Sheldon Genealogy Blog
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)
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)
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.
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 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).
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 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
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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