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Presented by Deborah Shelton Wood


 My hunch is that they indeed are related to the Ralph Shelton of Norfolk England. Even the Whittaker book which was corrected and amended via articles posted as "The Shelton Family, by A. E. Whitaker" 1929 in "William and Mary Quarterly" Second Series, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Jul., 1929), pp. 201-208 explains the evidence for linking the Virginia family of Ralph Shelton to the Norfolk England Sheltons. Sir Ralph Shelton of Norfolk England had son James Shelton whose name was misspelled in some Virginia records as Skelton. Nevertheless, the Gentlemen of the Second Virginia Company who were with the Norfolk Shelton family related that "Sir Thomas Shelton, Gentleman of Norfolk England" buried in St Peter's Church of the Queen of England, was the son of Sir Ralph Shelton and his first wife, Mary Wodehouse. Thomas son of Ralph had a son Thomas Shelton who came to Virginia. The elder Ralph was the son of Thomas Shelton and and wife Elizabeth Flowerdew."


I am told that Roderick Shelton who was born in VA and lived in Buncombe Co NC ( of SHELTON LAUREL TRAGEDY)  was recently proven to be a grandson of Ralph Shelton of Middlesex Co VA through DNA testing.  The following is a transcript of a letter from a descendant of that line, stating that his father told him of their ancestry back to England.

"Alleghany, N.C.
July 6, 1905

Mr. James L. Wilmeth
Box 874, Philadelphia, Pa.

Dear Sir:
After my best respect to you, I can inform you that I am 77 years old was borned in Buncombe County, North Carolina in 1828 and have lived in this country every since. The Buncombe County has been divided where I now live is Madison County. My father told me my Grandfather Roderick Shelton came from Va. and his father John came from England. Roderick Shelton emigrated from Va., and died here.
My father told me that my Grandfather was in the Revolutionary War; Roderick Shelton had several sons, My fathers name was David, My uncles names were Martin, James, John, Armstrong, Louis, William.
Louis moved to Missouri and died there, James moved to Tenn. and died there; Armstrong moved to Kentucky aand died there; Martin died here.
Martin Shelton, had a son named Solomon Shelton, and he left this country about the time you stated in your letter, but I was small and don't recollect him, but my information is that he went to the Oregon Territory. We have a large connection in Virginia, Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky. This Solomon Shelton was my first cousin, and all of the Solomon Shelton I have heard of in this country about that time.
So I will close, by saying I remain your friend and kindred till death.
John Shelton "  source rootsweb


This church, part of the Hemphill Parish of seven churches stands today and is open to the public. It has become a great memorial to the Sheltons of Norfolk, England.

Sir Ralph Shelton sponsor of St Mary's Church
Mid-15th Century in Shelton, Norfolk, ENG

Sir Ralph Shelton, at prayer

Shelton Crest, Cross of Gold on an Azure Shield

"Sir Ralph Shelton, High Sheriff of Norfolk in the mid-15th century, paid for all this, and even in its unfinished state it is superb. Shelton wanted our prayers for his soul in perpetuity, but he must make do with the fact that this building is still filled with his emblem, and that it will be hard ever to forget what he caused to be built here. Shelton tombs form great blocks jutting out of the east wall, dividing the aisles from the chancel itself."
Ralph and Mary SHELTON of Middlesex County, Virginia USA
Born 1685 in Virginia, Ralph Shelton was a surveyor, appraiser and planter by occupation. Ralph's will was dated 10 Mar 1733 and proven in 1734. He came to Virginia about 1702 with Thomas Meriwether. (EssexCourt Order Book-1702). His wife was named Mary and they were married abt 1707 in Middlesex Co VA.

John Shelton was the 21st Lord of Shelton. Sir John's wife was an aunt to Anne Boleyn the second wife of King Henry VIII, and Henry and Anne were parents of Elizabeth I who became the Queen of England in 1588. On either side of the altar can be seen Elizabethan tomb-chests, the one on the south side carries shields of the Shelton family. Against the south wall of the south aisle is a Jacobean monument with kneeling figures, Sir Robert Houghton (who died in 1623) and his wife facing each other and two figures of their children in front.
Much of the stained glass in the aisle windows dates back to the 16th Century, mixed with faded 19th Century patterns and borders. Various members of the Shelton family are depicted in the east windows. These include Sir Ralph and his wife and their son Sir John, who married Anne Boleyn of Blickling (aunt to Queen Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII and mother of Elizabeth I). The Shelton coat of arms is repeated in the windows; one can also see the Angelic Host, the Annunciation, King Edmund and Henry VI.
The Royal Arms on the wall of the tower are those of William III.
Sir John Shelton’s wife Anne was governess to Henry VIII’s eldest daughter, Mary, while Anne Boleyn was queen. This was not an easy task for, while Mary insisted on being treated as a royal princess, Queen Anne was equally determined that insults should be heaped upon her step daughter and that she should be made to feel her “bastardy”. Lady Shelton was therefore ordered to treat Mary severely and even to beat her but at the same time she was warned that if the girl were to come to any harm she herself would be held responsible. No wonder that Lady Shelton was “not a little frightened”  and cried bitterly whenever Mary was ill. Queen Anne’s daughter, Princess Elizabeth, was brought to Shelton in the care of her great aunt and uncle at the time of her mother’s execution in 1536. On at least one occasion, when Sir John feared that court conspirators bore her ill will, Elizabeth was hidden in the church itself.

Below is another memorial to Sir Ralph Shelton at another parish church at Great Snoring, Norfolk, England.

St. Mary's in Great Snoring, Norfolk ENG

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Photos source: Norfolk Churches site sponsored by Amazon