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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Shepard

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[This information is from Vol. I, pp. 284-287 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

The family of Shepard herein considered descend from Rev. Thomas Shepard, of England and Cambridge, Massachusetts, of whom one writer said: "That gratious sweete Heavenly minded and soule-ravishing minister Mr. Thomas Shepheard in whose soule the Lord shed abroade his love so abundantly that thousands of souls have come to blesse God for him * *" and of whom Cotton Mather said: "Let the reader now go with me and I will show him one of the happiest men that ever we saw; as great a converter of souls as has ordinarily been known in our days," and once more he says: "It was with a respect unto the enlightening and powerful ministry of Mr. Shepard that when the foundation of a College was to be laid, Cambridge, rather than any other place, was pitched upon to be the seat of that happy seminary." He was one of the foremost in rearing the structure which John Harvard made possible. While little is known of his English ancestry, it is certain that he came from the family of Shepard whose heraldic description is here given. Arms: Ermine on a chief sable; three pole axes argent. Crest: On a mont vert. a stag courant regardant proper attired argent. Motto: Nec timeo, nec spero. We give his English parentage only.

(I) William Shepard in the "little Poore towne" of Fosscut, near Towcester, Northamptonshire, England, was early apprenticed to a helmet maker, Bland, in the same town. After finishing his years of apprenticeship he removed to Towcester, where he resided several years. "There being no good ministry in town," he removed to Banbury, in Oxfordshire, "under a stirring ministry, having bought a house there for that end." There he died in 1615. He married (first) ———— Bland, a daughter of his first employer. She died in 1609, revered and beloved. He married (second) in Towcester a woman, name unknown. Of her Rev. Thomas wrote in his autobiography, "Who did let me see the difference between my own mother and a stepmother; she did seeme not to love me but tried to incense my father against me." Of his father he says, "A wise, prudent man, the peacemaker of the place, and toward his latter end much blessed of God in his estate and in his soule." Of his mother he says, "My mother was a woman much afflicted, sometimes even to distraction of mind, yet was sweetly recovered agayne before she died. I, being the youngest, she did beare exceeding great love to me and made many prayers for me and died when I was about four years old." He had children by both marriages.

(II) Rev. Thomas Shepard, son of William and(Bland) Shepard, was born in Towcester, England, November 5, 1605, and as he states it, "the powder treason day, and that very houre of the day wherein the Parliament should have bin blown up by Papist priests, I was borne, which occasioned my father to give me the name Thomas because, he sayd, I would hardly believe that ever any such wickedness should be attempted by men agaynst so religious and good Parlament." His first schooling was under the tutorship of a Mr. Rice, of whom he writes, "Exceedingly curst and cruel and would deale roughly with me and so discouraged me wholly from desire of learning, that I wished oftentimes myselfe in any condition to keepe hogs or beasts rather than to goe to schoole and learne." At the age of fifteen he considered himself "ripe for the University," and was admitted to Emanuel College. In 1623 he took his bachelor degree, and in 1625 he finished his course and was graduated with the honors of the university. In 1627 the degree of A.M. was conferred upon him. His first parish was at Earles Cole, where he preached three and one-half years, receiving forty pounds yearly salary. His fame now attracted the attention of the church authorities (he being a non-Conformist), and December 30, 1630, was ordered to appear before Bishop Land in London, "closely catechized" and threatened with punishment unless he ceased his "heretical preaching." He preached privately, but was greatly persecuted, until August 10, 1635, when he sailed for America, having previously, in 1634, secretly and in disguise embarked for the same destination in a ship driven back by a storm and narrowly escaped wreck and death. After eleven weeks' passage in the ship "Defence," he landed in Boston, October 3, 1635. On October 5, same year, he settled in Newtown (now Cambridge), which was ever after his home, the site of his house now being part of the university grounds. In January, 1635-36, the first parish church was formed, and February 1, following, he was ordained its first pastor, in which office he continued until his death, August 25, 1649. He married (first) in England, 1632, Margaret Touteville, a kinswoman of Sir Richard Derby, Knight, born in England, 1604, died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, February, 1635-36, of consumption contracted by a severe cold on her voyage to America. She is named a passenger on the "Defence," July 2, 1635, aged thirty-one years. He married (second) Joanna, daughter of his friend, Rev. Thomas Hooker, buried April 28, 1646. He married (third) September 8, 1647, Margaret Boredale, who survived him and married (second) November 19, 1650, Rev. Jonathan (2), son of Rev. Jonathan (1) Mitchell, who came to New England in 1635. Rev. Jonathan (2) Mitchell graduated from Harvard College in 1647, and succeeded Rev. Thomas Shepard as pastor of the first church. He became an eminent preacher and was elected a fellow of Harvard College in 1650, and died July 9, 1668, aged forty-three. Mr. Shepard was the author of several religious books and left an extensive library replete with valuable works. By his first wife Margaret he had a son Thomas (2), born in Yarmouth, England, who died in infancy, and Thomas (3). By his second wife Joanna he had children, all of whom died young except Samuel. By his third wife Margaret he had one son Jeremiah, see forward. Thomas (3) graduated from Harvard College in 1653, and was ordained to the ministry in 1650. He settled as colleague with Zachariah Lymmes, at Charlestown, and remained in the ministry until his decease in 1667, aged forty-two years. Samuel graduated from Harvard College in 1658, and was settled as the third minister at Rowley, Massachusetts, 1665, as colleague with Rev. Samuel Phillips. He lived three years and continued with the Rowley church until his death in 1668. All the sons of Rev. Thomas Shepard (1) that lived to maturity embraced the ministry as a profession.

(III) Rev. Jeremiah Shepard, youngest son and only child of Rev. Thomas Shepard and his third wife, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, August 11, 1648, died at Lynn, Massachusetts, June 3, 1720. He was a graduate of Harvard College in 1669, and was regularly fitted for the ministry, although for several years he entered into no communion with any particular church, nor made any public profession of religion. After the early decease of his brother Samuel he was called to preach at Rowley, where he continued three years. At the end of that period an effort was made for his ordination and permanent settlement, to which proposition there was strong objection made on the ground that not having been identified with the church by membership he could not be legally qualified for or elected to so holy an office. This led to serious trouble, lawsuits and an appeal to the general court. Finally he removed to Lynn, where October 6, 1680, he was ordained as the successor of Rev. Samuel Whiting, with Joseph Whiting, son of Rev. Samuel, as teacher. In this church he labored with great acceptance for forty years. His temperament was in strong contrast to his father and brothers. He was impetuous and impatient. His sermons were full of melancholy, portraying in dark shadows always the hideous side of humanity. Newhall says "He was one of those plain, honest men who adorn their station by spotless purity of character, and he left a name to which no one can annex an anecdote of mirth and which no one attempts to sully by a breath of evil." In 1689 he was chosen representative for Lynn. He married Mary, born 1667, died March 28, 1710, daughter of Francis (2) and Philippa Wainwright, of Ipswich, who bore him ten children.

(IV) Nathaniel, son of Rev. Jeremiah and Mary (Wainwright) Shepard, was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, June 16, 1681, died in Boston, November 30, 1728. He was a saddler and made several changes of residence. He married, May 5, 1703, Elizabeth, born in Ipswich, August 7, 1681, daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Cogswell) Wade, of Ipswich. Thomas Wade was one of the most prominent men of that town. He was town clerk, justice of the court of general sessions, captain of a military company, and colonel of the Middle Essex Regiment, with authority to call out his men against the French and Indians as occasion might require. Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Wade) Shepard were the parents of eight children.

(V) Thomas (2), son of Nathaniel and Elizabeth (Wade) Shepard, was baptized in the Second Church, Boston, September 18, 1709. He was an inn holder. He married (first) January 16, 1735, Hannah Bolter, of Boston; (second) October 1, 1747, Susanna, widow of Joseph Hood, and daughter of Richard and Elizabeth (Orms) Pike, baptized in First Church, Salem, May 17, 1719, died prior to December 8, 1759. She survived him and married (second) John Wright, of Boston. By his first wife Thomas Shepard had five children; by second wife three.

(VI) Jeremiah (2), youngest son of Thomas (2) and Susanna (Pike) (Hood) Shepard, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, 1751, died August 11, 1817. He removed early to Salem, where he was a hat manufacturer, and in 1802 was in the grocery business. He married, January 1, 1775, Elizabeth, born in Salem, Massachusetts, September 15, 1747, died September, 1830, daughter of Jonathan and Elizabeth (Saunders) Webb. They had eight children.

(VII) Stephen Webb, youngest child of Jeremiah (2) and Elizabeth (Webb) Shepard, was born in Salem, Massachusetts, February 25, 1790, died December 6, 1856. He married (first) September 5, 1813, Elizabeth Rea, born in Salem, Massachusetts, October 14, 1792, died February, 1820. He married (second) April 12, 1821, Elizabeth Tucker Mansfield, born April 8, 1799, died December 31, 1873. By his first wife he had children:

  1. Stephen Osgood, of later mention;
  2. Sarah Rea, married Captain Daniel H. Mansfield;
  3. Edward Wheelock, died aged twenty-six years.

Children by second wife:

  1. Daniel Mansfield, born April 12, 1822;
  2. Elizabeth Tucker, died aged sixteen years;
  3. Ruth Webb, born April 11, 1825;
  4. Martha Tucker, April 6, 1827;
  5. Michael, May 5, 1831.

(VIII) Stephen Osgood, son of Stephen Webb and Elizabeth (Rea) Shepard, was born at Salem, Massachusetts, August 14, 1816, died at Albany, New York, March 2, 1897. He was a prominent lawyer of Albany interested in many business enterprises. He married, in 1847, Lucinda, daughter of Frederick W. Harris, of Preble, Cortland county, New York (see Harris). Children:

  1. Osgood H., see forward;
  2. John Rathboen, born December 9, 1850, at Albany, New York; educated at the Boys Academy, and until 1880 prominently identified with the lumber industry dustry as a dealer; in 1900 he removed his residence to Ballston Spa, New York; he is a member of several clubs, among them being the Utopian, of Ballston; he is a Republican in politics.

(IX) Osgood H., eldest son of Stephen Osgood and Lucinda (Harris) Shepard, was born in Albany, New York, October 26, 1848. His early and preparatory education was obtained at the Boys Academy, Albany, after which he entered Brown University, where he was graduated A.B., class of 1869. He decided upon the profession of law, and entered Albany Law School, where he was graduated LL.B., class of 1871. He is a successful and well-known practitioner, now a resident of Ballston Spa, New York. His college fraternity is Chi Psi; his clubs, the Fort Orange of Albany, Troy of Troy, Saratoga Golf of Saratoga Springs, and the Utopian of Ballston Spa.

(The Harris Line)

Lucinda (Harris) Shepard, mother of Osgood H. Shepard, was a daughter of Frederick Waterman and Lucy (Hamilton) Harris. Frederick W. Harris was a farmer of Charleston, Montgomery county, New York. In 1808 he removed to Cortland county, New York, and settled in the town of Preble, where he became a prosperous farmer and one of the large land owners of the county. His daughter Lucinda married Stephen Osgood Shepard, and his two sons became distinguished lawyers and prominent public men of Albany, New York.

Judge Ira Harris, the elder of the sons of Frederick Waterman Harris, was born in Charleston, Montgomery county, New York, May 31, 1802, and removed with his parents in 1808 to Cortland county. He was educated at Homer Academy, and in September, 1822, entered the junior class in Union College, whence he was graduated in 1824. He at once began the study of law; first in Homer, then with Judge Ambrose Spencer, of Albany. He was admitted to the bar in 1827, and formed a partnership with Salem Dutcher, of Albany, that existed until 1842. He then associated with Julius Rhoades. In 1844 he was elected to the assembly from Albany county, and re-elected in 1845. In 1846 he was a delegate to the constitutional convention, and elected to the state senate, resigning after having been elected a justice of the supreme court, serving in that high judicial office twelve years. In 1861 he was elected United States senator from New York in opposition to Horace Greeley and William M. Evarts. He became the intimate and trusted friend of President Lincoln, and at the end of his term retired to private life, having won the distinction of being a wise, useful American statesman. He was connected with Albany Law School from its organization in 1850, and lectured to the students as duty permitted. He now accepted the call to the chair of equity jurisprudence, and devoting himself to that work until his death, December 2, 1852. He was president of the board of trustees of Union College; president of Albany Medical College; trustee of Vassar College; one of the founders of Rochester University; its first and only chancellor; deacon of Emmanuel Church of Albany, and president of the American Baptist Missionary Union. He left a widow, two sons and four daughters. Colonel William Hamilton Harris, the eldest son, served thirteen years in the United States army as captain. Ira Harris, the youngest son, served ten years in the United States navy.

Hamilton Harris, youngest of the two sons of Frederick Waterman Harris, was born in the town of Preble, Cortland county, New York, May 1, 1820. He was educated at Homer Academy, Albany Academy, and entered Union College, graduating in 1841. He entered the office of his brother, Judge Ira Harris, where he prepared for the profession of law, being admitted to the bar in 1845. He began practice in Albany, and formed a partnership with Hooper C. Van Vorst, in 1848, which existed until 1853. Later he was associated with Samuel G. Courtney, and in 1857 became a partner with Clark B. Cochrane and John H. Reynolds, which continued until severed by the deaths of his partners. Later he admitted his son, Frederick Harris, and William P. Rudd. In 1853 he was elected district attorney of Albany county, serving with great honor until January 1, 1857. He was the chief attorney for Judge Westbrook, who was tried for malfeasana in office on charges presented by Governor Roosevelt. Judge Westbrook was acquitted and the press of the day of both parties favorably remarked upon Mr. Harris' argument in favor of his client. He prominent in politics; was one of the founders of the Republican party; was chairman of state executive committee; member of the assembly; state senator 1875, re-elected 1877; president of the board of capitol commissions, and is called the "Father" of the measure providing for the erection of the new state capitol. He was a most eloquent and convincing speaker, was of fine literary tastes, his home abounding in the best books, a strong friend of higher popular education, and was regent of the University of the State of New York. He married, in 1850, in Buffalo, Lucy Moody Rogers. Their son Frederick became his father's law partner. They had an only daughter, Lucy Hamilton Harris.

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