This is just a quick post between packing and prep before I head out for FGS2011.

Tomorrow is Labor Day and that along with a lot of discussion on the GeneaBloggers sites (including GeneaBloggers Radio Episode 33) inspired me to look back through my family research at the jobs various family members have held. And while there have been many unique ones (such as saxophone maker, reflexologist, and tailor) I decided to focus on how my family has played their own role in the building of Michigan.

My maternal 5th great grandfather, Smith Lapham, was a pioneer, moving into the state after working on the Erie Canal, and eventuallyheading up the Grand and Rogue River until he settled in Kent County, there becoming a farmer and entrepreneur in a little town originally known as Laphamville, as well as serving as a State Senator in 1858.

My maternal great grandfather, Cornelius Shea, I believe moved in the 1880s from Upstate New York to Michigan with a few of his brothers to work in and around the lumber camps in Leelanau County, Michigan, then later moved down to Grand Rapids to work in the Furniture industry.

And finally, my paternal grandfather, Levie Trotter, was part of the Motor City, moving his young family from Arkansas to Detroit in 1951, and working for Chrysler Corporation for 32 years.

This is a small sampling of the generations of hard workers that I can claim as family—each very different but each part of an important time in Michigan’s economic development. And likely you’ll hear more details about all of them in blogs to come.

Happy Labor Day!

Jess

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