Friday, March 27, 2009

Shepard Family Update, March 27, 2009

Families are the compass that guide us.
They are the inspiration to reach great heights,
and our comfort when we occasionally falter.
-- Brad Henry

Dear Shepard Family and Friends,

Hello on this last Friday of March! It is a beautiful spring day in San Diego, warm even though it is a little overcast. I hope spring is treating you as well wherever you may be.

Welcome to two new members of our online readership, sisters of Norma Lou Allen: Carolyn Kilpatrick Roberts of Bolivar, Missouri and Shirley Kilpatrick Borgstadt of Springfield, Missouri. They are both nieces of Bura Davis Shepard and are members of the Kilpatrick clan, whose family tree branches intertwine with ours.

This coming Tuesday is a milestone birthday for Joan Shepard who is the 7th grandchild of Will and Bura Shepard and the daughter of Elmer and Beryl Shepard. Joan is originally from the San Diego area, but now lives in Dixon, California. She stays busy as a full time High School teacher, as well as directing an independent studies program in Dixon. In addition she is a teaching assistant at a private school for hypnotherapy in Auburn, California. But most of all she is the proud mother of Havilah Colgain. Happy Birthday, Joan!

She wrote me recently and said, "Life is good. Spring is simply gorgeous now in the Sacramento valley. Soon, I'll plant some vegetables in the front courtyard. I keep waiting for "victory gardens" to replace front lawns in our stretch of suburbia, but so far I see herbs and a zucchini plant here and there. I enjoy our rainbow chard that sprouts up anywhere a seed lands and seems to be perennial. The plants remind me of Gram's garden in Lakeside. She loved green chard and rhubarb (I planted some in her honor), which she ate with cottage cheese. The local co-op sells quince, another home-grown food she loved. I always think of her resourcefulness, especially as I plant seeds that will last as long as I'm around."

The first picture I am including shows Joan with her daughter Havilah who lives in Utah, near her father Art Colgain. It was taken a few months ago in the Utah desert just outside Price, when Joan was there visiting.

The second picture I am including was taken about 1961 and shows Will and Bura Shepard with several of their family. This photo may have been taken at the Russell home on Mandalay Place in San Diego. It is an unusual picture, being rather dark, both in the feel of the photo as well as the actual color. The one bright spot, however, is birthday girl Joan at 7 years old, in front on the right.

From left to right in the picture is Joan's brother Dane Shepard, then a rather ominous looking Will Shepard, next to his wife Bura Davis Shepard (both of whom deserved better from the photographer!). In the beehive hairdos are Beverly Russell and her mother Pauline Shepard Russell. Next are Thelma Shepard Boyd and her partially hidden husband Terry Boyd, then Joan's parents Beryl and Elmer Shepard.

Many of us are looking forward to the Shepard Family Reunion that will take place this summer on July 18 at Newcastle, Oklahoma. It will be hosted by Dane Shepard. All family members and friends are welcome to attend.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Shepard Family Update, March 20, 2009

Family life is full of major and minor crises
the ups and downs of health, success and failure

in career, marriage, and divorce.

With all of these felt details,
life etches itself into memory and personality.

It's difficult to imagine anything
more nourishing to the soul.

-- Thomas Moore

Dear Shepard Family and Friends,

Greetings to y'all on this first day of spring! In our day of well heated homes, the coming of spring does not mean what it did 100 years ago. At that time many of our people lived in places where keeping warm through the winter required a major effort, making spring a very appealing time with the promise of better weather.

That was especially true of our Indiana ancestors, including Maggie (Margaret Frances) Williams (1845-1904), who was Gram's (Bura Davis') grandmother. She lived her whole life near Spencer, Indiana where the winters can be harsh. Maggie was the baby of the 9 children born to Sarah and John Pouty Williams. In the early spring of 1861, when Maggie was just 15, her 21 year old sister Callie (Caroline Matilda Williams), married a young man named William Spear. Though this wedding took place as the Civil War was beginning, it must have been a happy occasion, especially for the impressionable teenager Maggie.

Just two years later Callie -- only 23 at the time -- died while giving birth to her and William's first child (Isolena Belle Spear). The family was crushed, especially young Maggie. In the ensuing months, as her grief subsided, she fell in love with the young widower William, and two years later, in January of 1865, they were married. She was just 19, he was 34.

Over the next 17 years Maggie and William brought 8 children into the world, and might have had more if he had not died the year after their youngest arrived. But their first one was special. It was a baby girl who they decided to name Caroline Matilda, after Maggie's late sister, and William's first wife. This Callie would later become the mother of Bura Davis, and the great grandmother of those of my generation.
Among Callie Spear Davis' great grandchildren is Gary Shepard -- Maida and Eugene's oldest -- whose birthday is this coming Monday. Gary, lives in Oak Harbor, Washington with his wife Cindy, and has three children -- Kerri Aquiningoc, Jason Shepard and Kelly Sauvage -- and 4 grandchildren, all of whom live in or near Weatherford, Texas. Gary is retired and enjoys cooking, occasional weekends at their lake house, spending time with their dog Dexter, visiting his mom Maida in Anacortes, and being involved in his church in Oak Harbor. And he does not seem to miss the San Diego area at all, which is where he spent nearly his entire life until 6 years ago. Happy Birthday, Gary!

The first picture I am sending shows Gary with his oldest daughter Kerri on his lap at Christmas 1968. The picture was taken in San Diego. Gary and his wife Jackie had moved back to San Diego earlier that year after a couple of years in Michigan, where Kerri was born.

The second picture I am including was taken (39 Christmases later!) in Anacortes, Washington and shows Gary and his wife Cindy, with Cindy's daughter Samantha McGauran of Spanaway, Washington.

Be sure and make your plans for the Shepard Family Reunion this summer on Saturday, July 18 at the Newcastle Community Center, Newcastle, Oklahoma.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Shepard Family Update, March 13, 2009

A man can't make a place for himself in the sun
if he keeps taking refuge under the family tree.
-- Helen Keller

Dear Shepard Family and Friends,

Hello to all of you as we move through these last days of winter. It has been cold here in San Diego, but probably nothing compared to the weather some of you are having; snow in some places, and inclement weather of various sorts elsewhere. The good news is that spring begins in just another week!

Today is the birthday of Russ Shepard and his son Steven Paul Shepard who were both born on March 13, one in 1962 and the other in 1990. Russ lives in Anacortes, Washington with his wife Pam and daughter Linda and works for Dakota Creek Ship Builders in Anacortes. Steven lives with his grandma Maida Shepard in Anacortes and will be graduating this spring. Happy Birthday to both of them! Click here to see a new and improved version of a photoshow presentation of them I did a few years ago.

Steven Paul says this about himself in a recent email: My plans this summer are to attend the family reunion in Oklahoma City, and look at the Lubbock Christian University campus during the same trip. I am interested in glass design this year and more importantly graduating from Anacortes High School. I will then take a year off and earn some money to go to College. I enjoy glass design and am thinking about making that a career. I was saving money to buy a kiln for my own glass work, but the necessity of transportation was far greater, so I bought a 1999 Ford Ranger in January. We have a small youth group at Church and are having a "lock-in" this Friday night from 7pm until 8am Saturday morning. This will be my last year as a teenager. =( I am not sure what direction my life will take but I am sure that it will be positive.

Tomorrow is the birthday of (50-something) Jerry Clark who lives in Lubbock,Texas with his wife Cathrina. Jerry is the one whose 4th grandchild was born last Friday in Lubbock. Which means we are celebrating my late sister's first husband's 2nd (maybe 3rd) daughter's 2nd baby, being the 4th grandbaby. (Clear as mud, right?) While I am on the subject, I need to correct the spelling of the new baby's name. Born to Susan and Andrew Cox is Brooklyn Kale Cox (Kale with a "K" not a "C").

The first picture I am including shows Jerry Clark next to his wife Cathrina. On the left is Maida Shepard and Steven Paul Shepard, and on the right is Cindy Shepard. This picture was taken last summer in Anacortes at the family reunion.

Last week I mentioned Pam Martin, a fourth cousin who is now among the readers of these weekly emails. Some other extended family members have also been added to this email list in recent weeks. One is Marjorie Eldred, who along with her husband Clio Eldred live in Renton, Washington. The two of them just happened to visit mom's church in Anacortes a few weeks ago and made a serendipitous family connection. Marjorie's mother was Marion Kilpatrick who had two brothers who married two of Bura Davis' sisters. (Confused yet? Keep reading. It might help.)

Another recent addition to our family email list is Bud Davis, who with his wife Janet lives in Graham, Washington. Bud is also related to us through my grandmother Bura Davis. Bud's father, Jesse Davis, was Bura Davis' brother. I also should mention Norma Lou Allen of Bolivar, Missouri, another reader of these emails. She is the daughter of Bura Davis' sister Winona Davis Kilpatrick.

These family connections can be confusing, so I am including a photo that may help (or make matters even more confusing!). Taken in 1965, it shows Gram (Bura Davis Shepard) with her 4 sisters and one of her 2 brothers. Bura -- the oldest -- is in the lower right hand corner. Next to her is her brother Jesse, and next to him is their sister Winona Davis Kilpatrick. On the back row are Esther Davis Jenkins, Myra Davis Kilpatrick and Margie Davis Millikan. Not pictured is the older brother Lawrence. Margie, the youngest, was the last one to pass away, and died this past November at the age of 100.

All these folks are our reminder that our family is larger than our small part of it. To take this thought a step farther, we are related to every other person on this planet, a realization that should motivate us to view our entire world with a sense of family. And if we can do that, there may not be a single world problem that won't be affected.

Remember the Shepard Family Reunion July 18 in Newcastle, Oklahoma.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Shepard Family Update, March 6, 2009

Hello Shepard family and friends,

Greetings this morning from Southern California as we continue to "caress our history" by celebrating the family we are. I invite you to ponder the following poem which is part of a longer piece titled Family Reunion by Jeredith Merrin. It beckons us to gain perspective on our family history, to "put your arms around" it, to pay attention to it.

Almost everyone has separated
from the landscape of childhood.

most are cut off from their own
histories, each of which waits
like a child left at day care.
What if you turned back for a moment

and put your arms around yours?
Yes, you might be late for work;
no, your history doesn't smell sweet
like a toddler's head. But look

at those small round wrists,
that short-legged, comical walk.
Caress your history—who else will?
Promise to come back later.

Pay attention when it asks you
simple questions: Where are we going?
Is it scary? What happened? Can
I have more now? Who is that?

Happy Birthday to Kerri Shepard Aquiningoc who celebrated this past Tuesday! Kerri was born and raised in San Diego but now lives in Weatherford, Texas with her friend Wade and her daughters Lyndsey and Mandi. She works in Ft Worth, Texas for Hallmark Insurance Group. Kerri, Lyndsey and Mandi are part of our family who moved from California to Texas 10 years ago.

The first picture I am including today is actually a set of pictures of birthday girl Kerri. (You can click on the picture to see a larger view.) The first one was taken in 1968, the last one was taken a few months ago, and the others were at various times in between.

Another "misteak." Last week I included a picture of Darrell Shepard with Kelly Sauvage and said that Kelly was Darrell's cousin. How wrong I was, as several of you were swift to inform me (good naturedly, of course!). Kelly Shepard Sauvage of Weatherford, Texas is Darrell's niece, not his cousin. In one fell swoop I wrongly flattered Darrell and insulted Kelly! Oops. My bad.

In recent weeks I have corresponded with several members of our extended family. One of them is Pamela Williams Martin who lives in North Carolina. She stumbled across my family blog online and emailed me. She does lots of family research and it has been a joy to compare notes with her on ancestors we have in common.

Pam said this in a recent email: Our common ancestor is John Pouty Williams, who is my GGGgrandfather by way of John Fleming Williams, Joseph Preston Williams, William Harvey Williams, and Paul Edwin Williams (my dad). I was born and raised in Aurora, Illinois in the mid 1950’s, and moved to Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina in the early 1980’s. I have three sons Bret, Robin, and Dallas, and one daughter Lindsey. In 2007, I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Florida Metropolitan University with a degree in Criminal Justice. A North Carolina State Certified Nurseryman since 1984, I protect and propagate threatened and endangered species of carnivorous plants. My passions are my children and grandson, genealogy, and crocheting. I feel wonderfully blessed to have found my fourth cousin Steve during my research on John Pouty Williams.

Bura Davis' (Gram's) grandmother was Margaret Francis Williams, one of the children of John Pouty Williams, mentioned above. The second picture I am including is of Will and Bura Davis Shepard (Gram and Grandad). It was taken somewhere in San Diego on Mother's Day, 1967. This is a scanned copy of one of several photographs that Kim Clark graciously let me borrow a while back, that came to her via her mother Thelma Boyd.

This just in: Congratulations to Jerry Clark and Jane Brock on the birth of grandchild number four! Brooklyn Cale Cox (little sister of big brother Drew) was born this morning to Andrew and Susan Clark Cox in Lubbock, Texas. Best wishes to them all!

Shepard Family Reunion: July 18, New Castle Community Center, Newcastle, Oklahoma. As your plans take shape, be sure to email Kim Clark or Dane Shepard and let them know if you will be attending. Or email me and I will pass the word to them.