The Probable Lineage
of Isaac Sheldon
Windsor & Northampton
The English families named Sheldon derive their name from various places called Sheldon, in Derbyshire, Devonshire, and Warwickshire. Among the Warwickshire Sheldons were several lines of knightly, landed gentry. The Derbyshire Sheldons were substantially yeomen, and no use by them of any coat of arms is found until 1660, when Gilbert Sheldon, in 1598, of yeoman ancestry, rose to distinction in the Church, becoming Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of all England, and was granted a coat of arms.
Bakewell is an ancient parish in High Peak Hundred, Derbyshire, about 25 miles NW of the borough of Derby and about 150 miles NW from London. The parish was divided into twenty-three townships, nine of which had separate chapels, branches of the mother parish church. Among these townships were Bakewell, Ashford, Baslow, Chelmorton, Flagg, Haddon, Monyash, Priestcliffe, Sheldon, and Taddington.
In 1630 the population of the parish of Bakewell was about 4,000. It is in a high, rough, rural region, most of the land being used for grazing ; but there are lead mines and marble quarries which have been worked for over 1,000 years and hot springs which have been famous even longer. Haddon Hall , the celebrated and picturesque mansion of the Duke of Rutland, built in the 15th century, is situated in Haddon Township; and Chatsworth House , the magnificent estate of the Duke of Devonshire, built about 1700, is situated in Baslow Township.
The township of Scheladon appears in records soon after the Norman Conquest. In course of time the name was shortened to Sheladon and Scheldon, and about 1450 to Sheldon. There are many records of persons called Scheladon, Scheldon, etc., of Bakewell, Derbyshire, in the reigns of Henry III (1216-1272) and Edward I (1272-1307), in the muniments of Haddon Hall, and also in two final concords of the first decade of the 14th century.
The Sheldon family from which it is probable that Isaac Sheldon, the immigrant settler at Windsor, Conn., and at Northampton, Mass., was descended, is found at Monyash, in Bakewell, co. Derby, as early as the closing years of the 14th century. In 1662 Richard Sheldon, giving his age as 30 years, entered in the Visitation of Derbyshire of that year, which was made by William Dugdale, Norroy King-of-Arms, a pedigree of 10 generations, showing his descent from a Richard Sheldon, born about 1385, to himself, Richard, of the 10th generation. Our Isaac Sheldon, who emigrated to America and is the head of our Sheldon family here, was also of the 10th generation, having branched off in generation 4.
The pedigree is taken from The Visitation of Derbyshire, 1662 (published in London, 1879, pp. 32-33). Only individuals pertinent to the line that descends to Isaac Sheldon in the tenth generation, our New England Emigrant, will be given on this website. The pedigree and text here were taken from The Sheldons of Bakewell, Derbyshire, England, and Isaac Sheldon of New England, by J. Gardner Bartlett, Buffalo, NY: The Keystone Press, 1962. This is a reprint of another reprint (October 1926) taken from The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. This small booklet is available for purchase from The Sheldon Family Association.
The Sheldon Family Association website has a wealth of information where you could spend hours browsing. Links there can take you to a Sheldon forum and message boards. One of the most interesting things to read there is the great web page using DNA Analysis to help figure out from whence our Sheldons originated.
In my own PAF data, focus is on the individuals comprising our direct line. Names and some details for children-siblings of our direct line, howver, are provided in the notes sections under “Biography” or “Children”.
RICHARD SHELDON of Monyash,
in Bakewell, co. Derby, born about 1385, is the earliest member of the family given in the Sheldon pedigree of 10 generations which was entered in the Visitation of Derbyshire in 1662. The name of his wife is unknown.
At an inquisition taken at Asscheburne [Ashborne], co. Derby, on the Thursday before the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord, 10 Henry VI [20 Dec 1431], Richard Scheledon of Monyash was one of the jurors and held a free tenement in Monyash (Feudal Aids, 1431, vol. 1, pp. 279-80).
HUGH SHELDON of Monyash
in Bakewell, co. Derby, was born about 1410. The name of his wife is unknown. He appears as his father’s successor in the 2d generation of the Sheldon pedigree in the Visitation of 1662.
On the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 15 Henry VI [2 Feb 1436/7], John Asshley, chaplain, granted to Thomas Vernon, John Stafford, William de Monyash, Thomas in the Dale, William Perysson, William Clee, John Clee, and Hugh de Scheladon, all of Monyash, co. Derby, a toft and barn in Monyash. (Harleian Charters, 83, D. 13.)
RICHARD SHELDON of Monyash,
in Bakewell, co. Derby, was born about 1440. He married ELIZABETH (-). He appears as his father’s successor in the 3d generation of the Sheldon pedigree in the Visitation of 1662.
On the Thursday next after the Feast of the Invention of the Holy Cross, 5 Edward IV [8 May 1465], Richard, son of Hugh Scheledon, and Elizabeth, his wife, conveyed to William Smyth a cottage and 7 acres of land in Monyash, co. Derby. (Derbyshire Charters, vol. 2, no. 16.)
On 12 Nov 1494, Richard Sheldon surrendered to his son John Sheldon a cottage and 4 acres of land in Asheford, co. Derby (see just below).
Three children are listed for Richard and Elizabeth Sheldon.
JOHN SHELDON of Monyash,
in Bakewell, co. Derby, was born about 1470, and died in 1523. The name of his wife is unknown. The earliest mention found of him is on 12 November, 10 Henry VII , when Richard Scheldon surrendered to the lord of the manor a cottage and 4 acres of land in Asheford, co. Derby, called Lowefield, to the use of his son John Scheldon, and his heirs for ever. (Court Rolls of the Manor of High Peak Hundred, 41/423.) Probably this grant was in the nature of a marriage settlement on this younger son, to whose descendants this cottage passed for several generations. But John Sheldon also acquired property in Monyash, where he resided.
On 4 October, 6 Henry VIII , John Sheldon of Monyash and Richard Sheldon, his brother, were each fined 2d for brewing. On 15 October, 8 Henry VIII , 25 November, 10 Henry VIII , 26 May, 11 Henry VIII , and 16 October, 12 Henry VIII , the wife of John Sheldon of Monyash was fined 2d. for brewing. (Court Rolls of the Manor of High Peak Hundred, co. Derby, 41/423-25.)
was born about 1495, and was living as late as 1572, when he must have been nerely fourscore years of age (see the Star Chamber Case, below). He married twice, but the names of his wives have not been found.
About 1523 he succeeded to lands of his father in Monyash, Flagg, and Ashford, and also acquired lands in Taddington, where he lived during part of his life. All these places are townships in the parish of Bakewell, co. Derby.
The earliest mention found of him is as a juror at a court of the manor of high Peak Hundred, held 9 October, 21 Henry VIII ; he also appears as a uror at courts held 10 October, 23 Henry VIII , 14 May, 30 Henry VIII , 6 December, 32 Henry VIII , 9 October, 33 Henry VIII ]1541], and 31 May, 36 Henry VIII ]1544]. The court rolls also show that on 7 November, 23 Henry VIII , John Sheldon paid 2d. for a license to make a settlement with Robert Stadon, and that on 10 October, 10 Elizabeth , Thomas Jackson and others were deputies for John Sheldon, frankpledge of Taddington and Priestcliffe. (Court Rolls of the Manor of High Peak Hundred, 41/429-436, 42/446.)
In the subsidy of 37 Henry VIII [1545-46] John Sheldon was assessed 3s. 4d. at Holmehill in Taddington on goods valued at £5. (Lay Subsidies, 92/166.)
In 1563 John Sheldon of Taddington, co. Derby, yeoman, complainant in Chancery, sheweth that he is seised by lawful conveyance of a farmhold and 20 acres of land in Monyashe, co. Derby, and hath long held and enjoyed the same. But of late divers evidences thereto pertaining have casually come to the hands of Rauff Buxston and William Buxston, husbandmen, who under colour thereof have seized the premises. Complainant prays for a writ of subpoena against them. (Chancery Proceedings, Series 2, 160/67.)
In April 1555 a house, with 40 acres of land, in Monyash was bought in the name of Henry Sheldon, younger son of this John Sheldon; and in 1591 this property became a subject of litigation between Richard and Henry Sheldon, the sons of this John Sheldon, in the Court of Star Chamber. The names of the children of John Sheldon are learned from this important lawsuit.
John had two children by his first wife: (1) Roger Sheldon (born about 1520); d. March 1590/1. His father is said to have conveyed to him in 1572, as eldest son, the house and 40 acres of land in Monyash (see Star Chamber case, below); and (2) our RICHARD SHELDON, born about 1525. John had three more children by his 2d wife: (3) Henry Sheldon, born about 1530; d. at Dronfield, co. Derby, in 1600. John mar. twice. This son was the instigator of huge litigation with his elder half-brother, Richard, over property. (4) Thomas, born about 1535; d. before 1591. (5) George, born about 1540. He was executor of the will of his brother, Henry Sheldon, in 1600.
was born about 1525 and died about 1600. The name of his wife is unknown.
On the death of his childless elder brother, Roger, in March 1590/1, Richard Sheldon became the latter’s heir. This circumstance caused litigation between Richard and his younger half-brother, Henry, and important genealogical information is derived from the abstracts of the voluminous documents in the various actions, counteractions, and depositions in the case. (Court of Star Chamber, Elizabeth, S. 16/4, 29/9, 53/35, 71/18, 75/15. Abstracted on pp. 11-12 in “The Sheldons of Derbyshire and of New England.”)
was born about 1550. [More to be added in future.]
ARTHUR SHELDON of Ashford,
in Bakewell, co. Derby, was born about 1575. He died in the summer of 1651, aged about 75 years. He married about 1600, but the name of his wife is unknown.
The earliest record found of him is in 1591-92, when, as a youth, he is mentioned as heir in remainder to his father Roger Sheldon, in the lawsuit between his grandfather, Richard, and his half-brother, Henry Sheldon. Arthur also succeeded to the little cottage and 4 acres in Ashford called Lowefield which was in the family as early as 1494.
In a rental roll of the manor of High Peak Hundred, dated 7 June, 2 Charles I , Arthur Sheldon is recorded as holding in Ashford a cottage and 4 acres called Lowefield, at a rental of 3s. 4d. (Rolls of the Manor of High Peak Hundred, Duchy of Lancaster, 1/28.)
In a subsidy of 4 Charles I , Arthur Sheldon was assessed at Ashford, in High Peak Hundred, co. Derby, and paid 8s. on goods valued at £3. (Lay Subsidies, 93/362.)
The Will of Arthur Sheldon of Ashford, co. Derby, yeoman, weak in body, dated 10 June 1651. To be buried in the chapel of Ashford, near William Lowe, his seat there. Mentioned in the will are the following:
To my son RALPH SHELDON, 2s. 6d., and to his wife Barbara 2s. 6d.
To my grandchild Isaak Sheldon £8. To [grandson] Samuell Sheldon £4. My grandson Solomon Sheldon is to be kept one and one-half years with meat and drink after my decease, at the cost of my executor.
To my grandsons William, Thomas, and John Wright 5s. each.
To [daughter] Anne White, wife of Ralph White of Sheldon, £20.
All the residue of my goods to [daughter] Elizabeth Lowe, wife of William Lowe of Ashford, and she is to be sole executrix.
Supervisor: Ralph White of Sheldon. [Signed] The mark of Arthur Sheldon. Witnesses: John Wright and John Ragge. Proved at Westminster 20 May 1652 by the executrix, Elizabeth, the wife of William Lowe. (P. C. C., Brent, 254.)
was born at Ashford, in the parish of Bakewell, co. Derby, England, about 1605, and probably died at sea in 1651. He married at Bakewell, 27 April 1629, BARBARA STONE.
The earliest mention found of him is the record of his marriage to Barbara Stone. On 10 Jan 1650/1 a license was issued to Ralph Sheldon to pass beyond the seas. (State Papers, Interregnum, Licenses to Leave the Country, 1650-1653, 1-111, fo. 17, in the Public Record Office, London.)
The last mention found of him is in the will of his father, dated 10 June 1651, in which he and his wife Barbara were given legacies of 2s. 6d. each. This will also provides for three grandchildren: Isaac, Samuel, and Solomon Sheldon, apparently children of Ralph Sheldon, and gives the bulk of the estate to two daughters, making one of them sole executrix.
From the terms of this will and the issue of the emigration license it seems likely that Ralph Sheldon had already received his share of the paternal estate and therefore he and his wife were given merely nominal bequests, and that he had emigrated from England in the spring of 1651, leaving his three sons temporarily in the care of their grandfather, until he should send for them. In the emigration licenses at that period a destination on the Continent of Europe, such as Spain, France, Holland, etc., is thus specifically named, while the term "beyond the seas" generally refers to America. If Ralph Sheldon started for England in the spring of 1651, it is probable that he never arrived there, but either died on the voyage or was lost at sea; at least, no mention of him has been found in New England, nor did he return to Derbyshire, for his name does not appear on the rolls for the hearth tax for that county in 1663, in which every householder is named. It therefore seems probable that Ralph Sheldon died at sea in 1651.
As the registers of Ashford before 1687 are missing, the records of the baptisms of the children of Ralph and Barbara Sheldon are probably lost. But they were doubtless the parents of the three Sheldon children who were named as grandsons in the will of Arthur Sheldon, Ralph's father.
ISAAC SHELDON of England
was born probably at Ashford, in the parish of Bakewell, co. Derby, England, presumably late in 1629 or early in 1630, which date agrees with the supposed date of the birth of Isaac Sheldon, son of Ralph and Barbara (Stone) Sheldon of Ashford, Bakewell. His parents married on 27 April 1629. As the registers of Ashford before 1687 are lost, the record of his baptism has not been found; but he was evidently the eldest child of his parents and, as his younger brothers, Samuel Sheldon and Solomon Sheldon, married in 1656 and 1657 respectively, it is apparent that he was born as early as 1630.
By the will of his grandfather, Arthur Sheldon, dated 10 June 1651, he was to receive a legacy of £8; and this provision in his grandfather's will is the only record of him that has been found in England.
In 1663 a hearth tax was assessed on every fireplace in England; the rolls of this tax for Derbyshire are preserved at the Public Record Office in London and give the name of every householder in the county, with the number of hearths in each house. While the names of his brothers, Samuel and Solomon, appear in these rolls of 1663 as living at Ashover, co. Derby, no trace of this Isaac Sheldon is found in them, and presumably he was not then living in his native county.
What had become of him between 10 June 1651 and 1663? It is probable, beyond any reasonable doubt, that he was identical with the Isaac Sheldon who (as "Isaac Shelding Sen") deposed at Northampton, Massachusetts on 29 April 1679 ("aged 50 years or thereabouts") regarding property there of Thomas Mason. [See also the Hampshire (Mass.) Court Records, vol. 1, p. 25.]
Rider, Shirley Sheldon. Genealogist for the Sheldon Family Association.
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