dee_burris: (Default)
2011-02-08 06:32 pm

I think I found G Franklin Shephard

The first husband of Essie Chapin became very easy to track once I threw enough wildcards into the spelling of his surname.

A delayed birth certificate provided to me by a new-found Chapin cousin said that Frank Shephard was born in Fairfield, Jefferson Co., IA in 1871. As I tracked Frank through both US and Iowa censuses, I found that the year of birth on the certificate was correct, and the county, almost.

Frank was actually born in Henry Co., IA in September 1871 to Lewis W Shephard and Martha E Cox. He had at least two younger siblings and may have had older ones I have not yet found. His father, Lewis, was born in March 1840, also in Henry Co., IA, and his mother, Martha, was born in April 1842 in Ohio.

Frank left tracks. I found him in the 1885 Iowa census, living in New London, Henry County, IA, with his parents and two younger brothers, Lloyd Lewis and Isaac Hugh. (Later records show that Isaac Hugh chose to be called Hugh, which may help to understand why on some documents Frank was alternately shown as G Franklin, G F, F G, and just "Frank.")

I found the record of his marriage to Essie Chapin on 15 Oct 1889 in Fort Scott, Bourbon Co., KS.

The 1889/1890 Hoyes Directory for the City of Fort Scott had a listing for "Shepherd, G Frank," employed at Goodlander Furniture, with a residence address of 1244 E Wall.

The 1895 Iowa census showed Frank Shephard living in Fairfield (Second Ward), Jefferson Co., IA. There were no images on Ancestry for the census page, but both of Frank's parents were also individually enumerated in the same location.

The 1900 U S Census showed Frank living with his parents and brothers Lloyd and Hugh, in Fairfield, Jefferson Co., IA. His marital status was divorced, so he and Essie must have divorced by 1900.

On 17 February 1904, George Franklin Shephard married Viola Mae Hobart in Henry Co., IA.

By 1910, Frank was living in Canaan, Henry Co., IA, with his wife, Viola. The census image showed this was the second marriage for Frank, and first for Viola.

By 1915, the Iowa census found Frank and Viola in Mount Union, Henry Co., IA. In the 1920 U S Census, they were still in Henry County, but the town was shown as Canaan. Since the 1925 Iowa census said Mount Union, Henry County, I saw a pattern emerging - the federal censuses (of 1910 and 1920) called the town Canaan, and the Iowa censuses of 1915 and 1925 called it Mount Union. I think this may be a difference in town and township, but not actual location.

The 1925 Iowa census contained a wealth of information - it listed the names and birthplaces of both sets of parents, including mothers' maiden names.

The 1930 census showed 59 year old Frank and 50 year old Viola Shephard living in Canaan, Henry Co., IA.

Now I just need to find some Henry County cemetery information...I'd be real surprised if they did not live out the remainder of their lives there.

Another synchronicity...Frank's father was a cabinet maker. Various censuses gave Frank's occupation as a house painter. Essie Chapin's father was a carpenter and woodworker.

Wonder if Nathaniel Chapin introduced his daughter to her first husband?