Life was hard for early settlers …

My 11th great grandfather, Edward Fuller, is reported to have died shortly after this date, 11 January, in 1621.  Having arrived with the first sailing of the Mayflower with his wife and 12 year old son, Samuel (my 10 times great grandfather).   Edward did not survive that first hard winter.  It is also reported that his wife also died in this same time line.   Edward was one of those who signed the Mayflower Compact of 11 November 1620.



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Still miss you, Grandpa Lee!

lee weaver1942

Lee Norton Goodliff Weaver (1893-1970)

Lee Norton Goodliff Weaver was born May 15, 1893, in Columbus, Ohio, to Lemuel and Effie Lee Weaver.   It did not take long after starting school that he would forever drop the use of the first of his middle names and become simply Lee Goodliff Weaver [something about being called Lee No Good Weaver by classmates was the factor in this decision].  Lee would grow up around the family homestead in Southfield, Michigan, and for a time his family lived with his maternal grandparents, Charles Norton and Esther Jenks Lee in the house built by her father, Morris Jenks.  [Goodliff was the name of his paternal grandfather, Goodliff Weaver] The Weaver family eventually built a home on Tireman at the corner of Scotten in Detroit.  At the age of 12, Lee was reported to have purchased the lot next door to the one purchased by his parents.

Lee would marry Florence Koontz on April 27, 1918, also in Columbus, but the young couple settled in Lee’s home in Detroit, Michigan.  The Weaver home on Tireman was a duplex and Lee and Florence lived in the upper unit there until 1929.   Both of the Weaver daughters were born in that home.

Grandpa was called Grandpa Lee not Grandpa Weaver, at the insistence of Grandma Florence.  When my older cousin was born she defined that she was to be Grandma Florence, NOT Grandma Weaver.  Grandma Weaver was her mother-in-law and she really did not care for her at all.  So, to follow suit, Grandpa was Grandpa Lee.

Grandpa was a great friend and grandfather.   Whether it was taking the whole family to the Masonic Temple in Detroit to watch first run movies in the Consistory Auditorium (a perk of Grandpa being a 32nd degree mason), flashing his Consistory ring in the eye of a policeman that pulled him over for speeding (the diamond was quite flashy) to let him know he was a high degree Brother Mason, or just taking his four grandsons to Camp Dearborn for the day whenever the Eastern Star had a card party and the boys needed to be “supervised”, or teaching us the fine art of poker when he was watching the boys during the evening when he had a chance, Grandpa was the best.

I still remember by last visit with Grandpa.  My mother kept trying to get him to tell me good bye since I would be going back to college the next day.  Grandpa refused, saying, that he wouldn’t do it because he was never going to see me again.   He died a couple of days later on January 10, 1970.


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Uncle Norman (1811-1885)



Norman Lee, my 4th great uncle, passed away 134 years ago on 5 January 1885 in Mason, Ingham County, Michigan.  Uncle Norman was born 28 November 1811, in West Bloomfield, Ontario County, New York to William and Mary Summers Lee.  With his parents he migrated to Oakland County Michigan in the early 1820s.  In the  1850 Products of Agriculture Census – Town of Farmington:
Acres (I) 55
Acres (U) 25
Land Value $2,000
Livestock Value $200

The 1857 Plat Map Transcription for Farmington Twp, Oakland County, MI, states Norman Lee owned 80 acres in section 30 of that Township.

Uncle Norman never married.  He was laid to rest next to his parents in the Quaker Cemetery in Farmington, Michigan [headstones recently restored]:


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Remembering 8 times great grandfather, Joseph Jenks, Jr.

302 years ago, 4 January 1717, my 8 times great , Joseph Jenks, Jr. died in Pawtucket, Providence County, Rhode Island.  He was English born in 1627 and joined his father, Joseph Jenks, Sr. (the inventor) in Saugus, Massachusetts, at the Iron Works.  He married Esther Ballard in 1655.  The couple had 18!! children: Daniel, Mary, Joseph III (1656), Elizabeth (1658), Sarah (1660), Lemuel (1661), Nathaniel (1662), James Varnum (1663), Esther (1664), Eliza (1665), Mary (1666), George Foster (1667), Ebenezer (1668), William Thompson (1669), Albert Carlysle (1671), Joanna (1672), William (1674) [my 7 times great grandfather), and Abigail (1676).

From the History of Pawtucket, RI

“Joseph Jenks, Jr. is noted as the founder of Pawtucket. He was a young ironworker, born in England, who had come to America to join his father. Joseph Jenks, Sr. had organized and operated the first American iron works at Saugus, Massachusetts. In 1670, young Joseph left Saugus intending to settle in Warwick, Rhode Island on the “Pawtuxet” River. It is not certain just how he learned of the more powerful “Pawtucket” Falls on the Blackstone River, but with a readily available supply of timber and near by bog iron ore, it was the ideal place to build his forge.

This area was still wilderness then. It was the northern boundary of Roger Williams’ settlement of Providence, but had remained quiet woodland and fertile flood plains. On October 10, 1671, Joseph Jenks, Jr. purchased 60 acres of land on the west bank of the Blackstone River. This transaction marks the establishment of the first permanent settlement of Pawtucket.

The King Philip War

The small Jenks settlement was burned to the ground in 1675 during the King Philip War. The Indians of the New England region had been feeling the expanding power and presence of the English colonists. Massasoit, the Wampanoag chieftain, had managed to maintain friendly relations with the colonists. He dies in 1660, and in 1662 was succeeded by his son, Metacomet, also known as King Philip. The Wampanoags nursed an increasingly hostile attitude toward the white men. In 1675, after a series of aggravations, the Indians finally attacked. Many colonial towns were either wholly or partly destroyed during the war which finally ended in August 1676, when King Philip was killed. The results of the conflict were disastrous for everyone and almost fatal for the Indians, who would never regain their strength in southeastern New England.

The Jenks forge was rebuilt when the King Philip war ended, and soon there was a small village clustered near the Pawtucket Falls. It included several stone-ended dwellings, the forge, the foundry, a gristmill, and sawmill. Despite the small size of the village, it was an important center for iron products such as farm tools and housewares that were vital to the survival of early settlers.”

As a side note, while residing in Saugus, Grandmother Esther was presented at the Quarterly Court, in 1652, for wearing silver lace and fined for this practice.  Come on folks, 18 children, wasn’t she entitled to a bit of fancy just for her?

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Happy 227th Anniversary, Grandfather and Grandmother Botsford!🥂

It was 3 January 1792, in Stockbridge, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, that my 4 times great grandparents, Simeon Botsford and Esther Clark married.  Simeon was born 11 June 1763 in Derby, New Haven County, Connecticut, to John and Dorcas Warren Botsford.  Esther was born 19 September 1771.  The couple had 11 children! 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).  All children were born in Salisbury, Connecticut, prior to the family migration to Oakland County, Michigan.  My 3 times great grandmother, Almira Botsford, married Morris Jenks in Bloomfield, Oakland County, Michigan, on 20 November 1828.

Grandfather Simeon’s nephew, Milton Clarence Botsford (called Clarence) , purchased the coach stop on the road from Detroit to Lansing which he renamed the Botsford Inn in 1847.  The Inn is a historical preservation site.  The town of Clarenceville, Wayne County, Michigan, was named for him.

Simeon Botsford died in Southfield, Oakland County, Michigan, on 10 August 1831.  Esther Clark Botsford followed him in death on 21 November 1855, also in Southfield.

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Happy 157th Anniversary,Grandma and Grandpa Gardner!

On January 1, 1862, in Hartford, Connecticut, my great, great grandparents, William G. Gardner and Mary Ann Cummings were married.  This was the second of four marriages for Grandpa Gardner, born Wilhelm Gotthartd Gaertnter in Kleiningersheim, Württemburg on  10 March 1833 to Alexander Gaertner and Christina Regina Bauer.   He emigrated from his hometown, receiving permission to leave, in June of 1854 and arrived in New York City later that year.  He settled in Connecticut.  His first wife, Louise Kohler (married 3 July 1860) bore his his first child, William Fritz Gardner (6 May 1961), but would also bring about the death of Louise on 18 May 1861.

Grandpa and Grandma Gardner had four daughter:  Phebie Ann (1862) [my great grandmother], Sophie J. (1866), Nellie Marie (1871), and Carrie (1881).  As an explanation of the gap between the birth of great grandmother Phebie and her sister, Grandpa Gardner was serving in the Connecticut Troops of the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was at the Battle of Vicksburgh.

On 22 March 1866, Grandpa Gardner applied for U.S. Citizenship in the Superior Court, Bridgeport, Connecticut.  Soon after the birth of fourth daughter, Carrie, the family removed to Ligonier, Indiana.  It is there on 28 February 1889, Grandma Gardner passed away.   Grandpa went on to marry and divorce wife number 3, Mary McConnell and then marry wife number 4, Margaret “Jennie” Broderick Boyd.  Grandpa Gardner passed way 5 February 1913.


William G Gardner

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163 Years Ago, Charles Norton Lee and Esther Jenks were married.


Esther Jenks Lee, Charles Norton Lee with twin grandsons, Roy and Ray Churches, Hannah Almira Lee Churches behind.

On Christmas Day, 1855, my great, great grandparents,  Charles Norton Lee and Esther Jenks, were married in the the home of her parent, Morris and Almira Botsford Jenks, in Southfield, Oakland County, Michigan.   Charles (13 March 1833 – 23 October 1905) was the son of Horatio and Hannah Munn Lee.  Esther (24 October 1832 – 10 February 1918) was born and lived her entire life in Southfield, Michigan.  She and Grandfather Lee had six children: Emmer (1856), Effie Clarissa (1859) [my great grandmother], Lewellyn (1862), Hannah Almira (1864), Marietta (1870), and Ora (1874).  Both Grandparents are buried in the Southfield Cemetery.

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