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Our 2,768 members have registered
2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

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About the study

The Shenton One-Name study started, loosely, about 1994, triggered by simple curiosity. I was using the LDS set of 1881 UK Census CDs, tracing my immediate Shenton ancestors in Derbyshire. The CD query process involved simply entering the desired surname and the county of interest. After receiving my Derbyshire results (69 Shentons), I casually started a new query of "€œShenton" and €"All Counties"€. The results (1,923 Shentons) started me wondering if and how all these Shentons might be connected. Several years ago another researcher and I decided to try to answer the "€˜if and how"€™, at least for England and Wales, and initiated a web site focused on all the Shentons in the seven (now eight) available Censuses. The Shenton name was officially registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies in October 2009.

Variant names

No variants of the name are registered at this time. Two candidate variants (Shinton and Shanton) may be considered at a later date.

Name origin

To be researched:  several conflicting stories exist.

Historical occurrences of the name

Grand fame, so far, does not appear to be a common feature in the Shenton bloodline. A few of the more notable Shentons include:

- Shenton of Singapore (1879-1962). Shenton Thomas Whitelegge Thomas (Sir Shenton) was Governor General of Singapore when it fell to the Japanese in world War II. Unfortunately for fame and the Shenton surname, 'Shenton' was Sir Shenton'€™s given name, although he was descended from Shentons.
- Sir George Shenton (1842-1909). Sir George was the first mayor of the city of Perth, Australia.
- Edward Shenton (1895-1977). Edward was an American author and illustrator, probably best known for his illustration of the novel The Yearling, by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.
- Samuel Shenton. Samuel was the founder and first president of the modern-day Flat Earth Society.

Name frequency

According to an ONS database there were some 3,814 Shentons in England and Wales as of September 2002, making it the 2091st most common name in England and Wales. For comparison, the ONS database reports 541 *Shinton* and 7 *Shanton* occurrences. The Shenton surname is even less common in the United States: as of the 2000 Census, there were 571 Shentons and the name was then 36,860th most common.

Distribution of the name

Counts of the Shenton surname from the 1901 UK Census records posted in (which include a small number of '€œalternate names'€, typically maiden names of married women) show 2,575 in England. Historically, according to the Censuses from 1841 to 1901, Staffordshire has been the home of half or nearly half of recorded Shentons. In 1901 there were 1,098 in Staffordshire, followed by Lancashire (386), Cheshire (236), Leicestershire (140), and Derbyshire (113).

Most recent published Censuses from other counties (based also on data, and with the same 'alternate names'€ issue) show:

- 387 in the United States (1930 Census), of which 121 were in the state of Maryland
- 36 in Wales (1901 Census), as well as 20 Shintons
- 66 in Canada (1921 Census)
- 4 in Scotland (1901 Census)


A considerable amount of data, primarily related to England, has been collected in a personal database and files (spreadsheets). I will be working to determine the what-and-how of uploading this material to the Archives of the Guild web site.

Current collection includes:

- All Shenton BMD entries from the General Register Offices for England and Wales, as downloaded from the FreeBMD web site, except for recent additions and updates to that site (c. 30,000).
- Most Shenton BMD entries available from the few counties in England that have county-level transcription efforts and post their results on free web sites (Cheshire, Lancashire, Staffordshire, Wiltshire, and Yorkshire). These county efforts are generally 'works in progress' and every effort will be made to keep current with results as posted.
- Most IGI parish records ('extracted records' only) as posted on the web site, plus a limited number of similar records that are not available on but have been personally viewed (in microfilm) or other sources (C. 7,700).
- All Census records from households containing one or more Shentons from the 1841-1911 England and Wales Censuses.
- Some Census records from households containing one or more Shentons from the 1860-1940 United States Censuses.

- All Census records from households containing one or more Shentons from the 1861-1921 Canada Censuses.
- All Probate entries (926) extracted from the database of England & Wales National Probate Calendar,
- A very limited number of complete wills and grants of administration of Shentons in England
- A  limited number of copies of actual vital record (births, marriages, and deaths) certificates of Shentons in England and the United States.


A Shenton Y-DNA Surname group was initiated in 2008, and I have been actively soliciting members. To date the current population is very small, so I am *looking for more participants*. Analysis of the limited number of participants shows one reasonably distinct DNA group, but no close associations.