This is the final resting site of my Great Grandmother, Crystal May Porter and my Step-Great-Grandfather Harold Bailey at Blythefield Memory Gardens in Kent County, MI. Grandma Crystal died 44 years ago today, at the age of 55. She was the third child of Charles and Lula (Holden) Porter. She married my Great Grandfather Robert Eugene Johnson on April 13, 1927 and they had four children including my Grandfather, William Eugene Johnson. Crystal and Robert divorced and in 1934 Grandma Crystal married Grandpa Bailey with whom she had one more son.

Happy hunting!

Jess

This is a Bailey family picture. That’s definitely my Grandpa Bailey’s mother, Lizzie, in the back but I’m not sure which sons are pictured here. Yes, Aunts and Uncles, this is a test to see who’s reading.

Happy hunting,

Jess

It never hurts to be reminded… you have to keep an open mind. For years I have been aware of two Bailey families coming in the Rockford, Kent Co, MI area around about the same time, those of Smith Bailey (the family of my Step-Great-Grandfather) and Ethan Allen Bailey. To the best of my knowledge they aren’t closely related, though I’ve often wondered about Ethan’s line. On the other hand Bailey is a common enough name, right.

But, in the process of filling in blanks with death records from SeekingMichigan.org this past week it occurred to me that, Ethan’s daughter-in-law, Rachel (Deer) Bailey, and my 5th great aunt Sarah J. (Deer) Helsel, share a maiden name.  So, out of idle curiosity, I went searching for their Deer families and I think that I found them together in Allegheny Co, PA.

Listed here: Sarah Deer and her children: Hannah, George, Rachel, Sarah, and Washington.

Further investigation places everyone but Washington in Kent County by 1870. Hannah married, John Jacob Reinshagen, George a woman named Catherine, Rachel married Harvey Bailey, and Sarah married Henry L. Helsel. And their mother, Sarah, was living with George in 1870. The death certificates for the first three children all list the same parents. Sarah’s certificate does not, so for me this is not definitive… but my gut is pushing me to find more information—especially after I found, a marriage between Sarah’s daughter Zoa and Hannah’s nephew, Henry Reinhagen.

This one’s still an ongoing hunt but, whether or not anyone else needs to be reminded, I need to remember not to focus too hard on a particular possible relationship… often others will present themselves—especially when you’re following a cluster of families.

Happy hunting,

Jess

So I haven’t had nearly enough time to work through the Census but I’ve found a few fun bits. I started off searching Bradley County, Arkansas from my Trotter and related families. Palestine township is E. D. 6-7 and 9 pages in I found Papa Monk (Harrison Trotter) and his family and was thrilled to find not only Grandma Rodie on one of the extra question lines confirming she had born 15 children but her daughter, my aunt Irene, on the other one. Harrison and Rhoda are actually listed as what looks like “Hysom” and “Rose” but from then on it’s my Grandpa and his siblings—definitely the right family.  I have so much family in Bradley Co. That I’ve barely begun, but I wanted to find them first. I suspect without indexing finding Gran will take longer—I believe she was living with family in town by 1940. But I’m hoping to have time to go searching for her soon.

On the other side of the family, I’ve now gone through a good chunk of the 4 townships surrounding Rockford for and I’m now working on Rockford proper (I also have to do Plainfield still). I have located my (Great) Grandpa Bailey as the head of my grandpa’s household in Rockford. But I haven’t yet found my biological Great Grandfather Robert or his family. I don’t know where to start from Gran yet but I think I can get a street address and narrow down the search in Grand Rapids. I just haven’t put any time into it yet.

But I’ve got so much to do still… just need to grab more time for research!

Happy Hunting,

Jessica

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.

My Grandpa Bailey was the grandson of William King Bailey, through his son George.

Happy Hunting,

Jess

Lizzie (Groner) and George BaileyMy step-Great-great-grandparents Lizzie Groner and George Bailey were married on this date in 1893 in Cannonsburg, Michigan. They were the parents of 7 children including two sets of twins (which run steadily through that line). They are also the reason I will never give twins cute matching names—no offense meant to Aunts Lydia and Lyndia or any of their line. My great grandfather, Harold, was their youngest child.

Happy Hunting!

Jess

My Grandpa Bailey would have turned 104 today.

Harold Edward Bailey, Sr.

Harold Edward Bailey born December 7, 1907 and died in July of 1996. He was my Great-Grandmother Crystal’s second husband and helped raise my Grandfather, Great Aunts and Uncle, along with their son, Harold Jr. He was a long time employee of Kirkhoff Manufacturing Corporation from which he retired in 1969. He will also always be known to a select few for helping to invent the recipe for the  secret sauce at The Corner Bar in Rockford, Michigan.

Happy hunting,

Jess

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 356 other followers