September 25, 2021

SFA Officers and Directors 2019-2020

  1. President- Michael Sheldon
  2. Vice President- Libby Wilson
  3. Secretary- Elizabeth Townsend
  4. Treasurer- Susan Russell
  5. Director at Large- Duane Booth
  6. Director at Large- Joseph Uphoff
  7. Director at Large- Nancy Olsen
  8. Director-at-Large- Wende Warren

 

This year I thought I would first recognize those members whom we should recognize and honor before getting to the business at hand.

In honor of those who passed:

  • Betsey Hill Sheldon 23 Feb 2021                SFA Member
  • Alice Garland 01 May 2021
  • Marvin Von Mirich 21 Feb 2021
  • Wendy A Paradis 21 Jan 2021
  • William E Reid 30 Jan 2021
  • Geraldine Elsie Sheldon 08 Jun 2021
  • Jerre Boyd Sheldon 07 Mar 2021
  • Mark Alfred White 15 Mar 2021

 

A Special Recognition:

The Sheldon Family Association has a small fund consisting of monies donated to help prior members.  In particular, our elderly Sheldon “treasures” with fixed incomes.

This year we made this person born in 1918 a life member. She joined SFA in 1974.  She is 103 and was helpful to a number of members researching Sheldons in Canada.

Mary Lanning Stewart

 

 

Memorial Plaque Honorees

The Sheldon Memorial Plaque was created and donated to the SFA in memory of Marie Hines, who was a member and regular SFA volunteer.  This year the Board recognized and added to the plaque:

 Leland Locke Sheldon

  • Born in 1883 in Monroe, NY
  • Died 1982 in Charlotte, NC

His nephew Clinton Bayard Sheldon described him as a generous and kind person, always concerned about his fellow man.

  • He served as a genealogist for the Sheldon Family Association and was the one to discover a number of libraries and Sheldon cousins that possessed the original Sheldon Magazines published by Henry Olcott Sheldon.
  • He was the one who started the transcribing of that information onto the “SFA cards.” His efforts also included reprinting the Sheldon Magazines.

It is upon his shoulders that a long list of genealogists and researchers followed. They expanded and improved his efforts and began the process of digitizing the “SFA cards.”

 Rose Marie Sheldon Newton 

  • Born 1938 in Telluride, CO, in 1938
  • Passed away in 2017 while living in Fort Wayne, IN.
  • Became President of the Association in 1986, serving in that role for ten years
  • Was the SFAQ editor from about 2001 to 2011, where she transformed it from a letter to members to research quarterly.
  • Served as the SFA genealogist from 2004 to 2014

Rose was a critical part of setting up the trip to England in 1993.  She was an excellent researcher and a prolific writer. Ultimately, she became the guardian of many Sheldon records. Concurrently, she was an active member of the Allen County Public Library. Genealogy ran deep in her soul. Consequently, all the Sheldon records she possessed and collected over the years were given to the ACPL in 2014 for preservation with more given after she passed. 

 

  • Both these individuals typify a spirit of selflessness, sharing, and collaboration
  • Their view was not one of mine but ours and yours
  • They constantly yearned for improvement, forward-thinking and were cutting edge.
  • For their contributions and the passion they embodied, we honor them on the SFA Memorial Plaque.
  • May we strive, emulate and achieve as much success as they did.

 

Sheldon Family Memorial5

 

 

Thanks to those who served SFA

Duane Booth- Director at Large

He served as a Director at Large but was a long-time member of the SFA.  He has been a source of advice and support.  His term expires with this meeting.  I want to thank him for his volunteering and service to SFA. Duane has been our Finance Committee Chairman, (mostly a group of one), and has always been honest in his advice and appraisals.

Wayne Nelson- Past President

Wayne was a past President, also a long-time member of the SFA.  He too has been a source of advice and support.  His resignation was a loss of wisdom and history.  He will be missed.

Michelle Mason- Social Media Administrator

She served as our SFAQ editor and Media Administrator.  I thank you for your service to SFA.

Marvin Parsons-Webmaster

Web Master in Training as he would say.  He moved SFA from the last generation of digital world to the next.  A person to never hold back on thoughts. That is more appreciated than he understands.

Sue Sheldon-Treasurer

Sue’s contribution to SFA over the last decade has been significant. Organizations, however, evolve and adapting is critical. There is a time to lead and a time to share. Your parting has been painful.

Cheryl Albee- Director at Large

While Cheryl’s tenure was brief, she was earnest and tried to contribute as best she could.  Circumstances over the past year and a half made it a challenge for her and her family.  I appreciate the efforts.

Geoff Sheldon-SFA’s English Ambassador

Many thanks to Geoff for giving the SFA role a solid effort.  I know he continues to contribute where he can.

 

President’s Report

So now to the Report of the past year from September 2020 to September 2021

I previously indicated I would give you an accounting of the events this past year.  As you can see from the list above the facts are that there was a significant amount of churn this year. In one case it was for health reasons, but the remainder was essentially due to either events that transpired in their lives or the angst caused by the events of the spring. As volunteers, we have enough stress in our lives, particularly one like the last year plus with COVID.  It is not rocket science to know why people resign and quite frankly I have had my moments too.

However, we were lucky in that we had some very talented and experienced people step up and/or join the Board last year.  They, like myself, have a strong commitment to the purpose and history of SFA and I have to say had it not been for them things would be very different in today’s report.

Additions:

Wende Warren-Membership Committee Chair and Database Research Administrator

Wende is a Director-at-Large fulfilling the roles listed.  Her background in business and her experience as a DAR researcher makes her a very good fit for the roles she has taken on.  She has spent countless hours recovering files and keeping us up to date and in touch with our members, both new and current.

Elizabeth Townsend-Secretary and Historian

Elizabeth took on the roles of Secretary and Historian because of her abilities and past experiences.  She was a Reagent for the DAR with significant experience throughout that organization.  Extremely active in research.  Runs her own business. Speaks her mind and again has worked hard in the collaborative efforts to help recover records, files, and member communications.

Joseph Uphoff-SFAQ editor

Joseph has a background in Asian and Meso-American genealogical research. He is a published academic author and an editor to a magazine on coin collecting.  He has put in hours to help us get back on track with the SFAQs.

Susan Russell- Treasurer

Newly elected, she had already volunteered to fill the Treasurer role.  She has her BA in Accounting and 42 years in the business.

Kevin Sheldon-Webmaster

Kevin just volunteered to take on the role of Webmaster.  He has experience in creating, managing, and maintaining websites.  He has several that he works with now.  While I have been the interim source, Kevin will be able to help catch up in a number of areas and also move us forward.

As one can see, the talents above offered SFA the long-overdue opportunity to shuffle duties in accordance with the Bylaws and Robert's Rules. Change is hard and following the process is even harder when you are set in your ways. At several levels on several key topics differences of opinion emerged.  Attempts at collaboration and negotiation failed thus change was in the wind. The eventual outcome was change.  The atmosphere during this process was toxic and this led to the resignation of other Directors.  I fully understand the concept of “who wants more stress” particularly when you add Covid to our lives and other elements such as friends who pass on or family that get seriously ill. These elements affected a number of us.

The good news is we have worked around and continue to do all the critical issues as far as financial controls, database management, membership contact, membership communications and relooking at internal controls to mitigate issues such as this in the future.  AND we kept focus on our meeting in Fort Wayne, conducted a comprehensive review of the Allen County Public Library Sheldon records AND we caught up on the two delayed SFAQ’s with another to follow shortly AND restarted membership communications.  We are close to be able to return to focusing on growth and expanding membership value.

So, what is next:

  • Plan Annual Meetings for 2022 and 2023 (current options are New England or California)
  • Resume (c)3 analysis and outline conversion plan
  • Review all ACPL scans for tagging to SFA tree and cull the scanned files for privacy
  • Intensify efforts to add personal stories and family research for SFAQ and SFA tree
  • Increase collaboration with other Sheldon (or name derivatives) Associations both domestic and international
  • Update Websites and Social Media sites
  • Continue our efforts on a Policy and Procedure manual to address operations and privacy
  • Continue efforts to recover our QuickBook records, gain control or recreate the social media accounts, and get assurance that entire copies of the SFA database information have not been distributed to non-members, a violation of SFA policies and privacy standards.

I truly appreciate the advice and support that many of our members have offered. In addition, I wish to thank all those who attended the Fort Wayne effort. You helped move down the road of a path not taken for 6 years. The efforts will be highly rewarding, of that, I am sure.

 

Annual Report of the Secretary

All documents and fees related to registration with the State of Maine and filings with the IRS have been submitted on time. SFA is compliance with the Bylaws, the State of Maine Regulations and IRS regulations. The announcement of the time and location of the annual meeting was posted on the SFA website, posted on Facebook and sent via Mailchimp in compliance with the Bylaws. Ballots were sent to all members in good standing as of August 1, 2021, via Survey Monkey and USPS in early August in compliance with the Bylaws.   Members who renewed by mail in August and post marked by August 31 or by Stripe by August 31 also had ballots sent on September 1.  Voting was closed on September 15th. 10 days before the annual meeting per the Bylaws.  There were 36 votes received by Survey Monkey.  No votes were received by USPS.  Only one vote was accepted from each computer IP address.

All Bylaws changes were approved by significant majorities. Susan Russell was elected unanimously as Treasurer for her first 2-year term

There were two write-ins for Director at Large.

 

Public Annual Report for the Treasurer

All of our income is from dues, donations with a small amount from interest.

All of our expenses are related to:

  • Computer services such as website costs (registry of our domain names, costs of the site host and a bit of programming and upkeep.
  • Research expenses such as a number of subscriptions such as Fold 3, Newspaper.com, White pages and some specialty sites. We also pay to keep our site on Ancestry.
  • Miscellaneous expenses to print and mail things such as the SFAQs and ballots. This year we had more than the usual costs in shipping costs due to the resignations and we incurred some duplicate costs for Mailchimp and Survey Monkey because we had to get new accounts
  • A donation of $500 was made to the FTDNA Sheldon Family research study to support the distribution of kits to English cousins that trace to our Sheldon roots.

It is projected that SFA will be slightly positive in the cash flow of income over expenses.

 

SFA Committee Reports

  1. Archives report

Chair and Historian: Elizabeth Townsend

Needs volunteers

SFA’s copy of the Roots Magic file has been transferred to the Historian. Its management and updates will be evaluated upon completion of the ACPL files and modification of the ACPL/SFA MOA.

2. Bylaws Committee

Chair:              Michael Sheldon

Members:        Elizabeth Townsend

                        Libby Wilson

Wende Warren

The committee formerly gathered in July.  In preparation each member was asked to review the IRS (c)7 document, the Maine State regulations Title 13-B sections that relate to non-profits, the Sheldon Family Association Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws 2020 version, and Robert's Rules of Order.  At its first meeting, all proposals that had been received were reviewed, discussed, and voted on. All proposals were passed unanimously, and a document was prepared to be forwarded to the Board. The document was approved at its second meeting. Robert's Rules mandates that EVERY proposal received to be presented to the Board.  The Bylaws Committee reviews any proposal sent in for compliance against the governing documents and evaluates that is written in a form that does not create conflict with other bylaws or risk the non-profit status of the association. If any proposal during or after the process is withdrawn, it is done so only by the proposal’s author.  The Board reviewed and voted on all the proposed bylaws at its August 8, 2021, meeting. To pass a bylaw proposal on to the membership to vote on, it requires approval a 2/3rds majority (6 of 8) of the entire Board. All Board approved proposed bylaws were put in a “ballot” format and sent to the total membership in good standing as of August 31, 2021, for approval.  Results are to be announced at the Zoom Annual Business meeting to the membership. My thanks to the committee members for their time and cooperation.

3. Database Administrator’s Report- 30 Aug 2021

Chair-Wende Warren

Needs volunteers

The database of the Sheldon Tree(s) is housed in Ancestry.com and also kept in Family Tree Maker and Roots Magic.  This database is backed up once a month with synching between Ancestry and Family Search at least weekly. Logs of changes made are retained during the synching.

There were 132,082 people in the SFA Tree at the time of the 2020 Annual Meeting. As of August 30th 2021, we have 134,292 people, an addition of 2,210 people. 

Accomplishments in 2021:

  • Identified the proven Daughters of the American Revolution in our database, and their proven children – per the DAR records.
  • Started identifying any Sons of the American Revolution in the database.
  • Created guidelines for sharing information and reports from our database – to protect the privacy of living individuals, and also the privacy of SFA members.
  • Started an excel file to list Sheldon Places.

Future and Ongoing Projects:

  • Work with Historian to give proper data to the ACPL and to create guidelines regarding the data shared publicly.
  • Continue to identify special categories of ancestors in the database – SAR, DAR, Passenger to Patriot, etc.
  • Continue to work on adding the few SFA members into the tree that do not have connections to larger trees within our database.
  • Work to fix data errors.
  • When adding new members, fill in as much missing information as we can for their larger family group. Create and send them personal reports as a member benefit.
  • Update information and sources as members send it to us – deaths, marriages, children, etc.
  • Continue to build a comprehensive listing of Sheldon Places. Have started by reviewing recent SFAQs. Need to continue to work backwards into older SFAQs and review the Sheldon Places Publication. Decide how to combine the two and share it with members.

Volunteer Opportunities:

  • If anyone is interested in helping to do genealogy research for any of the above projects, we need your help!
  • The Sheldon Places project should be very interesting if someone would like to focus on that solely

4. Membership Chair’s Report-05 Sept 2021

Chair-Wende Warren

Needs volunteers

The membership records are kept in a new Excel database because the Access database is no longer available at this time. We use this database to create a MailChimp email list for members with email addresses. Approximately 40 members do not have email. They are all life members.

Counts as of 5 Sept 2021:

Annual members

128   

  Renewed to 2022 and beyond

Life members

121

 

Expiring 2021

56

Waiting for them to renew

Total Active Membership

305

 

We have had 34 new members join SFA since the 2020 Annual Meeting, we had 27 new members last year at this time. A 2019 report showed 284 members.  We are growing, slowly, but at least growing!

Accomplishments in 2021:

  • Compiled all 80 years of membership records into a database so that we have a comprehensive listing of SFA members – past and present – all in one place.
  • All SFA members (past and present) that are in the Ancestry trees have been “tagged” as members so that we can identify them in reports. Subsequent generations can now know if an ancestor was a member. Within reports they will have an * at the end of their name. ~1100 names!
  • Contacted Lapsed members to renew membership (July 2021). We’ve received several renewals from this action! One member (103 years old!) wanted to renew. We made her an honorary life member.
  • Contacted expiring annual members to renew their membership via MailChimp. So far we’ve received ~45 renewals.
  • There have been several gift memberships this year. We’ve created a gift certificate that can be emailed to the person giving the gift, along with personal genealogy reports for the recipient.

Ongoing and Future Projects:

  1. To continue researching Life Members to try to find if they are still living, if they have email addresses and if they are interested in receiving SFA correspondence.
  2. To continue contacting Recently Lapsed members to renew their membership.
  3. To contact Inactive members to renew their membership.
  4. To continue contacting Inquiries and Purchases to consider joining SFA.
  5. Start sending Birthday Cards again.

Volunteer Opportunity?

If you enjoy doing online research, we could use you on the Membership Committee. We use WhitePages.com, Ancestry, FamilySearch, Newspapers.com and several other sites to research past and present SFA members for current information on their addresses if we haven’t heard from them in many years. When we find a member has passed away, we update that information in our Ancestry Tree. We also identify them in our Ancestry tree with a Tag and an asterisk to show they once belonged to SFA.

Or if you enjoy communicating with others through email or phone calls, it would be great to have you on the Committee to help keep in touch with all our cousins!

5. DNA Research Committee

Project leader from FTDNA Kelly Wheaton PhD

Acting Liaison:  Michael Sheldon

Presentation was made during the Annual meeting.

This section will be updated at a later date.

6. Executive Committee Report

Chair: SFA President

Members: Officers

This committee operates in the manner spelled out in the governing documents and Robert's Rules of Order.  In general, we use our calls to not only discuss and when required vote on the brief business items but as an opportunity to brief each other on correspondence and comments we have received from members or other sources such as other associations.  I also use the discussion time to obtain advice from the other officers.

We had no legal issues this past year but did meet in executive session to discuss the issues brought about the resignation of the Treasurer/membership Chair/Database Research Administrator.  In accordance with the governing documents, those conversations were then brought to the attention of the ful Board also in Executive Session.  No motions were made on those discussions.

7 Finance Committee

Chair: Duane Booth- Now Vacant

Needs volunteers

Income: We are on track with income through August.   I am hopeful that members who have not yet renewed will get their dues in soon.  Members are taking advantage of our multi-year dues discount.  Obviously, this could impact future dues income if we don’t increase our membership.  Thus, we need to find ways to increase our numbers, find ways to generate other types of income, and increase donations.       

Expenses:  Our expenses are under the budgeted amounts and I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t meet or even be under our targeted amounts as yearend.   

Summary: I remain positive, at this point, that we’ll meet or exceed or 2020 goal with the gain that we budgeted.

8. Publications Committee

Chair- Wende Warren

Needs Volunteers willing to be writers

SHELDON FAMILY ASSOCIATION MERCHANDISE SALES JANUARY - AUGUST 2021

Product Name

Total Quantity

Total $

SFA Lapel Pin

6

60

G-101 S4 Godfrey Sheldon

2

10

I-101 S5 Isaac Sheldon

1

5

I-102 The Will of S5 Isaac Sheldon

1

4.5

I-103 S5 Isaac Sheldon of Windsor

2

10

I-201 Family of Thomas Woodford

1

4

I-202 Family of Robert Blott

1

4

I-205 Story of Remembrance Sheldon S113

2

8

I-211 Sheldons of Bakewell, Derbyshire, England, and Isaac Sheldon of New England

3

15

J13-101 Sheldons of South Kingstown, The First Two Generations

5

20

SFA-201 Sheldon Places

2

17

J8-101 S-8 John Sheldon of Providence, Rhode Island

2

10

SFA-205 Richard Sheldon, Gentleman, of Monyash, Derbyshire, England

1

4

I-104 Historical Sketch of the Sheldon Family

1

5

SFA-203 Sheldon Family Association:  A 50 Year History 1939

2

16

G-201 Sheldons in the Salem Witch Trials

2

8

SFA-202 Survey of Sheldon Places and Towns in England

1

6

G-202 S14 William Sheldon of Bakewell Parish, Co. Derby, England, Scarborough, York Co., Maine & Salem Village, Essex Co., Massachusetts

3

15

     
 

38

 $   221.50

9. Nominating Committee

Chair: Wayne Nelson- Now Vacant

Solicitations were sent out via the social media sites and posted on the SFA webpage.  Susan Russell was identified as a candidate for the role of Treasurer.  No candidates were identified for the roles of Director-at Large.

10. SFA Quarterly

Editor: Joseph Uphoff

This has been a period of transition as I have assumed the position of editor. Some of the changes that have occurred include the use of different software as I have a Mac. This was a success. In addition, a review board was created and is now in use.

One of my major challenges was to bring the newsletter current with the time each issue was to be published. We are now current with the calendar year. Another change I have made has been the implementation of deadlines that correspond to each quarter of publication.

Joseph Uphoff

Editor

11. Social Media Administrator

Chair- This position is vacant, and no report was submitted.

Needs volunteers for research writing and formatting

SFA Face Book Membership is 228.

12. Reunion Committee September 2021

Chair-              Libby Wilson

Members         Alberta Dunn

                        Jim Russell

                        Karen Swanson-Sheldon

2021 has been a challenging year for all of us. The rise in the number of covid cases in the Northeast in the spring of '21 forced us to reconsider hosting a reunion in Boston.  The hotel we had chosen was still open in the spring but was being used for long-term stays for out-of-town health care workers coming to help in Boston hospitals and for local residents who needed to quarantine away from their families.  Several locations that we had hoped to visit were closed due to covid, with no way of knowing when those venues might reopen.  Though our event was still several months away, we felt that having the reunion in Boston was not the best choice for our group.  In April, we canceled our Boston plans, and we regrouped for a gathering in Fort Wayne, IN, for September 2021. 

Plans for spending a few days reviewing SFA records stored at the Allen County Public Library began with a visit to Fort Wayne by Michael Sheldon in the spring.  He connected with Curt Witcher, Genealogist at the library, and began planning how we could help the ACPL digitize and share our records. 

The reunion committee has planned several optional tours for our members as well as group dinner nights.  Much of our time will be spent in the library doing research, organizing, and prioritizing records to share. 

We are looking forward to seeing SFA members in Fort Wayne, reconnecting with our cousins, discovering new information hidden in the seven file cabinets of our family history at the library, and enjoying beautiful fall weather in Indiana.

13. Webmaster Report

Chair- Kevin Sheldon Newly appointed

Michael Sheldon served as interim administrator

Needs Volunteers

The efforts this year focused on the transfer of the SFA administration of this SFA site from Marvin Parsons to SFA.  The domain name was maintained and a new one acquired thru our current vendor.  The host site was maintained with the current vendor.  Updates related to the annual meeting, the changes in roles and the elections were posted on the site. The software and plug-ins were all updated to the current versions by our current vendor. Reports of the site activity were created and shared with the appropriate sources such as membership and treasurer.

14. Ad Hoc Committee on (c)3 status

Chair: Michael Sheldon

Members: Volunteers requested.

The creation of this committee has been authorized by the Board but will need to be renewed as it is an Ad-hoc committee.  New members will need to be appointed/reappointed.  The current AOIs and Bylaws as written will not allow SFA to change to a (c)3 non-profit CHARITABLE organization where any payment made, or services provided would be tax-deductible.  The purpose of the committee is to explore word changes and/or organization structure alternatives that can perform charitable activities with museums, historic locations, genealogic/DNA research, and education.  It was my decision to delay this activity due to other more pressing priorities earlier in the year.  2021-2022 seems to be more promising and the committee if approved will restart its efforts/.


 

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