Happy 155th Birthday, Aunt Myra!


Hannah Almira Lee Churches

Hannah Almira Lee, called Myra, was born on 4 December 1864, in Southfield, Oakland County, Michigan, to Charles Norton and Esther Jenks Lee.  Aunt Myra was the younger sister of my great grandmother, Effie Clarissa Lee, appearing fourth in birth order of her parents’ six children.

On 26 March 1891, in Pontiac, Oakland County, Michigan, Aunt Myra married Robert Richard Churches, the son of Thomas and Harriet Roper Churches.    Aunt Myra and Uncle Robert were the parents of six children: Hazel (1897-1898), Roy Thomas (1901), Raymond Charles (1901) [twins], Baby Girl (1902-1902), Ivan Lee (1905), and Esther Harriet (1907).

On 2 September 1896, Myra’s younger sister, Ora, married Robert’s younger brother, George, making the tracing of the Churches line just a bit more complicated.

The Robert Churches played host to a few of the Jenks Family Reunions, and as is recorded on page 18 of The Reunions of the Jenks Family of Oakland County, Michigan – 1911-1927,  by Evelyn Seymour Jenks:

“The fifth annual reunion of the descendants of Laban Jenks, Sr., was held at the home of Robert and Myra Lee Churches in Southfield, August 14, 1915.  About 70 were present, a number being visitors.


The Home of Robert and Myra Churches, Southfield, Michigan

“The company were from Athens, Detroit, Grosse Pointe, Holly, Haslett, Lansing, New Hudson, Owasso, Onodago, Pontiac, Redford, Square Lake, Farmington, and Southfield.

“There were but two of Laban Jenks’ children’s families represented.  Those of his daughter, Mrs. Polly Jenks Case, and his son, Morris Jenks. ”

Uncle Robert preceded Aunt Myra in death on 5 May 1952.  She died on 8 June 1954.  Both died in Southfield, Oakland County, Michigan, and were laid to rest in the Southfield Cemetery in that city.

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Happy 104th Anniversary Cousin Euphie and Robert!

104 years ago, 1 December 1915, in Redford, Wayne County, Michigan, my second cousin, twice removed, Euphie Gertrude Jenks married Robert Gresehover, the son of James and Emma Turner Gresehover.  Cousin Euphie was born 21 May 1896, in Southfield, Oakland County, Michigan, to Albert Arlington and Elizabeth Jane Varnham Jenks.  She and Robert were the parents of two sons: Russell James (1917) and Robert Arlington (1919).

For the longest time I wondered whatever happened to Cousin Euphie.  I found where Robert passed away on 13 July 1943, in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan.  But, I found no mention of Euphie.  I have to admit my fascination with her was the name her parents gave her.  I have found that it is Greek for pleasant speech and it’s English equivalent would be Effie.

For some reason, I decided to scan the Thayer-Rock Funeral Home Pages on the Farmington [Michigan] Genealogical Society website.  I found Euphie!!  She had remarried (I have found no record, nor her second husband’s first name) and she was Euphie Gertrude Domin at the time of her death on 17 November 1976, in Traverse City, Michigan.  She was buried in Grand Lawn Cemetery in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, next to Robert.

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Happy 209th Birthday, Aunt Pru!

Prudence Jenks, my third great grandaunt, was born 209 years ago, 29 November 1812, in Caroline, New York, to Laban and Prudence White Jenks.  Aunt Prudence was the thirteenth child of fourteen and the seventh daughter.  At around the age of 8 or 9, her parents and many of her siblings migrated from New York and settled in the new lands made available in Oakland County, Michigan.

On 25 August 1830, Prudence married Calvin Herrick, the son of Nathan and Lucy Morely Herrick.  The two became the parents of only seven children: Francis Austin (1831), Augusta Louisa (1833), Laban (1834), Mary (1836), Cornelia (1838),Hattie (1840) and Harvey (1843).

From The Reunions of the Jenks Family of Oakland County, Michigan – 1911-1927 by Evelyn Seymour Jenks, p 164-167:

“Youngest daughter of Laban and Prudence White Jenks was born at Caroline, NY, November 29, 1812.  She came to Michigan with her parents in 1820 and was married August 25, 1830, to Calvin Herrick.  She died in Pontiac, Michigan, November 12, 1850.  I think they first lived in Holly, or near there as the Oakland County History says that Calvin and Nathan Herrick were early settlers in Holly township from 1832 to ‘39 and that Nathan Herrick made the first entry of land in Holly, September 16, 1830, on the old Saginaw Trail (but whether they were brothers, or father and son, was not noted).  It also said that the first town meeting was held at the home of Calvin Herrick, April 6, 1835, agreeable to the act of legislative council, passed March 17, 1835, creating the township of Grandland, where he was elected constable and collection and also inspector of schools.

“Later they must have moved to Pontiac for it was mentioned that, in the great Pontiac fire of April, 1840, Calvin Herrick lost his building on the West side of Saginaw St with entire stock of groceries, loss $300 (buildings and provisions must have been some cheaper in those days, I think).  Their family consisted of four children – three sons, Francis Austin, Laban, and Harry, and one daughter, Hattie.  Austin, as the eldest son was called, was born October 30, 1831, was married November 26, 1859, and died in Birmingham, Michigan, May 17, 1884.  He very much resembled, in looks, his cousins, Frank W Jenks, Frank Thayer, and Oliver Torrey Jenks.  His wife, Almira Torrey Herrick was born November 29, 1832, and died in Birmingham, Michigan, November 15, 1886.  She was a lady beloved by all who know her for her quiet disposition and gentle ways, and her sudden death from heart disease was a sad shock to her many friends as well as to her sorrowing family.  The first few years of their married life was spent in California, and to them were born two children, Flora and Grace.  As the climate was too much for Mrs. Herrick, she returned to Michigan with her children.  Austin, following some years later, was a perfect stranger to his little daughters who thought their grandpa Torrey was the only one that had a right to control them and for a time was considered their big papa and interloper.  The daughters, Flora and Grace, are both living in Birmingham at the present time.  Flora is the wife of Charles E Mudge and their son, Earle, is the only living grandchild of Austin and Myra Herrick.

“Of Laban, the second son of Calvin and Prudence Jenks Herrick, born May 7, 1834, I have almost to depend on newspaper clippings.  His wife was Miss Sabra Torrey – sister of his brother, Austin’s wife, and as I remember, a very handsome woman.  Their only son, Charlie, died at the age of 14 years.  The following was clipped from a Pontiac paper and was copied from the Aspen Daily Times, of Aspen, Colorado:

““Laban J. Herrick is candidate for county treasurer.  He came to Aspen, August 11, 1879, and has resided here ever since.  He has been mining 43 years and knows the trails miners are often subjected to, and his sympathies consequently have always been on the side of labor.  His character as a man and citizen is well and favorably known.  His long residence here is enough for voters to determine for themselves whether they can support him in this election.  He is a staunch Silver man, ever hopeful in its darkest hours.  As a city treasurer, he gave universal satisfaction, courteous, kindhearted, and friendly.  He earns a fine reputation as the friend of the people.”

“He was afterward elected Judge and bore that honor at the time of his death, May 14, 1902.  The obituary notice read as follows:

““Judge Laban J. Herrick, one of Aspen’s oldest and most prominent citizens was laid to rest at old Aspen Grove Cemetery beside the remains of his deceased wife.  Services here held at the residence, 112 E. Cooper Ave, where he lived for so many years.  It was a mark of respect that the old pioneers should be accorded the position of honor in the long funeral cortege which formed at the residence after the services were over and slowly wended its way to the cemetery.  Judge Laban Herrick was ever prominent in mining circles in Aspen, and was at one time quite a factor in local politics.  He served as Justice of the Peace and was later elected to the office of City Treasurer.  Aspen was then a flourishing city and either of the above offices were much sought after.  Coming west to seek his fortune in the early days he found hope for realization of the desired, and in Aspen, he engaged in mining and accumulated considerable property.  Adversity then darkened his door, and later the silver panic fell on all Colorado with a heavy hand.  Leadville and other western slope mining camps, and Aspen in particular, received a back set that rendered mining an occupation of doubtful reward.  And Judge Herrick left of mining in his declining years.  He will long be remembered by Aspen’s old-timers.  He was one of them and was loyal to the city of his choice to the last hour.  And the profound sympathy of the entire city is extended in this sad hour of bereavement to the sorrowing daughters Hattie, Bessie, and Daisy.”

“Harvey Herrick, the third son of Calvin and Prudence Jenks Herrick, was a well known citizen of Oakland County and was a very popular man.  He was a member of the G.A.R.  He was a resident of Pontiac for a number of years after moving to Detroit and thence to Pittsburgh, Pa. where he died of heart failure, December 28, 1904.  The interment was at Adrian, Michigan.  His wife was Miss Hattie Kromburg, and their family consisted of six children, Prudence, Fred, Lulu, Maud, Minnie, and Bertie.

“Hattie E Herrick, the only daughter of Aunt Prudence, was born December 7, 1840, and I know very little indeed for her history.  I believe she is still living in Seattle, Washington, though I may be mistaken.  She was married to Mr. Thomas Day and has two children, Alice and Amy Day, who would now be middle aged, but whether married or single I know not.  I remember being at the Pontiac Fair in the fall of 1879, with my sister, her husband, and Flora and Grace Herrick, street cars were unknown in those days and Railway trains were not very close together, so we had to kill time from six till near midnight.  So we called at Laban Herrick’s, had a fine visit and supper, then went to Harvey Herrick’s and spent the rest of the evening.  He had to crawl under or over the bumpers of a freight train to get to the depot.  It was a long time ago, and I wonder if Flora and Grace have forgotten — their father and mother, Austin and Myra Torrey Herrick, their Uncle Laban and Aunt Sabra Torrey Herrick, their Uncle Harvey Herrick, my sister, Julia and her husband, Frank W Jenks, have all crossed the river, and even the old Fair Grounds have disappeared forever from the face of the earth.

As Eva Seymour Jenks stated, Aunt Prudence died on 12 November 1850, in Pontiac, Oakland County, Michigan, just shy of her 38th birthday.  Uncle Calvin continued until 21 September 1861 and is interred next to Aunt Prudence in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Pontiac, Oakland County, Michigan.

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Happy 150th Birthday, Cousin Albert!


Albert Ernest Jenks

150 years ago, 28 November 1869, my third cousin, 3 times removed, Albert Ernest Jenks was born in Ionia County, Michigan to Stillman Leek and  Sophia Parnell Keeny Jenks.   Albert was the last of their family of six children.

He married Maude Huntley on Oct 22, 1901 with whom he had a son, Clifford Huntley. He received two Bachelor of Science degrees, one at Kalamazoo College in 1896 and one at the University of Chicago in 1897. He earned his graduate in economics at the University of Wisconsin in 1899 and a Science Degree at Kalamazoo College in 1924. His expertise was economics, but his dissertation, The Wild Rice Gatherers of the Upper Lakes (1900) led him into ethnology and anthropology. His dissertation explains the primitive economics of the Indians surrounding the Great Lakes. He describes how some of the Indians sow wild rice, while others do not sow and do or do not believe in the motive behind it. The tribes that did sow the wild rice displayed a unique economic activity.

Jenks published Bontoc Igorot in 1905, which was a major anthropological study of the Philippines. He described the cultures as a hierarchy according to arbitrary, ethnocentric criteria. Jenks and his wife had their only child while located in the Philippines in 1902-1903. [actually, he was born in 1905, and died in 1918]

He started teaching sociology, at the University of Minnesota in 1906, but in 1907 he became a Professor of Anthropology. Jenks created the Department of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota in 1918. He was the chairman of the department until his retirement in 1938. Dr. Jenks was described as a good lecturer by Lloyd Wilford, who later became Dr. Jenks’ assistant for many years. These two traveled to New Mexico in 1928, where they first experienced the art of excavating. In 1932 a field research program was initiated at the University of Minnesota. For the next six years Dr. Jenks and Wilford would spent many hours excavating and studying their findings.

In 1932, Jenks published The Problem of the Culture from the Arvilla Gravel Pit, which describes the findings at a gravel pit in the Red River valley, in North Dakota. The graves of 400-800 skeletons were found with only a few artifacts. This article focuses on several artifacts found, namely two harpoons, a knife, and a skin-dresser. Some of the other artifacts noted were beads, a sandstone ‘whetstone’, a ball of red ocher and a missing bone knife.

Highway workers near Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, discovered the “Minnesota Man” in 1931. Jenks was called to the Paleo-Indian site, where he took the skeleton and associated artifacts to the university for research. The skeleton was later discovered to be that of a teenage girl. There is no accurate date of when she was alive. The Pleistocene Man in Minnesota, 1936 describes the full details of the findings and all related information.

In 1933 William H. Jensen, a local farmer, discovered the Brown ‘s Valley Man. Jensen described his findings to Jenks through a letter. The next summer Jenks, Wilford and students proceeded to excavate the site further. Jenks was able to confirm the reports of Yuma and Folsom-types at the gravel pit. The human skeleton was placed in the Paleo-Indian period along with the “Minnesota Man,” both were found in Western Minnesota. Two of the flints found were almost near duplicates of each other. Dr. Jenks published The Discovery of an Ancient Minnesota Maker of Yuma and Folsom Flints, 1934 and Minnesota’s Browns Valley Man, 1937, both of which discuss the site and findings. The Sauk Valley Skeleton, published in 1938, was co-authored by Lloyd Wilford.

Other sites Jenks excavated and researched include the Cambria Focus located in the northwest corner of Blue Earth County, Minnesota. Wilford assisted Jenks excavate the site on a smaller scale than previous anthropologists did. They collected smaller amounts of refuse and cultural materials. Wilford’s dissertation, Minnesota Archaeology with Special Reference to the Mound Area, was based on several archaeology sites, such as Kathio, Howard Lake, Blackduck Lake, Laurel, Round Mound, and the Tudahl Rock Shelter. Jenks did research in Philippines.

Upon retiring from the University of Minnesota in 1938, Dr. Jenks moved to his rural home near Mound, Minnesota. Dr. Jenks is most noted for founding the Department of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota, one of the earliest in the nation. He published many books, publications and articles related to the study of anthropology and other subjects (sociology, economics, and ethnology).


Johnson, Elden, Upper Great Lakes Anthropology, “Lloyd A. Wilford and Minnesota Archaeology”, pages 1-3.
Marquis, Albert Nelson, Who’s Who in America, Vol. 27, 1952-53, p age 1255.
American Anthropologist, Vol. 34/3, 1932, “The Problem of the Culture from the Arvilla Gravel Pit”, pages 455-466.
Science, Vol. 8, 1934, “The Discovery of an Ancient Minnesota Maker of Yuma and Folsom Flints”, page 205. Hilleman,
Melanie A., The Paleo-Indian Period, 1986.

In addition, Cousin Albert wrote The Childhood of Ji-Shib’ The Ojibwa, and sixty-four pen sketches, in October 1900.  [I have a first edition in my personal library]


He was also the author of The Wild-Rice Gatherers of the Upper Great Lakes and Economic Plants Used by the Ojibwa.

Albert passed away on  6 June 1953 in Hennepin, Minnesota.

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Remembering 2nd great granduncle Volney Lee

My 2nd great granduncle, Volney Lee, passed away 110 years ago on 27 November 1909, in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan.  Volney was born 4 December 1838 in Oakland County, Michigan, to my 3rd great grandparents, Horatio and Hannah Munn Lee.   He was the 8th of their 12 children, and the brother of my great great grandfather, Charles Norton Lee.   On 6 May 1858, in Oakland County, Michigan, Uncle Volney married Cornelia Waters, the daughter of John and Mary Jane Allen Waters.   They were the parents of three children, James Waters (1857), Arthur Chalmers (1863), and an unnamed baby (1868).  Aunt Cornelia passed away in 1892.   Both she and uncle Volney were interred in Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit.

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Happy 178th Birthday, Cousins Simeon and Levi!

On 24 November 1841, in Highland Township, Oakland County, Michigan, twin sons, Simeon and Levi were born to Simeon and Mary Ann Delling Botsford.  The boys were 5th and 6th in birth order of the seven children belonging to their parents.  They were my first cousins, 4 times removed.   Their father, Simeon, was the brother of my great great great grandmother, Almira Botsford who married Morris Jenks.

I have found that Levi enlisted in Company D, Michigan 23rd Infantry Regiment on 12 Sep 1862, during the American Civil War.  He mustered out on 31 Dec 1863 at Knoxville, TN due to his death on 29 December 1863 (nice of them to decide he could leave the service).  He is buried in the Knoxville National Cemetery.


His twin brother, Simeon, enlisted in Company A, Michigan 29th Infantry Regiment on 17 August 1864. He mustered out on 06 Sep 1865 at Murfreesboro, TN.  He servived the War and went on to Marry Malvina Doying on 8 September 1867, in Tuscola, Michigan.   I have found where he filed for a Civil War Pension claiming that he had become an invalid.  I have yet to find evidence of when and where he died.  Update: Simeon died 30 November 1926, in Medina, Lenawee County, Michigan (thank you, Charlene Jones Lerch).

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Remembering 4 times great grandmother, Esther Clark Botsford.

Esther Clark Botsford, daughter of Stephen and Miriam Thayer Clark was born on 19 September 1771 in Wrentham, Massachusetts.  Esther Clark, my four times great grandmother, married Simeon Botsford in Stockbridge, Berkshire, Massachusetts, on 3 January 1792.  They were the parents of 11 children, all born in Salisbury, Connecticut: Chloe (1794), Mary W. (1796), Esther (1797), Polly Anna (1799), Betsey (1801), Abner Clark (1803), Simeon (1805), Almira (1807) [my 3 times great grandmother], Levi W. (1810), William Clark (1812), and Aressa S. (1816).

Sometime after the birth of the last child in 1816, the family migrated to Oakland County, Michigan.  By 1828, Almira, my 3 times great grandmother,  married Morris Jenks in Bloomfield, Oakland, Michigan, on 20 November 1828.

From Botsford Genealogy – Samuel Line 1.1.3, p 73:

Simeon Botsford and his family removed from Conn, to Lyons, NY, thence to Michigan in 1825, settling in Southfield, Oakland County, MI (not far from the Botsford Inn). Simeon Botsford died intestate. His estate was administered by his son-in-law Morris Jenks. His heir was his widow Esther. After the death of Simeon Botsford, his wife went to live with her son, Simeon, Jr. in Pontiac, Mich. Children; all born in Salisbury Conn.

In the History of Tuscola and Bay Counties, Mich. , p103,  in the biography of son, Simeon, Jr. : “He was born in the State of Connecticut, September 27, 1805.  At twenty years of age [1825] he removed to Michigan with his parents and settled in Oakland County.”
In the list of Connecticut Revolutionary Pensioners, p24, appears “Botsford, Simeon, wid. Esthter, R 1051. The widows claim for pension was rejected on technical grounds.”

This implies Simeon may have served in the Revolutionary Army from Connecticut — he would have been just 16 when the war began, but there was a technical issue in granting a pension.

Michigan Pioneer Records, Pioneer Record 85

“Botsford, Simeon 1763-1831
m 1792 Esther Clark

Chloe, Mary, Esther, Anna, Betsey, Abner, Simeon Jr, Almira, Levi, Wm Clark, Aressa”

Grandmother Botsford passed away 164 years ago, 21 November 1855, in Southfield, Oakland, Michigan.  Grandfather Botsford predeceased her on 10 August 1831.

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