Isaac Shepard, I, King Phillip's War Casualty

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Isaac Shepard, I, King Phillip's War Casualty

Birthplace: Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, British Colonial America
Death: February 12, 1676 (36)
Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, British Colonial America (murder by Nashua indians)
Place of Burial: Power Burying Ground, Littleton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Dea. Ralph Shepard and Thankslord “Thanks” Shepard
Husband of Mary Jewell
Father of Isaac Shepard and Samuel Henley Shepard
Brother of Sarah Shepard; Thomas Shepard; John Shepard; Trial Power; Abraham Shepard, of Malden and 5 others

Managed by: Ofir Friedman
Last Updated:

About Isaac Shepard, I, King Phillip's War Casualty

Isaac Shepard

  • BIRTH 20 Jun 1639 Weymouth, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA
  • DEATH 12 Feb 1676 (aged 36) Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
  • BURIAL Power Burying Ground, Littleton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
  • MEMORIAL ID 73734754


When Isaac Shepard was born on 20 June 1639, in Weymouth, Massachusetts Bay Colony, British Colonial America as the fourth of nine children and third of six sons. His father, Ralph Shepard, was 33 and his mother, Thankslord Perkins, was 27. He married Mary Smedley, daughter of Baptiste Smenley and Katharine Shorthouse, on 10 December 1667, in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts Bay Colony, British Colonial America. She was born 7 Jun 1648 in Concord, and married again 9 June 1676 to Nathaniel Jewell who was born Braintree, MA 15 April 1648 Died in Plainfield Conn. March 1712

Isaac and Mary were the parents of at least 2 sons and 1 daughter. He lived in Weymouth, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States in 1639. He died on 12 February 1676, in Nashobah, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States, at the age of 36, and was buried in Power Burying Ground, Littleton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States.

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Apparently all of Ralph Shepard's family were with him at Concord with the exception of his daughter Sarah and his son Thomas; and all of them appear to have lived on contiguous farms. His son Isaac, prior to his death by the Indians, had bought of his father a part of the Wheeler farm and was in possession of it, as shown by a deed executed by the father 4 July 1681 and witnessed by Abraham Shepard. The deed recites that for a valuable sum of money paid by Isaac Shepard, deceased, for the most part, and the remainder by Nathaniel Jewell, Ralph Shepard sold to Isaac Shepard, Mary Shepard and Samuel Shepard, children of said Isaac Shepard, deceased, part of the farm he bought of 1.4. Joseph Wheeler, viz, a house lot bounded on the south by his houselot, on the west partly by the Indian plantation and partly by land of Peter Dill, on the north by Abraham Shepard, and on the east by Walter Powers. He also conveyed the lower end of the long meadow bounded westerly by Abraham Shepard, part of the great meadow bounded easterly by Abraham Shepard, All which parcels were in the possession of Isaac Shepard aforesaid, and occupied by him in the time of his life, and also a one third part of my said farme yet undivided.

Death brothers of Isaac and Jacob

On Saturday, Feb. 12, 1676 brothers Isaac and Jacob were killed by the Indians on the south side of Quagana hill. They, at the time, were threshing grain in the barn on the Shepard homestead. Being aware of the perilous times,—this was during King Philip's War—the sons had set their sister (niece?) Mary on the summit of the hill to watch for Indians.

The ground was covered with deep snow and the Indians traveled with snowshoes. Eluding the vigilance of Mary who was only about thirteen years old, they swooped down up on the Shepard barn before she was aware of their presence and slew Isaac and Jacob.

She was taken captive and carried to Nashawa,—now called Lancaster, or some place in that vicinity. During the first night after her capture she escaped and reached home the next morning. In the dead of night, Mary took a saddle from under the head of her Indian keeper who was sunk in sleep increased by ardent spirits, put the saddle on a horse which the Indians had stolen at Lancaster, mounted it, swam it across the Nashawa river, rode through the forest to her home.The leader of the Indian band is supposed to have been Netus, sometimes called Nipmuck Captain.(Ancestors and Descendants of Albro Dexter, p, 27-28)

Ralph Shepard married Thankslord Perkins in 1632 in London. They emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony about 1635, with their eldest child, Sarah. They moved often between the early towns of the colony, having children in Dedham, Weymouth, and Malden, before buying the farm in 'Concord Village', which became Littleton. He was also one of the founders of Rehoboth, in Plymouth Colony, but he never lived there, so he his land was taken back by the town. Late in his life, he established a farm in what is now Littleton, but was then part of Concord, bordering on the Praying Indian town of Nashoba. That is where the marker you included is located.

Thankslord Shepard was famous for having signed a petition to the General Court in 1651, along with other highly educated women of Malden, supporting their minister. Her signature on this petition can be found online. Women rarely appeared in government records for that time, certainly not in a petition that would seem to be critical of the Court's actions, so those who signed it are still noted in history.

Unfortunately, in 1920 those who erected the marker in Littleton were misinformed about the original families in the area. Ralph and Thankslord Shepard did not have a daughter, Mary. They did have two sons, Isaac and Jacob Shepard, who were killed by attacking Natives in February, 1676. They had placed a young girl on a rock nearby, to keep watch, but the Natives were able to surprise her before she was able to give an alarm, taking her back to the Lancaster area after killing the Shepard men.

The teenaged girl is now thought to have been Mary Power, daughter of Ralph and Thankslord Shepard's daughter, Triall, who married Walter Power in 1661. The Power farmstead was next to the Shepard farm in Littleton (then called Concord Village). The age of the girl on the marker is probably close to correct - Mary Power was born in 1663, and would have been about 12-13 at the time of the attack on her uncles, Isaac and Jacob Shepard.

Thankslord Perkins Shepard was born about 1612 and would have been too old to have had a daughter Mary about 1663-64. Her last child was born in 1653. Mary Power was the second child born to Walter and Triall Shepard Power, born about two years after their marriage.

Mary Power's adventure was surely traumatic to her. When she escaped and returned home, she tended to 'run wild' by Puritan standards. Her parents were tried for at least one of her misdeeds while she was young, but she did eventually marry and settled down to lead a responsible life.

Mary Power married Joseph Wheeler in 1681, but she was dead by the time their daughter, Ruth, administered her father's estate in 1705. However, another family source said she died in 1740. Either way, no burial places were noted. As both of them were from Concord Village, which became Littleton, they may well have been buried in the Power Family Cemetery on the Walter Power farm. Several generations were buried here before the farm went out of family hands and was purchased by the Reed brothers. To the horror of the community, the Reeds plowed over the old burying ground in 1850, using the surviving tombstones to build a fence and leaving no trace of the graves. There was no law at that time about descecrating graves - there is now.

Parents Ralph Shepard 1606–1693
Thankslorde Perkins Shepard 1612–1681

Mary Margaret Smedley Shepard Jewell 1648–1697 m. 10 December 1667, Concord, MA

Sarah Shepard Tompson 1633–1679
Thomas Shephard 1635–1719
John Shepard 1637–1699
Tryall Shepard Powers 1641–1708
Abraham Shepard 1642–1716
Thanks Shepard Dill 1651 – unknown
Jacob Shepard 1653–1676
Daniel Shepard 1659–1697

Isaac Shepard b. 1669 in Concord, MA, d. 1/23/1747 in Killingly, CT
Mary Shepherd Harris 1671–1693 m. Thomas Harris
Samuel Shepard 1673–1724


[1] [2]


[4] The New England Genealogy cites Weymouth, Massachusetts as Isaac's birth place and dates his marriage to Mary as October 10, 1667, in Concord, Massachusetts.

[5] Savage dates Isaac's marriage to Mary Smedley as occuring on December 10, 1667.

[6] The Concord Vital Records use the December 10, l667 wedding date.

[7] Hudson's "History of Concord" and Wolcott's "Concord in the Colonial Period" have accounts of Isaac's death

[8] A Genealogical Dictionary of The First Settlers of New England, vBefore 1692 Volume #4 Sheldon - Shepley By James Savage

Additional Information== (add above if missing)

ISAAC, Concord, s. of Ralph, m. 10 Dec. 1667, Mary Smedley, and was k. by the Ind. 12 Feb. 1676. His wid. m. Nathaniel Jewell. ISAAC, vol. 4, p. 72 Concord, s. of the yeoman Thomas of Charlestown, m. 31 Dec. 1702, Elizabeth Fuller, and d. 4 June 1724. JACOB, Wrentham, br. of the preced. m. 22 Nov. 1699, Mercy, d. of John Chickering of Charlestown, had Jacob, b. 22 Aug. 1700, d. young; John, 25 Feb. 1704, wh. d. 3 Apr. 1809; Thomas, 24 Mar. 1706; Joseph, 9 Feb. 1708; and Benjamin, 24 Dec. 1710; and d. 1717. The centenaran had three ws. hav. liv. with the last, wh. d. 9 yrs. bef. him, for sixty-nine yrs. See Daggett, in Geneal. Reg. VI. 128. [8]

Birth 20 Jun 1639 Weymouth, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, USA Death 12 Feb 1676 (aged 36) Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA Burial Power Burying Ground Littleton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA Memorial ID 73734754 · View Source

  • from TORREY: SHEPARD, Isaac (1639-12 Feb 1676) & Mary SMEDLEY (1648-), m/2 Nathaniel JEWELL 1676/7; 10 Dec 1667; Concord [1]

Issac and Mary had at least two sons (Isaac II and Samuel) before Isaac's death at the hands of Indians in 1676. Isaac and his brother Jacob were killed on the south side of Quagana Hill, where they were threshing in the barn. They had set their youngest sister Mary, about 15 years old, on the summit of the hill to watch for Inidans. But the Indians eluded her vigilance and before she was aware of their presence, she was captured and her brothers were killed. Tradtion has it that the Inidans took Mary to Nashawa, now called Lancaster. That night, while her captors were fast asleep (really in drunken stupors), Mary took a saddle from under the head of her Indian keeper, saddled a horse, mounted him, swan across the Nashawa River, and got back to her home. Isaac's widow married Nathaniel Jewell and perhaps went with him and her two sons to Plainfield, Connecticut when it was settled in the 1690's.

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Isaac Shepard, I, King Phillip's War Casualty's Timeline

June 20, 1639
Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, British Colonial America
Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts
February 12, 1676
Age 36
Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony, British Colonial America
Age 36
Power Burying Ground, Littleton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
December 11, 1883
Age 36
December 11, 1883
Age 36
December 11, 1883
Age 36
December 11, 1883
Age 36