Thankslord Shepard

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Thankslord Shepard (Perkins)

Also Known As: "Thanks Ye The Lord", "Thankful"
Birthdate: (84)
Birthplace: Towchester, Stepney Parish, Northamptonshire, England
Death: September 20, 1693 (80-88)
Malden, Middlesex County, Province of Massachusetts
Place of Burial: Malden, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of unknown Perkins and wife of unknown Perkins
Wife of Deacon Ralph Shepard and Dea. Ralph Shepard
Mother of Sarah Tompson; Tryall Powers; Sarah Shepard; Thomas Shepard; John Shepard and 10 others

Occupation: Homemaker
Managed by: George Sheppard Root
Last Updated:

About Thankslord Shepard

Ralph Shepard age (29), his wife (23) and daughter Sarah (2) emigrated from England to Charlestown 29 June 1635 aboard the ship "Abigail", Captain Robert Hackwell. (link 2)


  • Marriage to Ralph Shepard St Bride´S, Fleet Street, London, England Source: British FHL film #380154, Marriage record reads Thankslorde Perkins, listed as a spinster not a widow. FHL US/CAN Book 974 D2thj pp. 275-282, includes a copy of Thankslorde's signature. Lord is part of her given name. Sir Thomas Lord and Dorothy Bird were not her parents. (link 3)
  • There is some controversy regarding who his wife was... earlier sources say she was Thanks Lord or Thank Ye the Lord, d/o Dr. Thomas Lord and wife Dorothy Bird. Later sources, Twenty-Six Great Migration Colonists to New England & Their Origins by John Brooks Threlfall (1993), and Second Supplement to Torrey's New England Marriages Prior to 1700, by M L Sanborn (pg 57) show him married to Thankslord Perkins. See original parish record, Family History microfilm #380, 154.
  • died 20 September 1693; buried in the Malden Cemetery


  1. McTeer, Frances Davis and Warner, Frederick C.. "Descendants of Reuben Powers of Shutesbury, Mass", The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (October 1969).




Birth: Jun. 20, 1612 Stepney Greater London, England Death: 1681 Malden Middlesex County Massachusetts, USA

Marriage to Ralph ShepardSt Bride´S, Fleet Street, London, England Source: British FHL film #380154, Marriage record reads Thankslorde Perkins, listed as a spinster not a widow. FHL US/CAN Book 974 D2thj pp. 275-282, includes a copy of Thankslorde's signature. Lord is part of her given name. Sir Thomas Lord and Dorothy Bird were not her parents. - Rhonda Anderson

Added: Jun. 14, 2012

Thankslord Perkins married Ralph Shepard in 1632 in London, England. She emigrated to Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1635 as a pregnant mother and a toddler daughter, Sarah. She died after 1675 but before 1681.

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: unknown
  • Spouse: Ralph Shepard (1606 - 1693)


  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# 70683819

view all 42

Thankslord Shepard's Timeline

June 30, 1609
Towchester, Stepney Parish, Northamptonshire, England
June 30, 1609
Probably London, Middlesex, England
August 6, 1633
Age 24
Stepney Parish, Middlesex, England
August 6, 1633
Age 24
Greater London, England, United Kingdom
April 5, 1635
Age 25
Probably on board the ship Abigail
October 26, 1637
Age 28
Dedham, Suffolk County (Present Norfolk County), Massachusetts Bay Colony
June 20, 1639
Age 29
Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts
December 19, 1641
Age 32
Weymouth, (Present Norfolk County), Massachusetts Bay Colony