It's no wonder that truth
is stranger than fiction.
Fiction has to make sense.
Vicki Gower Johnston in 1995
with mother Nola Gower on left
and daughter Paula and
granddaughter Heather on right
An Opportunity to Respond. At the end of each post on The Shepard's Crook, there is a "comments" option which offers you the opportunity to leave a message in response to what was written. Whenever comments are left, I read them and then, if appropriate, I publish them with the post. Comments can be left anonymously, but it's much more likely to be published if a name is attached. It's a way you can provide feedback. You can inform me of a correction to something I wrote. You can leave further information that I may not have about historical data. There are any number of ways you can provide important and valuable feedback. But like other open forums, comments must be helpful or instructive and must be respectful of others. You can respond with just about any message you like. But please, no political rants, rude remarks or any other inappropriate comments.
In December it will be 12 years since I began writing this blog as a way of sharing family history research. In those years people have left a wide variety of comments. Some of them have been simple and positive. Others have been helpful corrections. Many have been very informative. Some seem to have been from people whose first language was not English, and they were simply practicing their English. Some were from second or third cousins I never knew about, but are people with whom I now continue to correspond. And some comments were just plain bizarre.
A Sampling of the Comments. The following is a sampling of the comments I have received over the years. These are actual comments.
From snorkeler Monette Ortego, 11/26/12
I am looking for Kevin or Havilah Wardle. I googled their names and came across your blog. I think I found one of their wedding bands while snorkeling in Sharks Cove, Hawaii. Mahalo. (Re: a blog post from November 6, 2012)
[Postscript: Amazingly, Kevin and Havilah did indeed get their wedding ring returned to them from the waters off the North Shore of Oahu as a result of this blog post comment.]
From distant cousin Mike Moran, 7/4/19:
Thanks for this article - I was researching your ancestor Rachel Wells Wright who is also my 6th great-grandmother, on my father's mother's side. Yesterday would have been my father's 118th birthday (www.hapmoran.org). The Quaker background of my family is all news to me. I've learned about my mother's Amish family but knew nothing about these early Quakers. Thanks for another piece of the puzzle.
From second cousin Cathy Harrison, 9/27/18
Julius Caesar Vessels
From an Anonymous Family Member, 10/08/19
I urge you to approve the comment, so all can see... Be honest and transparent... For someone who loves writing family blogs it really too bad you do not truly care about your family. I hope the entire extended family sees through these posts and can understand how dysfunctional our family really is. Praise God for Vicki's family! They have cared for her the way a family should, they got her the care she deserved in a timely manner. Maida would be SO proud! I pray you find comfort in the Lord and seek guidance in him to repair the broken relationships.
From Shannon researcher D. Robert Smith, 7/15/19:
Actually, the Shannons descend from Scottish ancestors, that were part of the Scotland to Ulster Migration. The original name would have been Achennan in Scotland. Cuthbert Ashennan 1490-1548 is as far as we have gotten. His grandson John and his son John II, immigrated to Ireland probably before 1600.
From desperate housewife Julian Kay, 7/4/19:
I want to tell you all that I was able to put an end to my divorce and restore my marriage. I don’t know what came over my husband. I had no other option than to seek the help of a spell caster. The spell worked like magic. My husband changed and started showing love instead of the divorce he was planning. Everything is in place for me now. I would gladly recommend the use of a spell to any one going through marriage problems. (gbojiespiritualtemple)
From 2nd cousin Alice Shannon Traynor, 10/11/16:
Hello Steve, So glad I ran across your blog. Robert Columbus Shannon [brother of Nola Shannon Gower] was my grandfather. That would make us what, 2nd cousins? I do have one photo of Robert Columbus and his family. Send me your email address, and I will send you a copy. Love to hear from you.
Paula Harris and Maida Shepard
Hello Bro. Steve. I am a Pastor from Mumbai, India. I am blessed and privileged to get connected with you. Give my belated birthday greetings to your dear mother who is 93. To receive birthday greetings from Mumbai, India is unique. I have been in ministry for 38 years in Mumbai. We reach out to the poorest of poor with the love of Christ to bring healing on Happy Halloween!
From Anonymous, 5/8/16
I am working on my genealogy and googled [my 4X Great Grandmother] Mary Terry Buskirk and found your blog. My relatives said she was kidnapped from England and brought to America by a sea captain for marriage but she hid and married John Buskirk! They said her dad's name was George Terry and mom Elizabeth.
From 3rd cousin Cherie Harris, 7/17/12
I reckon I've found me another cousin! I recently returned to working on my Williams line and found your site. My 2nd great-grandmother was Matilda Jane Williams Clearwater, youngest child of John and Lydia Warford Williams. I enjoy your writings very much.
From long lost neighbor Crystal Leeper, 7/12/08
I was looking for Lyndsey and Mandy and googled to find them [mentioned on your website]. I used to live down the street from them and was wondering if you knew how I could get in touch with either of them? :) Thanks!
From kissing cousins Chris and Amanda, 5/8/09
Wonderful slide show! So many great moms in this family :)
From Inspector Clouseau (possibly an alias?), 6/13/13
Hmm, an interesting way to use a blog. Nice blog work. I came across your site while “blog surfing”. I frequently travel around looking for creative ways in which people express themselves. Thanks for sharing.
Leroy Ertin Gower, 1930s
Thank you for posting this picture of [your grandfather] Leroy Gower from the 1930s. I showed it to my mom Georgia Gower Pfeil and she remembered her much older brother Lee who visited her family in Okemah when she was a girl. Mom's parents were George and Phoebe Root Gower.
From author Marjorie Eldred, 7/19/13
Thanks Steve, I have enjoyed the family pictures with cars. We have a favorite or two also: Mom and Dad Vaughn sitting on the running board of a very old car; our family the Vaughns standing in front of a 1940 chevy taken in 1952. These pics are included in my book, Seizing the Treasure: Nuggets of Vaughn-Kilpatricks ($16.95 on Amazon) or Seizing the Treasure: 101 Nuggets to Warm Your Heart.
These are just a few of the many insightful, interesting, amazing, unbelievable, and sometimes crazy comments that have been left in the comments section of The Shepard's Crook. You are welcome to give it a try sometime. But please, spell casting will be frowned upon. 😂
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