September 2019 President’s Tidbits

President’s Tidbits - September 2019
Betty Shelden Knopf, Ed.D. ()

Houston, We Have A Problem!
These are words that we don’t want to say. These are also words we don’t want to hear. As your SFA President, the time has come for me to say these words to you, SFA members.
For several years, there has been a decline in the number of leaders of this organization as seen from vacant positions and members taking more than one committee position along with some committees not working. Currently, one officer has timed-out of a leadership position and other officers have declined to continue in their leadership positions. Yes, we have profoundly critical leadership problems!!!!!

For several months articles in Tidbits have announced the need for leadership to fill all offices, committee chairs, co-chairs, and committee members along with new Board of Directors. Every day I check my phone messages, my emails, and my mailbox for responses from members. Thus far, there has been one (1) response to me about my Tidbit leadership articles.
As SFA President, it is my view that for the Sheldon Family Association to continue with its stated vision and purpose, a large number of leaders must come forward and must facilitate more dialogue to address our future.

Elected positions that are open:
President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Directors-at-Large

Appointed positions that are open include chairs, co-chairs, and committee members:
Archives, Bylaws, Database, DNA, Finance, Genealogy, Membership, Nominating, Publications, Quarterly, Reunion, Social Media, Webmaster

It is time to step up!!!!!!
Contact me at: Betty Shelden Knopf ()
916-944-3553 (Pacific Coast Time) or 3834 Marshall Ave., Carmichael, CA 95608
P.S. For those members who want to study our bylaws and Maine’s leadership requirements, go to:,,

August 2019 SFA President’s Tidbits

From Betty Shelden Knopf, Ed.D. ()

Tick Tock Tick Tock

SFA Reunion 2019, St Charles, Missouri
Wednesday, Sept. 18 - Sunday, Sept 22
Best Western Plus "The Charles Hotel"
1425 South Fifth Street, St Charles, MO 63301

About our hotel - The Charles Hotel is located on Interstate 70, just 5 miles west of St. Louis Lambert International Airport. To make a reservation, please call the hotel directly at 636.946.6936. Our group rate is $105 for a double queen room.

Be sure to mention the Sheldon Family Association and make your reservations before AUGUST 18, to get the group rate!

Breakfast is included, along with pillow-top beds, 32" TVs, high-speed internet, refrigerators, microwaves, and coffee/tea makers in every room. There is also an indoor pool and fitness room, and an electric charger for your car!
Within easy walking distance of the hotel is a Bass Pro Shop, Texas Roadhouse, Denny's, Walgreens, and Dunkin Donuts.

Wandering Can Be Fun!
When people travel, they often comment they went “wandering.” Sometimes people wander with a map, or a travel book, or with no resources. Also, these wanderers sometimes will admit they got lost. Before I go to the SFA Reunion in St. Charles, I will be going with my husband to Ohio for the International Studebaker Meet. I decided I would combine the Studebaker trip with doing some Sheldon/Shelden research in Ohio. Well, I also found myself wandering while looking for Ohio genealogical research sites. While searching for Sheldon/Shelden names, I wandered and found some interesting tidbits about H.O. Sheldon.
Three interesting references to the life H.O. Sheldon were found in the book The History of Wayne County, Ohio: From the Days of the Pioneers and First Settlers to the Present Time by Benn Douglass, copyright 1874

July 2019 President’s Tidbits

Betty Shelden Knopf, Ed.D. ()

"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. " ~ Henry Ford

Press that Big Blue Button!!!

All SFA members have been sent a 2019 Reunion Registration Form in the recent Quarterly and in the June President’s Tidbits. An easy to use form is also found on our website Go to the website and then to the Reunion tab. Press that big brown button and join other Sheldons (and Sheldens) in September in St. Charles, MO. (P.S. Don’t forget two pewter Sheldon cups will be auctioned off at the yearly business meeting.)

Using Vermont Vital Records and RootsMagic to Document SFA Data. has a collection of Vital Record Cards from Vermont from 1790 to 1860. There are about 1.2 million of these cards in this set and, more importantly, the set of cards is ALPHABETIZED by last name. There are about 2,000 of these cards with a last name of Sheldon. Marv Parsons, our webmaster, decided to document his RootsMagic SFA data using these old cards, many of these cards are before Census records were kept. He found about half of the “Sheldon” cards fit in our 125,000 person SFA data. He created about 20 YouTube videos showing different techniques to match the Vital Record cards to his data. If you are a user of RootsMagic, you might learn many different methods to match these sources to your Sheldon ancestors. You would be amazed at the tips and the tricks he’s discovered to match these valuable sources. You can view his channel at:

June 2019 President’s Tidbits
Betty Shelden Knopf, Ed.D.

June and American History:
1781 Jack Jouett warns Thomas Jefferson that the British are coming.
1789 In the House of Representatives, James Madison introduces proposed amendments to the Constitution that eventually become the Bill of Rights.
1835 P.T. Barnum and his circus being their first U.S. tour.
1886 Grover Cleveland becomes the only president to be married in the White House when he weds Frances Folsom.
1897 The New York Journal quotes Mark Twain on rumors he had died: “The report of my death was an exaggeration.”
1910 Father’s Day is celebrated for the first time in Spokane, Washington.
1924 Congress grants U.S. citizenship to American Indians.
1953 President Eisenhower signs legation creating the Interstate Highway System.
1956 A hip-shaking Elvis Presley sings his latest single, “Hound Dog,” on The Milton Berle Show.
1985 Route 66, stretching from Chicago to Los Angeles, ceases to be a U.S. highway, replaced largely by the Interstate Highway System.
1987 In West Berlin, Ronald Reagan challenges Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall!”
(Source: The American Patriot’s Almanac by W.J. Bennett and J. Cribb, 2010.)

‘Tis the season again. Yes, it is time to think about being involved in providing your leadership and talents to the Sheldon Family Association. This is a membership organization. Yes, members pay dues and yes, members provide leadership. Opportunities exist for committee members and leaders, along with officers and board members. This year, three new people have joined the SFA Board and made contributions. My thanks are extended to Duane Booth for his budget development; to Michael Sheldon for his recognition plaque development; and to Marvin Parsons for his website management. If you would like to discuss your skills and time to possibly contribute to SFA, please contact me at . Thank you pondering this opportunity to contribute your participation to SFA.

May 2019 President’s Tidbits
From Betty Shelden Knopf, Ed.D. ()

2019 Reunion Schedule!!!!!!
Here are the tentative plans…..

Wednesday, 9/18
4 pm Board meeting - open to all at the hotel
Dinner - on your own
7:30 - 9 pm welcome reception at the hotel with dessert/coffee (decaf!) and local wine

Thursday, 9/19
Free day to sightsee, shop, research
Dinner on your own or in groups

Friday, 9/20
Group outing/carpooling to St Louis, leave the hotel at 9 am
10:00 tour Sheldon Concert Hall
11:15 tour Central Library, see books by Walter Sheldon
12:15 - 3:00ish Gateway Arch/lunch/tour museum/ride to the top of the Arch
    (purchase your tickets online for the top of the Arch)
Afternoon plans may also include stopping at the Cathedral Basilica to see the wonderful
    mosaics or at Ted Drewes for St Louis' favorite frozen custard treats
Dinner on your own

Saturday, 9/21
9 am -10:30 SFA Annual Meeting at the hotel (open to all)
Free day to sightsee, shop, research
6:00, Dinner at Tony's on Main.

Sunday 9/22
Breakfast at the hotel
Safe journey home.

Reminder: Go to our website page and "Reserve Your Spot" to register online, or to the latest SFA Quarterly for a registration form.

April 2019 President’s Tidbits

 Betty Shelden Knopf, Ed.D. ()

SFA Reunion 2019, St Charles, Missouri

Wednesday, Sept. 18 - Sunday, Sept 22

Best Western Plus "The Charles Hotel"

1425 South Fifth Street, St Charles, MO 63301

St. Charles, Missouri was founded in 1769 as Les Petites Cotes ("The Little Hills") by French Canadian fur trader Louis Blanchette. The Spanish government controlled the Mississippi Valley between 1762-1800, and for a dozen years "The Little Hills" became "San Carlos Borromeo." Lewis and Clark met here on the banks of the Missouri River to begin their westward expedition in 1804. Shortly thereafter, the city became known as "Saint Charles."

from Betty Shelden Knopf, Ed.D.  ()

Genealogy research often involves a search for people who disappeared for many reasons including epidemics.  Worldwide and in America in 1918, influenza caused more people to be hospitalized during WWI from this epidemic than wounds.  US Army training camps became death camps, with an 80% death rate in some camps. (Source: Genealogy Quest:  American Epidemics)

Have you checked out the new SFA website?  A new item has been added to the Resources - Hot Topics section.  It is an article about the notion of names being changed when immigrants were entering at Ellis Island.  Check out this new article and all the information on the new SFA website at

from Betty Shelden Knopf, Ed.D.  ()
Get out your 2019 calendar and an ink pen.  The 2019 SFA Reunion will be in St. Louis, Missouri, from September 18-22.  St. Louis is often called the Gateway City with many great landmarks.  Forest Park was the site of the 1904 World’s Fair and now has a famous zoo.  Standing tall and gleaming is the Gate Way Arch, so be sure to take a ride to the top for glorious views.  If you enjoy plants, you will want to experience the world-renowned Missouri Botanical Garden.  This Reunion could be a great family vacation!  More information will be coming!

from Betty Shelden Knopf, Ed.D.  ()

Happy New Year!  According to the 2019 Old Farmer’s Almanac, the year ahead will have some fascinating trends.  Examples include pet doors operated with microchips to allow entry only to authorized animals; older collectors will crave nostalgia and younger buyers will seek simple technology such as rotary phones, film cameras, and manual typewriters; and DNA kits will help us choose foods based on genetics.  In addition, people will have self-imposed smartphone-free time periods.

from Betty Shelden Knopf, Ed.D.


Our new web site is now on-line!!!  Go to  Please check out the new organization, the new faster server, and even the refreshed picture of H.O. Sheldon.  A super new feature is that researchers will be able to search years of previous newsletters, Board Minutes, and Quarterlies as all these files are now searchable pdf files.  Our new web site is mobile accessible too.  A special feature for mobile users are the “Read more...” buttons on longer articles.  Please remember if you are using the Stripe payment feature on our new web site, you will need to start a new Stripe account. Yes, there are likely to be a few “fix-its” as with many complex new items, but check it out. 

It is with great pleasure I share, that as SFA President, I have appointed Marvin Parsons as our SFA Webmaster and he has agreed to be our “Webmaster in Training.”  This title is his idea as he is learning Joomla, our new web site program, and knows it will take some time to become proficient.  Thank you Marvin for stepping up to this important position.

Meet our two new SFA Board Members!

From:  Betty Shelden Knopf, Ed.D., Interim President

The 2018 SFA Reunion is coming and plans are being made for it to be an event!  SFA members voted for the topics to be presented by three talented speakers.  The Reunion will be from September 30 to October 4. The location is Salt Lake City, Utah.  Mark your calendars and call the hotel to make a reservation.  Call the Plaza Hotel at 801-521-0130 or 800-366-3684.  Please mention you are part of SFA.  Call TODAY!!!

This is a “did you know?” Sheldon moment.  Did you know that Noritake produced a china pattern called Sheldon?  The Sheldon pattern was produced between 1957-1962.  It is described as having white flowers with an aqua rim on a coupe shape.  While it is discontinued, it is available at or by calling 1-800-757-5223.  A 5 piece place setting is priced at $37.99 and additional serving and replacement items are available.

Just the facts!  This is the famous statement from the old television series of Dragnet with Joe Friday  making this statement.  Well, here are some current SFA facts.  Since I became the SFA Interim  President, some offices and committees have gone unfilled.  Some leaders have taken on double jobs to keep the association running.  In the past few months I have shared with members the need for  leadership.  We have members who have given dedicated service for several years and now want to be replaced.  We have offices and committees that need to be filled.  We have a history of leadership by members who volunteer their time, talents, and energy.  Please give me a call at 916-944-3553, or  contract me at .  Leaders are imperative for the SFA to continue.

  1. The 2018 Sheldon Family Association Reunion is coming!  The location is Salt Lake City, Utah, the home of great genealogy research opportunities! Three speakers have been scheduled!  The Reunion is scheduled for September 30 to October 4. To make a reservation at the Plaza Hotel, call 801-521-0130 or 800-366-3684.  Please mention you are part of SFA.
  2. It is time to step up and share your talents.  Yes, indeed, SFA members are needed to provide leadership and talents.  We will be having an election and need members to serve as Vice President, Webmaster, and many committee members.  This is a membership driven group and members are needed to provide their time and skills.  Please contact me (Betty) at  or call me at 916-944-3553 for more information.
  3. Do you use Roots Magic for your genealogy program?  If so, Marvin Parsons would like you to contact him.  He is looking for a couple of detail people to help him find and fix duplicate people and to do specific clean-up tasks.  Please contact Marvin at .
  4. Have you checked out our revised web page?  Thanks go to Bob Halstead.  Check out the newly revised DNA information.  More DNA information will be in future issues of the SFA Quarterly. 
  1. This is a one-time-only offer.  Do not delay if you are interested.  Wayne Nelson has found a limited number of reprints of Sheldon Magazines, a 6-volume set.  First, please read a comprehensive informative article on  Then if interested, contact Wayne Nelson at .  Wayne will confirm availability and explain limitations.  A set of reprints is $36.00, including postage.

Betty Shelden Knopf, President
Sheldon Family Association