Show ContentsShepley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Shepley is a name that was brought to England by the ancestors of the Shepley family when they migrated to the region after the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Shepley family lived in Shepley is a village in the civil parish of Kirkburton, West Yorkshire. The name Shepley is believed to be of Anglo-Saxon origin and literally means "a meadow where sheep are kept".

Early Origins of the Shepley family

The surname Shepley was first found in the West Riding of Yorkshire where they were granted the lands of Shepley, originally spelled Scipelie (Scipeleia) in the Domesday Book. Early records show that village was also once named Scheplay. One of the first records of the name was Matthew of Sheplei who was knighted in 1217. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 have at least three listings of the early Scheplay spelling including: Katerine Scheplay; Joanna de Scheplay; and Adam de Scheplay. Shipley is a village in the south-east of Derbyshire which also dates back to the Domesday Book where Shipley Hall is mentioned by name.

Early History of the Shepley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shepley research. Another 139 words (10 lines of text) covering the year 1769 is included under the topic Early Shepley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Shepley Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Shepley have been found, including Shepley, Shipley, Shiplie, Skiplie, Schipley and others.

Early Notables of the Shepley family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was

  • Shepley of Yorkshire

Shepley Ranking

In the United States, the name Shepley is the 17,995th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 1

United States Shepley migration to the United States +

For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Shepley were among those contributors:

Shepley Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Shepley, who landed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1637 2
  • Honor Shepley, who arrived in Maryland in 1670 2
  • Adam Shepley, who landed in Maryland in 1675 2

Australia Shepley migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Shepley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Joseph Shepley, English convict who was convicted in Chester, Cheshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Eliza" on 22nd September 1819, arriving in New South Wales, Australia 3
  • Mr. Charles Shepley, English convict who was convicted in Knutsford, Cheshire, England for 15 years, transported aboard the "Barossa" on 27th August 1841, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 4
  • Abel Shepley, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Baboo" in 1848 5
  • Enoch Shepley, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Baboo" in 1848 5
  • Hannah Shepley, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Baboo" in 1848 5
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Shepley (post 1700) +

  • Ethan Allen Hitchcock Shepley (1896-1975), American academic, Chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis from 1953 to 1961
  • Ether Shepley (1789-1877), American politician
  • George Foster Shepley (1860-1903), American architect in the firm Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge
  • George F. Shepley (1819-1878), American Civil War general, 18th Governor of Louisiana
  • George L. Shepley, American Republican politician, Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island, 1902-03 6
  • George Foster Shepley (1819-1878), American politician, Mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana, 1862; Governor of Louisiana; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Maine, 1868 6
  • Ether Shepley (1789-1877), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Maine State House of Representatives, 1819; Delegate to Maine State Constitutional Convention, 1820; U.S. Senator from Maine, 1833-36 6
  • Ethan A. H. Shepley, American Republican politician, Candidate for Governor of Missouri, 1964 6
  • Mrs. C. M. Shepley, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Minnesota, 1944 6
  • Aaron Shepley, American politician, Mayor of Crystal Lake, Illinois, 2007-11 6
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 10th February 2022). Retrieved from
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th September 2020). Retrieved from
  5. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BABOO 1848. Retrieved from
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 19) . Retrieved from on Facebook