Happy 164th Birthday, Cousin Arley


Albert Arlington and Nellie White Jenks

My first cousin, 3 times removed, Albert Arlington Jenks, called Arley, was born on 2 August 1856, in Southfield, Oakland County, Michigan, to Leman Case and Lydia Sickner Jenks.  Arley was their only child as his mother, Lydia died two months later.   His father, Leman, married Emily Hunderford in December 1869.  They had no children and she passed away in July 1863.  Leman married a third time to Lucinda Crandle in March of 1865 which provided Arley with three siblings.

On 26 January 1884, in Springwells, Wayne County, Michigan, Arley married Elizabeth Jane (Lizzie) Varnham, the daughter of William and Harriet Hollis Varnham.  The couple were the parents of seven children: Lydia Mabel (1885), Albert Louis (1887), Russell Edgar (1889), Baby Girl (1891-1891), Euphie Gertrude (1896), Elmer Sinknor (1899), and Harriet Lucinda (1903).  Lizzie died on 31 March 1906.  Arlie then married Kittie Lorain Chapman, the daughter of Albert L and Mary Bramble Chapman, on 30 December 1907 in Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan.  Kittie passed away on 7 March 1916.  Arley then married Nellie White, daughter of John and Anna Patterson White on 9 August 1920.

Reporting on this last marriage in The Reunions of the Jenks Family of Oakland County, Michigan – 1911 – 1927, by Evelyn Seymour Jenks, p 65

“At Highland Park, Michigan, August 9, 1920, by the Rev William Coltman, Miss Nellie White of Detroit, Michigan, to Mr. Arlington A. Jenks of Southfield. After a short wedding trip to Port Huron and Huron Beach, the happy couple returned to meet with us today at the grand Jenks Reunion.”

Arley passed away in 1929 and was interred with so many of the Jenks ancestors in the Southfield Cemetery, Southfield, Oakland County, Michigan.



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Happy 115th Birthday, Cousin Ivan!


The Churches Brothers — Ivan, the youngest, in the middle

My first cousin, twice removed, Ivan Lee Churches, was born 115 years ago on 31 July 1905, to Robert Richard and Hannah Almira Lee Churches.   Ivan was the youngest son of Robert and Myra Churches.


On 4 December 1928, Ivan married Helen Hazel Decker, daughter of Lester and Mable Durant Decker.  I have found no record that the couple had any children.   Ivan passed away on 2 August 1976 in Grand Blanc, Genesee, Michigan.  Helen survived him and then joined him on 22 January 1992.  Both are interred at the Brookside Cemetery in West Branch, Ogemaw, Michigan.


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Happy 223rd Birthday, Aunt Esther!

My Great Great Great Grandaunt, Esther Botsford was born 223 years ago in Salisbury, Connecticut, to Simeon and Esther Clark Botsford, my Great Great Great Great Grandparents.  Simeon was the ½ brother of Lemuel Botsford, the father of Milton Clarence Botsford [The Botsford Inn and Clarenceville renoun).

Aunt Esther was the third in birth order and the older sister of my Great Great Great Grandmother Almira Botsford who would late marry Morris Jenks.    Along with the rest of her family, 2 parents and 11 children, the migration to Oakland Country, Michigan took place in the early 1820s.  Esther married Martin Shepherd on 23 August 1828 in Oakland County.  The pair were the parents of four children, all born in Oakland County: Orden (1829), Emily (1831), Sidney (abt 1832), and Carlos (abt 1833).    Aunt Esther died in 1873 in Southfield, Oakland County, Michigan, and is buried in the Southfield Cemetery there.

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Happy 203rd Birthday, Aunt Cousin Mary!

203 years ago, 21 July 1817, in Caledonia, Michigan, my first cousin, 4 times removed, Mary Amanda Park, was born to Joseph and Lucy Jenks Park.  Lucy being the daughter of my Great Great Great Great Grandparents, Laban and Prudence White Jenks.   That explains Mary being my cousin.  Well, on 25 February 1836, Mary was wed to my Great Great Great Granduncle, Levi W. Botsford, the son of my Great Great Great Great Grandparents, Simeon and Esther Clark Botsford, and the brother of my GGG Grandmother, Almira Botsford who married Morris Jenks, Lucy’s brother.  Confused yet?  So, cousin Mary became Aunt Mary!  Sometime between their marriage in Oakland County, Michigan and the birth of their second child, the family removed to Recine, Wisconsin.

Mary and Levi were the parents of 6 children: Marion Iona (1838), Emily Amelia (1840), Edwin P. (1842), Charles Elmer (1852), Oliver F. (1855), and Fred Herbert (1858).  With the huge gap between Edwin and Charles, there is a probability  that there may have been other children that did not survive.

Mary passed away on 3 October 1885, and was interred at Mound Cemetery in Racine, Wisconsin.  Uncle Levi lived an additional 14 years and is interred beside her.



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Happy 191st Birthday, Cousin Permelia!

My second cousin, 4 times removed, Permelia [in the list of names I wonder where they came from] Jenks was born 191 years ago in Franklin County, Indiana, on 18 July 1829, to Gideon and Sarah Shaw Jenks.

In the 1950 publication, The Jenks Family of America by William B. Brown, p 251, there seems to be a denial of Permelia’s name as it is recorded as Pamela.  Now, the Browne compilation of the family history is a work to be in every descendant genealogist’s library; it is also to be taken with a few grains of salt as there are no source citations in the huge volume.   I have been fortunate enough to be in contact with cousins that have supplied me with the information that was submitted to Browne and I know of the inaccuracies in those communications.

I have found Permelia listed multiply in the U.S. Population Census with that spelling.  Never once have I seen her listed as Pamela.  Her headstone in Conwell Cemetery, Laurel, Franklin, Indiana, is engraved as Permelia.  I am going to conclude the name Parmelia was strange  70 years ago when Browne was compiling that history.  Of course, the surname was being modified to one of the many versions – Jinks in this case.  Cousin Permelia was only 27 when she died on 12 April 1856.


And, with all my cousins names that fall into the What Were They Thinking, I had to Google to see if anything might shed some light:

“From Latin, meaning “by sweetness”. Another form is Parmelia. Some sources give it as a form of Pamela [so the Browne manipulation was not far off]; others as an “American invention”. It appears fairly often in American colonial and 19th century records, but seems to have dropped out of sight in the 20th century.”

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Happy 178th Birthday, Aunt Lue!

Lucinda Crandle, the third wife of my great great granduncle, Leman Case Jenks, was born 178 years ago on 17 July 1842 in Humphrey, Cattaraugus, New York, to Jerimiah and Hannah Marsh Crandle.  In 1860, Aunt Lue was living in Hamburg, Erie, New York, with her uncle and aunt, Henry and Rhoda Marsh as a servent.  This did not last a long time as by 23 March 1865, she was in Southfield, Oakland County, Michigan marrying Uncle Leman.  Uncle Leman and Aunt Lue had 3 children: Justin Rosenthral (1868), Anna May (1872), and Emma Alice (1878).  This was in addition to parenting Albert Arlington (1856), Uncle Leman’s son by his first wife.

Aunt Lue was a favorite of the Jenks Family Historian, Evelyn Seymour Jenks and she wrote a great deal about her in The Reunions of the Jenks Family of Oakland County, Michigan – 1911-1927, Evelyn Sermour Jenks, pp 199-204:

“The bride herself described her wedding as taking place at he home of the Rev. Mr. Thorley (now the home of Charles Bilkosky). Mr. Thorley was a farmer as well as a preacher and was outdoors when they arrived, and the one that went to call him in had to stand on the fence as the water was so high around there. Mrs. Thorley started a fire in the parlor and Tom Thorley and one of his sisters hurriedly dressed up and stood up with them. The bride, herself, was dressed in a gray wool skirt and a pink merino waist trimmed with black velvet collar and cuffs – which was all the style in 1865. Their wedding picture shows him a very satisfied, happy looking bridegroom and she a most demure and sweet looking little bride, and that sweetness stayed with her all her life.”

“Of dear Aunt Lue, I must say I never saw a quicker witted person for getting or helping others out of tight places. I remember one time I had a house full of unexpected company, she was one of them, and she went to the kitchen with me to help get supper. I had the kettle on, potatoes frying and started to set the table when I made the startling discovery that I did not have enough bread to go round. I was just floored, and said, “my goodness, Lue, I haven’t got half enough bread, what in the world shall I do?” Quick as a flash she says, “whack up some biscuits and I will set the table.” Well, she set and I whacked and the biscuits were ready with the rest of the supper and cousin Hattie McCloskey says, “when in world did you make these biscuits? They are the best I ever ate.” All the rest praised them up so that I whacked up some more, a day or two later, and took them to the Redford Fair, and got first premium. So, I guess they are better whacked up then puttered with. I remember at that memorable supper, there were Hattie and May McCloskey and May’s little girls, Ethel and Hattie, Uncle Leman, Aunt Lue, Justin, Anna, and Emma, Oliver, Seymour, and myself. One other time, Aunt Lue piloted your old Auntie to the safety zone. It was the first time I ever went to Anna Hodges’. Justin took Aunt Lue and I to Redford in the buggy. We took the street car from there to Orchard Lake where we had to wait for an hour for a train to New Hudson. It was nearly dark and no one around, but the ticket agent and he locked his office, shut up the stove, and left. It was very cold and in a minute Aunt Lue says, “Maybe he thinks we are going to freeze , but I don’t.” And she opened up the drafts and we got good and warm before the train came. When we got off at New Hudson, it was dark as a pocket except for a couple of lanterns. And no one to meet us. It looked like the jumping off place to me and I didn’t know which way to turn. Aunt Lue did. And she told the lady postman, if she would let her put our suitcases in the mail cart, she would help wheel it to the office. So they started ahead with cart and lantern and I brought up in the rear, stopping every few steps to pull on my rubbers that the muddy path was bound to swipe off my feet. We got up to town all right, went into a store, Aunt Lue called up Anna, and we rested till they came for us. They had been to meet an earlier train, but not knowing I was coming, did not look for her on evening train.”

“One time someone let Aunt Lue know there was to be a surprise on them. She did not want to spoil the surprise, so the woman folks were all very busy sewing carpet rags, when the crowd arrived and thought they had surprised them for keeps – they did in a fine way for they presented them with a nice big rocking chair. Once, when Anna Hodges was very sick, her mother spent several weeks with her, and whenever the folks from home came out they brought her extra clothes. When she came to go home on the train, she had more clothes than her suitcase would hold. Twas a poser for so me, but Aunt Lue always had her thinker along, so she put on five petticoats and dress skirts under her dress and wore them all home. Dear Aunt Lue always busy, always helping someone else. I remember going to see her once, I went into the kitchen door and followed Hattie into the front room. Aunt Lue was sitting in the corner, behind the stove, busily pealing potatoes, singing, and rocking baby Amy. She did not see me until I stood before her and she was so surprised she says. “Oh, good-bye.” As old Laddie dog had nipped my heels when I came in, I told her I guessed I ‘d better go while the going was good. We often laughed over my funny reception. Oh many, many happy and many sad hours Aunt Lue and I have passed together. She was always ready to help care for the sick and tenderly nursed her beloved husband through his fated illness. Her own death, April 11, 1916, was a great shock to me. I had not even heard of her sickness. Her son, Justin, was very, very sick and I had word that he was not expected to live and when a long distance call came, I expected to hear that he had passed away, but, they said, no, it is Aunt Lue. I was shocked and surprised, and yet how glad I was to know that her sufferings were short and that she passed on while sleeping.”


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Happy 133rd Birthday, Cousin Albert!


Albert Louis Jenks, DPD


My second cousin, twice removed, Albert Louis Jenks, was born 133 years ago on 14 July 1887, to Albert Arington and Elizabeth Jane Varnham Jenks.    Albert was the second of seven children.   On 8 July 1909, Albert married Ethel Louise Ferrington in Farmington, Oakland County, Michigan.   They were the parents of four: Arlington John (1911), Evelyn Bernice (1913), Walter Albert (1915), and Winona Elizabeth (1917).

As recorded on page 205 of The Reunions of the Jenks Family of Oakland County, Michigan – 1911-1927, by Evelyn Seymour Jenks:

“Albert Arlington Jenks, Jr., [not sure why Aunt Eva changed his name, but all of the legal documents, including his birth records show it as Albert Louis] was born July 14, 1887, was married September 21, 1907 [according to the Michigan Marriage Records, the date 8 July 1909 is the correct date], to Miss Ethel Ferrington of Redford. Their family consisted of four children, Arlington John – born July 9, 1911, named after his two grandfathers, and a month old at the time of the first Jenks reunion.

“Evelyn Bernice was born January 18, 1913, and was reunion baby at our 2nd reunion [ed note: possibly the third] held at Aunt Esther Jenks Lee’s. Walter Albert, called Dick for short [strange nickname ?], born April 24, 1915 was reunion baby at Robert Churches – 1915, and Wenona Elizabeth, the youngest, was born March 15, 1917. Albert, or Al as he is called, followed in his father’s footsteps and for years has been on the Detroit Police force. But, by some oversight, I have no knowledge of their place of residence, only Detroit, Michigan, neither street or number.”

Albert was on the Detroit Police force and also had a farm in Oakland County where he retired.   Albert died in the township of Union Lake, Oakland County, Michigan on 13 October 1957.  His wife, Ethel, survived him until 4 March 1968.  Both are buried with family members dating back to his great grandfather, Morris Jenks, in the Southfield Cemetery, Southfield, Oakland County, Michigan.

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It’s the 441st Anniversary of my 10th Great Grandparents’ Marriage!

On 13 July 1579, in Staplehurst, England, Thomas Usborne, son of Thomas and Ann Bridgeland, daughter of Peter and Alice Maskall Bridgeland, were wed.  The couple lived and died in Staplehurst; but their children did not.   Speaking their children they had 14: Thomas (1580), Walter(1582), Peter (1584-1586), Alice (1586), Anne (1588), Boy Child (1589-1589), Susan (1591-1591), Susan (1593), Sara (1595), Elizabeth (1597) [my 9th great grandmother], Mary (1599), Peter (1601), Robert (1602), and William (1605)!

Thomas and Ann both died in 1612.   Their daughter, Elizabeth, married Abraham Cruttenden.  They migrated to North America where they settled in Guilford, Connecticut.  The couple appear to be directly responsible for the Cruttenden & Crittenden families up and down the eastern seaboard of the United States and Canada.

This is part of the ancestral line of my Lee family.

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Happy 201st Anniversary, Cousin Cal and Ellen!

201 years ago on 11 July 1819, my first cousin, five times removed, Calvin Jenks, the son of Elisha and Anna King Jenks, married Annis Ellen Brown, the daughter of David and Polly Jennison Brown.  The two were residents of Jenksville, New York, where they raised their brood of 12 children: David Brown (1820, Emily Castella (1823), Mary Ann (1825-1825), Mary Jane (1826), Stillman Leek (1828), Susan Adelia (1830), Orpha Louise (1832), Anson Brown (1834), Nathaniel Jennison (1837), Francis Marion (1839), Franklin Adelbert (1843), and Persis Marie (1844)!

Ellen predeceased Calvin on 15 July 1869.  He passed away on 3 March 1886.  Both in Jenksville.  Both laid to rest in the Glen Hope Cemetery in Jenksville, right across the street from my 4 times great grandfather’s farm house built in 1795.

annis a jenks - glen hope, jenksville, ny

Jenks Monument in Glen Hope Cemetery

Monument is engraved on one side for Annis, on another for Calvin.

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Happy 132nd Birthday, Cousin Chester!

On 10 July 1888, in Rendville, Perry County, Ohio, my first cousin, twice removed, Chester Lewis Weaver, was born to Charles Louis and Anna Knaisch [Nash] Weaver.  By 1910, Chester was working as a Drygoods salesman and living in Columbus with his widowed aunt, Christina Weaver Rinehart.  on, 19 April 1918, Chester wed Lucille Rinehart, daughter of John Cyrus and Emma May Adams Rinehart (I have not found the relationship between Lucille and Aunt Teen’s late husband’s family).  By 1920, the couple were living in an apartment building on High Street in Detroit and Chester was a Railroad inspector and the proud father of 11 month old Louis.  By 1930, the family had moved to an apartment on Forest Street, still in Detroit.  Louis is now 11 years old and Lucille’s mother, May Rinehart is also living with them.  Chester is listed as a Damage Supervisor for Grand Trunk Railroad.  In 1940, they have moved to a single family home, still on Forest (the move occurred before 1935) and both son, Louis, and Lucille’s mother, May are still with them.  Chester is simplified back to a supervisor at the Railroad company.

Chester passed away on 28 February 1966 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and is buried in White Chapel Memorial Park in Troy, Oakland County, Michigan.  Lucille survived him until 1975 and is buried along side him at White Chapel.

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