Buried in the shadow of the Ozark Mountains at Paint Rock Cemetery is Jane Johnston Shelton. Jane was my Great x 3 Grandmother. After the death of her husband, George Abraham Shelton, in 1857, she and several of her children moved to the community of Driggs, just south of Paris, Arkansas and remained there until her death on January 20, 1888. Below is the Shelton history.
The Shelton family has been a challenge to researchers for years, because so many of the early Sheltons married cousins. And to complicate matters, most of the parents named their children after the original patriarch of the family or their brothers, causing each branch of the family to share many of the same given names.
Recently our family discovered the George A. Shelton Family Bible, which is in the possession of the Shelton descendants. George A. Shelton was my Great (x3) Grandfather. My new-found cousin informed me that her family not only had the Bible, but had saved handwritten letters that George's daughter, Missouria, had written to her granddaughter about the Shelton family history. I had been looking for this information for years and there it was, handed to me on a silver platter. Information revealed in the letters and from the Bible, that I had not known previously, was the fact that George A. Shelton's middle name was Abraham and that his father was also named Abraham. The unknown first and last name of his wife, Jane Johnston, was given and a family record giving names and dates of birth of the whole family and the date of Jane and George's marriage were all there. I had finally broken through that brick wall and couldn't wait to find the name of our Abraham's father. What I actually found was not just one Abraham Shelton, but numerous Abrahams... and another brick wall. After months of researching this family, however, I believe we have now found convincing evidence about exactly who 'our' Abraham Shelton is. Here is what we know ......
George Abraham Shelton was born 21 Feb. 1790 in Virginia. He married Jane Johnston ( b. 17 Dec.1803) in 1820 and they lived in Virginia for four years and had three children there before moving to Fayette County, Alabama. George and Jane had five more children after they moved to Alabama. (All spellings of the names are as they were found in the Shelton Bible.)
Family of George A. Shelton and Jane Johnston-Shelton:
George Abraham Sheltonb. 21 Feb, 1790 Va d. 27 Sep. 1857 -Fayette, AL Marr: 1820 Va Jane Johnston Sheltonb. 17 Dec. 1803 in Va d. 20 Jan, 1888 - Driggs, Logan Co, Ark Elizabeth C. Sheltonb. Feb 14,1821 VA d. Sep 20, 1821 James M. Shelton b. Oct 26, 1822 VA d. Jan 07, 1825 Laura Ann Sheltonb. Feb. 21,1824 VA d. Nov 03, 1884 Sps: Berry Pinkney Morris Olleva Wilson Sheltonb. Oct 16, 1825 AL d. Oct 03. 1856 Fayette AL Spouse: Edward Bryanes Elizabeth Jane Sheltonb. June 24, 1827 AL d. April 28.1870 ScottCo Ar Sps:Elijah N. South George Robertson Sheltonb. April 23, 1829 AL d. Feb 2, 1863 at Indianapolis IN George Robertson Shelton fought in the Civil War. He was 2nd Lt. in the CSA, and was wounded and captured at the Battle of Stones Hill near Murphreesboro, TN, and taken as a prisoner of war, to Camp Morton in Indianapolis where he died a month later. He was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis in a mass grave with other Confederate soldiers. Burrel T. Shelton b. Feb 15, 1831 d. April 20, 1834 ( there was also Burrell T. Shelton that lived in Fayette Co. AL - Relationship unknown. ) Mary C. Shelton b. Dec 24, 1832 d. Dec 12, 1873 Sebastian Co. Arkansas (married her sister, Olleva's husband, Edward Bryans, after Olleva's death) Martha M. Sheltonb. Aug 27, 1834 d. July 06, 1844 Nancy Shelton b. April 24, 1837 d. July 10, 1844 Albert Anderson Sheltonb. Jan. 02, 1839 d. June 14, 1853 Was crippled- died young Missouria Agnes Sheltonb. Dec 19, 1840 d. Feb 12, 1933 Spouse: James G. Humphrey
During the years 1839 through 1847, George A. Shelton was a Justice of the Peace in Fayette County, Alabama. He died in Fayette County on September 27, 1857. After George's death, Jane Shelton, with her son, George Robertson Shelton and two of her married daughters, Laura Ann Morris and Mary Bryans, with their families, left Alabama. They had two wagons, with two yoke of cattle to each wagon. All of the family walked, except the little children, who were too small to walk. They had two big tents they would put up at night to sleep in.
They went by land until they reached the Tennessee River, then went by boat as far as Cairo, Illinois. From there, they went to St. Louis, and again traveled by land until they reached Kansas. They stayed awhile in Kansas with John Kirkland and his wife, Olleva, who was Jane's sister, but soon decided to move on to Scott County, Arkansas where Jane's daughter, Elizabeth and her husband Elijah South were already living. The area in which they lived, later became Logan County. To read more about their journey from Alabama to Arkansas, click HERE.
George A. Shelton was born in 1790, so we estimated his father, Abraham Shelton, to be born from about 1760-1770. There were so many Abraham Sheltons born during that time period, it seemed an impossible task to try and find our Abraham. Then, one day my cousin mentioned that she had found something of interest, inside the Shelton Bible. It was a small piece of neatly folded paper on which was written a list of names. The handwriting was similar to that on the letters written by George A. Shelton's daughter, Missouria. The names were Abraham Shelton -- Chloe Robertson ... on the next line, Abraham Shelton Jr. -with a blank space beside it. Then, finally on the third line, George A. Shelton-- Jane Johnston. Could this be the actual names of our ancestors? Those who are researching the Shelton family who have posted on Roots Web and other online genealogy sites, seemed to be as unsure of that question as I was. There was one thing all seemed to agree upon....Abraham Shelton Jr., (born 1765), son of Abraham Sr and Chloe Robertson, married someone named Letitia (Lettice) .
The Abraham Sheltons I found who married a Lettice or Letitia, were either married on the wrong dates to fit my Abraham, or the researchers seemed to have proof positive that their Abraham had a completely different family than our Abraham. I was about to give up on finding my Abraham... and then one day, while searching online through legal documents concerning the Sheltons of Pittsylvania County, Va, there were two names that kept showing up frequently together on deeds, as witnesses together, belonging to the same Loyalty Oath lists, tax lists and elsewhere. One of those names was Abraham Shelton. The other name was William Pace. It made me wonder, 'who is this William Pace? ' With a little investigating , I discovered that Abraham Shelton Sr. and William Pace, must have been very close friends. Here is an example of what I mean:
"William PACE Sr. , son of John Pace and Elizabeth Montague, born circa 1724 at Middlesex, VA, married Susannah (sometimes written Lurannah) West, daughter of John WEST, circa 1750 at Amelia, VA. William Pace died circa 1799 at Henry, VA. When William was 21 years old, he sold his 200 acre farm to his step-father ( John White, Elizabeth Montague Pace's second husband ), then he and his brother, John III went to Amelia County, Virginia, where they purchased property in the southwest part of the County; not however, as partners. They were accompanied by members of the Shelton family circa 1745. William (Pace) moved to Pittsylvania Co. in 1771." ( Pace Fam History, Frankfort, Kentucky Historical Library ) Other sources give the more specific date that William Pace sold his land as 1 July, 1745. Source: of information found HERE.
There were numerous other connections that convinced me I was on the right track but nothing I felt was quite conclusive. Then after several months of searching, I found a record on the LDS site, of a Letitia Leisure Pace (b.1764), who had married a 'Mr. Shelton' of Pittsylvania, Virginia about 1784. My George Abraham Shelton was born in 1790, so there was a good possibility that Abraham Shelton, born in Pittsylvania, Va., the same age as Abraham Shelton Jr. and had married a Letitia who was almost his same age, could very well be the father of my George Abraham Shelton. It wasn't until I found the following note on the Pace Family site that I really became excited. Here is what was written as a notation at the bottom of the children listed for William Pace and Susannah West: regarding Letitia Pace ... "She was married to A. SHELTON (b.) about 1760 in Amelia Co., VA [ probably ]. He died in Henry Co., VA [ probably ]. " Leisure Pace also listed U. S. and International Marriage Records 1560-1900 Spouse: ____ Shelton - anc.com
The estimated birth year of Abraham Shelton Jr. is 1763-1765. Letitia's birth year was 1764. The person who transcribed this notation attributed the marriage of 'A. Shelton' to Letitia's sister, Milly and evidently made typos on the dates, but the name of 'A. Shelton' must have come from someplace. They give their source as, Pace Family History, Frankfort, KY Historical Library. I later found evidence that Milly Pace was married to a ' Mr. Cox' while Letitia Leisure Pace has been listed on LDS by several researchers as having married a 'Mr. Shelton'. Therefore, I am about 99% convinced that 'A. Shelton', who married Letitia Pace, is the father of my George Abraham Shelton.
So what about the marriages of other Abraham Sheltons and Letitia Sheltons? I have seen just about every matchup possible from the researchers on RootsWeb. However, when you put the' Abrahams and Letitias' in their proper places, it seems that the solution to the problem was obvious. So let's sort out the Lettice Sheltons.
1. Abraham Shelton Jrb.1763-1767 Of, , Pittsylvania, Va, son of Abraham Shelton Sr. marr Letitia Pace b. 1764 Married: About 1784 Of, , Pittsylvania Co Virginia - LDS Record submitted after 1991 by a member of the LDS Church. No additional information is available. Ancestral File may list the same family and the submitter. 2. Lettice Sheltondter of John Shelton married Abraham Shelton son of Gabriel Shelton Pittsylvania Co. Va. Witnesses: John Shelton father of Lettice & Frederick Shelton- Gabriel's brother 3. Lettice Shelton - dter of Gabriel Sheltonmarried Robert HAYMES 16 NOV 1807 in Pittsylvannia Co Virginia 4. Lettice Sheltondter of Abraham Shelton Sr. married Jeremiah WhiteMarried: 17 DEC 1790 in Pittsylvania Co, Virginia 5.Lettice Shepard Sheltondter of Wm Shelton- married Vincent H. Shelton1780/1790 in Pittsylvania Co, Virginia 6. Lettice Weeks Sheltondter of Beverly Sheltonmarr. Lemuel Sheltonson of Gabriel Sheltonin Pittsylvania Co. Virginia
Our Shelton Family
Abraham Shelton Sr. b: 1737 in Middlesex,Va. Married: 16 Jan 1760 Spouse:Chloe Robertson b: 1741 in Amelia,,Virginia
Son of Abraham Shelton Jr. and Letitia Leisure Pace:
William Shelton b. 1791 Virginia George Abraham Shelton b. 21 Feb. 1790 Va. d. 27 Sep, 1857 Fayette Co. Alabama Spouse: Jane Johnston b. 17 Dec. 1803 Va. d. 20 Jan.,1888 Logan Co. Arkansas Married: 1820 in Virginia
They were the parents of four sons: George Robertson Shelton, James M. Shelton, Burrel T. Shelton, Albert Anderson Shelton (died young) and seven daughters, Elizabeth C. Shelton, Laura Ann Shelton, Olleva Wilson Shelton, Mary C. Shelton, Martha M. Shelton, Nancy Shelton, and Missouria Agnes Shelton
(See complete outline of George A. Shelton family above.)
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At the death of Abraham Shelton Sr., 640 acres of his land in Pittsylvania County, Virginia was divided among his heirs. Below is an illustration of the 640 acres divided into 80 acres plots that were given to each heir. I am currently trying to find what, if any, Johnston connection there could be between the Johnston who owned the 80 acres to the south of Abraham Shelton Jr. and George Abraham Shelton's wife, Jane Johnston.
Laura Ann Shelton -Morris Daughter of George A. Shelton and Jane Johnston-Shelton 1824-188