Giles was born 25 January 1835 in Wethersfield, Genesee County, New York. Wethersfield in now in Wyoming County. He was born to Chauncey Conkey and Sarah Walker Charles.
Giles is one of the male children listed in the 1840 Census in Wethersfield, Genesee County, New York in 1840. The family relocated from New York to Michigan in the year 1840 - as found in the History of Ionia County, Michigan book.
We next find Giles in the 1850 Census in North Plains, Ionia County, Michigan. He is living with his parents and two brothers, Eli and Ira. Sometime between 1850 and 1859 Giles moves to Kent County, Michigan. We know this because Giles marries his first wift, Eliza Morton on 6 April 1859 there. Witnesses were Byron Morton and Theodore Rathbun. Byron could be Eliza's father or at least a relative. This information was found on Ancestry.com but there was not a copy available.
Giles and Eliza can be found living in Ionia, Ionia County, Michigan in the 1860 Census. His occupation is livery stable. His two daughters are born soon after this, they are Emma and Alice. Alice is born in 1861 and Emma is born in 1862. Giles can then be found in the US IRS Tax Assessment List for the year 1862, his occupation is now listed as Retailer of Liquor. He was taxed $20.
Giles in mentioned in the Michigan reports: cases decided in the Supreme Court of Michigan; volume 10. The name of case he is mentioned in is In The Matter Of John Morton in the year 1862. I do wonder if John Morton is the father of his wife Eliza. I have inserted the case below. To sum it up it appears John Morton refused to testify against Giles for selling liguor illegally. One would assume it was either a close friend, relative, Giles was being falsely accused. The allegation comes from the Justice of the Peace for Ionia, Michigan.
We find Giles in 1866 again in the US IRS Tax Assessment list but this time in the town of Orleans, Michigan. He pays taxes on two items this time; retail liquors for $25 and hotel for $10. I can't quite read what the word after hotel is...I've pasted it below.
In 1870 we find Giles with Eliza and both daughters in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan. His occupation at this time is saloon keeper. His bar tender appears to be living with him, Frank Poppenan. We find Giles referenced in another book that puts him in this area in the early 1870's also. The book is History of the City of Grand Rapids. I have placed the article in which he is in below.
In 1875 and 1877 we can find Giles in the City Directory for Grand Rapids. He has a saloon on 78 Waterloo.
By 1880 we find Giles and Eliza and daughter Emma still in Grand Rapids. His occupation at this time is R.W. Postal Clerk. I'm not sure what R.W. stands for. His daughter, Alice, married sometime before 1878 as she has a daughter, Blanche Trowbridge, in 1878, with her husband, Jacob Trowbridge. So by 1880, Giles is a grandparent. Alice passes away in 1886 when her daughter was only 8 years old.. Emma does marry but passes away in 1894. It is not known if this daughter has any children. Her husband's name was John Dunn.
Sometime between 1880 and 1898 Giles and Eliza either divorce or Eliza passes away. We know this because the next record we find for Giles is another marriage record. He marries Amelia Clarissa Houghton 4 May 1898 in Grand Rapids. This is Amelia's 2nd marriage also. His occupation at this time listed as commercial traveler. The record is below.
Giles and Eliza have the following children:
1. Alice Conkey - born 1861 in Ionia County, MI, dies 21 Jun 1886. Marries Jacob Trowbridge. Marries Holden Spink.
2. Emma Conkey - born 1862 in Ionia County, MI, dies 5 Nov 1894. Marries John Dunn.
I can't find Giles in the 1900 Census. Giles passes away 13 January 1908 in Grand Rapids, Kent County, Michigan. His death notice from the newspaper is below. His Death Certificate is below that. Giles is buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I have requested a photo of the headstone. I will add to this post when I get it.