Not content with finding just one Shepard descendant of William Shepard of Boston, I have found another. Wayne Shepard currently of Texas. I have sent him a letter asking if he would like to join our little science project. Hopefully he will be amenable. I have yet to hear from the first gentleman I contacted earlier this month, but I am still crossing my fingers.
Meanwhile I have been reading up a bit on the Peshtigo Fire, seeing as this happened in October of 1871 I thought it was also quite appropriate, which gave me an idea regarding trying to find out what happened to Jennie Rosa Smith Lavelly.