My Great-Great-Great Uncle.
This photo was provided by my third cousin - Vonette Curtis.

Joseph Zealot Shelton was born on March 12th, 1836 in North Carolina to Josiah Cyrus Shelton and Mary Elizabeth Orran (who is believed to be full-blooded Cherokee). Joseph's parents came from Virginia and migrated to Rockingham County, North Carolina. Joseph was the 9th child of thirteen born to this couple. Joseph is listed in the 1850 Henderson county, Kentucky Federal census with his parents and siblings.

Joseph was joined in marriage to Sarah J. Winstead between 1852 (which would make her 16 years old) and 1856, when their first child was born, Mildred Shelton. Joseph and Sarah lost this child at the tender age of 10-1/2 months old in 1857. Two years later, they had another daughter, Mary E. Tragedy struck again in 1865, when Joseph became a widower. Sarah died in March of that year.

Joseph and daugther, Mary, mourned their loss, until 1865 when Joseph took another bride, Catherine Gates Whitsell. Six years later, they had a daughter, Queen Tinney Shelton. Mary, now 14 years old, had a baby sister!

Mary married a Henry Sheffer sometime after this, and once again, tragedy struck Joseph Zealot, for Mary died on December 1st, 1874. He had now lost his only daughters by his first wife, Sarah, whom he had also lost in death.

Joseph was laid to rest on November 9th, 1896 in the Shelton Cemetery located in Sebree, Webster county, Kentucky. He was survived by his second wife, Catherine Gates Shelton, and his third daughter, Queen Tinney Shelton. In his lifetime, Joseph had taken in his nephew, Winfield Scott Shelton, son of Lucinda Shelton, and raised him for a time. This seems to have been a trend in this family, and a good-hearted one at that. Family was family to these people, and I am glad to be a part of them. (It must be where I get it from, too!)