Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Tangle of Pickenses, April 21, 2013

Don't stop thinking about tomorrow...
Yesterday's gone, yesterday's gone.
~Fleetwood Mac

Hello Family and Friends,

Greetings once again to all of you from the Cruise Ship Legend as we continue our way across the Atlantic. Our time on board this ship is nearly complete as we are just a few days from our final cruise destination of Barcelona, Spain.

Good Things Come in Twos. This week in our family we celebrate two different sets of twins. This Tuesday, April 23, Dominic and Isaac Ortiz turn one year old. They are the sons of Jeremy and Desiree Ortiz of Blue Springs, Missouri and the grandsons of Kim Boyd Clark. Thanks to mom Desiree for this first picture which shows the twin smiles of healthy brothers Dominic and Isaac. Happy Birthday to them!

This Thursday, April 25, twins Susan Clark Cox and Amanda Clark Farrell turn a magical 33. They are the daughters of Jerry Clark and Jane Clark Brock of Lubbock, Texas. Happy Birthday Susan and Amanda!

A Tangle of Pickenses. In my last post I mentioned John and Eleanor (Baskin) Pickens, whose son John Pickens II (1730-1795) was an accomplished captain in the American Revolutionary War. Another son of John and Eleanor was Andrew Pickens, the GG grandfather of Nola Shannon Gower, my grandmother, and therefore the one from whom we are directly descended.

John Pickens' BROTHER Andrew Pickens (1699-1756) (not to be confused with his SON also named Andrew Pickens (1730-1795)) had a son of his own, also named Andrew Pickens (1739-1817). You may have to read the previous sentence a few times to get the gist of it. It is a very confusing family situation because John Pickens' son, his brother, and his brother's son all had the same name -- Andrew Pickens.

In our family today my brother Russ has a son with my name -- Steven Shepard -- and it can sometimes be confusing. In generations to come, our descendants may have a tough time keeping us straight. But the Andrew Pickens family phenomenon of the 18th century is a real puzzler with 3 men in close genealogical proximity having the same exact name. Throw in a few other men in our tree with similar names (Andrew Pickens Shannon -1809-1857, and Robert Andrew Pickens - 1644-1699), and you get a tangle of Pickenses that takes a keen eye to keep straight!

Part of the reason I even mention all this is because the Andrew Pickens whose dates are 1739-1817 was a General in the American Revolution and was something of a war hero (just like his cousin John Pickens II, mentioned above). General Andrew Pickens made quite a mark in South Carolina, where that part of our family settled after leaving Pennsylvania. In northwest South Carolina there is a town of "Pickens" and a county of "Pickens" named for him. He was born in Pennsylvania where his immigrant parents Andrew and Nancy Pickens settled after coming over from Ireland.

The second picture is from a portrait of General Andrew Pickens of South Carolina. (If only General Pickens had seen the twins in the picture above, he might have cracked a bit of a smile!) Andrew married a woman named Rebecca Calhoun, who was quite an impressive woman in her own right. The following is from "The Early Families of the South Carolina Low County" and documents the remarkable story of Andrew and Rebecca.

The Romance of General Andrew Pickens and Rebecca Calhoun. When the Pickens family moved from Pennsylvania to South Carolina, they settled in the small town of Abbeville. Later young Andrew had a prominent part in bringing about a permanent settlement with the Cherokee Indians. During the time of the Indian uprising, an event occurred destined to greatly effect his life. Among those who escaped the Indian massacre was Ezekiel Calhoun and his pretty young daughter Rebecca, just 15 years of age. During their three years there young Andrew and Rebecca became friends. There was nothing unusual about that and nothing was thought about it at this time as he was away the greater part of the time. The separation of the young couple was not for long. His friendship with Rebecca grew into love and they were married March 19, 1765, at the home of her father. They were married by Justice of the Peace William Calhoun. Both families were loyal church members, but ministers were few and hard to reach. Tradition says it was the largest wedding party ever assembled in upper South Carolina up to this time. The festivities lasted three days without interruption. The beauty of the bride was the theme of all talks and the wedding was long talked of as the most important event of the decade. Andrew bought 250 acres of land and they built a house which is described elsewhere. She was said to be one of the most gifted women of her time, and was an equal match for her famous husband.

Next time: More about Andrew Pickens and his cousins, and more about our travels around Europe.
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Steve Shepard

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