Derry New Hampshire Astronaut: Rear Admiral Alan B. Shepard Jr. (1923-1998)

Alan B. Shepard Jr. was born 18 Nov 1923 in the small town of Derry, New Hampshire.

He attended grammar school (a one-room school-house in East Derry), and high school in Derry NH. As an adult, he stood 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighed 170 pounds.While a teenager, he cleaned hangars at Grenier Field (now called the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport). Sometime after 1938 he took flying lessons here.

He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1944. In 1950 he attended the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School in Maryland and participated in flight test work at high altitudes.  In all he logged more than 8,000 hours flying time, and 3,700 hours in jet aircraft.  In addition he has logged a total of 216 hours and 57 minutes in space, of which 9 hours and 17 minutes were spend on the lunar surface.

In April 1959 he was named to become one of the Mercury astronauts by NASA, and he was the first American to journey into space in 1961.  He was also the fifth astronaut to walk on the moon (and the first to golf on the moon). On May 5, 1961, in the Freedom 7 spacecraft, he was launched by a Redstone vehicle on a ballistic trajectory suborbital flight–a flight which carried him to an altitude of 116 statute miles and to a landing point 302 statute miles down the Atlantic Missile Range.

He was awarded an honorary Master of Arts degree from Dartmouth College
in 1962, an honorary Doctorate of Science from Miami University
(Oxford, Ohio) in 1971, and an honorary Doctorate of Humanities from
Franklin Pierce College in 1972.

Alan Shepherd holds the distinction of being the first American to journey into space. NASA Photograph.

Alan Shepherd holds the distinction of being the first American to journey into space. NASA Photograph.

Among the many honors Shepard received he was awarded the Congressional
Medal of Honor (Space), two NASA Distinguished Service Medals, the NASA
Exceptional Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Flying Cross, the
Langley Medal (highest award of the Smithsonian Institution), the
Lambert Trophy, the Kinchloe Trophy, the Cabot Award, the Collier
Trophy, the City of New York Gold Medal (1971), and the American
Astronautical Society’s Flight Achievement Award for 1971.

Born Born November 18, 1923, in East Derry, NH, Shepherd retired from the U.S. Navy at the rank of Rear Admiral. He died on July 21, 1998 at Community Hospital near Monterey California, having suffered from leukemia. He was 74.


Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. Biography (NASA)

Wikipedia, Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr.

1991 Interview with Alan B. Shepard Jr.

CNN: Alan Shepard

Anniversary of Mercury 7


John [or Samuel] Shepard, b. 15 Jan 1678/79 in Holderness, Yorkshire Co., England. One source says he m. Eleanor Glass, but his wife was called Anne, and she was living in Durham NH as a widow in 1726. See this link for more details:
1. Samuel Shepard
2. +John Shepard, b. abt 1712 in Durham, Strafford Co NH
3. Thomas Shepard
4. William Shepard
5. Richard Shepard

John Shepard, b. abt 1712 in Durham, Strafford Co NH, and possibly d. abt 1780 in Holderness, Grafton Co NH.  He m. Eleanor Ellison. She b. abt 1710 in Durham, Strafford Co NH and d. abt 1765 in Canterbury NH. He had children baptized in Durham NH on 25 June 1726. He lived near Shepherd’s bridge on the road to Newmarket. He moved to Holderness NH and reportedly was captain of a company of Roger’s Rangers in 1757. [various sources have them with more than 7 children, possibly some died young]. See this link for more ancestry and resources on this line.
Children of John & ? Shepard:
1. Mary “Molly” Shepard, b. Durham NH; m. John Sweeney
2. Benjamin Shepard; m. Jane –.
3. Rachel Shepard; m. — Sanborn.
4. Susanna Shepard, b. 6 Jan 1728/29 Durham NH; m. William Piper [possibly this Susanna was below]
5. John Shepard, b. abt 1735 Portsmouth, Rockingham Co NH; m. Susannah Smith.
6. Hannah Shepard, b. 3 July 1743 Portsmouth NH
7. Samuel Shepard, b. abt 1744
8. Joseph Shepard, b. 9 Apr 1746 Portsmouth NH
9. Richard Shepard, b. 25 Apr 1748 Portsmouth NH
10, +Jacob Shepard, b. abt 1751 Canterbury NH

Jacob Shepard, b. abt 1751 Canterbury MA [or NH], d. 13 Aug 1830 Holderness, Grafton Co NH; m. abt 1774 to Jane Blair, dau of William & Elizabeth (Crombie) Blair of Londonderry NH. She b. 1756 in Londonderry NH and d. 7 May 1835 in Holderness NH.
Children of Jacob & Jane (Blair) Shepard:
1. Sally Sanborn Shepard
2. Elizabeth Shepard, b. 23 Oct 1775 Holderness, Grafton Co NH
3. John Shepard, b. 9 Apr 1777 Holderness NH
4. +William Blair Shepard, b. 29 July 1779 Holderness NH
5. Elizabeth Shepard, b. 7 July 1781 Holderness NH
6. Sophia Shepard, b. 22 July 1784 in Holderness NH
7. Joseph Shepard, b. 22 July 1784 Holderness NH
8. Harriet Smith Shepard, b. 30 May 1786 Holderness NH
9. Caroline Livermore Shepard b. 19 Dec 1789 Holderness NH
10. Jacob Shepard, b. 20 Jan 1792 Holderness NH
11. Frances M. Shepard b 20 Apr 1795 Holderness NH
12. Robert Fowle Shepard, b. 17 July 1800 Holderness NH

William Blair Shepard, b. 29 July 1779 in Holderness, Grafton Co NH and d. 31 Jan 1867 in Londonderry NH. He m. 18 Nov 1802 in New Holderness, Grafton Co NH to Lucy Hart Beck, dau of John & Abigail (Slade) Beck. She b. 15 Jan 1782 and d. 7 Feb 1862 in Londondery NH. Settled on Hick’s Hill in Holderness NH. Had 9 children.
Children of William B. & Lucy H. (Beck) Shepard:
1. George Livermore Shepard, b. 20 Oct 1805 in Holderness, Grafton Co NH; m. Nancy Shepard, dau of John M. & Lydia Shepard, resided Holderness NH on road 26-1/2; and had 6 children, which included Hastings M., Emeline O. (who m. — Taylor of NYC) and Edna (who m. Wrow of NYC).
2. Elizabeth Blair Shepard, b. 29 July 1807 Holderness NH; m. James Cutter and had issue.
3. Antoinette Shepard, b. 26 Aug 1809 Holderness NH; m. — DeGrave(s)
4. Charlotte Webster Shepard, b. 26 Apr 1814 Holderness NH; m. Calvin Boyd and had issue.
5. +William Shepard, b. 1816 Holderness NH
6. Isaac Russell Shepard, b. 20 June 1819 Holderness NH; m. Elizabeth Ann Langdon and had issue.
7. Samuel Hill Shepard, b. 16 Feb 1826 Holderness NH; d. 4 Nov 1891 Concord NH

William “Henry” Shepard, b. 1816 Holderness, Grafton Co NH and d. 10 Apr 1893 Derry, Rockingham Co NH. He m. 28 Dec 1841 in Framingham MA to Rosina E. Johnson, daughter of Abner & Mary (Quimby) Johnson. She b. 1817 in Springfield, Sullivan Co NH and d. 29 March 1886 in Derry NH. Reportedly Rosina/Rosanna E. Johnson was a Mayflower descendant through her father Abner Johnson > Anna Delano > Silvanus Delano > Jonathan Delano > Mercy Warren > Nathaniel Warren > Richard Warren. He was listed as “Henry” Shepard, a “woolworker” on his son Frederick’s birth record.
U.S. Census > 1860 United States Federal Census > New Hampshire > Rockingham > Derry
William H. Shepherd, 46 M Overseer in Factory 4000/4400 NH
Rosanna Shepherd 42 F Wife NH
Edger H. 11 M Farm Laborer Mass
Frederick J. 8 M Mass
Children of William & Rosina/Rosanna E. (Johnson) Shepard:
1. Edgar Henry Shepard, b. 20 Apr 1843 Framingham MA, d. 6 March 1865
2. Albert Hudson Shepard, b. 7 Dec 1849 Framingham MA, d. 2 Apr 1851 Framingham MA, cause, “dropsy of the lungs”
3. +Frederick J. Shepard, b. 15 Aug 1851 Framingham MA

Frederick J. Shepard, b. 26 Aug 1851 Framingham, Middlesex Co MA and d. 1931 East Derry, Rockingham Co NH. He m. 27 Sep 1887 in Nottingham, Rockingham Co NH to Annie E. Bartlett, dau of Thomas B. & Victoria E. (Cilley) Bartlett.  She b. Feb. 18, 1861 in Nottingham, Rockingham Co., NH and d. 4 December 1944 in Boston MA.
1900 United States Federal Census > New Hampshire > Rockingham > Derry > District 187
Shepard, Frederick J. Head W M Aug 1851 48 married 12 yrs MA NH NH Bank Cashier
Shepard, Annie B. wife W F Feb 1861 39 married 12 yrs 4 ch 3 living NH NH NH
Shepard, Frederick J. Jr. son W M Dec 1889 10 single NH NH Mass at school
Shepard, Alan B. W M Sep 1891 8 single NH NH Mass
Shepard, Henry B. W M Nov 1893 6 single NH NH Mass
Chisholm, Anna B. servant W F June 1866 33 single Ire Ire Ire laborer
1910 United States Federal Census > New Hampshire > Rockingham > Derry > District 239
Shepard Frederic J. Head M W 48 m1x 21 yrs MA NH NH
Shepard, Annie B. wife F W 49 m1x 21 yrs 4 ch 3 living NH NH NH
Shepard, Frederic J. son M W 20 sngle NH MA NH
Shepard, Alan B. son, M W 15 single NH MA NH
Shepard, Henry B., son M W 16 single NH MA NH
Doyle, Molly R. servant F W 23 single Ire Ire Ire
Children of Frederick & Annie E. (Bartlett) Shepard:
1. Frederic Johnson Shepard, b. 10 December 1889 E. Derry NH; died 1973
2. +Alan B. Shepard Sr., b.  9 September 1891 E. Derry, Rockingham Co. NH;
3. Henry Bradbury Shepard, b. 23 November 1893 E. Derry, NH.
4. Donald Longfellow Shepard, b. Feb 1897; died 2 June 1897 Derry NH, 4 months old.

Alan Bartlett Shepard Sr., b. 9 Sep 1891 East Derry, Rockingham Co NH and d. Feb 1973 in East Derry, Rockingham Co NH. He was a retired Army colonel and businessman. He married 30 June 1921 in Derry NH to Pauline/Paula Renza Emerson, dau of Charles S. & Flora B. (Winslow) Emerson. She was b. 1900 in Mobile, Mobile Co Alabama and d. 1993 in Pinehurst, Moore Co North Carolina. He was an agent for the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company at 72 Market Street in Derry NH in 1942.
Children of Alan B. & Pauline R. (Emerson) Shepard:
1. Alan B. Shepard Jr., b. 18 Nov 1923 Derry NH
2. Pauline Emerson Shepard, b. March 31, 1925 Derry NH, and died 1994; She married 1st) Gordon L. Sherman of Montclair NJ; she m2nd) 24 July 1965 to Warren B. Lovejoy.

Alan B. Shepard, Jr., son of Alan B. Shepard Sr. was born 18 Nov 1923 in Derry New Hampshire. He died 21 July 1998 in Pebble Beach, Monterey Co., California. He married 3 March 1945 in E. Derry NH to Louise Brewer. She was b. 3 July 1922 in Kennett Square PA, and d. 25 Aug 1998 in Houston, Harris Co. TX.
Children of Alan B. & Louise (Brewer) Shepard Jr.: [they had six grandchildren at the time of his death] –Photograph of family, scroll to “Alan B. Shepard And Family
1. Laura Shepard, b. 2 July 1947; m. John Snyder. Children: Lark (dau) and Bart
2. Juliana “Julie” Shepard, b. 16 March 1951; m1) Ronald E. Coleman, m2). Greg Jenkins; Children: Ethney Anna (dau) and Shepard O’Neil (son)
3. Alice Shepard [niece of Louise]. m. –?. Children: Reid (son) and Heather (dau).

[Editors note: updated January 2014]

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3 Responses to Derry New Hampshire Astronaut: Rear Admiral Alan B. Shepard Jr. (1923-1998)

  1. David Bartlett Sherman says:

    Alan B. Shepard Sr
    2. Pauline Emerson Shepard, b. March 31, 1925.

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