Today is the 12oth Anniversary of the birth of my Great Grandmother Cora Packer Shea.
March 28, 2012
March 9, 2012
This is an example of why everyone should live life to the fullest and not take anything for granted. On occasion the world can be very strange and unfair.
March 9th marks the 50th Anniversary of a family tragedy. It is the day my Great-great-uncle Richard Shea died crossing Division in Wyoming, Michigan just two months shy of his 60th Birthday. Richard was the youngest of my Great Grandfathers brothers and a World War II veteran.
But to add to the chord to this untimely death, three years later his widow, Beatrice Clark Shea, was also killed in a car crash—likely while sitting at home and watching TV during the Christmas holidays—when a teenage driver sped directly into her home, never trying to stop.
This article was a strange, sad find.
March 4, 2012
Today would have been my Great-Grandfather’s 107th Birthday. I don’t know a lot about him personally. I don’t remember him, though I was seven when he died. For practical purposes my Great Grandfather was Grandma’s second husband, my Grandpa Bailey.
Robert was the son of William Amos Johnson and Lena Grove Baker, he had one sister, Betty Lou, who was much younger and died at the age of twelve. Like many members of the extended family, he worked a stint at the shoe factory in Rockford and is subsequently listed as working in manufacturing. He married my Great Grandmother Crystal in April of 1927 and they had four children. And sometime between 1933 and 1934 there was a nasty divorce. But regardless of the reasons for the subsequent estrangement, he was able to have a relationship with his family later in life.
This is a section of a photo postcard from the collection of the Rockford Historical Museum.
March 3, 2012
Today marks the 225th anniversary of the birth of the father of our first Bailey family to settle in Kent County, Smith Bailey.
Smith was a native of Vermont and married Eunice King in January of 1807. The couple began their family in Vermont, relocated for a time to Oswego, NY, and then moved on to Washtenaw Co., Michigan in time for the 1840 Census. The Bailey’s and their extended family had settled in Cannon Twp, Kent Co., Michigan sometime in the 1840s. But in 1846 they had established their farm and home and hosted the organizing meeting for the First Congregational Church at Steele’s Corner’s, now Bostwick Lake Congregational Church.
The couple had ten children: Helena V. (who married Henry Sherman), Jerusha King (who married J. W. Scott), Eunice King (who married Harrison Pitcher), Chloe (who married Simon Scott), Smith Jr. (who married Marian Waite), William King (who married Susan Howard), Luther (died unmarried), Sarah (who married Harvey Porter—Seth’s Brother) and Emeline who married John Kronk.
Smith Bailey died Jun 19, 1864 at the age of 77.
February 29, 2012
Tomorrow is the 100th Anniversary of the birth of my Great Aunt Rosie Lee Trotter Johnson. To the best of our knowledge she was oldest child of Harrison and Rhoda (Rogers) Trotter. She married Leroy Johnson in August of 1932 and the couple had nine children.
The digital file is from my father’s collection but the originals were turned in during a call for photos before our last Trotter-Rogers Reunion.
February 24, 2012
Yesterday marked the 135th anniversary of the death of, by all accounts, a grand old lady… Mrs. Hannah Gilbert Dubois (my 6th Great Grandmother), known at the time to Rockford and much of West Michigan as Mother Gilbert.
She was born in Vermont the daughter of Revolutionary War veteran, David Johnson and his wife Mary Joiner. At the age of sixteen she married Asa Gilbert in Saratoga, New York and they lived first in Genesee County and then back in Saratoga, New York. In 1828 the couple and nine children (two married), became pioneers of Washtenaw County, Michigan where Mrs. Gilbert faced tremendous loss. Asa died within the year, and a son followed during a harsh winter in 1843. She married a much older widower, Jacob DuBois of Alaiedon Township, Ingham County, Michigan in 1841 who died three years later. But Mrs. Gilbert, noted in reminiscences in the Michigan Pioneer Collection, as “Aunt Hannah” was evidently a devout, strong woman and this only accounts for the first 60 years of her life. Her remaining 30 plus, saw years of devoted service to the Methodist church, her large family, and her communities.
Mother Gilbert issued the invitations and enjoyed the festivities of her daughter, Katherine Gilbert Lapham’s, Golden Wedding in 1876. She saw the births of numerous great great grandchildren. And, according to her obituary in the Rockford Register, she was only slowed by age and infirmity in the last three years of her life. She died 23 Feb 1877 at the home of Smith and Katherine Gilbert Lapham.
Scan of an image from the Gilbert Surname file at the Rockford Historical Museum, Rockford MI
February 1, 2012
This is my Great Grandmother Rhoda (Rogers) Trotter who would have turned 118 today (or tomorrow—there appears to be some disagreement between the documents and between family members) along with three of her children. Love the glasses! In back is my Grandpa Levie, in the middle is Aunt Lee Ellen (Trotter) Hampton, and on the end is Uncle Graham. Rhoda was the daughter of Pete and Mattie (Martin) Rogers. She married Harrison Trotter in 1911 and was the mother of 14 children. What few pictures I have seen and the stories I have heard make me wish I had met my Grandma (and Papa Monk).She died in 1981.
The digital files are from my father’s collection but the originals were turned in during a call for photos before our last Trotter-Rogers Reunion.
January 25, 2012
This is my 3rd Great Grandmother Harriet (Vaughan) Packer and today is the 186th Anniversary of her birth. Harriet was born in 1826 in England to John and Frances Vaughan. She married Joseph Packer at St. Mary the Virgin at Upchurch, Kent in 1847. The couple had at least seven children: William James, Thomas William Horton, Joseph Malcolm Ross, Sarah Maria, Charles, my 2nd Great Grandfather Cornelius, and their youngest child Albert. In 1871 the whole family immigrated to Canada and my Gran and Aunt June remember being told about Albert being young and active enough that they were afraid he’d go overboard during their journey. They settled first in Hamilton, Ontario near her siblings but moved quickly on to Woodstock, Ontario until the early 1890s when Joseph, Cornelius, Charles, and Albert eventually moved their families to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Harriet died in Grand Rapids and is buried in Fairplains Cemetery.
This photo is from the collection of my Great Aunt.
January 13, 2012
Today marks the 160th anniversary of the birth of my 4th Great Aunt Xantippe Roseanna Holden. She was born 13 January 1852 in Kent County, Michigan to Charles Morrill and Sarah Ann (Skiff) Holden (introduced in this post last year). She married Edwin Percival Nelson, on 26 Dec 1869 in Kent County. After the birth of their first child the young family headed north to make a life near Harbor Spring, Michigan. The story of their first few years there are laid out in a book entitled Home is Where the Heart Is by her niece, Lorna Holden DeBoer.
Ed and Tippie had seven children: Gilbert Arthur, Jay Hartwell, Cassisus, Clara, Rowena, Rose, and Berniece. I took a bit of time this weekend to follow out the children. I had more success with the men, of course. Gilbert and Cassius settled in Chicago—Bert working as an engineer and Cassius as a street car conductor. Jay settled his family in Detroit where he also did a stint as a conductor but ultimately worked as a pipefitter. As for their sisters… Bernice married Guy DeArment and they settled in Detroit where he worked as a machinist in an auto factory and I believe both Roe and Rose married and settled in Chicago—but I haven’t had much success tracking them yet.
Today also marks the 190 Anniversary of the birth of my 4th Great Grandmother, Mary Helsel Morningstar Whitebread who I discussed in this post last year.