Origin of the Name Sheppard
The ancient history of the name Sheppard
was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives. Sheppard is an occupational name with a number of variants including Shepard, Shephard, Shepheard and Shepperd. This name is of Anglo-Saxon descent spreading to the Celtic countries of Ireland, Scotland and Wales in early times and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts throughout these countries. Examples of such are a Josse le Sephurde, County Oxfordshire, who was recorded in the 'Hundred Rolls', England, in the year 1273. A William Shephirde was recorded in the 'Poll Tax' of the west Riding of Yorkshire in the year 1379. In Scotland a Henricus Seyphard held land in Elgin in the year 1363.
In Ireland this name and its variants were introduced into Ulster Province by settlers who arrived from England and Scotland, especially during the seventeenth century. It was the 'Plantations of Ireland' in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that marked the end of Gaelic supremacy in Ireland. While the influx of settlers in the wake of the earlier Anglo-Norman invasion of the twelfth century resulted in a full integration into Irish society of the new arrivals, the same never occurred with the Ulster Planters who maintained their own distinct identity.
The name is also associated with Counties Dublin and Kildare where it appears in records as 'le Shepherd' as early as the thirteenth century.
The Sheppard coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all Sheppard descendants.