Back to Gillett History GEORGE WILLIAM (BILL) GILLETT FAMILY HISTORY BACK to the SHEDDEN FAMILY
BACK to SHEDDEN FAMILY STORIES

SUMMARY of the HISTORY
of the SHEDDEN FAMILY

The Beginning

The Shedden family name can be traced to the county of Ayr, also called Azershire, Scotland, to the year 1179. The county of Ayr is located in the southwestern part of Scotland on the Firth of Clyde Bay across the North Channel from Northern Ireland.

Presbyterian Church and Burial Ground in Scotland The Sheddens were plentiful in Scotland, in the county of Ayr and the surrounding counties. This has made it difficult to determine the correct lineages. Most of the county and church birth and marriage records, which in most cases are the same, did not fully indicate who their parents were so an exact determination of their lineage could be made. Certain names like Margaret Young and Robert Shedden were quite popular, and there could be two or three of them living in the county at the same time. Such was the case of Margaret Young who married our Robert Shedden in 1821. There was also a Margaret Young who married a John Shedden on June 24, 1823 in the same Parish.

Generally speaking the Sheddens in Scotland were members of some branch of the Presbyterian church and were farmers by trade. Most of the Shedden history comes from the Parishes of Fenwick and Dunlop which are located in the north central part of the County of Ayr near the border of the County of Renfrew.

The Parish of Fenwick's name was derived from the Anglo-Saxon word, Fen-wic, signifying the village at the fen or marsh. At one time the land in the area was quite marshy before it was drained and improved. Fenwick is about seven miles long and almost five miles wide, containing about 27 square miles or about 13,548 acres. It is bounded on the east by the parishes of Loudon and Kilmarnock, on the south by Kilmarnock, on the west by Stewarton, and on the north by Mearns and Eaglesham. Before 1641 the parish was apart of Kilmarnock.

The Parish of Dunlop is located northwest of Fenwick on the other side of Stewarton. The Parish of Beith is to the west.

The highest part of the parish is about 700 feet above sea level. This provides two different levels of farming with the upper levels used mainly for pastures while the tower levels were used in the cultivation of crops. Potatoes were extensively cultivated and are among the best in Scotland. The parish had a population of about 1,600 with over 80% living on farms.

Although it is not known for sure that any of our Sheddens were of noble birth, there were Sheddens in the area that were of noble birth, having a family crest. It is not known of their relationship to our Sheddens.

The Seventh Generation   -   The Robert Shedden Family          BACK to the SHEDDEN FAMILY

The first known Shedden of record was Robert Shedden, who was born in the early 1700's. Robert Shedden married Margaret Andrew on November 7, 1746. The Robert Sheddens lived in the Parish of Dunlop in the County of Ayr, on a farm known as the Galsbery Farm.

Margaret (Andrew) Shedden was the aunt of John Andrew, the first Mayor of the city of Kilmarock, the principle city in the County of Ayr.

The Dunlop Parish records showed a Margaret Andrews, daughter of Robert and Sara Andrews, being born in the parish on January 15, 1724. Although the date makes it quite probable that the Margaret Andrews are the same, it not known for sure.

About 1760 Robert and Margaret (Andrew) Shedden and family moved to the Clonherb Farm in the Parish of Fenwick, County of Ayr. This is where two of their sons were recorded as being born and baptized.

Although the Clair Mann records indicated that Robert and Margaret (Andrew) Shedden were the parents of twelve sons and one daughter, only the following records could be found:

  • William Shedden
      Born:    January 10, 1749
      Baptized:   January 18, 1749 at Galsbery, Parish of Dunlop, County of Ayr
      Married:   Mary Brown on September 10, 1782
      Died:   August 17, 1831 at the age of 82
  • Robert Shedden (Twin brother of William Shedden)
      Born:   January 10, 1749
      Baptized:   January 18, 1749 at Galsbery
  • Andrew Shedden
      Baptized:   January 12, 1760 at Fenwick, County of Ayr
  • Matthew Shedden
      Baptized:   January 12, 1760 at Fenwick, County of Ayr.

The Sixth Generation  -   The William Shedden Family          BACK to the SHEDDEN FAMILY

William Shedden, son of Robert and Margaret (Andrew) Shedden, was born January 10, 1749 on their Galsbery Farm in the Parish of Dunlop, County of Ayr. He was baptized January 18, 1749. William moved with the family when he was less than 12 years old to the Fenwick Parish, County of Ayr, to live on the Clonherb Farm.

William Shedden married Mary Brown on September 10, 1782 in the village of Fenwick. Mary Brown was the daughter of William and Mary (Todd) Brown and was born in the village of Fenwick on March 13, 1763. This would make her 19 years old at the time of their marriage while her husband, William Shedden, would have been 34 years old or 15 years older than she was.

I could not determine for sure where William and Mary (Brown) Shedden lived in the parish of Fenwick after they were married and started to raise their young family, but most likely it was on his fathers' farm, the Clonherb Farm, or on the Gardrum Farm of which they were granted a share.

On March 7, 1793, William Shedden was granted 16 acres of land in Gardrum, which is located in the same parish, Fenwick, County of Ayr. The lands of Gardrum are located in the northern part of the parish, northeast of Fenwick. The proprietorship of Gardrum had changed throughout the years from the Abbey of Kilwinning (who had the lands prior to the Reformation) to James Dunlop of Polkelly (who obtained the land in March of 1793). John Carse of Meiklewood was the owner before James Dunlop. It was James Dunlop that granted 16 acres of his land to William Shedden in the same month he had received it.

Shedden Home in Scotland In a table that listed the Valued Rent for the parish, it showed that the Gardrum farms of Dunlop and Shedden had a total value of 74 pounds and 7 shillings compared to a total value for the parish of 5,967 pounds and 10 shillings or about 1.2% value of the parish.

The Mann records also indicated that William and Mary (Brown) Shedden were the parents of twelve sons and one daughter but, again, I could only find Fenwick Parish records for the following:

  • William Shedden
      Born:    March 27, 1785
          No additional information was found.
  • Margaret Shedden
      Born:    January 13, 1788
      Married:   Robert Gilmour on February 18, 1809
  • Robert Shedden
      Born:    June 4, 1790 to June 14
      Married:   Margaret Young in 1819
          although records indicate that letters of marriage were recorded January 6, 1821
      Died:   1870 at Udina, Illinois at the age of 80

William Shedden (Sr) died August 17, 1831 and was buried August 20, 1831 in the parish cemetery. Mann records gave the date of death as August 15, 1831. He was 82 years old. His wife, Mary (Brown) Shedden died seven years later on July 25, 1838 and buried July 28, 1838 at the age of 75.

The Fifth Generation   -   The Robert Shedden Family          BACK to the SHEDDEN FAMILY

Robert Shedden was born June 4, 1790 while his family was living on the High Gardrum Farm in the Parish of Fenwick in the County of Ayr in Scotland. He was baptized June 10, 1790, the son of William and Mary (Brown) Shedden.

Robert Shedden seemed to be raised in circumstances comfortable enough that he could spend a good portion of his youth in school. He went beyond the limits of normal school education and graduated with honors at Glasgow University. The school was approximately 22 miles northeast of their High Gardrum Farm.

The Clair Mann records indicated that Robert Shedden married Margaret Young in 1819 but in a search of the Fenwick Parish records it listed that they gave their names for marriage on January 6, 1821.

This would mean that Robert Shedden was 30 years old and Margaret Young would have been 20 years old at the time of their marriage. Margaret (Young) Shedden was the daughter of William and Agnes (Boyd) Young, and was born November 26, 1800.

After marrying, Robert and Margaret (Young) Shedden lived on his father's High Gardrum farm in the Parish of Fenwick, County of Ayr, Scotland, where they farmed and raised their children. They were the parents of a total of ten children -- one daughter died when she was eight years old and one daughter was born after they arrived in America.

See Relocation to America for their travels to America.

Robert and Margaret (Young) Shedden's last child, Margaret Shedden, was born in America in 1845 when her mother was 45 years old and her father was 55 years old.

The Sheddens remained quite active in the Presbyterian Church, being members of the Washington Reformed Presbyterian Church of Deerfield, Illinois. Deerfield later was to become McQueens, Illinois. Originally they met in the homes of members and even walked to Dundee, Illinois for church, which was between 5 to 7 miles away. They would not drive their horses on the Sabbath day.

About 1844 or 1845 the members of the church started to build their own building with their worship services starting about 1847. The Sheddens did a great deal in the building of the church. Their son, John Boyd Shedden, was listed in the memorial book of 1935 as doing the mason work. In 1924 a bronze memorial plaque was added to the front of the church bearing the names of the founders of the church which included the names of Robert Shedden (Listed #2) and John Shedden.

The church was located about 3 to 4 miles due north of the Shedden home, right on the border line of Plato and Rutland townships. The church building is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The building is located in the middle of a very well kept cemetery although none of the family members are buried there (which seems strange). The book indicated that about 1868 there was a split due to a difference of opinion as to the form of worship. The Sheddens might have been a part of this split. The Sheddens are buried in Udina, Illinois, which is about halfway between their home and the church.

Robert Shedden died on June 14, 1870 at the age of 80. He had suffered over a year with a fractured limb. He was buried in the Udina, Illinois cemetery.

His will was dated September 16, 1868 and was recorded at the Kane County Court House as follows:

I, Robert Shedden of the Town of Plato in the County of Kane and State of Illinois, being of sound mind and memory, yet mindful of life's uncertainty, do declare this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all other and former wills by me at any time made - as follows - to wit:
First I desire my just debts and funeral expenses promptly paid.

Second I give devise and bequeath unto my beloved and most excellent wife, Margaret Shedden, all and singular of my estate, both Real and Personal of every name and nature whatsoever, with full power to collect any and all amounts due or coming due to me, and give full release and acquittance for the same; and also to dispose of and sell any and all of my personal effects; and to grant bargain sell and convey in fee simple or otherwise any and all of my real estate or any part thereof or interest therein as she shall deem necessary and proper.

Third I hereby nominate and appoint my said wife, Margaret Shedden, sole Executrix of this will; and I do expressly waive and release her giving any bail or security for the discharge of her duties as such executrix.

In Witness whereof I have hereinto set my hand and seal this 16th day of September AD 1868 at Plato, Illinois. Robert Shedden
Margaret (Young) Shedden moved to Elgin, Illinois in November of 1888 to live with her daughter, Mary (Shedden) Rosborough. She died there on December 27, 1891 at the age of 91. She was buried next to her husband in the Udina, Illinois Cemetery.

Robert and Margaret (Young) Shedden were the parents of ten children, the first nine in Ayr, Scotland and the last in Illinois:

  • William Shedden
      Born:    October 9, 1820   -  See "Physician in Mexico" in The Shedden Family Stories section
      Died:   1898 at the age of 78 in Mexico
  • Margaret Shedden
      Born:    January 13, 1788
      Married:   Robert Gilmour on February 18, 1809
  • Mary Brown Shedden
      Born:   1822
      Died:  June 15, 1830 at about 8 years old of consumption
  • Robert Shedden
      Born:   August 18, 1824
      Married:   Jane Rome on November 26, 1856 in Dundee, Illinois.
         She was born in Scotland March 4, 1835, the daughter of Andrew and Jane Rome
      Died:   February 13, 1915 at the age of 90
         His wife, Jane (Rome) Shedden, died October 23, 1913 at the age of 78.
         Both are buried in the Udina, Kane County, Illinois Cemetery.
            They were the parents of ten children:
      • Robert J. Shedden
          Born:   September 26, 1857
          Married:   Clara (?) about 1885. They were the parents of three children
          Died:   May 2, 1933 in South Holland, Illinois at the age of 75
      • Jean Shedden
          Born:   October 23, 1860
          Married:   William H. Duff. They lived in River Forest, Illinois.
          Died:   1945 about 85 years old
      • Andrew R. Shedden
          Born:  December 25, 1862   -   Lived in Chicago, Illinois
      • Margaret Shedden
          Born:   January 22, 1865   -   Never Married
          Died:   February 5, 1894 at the age of 29
      • William Shedden
          Born:   July 11, 1867
      • Walter H. Shedden
          Born:   October 22, 1868
      • George R. Shedden
          Born:   October 16, 1870
          Married:   Marion (?) about 1895. They were the parents of at least two children.
             They lived in Chicago, Illinois
      • Charles S. Shedden
          Born:   June 5, 1873   -  Lived in Chicago, Illinois
          Died:   June 15, 1917 at the age of 44
      • Grace E. Shedden
          Born:   March 29, 1876   -  Never Married
          Died:   1914 about 38 years old
  • John Boyd Shedden
      Born: February 25, 1827
      Married: Margaret Rosborough on December 6, 1855.
         She was born in Ireland May 31, 1831, the daughter of Samuel and Sarah (Caldwell) Rosborough.
      Died:   October 16, 1911 at the age of 84; his wife, Margaret, died October 22, 1902 at the age of 71
         John and Margaret Shedden were the parents of five children:
      • Sarah Ann Shedden
          Born:   November 17, 1856
          Married:   James Muirhead December 21, 1882
            He was born in Kane County, Illinois in 1854. They were the parents of four children
          Died:   1912 about 56 years old
            James died in 1927 about 73 years old. Both are buried in the Plato Center Cemetery.
      • Robert Young Shedden
          Born:   December 16, 1858
          Married:  Annabelle McKeller February 4, 1885. She was born in June 1864.
            They were the parents of at least one son.
          Died:   April 3, 1948 in Elgin, Illinois at the age of 89
            Annabelle died February 29, 1928 in Los Angeles, California at the age of 63
            Both are buried in the Bluff City Cemetery in Elgin.
      • Samuel Shedden
          Born:   Born May 8, 1865
          Married:   Mattie Irene Norton November 10, 1892. She was born August 16, 1870.
             They were the parents of six children.
          Died:   September 6, 1936 in Chicago at the age of 71
             Mattie died June 13, 1920 at the age of 49
             Both are buried in the Bluff City Cemetery in Elgin.
      • Margaret Janet Shedden
          Born:   November 17, 1866
          Married:   Herman Kirchoff December 21, 1891
      • John Andrew Shedden
          Born:   April 24, 1873
          Married:   Olive May Stoner July 23, 1903. She was born May 7, 1873 In Elgin, Illinois,
             the daughter of William and Jane (Dalziel) Stoner.
          Died:   April 2, 1909 at the age of 35
            See "Unusual Death (1)" in the The Shedden Family Stories section
             Olive died December 17, 1952 in Oak Park, Illinois at the age of 79.
             Both are buried in the Bluff City Cemetery in Elgin.
  • Thomas Shedden
      Born:   October 6, 1829
        He left the Udina, Illinois area about 1859 to go west. In 1863 he was heading for Virginia City, Nevada.
        See "The Adventurous Shedden" in the The Shedden Family Stories section
  • Agnes Shedden
      Born:   March 4, 1832
      Married:   Neil Crichton on December 9, 1853 in Udina, Illinois
        He was born June 28, 1815 in Airdire, Scotland, the son of John and Janet (Hamilton) Crichton.
      Died:   August 2, 1893 in Elgin, Illinois at the age of 61
        Her husband, Neil Crichton, died February 9, 1874 in Elgin, Illinois at the age of 58.
         He had fallen off the roof of his house. Both were buried in Dundee, Illinois.
           Agnes (Shedden) and Neil Crichton were the parents of seven children, all in Dundee, Illinois:
      • John Hamilton Crichton
          Born:   January 6, 1856
          Married:   Emmeline Smith May 14, 1879 in Dundee, Illinois
            She was born in 1855 in Dundee, Illinois.They were the parents of three children.
          Died:   June 11, 1928 in Carpentersville, Illinois at the age of 72
             Emmeline died March 9, 1910 about 55 years old
      • Robert Andrew Crichton
          Born:  December 15, 1857
          Married:   Mary Elizabeth Adams December 31, 1882 at Wall Lake, Iowa.
            She was born September 18, 1862 in Wayne, Illinois, the daughter of
                Hiram and Francis Ann (Bigelow) Adams.
            Robert and Mary were the parents of eight children.
          Died:   October 16, 1933 at Wall Lake, Iowa at the age of 75
             His wife, Mary, died February 23, 1941 at the age of 78
      • Neil Crichton
          Born:   December 28, 1860
          Died:   December 30, 1878 after being thrown from a horse. He was only 18 years old.
      • Margaret Crichton
          Born:   January 1, 1862
          Married:   William Robert Crichton (her cousin) March 27, 1889 at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
             He was born June 4, 1866. They were the parents of three children.
          Died:  1938 in Elgin, Illinois about 76 years old
             Her husband, William, died November 20, 1929 at the age of 63
      • William Shedden Crichton
          Born:   December 22, 1864
          Married:   (?) Head
          Died:   June 29, 1918 in Carpentersville, Illinois, at the age of 53
      • William George Crichton
          Born:   February 3, 1866
          Married:   Anna May Level February 21, 1894 in Sac City, Iowa.
             She was born August 24, 1877 at Dodgeville, Wisconsin.
             They were the parents of eight children.
          Died:  December 2, 1933 at Climbing Hill, Iowa at the age of 67
             Anna died July 7, 1917 at Bromson, Iowa at the age of 59.
      • Agnes Elizabeth Crichton
          Born:   July 16, 1871
          Married:   William Daniel Wright April 26, 1888 in Elgin, Illinois.
             He was born September 26, 1863 at Burlington, Illinois
  • James Elmer Shedden       (James and Elmira were my great-great-grandparents)
      Born:   April 7, 1836
      Married:   Elmira Jane Reser October 17, 1856 in Kane County, Illinois.
         She was born February 23, 1838 in Brooklyn, Ohio, the daughter of Anthony and Phylecta (Soule) Reser.
         They were the parents of six children.
      Died:   February 16, 1921 in Dundee, Illinois at the age of 84
         His wife, Elmira, died January 7, 1929 in Dundee, Illinois at the age of 90.
  • Mary Shedden
      Born:   July 21, 1837
      Married:   William Caldwell Rosborough March 5, 1867 in Dundee, Illinois He was born in
        Londonderry, Ireland September 25, 1835, the son of Samuel and Sarah (Caldwell) Rosborough
      Died:   July 4, 1919 at the age of 82.
         William Caldwell Rosborough died July 21, 1885 at the age of 49.
         Both are buried in the Bluff City Cemetery of Elgin, Illinois.
           Mary and William Rosborough were the parents of five children:
      • Janet Lindsay Rosborough
          Born:  August 21, 1868 in Plato Center, Illinois
          Died:   April 16, 1889 in Elgin, Illinois, of pneumonia at the age of 20.
      • Sarah Ann Rosborough
          Born:   November 11, 1869 in Barclay, Blackhawk County, Iowa
          Married:   Frank Hamlin McDonald October 26, 1905 in Elgin, Illinois
             He was born in 1874; they were the parents of at least one daughter
          Died:   June 12, 1966 in Leesburg, Florida at the age of 97
             Frank died in 1941 about 67 years old.
             Both are buried in Bluff City Cemetery in Elgin, Illinois
      • Margaret Elizabeth Rosborough
          Born:   October 26, 1871 in Plato Center, Illinois
          Married:   Dr. Arthur West June 28, 1904.
              They were the parents of three children.
          Died:  May 28, 1957 in Moline, Illinois at the age of 86
      • Mary Eleanor Rosborough
          Born:   June 8, 1873 in Plato Center, Illinois
          Never Married
          Died:   April 6, 1935 in Elgin, Illinois at the age of 61
      • Caldwell Robert Rosborough
          Born:  January 6, 1875 in Elgin, Illinois
          Married:    Nellie Ball June 22, 1904. She was born February 10, 1879.
             They lived in Moline, Illinois and were the parents of three sons.
          Died:   
  • Andrew Shedden
      Born:   March 8, 1841
      Married:   Ida E. Smith in 1875. She was born in February of 1858.
         They were the parents of twelve children.
      Died:    May 2, 1923 at the age of 82
         His wife, Ida (Smith) Shedden, died in 1947 at the age of 89
         Both are buried in Udina, Illinois.
      • Robert Walter Shedden
          Born:   February 1877
          Died:    November 28, 1905 at the age of 28.
            See "Unusual Death (2)" in the The Shedden Family Stories section
      • William A. Shedden
          Born:   September 1881
          Married:   Wife unknown; parents of at least one son;
             they lived in East Millsted, New Jersey.
          Died:   
      • Sarah Shedden
          Born:   
          Married:   
          Died:   January 1883 of Scarlet Fever
      • John Boyd Shedden
          Born:   September 1882
            He Was an architect
          Married:   
          Died:   
      • Arthur Shedden
          Born:   January 6, 1884
          Married:  Pearl (?) and/ or Lillian (?)   -   They lived in Elgin, Illinois
          Died:   July 8, 1963 in Rockford, Illinois, at the age of 79
      • Ida Shedden
          Born:   May 2, 1886 in Udina, Illinois
          Married:   Frank Samson; they were the parents of three sons and lived in Elgin, Illinois.
          Died:   February 1948 at the age of 61
            Frank died in June of 1935
      • Thomas Harrison Shedden
          Born:   April 1889
             Lived in Edgemont, South Dakota; he was called "Harry"
          Married:   
          Died:   
      • Hattie Shedden
          Born:   
          Married:   (?) Startup
          Died:   
      • Bertha Clarice Shedden
          Born:  September 1891; she was called Ruth
          Married:   (?) Bartelt
          Died:   
  • Margaret Elizabeth Shedden
      Born:   July 1845, the only child of Robert and Margaret (Young) Shedden born in America,
         born on their farm in Plato Township in Kane County, Illinois
      Married:  John Pogue on December 22, 1869. He was born in New York about 1841.
      Died:    December 28, 1932 at Elgin, Illinois at the age of 87. She was buried in the
         Udina, Illinois Cemetery. John Pogue died about 1892
      Margaret (Shedden) Pogue and John Pogue were the parents of four children
      • Effie J. Pogue
          Born:   1874 in Kansas
          Married:   Walter Seymour; they were the parents of two children.
          Died:   1939 at the age of 67
      • Clara Pogue
          Born:   September 1876 in Iowa
          Married:   (?) James; they were the parents of at least one son
          Died:   
      • Viola Pogue
          Born:   1878 in Missouri
          Died:   early in life
      • Elmer R. Pogue
          Born:   February 1885 in Missouri
          Married:   
          Died:   

The Fourth Generation  -   The James Shedden Family          BACK to the SHEDDEN FAMILY

James Elmer Shedden was born April 7, 1836 on the Shedden's High Gardrum farm in the Parish of Fenwick, Scotland. He married Elmira Jane Reser (age 18; James was 20) on October 17, 1856.

Elmira Jane Reser was born February 23, 1838 in Brooklyn, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. She was the daughter of Anthony and Phylecta (Soule) Reser.

For more information on the James Shedden family, go to: Special Stories of the Shedden Family:Sheddens in Major Wars: