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:

  • Elizabeth Botruff (the sister-in-law of my 4th Great Aunt Livina Botruff)
  • Fannie Eldred (the 2nd wife of my 3rd Great Uncle Floyd Clifton Porter, Charles’s brother)
  • Peter Lorne Chesney (the grandnephew of my 3rd Great Aunt Sarah Maria (Packer) Chesney)
  • Peter Dowdall (the  first cousin once removed of my 2nd Great Grandmother Ellen (Cunningham) Shea)
  • George Delbert Covell (my 2nd Cousin, four times removed)
  • Robert John Rennick (an honorary nephew of my Great Grandmother Flora Packer)

Happy Birthday to you all!

Jess

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.

Happy hunting,

Jess

I now feel like I have just enough of a backlog of digital images to participate in the meme “Tombstone Tuesday”… so, the next up is in honor of my Great Great Grandmother who was laid to rest 84 years ago yesterday.

This is the headstone for my Great Great Grandmother Lena Grove (Baker) Johnson. She was the 5th child and youngest daughter of Eugene and Amelia (Grove) Baker born 16 Apr 1884. At the age of 18 she married William Amos Johnson, the youngest son of William Suffling and Mary (Gordon) Johnson. The family spent a number of years in Traverse City, Michigan where William worked as a plumber but in 1923 they moved back to Rockford, Michigan. She died five years later on 03 Sep 1928 after a six month illness leaving one grown son, Robert Eugene, and a 10 year old daughter, Betty Lou.

Lena is buried with her husband in the Rockford Cemetery, in Rockford, Michigan. When you take the main entrance to the cemetery if you follow the center path and take the next left the Johnson plot will be on the left hand side of the path. Interestingly on my last trip the stones were essentially in the right location but up out of the ground beside their normal spots. Given the tremendous shifting over the years I’m not terribly surprised.

Happy hunting,

Jess

I would guess that his lovely sombrero was picked up in Mexico? (Gran can correct me if I’m wrong.) My Great Aunt has lived in Arizona for decades and at one time or another a large portion of us have been down to visit and gotten a grand tour complete with trips into Nogales, Sonora, Mexico.

Anyway… Looking good, Grandpa Bill!

Happy hunting!

Jess

PS. Can you tell what O. J. Simpson’s selling there?

Relocating from Michigan to a base in Alaska? Pack up the “V-Wagon”—as it’s labeled on the back of this picture—of course. The Johnson family did just that loading up this van with parents, 3 kids, 2 dogs, and a cat. They have a bunch of interesting stories of their trip and their time in Anchorage—like being chased by moose, housing with flat roofs and tons of snow (yes, they caved in), and the fact that they managed to move on to Grandpa’s next base posting in time to miss the 1964 earthquake where the prominent image from the quake was their destroyed elementary school, Government Hill.

Happy hunting,

Jess

Everyone have a fabulous 4th and stay cool in whatever manner works best for you! Here’s my maternal Grandfather William Johnson keeping cool.

Happy holidays and happy hunting!

Jess

The other line I spent time on while in Fort Wayne was the German ancestors of Amelia (Grove) Baker—the Dice/Theiss, Besore and Koppenhaver families. But since I don’t have a shot of Amelia, here are her daughters. Lena is in back and Clara and Katie Baker are in front. Lena is my 2nd Great Grandmother and married William Amos Johnson. Clara married August Harnack and Daniel Anders. Katie married Frank Clifton Sears.

Picture copied from the collection on the Rockford Historical Muesum‘s Surname Files.

Happy Hunting,

Jess

My Great Aunt Beulah Johnson Noonan would have turned 80 yesterday. I didn’t know her well—though did get to know her better in her later years when she and Uncle Don would head down to Dewitt, for Uncle John’s Cider Mill’s Fall Craft Show to sell hand tooled leather goods. It always felt like she was the baby of my Grandfather’s family, despite having a younger half-brother. She married Donald Noonan in 1950 and the couple eventually relocated to Walkerville, Michigan—a tight-knit community surrounded by the Manistee National Forest—for their life together. They had two daughters, Barbie Jo and Donna Lee but, sadly, Aunt Beulah outlived both her daughters and Uncle Don.

Happy hunting,

Jess

I am very lucky to be a descendant of American veterans who survived their various enlistments. Both my Grandfathers served during the Korean War, my uncle Mike served during the Cold war, my 3rd Great Grandfather Henry R. Massy served briefly in the Civil War as did two of his brothers, and my 7th Great Grandfather served in the Revolutionary War. And that’s leaving out the many uncles and cousins who also served or for that matter are serving now. That said I am so thankful for those who gave their life for our country and our freedom.

Happy Memorial Day!

Jess

 

 

This week marks both the anniversary of my birth and, unfortunately, the anniversary of my Grandpa Bill’s death. Luckily, we overlapped briefly. And since I am likely to scrounge up baby pictures of others around their birthdays I thought fair’s fair. So, here we are.

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