Edward Shepard

Capt. Edward SHEPARD (1596 – 1680) was Alex’s 11th Great Grandfather, one of 2,048 in this generation of the Shaw line.

Edward Shepard was baptized in 27 Jun 1596, Elmstead, Essex, England.  His parents were John SHEPARD. and Rebecca WALLER. He married Violet CHARNOULD on 6 Dec 1620, in Erwarton, Suffolk, England.  Edward came with his family from England in 1639, he being the captain of his own ship, and settled in Cambridge, Suffolk, Mass. After Violet died, he married second Mrs. Mary POND, about 1650. Mary was the widow of Robert POND of Dedham, who died in 1637. One of her sons, Daniel POND, married her daughter Abigail. Edward died before 20 Aug 1680, (will proved) in Cambridge, Mass.

Edward Shepard – Coat of Arms

Violet Charnould was baptized 26 Sep 1596, Mistley, Essex, England.  Her parents were John CHARNOULD and Joan [__?__].  Violet died 9 Jan 1648/49 in Cambridge,  Mass.

There has been a lot of controversy over Violet’s last name.  Early speculation for Violet’s last name included Stanley and Wolverton. Wolverton because her children John and Elizabeth are deeded land by G.W. Wolverton.  John refers to Geoffrey as “uncle.” Stanley was another interpretation of “uncle.” Shepard’s research did not reveal a definite connection. However, John Charnold was a tanner, as was Geoffrey Wolverton. The other men involved in the wills were all from the same area in Essex. It’s possible that Wolverton was an apprentice to Charnold, which would explain a close family connection, whether or not it lead him to marry a Charnold daughter and become a literal “uncle.”

Children of Edward and Violet:

Name Born Married Departed
1. John Seargent Shepard 5 Nov 1623, Lawford, Essex, Englan Rebecca Greenhill
1 Oct 1649 Cambridge, Mass
Susannah Fruen
3 Aug 1691 Hartford, CT
Martha Henbury
8 Sep 1698
12 Jun 1707 Hartford, CT
2. Elizabeth Shepard 4 Nov 1621, Mistley, Essex, England Thwaite Strickland
abt 1646, Dedham, Mass
Nicholas Disborough
aft 1669
30 Mar 1694, Hartford, Hartford, CT
3. Abigail SHEPARD 12 Oct 1627, Lawford, England Daniel POND
30 Mar 1652 in Dedham, Mass.
5 Jul 1661 Dedham, Mass.
4. Deborah Shepard 5 Nov 1631, Lawford, England Jonathan Fairbanks (son of our  ancestor  Jonathan FAIRBANKS )
4 OCT 1649 Dedham,
7 Sep 1705 Dedham, Mass
5. William Shepard c. 1634 England Boston Harbor
6. Sarah Shepard c. 1636 England Samuel Thompson (Tomson)
27 Apr 1656, Braintree
15 Jan 1679/80
15 Jan 1679, Braintree, Mass.

Edward’s siblings  Children of his parents Edward SHEPARD and Katherine BECHAM are:

i. Edward
ii. Anthony Shepard, b. 14 Jun 1601 in Elmstead, Essex, England; d. 13 Jun 1603  bur. Elmstead, Essex, England.
iv. Edmund Shepard, bap. 20 Jan 1604/05 in Elmstead, Essex, England.
v. William Shepard, bap. 16 Mar 1607/08 in Elmstead, Essex, England.

Edward continued to be a mariner his entire life. Twice he asserts to being a mariner in deeds – to Richard Champney, Mar. 19, 1652/53, and to W. Fessenden, Feb. 18, 1679/80, as well as in his own will dated Oct. 1, 1674. Also, mention is made in the record of the steward of Harvard College 1654, of two importations of wheat “from aboard Edward Shephard’s vessel.” He reportedly carried on trade between Boston and Hartford, and probably other parts.

Colonial Cargo Ship

The baptisms for Violet and Elizabeth and the marriage to Edward are the only events found with the name Violet connected to a Shepherd.

Mistley and Erwarton are just across the River Stour from each other, not too far from the modern port of Felixstowe,  England.  The River Stour leads to several major ports. Here is are Google Map Directions of the English places of Edward’s origins.

An Edward Shepherd was master of the Samuell of Manningtree ~1624-1633, a small vessel used in coastal trade.

1636 – Edward was assessed on the tax roles of Lawford, Essex England  Lawford is only a couple miles from Mistley.  Parish records for Lawford list Edward’s children with father William and mother Violet, but there is no William that this could be

10 May 1643 – Admitted a freeman at Cambridge, MA

1648 – Edward was a master mariner

The following describes his property in Cambridge:

“Edward Shepard bought of James Herringe one dwelling-house, with a garden, abutting John Betts northeast, Edward Mickerson on the north, Mr. Andrews west, The highway (now South Street, between Holyoke and Dunster [Google Maps] ) south. And a small garden, on the other side of the highway, abutting John Thrumbull east and south, Mr. Paine’s yard west, and the highway north. And on the south side of the Charles River, planting land, 5 acres more or less, abutting Boston field east, John Thrumbull and Mr. Andrew’s lands west and south, the highway and creek north”.

Edward’s will names wife Mary, children John, Elizabeth, Deborah, Daniel POND in lieu of deceased daughter Abigail and Sarah.

Edward’s name appears in the town records of Cambridge in various relations until 1680. His will was proven Aug 20, 1680. His son, John, sold the homestead Sep. 18, 1681, to Owen Warland. Edward’s will is on file at the Middlesex Probate Office in East Cambridge, MA.

Edward’s son-in-law, Thwait(s) Strickland was a signer of the 1635 Covenant that established Dedham and was an original settler there. Dedham is on the Charles river, near present day Boston.


1. John Seargent Shepard

John’s first wife Rebecca Greenhill was born 24 Feb 1630 in Staplehurst, Kent, England. Her parents were Samuel Greenhill and Rebecca Baseden. Rebecca died 22 Dec 1689 in Hartford, Hartford, CT.

John’s second wife Susanna Fruen was born 1635 in Hartford, Hartford, CT. She first married 1654 in Hartford, Hartford, CT. to William Goodwin (b. 1629 in Hartford, CT – d. 15 Oct 1689 in Hartford) Susanna died 1698 in Hartford, Hartford, CT.

John’s third wife Martha Henbury died Sep 1710.

2. Elizabeth Shepard

Elizabeth’s first husband Thwaite Strickland was born 1625 in England. His parents were John William Strickland and Jane Fenwick. Thwaite died 1670 in Glastonbury, Hartford, CT.

Elizabeth’s second Nicholas Disborough was born 16 Jun 1612 in Hartford, Hartford, CT. His parents were Nicholas Disbrowe and Mary Gylbye. Nicholas died 31 Aug 1683 in Hartford, Hartford, CT.

The origins of Thwaite Strickland are not clearly established. Many have reported him as a possible son of John Strickland, a 1630 Puritan landholder in Charleston, but documentaion of such is lacking. He has benn variously called Thwaite, Thwait, Thait, Thwaits, Thwaites, and I suppose other variations, but I have never seen a prefix as in xxxthwaite. This name was not continued in his subsequent descendents, with the primary name of the male descendents being John or a variation thereof (Jonathan, Joseph)

Just a belated further comment on the discussion about the namen’Thwaite’ in general, thrown up recently by some study of local maps.

I don’t think anyone would ever have been baptised with the Christian name ‘Thwaite’ unless this was an associated family surname, eg, the maiden name of the mother. But Thwaite without a prefix was quite rare, I think, as a surname and the use of surnames as first (as opposed to middle) christian names was not very common, certainly in 17th. century Westmorland.

The other explanation is that he was baptised John Strickland or whatever and his family lived in xxxxthwaite. If there were loads of John Stricklands in the same area, people would start calling him
xxxxthwaite Strickland to differentiate him from the rest. This could have become shortened to ‘Thwaite’ subsequently – a full place name just called ‘Thwaite’ without a prefix being about as uncommon as
xxxxxthwaites are prolific in Cumberland and Westmorland. (And a variation on this theme would be that he was baptised John xxxxthwaite Strickland but subsequently became known by the middle, family, name for
differentiation purposes.)

However, the plot thickens, because just north of Rusland in what was the Furness District of Lancashire, about exactly half way between the southern end of Coniston and Windermere Lakes is a hamlet actually
called Thwaite Head, (at the head of the little valley which would have been cleared of forest for cultivation by the original Norse settlers and so called by them Thwaite) and the associated geographical features Thwaite Moss (a wet or boggy area) and Thwaite Head Fell, the small
mountain at the head of the valley.

And the plot thickens yet more when it can be seen from Parish Registers and maps that there was quite a concentration of Strickland families in this precise area around the 17th century.

So, although pure conjecture, I suppose this is at least a plausible explanation of the origins of the quite unusual name of Thwaite Strickland. And, in any event, as has been said before, the very name
‘thwaite’ would almost certainly have been derived from Cumbria, somewhere, sometime.

3. Abigail SHEPARD (See Daniel POND‘s page)

4. Deborah Shepard

Deborah’s husband Jonathan Fairbanks was born about  1628 Sowerby, York, England. His parents were Jonathan FAIRBANKS and Grace SMITH. Jonathan died 28 JAN 1711/12 Dedham, Mass.

6. Sarah Shepard

Sarah’s husband Samuel Thompson (Tomson) was born 16 Feb 1630 in England. His parents were William Thompson and Abigail Collins. Samuel died 18 Jun 1695 in Braintree, Norfolk, Mass,



Shepherd, Lawrence, “Search for the origins of Edward Shepherd,” Heritage Quest, 1989 Vol. 22-25, continuing.

Shepard, James, “Descendents of Edward Shepard, Mariner, of Cambridge, Mass. 1639,” NEHGR, Vol. 32: 322-8, July 1878.




This entry was posted in 13th Generation, Immigrant - England, Line - Shaw, Sea Captain and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Edward Shepard

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  8. Doug says:

    In the section of this post referring to Edward Shepard’s siblings, you refer to his parents as Edward Shepard and Katherine Becham. Yet toward the beginning of the post you refer to his parents as John Shepard and Rebecca Waller. I’m confused.

    • markeminer says:

      Hi Doug,

      Thanks for catching the inconsistency.

      I’ve seen at least three possibilities for Edward’s parents:
      John Sheppard and Rebecca Waller
      Edward Shepard and Katherine Becham
      William Shepard (1570 – 1615) and Mary Bland (1571 – 1609)

      John and Rebecca is the most common citation. Most genealogies state that John was born in 1580 and Rebecca in 1588. Many also say John and Rebecca were married in 1599 all of which which seems incompatible with Edward’s 1596 birth.

      Several genealogies say John and Rebecca had one other child: Benet Shepard Stanley,(b. 1 Aug 1609 Ashford, Kent, England – d. Jan 1664/5 at the age of 55 in Hartford, CT. She married Thomas Stanley; born 1597; died 1662.

      Curiously, all these sources agree that Edward was baptized 27 Jun 1596, Elmstead, Essex, England.

      All for now, gotta get back to work!


  9. Lorie Mynatt says:

    He was my 11th Great-Grandfather also

  10. Allison Turner says:

    He is also my 11th Great-Grandfather! Thank you for sharing this information & I’d welcome any you may have going even FARTHER into the past. Do you have any documentation that a coat of arms or crest was officially given to Edward or prior Shepards?

  11. Allison Turner says:

    One other note…. Does anyone have any other documentation to determine more accurately the parents of Capt. Edward Shepard? Has anyone been able to determine where the baptisms would have been, as in what church, that perhaps we could contact for record verification?

  12. Linda Logan Patterson says:

    I am the granddaughter of Edward Waller Sheppard who was a train conductor in the early 1920-40’s. His line ran from Augusta, GA to Barnwell, SC, Allendale, Kline and probably south ward. His relative was John Calhoun Sheppard who served as governor of SC and lived in Edgefield SC at a home called Carnoogie. My maternal great grandparents are butied in Cave Methodist cemetery between Barnwell and Kline SC. Edward married Lochie Amelia Barber about 1900 and her mother was Sidonne Hogg. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

  13. Linda Barber Logan Patterson says:

    I understand Edward Sheppard, a relative, was a mariner and sailed the ship Samuel Mannington and lived near Boston Mass. Interested in how family came to SC. I currently live in Aiken SC and have family in Edgefield, SC ( Strom family on paternal side and Sheppards on maternal). I am a member of the Old Edgefield Historical Dictrict Genelogical Society based in Edgefield, Strom Thurmond is my second cousin.

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