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Sheldon DNA Project

As of January 2018, we have 48 SHELDON surnamed males who have YDNA tested.

Purpose of the DNA Project?

The original goal of the project was to see if DNA testing could prove a link between the early Sheldon Progenitors in America and their ancestors in England. By using Y DNA of SHELDON surnamed males we have been able to prove that John (8) SHELDON of Pawtuxet & Providence, RI, Godfrey (4) SHELDON of ME & MA, and Richard (22) SHELDON  all descend from the Bakewell, Derbyshire, England SHELDONS!!!  These are our SHLEDON Group A and they all share a SHELDON ancestor.

This was accomplished by Y-DNA testing a present day SHELDON who lives in ENGLAND and descends from the Derbyshire group and comparing him to present day SHELDONS living in America.  He was a match at Y-37 markers. FTDNA (Family Tree DNA) computes his odds of being related to other SHELDONS (Group A) tested as 99.83% within 24 generations or approximately 600 years til a Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA).  And 97.32% within 400 years or about 1550.

We are still working to test more English SHELDONS to see if we can find their origins in England. What we do know with CERTAINTY is that John (13) of Kingston, RI and Isaac SHELDON (5) of Windsor, CT ARE NOT descended from the Bakewell SHELDONS, but they are related to each other. This is our SHELDON DNA group B. Presently it is our largest grouping with 28 members.

We have two men who comprise SHELDON DNA Group C and they match each other. There is a remote possibility that they may be distantly related to Group B. There are additional SHELDONS that currently do not match any group but with more testing we may find their matches.

When the DNA project was started the goals were:

  1. Identify the DNA of the original 4 or 5 Colonial SHELDONS.  COMPLETED!
  2. Determine if any of these original 4 or 5 Colonial SHELDONS are COMPLETED!
  3. Assist members in proving their relationship to one or more of the original 4 or 5 Colonial SHELDONS lines.  ONGOING.
  4. Determine the English ancestry of the original 4 or 5 Colonial SHELDONS.  COMPLETED for 3 lines and ONGOING for 2 others.
  5. Encourage greater participation in the SFA DNA project by our members and our English cousins. ONGOING.

We urge SHELDON men who want to help with this important research to test at Family Tree DNA with Y-37 STR marker test – click here for a link to the SHELDON DNA Project. The price is discounted $20 if you order through the project. There are options to test a single SNP test at YSEQ.net for $18 (plus one time fee of $5 for kit) for those wanting a less expensive alternative to prove a relationship to Group A or B.

For Group A test this SNP:

FGC72609 https://www.yseq.net/product_info.php?products_id=60234

For Group B test this SNP:

A20662 https://www.yseq.net/product_info.php?products_id=61174

Current Research of the SHELDON DNA Project

In addition to the ONGOING research goals mentioned above, SFA has supplied funding or assistance to English surnamed SHELDONS for Y37 tests and deeper YDNA testing called Next Generation Sequencing.  This involves reporting hundreds of additional STRS and hundreds of thousands SNPS all on the Y chromosome that is passed from father to son to son indefinitely. The goal of this research is to identify markers that will help define the different branches of the SHELDON Family Tree.  This includes funding 4 Y Elite tests at Full Genomes Corporation and assistance in Big Y testing at FTDNA.  From this testing we hope to develop a panel test that will further our phylogenetic tree.


There are 3 major types of DNA for genealogical use. The easiest to use is YDNA, followed by autosomal (atDNA) and finally mitrochondrial DNA (mtDNA).

YDNA is the Y chromosome that all men inherit from their fathers virtually intact. The Y chromosome contains YSTRS (Y Single Tandem Repeats) and SNPS (Single Nucletide Polymorphisms). Women do not have a Y!

XX = female

XY = male.

Only men with the surname SHELDON are able to do the YDNA test for SHELDON purposes. We do however have many non-surnamed SHELDON descendants in our project!

ALL men and women with SHELDON heritage can test their atDNA and matches to other SHELDONS will be found within 4th-5th cousins and sometimes as distant as tenth cousins. This can be useful to those trying to determine their relationship or who are unsure of where there SHELDONS originated.  Or those just trying to prove they are who they think they are.

ALL men and women can test their mtDNA however this is of limited use for SHELDON genealogy purposes but may be helpful to those with specific research interests on their mtDNA line.  (This is always inherited through the mother and is the mother’s mother’s mother’s etc line).

DNA testing for genealogy is accomplished through either spitting into a tube or through swabbing the inside of the cheek depending on the company’s protocol.  Testing is relatively easy but everyone doing a DNA test must be prepared for unexpected results.  They happen infrequently but they do happen.  DNA only reports the truth and has no agenda.

More information on DNA testing can be found here: https://isogg.org/wiki/Beginners’_guides_to_genetic_genealogy


Please contact Kelly at a4est42 at gmail.com for further assistance.

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