More Gophering for SHELDON Origin Clues: The Technique works for any Surname
In our search for the origins of Isaac SHELDON of Windsor, Connecticut and John SHELDON on Kingstown, Rhode Island
As I wrote previously we gophered deep down on the early settlers of Windsor Connecticut who came with Rev Ephraim HUIT / HEWITT in our gopher networking (from my earlier post). Please note the HUIT or HUET is the spelling that occurs in America but in England it is more commonly HEWITT. This is the list we came up with as those likely to have come with Rev HUIT and possible English connections [updated below] :
- Rev Ephraim HUIT bc 1597 prob Warwickshire. Definitely at Knowle and then Wroxall
- Daniel CLARK said to be of Wroxil.
We find a Daniel Clarke bpt 1608/9 at Wolston, Warcs.
- John BISSELL
bc 1590 & alleged brother Thomas 1589. We find John BYSSEL bpt 16 Nov 1590 Sheldon, Warcs. son of William and one Thomas BYSSELL bpt 24 Feb 1588/89 son of John
- John DRAKE Known to have married at Hampton in Arden, Warcs. to Lettice SHAXSPEARE 25 Jun 1615
- Francis GRISWOLD bpt 10 Jan 1605 at Wootton Wawen, Warcs; son of Clement
- Edward GRISWOLD bpt 26 Jul 1607 at Wootton Wawen, Warcs; Son of George
- John MASON b before 1605
We find a John Mason bpt 21 Oct 1607 at Ladbroke son of Thomas & Joice (John did not have a Thomas or Joyce)
- George PHILIPS bc 1592 NO ISSUE
We find George bpt 29 Dec 1583 at Eastham, Warcs. son of Nicholas PHILLIPS John PORTER bc 1610 We find bpt 13 Dec 1612 John Porter at Sutton Coldfield son of John PORTER of Kingstown
- Isaac SHELDON bc 1610 We find no baptisms for an Isaac SHELDON in this time frame anywhere in England.
- John TAYLOR bc 1605 uncertain he died at sea abt 1645. There are many possibilities for John in Warcs. But an interesting one is John TALOR bpt 6 Nov 1604 at Whichford, son of William
- William TILTON bc 1586 we find bpt 15 feb 1586 at Wolston, Warcs son of John. William we know had sons Peter, Abraham, Samuel and Daniel. We also find a bpt for a Peter 2 Apr 1620 at Wolston son of William
However, when dealing with such Networking we can’t rest on our original tunneling. We need to challenge each connection to either strengthen it, replace it or eliminate it. I thought we would drill down and clean up the above list. Then add our list from the Network of John SHELDON of Newport and Kingstown, Rhode Island. The Bolded names of people with proven origins
- Starting with Daniel CLARK. Further research finds he was born 1621 In Tarvin, Cheshire son of Sabbath CLARK. In June 1639, at age 16, Daniel and possibly his sister left England with their uncle, Rev. Ephraim HUIT and his wife Isabel OVERTON (their aunt, their mother’s sister.)
- John & Thomas BISSELL said to be brothers and we find a better match than the one originally found. John BISSELL son of Thomas bpt 19 Nov 1617 at Solihull and Thomas BISSELL son of Thomas bpt 31 May 1613 at Solihull. It’s only 7 miles from Solihull to Wroxall and they are brothers, so this makes good sense.
- John DRAKE married 25 Jun 1615 at Hampton in Arden, Warcs. to Lettice SHAXSPEARE 5 children baptized there between 1616-1624
- Francis GRISWOLD bpt 10 Jan 1605 at Wootton Wawen, Warcs; son of Clement and his cousin Edward GRISWOLD bpt 26 Jul 1607 at Wootton Wawen, Warcs; Son of George. Wootton Wawen is about 8 miles from Wroxall. This is solid previously proven information. These two are cousins. Arriving with Rev. HUIT and is documented first hand.
- John MASON because of his military service he must have been born before 1605 which leaves a couple of new possibilities John son of William bpt 21 Mar 1590 Barcheston ; or John son of John bpt 6 Oct 1594 Salford Priors. John’s daughter Israel MASON marries John BISSELL Junior in Windsor (so there is that reinforcement of the network). Barcheston has a very strong association with SHELDON as it’s the home of the SHELDON Tapestries and is about 23 miles from Wroxall. Salford Priors is about 20 miles away.
- George PHILIPS we find a better match closer to Wroxal: Georg PHILIPS bpt 10 May 1606 at Wyken, son or Richard. About 15 miles away.
- John PORTER turns out to be the son of another John PORTER bpt 9 Feb 1622 in Felsted, Essex, England so off our list.
- John TAYLOR to the possibilities we have John TALOR bpt 6 Nov 1604 at Whichford, son of William; but also of note is John Taylor bpt 10 Jan 1600 at Snitterfield, son of John; Or John Taylor bpt 6 Jun 1606 at Stratford on Avon, son of Ralph. Snitterfield is quite close to Wootton Wawen and only 9 miles to Wroxall. Stratford a bit further at about 13 miles. And Whichford is about 7 miles from Barcheston.
- William TILTON bpt 15 feb 1586 at Wolston, Warcs son of John. William TILTON of Windsor had sons: Peter, Abraham, Samuel and Daniel. We find a bpt for a Peter 2 Apr 1620 at Wolston son of William. So this looks very solid. Wolston of this period also had many HEWITTs so I am of the mind that this may have been a family & friends connection. We have a Richard HEWITT bpt 6 Sep 1578 son of Thomas in Wolston. Also in nearby parishes of Church Lawford and Brinklow are many HEWITTs. No Ephraim HEWITT anywhere–but my bet is in the general vicinity of Wolston.
Of the above list CLARK, MASON & TAYLOR are common names. We have proven the CLARK connection is familial. The MASON & TAYLOR, remain for now circumstantial possibilities. So we end up with HUIT, BISSELL, DRAKE, GRISWOLD and TILTON as solid.
Here is a curious piece about Rev HUET and GRISWOLD and an investor William WHITING.
Although highly speculative there was a William Whyting in Bedford, Bedfordshire bpt 26 Jul 1590, son of Oliver. I checked alumni of Cambridge thinking there may have been a benefactor there but found none suitable. Yes, I am skipping over the Isaac SHELDON connection for now.
Switching to the settlers of Newport and later Kingstown with a nod to those with Warwickshire (or nearby) connections. We are looking at these because this is where John SHELDON settled and we know John and Issac SHELDON are closely related due to YDNA testing. This is quite a bit more challenging than the Windsor group. The time frame is later (1639 vs 1650’s). There is no single group coming at a specific time and some are second generation Americans. I am looking for connections with any of the folks above. These could be familial, geographic, religious or business related. Just a note on process. I am concentrating on the early settlers of Kingstown and those who were associated with John SHELDON in Newport. I am specifically looking at the Midland counties of England to see if there are any other families with connections there.
As I have noted in previous blog posts the more unusual names are the most helpful because they give us a smaller pool of possibilities. Surnames that are well researched are also helpful in our sifting process. Although be careful not to accept the research of others, especially that with scanty evidence. Try to keep an open mind because as you saw in the transformation of my first list. New evidence can change conclusions.
- William ALMEY b1601–says in deposition son of Christopher Almy of South Kilworth, co. Leicester, gentleman. 35 miles from Wroxall but only 15 from Wolston.
- Robert AUSTEN bc 1600-1635 probably closer to the upper figure based on the births of children. There are many possibilities but if we link to near Warwickshire we get Robert ASTON Bpt 11 Oct 1613 Birmingham, Warcs, son of John ; Robert ASTON bpt 24 Mar 1611 at Alcester son of John; Robert ASTON bpt 1 Nov 1631 Salford Priors, son of Robert. The last one is most interesting as the age is about right AND the possible connection with MASON of Salford Priors above.
- James BADCOCK born about 1612, as on 18 Jan 1670, he gave a testimony “calling his age 58 years, his son James 29 and his son John 26 years. There are no James BADECOCK or BABCOCK in all of England during the time frame. There are 3 bpt for Anna, Sara & Thomas in Radford Semele, Warcs. to Thomas BADCOCKE 1610-1619. None of his children by those names. About 10 miles from Wroxall. This name is found in 1460 in Whitacre about 15 miles north of Wroxall.
- George GARDENER bc 1615 about 40 possibilities in England. In Warwickshire just one George GARDNER bpt 3 Nov 1611 Stratford on Avon, son of John.
- Edward INMAN bc 1620 there are about 8 possibilities among them Edward INMAN bpt 25 Aug 1616 at Wootton Wawen (Henley) son of William
- John KENYON bc 1620 John KENON bpt 27 Dec 1618 at Fillongley son of William.
- Richard KNIGHT bc 1610-1620 many possibilities throughout England interesting one is RIchard KNIGHT bpt 6 Sep 1629 at Hampton in Arden son or Robert.
- Thomas MUMFORD bc 1625-1630 many possibilities throughout England tow of note Thomas MUMFORD bpt 13 Oct 1627 Birmingham St Martin, Warcs, son of Thomas; Thomas bpt 16 Feb 1633 Ladbroke, Warcs. son of Ephraim. The later 20 miles from Wroxall.
- Edmund WESTON Bpt 1 June 1606 Shustoke Warcs. By vicar John ROBYNSON. He settled in Roxbury, MA his grandson Jonathan born in Kingstown c 1706. 16 miles from Wroxall.
So of the list above only two can solidly be placed in the area of Wroxall William ALMEY of South Killworth and Edmund WESTON of Shustoke. Of all the early settlers in New England we can add a few with solid connections ot the area:
- Robert COLLES Bpt 1 Apr 1599 Robert COLES of Robert in Brinklow, Warcs. (2 miles from Wolston). He md 2nd Mary HAWKHURST dau of Sampson HAWKHURST Vicar of Nuneaton, Warcs; first settled First in Roxbury MA and ended up in Warwick, RI
- William COPP bpt 9 Nov 1589 William COPPE son of Thomas Hatton, Warcs settled in Boston, MA
- John EATON bpt 26 Dec 1590 Hatton, Warcs. settled in Haverhill, MA
- Edmund HAWES bpt 15 Oct 1612 Edmund HAWES son of Edmund of Solihull, Warwcs. Settled in Yarmouth, MA
- Thomas HUIT (HEWITT) Thomas (alleged Bro of Ephraim) bpt 19 Apr 1607 Thomas HUET of Thomas at Grandborough 20 miles from Wroxall and just 10 miles from Wolston.. He and a son settled at Stonington, Ct both died at sea.
- Thomas WELLES, Gov. bpt. 10 July 1594 Tidmington, Warcs. Thomas WELLES Son of Robert of Stourton, Shipston & Whichford on Stours, Warcs.
All in all a sound dozen that we can establish in Warwickshire or thereabouts and another ten possibles. So let us look at possibilities for Isaac SHELDON of Windsor, CT and John SHELDON of Kingstown, RI. We estimate a birth of Isaac before 1610. And A birth for John between 1610-1630 but most likely between 1620-1630. As previously mentioned there is no match for an Isaac SHELDON anywhere in England during this time frame, however we believe he came with Rev HUIT and we know the parish registers for Wroxall are missing from 1595 until June of 1634. So if John or Isaac were from Wroxall there is no record for them. If they were Catholic there would not be baptismal records. Which leaves us with just a couple of other possibilities in the vicinity of Wroxall:
- John SHELDON bpt 6 Mar 1611 Wootton Wawen son of John
- John Sheldon bpt 21 May 1615 Wootton Wawen son of Johannes
- John SHELDON married 28 Jul 1624 to Jone SHAXSPEAR Rowington Noteworthy that this couple simply vanishes–no births for children.
- John SHELDON buried 2 Apr 1616 in Birmingham
- John SHELDON buried May 1639 Solihull
So perhaps it is helpful to plot our knowns and possibilities on a map. Red are known SHELDON places. Dark BLUE Windsor Connections. Turquoise Blue Kingstown or other connections and finally Yellow for speculative connections.
There is one more John SHELDON who was baptised in the appropriate time frame. That is John SHELDON bpt 21 Jul 1622 at Broadway. I can find nothing more on this John. And as mentioned in an earlier post there is a connection between the SHELDONs of Broadway and a Robert GRISWOLD of Rowington. Robert GRISWOLD was a servant of a SHELDON of Broadway when he was arrested and later hung for being unwilling to denounce his Catholic faith.
The very real possibility is that John of Kingstown was the son or cousin of Isaac SHELDON who came with Rev. HUIT and that Isaac Sr was baptized in Wroxall and is among the missing 40 years of parish registers. So for now we have established where they HUIT/HEWITs were from, where some of his associates were from and a strong concentration of families in a 25 mile radius of Wroxall. And a curious cluster with a center in Barcheston with a 5 mile radius that includes one very prominent transplant to Connecticut: Thomas WELLES, Governor of Connecticut . bpt. 10 July 1594 Tidmington, Warcs. son of Robert of Shipston. This is a very small hamlet likely with no more than 100 villagers. It is less than 1 mile from the slightly larger village of Barcheston of SHELDON Tapestry fame.
Please not a possible hotspot is Wooton Wawen where we have SHELDON, GRISWOLD and possibly TAYLOR & INMAN.
Maybe not a solution to our quest, but perhaps a bit closer than when we started. I also must add that The GRISWOLDs are my kin and thus indulge me on a little more about them. Matthew Griswold (1620-1698) and his nephew George Griswold (1633-1704) became skilled masons and gravestone carvers. Scholars disagree as to which Huit carved the oldest gravestone in Connecticut. And who would that be for? Ah thank you for asking– that would be for the Rev Ephraim HUIT. Please read more here. I hope I have made my point that friends and family can lead you farther to understanding where someone comes from than you might have guessed.
In the 7th edition of Ancestral Roots, the following opinion of Douglas Richardson regarding John Drake was reported:"He believes that this John Drake came to New England with the Rev. Ephraim Hewett of the adjacent parish of Wroxall, co. Warwick, along with the Griswold and Bissell families." Source: Weis, Frederick Lewis, "Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists," 7th Edition, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1992. Pp. 197-198.
Kelly Wheaton Copyright 2021. All Rights Reserved.