Family Almanac

The month has gotten away from me and I apologize for my miss of Not Quite Wordless Wednesday last week… but I’m trying to get back ahead!

Lula V. (Holden) Porter & Mother, 1952Today’s photo features my 2nd Great Grandmother Lula Vanche (Holden) Porter.

Today marks the 127th anniversary of her birth in Osceola County, Michigan. She was the third child of Chapin and Lois (Blakeslee) Holden and she married my 2nd Great Grandfather Charles Erwin “Win” Porter in September of 1904 in Courtland Township, Kent County, Michigan. My Great Grandmother Crystal was her third child of seven.

This photograph is from my Gran’s collection. It was taken in April or May of 1952 and falls into a great run of pictures of my mother with everyone who could get their hands on her. Lula was widowed within a month or two of this photo–Win died in June. My Gran remembers her fondly–especially as a great source for gossip (they were kindred spirits). Lula died in June of 1973.

Happy hunting!



Win Porter

It’s someone’s birthday today!

Okay, it’s September… almost every day is someone’s birthday in my family. And while for people in the know it is Miss Feisty’s birthday it’s also the 133rd anniversary of her 3rd Great Grandfather, Charles Erwin Porter. This picture was in a lovely set of copies made for me by one of my cousins. It’s a photo from the newspaper featuring Win stacking wood. I have yet to track down the paper myself. Maybe on my next trip to Rockford, MI?

Happy hunting,


YorkErnestArverseIt’s the start of a month long trend… September is the 2nd most popular birth month in my database. And today would have been my Great Uncle Ernest Philip York’s 90th Birthday. Here’s Uncle Ernest in the foreground with (I think) his brother Arverse York. Please correct me if you know I’m wrong about which of my many York uncles this is.

Happy hunting,



My parents are celebrating their 38th wedding anniversary this month! Happy Anniversary! And totally unlike the modern spectacle marriages (so many couples have) they invited four people to their wedding. My grandparents.

These shots were taken afterwards at my parents East Lansing apartment.

Happy hunting,


Lorna HoldenSo, as I was running through anniversaries related to this date I came upon the fact that today is the 114 anniversary of the birth of my 1st cousin 4 times removed, Lorna Holden DeBoer. She was the daughter of Kendric Charles Holden (son of Charles and my Chapin’s youngest sibling) and Minnie Isabel Porter (George’s middle sibling). She married John DeBoer in 1921 and they had two children Gaylord and Eleanor. Eleanor in turn married my Great Uncle Darcy (my Great Grandmother Crystal’s brother).

And it seems a great time to express my thanks to the Holden and Porter family who have shown an interest in our common relatives and inspired me to continue researching. As I’ve mentioned before, Lorna penned a book on her aunt, Xantippe, which fellow researchers pointed out to me early on. In my early days as a librarian in Rockford I had the great luck to reconnect with Phyllis (Porter) Dolislager as well as take an informative life writing workshop from her. And the Porters and Holden’s have been tremendous donors to the Rockford Area Historical Museum—where I found countless bits of family memorabilia, family history, and photographs. So many of you have come forward to help with, share, or just be a great audience for my research and I really appreciate it. And that includes Carole, Janet, Uncle Aaron, Uncle Louis, Kathy and my original Porter source, Grandpa Bailey.

Thank you all!

Happy hunting,


This photo was copied from the Rockford Area Historical Museum and is a picture of Lorna Holden.

Eugene Robert Baker, My 1st Cousin Thrice Removed

To all the many who didn’t make it back home and the families they left behind. We remember.

In my family that includes:

Two of my first cousins thrice removed…

Lt. Eugene Robert Baker, 370th and 401st Fighter Squadrons of the U.S. Air Corps, the son of Ethan Rex and Grace (Van Vyven) Baker—named for his grandfather (and my 3rd Great Grandfather), Eugene Smith Baker. He was killed in action 13 Aug 1944 in Chartres, France.

Sgt. Robert S. Baker, Co M 119th Infantry 30th Division, the son of Hollis Lapham and Nora (Beers) Baker, died 13 Sep 1944 also in France.

And my 3rd Great Grand Uncle, Americus G. Holden, Co H, 21st Infantry Regiment of Michigan, the son of Charles and Sarah (Skiff) Holden. He was sent home sick from his post in Tennessee and died of his illness 30 Aug 1864.

All three have military headstones at Rockford Cemetery, Rockford, Michigan.

Happy hunting,


P.s. I made a large error at the end there… Americus Holden is buried in Courtland Cemetery. Thank you for the correction, Carole!

Me, 1980.It’s my annual nod… If I do it to everyone else around their birthday then I must be fair and post my own kid pictures around mine.

Another one of those fine (dated) fashion and design shots.

A) My mom owned knee high boots (thigh high on me)… and she let me borrow them.

B) There is nothing in the visible section of my parents’ kitchen or living room that looks like this anymore. No red shag, no wooden captain’s chairs, or dark brown anything.  The tiles were swapped out and the runners have changed. It’s almost like a whole different—and significantly lighter—house.

C) What is it with kids and big people’s shoes?

Happy hunting,


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