Heathcock Genealogy Database - Person Sheet
Heathcock Genealogy Database - Person Sheet
NameDr. John Shelton , 5G Grandfather
Birth24 Apr 1734, King William Co VA
Death1810, NC Age: 75
FatherRalph Shelton (1698-1743)
MotherMary Pollard Shelton (1705-1762)
ChildrenMary (Mollie) (1770->1830)
Notes for Dr. John Shelton
The assignment of John Shelton, son of Ralph Shelton and Mary Pollard Shelton, is speculative and not yet based on any good evidence. I continue to carry this link because it is commonly found in a variety of family trees and because, even though the details may be incorrect, John Shelton is almost certainly descended from the Norfolk Sheltons.

The following statement is from Dan & Becki Scoggin, who have researched this branch:1211

"This is a questionable link. Mollie Shelton was the child of a Dr. Shelton of Rutherford Co. NC, no mother listed. The Shelton Family in that area all appear to be related to a James Shelton born in 1622, but there is no hard proof that Molly or Mollie is John's daughter. However, this is a little stronger than an educated guess. Dates and location make it possible. John, if he was a doctor may not have wanted a link to his parents as they were close kin. His father was the nephew of his mother. Being an educated man and possibly an important figure in his town, he may have done everthing he could to cut his connections to his past."

Following from the book “Shirt-Tail Kin:”295


Dr. Shelton was a prominent physician specializing in dropsy in North Carolina in the early days. He was educated in Wales as an M. D. and brought his practice to the Colonies early. He ran what would be known as a sizeable sanitarium of nearly thirty individual cabins in which his patients lived while undergoing treatment.

His wife, also educated in Wales as an M. D., was of Welsh descent, but her name is unknown. There were at least two children of the marrige, two daughters: Molly and Sophia.

Molly, very much interested in her parent’s practice of medicine, helped her father so much that she became a full-fledged doctor under his tutelage. She practiced that profession until she died.

Molly married James Kear about 1796 and in 1810 they moved to East Tennessee, to Sevier County, near the Huff family.

When Molly’s father died, her mother came to Tennessee to live with Molly, but she would not live in the same house wth her daughter. There should be but one lady of the house! So Molly’s husband, James, built a cabin in the yard so that Molly’s mother could be by herself yet near her daughter and grandchildren whom she loved so much.

Molly’s mother used to call the grandchildren to her cabin in the evening so she could listen to the children sing before she went to sleep. One evening after the grandchildren had sung their lilting, sweet songs, Mrs. Shelton went to the door and called her daughter.

“Molly,” she said, her voice soft, not so vibrant as it used to be, “I’m going to die. I’d just like to hear you pray one last time before I pass on.”

Molly helped her mother to bed, a queazy feeling in the pit of her stomach, but she did as was expected and began to pray. After hearing the prayer, Molly’s mother leaned back upon the pillows, breathed two or three times, and expelled her last breath.


If one takes the foregoing account at face value, then Dr. John Shelton, Molly’s father, was not the son of Ralph Shelton and Mary Pollard Shelton. However, there is still the possibility that John Shelton may have been born in VA but sent back to Wales for his medical education.
Research notes for Dr. John Shelton
John Shelton’s movements are not known. One problem is, of course, that both John and Shelton are common names.

1790 Census:

There are 5 John Shelton households in North Carolina:

Caswell Co
Rockingham Co
Stokes Co (three John Shelton households)

In addition, there is one in Greenville SC and about 30 in the Northeastern states.

1800 Census:

There are two John Shelton families in North Carolina:

Rockingham Co NC: 1 male <10, 1 male 10-15, 1 male 26-44; 3 females <10, 1 female 26-44.
Stokes Co NC: 2 males <10, 1 male 10-15, 1 male 26-44; 1 female <10, 1 female 26-44.

In addition, there are about 30 (some with slightly variant spellings) in the Northeastern states.

1810 Census:

Only one John Shelton family is enumerated in North Carolina:

Rockingham Co NC: 1 male <10, 1 male 16-25, 1 male >45; 1 female 10-15, 2 females 16-25, 1 female >45.

None of these fit a John Shelton born in 1734, as he would be 66 in 1800 and the oldest male in that census was in the 26-44 age bracket.
Last Modified 17 Jan 2012Created 15 Jun 2022 using Reunion for Macintosh
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