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Erie County (PA) Genealogy

The Shepard Family

Contributed by Nancy Richings

This original article below has been written and submitted by Nancy Richings, who indicated that it is not complete, but that it is about as complete as it is going to be for the near future. She is especially interested in trying to find further information about Hazen Shepard, but he seems to be elusive. Any inquiries about this family or anyone with added info should contact Nancy Richings directly.


Mason, Hazen and Daniel Shepard were born in Strafford, VT, the sons of Elisha Shepard and his wife Mary_________. The three brothers came to Erie County, PA sometime in the 1820’s. In the Erie County History p. 835, "Early settlers of Amity Township, Hazen and Betsy Shepard located in the township in 1812. The old lady was still living in 1880 at the age of 92."

Mason reported that he left Vermont in 1818. From information found on land records and deeds in Erie County and in Strafford, VT, I believe he arrived in Erie County about 1825. Mason appears on the 1820 census in Onondaga County, NY. All of the brothers are listed in the 1830-40-50 censuses of Erie County with their wives and children.

I have checked all of the indexes for both Hazen and Betsy and I cannot find them on any but the 1850 census for Erie County, PA. I also cannot find any burial records for them in either Erie or Crawford County. I don't know the names of any of their children for sure. On the 1850 census Harriet Middleton and her presumed husband are listed with them, but that is the only one that I have found that might be their child. There is scant available information on them. Hazen might have died between 1850 and 60, but I cannot find a burial for him. He owned real estate worth $1200 in 1850, so there must be some land transactions.

Daniel Shepard, in the 1850 census is listed in Erie County, Venango Township, age 59, farmer, $1000 worth of property, born in Vermont. Also listed: Lucinda, age 52 born in NH; William age 28, born in Penn; Tracy, age 21, "; Lydia, age 14, born in Penn .

The Mercer County, 1860, Hempfield Township census lists Daniel Shepherd age 68, Real estate 2500 born Vermont along with Lucinda age 62 born in NH; William, age 38 Laborer, born in Erie County, PA; James, age 36, Laborer, born in Erie County, PA

In Mercer County in the 1870 census, Daniel is listed with wife Lucinda, in Hempfield Twp.

The index lists Daniel Shepard age 78 Hempfield Twp, pg 140B; Forest Shepard age 45 "; James " age 44 "; Lucinda " age 72; William " age 48 "


My ancestor was Mason Shepard, listed in Amity twp.

Mason Shepard, age 61, farmer, $1200 worth of property, born in VT.; Jane Shepard, age 49, born in Penn.; John Shepard, age 24, "; Sarah Shepard, age 22 "; Nancy Shepard, age 17 "; James Shepard, age 15 "; William Shepard, age 13 "; Joseph Shepard, age 11 "; David Shepard, age 8 "; Mary Jane Shepard, age 4 "

Mason married Jane Smith, daughter of Thomas and Sarah (Harvey) Smith of Venango Township. They had the following children, all born in Erie County.

John Shepard b cir 1825 married Mary Jane Fales daughter of Coit Fales and Hannah Cole moved to East Fallowfield, Crawford County before 1860, had the following children as listed on the census of 1870: William age 16, born in Penn.; Silas age 13, born in Penn. (I believe this should be Smith); Casper age 10, born in Penn.; Emily age 6, born in Penn.

Sarah Shepard b July 1827, married Orrin Andrews, son of Nathan and Philena (Ames) Andrews, in 1852 in Erie County. Orrin and Sarah Andrews moved to Johnson County, Iowa in 1854 and remained there the rest of their lives. They had three children: Jennie Andrews b. 1855, Morse, Iowa married Arthur E. Page 1881 ; Jessie Andrews b. 1857, Morse, Iowa, married James Cozine ; Charles Andrews, b. 1860, Morse, Iowa, never married.

Nancy Shepard born cir 1830, married Almon Woodworth, they moved to E. Fallowfield Township, Crawford County and remained there until she died (I have not located a burial for her). Their children from the 1870 and 80 censuses are: Sophia born ca 1850 ; Mason, born ca 1863 ; Jennie W. born ca 1865 ; Annabelle born ca 1869

James S. Shepard b cir 1833 worked for a time at Oil Creek, moved to California, married Katie_______, they had one son, named Charles, b. ca 1867, lived in Colusa County, Indian Valley twp. James moved to Iowa around 1900, where he lived with his sister, Sarah Shepard Andrews in Johnson County. He died in 1905 and is buried in the Morse Cemetery.

William Shepard born Jan. 1836 married Permillia Klingensmith dau. of William Klingensmith, he died in Crawford County in June 1913. William and his wife cared for his aged mother until her death in 1886. He was a farmer in Crawford County, PA. Their children were: Sarah Ann Shepard, b. 1867 in PA ; Odessa Shepard b. 1869 ; L. M. Shepard b. 1872 ; F. L. Shepard b. 1878. William’s mother, Jane Shepard is listed with them on the 1880 census, age 84, born in PA.

Joseph Ritner Shepard b. 1838 married Celia Hazen first and then Katherine_________. Although Joseph died and is buried in Crawford County most of his children moved to North Dakota. Enlisted in Civil War, Jan 30, 1864 for a period of three years. Rank: Private, Company H, 2nd Reg't; Heavy Artillery, Machinist, eyes: gray, Hair, Brown, Height 5 ft 6 inches. Mustered out: Jan 29, 1866 - City Point, Virginia. Captured by the enemy Sept 29, 1864. Escaped March 31, 1865 and returned to duty: April 30, 1865. Was missing in action near Chapin’s Farm in Virginia. Children of Joseph and Celia Shepard were: Jessie Leona Shepard, b 1863 in PA ; Thomas Ellsworth Shepard, b 1866 in PA ; Willis Hazen Shepard, b 1868 ; Isaac Elba Shepard b. 1872

David Shepard b 1842 enlisted in Company C of the 145th Regt of the Pennsylvania Volunteers. He served at Antietam, Fredricksburg and Chancellorsville where he was captured by the Confederates. He was paroled a few weeks later and rejoined his unit. At some time during his time in the Army he developed TB and he was in the hospital at York, PA when he died March 30, 1965, two weeks before the war ended.

Mary Jane Shepard b 11 March 1844 went to visit her sister Sarah Andrews in Iowa, where she met and married Thomas Metcalf. She died in 1895 and is buried in Iowa City, IA. Their children were: Edgar Metcalf b 1871 in Iowa ; Mason Metcalf b. 1873 in Iowa ; Louella Metcalf b. 1874 ; Jessie Belle b. 1876 ; Abbie b 1879

Around 1862 Mason and Jane Shepard moved to Crawford County PA where Mason died in November of 1865 eight months after the death of his youngest son, David. Jane lived first with her son, James and then William until her death in 1886. They are both buried in Greenfield Cemetery in Porter’s corners, PA.

Mason served in the militia in the War of 1812 and received a land warrant for his service at the Battle of Plattsburgh.

Mason and Jane Shepard were active in the Middlebrook Congregation of the Wattsberg and Waterford Churches and are shown on the list of members in 1826-34. However there are no christening records for the children in that church.

Mason was married first in Strafford, VT to Abigail Judd and they had a daughter named Abigail Shepard. The mother died soon after the birth and Abigail Shepard was raised by her maternal grandparents. I don’t believe that she ever lived with Mason and Jane Shepard in Erie County. She is mentioned in the settlement of his estate and at that time she was married to Mark Baldwin and living in Vermont.

[See also previous article on Jane Smith Shepard, posted by Susan Smith, which contains additional information on the children of Mason and Jane Smith Shepard.]

Ch 1: Changed source email address. [11/25/07]

This page was first created on  Tuesday, April 02, 2002 .

This page was last updated on  Sunday, November 25, 2007 .

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