HOME           DAVID SHELTON, first sheriff of Caswell Co., NC
(Links to Henry's children are in the table below.  Scroll down or  CLICK HERE.)


Henry and Matilda SHELTON
Photo courtesy of Allene Crissman,
a descendant of Henry & Matilda

Henry was a licensed Distiller in Caswell Co.,  North Carolina and on the 1850 Lumpkin Co., Georgia he states that he is a Distiller.

Click Here to see the newest Henry SHELTON research.

Henry SHELTON was born sometime between the 31st of July and the 3rd of August 1791 -- 1794. [i], according to the census records  Henry SHELTON was born in North Carolina (1860 & 1870 census) or South Carolina (1850 census), or Virginia (1880 census).  Ora HARWOOD in the bibliography as #3 & #8, said that he was a “minuteman” in the war of 1812.  I did find a Henry SHELTON  listed in 1812 war records as having served in the war of 1812 from the county of Iredell, NC.  I have tried researching that county without much success.  There were no SHELTONs listed in Iredell Co. NC in 1800, which would seem to indicate that our Henry SHELTON was born somewhere else in NC.2  There is a Henry  SHELTON who died and left two minor children in that county.  He died in 1805 or before.  The Court of Iredell Co., NC appointed John FLOWERS as guardian of Mary SHELTON, orphan of Henry SHELTON in Nov. of 1805, but I have been unable at this time (2000) to ascertain any other information about this Henry SHELTON.  In the same Court Minutes (Nov. 1805) James CAMPBELL is appointed guardian of Charles Wesley SHELTON.  The securities for this appointment were Richard BENNETT and Reuben ALEXANDER.  This information came from a researcher that I hired to find out what she could  from the records of Iredell Co. NC.2  The only thing certain about the above information is that the Henry who left orphans is not the Henry SHELTON who served in the War of 1812.   

Because of the "new research" and the signatures of our Henry it has been determined that he was the youngest son of David SHELTON who was the first Sheriff of Caswell Co., NC.  This Henry was married to a Temperance HARRIS in Caswell Co., NC and had several children.  He was a licensed distiller in Caswell Co., NC.  He disappeared from the records in Caswell Co. in about 1828.  He reappears in Habersham Co., Georgia in 1835 when he received a Land Grant sometime about then remarried in Georgia to our Matilda HAGOOD and raised another family in first Habersham Co., Georgia and then Lumpkin Co., Georgia where he died 25 NOV 1880. (There was an obituary for Henry in the "Mountain Signal" of 26 NOV 1880 on page 85 that says he died "yesterday.")

DNA testing:  As far as I know, there has been no DNA test done for the family in Iredell Co., NC.  Thanks to our cousin, James, we did have a DNA test done for our direct male line.  There is quite a good sized group of SHELTON DNA testers who have formed a research group.  Our DNA test shows that we are closely related to David SHELTON, first Sheriff of Caswell Co.,  NC.  (See the research below for more about the Caswell County, NC family)  Until someone has a test done on the group from Iredell Co., we can't know if we are related to them or not.

NEW RESEARCH (2008 - 2009)

There have been some new discoveries as far a Henry SHELTON is concerned.  There are two Henry SHELTONs that a lot of reliable researchers think are the same man.  Below I am going to give you the facts as I know them.  I would like for anyone who reads this to please e-mail me with their opinion.  Do we have any proof positive that these are the same Henry?  Well, now that I have been able to roundup 2 documents. one of which has the actual signature of the Henry of Georgia and the other one of the Henry of Caswell Co., NC, we have more evidence that they are the same man.  There is a high probability that they are, in fact the same person.  Read the following things we know about each man.  I am going to post both documents so that you can decide for yourself.  Here is what I would like for you to look at.  In the document from Georgia, first look at the Henry Shelton as it is written in the body of the document.  That first Henry Shelton in the Georgia document was written by the clerk of the court.  Then scroll down to the bottom of the land warrant/bond and look at Henry's actual signature.  This stark difference in the two occasions of Henry Shelton in this Georgia document is how I knew we had an actual Henry Shelton signature.  Next go to the document that came from Caswell Co., NC.  This is the marriage bond of Henry Shelton and Temperance Harris.  Henry's signature is at the bottom of this document.  

Go to the signature documents

Facts about:

Henry SHELTON of Caswell County, NC.  (Youngest child of David SHELTON, first Sheriff of Caswell Co. and his 2nd wife Susannah VAUGHAN)

 v     Since Henry was the youngest child of David and Susannah SHELTON he would have been born after his nearest age brother who was b. 14 Feb 1789.

v     David SHELTON died in 1800 in Caswell County, NC.

Henry received in his father’s Will most of his father’s land.

Henry’s mother, widow of David SHELTON, remarried to Godfrey CROWDER and moved with her minor children and new husband to his estate in Mecklenburg County, VA.

When Henry became of age and could take possession of the land he had inherited, he lived near a town named Milton.  Milton is named that because it was a Mill Town.  Milton is also known to have been a den of drinking and gambling.

There is a marriage record in Caswell County, NC for -- 02 AUG 1815 – Henry SHELTON m. Temperance HARRIS.  I recently (2009) ordered and received a copy of the original marriage bond to which is affixed Henry SHELTON's actual signature.  This is one of the documents used for Henry's signature comparison

v     1820 Census Caswell Co., NC
Henry SHELTON shown as b. between 1794 and 1800.  His wife shown as b. between 1794-1800.  Also shown are 2 males below the age of 10 and 2 females below the age of 10.  He has 4 male slaves and 5 female slaves.

There are many land records for Henry.  It is obvious that he traded or sold a lot of land to pay off debts to various people.  Gambling debts? 

Before Henry disappears he sold off nearly all of his land.  I assume that he left the land on which his wife and children lived, as she continues to show up
     as head of household in subsequent census records.

Jan 1822 – Henry receives a Distillers License in Caswell County, NC

Jan 1824 – Henry receives a Distillers License in Caswell County, NC

Jan 1828 – Henry receives a Distiller License and this is the last record of Henry being in Caswell County, NC.

1830 Census Caswell Co., NC
Temperance  SHELTON shown as head of household b. between 1790 – 1800.  She has, living with her, 1 male between age 10 – 15, 3 females under age 5, 2 females ages 5—10, and 2 females ages 10—15.  She also has 1 female slave.  Henry is nowhere to be found in Caswell County, NC.

v     1840 Census Caswell Co., NC
Temperance SHELTON shown as head of household b. between 1790 – 1800.  She has living with her, 1 male under age 5, 1 male between age 20 –30, 2 females ages 10-15, 2 females ages 15-20, and 1 female age 20-30.  It is possible that the female age 10-30 is Temperance’s daughter and some of the other children belong to that daughter.  Any other relationship is possible, as well.

v     Temperance SHELTON apparently never remarried.  Is this because she knew Henry was not dead?

Now compare the above to the Henry below:



 v     According to various Georgia census he was born between 1791 – 1795.

v 1835 Land Warrant in Habersham County, GA.  This is the 2nd document used to compare Henry's signature.  This Land Warrant was a part of the research done by Leah Gonzales, a certified genealogist in Georgia.

v     1840 Census Habersham County, Georgia.  He is in Huron Dist. And has 2 males ages 0—5, 1 male age 5-13.  Henry shown as age 30-40.  Also living with him is 1 female age 0—5, 1 female age 10—15, 1 female age 15-20, and his wife aged 20—30.  The ages are pretty much a mess and some of these families may be relatives.  But I hired a researcher who found proof that this is, in fact, the same Henry as in the 1850 census in Lumpkin County, Georgia.

v     1850 Census Lumpkin County, Georgia.  Listed in the household are
Henry SHELTON age 56 born SC and occupation Distiller  (I think SC is a mistake.  I can find no indication that he was born in SC)
Matilda age 33 born in GA
James age13 born in GA
Elizabeth age 10 born in GA
William age 8 born in GA
Susan age 6 born in GA
John age 4 born in GA
George age 2 born in GA

v     1850 Census Lumpkin County, Georgia. Listed next door to Henry was
Martin DAVIS age 41 born in GA whose occupation is “Distiller”  He has a family and assets listed as $2500.

v     1860 Henry is still in Lumpkin County, GA, but lists his occupation as Farmer.  And he lists his birthplace as NC.

v     1870 Henry in Lumpkin County, GA and lists his birthplace as NC.

v     Family tradition says that at some point, Henry had to go back to Virginia to take care of some family business.  Is this maybe when his mother died in Mecklenburg County, VA?  Because of this trip, all of his children seemed to assume that he was born in VA.  That is what they reported on the census records.

v     1880 Henry is still living and Matilda is listed as Sarah.  Was that maybe her first or middle name?  And Henry is listed as being born in VA.  It could be that the census taker was interviewing the youngest daughter, Frances, who thought that is where her father was born.  We have abstracts of obituaries for both Henry and Matilda.

What do you think?  Are these two Henry SHELTONs the same man?  Or do you have information to add to this comparison of the Henrys? Do you have suggestions for further research.

 Now, continue with the generation in Lumpkin County, GA

  Henry SHELTON married Matilda HAGOOD 3 or Mathilda BRUCE.3 

(I suspect this is the same person.  I found a listing on the Internet for our Henry [dates were correct] who married Mathilda BRUCE.  The person who listed this was probably a descendant of Henry and Matilda’s daughter Susan SHELTON or Mary Isabell SHELTON..  I am not citing the source on the Internet for this listing because it does not give any other information and there is no trail to the person that originated this message.  This site in the year 2000 is just a compilation of SHELTON information without stating what the sources are for any of it.)  However, I find a listing for Matilda BRUCE also in the L.D.S (Mormon) files on the Internet, but have never been able to get information from a contributor.

  I do not have a date of the marriage of this couple, but they were probably married in either Fannin Co. or Gilmer Co. GA.3

  Further information about Matilda's maiden name:

ţ      Ora HARWOOD 3 wrote letters to Farris (SHELTON) HEISER in the 1960's in which she states that Matilda's name was HAGOOD or HAYGOOD.  Ora said that this information came from Francis "Fannie" SHELTON, Henry and Matilda's youngest child.  And in another letter she says maybe her name was HAYWOOD or HAWOOD.  I have searched for a family that might be hers, but so far I have not discovered one.  There is an Asa HAGOOD b.1790  d.04JUL1878.  He is found in Franklin Co., GA in 1818 and 1819.  And then we find him in Blue Creek, Habersham Co., GA in 1840.  It is said that Asa HAGOOD was married 3 times.  If this is true, he was married 1st to Elizabeth HIGGINS in 1814.  He is said to have married 2nd to Abby SANDERS in 1826.  And it is said he was married a 3rd time to Sarah BARNES in 1837.  If this information about Asa HAGOOD is correct, it is possible that he could be Matilda's father by his first marriage to Elizabeth HIGGINS. We find several possible birthdates for Matilda.  In a letter from Ora HARWOOD written in 1961 she thought Matilda was born in 1810, but the date we have from the descendants of Henry and Matilda's youngest daughter, "Fannie" Frances Emaline SHELTON who married Charles Christopher DUKE, says that Matilda's birthdate was 21APR1817.  If this date is correct, then Asa HAGOOD and Elizabeth HIGGINS could be her parents.

ţ      The two sisters (daughters of Henry and Matilda), Susan and Mary Isabell both married into the STARGEL family.  This family currently has quite a presence on the Internet.  They are friendly and willing to share and for that I am very grateful.  In their records, without exception, they list Matilda's maiden name as BRUCE.  I have seen evidence of a BRUCE family in Lumpkin County, Georgia while our SHELTONs lived there, but none old enough to be the parents of Matilda.  They could be relatives, however.  I have asked each of the STARGEL researchers from where the information came about the BRUCE maiden name.  They all say that it has just been handed down with the family records.  That is the same with our records showing HAGOOD.  I continue to follow clues about this mystery.  I have run into one possibility of where the BRUCE name came from.  Henry and Matilda SHELTON had a son George W. SHELTON who married Nancy POWELL, daughter of Rebecca (__?__) POWELL.  They had 2 children who survived to adulthood.  They were Gordon M. SHELTON and Liddia (which was short for Matilda) SHELTON.  I find her listed both ways in the census.  Matilda, George's daughter, married James BRUCE.  In 1880 before their marriage when Liddia was living at home with her parents, she was called Liddia.  Then in 1900 we find her married to James BRUCE and she is listed as Matilda.  Then by 1910 James must have died and Matilda and her children have moved back in with her parents and she is listed as their daughter and is listed as Matilda.  Then before 1920 her parents had died and Matilda and her 3 children are residing with Matilda's brother, Gordon SHELTON.  I wonder if this SHELTON/BRUCE marriage with her name being the same as her grandmother's could be the cause of the confusion about the BRUCE surname?


Family tradition says that Henry was a well educated man who spoke Latin fluently and had attended college in Virginia.3  It is said that, at some point, he had to travel to Virginia, from which the family originally came, to take care of some family business.  Without exceptions at this point, I have not found any of Henry's children who do NOT list Henry as being born in Virginia.  I think that might be because of the trip he made at sometime to VA to "take care of family business."  He or Matilda which ever one gave information to the Census taker never listed VA as his place of birth.  In 1850 they listed his place of birth as SC...maybe a Census taker mistake? Then in 1860 and 1870 he listed his place of birth as NC.


Henry is listed in the 1850 Lumpkin Co. Census as a Distiller.  In subsequent Censuses, when moonshining became illegal, he is listed as a farmer.  It is said in the family that he and his sons and grandsons while they remained in Lumpkin County were “Distillers.”

 Recently a genealogist in Georgia found a book of abstracts from newspaper obituaries which stated:
    Mountain Signal, November 26, 1880, page 85
        Henry Shelton Died yesterday at home. 11
            (This would mean that he died 25 NOV 1880)

Matilda HAGOOD/HAYWOOD/HAYGOOD/BRUCE   b.1810-1817 in Georgia 1, 3, 4 and d.1900 Forsyth County, Georgia and is buried in Georgia. 3  I have been unsuccessful in discovering anything more about Matilda, except that it is said that she was an uneducated mountain woman.  And this is strengthened by a land record where she and the grown children were signing to sell 40 acres of land after Henry's death.  On this land record, Matilda is the only one who signed with an "X", indicating that she was unable to write her name.5


The known children of Henry SHELTON and Matilda HAGOOD/BRUCE are:


James Milton SHELTON 1, 5

b.18376 GA d.1905 Mt. Pleasant, Titus Co. TX m.22JAN18607 Rachel Elizabeth FORTNER

Elizabeth “Betsy” SHELTON 15

b.ca.18401 GA1 m. Joseph B. BROWN8

William H./W.“Bill” SHELTON  1, 5

b.ca.1842 GA1 m.10JAN1859 to Missouri MCDANIEL/MCDONALD/MITCHELL.17

Susan “Susie” SHELTON  1

b.ca.18441 GA1, 4  m. 02JAN1866 John DeFore STARGEL9, 10

John SHELTON 1, 5

b.ca.18461 GA4 m.01NOV1865 Melissa NICKEL9

George W. SHELTON   1, 5

b.ca.184813 GA13 m.19MAR1874 Nancy POWELL9

Mary Isabell SHELTON 4, 5

b.ca.1852 4 GA4 m.18NOV1868 Josiah Clarence STARGEL 10

Joseph  L. SHELTON 4, 5

b.ca.1854 4 GA 4 m.20DEC1875 Rebecca POWELL/9

Martin Freeman SHELTON 4, 5

b.ca.1859 4 GA 4  m.13JAN1877 Maggie DUKE 9

Fannie SHELTON 5, 6

b.ca.1862 4 GA 4  m.05AUG1883 Charles DUKE 9

Jane SHttttttttttttttttttttttttttrdddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssaELTON 6

Died young. 3

Family tradition says there were 12 children. 

I have only found 11 at this time (2000). Some descendants suggest that the 12th child might be David or Richard.

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[i] Census 1850 Dahlonega, Lumpkin Co. GA


2 Lois Schneider Genealogy Report done for Dolores Davis of records found in Iredell Co. NC.


3 A letter to Farris SHELTON HEIZER from Ora HARWOOD, Griffin, GA, 1961.


4 Census 1860, Dahlonega, Lumpkin Co. GA.


5 Land Records, Lumpkin Co, GA - Deed No. 337-12-1 - 23MAR1883


6 Census 1870 Dahlonega, Lumpkin Co. GA


7 Marriage Records at Lumpkin Co. Courthouse, GA


8 A letter to the author from Ora HARWOOD, Griffin, GA 06DEC1981.




10 STARGEL Family Records.


11 Anderson, Jimmy E.  DEATHS, MURDERS AND LYNCHINGS ABSTRACTED FROM LUMPKIN COUNTY, GEORGIA NEWSPAPERS, VOLUME 1 -- 1873-1900, Wolfe Publishing, Fernandina Beach, FL, 1998.

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