Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Shepard Family From East to West, August 10, 2011

My ancestors wandered
lost in the wilderness for 40 years
because even in Biblical times,
men would not stop to ask for directions.
~Elayne Boosler

Hello Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you from San Diego, California on this week of our family reunion. This Saturday afternoon at the Anacortes Christian Church (12th and M St) in Anacortes, Washington our family will gather from far and near to celebrate our life together. 

Happy Birthday Jeremy. This coming Friday, Aug 12, is the birthday of Jeremy Ortiz, son of Kim Boyd Clark, of Blue Springs, Missouri. Originally from San Diego, Jeremy and Desiree and their children moved earlier this year to Missouri, where Kim and her husband Jeff Clark live.

Kim: "Jeremy is working like crazy. He has a very busy Pizza Hut store and is looking forward to the Chargers coming to town [Kansas City] Oct 31." The first picture shows Jeremy with their 3 children, Ashlyn, Ciara and Damian.

4th Great Grandparents, James Sr., and Hannah. Recently in this blog I shared about the discovery of my 3rd Ggrandparents James and Hannah Shepard. I would now like to introduce the parents of James Shepard, whose names were also James and Hannah. James Shepard Sr. was born in 1775, the year before the birth of our nation, in Hagerstown, Maryland, just 65 miles from Washington, D.C. His wife Hannah Gatchell was born in 1784 in Calvert, Maryland, in the northeast corner of that state, half way between Philadelphia and Baltimore.

James Sr. and his wife Hannah, followed the lead of most early Americans by moving westward. In the early 1800s, they left Maryland and migrated more than 200 miles, through the Cumberland Valley into southwest Pennsylvania and finally down into eastern Ohio where they settled in Belmont County. That's where their children were born, including their son James Jr., from whom we are descended.

In 1839 Hannah Gatchell Shepard, at only 55, died, leaving her husband James and several children. The very next year, James Jr., who had married his own Hannah, was feeling the same pioneering spirit that had driven his parents westward. The younger James and Hannah left Ohio and migrated some 350 miles further west to Tippecanoe County, Indiana, leaving behind his widowed father James Sr., who died in Ohio a few years later in 1843.

From East Coast to West. With the discovery of the senior James Shepard, and his wife Hannah Gatchell, our Shepard family line has now been traced all the way back to the East Coast, and all the way back to the beginning of our nation. Originally from Maryland, they migrated to Eastern Ohio, where their children were born. One of them, James Jr., migrated to Northwest Indiana with his family, which included William Shepard, a young man who gave his life in the Civil War. He left one son, William Elmer Shepard, who moved to Illinois and then with his own family to Beaver County, Oklahoma. That's where his son William Shepard married Bura Davis. After a move to southeast Colorado, where they lived 12 years, they and their four children made the final jump of over 1,000 miles to the West Coast, settling in San Diego in 1940. 

It took 165 years but the Shepards finally made it from Hagers- town, Maryland in 1775 to San Diego, California in 1940 with stops in Ohio (35 years), Northern Indiana (40 years), Illinois (25 years), Oklahoma (23 years), and Colorado (12 years). If you plot out all these stops from Hagerstown to San Diego (see graphic), you get a fairly direct route that bisects our country from Northeast to Southwest, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Our Shepard ancestors were a wandering people as they made their way across the U.S., but they wandered in a remarkably straight line, at least until they reached the Pacific Ocean.

In San Diego nearly the entire clan lived for more than 30 years until the early 1970s. But in the 40 years since then, many members of our family have "bounced back" to New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas. Still others have moved northward to Northern California and Utah. And a large number have moved to Western Washington, in particular Anacortes, Washington where our Shepard Family Reunion will be held this coming Saturday. Only a handful of us Shepard descendants live in San Diego today.

Below is a 9 generation lineage that traces one strain of our Shepard Family from our oldest known ancestor, James Shepard, Sr. of Hagerstown, Maryland, to our youngest family member, Logan Shepard, of Alameda, California (see picture of Logan with his sister Preslea, on granny Cindy's lap).
  • James Shepard Sr., (1775-1843) born in Hagerstown, Maryland, who married Hannah Gatchell (1784-1839), the parents of...
  • James Shepard Jr., (1818-1887) born in Belmont County, Ohio, who married Hannah (maiden name unknown), the parents of...
  • William Shepard (1835-1862)  born in Belmont County, Ohio, who married Mary Sprague (1840-1919), the parents of...
  • William Elmer Shepard (1862-1915), born in Wabash, Indiana, who married Elvira Owens (1864-1931), the parents of...
  • William Shepard (1888-1976), born in Alton, Illinois, who married Bura Davis (1896-1986), the parents of...
  • Eugene William Shepard (1921-2003), born in Logan, Oklahoma, who married Maida Gower (b. 1924), the parents of...
  • Steven Dale Shepard, born 1948 in San Diego, who married Cindy Harris (b. 1948), the parents of...
  • Nathan William Shepard, born 1977 in San Diego, who married Chenda Sou (b. 1980), the parents of...
  • Logan Alexander Shepard, born 2011 in San Francisco, California.
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