Gene Notes

Some random and some not-so-random thoughts on family history.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Reading Between the Lines

On Monday, my blog subject was Obsessive Compulsive Family Research Disorder, and I'd like to thank everyone who left a comment. I can see the Wild Ones and I are not the only ones who suffer enjoy this affliction.

But it was Alice over at My Genealogy Research-Alice who triggered a memory for me.

You see, I never knew my dad's mother. We always knew her as Mary Bowman Percival, Bowman being her maiden name. According to my dad, his mother never had a middle name. She was just always, Mary.

So imagine my surprise when I came across an engagement announcement for my grandparents, and it lists her as Mary Anne Bowman.  Not only that, but her marriage license gives her name as Mary A. Bowman. Unfortunately, by the time I had discovered these records, my dad had passed, so I couldn't even discuss this with him and why he thought his mom had no middle name. But it makes me wonder if this middle name is legitimate or not.

It's prompted me to look at the family and wonder why I don't have middle names for anyone else in this line,  The line was sort of anal when it came to naming their children.

I don't really remember my dad and his father ever discussing dad's mom. I certainly never thought to ask my grandfather is dad's mom had a middle name. I  was only 13 when he died. But since both these records predate my father, It's entirely possible that her middle name was Anne.

So imagine my surprise when I came across this little table favor from their wedding.

Copyright 2010,  for Generational & Gene Notes


  1. And Grandpa's fraternity pin is engraved MAB. Both of them. I'm pretty sure Dad knew, he just forgot. I asked him if him mom had gone to college, because the "pinning" the girlfriend thing didn't occur to me at first.

  2. It's always such a surprise to find something like this, isn't it? It's happened in my family, too. Are there any other records that might help? I think the little table favor is adorable. You didn't say what year your grandparents married....
    Nancy from My Ancestors and Me at

  3. They were married March 3, 1920 in Lexington, Lafayette County, Missouri. No birth records, her death record was no help either.