Photographs


Bradley County Cousins, c.1964This one’s for my Bradley County, Arkansas family members—Trotters, Yorks, and Allied families. Daddy has this one labeled as Cousins 1946. I’m guessing it’s a shot from Arkansas but I can’t name anyone in the picture. Is one of the older girls Aunt Alfreda?

Happy hunting!

Jess

Packer FamilyI don’t know who all is in this photograph but I know for sure that the standing girl in pigtails is my Great Grandmother Cora Packer, the woman with the boy in her lap is her mother Flora (Massy) Packer, the boy is her brother James Arthur Packer, and the girl sitting down in front is Cora’s sister, Pearl Packer.

Any Packer, Garbutt, Massy, or Cory researchers recognize anyone else?

From my great aunt’s photo collection.

Happy hunting,

Jess

Summer finally found us and it’s getting hot!

Pool Party c. 1982

Here’s a pool party from my past. My brother and I and our cousins enjoying fun in the sun! The small bucket was meant to be for cleaning off our feet before we got in the pool but evidently my cousin was happier on his own… It was a perfect fit at the time.

Happy hunting,

Jess

A generation ago we’d pack up the family in search of a baseball diamond. That was a suitable activity for a family party or reunion. And there’s nothing wrong with it. Grandpa Porter played, the Johnsons, Bailey’s and Trotters all played—I even periodically hear that there’s been angling for a game the last few summers. But it continues to impress me the amount of times my cousins and I end up involved in Frisbee games.

These are the latest inductees into our most recent family sport. On the opposite side of the yard were (over the course of the game) two more kids, five adults (when I came out from behind the camera) from the next two older generations. Plus five additional adults on the sidelines to yell when there was too much rough-housing, to cry, “Fore” much too late for it to be useful, and generally offer bad advice. At least four Frisbees were being used and ended up in the neighbor’s yard more times than I can count. And at least two of those landed on top of the awning or the garage. It was fabulous chaos in my parents back yard!

What’s your family sport?

Happy hunting,

Jess

Trotter-Rogers Reunion 1985, Detroit, MIIt’s reunion/family-get-together season and I’ve got the photos to prove it!

This one’s from 1985. I’m not sure if this was an actual reunion or just a large family gathering.

I only really know my immediate family here. I’m with Mom in the front right and my brother is looking surly with his plate in the front left. I see Grandma and the outline of Grandpa, two of my cousins, three aunts, and three uncles, Great Aunt Lee Ellen (Trotter) Hampton, and Cousin Carol. I’m guessing there are more Hamptons in the shot?

Dad had to have been one of the photographers. How do I know? Because I was making funny faces at the photographer in the next shot and that would only happen to him and my Uncle Christopher. And Chris was in the background of both shots.

This was taken in front of my Grandparents house near the old Detroit City Airport, Detroit, Michigan.

Happy hunting!

Jess

PS. Can anyone tell me how Cousin Carol was related to the Trotters?

Lorna HoldenSo, as I was running through anniversaries related to this date I came upon the fact that today is the 114 anniversary of the birth of my 1st cousin 4 times removed, Lorna Holden DeBoer. She was the daughter of Kendric Charles Holden (son of Charles and my Chapin’s youngest sibling) and Minnie Isabel Porter (George’s middle sibling). She married John DeBoer in 1921 and they had two children Gaylord and Eleanor. Eleanor in turn married my Great Uncle Darcy (my Great Grandmother Crystal’s brother).

And it seems a great time to express my thanks to the Holden and Porter family who have shown an interest in our common relatives and inspired me to continue researching. As I’ve mentioned before, Lorna penned a book on her aunt, Xantippe, which fellow researchers pointed out to me early on. In my early days as a librarian in Rockford I had the great luck to reconnect with Phyllis (Porter) Dolislager as well as take an informative life writing workshop from her. And the Porters and Holden’s have been tremendous donors to the Rockford Area Historical Museum—where I found countless bits of family memorabilia, family history, and photographs. So many of you have come forward to help with, share, or just be a great audience for my research and I really appreciate it. And that includes Carole, Janet, Uncle Aaron, Uncle Louis, Kathy and my original Porter source, Grandpa Bailey.

Thank you all!

Happy hunting,

Jess

This photo was copied from the Rockford Area Historical Museum and is a picture of Lorna Holden.

Shea Sisters, c. late 1940sBut really…. let’s get back to the beach.

These are the Shea sisters… My Great-Aunt June and Grandmother Ethel Shea at what looks like the base of Inner Lighthouse at Grand Haven, MI on Lake Michigan. These two instigated my search for Henry Massy and have cheered me on in my research for years.

And, as a side note on my lovely and spunky grandmother, I knew she had to be a little different when I realized none of my friends had ever seen their grandmother in a bikini. Well, there was that, the ruby red lipstick, and her exotic home decor… that’s my Gran!

Happy hunting and enjoy the sun!

Jess

Ye gods… They’re all so young! 

Trotters, c.1981

Trotter Kids, 1980

This may be my single favorite picture from my childhood and my brother—who was never camera shy—has a lot of great pics as a kid. We’re celebrating you today, Little Brother!

This was taken in 1980 at our home in Lansing, MI. That couch is one of my earliest memories and despite many attempts at getting rid of it… it kept coming back. I can’t even tell you how many family members and friends lived briefly with it at dorms, first apartments, etc. I think even Jay’s oldest kids played on it at one point.

Happy hunting!

Jess

Sometimes it’s not about the beach… but the family outings are key.

Johnsons & Trotters at Potter Park Zoo, 1981

My Uncle Mike and my Aunt Sandy on the left, my mother holding my brother, and Mike and Sandy’s middle child (and closest to me in age), Eric, on the right—all riding the train at Potter Park Zoo in 1981. This was a memorable outing that included members of both sides of my family converging on Potter Park Zoo in Lansing, MI.

Happy hunting!

Jess

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