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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Chauncey Conkey

The Conkey line is from my Grandmother, Virginia Dorthea Conkey.  The farthest back I can take this line is 1808 in New York.

Chauncey Conkey is the oldest of the Conkey line.  Chauncey is my 4th Great Grandfather. He was born 1 July 1808 in New York.  The earliest we can find Chauncey is in the 1830 Census in Wethersfield, Genesee County, New York.  In these old censuses it did not list the family members - but only counted them.  This census says that there was one male and one female ages 20 to 29.  There was also one male age 15 to 20.  It is unknown whom this male is - the female is most likely his wife, Sarah Walker Charles.  It is not known what year Sarah and Chauncey are married, based on this record it would be before 1830.

In 1840 we still find Chauncey living in Wethersfield.  At this there are 3 other males living in the household, 1 between the age of 5 and 9, and two males under the age of 5.  The two youngest males are Giles and Eli.  The male between 5 and 9 is unknown.  This is most likely the first born child of Sarah and Chauncey.  This male is not seen in any further censuses.  Living next door to Chauncey is Joseph Charles and his family.  Joseph is the father of Sarah.  It is this year, 1840, that the Conkey family leaves New York and heads West.  They travel with Sarah's brother, Nehemiah Charles, and his family.  We know it to be the year of 1840 because of the book History of Ionia County, Michigan which lays out this timeline. 

Chauncey arrives in the North Plains, Ionia County, Michigan area in 1840 and purchases land from his brother Amos Conkey.  This information comes from the book mentioned above. So we know that Chauncey had at least one brother.  In researching Amos Conkey - there are records from Greene County, Wisconsin that list an Amos Conkey that moved there from Michigan - it could be Chauncey's brother.  If the Amos Conkey that ended up in Greene County, Wisconsin is Chauncey's brother - that would mean the father of Chauncey is also an Amos Conkey and the mother is a Clara - that is the parental information from the marriage record in Wisconsin for Amos Conkey.  There was also a Philena Conkey living in Ionia County during this time frame as well.  Philena married a Silas Arnold.  On Philena's death record it listed her father as Stephen Conkey and her mother as a Miss Parker.  So Chauncey's father is either a Stephen or an Amos.  Chauncey and Sarah's third known son, Ira, is born in Ionia County, Michigan in 1844.  Also in the book mentioned above it states that Chauncey is voted in as a Justice of the Peace for the town of North Plains in 1844.

In 1850 the family is in North Plains, Ionia County, Michigan. Chauncey's occupation is a farming.  Chauncey and his family move in 1852 from North Plains to Ronald Township, Ionia County, Michigan.  Chauncey purchases land South of Woodard Lake.  This property will stay in the family for the next 100 years.  In 1859 Chauncey becomes a deacon of the Church of Christ in Ronald Township.

The family is in Ronald Township in the 1860 Census.  Giles is no longer here but living with them is Sarah's sister, Miranda Charles.  They are farming.  Chauncey and Sarah are still in Ronald in the 1870 and 1880 Census, Miranda Charles and son, Ira continue to live with them.  In the 1870 Census son Eli is living with them with his wife, Amanda Phillips.

Chauncey and Sarah have the following children:  (it is assumed they had one other male child that was born in New York before Giles, most likely this child dies while they were traveling to Michigan or shortly after they arrived)

1. Giles Conkey - born 25 Jan 1835 in Wethersfield, Wyoming, New York, dies 13 Jan 1908 in Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan.  Marries Eliza Morton.  Marries Amelia Clarissa Houghton.
2. Eli Theodore Conkey - born 28 Jul 1836 in Wethersfield, Wyoming, New York, dies 22 Aug 1908 in Ronald, Ionia, Michigan.  Marries Amanda Phillips.
3. Ira Porter Conkey - born 23 Sep 1844 in Ronald, Ionia, Michigan, dies 4 Jun 1915 in Ronald, Ionia, Michigan.  Marries a Sarah.

Chauncey's wife, Sarah, passes away in 1890 at the age of 85 years.  Chauncey passes away 3 years later in 1893, he is also 85 years old when he dies.  Both are buried in the Woodard Lake Cemetery.  You can see more information on Chauncey and Sarah on Find A Grave.  Below is his obituary as it was reprinted 100 years after his death.

This is a picture of his headstone in the Woodard Lake Cemetery.

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