Sheldon origins appear to be recorded in Derbyshire, England, in the towns of Moneyash, Youlgreave, and Bakewell. Research indicates poor record keeping of the Sheldon family, although they were farmers and landowners. Derbyshire is also home to a village named Sheldon, clearly related to our ancestors.
The most distinguished bearer of the name was Gilbert Sheldon (1598-1677). He was associated with Derbyshire. He became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1663, and Chancellor of Oxford University in 1677. It was there that he built and endowed the great Theatre named after him - The Sheldonian (seen above).
Sheldons of Worcestershire were wealthy and prolific, producing educated Sheldons who are apparently documented in English history. However the Derbyshire Sheldons seem disconnected from their wealthier counterparts. In Derbyshire is a Sheldon House, which is now a bed & breakfast.
Our Sheldons came to the New World in the mid-1600s, and settled first in Northhampton, Massachusetts, and South Kingstown, Rhode Island. In the mid to late eighteenth century, Isaac Sheldon and his family relocated to Essex County, New York.
Census records from the mid 1800s show many of the Sheldons to be farmers. Isaac Sheldon began the move westward into Minnesota. His son, our direct ancestor, Fletcher, served as a Private in the Union Army during the Civil War. He is listed in census records later in Mazeppa, Wabasha County, Minnesota. Fletcher's brother, Joel, and his father, Isaac, are recorded in the History of Wabasha County.
It is Fletcher's son, Karl Emmett Sheldon, who packed his small children into the family car and drove to Berwick, Maine in the early 1900s.
The Sheldon Family Association is an active genealogy group.