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  • Writer's pictureJessica Feinstein

John Sheldon from Slaley, farmer

John Sheldon was Ari’s 6x great-grandfather. He came from the hamlet of Slaley in Bonsall, Derbyshire.



He was born in 1796, the oldest child of Jacob Sheldon, a lead miner, and Elizabeth (Betty) Rowbottom. His baptism took place at the church in Bonsall on the 13th of November.


On 22 August 1819, John married Mary Anne Pearson at Earl Sterndale, near Buxton in the Peak District.



They had six children between 1820 and 1832, and then Mary Anne died in 1836.


In 1834, the Derby Mercury announced:


In 1841 John was living at Pointon Cross, Great Hucklow, and his occupation was given as farmer. The tithe apportionment records for 1847 show John occupying the following pieces of land owned by John Radford and others:



Tithe Apportionments, 1836–1929. TheGenealogist.co.uk. IR29 Tithe Commission and successors: Tithe Apportionments, The National Archives.


The 1851 census record tells us that John was farming 41 acres. John died on 23 September 1858 at Pointon Cross. He was sixty-one, and the cause of death was “injury to the cervical portion of the spine with total paralysis”. His daughter-in-law Jane was present at his death. I have not found an account of an accident that caused this injury.


England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858–1995


John’s will reads as follows:


“This is the last will and testament of me John Sheldon of Great Hucklow in the parish of Hope in the County of Derby Farmer. I nominate and appoint James Furness of Great Hucklow aforesaid Farmer and John Bramwell of Windmill in Little Hucklow in the parish of Hope and County of Derby aforesaid Farmer Executors of this my will. I give devise and bequeath all my real and personal estates and effects whatsoever and wheresoever unto my said Executors upon trust that they my said Executors or the survivor of them or the Executors or Administrators of such survivor do as soon as they or he think fit after my decease sell the same estates either together or in lots by public auction or private contract as to them shall seem most expedient and make and execute all proper conveyances to the purchaser or purchasers of my Real Estate. And I direct and declare that the receipt or receipts of my said Executors … shall be sufficient and valid discharges to all persons for all monies received under the trusts of this my will and that no person paying the same shall be required to see to the application thereof nor be answerable for the misapplication or nonapplication thereof and after such sale or sales aforesaid upon trust to pay out of the monies arising therefrom all my just and lawful debts and funeral and testamentary expenses and also the costs and charges of executing the trusts of this my will and in the next place invest the residue of such monies as they or he shall think best and the interest and dividends arising therefrom I give and bequeath unto and to the use and for the benefit of my daughter in law Jane Elizabeth Sheldon now residing with me and my two grandchildren George Sheldon and Emmet Sheldon. I hereby revoke all former and other wills by me at any time heretofore made and declare this to be my last will and testament.


(John’s son William, Jane’s husband, had died in 1855. I have not found any records for Emmet Sheldon.)


Ari, this is how you are related to John:



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