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The Shepard Family

I began to look at this family because of what I guessed and would prove to be a connection between Lardner Gibbon's wife, Alice Shepard, and his grandmother, Ann Shepard [Shepherd], of Newborn [New Bern], North Carolina. The Shepard family were early residents of North Carolina and their influence on Carteret and Craven counties were lasting. Today there are many references to them, including Shepard's Point and Shepard street.

New Bern, North Carolina

First settled by Swiss and Palatinate Germans, and named for the city in Switzerland, New Bern was located at the confluence of the Neuse and Trent rivers.


(19) David Shepard (c1710)

He died in 1774 in Carteret county, North Carolina. His children were Solomon, Jacob, Elijah, Sarah, Rebeckah, Abigail, and Elisabeth.

His will:

"In the Name of God Amen, I, David Shepard, of Carteret County, in the Province of North Carolina, being weak in body, but of Sound Mind and Memory, and calling to mind the Mortality of my Body, that it is appointed for all men once to die, do make and Ordain this my Last Will and Testament, in manner and form following: I committ my Soul unto the Hands of God that gave it, hoping through the Merits and Mediation of my Blessed Saviour to receive free pardon of all my sins; and my body I committ to the Earth from whence it was taken, to be buried in Christianlike manner at the Discretion of my Executors. And as to such Worldly Estate as it has pleased God to endow me with, I Dispose of it in the following manner, to wit:
First, I give and bequeath to my son, Solomon Shepard, a piece of Land on the West side of Black Creek which I bought of Lankisthur Lovett; and a piece joining to it which I took up myself; and a piece of Land on Boague Sound, known by the name of Smiths Hammock whereon he now lives; and a Piece on the head of Broad Creek which I took up myself; and a Negroe man named Sanko, and a negro man named Fryday, and a Negro man named Jim, to him and his Heirs forever, he paying Sixty pounds to my Estate for the said Negro Jim, to be disposed of as hereafter shall be mentioned
2th. I give unto my Grand son, David Shepard, son of Solomon Shepard, One Plantation on Boague Sound, at the Mouth of Goose Creek, which I bought of Thomas Townley, and known by the name of Townleys Point; And a Negro Girl named Seaney, to him and his Heirs forever.
3th. I give and bequeath unto the Heirs of my Son, Jacob Shepard, Deces'D, a piece of Land on Boagues Sound, called Whitehall, and a piece of Land on the South Side of Newport River, known by the name of Mount Pleasant; and a piece on the North side of Newport River whereon John Barber once lived; and a Negro man Named Harry, which said Lands he was possessed of in his lifetime & Disposed of in his Will to his Heirs.
4th. I give and bequeath to my son, Elijah Shepard, the Plantation whereon I now live, and a peace of Land on the South side of Newport River Called Snows Neck, and a piece of Land on Boagues Sound known by the name of Bartroms Point, whereon he now lives; and a Negro man named Cuff, and a Negro man named Darbey; and a Negro man named Felix; and a Negro woman named Rachel, he paying for the two last Negroes mentioned to my Estate the sum Twenty Pounds, to be divided as shall hereafter be mentioned; and if my son Elijah should die without Heirs Lawfully begotten of his Body that then, the Plantation on Boagues Sound whereon he now lives, shall be given to my grand son John Shepard, son of Jacob Shepard Dr and his Heirs forever; and the Plantation I now live on to be given to my grand son, David Shepard, son of Solomon Shepard , to him and his Heirs forever.
I also give unto my Two sons, Solomon and Elijah Shepard, a piece of Land on the South side of Newport River known by the name of Reads Neck; a piece joining to it which I bought of John Harmon, to be Equally divided between them, they paying to my Estate the Sum of Forty Pounds, to be divided as after mentioned.
5, I give and bequeath to my Daughter, Sarah Wallis, a Negro Woman named Cate, and her four Children her lifetime; and after her death the said Negroes, and the increase of them, to the Lawfull Heirs of her Body forever.
6. I give and bequeath to my Daughter, Rebeckah Sanders, a Negro Girl named Savinour, During her Life; and after Death to the Lawfull Heirs of her Body forever.
7th. I give and bequeath to my Daughter, Abigail Ward, a Negro woman named Tab, and her four children and a Negro Woman named Thamer and her child, for her lifetime, and after her death to the Lawfull Heirs of her Body forever; I also give unto my Grand son, David Ward, son of Abigail Ward, one Negro boy named Anthony.
8th. My Will further is, that William, Wilkins Taylour, have nor Possess no part nor parcell of my Estate as hereafter shall be mentioned. I give unto my Daughter, Elisabeth Taylour s Heirs, Lawful of her Body, a Negro Woman named Venus & her Child, and a boy named Abram, and Negro Girl named Cloey, with their Increase. I also give unto my grand son, David Taylor, son of Elisabeth Taylor, One Negro boy named Peter, and if my Daughter Elisabeth Taylor should necesiated for a support, I leave it to the Discretion of my Executors to assist her, out of the Money & others of the Division of my Estate which is left to the Heirs of her Body, and if her Heirs should die before they come of age, or without Heirs Lawfully begotten, that then the above Legacy be divided Equally Between my Heirs.
9th, I give and bequeath un my beloved Wife, One Negro Girl named Tillar, her Lifetime and to be maintained out of my Estate, and after her decease the said Negro girl named Tiller, be given unto my grand sons Absolom, and Solomon Shepard.
10th. I give and bequeath unto my Grandson, David Sanders, Son of Rebeckah Sanders, one Negro Girl named Rhoady.
11th, I give and bequeath unto my Grand son, Solomon Shepard, a Negro Woman named Vilot, and her child; I also give a Negro Woman named Dinah, and her three Children, to be equally divided between my Grand Sons, Absolom and Solomon Shepard.
12, I give and bequeath unto my Grand son, Solomon Shepard, that Tract of Land on Boague Sound which his Father lived on, and which sd. Land I Bought of Habbicock Rustel, and to him and his Heirs forever, but if Solomon should Die without Heirs of his Body Lawfully begotten, that then the said land shall be given unto David Taylor, son of Elisabeth Taylor.
13th, I further Leave one Negro Girl named Annes to be sold by my Executors at their Discretion, and the money for said Negro, together with that afore mentioned, to be paid by my two sons, Solomon & Elijah Shepard, and all other money belonging to my Estate, together with my Houshold Furniture, and moveables, and Stock of Cattle, to be Equally Divided between my Legatees, to wit, Solomon Shepard, Elijah Shepard, Sarah Wallis, Rebecah Sanders, Abigail Ward, the Heirs of Jacob Shepard Deacst, the Heirs of Elisabeth Taylor, & (the Heirs of) Absolom & Solomon Shepard, Jr., which sd. Last three mentioned shall in proportion be Equal to one Shear. But if the said Negroes, Felix, Jim, or Rachel should die, or either of them, before Solomon or Elijah should be Pocest of them that then they shall not pay the sum agreed they was valued to.
Lastly, for the better Executing this my Last Will and Testament, I Constitute and appoint Colonal William Thomson, and my two Sons, Solomon and Elijah Shepard, my Executors, and I do hereby Utterly Disallow, revoke & Disannull, All and every other Will or Will by me made, Ratifying and Confirming this and no other to be my Last Will & Testament,
in Wittness whereof, I have hereunto set my Hand and Seal this 30th, day of May in the Year of Our Lord, One thousand Seven Hundred & Seventy four."

(20) Solomon Shepard (c1730)
(19) David Shepard (c1710)

A member of the North Carolina House of Commons in 1778.

(21) David Shepard
(19) David Shepard (c1710) (20) Solomon Shepard (c1730)

The son of Solomon.

(21) Absolam Shepard
(19) David Shepard (c1710) (20) Solomon Shepard (c1730)

A grandson of David. He may actually be the son of Elijah. In the Carteret County 1779 Tax List. What a horrible name to give to your son!

(21) Solomon Shepard Jr.
(19) David Shepard (c1710) (20) Solomon Shepard (c1730)

A grandson of David. He may actually be the son of Elijah.

(20) Elijah Shepard (c1735)
(19) David Shepard (c1710)

At the time of his father's will in 1774 he had no heirs.

(20) Jacob Shepard (1734)
(19) David Shepard (c1710)

He was born on 18 September 1734 in Carteret county, North Carolina. A merchant of New Bern, North Carolina. He was married to Sara Lewis in about 1755. Jacob died from smallpox on 16 June 1773 in Beaufort, North Carolina, predeceasing his father, David.

His will:

"A True Inventory of the Goods Chattels & Moveable Estate of Jacob Shepard Deceas'd taken in the Town of Beaufort in Carteret County to September the 7th, 1773.
Pr John Shepard Executor
[the list includes many bolts of cloth, thread, needles, buttons, hankerchiefs, tablecloths, gloves, vest, breeches, hats, caps, combs, scissors, buckles, knives, candle sticks, coffee pots, padlocks, jews harps, shoes, books, cooking pots, lamps, tools, hardware, paper, pens, and wine, all remnants of Jacob's trade. There also a number of cattle and horses.] "

(21) Hannah Shepard (1762)
(19) David Shepard (c1710) (20) Jacob Shepard (1734)

She was born in about 1762 in New Bern. She married Captain Charles Biddle, the son of William Biddle and Mary Scull, on 25 November 1778 in Beaufort. "In September, 1778, the ship Cornelia, with six iron and fourteen wooden guns and seventy men, was fitted out in New Bern for a trading voyage to the West Indies, and sailed under Capt. Biddle's command." Their children included Nicholas Biddle, the financier and head of the Bank of the United States, Commodore James Biddle. She died on 13 January 1825 in Philadelphia.

(21) Mary Shepard (c1765)
(19) David Shepard (c1710) (20) Jacob Shepard (1734)

She married Joseph Davis.

(21) John Shepard (c1765)
(19) David Shepard (c1710) (20) Jacob Shepard (1734)

The son of Jacob. The executor of his father's estate. He was set to inherit his grandfather's plantation on Boagues Sound from his uncle Elijah if Elijah were to die without heirs.

(21) Ann Shepard (1773)
(19) David Shepard (c1710) (20) Jacob Shepard (1734)

I don't see her on many of the Shepard family lists, but clearly shown elsewhere as the daughter of Jacob Shepard of New Bern. She was born circa 1773 in Newberry, North Carolina. She married William Lardner of Philadelphia on 19 April 1792. She died on 7 May 1811 in Holmsburg, Pennsylvania, just outside Philadelphia.

(21) William Shepard (c1765)
(19) David Shepard (c1710) (20) Jacob Shepard (1734)

He was not mentioned in his grandfather's will, as was his older brother, John. He was married to Mary Blount, the daughter of Frederick Blount and Mary Williams. Mary was born in Elmwood, North Carolina. Their children were John Swann (c1796), William Biddle, Mary, Frederick Blount (c1803), Ann Blount, Penelope Swann (c1807), Charles Biddle, Hannah Biddle (c1811), Richard Muse (c1813), and James Biddle (c1815).

The first steam mill in New Bern had been erected by William Shepard in 1812 from prize money he had received from successes of the celebrated privateer “Snap-Dragon.” This ship, a Baltimore Clipper preeminent in the War of 1812, was captained by Otway Burns under a Letter of Marque. In three cruises it captured 42 ships valued at $4 million. I suspect William was an investor in this venture.

William appears to have used his children's middle names to honor his relatives, Blount for his wife and Biddle for his brother-in-law. Who was Swann that William should name a son and a daughter for him? This probably relates to the Swann family of Elmwood, North Carolina, which may be the family of John's grandmother, Mary Williams, who was born in Elmwood. Was her real name Mary Williams Swann or was she the heir of a Swann daughter who had married into the Williams family? Elmwood was a colonial mansion and the Swann family's homestead in Pasquotank county. It was about 5 miles from Elizabeth City. It burned to the ground just before the Civil War and was not rebuilt.

"The Hon. J. Bryan Grimes in an address made before the State Historical Society at Raleigh in 1909, gives a long list of eminent Carolinians who have called Elmwood their home. Among them were Colonel Thomas Swann and Colonel William Swann, both in colonial days Speakers of the Assembly; three members of the family by the name of Samuel Swann, and John Swann, members of Congress. Here lived Fred Blount, son of Colonel John Blount, an intimate friend of Governor Tryon. William Shephard, a prominent Federalist, for some years made Elmwood his home." - from "In Ancient Albemarle."
So, somehow William Shepard came into possession of the Swann residence, perhaps inheriting through the Blounts, and, feeling some family claim, named his eldest son in honor of the Swann's. Note, the author may be referring to William's son, William Biddle Shepard, a Whig [Federalist?] politician. But who was Muse?

(22) John Swann Shepard (c1796)
(19) David Shepard (c1710) (20) Jacob Shepard (1734) (21) William Shepard (c1765)

He was born in about 1796. Could this son be the John S. Shepard, born in North Carolina, who moved to Florida around 1828? He was 52 years old at the time of the 1850 census, i.e. he was born around 1798. That man's daughter, Alice, married Lardner Gibbon, her second cousin.

(22) William Biddle Shepard (1799)
(19) David Shepard (c1710) (20) Jacob Shepard (1734) (21) William Shepard (c1765)

He was born on 14 May 1799 in New Bern. He completed preparatory studies and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1813. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia in 1819. He studied law and was admitted to the bar. He commenced practice in Camden County, later removing to Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County, North Carolina. He may have lived at the Elmwood plantation of his grandfather, Frederick Blount, at this time. He was also engaged in banking. He married Annie Daves Collins, the daughter of Josiah Collins and Mary Hilda of Somerset plantation, on 25 May 1843 in Chowan County, North Carolina.

A Whig, he was elected to the Twenty-first through Twenty-fourth Congresses representing the 1st District (4 March 1829-3 March 1837). The Chairman, Committee on District of Columbia (Twenty-fourth Congress). He was not a candidate for renomination in 1836. Member of the State senate from 1838 to 1840 and from 1848 to 1850. Member of the board of trustees of the University of North Carolina from 1838 to 1852.

He died in Elizabeth City, North Carolina on 20 June 1852. He was buried in St. Paul’s Churchyard, Edenton, N.C.

(22) Charles Biddle Shepard (1808)
(19) David Shepard (c1710) (20) Jacob Shepard (1734) (21) William Shepard (c1765)

He was born on 5 December 1808 in New Bern, Craven county, North Carolina. He attended private schools in his native city and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1827. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1828. He commenced practice in New Bern. He married Mary Spaight Donnell.

He was elected to the State house of representatives to fill out the unexpired term of Charles Spaight and served in 1831 and 1832. He was elected as a Democrat for the 4th District to the Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth Congresses (4 March 1837-3 March 1841). He subsequently resumed the practice of law. He died in New Bern on 31 October 1843. He was buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery in New Bern.

(22) James Biddle Shepard (c1810)
(19) David Shepard (c1710) (20) Jacob Shepard (1734) (21) William Shepard (c1765)

He married Francis Donnell, Mary's younger sister.

Steve Hissem
San Diego, California