My fourth cousin, once removed, Van Norman Jenks, was born 107 years ago on 4 September 1913, in Birmingham, Oakland County, Michigan, to Donald Marsh and Rosetta Mabel Rogers Jenks. What caught my attention was Van Norman’s name — it was a bit out of the usual mainstream of the family.
Well, to get on with his biographical history, Cousin Van Norman, a name which he appeared to always use with both parts, was a life long resident of Oakland County. On 21 June 1941, he married Mary LaVerne Manzo, daughter of Joseph and Eleanor Naveck Manzo, in Detroit. The pair resided in Oxford. The couple were the parents of four children: Donald, Susan, Kathleen, and Nancy.
Now as to Van Norman’s name and where did it originate. Donald and Rose had three children, Van Norman was the eldest. His younger siblings had run of the mill names: Margaret Dorothea and Warren. So why Van Norman? One generation up, I find Donald’s parents were William Cooper Jenks and Eunice Van Norman. He was given the name of his paternal grandmother’s family. This makes quite a bit of sense when I jump back one more generation and find William Cooper’s parents were Nathan Park Jenks and Sophronia Cooper.
Van Norman Jenks passed away on 23 May 1987, and is buried at Ridgelawn Memorial Cemetery in Oxford, Oakland County, Michigan. Mary passed way on 25 November 2000 and is interred next to him.