Sheldown History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Sheldown is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when the family 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. 
Early Origins of the Sheldown family
The surname Sheldown was first found in Norfolk at Shelton, a parish, in the union and hundred of Defwade. "This place was anciently the property of the Sheltons, who were owners of the Hall, a castellated structure long since pulled down. From that family the estate passed to Sir Robert Houghton, one of the justices of the king's bench." 
Some of the family held estates in Great Snoring, Norfolk. "The living is a rectory, with that of Thursford annexed, valued in the king's books at £24, and in the gift of St. John's College, Cambridge: the tithes have been commuted for £539, and the glebe comprises 37 acres, with a house, erected by Sir Richard Shelton. The church is a good structure in the later English style, with a lofty embattled tower, and contains some ancient monuments and brasses to the Shelton and other families." 
Early History of the Sheldown family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sheldown research. Another 89 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1561, 1700, 1460, 1529, 1475, 1555, 1476, 1539, 1612, 1601, 1650, 1649, 1626, 1647, 1601, 1705, 1537, 1604 and 1579 are included under the topic Early Sheldown History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Sheldown Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Sheldown 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. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Sheldown include: Shelton, Sheltone and others.
Early Notables of the Sheldown family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: John Shelton, also known as John Skelton (c.1460-1529), an English poet; Rauf Shelton of Yorkshire; Anne Shelton nee Boleyn (1475-1555), aunt of Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII; and Sir John Shelton (1476-1539), courtier during the reign of Henry VIII of England.
Thomas Shelton (fl. 1612), was the first translator of 'Don Quixote' into English, may possibly be identical with the Thomas Sheldon who was fourth son of William Sheldon of Broadway, Worcestershire, a kinsman of Edward Sheldon, of Beoley. 
Thomas Shelton (1601-1650?), was an English stenographer, descended from an old Norfolk family...
Another 144 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sheldown Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Sheldown family to Ireland
Some of the Sheldown family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 41 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Sheldown family
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 Sheldown or a variant listed above: Richard and Francis Shelton who settled in Virginia in 1638; Samuel and Esther Shelton settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1765 with Hannah; Samuel Shelton settled in Barbados with his servants in 1680.
Related Stories +
- ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print