I just love this picture! My grandfather’s older sister and younger brother.
April 17, 2013
April 10, 2013
First, I still dance and I’ll be performing in a show on Saturday which is why I’ve been very quiet here on the blog for the past month or so.
Second, I recently had a chance to look at my niece’s progress report from her Preschool teacher in which she stated that she “wants to be a ballerina”—I know it’s a common “girl wish” but it’s still thrilling to hear when she takes such joy in coming to see me dance. And it makes me wonder about how the “creative gene” gets passed on.
Third, this shot was taken in a studio in the upper floor of a converted church in Haslett, Michigan—which in itself was cool!—but, coincidentally, the mother of one of my current fellow dancers has recently occupied the same space with the fabulous and inspiring small but mighty arts. For all you ladies who have been borrowing space there to make costumes… the upstairs workspace was my first dance studio.
And, yes, I can (barely) still do the splits.
April 6, 2013
It’s that time of year again… Sunday is the Michigan Antiquarian Book and Paper Show (9:30-5 pm) which not only satisfies my interest in collecting books but is also my primary source for postcards to illustrate and round out my genealogy. I tend to collect regular and real photo postcards of street scenes and buildings that were important to my family. So Rockford street scenes dominate my collection. But I also have representative works from Grand Rapids, Howell (the Sanatorium), Leelanau/Grand Traverse, and Ypsilanti as well. And, every once in a while, I even stumble across a postcard actually sent by a distant relative or a friend of the family.
This is a relatively common postcard of Old Bostwick Lake Congregational Church in Cannon Township, Kent County, Michigan which included among its charter members: my Grandpa Bailey’s Great Grandparents, Smith and Eunice Bailey, and two of their married daughters—Eunice Pitcher and Chloe Scott. Many of the Bailey’s and their allied families were buried in the attached cemetery known as Old Bostwick or Marshall Cemetery. The congregation was organized on 06 June 1846 and still exists today in its current incarnation on Belding Rd in Rockford.
April 3, 2013
It’s been 22 years since my Step-Great-Grandmother Pauline Bailey died. I didn’t spend a lot of time with her but I associate her with the extended family Christmas’s and baby showers she hosted—particularly those held at the Community Room of the Towers in downtown Rockford, Michigan—though I know she was also very involved in the American Legion Auxiliary, Merrit Lamb Post #102 as well.
She was born Pauline Boukamp and had children from a previous marriage (or marriages?) before she married my Grandpa Bailey within a year of my biological Great Grandmother’s death. She was a very strong personality (like most of the women in the family). And, like Grandpa Bailey, she wasn’t related to me by blood but she was the Great-Grandmother I remember best.
For some reason I think of her whenever I see pastel mints.
March 27, 2013
Someone in this picture is celebrating a birthday this week!
This is my Great Uncle and my Mother taken outside of my Great Grandparent’s home on Maple Street in Rockford, Michigan.
March 20, 2013
Loving the fashion in this one! Load the full picture and check out the details on the pants. That’s me down front, my next youngest cousin, Eric, is looking concerned in the middle, and his father/my uncle looking on. This was taken at my grandparents home on Main St in Rockford, Michigan sometime around 1980-81.
Now imagine Eric with the body of The Hulk… it’s a startling transformation to say the least. We’ve come a long way.
I’m still wishing for spring and some time to play outside
March 15, 2013
I’ve had a few questions about connecting slaves and owners since my WMGS talk last month. This is not something I’m an expert in. But I am a good researcher in general so, my advice is to gather every bit of information you can on the former slave family.
Once you’ve got a few possibilities start researching the slaveholding families in just as much detail as you would your own. Look at land and probate records, and hunt down plantation records (these could be tucked away in university and state archives).
And if you don’t find that magical record that states clearly the connection between slave and owner, then, look for patterns. For my family that meant recognizing that you could plot the places where my ancestors appeared on a map and have it match up with a certain set of westward moving slave owners—so while I’m not certain which slaveholder was ours the odds are it’s one of a relatively small number of interconnected families.
Unless you are unbelievably lucky this will be time consuming and could take years to track down the right records. Be persistent, flexible, and thorough.
But don’t take my word for it. Track down these great resources for more detailed and expert help: