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.

Though this photo predates me this is still how I remember my
Grandfather, Levie Trotter. I have lots of memories of him, but it was trips to Detroit in the summer when the family cooked out, made barbeque ribs, and all of his children and grandchildren showed up for a family meal… it’s just a standout collage of memories with Grandpa at the grill.

‘Tis the season for football… the Detroit Lions and my Michigan State Spartans are each 5-1 and all of this keeps bringing to mind this shot of my Grandfather, William Eugene Johnson, as a Senior on the 1945 Rockford High School football team which also included my Great Uncle, Louis, and at least a couple of their cousins (Ken Morris and Roger Baker). This shot came to my attention when used in a July 1999 Chalk Talk column by Coach Terry Konkle’s in The Rockford Independent.

So it took years before I realized that the Salvation Army was a religious denomination… and I’d been driving by a church for years in Lansing, Michigan. The above photograph is from a photo postcard taken by William H. Spinks and currently held by my Great Aunt. It’s the Salvation Army Brass Band of Woodstock, Oxford County, Ontario, Canada. My Great Great Grandfather Cornelius Packer is in the front row, third man in from the left with, what I believe is, a euphonium. The photo was taken sometime between 1881—when the Packers previously identified as Primitive Methodists and 1892 when my Great Grandmother was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Just based on his age in this picture and another family shot by the same photographer, I suspect this is mid to late 1880s.

 I’ve always liked this shot because, from what most of my family has told me, my great-grandfather was estranged from his family for a good chunk of their lives after he and my great-grandmother divorced. But he was able to build a relationship with my grandfather later in their lives. This is a shot of Robert Eugene Johnson and my grandfather William Eugene Johnson taken at my grandparents’ home on Main St in Rockford, Michigan sometime prior to Grandpa’s death in 1980. The photo is one from my parents’ collection.

Happy hunting,


I still have Robert Shea on my mind…

My great grandfather, Robert James Shea, was a tuberculosis patient at  the Michigan State Sanatorium, in Howell, Michigan, around 1920. It’s there that he met my great grandmother, Cora Helena Packer who was also a patient. This shot is from one of the men’s dorms. Robert is the second gentleman from the right. None of the other men are identified. Within the family we have a number of group shots from the Sanatorium. The originals reside with my great aunt.

Happy Hunting,


This is a shot found among my grandparents photo collection. This is my great grandmother, Rhoda Rogers Trotter, and three  children. There have been great family debates on the identity of the children but I am assured there was only one Rhoda. It was probably taken in Bradley County, Arkansas. I don’t have a lot of information about the Rogers family. I know Rhoda (also called Rhodie) was the daughter of Pete and Mattie (Martin) Rogers. I believe she was born in 1894 and she died in 1981. She married my great grandfather, Harrison Trotter, in 1911 and they had 15 children.

Happy Hunting,



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