Happy Birthday, 3 Times Great Grandmother! ūüéā



Almira Botsford Jenks

Almira Botsford was born 211 years ago (1807) in Salisbury, Connecticut, the daughter of Simeon and Esther Clark Botsford.¬† With her parents, she migrated to Oakland County, Michigan, where she married Morris Jenks on 20 November 1828 in Bloomfield Twp, Oakland County, Michigan.¬† ¬† The pair had four children: Leman Case, Esther, Oliver Torrey, and Minerva Jenks.¬† In 1851 they build the family home in Southfield Twp., Oakland County, Michigan.¬† GGG Grandmother Almira died 6 March 1883, a little over 6 years after Morris’ death.

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Celebration of the marriage of 7 times great grandparents and remembrance of 4 times great grandmother.

It was 288 years ago (1730) that 7 times great grandparents Joseph Lee and Lois Pond were wed.  Their daughter Miriam married Mark Hotchkiss whose daughter married William Lee, her second cousin, once removed.  And that is why my Lee lineage is a tangle of  roots instead of stately branches.  On the up side, they left all kinds of documentation so I can follow them!

It was also 183 years ago (1835) that my fourth great grandmother, Prudence White Jenks passed away in Oakland County Michigan.


The headstone of Laban and Prudence White Jenks

Grandmother Prudence is buried in the Roseland Park Cemetery in Berkley, Oakland County, Michigan, along with her husband, Laban Jenks (a War of 1812 Veteran).   But this is not where the two were originally interred.   Both were interred and the stone was originally set at the Gilbert Lake Burial Ground in Oakland County.   In the early 1920s, all of the interred were removed to other cemeteries to make way for a urban developers.   I have a write up from my GG Grand Aunt, Eva Seymour Jenks, who reported to the Jenks Family Reunion on the re-interment of the Jenks Ancestors.

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Way to confuse the tree !

Today, 187 years ago, my 3 times great grandparents, Peter Koontz and Elizabeth Derr were married in Stark County, Ohio.¬† They had two children, Caroline and Ezra Peter (1832).¬† I have not found a record of their divorce, but GGG Grandmother appears to be married to Peter Rudolph in time to have a third child, Gertrude (1852).¬† Now GGG Grandfather’s death record shows he was still with us until 1882, so …

The complication / confusion then centers around the descendants of the three children of Elizabeth Derr.¬† Ezra Peter’s son, Casmear had a daughter , Essie.¬† Gertrude married Louis Spuhler and they had a son, Harold Rudolph.¬† You guessed it.¬† Aunt Essie and Uncle Harold married.¬† The two were first cousins, once removed.¬† Based on my research, the families were quite close and Essie and her sisters were frequent guests in the Spuhler home.¬† ¬† Newspapers were quite willing to report the smallest of things, including the trips taken by various persons to visit relatives in near and distant towns.¬† This has provided a great background for Essie and Harold’s courtship.¬† ¬† ¬†It was further complicated by it being Aunt Essie’s second marriage and the bulk of the visits were after her divorce and it really appears she was accompanied to the Spuhler’s by her sister to make sure everything was “proper”.¬† To keep the gene pool clear, there were no children of this union.

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Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, Gro√ümutter

Well, actually, 3 times great grandmother.¬† ¬†Today, 232 years ago (1786) in Pleidelsheim, W√ľrttemberg, Christiana Regina Bauer was born.¬† She married Alexander G√§rtner on 24 November 1813, in Kleiningersheim.¬† With the great assistance of the LDS church I have found the Church records of their marriage, their births, and the births of all of their children.¬† Their children include my most recent immigrant ancestor, Wilhelm Gotthardt G√§rtner who changed his name to William G. Gardner when he joined the Union Army during the American Civil War.¬† The family lore was that Grandpa Gardner came to America because he was the 7th son and there was nothing for him in W√ľrttemberg being so low in the birth order.¬† ¬†Again, I was able to confirm that he was indeed the 7th son using the church records of the Evangelish, Kleiningersheim, W√ľrttemberg that were filmed and preserved by the LDS church.¬† So a special thank to the churches of W√ľrttemberg for keeping such great records and to the LDS Church for filming and preserving those records!¬† And Happy Birthday, Gro√ümutter Regina!

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Big Birthday Celebrations ūüéā

Today marks the the birthdays of TWO of my four times great grandfathers.   Both born on 11 June, different years.

Simeon Botsford was born 255 years ago (1763) in Derby, Connecticut.¬† He married Esther Clark and they removed to Oakland County, Michigan.¬† Their daughter, Almira Botsford, married Morris Jenks.¬† Simeon’s father was John Botsford, a Private in Capt. Samuel Peck, Jr.’s command in the American Revolutionary Army.

Laban Jenks was born 246 years ago (1772) in Smithfield, Rhode Island.  He married Prudence White and they removed to Oakland County, Michigan.   Their son, Morris Jenks, married Almira Botsford.  Laban Jenks served in Artillery Co., 1st Bat., 6th Reg., Brig. Gen. Samuel Coe’s Brigade, Tioga & Boone Co, NY, War of 1812.  He was the son of Jesse Jenks who is recognized as a Revolutionary War Patriot for supplying the troups with goods and food during the War.

In addition, 381 years ago (1637), my 9 times great grandparents, Nicholas White and Susanna Humphrey were married.  Two of their children, Elizabeth and Nicholas, Jr. would produce offspring that would eventually intermarry causing both this brother and sister to be my direct ancestor and making me my own cousin.

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Some heirlooms are living

2018-05-28 10.00.26

Not all family heirlooms are passed down in the form of silver, china, and crystal.¬† ¬†Sometimes, plants are passed from one location to another and the lineage of where they were planted goes with them.¬† ¬†That is true of the deep red peony above.¬† ¬†I remember it as being in my parents’ back yard – in the home where I was born and grew up.¬† My mother always cherished it and every year when it bloomed, it would bring a smile to her face.¬† ¬†She called it Grandma Weaver.¬† My mother had taken a cutting from the bush at her parents’ home when she and my father purchased their one and only home together.¬† ¬†I found out, my grandparents transplanted the bush from my grandfather’s mother’s home before they sold it after her death in 1945.¬† Where my great grandmother got her start on the peony bush, I am not sure.¬† ¬† Maybe, I need to skulk around at her parents’ home (yes, it is still there) and see if I see the deep red blooms.¬† I might be able to add another generation to the plant’s lineage.¬† ¬†My daughter has already made it known that she intends to take part or all of the plant when I am willing to let her.¬† ¬†And so the heirloom will continue.

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A number of months ago, I found my grandfather’s World War I draft registration on Ancestry.


I think was surprised at the misspelling of his middle name.¬† ¬†And wondered why did he not sign the form with his usual flourish signature?¬† ¬†But, was glad to find the document.¬† ¬†Then, the day before Memorial Day, 2018, I received an email from FamilySearch saying my grandfather’s World War I Draft Registration was online.¬† ¬†I almost deleted it since I already had the document.¬† ¬†But, I clicked on it and went to the actual image:


And it was a DIFFERENT document!!!!¬† Same registration number appeared on the form and it had the same date, but it was not the same document!¬† This one HAD GRANDPA’s signature!¬† I recognized that anywhere!¬† And under the marks over his name, the middle name was spelled correctly (he was named after his grandfather).¬† The City and State were printed in the first document and written on the second.¬† ¬†There was a third reason for exclusion from duty on the second document that was not on the first: rheumatism.¬† Then I notices the faint writing across the bottom of page 2 of the first document:¬† “True Copy. C.B.”¬† ¬†Well, C.B., no it is NOT!

Hay fever, asthma, and rheumatism did not get Grandpa out of serving:


(P.S.¬† the image on Ancestry is now the original, not the “True Copy”)


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