Thursday, March 11, 2010

Shepard Family Update, March 12, 2010

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You've got to do your own growing,
no matter how tall your grandfather was.
--Irish Proverb

Hello Shepard Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you from home in San Diego, as winter fades away and the new life of spring grows near.

Birthday Wishes. Happy Birthday tomorrow to my brother Russell Shepard, and his son Steven Paul Shepard, who were both born on the same day of the year, March 13. Russ and his wife Pam, as well as Steve and his sister Linda, live in Anacortes, Washington. Russ works for Dakota Creek Industries in Anacortes, while Steve (who is turning 20!) is enjoying his first year after High School Graduation. The first picture I am including shows Steven and Russ Shepard back in 1996.

Last week I mentioned an email I received from Larry Davis, one of my dad's first cousins. I mistakenly said that Larry lives in Dallas, Texas. Though all three of their daughters live in the Dallas area, Larry and his wife Sheila are long time residents of Amarillo, Texas.

Happy Birthday this Sunday to Jerry Clark, who has been a part of our family ever since he and my late sister Linda Shepard were married while students at Lubbock Christian University back in 1970, when he was a spry 20 year old. Jerry still makes his home in Lubbock, Texas, now with wife Cathrina, with whom he will celebrate a 4th anniversary next month. Jerry's birthday this year is a big one that ends in "0". Congratulations on such an auspicious milestone! The second picture, taken in San Diego in 1999, shows Jerry with Maida Shepard (middle) and Nola (Shannon) Gower.

Family and Media. I saw the first episode of the family history TV program last Friday evening, "Who Do You Think You Are?" and was pleasantly impressed. It was not just a shameless promotional for Ancestry.com. There were plenty of advertisements for that particular website, but I found this episode to be a very entertaining and interesting story about one person's search for their roots. It reminded me of some of the inspiring and surprising discoveries I have made in recent years researching our family. The series continues for several more Friday evenings on NBC. As they say, "Check your local listings." 

Roberta (Owens) Brooks, a reader of these emails (and a 3rd cousin by way of William Shepard's mother Elvira Owens) emailed me to say, "I did view 'Who Do You Think You Are' on Friday. It was good for someone who doesn't currently do genealogy and is interested in getting started. There is another program on PBS (on my area on Wednesday at 8:00) called 'Faces of America'.  It is also about tracing your family and I think it is far more interesting because it goes into more depth about the celebrity they are profiling. Henry Louis Gates (I think he is from Harvard) is the host and is very thorough. He includes historical happenings of the time as they affect the family. Check it out. I love reading your emails -- keep up the good work."

Irish Eyes. Most of us have some Irish blood in us, probably from more than one family line. Here are two of mine:
  • James Brooks Davis married a young woman named Caroline (Callie) Spear, whose Ggrandfather, James Spear (1768-1821) was an Irishman. Born in County Armaugh, Ireland he left his homeland for Belmont County, Ohio, where he lived out his days with his American born wife Elizabeth McConnahaw.
  •  My maternal grandmother was born with the very Irish name of Nola Agnes Shannon (see her in the picture above). But it was nearly 200 years previous to her birth in 1903 that her GGGgrandparents Thomas and Eigness (Reid) Shannon (both with the dates 1686-1737) brought their Irish heritage to America and settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

You may be able to trace your heritage to other Irish immigrants. But regardless of how much Irish blood you carry, Happy Saint Patrick's Day this coming Wednesday! When you are having a green one this week, think of James and Thomas and Eigness. (How in the world do you pronounce "Eigness"?)
- - -
Steve





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