Tuesday, August 29, 2017

More About Our Shepard Ancestors, August 29, 2017

History remembers only the celebrated,
genealogy remembers them all.
~Laurence Overmire

Happy Birthday Lyndsey! Today is the birthday of my niece Lyndsey Aquiningoc, one of the descendants of the Shepard ancestors mentioned in this post. Lyndsey lives in Granbury, Texas with her son Karver. She is the daughter of Kerri Shepard Aquiningoc and the Granddaughter of Jackie Perry and my brother Gary Shepard. Best wishes to Lyndsey for a very happy birthday! 

Her sister Mandi gave her a beautiful compliment earlier today in a Facebook post: "Happy birthday to my beautiful sister. Thank you so much for everything you've done, for being there for me, and for being such an amazing woman with such a great heart! I'm so blessed and thankful to have YOU as my sister. This is YOUR day so shine and take advantage."

More About Our Shepard Ancestors

I mentioned in my last post that I have found some ancestors on the Shepard side of our family from the early 19th century: Hannah and James Cross Sheppard Jr. In 1840 when these Sheppards migrated from Ohio to Montgomery Co., Indiana, they settled into a whole new environment, put down roots and began a new life for themselves and the family that had come with them. Coincidentally it was exactly 100 years later, in 1940, that the last migratory step across the country occurred for our Shepard family. 1940 was when my grandparents, William and Bura Shepard and their family of 9 moved from Baca County, Colorado to San Diego, California. That particular move covered just over 1,200 miles.

This first picture shows 8 of the 9 Shepard family members who migrated from Colorado to California in 1940: Bill and Pauline Shepard Russell, Eugene Shepard, Bura and William Shepard, and children Rex, Beverly and Thelma. Not pictured here but who also made the move was Elmer Shepard, who may have been taking this photo. This photo was taken in front of the boarding house on Albatross Street in San Diego, which Bura and William ran when they first moved to San Diego 77 years ago.

Moving a family 1,200 miles in 1940 was probably easier than moving a family 350 miles in 1840. Road conditions, modes of travel, speed of transportation, increases in population and other factors made a big difference in facilitating the movement of families across the U.S.

Hannah and James, Jr. and Sr. When Hannah and James Cross Sheppard Jr. left Ohio in about 1840 and migrated to Indiana they left behind their parents Hannah and James Cross Sheppard Sr. Interestingly the James Cross Sheppards of two generations in our family married women named Hannah. The following lineage shows 9 generations of our family going back to James Cross Shepard Sr. and his wife Hannah Gatchell.
  • James Cross Sheppard Sr. (1775-1843) who married Hannah Gatchell (1781-1839)
  • James Cross Sheppard Jr. (1813-1887) who married Hannah (last name unknown)
  • William Shepard (1835-1862) who married Mary Sprague (1840-1919)
  • William Elmer Shepard (1862-1915) who married Elvira Owens (1865-1931)
  • William Shepard (1888-1976) who married Bura Davis (1896-1986)
  • Eugene Shepard (1921-2003) who married Maida Gower (b. 1924)
  • Steve Shepard (b. 1948) who married Cindy Harris (b. 1948)
  • Nathan Shepard (b. 1977) who married Chenda Sou (1980)
  • William Quincy Shepard (b. 2012), Logan Shepard (b. 2011), Preslea Shepard (b. 2010) 
James Cross Sheppard Sr. and his wife Hannah were married in Cecil County, in Northeast Maryland in 1798. They bore their first four children in Maryland before deciding to move westward:
  1. Nathan Sheppard (b. 1801)
  2. Malinda Sheppard (b. 1803)
  3. John Sheppard (b. 1805)
  4. William Sheppard (b. 1808)
James Sr. appears in the book Made In Ohio: Furniture 1788-1988, published in 1984 by the Columbus Museum, in which he is said to have been a "cabinetmaker, carpenter, tanner, weaver and farmer." Those are all skills he would have put to good use on the Ohio frontier when he and Hannah and their first 4 children homesteaded in Ohio in 1809. After traveling some 400 miles from Maryland they settled in what became Kirkwood Township in Belmont County, Ohio. As homesteading settlers in Ohio, James and Hannah added 9 more children to their family: 
  1. Samuel Sheppard (b. 1812)
  2. Isaac Sheppard (b. 1812)
  3. James Sheppard Jr. (b. 1813)
  4. Amos Sheppard (b. 1817)
  5. Elizabeth Sheppard (b. 1821)
  6. Mary Sheppard (b. 1821)
  7. Job Sheppard  (b. 1824)
  8. Emanuel  Sheppard (b. 1827)
  9. George Washington Sheppard (b. 1829)
Among their Ohio born children was James Jr. who is the Sheppard son from which we are descended. James Sr. and Hannah remained in Kirkwood, Ohio until Hannah's death in 1839. James Sr. died just 4 years later, followed the very next year by the deaths of their two youngest sons Job and Emanuel Sheppard who were only 17 and 20 years old.

Included in this post is a picture of the gravestone marking the burials of James and Hannah and their youngest sons Job and Emanuel. It is located in Salem Cemetery in Kirkwood, Ohio. Why the four of them died in a period of just a few years is unknown. Disease epidemics took the lives of many 19th century American pioneers and that may have been the reason for these deaths. It is also curious that about this same time James and Hannah's sons James Jr. and John Sheppard decided to migrate from Ohio to Indiana with their families. Perhaps their mother's death in 1839 prompted them to move westward.

Mother Hannah Gatchell was an English immigrant whose parents were Nathan Gatchell and Elizabeth Anderson Gatchell, Quakers from the old Province of Maryland. Online at Findagrave.com at the burial listing for Hannah Gatchell Sheppard there is a story about her father Nathan Gatchell. As a Quaker he was not allowed to take up arms against the enemy, so he simply helped clean the guns of the colonists instead. But even that participation in the war was too much for his pacifist Quaker brethren and he was "disowned" by them.

I have said it before but it bears repeating: our forbearers like James and Hannah Sheppard deserve our eternal gratitude for having given us much more than their DNA. They paved the way for those of us who have come after them and have left us a great history to be discovered and appreciated.

There is much more to share about these new found family members. For next time: the fascinating will of James Cross Sheppard Sr.
- - -
Steve Shepard

Friday, August 18, 2017

Our Shepard History; An Update, August 18, 2017

The pursuit of origins
is a way of rescuing territory
from death and oblivion. 
~Amin Maalouf

Two Linda Shepards. August is the month of two Linda Shepard birthdays. Wednesday of this past week was the 24th birthday of Linda Mae Dawn Shepard of Anacortes, Washington. She is the daughter of my brother Russ and his wife Pam Shepard. Best wishes to Linda! This coming Monday, Aug 21, is the anniversary of the birth of my sister Linda Shepard, who was born in San Diego in 1950. She died in a car accident in 1971, just weeks before her 21st birthday. The younger Linda Shepard was named after my late sister Linda.

This first picture is a composite image of my niece Linda Shepard in 2016 with her mom Pam on the left, and my sister Linda Shepard in 1970 with husband Jerry Clark on the right.Though 46 years apart, the two Lindas are remarkably similar in appearance.

Adding to the Shepard Family Tree. It is not often that I have an important breakthrough in family research. But I have made one in the last few weeks. For many years I was aware of the Civil War soldier William Shepard in our family tree. He was the Grandfather of my Grandfather William Shepard (1888-1976). I have known that the soldier William Shepard was born in 1835 in Belmont County, Ohio, that he served in the Union Army during the Civil War, and that he died in a military hospital in July, 1862 after being wounded in the war.

But of his parents and ancestry I have known almost nothing, until recently. I did have an interesting lead on his parents a couple of years ago. And actually wrote about them in this blog. Recently however I have uncovered more data that makes it clear that I was indeed on the right track at that time. James Cross Shepherd II and his wife Hannah were the parents of the Civil War soldier William Shepard, and are my GGG Grandparents.

Our family name was spelled a variety of ways in the 19th century. Especially in the pre-Civil War years, our kinfolk had their last name spelled Shepard, Shepherd, Shephard, Sheperd, Sheppard, Shepheard, and even Sheepheard. In many instances the spelling seemed to depend simply on the whim of the County Official or Census taker.

Hannah and James Cross Shepherd II. My GGG Grandfather James Cross Shepard II was born in 1813 in Kirkwood, Belmont County, Ohio. His father, James Cross Shepherd I, was from Maryland and migrated with his family into Ohio. The first child of Hannah and James Cross Shepherd was born in Belmont County, Ohio in 1835. He was William Shepard, the one from whom we Shepards are descended. After their second child, Elizabeth, was born in 1838, this small family of 4 decided to migrate to Indiana. But as with many families they did not undertake such an adventure alone. James' brother John, his wife Elizabeth and their children, which may have numbered 6, also made the trek.

This second picture is purportedly John Shepard (1805-1886) one of the two Shepard brothers who migrated to Indiana.

So in 1839 or 1840, this young John and James Shepard clan of perhaps a dozen family members, made their way westward, probably along the historic Cumberland Road, which today is Interstate 70. It was a direct westward route of 350 miles from their home in Kirkwood, Ohio to Montgomery County, Indiana, northwest of Indianapolis. Today you can drive that route on the Interstate in just 7 hours or so, but it would have taken them at least a week, perhaps much longer, in horse drawn carriages on rough dusty roads.

First Stop, Montgomery County. They settled first in the area around Browns Valley, in Montgomery County, Indiana. That is where brothers James and John Shepherd appear in the 1840 U.S. Census as heads of neighboring households. This same 1840 U.S. Census shows that, in the Kirkwood, Ohio community they had come from, James and John left behind several Shepherd family members: their parents Hannah and James C. Shepherd I, and what appear to be 5 siblings or cousins of James and John: Amos, Isaac, Samuel, another John and another William Shepherd. Each of these siblings or cousins are listed in the Census as being heads of households with their own children and/or spouses. James and John Shepherd led a family group of a dozen or so who moved to Indiana, but it was an even larger Shepherd clan that remained in Kirkwood, Ohio.

These new Indiana immigrants must have had their struggles in those early years of the 1840s. In the 1850 U.S. Census, James and Hannah Shepherd and family are shown living west of Lafayette, Indiana, some 35 miles north of where they had first settled. By this time James and Hannah had added two more children to the mix. In addition to our ancestor William Shepard and his sister Elizabeth, children James and John (named after their father and uncle) have come along. Two more children, Jasper and Sarah, would eventually complete James and Hannah's brood of 6.

During these middle years of the 19th century the families of James and Hannah, and John and Elizabeth settled into farming life in Indiana. As far as I can tell, James and Hannah's son William (our GG Grandfather) was the only member of the clan to lose his life in the Civil War, although there are indications other family members served as well.

A Growing Clan of Indiana Shepards. My Great Grandfather William Elmer Shepard (1862-1915) left Indiana for Illinois in 1880 and then, with his wife Elvira Owens and their children, eventually settled in Beaver County, Oklahoma. When he left Indiana he separated forever from his Hoosier kinfolk. And he left quite a number of family members behind. Besides his mother, the widow Mary Sprague Shepard, and his brother Frank Shepherd, he left his Grandparents James Cross and Hannah Shepherd, and a growing clan of other Shepherds living in Montgomery and Tippecanoe Counties.

Sugar Grove Cemetery, southwest of Lafayette in Tippecanoe County, is an historic cemetery in the very area where James and Hannah Shepherd lived and raised their family. This country cemetery is the final resting place for a number of our kinfolk. There are 21 graves with persons named Shepherd or Shepard, almost all of them dating from the 19th century. It is one more indication that there was a sizable number of Shepard family members living in Tippecanoe and Montgomery Counties in the 1800s and even into the 20th century.

Foremost among those Shepards who settled in western Indiana was my GGG Grandparents Hannah and James Cross Shepherd II, pioneers for whom we can be very grateful. Their sacrifices were many but they helped pave the way for the rest of us who were yet to come. They were an important part of our Shepard family movement westward -- from coast to coast -- across the United States.
- - -
Steve Shepard