Friday, October 09, 2009

Shepard Family Update, October 9, 2009

At the end of the day, a loving family
should find everything forgivable.
~Mark V. Olsen and Will Sheffer

Dear Shepard Family and Friends,

It is hard to believe that I have been sending out these family emails and posting them to my family blog (The Shepard's Crook) every Friday for nearly two years now! It has been quite an enjoyable enterprise and very rewarding. The feedback that I have received from many of you is gratifying and I am very thankful for it -- even the occasional corrections that I have received from a special auntie who lets me know whenever I make a mistake. (She is usually right on target, by the way.) But I am sure I would be doing this even if no one was reading it -- that's how much I enjoy it.

I am grateful that the list of readers continues to grow. It includes not only the families of the children of Will and Bura (Davis) Shepard -- which is a sizeable group in itself -- but the readership also includes a number of relatives of Will and Bura's siblings and ancestors. The last two years has yielded the pleasant surprise of putting me in touch with some wonderful relatives I had never even heard of before. These are people best described as "kissing cousins" -- second, third, or even fourth cousins who share a common ancestor and have as great a passion as I do for family research.

Even though these emails, and The Shepard's Crook as a family blog have only been around for about 2 years, as a tool for communication it has actually been around for over 10 years. It first began in Paradise.

In 1997 I was the minister of a church in the Northern California town of Paradise, California. My column in the monthly newsletter to the members of that congregation was called The Shepard's Crook. When I moved on to another church in Antioch, California, I carried the name with me, and labeled each regular communique to that group of folks the same thing.

And so it continued as I moved to Stockton and San Diego and Sacramento, until 2005 when I served a church in the California gold rush town of Murphys. In addition to the physical mailings of the regular church newsletter, I also posted my communications to that church family online, in a blog that I also called The Shepard's Crook.

This is why if you look back in the online archives of the blog, you can find some communications specific to that particular congregation, or you might find some sermons, or some other musings that have a different focus than what the blog has today.

Then on the last Friday in 2007, after my service to the Murphys church had ended, The Shepard's Crook evolved into what it is today, a weekly family blog. It now has a very specific focus -- the descendants and ancestors, as well as the family and friends of Will and Bura (Davis) Shepard.

And so it continues as a regular communications tool for sharing family news, reporting on the latest family history discoveries, promoting upcoming family reunions, offering old and new family photos (nearly 200 so far!), celebrating this unique family of ours, and simply musing on the subject of family.

FAMILY FACES. Speaking of family photos, above is the first of the two family pictures I am including today. (Click on the picture for a larger view.) Taken in 1951 in San Diego, it shows Will and Bura (Davis) Shepard on the right. On the left is Barney and Winona (Davis) Kilpatrick, Bura's sister and husband, when they came to California from Oklahoma for a family visit.
The second picture was taken this summer in Newcastle, Oklahoma at the family reunion. It shows two of Will and Bura's nephews and their wives. On the left is Arthur Jenkins of Beaver County, Oklahoma (son of Esther Davis Jenkins), with his wife Grace. On the right is Gary Millikan of Tulsa, Oklahoma (son of Marjorie Davis Millikan), with his wife Barbara.

Thanks to each of you for being one of the readers of these paragraphs. Whoever you are and wherever you are on life's journey you are welcome here. All I ask is that if you know of other family or friends who would be interested in what The Shepard's Crook offers, you will pass the word about it to them. It is very easy to add new names and addresses to the list.

As I have mentioned before, I always welcome your photos, stories, family news or opinions and comments that can be shared with the rest of the family. Ours is a family whose life is worth sharing!
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