Five Colonial Sheldon Families… The Sheldon Family Association is deeply indebted the work done by Reverend Henry O. Sheldon. He was a 19th century Methodist circuit preacher who traveled 3,000 to 4,000 miles on horseback every year in Ohio. In his travels, Rev. Sheldon “collected” the names and family connections of the people he met who shared his Sheldon surname. In organizing the data, it appears that these Sheldons were members of five apparently unrelated Sheldon lines. The progenitors of these lines, who came to this country in Colonial times, are:

  1. Godfrey Sheldon (S0004), ca.1599-1671, settled Saco/Bluepoint/Black Point, Maine. Godfrey’s wife, Alice Frost, and the early grave of a child of this couple are found in Bakewell parish, Derbyshire records (published in a Sheldon Family Association Quarterly). The identity of Godfrey’s father is yet undetermined. Godfrey’s home was a fort during the Indian Wars, when he moved to Salem. His son, William, inherited it. We are still seeking Godfrey’s descendant Susannah Sheldon who testified at the Salem Witch Trials and then disappears from view. See “Sheldons in the Salem Witch Trials“ on the Publications page. Related families: Alger, Frost, Goodale,Giles, and Scarlett.
  2. Isaac Sheldon (S0005), ca.1629-1708, who came with the Dorchester Group (the town later named Windsor, Connecticut), is believed to be the Isaac Sheldon mentioned in a grandfather’s will, as shown in “The Sheldons of Bakewell, Derbyshire, England, and Isaac Sheldon of New England“, Sheldon Family Associations Publication is a reprint from the New England Historic Genealogical Register, October 1926. A professional researcher, hired by a Sheldon descendant, went to England to research Isaac Sheldon. Isaac’s first wife, Mary Woodford, was an ancestress of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. His second wife was Mrs. Mehitable Gunn.
  3. John Sheldon (S0008), ca. 1630-1708, is found in early records of Providence, Rhode Island. His wife, Joan Vincent, is the daughter of Nicholas Vincent and Fridgeswith Carpenter, of Amesbury, England. Joan is the niece of William Carpenter, an early founder in Providence Records. Fridgeswith inherited the home in England from her brother William.
  4. John Sheldon (S0013), ca.1628-ca.1679, is found in early records of South Kingstown, Rhode Island. He was apparently involved in a drinking party and brought into court. John’s wife Sarah and his son John S0023’s original will, transcriptions, and papers are in the SFA files.
  5. Richard Sheldon (S0022) Little is known but his name and that he had 2 sons. The first son was named Thomas, who had 2 sons and 4 daughters (his wife’s name is unknown as yet). Richard’s other son, Lemuel, married Millicent Brock; they had 7 sons (including two sons named Lemuel) and 4 daughters. Richard may have other descendants as yet unreported as well.

Your Sheldon Ancestors

If you have a Sheldon (Shelden) ancestor and would like to find out if your Sheldon (Shelden) line is descended from one of these five colonial Sheldon families, contact our Membership Chair for help to make the connection using our database.

To conduct a search we need a Sheldon (Shelden) name, birth, marriage or death date. The reason – a search for the name John Sheldon with no additional information returns 409 hits. A name-only search for Isaac Sheldon returns 55 hits, and Mary Sheldon, 658 hits. The more specific your information, the better the search! For search assistance, please contact our Membership Chair. Click here to send Email

….And please don’t forget to contribute your Sheldon (Shelden) family genealogy information to our database, and keep us updated on any changes.


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