When Joel Shepherd was born on 14 February 1804, in Bedford, Virginia, United States, his father, Jacob Shepherd, was 43 and his mother, Mary Warner, was 37. He married Eleanor Dowdy on 21 November 1833, in Franklin, Virginia, United States. They were the parents of at least 2 sons and 4 daughters. He died in 1870, in Franklin, Virginia, United States, at the age of 66.
English (Lancashire and Yorkshire): occupational name from Middle English schepeherde ‘shepherd’ (Old English scēaphyrde, scēap‐weard).
Americanized form (translation into English) of surnames meaning ‘shepherd’, for example German and Jewish Schäfer (see Schaefer ).