My Family – My Sheldon Ancestry

Researching Sheldon Genealogy is one of the things I do when I am not busy creating imagery.  have been interested in my family’s genealogy and ancestry for most of my life. 

With only sketchy information from family sources, I repeatedly asked about our origins. But no one seemed to know much about the Sheldons. 

Sheldon Genealogy - George Sheldon Family
George W Sheldon Family

(From left to right: John Roth, husband of Elizabeth Sheldon; George Washington Sheldon; Isabel Ruof, wife of Harold R. Sheldon; Elizabeth Sheldon, wife of John Roth & daughter of George W Sheldon and Agnes; Agnes Malzahn, wife of George W. Sheldon; and Harold R. Sheldon.)

Finally, with the amazing science of DNA, the connection of where I came from has been determined.  My DNA tests have determined my Sheldon ancestors are from Derbyshire, England. My 9th Great Grandfather is most likely Godfrey Sheldon, who arrived here in America in the middle of the 17th Century. More DNA tests of other Sheldon men are needed to confirm the correction. At this point, my line appears to be connected to Godfrey.

Here is my American line of Sheldon’s:

Godfrey Sheldon 1599 – 1670

William Sheldon 1622 – 1691

Lemuel Sheldon 1701 – 1754

Ephraim Sheldon 1670 – 1737

Thomas Sheldon  1728 – ?

William Sheldon  1765 -1850

William Sheldon  1795 -1876

Peter H. Sheldon  1831-1905

George W. Sheldon  1869 – 1942

Harold Raymond Sheldon 1899-1965

George G. Sheldon  1924-1989

George G. Sheldon Jr. (me)

At various times, the spelling was Shelden, but it kept returning to the spelling we use today, Sheldon. 

Godfrey Sheldon

Godfrey is most likely my 8th great-grandfather. Thanks to DNA analysis (and especially Kelly Wheaton and the Sheldon Family DNA Project), I now know I am probably a descendant of Godfrey. He is recognized as one of the original Sheldon progenitors in America. The association knows him as #S4, based on the Sheldon Family Magazine.

Godfrey was born in Bakewell, Derbyshire Dales District, Derbyshire, England in 1599. He passed away in Scarborough, Cumberland County, Maine, USA (but at the time this would have been the colony of Massachusetts) on April 30, 1670. The exact location of his grave is not known.

And as a descendant of Godfrey, that explains my middle name. But a mystery to me is how did my grandfather, who named his third son (my father) after his grandfather know that we were from the Godfrey lineage?

Past and Present Map of Scarborough, Maine
Early map of Scarborough, Maine, Showing location of Godfrey Sheldon location.

Peter H. Sheldon


Peter H Sheldon
Peter H. Sheldon

Peter H. Sheldon is my great-great-grandfather.  Born in northwest New Jersey, Peter served in the US Army during the American Civil War. He was a private in Company B, 70th New York Infantry.  He was shot twice, once at the Battle of Williamsburg in 1862, and again during the Battle of Gettysburg, most likely on the second day of battle in July 1863.

It took me quite a while to find out where Peter is buried. His grave was finally located at the National Cemetery in Bath NY. I traveled there to visit his grave, and here is a gallery of the image of the cemetery and his grave.

Harold Raymond Sheldon

My grandather is Harold, and he had a nickname of “Mick”. He was born September 6, 1899 in Sparrowbush, New York. Sometime when he was around 10, his family moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The family was spelling their last name with an “E” as Shelden but it was somehow changed back to Sheldon.

George W. Sheldon

George W. Sheldon was born in Sparrowbush, Orange County, NY (Today, the village along the Delaware river is spelled as Sparrow Bush.) His mother was Sarah J. Bowman.

Here are two photos of the village store. The exact year was created and photographer is unknown and the store no longer exists today. The images are an original black and white, and the second is a colorized version.

Johnson's Store, Sparrowbush, New York
Johnson’s Store, Sparrowbush, New York
Johnson's Store, Sparrowbush, New York (colorized version)
Johnson’s Store, Sparrowbush, New York

Sheldon Genealogy - Charles W Sheldon, Harold R. Sheldon Jr., George G Sheldon
Charles W., Harold R. Jr., and George G. Sheldon – The Three Sheldon Boys

This photo is circa 1925. Taken in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the young boy in the wagon is my father, George G. Sheldon. Standing behind him is his oldest brother Charles W, Sheldon. Standing in the front of the wagon is Harold R. Sheldon, Jr.,

Two George Sheldon’s

George G. Sheldon & George w, Sheldon
George W. Sheldon with George G. Sheldon – Grandfather and Grandson

This is an image of my father, George G. Sheldon, with his grandfather, George Washington Sheldon.

My father was named after his grandfather.  

I am a Junior, so I am named after my father, as I am George G. Sheldon Jr., and in turn, I am also named after George W. Sheldon.

My great-grandfather George was born in Sparrowbush, Orange County, NY in 1869.  And he is the one that moved his family to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania around 1915.

This photo of the two George Sheldons is circa 1940. The photographer is unknown, but the photo was taken in Lancaster City Pennsylvania.  

Sheldon in Sheldon

Some time ago, I was able to visit Sheldon, Vermont on a very cold, wintry day. It was a Sunday, and everything was closed in this small town. Nevertheless, here are some pictures of my brief visit.

Sheldon Genealogy - Sheldon in Sheldon VT
Sheldon, VT, USA – March 6, 2005: George Sheldon on his way to Sheldon, Vermont.
Sheldon VT US Post Office is located in half of a house.
Sheldon Genealogy - Sheldon in Sheldon VT
Sheldon, VT, USA – March 6, 2005: George Sheldon standing on the porch of the US Post Office in Sheldon, Vermont.
Sheldon Genealogy - Sheldon in Sheldon VT
Sheldon, VT, USA – March 6, 2005: George Sheldon in Sheldon, Vermont at the Sheldon Historical Marker Sign.
Sheldon Genealogy - Sheldon in Sheldon VT
Sheldon, VT, USA – March 6, 2005: George Sheldon at the Welcome to Sheldon Vermont, Sign.

The Curious Tale of Auston Sheldon

Austin Sheldon became known as the Hermit of Pike County, Pennsylvania.

Austin Sheldon – Only known picture of the Pennsylvania Hermit that lived a lonely life in a cave.

Excerpt from the Blog Post of the Story of Austin Sheldon

I recently completed a blog post about Austin Sheldon, which was published on the website.

If truth really is stranger than fiction, this saga about a mysterious and strange man will make you wonder if this is myth or fact, or perhaps, somewhere in between the two. It has twists, turns, and curves. It’s peppered with contradictions, some questionable facts, and sloppy journalism stuffed full of embellishments. It’s the kind of yarn that should be told around a roaring, bone-warming campfire during a chilly autumn evening.  

Some of the facts of this story are indisputable. There really was a man named Austin Sheldon. He was born June 26, 1806, into a large Connecticut family consisting of multiple Sheldon children. Several accounts describe his family as well-to-do and made their living as successful farmers. His father was Jeremiah and his mother was Cate (sometimes Kate or Catherine) Lanphere, who were married June 29, 1801.  His mother died on February 29, 1864.

The exact location of the Sheldon farm was somewhere in New Haven County, and most likely in or near the town of Branford. Austin was apparently born in Stony Creek, which today is a shorefront neighborhood in the southeastern section of Branford. +

Click here to read the entire blog post about Austin Sheldon.

George Sheldon in Dingmans Ferry at the grave of Austin Sheldon.
Gravesite of Austin Sheldon, the legendary hermit of Pike County, Pennsylvania.
Austin Sheldon’s grave marker in the Delaware Cemetery in Dingmans Ferry. PA/

Additional Sheldon Genealogy Resources

If you are looking for more information about the Sheldon Family, here are more resources and links I recommend to assist with your research.

Sheldon Genealogy

Check out Sheldon Genealogy, a new website with extensive sourcing information. This site was conceived and started by Dale Sheldon, Sue Sheldon, and Kelly Wheaton. And what a great resource for beginners to expert genealogists it is. This site has just been launched and is now u and running. 

Wheaton Wood

Be sure to check out Wheaton Wood – A Genetic & Genealogical Forest. This website is a great resource for Sheldons.  This is Kelly Wheaton’s site, ad she is the person in charge of the Sheldon Family DNA Project. There is a specific section here about the Sheldon lineage.  It is also recommended you read the information about DNA testing.  

WikiTree Sheldon Genealogy

Find a Sheldon on the Wikitree to search their genealogy.

Sheldon Name Meaning

An explanation of the history of the Sheldon Name and its meaning from

WikiTree – Sheldon Family Tree

A free family tree of Sheldon Genealogy – double-check the info on the tree before adding to your own tree, but it is a good place to start.

Facebook Group

Sheldon Genealogy

A private but friendly group of Sheldon’s is well worth joining.  Meet Dale Sheldon, Sue Sheldon, Kelly Wheaton, and Missy Rummie, and introduce yourself.  Feel free to join in the conversations. Click here to find the group.