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Ralph Shelton


Born:  1685                              

Birthplace:  Middlesex, Virginia

Death:  13 Mar 1733   

Buried:  Middlesex, Virginia   

Spouse:  Mary Crispen (Shelton) 

Married:  1706 in Middlesex, Virginia 

Father:  Peter Shelton 

Mother:  Susannah Jackson (Shelton)

Children: Ralph Shelton, Thomas Shelton, Crispen Shelton, Elizabeth Shelton (Davis) John Shelton, Benjamin Shelton, James Shelton, Daniel Shelton






Records & Info


Ralph Shelton, son of Peter Shelton and Susanna Jackson, was born in Middlesex County, Virginia, in 1685. He and his wife Mary Crispin, had eleven children. All but the first three had their births recorded in Christ Church Parish. Ralph apparently spent his entire life in Middlesex County as a planter, since he died there in 1733. In his will, dated 10 March 1733, he mentioned his sons Ralph, Thomas, Crispin, his daughter Elizabeth Davis and his wife Mary. He stated that in case his son Thomas should die, he wished his sons Ralph and Crispin would take care of his (Thomas's) children.

Thomas died five years later (1738). After Ralph's death, his widow married William Clark or Clock. Mentioned in her will were sons Crispin Shelton, John Shelton, Benjamin Shelton, James Shelton, Ralph Shelton, Daniel Shelton, grandchildren Reuben Shelton, and Patience Catesby Blakey and daughter Elizabeth Davis. Mary Crispin Shelton Clark was of Nottaway, Amelia County,Virginia.

Prior to the Oct. 10, 1702 Middlesex Co, VA County Court Session, Ralph SHELTON was imported to North America, along with six other persons, by Thomas Merriwether (who was granted a headright for this importation). Ralph's surname was spelled SHELDON. Probably, he was at least 18 years of age. After his importation, Ralph Shelton lived in Middlesex Co., VA for the remainder of his life.

By 1707, Ralph Shelton's name is found on the Christ Church Parish Register with the birth record of his first child, Thomas Shelton.

He was listed as a Surveyor and Appraiser, and primary occupation as a planter.

Ralph was qualified as a general county road maintenance surveyor based on an entry in the Christ Church Vestry Book (page 201 of original, November to March, year not noted in book but context places it c1727, "ordered that Mr. Garrot Daniel and Mr. Ralph Shelton procession every particular person's land between Briery Swamp (from the Millstone Valley to the Dragon Swamp), and the upper end of the county, and from the main road to the Dragon Swamp, on the south side of the main road".

Birth and baptismal records on most of Ralph's children are given in Christ Church Register.

Ralph Shelton's will was dated 10 Mar 1733 in Middlesex Co., VA., and proven in 02 Apr 1734. Elizabeth Davis (daughter), his wife Mary Shelton and his son Thomas Shelton were appointed as his executors. 


Following from “RALPH SHELTON, OF MIDDLESEX COUNTY, VIRGINIA AND SOME OF HIS DESCENDANTS”; An Account by his great-5-grandson, Kenyon Stevenson (deceased), Hudson, Ohio, 1953:855

Ralph Shelton married about 1707, either in Essex or Middlesex, a wife Mary, whose surname has been guessed to be Crispin.  No record of the marriage or suggestion of a maiden name has been discovered.  Birth of the oldest daughter, Elizabeth, about 1711, is not in the Christ Church Parish Register, where all the others are recorded.  There were eleven children in all, as follows:
     l.  Thomas, baptized November 9, 1707, married Mary Probert Jan. 14, 1730/31 
    2.  Ralph, baptized October 23, 1709, married Mary Daniel  June 10, 1731 
    3.  Elizabeth, born about 1711, married Wm. Davis, Oct. 29, 1728. 
    4. Crisp (throughout life called Crispin), born April 1, baptized May 17, 1713, married Letitia ____about 1734 
    5.  Reuben, born Feb 1, 1714/15, baptized Apr 10, 1715; died Oct. 8, 1715 
    6.  Mary, born Jan. 21, baptized February 13, 1716/17; died July 18, 1719 
    7.  Catherine, born Jan. 26, baptized March 13, 1719/20, married George Blakey Dec. 31, 1743 
    8.  John, born July 19, baptized August 12,  1722 
    9.  Benjamin. born June 18, baptized July 12, 1724 
  10.  James, born Feb. 23, baptized March 23, 1726/27 
  11.  Daniel, born May 17, baptized June 22, 1729
Ralph Shelton lived only five years after the birth of his son Daniel.  He died March 13 1733/34.  His will, badly damaged in the old Middlesex Will Book, was dated March 10, 1733/34.  Some of the provisions still legible on the torn pages are , “ My son Ralph Shelton should have my Land….”  “……zabeth Davis twenty five Shillings to buy her---“,  “------Ralph Shelton one cow and calf,”,  “…..my son Thomas Shelton should take care of my children, and if in case my son Thomas should Die, my Desire is that my Children should be left to the -----of my other two sons, Ralph and Crispen.”  “Appoint my L (oving) wife Mary Shelton and my son Thomas Shelton to  (be executors of) my Last will and Testament.”  The witnesses were William Buford, Thomas Clarke, Henry Buford  and Abraham______.
The will was presented in Court April 2, 1734 and proved by oaths of Henry Beauford and Thomas Clark.  Thomas Buford, John Jones, John Clark and Garrit Daniel  appraised the estate.  Inventory and appraisement were presented to the court on July 2, 1734.  After this there are no later entries in the Middlesex Court Orders or other county records regarding Ralph Shelton.  His widow, Mary, remarried – to a Clark, perhaps Thomas – and as Mary Clark made her will in Nottoway Parish of Amelia County on June 30, 1750.  A Middlesex deed made Oct. 5, 1757 by Mary Clark and Peter Clark of County Middlesex to John Lambeth transfers 150 acres “beginning at a deep bottom between Edward Bristow and William Bristow’s line, thence along Elizabeth Smith’s line to main run of the Dragon Swamp…”
Ralph Shelton’s two older surviving sons, Ralph and Crispin, after marriage in Middlesex in the early 1730’s, apparently settled in Essex County.  In May 1740 Ralph Shelton presented a certificate to the Essex Court for taking up a runaway slave Cheshire belonging to Mrs. Winifred Webb of Richmond , and in August 1742, the Essex court adjudged Sam, a negro boy belonging to Crispin Shelton to be 10 years old.
Shortly thereafter these Sheltons turned toward Amelia County, nearly 100 miles west and south, created in 1734 from Brunswick and Prince George Counties.  Amelia at first also included the areas now in Prince Edward and Nottaway Counties.   On July 14, 1743 Mathew Smart of Prince George County sold Crispin Shelton of South Farnham Parish, Essex County 620 acres on South Nottaway River in Amelia County.   Two years later, on Sept. 20, 1745, Ralph Shelton received a royal grant of 400 acres in Amelia County, on the lower side of Snales Creek and north of Great Nottaway River.
It appears probable that with Ralph and Crispin and their families went with their mother, Mary Clark, and the four younger sons, John, Benjamin, James and Daniel.  In 1745 John was 23, Benjamin 21, James 19 and Daniel 16.
Crispin sold two portions of his 620 acres in 1746 – 155 acres to Henry Bueford of Amelia and 203 acres to James Beuford of Orange County.   The deeds place the land as lying “on the south side of Rocky Creek in the forks of Nottaway” and recite that “Letice his said wife” joined Crispin in the sale.  Ralph Shelton and Benjamin Shelton signed both deeds as witnesses.  Recalling that Henry Buford and William Buford were witnesses to the father Ralph’s will in Middlesex in 1733, it is suggested that  Crispin’s wife, Lettice, may have been a Buford.
On June 20, 1749, Ralph Shelton had a second land grant – 400 acres in Lunenburg County, on the lower side of Ledbetters Creek.   On Oct. 23, 1751, Ralph Shelton of the Parish of Nottaway bought 286 acres more on the lower side of Snales Creek from Samuel Jordan.   Snail Creek, on the modern map, is a small stream scarcely five miles long in the southeast corner of Prince Edward County (created in 1753 from Amelia), emptying into the Great Nottaway where Prince Edward, Nottaway and Lunenburg meet.  The Great Nottaway was then (1751) the boundary between Amelia and Lunenburg.  This places Ralph Shelton’s 628 acre homestead in the extreme southwest corner of present Nottaway County and his land on Ledbetter Creek about 10 miles distant to the south and west.

US and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900
Name: Ralph Shelton
Gender: Male
Birth Place: VA
Birth Year: 1685
Spouse Name: Mary Crispin
Marriage State: VA
Number Pages: 1