Friday, April 15, 2011

Surname Saturday - Shepard

My blog followers know from previous posts that I am working on a family narrative for my cousin and her children on the Shepard family.  The papers and photos she gave to me in December included several pages of handwritten notes on the Shepard family genealogy. I transcribed those and they are included as an introduction in my narrative. Using the handwritten notes as a starting point, I began to verify each generation, but I immediately had trouble with the second generation. The handwritten notes had the progenitor as Ralph Shepard, born 1609 in Stepheny Parish London and arriving in Boston in October 1635. Ralph, his wife, Thankful, and their daughter Sarah are well documented. But the second generation listed, John Shepard, presented a problem as Ralph did not have a son named John.

I spent the afternoon in our library’s genealogy room where there resides a three volume set of Shepard Genealogy. This book was carefully researched by Gerald Faulkner Shepard and edited by the well-known genealogist Donald Lines Jacobus. So I was pretty confident that the information contained therein was correct.

Mr. Shepard states that there were two large Shepard families that immigrated to the new world. Those were the Ralph Shepard family of Dedham, MA, and the Edward Shepard Family of Cambridge, MA. Those two families take up the first two volumes of Mr. Shepard’s works.  The third volume contains several other Shepard families that immigrated, and he has them carefully marked.  The Shepard family I am researching is actually from John Shepard of Concord, MA who was born about 1633 in Concord, MA. He married Sarah Goble in 1661.  This family eventually ended up on Spencer, Tioga County, New York.

I am so glad I got this straightened out before I wasted any more time trying to connect Ralph Shepard with this family line. 


  1. That's so awesome to have a resource you can turn to to straighten things out. I haven't yet found anything for my family lines. Perhaps someday I'll have information others will refer to

  2. D: I was very excited to find this three volume set in our library. And Donald Lines Jacobus was a reputable genealogist. So although I know I have to perform my own "reasonably exhaustive search," I am now pretty confident that I am on the right track.