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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Shelton family come from? What is the English Shelton family crest and coat of arms? When did the Shelton family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Shelton family history?

In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Shelton surname lived in the township of Shelton found in five counties in England. Bedfordshire, Norfolk, Nottinghamshire, Salop and Staffordshire all had townships by the name of Shelton. This place-name was originally derived by the Old English elements scylf and tun, which denoted a ledge or plateau in the landscape.


It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Shelton are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Shelton include: Shelton, Sheltone and others.

First found in Yorkshire where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the census rolls taken by the ancient Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shelton research. Another 125 words(9 lines of text) covering the years 1460, 1529, 1475, 1555, 1476, 1539, 1705, 1537, 1604 and 1579 are included under the topic Early Shelton History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 195 words(14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Shelton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Shelton family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 71 words(5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Shelton or a variant listed above:

Shelton Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Richard and Francis Shelton who settled in Virginia in 1638
  • Fr Shelton, who arrived in Virginia in 1638
  • Rich Shelton, who arrived in Virginia in 1638
  • Fra Shelton, who landed in Virginia in 1654
  • Symon Shelton, who arrived in Virginia in 1658

Shelton Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Sarah Shelton, who arrived in Virginia in 1701
  • Susanna Shelton, who landed in Virginia in 1714
  • Anne Shelton, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Henry Shelton settled in Maryland in 1732
  • Samuel and Esther Shelton settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1765 with Hannah

Shelton Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • William Shelton, aged 33, arrived in New York in 1812
  • James Shelton, who landed in New York, NY in 1834
  • G W Shelton, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • S W Shelton, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • V. B. Shelton settled in San Francisco, California in 1852


  • Dr. Herbert M Shelton (1895-1985), American health educator
  • General William Lee Shelton (b. 1954), United States Air Force officer appointed Commander, Air Force Space Command in 2011
  • Chris Shelton (b. 1980), American Major League Baseball player
  • Deborah "Debbie" Shelton (b. 1948), American beauty queen and actress, best known for her work on "Dallas"
  • George Matthew Shelton (1877-1949), American Medal of Honor recipient
  • Richard Shelton (b. 1933), American writer, poet and emeritus Regents Professor of English at the University of Arizona
  • Sarah Elmira Royster Shelton (1810-1888), American sweetheart of Edgar Allan Poe who became engaged to him shortly before his death in 1849
  • John W. Shelton (1928-2014), American businessman and politician, Member of the West Virginia House of Delegates from 1996 to 2004
  • James Alan Shelton (1960-2014), American bluegrass guitarist who performed with the Clinch Mountain Boys
  • Ian Keith Shelton (b. 1957), Canadian astronomer famous for discovering SN 1987A, the first modern supernova close and bright enough to be visible to the naked eye



  • Sheldons at Bicentennial by Keith M. Sheldon.
  • Descendants of Jessee Shelton and Some Related Families by Cecil Shelton.
  • Ralph Shelton Family in Early Virginia by Frank H. Shelton.

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  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  5. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  6. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  8. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  9. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  10. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  11. ...

The Shelton Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Shelton Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 4 June 2014 at 15:53.

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