Independence – Albemarle County Declaration of Independence

Happy Independence Day! I am very proud to say that quite a few of my ancestors were involved in the Revolutionary War in some capacity. Some served in local militias, others in the Continental Line, and others gave money and other possessions. While none of them signed the Declaration of Independence, one did sign Declaration of Independence!

William Shelton Sr., my 7th great grandfather, was born in Henrico County, Virginia, but by the 1740s, he was living in Albemarle County, Virginia. He married twice and had children with both of his wives, including my ancestor, William Shelton, Jr. He died in 1789 and left a will diving his estate.

He was a little old to serve as a soldier in the Revolutionary War, but he found another way to serve. On 21 April 1779, William, along with other male members of Albemarle County signed the Albemarle County Declaration of Independence. It reads:

We whos names are hereunto subscribed do swear that we renounce & refuse all Allegiance to George the third King of Great Britain, his heirs & successors & that I will be faithfull & bear True Allegiance to the commonwealth of Virginia as a free & independent state, & that I will not at any do or cause to be done any matter or thing that will be prejudicial or injurious to the freedom & independence thereof as declared by congress & also that I will discover & make known to some one justice of the peace for the said state all treasons or traitorous conspiracies which I know or hereafter shall know to be formed against this or any of the united states of America So help me God

William Shelton signed his name, which indicates he was literate.

I am proud of all of my patriot ancestors, but it was especially fun to find an ancestor who signed a Declaration of Independence!