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Robert A. Shepherd
1739 - 1817

Robert Shepherd was born June 17, 1739 in Saint George's Parish, Spotsylvania County, Virginia to George and Elizabeth Day Shepherd. He married Sarah Rash (b. April 23, 1748) on October 1, 1765 in Spotsylvania, Virginia.

An Early Settler of Reddies River

On November 20, 1776, Robert & Sarah, and George, Jr. & Mary Shepherd, sold a portion of the George Shepherd, Sr. homeplace. This property was given to Robert and George, Jr. by their father and they sold it to their brother-in-law, Benjamin Holloway, husband of their sister Anne. Immediately thereafter, Robert followed his brother, John Shepherd, Sr., to Wilkes County, North Carolina "squatting" on property located on Reddies River and adjoining property claimed by John.

In the early spring of 1778, Robert entered the property on which he was living and a state grant for 200 acres was subsequently issued (grant #844). The above entry described the property as "200 acres beginning near the ford of Reddies River on John Shepherd's line, running West, North, South, thense East, including the right whereon I, Robert A. Shepherd, now lives for Comfort." By 1797, Robert owned as much as 482 acres in the Reddies River area.

Revolutionary War

There is no evidence that Robert actually fought in the Revolutionary War, but he was at least a patriot and furnished the troops with provisions. U.S.A. Army accounts with troops in North Carolina shows that Robert Shepherd furnished the militia one horse for which he was paid. On page 205 of the same book is another reference to Robert furnishing 13 1/2 bushels of corn for which he was also paid.

Helped Establish Early Churches

Robert Shepherd, along with his brother John, and George McNeil, established the first church in Reddies River which was located on the crest of Deep Ford Hill, just above lands owned by John Shepherd, Sr. The Deep Ford Hill Church was established as early as 1783 and was in existence as late as 1796.

Following the church at Deep Ford Hill, was the Reddies River Church of Christ that was constituted on April 7, 1798. Robert and Sarah Shepherd were constitutional members of this new church. When the Reddies River Church of Christ was created, its members gathered for services alternately at the Deep Ford Meeting House and Brother Robert Shepherd's house.

Died with an Old Disorder, the Stone and Gravel

Robert Shepherd died June 5, 1817 in Wilkes County, NC. He and Sarah are believed to be buried at the Deep Ford Hill Cemetery. The following revealing quote is from the Robert Shepherd Bible:

Robert Shepherd, son of George and Elizabeth Shepherd, was born in Spotsylvania County, State of Virginia June 17, 1739. Sarah Shepherd, formerly Sarah Rash, daughter of Joseph and Mary Rash was born in Spotsylvania County, Virginia April 23, 1748, and is now the wife of Robert Shepherd; aforesaid Robert died June 5, 1817 in his own home on Reddies River, after 17 days illness with an old disorder, the stone and gravel--where he came from Spotsylvania County, Virginia on Dec. 7, 1776. He lived 40 years in the same place; age 77 years, 11 months and 7 days, after subtracting 11 days for the old style birth." [1]

A Broken Shepherd Line is Mended

Unfortunately, an unbroken line of Shepherd descendants of Robert and Sarah Rash is not known to exist. Among Robert and Sarah's 10 children, only two were boys -- John and James -- apparently named for their Shepherd uncles. John married Mary Kilby in 1802, but he died in 1803 at the age of 24 before producing any offspring. James is not named in his father's will of 1817, so it is assumed he died before that time, apparently unmarried.

However, Robert Shepherd was a great, great, great grandfather of brothers Grover and Harrison Shepherd. So, how does that work? One of Robert's daughters, Agnes Shepherd, married Thomas Irwin. One of their daughters, Alley Irwin, married Larkin Shepherd, a grandson of John Sr. and Sarah Jennings Shepherd. Therefore Shepherd descendants of Larkin and Allie Irwin Shepherd are descendants of both Robert Shepherd, and his brother, John Shepherd, Sr.

Most of Robert and Sarah Shepherd's children married and moved west, setting in Kentucky, Illinois, and Indiana. Their daughter, Mary, who married Reverend George McNeil, remained in the Wilkes/Ashe County areas of North Carolina, where many of their descendants are found today.

There are also many descendants of Robert and Sarah Shepherd in the Wilkes/Ashe/Alleghany County areas that are descended from their daughter Agnes, who married Thomas Irwin. While Thomas and Agnes Shepherd Irwin also moved west, two of their adult children remained in North Carolina. One was Elijah Irwin, who married Elizabeth Goodman and settled in Alleghany Co., NC. The other was Allie Irwin, who married Larkin Shepherd, and made their home in the Reddies River area.

Ten Known Children of Robert A. and Sarah Rash Shepherd:

  1. Elizabeth Shepherd
  2. James Shepherd
  3. Nancy Ann Shepherd
  4. Mary 'Polly' Shepherd
  5. Agnes Shepherd
  6. Rhoda Shepherd
  7. John Shepherd
  8. Sarah Shepherd
  9. Frances Shepherd
  10. Rebecca Shepherd

  1. Elizabeth Shepherd, born July 23, 1766 in Spotsylvania, VA; died bet. 1820-1840 in Claiborne Co., TN; ; married William McNiel, Sr. (b. Oct. 28, 1757, d. 1810-1820), abt 1783; removed to Claiborne Co., TN; William is said to have served as a private in Captain Thomas Posey's Company under Col. Daniel Morgan and Col. Alexander McClenachan during the Revolutionary War. William and Elizabeth lived in Wilkes Co., NC and had several children before migrating to Claiborne Co., TN about 1810. Had 10 known children: [2]

  2. James Shepherd, born Mar. 8, 1768; apparently died before 1817 as he is not mentioned in his father's will.

    William McQueary
    William McQueary, Jr., son of William and Nancy Shepherd McQueary

  3. Nancy Ann Shepherd, born March 8, 1770; died July 12, 1833 in Pulaski Co., KY; married William McQueary (b. Feb. 9, 1765), Feb. 11, 1787; removed to Pulaski, KY; Nancy and William are buried at Flatlick Baptist Church Cemetery near Summerset, Pulaski Co., KY; Had 10 known children:

    • Polly McQueary
    • John McQueary
    • Allen McQueary
    • Pleasant McQueary
    • Jesse McQueary
    • William McQueary, Jr.
    • Rebeccah McQueary
    • Nancy McQueary
    • Humphry McQueary
    • Sarah McQueary

  4. Mary 'Polly' Shepherd, born Jan. 17, 1773; married James McNeil (b. ca. 1763, d. 1834), abt 1790; James first settled in what is now Ashe Co., NC and later moved to Reddies River in Wilkes Co., NC; James was living near Moravian Falls, NC at the time of his death; Had nine known children:

    • Larkin McNeil
    • John McNeill, born Jan. 30, 1796; died Jan. 21, 1877; married Rachel Eller; Had at least four children - one known by name:

      • Peter McNeill, born Aug. 26, 1827 in Wilkes Co., NC; moved to the Beaver Creek section of Ashe Co., NC where he was a school teacher, and married one his students, Maryann B. Phillips; Peter served with the Confederacy in the Civil War; buried in the McNeill Cemetery in Beaver Creek, Ashe Co., NC; Had 14 known children born in Ashe Co., NC:

        • Peter Gaither McNeill, born Nov. 20, 1855; died Dec. 31, 1918; married Cynthia Alice McMillan; Had eight known children:

            Peter Thurman McNeill, Sr
            Peter Thurman McNeill, Sr

          • John Reeves McNeill
          • Jennie McNeill, married __?__ Koontz
          • Andrew Benjamin McNeill
          • Dora McNeill, married __?__ Duval
          • Charity Lorena McNeill
          • Flora Della McNeill, married __?__ Speaks
          • Roger Lester McNeill

          • Peter Thurman McNeill, Sr., born Aug. 18, 1896 in Ashe Co., NC; died Mar. 23, 1960; married Martha Ellen Fletcher; Peter served in the N.C. Senate in 1927 and again in 1933. He was a member of the N.C. Legislature in 1929 and served as Senate clerk in 1931. He was a Deputy Collector with the Internal Revenue Service from 1933 until 1937, when he resigned to serve as State Probation Officer. He was a life-long Democrat. When the news of his death reached Raleigh on March24, 1960 the Legislature adjourned out of respect to him and ordered a resolution written itno the Journal. Had ten known children:

              Bob and Freda Jones McNeil with children (l-r): Sherry, Bucky and Cindy
              Bob and Freda Jones McNeil with children (l-r): Sherry, Bucky and Cindy

            1. Mary Theresa McNeill, married __?__ Scott.
            2. Robert Fletcher "Bob" McNeill, born Aug. 26, 1921 in Dabney, KY; married Freda Margaret Jones in 1954; Bob served the U.S. Army in Europe during WWII where he participated in the Normandy Campaign and the Battle of the Bulge. Bob is fondly known around Ashe Co., NC as "The Man From Glad." He grows gladioli by the bushels and gives them to churches and friends. Bob was one of the first Ashe Countians to be honored by the County of Ashe as its outstanding volunteer. Had three known children:

              • Sherry Lynn McNeill; Sherry is a nurse at N.C. Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, NC.
              • Cynthia Anne McNeill, married Randy H. Smith; Had twin daughters: Laura and Alison.
              • Robert Eric "Bucky" McNeill; Robert is a physician practicing in Salisbury, NC.

            3. Amanda Evangeline "Ann" McNeill, married __?__ Garwood.
            4. Peter Thurman McNeill, Jr.
            5. Marshall Gaither McNeill
            6. Martha McNeill
            7. __?__ McNeill, died at age 4.
            8. Martha Eleanor McNeill, married __?__ Scott
            9. George William McNeill
            10. Joseph Franklin McNeill, died April, 1983; married Wanda Edwards; Had one known child: Christopher.

        • Julie Emaline McNeill, born Nov. 6, 1850; married Mack Absher; Had five known children:

          • Dr. Darius Absher
          • Nora Absher
          • Mabel Absher
          • Agnes Absher
          • Claude Absher

        • Orlando H. McNeill, born Sept. 19, 1861; died July 31, 1887 in Hastings, NE.

        • Peter Rufus McNeill, born May 24, 1864; married Vina Faw; Had four known children:

          • Elsie G. McNeill, born 1883; died May 3, 1960.
          • Grover Walter McNeill, born Oct. 6, 1886; died Aug. 12, 1967.
          • Charles S. McNeill, born Feb. 12, 1894; died April 25, 1845; married Lillie Rose McGuire (b. Dec. 19, 1904, d. Nov. 13, 1983); Had one known child:

            1. Willian Dean "Bill" McNeill, born Sept. 22, 1927; died Jan. 16, 1998; married Madge Bower; Madge currently lives in West Jefferson, NC.
            2. Howard Rufus McNeill, born Sept. 19, 1930; died May 8, 1982

          • Jones Thomas McNeill, born Oct. 11, 1897; died Sept. 15, 1969; married Edna Walters (b. July 5, 1908, d. May 27, 1992).

        • Laura B. McNeill, born April 18, 1866; died Mar. 27, 1938; married Joseph Black; Had one known child:

          • Mary Black, married J.O. Benefield; Mary had one known child: Jack B. Lawson.

        • John Franklin McNeill, born April 11, 1868; died Nov. 21, 1887 in Hastings, NE.

        • Joseph Walter McNeill, born June 21, 1870; died Jan. 31, 1895.

        • John Quincy McNeill, born Sept. 18, 1871; died Dec. 31, 1956; married Ida Bell Turner(b. June 18, 1869, d. Oct. 3, 1955); Had four known children:

          • John Allen McNeill, born Mar. 28, 1909; died Mar. 16, 1976; married Beulah Kathleen Winebarger (b. Feb. 17, 1909, d. June 21, 2009); John and Beulah are buried at Ashelawn Memorial Gardens in Jefferson, NC; Had three known children:

            1. John Frank McNeill, born June 13, 1941; died Sept. 25, 1994; buried at Ashelawn Memorial Gardens in Jefferson, NC.
            2. Reeves McNeill, married Edith __?__; live in Creston, NC.
            3. Norma McNeill, married __?__ Whitaker.

          • Wiley G. McNeill, born July 12, 1920; died July 17, 1920
          • Annie Alice McNeill
          • Ralph McNeill

          Elihu and James McNeill
          Elihu A. McNeill and son James in McNeill's Department Store. Elihu started the E.A. McNeill Store in 1889 and it remains in the family today, now known as McNeill's Department Store in West Jefferson, NC.

        • Elihu Alexander McNeill, born June 18, 1872; married Mary Jean Davis, July 18, 1872; Elihu opened the E.A. McNeil Store in Jefferson, NC in 1889. The store moved to West Jefferson, NC in 1933 and was renamed McNeill's Department Store. Had one known child:

          • James Davis McNeill, married Birdie Roark; Had two known children:

            1. Robert Davis McNeill, born Sept. 20, 1923 in Jefferson, NC; married 1st Alva Lea Green (b. May 13, 1924, d. July, 1954); Alva Lea drowned at Myrtle Beach, SC while on vacation with the family; married 2nd Mary Alice Sides (b. Oct. 23, 1930, d. Sept. 25, 2005), Aug. 25, 1968; Robert and Mary operated McNeill's Department Store in West Jefferson, NC that was started by his grandfather Elihu A. McNeill in 1889; Had two known children:

              • Cynthia Lynn McNeill, born April 20, 1948; married 1st Ronald Grant; married 2nd __?__ Cummins; currently live in Banner Elk, NC.
              • Robbin Lea McNeill, born April 22, 1952; married Ronny Lemly; Robbin and sons currently operate McNeill's Department Store in West Jefferson, NC; Had twin boys:

                Mary Alice Sides McNeill
                Mary Alice Sides McNeill

                • Byron Tylor Lemly, (twin to Brandon) born Aug. 31, 1971
                • Brandon Aaron Lemly, (twin to Byron) born Aug. 31, 1971

            2. Elihu McNeill

        • Rachel McNeill, born Sept. 26, 1874; died Aug. 26, 1894; never married.

        • Lizzie Rebecca McNeill, born April 2, 1879; died May 5, 1956; married Edward Everett Eller (b. July 30, 1896, d. Oct. 18, 1955), July 30, 1896; Had two known children:

          • Mary Elizabeth Eller, born Sept. 10, 1897; married William M. McCulley.
          • Ernest McNeill Eller, born Jan. 23, 1903; married Agnes Pfohl, Mar. 27, 1926; retired Rear Admiral U.S. Navy.

        • William Heggie McNeill, born April 12, 1879; died Jan. 15, 1925; married Mollie Evelyn Eller (b. May 11, 1881); Had five known children:

          • Frank McNeill (twin to Frances)
          • Frances McNeill (twin to Frank)
          • Mararet McNeill
          • Robert McNeill, died young
          • Edward McNeill

        • Benjamin Avery McNeill, born July 10, 1881; died July 4, 1939 in Los Angeles, CA; married Maude Catherine Phipps; Had one known child: Ruth.

        • Wiley Emmett McNeill, born April 13, 1885; died June 26, 1949; married Astoria McConnell (b. 1886, d. 1980); Had five known children:

          • Willard McNeill
          • Mary Lillian McNeill, married James Sturdivant.
          • Catherine Evelyn McNeill, married Carl R. Goswick.
          • Wiley Emmett "Jack" McNeill, Jr., born July 21, 1920; married Carrie Taylor (b. Oct. 3, 1920), Aug. 7, 1943 in Yadkin Co., NC; Jack served with the U.S. Navy during WWII; Last known living in Jefferson, NC; Had three known children:

            1. Rebecca Jane McNeill, born Aug. 5, 1948; married David W. Mullis, Jr., Mar. 7, 1970; Had one known child: Megan, born June 6, 1980 in Salem, VA.
            2. Sandra Kay McNeill, born May 31, 1951; married Bruce Lee Packard, June 4, 1983.
            3. David Taylor McNeill, born May 11, 1957

          • Laura Ann McNeill, married Kenneth Jacks.

    • Fanny McNeil
    • George McNeil
    • William McNeil
    • Oliver "Ollie" McNeil, born ca. 1805 in Wilkes Co., NC; married Delilah Eller (b. 1812), Aug. 4, 1828; Had seven known children:

        Larkin Alfred McNeil
        Larkin Alfred McNeil

      • Calvin McNeil
      • Eli McNeil
      • William McNeil
      • Larkin Alfred McNeil, born June 23, 1845; died Jan. 3, 1910 at Berlin, NC; buried in the McNeil Cemetery in Bina, NC; married Barbara Caroline Miller, Aug. 27, 1865 in Ore Knob, NC; Alfred and Caroline first lived in Wilkes Co., NC and their first two children were born there. They moved to Ashe Co., NC in the summer of 1868. Alfred and Caroline built their home in Ashe near the foot of Phoenix Mountain in the Berlin Community. Alfred was a soldier in the Civil War. He was in the 56th NC Infantry Company G. He was wounded in the leg while in battle, which caused him great pain in his later years. Had eight known children:

        • Rudy Oliver McNeil, born June 11, 1866

        • Alva McNeil, born Mar. 15, 1868

          William Avery and Easter Ethel Sexton McNeil
          William Avery & Easter Ethel Sexton McNeil

        • William Avery "Will" McNeil, born July 11, 1869 at Berlin, Ashe Co., NC; died Nov. 20, 1931; married Easter Ethel Sexton (b. Dec. 11, 1871, d. Nov. 23, 1921), July 25, 1892; William and Easter are buried in the Eller Cemetery in Bina, Ashe Co., NC; Will was a farmer and carpenter; Had six known children:

          • Ella Mae McNeil, married and moved to Bristol, VA.
          • Alfred Lee McNeil
          • Connie Aries McNeil
          • Sidney Glen McNeil, married Ethel Francis; Had one known child:

            1. Sidney Reeves McNeill, born March 6, 1926 in Ashe Co., NC; died July 17, 2007 in Salisbury, NC; buried at the McNeill - Francis Cemetery in Ashe Co., NC.

          • Cora Blanche McNeil, married and moved to Alvarado, VA.

            William Smith and Bessie Turner McNeil
            William Smith and Bessie Turner McNeil with children (l-r): Fred Allen, Mary Elizabeth and Maude Evelyn.

          • William Smith McNeil, born June 16, 1910 at Berlin, Ashe Co., NC; married Bessie Ida Turner, May 16, 1931 in Jefferson, NC; Had five known children:

            1. Maude Evelyn McNeil
            2. Gladys Blanche McNeil, died when she was one month old.
            3. Fred Allen McNeil
            4. Mary Elizabeth McNeil
            5. Ruby Elaine McNeil, died at age 3.

        • John Quincy McNeil, married Ida Belle Severt; Had five known children:

          • Hoy L. McNeil, born July 13, 1893; died April 4, 1933.
          • Thomas Thurman McNeil, born July 19, 1896; died April 3, 1981.
          • John Clint McNeil, born July 23, 1898; died July 21, 1981.
          • Claude H. McNeil, born July 17, 1900; died Oct. 26, 1904.
          • Hege Glenn McNeil, born Mar. 13, 1904; died April 3, 1991; married Lora Phillips (b. Nov. 23, 1902, d. July 8, 1977); Lived in West Jefferson, NC; Had two known children:

            1. Robert Glenn McNeil, born July 2, 1926; married Cora Asleen Little; Lived along Hwy 221 in Nathans Creek, NC; Had one known child:

              • James Robert "Jimmy" McNeil, born Oct. 3, 1952; Jimmy worked for the Board of Education in Ashe Co., NC; married Joyce Lowe, Dec. 16, 1977; Had three known children:

                • James Robert McNeil, Jr., born Oct. 10, 1978
                • Jane Robert McNeil, born Dec. 5, 1979
                • Jeremy David McNeil, born Dec. 9, 1981

            2. Mabel McNeil, married Chester Howell; lived at Silas Creek, Ashe Co., NC; Had two known children:

              • Roger Lee Howell, married Jan Douglas; Had two known children:

                • Brian Howell, born July 31, 1977
                • Kevin Howell, born April 10, 1981

              • Wilma Jean Howell, married David Mikeal, Feb. 9, 1979; Last known living in Silas Creek, Ashe Co., NC.

        • John Quincy McNeil, born Sept. 18, 1871
        • James Calvin McNeil, born Sept. 12, 1873
        • Leafa Ellen McNeil, born Sept. 28, 1875
        • Adison Dolphus McNeil, born Mar. 6, 1878
        • Haga Hamilton McNeil, born Feb. 19, 1879; died Mar. 9, 1922; married Nancy Jane Barker (b. Jan. 31, 1879, d. Oct. 31, 1961); Haga was a farmer and carpenter; Had four known children:

          • Laura Caroline McNeil, born Nov. 9, 1898; died Nov. 20, 1979; married Ezekiel Powers, Jan. 11, 1918; Had two known children:

            1. Nola Jean Powers, born Nov. 28, 1918; died Oct. 11, 1964; married __?__ Blevins.
            2. Orville Hughie Powers, born Mar. 26, 1921

          • Rowie Glenn McNeil, born May 28, 1900; died Sept. 14, 1975; married Mattie Lue Fowler, May 4, 1919; Rowie was a deputy sheriff for 15 years and was known for breaking up moonshine stills; Had three known children:

            1. Jones Wilson McNeil
            2. Della May McNeil
            3. Lessie Mildred McNeil

          • Hattie Liuevene McNeil, born April 27, 1903; died Mar. 22, 1980; married Glenn Turner in 1919; Had eight known children born in Ashe Co., NC:

            1. Lessie Elliott Turner
            2. Haga Pauline Turner
            3. J. Von Turner
            4. Bobby Jones Turner
            5. Donald Lee Turner
            6. Luie Jane Turner
            7. Rowie Glenn Turner
            8. Joe Ray Turner; Joe Ray was reputed to have weighed 20 pounds at birth.

          • Lessie Ellen McNeil, born July 2, 1905; married 1st Everette Stansberry in 1921; Everette was an accountant; married 2nd Gordon Severt; Had four known children by Everette Stansberry born in Horse Creek, Ashe Co., NC:

            1. Gwyn Hamilton Stansberry
            2. Adaline Stansberry
            3. Mary Beryl Stansberry
            4. Billy Dare Stansberry, died at age 7 months.

      • Harriet McNeil
      • Alva McNeil
      • Rebecca McNeil

    • Nancy McNeil
    • Rebecca McNeil
    • Eli McNeil, born May 14, 1812; died Nov. 21, 1881; married Fannie Eller (b. April 2, 1820, d. Aug. 21, 1902); Eli and Fannie moved to Ashe Co., NC from Wilkes Co., NC in 1855. They lived in a two-story log house on the South Fork of the New River about one and a half miles below the Mouth of Beaver Creek. They are buried in a family cemetery on their homeplace on a ridge overlooking the New River near the bridge now known as the "Daniel's Daughter Bridge" on Hwy 163; Had ten known children:

      • Alpha McNeil, born Dec. 25, 1840; died Aug. 24, 1934; married Atterson Miller.
      • James A. McNeil, born Feb. 12, 1842; James served in the Civil War. He was reported as missing in action near Grauel Hill, VA on or about July 28, 1864. James never returned home and was never offically reported dead.
      • Nancy Ann McNeil, born April 14, 1844; died Dec. 10, 1920; married John Crowson, Sr.
      • Elizabeth Eualine McNeil, born June 22, 1846; died April 23, 1921; married Jesse Miller.
      • Rachael McNeil, born June 27, 1848; died Feb. 6, 1866.
      • Leander Johnson "Lee" McNeill, born April 4, 1854; died Jan. 5, 1918; married Mary Baker (b. May 18, 1856, d. Jan. 8, 1953); Had at least four known children:

        • Fields H. McNeill, born June 11, 1875; died Nov. 27, 1949; married Julia Church (b. Jan. 2, 1879, d. Nov. 21, 1938); Had two known children:

          • Lessie Myrtle McNeill, born Feb. 26, 1908; died Oct. 20, 1915.
          • William Doughton McNeill, born July 25, 1914; died Dec. 9, 1976; married Margaret Marsh (b. July 4, 1914, d. Mar. 17, 1994).

        • Robert Smith McNeill, born Aug. 22, 1879; died July 8, 1954; married Laura Lela Blackburn (b. June 14, 1878, d. Nov. 5, 1963); Had one known child:

          • Conrad Lee McNeill, born Nov. 15, 1913; died June 18, 1959.

        • William Rainer McNeill, born Dec. 22, 1881; died June 4, 1956; married Ethel Woodie (b. May 17, 1891, d. Mar. 17, 1938); Had two known children:

          Wanda Lee McNeill Little
          Wanda Lee McNeill Little

          • Joe Todd McNeill, born June 29, 1921; died Oct. 25, 1928.
          • Mary E. McNeill, born May 1, 1922; died May 29, 1922.

        • Charles Thomas McNeill, born Dec. 15, 1892; died Feb. 6, 1964; married Minnie Lee Faw (b. Dec. 8, 1894, d. May 23, 1984); Had two known children:

          • Loyd McNeill, lives in West Jefferson, NC.
          • Wanda Lee McNeill, born Nov. 25, 1935; died Nov. 13, 2011; married Odell Little; Had two known children:

            1. Alyson Little, married Jim Church; live in Hickory, NC.
            2. Melanie Little, married Mike Johnson; live in Dillsboro, NC.

      • Mary Cyrilda McNeil, born Feb. 13, 1852; died Mar. 25, 1920.
      • Alex McNeil, born and died in 1855.
      • Rebecca McNeil, born 1860; died 1921.
      • Kirby Smith McNeil, born Aug. 18, 1862; died April 16, 1944; married Rebecca Ellen Faw; Had 12 known children:

          Kirby McNeil Children
          The 12 adult children of Kirby and Rebecca Faw McNeil. Back row (l-r): Wint Quincy, Clate, Clyde, Oscar, Alton, Eugene, Thomas and Iron. Front row (l-r): Edna, Belle and Ola.

        • Wint McNeil, born Dec. 12, 1897; married Minnie Severt; Had one known child:

          • Edward McNeil, born Nov. 30, 1927; married Louise Robinson.

        • Quincy McNeil, born July 2, 1899

        • Clate McNeil, born Nov. 13, 1900; married Bertha Phillips.

        • Clyde McNeil, born Aug. 12, 1902; married Dora Eller; Had two known children:

          • Joe Wayne McNeil, born Oct. 16, 1935; married Judy Osborne (b. July 31, 1944, d. July 11, 2006); Judy is buried at Ashelawn Memorial Gardens in Ashe Co., NC..

            Carol Dean Handy McNiel
            Carol Dean Handy McNiel

          • Robert Wade McNeil/McNiel, born May 5, 1937; married Carol Dean Handy (b. Nov. 30, 1928, d. Sept. 24, 2006); Carol is buried at New River Baptist Church Cemetery in Ashe Co., NC; Had one known child:

            1. Robert Earl McNiel, married Jennifer __?__; live in Oakwood, VA; Had two known children: Robert Wayne, and Lisa Marie.

        • Oscar McNeil, born June 3, 1904; married Maude Sheets; Last known living in Marion, VA; Had one known child:

          • Roy Russell McNeil, born Sept. 27, 1932; married 1st Dorothy Wassum; married 2nd Josephine Gorga Horne.

        • Alton McNeil, born Oct. 25, 1905; died October, 1989; married Nellie Sexton.

        • Edna McNeil, born Dec. 14, 1907; married Glen Parsons.

        • Eugene McNeil, born Mar. 4, 1910; died Aug. 24, 2004 in Wythe Co., VA; married Elva Cole; Eugene was a retired furniture salesman and past owner/operator of the Miller Furniture Company; buried in the West End Cemetery in Wythe Co., VA.

        • Thomas McNeil, born July 14, 1912; married 1st Mable Smith; married 2nd Altha Moore Faw; Thomas served the U.S. Army in Europe during WWII; Had six known children by Mable Smith:

          • Tommie Jean McNeil, born Feb. 25, 1948; married 1st Carl Carty; married 2nd Richard Cook.
          • Rebecca Faye McNeil, born Mar. 26, 1950; married James Hensell.
          • June Elizabeth McNeil, born July 25, 1951; married Albert Mumma.
          • Mary Alice McNeil, born Sept. 16, 1953; married Donald Stover.
          • Kimberly Sue McNeil, born April 14, 1961
          • Barry Allen McNeil, born Feb. 18, 1968

        • Ola McNeil, born Feb. 17, 1915; married 1st Amberose Miller; married 2nd Charles Greer; Last known living in West Jefferson, NC; Had seven known children by Amberose Miller:

          • Naomi Miller, born July, 1938; married Larry Hartzog.
          • Lillian Miller, born June 14, 1940; married John Miller.
          • Patsy Miller, born October, 1942; married Quincy Ronald Ashley.
          • Sharon Miller, born September, 1946; married Talmage Trivette.
          • Joseph Blaine Miller, born July 21, 1944; married Shirley Miller.
          • Mildred Miller, born Jan. 9, 1948; married Robert L. Sluder.
          • Joann Miller, born April 30, 1952; married Ronnie Hale.

        • Belle McNeil, born Nov. 2, 1918; Last known living in West Jefferson, NC.

        • Iron McNeil, born May 16, 1921; married Edna Dillard; Iron served in WWII; Had four known children:

          • Earl McNeil, born June 19, 1947; married Ruth Blevins.
          • Kirby McNeil, born May 10, 1949; married Rosalie Barker.
          • James McNeil, born June 15, 1955; married Glenna Walters.
          • Mary McNeil, born Sept. 18, 1957; married Ronnie Barker.

      • Lillie I. McNeil, born June 30, 1869; died Oct. 27, 1871.

  5. Agnes Shepherd, born Feb. 8, 1775; died Mar. 18, 1856; married Thomas Irwin (d. Nov. 25, 1853); Agness was a charter member of the Reddies River Baptist Church in Wilkes Co., NC. Thomas joined the church via experience on April 18, 1801 and was subsequently baptised in the cold, clear waters of Reddies River. Thomas, Agness and family removed to Russell Co., KY abt 1829. They made their home in the Fonthill area of Russell County on the waters of Goose Creek where they lived the rest of their lives. They were members of Friendship Baptist Church. Thomas and Agness are believed to be buried in the Irwin Family Cemetery near Friendship Baptist Church in Fonthill, KY. Had at least 13 known children:

  6. Rhoda Shepherd, born Mar. 23, 1777; married John Judd, abt 1790; removed to Centerville, Wayne Co., IN abt 1829; Had nine known children:

    • William Judd
    • John Judd
    • Robert Allen Judd
    • Sarah Judd
    • Thomas Judd
    • Margaret Judd
    • Tabitha Judd
    • Mary Judd
    • Elizabeth Judd

  7. John Shepherd, born Aug. 26, 1779; died 1803; married Mary Kilby, Oct. 13, 1802; no children; Mary later married Jesse Vannoy on Jan. 12, 1804.

  8. Sarah "Sally" Shepherd, born Aug. 27, 1782; died November, 1858; married William M. Judd (brother to John Judd, who married Sarah's sister, Rhoda), abt 1802; removed to Wayne County, IN abt 1829; William died near Markleville, Madison Co., IN and is buried in the Collier Cemetery, Markleville, Madison Co., IN; Sarah died at Newtown, Sullivan Co., IN. and is buried in the Howard Cemetery there. Had 10 known children:

  9. Frances 'Fanny' Shepherd, born Feb. 13, 1785; married Larkin Pumphrey, abt 1803; removed to Pulaski Co., KY; Had nine known children:

    • Male Pumphrey, born in Wilkes Co., NC.
    • Eli Pumphrey, born April 23, 1806 in Wilkes Co., NC; died May 18, 1882 in Decatur, IN.
    • Martha Pumphrey, born ca. 1808 in Wilkes Co., NC.
    • John A. Pumphrey, born ca. 1812 in Wilkes Co., NC; died 1872 in Tipton, IN.
    • Delphia Matilda Pumphrey, born ca. 1814 in Wilkes Co., NC; married __?__ in Union Co., IN.
    • Jackson Pumphrey, born ca. 1816 in Pulaski Co., KY.
    • Sarah Pumphrey, born ca. 1819 in Pulaski Co., KY; died 1891 in Decatur, IN.
    • Joseph M. Pumphrey, born ca. 1821 in Pulaski Co., KY; died 1866 in Tipton, IN.
    • Andrew J. Pumphrey, born ca. 1828 in Pulaski Co., KY; died 1875 in Decatur, IN.

  10. Rebecca Shepherd, born Sept. 26, 1787; died Sept. 22, 1836; married Amos Harmon (b. 1785, d. Sept. 20, 1854), June 2, 1806; About 1830, the Amos & Rebecca Shepherd Harmon family migrated to Indiana, and about 1835 to a little place called Somonauk, DeKalb Co., IL. At that time, Sommonauk consisted of only two or three cabins and was near Indian territory. Rebecca lived only a short time and is buried in the Oak Ridge Cemetery, Sandwich, DeKalb Co., IL along with at least six of her children. Amos is believed to be buried in the same cemetery. Had 13 known children:

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  1. Paul Gregory explains the old style birth - "A short explanation for those who do not understand the reference to the old style birth, is in order. The calendar that determines our months and our seasons was adopted by Great Britian in 1752 and is known as the Gregorian Calendar or new style calendar. Previous to this adoption, most of the world used the Julian Calendar which was decreed by Julius Ceaser befor the birth of Christ. This calendar was so inaccurate that it was necessary for a new calendar to be adoped in order to correct the mistakes of the Julian Calendar which was causing a gradual change in our seasons. The old Julian Calendar was 11 minutes and 14 seconds longer per year than the actual Solar Calendar. By 1752, the Old Style Calendar had been in existence for more than 1700 years and approximately 11 extra days in time had been accumulated causing a gradual change in the seasons. When the new calendar was adopted by Great Britian in 1752, it was necessary to correct the difference. Pope Gregory VIII corrected the difference between sun and calendar by dropping 10 days from the month of October. Thus the day that was to be October 5 became October 15. For those people born prior to 1752 (under the Old Style Calendar) it was necessary to substract 11 days from their death date in order to get their correct age. The present calendar is now so accurate as to vary only about 26 seconds per year from the solar calendar." Paul W. Gregory, Early Settlers of Reddies River, (Wilkesboro NC., Wilkes Genealogical Society, 1976), page 82. Return

  2. Descendants of William and Elizabeth Shepherd McNiel provided courtesy of Judy McNiel Williams. Return
  3. Descendants of Linville Judd and photos provided courtesy of Scott Manwaring. Return


Along with information from the normal genealogical sources (Census Records, History Books, Cemetery Records, etc.) the following people have contributed family history information and/or photos presented on this page. If you have information/photos on the descendants of Robert Shepherd, and would like to see your family history added to this page, send an email to

Elizabeth Shepherd - Judy McNiel Williams.

Agnes Shepherd - Judy Armstrong, Kellye Kathryn Betancourt.

Sarah Shepherd - Scott Manwaring.

Rebecca Shepherd - Sandra Wanamaker, B. Koch, editor of (Photos of The Historic Ward Home and scans from the books, Walla Walla, Portrait of a Western Town 1804 - 1899 by Robert A. Bennett [Walla Walla: Pioneer Press, 1980] and Walla Walla / Her Historic Homes, Volume III by Penny Andres).