Gene Notes

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

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Percival-Perciful-Pursiful - A-Hunting We Will Go!

I almost never lack for topics for this blog. Usually one of the genie sites will hand me a topic on a silver platter. Or someone will comment on one of my blog posts. Today's post handles both those.

Last week someone commented that she went to school with a Percival. In Missouri. Well, I know there are other Percivals in Missouri, so I went a-hunting on Missouri Digital Heritage for death certificates to try and isolate the Percivals maybe connected to the line from James of Sandwich, Massachusetts. Here is what I found.

1. Joseph/Joe Percival married Martha Hurst, from Kentucky. When you get into Kentucky the family name is Purcifull (second "l" optional.) Now, my Percival line was a wandering one, migrating from Cape Cod to Connecticut, New York, back to Massachusetts, Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri and finally Michigan. Joe's second wife was Anna Bird. They are in Missouri up to and including the 1920 census (January 1920) and then they disappear. No death records in Missouri for either of this pair. However, moving back into Kentucky I find Joseph Pursifull/Purcifull with his parents, Jacob and Nancy Pursifull, also from Kentucky. I haven't been able to take them back any further than that.

2. Daniel G. Percival and his wife Emmeline Pittinger both are buried in Forest Hill cemetery in Kansas City. Along with their son Morris B. Morris married Josephine Stevens there and they had two children before he died an untimely death in 1903, Sybil and Gordon P. Sybil married George Bramman, had three children and then George disappears. Their children were David Bramman, Martha Bramman Jennison and Sally Wells Bramman. David & Sally died young in 1975. Martha died in 2004. Then Sybil married her first cousin, Kenneth P. Bowen. This line of Percivals traces back to our common ancestor of John Percival & Hannah Whitmore, my great-great-great-great-great-great grandparents.

3. Another line is that of Robert Olivar Percival, son of Gilbert and Marie Percival. Only when I went searching for them in 1880, I find that Marie/Maria has remarried and her children are listed as step-children in the 1880 census. Well, fine, I should be able to find a couple of the children in 1870, since Robert was born in 1871. Nope. Back to doing a Soundex search, I find Gilbert & Maria Priceville with their children Sherman and Lerina Perciville. Oh, and Gilbert is from Ohio. Should that Lerina really be Lavina? I do have a Gilbert Percival, born in Ohio circa 1836, a son of Olney Percival & Lavina Ford. OMG, can this be him? It's obvious more work will need to be done to prove this.

4. Then there is the line of John Franklin Percivall. He died in Kansas City, Missouri in 1943. His father was John Percivall supposedly born in Indiana. This was another tricky line to search because the family moved and their name was recorded as Perciful and Percful. John F. may have been born in Indiana, but he was raised in Kansas. I think I was able to trace his father back to 1850 and while Ancestry's index says he was born in Iowa, the actual transcription says VA, not IA. Since I've never been able to link the Massachusetts Percivals with the Virginia Percivals that line is a dead end for me.

There were other Percivals in Missouri, some out of England which I ignored. The other Percival was my great grandfather.

So, out of the four I have mentioned above, one is a positive and one is a hopeful. Not bad for a day's work.

(More on this later in the week. My OCFRD is kicking in.)

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes


  1. intrsting account of family history. mostly you got the story straight .. a few names wrong and a detail or two missing,but overall the story digging goes on and on.

  2. I'm always interested in getting the story straight!

  3. The story on your #2 is where I noticed the story is not so straight. Sybil Percival and Gordon Percival (brother and sister), came from Kansas. Their mother was Josephine. Sybil married Stewart Bramman and they had the three children, David, Martha and Sally. Stewart died and then Sybil married her second cousin Kenneth Bowen, whos birth name was Arthur Cunningham, he was adopted by Eugene & Lizzy Bowen who could not have children of their own. (the percival name is connected to Lizzy P. Bowen). Mary, youngest daughter of Martha Bramman Jennison

  4. Thanks for the correction. I'll straighten that out in my records.