Friday, July 22, 2022

Remembering One Who Gave His Life

My Great Great Grandfather William Shepard (1835-1862) died 160 years ago today. Born and raised in Wabash, Indiana, he served in the Civil War as a member of the Union Army. Married less than two years, he left his pregnant wife Mary and their young son William Elmer in the fall of 1861. From Wabash this new recruit marched some 80 miles to Indianapolis to join Indiana's 41st Infantry. Once this unit was gathered together, they marched their way 250 miles further south in the cold of winter to join the Civil War at Bowling Green, Kentucky. 

Pvt. William Shepard's grave
Evansville, Indiana
In the very first encounter with the enemy by his unit, William seriously injured his arm in a canon blast. (Somebody had to be the first injury.) His active military service ended almost as soon as it began. Sent to a military hospital in Evansville, Indiana, he languished for 5 long months. He died July 22, 1862 and lies buried today in the Civil War section of Evansville's Oak Hill Cemetery, a place I have visited more than once with great pride and humility. William's headstone stands there today as a lasting memorial to his sacrificial devotion to our country. He is an honored family member who deserves our sincerest gratitude. It is the sacred responsibility of all of us, his descendants, to make sure that he is never forgotten. May we honor his memory as he continues to rest in peace. 

Select this link or this link to read more about the details of his life and military service.

Remarkable Names. It has been a while since I shared in this blog about outstanding names in our family tree. In recent months I have come across some ancestors who were gifted (or "saddled," depending on your perspective) with unique names. Consider the following remarkable names which I have uncovered in our family tree.

First are a couple of family members whose names are a mouthful to speak. Imagine having to go through life with one of these.

Achilles Archilaus Archibald Hogg (1774-1864). Named after the Great Warrior of Greek Mythology, our ancestor Achilles was originally from North Carolina, a 3rd Great Grandfather of my Grandfather Leroy Gower. Giving their son such a big name suggests the Hogg family wanted great things from him. Or did they simply like outlandish names?

Bazzell Bazel Bassell Baswell Roberson (1745-1831) was born in South Carolina, 1745. This name is quite the tongue twister and is almost impossible to say correctly, even at a slow speed. It is unclear exactly how you even pronounce his name. He is in the family line of my Grandmother Nola Shannon Gower.

Talitha Cumi Spear (1840-1943) "Talitha Cumi" is a phrase found in the Bible. In Mark 5:41 Jesus raises a little girl from death by saying "Talitha Cumi," which in Aramaic means "little girl arise!" This Talitha Cumi is in the family line of my Great Grandmother Callie Spear Davis and was born alongside Captina Creek in Belmont County, Ohio. This is one more indication that our ancestors were quite Biblically literate and often gave their children names from scripture.

Zebulon Zerubabel Filer Fyler Flyer (1644-1714) - "Z.Z. Flyer" is in the family line of my Great Grandmother Elvira Owen Shepard. The Flyer family continued the ostentatious naming of their children by giving their son the name Samuel B. Filer Fyler Filor Flyer. Surely they had a sense of humor in giving him such a name.

These are just a few of the remarkable/amusing/outstanding names of ancestors in our family tree. In my next post I plan to share some other names that are just as memorable.
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Steve Shepard