Thursday, March 03, 2011

From Warfordsburg to Weatherford, March 3, 2011

The family endures because it makes us feel unique
and yet joined to all humanity,
accepted as is and yet challenged to grow.
~Letty Cottin Pogrebin

Hello Family and Friends,

Kerri Shepard Aquiningoc and
sister Kelly Shepard Sauvage
Today is the birthday of my niece Kerri Shepard Aqui- ningoc, who lives with her daughters Lyndsey and Mandi in Weather- ford, Texas. Kerri is the oldest daughter of Gary Shepard of Oak Harbor, Washington and Jackie Perry of Weatherford. She is also the first granddaughter of Maida (Gower) Shepard of Anacortes, Washington. Happy Birthday to Kerri!

Our Warford Connection. In a recent post I shared with you about Lydia Warford, Kerri's GGGGG grandmother. Lydia and husband John Williams, were an American frontier couple who met in Kentucky where they married and bore their 4 children, before the family moved on to Spencer, Indiana.

Lydia Warford was originally from Warfordsburg, Pennsylvania. Intrigued that her maiden name was also the name of her home town, I discovered recently that her kinfolk were indeed the ones who gave that small town its name.

Kerri, Kelly, Jason with Mandi and Lyndsey
in 1994 at Ggrandma Gower's home, San Diego
Warfordsburg, where she was born in 1782, is 200 miles west of Philadelphia, near the Maryland border. Lydia was the youngest child of Henry and Elizabeth (Vanhook) Warford, who were among the earliest settlers of Fulton County in Southern Pennsylvania. Another early Pennsylvania settler was Lydia's uncle Joseph Warford.

Wikipedia states that in December, 1776 (just months after the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia), Joseph Warford was deeded 100 acres of land on which he laid out a village that became known as Warfordsburg (a fact also attested to by an 1884 History of Fulton County by Waterman Watkins).

The years right after the establishment of Warfordsburg was an unsettling time of revolution and the westward expansion of America. So it is not at all surprising that very few of the original Warfords remained in the town. Warfordsburg exists to this day, but evidently without any descendants of the original family. Many of the Warfords (including our Lydia and her family) left Pennsylvania before the end of the 18th century.

Lydia's father Henry Warford died in 1784 at just 43 years old, a mere 2 years after Lydia was born. The Revolutionary war lasted until 1783, so it is possible his death is attributable to that conflict. What we know for sure is that his wife Elizabeth was left with as many as 10 children between the ages of 2 and 16. Records indicate that the family packed up and left Warfordsburg for good after papa died, and moved to northern Kentucky, where they settled east of Louisville. It was there that Lydia met John Williams, and the continuing saga of our family moved on.

Here is the 340 year westward migration pattern for this particular 13 generation lineage from Warford to Weatherford:

John Warford (1650-99)
...born in Baltimore, Maryland.
Son John Warford (1683-1769)
...born in Westchester, New York.
Son Joseph Warford (1711-74)
...born in Middletown, New Jersey.
Son Henry Warford (1741-84)
...born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Daughter Lydia Warford (1782-1829)
...born in Warfordsburg, Pennsylvania.
Son John Pouty Williams (1806-98)
...born in Spencer County, Kentucky.
Daughter Margaret Williams (1845-1904)
...born in Spencer, Indiana.
Daughter Caroline Spear (1865-1951)
...born in Spencer, Indiana.
Daughter Bura Davis (1896-1986)
...born in Spencer, Indiana.
Son Eugene Shepard (1921-2003)
...born in Beaver County, Oklahoma.
Son Gary Shepard
...born in 1946 in San Diego, California.
Daughter Kerri Shepard
...born in 1968 in Walled Lake, Michigan.
Daughters Lyndsey and Mandi Aquiningoc
...born 1990 and 1992 in San Diego, California, and live today in Weatherford, Texas.
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