We Asked West MI For Your Family Stories, and Boy Did You Deliver
After seeing a friend post something on Facebook asking for interesting stories from people about their older relatives and ancestors, I had an idea.
The stories that people from all over the country shared were so interesting that I thought, "I'm sure that the people of West Michigan have some really cool stories to tell about their families." So, I took to Facebook to ask the question, and boy did you all deliver.
We had over fifty West Michiganders share their families' stories on this post, and these were just a few of my favorites. (Click through the link to read the rest of them. There's some really, really great stuff in there.)
From Rachael S. -
During WWII, my Japanese grandma had to drop out of school in her third grade year to take care of her nieces. She did so and they even had to eat a stray dog. And another - When gold teeth were all the rage in Japan in the 1950s, my grandma hopped a ride to a neighboring island to have all of her teeth pulled so she could get her new grill. My grandpa promptly took her to get regular dentures. I still don't know what they did with the leftover gold.
Ursula R. shared this story -
A great-great-great-grandfather of mine was a Baron and loved to gamble. He bet his title and lands in a card game, but refused to pay up when he lost. The person who won placed a curse on him and his male descendants. Luckily, I am female.
Scott P. told this great story about his grandfather -
My grandpa hauled gas. While making deliveries down by Sturgis, MI, he ran into a burning station, shut off the fuel to the pumps, and dragged the attendant out of the burning building. He was awarded the key to the city, and got a personal visit from then Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa.
Turns out, that the descendants of some of the founders of West Michigan towns still reside here. This story from Sandra V. -
My 5th great grandfather was the FOUNDER of little Holland. His name is A.C. VanRaalte came from the Netherlands in 1846 and got here in 1847 for farming but that changed. He was the Minster for the first reformed Luther church in 1851 in Holland. Michigan.
On another Facebook post, we were given some great stories including stories about Henry Ford and a lost opportunity, a "gang" of women, and a knight who was beheaded by Henry the Eighth. (You can click through to read all of the stories that were submitted.)
From Jenn B. -
Apparently my great great grandfather was neighbors with Henry Ford. Ford asked my GG Grandfather to go into business with him. My amazing all-knowing GG Grandfather said, “No thanks, the horse and buggy is here to stay.” And this is the story of why my family is poor.
Of all of the stories that we heard, this one from Jessica F. was my personal favorite -
Some of the women in our family used to form a "gang" and if the men would beat any women in the rest of the family. They would beat him...
And Marie B.'s 14th great grandfather met an untimely, but historically noteworthy, end -
My 14th great grandfather was a Knight who was beheaded by Henry the 8th at the Tower or London.
And from this Facebook post, we got a fun story about 28th St. back in the day that Susan T.'s dad used to tell her -
Here is a story my Dad liked to tell: He was born in 1911 and passed away in 2000. He grew up in Grandville, Michigan. He would tell us the story of when 28th street was a dirt road and there was a very high hill on it. The guys would take their model A s and model T s and go up on the hill and see who could get stuck the worst.
We still would love to hear more stories, so 'like' our Facebook page and leave a comment and photo if you'd like. Or, go a little more high tech and send us an app chat via our app.