All Things Shepard

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” —Santayana.

History is our common story—fact and fiction in constant battle for recognition.  Genealogy is our personal story—the story of each of us as individuals, the nature of nurture and how we came to be.  This page is the story of my common and personal story.

If  you share research interests in these families, Shepard or not, feel free to drop me a line at jcshepard @



These families ended up in Michigan:

  • Surnames: Shepard (from NY c.1840), Atherton (NY<PA), Brown (NY); Norris (NY<NJ<MA<England), Pugh (OH), Squire (IA); Storie (NY<Midlothian, Scotland), Turnbull (NY<Roxburghshire, Scotland), Taylor (NY), Williams (NY), Woodbury (NY); Maloy (Rossie, NY<Co. Roscommon Eire), Leddick (NY), Hurlbut (NY<CT), Richardson (NY<CT), Woodman (VT<NH<MA<England);
    Tillstrom & Olsson (Sweden)
  • The The Civil War Diary of Pvt Orrin Brown Company E, 14th Michigan Infantry, 1864-1865 (transcribed).
  • Descendants of Calvin Shepard tree on


I lived in Minnesota for awhile.

These families ended up in Minnesota, too:

  • Surnames: Culver (Duluth<MI<England), Carlbom (Sweden), Ham (ME), Woodman (MI<VT<NH<MA<England)

Montana & Wyoming & Colorado

These families ended up Out West:

  • Surnames: Carlbom (MN<Sweden), Franklin, Daly (PA< Eire), Habets (from Holland), Maloy (at Powell, WY from New York), Slezak (Silesia, Austria-Hungary),
    Tillstrom (MI<Sweden).


All Things Shepard

I saw somewhere that the spelling “S-H-E-P-A-R-D” is the most phonetically correct version of this ancient term for them that tend sheep–the Sheep Herd. Shepherd, the pastoral or as I call it the Biblical term, is the more common. Sometimes I’ll enunciate the “ph” as “f” (“Sheferd”) when I’m annoyed. We’ve seen other spellings too: Shephard, Sheppard, Shepperd. I think our Soundex is S163. Census Bureau says Shepard is the 778th most common surname in the USA. Shepherd is 569, Sheppard 710, Shepperd way down there at 21238.

In German, the name would come out Schaefer or Shafer, even Shaver. Shouldn’t the dogs be German Shafers then? And if we’re related to Billy Joe Shaver, maybe he’d comp tix to his show, or send a CD?  Or Kenny Wayne Shepherd, but that would be cool.

The simple black and white Shepherd’s Check was one of the first tartan patterns developed, from undyed white and black wool of the sheep grazing along the borderlands where England and Scotland meet. In early records writtin in Latin, it is said that the name “Scyphard” appears as early as 1363 at Elgin. They that tend sheep tend not to be them that owned the land, so ancient records are not likely to be found.

I have no idea where my particular line of male descent came from before Revolution-era New York, if my family is entitled to a tartan or not. I like it no matter.



1 Response to All Things Shepard

  1. David Eglin Shepard says:

    I am David Eglin Shepard of the Shepards of Roxburgh and Roxburgshire of old. Until I found you, I have worn the Roxburgh ancient tartan. My stateside family hails from Chicago, St Paul Minnesota Pennsylvania, and Texas. We trace our family back to revolution (american) and back to Roxburgh. Our blood was bit tainted by the English Howe family. (yes we fought against ourselves in 1773-1776)

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