having a hundred sheep
and losing one of them,
and go after the one that is lost?
In the years I have been researching our family history, I have used numerous resources to gather information. One resource I have found especially helpful is the book Sheppard-Marshall and Allied Families, written by 3rd cousin Lillian A. Sheppard. Originally from Iowa, she lived for many years in San Jose, California until her death in 1982. Her book is a well researched and extensive collection of Sheppard family members. And it is available online at Ancestry.com at this location.
As a reminder, many of our ancestors, including Lillian, spelled their name with two p's. Included in Lillian Sheppard's family history are my 4X Great Grandparents James Sheppard (1775-1843) and his wife Hannah Gatchell Sheppard (1784-1839) of Kirkwood, Ohio. I have written about James and Hannah numerous times in The Shepard's Crook.
|An image of Lillian Sheppard|
from her book
An Understandable Oversight. Now to be fair to cousin Lillian, there are good reasons why her research failed to turn up the 100th Grandchild of James and Hannah. First of all, her research and writing were completed in 1974, long before the Internet came along with its amazing number of genealogical resources.
Furthermore, William Sheppard, born in 1835, left the Sheppard family homestead in Ohio as a child with his parents and migrated to the wilderness of Indiana. In so doing he evidently lost contact with his grandparents and other family. He grew up in Indiana, served in the military during the Civil War, and died at just 27 years old. Communication was so poor in those days that his war service and his death at a military hospital may not have been known to many in his own family. After William's death in 1862, his widow Mary Sprague Sheppard with their two young sons Frank and William, got on with their lives which did not include William's family of origin.
|Gravesite of GGGrandfather|
William Sheppard in Oak Hill Cemetery
Disappointed But Gratified. So it is not surprising that William, the 100th grandchild of James and Hannah Sheppard, could not be found by Lillian Sheppard in her research and was not included in her 857 page book. It leaves me disappointed that Great Great Grandpa William Sheppard, an honorable soldier who gave his life for his country, is missing from this important historical resource.
But it is gratifying to know that telling his story in this blog is one more way of assuring that GG Granddad William will not be lost to history. He now takes his place as one of the many Grandchildren of James and Hannah Sheppard. May his memory be a blessing to all his descendants.
I mentioned that in her research Lillian Sheppard uncovered 99 grandchildren of James and Hannah. In recent years that number has actually grown. In my family tree on Ancestry.com I have now identified from historical records 118 grandchildren of James and Hannah Sheppard, from their first Grandchild Hannah J. Sheppard (1825-1902) to their last Grandchild Etta Blanche Sheppard (1873-1963). Those 118 Grandchildren, with their individual families, would make for one huge family reunion!
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