The vast majority of T cells in man and mouse use the α/β form of T cell receptor (TcR), and express either CD4 or CD8, whereas the small subset of γ/δ T cells are usually CD4‐CD8‐. In contrast to man and mouse, the γ/δ subset in sheep, defined here using an anti‐γ/δ monoclonal antibody (mAb), comprises 30%–60% of T cells. We show that γ/δ T cells in sheep express a unique surface molecule termed T19 which is 215 kDa in size and unrelated to either CD45 or the TcR. The T19 molecule was expressed at a distinct stage during γ/δ T cell ontogeny within the thymus, since γ/δ thymocytes which appeared early in fetal ontogeny were T19‐ and also major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I‐ and localized almost exclusively to the outer cortex and cortex of the thymus. “Mature‐type” γ/δ thymocytes which emerged late in thymic development were T19+ and MHC class I+ and localized predominantly to the thymic medulla. The sequence of events indicated that these cells were most likely derived from the early γ/δ thymocytes. These medullary γ/δ thymocytes showed a very distinctive association with Hassall's corpuscles, suggesting a role for these structures in γ/δ thymocyte maturation. In the periphery, T19 was expressed exclusively within the γ/δ T cell subset, however some γ/δ T cells were T19‐. In particular, a large proportion of γ/δ T cells within intestinal epithelium lacked T19, indicating a correlation between T19 expression and either function or homing patterns of γ/δ T cells. Both T19+ and T19‐ γ/δ T cells were CD2‐, and expressed low levels of LFA‐1 and CD5. In addition, γ/δ T cells recirculated differently from other T cells, and appeared not to enter mesenteric lymph nodes at all from the blood. We propose that T19 is a maturation marker for γ/δ T cells. In addition, the exclusive expression of T19 by γ/δ T cells indicates that this molecule most likely serves a fundamental role in the interactions and function of γ/δ T cells.