Happy 188th Anniversary, Grandma and Grandpa Koontz!

On 22 June 1831 in Stark County, Ohio, Peter Koontz and Elizabeth Derr were married.  The two were my three times great grandparents.  There were two children of this union:  Ezra Peter (1832) [my great great grandfather] and Caroline.   I have not found the documentation of what happened to the marriage, but Grandmother was partnered with Peter Rudolph and had a daughter, Gertrude in 1852. [Gertrude would become the mother of Harold Spuhler, the second husband of Essie Koontz, Ezra Peter Koontz’s granddaughter.]

Now the two have left a number of research projects open.  Family records have Grandmother married / partnered 4 times: Mr. Core, Mr. Scott, Peter Rudolph, and Grandfather, Peter Koontz.  There are no records of additional marriages for Grandfather and he did not die until 25 October 1882.  BUT, I have found his original name was Baltzer Koontz — possible records under that name????

Both Peter (aka Baltzer) were born in Maryland and there is record of Peter’s death in Allegany, Maryland.  The elusive Elizabeth (I am not sure what order her husbands succeeded each other, so I have no idea what surname could have been in play at the time of her death) is still an ongoing search.

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Happy Birthday, Aunt Rose!


Roseanah Weaver Fisher 1837-1931 [Winter 1918-1919]

Roseanah Weaver was born 182 years ago, 19 June 1837, in Washington County, Pennsylvania, to Gottlieb Weber [Goodliff Weaver] and Anne Lane [they had 12 children over a span of 28 years, the first in 1836, the last in 1864].  She was the older sister of my great grandfather, Lemuel Weaver.  Aunt Rose was a frequent correspondent to my grandfather in his postcard collection which appears in earlier editions of this blog.

Aunt Rose being born in Pennsylvania in 1837; her younger brother, William Powell was born in Ohio in 1840.  This puts a time lock on when the Weaver / Lane families migrated from Pennsylvania to Ohio.  The migration of the family was in lock step with each other — both Goodliff / Anne and Anne’s parents, the Lanes migrated together.

1837: Washington County, Pennsylvania

1840:  Monroe Twp, Morgan County, Ohio

1842: Perry County, Ohio

The Lane family dates back to the early 1800s in Washington County, Ohio.  Grandfather Weber [Weaver] was born in Baden-Württemburg and appears to have arrived in the United States in 1827.  I am not sure when Gottlieb Weber became Goodliff Weaver but the English version is how he was recorded by Anne in the family Bible.

Roseanah married William H. Fisher on 27 April 1873 in Perry County, Ohio.     Aunt Rose and Uncle William had one son, Charles Elmer Fisher (1874-1944).  Uncle William passed away in 1896.  Aunt Rose passed away in 1931.

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Happy Birthday, Uncle Willy!


Lewellyn Lee 1862-1917

157 years ago, 16 June 1862, in Southfield, Oakland County, Michigan, Lewellyn Lee was born to Charles Norton and Esther Jenks Lee.  Uncle Willy was the brother of my great grandmother, Effie Clarissa Lee Weaver.

I got to know Uncle Willy from how he was constantly referenced in postcards in my grandfather’s collection — see previous blog entries.  But, a recap of his history was captured by our family historian for the Jenks Family Reunion the year following his death on 29 July 1917:

Llewellyn Lee, the only son of Charles N and Esther Jenks Lee was born June 16, 1862, and died July 29, 1917. He was a man highly respected by his neighbors and a host of friends, and dearly loved in his own home circle. The mainstay of his aged mother and the idol of his sisters. His early death was a shock to the whole community. In his death the Jenks reunion lost one of its most interested members and the Historian lost one of her most earnest helpers. He was the genial host at our 2nd and 3rd Jenks reunions of 1912 and 1913, held in the house where he was born and where he died. His childhood and youth was spent with his parents and sisters on the farm now owned by his brother-in-law, Stephen Wright. Then they bought and moved into the old Jenks home where the rest of his life was spent.


Uncle Willy, holding the horses’s reins in front of the Jenks’ place

At the time of his death he was Worthy Master of Redford Lodge, No 152, and left a record to be proud of in the history of Masonry. His great grandfather, a Mr Lee [ed note: William Lee], who was raised in the state of New York, died an honored member of the craft, June 1, 1840. His grandfather, Horatio Lee, a member of Redford Lodge, died February 15, 1869, and his father, Charles N Lee, also a member of Redford Lodge, died October 23, 1905, making four generations to belong to that body and three of them members of Redford Lodge at the time of death. His brother Masons took charge of the funeral services and he was laid to rest with highest Masonic honors in Southfield Cemetery, August 1, 1917.

Eva Seymore Jenks, The Reunion Papers of the Jenks Family, 1918.


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Happy 93rd Anniversary, Cousin Roy and Evelyn!

It was 93 years ago today, 14 June 1926, that my grandfather’s cousin, Roy Thomas Churches married Evelyn Harriet Lockwood in downtown Farmington.   Roy would have been my first cousin, twice removed.

Roy Thomas Churches was born 15 October 1901 to Robert Richard Churches and Hannah Almira Lee.  On that same day, his twin brother, Raymond Charles Churches was also born.  Evelyn Harriet Lockwood was born on 7 July 1907 to Everett Lockwood and Grace Johnson. Both were born in Southfield, Oakland County, Michigan.  Children of this marriage included: Peggy Joyce (1929), Robert Lowell (1931), and Richard Lee (1934)

An account of the wedding was given at the 1926 Jenks Family reunion:

At Farmington, Michigan, June 14th, 1926, by the Rev Mr. Dunlavy of the M. E. [Methodist Episcopal] Church, Miss Evelyn Lockwood and Mr. Roy T. Churches were united in marriage. They were attended by Miss Evelyn Fell of Detroit and Mr. Lawton Huston of Southfield. The bride was attired all in dainty white, the bridal gown being of beaded white satin. The bridesmaid was dressed in a pink gown with hat to match. The bride and groom are both of Southfield where they have a large circle of friends.

The Reunion Papers of the Jenks Family – Eva Seymour Jenks (Notes on the 1926 reunion)

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Shared birthday of two 4 times great grandfathers!!!

11 June marks the anniversary of the birth of two of my 4 times great grandfathers.  Simeon Botsford was born 11 June 1763 in Derby, New Haven, Connecticut to John and Dorcus Warren Botsford.   Laban Jenks was born 11 June 1772 in Smithfield, Rhode Island to Jesse and Mary Smith Jenks.  Laban’s son, Morris, married Simeon’s daughter, Almira, on 20 November 1828, in Bloomfield, Oakland County, Michigan, where both families had migrated.

In the list of Connecticut Revolutionary Pensioners, p24, appears “Botsford, Simeon, wid. Esther, R 1051. The widows claim for pension was rejected on technical grounds. This implies Simeon served in the Revolutionary Army from Connecticut — he would have been just 16 when the war began.”

Michigan Pioneer Records (from the Archives of Michigan Database), Pioneer Record 85:

Botsford, Simeon 1763-1831
m 1792 Esther Clark

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

And as for Grandfather Jenks :

The Jenks Family of America – William B. Browne

They lived for a time in Adams, Mass, but in 1805 they were at Tioga County, in the Newark Valley, NY, members of the Mass syndicate that bought townships in this region. On November 10, 1821, they moved to Bloomfield Township, Oakland County, MI, where they stayed with Daniel Balls for ten days. Laban purchased the north east square in Section 34 and built a log house, the first west of the River Rouge.

While in NY, Laban was Captain and then Lieut. Col of the Militia in Tioga, Co.

He was a high Mason and took a leading part in organizing lodges throughout the state of Michigan where he and his family were highly respected.

(Two brothers, Laban and Elisha Jenks, and Michael Jenks, a cousin of these, all from Worcester, Mass, settled early on Owego Creek, near Speedsville, and their descendants were once numerous, and, of whom, some remain in town. They probably arrived here about 1800. Samuel Jenks of the same stock came in the year after the Humphreys (1814). Laban Jenks settled first below Speedsville on the Berkshire side of the creek. This land he traded for 400 acres covering most of the site of Speedsville. There he opened a little store and began to barter with those around him, thus gathering a little hamlet which was called Jenksville. Mr Jenks had a large family of boys. He removed to Michigan about 1825.

Laban Jenks, assessor, first town meeting of Caroline, April, 1811 – “Landmarks of Tompkins County, NY” edited by John H. Selkreg, p 283).

And, with regard to Grandfather’s service in the War of 1812

From: Military Minutes of the Council of Appointment of the State of New York, 1783 – 1821, Vol I, pp 773-774:

Tioga County

The brigade of militia in the county of Tioga:

William Scott, captain; Laban Jenks, lieutenant; Jasper Taylor, ensign — of a new company.

pp 1163-1164:

Tioga and Broom Counties:

Artillery Company – first battalion, Sixth regiment:

Laban Jenks, captain; James Baird, lieutenant, John Mulks, ensign.

Grandfather Botsford passed away 10 August 1831.  Grandfather Jenks passed away 15 Septemer 1829.  Both in Oakland County, Michigan.

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Remembering GGG Granduncle Richard Lee



Richard Lee 1808 – 1878

My Uncle Richard Lee was born 3 March 1808 in West Bloomfield, Ontario County, New York, to William and Mary Summers Lee.  For the longest time the only information I had about him was the entry in the Lee Family Bible provided by my cousin in Chicago.  It was all he knew as well.  Then, out of the blue, one day in March, 1999, I received a phone call from California.  The caller identified herself as my cousin, descendant of Richard Lee.   Well, the emails started to fly with exchange of information about Richard and his wife, Cordelia Noble, who were married on 3 November 1981 in what would become Canton, Wayne County, Michigan.  Needless to say, I immediately looped in our cousin in Chicago who was totally amazed that I had encountered a descendant of Richard.  I credit my early web site and yahoo and google search engines plus some well placed genealogy inquiries on search pages.

Anyway, Richard and Cordelia made their way west toward Utah, overshot by a bit, and settled in Davis Creek, Modoc County, California.  In all, they were the parents of 5 sons, all born in Michigan, prior to the trek west: Richard Henry (1842), Rollin Harvey (1844), Lucian Noble (1847), Ossian Jerome (1849), and Theodore Tasso (1857).

Richard died 9 June 1878 in Medoc Co, California where he was laid to rest.  Cordelia followed 12 years later and was buried next to him.


An honest man is the nobelest work of God




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Memories of Grandpa Lee’s Aunt Myra

My grandfather’s Aunt Myra, his mother’s sister, Hannah Almira Lee Churches, was born 4 December 1864, in Southfield, Michigan.  On 26 March 1891, in Pontiac, Michigan, she married Robert Richard Churches.  Five and a half years later, her younger sister, Ora, would marry Robert’s younger brother, George.   Aunt Myra and Uncle Robert had 6 children: Hazel (1897), Roy Thomas (1901), Raymond Charles (1901) [twin brother of Roy], a baby that died soon after birth in 1902, Ivan Lee (1905), and Esther Harriett (1907).   Uncle Robert died 5 May 1952.  Aunt Myra died 10 June 1954.  Both in Southfield; both buried in the Southfield Cemetery along with the child that died in 1902.


Hannah Almira Lee Churches 1864-1954

Now, I never met Aunt Myra.  But I have a very early memory tied to her.   I was only 4 ½ years old when she died.  I remember going to my grandparents house and piling into their car with my mother and brother and heading out to the country [Southfield was considered the country in 1954].  We were going to pay our respects to Aunt Myra.  She was laid out in the living room of the family home.  [This is the memory part].  A coffin in the living room obviously left a lasting impression on a 4 ½ year old!  The was still a common practice in the mid 1950s in the country.   And the Southfield Cemetery was a small country cemetery even though it is currently surrounded by high rise buildings.


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