Typed and Corrected, Spring 2002, by Margaret S. Alford
1520 Young’s Ferry Road, Bowling Green, KY 42101
[i]RALPH SHELTON, OF MIDDLESEX COUNTY, VIRGINIA
AND SOME OF HIS DESCENDANTS
1. The Setting
Less than fifty years from the day that the first white man set foot on Virginia soil, the banks of its tidewater rivers were teeming with Englishmen. The original shires proved inadequate for popular government by the swarming settlers. Charles River County, renamed York in 1643, was cropped of its northern regions to form Northumberland and Lancaster.
Then in 1656 the lands on both sides of the upper tidewater and freshes of the Rappahannock River were removed from Lancaster and erected into a new county called Rappahannock. Lancaster itself was only four years old. Sixteen years later, Lancaster was divided again, this time the portion south of the Rappahannock River being set up as Middlesex County. Rappahannock County, too, was split and abolished; in 1692, after only 36 years; its area north of the river became Richmond and that south Essex.
Essex County, dating from 1692, and Middlesex, from 1672, have kept their original boundaries to the present day, save for the upper end of Essex which went to help form Caroline in 1727. Coincident in extent with Essex County was South Farnham Parish and with Middlesex was Christ Church Parish. Both counties fronted on the Rappahannock River, their backs being to the Piankatank River which for 30 miles and more flowed then, as now, through the forbidding-sounding Dragon Swamp, to empty into the estuary that splits the northeast corner of the Rappahannock-York peninsula. Back of Middlesex and Essex lay other fragments of old York – Gloucester and King and Queen Counties, with few trails to cross the Dragon Swamp, even as today. But between Essex and Middlesex there were no barriers. From the beginning there was free social, mercantile and political interchange.
During the second half of the 17th century, the peninsulas filled up more and more rapidly with English planters. They were usually men of means who received large grants for bringing themselves, their families and other immigrants to the colony. An immigrant, or headright, in these years was worth 50 acres of land. The importer not only acquired the land but usually also the services of each headright he brought in, for a term of years as an indentured servant, in return for the passage money that had been advanced and for his board and keep during his service.
2. The First Sheltons
The earliest Sheltons to arrive in Virginia probably came as indentured servants. In the land patent records, all Sheltons named are listed as headrights, and none received a grant of land. Nugent’s Cavaliers and Pioneers, Volume I, 1623-1666, shows the following:
1638, May 12 – Fr. Shelton headright of John Fludd, Gent., granted 2100 acres in James Citty County for importing 42 persons. “Fr.” was a usual abbreviation for Francis.
1638, Feb. 20 – Rich. Shelton, headright of Nicholas George and John Grymsditch, granted 300 acres in Isle of Wight County for importing 6 persons.
1654, June 6 – Fra. Shelton, headright of Vallentine Patten, granted 1000 acres in Westmoreland County for importing 20 persons. Six months later Robert Hubard received a grant for 1600 acres in Westmoreland for 32 headrights, twenty of whom were identical with those on Patten’s list, including Fra. Shelton. It has been suggested that “Fra.” is not an abbreviation of Francis, but a misreading of “Tho.” or Thomas.
1658, June 5 – Tho. Shelton, headright of Edward Williams, who was granted 500 acres in Petomack freshes above Puscatoway (Westmoreland County) for importing 10 persons.
1658, Nov. 24 – Symon Shelton, headright of Thomas Lullaman, who was granted 400 acres in Patomeck freshes upon Yosococoemocoe Creek (Westmoreland County), for importing 8 persons.
1665, Nov. 9 – Tho. Shelton, headright of Mr. Wm. Crump, Mr. Charles Edmonds and Mr. Robt. Whitehaire, who were granted 2700 acres in New Kent County for importing 54 persons.
Closely similar to the name Shelton and sometimes interchanged with it are the names Sheldon, Skelton, Cheton, Chelton, Chilton and Charlton. One author thinks that even Melton and Whetson are misreadings of Shelton. Immigration authorities, county officials, keepers of other early records and even genealogists and members of the families concerned appear to have been indifferent in spelling these several names and often confused over kinships. From Nugent, we list some of the early settlers with these latter names:
1635 – Thomas Melton, headright of Capt. Adam Thorowgood
1638 – Thomas Melton had 200 acre grant, lower Norfolk, wife Hannah
1642 – Marke Cheton, headright of Daniell Lewellyn, Gent., Henrico
1663 – John Whetson had 140 acre grant on Petomecke, Northumberland
1663 – John Whiston had 1000 acre grant on head of Nomeny R., Westmoreland
1665 – Augustine Hull and John Wilson’s grant on Potomack nigh to Nomeny adjoins Mr. John Whiston, Westmoreland.
1666 – Mr. John Whetstone had 250 acres grant on Nomeny Bay, Westmoreland
1664 – James Sheldon, headright of Capt. John Savadge, Northampton
1664 – Wm. Sheldon, headright of Charles Ratcliffe, Accomack
1650 – Stephen Chilton, headright of Anthony Fuljam, N. side of Rappahannock
1660 – Wm. Chilturne, headright of John Williams, Northampton
1638 – Henry Charleton’s land cited in Henry Williams’ patent, Accomack
1637 – Stephen Charlton had 200 acre patent in Accomack
1641 – Stephen Charleton had 500 acre patent in Accomacke
1644 – Mrs. Bridgett Charleton had 500 acres from Edwyn Connaway of Northampton for use of her son John Severne, under 18
1638 – Stephen Charlton had 1000 acre grant in Accomack
1650 – Stephen Charlton had 1000 acre grant in Northampton
1653 - Stephen Charlton had 1700 acre grant in Northampton adj own land
1658 – Wm. Charlton, headright of Mr. John Ellis, Westmoreland
1662 – Wm. Charlton, headright of Thos. and Anthony Stephens, Rappahannock
1663 – Wm. Charlton and Francis Overton had 410 acre grant on Rappahannock
1663 – Xtopher Charlton, headright of John Maddison, Rappahannock
1666 – Norton Charlton, headright of Capt. Joseph Bridger, Isle of Wight
1694 – Edward Chilton, formerly clerk to this office
From other sources we list additional early references:
1653, March 7 – In Surry County Thomas Gray Gent. aged 60 deposeth that Daniel Shelton in the time of his sickness not long before his departure did bequeath his whole estate to Rebecka his wife verbally.1
1659 – Edward Skelton proved his age in Surry County Court.[ii]
1659 - John Skelton gave bond in Surry re Prudence Kindred
1676 – John Skelton in Surry County Court asked pardon for his participation in Bacon’s Rebellion.2
1662, Oct. 24 – John Shelton in York County ordered to serve his master “one whole yeare” after expiration of his Indenture according to Act of Assembly “for useing threatening speeches” to his master Thomas Morley and striking his overseer his master’s son William.[iii]
1673 – Robert Shilston died Nov. 13, 1673, in York County.[iv]
1680, Feb. 25 – John Shelton born, son of William and Isabell Shelton, baptized soon after, in Gloucester County.[v]
1686 – Joseph Sheldon buried February 5, 1686, York County. 4
In the 1690’s a William Sheldon appeared in York County. On Dec. 10, 1698 he was licensed in Elizabeth City County to marry Hannah Armistead, daughter of Colonel Anthony Armistead. This William seems to have been related to Gilbert Sheldon, only son and heir of Daniel Sheldon “late of London esq. dec’d”, by whom a Power of Attorney was issued Dec. 7, 1715 to “William Sheldon of York County in Virginia in partes beyond the seas.” William and Hannah had no children. After her death William married Katherine Nutting, daughter of Captain Thomas Nutting of York County. In the latter’s 1717 will he speaks of “my son-in-law Capt. Wm. Sheldon”. That Captain William Sheldon had no issue by either wife is clearly demonstrated by a provision of his will, proved in York County May 15, 1727, which made his nephew and ward William Sheldon Slater his chief heir “the whole estate to remain in the name of Sheldon forever.” At no place in the records is William Sheldon’s name spelled Shelton, he had neither Sheldon nor Shelton sons, and there is no hint of any Shelton connections.[vi]
About 1660 in Westmoreland County, a John Chilton bought from John Gerrard a 900 acre tract on the west side of Currioman Bay. This land had been patented in 1649 by Thomas Speake, a son-in-law of Dr. Thomas Gerrard and brother-in-law of John. By his 1706 will, this John Chilton left his estate to his wife Jone Chilton, three daughters Sarah Chilton, Mary Sharp and Elizabeth Groves, three sons John, Thomas and William Chilton and grandsons John, son of William Chilton and John, son of John Chilton. At the probate on Feb. 25, 1707, Henry Carter testified that he wrote the will at John Chilton’s direction, but that John did not sign it because there were no persons present to witness it while he was still sensible. In short, this was a deathbed will, drawn in Chilton’s home near Currioman Bay on Nov. 15, 1706. While the spelling of the name of some of John’s descendants was changed to Shelton, at no place in the records has either John’s name or that of his children been found as Shelton.[vii]
Closer to the Essex-Middlesex region, the earliest of the Sheltons recorded are these:
William Shelton, who on November 7, 1684, in a Rappahannock County suit against Mrs. Honoria Jones, administratrix of George Jones dec’d, was granted delay until next North Side court, at request of Shelton’s attorney, Capt. George Taylor.[viii]
Thomas Shelton, who on March 4, 1685/6, in a Rappahannock County case against him by Captain William Lloyd, was granted delay until next North Side Court.8 Reference to “North Side Court” suggests that these two Sheltons lived north of the Rappahannock in the Richmond County area, rather than in Essex.
In Middlesex County, a Peter Chilton married Susan Jaxon on March 2, 1685/86. This is the first notice of a man who appears in the records as Chilton, Chelton and Shelton over the next 30 years. Three of his sons’ births are recorded in the Christ Church Parish Register as Chilton, but his own name occurs in his 1718 will as Chilton, Chelton and Chellton. He signed his name by mark, Peter Chellton. It has been assumed by some students of the family that Ralph Shelton of Middlesex was a son of this Peter, but there is no particle of evidence in either the Parish Register or the county records to suggest or confirm this inference. Peter’s will speaks of sons Peter (deceased), William, Thomas and Zebulon, and of no others. A fifth son Henry Chelton, so noted in the Register, had predeceased his father, aged about 26 and probably unmarried.[ix]
A Middlesex contemporary of Peter Shelton was Thomas. As Thomas Chilton with wife, Margaret, he had a daughter Sarah baptised July 16, 1693. Mary Chilton, baptised June 9, 1700, may be his daughter. Thomas Chelton and wife Mary had a daughter Anne baptised July 13, 1708, and son Thomas baptised Feb. 25, 1710/11. Thomas died soon after this son’s birth, as his Inventory was entered in Middlesex Court May 1, 1711, by Mary Chilton administratrix.[x]
3. Our Middlesex Sheltons
A prominent early settler of Virginia was Nicholas Meriwether. Born in Wales about 1631, he received the first of many Virginia land patents in 1653, when he was granted 600 acres in Northumberland County for importing 12 persons. Other grants through the 1650’s and 1660’s ranged south as far as Surry County.. Two of them were in the Essex-Middlesex area – February 10, 1653, 400 acres in Lancaster County, on South side of Rappahannock River, about six miles up same; and October 4, 1654, 600 acres in Rappahannock County on South Side and in the Freshes of Rappahannock River opposite to Nanzemun Towne. The first obviously was in present Middlesex and the latter in Essex County.[xi]
Our interest centers in two of Nicholas’ sons – Thomas and Francis. Francis Meriwether married Mary Bathurst, daughter of Launcelot Bathurst, and had six children, of whom a daughter, Jane, born about 1700, married James Skelton. This James Skelton, sometimes appearing as James Shelton, lived in Hanover, Goochland and Amelia Counties, receiving a number of land grants in these counties in the 1730’s and 1740’s. He died in 1754, leaving five children: Reuben, who on July 9, 1751, in Middlesex County married Elizabeth Lomax and left will in Goochland County dated May 15, 1759, dying childless (his widow married John Wales); Bathurst who married Martha Wales, later the wife of Thomas Jefferson; Sally, who married Colonel Thomas Jones; Meriwether who died unmarried in Hanover County in 1778; and Lucy who married Robert Gilliam.[xii] Any kinship to the Sheltons next to be presented has not been discovered.
Thomas Meriwether born about 1665, perhaps the oldest son of Nicholas, appeared in Essex County in the 1690’s. His first wife was Elizabeth Williamson, perhaps a close relative of Edward Thomas whose 1699 will left 306 acres in South Farnham Parish to three sisters – Elizabeth, wife of Thomas Meriwether; Katherine, wife of William Young; and Frances, wife of Robert Ransome. Probably about 1706, Thomas married a second wife, Susannah, She is claimed by some to have been Susannah Shelton, but this writer has found no evidence to support such an idea. Thomas and Susannah had a daughter of whom his Jan. 7, 1708 will speaks thus, “my sd wife Susanna and my young daughter that now sucks my said wife who as yet is unbaptized.” Christened Susannah, the daughter married John Armistead in the 1720’s and lived and died in Essex County.[xiii]
On Oct. 10, 1702, Thomas Meriwether had recorded in the Essex Court Order Book this entry, “Certificate according to Act of Assembly is granted to Thos. Meriwether for the importation of seven persons into this Colony by name Sarah Eaton, Richd Cullen, Ralph Sheldon, (name illegible), Mary Millnor, Isaac Bayly, Edw Cartwright.” This is the first appearance in the Virginia records of Ralph Shelton of Middlesex County. There is no indication of Ralph’s parentage or age, actual date of importation or place from which he came.[xiv]
This Ralph Shelton of Essex-Middlesex is not to be confused with the younger Ralph Shelton of King William County who married Mary Pollard. They lived on opposite sides of the Dragon Swamp and were about 15 years apart in age. This is established by a bond for 200 pounds in King William dated Sept. 30, 1703, entered into by Joseph Bickley of King and Queen County with Major John Waller of King William to cover two years of schooling for Ralph Shelton, son of Mrs. Sarah Gissage, whom Bickley contemplated marrying soon. Bickley had been bookkeeper to Sarah’s recently deceased husband. Bickley also contracted to pay Ralph Shelton, on his reaching 21, a young working negro man, 3 cows with calves, four killable hogs, a sow and pigs, a horse, a steer, and enumerated household equipment. According to Ellis family records, this Ralph Shelton was born Sept. 25, 1698 in King and Queen County, a son of Sarah Shelton who married Richard C. Gissage, merchant from London who settled at Acquinton, St. Peters Parish, New Kent County. Sponsors at the christening were Vincent Gage, Ralph Poe and Lydia Searcy. Just why Ralph took his mother’s maiden name instead of his father’s surname is not explained, but he grew up to marry Mary Pollard, daughter of Robert Pollard of King William County, on Dec. 5, 1722, and had six children: Elizabeth born Aug. 16, 1724; Mary born Aug. 1, 1726; Richard, born Aug. 14, 1728, married 1746 Mary Wright left will in Amherst County dated Nov. 3, 1814; Jane, born May 22, 1730, married Henry Gosney and James Sandidge; William, born Nov. 3, 1732; and John born April 25, 1734. [xv]
Back in Essex County, in 1708, six years after his importation, Middlesex Ralph Shelton, signing his name Ralph Shelteon, was a witness to Thomas Meriwether’s will. He was also a beneficiary of the will which read, “I give unto Ralph Shelton & his heires forever the Sixty-five acres of Land Granted to me by Patent joyning to the Land of Rice Jones, John Lohees (Toslees?) and the land formerly belonging to Capt. Edward Thomas.” This 65 acre tract appears to be one granted to Meriwether on May 2, 1706, described in patent as follows, “Sixty five acres of Land part of a patent of four hundred and fifty acres in Essex formerly Rapp.County bounded as follows (Vizt) beginning at a decayed walnutt and a great mulberry tree markt by it (at the upper extent of a devident of land belonging to John Jones’ orphan) standing by the Dragon swamp side in the point of an old feild just below the mouth of a great branch and running thence North East by sd Jones’ Land…to a red Oake in John Masses’ Line thence..to the main run of the Dragon swamp..sd Land formerly granted Edwd Thomas Gent by patent dated 20th Oct. 1691 and by him deserted and since granted sd. Meriwether by order of the genll. Court dated 25th Oct. 1705.” [xvi]
The will and patent descriptions place this land on the Essex-Middlesex boundary line. This location is further indicated by a description of Middlesex County written April 14, 1700 which reads in part, “…said County is bounded on the head with the lower part of the land of John Jones dec’d which runs up from Rappahannock River on the upper part of Cock’s Bay next above ye land of James Blaise and so crossing the Ridge along the land of Thomas Toseley including the same and from the outline of Thomas Toseley’s land down a great Branch dividing the land of Edward Thomas dec’d and the land of Rice Jones dec’d, including the said Rice Jones dec’d Land to the dragon swamp.”[xvii]
This land remained in possession of Ralph Shelton’s family for sixty years. It appears that he lived on an adjoining tract in Middlesex the rest of his life. An Oct.10, 1727 entry in the Christ Church Vestry Book reads, “Ordered that Mr. Garrot Daniel and Mr. Ralph Shelton procession every particular person’s Land between the Briery Swamp (from the Millstone Valley to the Dragon Swamp) and the upper End of the County, and from the main road to the Dragon Swamp on the south Side of the main road.”
Thirty-two years later, the Vestry Book of Aug. 7, 1759 notes, “Lewis Montague and Reuben Skilton ordered to Procession, . . (area described identically as that processioned in 1727 by Ralph)”. Finally on April 24, 1770, Archibald McCall of Essex County and Reuben Shelton of Middlesex County deeded to Henry Street of Essex all of a tract in the Counties of Middlesex and Essex containing 100 acres adjoining Lattaney Montague, the Dragon Swamp and land of Henry Street. [xviii]
Ralph Shelton married about 1707, either in Essex or Middlesex, a wife Mary, whose surname has been guessed to be Crispin. No record of the marriage or suggestion of a maiden name has been discovered. Birth of the oldest daughter, Elizabeth, about 1711, is not in the Christ Church Parish Register, where all the others are recorded. There were eleven children in all, as follows:
l. Thomas, baptized November 9, 1707, married Mary Probert Jan. 14, 1730/31 [xix]
2. Ralph, baptized October 23, 1709, married Mary Daniel June 10, 1731
3. Elizabeth, born about 1711, married Wm. Davis, Oct. 29, 1728.
4. Crisp (throughout life called Crispin), born April 1, baptized May 17, 1713, married Letitia ____about 1734
5. Reuben, born Feb 1, 1714/15, baptized Apr 10, 1715; died Oct. 8, 1715
6. Mary, born Jan. 21, baptized February 13, 1716/17; died July 18, 1719
7. Catherine, born Jan. 26, baptized March 13, 1719/20, married George Blakey Dec. 31, 1743
8. John, born July 19, baptized August 12, 1722
9. Benjamin. born June 18, baptized July 12, 1724
10. James, born Feb. 23, baptized March 23, 1726/27
11. Daniel, born May 17, baptized June 22, 1729
Ralph Shelton lived only five years after the birth of his son Daniel. He died March 13 1733/34. His will, badly damaged in the old Middlesex Will Book, was dated March 10, 1733/34. Some of the provisions still legible on the torn pages are , “ My son Ralph Shelton should have my Land….” “……zabeth Davis twenty five Shillings to buy her---“, “------Ralph Shelton one cow and calf,”, “…..my son Thomas Shelton should take care of my children, and if in case my son Thomas should Die, my Desire is that my Children should be left to the -----of my other two sons, Ralph and Crispen.” “Appoint my L (oving) wife Mary Shelton and my son Thomas Shelton to (be executors of) my Last will and Testament.” The witnesses were William Buford, Thomas Clarke, Henry Buford and Abraham______. [xx]
The will was presented in Court April 2, 1734 and proved by oaths of Henry Beauford and Thomas Clark. Thomas Buford, John Jones, John Clark and Garrit Daniel appraised the estate. Inventory and appraisement were presented to the court on July 2, 1734. After this there are no later entries in the Middlesex Court Orders or other county records regarding Ralph Shelton. His widow, Mary, remarried – to a Clark, perhaps Thomas – and as Mary Clark made her will in Nottoway Parish of Amelia County on June 30, 1750. A Middlesex deed made Oct. 5, 1757 by Mary Clark and Peter Clark of County Middlesex to John Lambeth transfers 150 acres “beginning at a deep bottom between Edward Bristow and William Bristow’s line, thence along Elizabeth Smith’s line to main run of the Dragon Swamp…”[xxi]
On March 24, 1742/43, Ralph’s oldest son Thomas Shelton died in Middlesex, leaving widow Mary and five small children. Nine years later, on July 11, 1752, the Court ordered Thos. Clark, administrator of Thos. Shelton dec’d, to render an accounting of his administration of the estate at the next court. At this July court, also, “on motion of Reuben Shelton, orphan of Thomas, Lewis Montague is appointed his guardian.” At the August 4, 1752 court “on motion of Josiah Shelton, orphan of Thomas, Samuel Smith is appointed his guardian.” The Oct. 3rd court continued the order on Thos. Clark for an accounting until the next session. Again on Nov. 7th, “the case of Josiah, Mecajah, and Thos., orphans of Thos. Shelton, dec’d, Thos. Clark and Reuben Shelton, son and heir of said Thos. Shelton dec’d” was continued. Finally, on June 5, 1753, Thos. Clark was ordered by the court to pay the guardian of the complainants 46 pounds 9 shillings 3 pence to be equally divided between them. [xxii] The children of Thomas Shelton were:
1. Reuben Shelton. born May 6, baptized June 10, 1733
2. Josiah Shelton, born about 1735
3. Mary Shelton, born Feb. 21, 1737/38, died Aug. 5, 1742
4. Thomas Shelton, born May 2, 1740
5. Micajah Shelton, born June 20, baptized July 4, 1742 [xxiii]
As noted previously, Reuben Shelton appears to have remained on the family land until 1770, when he sold to Henry Street. Micajah Shelton chose Ambrose Jeffreys as his guardian in Middlesex, May 4, 1762.[xxiv] He was in Halifax Court records 1780-85, and in 1790 was in Richmond County, NC.
Josiah Shelton, we think, may have gone to Lunenburg County where the Cumberland Parish tithe lists of 1769 through 1776 show a Josiah Shelton.[xxv] In 1782 Josiah Shelton was taxed in Charlotte County on 9 whites and l slave[xxvi] and in 1797 he left will in Halifax County, naming wife Elizabeth and 7 others undoubtedly his children – Godfre Shelton, Absullom Shelton, Josiah Shelton, Anne Clemments (wife of Benjamin Clemments), Ruthey Murphey, Patsey Shelton and Elizabeth Shelton.[xxvii] Godfrey Shelton had been on the Lunenburg tithe list of 1776, indented under Josiah, indicating that he had just turned 18.[xxviii] Josiah Shelton (junior) married Fathy (Ruthy) Ford in Halifax on May 25, 1798.[xxix]
It is possible that Thomas Shelton, born 1740, migrated to Brunswick County. By an Essex deed dated Nov. 16, 1771, Thomas Shelton and wife, Caty, of Meherrin Parish, Brunswick County, sold to James Croxton 58 ¾ acres of land in Essex which came to them on the division of land formerly belonging to James Munday dec'’d”.[xxx] Caty (Katherine) was one of five children, the others being Mary, wife of James Croxton, Ursula, wife of John Boughan, Lucy Munday and Betty Munday.[xxxi] In 1782 the only Shelton on the Brunswick tax list was Sil Shelton, but in Greensville County, immediately to the east, Thomas Shelton is shown with a household of 11 whites.[xxxii] Silvanus Shelton died in Brunswick in 1783, with a will that left his property to his sister Susanna Shelton, 3 brothers William, Daniel, and Edward Shelton and Elizabeth Redding.[xxxiii] Also in Brunswick, Daniel Shelton married Charlotte Stainback March 16, 1795.[xxxiv]
4. The Sheltons Move to Amelia
Ralph Shelton’s two older surviving sons, Ralph and Crispin, after marriage in Middlesex in the early 1730’s, apparently settled in Essex County. In May 1740 Ralph Shelton presented a certificate to the Essex Court for taking up a runaway slave Cheshire belonging to Mrs. Winifred Webb of Richmond[xxxv], and in August 1742, the Essex court adjudged Sam, a negro boy belonging to Crispin Shelton to be 10 years old.[xxxvi]
Shortly thereafter these Sheltons turned toward Amelia County, nearly 100 miles west and south, created in 1734 from Brunswick and Prince George Counties. Amelia at first also included the areas now in Prince Edward and Nottaway Counties. On July 14, 1743 Mathew Smart of Prince George County sold Crispin Shelton of South Farnham Parish, Essex County 620 acres on South Nottaway River in Amelia County.[xxxvii] Two years later, on Sept. 20, 1745, Ralph Shelton received a royal grant of 400 acres in Amelia County, on the lower side of Snales Creek and north of Great Nottaway River.[xxxviii]
It appears probable that with Ralph and Crispin and their families went their mother, Mary Clark, and the four younger sons, John, Benjamin, James and Daniel. In 1745 John was 23, Benjamin 21, James 19 and Daniel 16.
Crispin sold two portions of his 620 acres in 1746 – 155 acres to Henry Bueford of Amelia and 203 acres to James Beuford of Orange County.[xxxix] The deeds place the land as lying “on the south side of Rocky Creek in the forks of Nottaway” and recite that “Letice his said wife” joined Crispin in the sale. Ralph Shelton and Benjamin Shelton signed both deeds as witnesses. Recalling that Henry Buford and William Buford were witnesses to the father Ralph’s will in Middlesex in 1733, it is suggested that Crispin’s wife, Lettice, may have been a Buford.
On June 20, 1749, Ralph Shelton had a second land grant – 400 acres in Lunenburg County, on the lower side of Ledbetters Creek.[xl] On Oct. 23, 1751, Ralph Shelton of the Parish of Nottaway bought 286 acres more on the lower side of Snales Creek from Samuel Jordan.[xli] Snail Creek, on the modern map, is a small stream scarcely five miles long in the southeast corner of Prince Edward County (created in 1753 from Amelia), emptying into the Great Nottaway where Prince Edward, Nottaway and Lunenburg meet. The Great Nottaway was then (1751) the boundary between Amelia and Lunenburg. This places Ralph Shelton’s 628 acre homestead in the extreme southwest corner of present Nottaway County and his land on Ledbetter Creek about 10 miles distant to the south and west.
Third of the brothers to buy Amelia land was John Shelton, who in 1749 acquired 269 acres on the north side of Great Nottaway River from Richard Clark. Next year he deeded 100 acres of this land, on Ready Branch41 and Great Nottaway, to his brother Daniel Shelton, with witnesses Crispin and Benjamin Shelton and the Buefords, James and Henry. The remaining 169 acres John retained until August 25, 1774, when he and wife Elizabeth of Nottaway Parish, Amelia County, deeded it to William Crenshaw.
On May 30, 1750, the mother, Mary Clark, calling herself “of the Parish of Nottaway in the County of Amelia”, wrote her will. She left one shilling sterling each to her grandchild Reuben Shelton, son Ralph Shelton, son Crispin Shelton, son John Shelton, son Benjamin Shelton, son James Shelton, and grandchild Patient Catey Blackey. To her daughter Elizabeth Davis she gave “the best of my wearing clothes.” All the rest of her estate, including “negro wench Janey”, she bequeathed to Daniel Shelton, her youngest son (nearing his 21st birthday) and named him “sole Executor and so-forth”.[xlii]
The Sheltons continued to live in Amelia for another 13 years and more. On March 28, 1759, Benjamin Shelton received a grant for 119 acres in Amelia on the south side of the South Fork of Little Nottaway.[xliii] This tract Benjamin and his wife Mary sold on Nov. 24, 1763 to James Shelton.[xliv] The deed described the land as being on Stone House Branch adjoining lands of Lewellin Jones, Daniel Jones, James Hudson, Yarbrough, Pain and Hinton. Witnesses were Thos. Payne, Daniel Shelton and John Anderson. This land was still taxed in the name of James Shelton in Amelia in 1788 and in Nottaway in 1791 and 1796.[xlv]
In 1764 James Skelton was shown as a taxpayer in Thos. Bedford’s list of tithes in Cornwall Parish of Lunenburg County (Cornwall erected in 1765 into Charlotte County), and John Shelton and Lewis Shelton were listed as Tithes in Cumberland Parish of Lunenburg.[xlvi] Lewis was a son of Crispin Shelton, discussed later.
5. Migration to Pittsylvania
Old Pittsylvania included not only the Pittsylvania County of today but also the present Henry and Patrick and part of Franklin. Pittsylvania was created in 1767 from Halifax, and Halifax in 1752 from Lunenburg County.
When the Lunenburg lands were processioned in 1760, this notation was made, “Ralph Shelton’s land not processioned, want of attendance,”[xlvii] His residence was still the Amelia land not far away, but even then he may have been venturing further west. On Feb. 22, 1763, Ralph sold his Amelia land – 686 acres on the lower side of Snales Creek to Richard Burks.[xlviii] John Shelton witnessed the deed. Shortly thereafter, Ralph, and then Ralph and Richard Burks, were sued for debt by Liddall Bacon and Richard Clough, executors of Samuel Jordan. Evidently Ralph’s land mortgage had not been paid off. Judgment was awarded by the Amelia court for 52 pounds and 7 shillings, with interest at 5% from Nov. 1, 1756.[xlix]
On July 21, 1763, Ralph Shelton bought of Darby Callahan of Orange County, North Carolina, a tract of 400 acres on both sides of the South Fork of Mayo River, price 70 pounds.[l] Then in Halifax, this land was successively in Pittsylvania, Henry and Patrick Counties, located not far from the present county-seat town of Stuart. Ralph and some of his large family probably moved soon – or had already moved – to this land 125 miles west of Amelia.
Crispin Shelton’s Pittsylvania career began when on Aug. 15, 1764, he received a grant of 1515 acres on both sides of the North Fork of Panther Creek in Halifax County.[li] Panther Creek is a small stream in present Pittsylvania County. Crispin and some of his family moved shortly to his new land. He continued to own his Amelia land until October 20, 1777, when he and wife Letice, of Pittsylvania County, deeded it to Peter Lampkin – 262 acres of his original 1743 purchase from Matthew Smart plus 100 acres he had bought in 1761 from Thorton Pryor. Benjamin and Leonard Shelton, Stith Bolling, William Osborne Jr. and John Finney witnessed the 1777 deed.51
The Shelton moves are revealed by the first tax lists of Pittsylvania, taken soon after the new county was organized in June 1767.[lii] These are the names of Sheltons recorded:
John Hanby’s list: Eliphes Shelton
Ralph Shelton Sen.
Hamon Critz's list: Paletiah Shelton
John Donaldson’s list: Ralph Shelton
Crispin Shelton, Shenor Shelton
negroes Tom, Lucy and Primus
Gabriel Shelton, Abraham Payne
negroes Zachery and Vilet
Abraham Shelton, Edgecomb J. Willliams
John Wilson’s list: William Shelton
Here we have the first Sheltons of Pittsylvania – Ralph with four of his eleven sons, Eliphes, Paletiah, Ralph and one whose name is lost, perhaps the eldest son, John; and Crispin with four of his eight sons, Abraham, Lewis, Gabriel and Spencer (Shenor is a misreading). William Shelton of John Wilson’s list, owning land on Dan River, we do not yet identify. The other four brothers – Benjamin, John, James and Daniel – in 1767 were probably still back in the vicinity of Amelia or Lunenburg.
Benjamin Shelton’s first appearance in the Pittsylvania records was in 1772 when he bought land from Hugh Innes.[liii] He evidently moved from Amelia shortly before that time. He and wife Mary, of Amelia County, on May 24, 1770, had sold 100 acres to Joseph Phillips – Land in the Fork of Nottaway River which he had bought of William and Susannah Pace in 1764, soon after he had sold his 119-acre tract to his brother James Shelton. The 1782 tax list of Pittsylvania shows Ben Shelton with a family of 7 whites and 8 slaves.[liv] That same year he sold 200 acres of his land to Joel Shelton of Amelia.[lv] Description of the land shows that Benjamin had settled in the neighborhood of Crispin’s family – it was on head of Haw Fork of Buck Branch, bounded by Abraham Shelton’s lines, Peter Irby’s lines, Hugh Innis’ lines and Benjamin Shelton’s new marked line. Witnesses to this deed were Vincent Shelton, Beverly Shelton, Young Shelton and Leonard Shelton. In 1785 Ben Shelton’s family consisted of 8 whites, with a second Ben, probably his oldest son, heading a household of 5 whites.54 By 1787 Ben Senr. had moved away. On April 13, he gave deeds for 170 acres and 400 acres to Leonard Shelton and Vincent Shelton, respectively, as “Benjamin Shelton Senr., late of Pittsylvania County.”[lvi] He had moved south, across the state line into Caswell County, North Carolina, where the 1790 census showed a Benjamin Shelton.[lvii]
John Shelton never had a land grant, but on Nov. 7, 1778, bought from Joshua and Frances Hudson a 225 acre tract not far from Crispin and Benjamin in Pittsylvania.[lviii] The land was marked by Lightfoot’s line, Clark’s line and Richard Todd’s line. Witnesses to the deed included William Shelton. The 1782 tax list showed John with a family of 10, owning 225 acres and no slaves.54 In 1785 his family numbered eight, and in 1787 he was taxed on 225 acres.[lix] In 1798 he had two tracts – 225 acres and 10 acres. John Shelton died in 1804, leaving a will dated Nov. 26, 1801, proved June 18, 1804, which mentioned four sons, William, Joel, Claiborne and Abraham, and 8 daughters – Jane Lewis, Mary Poore, Francis Shelton, Martha Tucker, Charlotte Shelton, Nancy White, Lucy Hurt and Lettice Shelton.[lx]
James Shelton was the last of the sons of Ralph to leave Amelia. The annual personal property tax lists show him there in 1782 with 21 negro slaves, 4 horses and 27 cows. He continued on the Amelia lists for 1784, 1785 and 1786, but not for 1787.[lxi] That year James Shelton appeared for the first time on the Lunenburg County tax list, with Young Shelton in his family, and with 26 slaves, 4 horses and 27 cattle. James Shelton continued on the Lunenburg lists until his death in 1798 and his widow Jane replaced him in 1799.61 A Nottaway County deed of Oct. 17, 1796, shows that James Shelton of Lunenburg sold William Carter 119 acres on the south side of the South Fork of Little Nottaway River – the tract that he had bought from his brother Benjamin in 1763.[lxii]
According to deeds and his will, dated Feb. 28, 1796, proved Dec. 13, 1798, James Shelton of Lunenburg had these 8 children: Rachel who married Aaron Quisenbury; Henrietta who married her first cousin Young Shelton, son of Daniel; David Shelton; Mary who married Christopher Harrison; Benjamin Shelton; Caty who married Benjamin Mason; Stephen Shelton and Thomas Shelton.[lxiii]
Another James Shelton of this same south-central Virginia area and period and perhaps about the same age as James of Lunenburg was Captain James Shelton of Pittsylvania and Henry Counties. For many years this author believed the latter to be the son of Ralph of Middlesex. Because Captain James Shelton seems possibly closely related to the Middlesex family, and is still unidentified as to parents, he will be presented briefly in this account.
James Shelton was in Pittsylvania by 1768, when on May 27th he bought 400 acres on Leatherwood and Beaver Creeks from John Cox and wife Frances.[lxiv] That same year, on August 26th, he was sued by David Caldwell.[lxv] On Aug l, 1772, he received a grant for another 400 acres, located on the south Fork of Leatherwood – probably adjoining or near the first tract.[lxvi] This land was a few miles east of Martinsvillle, in present Henry County, and about 25 miles west of Crispin Shelton’s settlement. James sold this 800 acre holding on Sept. 24, 1772, to James Hix, and six months later had another grant for 500 acres nearby, on Beaver and Snow Creeks.[lxvii] He held this only 3 years, selling Feb. 28, 1775, to William Hunter.[lxviii] Then Captain James went further west, to buy on the North Mayo River, on its Horsepasture and Ironmonger branches – over 2000 acres in all.[lxix] In 1780 he gave farms to his sons William and Samuel and his son-in-law Gregory Durham.[lxx], and five years later died on land he still owned near Horsepasture. He left will, dated May 14, 1784, proved March 26, 1785, naming wife Philapinea[lxxi] and this second wife’s children – Nathan, James, Molly, Nancy and Sally.[lxxii]
Daniel Shelton, the youngest of Ralph and Mary’s children, first appeared in Pittsylvania record when he probated his mother’s will on Aug. 29, 1771. Back in Amelia he had acquired 100 acres from his brother John Shelton, on July 19, 1750,[lxxiii] as previously noted, and in 1751[lxxiv] a 40-acre tract in the Fork of Nottaway River from Henry and Ann Gaines (John Shelton a witness). Apparently Daniel kept this land until after it became Nottaway County in 1788-9, as there is no deed of sale recorded in Amelia County. In 1773 his daughter Clara married her first cousin, Crispin’s son Spencer Shelton, and on Sept. 1, 1774, Daniel gave consent to the marriage of his daughter Susannah to Crispin’s son Armistead Shelton.[lxxv] Before that Daniel had acquired land, as in May he gave a mortgage to his nephew Abraham Shelton.[lxxvi] In 1778 Daniel and his wife Letitia deeded to Richard Todd.[lxxvii] In 1782 he is shown with a family of 11, owning 400 acres and 9 slaves.[lxxviii] In 1785 his family numbered 10. In 1787 he was taxed on 400 acres, which by 1798 had shrunk to 81 ½ acres [lxxix] He had deeded the remainder of it to his sons Young, Leroy, Tunstall and Daniel Jr. Daniel Shelton died in Pittsylvania County in 1809, leaving will dated March 7, 1808, proved Sept. 18, 1809, naming wife Lettice, daughters Susannah Shelton, Clary Shelton (deceased), Milley Taylor, Anna Bailey, Sally Pain, and Polly Shelton, granddaughter Jane Asqua Shelton, sons Young, Leroy, Daniel and Tunstall, and the children of son Willis – Leroy Geter, Polly Montegue, Merrit, Macca, Lifas, Elizabeth, and Willis Shelton.[lxxx]
Thus are accounted for all eight of the sons of Ralph and Mary Shelton of Middlesex. These Sheltons were a close-knit family, brothers and cousins all. This is attested by the intermarriage of cousins, by their serving each other as witnesses to deeds and wills and securities on executorships and marriage bonds, and by other close associations in community, church and government. To illustrate, a 1792 coroner’s jury which investigated the murder of slave Simon by slave Watt, on Isaac Coles’ plantation in Pittsylvania, was comprised with one exception of Shelton and Shelton sons-in-law:[lxxxi]
William Todd, coroner (son-in-law of Crispin)
Daniel Shelton Senr.
Beverly Shelton (son of Crispin)
Armistead Shelton (son of Crispin)
William Shelton (son of John)
Reddick Shelton (son of Crispin’s son Gabriel)
Vincent (son of Crispin)
West Dandridge Hurt (son-in-law of John)
Spencer Shelton (son of Crispin)
Joel Shelton (son of John)
Abraham Shelton (son of John)
By 1776 the western end of Pittsylvania had become so well settled that its citizens were demanding a new county. As the petition of Oct. 9, 1776, read “Its extreme inconvenient for us to attend upon any business, civil or military, it being a fact that in Pittsylvania some have seventy-five and eighty miles from the upper end of the county to the Courthouse and others forty-five and fifty miles from the lower end, and many large water courses in the way, and as we are frequently called together to the Courthouse on account of the unhappy dispute between Great Britain and her colonies (being ready and willing to do all in our power in the defense of our just rights and libertys) with many grievous burthens too tedious to mention.”[lxxxii] So the petitioners, numbering several hundred, asked for a division on a line drawn due south from Black Water on Stanton River. The result was the creation of Henry County, named for the already famous war Govenor Patrick Henry. Among the petitioners who brought about this division were these Sheltons:
Ralph Shelton James Shelton Gabriel Shelton
Eliphaz Shelton William Shelton Beverly Shelton
James Shelton Gregory Durham John Shelton
Roger Shelton (son-in-law of Daniel Shelton
Three years after its establishment, the Henry County tax list numbered 497 names. This roll showed that Ralph Shelton and James Shelton and their sons, living on the South and North Mayo Rivers, respectively, were assessed for these taxes: [lxxxiii]
Pounds Shillings pence
Ralph Shelton 23 l 7
Patatiah Shelton 21 10 5
Eliphas Shelton 53 15 11
John Shelton 6 5 0
James Shelton 3 13 8
Jeremiah Shelton 12 12 0
Isaiah Shelton 9 6 6 (Hezekiah?)
Azariah Shelton 12 6 8
Capt. James Shelton 118 13 0
William Shelton 6 15 0
Gregory Durham 4 15 0
In the early days of Virginia, every settler was perforce a soldier. The Indians watched the ever-advancing tide of white settlers and resisted sporadically. The citizenry of each county were organized into militia which formed the backbone of the community life. In Amelia County, Ralph Shelton was listed as having seen active militia service in 1758.[lxxxiv] During the Revolutionary War most of the Pittsylvania Sheltons were in active official or military service, against Indians, tories and the British. James Shelton and Eliphas Shelton were militia Captains in Henry County.[lxxxv] Daniel Shelton and Gabriel Shelton were Captains, Spencer, Beverly and Elisha Lieutenants, and Armistead and Vincent were Ensigns in Pittsylvania. Five of the latter were appointed the same day, Sept. 27, 1775.[lxxxvi] In 1778 Daniel Shelton became a Major.[lxxxvii] Captain Gabriel Shelton, with his brother Vincent as Ensign, marched his company of Pittsylvania militia to the battle of Guilford Court House, North Carolina, and fought against the British on March 15, 1781.[lxxxviii]
As early as 1767 Crispin Shelton and his son Abraham were members of the vestry of Camden Parish.[lxxxix] In Feb. 1768, layman Lewis Shelton was directed by the vestry to read prayers at James Faris’ and George Parsons’.89 With the Revolution came the break with the Established Church of England and the decline of the parish organization. The vestry books and parish registers were discontinued and it took many years to make a strong, going organization of the Episcopal Church. In 1785, Abram Shelton and Haynes Morgan, Gents., were appointed to attend a convention to be held in Richmond. Many of the Sheltons remained true to this church, but others were won over to the newer faiths. Lewis Shelton and Griffith Dickenson, son and son-in-law of Crispin, became Baptist preachers.
Crispin, Abraham, Gabriel and Daniel Shelton were members of the patriot County Committee chosen June 16, 1775. [xc] Crispin served on the Pittsylvania Commission for the trial of tories, and Crispin and Abraham were on a Court of Inquiry that administered the Oath of Allegiance in 1777.[xci] Abram became Escheator for the County of properties owned by British subjects, represented the County in the General Assembly of 1777 and 1778 and was sheriff in 1784. After the Revolution and until his death in 1789 he was Colonel of the First Battalion of the County Militia.[xcii] In 1789 Beverly Shelton was appointed Captain in room of Gabriel Shelton who had resigned.[xciii] In the 1790’s, Vincent, Crispin, Jr., and Armistead Shelton were Justices of the Peace, called members of the Commission of Peace, who held court for civil cases each month.[xciv]
Even before 1800, the sons and daughters of these Shelton brothers from Middlesex were pushing on to newer and more promising lands – to North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky. Within another 30 years their descendants had reached Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and beyond. True, some of them stayed in the home counties – over 300 Shelton names were recorded by the 1850 census taker in Pittsylvania County alone. But today, the people who look to the Sheltons of Middlesex as ancestors probably number in the thousands and are scattered all the way from Virginia to California, and from the Gulf to Canada.
In succeeding sections, this author will treat briefly of the children and grandchildren of six of the Middlesex-Amelia-Pittsylvania brothers – the families of Ralph, Crispin, Benjamin, John, James and Daniel Shelton.
Kenyon Stevenson (deceased 1957)
February 8, 1953
Revised September 21, 1955
1 Surry Deed Book 1, page 41
2 W&M Q 2nd Series, Vol. 9, page 211
2 W&M Q 2nd Series, Vol. 9, page 211
3 Tyler's Q Vol. 1, page 273
4 Bell’s Charles Parish, page 246
5 Abingdon Parish Register, Vol. 1, page 4
4 Landon C. Bell's Charles Parish, page 246
6Va. Mag. Vol. 20, pp. 91, 288; Vol. 31, p. 75
Tyler's Vol. 2, p. 271; Vol. 6, p. 260
W&M Q (All 1st Series) Vol. 1, p. 95; Vol. 2, pp. 8, 234; Vol. 5, p 57; Vol. 6, pp. 227, 250; Vol. 12, p.253; Vol. 14, p.159
7 Eaton's Historical Atlas of Westmoreland Co., map 9; Chilton's will, Westmoreland Deeds and Wills, Vol. 4, pp. 122-124
8 Old Rappahannock Court Order Book 1, pages 75 and 210
8 Old Rappahannock Court Order Book 1, pages 75 and 210
9 Middlesex Deeds 1 and 5; Wills 1713-1734; Order Books 11, 12, 13 and 14: and Christ Church Parish Register
10 Middlesex wills 1698-1713 and Christ Church Parish Register
11 Nugent, pages 252, 257, 290, 293, 309, 310, 312, 316, 326, 338, 340, 341, 350, 352, 373, 377, 385, 394, 410, 421, 461, 497, 558, 566
12 W&M Q lst Series, Vol. 8 p 98 and Vol. 12, p 60
13 Essex County Deeds and Wills Vol. 13 (1707-1711) pages 185-187
14 Essex County Deeds and Wills Vol. 10 (1699-1702) page 133
15 Bickley's bond in King William Record Book 1, pp 207-208; Ellis Family Record filed at Institute of American Genealogy, Chicago, IL.
16 Virginia Land Office Patent Book 9 (1697-1706) p 727
17 Virginia Magazine Vol. 12, p. 285
18 Essex County Deed Book 30, p. 359
19 Birthdate of Elizabeth is estimated by the author. Birthdates of other ten children, first three marriages and two death dates are from the Christ Church Parish Register. Baptisms of Thomas and Ralph, not indexed are on pages 78 & 79. Catherine’s marriage bond is reported in W & M Q I, Volume 4, p 119. Until 1752, when England and her American colonies changed from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, the New Year began on March 25th. Thus by our present calendar Thomas Shelton was married just five months before his brother, Ralph. Several other dates for this family are affected by this calendar change.
20 Middlesex County Will Book (1734) pages 418-419.
21 Middlesex County Deed Book 1754-67, part 1, page –
22 Middlesex Court references in this paragraph are from Order Book 15, pp. 424, 471, 423, 441 and Order Book 16, pp. 12 and 61 in that order.
23 Christ Church Parish Register (except Josiah's birth)
24 Middlesex Court Order Book 17, page 266; Halifax County Court Orders and Tax Lists, Virginia State Library; First Federal Census of North Carolina.
25 Bell's Sunlight on the Southside p. 284 and following
26 First Federal Census of Virginia
27 Halifax County Will Book 3, pages 361-362
28 Bell's Sunlight on the Southside, page 382
29 Halifax County Marriage Bonds
30 Essex County Deed Book 31
31 Essex County Deed Book 31, p. 508
32 First Federal Census of Virginia and Virginia Taxpayers 1782-1787
33 Brunswick County Order Book 2 (1741-1763), page 429
34 Brunswick County Marriage Bonds
35 Essex County Court Order Book 12, p. 5
36 Essex County Court Order Book 12, p. 36
37 Amelia County, VA Deed Book 1, p. 488
38 Virginia Land Office, Grant Book 22, p. 561
39 Amelia County Deed Book 2, p. 140 (or 324)
40 Virginia Land Office, Book 28, p. 592
41 Amelia County Deed Book 4, p. 179; Deed Book 3, pages 205 and 430; and Deed Book 13, page 35.
42 Will recorded in Pittsylvania County Deed and Will Book 5, p. 369
43 Virginia Land Office, Book 33, p. 550
44 Amelia County Deed Book 8, p. 243
45 Amelia and Nottaway County Tax Lists, Virginia State Library
46 Bell's Sunlight on the Southside, pages 221, 239, 243
47 Bell's Cumberland Parish, p 508.
48 Amelia County Deed Book 8, p. 474
49 E. P. Valentine Papers p. 44
50 Halifax County Deed Book 4, p. 357
51 Virginia Land Office Book 36, p. 589; Amelia County Deed, Book 7, p 527; and Deed Book 14, p 183.
52 Clement's History of Pittsylvania County, pages 276-282
53 Pittsylvania County Deed Book 3, p. 43; Amelia County Deed Book 11, p 133; Deed Book 8 p 276
54 First Federal Census of Virginia
55 Pittsylvania County Deed Book 6, p. 267
56 Pittsylvania County Deed Book 8, p. 77-78
57 First Federal Census of North Carolina
58 Pittsylvania County Deed Book 5, p. 45
54 First Federal Census of Virginia
59 Pittsylvania Original Tax Lists in Virginia State Library
60 Pittsylvania County Deed and Will Book 11, p. 269
61 Original tax lists in Virginia State Library
61 Original tax lists in Virginia State Library
62 Nottaway County Deed Book 1, page 603
63 Lunenburg County Will Book 4, page 228
64 Pittsylvania County Deed Book 1, p. 106
65 Pittsylvania County Order Book 1, p. 84
66 Virginia Land Office, Book 40, p. 819
67 Pittsylvania County Deed Book 3, pp. 94-95 and Virginia Land Office Book 41, p. 131
68 Pittsylvania County Deed Book 4, p. 115
69 Henry County Deed Books 1 and 2
70 Henry County Deed Book 2, pp. 1, 2, and 4
71 Philapinea was probably the daughter of Hamon Critz. Hill's Henry County, p. 259, and Pedigo's Patrick and Henry County, p. 246, mistakenly call Peonia Critz wife of
72 Henry County Will Book 1, p. 100
73 Amelia Deeds, Book 3, p. 430
74 Amelia Deeds, Book 4, p. 107
75 Pittsylvania County Marriage Bonds
76 Pittsylvania County Deed Book 3, p. 535
77 Pittsylvania County Deed Book 4, p. 478
78 First Federal Census of Virginia
79 Pittsylvania County Tax Lists in Virginia State Library
80 Pittsylvania County Deed and Will Book 11, p. 332
81 Calendar of Virginia State Papers Vol. 6, pp. 47-50
82 Original petition in Virginia State Library of which this author has a photoprint
83 Original tax list in Virginia State Library of which this author has photoprint
84 Henings' Statutes Vol. 7, p. 201
85 James, Virginia Magazine, 9, p. 417; 11, p. 90; 14, p. 81; Eliphaz, Virginia Magazine 9: p 263
86 Pittsylvania County Deed Book 4, p. 293
87 Clements' History of Pittsylvania, p. 164
88 Clements' History of Pittsylvania, p. 185
89Clements' History of Pittsylvania, p. 116, 117, 121, 131
89 Clements' History of Pittsylvania, p. 116, 117, 121, 131
90 W&M Q 1st Series, Vol. 5, p. 247
91 Clements' History of Pittsylvania County, p. 165
93 Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 4, p. 653
93 Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 4, p. 646
94 Clements' History of Pittsylvania County, p. 287
1 Surry Deed Book 1, page 41
[ii] W&M Q 2nd Series, Vol. 9, page 211
2 W&M Q 2nd Series, Vol. 9, page 211
[iii] Tyler’s Q Vol. 1, page 273
[iv] Bell’s Charles Parish, page 246
[v] Abingdon Parish Register, Vol. 1, page 4
4 Landon C. Bell’s Charles Parish, page 246
[vi] Va. Mag. Vol. 20, pp. 91, 288; Vol. 31, p. 75
Tyler’s Vol. 2, p. 271; Vol. 6, p. 260
W&M Q (All 1st Series) Vol. 1, p. 95; Vol. 2, pp. 8, 234; Vol. 5, p 57; Vol. 6, pp. 227, 250; Vol. 12, p.253; Vol. 14, p.159
[x] Middlesex wills 1698-1713 and Christ Church Parish Register
[xi] Nugent, pages 252, 257, 290, 293, 309, 310, 312, 316, 326, 338, 340, 341, 350, 352, 373, 377, 385, 394, 410, 421, 461, 497, 558, 566
[xii] W&M Q lst Series, Vol. 8 p 98 and Vol. 12, p 60
[xiii] Essex County Deeds and Wills Vol. 13 (1707-1711) pages 185-187
[xiv] Essex County Deeds and Wills Vol. 10 (1699-1702) page 133
[xv] Bickley’s bond in King William Record Book 1, pp 207-208; Ellis Family Record filed at Institute of American Genealogy, Chicago, IL.
[xvi] Virginia Land Office Patent Book 9 (1697-1706) p 727
[xvii] Virginia Magazine Vol. 12, p. 285
[xviii] Essex County Deed Book 30, p. 359
[xix] Birthdate of Elizabeth is estimated by the author. Birthdates of other ten children, first three marriages and two death dates are from the Christ Church Parish Register. Baptisms of Thomas and Ralph, not indexed are on pages 78 & 79. Catherine’s marriage bond is reported in W & M Q I, Volume 4, p 119. Until 1752, when England and her American colonies changed from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, the New Year began on March 25th. Thus by our present calendar Thomas Shelton was married just five months before his brother, Ralph. Several other dates for this family are affected by this calendar change.
[xx] Middlesex County Will Book (1734) pages 418-419.
[xxi] Middlesex County Deed Book 1754-67, part 1, page –
[xxii] Middlesex Court references in this paragraph are from Order Book 15, pp. 424, 471, 423, 441 and Order Book 16, pp. 12 and 61 in that order.
[xxiii] Christ Church Parish Register (except Josiah’s birth)
[xxiv] Middlesex Court Order Book 17, page 266; Halifax County Court Orders and Tax Lists, Virginia State Library; First Federal Census of North Carolina.
[xxv] Bell’s Sunlight on the Southside p. 284 and following
[xxvi] First Federal Census of Virginia
[xxvii] Halifax County Will Book 3, pages 361-362
[xxviii] Bell’s Sunlight on the Southside, page 382
[xxix] Halifax County Marriage Bonds
[xxx] Essex County Deed Book 31
[xxxi] Essex County Deed Book 31, p. 508
[xxxii] First Federal Census of Virginia and Virginia Taxpayers 1782-1787
[xxxiii] Brunswick County Order Book 2 (1741-1763), page 429
[xxxiv] Brunswick County Marriage Bonds
[xxxv] Essex County Court Order Book 12, p. 5
[xxxvi] Essex County Court Order Book 12, p. 36
[xxxvii] Amelia County, VA Deed Book 1, p. 488
[xxxviii] Virginia Land Office, Grant Book 22, p. 561
[xxxix] Amelia County Deed Book 2, p. 140 (or 324)
[xl] Virginia Land Office, Book 28, p. 592
[xli] Amelia County Deed Book 4, p. 179; Deed Book 3, pages 205 and 430; and Deed Book 13, page 35.
[xlii] Will recorded in Pittsylvania County Deed and Will Book 5, p. 369
[xliii] Virginia Land Office, Book 33, p. 550
[xliv] Amelia County Deed Book 8, p. 243
[xlv] Amelia and Nottaway County Tax Lists, Virginia State Library
[xlvi] Bell’s Sunlight on the Southside, pages 221, 239, 243
[xlvii] Bell’s Cumberland Parish, p 508.
[xlviii] Amelia County Deed Book 8, p. 474
[xlix] E. P. Valentine Papers p. 44
[l] Halifax County Deed Book 4, p. 357
[li] Virginia Land Office Book 36, p. 589; Amelia County Deed, Book 7, p 527; and Deed Book 14, p 183.
[lii] Clement’s History of Pittsylvania County, pages 276-282
[liv] First Federal Census of Virginia
[lv] Pittsylvania County Deed Book 6, p. 267
[lvi] Pittsylvania County Deed Book 8, p. 77-78
[lvii] First Federal Census of North Carolina
[lviii] Pittsylvania County Deed Book 5, p. 45
54 First Federal Census of Virginia
[lix] Pittsylvania Original Tax Lists in Virginia State Library
[lx] Pittsylvania County Deed and Will Book 11, p. 269
[lxi] Original tax lists in Virginia State Library
61 Original tax lists in Virginia State Library
[lxii] Nottaway County Deed Book 1, page 603
[lxiii] Lunenburg County Will Book 4, page 228
[lxiv] Pittsylvania County Deed Book 1, p. 106
[lxv] Pittsylvania County Order Book 1, p. 84
[lxvi] Virginia Land Office, Book 40, p. 819
[lxvii] Pittsylvania County Deed Book 3, pp. 94-95 and Virginia Land Office Book 41, p. 131
[lxviii] Pittsylvania County Deed Book 4, p. 115
[lxix] Henry County Deed Books 1 and 2
[lxx] Henry County Deed Book 2, pp. 1, 2, and 4
[lxxi] Philapinea was probably the daughter of Hamon Critz. Hill’s Henry County, p. 259, and Pedigo’s Patrick and Henry County, p. 246, mistakenly call Peonia Critz wife of William Shelton.
[lxxii] Henry County Will Book 1, p. 100
[lxxiii] Amelia Deeds, Book 3, p. 430
[lxxiv] Amelia Deeds, Book 4, p. 107
[lxxv] Pittsylvania County Marriage Bonds
[lxxvi] Pittsylvania County Deed Book 3, p. 535
[lxxvii] Pittsylvania County Deed Book 4, p. 478
[lxxviii] First Federal Census of Virginia
[lxxix] Pittsylvania County Tax Lists in Virginia State Library
[xc] W&M Q 1st Series, Vol. 5, p. 247
[xci] Clements’ History of Pittsylvania County, p. 165
[xcii] Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 4, p. 653
[xciii] Calendar of Virginia State Papers, Vol. 4, p. 646
[xciv] Clements’ History of Pittsylvania County, p. 287