, in trying to research the definite birthplace of an ancestor who was designated as a Virginian has been very difficult.
    Settlers had moved to the Ohio River and beyond prior to the Revolutionary War, and Illinois was formed as a Virginia county in 1770. In 1776, Kentucky was set up as a Virginian district and in 1790 it separated from Virginia and was erected as an individual state. West Virginia remained a part of Virginia until Civil War times when they separated because the population heavily favored the north in the Civil War strife. After the Revolutionary War, Virginia ceded her territory north and west of the Ohio River to the new United States. There had been a vast migration of settlers under way after the war years, so Virginia decided to allot some land to the officers and men who had served  in the Continental Army. All land south and east  of the Ohio River was reserved for grants to these men upon the Cumberland, Green, and Tennessee Rivers. This entailed a gigantic amount of land many, many families took advantage of this gift. Most were given at least 200 acres each to clear off and farm. With this granting of free land, it is here in history that I can pick up our forefather living in the new states of Kentucky and Tennessee. The majority of the pioneers who ventured on westward into Miller county came from Kentucky, Tennessee, and the Carolinas.


(more to come)