Laban Jenks (July 11, 1772 to September 15, 1829) - Born in Smithfield, Rhode Island, Laban married Prudence on September 22, 1793 in Cheshire, Massachusetts. According to records they resided in Adams, Massachusetts, Tioga County, New York (1805) and Bloomfield Township, Oakland County, Michigan (November 10, 1821). Laban died in Bloomfield, Michigan.
While in Tioga County, New York, he was appointed Lieutenant of a company of militia with Samuel Seymour, Esq. as Lieutenant Colonel Commandant, April 29, 1809. His commission as "Leftenant" (as it was spelled then) was made out to Laban Jencks, Gentleman, so he had no military title before that date.
It is uncertain whether he served in the War of 1812, but he was called Captain Jenks in Michigan. His commission, with some old parchment deeds to the original farm taken from the government issued in 1823, and signed by James Monroe, 5th President of the United States were in the possession of Mrs. Ida Jenks Golden, granddaughter of William, his youngest son.
According to the Oakland County History, he came to Bloomfield, Michigan, November 10, 1821, and stayed ten days at Daniel Balls. He bought the NE quarter section and built a log house, the first west of the river, Rouge.
Captain Jenks was a man of excellent qualities and enjoyed the respect of his fellow townsmen. He held the office of Justice of the Peace by government appointment signed by Lewis Cass, Governor of Michigan. He was but 57 years of age and a resident of Michigan but 8 years, at the time of his death, September 15, 1829.*
Prudence White (January 25, 1772 to June 24, 1855) Daughter of Nathaniel White and Mehitabel Morey of Newton, Massachusetts. Prudence's parents were traced as original descendants of the Mayflower Pilgrims. She was the mother of all fourteen children listed above.
*Much if this information comes from "The Reunion Papers of the Jenks Family" by Eva Seymour Jenks, written circa 1930's.
Above headstone of Laban Jenks and his wife, Prudence Jenks, was relocated, along with their remains from Gilbert Lake Cemetery. Death information not discernable on stone. Prudence was 78 years old at the time of the 1850 United States Census. Cemetery notes and/or description: Gilbert Lake Cemetery was founded by Joseph Gilbert in the middle to late 1820's, not far from the shore of Gilbert Lake and what is now Telegraph Road. Initially a farm cemetery, this half-acre tract of land served as a burial ground for many Bloomfield Township pioneer families for over 80 years. In 1917, plans were set in motion to move the existing remains and intact grave markers to other locations to make way for a subdivision. By 1919, the relocation was completed. The former occupants of Gilbert Lake Cemetery now rest in Roseland Park Cemetery (Berkley, Oakland County, Michigan), Greenwood Cemetery (Birmingham) and Franklin Cemetery (Franklin).