I began my family history research in 1972, after the birth of my first child.  It has been and continues to be one of my greatest passions.  Our family histories connect us with past, present, and future generations.  Through dedicated research, our families bring not only the people back to life, but also events of the past.

It has been an incredible journey for me, and will continue to be so for as long as I live.  Leaving our stories behind for future generations is one of the greatest gifts we could ever leave behind.

As daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, my goal is to leave our families’ histories for them and for future generations.  History should be truth and never revised.  This view includes the people in our past, present, and future.  No person has ever been nor will ever be perfect.  We are humans who are allowed to make our own mistakes.  Some of our ancestors have been great people in history; others… not so great an asset to our country, but still a great asset to us, their descendants.  Embrace them, remember them, and, most importantly… love them.


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Family History Research Workbook by Karla J. Nelson


29 thoughts on “About

  1. I have been researching our family tree and found this that you had written and had a few questions. Is there any way I might could contact you via email?

    1. My grandmother was a Shelton . They lived in Mississippi and then Texas. Any chance I get make a copy of the information you have. We have very similar information but yours is so professional looking.

      1. I have no issues with your copying any of this information. I would appreciate it, however, if you would credit me with the research/presentation, etc. Thanks ever so much, Kay, and happy hunting. I would love to find out how our families connect!

      2. I share the Shelton trail from Virginia to Mississippi (near Jackson) and then to west Texas (1886). Would love to share information, if, in fact we are researching on the same pages of the past.
        Barbara C. bclawson82@gmail.com

  2. Has anyone tried to join any of the Magna Carta descendants societies based on this information? Has anyone been successful? I can’t find any Shelton listed as a surety for the Magna Carta Barons. Could you please help? Thank you

  3. I have put my research on ancestry.com starting with my son Thomas Lorincz Shelton born 1987. I am wondering how to prove the parentage of Gentleman James Shelton who came to Virginia in 1610. There seems to be some controversy as to his actual father. What documentation is there that his father is one of the Lord Sheltons?

    1. This is a sticky subject. In a nut shell many sources say that James Shelton was not the son of Ralph Shelton the 26th lord of Shelton, and that there was no heir and the estate went to his half brother. But what I can’t understand is it is agreed that James Shelton sailed to America with his kinsman Lord de la Warr. His name is Thomas West. he was the great-grandson of Mary Boleyn (Anne Boleyn’s sister). Sir John Shelton was Anne Boleyn’s uncle. So it make sense that James would have been a kinsman to Thomas West, thus tied to the main Shelton line.

  4. There are so many mistakes in just the portions I read about my specific ancestors in this line. You really ought to put a disclaimer on your page somewhere. I think information I am finding in other places on the internet is pulling from this entry and perpetuating some bad information. When printing information like this you ought to always record your specific sources in a way that others can re-create it if necessary (sources being original documents not books or other family trees). I appreciate your passion, but as you say above, history should be TRUTH.

    1. Hi, Kim! Thanks for your input. I’d love to know exactly what mistakes there may be in my entries and will be happy to correct any you may find. I never put my sources online so that people won’t be as likely to just copy my info and use it as a source. Everyone needs to verify all information before they are satisfied that it is correct. I have verified all I have entered to the best of my ability. Please let me know what may need to be fixed, as I know that no person’s work is ever going to be perfect, not even mine. 😉

      1. So many times in genealogy, original records are lost, misinterpreted with translation, gaps in generations, oral histories questioned, approximate dates, etc. Such was the case with my line until I came across your research then all the pieces came together. I can now say I am descended from Ralph Shelton through his son James J. Shelton 1734-1794 to 1816 and Susanna Vardeman 2nd wife. I also can use my DNA results to confirm the connection. When I put my tree together, I will make sure to give authorship to your research. As a former debate teache I well understand that not every document spells out all the key players. So try not to allow the critics to detract from what you have compiled for so many of us. Much appreciated.

      2. Thank you for your kind words, Claudette. I hope this partial work helps you with your quest. (I don’t let other people’s words bother me. I imagine most of the “mistakes” in my work are actually mistakes in others’ research, so I’m pretty thick-skinned that way.) 😀 One of these years I will have to get back to work on this site. You can’t imagine how much more information I have. Well, after nearly 50 years of research, perhaps you can. 😉 I don’t even have all the links connected yet in what I do have entered here. Life just seems to have gotten in the way.

    1. We are also descended from Crispin and Letitia. Our limb ended up in Liberty, Missouri then west Texas.

      1. Are you aware of why the family went to Missouri? Did it have anything to do with the War of 1812 land grants?

  5. Hi,
    I am a descendant from Thomas Clingman Shelton and Charity Shelton. I have not been able to find the date of Thomas Clingman’s death until I say it in your family history. I know that Charity was appointed as the Guardian for Esau Shelton and Marion Shelton on Oct 10th 1896. Was this your source for his death being 1896?
    My Great Grandmother, Vergie Shelton was Charity’s daughter and was born on Dec 14 1895. Her death Certificate lists Bluford Shelton and her father and Charity Shelton as her mother. We don’t know if this was Thomas Clingman. it would have been possible if he died in 1896.
    Thanks for your help, and your research is very helpful to us,
    Ron Fellers

  6. Karla,

    I just ordered your book, look forward to reading it. I am on a quest to find out if Clingman went by Bluford or if this was another person, in Madison, that was Vergie’s father. Having the death date helps. Lots of questions on my Ancestors, but that’s what makes it challenging !!!

    FYI, I have also talked to and read a book by April Miller, called Shelton County A Genealogy of Pittsylvania County’s Largest Family. Lots of good information and old pictures of the Shelton Family.


  7. I am the Direct Descendant of Captain James Shelton who sailed with Lord De La Warr through my great grandmother Annie Opal Shelton. Through my grandfather Danny Ritchey Sr., I am also the 12 th cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, and 9th cousin of Queen Victoria. My grandmother Roberta Knell Kisselburg is the daughter of Annie Opal Shelton who married my grandfather, Danny Ritchey Sr. Rumor has it that James, who was heir of the Shelton Manor after the death of his father, immigrated to the USA secretly with his Uncle Lord DE La Warr, James is also a direct descendant through his mother to William Carrey, who is the direct descendant of King Henry III of England. James went on to settle in Virgina, and had children built the Shelton House in Virginia in the rural plains, which is said to have been the destination that the declaration of Independence was written. After 14 years of research, I have discovered that the Shelton Family were knights Templars who married in to the Boleyn family line, who were direct descendants of Princess Elizabeth Plantagenet of Rhuddlan, the daughter of King Edward I. I have also discovered on my grandmother’s side that I am the direct descendant of Lady Eleanor Sinclair , daughter of Sir William Sinclair who built the Roselyn Chapel. What’s interesting still, is that my grandfather, Danny Ritchey Sr. Is also of royal lineage, he is the direct descendant of Robert de Bruce and William Wallace, also through my grandfather I am the 12 th cousin of Queen Elizabeth II.

    1. Thank you for posting this. Yes, you are absolutely correct about all of the connections you’ve listed. The Shelton/Boleyn connection is very interesting to me, and after 50+ years of researching the various lines, I wish I had the time to put all the information I have on this site. Happy hunting!!

      1. I have collected so much since the 1980s, including the work done by A. E. Shelton of El Paso, Texas in his 60s, that I have hired a college student to transcribe the earlier work. I have not decided where it is best to post what I have. I am not lucky enough to go beyond my 18th Century Virginia branch via John Armistead Shelton (1705-1777) with sufficient proof.

    2. Thank you for your invaluable commitment to the Shelton Family History. My work has been in records of the Virginia counties themselves. I have been to Scotchtown and Rural Plains which is protected, I believe, by the Richmond National Battlefield Park. There is a small community in Louisa County, Virginia called Shelfar. It was named from the joining, by marriage, of the Shelton and Farrar families in that county. The descendants still live there.

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