Thomas Shephard was born about 1776. He probably was the Albany-born son of resident newcomers William and Jane Shephard. He grew up with many siblings in the upper State Street home of an Albany cutler whose heart belonged to the British but who managed to remain in Albany after the end of the Revolutionary war.
In September 1791, Thomas was confirmed in St. Peter's Episcopal church where his father was a member and vestryman.
In September 1792, his bill for a painting and also for a landscape were included in the accounts of artist Ezra Ames.
In March 1794, he was among the six living sons listed in the will filed by his father. William Shephard was dead by the end of the year.
Thomas Shephard's wife was named Phebe. We seek information on her origins and on the births of their children. Their daughter (b. 1801) married a "Gerrit Van Zandt Bleecker." She named a child for her father in 1833.
Unless he was in business with John C. Fredenreich in 1799 when their personal property in the first ward was valued substantially, his name does not appear on that assessment roll. At this point, we have only questions regarding his occupation. However, he was a member of the Albany Mechanics Society.
Thomas Shephard died in June 1814 (probably 1813 instead) and was buried in the St. Peter's plot. He had lived only 38 years. A will for "Thomas Shepherd" appears to have passed probate in Albany in January 1813. In that year, his widow was listed in the first city directory at 50 Washington (soon to be re-named South Pearl) Street.
Sources: The life of Thomas Shephard has not been assigned a CAP biography number. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources.
first posted: 2/10/12