Tuesday, August 29, 2017

More About Our Shepard Ancestors, August 29, 2017

History remembers only the celebrated,
genealogy remembers them all.
~Laurence Overmire

Happy Birthday Lyndsey! Today is the birthday of my niece Lyndsey Aquiningoc, one of the descendants of the Shepard ancestors mentioned in this post. Lyndsey lives in Granbury, Texas with her son Karver. She is the daughter of Kerri Shepard Aquiningoc and the Granddaughter of Jackie Perry and my brother Gary Shepard. Best wishes to Lyndsey for a very happy birthday! 

Her sister Mandi gave her a beautiful compliment earlier today in a Facebook post: "Happy birthday to my beautiful sister. Thank you so much for everything you've done, for being there for me, and for being such an amazing woman with such a great heart! I'm so blessed and thankful to have YOU as my sister. This is YOUR day so shine and take advantage."

More About Our Shepard Ancestors

I mentioned in my last post that I have found some ancestors on the Shepard side of our family from the early 19th century: Hannah and James Cross Sheppard Jr. In 1840 when these Sheppards migrated from Ohio to Montgomery Co., Indiana, they settled into a whole new environment, put down roots and began a new life for themselves and the family that had come with them. Coincidentally it was exactly 100 years later, in 1940, that the last migratory step across the country occurred for our Shepard family. 1940 was when my grandparents, William and Bura Shepard and their family of 9 moved from Baca County, Colorado to San Diego, California. That particular move covered just over 1,200 miles.

This first picture shows 8 of the 9 Shepard family members who migrated from Colorado to California in 1940: Bill and Pauline Shepard Russell, Eugene Shepard, Bura and William Shepard, and children Rex, Beverly and Thelma. Not pictured here but who also made the move was Elmer Shepard, who may have been taking this photo. This photo was taken in front of the boarding house on Albatross Street in San Diego, which Bura and William ran when they first moved to San Diego 77 years ago.

Moving a family 1,200 miles in 1940 was probably easier than moving a family 350 miles in 1840. Road conditions, modes of travel, speed of transportation, increases in population and other factors made a big difference in facilitating the movement of families across the U.S.

Hannah and James, Jr. and Sr. When Hannah and James Cross Sheppard Jr. left Ohio in about 1840 and migrated to Indiana they left behind their parents Hannah and James Cross Sheppard Sr. Interestingly the James Cross Sheppards of two generations in our family married women named Hannah. The following lineage shows 9 generations of our family going back to James Cross Shepard Sr. and his wife Hannah Gatchell.
  • James Cross Sheppard Sr. (1775-1843) who married Hannah Gatchell (1781-1839)
  • James Cross Sheppard Jr. (1813-1887) who married Hannah (last name unknown)
  • William Shepard (1835-1862) who married Mary Sprague (1840-1919)
  • William Elmer Shepard (1862-1915) who married Elvira Owens (1865-1931)
  • William Shepard (1888-1976) who married Bura Davis (1896-1986)
  • Eugene Shepard (1921-2003) who married Maida Gower (b. 1924)
  • Steve Shepard (b. 1948) who married Cindy Harris (b. 1948)
  • Nathan Shepard (b. 1977) who married Chenda Sou (1980)
  • William Quincy Shepard (b. 2012), Logan Shepard (b. 2011), Preslea Shepard (b. 2010) 
James Cross Sheppard Sr. and his wife Hannah were married in Cecil County, in Northeast Maryland in 1798. They bore their first four children in Maryland before deciding to move westward:
  1. Nathan Sheppard (b. 1801)
  2. Malinda Sheppard (b. 1803)
  3. John Sheppard (b. 1805)
  4. William Sheppard (b. 1808)
James Sr. appears in the book Made In Ohio: Furniture 1788-1988, published in 1984 by the Columbus Museum, in which he is said to have been a "cabinetmaker, carpenter, tanner, weaver and farmer." Those are all skills he would have put to good use on the Ohio frontier when he and Hannah and their first 4 children homesteaded in Ohio in 1809. After traveling some 400 miles from Maryland they settled in what became Kirkwood Township in Belmont County, Ohio. As homesteading settlers in Ohio, James and Hannah added 9 more children to their family: 
  1. Samuel Sheppard (b. 1812)
  2. Isaac Sheppard (b. 1812)
  3. James Sheppard Jr. (b. 1813)
  4. Amos Sheppard (b. 1817)
  5. Elizabeth Sheppard (b. 1821)
  6. Mary Sheppard (b. 1821)
  7. Job Sheppard  (b. 1824)
  8. Emanuel  Sheppard (b. 1827)
  9. George Washington Sheppard (b. 1829)
Among their Ohio born children was James Jr. who is the Sheppard son from which we are descended. James Sr. and Hannah remained in Kirkwood, Ohio until Hannah's death in 1839. James Sr. died just 4 years later, followed the very next year by the deaths of their two youngest sons Job and Emanuel Sheppard who were only 17 and 20 years old.

Included in this post is a picture of the gravestone marking the burials of James and Hannah and their youngest sons Job and Emanuel. It is located in Salem Cemetery in Kirkwood, Ohio. Why the four of them died in a period of just a few years is unknown. Disease epidemics took the lives of many 19th century American pioneers and that may have been the reason for these deaths. It is also curious that about this same time James and Hannah's sons James Jr. and John Sheppard decided to migrate from Ohio to Indiana with their families. Perhaps their mother's death in 1839 prompted them to move westward.

Mother Hannah Gatchell was an English immigrant whose parents were Nathan Gatchell and Elizabeth Anderson Gatchell, Quakers from the old Province of Maryland. Online at Findagrave.com at the burial listing for Hannah Gatchell Sheppard there is a story about her father Nathan Gatchell. As a Quaker he was not allowed to take up arms against the enemy, so he simply helped clean the guns of the colonists instead. But even that participation in the war was too much for his pacifist Quaker brethren and he was "disowned" by them.

I have said it before but it bears repeating: our forbearers like James and Hannah Sheppard deserve our eternal gratitude for having given us much more than their DNA. They paved the way for those of us who have come after them and have left us a great history to be discovered and appreciated.

There is much more to share about these new found family members. For next time: the fascinating will of James Cross Sheppard Sr.
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Steve Shepard

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