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Surname Shepherdson - Meaning and Origin

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Shepherdson: What does the surname Shepherdson mean?

The last name Shepherdson is an English patronymic surname derived from the Old English words "scēap" and "suna," meaning "sheep" and "son," respectively. This suggests an ancestor who either worked with sheep, or had another meaningful association with them.

Shepherds were important figures in medieval English society, providing a vital service in the herding of the local flocks. Flock guardians, respected as skilled and respected craftsmen, often belonged to merchant associations which gave them considerable power. The shepherd also had the important job of ensuring that the most vulnerable and vulnerable animals were well cared for. Additionally, the job enabled access to seasonal grazing areas often located near water where the flocks could be legally allowed to graze for free.

The Shepherdson surname likely refers to those who were descendants of flock guardians or sheep-related workers. It could alternatively represent someone who lived in a location known for having many sheep, namely, Shepperton or Shepherdstown, two English settlements in existence since before the 11th century.

The meaning of Shepherdson represents a history of hard-working people doing important work found all over England. It is an occupational surname whose bearer is proud of their ancestral history and the many people who made labor like sheep-herding possible.

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Shepherdson: Where does the name Shepherdson come from?

The Shepherdson surname is most commonly found in the United Kingdom and in Australia. In the United Kingdom, the highest concentration of the Shepherdson name tends to be found in Yorkshire, Lancashire, and the North West. Other areas where the Shepherdson surname is common are Kent, East Anglia, and the East Midlands.

In Australia, the Shepherdson name is most commonly found in New South Wales and Victoria, with the highest density of families living in the capital cities of Sydney and Melbourne. The Northern Territory also has a large Shepherdson community, as well as other areas of the country, such as rural Queensland.

It is likely that the Shepherdson name is of Old English origin, as the suffix “son” is an indication of this. There are also records of Shepherdsons in Scotland, Ireland, and the United States. The spelling of the name can vary, as it is often Anglicised from its original spelling which could be "Schaeffer", "Scifar", or even "Schaefer".

King Richard III was the first king to use the Shepherdson as a surname. His descendant, Thomas Shephard, an apprentice to Sir Thomas Paulet, was knighted by Henry VIII in 1544. As a result, the surname has been used ever since.

The Shepherdson name today is fairly rare, but still used. It is estimated that around three thousand people today continue to use the Shepherdson surname.

Variations of the surname Shepherdson

The Shepherdson surname is an occupational surname derived from the Old English word "scēaphierde," which means "shepherd." As an occupational surname, it is found in numerous variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin. These include names like Sheepheard, Sheppard, Shepherd, Shephard, Sheperd, Shepperd, Shepphard, Shepheard, Shephurd, Shepird, Shepurd, Sheppird, Shepparde, and Jaquiery.

A variant spelling, Shepphard, is found in Scotland and some rural parts of England and is derived from the P-Celtic "sceith" meaning to "cut," referring to the action of shepherds cutting back rooted plants or forest trees while grazing sheep in the forests of medieval Britain.

Jaquiery is a variant of Shepherdson found in France and derived from the French words for "dog"-"chien" and "shepherd"-"berger." The suffix -ier is sometimes substituted for the second syllable of "shepherd" to denote the occupational relationship between the shepherd and their "dog."

In North America, some Anglicized spellings include Shepperd, Shephard, Shepheard, Shepurd and Sheppird, while in Australia, the spelling Sheppard is often preferred.

In Ireland, the surname Shepparde is derived from Shepheirde and is a variant of Shepherdson that was adopted by Protestant settlers who arrived during the 16th century Plantations of Ireland.

In summary, the variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin for the surname Shepherdson include Sheepheard, Sheppard, Shepherd, Shephard, Sheperd, Shepperd, Shepphard, Shepheard, Shephurd, Shepird, Shepurd, Sheppird, Shepparde, and Jaquiery.

Famous people with the name Shepherdson

  • John Shepherdson: an Australian football player who played in the South Australian National Football League
  • Dr. Jann Shepherdson: former president of the Australian Women's Land Army
  • Suzy Shepherdson: British model and actress
  • William Shepherdson: former principal of the University of Queensland
  • Gordon Shepherdson: Australian rugby league player, played for Sydney Rugby League
  • Dave Shepherdson: British musician, former drummer for Indie rock band Cast
  • Liz Shepherdson: Australian journalist and radio host
  • Tom Shepherdson: former professional Australian football player and coach
  • Caroline Shepherdson: British singer-songwriter
  • Luke Shepherdson: British actor, appeared in films such as Star Wars:The Last Jedi and Kingsman: The Golden Circle

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