July 18, 2012
Posted by JessLibrarian under Photographs
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These are two of my 2nd Great Aunts—both younger sisters of my Great Grandparents. Grace Packer the younger sister of Cora (Packer) Shea and Donna Shea, the younger sister of Robert Shea. This picture was probably taken between 1922 and 1925—after or around Cora and Robert’s marriage but before either of the sisters married in 1925.
July 1, 2012
Posted by JessLibrarian under Great Sources
| Tags: Massy
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I managed to slip away for a couple of days of fun and research in and around Kent County, MI. On the first day of my trip my mother and I spent a good portion of the day with my Grandmother and Great Aunt. Hanging out with this feisty pair and sharing my progress is truly rewarding. They are so appreciative of the research I’ve done and their very interested in how I’ve organized it.
We spent a couple of hours going through their old family pictures and telling stories—many that I have heard before and love to hear them repeat—and often with an added tidbit, or a possible puzzle piece, that I might be able to use on another day. And as I talked about some of the characters I had found in my research it is definite that my grandmother in particular has an affinity for the black sheep of the families.
We, of course, talked about good old Henry R. Massy, but we also talked about. Cornelius Shea who may or may not have been dismissed from working for a Catholic church in Grand Rapids over a problem with disappearing wine. And this was the same man who laughed too hard to help his pregnant daughter-in-law out of a well. Poor Grandma Cora! Aunt June still fumes a little telling that story.
But more than anything for me these visits are a time of gathering memories from and of these lovely women who are so neat! Families are so interesting to observe. I see these two ladies and their mannerisms echoed in my mom and aunt (who I watched at breakfast the next morning), or even between myself and my cousin. And it’s those echoes that keep me interested in what’s passed down from generation to generation.
Talk to your elders, talk to your contemporaries and pass it down!
May 28, 2012
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!
May 16, 2012
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.
April 21, 2012
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!
March 28, 2012
Today is the 12oth Anniversary of the birth of my Great Grandmother Cora Packer Shea.
March 9, 2012
Posted by JessLibrarian under Family Almanac
| Tags: Shea
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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.