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South African Sheldons in America

posted Dec 30, 2010, 2:43 PM by Craig Sheldon

Gordon Castle's Ship Manifest

Two Sheldons of South African descent are listed in early 1920s American records:

- Edward Sheldon, born c.1909, South Africa, is listed in the 1920 United States Federal Census; he was the son of John E. Sheldon of Minnesota and Emily of England. A family of multiple countries, Edward's sister Dorothy was born in Canada. (Source: FamilySearch.org)

- Charles Sheldon, born c.1899, South Africa, was a sailor with the Gordon Castle, which sailed from Cape Town and arrived at Ellis Island on 14 Sept. 1921. (Source: EllisIsland.org)

Cecil John Rhodes and Thomas Sheldon, jnr.

posted Aug 30, 2010, 1:52 AM by Craig Sheldon   [ updated Aug 30, 2010, 3:36 AM ]

The local South African newspaper, Daily Dispatch, recently published a very brief article on the 30 August 1960 discovery of an undated letter written by Cecil John Rhodes to Colonel Charles Crewe of the Cape Government: "Dear Crewe, I have been asked to speak to you about the balance of the Paarl district troops under Sheldon. They say you have disbanded and they do not wish it. Yours, CJ Rhodes." (Source: "From Our Files", 30 August 2010, Dispatch.co.za)

This reference by Rhodes to Paarl and Sheldon would seem to be about Thomas Sheldon, jnr. and the disbandment of the 300 men strong Paarl District Mounted Troops during the Second Anglo-Boer War, which included two of his sons.

Sheldon, who had rose to the rank of Captain, wrote in his own summary of his activities during the War: "I organized the Paarl District Mounted Troops, over 300 men and commanded them until their disbandment, previous to that, at the request of a high authority, I had <illegible> the railway by night (a section of 20 miles for 6 months)." (Source: KAB GH 35/242 Ref: 261, Cape Town Archives)

Emigration: From South Africa to the United Kingdom

posted Mar 7, 2009, 7:45 AM by Craig Sheldon   [ updated Apr 26, 2009, 12:29 AM ]

The following emigration data is courtesy of Neale Sheldon, Sheldon Family History, who compiled it from Ancestry.co.uk's "UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960". The table is ordered by the date of the passengers' arrival in the UK.

 Mr. Sheldon
 22 c.1868 May 1890
 Cape Town, South Africa
 Southampton, England
 Miss Alice Sheldon
 17 c.1877 21 May 1894
 Durban, South Africa
 London, England
 Mr. Edwd Sheldon
 25 c.1872 11 May 1897
 South Africa
 A. Sheldon
   May 1898
 Cape Colony, South Africa
 London, England
 Mr. Sheldon
 21 c.1878
 4 November 1899
 Delagoa Bay, Mozambique
 Southampton, England
 Miss N. Sheldon
 21 c.1878 18 December 1899
 Durban, South Africa
 Southampton, England
 William Sheldon
 37 c.1863 4 April 1900
 Durban, South Africa
 Southampton, England
 Mr. Sheldon
17 January 1901
Cape Colony
 London, England
 Miss Sheldon
  10 February 1901
Durban, South Africa
Southampton, England
 Mr. L.T. Sheldon
   9 April 1904
 Durban, South Africa
 Southampton, England
 Mr. Saml Sheldon
 23 c.1881 24 December 1904
 Durban, South Africa
 Southampton, England
 Mr. J. Sheldon
   17 June 1905
 Durban, South Africa
 Southampton, England
 Miss Cissie Sheldon
 2 c.1903 1 July 1905
 Durban, South Africa
 Southampton, England
Miss Sheldon
3 May 1909
 Durban, South Africa
 Southampton, England
 Dr. Hugh Frederick Sheldon
 2 September 1915
 Durban, South Africa
 London, England
 Mrs. May Sheldon
 36 c.1879 2 September 1915
 Durban, South Africa
 London, England
 Child Brian Sheldon
 11 c.1904 2 September 1915
 Durban, South Africa
 London, England
 Denzil Sheldon
 139 Feb. 1944
14 June 1957
Durban, South Africa
Southampton, England

Two Artists Named Sheldon

posted Mar 5, 2009, 9:55 AM by Craig Sheldon

Ian Sheldon, although based in Canada, was bought up in South Africa, Singapore and England; he acknowledges the influences of these countries on his art: "I draw comfort from the familiarity of the simple prairie horizon, a critical line that reminds me of the veld in South Africa, and the flat fens of East Anglia, lands that were both significant in my upbringing."

David Sheldon was born David Sheldon Horwitz in East London, South Africa; he is "one of South Africa's openly HIV positive artists". See Saatchi Online for more of his work.

Cowans Sheldon

posted Feb 9, 2009, 9:32 AM by Craig Sheldon   [ updated Feb 9, 2009, 12:56 PM ]

Cowans Sheldon are a British railway crane-manufacturing company, founded in 1846 near Carlisle by John Cowans (1816-1873), Edward Pattinson Sheldon (1815-1881), and brothers William and Thomas Bouch (see Alan Earnshaw, (2004), Carlisle's Crane Makers: The Cowans Sheldon Story).

In 1898, "Messrs. Cowans, Sheldon and Company" were working on a 42 foot train engine turntable for South Africa, according to a record in the National Archives.

Many of the company's cranes ended up in South Africa, including a 50 ton dockside crane at Cape Town's Sturrock Graving Dock, ordered by the British Admiralty in 1940 (Source: "Cowans Sheldon 50 ton Dockside Crane", InternationalMeccanoMen.org.uk).

In 2008, the Sandstone Heritage Trust, which seeks to preserve South Africa's agricultural, transportation, rail and rural heritage, published a report voicing their concerns over the loss of Cowans Sheldon steam cranes (see "A Crisis Looms for Remaining Steam Cranes" (PDF), Sandstone-Estates.com).

In 1968, Cowans Sheldon became a division of the Clarke Chapman Group (Source: "Messrs Cowans, Sheldon Ltd., London Road, Carlisle", NationalArchives.gov.uk).

Siege of O'Okiep

posted Feb 3, 2009, 11:21 AM by Craig Sheldon

Another typographical error that saw a man become a Sheldon comes from James Barbary's 1971 book The Boer War; according to the "snippet view" on Google Book Search: "Smuts, using homemade dynamite hand grenades, had made a successful attack on the copper-mining town of O'Okiep. He had bottled up Colonel Sheldon there."

Except Smuts had not; he had in fact "bottled up" Colonel Shelton of the 3rd Queens Royal Regiment and the besieged Commandant of Namaqualand. This is confirmed in various other books, such as Deneys Reitz's Commando, Bill Nasson's Abraham Esau's War, Naphtali Levi's Jan Smuts and Rene Kraus Old Master - The Life of Jan Christian Smuts, among others, as wells as The New York Times in their 1902 article: "Part of Cape Colony was left unprotected." There is a Fort in O'Okiep named Shelton, where the battle was fought.

This error came to light while researching the 1902 Siege of O'Okiep, a late event in the Second Anglo-Boer War, which is currently being made into a film by First Star Pictures.

AncestorsOnBoard.com - 1890-1960

posted Feb 2, 2009, 7:57 AM by Craig Sheldon   [ updated Feb 2, 2009, 8:10 AM ]

Ancestorsonboard.com lists 152 Sheldons arriving in South Africa between 1890 - 1960; of those, 9 came before 1900.

8 arrived in Cape Town, while a G. Sheldon traveled on to Port Natal.

The last name, T.A. Sheldon, is probably not Thomas Alfred Sheldon; if it is him, it's unknown what he might have been doing in England and at what point he left South Africa. Also, the date of birth given by Ancestorsonboard.com - 1872 - does not match other available information regarding Thomas Alfred, namely that his parents were married in 1879.

Sheldon, b.1868, F, departed 1894, Southampton to Cape
Sheldon, b.1875, F, departed 1894, Southampton to Cape
Sheldon, b.1870, M, departed 1896, London to Cape
Sheldon, b.1874, F, departed 1896, London to Cape
Sheldon, b.1869, M, departed 1896, Southampton to Cape
Sheldon, D., b.1870, M, departed 1893, Southampton to Cape
Sheldon, G., b.1864, M, departed 1893, Southampton to Port Natal
Sheldon, G., b.1868, M, departed 1896, Southampton to Cape
Sheldon, T.A., b.1872, M, departed 1898, Southampton to Cape

Jonathan Shelver (1820)

posted Jan 29, 2009, 10:51 AM by Craig Sheldon   [ updated Feb 1, 2009, 6:19 AM ]

Although there were no recorded Sheldons among the 1820 settlers to South Africa, some documents from that time do give the impression that a John Sheldon or Jonathan Sheldon, wheelwright, might have been among Scanlen's Party to Grahamstown.

However, this man was in fact Jonathan Shelver (see "1820 Settlers", South Africa, Rootsweb.com). Jonathan died circa 1863 according to the records in the Cape Town Archives.

Examples of Shelver becoming Sheldon are:

Transcription of Daniel Baruk's "letters on emigration" which lists a "Jonathan SHELDON,Wheelwright,28"

Colin Turing Campbell's 1897 book British South Africa; a history of the colony of the Cape of Good Hope, from its conquest 1795 to the settlement of Albany by the British emigration of 1819-- ; with notices of some of the British settlers of 1820 lists a "Sheldon, John, 36" as a member of Scanlen's Party.

T. Sheffield's 1884 book The Story of the Settlement: Grahamstown As It Was, Grahamstown As It Is lists a "Sheldon, Jno., 36" as a member of Scanlen's Party. (Source: Ancestry24.co.za)

Harold Edward Hockly's 1957 book The Story of the British Settlers of 1820 in South Africa mentions a Sheldon

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