The Shephards I have traced so far are from the Birmingham area, and then moved to London, especially Islington.

My great grandfather, Joseph Edmond Shephard (1853-1921) was entirely London-based, born in Saffron Hill, died in Golders Green, and lived for most of his life in Islington. See Joseph’s pedigree chart.

My earliest Shephard ancestors are John Shephard (c1750 – after1800) and Richard Shephard (c1743-1800). I have these two Shephard lines, as their children, Joseph Shephard (c1771-1835) and Mary Shephard (1772-1853), married on 5th March 1800 in Birmingham. The full list of descendents is further down the page.

These Shephards were nonconformists, being members of the Society of Friends (or Quakers). This has been excellent for my family history research because:

  1.  the Society of Friends kept detailed birth & death (from 1650s) and marriage (1754-1837) records. These records were deposited with the Public Record Office after Civil Registration started in 1837, and can be accessed fairly easily. But, they are not yet online – see note 1 on where to find these records now;
  2. the Quakers also kept minutes of meetings, membership lists, records of persecution, & many other records. For example, I discovered many extra (slightly boring to be honest) details about the marriage of Richard Shephard & Mary Jarrett in 1770. The Quaker Family History Society has good information on where these more local records are now stored – but it is likely that the relevant county record office will have copies on microfilm.

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Joseph Edmond Shephard (1853-1921) Pedigree Chart
Joseph Edmond Shephard (1853-1921) Pedigree Chart

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Descendents of Richard Shephard (c1743-1800)

1. Richard SHEPHARD (1743?-1800).
  Married Mary JARRETT 30 Nov 1770, Publick Meeting House, Eatington, Warwickshire.
Mary JARRETT (1742?-1820).

    2. Mary SHEPHARD (1772-1853).
        Married Joseph SHEPHARD 5 Mar 1800, Birmingham.
        Joseph SHEPHARD (1771?-1835), son of John SHEPHARD and Elizabeth. 

 See below for the descent traced from this John Shephard.

    2. Sarah SHEPHARD (1774- ).
    2. Martha SHEPHARD (1775- ).
    2. Rebecca SHEPHARD (1777-1778).
    2. Gulidina SHEPHARD (1778-1778).
    2. Kerenhappuch SHEPHARD (1779- ).
    2. Gulidina SHEPHARD (1782-1783).
    2. Richard SHEPHARD (1784-1784).
    2. Hannah SHEPHARD (1785- ).
        Marr ?RAWLINS.

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Descendents of John Shephard (c1750-after 1800)

1.  John SHEPHARD ( c1750- after 1800).

  Married Elizabeth.

    2.  Joseph SHEPHARD (1771?-1835).

         Married Mary SHEPHARD 5 Mar 1800, Birmingham.

         Mary SHEPHARD (1772-1853), daughter of Richard SHEPHARD (1743?-1800) and Mary JARRETT (1742?-1820).

        3.  Mary SHEPHARD (1800-1863).

        3.  Elizabeth Lewis SHEPHARD (1802-1804).

        3.  Elizabeth SHEPHARD (1804-1890).

        3.  Joseph SHEPHARD (1807-1808).

        3.  Joseph SHEPHARD (1809-1810).

        3.  George SHEPHARD (1812-1871).

             Married Sarah WESTERMAN 8 Oct 1850, Parish Church, St Mary Newington, Surrey.

             Sarah WESTERMAN (1816-1897), daughter of Edmond WESTERMAN (1779?-1857) and Elizabeth ( ? -bef1818).

            4.  Mary E SHEPHARD (1852?- ).

            4.  Joseph Edmond SHEPHARD (1853-1921).

                 Married Mary Ann POOLEY 23 Feb 1881, St Peters Church, Brighton.

                Mary Ann POOLEY (1855?-1917), daughter of Joshua POOLEY (1820?-1882) and Lucy GRINSTED (1825?-1900).

                5.  Joseph Ernest SHEPHARD (1883?- ).

                5.  Elsie Mary SHEPHARD (1886- ).

                5.  Winifred Kate SHEPHARD (1888?- ).

                5.  Doris Lucy SHEPHARD (1891- ).

                5.  Alger George SHEPHARD (1895- ).

                5.  Vera Newbon SHEPHARD (1899- ).

            4.  Emma Sarah SHEPHARD (1854-1856).

            4.  George Westerman SHEPHARD (1856?-aft1897).

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Note 1: where are the United Kingdom pre-1842 Society of Friends birth, marriage & death records?

I wholeheartedly recommend consulting the detailed information given by the Quaker Family History Society, but in brief:

In archives:

  • The National Archives at Kew, London have all the original Registers given up in the 1840s & 1850s accessible on microfilm – in Class RG6. But, what if you can’t get to Kew?
  • alphabetical summary versions of these registers, known as Digests, were made as at 1842 (with a supplement of some extra registers made in 1857).  It is probably best to start with these records as they are ordered by surname & year.

 On the internet – not so far!

  •  hopefully will be indexed by This company is (as at Oct 2007) indexing nonconformist registers submitted to the Public Record Office in the 19th century. So far they are working through Classes RG4 & RG5. The Society of Friends records (in Class RG6) are not currently mentioned on the site, but The National Archives press release states that they will eventually be indexed too.

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