Sheldon History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancient history of the Sheldon name begins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the family resided in various places named Sheldon including Derbyshire, Devon, Warwickshire and the West Midlands. The first portion of the surname Sheldon is derived from the Old English scylf meaning shelf. The second portion was originally derived from the Old English dun meaning hill. The surname simply referred to the hill with a flat top. 
Early Origins of the Sheldon family
The surname Sheldon was first found in Worcestershire where "John Sheldon, of Abberton, in the reign of Henry IV"  is generally believed to be the progenitor. However, the Warwickshire "ancient house of Sheldon, of Sheldon is a matter of doubt, but not improbable.  For it is in Warwickshire that the family rose in prominence when William Sheldon purchased the manor of Beoly from Richard Neville in the reign of Edward IV. 
The family held this estate as their principal seat until it was destroyed by a fire in the Civil Wars of the 17th century. "[Beoley, Worcestershire] belonged successively to the noble families of Mortimer, Beauchamp, and Holland, of whose ancient castle the mound and moat still remain; and in the reign of Charles I. the manor was the property of Ralph Sheldon, a distinguished royalist, whose mansion was burned by the family themselves, to prevent its falling into the possession of the parliamentarians. Attached to the church is the chapel of 'Our Lady,' formerly a private chapel of the Sheldon family, to whom it has a very handsome monument: underneath the chapel is the vault." 
Over in the parish of Temple Grafton, another branch of the family was found. Originally held by Knights Templar (hence the prefix "Temple"), the property was purchased by the Sheldon family in the Dissolution of the Monasteries between 1536 and 1541 by Henry VIII. 
Early History of the Sheldon family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sheldon research. Another 71 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1584, 1654, 1599, 1687, 1598, 1677, 1660, 1663, 1642 and 1610 are included under the topic Early Sheldon History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Sheldon Spelling Variations
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Sheldon include Sheldon, Shelden, Seldin, Sheldyn, Sheltan and others.
Early Notables of the Sheldon family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include John Selden (1584-1654), an English jurist and a scholar of England's ancient laws and constitution; Edward Sheldon (1599-1687), an English translator of Catholic works; and Gilbert Sheldon (1598-1677), Bishop of London in 1660, Archbishop of Canterbury in 1663, eponym of the Sheldonian Theatre at Oxford.
Richard Sheldon (d. 1642?), was an English divine, probably...
Another 58 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sheldon Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Sheldon family to Ireland
Some of the Sheldon family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Sheldon migration to the United States +
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Sheldon or a variant listed above:
Sheldon Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Isaac Sheldon, who settled in New England in 1630
- Godfrey Sheldon, who settled in Maine in 1630
- Isaac Sheldon, who landed in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1634 
- James Sheldon, who landed in Virginia in 1664 
- William Sheldon, who landed in Virginia in 1664 
Sheldon Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Pardon Sheldon, who settled in Boston in 1767
- Captain Sheldon, who settled in Boston in 1768
Sheldon Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- William Sheldon, who arrived in America in 1806 
- Richard Sheldon, aged 45, who arrived in New York in 1812 
- Joseph Sheldon, aged 28, who arrived in New York in 1812 
- L Sheldon, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 
- Catharine Sheldon, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Sheldon migration to Canada +
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Sheldon Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- William Sheldon, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1760
- Mr. John Sheldon U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 
Sheldon migration to Australia +
Emigration to Australia
followed the First Fleets
of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Sheldon Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Mr. Henry Sheldon, British convict who was convicted in Stafford, Staffordshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Bussorah Merchant" on 1st October 1829, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) 
- Mr. David Sheldon, English convict who was convicted in Leeds, Yorkshire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Bengal Merchant" on 24th March 1838, arriving in New South Wales, Australia 
- Mr. Gilbert Sheldon, (b. 1817), aged 22, English farm servant who was convicted in Surrey, England for 15 years for pick pocketing, transported aboard the "Barossa" on 8th December 1839, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1889 
- Mr. William Sheldon, (Shelton), English convict who was convicted in Staffordshire , England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Barossa" on 27th August 1841, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) 
- David Sheldon, aged 33, a shoemaker, who arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Lysander" 
Sheldon migration to New Zealand +
Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:
Sheldon Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Mrs. Sarah Sheldon, (b. 1835), aged 28, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "David G. Fleming" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 9th December 1863 
- Mr. George Sheldon, (b. 1839), aged 24, British farm labourer travelling from London aboard the ship "David G. Fleming" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 9th December 1863 
- Samuel Sheldon, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865
- Eliza Sheldon, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865
- Sarah Sheldon, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name Sheldon (post 1700) +
- Louis P. Sheldon (1934-2020), American Presbyterian pastor, and then Anglican priest
- Elaine McMillion Sheldon, American Academy Award nominated documentary filmmaker and visual journalist
- William P. Sheldon, American politician, Member of Missouri State Senate 20th District, 1887-90 
- William W. Sheldon, American Republican politician, Candidate for Maryland State House of Delegates District 47-A, 1998 
- William H. Sheldon, American politician, Dry Candidate for Delegate to Ohio convention to ratify 21st amendment, 1933 
- William A. Sheldon, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Wisconsin, 1940 
- William Sheldon, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Rhode Island, 1856 
- Welcome E. Sheldon, American politician, Representative from New York 12th District, 1898 
- W. Clarence Sheldon, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Cayuga County 1st District, 1896-97 
- Mrs. V. G. Sheldon, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New Mexico, 1952 
- ... (Another 93 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Historic Events for the Sheldon family +
- Charles James Sheldon (d. 1945), British Marine aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking 
- Mr. Clifford L Sheldon, British Leading Stoker, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking 
- Mr. A L M J Sheldon, British Sub Lieutenant, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking 
Related Stories +
The Sheldon Motto +
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Optimum pati
Motto Translation: To suffer is best.
Suggested Readings for the name Sheldon +
- 1631 Sheldons at Bicentennial by Keith M. Sheldon.
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
- ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
- ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 10th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bussorah-merchant
- ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 13th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bengal-merchant
- ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/barossa
- ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) LYSANDER 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Lysander.htm
- ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, April 22) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
- ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html
- ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
- ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html