I just love this picture! My grandfather’s older sister and younger brother.
April 17, 2013
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.
January 9, 2013
December 19, 2012
Here’s one that comes up in conversation more often than it should. But this year was significant because it was the first and last time I was the tallest of this shady lot of cousins. You can’t even really tell in this picture but it was a really big deal at the time. Needless to say every last one of them shot past me not too long after that. The photo was taken at the apartment of my Grandma Ethel and eventual Step-Grandfather Don in Grand Rapids, MI.
Happy holidays and happy hunting!
December 5, 2012
As we head into the holidays I have a collection of Christmas related pics for Wordless Wednesday.
This is a favorite of mine. This was taken in December of ‘77 or ’78. I’m the baby being held my Grandpa Bill. The others are my mom, my aunt, and my older cousin. We’re at my grandparents’ home on Main St. in Rockford, MI for the holidays doing dishes and just being together.
What you can’t see and I only vaguely remember is the risqué wallpaper print.
December 4, 2012
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.
October 22, 2012
At the beginning of the month I took a peaceful road trip up to Leelanau and Grand Traverse Counties with my parents and my maternal grandmother and whenever we make the trip—usually to sight see and taste wine —I try to hijack a little bit of the trip for genealogical research.
In the past I’ve always been focused on the Shea’s who were involved in the lumber industry in the 1880s and 1890s in Leelanau. But this year I decided to step back and do a basic search in my database for other family members with ties to either of the two counties—because I know I get very focused sometimes and don’t recognize other connections to an area when it isn’t obvious. The search reminded me that my 2nd Great Grandfather also had ties to the area. I always think of the Johnson family as a solidly Kent County bunch, but at the time of the 1920 Census William Amos Johnson’s family lived in Traverse City where he worked as a plumber.
So, as part of our trip I stole an hour at Traverse Area District Library to look in their city directories in hopes of narrowing down the period in which the Johnson’s lived there, identifying where they lived, and also where he worked.
TADL has a nice collection of local Polk’s directories and William was listed in the 1919-1920 and the 1921-1922 books—first as a tinner and then as a plumber working for Arms & Cole Plumbers, Steam Fitters and Sheet Iron Workers on Cass St. The family lived at 859 Webster. The next day we drove through the neighborhood past the house and then on past his workplace. It was cool to add that snippet of their life to my collection of stories.
As an added bonus we also took a scenic drive from Glen Arbor to Muskegon before coming home which took us past roads traveled by the Shea’s and their allied families—Including Stormer Road (named for a family two of the Shea brothers married into) and the village of Empire where my great grandfather was born.
Someday I’ll make it up solely for research, but my family has been great about letting me steal a little time out of their vacation for research.
October 17, 2012
These are the three oldest Grandchildren of William and Ethel Johnson. I’m the middle child of the bunch by about 5 months. This was taken at my grandparents’ home on Main St in Rockford, Michigan (which backed up to the Rogue River) around about 1979 or 1980.
September 14, 2012
This is a somewhat arbitrary fact pulled from my database program, given I’m still missing a bunch of birth dates. But with the dates that I do know, there are just short of 200 people born in September. And more importantly, there are nine people who have birthdays today—and three of those are very important people in my life: my Grandpa Bill would have turned 84, and my Great Aunts, June and Donna are both celebrating birthdays today.
For some reason I couldn’t find a nice 1960s shot of Aunt June.
The honorable mentions of the day are all more distant relatives:
Happy Birthday to you all!
September 12, 2012
This is the only picture I’ve been able to find of my Great Great Grandfather William Amos Johnson. He is the young gentleman in the center of this Johnson Family picture.
This is a photo that was printed in Cannon Township 1837-1983, a publication of the Cannon Township Historical Society (Kent County, Michigan). The others in the portrait are: his brothers Herbert and Freeman both standing, and then, seated in front: his sister Sarah (Johnson) Cramer, his father William Suffling Johnson, himself, his mother Mary (Gordon) and his sister Edith (Johnson) Miller. The picture was taken around 1890.