Family Almanac


Harrison and Rhoda (Rodgers) Trotter

Saturday also marked the 120th Anniversary of my Great Grandmother Rhoda (Rogers) Trotter’s birth.

I think this is a shot of the porch of the Trotter Homestead. Rhoda and her husband Harrison are the couple in the center of the picture which was taken some time before Harrison’s death in 1975.

Happy hunting,

Jess

UPDATE: I’ve been informed that this is actually my 2nd Great Aunt Cora (Trotter) Steppes. Full Correction will post on Sunday Feb 16th.

Jess

Porter-Holden’s,  I was surprised to look back and see that I haven’t really written about Chapin Holden. I’ve mentioned him, but never actually focused a post on him.

C B Holden headstoneToday marks the 165th Anniversary of the birth of my 3rd Great Grandfather Chapin Balean Holden. He was born 1st February 1849 to Dr. Charles Morrill and Sarah Ann (Skiff) Holden in Reading Center, New York, the fifth of their twelve children.  The family moved to Michigan in about 1852 and settled in Courtland Township, Kent County where Doctor Holden served the community and farmed.

At the age of 20, Chapin married Phebe Jenny Tefft, the daughter of Lewis and Phebe (Sweet) Tefft, in Courtland Township on 30 June 1869. At the time of the 1870 Census the couple lived with his parents. On 6 May 1872 they had a son Herman Russell Holden. Jenny died at only 21 on 5 February 1875. In May of the following year Chapin married my 3rd Great Grandmother Lois Adell Blakeslee (the daughter of Aaron and Julia Ann (Tanner) Blakeslee). Lois and Chapin had five children Glen Walton in 1877, Jennie D. in 1882, my 2nd Great Grandmother Lula Vanche in 1886, Erie D. in 1888 and Minnie Lee in 1891.

From what I can find I don’t believe Glen married. Jennie married George Raymer around  1900. Lulu married Charles Erwin Porter in 1904. Erie married Elizabeth A. Sourbutts in 1908. And Minnie Lee died at the age of 16 of appendicitis.

Chapin died on Christmas Eve in 1931 after a lingering illness. According to his obituary he farmed in Courtland Township for about 60 years in addition to serving his community. Other sources note that in 1904 he was elected Constable for Courtland Township. By 1920 he and Lois had retired to Cedar Springs Village in Solon Township. Chapin was buried in Courtland Cemetery.

I know there are more sources for information on Chapin’s life in the collection of the Rockford Historical Museum–notes in Farm Books, mentions in the Rockford Register, etc. Another mini goal is for me this year is to get out to see the new museum and look into how their move has effected research at the museum.

Happy hunting,

Jess

Here’sBaileyWmKing  a timely feature for the Baileys!

Today is the 189th Anniversary of the birth of William King Bailey, my Step 3rd Great Grandfather. He was the seventh child of Smith Bailey and Eunice King born 14 January 1825 in Oswego County, New York. The Bailey’s relocated to Cannon Township, Kent County, Michigan sometime in the 1840s having settled by 1846 when the his parents hosted the meeting organizing the First Congregational Church which still exists today as the Bostwick Lake Congregational Church.

In 1852 William married Susan Howard, the daughter of William and Martha Bier Howard. Susan was born March 27, 1830 in England. The couple settled and began their family in Section 24 of Cannon Township on a tract in the west half of the section bordered by what are now Kreuter to the North and 6 Mile to the south. In the 1863 and 1876 plat maps the homestead is shown on Kreuter and nearly opposite the Smith Bailey homestead.

William and Susan had at least nine children. William Howard born in 1853, who married Estella Barringer, the daughter of David and Mary Barringer. Harmon J. was born in 1855 and later married Cordelia Holmes. Martha was born in 1857 and married Frank Benton Henry. Emma Charlotte was born in 1859 and married twice—first to Arista Thompson and then to CharlesUnderhill. George was born in 1865 and married Lizzie Groner. Nettie or Nellie was born in 1867 and later married William Hoag. Three children died young: James H. was born in 1861 and died before he turned three, John H. was born in 1863 and died before his first birthday, and Edward D. born in 1871 lived only 4 months.

Susan died at the age of 46 in April of 1876. William married Mrs. Adaline Parks Beach, widow of Richard Beach, 03 Oct 1876. William died 29 July 1888 after a long illness. William and Susan are buried in Old Bostwick Lake Cemetery, Cannon Township, Kent County, Michigan.

Happy hunting,

Jess

I’ve decided to jump in late to Amy Crow Johnson’s 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks challenge. So, hopefully, I’ll be featuring 52 ancestors—blogging research problems, stories, photos, or whatever else I can think of for 52 ancestors. And ideally, I will do this in addition to my “Not Quite Wordless Wednesday” posts… Wish me luck! The real goal is to seriously look at my research and write this year.

I’ve mentioned my Second Great Grandfather Sam Trotter here a number of times but it’s always been just mentions because he’s one of those elusive characters in my family tree. What I know is sketchy. His son, Harrison, claimed Sam and Josephine Johnson were his parents in his Social Security Application. And I was able to find a marriage record for Sam and Josephine, not in Bradley County, Arkansas where I expected to find them, but in neighboring Ashley County on 30 Dec 1880. Family stories, obituaries, and later census records make it look like my Harrison was the last of 6 children born to the couple in 1890—all conveniently between censuses. I have also found Sam listed as a witness in notices regarding Levi Hampton’s Homestead Application in 1890 and 1891

Then things get interesting. I haven’t found anything related to Josephine’s death but Sam is credited with two more children with Maggie Goudlock, Sarah in 1896 and Richard in 1898. And Sam married Etta Stanfield Thompson in September of 1898 and according to family stories they had one child, Cora, in Oct 1901. However, Etta, is listed as a widow in the 1900 Census with four Trotter stepchildren (Henry, Susan, Pearl, and Belle) and two children with the last name Thompson including a Cora born in 1899. I have no idea what happened to Sam but Etta married Ezekiel Hemphill in 1902, making me think that Sam probably did die prior to 1900.

Going backwards Sam is probably the son of Eliza Jane who later married James Newton. Their 1880 household included a 16 year old Sam listed as James’ stepson along with a brother Matt. But he is not listed in 1870–only Matt and his older siblings Rial, Jane are enumerated

Trotter CoggleAll of this is a roundabout (and long-winded) way of saying Sam is the first of my 52 Ancestors because he’s at the top of my research list this year.  I want to know more about the Trotter line and I’m going to follow up every lead I can think of to track down more information on them.

So far the top two items on my to do list are 1. Wheedling my dad into a Y-DNA test… (Check! Now awaiting results.) and 2. Trying to figure out of if there are other records I’m missing. For the latter, I’ve been brainstorming possibilities through a technique suggested by Thomas MacEntee using Coggle.it and it has helped me get an idea visually of what I have checked and what I haven’t. Next up tracking down records.

I’ll update you all as I find out more. Thinking positive!

Happy hunting,

Jess

Trotter SistersI have two aunts who are fabulous and have been great in helping me in my genealogy research. This is a photo of both of them from their childhood in Detroit. And one of them (the young lady on the left) celebrated a birthday this week!

Happy Birthday, Dear Aunt! I still fully intend on coming to talk to you about pictures sometime soon!

Jess

Rebecca Huntingon PorterToday is the 177th Anniversary of my 4th Great Grandmother’s birth. Rebecca Huntington was born in Vermont and orphaned at a young age. She was brought to Michigan as a child. She married Seth Porter, Jr. on October 4th in 1852. The couple had at least seven children including my 3rd Great Grandfather, George Erwin Porter.

Grandpa Harold Bailey, 1982

Just a quick remembrance…

Grandpa Bailey (my Step Great-Grandfather, Harold Bailey) would have turned 107 this week.

The photo is from my father’s collection taken at one of the Bailey/Johnson Christmas gatherings—probably in 1982.

Happy Hunting!

Jess

A housekeeping note: I don’t manage to get in a post for everyone’s birthday and not everyone wants me too. But I do try… life just happens to interfere… often. That said… 

Johnson BrothersOne of these two is celebrating a birthday this month. This is not a good picture, but it makes me laugh—Grandpa in his sombrero on the phone and Uncle paying no attention. This was taken at Uncle’s house—decades before my Gran redecorated it—in Rockford, Michigan.

Happy hunting,

Jess

First Library JobI’m running a little behind in my planned posts but this Family Almanac post was inspired by the comments of WMGS’s featured speaker Thomas McEntee this past weekend. He rightly pointed out that family history researchers often forget to preserve their own story in the hunt to find the out about their ancestors.

So, this week’s post marks a milestone for me… This week marks the 11th anniversary of starting my first job as a public librarian.  I started my career at the Krause Memorial Library in Rockford, Michigan which was the perfect place for me at the time both for my genealogy research and my development as a librarian.

The photo is probably from that Halloween when I decided to dress up as a hockey fan for the holiday.

Happy hunting!

Jess

Robert Shea at the MichiganState Sanatorium for Tuberculosis, Howell, Michigan c.1919It’s the 95th Anniversary of the day my Great Grandfather Robert James Shea entered the Michigan State Sanatorium for Tuberculosis upon the completion of quarters by the War Preparedness Board of Michigan for rejected or discharged tuberculosis soldiers. In the picture he is the second from the left with a smile.

For people seeking more information about the Michigan State Sanatorium —the Archives of Michigan and Howell Carnegie Library are two fabulous resources. Additionally, many of the Biennial Reports of the Board of Trustees of the Michigan State Sanatorium are available full text in Google Books.

Happy hunting!

Jess

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