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From: "Hildred Shelton" <>
Subject: Re: [Shelton-L] R. Gissage, Sarah, Ralph & Charles
Date: Sun, 6 Jun 2004 16:22:57 -0400
References: <>

Hi Shelia,

Maybe the ypdated version on Sarah would be interesting at this time.

There is a headright record on a Sarah Shelton in the records of King and
Queen County, Va.,
to-wit: recorded October 24, 1701 Lewis David transported Sarah Shelton
into King & Queeen Count in St. John's Parish. (source: my research)

This is also confirmed in an article which appeared in TIDEWATER VIRGINA
FAMILIES in the February/March 1995 issue entitled "The Two Ralph Sheltons"
by Jeanne Brooks Gart, C.G. (meaning "certified genealogist") who stated and
I quote:
"Ralph Shelton born in King and Queen County 25 September 1698, his
sponsors in baptism being Vincent Inge, Ralph Pea, and Lydia Searcy.
Mr. Ellis states that he was the son of Richard Gissage and
his wife, Sarah, and that the child, for reasons unknown, took the
maiden name of his mother. [Note: Mr. Ellis is the man who wrote a
collection of genealogy articles on this family in 1879
published in the newspaper, "The Amherst (Virginia) Enterprise"]

"The Sarah Shelton who married Mr. Gissage would seem to be the same
Sarah Shelton named as a headright on 24 October 1701 for a
grant of land in St. John's Parish, King and Queen County, in
Pamunkey Neck, although she obviously had been in that exact location for
several years by this time. Colonel Bell examines the possibilities of
Ralph's birth and concludes that 'the scenario which
would seem to mechanically best fit the known
circumstances is that Ralph was born out of wedlock'. This is probably
true, but emotionally it seems an unsatisfactory explanation.
Richard Gissage was a prominent widower in the
community. That he would marry an unmarried woman with a child seems
unlikely. Is it possible that Sarh Shelton's husband died
on the passage to Virginia or even soon after arrival, perhpas
leaving her a pregnant widow?

"Ralph must have been about five years old when his father, or
step-father died, and we have
no evidence that Ralph was mentioned in the Gissage will. Would
primogeniture have been a factor? According to a study by C.
Ray Keim, promgeniture ... remained substaintially that set in
England during the reign of Henry VIII ... lands ... could be devised by
will, yet the law of
primogenture held in all cases of intestacy...."

This was not a case of intestacy and Sarah married Joseph Bickley in 1703.
Prior to the marriage,
Bickley signed an agreement to educate Ralph and give Ralph certain goods
when he reached maturity. This would seem to have been unnecessary if Ralph
had inherited from Richard Gissage.

Gart concluded by "It seems impossible at this time to acertain the
acts." -- Oh, Ms. Gart was not unaware of the History of Baldwin County
Georgia version of the story. That story about the sea captain and the
shipwreck has been assigned to the families of both Ralph of King & Queen
(later King William) and the Middlesex line. I have yet to see anyone who
can tie it to fact and it appears to me to be one of those genealogical
tales that a descendant 100 or 200 years after the fact likes to spin.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Sheila Gibson" <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, June 05, 2004 10:54 AM
Subject: [Shelton-L] R. Gissage, Sarah, Ralph & Charles

It might be interesting in these days of equal rights for women, to mention
an ancetress, Sarah Shelton, daughter of Charles Shelton, a commander in the
British Navy, who was lost with his ship, the Coronation, in the English
Channel, in September 1691. Tradition says that Sara came with her brother
William, to Virginia, where she married Richard Gissage, a merchant from
London, who settled in New Kent, now King William county. She must have
been a most impressive person, as her son, Ralph, took as his surname, the
maiden name of his mother, being known as Ralph Shelton, of St. Marys

Source: History of Baldwin County Georgia by Mrs. Anna Maria Green Cook,
The Reprint Company, Publishers, Spartanburg, South Carolina, 1978
(Originally written in 1925).

~~Sheila Gibson ~~
Also Honored to be called Spirithawk

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