Ralph Shelton, Jr. Genealogy Notes



b. 1709--d. 1789


b. 1713--d. c1764

The beautiful painting is called "Autumn Bridge" by Chris Cummings

Ralph Shelton, Jr., was born 23 Oct 1709 in Middlesex Co., VA. He died 1789 in Henry Co., VA. His wife Mary Daniel was baptized 07 March 1712/13 to William Daniel and Mary Moseley. Click here to visit the DANIEL page. Ralph and Mary married 10 Jun 1731 in Middlesex Co., VA. In 1745, Ralph Shelton, Jr. owned 400 acres in Amelia Co., VA. Some researchers believed his name was spelled SKELTON on some deeds, but other researchers say all the written records show SHELTON. Ken Shelton, who wrote The Shelton Trek Across Kentucky, The History of the Jeremiah Shelton Family of Kentucky and Missouri said that Ralph was mentioned in his mother's will written in Amelia Co., VA., and he probably lived near her at this time. His parents were Ralph Shelton, Sr. and Mary Jane ?Crispin/Crisp? of Middlesex Co., VA. By 1763, Ralph Shelton, Jr. had moved to Halifax Co., VA and he was in Henry Co., VA when it was formed in 1776/77. Ralph and his son Eliphaz are buried in the same cemetery. Ken wrote that Ralph listed 17 children in his will. There is also a belief that there was an Ebenezer Shelton who was Ralph's son. There is an Ebenezer on the 1800 Tax rolls of Kentucky, and he is in Butler Co., KY along with Jeremiah Shelton, Ralph & Mary Daniel Shelton's son and my ancestor, but no other records were found for this Ebenezer.

Time Line:
Dec.3, 1778: researcher Margaret Alford cites Lunenburg Deed Book 13, page 384: Ralph and wife ELIZABETH sold to John Ingram 400 acres in Lunenburg County on adj. sd. Ingram on Ledbetter Creek. From the Library of Virginia Land Grant Database and the description for the 1749 grant to Ralph Shelton describes it as "on the lower side of Ledbetter Creek adjoining John Ingram."
1781, Feb: Henry County, VA: Grants to Ralph, Shelton, Sr., of Henry in Pittsylvania County. for 145 acres. and a second grant for 251 acres, both on Matthew Creek.
1782 - Henry Co., VA Personal Property Tax List - Shelton, Ralph, Senr.: Tithes-1, Negroes-0, Horses-2, and Cattle-7.
1781, Mar: Henry Co, VA: Grant to Ralph Shelton, Jr., for 78 acres on both sides of the Dann River in Henry County.
1784, May: Ralph, Sr. Sold to son James 400 acres in Henry, matching 1760 purchase. Deed is signed and there is no dower release.
1785: Court Order exempting Ralph, Sr., from future taxes and church levy.
1787, April: Ralph, Sr., wrote his will., which he signs. It is not signed by mark.
1788, April: Ralph and wife Elizabeth to Jacob Adams a deed recorded in Henry County Deed Book 3, p. 468. Ralph signs.
1788, April: Ralph and wife Elizabeth to Jacob Adams, Jr., a deed recorded in Henry County Deed Book 3, p. 470. Ralph signs.
1789, March 30: Ralph, Sr., will is proved in Henry Co., VA.
1789, in the Court Order Books of Henry County Elizabeth is referred to as the "widow and relict" of Ralph Shelton, deceased.

From The Sheltons of England & America by Mildred C. Whitaker, 1941, page 206, we find that she has listed the birth, death, will, marriage and children of Ralph Shelton, Jr. and his first wife Mary Daniel. While some of Ms. Whitaker's data has been proven incorrect, she seems accurate on these particular accounts. Ralph's will was proved 30 Mar 1789. He lived in Amelia Co., VA for many years, then sold his land and moved to what was to become Henry Co., VA. (formed from Pittsylvania and Patrick counties), by 1763. His second wife apparently was named Elizabeth (but little is known about her.) Children named in his will are sons Ralph, Palitiah, Eliphas, James, Hezekiah, Jeremiah (my ancestor), Azariah (who married Sarah Holt and moved to TN), Roger (who was listed on the 1790 Henry Co., VA tax list), and John, his son whom he cut off with a bequest of 25 pounds. The daughters named are Katherine Rutherford, Sarah Robertson, Elizaeth Arnold, Rina McGhee and Susannah Jones. The Library of VA's on-line digital database search has a record of Ralph Shelton's will: Will Book No. 1, 1777-1799 (Reel 15), p. 174. Inv. & Appr. rec. 29 June 1789. Page 217-219 - Account current, no recording date given. See Order Book No. 6, 1792-1797 (Reel 20) p. 4, for date (28 February 1792). Page 170-171. Will, pro. 30 March 1789. This was part of index to Henry County Wills and Administrations (1777 - 1800) in the collection of Virginia wills and administrations. At his death, Ralph Shelton's estate was appraised at 51 pounds 10 shillings 6 pence on 30 May 1789 by the executors. The estate sale results and account from 23 July 1789 show debts against the estate totaling 116.5.6., and it is possible that Ralph died around the first of the year. Also from the Library of VA's on-line site for VA land grants: Ralph Shelton, Jr., 01 Mar 1781, 78ac in Henry County, on both sides of the Dann River.

The following is the Will of Ralph Shelton, Jr.:

In the name of God amen the twenty third Day of April One Thousand Seven hundred Eighty Seven I Ralph Shelton Sen. Of Henry County being of Perfect sound Memory and calling to mind that it is appointed for all men once to die do make constitute and Ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following (Viz.) First and Principally I Recommend my Soul into the hand of Almighty God who gave it me, and as Touching that Worldly Estate it hath pleased him to bestow on me I Dispose of them as follows. I give and Divize to my son John Shelton five Pounds Sterling Current Money of Virginia. The Intent of my Willing my son John Shelton five Pounds Sterling is to cut him from his kinship. And Also my Will and desire is that my four Last Children namely Easop Shelton, Abbegal Shelton, Mary Shelton, Liberty Shelton shall be rased of my Estate. And the Remainder part of my Estate Lands and Moveables to be equally Divided between Ralph Shelton Palitiah Shelton Eliphaz Shelton James Shelton Ezekiah Shelton Jeremiah Shelton Azariah Shelton Roger Shelton Easop Shelton Abbegal Shelton Mary Shelton Liberty Shelton Katherin Rutherford, Sarah Robertson Elizabeth Arnold Rina McGehe Susannah Jones they or their heirs. I also appoint my son Ralph Shelton and Eliphaz Shelton Executors of this my Last Will and Testament In Witness whereof I have to this my last Will and Testament hereunto set me hand and affirmed my Seal the day and year above Written. Signed Sealed Published Pronounced and Declared to be my Last Will and Testament. Signed by: Ralph Shelton
Henry Holt
John Fletcher
John Branham
At a Court held for Henry Count on the 30th Day of March 1789. The within Last Will & Testament of Ralph Shelton Deceased was Exhibited in Court by Eliphaz Shelton one of the Executors there in named who took the oath of an Executor & the same was proved by the oaths of the Witnesses thereto to be the Last Will & Testament of the said Ralph Shelton deceased & and the said Eliphaz Shelton with Stephen Lyon & John Parr jr. his Securities entered into Bond & Acknowledged the same & was ordered to be Recorded by the Court. The said Eliphaz Shelton having obtained a Probate thereof in due form Agreeable to Law.
Teste. John Coe C. M.

No wife is mentioned in the above will, but records from HENRY COUNTY, VA, GENERAL INDEX TO ENDED LAW AND CHANCERY, COUNTY COURT FROM 1777 TO 1904, from microfilm copied and sent Feb. 2001 by Margaret Alford, seem to indicate that Ralph Shelton Jr.'s last wife was named Elizabeth. One entry on page 51, Book 5, 1789 - Elizabeth Shelton. Relinquished her claim on the estate of her husband.

From Knights5 mailing list, Feb. 2001, also sent by Margaret Alford : ESTATE SETTLEMENT RECORDS OF RALPH SHELTON, JR. OF HENRY COUNTY, VA - ABSTRACTS OF ORDER BOOK O, PATRICK COUNTY, VA; JUNE 1791-AUGUST 1800 - from a book compiled by Lela C. Adams, page 32, - Court, Tuesday, 14 May 1793: Samuel Staples against Eliphaz Shelton as Guardian for Esop Shelton, Abigail Shelton, Liberty Shelton, and Mary Shelton. Abram Penn attorney for Ralph Shelton Jr, Palatiah Shelton, Jeremiah Shelton, William McGehee and Julius Robertson also Dudley Rutherford, William Arnold, William Jones, Roger Shelton, Azariah Shelton, Ezekiah Shelton, James Shelton. heirs of Ralph Shelton, decd. defendants. - The defendants Dudley Rutherford, William Jones, and William Arnold not having given security and not inhabitants of this county. The defendants are to appear the 2nd Monday of August and answer complaint. Copy to be inserted in the Virginia Gazette for two months." Thank you so much, Margaret, for sharing this and other documents which gives proof of the names of spouses of Ralph Shelton's female children.

If you have additional information on these children, please contact me, and I'll be happy to make corrections .

  • Family Tree Maker
  • GenCircles
  • GenForum's SHELTON page
  • GenForum's DANIEL page
  • GenForum's DANIELS page
  • Roots Location List Name Finder
  • SHELTON Resource Page
  • USGenWeb-Henry Co., VA
  • USGenWeb-Virginia
  • You can subscribe to ROOTS-L surname lists for SHELTON or DANIEL by sending an E-mail to ROOTS-L-request@rootsweb.com. In the body of the message, enter only one word-"subscribe". You will receive a message saying you are now a member. Address any messages to the group with the following E-mail address: SHELTON-L@rootsweb.com. Do the same with DANIEL surname. You can even review all the old messages posted to these mailing lists by using this URL: https://mailinglists.rootsweb.com/listindexes/.

    There is another good SHELTON list which is hosted by the following address: Knights5@aol.com. Write to Kurt and ask to join the group. While you're sending him E-mail, go ahead and tell him about your SHELTON line, with dates and places, so he can send your message to the subscribed group. Good hunting!

    Janice Mauldin Castleman

    Politeness - the cornerstone of civilization

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