The Shepherdson Family

Introduction Search for Family Roots Shepherdson Family Connection Other Shepherdsons on the Web

The Quest

Origin of Eurasians

Origin of "Shepherdson"

Quest to Trace My Family Tree

The search to trace my family tree started almost 10 years ago. At that time, we knew of many Shepherdsons in Singapore but we really had no idea how we were related. It was not uncommon for people to ask my family members if we knew "this Shepherdson in this job" or "that Shepherdson" they had met. So the answers we gave were vague – that we were "somehow" related. This was because my great grandfather, Cuthbert Aloysius, married three times. His wives had died and so he married again. We assumed that the Shepherdsons in Singapore were probably his descendents.

The seed for the search was planted when my uncle, Terence and Michael (whom I did not know then was my second cousin) coincidentally had their sons baptized on the same day in the same church. They were surprised to learn that they were both Shepherdsons but dismissed this as pure coincidence. It was not until my grand-uncle’s funeral (Cedric Pestanna) that they embarrassingly realized that they were first cousins.

The Search Began in 1990

This kicked off a conscious effort to trace our family tree. We gathered as much information as we could from our elders to piece our family tree. Michael coordinated his side of the family while Terence collated information from my immediate family, especially from my grandfather, Nobert. We set up an organizing committee with Terence as the chairman with the intention to bring the entire family together in a reunion and to ambitiously publish a family heritage magazine to celebrate the occasion.

We knew that my great-grandfather, Cuthbert was born in Taiping Perak. That prompted a journey to Malaysia to trace our roots. At that time, I was an undergraduate from the National University of Singapore and a member of the Eurasian Association. Dr Myrna Blake, author of the book "Singapore Eurasians" , told me that she had a John Shepherdson in her Eurasian records who was a Court Bailey born in 1800. With this useful piece of information and a university letter explaining the reasons for our research, a few of our family members (including myself) decided to set forth to various states in Malaysia to trace our family tree. Our intention was to research the church records for baptismal and marriage information about our ancestors. What made it relatively easy for us was that we knew that our ancestors were Catholics and that the churches kept records that could contain missing clues to family links. We also wanted to visit the cemeteries to gather other useful information link relationships and date of deaths.

Our trip to Malaysia was a success, given the short research time and we will able to establish connection to John Shepherdson, from Dr Blake’s records. He is my forth great grandfather! The family reunion was a success and it was a great feeling to realize that I had so many relatives all of a sudden and that I was part of a larger family. The Singapore Straits Times wrote about this historic family reunion on August 19, 1990.


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