Sheldon Magazine Project!

Sheldon Magazine Project!

Hello Sheldons!

On the first Sunday of every month, beginning this Feb 4 at 12 noon PST, we will be having a work party on Zoom for our Sheldon Magazine Project.  In this project we will be transcribing the original volumes of the Sheldon Magazine, published in the 1850’s by the Rev. Henry O. Sheldon.  The magazine does not have articles, but is rather a list of all of the Sheldons that he could find and their descent from the original progenitors.  Anyone participating will get training in these zoom parties on reading the magazine and how to enter the information into the database, and you will be given access to edit our tree in order to help with the project.

  • When the time comes!  You can join the Zoom meeting by clicking HERE
    • 1st Sunday of every month (12 noon PST)(3 pm Eastern)(8 pm London)(7 am Mon in Sydney)

Here is a link to the original magazine and a brief description on the Rev. very unique system.  Click on Sheldon Magazine.  This should take you to the beginning of the list.  If you like you can scroll up from there to read some of the Rev. description.

When looking at the pages, try to imagine an actual book open in front of you.  Page 1 will be the open page on the left, and Page 1r will be the open page on the right.  r = right.  Logical!  Each page will also have 50 spaces for children represented.  So page 1 has children 1 to 50; page 1r has children 51 to 100; page 2 has children 101 to 150; page 2r has children 151 to 200.  This also means that each open layout is 100 people – 50 on the left and 50 on the right – which also means that you can tell exactly where you can find an individual as a child if you already know their reference number.  As an example, the Sheldon given #1580 would have to be on page 16r: the 1500’s must be on layout 16/16r and 80 is above 50, so Page 16r.

You will often see empty spaces that the Rev left on purpose in order to add in more children as he found them – this was particularly true in the early generations where he was not confident of the information – and in fact there were several errors in the early generations.  But not to worry – the first several pages of the magazine have already been transcribed into our database with the errors corrected.

Going back to page 1 – it’s good to understand that the Rev. was working under the assumption that all Sheldons in the United States were descended from one of three brothers – Isaac, John, and William.  In truth, he was not far off, but he had several of these early individuals confused with each other.  Thankfully our extensive yDNA study has been an invaluable resource to work through these errors.

Let’s look at those three brothers as an example of how he organized the magazine.  (Again, please disregard the specifics in these early generations, it is wrong and requires a long explanation – which we can review in the meetings if interested).  You will see the three brothers as the first three children at the top center of the page.  All children listed right down the center of the page.  As the father of these “three brothers” was unknown, no father is listed.

#1 is Isaac (as a child, top center), whom he believed was the eldest of the three brothers.  To the right of his name is a few dashed followed by the number 1 again, this designates that his family (with Isaac #1 as the father) will listed on Page 1.  Further to the right he is given the note “Dorchester, Mass.”  Let’s follow his line down to the next generation.  We noted that his family will be shown on page 1, which (in this case) is the same page we are on.  In following generations these listings will be several pages apart.  Now, on the left, at the top of the left column, is “1 Isaac” – this is the same “1 Isaac” at the top center of the page but now he is being listed as the father of his household.  To the right of him are his two children #4 John & #5 Isaac.  They will also be continued again on Page 1 (although the 1 reference was missing here for #5 Isaac).  To the right of John is written “16–  Billerica, Mass.”.  This means that he was born in 16?? something and that he settled in Billerica, Mass.  (note: we now know that this John of Billerica was of a completely different family, and it was John of Kingstown, Rhode Island, aka #13 John, that was the son of Isaac).  #5 Isaac has “29, Removed from Windsor, Ct 1654” next to his name.  Note that the 16– of the brother above is off set from the 29 of Isaac below.  This is because the “29” is referring to his birth in 1629.  Writing the 16 over and over was redundant and cost more money to produce due to needing to purchase several extra copies of the 1 and 6 for the typeset.

If we continue down the left column of the page you will again see the next two brother #2 John, and #3 Williams – now as parents with their children listed to the right.

Now let’s continue further town Page 1 to see #5 Isaac as the father – this family group is the first complete family with several good reference examples.

This group has several additional points of information that will be common to find in later generations.  Isaac is the head of household and now his year of death (1708) is noted next to his name.  His first wife, “Mary Woodford 1684” is listed under him.  Just like him, the year of 1684 notes the year of her death.  Much further below is his 2nd wife “Mrs. Mehet. Ensign, 1720”.  Again, 1720 will be the year of her death.  Also remember that Mary died in 1684.  If you look at the years of birth of the children starting with Mary in 1654 and going all the way down to Jonathan in 1687 – Mary died in 1684, after the first of Mercy in 1681 and before Jonathan in 1687.  By listing “Mrs Mehet Ensign” to the left of Jonathan, he is showing that this was her first (and only) child with Isaac – which we can confirm by the years noted.  Also look a the daughters Ruth and Thankful which have a bracket on their names.  They were also both listed as born 1663 – this is indicating that they were twins.  Daughters will have their husband noted on the right.  Sons will often have the city they settled noted to the right.  Cities were always in Italics to tell them apart from other notes.  Let’s go through of these children:

  • #33 Mary, born 1654, married John Bridgeman – their family continues on Page 1
  • #34 Isaac, born 1656 – his family continues on Page 2
  • #35 John, born 1658 – his family continues on Page 2
  • #36 Thomas, born 1661 – his family continues on Page 2
  • #37 Ruth, born 1663 (twin of Thankful), married Joseph Wright & Samuel Strong – their family continues on Page 2
  • #38 Thankful, born 1663 (twin of Ruth), married Benjamin Edwards – their family continues on Page 2
  • #39 Mindwell, born 1666, married Jonathan Pomeroy & Jonatham Lyman
  • #40 Joseph, born 1668, died in Boston, Massachusetts – family continues on Page 2r
  • #41 Hannah, born 1670, married Samuel Chapin of Springfield – their family continues on Page 2r
  • #42 Eleazer, born 1672, died young (in later generation only a d would be noted for “died young”), no family continued.
  • #43 Samuel, born 1675 – his family continues on Page 2r
  • #44 Ebenezer, born 1677 – his family continues on Page 2r
  • #45 Mercy, born 1681, died 1681 – no family continued.
  • #46 Jonathan, born 1687 – his family continues on Page 3

This project will continue on the 1st Sunday of every month until it is completed.  Although a good chunk has already been transcribed, there is still a large amount to do.  Anyone who would like to participate is welcome to do so.

Click HERE to open Zoom for the meeting at 12 noon PST.  If it is your first time with zoom you may need to create a free user account.

By |2024-02-01T03:31:20-05:00February 1, 2024|Genealogy|0 Comments

About the Author:

Dale has been studying genealogy heavily for over 30 years, since the age of 10. Although he does not seek professional clients, he has helped a family regain property lost during the Holocaust, and has assisted to obtain historical preservation status for a building in San Francisco. He is a co-admin of the ftDNA Sheldon DNA Project. He lived most of his life in California but has recently moved to upstate New York. He works in the travel industry.

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