Jenkins Cousins

Week 2: #52 Ancestors – Favorite Photo

By Eilene Lyon

Last fall, one of my second cousins discovered she had a trove of family photos and heirlooms tucked away. The pictures likely had not been seen in decades. Most of them are of the Ransom and Jenkins families.

I chose this particular image that shows my great grandmother, Clara Pearl Ransom, with three of her Jenkins cousins. I know that Clara visited her cousins in Indiana in 1895, when she and her mother, Emma (Jenkins) Ransom, traveled from their home in Moscow, Idaho.

IMG_4348
Jenkins cousins (Courtesy of K. Smith)

It was a fluke that I learned about this trip from a postcard Clara wrote, which I found in a collection of papers at the University of Idaho library.1 Clara graduated from Moscow High School in 1894, so the summer of 1895 occurred at the end of her freshman year at the university.2

IMG_3224
University of Idaho Special Collections.

The young woman at the bottom of the image is Abbie Jenkins, the only surviving child of Emma Ransom’s brother, Thomas Bedford Jenkins, and his wife, Patience Randall. They had five children, three of whom died during an epidemic in 1862.3

One son died in an accident at age 10.4 Abbie lost her mother when she was just three years old, and she became an orphan at age ten when her father died.5 Abbie is 25 years old in this photo. She never married and died in Los Angeles County in 1957.6

The Jenkins cousins on the left and right are sisters: Emma (left) and Jessie. They are the daughters of Emma Ransom’s youngest brother, Barton Bradbury Jenkins, and his wife, Nancy Isabel Arnold. Jessie is 20 in this image; Emma is 16.7

Jessie Jenkins married Henry C. Borton in November 1895.8 They had three sons together. Jessie died in Indianapolis in 1964 at age 89.9 Emma Jenkins married Perry L. White in December 1899 and they had one son.10 She died in Dunkirk, Indiana, in 1952.11

My great-grandmother, Clara Ransom, stands at the back. One thing I never realized from any photographs of Clara (and I have quite a few) is just how long her hair grew. The photo below was also in the recently discovered cache. It really took me by surprise!

IMG_4356
Clara Pearl Ransom (Courtesy of K. Smith)

Feature image: Cropped image of Abbie J. Jenkins from the Jenkins cousin photo (Courtesy of K. Smith)


  1. Postcard from Clara Ransom Davis to the son of the late Andy Parks. University of Idaho Special Collections: #5384c – Pierce-Leslie Johnson Correspondence, 1947 – 1970. 
  2. Graduation announcement, Class of ’94. Collection of the Latah County Historical Society. 
  3. Headstone for William, Emma, and Mary Jenkins. Hillside Cemetery, Pennville, Indiana. 
  4. Headstone for Frank Jenkins. Hillside Cemetery, Pennville, Indiana. 
  5. Headstones for Patience and Thomas B. Jenkins. Hillside Cemetery. 
  6. Ancestry.com. California, Death Index, 1940-1997 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000. 
  7. Ancestry.com. Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Birth dates given for Emma White and Jessie Borton. 
  8. Ancestry.com. Indiana, Marriages, 1810-2001 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014. 
  9. See note 7. 
  10. See note 8. 
  11. See note 7. 

28 thoughts on “Jenkins Cousins

Add yours

  1. The family photos are delightful. I can’t help but wonder about the details of the daily lives of our ancestors, and the photo of the woman with the long hair is a glimpse into one of those details. Wow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I have no idea who might have taken the photo. Maybe her mother or older brother, Arthur. Or perhaps a professional came to the home. I like how she has all the plants in the window – she eventually got a master’s degree in botany.

      Liked by 1 person

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