Adam Shepherd

Adam Shepherd
Born:
 About 1757
Marriage:
United April 20, 1784 to Rachael Drake
Lincoln County, Kentucky
(then a part of Virginia)
Death:
His estate was settled in 1819
Bullitt County, Kentucky
Note:
The information offered in this post has been collected from available records and in part of other researchers.  The accuracy is not guaranteed.
Below you will find a transcribed document discovered in 2010 among the deeds archived in the Bullitt County, Kentucky Courthouse records room.  It is from this deed dated January 28, 1834 and it's contents that the inspiration to research this subject was inspired.

This Indenture made and entered into this 28th day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty four between Elizabeth Pryor of Bullitt County and State of Kentucky of the one part and Benjamin Chapeze of Nelson County and state afsd [aforesaid] of the other part. Witnesseth That whereas the late Adam Shepherd was in his life time vested with and owned a tract of land lying on the southside of Longlick Creek on which he lived, the said tract of land was patented to Jesse Rude, Adam Shepherd, and James Samuels and contained about six hundred sixty one acres more or less after the conveyance made by the said Elizabeth and others to said Chapeze for money he had advanced for the benefit of the grantors in said conveyance which is recorded in the County Court office of Bullitt. And whereas the said tract of six hundred sixty one acres afsd [aforesaid] has not been divided between the heirs at law of said Adam Shepherd Now in Consideration of the One Thousand dollars in hand paid the receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge I have bargained and sold to the said Benjamin Chapeze all my interest right and title in and to the afsd [aforesaid] tract of land that I own and hold in law or equity being the one undivided fifth part thereof, I being the only daughter and child of the late Mary Pryor who was the daughter of said Adam Shepherd And I do forever warrant and defend the afsd [aforesaid] tract of land to the said Chapeze his heirs &c against myself and those claiming under me and against all persons whatever.  In testimony whereof I do hereby set my hand and affix my seal the date before written.
Elizabeth Pryor (Seal)
Witness
Luke Samuels
R.F. Samuels

Note:
Available records confirm that Benjamin Chapeze was an uncle by marriage to Elizabeth Pryor

Adam Shepherd, among the early land owners of Bullitt County, Kentucky, is known to have been a businessman.  From February 7, 1783 and until his death Adam Shepherd had owned a substantial amount of property in Kentucky.  Over 3800 Bullitt County, Kentucky acres were acquired by Adam Shepherd between 1783 and 1798.  Adam Shepherd is included on the Bullitt County, Kentucky tax list in the year 1800, but likely had settled in the area more than two decades before.
The 1810 Bullitt County, Kentucky Federal Census record enumerating Adam Shepherd transcribed below:
Males under 10 (1) Males 26-44 (1) Males 45 and over (1) Adam Shepherd, Females under 10 (1) Females 10-15 (1) Females 16-25 (3) Females 45 and over (1) Rachael, Slaves (9)
Note:
Until recently, researchers offered the history of only one daughter born from the union of Adam Shepherd and Rachael Drake.  Elizabeth Drake Shepherd was born April 1, 1787.  Elizabeth united to Benjamin Chapeze on May 7, 1812.
The census record above offers that Adam Shepherd and Rachael Drake created several children undiscovered.   Elizabeth Drake Shepherd would have been about 23 years old when the family was enumerated in 1810. 
The 1810 Bullitt County Federal Census record also offers a John Shepherd age 26-44 in Bullitt County, Kentucky.    

 Adam Shepherd had been researched to have migrated to Tippecanoe County, Indiana where he is said to have died about 1843. The above deed offers evidence that he had died before January 28, 1834, referring to him as "the late Adam Shepherd". 


The 1820 Bullitt County Federal Census record, taken August 7, 1820 offers a Rachael Shepherd as household head age 45 and over with 5 younger females in her household.  In 1820 also listed as household heads in Bullitt County include a Samuel Shepherd age 26-44 and a James Shepherd age 26-44.  If these men are the sons of Adam Shepherd and Rachel Drake proof has not been discovered. 

The 1834 deed transcribed above confirms Adam Shepherd also created a daughter with the given name "Mary", that Mary Shepherd had married a man with the surname "Pryor", and that Mary Shepherd Pryor's death, like her father Adam Shepherd, occurred before January 28, 1834. 
A marriage record is available uniting a Robert Pryor and a Polly Shepherd in Bullitt County, Kentucky dated October 18, 1805.    Could Polly Shepherd have been born Mary Polly Shepherd and be the daughter of Adam Shepherd?   The given name "Mary Polly" was offered with frequency at that time. 

The 1810 Bullitt County Federal Census record enumerating the family of Robert L. Pryor transcribed below:

Males under 10 (1) Males 26-44 (1) Robert L. Pryor Females under 10 (2) Females 16-25 (1) Polly

Note:
From the deed shown above Elizabeth Pryor makes a note that she was the only daughter and child of Mary Pryor.  The statement only adds additional mystery to this research.
  Elizabeth Pryor's birthdate and history remain undiscovered, but is presumed she was born before 1810. 
   Robert L. Pryor is listed as a Kentucky veteran of the War of 1812 having made the rank of Ensign (Lieutenant) before the wars end.  If the 1810 census record available including the family of Robert L. Pryor is indeed the family of Mary and Elizabeth Pryor named in the deed shown above then it seems likely that Robert L. Pryor, nor his wife Mary Shepherd Pryor, lived long enough to be enumerated in 1820.  Elizabeth Pryor may have been living in the household with Rachael Shepherd when the census was taken at that time. 

The  1820 Census record enumerating Rachael Shepherd can be viewed below:

Shepherdsville is first censused as a township in Bullitt County, Kentucky in 1820. 

Rachael Shepherd is researched to be the daughter of Samuel Drake and Mary Pauline Cox.  Rachael  is enumerated as household head with 3 females in her household between the ages of 16 and 25 in 1820 and 5 adult females in her household in 1830.  2 females age 20-29 years, 2 females age 30-39, 1 female age 15-20, also listed is 1 male age 60-69.  It seems that Adam Shepherd, and even after his death Rachael Shepherd, maintained households with multiple adults present doubtful that all were children born to them.       

Adam Shepherd is sometimes researched as being a soldier of The American Revolution, but no records are available to confirm the claims. 
 In appreciation to Mr. Hartley for sharing the information below:
 According to page 314 of The Public Papers of Governor Keen Johnson 1939-1943, edited by Frederic D. Ogden, and published in 1982 by the University of Kentucky Press, "Shortly following the Revolutionary War, Matthew Walton and Adam Shepherd, engineers who served with General Washington's army, left Virginia to seek land in Kentucky." He goes on to identify Adam Shepherd as the founder of Shepherdsville.

Bullitt County was formed in December 1796 from lands taken of Nelson and Jefferson Counties and named after French and Indian war veteran Captain Thomas Bullitt.  On a survey expedition Bullitt discovered a large salt lick in the area that became known as "Bullitt's Lick".  

An excerpt from Wikipedia offers "The first settlement of the area and the first station on the Wilderness Road between Harrodsburg and the Falls of the Ohio was a fort called Brashear's Station or the Salt River Garrison, built in 1779 at the mouth of Floyd's Fork. Shepherdsville, named after Adam Shepherd - a prosperous business man who purchased the land near the Falls of Salt River in 1793, is the oldest town and became the county seat."

Adam Shepherd signed a petition of the inhabitants of Lincoln County sent to the Honorable Representatives of the Commonwealth of Virginia for an Act establishing the town of Harrodsburg in 1785.  A William Shepherd was also listed.
Bullitt County, Kentucky Land Grants
 to Adam Shepherd can be viewed below:
391 acres Survey Date 17 Oct 1797
Watercourse: None
1000 Acres Survey Date 8 Nov 1797
Watercourse: Knob Creek
300 Acres Survey Date 18 Sept 1798
Watercourse: Bullitt Knob Creek
750 Acres Survey Date 22 Sept 1798
Watercourse: None
500 Acres Survey Date 27 Sept 1798
Watercourse: None
925 Acres Survey Date 28 Sept 1798
Watercourse: Long Lick Creek 
Note:
Long Lick Creek is researched to be in the area of Bardstown Junction, Kentucky located a few miles south of the city of Shepherdsville.
The area known as Knob Creek today would be located west of Shepherdsville, Kentucky.

Rachael Shepherd is enumerated last in 1830 in the area of Mount Washington, Kentucky in Bullitt County.  She offers the census taker that she is 70-79 years of age making her year of birth between 1751 and 1760.  She is enumerated as neighbors to George Ober husband of Rachael Pryor who was the daughter of Simon Pryor.

Research offers an Adam Shepherd listed in the 1700's in Burlington County, New Jersey.  An Adam "Shafer" was listed in Bucks County, Pennsylvania in the same era of time.  Researchers offer that this Adam "Shafer", later enumerated as Adam "Shepherd", removes to Kentucky where he unites to Rachael Drake, then migrated north to Indiana and is enumerated in Tippecanoe County, Indiana in 1830 and 1840. 

Due to the information available from the January 28, 1834 deed transcribed above, records from the 1785 Lincoln County petition,  and the 1820 and 1830 Bullitt County, Kentucky Federal Census records enumerating Rachael Shepherd, it seems plausible that Adam Shepherd of Shepherdsville, Kentucky removed from New Jersey to Kentucky before 1784 where he then united to Rachael Drake living out the remainder of his life there.  It is noteworthy to mention the well researched Revolutionary War soldier Simon Pryor migrated from New Jersey to Kentucky before 1785 also settling first in the area of Bullitt County, Kentucky.  Simon Pryor's relationship to Robert L. Pryor mentioned above has not been confirmed but likely.   

Adam Shepherd and his wife Rachael Drake Shepherd are resting forever in unmarked graves in Bullitt County, Kentucky.  

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