It was on 11 September 1757 in Smithfield, Rhode Island, that my five times great grandparents, Jesse Jenks and Mary Smith were married. Grandfather Jenks was born 22 January 1735 in Dartmouth, Massachusetts to John and Rachael Lawrence Jenks. Grandmother Jenks was born 30 September 1737 to Jacob and Dinah Harris Smith.
The marriage produced 10 children: William, Allen, Stephen (1759), Jacob (1760), Peter (1764), Jesse, Jr. (1764), Shubael (1767), Huldah Caroline (1770), Laban (1772) [my four times great grandfather], and Elisha (1774).
The Jenks Family of America – William B. Browne.
J”Jesse Jenks was born in Dartmouth, Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1734/ 5. He was involved in the settlement of Sackville New Brunswick during the late 1750’s and 60’s. He, along with other members of his family were acquiring land that he would eventually sell off. Jesse and his brother Edmund were both involved in the New Brunswick venture when the settling lots in East Hoosick (now Adams Massachusetts) became available. In 1769, Jesse and his brother Edmund purchased three 100 acre lots which were lots two, three, and four in the west range of settling lots at East Hoosick. This transaction took place on July 26, 1769, and was not recorded in Berkshire County until August 23, 1773. It appears that Edmund was the first to settle on this property. Some of the subsequent early deeds of Jesse Jenks in Western Massachusetts were signed only by his brother Edmund.
“It was written that sometime in Feb. 1790, Jesse Jenks arrived at his nephews house in Adams Massachusetts on horseback carrying as much gold and silver as a man could lift. The concealed gold and silver was in a bag of oats that he carried for his horse. He eventually settled opposite the glebe farm (First Baptist Church) on what is now called Stafford’s Hill named for Col. Joab Stafford who fought in the American Revolution and who was also an early settler there.
“Jesse’s descendants thrived there clearing much of the farm land that is still open pasture and one of the most beautiful areas in Berkshire County. The site that he settled is marked by foundations and a large willow that feeds from the water of the farms well. North and west of the farm site is the family graveyard that is still marked with many stones and was used until the 1850’s when some of the graves were removed to the towns main cemetery on West Mountain Road where a virtual Jenks history can be viewed by simply walking through this large, to our rural standards, cemetery.”
It is through Grandfather Jenks that I was admitted to the Sons of the American Revolution due to his patriotic service in raising provisions for the Revolutionary Army and providing his son, Jacob, as a substitute in Rhode Island troops.