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. 

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 Godfrey Sheldon, who arrived here in America in the middle of the 17th Century.

Here is my American line of Sheldon’s:

Godfrey Sheldon 1599-1670

John Sheldon  1630-1708

Richard Sheldon  1669-1741

Thomas Sheldon  1728-?

William Sheldon  1765-1850

William Sheldon Jr.  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 my 8th great-grandfather. Thanks to DNA analysis (and especially Kelly Wheaton and the Sheldon Family DNA Project), I now know I am a descendant of Godfrey. The Sheldon Family Association recognizes Godfrey 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 grandfathers know that we were from the Godfrey lineage?

The Curious Tale of Auston 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 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.

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

Excerpt from the Blog Post of the Story of Austin Sheldon

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.

Austin Sheldon’s grave marker in the Delaware Cemetery in Dingmans Ferry. PA/

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.

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 Sheldon’s is circa 1940. The photographer is unknown, but the photo was taken in Lancaster City Pennsylvania.  

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

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.

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, Sure Sheldon, and Kelly Wheaton Sheldon. And what a great resource for beginners to expert genealogists it is. This site has just been launched and is now u and running. 

Sheldon Family Association

The Sheldon Family Association website includes tips and information but could use an update as some of the information stated is now questionable due to ongoing DNA test results.  

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

Facebook Groups

Sheldon Genealogy

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

Sheldon Family Association Group

A Facebook group from the Sheldon Family Association, Another good place to ask questions.  Click here to find the group

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.,

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