Edward and Fanny Shepherd's Children

3. Edward Shepherd (1839-1919)

(16 June 2011)

edward shepherd in victoriaBorn at Buckfastleigh in Devon in 1839, Edward married Matilda Lynn (1841-1919) at Fitzroy in Melbourne on 28 March 1865 (the couple are pictured below later in their lives). Matilda was born in County Antrim in Ireland in 1841, the daughter of Henry Quin Lynn and Jane Brown. The Victorian Assisted and Unassisted Passenger Lists, 1839-1923 show that, when she was 18 years-old, Matilda sailed from Plymouth in England to Port Philip on the ATALANTA, arriving at Melbourne on 30 May 1860. The ship's entry showed she had been contracted to work as a general servant for a Mr Sharp of 21 Fleet St in Collingwood from 4 January 1860. Her period of employment was three months for which she was to be paid 25. A Roman Catholic by birth, she could then read but not write.

After their marriage the couple lived first at Donald where Edward worked as a stockman and then for much of the remainder of their lives in the Thalia-Wycheproof area. Edward was an expert horseman who was considered at one time to be the champion rough rider of Victoria. Robert White tells us that according his uncles, a framed version of the photograph of Edward pictured on the left could be seen at the residence of his daughter Catherine Whelan nee Shepherd. It was hung between the portraits of the old couple shown below.

An extract from the Wycheproof Ensign dated 23 March 1906 (and published in the local Times Ensign 104 years later) noted that Edward 'first became acquainted with Mt. Wycheproof when engaged on stations around West Charlton and Wycheproof. He was employed by Messes Clarke and Atkinson as a stockman when 2,000 cattle were kept on the Wycheproof station and needed some attention in the wide stretches of country available to them. At that time Mt Wycheproof was remarkable for the kangaroos which sheltered amidst the rocks. Mr Shepherd recalled riding around the base of the mount looking for cattle.' The extract added that Edward also 'managed Thalia Station for eight years and only selected when the whole of the country was being taken up'.

The 1903 electoral roll for the Wimmera Division showed Edward and Matilda, both farmers, living at Wycheproof along with two of their children, Phoebe Emily and Thomas Chaffe Shepherd. According to the newspaper extract cited above in around 1905 Edward was forced by ill health to sell his farm and seek to 'settle in a more northerly locality'. As a consequence, the extract continued, 'the district loses one who has been identified with its history for the past 53 years and who has earned the title of the town's "oldest inhabitant"'. It seems that Edward and Matilda decided not to move 'to a more northerly locality' but to buy a place in Wycheproof where they were registered as living at the time of the 1909 and 1914 electoral rolls.

Matilda Shepherd nee Lynn died at Thalia on 26 May 1919, aged 77 years. The following obituary appeared in the local newspaper shortly afterwards:

The Wycheproof district lost another of its old identities on Monday when Mrs Matilda Shepherd, wife of Mr Edward Shepherd, passed peacefully away in her sleep. Deceased was 80 years of age, and has been ailing for the past four months. She was of a retiring but pleasant nature and had all her faculties almost to the last. The cause of death was senile decay. Deceased was born in the County of Anthrem [sic], Ireland and came to Australia in 1861. Four years later she was married, and after living near Donald for a few years made her home at Thalia, and resided in this district during the past 47 years. During that time the family made a wide circle of friends who have expressed regret at the demise of their old and respected friend. In addition to her husband, two daughters (Mrs M. Ryan of Thalia and Mrs J. Whelan of Wycheproof) and four sons (Edward of Lalbert; Tom at Wycheproof; Robert of Bendigo; and John of Condobolin) are left to mourn their loss. Deceased also leaves 45 grand children and five great grand children. The body was followed to the Wycheproof Cemetery on Wednesday afternoon by many friends and sympathisers. Rev Father O'Connor conducted the burial service.

Not long after Edward also died, at Wycheproof on 2 June 1919. The 10 June 1919 edition of the Donald Times published the following obituary:

Mr Edward Shepherd, whose wife died last week, only survived her for a week, as he passed away on Monday evening last week at Wycheproof. He was about 83 years of age, and was born in Devonshire, England. He came to the colony in 1853 as a lad, and went to Rich Avon Station. At one time he was considered to be the champion rough rider of Victoria. He commenced farming at Thalia in 1884 and was a resident of the district for 47 years. During that time he made many friends who heard of his death with regret. Two daughters (Mrs M. Ryan and Mrs J. Whelan) and four sons (Edward, Thomas, Robert and John) are left to mourn their loss, also two brothers (Robert and William) of St Arnaud, Deep sympathy is felt for the members of their double bereavement.

edward shepherd jnr matilda lynn

Edward and Matilda Shepherd nee Lynn.

Edward and Matilda Shepherd had seven children as follows:

3.1 Jane Elizabeth Shepherd (1866-1926)

Born at Donald in 1866, Jane Elizabeth married Martin Ryan at Wycheproof in Victoria in around 1889. According to the 'Noonan Family Tree' on Ancestry.com, Martin's parents were Denis Ryan and Bridget Hayes. The 1903 electoral roll for the Wimmera Division shows Martin, a farmer, and Jane Ryan living at Thalia. Jane died at Wycheproof in 1926. Her husband Martin died at Thalia two years later.

Robert White tells us that they had thirteen children and 76 grand children who are now spread throughout Victoria and beyond:

1) Emily Frances Ryan (1889-1967) who married Michael Patrick Noonan (1887-1964), the son of Patrick Edward Noonan (1854-1936) and Catherine Ann Scanlon (1857-1945) and had ten children.

2) Denis John Ryan (1891-1936) who married Elizabeth Ellen Noonan and had four children.

3) Edward Thomas Ryan (1892-1967) who married Margaret Mary O'Keefe (1898-1960) and had ten children. He and Margaret farmed land at Nullawil.

4) Martin J. Ryan (1894-1954) who married Annie Elizabeth Hogan (1895-1990) and had five children.

5) Margaret Ryan who married William Doye and had three children.

cockfield children6) Michael Ryan (1899-1971) who married Annie Florence Cockfield (1905-70) and had six children. According to the 'Haswell/Green tree' on Ancestry.com, Annie's parents were Harry Cockfield and Susan Ellen Haswell (1871-1944). A young Annie is pictured standing at the rear of the photo on the left. With her are her siblings, from L/R: Hilda, Roy (with Don in front of him) and Cathie Cockfield).

7) James Joseph Ryan (1900-73) who married Elsie Fradd and had eight children.

8) Certificates subsequently sent to us by Robert White show that Matilda Cecily Ryan married Edwin John Lindner, a farmer from Karyrie and son of Leopold Lindner and Johanna Caroline Kroschel, at Birchip in 1929 (the wedding was witnessed by Denis John Ryan and Gladys Hommelhoff). Sadly Matilda died two years later and is buried in the Horsham cemetery. She and Edwin had no children.

9) Bridget Ryan who married Arnold John Schultz and had seven children.

10) Robert Lynn Ryan who married Marie Snelson and had two children.

11) Henry ('Harry') Ryan who married Kathleen Ryan and had twelve children.

12) Gladys Ryan who married Jack Hommelhof and had six children.

13) Francis ('Frank') Ryan who married Kathleen Frawley, worked as a teacher and had three children.

3.2 Edward Shepherd (1867-1946)

Edward married Elizabeth Agnes McKeown (1871-1942), the daughter of James McKeown and Mary McAdam, at Ballarat in 1892. The Australian electoral rolls show that they farmed at Lalbert before retiring to Swan Hill sometime before Elizabeth's death there in 1942. They had six children we are aware of: Edward, Ethel Lynn, Reginald James Patrick, Edmund, Ida Mary and Phoebe-Leila Shepherd.

3.3 Thomas Chaff Shepherd (1869-1945)

matilda shepherdBorn at Donald, Thomas married his cousin Louisa Shepherd (1878-1919), the daughter of William Shepherd and Jessie Scott Stewart. He and Louisa had two children we know of: Rowland John and Edward Lynn Shepherd both of whom were born at Wycheproof. Both Thomas and Louisa are buried at the Wycheproof cemetery.

3.4 Robert James Shepherd (1871-1934)

Robert was also born at Donald. He married Mary Frances Gibbons (1879-1976) in 1902. Although still to be confirmed, we think that Mary's parents were James Gibbons and Catherine Kemp. It seems that they spent most of their married lives at Bendigo. Robert White tells that they had eight children: 1) Edward John Shepherd who worked for the Victorian Railways, married Isabella Violet Marion Eastwood (1910-93), the daughter of Henry Stephen Eastwood and Catherine McClarty, and had four children including Robert Henry John Shepherd (1936-80); 2) Thyrzal Matilda Shepherd who married Sydney Edwards and had one child; 3) Bertha Shepherd; 4) Robert James Shepherd; 5) Harry Joseph Shepherd who married Hazel Brynar and had one child; 6) Leo Thomas Shepherd; 7) Margaret Josephine Shepherd and 8) William Patrick Shepherd.

An account of the Shepherds, sent to me by Robert White, tells us that William (Bill) Patrick grew up in Bendigo where he went to school at St Joseph's at Quarry Hill and then the local Marist Brothers College. 'After leaving college he was employed at Cohn Bros, a soft drink and cordial firm in Bridge St, Bendigo. He always enjoyed the outdoors and spent a lot of time fishing, camping, and other out-of sports. He also played football for the Sandhurst Football Club'. The notes continue that Bill and three of his brothers enlisted in the 2nd AIF: Pte Robert ('Bob') Shepherd served in the Army Ordnance Corps, Pte Leo Shepherd with the Australian Military Forces. CFN Harry Shepherd with the 9th Australian Watercraft Workshops and 10th Australian Motor Transport. Bill served in the 2/10 Australian Ordnance Workshops, part of the newly formed 8 Division. He and his unit were despatched to Malaya where he was captured and died as a prisoner of the Japanese.

3.5 Phoebe Emily Shepherd (1873-1909)

According to Robert White, Phoebe married Charlie Moore and had three children: 1) Mary Moore who married James Barker and had ten children; 2) Edward Moore who married Matilda Smith and had three children; and 3) John Moore who married Veronica Mary Smith and had one child.

3.6 John Finlay William Shepherd (1875-1938)

The 1903 electoral roll shows John Finlay Shepherd a farmer of Mumble Plain near Lalbert. Ancestry's Australian Marriage Index 1788-1949 shows that he married Ada Jane Fidge in Victoria in 1905 (the Dixon Family Tree on Ancestry.com has Ada's parents as Edward Fidge (1854-1929) and Tryphena Pridham (1861-1943)). The couple were at Quambatook at the time of the 1909 election and then at Swan Hill for a number of years before moving to Condobolin in NSW where Jack, as he was then known as, and his oldest son worked on the local experimental farm. An extract from the local newspaper sent to us by Robert White informs us that Jack was killed on 29 August 1938 when struck by a car while cycling to work. The newspaper account noted that Jack was a native of Victora and was 'survived by his widow, one daughter, (Phyllis) Mrs Howard, and four sons, George, Norman, Eddie and Gordon'.

The electoral rolls show that Ada continued to live at Condobolin after her husband's death but eventually moved to Warner's Bay near Charlestown in NSW to be near her son John Norman Shepherd (1907-80). John had married Mary Ann Bradford (1909-2001) at Condobolin in 1905 and was working at Warner's Bay as a labourer. According to the Dixon Family Tree, they had one child, Barbara Shepherd (1941-88), who married Walter Gerhard Raub (1935-2006), the son of Valentin Raub and Maria Therese Gruber, in 1958. She and Walter had three children all still living. We think that John's brother, Edward Albert Shepherd, married Catherine Galeraith in Condobolin in 1933 although this has still to be confirmed.

3.7 Matilda Catherine Shepherd (1877-1943)

Matilda married James Daniel Whelan (1869-1942), the son of Daniel James and Mary Ryan, at Wycheproof in 1898 (their wedding photo is shown above on the right). They lived all their married lives at Wycheproof much of it in the Whelan homestead named 'Roscrea' (see the photo below) and had eleven children there: 1) Daniel Kevin Whelan (1899-1960) who married Irene Burns and had eight children; 2) Mary Catherine Whelan (1900-83) who married Vince Credlin and had seven children; 3) Matilda Veronica Whelan (1901-74) who married Albert Credlin and had six children; 4) Annie Josephine Whelan (1903-84) who married Felix Smith and had seven children; 5) James Patrick Whelan (1905-54); 6) Joseph Whelan (1907-07); 7) Kathleen Brigid Whelan (1910-66); 8) Alice Eileen Whelan (1911-29); 9) Edward Francis Whelan (1913-76); 10) Sheila Agatha Whelan (1915-82) who married Thomas Coughlan and had three children and Michael Mannix Bernard John Whelan (1917-85). James Whelan snr died at Wycheproof in 1942. Matilda died there the following year.

whelan homestead whelan boys

Whelan's 'Roscrea' homestead and the sons of James and Matilda Whelan nee Shepherd (taken in 1951).
From L/R: Michael Mannix Bernard John ('Mick') Whelan, Daniel Kevin Whelan,
James Patrick Whelan and Edward Francis ('Ted') Whelan.

(16 June 2011)

Image sources
'Edward Shepherd on horseback' and 'Edward and Matilda Shepherd nee Lynn', courtesy of Robert White.
Remainder from the photos section of Wycheproof Historical Society website.

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Go to Edward Shepherd's sisters Mary Lee and Ann Maria Allen

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Go to Edward Shepherd's brothers William and Robert Shepherd

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