Today is the 126th Anniversary of my Grandma Porter’s birth. This makes her and Grandpa Porter’s headstone the perfect pick for this week’s Tombstone Tuesday. This is the resting place of Lula Vanche (Holden) Porter and her husband Charles Erwin “Winn” Porter. The photo is from Courtland Cemetery in Courtland Township, Michigan the final resting place of many members of the Holden and Porter families. It was taken by me in the winter of 2002.

Happy Hunting,

Jess

I was able to take a day last week to do a daytrip to Kent County, Michigan to visit another one of my favorite collections—Grand Rapids Public Library’s History and Special Collections Department at the Main Library. It’s been years since I’ve been there to research and took me a little while to get oriented but I was able to answer some of the questions I’d hoped to. For example—and this is for Denise and Gran… Aunt Pearl (Packer) McComb was buried at Rest Lawn Memorial Park according to her Grand Rapids Press obituary—which for some reason I’d missed looking up before. I was also able to work with the Grand Rapids Directories and a few other resources.

I spent the afternoon at the Kent County Probate Court to look at family probate records. As I had used this courthouse before I had gotten a fair explanation of how things worked form their website. And I was pretty well prepared when I arrived. I didn’t know what they might have so I used their indexes to look up a few family names and picked one to work on for the afternoon.

I spent the remainder of my time looking at the very detailed and long probate packet for my 3rd Great-Grandfather George E. Porter, who died without a will. What followed was a very detailed process in which George’s heirs nominated my 2nd Great-Grandfather Charles E. Porter to act as agent in settling his father’s estate. There were pages of material—I couldn’t afford to print it all at $2 per page. But Idid get a great sampling with lists of surviving heirs, property information and value, and lists of debts—from a line by line of the costs of treatment for George’s illness to the burial. I worked with bits of probate packets before but this was my first experience seeing a large detailed packet without someone choosing bits to show me. It was fascinating!

Happy hunting,

Jess

This was a fun find… I knew I had it somewhere but as it’s from my original research—which was not well planned or organized—I just found it again. These are the four eldest children of Charles and Lula (Holden) Porter from Left to Right: My Grandma Crystal, Zelma, Alton, and Reva. Based on ages I’d guess this was taken sometime between 1914 and the birth of their next son, Darcy in 1917. The original resided in my Great Aunt and Uncle’s photo collection.

Happy hunting,

Jess

Seth Porter, Jr.Update: And now with picture!

Update: Picture will get added in tonight. For some reason I can’t get to at the moment. Thanks, Ariana!

Today is the Anniversary of the birth of my 4th Great Grandfather, Seth Porter. He was born January 19th in 1825 in Rutland County, Vermont to Seth and Rheumina Porter. He came to Michigan with of his brothers Dennis and Harvey in the 1840s and they settled in Kent County. In 1852 he married Rebecca Huntington and they had a family of seven children including my ancestor, George Erwin. Seth was a successful sawyer and miller settling in Edgerton at what became known as Porter’s Hollow. He was a lifelong Spiritualist. He died in 1911.

Happy Hunting,

Jess

It’s seems the natural progression to come another step forward with the Porter’s from last week’s Wordless Wednesday post—especially since I have grander plan for introducing the Holdens (coming soon!). So, this week meet my Great-Grandmother Crystal (Porter Johnson) Bailey and my Step-Great-Grandfather, Harold Bailey, Sr. Grandma Crystal died in 1968 so my stories about her came mostly from my mother and Grandpa Bailey. I credit Grandpa as one of the people who helped me get started on my genealogy when I had to work on a family tree for a Girl Scout badge back in elementary school.

These are my 2nd Great-grandparents Lula V. (Holden) and Charles Erwin “Wynn” Porter. Charles was the second son of George E. Porter (from last week’s Wordless Wednesday Post). He was a farmer and is noted in the Rockford Register for making key plays for the Rogue Rex baseball team. Lula was the daughter of Chapin and Lois Holden and was a favorite of my grandma—both of them being noted gossips!

Happy Hunting,

Jess

Sarah Elizabeth Morningstar (1859-1924), her husband George Erwin Porter (1856-1942) , and their youngest daughter Rhea Agnes (1903- 1974). George like his father, Seth, was a very successful miller in Kent County, Michigan. Among other endeavors he owned and operated Porter Mill at Porter Hollow on Stegman Creek in northern Kent County. Sarah and George married 15 April 1876 in Cedar Springs, Michigan. Rhea was the youngest of six children including my 2nd great grandfather, Charles Erwin Porter.

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