|Welcome to my Rea/Motzer Family Website. The last several years I have been putting together the information on my extended family tree. I remember my Grandmother, Cora Matilda (Peterson) Rea, reciting family history to me when I was a child. I wish now that I had written it all down. Lots of this information comes from old family bibles, saved obituaries and newspaper clippings, family records, internet research, and information graciously provided by relatives, I know or have met through e-mails and websites while doing online searches. I would especially like to thank my newly found cousins Dennis Haun, Joann Coleman, Ruth Ann Frey, and Vonelle Riley for their files and information which provided the most recent additions of about 200 people and gave me leads to some others. I have been able to link the Rays, Websters, Coles, and Reas more closely with that information. THANK YOU!
When I first put these files up I had over 1,200, (I now have over 14,000 as of the most recent update) people who are in some way related, whether directly or distantly. Not all of those people appear on these pages, but if you do find that you are related in one way or another email me and I will be happy to send along any information that I have that might help you in your search for your roots.
With the way these old families married each others cousins, I think instead of a Family Tree, it has become a greatly entangled Family Vine. I have put up the lines of my family that go back the furtherest, so take a peek and see if any of your long lost ancestors are here. Hopefully you will find the information and pictures interesting. If any of you have pictures of some of these people and would like to share I would be happy to have them and put them on the page.
My journey back through the roots begins with my parents. My mother is Betty Jean (Motzer) Rea and she came from the the Motzer/Nolan line, while my father was John Rea, Jr., and he came from the Rea/Peterson line. They were married 55 years before my father passed away in 2000. Both of these families have their roots deeply entrenched in Bond County, Illinois. Along the you will find Rays, Plogs, Seegers, Buschs, Hauns, Coyles, Websters, Walls, Files, Thackers, Stewarts, Mollets, Lurkins', and many others.
- Cora Rea with Minnie and Fritz Seeger (19 KB)
This picture is from the Golden Wedding Celebration for Fred & Minnie Seeger in 1951. My Grandmother Cora was Maid of Honor at the wedding and she stood up with her sister Minnie again when she and Fred renewed their vows. (l-r) Lemuel McGibbony, Fred Seeger, Minnie Seeger, and Cora Rea.
- Hester Rebecca Ray and 4 of her daughters (32 KB)
Seated here in the chair is Hester Rebecca (Ray) Peterson. Behind her left to right are Gertrude "Gerty" Effie (Peterson) Langel, Cora Matilda (Peterson) Rea, (my grandmother), Minnie Belle (Peterson) Seeger, and Sylva Odessa (Peterson) Jones. This picture was taken in the early 1940's.
- Cora Rea and her kids (7 KB)
Cora Rea with her children, John Rea,Jr. and Dot(Rea)Stewart
- My Great Grandparents Nolan (27 KB)
This photo is of William Albert Nolan and Ella (Plog) Nolan. They are the parents of my mother's mother Julia Gertrude Nolan.
- Matilda Tome (Paine) Ray and 6 of her 8 children (36 KB)
Pictured in the back row (l-r) Nancy Jane (Ray)Wall, Mahalia E. (Ray) Kloster, Elizabeth A."Betsey" (Ray) Gum, and Hester Rebecca (Ray) Peterson. Front Row (l-r) Elisha Ray, Matilda Ray, and Andrew Ray. Andrew Ray, who is from my dad's side, married Christina "Dena" Motzer, who is from my mother's side, and that helped tie the families together.
- My Great Aunt Sylvia (8 KB)
Sylvia Oddess(Peterson) Jones, wife of Glen I. Jones
- John & Betty Rea (22 KB)
My mom and dad on their Golden Wedding Anniversary, October 21, 1994, taken at their home.
- David Sylvester Peterson and his horses. (45 KB)
David Peterson poses with his horses (and a couple mules), along with from left, daugthers Sylva (Peterson) Jones, Gertrude "Gerty" (Peterson) Langel, and wife Hester Rebecca (Ray) Peterson.
- The Peterson Girls (8 KB)
Gertrude Effie Peterson Langel and Grace Leuemma Peterson Mollett (circa 1898)
- John Rea Flying (8 KB)
My dad is in the rear, instructor's sat in the rear, of this SNJ as taken from another plane over Corpus Christi Texas.
- Elmer Odell Langel, son of Gerty (Peterson) Langel (12 KB)
Pictured here circa 1944, he was a pilot during WWII, and flew missions out of Africa into Italy in B-24 Liberators.
- Grandma & Grandpa Rea (13 KB)
My Dad's parents Cora and John Rea in front of their house in Pocahontas, Illinois.
- Hogan's Heroes (20 KB)
I put this up as a fond rememberance of my father. My dad loved "Hogan's Heroes", he said it was so stupid it was funny. When I was young we watched it on its first run. Then later in reruns my sister, who was younger watched it with him. So on a trip to New York she couldn't resist having her picture taken by this painting. Dad loved the picture.
- My Grandparents (18 KB)
Cora Matilda (Peterson) Rea and John Calvin Rea pose for this picture on their Golden Wedding Anniversary, October 6, 1959. The celebration was held at the school in Pocahontas, Illinois.
- John & Betty Rea (16 KB)
This was taken in 1999 not long before my dad passed away.
- My Parents (23 KB)
This picture was taken on October 22, 1944 the day after my parents were married. They were married at the Methodist Church in Greenville, Illinois, and then the next day went up to say goodbye to Dad's parents and sister before he reported to the Naval Air Station at Corpus Christi, Texas. He was an instrument flight instructor. Pictured are (l-r)his brother-in-law Harold Hoyle Stewart(36), sister Dot Wandoff (Rea) Stewart(32), their daughter Betty Elaine(6) Stewart, Betty Jean (Motzer) Rea(18), John Rea,Jr.(22), Cora Matilda Rea(58), and John Calvin Rea(68).
- Seegers 50th Anniversary Picture (23 KB)
Minnie & Fritz Peterson in their 50th Wedding Anniversary Picture 1951.
- Clara & John Motzer on their 50th Anniversary (12 KB)
The girls in the front are Nina Marie Motzer Lurkins, and either Martha or Nancy Motzer, and Betty Jean Motzer Rea. The rest from r-l are Leo Motzer, Della Melton Motzer, John Motzer, Charles Motzer, Clara Belle Busch Motzer, Richard Motzer, and John Motzer. Taken August 26, 1938 at John & Clara's farm.
- Thought I would slip in one of me (28 KB)
This picture was taken in 1993 on the set of the movie "It Runs In The Family" which was a sequel to the movie "Christmas Story" that is shown every year where Ralphie wants a Red Rider BeeBee gun for Christmas, and his dad, played by Darren McGavin, has trouble with the neighbors dogs. Anyway, the guy on the right you might remember as one of the other brother Darryls from the "Newhart" show. His real name is John Volstad and he was alot of fun while he was here in Cleveland doing the movie.
- My Grandma Motzer (14 KB)
My Mom's mother Julia(Nolan)Motzer as a young woman.
- John & Betty Rea's Wedding Picture (6 KB)
My parents wedding picture from 1944.
- Cora Matilda Rea (21 KB)
This is a picture of Cora Matilda Peterson at 16, which would have been in 1902
- Hester Rebecca (Ray) Peterson (19 KB)
My Dad carried this picture of his grandma during his time in the service during WWII.
- Some Seegers (15 KB)
(l-r)Goldie Belle (Seeger) Schweppe, Virgil Sylvester Seeger, and Pearl Fredia(Seeger) Gill circa 1910. They would have been about 8, 5, and 1 respectively. All children of Minne Belle Peterson and Fredrick Charles Seeger.
- The Seegers and Reas (11 KB)
Minnie & Fritz Seeger(l) with Cora and John C. Rea