Happy 118th Birthday, Cousin Walter!


Walter Lee Wright, my first cousin, twice removed, was born 8 August 1901, in Southfield, Oakland County, Michigan, to Stephen A. D. and Marietta Lee Wright.  Marietta was the younger sister of my great grandmother, Effie Clarissa Lee Weaver.  Walter was right in the middle of the birth order of his siblings — his parents had 8 children: Estelle (1894), Mariam Mae (1896), Clare Lavern (1898), Walter, Harvie Morris (1903), Lewellyn Lee (1904), Baby Girl (1905-1905), and Esther Rebecca (1912).

Walter grew up in the ever changing township of Southfield and it grew from a collection of farms to a town.  He attended school in the township school which was no easy task as his father, Stephen A. D. Wright was the Superintendent of Schools at the time.


I have found no records of Walter ever marrying.  Cousin Walter died 12 May 1982 in Southfield, Oakland County, Michigan and was laid to rest among the family member in the Southfield Cemetery.


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Cousin Dorothy would have been 101 today!

Dorothy Jane Griste [my first cousin, once removed] was born on 7 August 1918 in Toledo, Lucas Co., Ohio, to Charles McKinley and Ethel Jeannette Koontz Griste.  Dorothy was the second child in birth order and the eldest daughter.  Her older brother, Charles Gardner (1914) who was always called Gardner was the first grandchild of C.P. and Phebie Gardner Koontz.   The younger sisters were Mary Elizabeth (1920) [always called Elizabeth], and Phyllis Ann (1923).   Dorothy and Phyllis were the only children that did not follow the German tradition of being called by their middle name.

Dorothy Jane married Dorance W. Areheart on 5 August 1939 in Columbus, Franklin Co, Ohio.   The marriage ended in divorce with no children.   Dorothy then married Luther Shira in 1952.  They later divorced.  The couple had one son, Richard Allen Shira.   Dorothy passed away on 25 June 1995 in Whitehall, Franklin Co., Ohio.

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Happy 160th Birthday, Grandma Weaver!


Effie Clarissa Lee 1859-1945

Effie Clarissa Lee, my great grandmother, was born 3 August 1859, in Southfield, Oakland County, Michigan, to Charles Norton and Esther Jenks Lee.

While on a long visit to her Aunt Minerva Jenks Bolton at Norfolk, Nebraska, she was united in marriage, August 1, 1891, to Mr Lemuel Weaver of Columbus, Ohio. The bride’s dress was of cinnamon brown albatross trimmed with braid. I believe their wedding trip was back to Michigan. They lived a few years in Ohio, but returned to Southfield, Michigan, residing for a while in the old Jenks homestead. They have one son, Lee Goodliff Weaver, born May 15, 1893,

The Reunion Papers of the Jenks Family – Eva Seymour Jenks

Grandma Weaver assisted both my aunt and mother in their school projects of creating a family tree.   These old school papers of both my aunt and mother are what I found in the attic of my grandparent when I was 12 years old and then I was hooked on family history.   Grandma Weaver was VERY PROUD that she was a LEE.  In fact, she insisted that she was a Lee of Virginia and a cousin of Robert E. Lee.   Well, it took me about 35 years to break the code and find out that Grandma Weaver just plain invented that.   She was a Lee of Connecticut!  But, then that lineage led back to 3 Revolutionary War soldiers, a War of 1812 Veteran, and 2 Mayflower passengers!  Her mother’s family, the Jenks line, flowed back to the holder of the first patent granted in North America and two different Colonial Governors and 2 Revolutionary War Soldiers.  As Sgt. Friday used to say on Dragnet, maybe Grandma should have kept “just to the facts”!

Grandma Weaver lived 16 years after Grandfather Weaver died and passed away 11 August 1945.

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Remembering 9 Times Great Grandmother Baldwin

Mary Welles, my 9 times great grandmother, was born in 1618 in Burnington, Warwickshire, England, to Thomas and Anne Tomes Welles.  The family immigrated to the American Colonies in 1635,  settling first in Boston, then moving on to Saybrook, Connecticut, in 1637.  Her father was destined to become the Colonial Governor of Connecticut.

Grandmother married Timothy Baldwin, son of Richard and Isabell Harding Baldwin, in 1642 in Guilford, Connecticut.  They were the parents of three children:  Mary (1643), Hannah (1644) [my 8 times great grandmother], and Sarah (1645).  Grandmother Baldwin died on 31 July 1647 in Milford, Connecticut.

Mary Welles Baldwin was the grandmother of yesterday’s blog entry on Samuel Botsford.

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Happy 349th Birthday, Grandfather Botsford!

Samuel Botsford, my 7 times great grandfather, was born on 30 July 1670, in Milford, Connecticut, to Elnathan and Hannah Baldwin Botsford.  He was baptized in the Milford Congregational Church on the next day.  In 1700, he married Hannah Camp, the daughter of Samuel and Hannah Betts (apparently none of my ancestors could come up with original names to make my life easier 350 years later!).  The couple lived in Milford their entire lives and there they raised their family of nine children:  Samuel, Jr. (1702) [my 6 times great grandfather], Elnathan (1704), Sarah (1706), Ebenezer (1709), John (1710), Jonathan (1711), David (1713), Hannah (1714), and Mehitable (1715).

Grandmother Botsford died on 29 October 1732.  Grandfather died 13 years later on 14 November 1745.  In his will, he names his sons Ebenezer and David as executors.  To my 6 times great grandfather, Samuel left “besides what I have already done for him at and for his settlement, the sum of 20 pounds [approximately,  $5,100.00 in today’s value – before the pound crashes] as old tenor money or the value thereof.”

His entire will as recorded in the New Haven Probate Records, Vol VI, page 652 can be found on pages 45-47 of Botsford Genealogy, The Line of Samuel. 1.1.3.  Vol 1, published by the Botsford Family History Association.

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It’s the 99th Anniversary of Helen and Ward Quarles!

It was 21 July 1920 that Helen Louise Gardner married Ward O Quarles in Wardner, Idaho.  But who was this couple and why am I including them in my blog?  Well, Helen was my ½ first cousin, twice removed and Ward was the man lucky enough to have married Helen.

Helen Louise Gardner was born 1 August 1895 in Gumuson, Colorado to William Fritz Gardner and Minnie Martenis.  William Fritz was the eldest son of my great great grandfather, William G Gardner (nee Wilhelm Gotthardt Gaertner) his first wife, Louise Kohler.  Louise died shortly after the birth of William Fritz.  Helen and Ward had one child, Bruce Martenis Quarles who died in child birth.

I am ever grateful to Helen for her long letters to my grandmother, her ½ first cousin, Florence Koontz Weaver, in which she recounted her memories and recollections of the Gardner family with updates from as many cousins as she could contact.   Grandma kept these letters and when I became interested in genealogy, she handed me the batch of Cousin Helen’s letters with the “you might like to have these”.  Without those letters, Quarles would have just been an odd name in the family tree.

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Happy Birthday, Uncle George!

It was 189 years ago, on 19 July 1830, that George H. Lee was born in Farmington, Oakland County, Michigan to Horatio and Hannah Munn Lee.  He was the fourth of twelve children for my 3 times great grandparents.  Uncle George married Julia Waters in 1853 and the couple slacked off in the child production race and only had three children:  Frank (1856), Henry (1858), and Mary (1867).  And yes, for those of you keeping score, they were Frank Lee, and Mary Lee — only Henry seemed to not have a lyrical name.  Aunt Julia died on 30 November 1901 and Uncle George followed on 23 October 1903.  Both were laid to rest in family plots in the Southfield Cemetery in Southfield, Oakland County, Michigan.

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