Well, another 10 years has passed. What does that mean? The 1950 census has been released. That is about the only interesting thing that has happened in my research this year.
But, I have a problem. My mother and her family are not in the census! I tried and tried, and even though Ancestry has completely indexed the records, officially, they are still not to be found.
I was not terribly surprised by this, only because I have a ships passenger list of people arriving in the port of New York from Puerto Rico on April 1, 1950. On it were my mother, her brothers and her mother. Grandfather had come back to the mainland earlier.
The census started in April. I think that the Shepard clan was in the midst of settling down when the census was going on and they were missed. I found Dick and Dad, and my father’s family, also. But not mom. I will check one more time when the FamilySearch site is done with their indexing (they still haven’t finished Ohio and California, my two options for the Shepards.)
The above census is dad and his family in Wausau, WI. Clarence was one of the folks who got a few extra questions too.
I have found pretty much everyone else of interest at this time in the 1950 census. Maybe I’ll get lucky and Bill and Lois are mis-indexed, but I have a feeling that this is the one census they missed.
I have been obsessed lately with my DNA research, probably because I can’t currently do much in the way of records research, except for what’s available online due to the pandemic, (which contrary to popular belief is not over!) So, in order to feel that I haven’t abandoned genealogy completely, I am focusing on the DNA end of things.
This obsession has also led me to try and learn as much as I can about how to analyze one’s data. Because I will admit, all those charts, lists and matches can get overwhelming! If nothing else, I have learned one thing for sure – focus. Pick one particular problem, or ancestor, and focus on analyzing only data related to that particular answer. Don’t get distracted by all the other pretty little lights.
As I have posted previously here, and here, with the addition of my parents DNA to Ancestry.com, two research puzzles were almost solved, we just have to find the actual records now to suss out exact data.
Now for some more good news! I can also say that DNA has confirmed our connection to Enoch Shepard and Esther Dewey, Hartley Shepard’s grandparents. We have DNA matches with several descendants of children of Enoch and Esther: Luther, Calvin, and Anna – all siblings of Huldah, mother of Hartley.
This is great news, because we have no documents that connect these Shepards to ours other than a yDNA test with 5 markers off on this Shepard line, which made me very nervous about connecting us to the Massachusetts line. But now we have more DNA connecting us. Which makes me breathe a sigh of relief.
In a nutshell this means that the word of mouth story of Hartley’s parents being Henry and Huldah Shepard, was not just a story. This also confirms that General William Shepard of Westfield, Massachusetts was indeed our ancestor. So, yes we can brag about it in full confidence now.
Here is a source mentioning the children of Enoch and Esther: “Colonel Enoch Shepherd, wife and nine Children, Enoch, Daniel, Luther, Calvin, Esther, Anna, Rhoda, Lorana, and Huldah.”
History of Washington County: Residents at Campus Martius – Marietta and at “The Point” – in and Near Fort Harmer during the Whole or Part of the period of the Indian Wars between 1790–1795
This also means that I will be posting more about this line in the future than I have previously. Having more confidence in the connection to the Westfield Shepards makes me feel much better about researching and sharing this line with family.
Some years back my grandparents took a trip to England and Scotland for 14 days. They did a lot of site-seeing, and I guess, gramps wanted to talk to someone about the Scottish origins of our Shepards. (At the time we didn’t know that the Shepards are actually English. DNA.)
Grandmother kept a little journal of their trip, which I found recently while going through their papers. I loved finding it, because my husband and I do the same thing when we go on trips, it must be in my genes. In fact I created a book of our first visit to Hawaii together, as it was a 5 year anniversary vacation. It included photos, little mementos (scanned), and our journal entries, then I had it printed by Apple’s photo book company. It looks pretty spiffy, if I say so myself.
So, anytime I run across these types of items my heart sings. Admittedly, it might be the only one she kept. The year is not indicated on the journal, but I know we have letters that talk about them going on the trip. I believe it occurred sometime in the 70s-80s.
I scanned the whole journal and am putting it here for anyone to enjoy. It is not a novel, the entries are pretty short, they talk mostly about the foods they ate, arrivals, departures, but there is a little bit of commentary. The file can be downloaded, it is a .pdf, or just read it here in my blog. Enjoy!
I have been going through my grandparents papers recently, reorganizing, seeing what needs scanning, throwing away, etc. When I ran across this great newspaper clipping about my mom! She looks gorgeous in this pic too.
She was attending Bliss College in Lewiston, Maine at the time. The picture was taken in the winter of either 1960 or 1961.
Bliss College in Lewiston, Maine; opened 1897, closed 1972; records held: Maine Department of Education, 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333. Songe, Alice H. American Universities and Colleges: A Dictionary of Name Changes. 1978.
[Author’s note: I know it doesn’t seem like it should have, but this post took me over 2 years to write. It was one of those writer’s block episodes. Maybe because there is so little to write about, I didn’t know how to put it down on paper and make it seem…meaningful. Well, here it is, although I still don’t think I did her justice! Maybe I will find more about her life in the future – fingers crossed.]
The family papers from our Shepard side of the family have lots and lots of photos of Jane, her husband, and her children, but we know very little about her life other than what we see in these pictures. Hm, and I don’t recall my grandfather talking much about her either. Which means this bio is not full of much data, but, I have tried to piece together a bit of a life for her. So, here goes.
We know nothing about the how, or why, of our Buchanan line’s arrival in America.
It was possibly sometime in the 1700s, (the date is not currently known, nor has it been proven). The current theory is that John Buchanan is the first in the U.S. of the name in our line. So, until we know differently, he is the dude we start with.
John Buchanan and his wife Jean/Jane Rowan[?] are found in York County, Pennsylvania, where the family stayed for a good 25 years before their grown children started moving out and about the country. Their son William, Jane’s great grandfather, was living in Virginia by the 1780s. I know this because land records were found for him in the area at that time.
When Jane was born, on October 10, 1852, her parents, William Atkinson Buchanan and Margaret Mobley, had settled in Wood County, Virginia (later to become West Virginia). The map below shows the approximate location of the family farm in Wood County, which was deduced using land records for William and Margaret. I think the farm was more towards the right part of the encircled area on the image. Pond Creek Road can be seen towards the bottom of the image; (I think this is the road my mother and I were trying to find the cemetery for Hartley and Susannah Shepard on when we visited years ago.)
Jane attended school from about 1857 to about 1866. Which gave her enough time to learn the basics of reading and writing. (I found some great images of old schools in the County). It is possible that one of these two schools is where the Buchanan children attended, (I lean more towards Mount Hope as it just seemed closer to their farm).
Jane must have been in a hurry to get out of the house, (or maybe it was what all the cool girls were doing), because she was married at the age of 15. The groom was Elza Shepard, the eldest child of Hartley Shepard and Susanna Smith, and he was 21.
At the time of the marriage Elza’s family was living in Jackson County. So, I believe that because Elza was 21, he was out on his own making a living as a farm hand, or working at oil rigs in the Wood County area, and that is how he met Jane. Of course, I have no proof of that, but it seems plausible.
After Jane and Elza were married they made their first home together on a farm that they didn’t own, at least not in 1870, (there was no ‘value of real estate’ entered for them in the 1870 census, just ‘value of personal property’). By 1872 they had purchased 110 acres, (4 acres of this property description were owned by W. A. Buchanan, Jane’s father), and Elza appears in the 1873 Table of Tracts of Land, which included valuation and acreage (which was listed as 106). However, they didn’t live on this property for long, their son Thomas was born in Wood County in about 1874, and they stopped paying property taxes in Wood County after 1874. Their son Isaiah was born in Jackson County in 1877. This indicates that by at least 1875 they were living in Jackson County.
Elza and Jane purchased property from her parents when they moved to Jackson County. And they lived on that property for about 10 years before they made another move, this time to property in Wirt County that Jane’s father had sold to her for $1.00 in August of 1888. Maybe her parents realized they were having a hard time of it and wanted to help them out by selling them property at this nice discount. or they possibly made side deals regarding crops and the like.
It is believed that the above pictures are of Jane and Elza’s home. If it is, then it would likely be in Wirt County, as that is where they settled permanently after the move from Jackson County (and the photograph seem like they was taken in the early 1900s). But, again, I don’t know for sure. I need cousins to verify!
You can see the oil rig in the background of one of the pictures. Oil was a big industry in this area at the time. And, our relatives took full advantage of the money making opportunities when they could by leasing their property to these oil companies. In fact my mother inherited a share in one of the leases, it wasn’t worth much by the time she inherited, and it has since been sold.
Jane and Elza had 14 children together (which included a set of twins), but only 11 of those children lived to adulthood.
That’s really all I can say about Jane at this time. She looks like she lived a hard life, but she also looks like she enjoyed her grandchildren. Her family was large and poor, but Jane was a respected and loved wife and mother. She died 12 Mar 1925 in Wood County, West Virginia.
…as you go south from Parkersburg on “old” Route 2, you go up what is called “Limestone Hill”. There is a church to the left, as you reach the top of the hill. To the right is a junction with a dirt road, called Gate’s Ridge Road. It is one lane and, if the weather is dry, is passable. Winding about three miles on this road, you come to a church on the left. The church-yard also serves as a cemetery. Here lie the remains of Elza, Jane and several of their children, as well as many friends and relatives. Where the church sets is the junction of another road coming from the left. Down this road about a mile or so (setting on a rise of the hill) is the old farm. It appears that the old barn may still be there; but obviously the house with its electric wiring and modern siding must be a replacement. Grandmother died in about 1925, I guess. I recall being taken on a long journey during the winter from Verasailles Avenue to Parkersburg, and being presented to Grandmother lying on a bed; she knew me but I not her. (She had cared for me as an infant at the farm). Brother Bud told the story of being chased, as a small boy, by a large Tom turkey in the yard of the farmhouse, it appearing that the bird was about to catch him; but as he ran screaming from the bird (which stood higher than he) it passed the front porch step, where stood grandmother, who had run from the kitchen to see what the commotion was all about. She made a fast grab for the turkey, and seized it by the neck and started to shake it. After a vigorous shaking the turkey suddenly went limp, and Bud, in complete amazement watched her wheel about and carry the bird into the house. They had turkey for dinner that evening!! When grandmother cared for me as an infant at the farm, it was the winter of 1917-18 when a terrible flu epidemic swept the nation. There were deaths in the family at that time at the farm, so I understand. Some time after her death, grandad moved into Parkersburg to stay with Uncle Hod, where I visited with him overnight in the 1930’s. He had a large picture of her by his bed, and he would look at it and say “she was a good woman.”
Notes from a letter to Sally from Zara and Brooks, [currently unknown Shepard relatives].
We are lucky in that we have many images of Jane, although they are when she is older. You can get a good sense of her in the pictures. (Click on first image then you can click through each at its proper size.)
1910 Federal Census, Tucker, Wirt County, West Virginia; Roll: T624_1699; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0114; FHL microfilm: 1375712. [Ancestry.com image 11 of 24, lines 11-17, dwelling 94, family 97.]
Jane Shepard entry, Wood County Deaths, Death Record no. 3: 209, County Clerks Office, Parkersburg, West Virginia.
I have to say the news was a bit of a shock. No one in the family even knew he was ill, other than his wife. His death was not a result of COVID-19, not that that is any consolation. It appears that he died from complications due to a brain tumor that he had been suffering from at least since last October (but we don’t really know the details).
The saddest part of this news was knowing that David’s life had not an easy one because he had suffered from schizophrenia. A disorder that manifested when he was a teenager. So, what had started out as a promising life became complicated, and troubled.
I didn’t see much of David when I was growing up, being part of a military family we were never around. So I never saw the struggles that he had to deal with just to get through the day. Or the struggles that my grandparents had in trying to help him, and themselves, deal with his symptoms. I do know that it was difficult and stressful for all of them.
I am glad that my few memories of David over the years were good ones. Well, except for that time he backed into our rental car when my husband and I were visiting my grandparents in Maine. (Thankfully the damage was minor.)
On the bright side he was a wonderful piano player.
Images are always the best way to remember so here are some photographs of David through the years, in many of them he is with his younger brother Alan. (At least I hope that they are all of David, I have to admit sometimes I can’t tell the difference between David and Alan especially when they got older.)
The last two pictures: with a great nephew teaching him how to play guitar; with his wife and step-daughter very early in his marriage.
David was the second to last child born to William and Lois Shepard. He lost his youngest brother, Alan, in 1978 when he was killed in a car accident.
First a note to say that I have been a lot busier now that I am back at work everyday. I didn’t realize how busy I would be. In fact, after being gone for 5 1/2 months (officially my last day at work was March 16), it took me until the end of last week to finally get everything all caught up. That was a crazy 4 weeks that left me with no energy for blogging. But, things have calmed down and I am all caught up, so I should be able to focus more on some genealogy. Back to the family letters.
Worthington Ohio Oct. 5, 1961
Dear Dick and Dad:-
We received your card today and was glad to hear you had a safe trip home. As I read your card I couldn’t help but think how happy you must have been when your friends started coming in the minute they knew you were home. It makes Ruth and I very happy to know that they care and we are very grateful to them for adopting you. I feel they are doing something for us that we can not do for ourselves, you being there and us being here. We know you are in good hands.
I just got back from Grand Chapter R.A.M. held in Toledo, Al Maddox, Bill Henry and myself left yesterday morning (Wed) at 4AM and arrived back
[page 2] home 6:10PM this evening. I thought the meetings were very interesting and I learned a lot about R.A.M. I’m sorry I’ve never taken the time to attend one of their meetings before because I believe any pearson going through the line should get this inspiration early n the line. It would help so much to improve your knowledge and prepare for you year in the East.
I can say one thing with all due respect to the men, I think they could take a page out of the Eastern Star Book as far a knowing and being able to conduct a grand Chapter session, it doesn’t have the beauty and dignity that is associated with an Eastern Star meeting.
Ruth is attending her “Rebecka” meeting tonight, their inspection and I believe election of officers.
[page 3] The weather here has been fair and warmer since you went home, I hope we will still have some summer weather. We had a heavy frost the next morning after you left so maybe you call it Indian Summer.
We took Lydia and Aunt Elsie to the lake with us last weekend, we had a good time and I know they did too because they acted like a couple of High School girls. I know it was good for both of them. Although we didn’t get to go fishing because of the high winds we did get to take them a nice ride in the boat late Sunday afternoon when the winds died down.
[page 4 We took them out and around Kelley’s Island. I think Ralph and Lucille are going this week end, and I expect we’ll be pulling the boat out of the water about the next week end. I sure hate to lay it up as I’ve just begin to get the “feel’ of it. Be nice if we could just load it on a trailer and haul it down to your place. Well I’ve run off at the head enough for tonight, be well close for now.
We were surprised to hear you guys were leaving Cummins Lake so soon. It just doesn’t seem like the summer has passed. In fact we’ve had very little summer weather, not over 2 weeks of real summer weather all season. I don’t imagine yours has been any better. We had a nice week end at the lake over Labor Day the first in over a month. Ralph and Lucile were up with us, we had a real good time. Caught 20 perch Sunday and 30 Monday. They didn’t go any place for vacation, on account of her father being in Hospital so long. He is doing real good now but still has another operation to face in the very near future.
[page 2] Lucile started to work at the School, helping in the Cafeteria. she applied for the job about 5 years ago and just now got the job. She gets $125.00 per month for five days 8AM till 2P.M. its much better than working at Shadwicks General Store, gives her week ends at home, etc.
We haven’t called Burch about going down to Parkersburg with you as yet, but we will call him in the next day or two & know he will be glad to go along as he has been talking about going all summer.
We had a card from Lydia last week, says she is getting along. O.K. and would like to see us. Said she had only heard from you once this summer.
[page 3] I’ll bet she’ll be glad to go along too. Charlie Hoff and June were over one night last week and we talked about Canada and what a good time we all had. Charles came to work today and told me he and June were going to go up to Jacks for a week but when I told him you were leaving Sept. 13th. I think he changed his mind. Ruth says to tell you we are being entertained by the dog next door barking and Jean across the street going through one of her tantrums if you know what I mean.
[page 4] You guys should go into the building business if you got that “Guest House” finished already did you have some help?
How would you like to bring us a couple of qt. bottles of that good “Maple Leaf Maple Syrup” I sure would appreciate it if you could. We’ll pay you for it when you get here.
I also think you better let me take your car down to the shop and have the power glide trans. overhauld before you head for home. Well Im about out of new so will close for now See you soon H.O. & Ruth
Transcriber’s notes: I was getting bored with Herman Shepard’s letters to his parents, so decided to see if I could find other letters from and to other folks. Well I actually found some 1940s letter William/Bill sent to his brother Herman that are not dated, but I know they are from the ’40s because of the paper he used, the same he was using for letters to his parents during the time.
So now for something slightly different.
Dear Herman and Ruth
Just a line because I don’t have to much time. I like it here fine. The climate is hot and sunny. We go swimming and have sports here. Its like heaven compared to an enlisted mans quarters. We have luxurious hotels and eat at Miami’s famous restaurants. I have been associating with a better class of men than the usual run of army selecties [that doesn’t sound at all snobbish] and that won’t hurt me any. I am young to be here the average age is 30. I think that I’ll go further to school after I get through here. One or more of the following 1. Aviation Meterology – Mass. College 2.. Advance Reremantical[?] Eng. – Dayton O. <–have no idea what this class might be 3. Communications – Fort Monmouth 4. Flight Training – Randlolph Field possibly meteorology and flight training
[page 2] We have just finished our first weeks work and my average is 95. You have to stay on the beam here because 85 is failing, and 20% fail out of here. We have to change uniforms once and most the time twice a day. Enough about me.
How is everything in Westerville? I wish I were back for an hour. Id look over the town, get Lois & K. W. and beat it back to Florida. What a state. Ill never live in Ohio again after seeing the South east coast. Write me the news. So long for now.
I like how he says ‘enough about me’, asks Herman how everything is, and then proceeds to talk about himself again! LOL
Just a line to let you know we are among the living. The weather here has been so cold it seems like fall instead of summer, I imagine your weather has been unusually cold to. How is the guest house progressing? Or is it a “Bomb Shelter”.
Edw. Shepard was down last week for a couple to days, he seem to be O.K. says he is so busy cutting his grass that he hasn’t had time to go anywhere. He drove down in his Chev. Corvair, he bought it from a private owner and still has his Buick which he is trying to sell. He said if he gets it sold he may go up to your place, but don’t hold your breath.
[page 2] cars are hard to sell especially a big car such as a Buick. He’ll probably have to give it away. He likes his Corsair just fine. It seems like I always have to mess him up some how or another when he is here. Last time Ruth had to go away and left “Strogenoff” for me to serve. Well I served it all right but I forgot the rice. I thought it tasted funny but didn’t know what was wrong and Edw. didn’t know any better than I did, so we just ate it as it.
Well this time I took it upon myself to turn his bed down and remove the spred. I didn’t know Ruth had taken the pillow cases off to wash and she didn’t check me so Edw. slept on those
[page 3] plastic pillow cases. Next morning Ruth noticed what had happened and just about flipped her lid. Edw. said he thought she must have had a lot of starch in her pillow cases. Ruth ask him if they didn’t smell funny and Edw. said yes they did but he thought it was some kind of soap that she was using. We all got a big laugh out of it.
While Edw. was here we all went over to Johnie Gates for a grilled steak cook out. Had a good meal and afterward I showed 2 color movie films that I borrowed from
[page 4] the Cols. Library, one was “Waterway Holiday” and the other was “Hawaii The Nw 50th Sate”. I borrowed the company projector, we had color, sound and all, just like downtown. Johnnie & Juanita took the kids and his dad on a cruise down the Ohio River to the Mississippi and then back up the Ohio and up the Tenn. River. It took them 10 days and they traveled a distance of 1700 miles all by water. I guess they had a wonderful time.
We got the siding on the north side of our cottage and the pine paneling up on the north wall inside. Would like to get the siding
[page 5] on the front yet this year. We still haven’t used the new boat very much only got 27 hours on it altogether and I think I had about 18 on it when you and Dad were with us that Sunday. Last weekend was a dandy the wind blowed from the time we got there till we left on Sunday night. I didn’t even take the cover off. Mary Michell invited Ruth and I over for supper Sunday evening, She has the cottage just east of Leobluns[?] “Red Brick” She really had a meal fried chicken, sweet corn, browned potatoes and
[page 6] home made bread just hot out of the oven. I ate till it ran out my ears. I might just add here that her bread was good but not as good as yours. She is a widow, her daughter and two children live with her in Cleveland. You should meet her I know you would like her and have a lot of fun with her. She was born in Scotland and still has some of the Scotch habits. Well I’ve rambled on enough here so guess I’ll have to sign off for now.
We received a letter from Lois the other day saying they had bought an old house 150 years old and on 12 acres of land [this would be Sugar Hill].
[page 7] I would just love to see it. She said Evelyn and her husband were going to go up about the 22 or 23 of August and were going to stop here for the kids liquor. You know the good kind we had a drink of.
We have been real busy at the shop, most of the time I’m so tired when I get home I just crap out, no good for anything and I mean anything.
Hope this letter finds you guys O.K. write and let us know what you’re doing.