Gene Notes

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

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

On this memorial day I am remembering my family members who fought in various wars.

Timothy Percival, my great great great great great grandfather - Revolution
Jabez Percival, my great great great great grandfather - Revolution
Abraham Bowman, my great great great great grandfather - Revolution
Joseph Graves Chinn, my great great great grandfather - War of 1812
Joseph Garland Chinn, my great great grand uncle - Mexican War
John Bowman Chinn, my great great grandfather - Civil War - Confederate - died on retreat from Pea Ridge (Elkhorn Tavern)
John Stearns Percival, my great great grandfather - Civil War- Confederate - killed at Bayou Meto Pass, outside of Little Rock, Arkansas
John Garland Webb, my great great grandfather - Civil War - Confederate - captured and paroled (some of his brothers also were confederate soldiers.)
John Stearns Percival, my grandfather - World War I - Co D 23rd Engineers
Charles Zimmeth, my grandfather - World War I - 12th Machine Gun Battalion
John Bowman, my great granduncle, World War I - Quartermaster corps
Frank Percival, my father - World War II - US Navy
Bernard Kruszka, my father-in-law - World War II - US Army Air Corps
John Zimmeth, my uncle - World War II
Angus Mack, my uncle - World War II.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sympathy Saturday-Jane Lada aka Janina Lada

This card probably was one of my husband's aunt's friends. The funeral home has/had a Hamtramck, Michigan address and the cemetery is on the east side of Detroit, probably not too far from the funeral home. This is the first time I've seen a double card with two pictures on it. The other doubles I've seen all have had an additional prayer on the back. Click on the image to see a larger version, and don't forget to use the back arrow on your browser to return to this page.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, May 28, 2010

OCFRD Is In Control of Me!

First, I only have 7 more pages to go in my 29 page list of people who died between 1841 and 1910 in Massachusetts. And there are only about 7 people per page, and most of the Percivals and spouses are done.  But tonight the problem has been complicated by a sticky right index finger. You see, I use a touchpad rather than a mouse, and have been having problems all evening sliding that finger on the touchpad. I tried everything. Finally, used an emery board and sanded the sticky crap off. That's what I get for trying to help our older daughter with some cleaning at her new apartment.

I've had interesting feedback from yesterday's blog "My Ancestors Died of What?" It is interesting how we obsess over the cause of death. This evening I came across a distant relative who died eventually from an attempted suicide. It just took him a month in the hospital after being found to eventually die from pneumonia.

My favorite was an elderly gentleman who died from "Stoppage of Respiration." Yep, in the end that is one thing we will all have in common .. we stop breathing.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Ancestors Died From What?

I've been working on adding death records to the Percival lines in Massachusetts. It's amazing the diseases in common within the descendants. I've actually seen a couple specifically designated as cancer of the uterus or breast cancer, and my heart goes out to those women and what they must have suffered. Then there is the Percival wife, who delivered a stillborn son only two die two days later of cerebral apoplexy (stroke) at the age of 39. One would think over the span of 160 plus years that some of these diseases would be eradicated.

I came across a newspaper article recently of two boys, sons of Thomas Percival, who drowned when the ice they were on broke and they fell through. In fact, the number of drownings suffered by this Percival line is alarming, even given that their occupations were seaman, mariner, ship captain. In the scheme of things, it isn't so important what disease these people died from, but it sure makes some interesting reading.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Speechless - For Once

Have you ever come across something in your research that was so unexpected you were shocked by it? There have been several things over the years, that really surprised me. One was that my step-grandma was married at the age of fourteen for the first time. And divorced. And let her husband who was ten years older have custody of the little boy. And the ink was barely dry on her divorce when three months later she married hubby number two. Two years later she divorced him. And then married him again the next month! So it wasn't surprising at all to find out that she married a fourth time to someone who was a bigamist. And almost as an anticlimax, married my grandfather, her last husband. All of that was somewhat shocking.

Today, while working on Massachusetts death certificates, I came across a death record for someone who died from mortification. After some research, I found what I think is the answer, and it shocks me even more. I doubt the woman worked in a match factory, since an occupation was not found on her death record; so the other possible cause would be self-flagellation.

I think this appalls me more than the relative who was shot to death in his own home; or the relatives who were run over by trains.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Its All in the Name.

Forget Michael, Sara, Emma, Jennifer and other popular names. Look back into the 16th and 17th centuries for some great names.

Really, I do understand why a parent would name their child Thankful, Prudence, Patience, and Temperance. Charity also seems to be popular in that time frame. But why on earth would someone name their child Fear? These are just some of the names I've come across in my research in Massachusetts. Granted, a lot of these people were Quaker, but to name a daughter Fear is beyond me. And the name got passed to her granddaughter too. Glad my parents weren't Quaker and didn't follow those naming patterns!

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday, Monday! Relatively Speaking.

Today is Relatively Speaking Day - and Karen is up. She has been spending time out in the field - cemeteries that is - searching for headstones; she's been researching in libraries hunting up an astounding number of obituaries and other announcements. I'm jealous.

On the home front, I've been commiserating with Older Daughter who had expected to move this past weekend, which did not happen. Hopefully she will find out today what the deal is.

Meanwhile, I've spent some of the last couple days battling with a cluster migraine, 90 degree heat, and finding and filling holes in the family history with Family Search. Somehow that brings to mind me with a can of spackle plugging a hole on a HUGE wall chart! It hasn't been easy because my ancestors and their descendants loved to name their children with names like Carl Heinrich Friedrich Johann in addition to their last name. Or Leona Elsie (I think that's supposed to be Elise) Henrietta. And I will swear on a stack of bibles that they change from census year to census year, which name they are going to use.  And then the females get married and change their last name and decide since hubby's momma is Leona, they'll use Henrietta. So I have been trying to put these Kettler, Knost & Meyer families in Ohio together properly with the help of Family Search. It's been a challenge!

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Sympathy Saturday - Marion Chapin

This week's unknown Funeral Card is for Marion Chapin. I've written on the bottom of the card that this funeral home is in Warren (Michigan) and that is all I can tell you about her. I say her, because the top of the card says: "We have loved her in life, let us not forget her in death."  You have to find clues wherever possible.

Click on the image for greater detail. Don't forget to use the back button to get back to this page.

Hope someone finds this useful.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, May 21, 2010

Still Distracted and Afflicted with OCFRD*

My OCFRD* has kicked in and I am busy working on the Family Search site, looking for vital records of distant family members.  In between searching, I have scanned a couple of the letters from my grandfather, read some blogs, and finished my book, after purchasing a new copy.

Older daughter is still waiting for the current tenants to vacate her new apartment. She'd really like to get in there before Memorial Day weekend. I totally know how she feels, as I don't like to wait for anything either! Younger daughter is back in Michigan working many hours.

And again it is raining. Seems like we can't go more than two or three days before the storms roll in. The grass is growing so fast it is usually ankle high by the time the lawn guy gets here. Nice sleeping weather though!

*Obsessive Compulsive Family Research Disorder.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, May 20, 2010

How I Spent My Day!

A cousin of my DH sent along some pictures sent to her by a mutual second cousin and DH and I and his father and said cousin have been discussing who appears in the photos. One is obviously my DH's maternal grandmother Wiktarya with her sister, Mary.  Another is Mary with two men and the third is a woman whom we can't place. All the pictures are obviously taken well before I met my DH, and yet I am curious about them. So the morning was spent trying to find out more historically about my husband's great aunt.

I have to tell you there isn't much out there. I know who her three husbands were, and can even tell you who the order they were married in, but really can't tell you when she married hubbies two and three. It amazes me sometimes how little Mary & Wiktarya's descendants know about each others families. I heard stories or parts of them in the years of our marriage when DH's mother was alive, but even she didn't know exactly what was the deal between the sisters. They were an extremely secretive family. I wish I had pushed more for information.

Stymied by this family, I sat down with a book and proceeded to read until after reading page 232, discovered about 50 pages missing since the next page available was 281.

Just one of those days!

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


We had company last week from out of town, DH's cousin from Buffalo. It was a great time, but exhausting. And now I am finding it hard to get my research back on track.

Yeah, I know I should be working on those World War I letters, but somehow yesterday I found myself distracted with Scotland Censuses 1851-1901. When I am looking for something that I know should be there, I become very animal like. First I am dogged in my research by being persistent (or like cousin Carol - badger-like) and then I am like a squirrel, I look for those nuts everywhere. It paid off, I was successful in finding what I was looking for on the census, including the last child of Alexander John Maitland (he was my great-great grandfather's first cousin) Joseph Moule Hamilton Maitland, who was heretofore nameless but I knew he died in the Great War. I was able to find him on the 1901 Scotland Census and then British War Medals Database on Ancestry and finally on Find-A-Grave in France. The War Medal image is on the right. If you click on it, you will see a much better image. The only thing I can really make out is the bottom, which is the reverse of the card, which indicates that his father, A. J. Maitland of 18 Church Street, Alloa (in Clackmannanshire, Scotland) would like the medals due his late son. Most of the other stuff is beyond me. If there is someone out there who can actually read this, that would be great.

Other tidbits I got from the Scotland Census 1861-1881 was being able to find Helen Maitland Urquhart. I don't know what happened to her husband George, family records indicated they married in Canada, but in 1861, she is living with her sister Elizabeth and her husband, William Gorrie. William was at one time partner with Helen & Elizabeth's brother Charles Maitland in the Bass Crest Brewery in Alloa. In 1871, her nephew Charles William Gorrie Maitland is living with her. This would be her brother Charles' son. In 1881, her niece, Jessie Maitland (Charles' daughter) is living with her. That is the last I see of her. Helen was born in 1822, and it is entirely possible she married again, but I have no record of that.  Elizabeth and husband William Gorrie also disappear and probably have passed, both being born about 1811.

The time was not wasted, especially since it answered some questions I had.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Do They Really Want My Opinion?

I have been taking advantage of my Ancestry World subscription and pulling records for the Scotland Censuses from 1841-1901. After fussing with the 1871 census looking for Charles Maitland and finally finding him under Charlese Martland, seeing his children's given names messed up AND their last names changed to Molland, I decided it was time to look at their "new" search page and give my opinion.

In theory it looks good, but the bottom line is that if Ancestry doesn't do anything about their abominable indexing, changing their search engine isn't going to work. And that is what I told them!

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, May 17, 2010

Relatively Speaking - Research Plans

Karen over at Genealogy Frame of Mind and Carol over at Reflections from the Fence have both shared with you their research plans/folders. Karen plans out her trips to the tiniest detail; Carol often does hers by the seat of her pants. I am somewhere in the middle.

Usually the only genealogical trips we really plan are trips to Fort Wayne and the Allen County Public Library genealogical collection and to Lexington, Kentucky. There are two places where I like to research in Lexington: Lexington Cemetery and the Lexington Public Library, especially for their newspaper collection. Over the years, I have kept a to-do list of birth, marriage and death notices and obituaries to retrieve at the library in Lexington. It varies at any given time between ten and thirty pages. It seems the more I get, the more I find I need to get. Since they have a local history index online at the library, I am usually well prepared with my list. Currently, the list stands at 21 pages. At the Lexington Cemetery, there is also an online index of burials under the "Genealogy Research" tab. I can't tell you how many trips I've made to that cemetery. For a while, we were stopping there twice a year. I probably still have close to 200 headstones to locate.

The Lexington Cemetery to-do list is basically a comb-binder with a list by section of everyone I am looking for. I also print a section map (which goes along with the map on the cover) so that I can go to the cemetery office and use their map to locate graves on my section maps. This is so useful, because their numbering system is sometimes a bit odd.

You can see that while I use a spreadsheet for this cemetery, I don't go into detail. I know they are buried there, all I want is a photo of the stone. I leave room to fill in details if necessary.

My to-do list descriptions are the name of the newspaper and the date. Since there are several newspapers covering a wide range of dates, often overlapping, I have rarely not found something. If I haven't found what I was looking for, it was because the index was in error. The details part of the to-do list is actually a cut and paste right from the Lexington Public Library local history index. Leaves little room for error.

Remember to use your back button after clicking on an image. That will bring you right back to this page.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Tune in Tomorrow for the Next Episode of ...

Relatively Speaking - Cousins that Blog! It's my turn tomorrow and I'll give you my take on on-site research organization. I love how we all approach it differently.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sympathy Saturday - Rev. Fr. Joseph G. Schuller

A couple weeks ago on Heritage Happens, Cheryl posted funeral cards for Funeral Friday. I thought that was a great idea, because I have a lot that belonged to my aunt Margie, my husband's Aunt Stella and my late mom-in-law. I have no idea who these people are and the above mentioned people aren't around to tell me. The information side often has written notes or ages. I'm going out on a limb and saying what I am posting is from the Detroit area, but since my aunt Margie's husband, Uncle Angus (always known by his Percival nephew and nieces as Uncle Mack) had roots in the thumb area of Michigan, some could be from there also. The only problem was, I couldn't locate them. Then, the other day I was reaching for a clear plastic box that has all my file folder tabs and lo and behold, the box under it - also clear - had a funeral card in it. There was my stash of unknown dead people. I mean their cards, not the actual dead people. Because keeping dead people in a clear plastic box on a shelf is just wrong.

If you are lucky enough to be related to any of the funeral cards I post, be my guest and click on the image, right click on it and save it. That's why I am posting them.

Okay. Having said that, the first one I chose was the above mentioned Father Schuller. I picked his because I really love the artwork on the front. To view it, click on the image. Don't forget to hit the back button on your browser to return to this page.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, May 14, 2010

I Want a Colorful Relative.

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

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tangible Results

One of the greatest benefits of researching your family is being able to hook up with living relatives. Case in point is my DH's family. He is an only child, whose mother was born in Massachusetts and father in Buffalo. Its kind of amazing that they would hook up in Detroit. My father-in-law is the only surviving sibling in a family of two sons and a daughter. Both his brother and sister died in the early 1970's at the age of 54 and 53 respectively, which is quite young. And here is my father-in-law hanging on at the age of 91.

Years ago, when I sat down and recorded my parents' histories, I wanted to do the same with my in-laws, but they refused to be taped. Instead, I sat down with each of them and went through photos they both had, asking questions. One family grouping, I asked who the tall man and pretty woman were. FIL said that was his aunt Sophie and Uncle Fred. Further questioning gave me the last name and the fact that Fred was really Ferdinand and that Sophie and Fred had two sons, Carl and David.

This was before I had access to Ancestry, and a time when you could buy discs that were contained the phone directories for virtually every big city in the United States. Because the last name was unusual, I was able to send off a couple of letters to a Carl and David in the Buffalo, New York area. One letter came back with a note saying sorry, but not their family. The other letter I received was from David, and he said yes, he was the son of Sophie & Fred, I could call him at his home, number included, and did I know who the people in the pictures were?  Sure enough, the picture was of my DH's grandparents, aunt, uncle and father! It was a heart stopping moment. DH's last name was on the back of the photo but Dave said he had no idea who that family was.

In our phone conversation, he informed me that his brother, Carl had passed, and that Carl had been the family historian. DH and I arranged a trip to Buffalo to meet the family, and have enjoyed a great relationship with his first cousin, once removed ever since. Actually, we have enjoyed a brief visit with him when he stopped here for a couple nights on his trip to Panama City Florida and look forward to his visit on his return trip.

It was some of the best research I ever did!

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

There Be Whales Here.

No, this is NOT a review of Star Trek: The Voyage Home. Although, being a Trekkie, I really enjoyed this movie. What it is in fact is one of those goosebump moments we family researchers suffer from time to time.

Mine came tonight, when the program for The American Experience  was "Into the Deep: America, Whaling and the World."  This program covered the whaling industry and the voyage of the whaler Essex. The Essex was in effect, the inspiration for Moby Dick.

By the 1820's whales were so hunted out in the Atlantic that whalers were circling the globe in search of sperm whales, the whale with the most valuable product. The Essex left Nantucket in November 1819, sailed around the coast of South America and 3000 miles from land was sunk by a whale that literally attacked the ship. Everyone on board survived the actual sinking, but the actual horror was the deaths from dehydration and starvation that occurred among the crew. Three of the whale boats were filled with men and instead of  letting the prevailing headwinds carry them west, say towards Tahiti, they set sail for South America. You see, they were afraid of cannibals. They did find an island along the way, and three men chose to stay behind. That may have been a good move on their part because of the three boats, one got separated from them and was never seen again, nor its crew. The other two boats sufferered the above mentioned dehydration and starvation. Their condition was so bad that they reverted to cannibalism to survive. Do we sense the irony here?

I can't say specifically, that any of my relatives were whalers, but the Percivals of Massachusetts had their fair share of "seamen" and "mariners" in their number. While none were aboard the Essex, several were lost "at sea" and one spouse of a Percival daughter, one Washington Chipman died in the Chincha Islands off the coast of Peru in 1851. Is it possible he was a whaler? Maybe. Within that time frame, it is possible he was on his way to California to work in the gold fields.

It was an interesting program, and if you have sailors from that era in your lineage, it could be very compelling.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Too Busy Clicking & Claiming?

For months, I've been working on the Percival family of New England. As my regular readers will have ascertained, I do search not only collateral lines, but also female lines. One such line that I have been keeping an eye on is that of Phebe Percival who married Abner Hall in Connecticut.

I've found some good information from the Barbour Collection of East Haddam, Connecticut Vital records. These are transcriptions from the vital records. So why, when I search on Ancestry in all their family tree files, can I not find any of the children of this couple, who are easily located in Connecticut Vital records or on Family Search. Instead, I find only one child, Fidelia, supposedly born in 1773, whom I can't document at all.

Which brings me to people who click and claim: don't they ever check to see whether a family tree is sourced or not? I'm sure they don't. There are other people who have "submitted" this tree to Ancestry, and none of them have any documentation whatsoever. Are they too busy clicking & claiming to check this family out, or are they just too concerned with their numbers to verify anything?

Maybe during October - family history month - we should adopt a click & Claimer & teach them how to research.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, May 10, 2010

I Have A Matrilineal Line?

Years ago, when I joined a genealogy society, there was an older gentleman who was just putting his family history into the computer. Well, sort of. You see, he was only putting the male lines in or just half of his family. I asked him if he had children and he told me proudly, that he did. I asked him what they would think of all his hard work when he passed on only half of it. He thought about it a few minutes and conceded that I was right.

The few times I saw him after that, he was working on putting in the female side of all his lines. I don't know if he ever completed the project, because he died shortly after, but I always think of him when someone tells me the maternal line isn't important. Then I want to hit the speaker with a mallet!

Over at Apple's Tree on Saturday, Apple traced her matrilineal line in a meme. I thought it would be interesting if I did mine. It's pretty short.

1. My mom, Catherine Zimmeth. Born and died in Michigan.
2. Luetta Meyer, born in Minster, Ohio in 1894. Died in Michigan in 1931.
3. Emilie Catherine Marie (Amelia) Knost. Born in New Bremen, Ohio in 1867 and died in Michigan in 1943.
4. Anna-Maria Wilhelmina Charlotte Kettler. Born in Germany in 1831, died in Ohio in 1911.
5. Anna-Maria Charlotte Henrietta Kreinbrok. Born in Germany in 1804 and died in Ohio in 1888.

That's it. I'm actually very happy to have gotten that far back to my great-great-great grandmother.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Still Looking for Herbert

Every so often, I will check the "web" for Dr. Herbert D. Percival. He was my great-grandfather's older brother. Herbert went to the University of Cincinnati and graduated with an M.D. He lived with his Uncle Jabez Percival and Aunt Catherine Bush Percival in Covington, Kentucky, but I get the feeling he lived in the shadow of his cousin, Dr. William Bush Percival. William graduated with honors, his parents were wealthy and Herbert scrimped, saved and borrowed money from his younger brother, who had a job. I don't think Herbert and his brother John "Henry" Percival were very close, only one letter to Henry exists, and that is from the time that Herbert was a railroad Doctor in Devil's Lake, Dakota Territory in the mid 1880's.

Herbert married Catherine Gray "Kate" and they had one child who died in his first year. After Devil's Lake, Kate and Herbert made their way to California and eventually joined Jabez and his family which included sons William and John Philip and daughters Ellen "Nellie" and Olive. Herbert practiced his medical profession, again in the shadow of his cousin, William.

The family story, passed on to our side of the family from my dad's cousin, says that Herbert about 1895,went out to collect fees from some of his patients and was never seen again. Foul play was suspected, but as far as I can tell, no sign of him was ever found. In 1897, Herbert's widow Kate, married his cousin William. I have never been sure whether it was from expediency or what. William's first wife, Susie, died in 1884 and for the next 13 years William raised his children alone, or possibly with the help of his Mother.

I've always thought it would have been very simple for Herbert to disappear, and lacking a death certificate, obituary or any news article to the contrary, it does make one wonder.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, May 7, 2010

Those Were The Days My Friend ...

I had a comment on yesterday's blog from Tracy about how she was grateful to get any research done, being a working mom with kids 6 and 2. It took me back ...

When my kids were ages 6 and 4 way back in 1986, we had a Tandy 1000 desktop computer with an "A" drive. That's right, no internal hard drive, that was added later to the tune of $400+ for a 20 mg (yes, that's megabytes) hard drive. I think at that time we also added another floppy drive, which may have been a 3.5 inch to complement the 5.25 inch floppy drive.

I had always been interested in family history and at our Tandy Users Group, one of the members who was into his family research told us about a little Basic program called "Genealogy On Display." Remember, this was before Windows. It wasn't a bad program, but rather cumbersome, so when I found out about a new program, called Brother's Keeper, I switched to that. I used that program for several years and even made the transition to Windows with it. At the time I switched from G-O-D to BK, there was no GEDCOM that was compatible with Genealogy on Display. So I simply printed out each record from G-O-D and reentered all 308 records into Brother's Keeper. All this happened before I found about Personal Ancestral File or PAF. I did try that, but found the sourcing a pain, after all I could never get those tags straight.

I had to go look on Wikipedia to see when GEDCOM was released, which was 1984. It was released for PAF 2.0 in 1985. The wider availability of it made switching from BK to Family Origins for Windows a breeze. It was in this time frame of BK5 and Family Origins 3 that programs began to allow you to add an image to someone's record. Now of course, you can add documents, sound files, and photos, as many as you want to each person. I used Family Origins until version 10 came out and then progressed with that to RootsMagic 4.0.x.

I can't believe how much genealogy programs have progressed. From the very basic up to the extremely complicated programs that we have today that will not only track your family, but also your families' DNA.

I installed our first modem, a 14.4 kps model for our dial-up connection. And does anyone else have these weird memories of trying to dial-up and the weird noises that would ensue while your modem attempted to connect to your Internet Service Provider?

I am grateful that for those formative years of my daughters' lives, I was able to be a stay-at-home-mom and able to spend a day at the local Family History Center, first as a patron and later as a volunteer. I learned so much there and did a lot of research. And through it all, there has been a genealogy program there to help me keep everything straight.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, May 6, 2010

No. Don't Lose Interest Now! or How OCFRD Takes Over.

Don't get me wrong, I really am enjoying transcribing those letters my paternal grandfather wrote, I just need to do some actual research once in a while - like every day. My days have been running something like this:

Get up, have coffee and breakfast, transcribe a letter, pull some records, wash some windows, do some laundry, feed the birds, water plants, make bed, dust, vacuum, mop, organizing something, pull some more records, scan a letter, transcribe it, print the transcription, file it, go to lunch, run miscellaneous errands, grocery shop, more laundry, clean bathrooms, take car in for service, go to dentist, clean guest room (actually, this one is on tap for tomorrow), pull more records, make dinner, run dishwasher, watch a little TV with DH, have a glass of wine (Freedom Run Winery, Niagara county, New York - Manning Manor Rose), listen to DH listening to noise, figure out what noise is, gulp wine down, send email, take shower, do a little more research, evaluate a source, make some corrections on Find A Grave (my records), fold clothes, get ready for bed, maybe look for one more record and go to bed - maybe!

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Catching Up

The weather, as you may have heard, has been really crazy in middle Tennessee. Now that the weather has been sunny, warm, and pretty dang humid, I've been doing some Spring Cleaning. No, not in my office, although that is on tap for the weekend, but in those "folders" on my laptop where I keep all my "gotta enter this information" vital records and census. The census, which I enjoy searching for, can be a real drag to work on, so from time to time, I vary how I do it. Right now it seems for every one I enter, link the image and file away, I find one. It just seems that virtual pile never gets smaller. The pile grew because Family Search added so many more records. I enter the information on an 1860 census and then have to find the 1850 and 1870. And so on.

It's a dirty job, isn't it?

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mail versus Email

I am resuming transcription of Grandpa's letters to my future Grandma, written in France during and after the Great War. He faithfully wrote to her just about every other day when he could. The period between September 1 and November 11th, he was on detached service reinforcing bridges, so those letters, we now discover never made it to her. As for hers to him? He destroyed them.

Now, a lot of us correspond via cyberspace and mail still gets lost! I can't tell you how often the Wild Ones will be exchanging emails and you will often read someone's reply before you see the original email. We like to blame it on Bill Gates. I'll add Al Gore to the mix since "he invented the internet." Who did they blame in 1918-1919? Probably just old Uncle Sam. Or maybe the censors. And yes, they were still censoring letters after the armistice. Grandpa says so.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, May 3, 2010

Distracted to the Extreme - Or Moaning Monday

I think it has been more than a week since I last transcribed one of my grandfather's letters. I have so allowed myself to get distracted by some other Percival families. It certainly is easy to do. Then I distracted myself with working on all the new stuff Family Search Labs has added to their site. It sure has left me with a lot of census to go through, which I will tackle soon, hopefully before they hit the century mark, as they stand at 63 now!

Over at Heritage Happens last Friday, Cheryl posted Funeral Cards for Funeral Friday. I like the idea, especially of posting cards of people whom I don't know. My aunt and my mother-in-law both gave me stacks of them, and a good number of them, I have no idea who the people were. So maybe if I post these, someone will see them and claim them. But that's another project. After I put my hands on them again, that is. I'm not sure I've seen any of these since we moved here, and if I did, I can't imagine where they are. I certainly hope they aren't with the framed wall photos we seemed to have lost in our move from Michigan.

Over the weekend, I let the storms here in middle Tennessee really distract me. Fortunately for us - knock on wood - we have not seen any of the flooding that the Nashville area has. All I can say is we've already got our normal May rainfall and it is only May 3rd!

But you know, sometimes distractions are great. They let you work on something that interests you and gives you time and energy to re-focus on your project, so don't feel guilty when you are pulled away from a project or when you step away from it. 

Also, today is Monday, which is Relatively Speaking Day, and it is Karen's turn. Check her out at Genealogy Frame of Mind.

Back to work now!

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tomorrow's Monday - Relatively Speaking Day!

Karen is up tomorrow with her Relatively Speaking subject. Wild Ones always have unique perspectives on any subject. Tune in tomorrow at Genealogy Frame of Mind.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, May 1, 2010

What Was the Census Taker Thinking?

I've been working on the Family Search Record Search Site or the New Family Search Beta site - same info different formats - and finding lots of good stuff. One was a marriage record for William W. Dunham in Montana, son of Job Dunham and Hannah Percival (Percivil on the record). Of course, I had no idea he had gone to Montana. With this information I went to Ancestry to look for William Dunham in Montana, and of course, he wasn't there! If you use a search engine as much as I do, you will know that sometimes less is more. So I tried again, removing Montana from the search and there was William and Almeda Dunham and their family in Fremont County, Idaho. I found them again in 1910 and by 1920 Almeda was a widow. I found her in Pocatello, Idaho as recently as the 1938-39 City directory. I searched and searched before I found a death record for Margaret Almeda Dunham. Yeesh, what you have to go through to find stuff.

In looking over the 1910 census for this family, I had to wonder about the census transcription. You see, she transcribed Clod for Claud. Poor kid!

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes