Sheppard History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Sheppard comes from when its first bearer worked as a person who worked as a shepherd, the guardian of the sheep. Occupational names that were derived from the common trades of the medieval era transcended European cultural and linguistic boundaries. Occupational names frequently were derived from the principal object associated with the activity of the original bearer, such as tools or products. These types of occupational surnames are called metonymic surnames. In this case the surname was originally derived from the Old English word sceap, meaning sheep and hierde meaning herdsman. While this traditional understand of the surname's meaning is in many ways self explanatory today, in examining the Coat of Arms invariably we find battle axes. This is not surprising as the ancient shepherds were employed to dig sod around the embattlements of a Saxon village as a means of defense, hence the term "the shepherd's ring." Their tools were battle axes.

Early Origins of the Sheppard family

The surname Sheppard was first found in the Southern counties of England, where they could be found from early times. Early recorded instances of the name include William Sepherd listed in Rotuli Hundredorum, in Oxfordshire in 1279. [1] The same rolls listed Margaret le Sephirde in Huntingdon and Walter le Schepherde in Cambridgeshire. [2] Henry Sephurde was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex of 1296 while Walter le Shepperde was listed in the Feet of Fines of Staffordshire in 1307. [1]

Early History of the Sheppard family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sheppard research. Another 85 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1307, 1317, 1327, 1399, 1413, 1515, 1559, 1605, 1649, 1635, 1648, 1720, 1634, 1698 and are included under the topic Early Sheppard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sheppard Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Sheppard include Shepherd, Shephard, Sheppard, Sheppeard, Shepperd and others.

Early Notables of the Sheppard family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Shepherd, alias Thwattes, of Derbyshire, who were a noble family during the reign of Henry IV (ruled 1399-1413); John Sheppard (c.1515-1559) English composer & organist, considered one of the finest English church composers of the Tudor era; Thomas Shepard (1605-1649), born in Towcester...
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sheppard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Sheppard family to Ireland

Some of the Sheppard family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 65 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Sheppard migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Sheppard or a variant listed above:

Sheppard Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Ould Sheppard, and his son, who arrived in Virginia in 1623
  • Lieutenant Sheppard, who landed in Virginia in 1623 [3]
  • Ould Sheppard, who landed in Virginia in 1623 [3]
  • Robert Sheppard, who arrived in Jamestown, Va in 1624 [3]
  • Ralph Sheppard, aged 29, who arrived in America in 1635 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Sheppard Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Adam Sheppard, who landed in Virginia in 1705 [3]
  • Anne Sheppard, who landed in Virginia in 1713 [3]
  • William Sheppard, who arrived in Virginia in 1713 [3]
  • Eliza Sheppard, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [3]
  • Margaret Sheppard, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Sheppard Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Peter Sheppard, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1815 [3]
  • James D Sheppard, who landed in New York in 1830 [3]
  • George G Sheppard, who landed in New York, NY in 1836 [3]
  • I B Sheppard, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [3]
  • J W Sheppard, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Sheppard Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Joseph Sheppard, who arrived in Arkansas in 1901 [3]

Canada Sheppard migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Sheppard Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Benjamin Sheppard U.E. who settled in St. David, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 [4]
  • Mr. Jacob Sheppard U.E. who settled in St. David, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 [4]
  • Mr. Joseph Sheppard U.E. born in Pennsylvania, USA who settled in St. Andrews, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 [4]
  • Mr. Richard Sheppard U.E. who settled in St. David, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 [4]
  • Mr. Samuel Sheppard U.E. born in Pennsylvania, USA who settled in St. Andrews, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Sheppard Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Catherine Sheppard, aged 20, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Ann & Mary" from Cork, Ireland

Australia Sheppard migration to Australia +

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

Sheppard Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. George Sheppard, English convict who was convicted in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Baring" in April 1815, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • William Sheppard, English convict from Norfolk, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Mr. Charles Sheppard, British convict who was convicted in London, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Asia" on 29th September 1831, settling in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Mr. George Sheppard, (b. 1814), aged 19, English convict who was convicted in Somerset, England for 14 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 27th April 1833, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [8]
  • Thomas Sheppard, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Henry Porcher" in 1838 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Sheppard migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Sheppard Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Sheppard, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841
  • F. Sheppard, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Brougham" in 1842
  • R. Sheppard, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Brougham" in 1842
  • James Sheppard, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1843
  • Robert Sheppard, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1843
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Sheppard (post 1700) +

  • Mike "Shep" Sheppard Sr. (1936-2019), American college baseball coach
  • William Taylor Sheppard (b. 1877), American Democrat politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates from Greenbrier County, 1927-30
  • William E. Sheppard, American Democrat politician, Member of Maryland State House of Delegates from Wicomico County, 1884
  • William C. Sheppard, American politician, Member of Michigan Prohibition Party State Central Committee, 1899
  • William B. Sheppard, American politician, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, 1903-07
  • William Sheppard, American politician, Member of North Carolina House of Commons from Dobbs County, 1785, 1787
  • Walter W. Sheppard, American politician, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, 1932-33
  • W. Emmett Sheppard, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1996, 2000, 2004
  • V. A. Sheppard, American Republican politician, Chair of Ray County Republican Party, 1949
  • TaKeysha Sheppard, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 2004
  • ... (Another 61 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. James Richard  Sheppard (1865-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [10]
  • Mr. William  Sheppard, Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [10]
  • Mr. Frank William  Sheppard (1895-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [10]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Leonard F G Sheppard (b. 1905), English Petty Officer serving for the Royal Navy from Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [11]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Ernest William Sheppard (1899-1939), British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [12]


The Sheppard Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fide et virtute
Motto Translation: By fidelity and valour.


Suggested Readings for the name Sheppard +

  • 833 My North Carolina Ancestors Jennifer M. Sheppard, Sheppard-Marshall and Allied Families by Lillian A. Sheppard.

  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/baring
  6. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 190 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1822
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1831
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HENY PORCHER 1838. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1838HenryPorcher.htm
  10. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  11. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  12. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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