(Reprinted from the award winning Sheldon Family Association Quarterly October 1990, Vol. 5, No. 4, page 166. Note: The "President Bush" referred to in this article is President George Herbert Walker Bush, not George W. Bush)
During the past year we have received any number of notes and letters pointing out that President George Bush has Sheldon ancestry and asking to know from what line he descends. The answer is no line from S-4 Godfrey, S-5 Isaac, S-8 John or S-13 John.
Gary Boyd Roberts column in the New England Historical & Genealogical Society's bimonthly newsletter, NEXUS, dated February-March 1989 named Flora Sheldon of Columbus, Ohio the paternal grandmother of George Bush and traced her line back two generations to Thomas H. Sheldon born in Rhode Island. With this information we started hard search to identify this Thomas H. Sheldon and found in the E. Hortense Sheldon collection of notes, cards and letters that she (Hortense) had worked on this line years ago. Her notes indicate that Thomas H. Sheldon was the seventh child of Michael Sheldon and born in Rhode Island to his 2nd wife, Mary Kelley. Her notes indicate further that Michael Sheldon was from Tyrone County, Ireland, and that his first wife, Rosanna McKenny, was the mother of his first six children all born in Ireland. * The client of Hortense was Georgia Scott Clement.
The Gary Boyd Roberts column in the October 1989 publication of NEXUS gives more vital data about President Bush's Sheldon line and confirms that Michael Sheldon was the father of Thomas H. Sheldon and that Mary (last name not given) was his mother, citing for proof Thomas H. Sheldon's burial record from the Greenlawn Cemetery, Columbus, Ohio as microfilmed by the Franklin County, Ohio Genealogical Society. *This lends credence to Hortense's records since Margaret Livingston Bush daughter of Flora Sheldon and Samuel Prescott Bush married Stuart H. Clement. Georgia Scott Clement's records were probably family knowledge. She died in Great Falls Montana 26 April 1953.
*However, Sheldon Cards had been filed out for Mrs. Clement by Hortense who was assisting her in lineage research. Notes on the cards state the following information: "Michael and George Sheldon were brothers. George, not married came from Tyron Co. Ireland about 1814, lived in Boston and went to South Carolina. There was a large family, five or six brothers and three sisters. One sister married a McElroy. Michael immigrated 1818 and settled in Providence, RI." Michael Sheldon and Rosanna McKenney had five children: James, Catherine, Mary, Unknown, Unknown, Unknown. Michael and second wife Mary Kelley had: Patrick b. 1814, Thomas Henry b. 1818 Prov. RI [Bush line], Torry b. 1821, John b. 1924 d. young.
*Consider the following interesting notes from the Journals of Rev. H.O. Sheldon" Brooklyn NY 18 May 1844.. Dined with Mrs. Eliza and James Sheldon a stonecutter, the first Sheldons I have found whose parents have migrated since 1633. His father was born in Ireland." "11 Sep 1843 Came to Auburn NY, and called on Butler Sheldon and saw Philo and Charles."12 Aug 1836 ..Wrote to Mr. Bush.." "22 Jan 1837 My son Henry's birthday. At 4 Brother Gilruth and I rode a mile and he married N. Draper about 60 to Barbara Bush 55." "15 Apr 1842 Went to Newport and Covington, made a temperance speach, stopped with Mr. Bush cashier of Bank."
Another interesting card in Hortense's files is for a Mary Etta Sheldon born 1810 who lived in the states of Virginia and South Carolina, parents not given, but born about same time  as Mary daughter of Michael Sheldon above. She married John Thomas Blair they lived in NC. Note on this card states "Blairs came from England and were Episcopalians settling in Virginia in early colonial days The Sheldons were Presbyterians and came from northern Ireland at a much later date than the Blairs." Source: Mrs. John T. Blair.
An interesting aside from this story develops from the family of Robert Emmett Sheldon, the son of Thomas H. Sheldon and great grandfather of President Bush. Among Robert Emmett Sheldon's seven children were Flora (President Bush's grandmother) and her brother, Butler Sheldon, who married Harriet Tilney 12 APR 1898 in Orange, NJ. Harriet Tilney was the 2nd daughter of John Stringer Tilney and his 1st wife, Mary E. Garner. John Stringer Tilney married 2nd to S-5711 Georgiana Sheldon, daughter of S-2349 Israel Sheldon for whom the town of Sheldon, Iowa was named. Among the numerous descendants of Georgiana Sheldon and John Stringer Tilney is a grandson, S-5711x54 Philip Van Rensselear Tilney, who lives -- guess where -- on Maine Street (Sinclair Lewis, take note how this street is spelled), in Kennebunkport, Maine.
Sorry, SFA Sheldons, but we can't claim President Bush an eligible prospect for SFA membership despite all the Sheldon names and connections in his background! * Member cousins might be interested to know that in November 1988 we wrote to Gary Boyd Roberts wishing to consult him concerning the English research project and the Sheldon-Bush lineage. We received no answer.