Evan Shelby Sr came here from the mother country and brought his famil
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Evan Shelby Sr. came here from the mother country and brought his family to the
colonies and accumulated a vast amount of wealth while here for a short time before his
death. Evan Shelby Jr. his oldest son, was very active for his new home land, by
obtaining the rank of Brig. General of the militia in the American Revolution and Evan
Shelby Jr.'s son Isaac Shelby a very decorated Revolutionary War hero and the first
governor of Kentucky. The above mentioned gentlemen are direct ancestors of mine and I
am going to look at where they came from and how they were active in the formation of
our country that we know today.
On a branch of the river Teify near the middle of county Cardigan (Ceredigion),
South Wales, lies the little market town of Tregaron. A prominent feature of this village is
the parish church, St. Caron's, whose massive stone tower of later fourteenth century
architecture dominates the surrounding landscape.
The parish of Caron is of ancient origin. Its register shows that there were living
within its borders during the first four decades of the eighteenth century four persons by
the name of Shelby - Joseph, Evan, Rees and Rowland. Their relation to each other unfor-
tunately is not stated and only Joseph's place of residence is mentioned. He, it seems,
dwelt in Cross-y-Berwyn, one of the six smaller districts into which lower
Caron is subdivided. It lies about two miles northeast of the town at the foot of the
Cambrian Mountains and near the entrance to Berwyn Pass.
The earliest known forefather of the Shelby line that is a direct ancestor to me is
Evan Shelby. He is estimated to have been born during William and Mary's reign, possibly
around 1693. Evan was married to Catherine (maiden name now unknown) around 1718.
It is assumed that he was a farmer and herder since that was the predominant occupation
during that time. When King George the First died in 1727 he was succeeded by his son,
George the Second, with this change in leadership not much changed for the common
people. England was at peace, externally and internally, and with domestic and foreign
trade on the increase one wonders why Evan Shelby did not remain at home. Something,
however, influenced him to leave his native land and go out to the colonies in North
America. It appears that it may have been that the country was in a state of
industrialization which left the farmer not benefiting from this growth.
It appears that Evan and his family did cross the ocean in his early or middle forties
and came to the province of Pennsylvania. After coming to the colonies Evan was issued
a license for three hundred acres in 1735 in the area of the North Valley (now what we
know as the cumberland), it was located five miles above the Mason Dixon Line. In 1739
Evan's home and farm were seized by the sheriff and sold to satisfy a debt he owed to
another farmer. When being evicted from his home he applied to the Maryland land office
for twelve hundred acres over in Prince George in George County. The land in Maryland
was located about five miles south of the Mason Dixon Line, for the next twelve years
Evan Shelby Sr. gained about another thirteen hundred acres bringing his total land
holdings to about twenty-five hundred acres in Maryland. Evan Shelby Sr. had eight
children five boys and three girls. He passed away at his home in 1751. His wealth was
passed on to his oldest son, Evan Shelby Jr..
Evan Shelby Jr. was born in England about 1719 and then came over with his
parents to the colonies. Evan Jr. married Letitia Cox of Frederick county, MD, and the
had five sons and one daughter. Evan Jr. was reported to have "possessed a strong mind,
an iron construction, unshaken courage and a handsome personal appearance."1 In his
early life he was interested in the fir trade with the Michilimackinac Indians. His skill as a
hunter and woodsman helped his appointment as a lieutenant of a company of rangers in
the French and Indian war in 1754 and he served as First Lieutenant in Captain Alexander
Beall's Company, then
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Isaac Shelby, Evan Shelby, Joseph O. Shelby, United States, Shelby, John Sevier, North Carolina
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