Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spring Celebrations/Remembrances, March 19, 2013

There are two kinds of Irish families:
the hitting kind and kidding kind.
If you are fortunate
you are from the kidding kind.
P.J O'Rourke

Hello Family and Friends,

Happy Birthday today to Kaylan Shepard of Newcastle, Oklahoma. Kaylan is the daughter of Dane and Cindy Shepard and is the youngest of the 21 Ggrandchildren of Will and Bura Shepard. I received the following recently from her father Dane.

"Cindy and I are grateful for the blessings of the new year and being able to celebrate Kaylan's fourteenth birthday. We have enjoyed each stage of development that our kids have gone through and the revealing of their personality, character, and talents given them. Kaylan continues to be involved in the arts, both visual and performing. She is taking an art class and plays clarinet in the advanced home school band in Oklahoma City. She remains active in bowling and has a good chance of doing well in the sport according to her coach.  Kaylan is helpful, always says "thank you," and is fun to be around.

"I regretted to hear of the passing of Becky Davis. She was so positive, spiritual, kind, and serving. I'm glad Kaylan had the opportunity of meeting her. She will be well remembered for a life well spent in spite of dealing with physical issues and limitations. Thanks again for keeping us informed and connected.   ... Dane"

Speaking of Becky Davis, her brother Bud sent me a link to a wonderful tribute to Becky by her nephew Brent Taylor. It is called Becky Ran Home Today. 

Happy Birthday to my brother Gary Shepard this coming Saturday, March 23. Gary and his wife Cindy live in Oak Harbor. He is the oldest child of Maida Gower Shepard and her husband Eugene Shepard, who passed away 10 years ago this summer. Gary is the third grandchild of both Leroy and Nola Gower and Will and Bura Shepard.

The second picture, taken last summer, shows my brother Gary on the right with our younger brother Russell on the left.  

More Irish Ancestors. The next in our gallery of Irish immigrants is a couple by the name of John and Elizabeth (Wallace) McKnitt who came to America in the mid 1600s. This was nearly a century before the other Irish immigrants I mentioned in previous posts.

John (1630-1708) and Elizabeth (1632-1708) -- like our other Irish ancestors -- also came from the north of Ireland, but these two came from the small town of Raphoe, in County Donegal. John and Elizabeth were originally from Glasgow, Scotland, but had moved to Ireland as a young couple before making the big move to America in the 1650s.   

They settled in Somerset County, Maryland, not far from where they landed, and evidently lived the rest of their lives there. As with many immigrants from Europe, the McKnitts changed the spelling of their name. Over a couple of generations McKnitt gradually became McKnight, although in the process it had over a dozen variations (everything from McKnitt to MacNitt to MacNaught, etc.)

John and Elizabeth's graves are today in Manokin Presby- terian Church Cemetery in Princess Anne, Somerset County, Maryland. (See picture of the Church and adjoining cemetery.) 

To give you an indication of how long ago they came across "the pond", their GREAT grandson Robert McKnight (1732-1818) served in the American Revolutionary War. Robert McKnight's grandson was David Reid Shannon, who served in the American Civil War and was the grandfather of my grandmother Nola Shannon Gower.

Here then are the generations from immigrants John and Elizabeth McKnitt to the present:
  • John McKnitt (1630-1708) - wife Elizabeth Wallace (1632-1708)
  • John McKnitt (1660 - 1714) - wife Jane Alexander (1665-1691)
  • John McKnitt (1687 - 1733) - wife Catrine (1720- )
  • Robert McKnight (1732-1818) - wife Catherine (1748-1805)
  • Jane McKnight (1759-1830) - husband David Shannon (1756-1823)
  • David McKnight Shannon (1790-1860) - wife Ann Pickens (1785-1867)
  • David Reid Shannon (1821-1864) - wife Peggy Ann Gray (1829-1899)
  • Samuel Pickens Shannon (1858-1930) - wife Finetta Dearien (1861-1960)
  • Nola Shannon Gower (1903-2004) - husband Leroy Gower (1899-1974)
  • Maida Gower Shepard (b. 1924) - husband Eugene Shepard (1921-2003)
  • Steve Shepard (b. 1948) - wife Cindy Harris (b. 1948)

This Summer: Shepard/Davis/Gower Family Reunion - Saturday, August 10, 2013, Anacortes, Washington.
- - -
Steve Shepard

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