Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Sadie, Cindy and Soldier William, January 30, 2018

When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a Valentine
Birthday greetings bottle of wine
~John Lennon

Hello and greetings to all of you from San Diego on this warm and sunny day in late January as we approach the midpoint of Winter later this week on Ground Hog Day.

Remembering Sadie Shepard Pruett (1892-1980). This week marks the anniversary of the birth of my Grandfather's sister Sadie J. Shepard. She was born and raised in Venice, Madison County, Illinois, but at 13 years old her family moved to Oklahoma. After finishing school she actually went into teaching for a while. But that career was cut short when a young fellow named Levy Pruett caught her eye. She married Levy in 1910 and settled into being a rancher's wife in rural Beaver County, Oklahoma. She and husband Levy raised three daughters, Alberta, Gayle, and Twila.

Levy and Sadie Pruett, Bura, Will and Thelma Shepard
This first picture shows Levy and Sadie Shepard Pruett with Bura and William Shepard (Sadie's brother). In front is the Shepard's youngest child Thelma at 6 years old. This picture was taken in the summer of 1942 in Beaver County, Oklahoma when the Shepards, who lived in San Diego at the time, had returned to Oklahoma for a summer visit.

From The History of Beaver County, Volume 1 (p. 439): "Levy Pruett was born in Weaubleau, Missouri in 1879. He came to Beaver County in 1905. He filed on a quarter of land south of the Elmwood Post Office. In 1910 he married Sadie Shepard who had been born in Illinois in 1892. She had come here in 1905 with her folks. Before her marriage, she taught three terms of school, and one term after they were married. They lived in a two room frame house, later building a new house. Levy and Sadie lived on their ranch till 1966. Due to poor health, both went to the Beaver Nursing Home to live. Levy passed away in 1968." Sadie lived in Beaver County until her death in 1980.

Civil War Section of Oak Hill Cemetery, Evansville, Indiana
William Elmer Shepard (1862-1915). This week also marks the beginning of a fateful month in the life of Sadie's father, William Elmer Shepard, born February 2, 1862 during the Civil War. This was also a fateful month for Sadie's Grandfather, William Shepard, who was a soldier in the Union Army's 41st Regiment. The soldier William was injured in a battle at Bowling Green, Kentucky in February, 1862 just days after his son William Elmer was born. Father William, almost certainly unaware of his son's birth, was sent to a military hospital in Evansville, Indiana. There, for 5 long months, he attempted to recover from his injuries. He finally succumbed to illness in the hospital on July 22, 1862 at just 27 years old. He lies buried today in the Civil War section of Evansville's Oak Hill Cemetery. Born 30 years later, Sadie never met her Shepard grandfather. We can only assume that through the family stories her father told her, Sadie knew of her Grandfather's sacrifice. It was an offering of his life that is honored and remembered to this day.

Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me. Happy Birthday this Friday, February 2, to my brother's wife, Cindy Ann Shepard of Oak Harbor, Washington. I visited with Cindy this past week when I was in Washington to visit with my Mother Maida Gower Shepard and the rest of the family there. Cindy is doing very well and continues her work at Schenk Packing in nearby Mount Vernon where she has been employed for 15 years. She said she is pleased to be reaching this milestone birthday since few people in her entire family have reached this age.

This picture shows Cindy with Maida at Gary and Cindy's home in Oak Harbor this past Thanksgiving. Cindy is part of the invaluable team of family members who care for Maida. At 93 Mom continues to be tended to by her primary care givers and children, Gary and Barbara Shepard, and several other family members from Oak Harbor, and Anacortes, Washington where she lives. Best wishes and Happy Birthday to Cindy!
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Steve Shepard

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Wintertime Anniversaries, January 18, 2018

Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!
~Albert Einstein

Greetings to all of you today from beautiful San Diego!

Happy Anniversary to my cousin Kim Boyd Clark and her husband Jeff Clark who are celebrating 11 years of marriage today. Kim tells me that she and husband Jeff will be spending today celebrating in Palm Springs, California. They love retirement and enjoy the opportunity to spend more time with their grandkids. They also enjoy traveling in their RV and plan to spend half their time on the West Coast visiting family ands friends.

This first picture shows Kim (on the left in sunglasses) and Jeff (in the back on the right) with several family and friends. On the far right is Kim's mother Thelma Shepard Boyd. This picture was taken this past Monday at SeaWorld here in San Diego.

Happy Birthday Dane and Nathan! This Sunday, Jan 21, is the birthday of my cousin Dane Shepard of Blanchard, Oklahoma, and his son Nathan Shepard, a student at Florida College, who was also born on Jan 21.

The second picture I am including today shows Dane and Nathan Shepard on the right, with mother Cindy Shepard and sister Kaylan Shepard on the left. This picture was taken last summer.

12 Shepard Cousins. Kim Boyd Clark and Dane Shepard are two of 12 cousins who are the grandchildren of William and Bura Davis Shepard. Three of those 12 cousins have passed away: Rex, Beverly and my sister Linda. All 12 of us spent most, if not all, of our growing up years in San Diego during the middle years of the 20th century. That was a wonderful time of growth and togetherness for the Shepard family of William and Bura. Today we cousins are scattered around the U.S., from Washington to California to Oklahoma to Missouri.

In recent months I have shared in this blog about extensive findings related to our Shepard ancestors prior to the Civil War. One interesting conclusion I have drawn from those findings is how important Eastern Ohio was in the history of our family. In particular Belmont and Monroe Counties in Southeast Ohio. Both counties are situated along the Ohio River and are just south of the Cumberland Trail, a famous westward migratory route for frontier Americans in the early 19th century, a route that our Shepard, Davis, Spear and probably other ancestors used in moving westward.

I have known for a long time about the importance of Belmont County Ohio in the history of my Grandmother Bura Davis Shepard's family. More recently I discovered that the family of Callie Spear Davis (my Grandmother's mother), was also from that very same part of Ohio.

But only recently did I find out that our Shepard ancestors were also from Belmont County, Ohio as well. John Sheppard (1737-1827) settled with many family members in the township of Kirkwood, Belmont County, Ohio in the first decade of the 19th century. In 1843 some of these Sheppards migrated to Indiana. Later of course they migrated on to Oklahoma and eventually California.

My grandparents William Shepard and Bura Davis did not even meet until the early 20th century when their families lived in Oklahoma, where Will and Bura were married in 1915.  But as I came to find out, William's grandparents and Bura's grandparents (unknown to each other) had lived in close proximity 75-100 years earlier, in Ohio. For the first half of the 19th century, a large clan of our Sheppard ancestors lived in the area around Sewellsville, Ohio which was just 14 miles from Belmont, Ohio where some of our Davis ancestors were settled, and where Alexander Davis (1819-1866) was born. All of this is remarkable to me since, as far as we know, the Shepards and the Davises never met face to face until Oklahoma in 1913.

It is an interesting and curious fact of our family history. If nothing else this is a reminder than our lives and our families and our history is really more interwoven that we ever thought.
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Steve Shepard

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Fun With Family Names, January 10, 2018

Bee to the blossom, moth to the flame;
Each to his passion; what's in a name?
~Helen Hunt Jackson
Happy Birthday to my wife Cindy this past Sunday, January 7. Her birthday occurred in the midst of a time when our family is down with the flu. It is a bug that has hit our entire community very hard - neighborhood, school, church -- and our family has not escaped the ugly symptoms. Unfortunately most of her birthday was spent in bed. Fortunately we are on the mend. Happy Birthday to Cindy!
This first picture shows Cindy surrounded by me, grandsons William and Logan, and our dog Jasmine. This picture was taken a few weeks ago on Christmas Day in San Diego.

Happy Birthday today to Mary Shepard, wife of my brother Darrell Shepard. Originally from Chicago, Mary and her family live in Bothell, Washington near Seattle. Mary is the administrator of a senior care facility in nearby Everett, Washington. Besides working hard at her day job, Mary loves spending time with her four Grandchildren, who all live close by.

I have mentioned before in this blog how 2017 was a banner year for discovering new information about our Shepard ancestors before the mid-19th century. For many years the Civil War Soldier William Shepard (1835-1862) was the oldest Shepard ancestor I knew about. The soldier's younger son was William Elmer Shepard (1862-1915) and his grandson was William Shepard (1888-1876), my Grandfather.

As far as I know the Civil War Soldier William was the oldest Shepard ancestor that my father and even my grandfather ever knew about. Fortunately we have access to more historical data these days than ever before, hence the recent discovery of family information that was virtually lost to our parents and grandparents.

Fun With Family Names. We have always known that there were several William Shepards in our family history, a tradition that continues today with my Grandson, who was given the name William Shepard (b. 2012). But with the Shepard ancestry discoveries of 2017, I have found that the name William was a favorite of our Shepard family long before the Civil War. The 19th century soldier William Shepard (1835-1862) actually had an uncle whose name was also William Sheppard (1808-1884). (Before the Civil War the most common spelling of our family's name was Sheppard, with two p's.)  

The soldier William also had a first cousin with the same name, William Sheppard (1832-1905), who was also born in the Kirkwood Community of Belmont County, Ohio. These two cousins with the name William Sheppard lived in close proximity at birth and were born just 3 years apart. They were both born into the large and prosperous clan of Sheppards who settled in the Kirkwood Township of Belmont County, Ohio in the early 19th century.

Some other names of Sheppard folk in that clan are amazingly similar to names that we Shepards have given our children. Because of these naming similarities, one might think that we were well acquainted with these Ohio Sheppards from the early 19th century. But the fact is we have not known about them until recently.

The father of the aforementioned cousin William Sheppard was Nathan Cross Sheppard (1801-1856), which is interesting because today we have two Nathan Shepards in our family, one of them being our son Nathan William Shepard. The name Nathan Cross Sheppard is eerily similar to Nathan Ross Shepard, the name of the son of my cousins Dane and Cindy Shepard who live in Blanchard, Oklahoma.

There are other familiar names among the family members of my GGG Grand Uncle Nathan Cross Sheppard. Not only did Nathan and his wife Eliza Sheppard have a son named William Sheppard, they also had children named Rachel Sheppard (1843-1856), Mary Sheppard (1845-1905), and even a Findley Sheppard (1829-1899), all of which are names of Shepard family members today.

This second picture shows daughter and mother Rachel and Mary Shepard, two of those who have the same names as family members from two centuries ago. This particular picture was taken a few years ago at the home of Maida Shepard of Anacortes, Washington.

Yet another fun coincidence: The mother of this Ohio Sheppard family was Eliza Sheppard (1804-1894), whose maiden name was Clark, and was originally from Half Moon, New York. Whether she is related to either of the Clarks who find themselves among our kinfolk is unknown. I am referring of course to my late sister's husband Jerry Clark of Lubbock, Texas, and Kim Boyd Clark's husband Jeff Clark of Grain Valley, Missouri. Just when you thought we had plenty of Clarks in our family tree, it turns out we have yet another.

These are just some of the interesting name similarities that I have found in recent months between us in the 21st century and our early 19th century ancestors. We are two centuries removed from them, but the connections are stronger than we might think.
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Steve Shepard