Dea. Ralph Shepard

Is your surname Shepard?

Research the Shepard family

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Ralph Shepard

Birthplace: Limehouse, Stepney, London, Middlesex, England
Death: September 11, 1693 (86-94)
Malden, Middlesex County, Province of Massachusetts (emigrated 1635 to Charlestown, Ma on "Abigail")
Place of Burial: Malden, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Isaac Shepard and Mary Shepard
Husband of Thanklorde “Thanks” Shepard
Father of Sarah Shepard; Thomas Shepard; John Shepard; Isaac Shepard; Trial Power and 9 others
Brother of Sarah Jasper and Martha Payne

Occupation: Tailor, tailor - Puritan
Managed by: George Sheppard Root
Last Updated:

About Dea. Ralph Shepard

RALPH SHEPARD was born Bet. 1603 - 1606 in Stepney Parish, London, England, and died August 20, 1693 in Charlestown, Massachusetts.


He married THANK-THE-LORD [PERKINS?] May 21, 1632 in Saint Bride's Church, Fleet Street, London, England [Parish Register M. S. 6537, Marriages 1587-1653]. She was born 1612 in England, and died 1693 in Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts.

Children of Deacon Ralph Shepard and Thanklord Shepard

  1. Sarah Shepard
  2. Thomas Shepard
  3. John Shepard
  4. Isaac Shepard
  5. Trial Shepard Powers
  6. Abraham Shepard
  7. Thankful Shepard Dill
  8. Jacob Shepard


He was a tailor by profession.

Known as a Puritan or non-conformist, he was brought before the Court of High Commissions as a nonconformist on April 24, 1634. No verdict is recorded.. On June 30, 1635 he along with wife and daughter set sail aboard the Abigail for Massachusetts, possibly as a result of that trial.

He first settled in Dedham, Mass., where he signed the Covenant, where he attended town meetings, 18 Aug 1636 and 17 May 1639, and sold land 21 Aug 1639. He lived next to Weymouth, where he had children recorded in 1639 and 1641. Soon after, he lived a short time at Rehoboth, where he was an original purchaser and attended a town meeting 31 Aug 1644, also in 1645. He then moved to Malden, where he had children recorded in 1651 and 1653.

On 19 Mar 1650/1, Richard Palgrave of Charlestown, physician, with consent of his wife Anne, sold to Ralph Shepard of Malden, taylor, five acres "on Mystik syde," and four "cow Lotts". Ralph Shepard of Malden, tailor, sold land there with consent of wife Thankslord, to Abraham Hill, 1 Feb 1663/4, and on 7 July 1666 with wife Thankslord sold to Benjamin Dunbar his dwelling house, barns, and 14 acres, apparently his homestead, together with other pieces of land in Malden and Charlestown. He is reffered to in some records as Deacon.

He seems to have removed to Concord Mass in 1665-66. On 25 Mar 1666 calling himself of Concord, tailor, he conveyed with his wife Thankslord to his son-in-law Walter Power of Concord, planter, 60 acres in Concord which he had purchased of Lt. Joseph Wheeler, and this deed was witnessed by Isaac Shepard and Jacob Shepard. On 29 May 1681, without mention of his wife, and in consideration of a sum paid mostly by Isaac Shepard, deceased, and the rest by Nathaniel Jewell, who married Isaac's widow, he conveyed to the children of Isaac Shepard (Isaac, Mary, and Samuel), part of his farm bought from Lt. Joseph Wheeler, bounded on lands of himself, Abraham Shepard, and Walter Power.

It has often been supposed, and sometimes stated positively in print, that Thomas Shepard of Charlestown and Malden was a son of Ralph Shepard. Circumstantial evidence pointing to this conclusion has long been known. On 3 May 1693 following the death of Peter Dill, his widow Thanks (proved daughter of Ralph Shepard) and eldest son gave bond as administrators and their sureties of were Walter Power and "Thomas Shepard Senr of Charlestown." Power was brother-in-law of Thanks, husband of Trial Shepard; and it would be reasonable to suppose that the other surety, Thomas Shepard was her brother. Thomas Shepard named sons Ralph, Jacob, and Isaac; the first could be for his father Ralph, the other two for brothers, known sons of Ralph. The argument from nomenclature is strong because Ralph was an old English name, not one of the Biblical or moralistic namesthen favored by the New England Puritans, who rarely bestowed old English names on their children except out of piety or to commemorate their parents and close relatives.

Nevertheless, documentary proof was lacking. Such proof was found by Mr. Thomas A. Burke of Cambridge, MA, in the Middlesex County Mass. land records, book 14, pp 562-64, at Cambridge, and published by Mr. Charles Shepard of Rochester, N.Y. A partition deed made 30 Mar 1808 between William Power and Walter Power, who were proved sons of Trial (Shepard) Power and grandsons of Ralph Shepard, in which they state they "have purchased a Certain Tract of Land of theire Two Cousin vizt. Ralph Shepard and Jacob Shepard" by a deed dated the previous 23 January 1707/8. Since these proved grandsons of Ralph Shepard called Ralph and Jacob Shepard their cousins, and since the only Shepard men of those names known to have been living at that time where Thomas's sons Ralph and Jacob, it follows that Thomas was a son of Ralph Shepard. The record of Ralph's daughter Sara, points out that Ralph of Malden was not the London draper of that name, with whom he has been erroneously identified in some printed works, as the draper died in London leaving a will dated 17 July 1652, proved 2 May 1653.

Ralph SHEPHERD (SHEPAR was born between 1603 and 1606 in Of Limehouse, Stepney, Middlesex, England. He died on 20 Aug 1693 in ., Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts. He was buried on 11 Sep 1693 in Bell Rock Cemete, Malden, Middlesex, MA.

He was married to Thankful LORD in 1632 in , England. Children were: Sarah SHEPARD , Thomas SHEPHERD, John SHEPARD , Isaac SHEPARD, Trial SHEPARD , Abraham SHEPHERD, Walter SHEPARD, Thanks SHEPARD, Jacob SHEPARD, Ralph SHEPHERD, Anne SHEPHERD, Daniel SHEPARD, Mary SHEPARD.

Savage says: RALPH, Dedham, came in the Abigail from London, 1635, aged 29, with w. Thanks, 23, and d. Sarah, 2; first sat down, prob. at Watertown, but by Farmer is call. of Weymouth, when he had there Isaac, b. 20 June 1639; and Trial, a d. 19 Dec. 1641; but had, also, Abraham; Thanks, 10 Feb. 1651; and Jacob, June 1653.

Shattuck makes him live some time at Concord; but earlier he was of Rehoboth, perhaps in 1644; and yet more prob. to me appears his resid. at Malden, where one of the not freq. name was bur. 11 Sept. 1693, aged 90, with moderate allow. for usual exaggera. See Geneal. Reg. IV. 66. Trial m. 11 Mar. 1661, Walter Power. RALPH, Milton, s. of Thomas of Malden, liv. at Brookline 1671--1712, had w. Mary, but no ch. is kn. Prob. his f. d. under his roof, and he d. 26 Jan. 1722.

Children of Ralph SHEPARD and Thankful LORD [OLD LIST]

1. Sarah Shepard, born 6 Aug 1633 in Stepney, Middlesex, , England; died 22 Dec 1719 in (W.P.).

2. Thomas Shepard, born abt. 1635/37 in Dedham, Norfolk, MA; died 17 Sep 1719 in Milton, Norfolk, MA. He married (1) on 19 Nov 1658 in Malden, Middlesex, MA, Hannah Ensign. He married (2) Joanna Shepard (Mrs).

3. John Shepard, born abt. 1637 in Dedham, Norfolk, MA; died 15 Dec 1699. He married abt. 1660 in , Middlesex, MA, Sarah Cable.

4. Isaac Shepard, born 20 Jun 1639 in Weymouth, Norfolk, MA; died 12 Feb 1676 in Concord, , MA. He married on 11 Dec 1667 in Concord, , MA, Mary Smedley.

5. Trial Shepard, born 19 Dec 1641 in Weymouth, Norfolk, MA. She married Walter Powers.

6. Abraham Shepard, born 7 Mar 1642 of Concord, Middlesex, MA; died 22 Feb 1716 in Concord, Middlesex, MA. He married on 2 Jan 1672 in Concord, Middlesex, MA, Judith Filbrook.

7. Walter Shepard, born abt. 1643 in Sudbury, Middlesex, MA; died abt. 1719 of Sudbury, Middlesex, MA.

8. Thanks Shepard, born 10 Feb 1650 in Malden, Middlesex, MA. She married on 13 Dec 1669 in Littletown, Middlesex, MA, Peter Dill (Dell).

9. Jacob Shepard, born 16 Jun 1653 in Malden, Middlesex, MA; died 12 Feb 1676.

10. Walter Shepard, born abt. 1655 of Sudbury, , MA.

11. Ralph Shepard, born abt. 1656 in Dronfield, Derbys, , England; died 26 Jun 1712. He married Ralph Shepard (Mrs).

12. Daniel Shepard, born abt. 1659 in Malden, Middlesex, MA; died 21 Dec 1686. He married on 21 Dec 1686 in Dartmouth, Bristol, MA, Mary Brice.

13. Mary Shepard, born abt. 1660/61 in Malden, Middlesex, MA. She married on 17 Sep 1688 in Concord, Middlesex, MA, Thomas Harris.



From FindaGrave, there are errors:

  • Birth: Jun. 3, 1606 - Dronfield, Derbyshire, England [SIC: birth date & place are not certain]
  • Death: Aug. 20, 1693 - Malden, Middlesex County, Massachusetts

Family links: Spouse:

  1. Thanklorde Perkins Shepard (1612 - 1681)*
  1. Sarah Shepard Tompson (1633 - 1680)*. [SIC: FindAGrave entry in error. Sarah died 1719 and there is no known husband]
  2. Thomas Shepard (1635 - 1719)*
  3. John Shepard (1637 - 1699)*
  4. Isaac Shepard (1639 - 1676)*
  5. Trial Shepard Power (1641 - 1708)*
  6. Abraham Shepard (1642 - 1716)*
  7. Thanks Shepard Dill (1651 - 1669)*
  8. Jacob Shepard (1653 - 1676)*
  9. Daniel Shepard (1659 - 1659)*

  • Calculated relationship

Burial: Bell Rock Cemetery Malden Middlesex County Massachusetts, USA

Created by: Stanley Shepard Record added: May 31, 2011 Find A Grave Memorial# 70676070

Immigrant 1635


  1. The Early records of the town of Dedham, Massachusetts, 1636-1659 edited by the town clerk, Don Gleason Hill Published 1892 by Printed at office of the Dedham Transcript in Dedham, Mass . Written in English. Signed the 1636 Dedham Contentment.

There are confusing statements following...Any assistance appreciated. THB

Ralph Shepard Ralph Sheaphearde

   Birth ABT 1606 England 
   Immigration BEF 1693 
   Burial Malden, Massachusetts 

Ralph Shepard, tailor, of Stepney, England, with his wife Thankslord (_____ ) or Thanks (Lord) Shepard and his two-year-old daughter Sarah, landed on the shores of New England in 1635 on the ship Abigall. They settled first in Dedham, Massachusetts. In the course of the next fifteen years they moved four times, having bought and sold land in at least three of the locations, and settled finally in Malden, Massachusetts. During that time they had six more children, of whom five lived to maturity and had children [Shepard and Jacobus, The Shepard Families of New England, 5, 6, 14]. Both Ralph Shepard and his wife were able to sign their own signatures, a rare skill at the time, especially in the case of a woman [Shepard and Jacobus, 1, 3]. Sources

   Tom Bredehoft, Pettibone Registry, page 16, see K. Pontius.

NOTE This individual has the following other parents in the Ancestral File:

   Isaac SHEPARD (AFN:8VN7-79) and Unknown. Ralph Shepard was a London Goldsmith. 
   Birth ABT 1603 Stepney, St. Dunstan, Middlesex
       Note: as he died aged 90[1] 
   Marriage 21 MAY 1632 London, St. Bride 
       Note: aboard the Abigail, Robert Hackwell, Captain and Master, producing the proper certificates from the minister and justices according to law stating, "Ralph Sheppard age 29, Thankes Sheppard age 23 (wife), Sara Sheppard age 2 (daughter), dated 29 Jun 1635"[2] 
   Death EITHER 20 AUG 1693 OR 11 SEP 1693 Charlestown (Boston in 1873), Middlesex (Suffolk in 1873) County, Massachusetts
       Note: while on a trip, though some sources say 20 Sep 1693 
   Note: He lived at various times in Dedham, Rehoboth, Weymouth, Concord, andMalden[3] 
   Immigration 1635 Charlestown (Boston after 1874), Middlesex (Suffolk after 1874) County, Massachusetts [What does this mean?] 

Burial Bell Rock Cemetery, Malden, Middlesex County, Massachusetts where the inscription reads:

   DIED SEPTEMBER Ye 11 1693 

Deacon Ralph Shepard

Deacon Ralph Shepard was born about 1603 in Limehouse, Stepney Parish, Middlesex, England. In 1630 Limehouse became the separate parish of St. Anne-Limehouse. It is now a part of London and adjoins the East End. He was a tailor and draper.

He was the son of Isaac Shepard (born 1571 in London, England) and his wife, Mary.

He married Thanklord about 1633. Their children and life together are described in detail in the section on Ralph and Thanklord Shepard. Children of Deacon Ralph Shepard and Thanklord Shepard

Sarah Shepard Thomas Shepard John Shepard Isaac Shepard Trial Shepard Powers Abraham Shepard Thankful Shepard Dill Jacob Shepard

On April 24, 1634, Ralph was summoned before the Court of High Commissions which was an ecclesiastical court instituted by the crown in the 16th century to enforce the laws of the Reformation. At this time William Laud (1573-1645) was Archbishop of Canterbury. He opposed the Puritan reforms.

Ralph left England for relgious freedom and brought his family to America before 1636.

He was present at the first town meeting and signed the Town Covenant of Dedham, Massachusetts in 1636 and was granted twelve acres of land. He was a member of the first Town Assembly of Dedham and received many other grants of land. (Kin of Mellcene Thurman Smith, p. 85) Of the 26 town meetings held in Dedham, Ralph attended 21 of them.

In 1638 he was paid to cut wood for constructing the meeting house.

On February 9, 1645/45 he was made a fence viewer for the lower plantation. He was a Ruling Elder the in Weymouth Church.

In April, 1651 he took the oath of a freeman in Middlesex County.

He died on September 11, 1693 or August 20, 1693 in Charlestown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. He was probably visiting his son Thomas when he died.

He is buried in Bell Rock Cemetery, Malden, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.


Here Lyes ye Body of Ralph Shepard aged 90, Died September VII, 1693

   “The original tombstone was slate and is weather beaten and deteriorated from age, but it is now encased in a marble monument. . .The hourglass and crossbones tell us that time does not tarry and that death soon comes to all: while the wings on either side of the skull suggest the hope of a blessed immortality."
   (Ancestors and Descendants of Albro Dexter, p, 29)

Birth 1606 Derbyshire, England Death 20 Aug 1693 (aged 86–87) Charlestown, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA Burial Bell Rock Cemetery Malden, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA Memorial ID 5121803 · View Source

He was born in 1603 presumably passed his early days in England, plying his trade. He was a tailor. In 1634 he was called before the ecclesiastical court and a sentence (unknown) was pronounced against him. It is most probably that he left England on account of the sentence of the Court.

On the last day of June 1635 accompanied by wife Thankslorde and daughter Sara he board the ship "Abigall" bound for New England. Once in America he probably settled first at Watertown, MA, then Dedham, MA and Weymouth. The people who started Dedham, of which Ralph Shepard was one, were Puritans. He apparently came to have 9 tracts of land in Dedham.

view all 35

Dea. Ralph Shepard's Timeline

Stepney, London, Middlesex, England
August 6, 1633
Stepney Parish, Middlesex, England
April 5, 1635
Probably on board the ship Abigail
July 12, 1635
Age 32
Limehouse, Stepney Parish, Middlesex, England; Emigration: to America
October 26, 1637
Dedham, Suffolk County (Present Norfolk County), Massachusetts Bay Colony
June 20, 1639
Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts
December 19, 1641
Weymouth, (Present Norfolk County), Massachusetts Bay Colony
March 7, 1642
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts