Friday, July 03, 2009

Shepard Family Update, July 3, 2009

In each family a story is playing itself out,
and each family's story embodies its hope and despair.
-- Auguste Napier

Hello Shepard Family and Friends,

Best wishes to all of you for a safe and sane July 4th weekend, on our nation's 233rd birthday! We have had family members in this country for all of those years. One Yankee Doodle Dandy was Vashti Wright (the Ggrandfather of James Brooks Davis) who was born in South Carolina in 1775, the year before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He was part of the westward movement that brought our ancestors in the 19th century to Indiana. Our family's history has been primarily an American story for more than two centuries.

This is not to diminish that part of our story where we have embraced, through marriage, other ethnicities such as Irish, Mexican, Colombian, Native American, and most recently Cambodian. But it is to celebrate the degree to which our roots are deeply ingrained in the American landscape.

More on Our Davis Roots. The first picture I am including today -- like last week's picture -- illustrates our Davis roots, by showing the 7 children of James and Callie Davis. In last week's picture (from 1908) the children were all between 11 years old and just a few months old. They have grown considerably by the time of this week's picture, taken 14 years later, in about 1922.

Bura Davis, the oldest, was the tall girl in last week's picture, but this week (on the far right, at 25 years old) she appears to be the shortest one of the bunch. (Was the camera tilted, giving a false impression? What do you think?) When this picture was taken, she was married to William Shepard and the mother of their first 3 children, Pauline, Elmer and Eugene.

Next to her is Jesse Davis, about 21 years old. (You gotta love the preppy hair styles on the boys!) Moving to the left, the next person is Myra Davis, about 22 years old, married to William Allen Kilpatrick at the time, and the mother of their first two, Geneva and Bernard. Behind her is Marjorie Davis, the youngest at 14 years old.

Next to Marjorie is Esther Davis, in the blouse with the interesting designs. She is about 17 years old here, and married Perry Jenkins the summer of the following year. Next to her is Lawrence, the oldest son at 24. On the far left is Winona, who was about 19 years old at this time.

If any of you have other insights into this picture, regarding date, place, circumstances, etc., I would appreciate you dropping me a line with your thoughts.

It must have been an interesting time for the James and Callie Davis family. These 7 siblings were maturing into adulthood and beginning to leave home, with three of them married, and 5 grandchildren on the scene. It is very interesting to compare this picture with one I shared with you last June. That picture (select this link to view it) appears to have been taken at the same time, and in the same setting, as this picture. It shows James and Callie Davis with their first 5 grandchildren (they would eventually have 31).

Among the people scheduled to attend the reunion in two weeks will be 2 of Bura's children (Elmer and Thelma) plus other descendants of hers (including the two boys pictured below), and at least 2 of Jesse's children (Charlotte and Jessie), perhaps other descendants of his as well. I do not have the entire list of those planning to attend, but other descendants of the 7 Davis kids may also be with us.

Happy Birthday to Kelly and James Savage's older son Nathaniel, of Weatherford, Texas, who turns 7 this coming Tuesday. I mentioned his younger brother Kyle last week, whose 5th birthday was last Friday. The second picture shows these two young San Diego Padre fans at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas, just last weekend. Their family moved from San Diego to Texas several years ago, but have kept their love for the San Diego team.

Nathaniel and Kyle are two of Bura Davis and Will Shepard's GGgrandchildren. Gary Shepard is the proud grandfather of these two. Their mother Kelly said in a recent email...

"The whole family, including the four of us, [my] mom, Rick, Kerri, Lyndsey, Mandi and Jason enjoyed it very much when the Padres came to Texas to play the Rangers for the weekend and won two out of three!
We braved the over 100 degrees every night. Kyle was so excited because he thought the Padres came all the way to Texas for his birthday. They put his name on the rolling score board and brought him a gift bag. Kyle turned 5 on June 26th. Loves the Padres! His favorite players are Adrian Gonzalez and Tony Gwynn Jr. He finished his first season of soccer this past Spring. He did a great job and loved to play. He can't wait to play T-ball next season!

Nathaniel ('Nate') turns 7 on 7-7. He just finished his second season of T-ball. He was on the Padres!! He has played soccer and is an orange belt in Karate. Nate loves to do anything that gives him a chance to run and get dirty. He never misses an opportunity to tell a stranger he loves them and/or give them a hug."

Best wishes for a very happy birthday this coming week!

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