James Sheldon (c1801-c1846)

James Sheldon was born in Warwickshire in about 1801. He married Phoebe Jarvis, originally of Walsall, Staffordshire, at St. Philips in Birmingham in 1821 and had their first of 15 known children, Maria, in 1822. The births of the first nine children were recorded at the Cannon St Meeting House in Birmingham between 1822 and 1836. These family records are the only records we have of James until he shows up, for just one year, as a clock maker at 12 Court, Great Hampton Street. The census was taken the same year, also showing as a clock maker on Great Hampton Street.

His last child was born in about 1845 in Clerkenwell, London and by the 1851 census his wife is listed as a widow back in Birmingham with only seven of her children living with her. He likely died in 1846 when it is noted by clock and watch maker enthusiasts that his son John joined him in business. They also noted that James was recorded in Birmingham until at least 1860, although this date can't be correct, and his son John was still there in 1853 and in 1878/79 was recorded at 28 Gough Street, Birmingham. Sources were given as "Watchmakers & Clockmakers of the World, Complete 21st Century Edition" by Brian Loomes; "Clockmakers and Watchmakers of Central England" (2002) by Joseph McKenna; and "Watch and Clockmakers of Birmingham (1547-1900)" by Joseph McKenna.

Note: As the only clock/watch maker in Warwickshire by the name of Sheldon, he is likely closely related to one George Sheldon that was born in Birmingham in about 1844. On his marriage record in Yorkshire he noted that he was the son of "John Sheldon, watch maker", and census records note that George was born in Birmingham. But could George have been the son of John, grandson of this James? John was born in 1829, which would make him only 15 years old when George born. Unusual but not impossible. More research is needed to learn about John.

Family and Dates

Immediate Family

  • Born: c 1801 in Birmingham, Warwickshire
    • Father: Unknown
    • Mother: Unknown
  • Married: Oct 1, 1821 at St. Phillips, Birmingham to Phoebe Jarvis
    • Children: Maria Leah Sheldon (1822-?)
    • Children: Rachel Sheldon (1824-?)
    • Children: James Sheldon (1826-?)
    • Children: Isaac Sheldon (1827-bef 1841)
    • Children: John Sheldon (1829-?)
    • Children: Martha Sheldon (1831-?)
    • Children: Sarah Sheldon (1833-?)
    • Children: Mercy Sheldon (1834-?)
    • Children: Cornelius Sheldon (1836-?)
    • Children: Peter Sheldon (1838-?)
    • Children: Phoebe Sheldon (1839-?)
    • Children: Mary Sheldon (1841-?)
    • Children: Ann Sheldon (1842-?)
    • Children: Benjamin Sheldon (1843-?)
    • Children: Edwin G. Sheldon (1845-?)
  • Died: c1846 in Birmingham, Warwickshire or Clerkenwell, London


Census Records

  1. 1841 Census: All Saints, Birmingham
  2. 1851 Census: St. George's, Birmingham (widow and kids)

City Directories

  1. Birmingham, 1841: Sheldon, James, clock maker, 12 Court, Gt. Hampton st

Vital Records

  1. Birmingham Church of England Marriages: 1821 James Sheldon to Pheobe Jarvis
  2. England, Select Births and Christenings: 1822 - daughter Maria Leah
  3. England, Select Births and Christenings: 1824 - daughter Rachel
  4. England, Select Births and Christenings: 1826 - son James
  5. England, Select Births and Christenings: 1827 - son Isaac
  6. England, Select Births and Christenings: 1829 - son John
  7. England, Select Births and Christenings: 1831 - daughter Martha
  8. England, Select Births and Christenings: 1833 - daughter Sarah
  9. England, Select Births and Christenings: 1834 - daughter Mercy
  10. England, Select Births and Christenings: 1836 - son Cornelius
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