Rev. H. O. Sheldon spent a lifetime collecting and documenting information on Sheldons. He organized this information into what he called The Sheldon Magazine. From June 1855, until October 1857, he published four volumes as proof copies that he sent to his correspondents for corrections and additions. These proof copies were never intended to be a final product.
He intended to publish a fifth volume, but this, and the final publication of the first four volumes was never accomplished during his lifetime. The Sheldon Family Association, with revisions and updated indexes, reprinted Volume I in July 1973, Volume II in October 1965, Volume III in November 1962, Volume IV in February 1961, and the previously “unprinted” Volume V in July 1957, and the “lost Volume VI was printed in August 1969.
Rev. H. O. Sheldon’s books and property were lost during the Civil War. About 1882, he sent out a printed postal card from Oberlin, Ohio, asking for revised data. He said that he had 17,000 names obtained by over 3,000 letters and years of travel. The NEH&G Register, January 1883, 37:90, printed the same announcement and that “this work will soon be put to press.” He had died two weeks before, aged 83 years, and his obituary appeared in the next issue.
Apparently the original leather-bound manuscript was passed on in 1905, to (S#4384) U.S. Senator Philetus Porter Sheldon, owner of the Jamestown (N.Y.) Post, for publishing. Then it disappeared.
After many years of searching throughout the United States, it was found nearby in Medina, N.Y., in 1955, by Leland Locke Sheldon in the possession of (S#9521×1) John Layton Sheldon, Jr., an attorney who had been publisher of the Lockport (N.Y.) Journal. He stated that he had obtained it about 1906, from Jamestown in a parcel post package after requesting it, but that nothing had been printed.
This invaluable manuscript consists of about 700 pages of 9″x14″ rag ledger folio beautifully written and bound in morocco. It had been rewritten and revised 5 times. The third revision being The Sheldon Magazine, 1857, shows that there are over 1,500 typographical errors in the printed copies.
Today, some volumes of The Sheldon Magazine are out of print. The Genealogy Committee of the Sheldon Family Association has decided not to reprint the Magazine. Instead, a project is underway to enter The Sheldon Magazine and other genealogical material held by the Sheldon Family Association into a computer format.