Shepard, Thaddeus and Mary


Mary (1912-1989) and Thaddeus Shepard (1915-1986)

Thaddeus Shepard was born to parents Thomas Shepard and Catherine (MacSwain) of Cardigan Head on February 11th, 1912. The family was very musical having eight children in the family and the four boys of the eight all played the violin. It is uncertain where they gained their talent from-it is likely they picked it up on their own.

Thaddeus met Mary Arsenault of Egmont Bay, daughter of Joseph Arsenault and Julie Anne (Leclair). Mary was very musical herself coming from a family of fourteen siblings who could all play the violin! Mary herself played the violin but also the Hawaiian guitar. Thaddeus and Mary became a music duo that entertained for many people in the community for many years. Thaddeus would play the violin with Mary accompanying him on the Hawaiian guitar.

The couple had six children Viola, Allison, Thaddeus (Junior), Edna, and Bernely. Thaddeus and Mary passed on the love of their music to their children. Viola can remember attending dances that were held in the old Cardigan Head School on the Forty-eight Road to play the Hawaiian guitar at the age of twelve. The other children may not have necessary travelled with their parents but joined and accompanied the family at home for entertaining. Also, Louise sings and step dances at present but more for her own leisure at home or for friends. Bernely plays the guitar and sings to this present day.

Thaddeus and Mary would play in the community at different functions and events for close friends and host their own parities in the evening at home. They enjoyed entertaining together and have shown their love of music to their children who continue to pass the Shepard legacy of entertaining through their family name.

By Crystal Callaghan from the memories of Voila Fitzpatrick



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