Many years ago (1980) DH and I were watching "This Old House" on Detroit Public TV, when they introduced a house they were preparing to renovate on Percival Street. Hey, that was cool, because that is my maiden name. Then the host proceeded to tell the audience that it was named after Captain John "Mad Jack" Percival. I told my husband I wanted a relative with a nickname like that. Since that time, I've researched him, and bought a book about him and his nickname was well earned! The interesting thing about Mad Jack is that he is the only commander of the USS Constitution - we know her as Old Ironsides - to take her on a cruise around the world. He got into a lot of trouble when he returned as it seems his crew caused problems in every port.
He and his wife, Maria Pinkerton, were childless and they ended up adopting his sister's children and a niece of his wife. It makes you think he might have been an old softy.
John Percival was born in 1779 and died in 1862 of cholera. He was my third cousin, six times removed. So I have a relative with a nickname like that!
Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes