Saturday, March 26, 2016

A Heritage of Great Diversity, March 26, 2016

We need to cherish and preserve
the ethnic and cultural diversity
that nourishes and strengthens
this community - and this nation.
~Cesar Chavez

Today is our Granddaughter Preslea's 6th Birthday. Born in San Francisco, she is in Kindergarten in San Diego and enjoying it thoroughly. She lives with her family in the San Carlos neighborhood of San Diego and loves swimming, drawing, monkey bars, school and church friends, Equestria Girls, and slurpies.

Preslea's heritage is an interesting one. She is, of course, one of the Great Great Grandchildren of both William and Bura Davis, as well as Leroy and Nola Shannon Gower, the two couples whose lives and descendants are the usual focus of this blog. 

But Preslea's ancestry also includes the Native American heritage of her Grandmother Cindy Shepard and her Great Grandmother Harris. (See picture of Preslea with her two American Great Grandmothers, Paula Hicks Harris and Maida Gower Shepard.) In particular Preslea's Native American heritage is the Chickasaw Indians of Oklahoma who before that were from Mississippi. Her 5X Great Grandmother was Lucy Hawkins Newberry who, born in Mississippi in 1824 was part of the historic "trail of tears" as a child that forced her people to settle in Oklahoma where she died in 1907.

Preslea's heritage also includes Cambodia, the home of her mother Chenda Sou Shepard who came to the U.S. in 2009. Preslea's Cambodian Grandfather was Sou Penh (1945-2014) whose father was Sou Shen, an immigrant to Cambodia from China. In Cambodia her Sou Grandparents suffered through the "Killing Fields" of the ruthless Khmer Rouge Government in the late 20th century.

Preslea's family heritage is amazingly diverse, far beyond the majority of us whose ancestry has been rooted primarily in this county for the last several hundred years. Best wishes to Preslea for a very happy birthday! The following is a slide show that celebrates her 6th Birthday.




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Steve Shepard

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