Margaret Jenks Cemetery Illustration
Margaret R. Jenks, known as Peggy to her friends and family, has been a family genealogist since 1964 and a cemetery transcriber since 1978. She has published award-winning books listing all the cemetery inscriptions of the twenty-seven towns in Rutland County, Vermont, and of Granville, Washington County, New York...over 225 cemeteries in all. She is also researching the many carvers of Rutland County stones.

Peggy is the author of the three-volume Decsendants of Thomas Horton of Milton and Rehoboth , Massachusetts, and many others. She chaired the Seattle Genealogical Society's Computer Interest Group from 1982-1986, was editor of the Newsletter of the Genealogical Society of Vermont from 1996-2005, and served six years as a trustee of the Association for Gravestone Studies.

In search of data on the men who carved the area grave- and tombstones, she, with the help of Dani Roberts and Dawn Hance, extracted and published the Rutland County probate records to 1850. Most recently, with Dawn Hance, she has compiled the interment records of the Evergreen Cemetery in Rutland from 1861-1904. In most cases, the records include the place of birth and parents names. Many of the listed interments do not have extant gravestones.

She is continuing the work begun by her mother, Azuba R. Ward, on their family's early ancestors in Washington County, New York. Azuba R. Ward compiled four books on these ancestors: The Ayers Family, Early Families of Washington County, New York, 1980; The Hatch Family, Early Families of Washington County, New York, 1985; The Laing Family of Saratoga and Washington Counties, New York, 1991; The Descendants of Ephraim Durham of Guilford, Connecticut, 2000.

Peggy is in the process of compiling all of the gravestone carver records she has accumulated over the past 30 years. The marble industry in the Eastern part of the county and the slate industry on the Vermont and New York border drew an endless supply of carvers and marble and slate workers.

In June 2014, Peggy was awarded the 2014 Harriet Merrifield Forbes Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Association for Gravestone Studies,  for her distinguished service in the field of gravestone studies.