Will of Thomas Shepherd

Town of Charleston

Montgomery County, New York

Contributed by Diane Wilson Flynn




Thomas Shepherd's will was contributed by researcher Diane Wilson Flynn. Diane's contribution is a very interesting study of cross-referral between different types of resources and acting on the hunch of the naming of a child.

"Two of my brick walls moved back one generation when I found the will of Thomas Shepherd of the town of Charleston, Montgomery County, NY, father of a 4th greatgrandmother, Polly Shepherd - and also the father of a 4th greatgrandfather, Rulef Shepherd. My query now is: who were the parents and siblings of Thomas Shepherd?

When I began researching family history, I had photocopies of handwritten notes on Shepard by Anna Wilson Seaver, who was Horace Harvie Wilson's [my father] aunt, the family historian of her generation. According to the custom of her generation, very little of her genealogical research was documented, so I have spent some time checking her work. The only source that she cited was the "Schenck Genealogy record of Onondaga County," which I finally determined was Benjamin Robinson Schenck's Ancestors and Descendants of Rulef Schenck, Onondaga Branch, (Detroit, Michigan: 1911). Rulef Schenck was a brother-in-law of Thomas Shepherd and the Rulef "Schanck" named as a co-executor of Thomas' will. Rulef and his family, listed as "Rulif Schanek" are found in the 1810 Census of Charleston, Montgomery Co., NY.

Schanek, Rulif 2-0-1-1-0/3-0-1-0-1 / 0/ 0

"Polly Shepherd was born in Montgomery Co. N.Y. She came to Lysander Twp. Onon. Co. in 1815 with her uncle's family Rulef Schenck. B. Mar. 9, 1796 - d. Dec. 2, 1825. In 1816 she married Wm Wilson a farmer and early settler of Plainville then called Wilson's Corners. She died in 1825. Buried in Plainville Cemetary..." [Polly died after birth of Thomas Shepherd Wilson. Her infant died eight days later. Polly was 29 years old when she died.]"

"Polly Shepherd (thru Schenck) could trace her ancestry in unbroken line to the year 1346 -- It was in 1650 that Roelof Martense Schenck (born in Amersfoort, Utrecht, Holland in 1619) emigrated to New Amsterdam and settled at Flatlands Long Island. From here the family was attracted to New Jersey where Rulef Schenck was born. Rulef Schenck with 6 children & niece Polly Shepard came to Wilson's Corners."

Polly Shepherd was b. 9 March 1796, prob. in Charleston, Montgomery County, New York and d. 2 December 1825 in Plainville, town of Lysander, Onondaga County, New York. She married William Wilson, 2nd who was b. 12 September 1789 in Vermont. They were m. 14 April 1816, probably in the town of Lysander, Onondaga County, N.Y. Together they had four children: Harriet, Hiram, Horace and Thomas Shepherd Wilson. William Wilson married, 2nd, Hannah Clyne on 4 July 1826. This marriage produced eight more children. He d. 10 May 1864 in Lysander, Onondaga County, New York.

Rulef Shepherd was b. abt. 1797 Montgomery County, New York and d. 31 October 1863 Meridian, Cayuga County, New York. He married Nancy A. Holmes [surname not confirmed] who was b. 4 March 1793 in Montgomery County, New York. They were perhaps married 16 September 1818 in Montgomery County [record not confirmed], New York. Nancy A. [Holmes?] Shepherd d. 14 July 1881 in Meridian, Cayuga County, New York. Rulef and Nancy had two known children: Augustus Gaylord and Charlotte Jane Shepherd. Charlotte was b. 17 June 1824 in Meridian, Cayuga County, New York and d. 13 April 1894 at the Willard State Hospital, town of Ovid, Seneca County, New York. Charlotte's brother Augustus may have also died at the Willard State Hospital since he is buried at "Willard, NY."

Charlotte Jane Shepherd married her own first cousin, Horace Wilson, son of Polly [Shepherd] and William Wilson 2nd. Horace was b. 27 January 1823 at Wilson's Corners (Plainville), New York. Charlotte and Horace were m. 29 September 1847 at Cato, Four Corners, Cayuga County, NY. He d. 17 May 1899 at Meridian, Cayuga County, New York.

To complicate matters even further, the name of William Wilson the 2nd's mother was said by the Rev. Wm. Martin Beauchamp to be Mary SHEPARD- but that's another brick wall that may or may not be overcome when the parents and siblings of Thomas are learned.

I postulated that perhaps Polly had named her last child, THOMAS SHEPHERD Wilson after her father, and began a search for a Thomas Shepherd in Montgomery County. I ordered the will of a Thomas Shepherd through SamPubCo and was thrilled to find that both Polly and her brother Rulef were legatees:

Montgomery County, State of New York, Will Book 2, page 80

The People of the State of New York by the Grace of God, free and independent To all to whom these presents shall come or may concern send Greeting: Know ye that at Johnstown in the County of Montgomery before James Lansing Esq: Surrogate of our said County, the last Will and Testament of Thomas Shepherd deceased (a Copy whereof is hereunto annexed) was proved, and is now approved and allowed of by us, and the said deceased having whilst he lived, and at the time of his death, Goods, Chattels or Credits within this State by means whereof the proving and registering the said Will, and the granting administration of all and singular the said Goods Chattels and Credits, and also the auditing, allowing and final discharging the Account thereof, doth belong unto us, the administration of all and singular the Goods, Chattels and Credits of the said deceased, and any way concerning his will, is granted unto Andrew Crawford, Elijah Mount and Rulef Schanck Executors in the said Will named, they being first duly sworn well and faithfully to administer the same, and to make and exhibit a true and perfect Inventory of all and singular the said Goods, Chattels and Credits and also to render a just and true Account thereof when thereunto required. In testimony whereof we have caused the Seal of Office of our said Surrogate to be hereunto affixed. Witnefs James Lansing Esquire Surrogate of the said County at Johnstown the first Day of October in the year of our lord one thousand eight hundred and eleven, and of our Independency the thirty sixth. -
        James Lansing
In the [sic] of God amen. I Thomas Shepherd in the State of New York and County of Montgomery, Town of Charleston being weak in body but of sound and perfect Mind and Memory considering the uncertainty of this mortal life and blefsed be almighty God for the same, do make and publish this my last will and Testament in manner and form following; First I give and bequeath unto my beloved Wife Margaret Six hundred and twenty five Dollars; it is also my wish for my Widow and Family to remain together untill the Executors shall deem it proper and necefsary to dispose of the real and personal property, then after the collection of the Money from the sail of my property then the abovesaid six hundred and twenty five Dollars to be paid unto unto[sic] my Widow. I do allso give and bequeath to my Daughter Sall one hundred Dollars after the sail and collection of said property I do also give and bequeath to my Daughter Katharine one hundred Dollars after the sail and collection of said property I do also give and bequeath to my Son John one hundred Dollars after the sail and collection of said property. I do also give and bequeath to my Son Rulef one hundred Dollars after the sail and collection of said property. I do also give and bequeath to my Daughter Polly one hundred Dollars after the sail of said property. I do also give and bequeath to my Daughter Hannah one hundred Dollars after the sail and collection of said property. I do also give and bequeath to my Son Cornelius one hundred Dollars after the sail and collection of said property. I do also give and bequeath to my Daughter Eleanor one hundred Dollars after the sail and collection of said property, as they shall come of age to be paid individaly. And lastly as to all the rest residue and remainder of my Estate to be equaly divided I do hereby appoint Andrew Crawford, Elijah Mount and Rulef Schanck Executors of this my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all former Wills by me made. In witnefs whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal tenth Day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eleven.         T Shepherd   LS

Signed sealed published and declared by the above named Thomas Shepherd to be his last Will and Testament in the presence of us who have hereunto subscribed our names as Witnefses in the presence of the Testator.
Jael Edson   LS    Hendrick Vunck   LS    William Jamison   LS

Be it remembered that on the first Day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eleven, personally appeared before me James Lansing Surrogate of the County of Montgomery - Hendrick Vunck and William Jamison who being duly sworn severally depose and say that they saw Thomas Shepherd sign and seal and heard him publish and declare the within Instrument as and for his last Will and Testament. That the said Thomas Shepherd was at the time thereof (according to the best of the knowledge and belief of these Deponents) of sound and disposing Mind Memory and Understanding. That the names of these Deponents thereunto subscribed are respectively their own proper writing; and that they together with Jael Edson severally subscribed their names thereto as Witnefses to the execution thereof in the presence of the said Thomas Shepherd the Testator.
       James Lansing
The preceding are true Copies of the last Will and Testament of Thomas Shepherd deceased, of the Certificate of the Proof thereof, and of the letters testamentary thereon. Registered the first Day of October 1811.
      James Lansing Surrogate
Be it also remembered that on the said first Day of October last mentioned, personally appeared before me the said Surrogate, Andrew Crawford, Elijah Mount and Rulef Schanck, Executors in the last Will and Testament of the said Thomas Shepherd deceased named, and were duly sworn as Executors.
      James Lansing

Thomas Shepherd and his family are found in the 1810 Census of Charleston, Montgomery County, NY under the name of "Thomas Chipard." The assignment of the children's names to the census categories listed below, although speculative in nature, helped me to realize that Thomas must have fathered the first three children during a previous marriage. If the date of birth of Margaret Schenck, said to be 21 April 1774, is true, then she could not have been the mother of the first three children: Sall, Katharine and John, who were ages 16 -26 in the census and therefore born sometime between the years 1774-1784.

Chipard, Thomas 1-1-1-0-1/2-2-2-1-0 / 0/ 0
1810 Census
Montgomery County
Town of Charleston
Key to 1810 Census of Charleston, Montgomery County, New York
1: Males under 10    1 Cornelius
2: Males 10 to 16    1 Rulef
3: Males 16 to 26    1 John
4 : Males 26 to 45    0
5: Males over 45    1 Thomas Shepherd-head
6: Females under 10    2 Eleanor and a child not mentioned in Thomas' will
7: Females 10-16    2 Polly and Hannah
8: Females 16-26    2 Sall and Katharine
9: Females 26-45    1 Margaret Schenck-wife and mother 10: Females over 45    0
11: Other free persons except Indians not taxed    0
12: slaves    0

I thought that the will of Thomas might help someone if it were posted on the GenWeb site for Montgomery County.

Diane Wilson Flynn
March 1999


Back to Wills and Deeds Bulletin Board Pt. 1

Back to Montgomery County NYGenWeb

Back to Montgomery County NY Wills Page

Back to Montgomery Couty NYGenWeb




Created: 6/23/06
Copyright © 2006 Mimi Malcolm
All Rights Reserved.