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

 

 

And for your viewing pleasure on this Wordless Wednesday… This is my Great Grandfather Robert Shea, my 2nd Great Aunt Grace Packer, and my Great Grandmother Cora (Packer) Shea. It was probably taken in the early 1920s before Grace married Harold Elliott in 1925.

Happy Hunting,

Jess

I’ve had lots of long conversations with my Gran and Great Aunt about our families but I have this growing list of questions inspired by research done for these posts and new finds. As an example, I spent hours this week flipping through census pages for Grand Rapids, MI trying to track them down in 1940. I had started with my latest directory locations for the family—which placed them living with my 2nd Great Aunt Pearl in 1937. When I couldn’t find any relatives there I called Gran and she told me they lived on Quimby.  I used Morse and Weintraub’s One Step Enumeration District finder from (http://stevemorse.org) which narrowed the list down to 3 EDs. Then Gran called back and said… maybe it was Union St. Either way she wasn’t sure of the number. So, I entered Union in the finder and it narrowed it down to 30 districts. Needless to say, I found them at 306 Union Street… eventually.

In 1940 Great Grandma Cora was the head of household including my Gran and her siblings and Cora’s youngest sibling Grace (Packer) Elliott and her family—including her husband, Harold, and six of their children. Cora was working at a paper box factory and Harold at an auto plant. I was so thrilled that I posted to Twitter as soon as I found Gran, and almost immediately got a phone call from my mother and Gran because Gran wanted to know what I’d found. It all just leads to more interesting questions: about Cora’s job (which I can’t quite decipher), the moving, all the family they lived with at different times, and really just how Cora managed as a widow with 3 young children.

I think it’s past time for a lunch date with Mom, Gran, and my Aunts!

Happy hunting!

Jess

Today is the 12oth Anniversary of the birth of my Great Grandmother Cora Packer Shea.

Happy Hunting,

Jess

This is an example of why everyone should live life to the fullest and not take anything for granted. On occasion the world can be very strange and unfair.

March 9th marks the 50th Anniversary of a family tragedy. It is the day my Great-great-uncle Richard Shea died crossing Division in Wyoming, Michigan just two months shy of his 60th Birthday. Richard was the youngest of my Great Grandfathers brothers and a World War II veteran.

But to add to the chord to this untimely death, three years later his widow, Beatrice Clark Shea, was also killed in a car crash—likely while sitting at home and watching TV during the Christmas holidays—when a teenage driver sped directly into her home, never trying to stop.

This article was a strange, sad find.

Happy hunting,

Jess

There’s a great deal of raw artistic talent among the Shea descendants and I often wonder how much of that is a trait passed on or whether it is other influences on the line. This is a drawing said to be by Ellen Cunningham Shea of her son, my great grandfather, Robert James Shea.

The original drawing is on something like cardborad but not canvas. It resides in the collection of my Great Aunt.

Happy Hunting,

Jess

I’ve always viewed February as Gran’s month. I‘m sure you’re thrilled but… Love you, Grandma!

This is Gran and her cousin Flora. Gran’s the taller one… I rarely get to say that.

Happy Hunting,

Jess

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 355 other followers