Roy and Ray Churches – 117 Years Ago


Roy and Ray Churches with their grandparents, Charles Norton Lee and Esther Jenks Lee.  Their mother, Hannah Almira Lee Churches in back.

Twin sons, Raymond Charles and Roy Thomas were born to Robert Richard and Hannah Almira [Myra] Lee Churches on 15 October 1901.  The brothers were my first cousins, twice removed.  Aunt Myra was my great grandmother, Effie Lee Weaver’s sister.  In 1901, twin sons must have been a big event in the Churches / Lee / Jenks families.  Uncle Robert and Aunt Myra had one older daughter, Hazel (1897-1898), and two younger children after the twin brothers – Ivan Lee (1905) and Esther Harriet (1907).  Ray died in 1951.  His brother, Roy passed away in 1969.  Uncle Robert passed away in 1952, Aunt Myra in 1954.  Both parents are buried in the Southfield Cemetery near the plot of the grandparents, Charles and Esther Lee.

Posted in Genealogy, Jenks, LEE, Weaver | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday, Justin Rosenthral Jenks!🎆🎂🎆

Justin Rosenthral Jenks, my first cousin, three times removed, was born 150 years ago today on 12 October 1868, to Leman Case Jenks and Lucinda Crandle.  Justin was the second son, following Albert Arlington (1856) in the birth order for his father, but the first child for his mother, his father’s second wife.  What makes Cousin Justin stick out in the family history is that he was born in his grandparents’ home — the Jenks’ Place located on Berg Road in Southfield Township, Oakland County, Michigan.


The Jenks Place in 1905

The home played host to a great number of the descendents of Morris and Almira [Botsford] Jenks (my 3 times great grandparents).  The picture of the house in 1905, features my 2 times great grandparents, Charles Norton and Esther [Jenks] Lee.  Their son, Lewellyn is standing in the gate holding the horse.  Great grandmother was Leman Case Jenks’ sister, and Justin’s aunt.

Posted in Botsford, Genealogy, Jenks, LEE | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday, GG Aunt Emmer!

Today marks the 162nd anniversary of the birth of my 2 times great aunt, Emmer Estelle Lee, 11 October 1856.  Aunt Emmer was the daughter of Charles Norton Lee and Esther Jenks.   She was followed in birth order by her siblings: Effie Clarissa [my great grandmother] (1859), Lewellyn (1862), Hannah Almira (1864), Marietta (1870), and Ora (1874).  Emmer was the only child that did not live to adulthood, dying at the age of 5 on 23 March 1862.  But, I have always wondered why the name Emmer?  OK, it is obvious, Grandfather and Grandmother Lee had a sense of whimsy in creating names when they got around to naming their last daughter, Ora Lee (say it all together, as one word).  And the tradition of having fun with names continued to other generations.  I was named Patrick, but called Rick (guess how many times I have had to explain that).  My mother was named Jmae (try explaining to your teachers that you are not stupid, that you really do know how to spell your mother’s name).  One of my favorites was my cousin Bruce Edward’s mother told the SSA (you know the government office whose initials are ass, backwards) around the time he was 17 that his name was Bruce Lee, without telling him.  He could have kicked himself silly when he found out!

I have never figured out the meaning behind Emmer Lee.  What possessed then to choose that name.  It does not appear in either the Lee or Jenks family pedigrees.

Anyway, to gg aunt Emmer, who was always a child, Happy Birthday! 🎈🎂🎈🎁

Posted in Genealogy, Jenks, LEE, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

GGG Grandfather Jenks – 217th Birthday🎂


Morris Jenks

On October 7, 1801, Morris Jenks, my 3 times great grandfather, was born in Berkshire, New York, to Laban and Prudence White Jenks.  The 19 year old Morris migrated from New York to Oakland County Michigan with his parents and a number of his siblings.  It was here that he met and married Almira Botsford on 28 November 1828.  And it was in Southfield that the couple settled and raised their family:  Leman Case, Esther, Oliver Torrey, and Minerva.

On 2 October 1829, Granfather Jenks was commissioned as a Captain in the Michigan Territorial Militia by Territorial Governor Lewis Cass.  I have a copy of his commission.  The original has been donated to the Southfield Library Historical Collection.

In 1853, Morris built the permanent family home which stands on Berg Road in Southfield.  It was in this house that his daughter, Esther, was married to Charles Norton Lee.  After Grandfather’s death on 13 February 1878, Charles and Esther purchased the farm from Grandmother Jenks and held it until Grandmother Lee’s death in 1919.  It was in this home that my great grandparents, Lemuel and Effie Lee Weaver brought their son, Lee, a daughter, Olive, to live with Charles and Esther.   My Grandfather Lee Weaver spent a number of years there as a toddler and visited his grandparents often after his parents moved on to their own home.

From 1909 until the 1920s the descendants of Morris Jenks held family reunions at the Jenks’ Place (now called Deer Lick Farm).  An expanded biography of Grandfather Jenks can be found at  (this was the biographical lesson given by the family historian, Eva Seymour Jenks, to the reunion of 1924).

Posted in Birthday, Genealogy, Jenks, LEE, Weaver, Website | 1 Comment

Another Day, Another Anniversary!


St Peter’s Church, Drayton Charwell, Oxford, England

It was 403 years ago on 28 September 1615, in St. Peter’s Church at Drayton Charwell, Oxford, England that my 10 times great grandparents, Thomas Welles and Alice Tomes were married.  The Welles family migrated to New England in 1635 and settled in the Connecticut colony.  Grandfather Welles would become the Governor of that colony in 1655.  Their children include John, Thomas Jr., Samuel, Mary [my ancestor], Anne, Robert, Sarah, and Joseph.

Governor Welles died 14 January 1660 in Wethersfield, Connecticut.  His wife, Alice, died in 1646, also in Wehtersfield.    There is a full 6 volume set of books dealing with the Descendants of Gov. Thomas Welles and descendants are joined in the lineage society, the Welles Family Association, Inc.


Posted in Botsford, Genealogy | Leave a comment

Happy 105th Wedding Anniversary!🥂


On September 25, 1913, at St. James Episcopal Church in Birmingham, Oakland County, Michigan, Irene Mae Jenks married Joseph George Jones.  Irene was born to Oliver Torrey Jenks and Evelyn Roselia Seymour on 3 June 1893.  Joseph was born to Major George Jones and Ellen Augusta Schuyler on 6 August 1883.

Irene was one of my grandfather’s closest cousins and the two corresponded and conspired often.  The cousins were less than three weeks apart in age, although they were one generation apart – they were first cousins, once removed, Great grandmother Weaver, Effie Clarissa Lee, was Irene’s first cousin.

Irene and Joseph were married 53 years until Joseph’s death in 1966.  Irene lived until 1977.

Posted in Genealogy, Jenks, Weaver | Leave a comment

189 years ago, Laban Jenks passed away … and then moved.


Laban Jenks and Prudence [White] Jenks 

Laban Jenks, my 4 times great grandfather, passed away on 15 September 1829 in Bloomfield, Oakland County, Michigan at the age of 57.  Grandfather Jenks was born 11 June 1772 in Smithfield, Rhode Island to Jesse and Mary Smith Jenks.  He married Prudence White on 22 September 1793 at Cheshire, Massachusetts.  Their children included: Lucy (1794), Smith (1795), Orrin (1796), Patience (1797), Seth (1798), Polly (1800), Morris [my 3 times great grandfather] (1801), Laura (1805), Nathaniel (1806), Diadama (1808), Sophia (1809), Laban, Jr. (1811), Prudence (1812), and William (1814).

In the War of 1812. he served as : Captain Laban Jenks, Artillery Company, First Battalion, Sixth Regiment, Brigadier General Samuel Coe’s Brigade, Tioga & Broome, NY.

Grandfather Jenks did not like to stay in one place very long.  From Smithfield, RI, he removed to Cheshire, MA; then to Jenksville, NY [he founded it so he could name it]; moved on to Speedsville, NY [just up the road from Jenksville]; and then to Bloomfield, MI.  All but one of his children followed.

At his passing, Grandfather Jenks was laid to rest in the Gilbert Lake Burial Ground,  as was Grandmother Jenks and a number of other family members.  In 1917, all ‘residents’ were disinterred and moved to one of three cemeteries.  Grandfather and Grandmother were re-interred in Section 25 at Roseland Park Cemetery in Berkley, Michigan.

From the Bloomfield Historical Society, an explanation of the big move:

“Joseph Gilbert from Ontario County, New York, was one of the early pioneers in Bloomfield Township. He purchased the West ½ of Section 28 (320 acres) on 24 June 1823. His property was included the southwest shoreline of the lake named after him and was bounded on the west by present -day Telegraph Road. Not many years after establishing his farm his wife, Nancy died. Joseph buried her in a plot on his farm a couple of hundred feet from the shore of Gilbert Lake. Later he was also interred near his wife. For the next 80, or more, years, many of he pioneer families also used this small 150 foot square graveyard to bury their loved ones. It became known as Gilbert Lake Cemetery and shows up on historical maps from 1872 through 1908.”

“In 1917 Casper Case (1848 – 1939), petitioned the Circuit Court of Oakland County to have Gilbert Lake Cemetery “vacated” – that is, to have the remains and grave markers moved to another location. Casper Case was the grandfather of Homer Case (1915 – 2004), the long-time Supervisor of Bloomfield Township (1963 – 1981). Mr. Case claimed that the cemetery was overgrown with grass and weeds, and that there was no one to care for it. His petition was granted on 28 May 1917. The judge appointed two (2) men to move the “bodies and tombstones” in a proper manner. Three (3) local established cemeteries were identified as candidates to receive the graves from Gilbert Lake – Roseland Park in Berkley, Greenwood in Birmingham, and FranklinCemetery.”

“The minutes of Greenwood Cemetery Association record that it was agreed in their meeting on 21 February 1917 to “. . . accept the stones with suitable foundations for the removal of Gilbert Lake graves”. The work of moving the remains was completed in 1919. The Record of Interment for Greenwood Cemetery lists 53 graves were received and located together in Section H (Lots 25, 26, 36, 37, 38, and 39). This is area is along the west fence. Forty-nine (49) graves were removed to Roseland Park Cemetery at the corner of Woodard Ave. and Twelve Mile Road and placed together in special Section 25. This is a small triangular plot area on the south side of the cemetery along Twelve Mile Road. A special sign identifies the graves as coming from Gilbert Lake Cemetery. Most of the records for Franklin Cemetery were destroyed in a fire many years ago making it impossible to determine how many (if any) Gilbert Lake graves were relocated there.”

“In 1927 (eight years after the last graves were removed) the portion of the old Gilbert Lake Farm on the shore of Gilbert Lake was platted into the Shadow Acre Estates subdivision. Included within the boundaries of this subdivision, but without any identification, is the half-acre burial ground that once contained the remains of a large number of the pioneers of Bloomfield Township.”

Posted in Genealogy, Grave Markers, Jenks, War of 1812 | Leave a comment