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!

Duane Booth:

Thank you for the opportunity to serve as a Director of the SFA. I will try to help the organization continue its long tradition of keeping interest in the Sheldon Family alive and I’ll strive to help preserve and increase the rich family heritage that our Sheldon ancestors left us. For those that care to read on I offer the following about me, my Sheldon ancestry, and what led me to the SFA.

I grew up and still live in the capital district region of New York. I’ve always had an interest in my ancestry and I’ve worked on my genealogy at various times from my teen years forward.   Shortly before I retired in 1996, an uncle said that we were eligible to join the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR). Our memberships were approved and while we both were active SARs I soon found myself a full time volunteer. At the Empire State Society level I’ve served as a manager, as treasurer, as a regional vice president and as president from 2014-2017. In 1999, I stepped in as database administrator and developed and maintained an MS Access database that still runs parallel with our new online database. At the chapter level I’ve successfully gotten over 400 new membership applications approved and at least 150 supplemental applications approved for our members. I personally have 31 ancestors approved in the SAR. I also belong to the Mayflower Society, the War of 1812 Society, and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

In 2017, I discovered my paternal Sheldon line. This find led me to Daniel Sheldon b. 15 Dec 1715, at Northampton, MA, and who probably died about 1798, at Suffield, CT. Daniel was the son of Jonathan and Mary (Southwell) Sheldon, and the grandson of Isaac Sheldon, one of our progenitors, and his 2nd wife Mehitable Gunn. I have re-proven Daniel as a patriot (patriotic service & a guard) in the SAR as he was incorrectly credited with the service of a Daniel Sheldon who was a surgeon’s mate in both the SAR & DAR, and the credited service had been withdrawn in both the SAR and DAR. Daniel’s daughter Tryphena married Enos Harmon, and they lived in Rupert, VT. Enos served from VT as a Lieutenant and Enos’ father John served as a Captain from Connecticut. I have proven these lines and service as well.

I want to thank both Sue Sheldon and Jeanne Jeffries for responding to my inquiries when I was researching my Sheldon line. It was, and still is, really encouraging to see such an interest in preserving the history of the Sheldon Family.                  

Michael Sheldon

My name is Michael and I live in the St. Augustine, FL area, and am a retiree. During my formative years I gravitated toward a health care career. I became a Physician Associate. I was a pioneer by being among one of the earliest of a profession that is now 50 years old. I spent my career in health care in surgery and then in the design of medical devices. I learned that your genes, your past medical and family histories are critical to understanding how to give good care and to design meaningful medical devices.

Ergo, from a very early age I have had an interest in genealogy…. Who am I? Why am I? Where did I come from? Why did they go there? What did they do? These have always been questions that I seek answers to. You get some, then more questions, and then some more answers, so the cycle goes.

I am an Isaac (5) descendent. My heritage on both sides of my family is English. The English roots, as best I currently know go way back to the days of William the Conqueror. My DNA testing confirms much of this. The families on both sides were land owners in the central parts (midlands) of England but not of nobility, yet some of title. But it is the early pre-revolution (1650s) colonial roots that I find even more fascinating and speaks most loudly to my composition. Isaac and his family were true pioneers on the frontier in Massachusetts seeking respite, I believe, from the religion issues in England. My maternal descendents were pioneers that settled in western Virginia from grants by the king for service given.

As the expansion west occurred, so moved my pioneering descendents into the Midwest frontiers of Ohio, Illinois and Kentucky. On the paternal side, with the promise of land after a generation, my relatives moved onward into western Iowa, Nebraska, and other parts of the far west principally as hard, hand working farmers. So I conclude my pioneering spirit is innate, as is the need to use my hands to make things.

But what was of most impact to my development? The answers are how my relatives adjusted and adapted to the cataclysmic events of WWI, the Great Depression, and WWII. Reading and listening to their stories has been fascinating. Have I answered the questions above? In part, yes. It explains my innate curiosity, it explains the need to be cutting edge, it explains why I have restlessness and a need to go see, listen and experience and then transform that knowledge into something I can make with my hands. Still, there is much to learn.

But the question I pose is: What is your story? Why are you, you? Who and what makes you who you are? SFA helped me find some of those answers, and is part of the answer, and that is why I joined and seek to make it better to answer those questions for us related Sheldons.


California Camp Fire Lesson: Search teams have completed their work. The death toll stands at 88 with 13, 696 homes destroyed. Now rain with flash flooding has come to the parched land after over 200 days of drought. To restart lives, information and records are required, yet gone. Imagine no driver’s license, no credit cards, no money, no insurance policy numbers, no health insurance card, no school records, and the list goes on and on. Storing records in a file cabinet or on a flash drive will not be fire proof. I am unsure about the fire rating of my big red safe or my bank’s safety deposit boxes. I have been storing my genealogy records off-site in a “cloud” and now recognize that I need to add to my cloud a comprehensive list of my basic life information. How do you store your basic life information records and your treasured genealogy items?

The 2019 SFA Reunion will be in St. Louis, Missouri. The amazing Gateway Arch is the tallest man-made national monument and offers magnificent views of St. Louis. For zoo aficionados, the St. Louis Zoo in Forest Park is a must-see! This zoo is a leader in animal management, research, conservation and education. Start budgeting now to attend the 2019 SFA Reunion.

Ending 2018 with appreciation to ….

Ruth Watson – Retired Board Member

Bob Halstead – Retired Board Member and Web Master

Duane Booth – New Board Member

Michael Sheldon – New Board Member

Marvin Parsons – New Web Master (aka “Webmaster in Training”)


Signing off for 2018. Looking forward to the SFA Reunion in St. Louis…..