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Shephard Family History
This name is of Anglo-Saxon origins. It is usually an occupational name either for someone employed to tend and watch over sheep, or as a town watchkeeper. The derivation is from the pre 7th century word "sceap", with either "hierde" a herdsman, or "weard", a watchman. Occasionally the modern surname may derive from an occupational name for a "shipward". Thomas Shypward in 1432, and John Shipward in 1467 being listed in the register of the skilled men of the city of Bristol. There are at least ten variant spellings of the surname, ranging from Shepherd, Shephard and Sheppard to Shepeard, Shepheard, Shepperd and Shippard...
An English surname from Middle English schepherde meaning ‘shepherd’, although composed of words meaning ‘sheep’ + ‘herdsman’, it may alternatively mean ‘guardian’, hence an occupational name for a shepherd.
It is often variously mis-spelt, as Shepard, Shephard, Shepheard, Sheppard, Shepperd.
Sir Samuel Shepherd (1760 – 1840) was a British barrister, judge and politician who served as Attorney General for England and Wales and Lord Chief Baron of the Scottish Court of Exchequer.
Lady Mary Shepherd, née Primrose (1777 - 7 January 1847) was a Scottish philosopher and author of at least two philosophical books.
Thomas Hosmer Shepherd (1792–1864), was a topographical watercolour artist well known for his architectural paintings, employed to illustrate architecture in London, and later Edinburgh, Bath and Bristol.
William Shepherd was an English convict from Middlesex, transported aboard the "Ann" in August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia.
William Robert Shepherd (1871 - 1934) was an American cartographer and historian, considered a pioneer in American and Latin American history.
In 1881, the surname was widespread, especially in London, WR Yorkshire and Lancashire. It was also a top surname in the Bristol district of Gloucestershire with 76 occurrences.
In 1881, the most common Shepherd occupation in the UK was Farmer, along with Agricultural Labourer and Labourer as the top 3 reported jobs worked by Shepherd. A less common occupation was Coal Miner.
In 1891, the surname was recorded in England and Wales with 19,959 occurrences and a further 1,673 in Scotland.
Richard David Shepherd (1931-2017) was a British artist and one of the world's most outspoken conservationists, best known for his paintings of wildlife and steam locomotives.
Sanger Shepherd owned a limited company with electrical goods and photographic company, which developed the Sanger Shepherd process for taking colour photographs. The company was active until 1900 and 1927.
1881, 1891 Census
1881 Census in Gloucestershire
Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP 2003
Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890
The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016
1860 Lower, Mark A Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom, London: J.R Smith. Public Domain
1857 Arthur, William An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain
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