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Sheldon DNA Project2022-02-02T17:30:56-05:00

Sheldon DNA Project

The Sheldon DNA Project is hosted by Family Tree DNA (FTDNA).

HISTORY: The SHELDON DNA project was started by Bruce Robertson in July of 2006 with just one member.  By 2009 there were 20 members of the FTDNA Sheldon Project. Peter Jeffries became an Administrator of the project in April of 2010. Kelly Wheaton contacted Jean and Peter Jeffries in 2014 asking if they wanted help in organizing the project results. She was invited to be an Administrator in September of 2014 and took over the management of the group shortly thereafter. Kelly Wheaton is the leading expert in Sheldon-related genetic genealogy. She is the author of the Beginner’s Guide to Genetic Genealogy and manages a total of seven DNA projects. Dale Sheldon joined as an Administrator in October of 2017 and Sue Sheldon in February of 2018.  They have been working closely with Kelly since then.

The Sheldon DNA Project accepts atDNA from FTDNA’s Family Finder, Ancestry, MyHeritage, 23andMe, and LivingDNA. However, our main focus is the Y-chromosome which is passed down from father to son, to son, and so forth. The Y chromosome is unique and unlike atDNA in that it does not go through recombinations, so the YDNA 10 or 20 generations back is nearly identical to a man tested today. The Y chromosome only has small mutations every few generations so it is possible to create a tree of the Sheldon Y-chromosome through time for the various different Sheldon lineages. Y-DNA results of Sheldon surnamed men can show who shares a direct patrilineal ancestor and who does not. In combination with traditional genealogy, we have a new tool for closing the gaps when the paper trail goes dead. We can even use a simple Y-SNP test to determine which line a man belongs to in the absence of a firm paper trail. This allows us to help many Sheldon’s who do not know where they come from. Products like the Big-Y and Y-Elite have allowed us to connect previously unconnected Sheldon families. As you can see from this graphic the Sheldon DNA project has grown steadily since 2006.

Sheldon FTDNA Project Joins

Sheldon FTDNA Project Joins Courtesy of FTDNA

Only men with the surname Sheldon are able to do the YDNA test for Sheldon purposes. We do however have many non-surnamed Sheldon descendants in our project! ALL men and women with Sheldon heritage can test their atDNA and matches to other Sheldons will often be found within 4th-5th cousins and sometimes as distant as tenth cousins. This can be useful to those trying to determine their relationship or who are unsure of where their Sheldon’s originated. Or those just trying to prove they are who they think they are. Both men and women can test their mtDNA however this is of limited use for Sheldon genealogy purposes but may be helpful to those with specific research interests on their mtDNA line. (This is always inherited through the mother and is the mother’s mother’s mother’s etc. line for both men and women). Y-DNA results of SHELDON surnamed men can show who shares a direct patrilineal ancestor and who does not. In combination with traditional genealogy, we have a new tool for closing the gaps when the paper trail goes dead. We can even use a simple Y-SNP test to determine which line a man belongs to in the absence of a firm paper trail. This allows us to help many Sheldon’s who do not know where they come from. Products like the Big-Y and Y-Elite have allowed us to connect previously unconnected Sheldon families. Both men and women can test their mtDNA however this is of limited use for Sheldon genealogy purposes but may be helpful to those with specific research interests on their mtDNA line. (This is always inherited through the mother and is the mother’s mother’s mother’s etc. line for both men and women).

DNA testing for genealogy is accomplished through either spitting into a tube or through swabbing the inside of the cheek depending on the company’s protocol. Testing is relatively easy but everyone doing a DNA test must be prepared for unexpected results. They happen infrequently but they do happen. DNA only reports the truth and has no agenda.

Current Objectives

  • Assist all Sheldons worldwide in sorting their various Sheldon origins. Encourage greater participation in DNA testing of worldwide of Sheldon’s. It may be that an Australian or South African Sheldon holds the key to many Sheldon mysteries. American Sheldons may help current-day English Sheldons discover their deeper origins. The SHELDON DNA is a collaborative endeavor to help all Sheldons.
  • Determine the English ancestry of all the original American Colonial Sheldons.
  • Discover branch-related SNPS to make testing more accessible and easier to access. (A simple SNP test costs only $23.)

YDNA Groupings

Between extensive research into original source documentation and the testing of YDNA for Sheldon’s across the United States and the UK, we have broken down the various American Sheldon’s lines into two groups below. These groups include the 5 progenitor lines in the United States as well as multiple lines in the UK.

Group AHaplogroup: E-M35>V68>M78>V22>Y2366>CTS6080>L674>FGC7343

Is the only group to include both American and English origin families to date.

This group consists of the descendants of Godfrey Sheldon of Maine, John Sheldon of Providence, Rhode Island, and Richard SHELDON of New Jersey as well as the Sheldon’s originating in Bakewell, near the hamlet of Sheldon in Derbyshire, England.

  • A1: John SHELDON (S#8) ca. 1630-1708, is found in early records of Providence, Rhode Island. His wife, Joan Vincent, is the daughter of Nicholas Vincent and Fridgeswith Carpenter of Amesbury, England. Joan is the niece of William Carpenter, an early founder in Providence Records. Fridgeswith inherited the home in England from her brother William.
  • A2: Godfrey SHELDON (S#4) & Richard SHELDON(S#22) of New Jersey Godfrey ca.1599-1671, settled Saco/Bluepoint/Black Point, Maine. Godfrey’s wife, Alice Frost, and the early grave of a child of this couple are found in Bakewell parish, Derbyshire records. Godfrey’s home was a fort during the Indian Wars, when he moved to Salem. His son, William, inherited it. Of Richard little is known but his name and that he had 2 sons, and there is still question if he existed at all. The first son was named Thomas, who had 2 sons and 4 daughters. Richard’s other son, Lemuel, married Millicent Brock; they had 7 sons (including two sons named Lemuel) and 4 daughters. Richard may have other descendants as yet unreported as well. This line has not yet been researched in any great detail, this is currently being researched.
  • A3: Bakewell, Derby, England – just one tester so far, but a very strong match to the rest of Group A.

Group B: Haplogroup R1b>U106>Z156> DF96>S11515>S15663>BY12505>FGC62079>BY35166

This group consists of the descendants of Isaac SHELDON of Windsor, Connecticut & Northampton, Massachusetts, and of John Sheldon of South Kingston, Rhode Island. This group has the “three brothers” origin story in which three brothers, Isaac (S#1), John (S#2), and William (S#3) came from England in 1637 to join the Dorchester Colony. We have proved that Isaac (S#1) & John (S#2)could be brothers.  This group has not yet found a modern DNA match in the United Kingdom, but it is currently suspected that they are from the ancient SHELDON family of Warwickshire which had its zenith at Beoley in the 16th century. As you will see below we have identified at least 8 DNA lines in WARWICKSHIRE.

  • B1: FGC74427 Isaac SHELDON (S#1) ca.1600-aft 1640 of Windsor, Connecticut, also known as the Northampton line , believed that he came from England in 1639 with the Rev. Hewitt to join the Dorchester Colony. It was previously believed that his son born c1629,  Isaac (jr), was the progenitor of this branch and that he was a relation of Godfrey in Group A, and that he was the Isaac named in a Will in Bakewell. However, DNA research has since confirmed that this is not possible and that he is, instead, a relation and likely brother, to John of Kingstown. The older Isaac was already an adult by 1640 when he owned property in Windsor, Connecticut. His date of death is currently unknown. A recent document discovery states that Isaac Jr’s brother was in Rhode Island.
  • B2: FGC73741 John SHELDON (S#13) ca.1628-ca.1679 of Kingstown, Rhode Island, also known as the South Kingston line. , is first found in records in Newport, Rhode Island and shortly afterward purchased a large tract of land in the Narragansett Country. He is often referred to as “John of South Kingston”. It was his son, also John (Jr), who lived in South Kingston. His wife, Sarah, is named in his son’s Will as “my honored mother Sarah”.

Group C: Haplogroup: R1b>U106>Z381>Z301>Z30>Z346>FGC11784 not related to Group B in the last 1000 years.

Only two individuals in this test group, they are in the UK and trace to Rowley Regis and West Bromwich, Staffordshire.

Group D: Haplogroup R1b Predicted M269>L21>DF13> Z39589>DF41> MC21 (S15663- ) Potsdam, New York

Only two individuals in this test group.

Group E: Haplogroup I M253: WARWICKSHIRE, England

1 individual has tested from Burmington, Warwickshire, England

Group F: Haplogroup (predicted): R1b>M269>L21>DF13>Z39589>DF41>MC21

Four testers trace their Sheldon names to two separate men in the Birmingham area in the late 18th century – John Sheldon (1787-1860), and James Sheldon (1772-1832). However, their results have very strong connections with the MONTGOMERY family out of Argyllshire, Scotland. We currently suspect this is an early 18th-century NPE (non-paternal event), in which a person from the Montgomery family adopted the Sheldon surname. This individual may have been the father or grandfather of the above John and James.

  • F1: Haplogroup J M172>L26>PF7413 WARWICKSHIRE: Birmingham from Argyllshire, Scotland? (MONTGOMERY)
  • F2: Haplogroup R1b M269 Birmingham Area, WARWICKSHIRE, England

Group G: Haplogroup R1b Birmingham, WARWICKSHIRE, England

This group is related by area not specifically DNA at this point. All are from the Tipton-Birmingham area but fall into different DNA groups at this time.

  • G1: R1b M269 Tipton, Birmingham Area, WARWICKSHIRE, England
  • G2: R1b M269 Tipton, Birmingham Area, WARWICKSHIRE, England
  • G:3 R1b M269 Tipton, Birmingham Area, WARWICKSHIRE, England

Group H: Haplogroup R1b Likely SHANNON from Ireland

More information on DNA testing can be found here:

The Beginner’s Guide to Genetic Genealogy

The Sheldon DNA Project at FTDNA

Contact Kelly Wheaton

Books:

Family Tree Guide to Genetic Genealogy by Blaine T. Bettinger

Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past by David Reich

Ancestral Journeys: The Peopling of Europe from the First Venturers to the Vikings by Jean Manco

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