Sheppard / Coat of Arms, Family Crest and Sheppard / Family History

Sheppard / Family History

The family history of the ancient name Sheppard was found in the 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. During the 'Plantations of Ireland' in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Ireland was colonized by the English Crown with this period marking the end of Gaelic supremacy in Ireland. This period brought an influx of settlers into the country but, unlike the earlier Anglo-Norman invasion of the twelfth century that 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 family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Sheppard descendants.

Meaning of Symbols & Colors on the Sheppard / Coat of Arms

Or/Yellow/Gold Represents Generosity.
Sable/Black Denotes Constancy and sometimes Grief.
The Fess Denotes a Military Belt or Girdle of Honour
Arrows/Arrow-Heads Often symbolizing military readiness
Greyhound/Mastiff/Talbot Signifies Courage, Vigilancy and Loyalty

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