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The Lakes:  Generations after 1800


11. VALENTINE AMEY LAKE (JOHN JACOB6,JOHN LAKE, JR5.,JOHN LAKE4,NICHOLAS Sr.3,JOHN LAKE, JR.2,JOHN1) was born 09 Feb 1824 in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and died 06 Aug 1878 in Rockton, Illinois. He married SOPHIA MATILDA TAFT 25 Oct 1850 in Clinton, WI., daughter of COREY TAFT and MATILDA BENSON.  She was born 26 Feb 1827 in Kingsville, OH, and died 11 Dec 1908 in Bassett, Nebraska.  Sophia, at the time of her marriage is living with her Uncle Levi Taft and his wife, Electa, after the untimely death of her father, Corey Taft in 1839 at age 38 and her brother Stutson, age 3.  Matilda, her widowed mother, marries again in the year 1840 back in Ashtabula Co. Ohio.  We can only guess at the circumstances behind the scenes of these facts of history.

More About VALENTINE AMEY LAKE After they were married Valentine and Sophia farmed in Winnebago County for some years but later he entered the lumber, grain elevator and coal business in Rockton, IL.  During his years in Rockton he held various Township offices, all with distinction and honor.  He was greatly respected by the people of Rockton, where he died at the early age of 54 and is buried at Rockton.  Valentine and Sophia are pictured at right.

    When you click on the photo of Valentine and Sophia,

      you will also find a photo of Valentine's gravestone in

     Rockton, Illinois and a photo of Sophia and her

      second husband James Morse.




More About SOPHIA MATILDA TAFT:  Here is where I differ from the records of Claud McMillan who wrote an extensive book detailing the Lake family in America called A History of My People and Yours.   He writes that Sophia was the daughter of Ira Taft.  After examining the records of the Taft and Benson families, I have concluded that her father was Corey Taft, a brother of Ira Taft and that her father (Corey Taft) and mother (Matilda Benson) left their families in Ashtabula County, Ohio, and traveled west, along with many pioneers seeking a better life for themselves. (It was to my great delight that I was able to prove this theory as correct when my husband Greg and I traveled to Ashtabula Co. in Ohio and Rockton Illinois, in the summer or 2007.  We also learned a great deal more most of which you will find on the Taft and Benson pages of this web site).


After the death of Valentine in 1878, she remained a widow for 17 years but at age 69, married again to James Morse on March 10, 1895.  James was from Boone County, IL.  She died at  the home of her daughter, Minnie Adelaid Lake-Koker-Waters in Bassett, Nebraska, a town where others of her children and grandchildren lived.


Here is a quick link to the  Benson  page to read more about Sophia's mother and her ancestry.  

    Children of VALENTINE LAKE and SOPHIA TAFT are: