An American Family History

Isaac Shepard

King Philip’s War was a bloody and costly series of raids and skirmishes in 1675 and 1676 between the Native American people and the colonials. King Philip was the Native American leader Metacom.

Boston was founded in 1630 by Puritan settlers from England.

Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts was settled early by the English as a frontier outpost of  the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Isaac Shepard was born on June 20, 1639 in Weymouth, Norfolk County, Massachusetts or April 20, 1639 in Weymouth or Boston. He was the son of Ralph and Thankful Shepard.

He married Mary Smedley (Smeadley) on December 10, 1667 in Concord. Mary was born on June 7, 1648. She was the daughter of Baptist and Katherine Smedley of Concord.

Their children included:
Isaac Shepherd (1669),
Mary Shepherd Harris (1671, married Thomas Harris),
and Samuel Shepherd (1674). 

He died on February 12, 1676 on his farm in Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. He was killed in a Nashoba Indian attack.

The History of Concord told the story:

When the Indians swooped down upon the Shepard homestead the ground was covered with snow to such a depth that snow shoes were used. The event happened on Saturday, and Isaac and Jacob were threshing in the barn. Being aware of the perilous times, they had set their sister on the summit of a hill to watch for Indians; but the savages eluded her vigilance and before she was aware of their presence she was captured and her brothers were slain. His widow Mary and his brother, Abraham, were the administrators of his estate.

After his death, Mary married Nathaniel Jewell (1648).

In 1681 Ralph deeded part of his Cambridge land to Isaac’s family.
A Puritan was a member of the religious group in the 16th and 17th centuries that advocated "purity" of worship and doctrine who believed in personal and group piety. Puritans were persecuted in England and came to America so they would be free to practice their religion.
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
  • Any man entering a colony or becoming a a member the church, was not free. He was not forced to work, but his movements were carefully observed to see if they followed the Puritanical ideal. After this probationary period, he became a "freeman." Men then took the Oath of a Freeman where they vowed to defend the Commonwealth and not to overthrow the government.

    Old Style Calendar
    Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.

    Weymouth is the second oldest town in Massachusetts. It was established in 1622 and incorporated in 1635. The town was a fishing and agricultural community. 
    During the Indian wars, some colonists were taken captive. They were killed, ransomed, or adopted into the tribe.

    Some Puritans gave their children hortatory names (from the Latin for “encourage”) like Thankful, hoping that the children would live up to them. The names were used for several generations.




    Ralph Shepard, Puritan by Ralph Hamilton Shepard

    Isaac Shepard of Concord, b. at Weymouth, 20 June, 1639, md. Mary, dau. of Baptiste Smedley and had

    Isaac and
    Samuel Shepard both of Plainfield, Ct. and
    Mary, wife of Thomas Harris of Stow, Mass.

    Isaac Shepard, was killed by the Indians 12 Feb., 1676. His widow md. Nathaniel Jewell, 9 June, 1676.

    Understand the Puritans better:

    In a land deed of July 4, 1881 Ralph Shepard conveyed land in Concord Village, to the children of his deceased son, Isaac, as follows:

    For and in Consideration of a Vallueable summ of money to  me in hand paid by Isaac Shepard, deceased, for the most part,  and the remainder by Nathaniel Jewell now marryed to the Relict of the said Isaac Shepard of the afores (aid) Towne, the receipt whereof I doe hereby acknowledge . . .All which parcels were in the possession of Isaac Shepard aforesaid, and occupied by him in the time of his life: Also…one third part of my said farme yet undivided…. unto the said Isaac Shepard, Mary Shepard and Samuel Shepard, the Children of the aforesaid Isaac Shepard decease(ed).

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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