My grandmother Wilma Helen Jenkins was the daughter of parents with deep roots in Appalachia. The Jenkins family and its branches are a long-lived American clan.
Wilma’s father’s side came from southwestern Virginia via eastern Kentucky. It includes both British and early German settlers from the eighteenth century. The Jenkins line features classic tales of brothers fighting on opposite sides of the Civil War, as well as a relative killed in a mountain feud and immortalized in a folk song. A large number of Jenkins’s moved from Kentucky to Wisconsin around the turn of the twentieth century and thus many of their descendants now live in the Upper Midwest as well as in Appalachia.
Wilma’s mother’s line lived for generations in Lawrence County, Ohio, having settled there around the time of statehood. The tree branches beyond that into colonial Virginia, New Jersey, and New York. It includes a seventeenth century whaler and a famous Puritan churchman who fled England for Massachusetts less than twenty years after the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth.
This site focuses on those Jenkins family members who migrated to Wisconsin, including their ancestors and descendants.
The headstone of John L. and Selestine (Baumgardner) Jenkins in Bent Cemetery, Bryant, WIsconsin.