Gene Notes

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

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

There's One in Every Family - COG 100th Edition

Jasia at Creative Gene suggested the above topic for the 100th Edition of Carnival of Genealogy. I love it. Our family has one, but which to choose?

1. Our family of course has an oldest child, who happens to be the only son. Some have referred to him as the Golden Child.

2. Our family has the oldest daughter, the princess. This one also happens to be our family's rebellious one.

3. Our family has two middle children. I am the older of the two middle children, and as a kid, I would have been classified as the sickly one. I was also the preemie.

4. The second middle child would be known as the quiet one. This one would go into a closet and cry in private. She's not so quiet now.

5. Our family has two surprise children - you know those that come long after the initial onslaught of baby-making. Number one surprise child was born when child number four was 7. Mom and dad had given away all the baby stuff, crib, playpen, etc shortly before mom announced she was expecting. This is our big baby - she weighed over 8 lbs and weighed a lot more than the usual 6 pounds mom delivered.

6. Surprise child two was also the baby. The one we had fun picking out names - seems like her middle name was always going to be Elizabeth. I can hardly remember if we even bothered picking out a boy's name at this point.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Pleasant Unlooked-For (Almost) Surprise

I love browsing new/updated databases. Last week, I chronicled the finding of a burial place for Joseph Pfeiffer when I found an update on Pennsylvania Veteran burials on

Last Saturday, while browsing updated databases at Family Search, I found a real surprise - the marriage record of Michel Meyer, son of Jean Meyer & (Marie) Catherine Zimmeth (Zimmet) in Pfastatt, Haut-Rhin, France to Crescentia Schlienger. Michel was born in Roeschwoog, Bas-Rhin, France in 1843. His mother, Marie Catherine Zimmeth, is my first cousin, 3 times removed. Or she is a first cousin to my great-grandfather, August Zimmeth. August was the son of Josef Zimmeth and Catherine Boegler; Marie Catherine was the daughter of Josef's brother Sebastien. Sebastien's family seems to disappear from records and the only two children I don't have death records for are Marie Catherine and her brother Louis. Now, I knew that Marie Catherine had married Jean Meyer in Roeschwoog, but I had nothing more on their seven children other than birth dates and death dates of the three children that died young. So finding a marriage record for even one of them makes me quite happy. That made me feel brave and so I ventured into the birth records and found two children - Achille, a son, born in 1869; and a daughter, Emilie, born in 1870.  Ancestry also yielded a citizenship declaration in 1872 for Achille, Emilie, and Crescentia (Michel's wife) Meyer.

Oddly enough this is Meyer Family number two in my database. The other Meyer family is from Germany and is also related to the Zimmeth family. Kind of scary, but I'll take the record!

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sympathy Saturday - Sarah Bohannon

As anyone who has researched their family history eventually finds out, infant mortality was very common due to many and varied causes. To lose a child due to an accident must have been devastating to this family.

 It was a very tragic death for toddler Sarah Bohannon. She somehow fell into a boiler of water. Unfortunately, too, is the fact that her burial place is unknown as the cemetery listed is either incorrect or defunct.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

No, I am not out shopping today. I did some craft shopping just before the holiday and I plan on working on some crafts while others are out shopping. Due to pre-holiday shopping, cleaning and then spending most of the early part of Thanksgiving cooking, I'd almost forgotten about posting a blog.  Well, I am sad to report that I really have nothing to comment on other than the addition to our extended family via one of my nephews. A fine boy, born a couple weeks early, but just in time for Thanksgiving!

My plans are to get the Christmas stuff up in the next week, weather permitting. Then back to scanning and transcribing letters.

Have fun shopping y'all

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thriller Thursday - More Like Thankful Thursday

It's Thanksgiving and instead of posting a Thriller, I will tell you about our own thriller last week.

Tuesday afternoon, shortly after lunch, DH and I were doing those mundane household tasks, listening to the wind gusts, when we felt the house shake. Sure enough, one of the large oak trees in our back yard bit the dust. And I mean the tree, not just a limb or two. Fortunately, the wind was coming out of the southwest and blew the tree north east. It missed our shed, it missed the house. It left small branches all over the roof of the house, and the deck and the very top of it rested on the grill. On it's way down, it managed to clip a small tree to the east of our shed and it took out about two-thirds of the crown of our glorious backyard maple tree. An otherwise healthy tree. When the tree guys came, he and hubby picked out other trees to come down - even though there were at least 3 that could have come down - the total devastation was 11 trees one in the front. The smaller trees - mostly dogwoods - would have had to come out sooner or later, but we effectively lost three of four large shade trees in our back yard. I could almost cry about it.

Instead I am thankful for the fact that no one was hurt and there was no damage other than a little dent in our grill.

I am thankful that although we can't all be together, that our youngest will be spending Thanksgiving at one of her aunts. 

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wedding Wednesday - Kruszka and Kurzanow, Kruszka & Pytkowna

On November 14, 1790, 220 years ago, in the village of Murczyn, parish of Gora-Znin, Bydgoszcz, Poland, DH's great-great-great-great grandparents, Mathew Kruszka and Anna Kurzawianka were married.

1790, p. 12
On the same day as above (14) in the present month (November) after the banns were read August 24, August 31 and September 7 and no legitimate impediment was detected, I Brother Patricus Kurcihi joined Mathew Kruszka, young man and Anna Kurzawianka, maiden of the village of Murczyn. Witnesses were Matthew Sawka and Paul Malah.
(Not a word for word translation.)

Twenty-five years, 11 months and 17 days prior to that Mathew's parents, Clement Kruszka and Marianna Pytkowna were married. The translation for this record is as follows:  


Year as above (1764) 28 day of November, I performed the marriage between Clement Kruska, widower and Maryanna Pyktowna, maiden, of the town of Gora.

Unfortunately, I was never able to procure an earlier marriage record for Clement, or for that matter to give his first wife a name.

Sorry that both images will not enlarge. Thank Blogger for that!

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Joseph Pfeiffer Story

I'm not so sure that this is so much The Pfeiffer story as it is the "Aunt Rose Story." You see, my mom's aunt Rose Zimmeth was probably the closest to a free spirit my family had in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Years ago - 1977 to be a little more exact - my uncle "interviewed" his father, my maternal grandfather, to elicit some family information. While  this told me more than I have ever suspected, my uncle failed to get information that he knew the answers to on tape. Which still left me in the dark somewhat. But we'll skip that subject today.

Before I first listened, and later transcribed that interview, I was pretty much in the dark about my mom's family. She had an unusual upbringing in that she rarely lived with her own parents. Her mother was afflicted with TB and the family was often split up among other family members. Thus, my mother was raised by her Aunt Rose, one of Grandpa's sisters.

At this point, a little background is necessary on Rose. She was born October 26, 1884 in East Tawas, Michigan. Her father, August Zimmeth was the only of his family born in the United States and her mother, Augusta Wilhelmina Clesotte (see previous posts about this name) was born in Germany. Somewhere. By 1906, Rose is living/working in Detroit, Michigan where in January 1906 she marries Emmon Soncrant. Grandpa's interview says that the marriage was dissolved because of underage. Well, it was true that Emmon was just shy of his 21st birthday. Rose was already 22. Maybe he did not have parental permission, but by all reports the marriage did not last long and eventually both remarried.

Rose then entered into a long-term relationship with Joseph "Jul" Kustus, a professional baseball player. Early in his career, he played for the Brooklyn Dodgers. I'm not sure when Joe and Rose hooked up but by 1916 they were living together and were business partners in a grocery. Joe died of TB in 1916 at "Eloise" the sanitarium in Wayne, Michigan. My grandfather avowed that Rose & Joe would have married had he not died. Which leads us into 1917 and my subject.

Joseph A. Pfeiffer and Rose Zimmeth were married October 17, 1917. Joe was a butcher and Rose was still in the grocery business on the 1920 census. Unfortunately, their marriage was a short one, because one day, while Joe was riding his bicycle, he was struck by a car and killed. This happened on August 31, 1920, less than three years after their marriage.

Originally, I had no idea when Joe and Rose were even married, but thanks to FamilySearch, I was able to find their marriage record. Then began the search for Joseph's death. I had a narrow window, 1920, because Rose married her last husband, John Ochsenfeld (also Ochenfeld or Ochensfeld) in January of 1921. Since Joseph appeared on the 1920 census, he was alive as of January 1st of 1920.

Fortunately for me, the state of Michigan put up their Seeking Michigan website and I was finally able to locate Joe's death certificate and, indeed, I confirmed that he was riding a bike when he was struck and killed. The second part of what Grandpa said, was that the driver of the car was the owner of a car company. This part I have never been able to confirm.

Joe's death certificate gave his burial place as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which I already suspected, since I knew Aunt Rose was buried with her family up in East Tawas, Michigan. Her last husband was buried with his late first wife in Detroit. So it was logical that Joe was buried with his family in Pittsburgh, somewhere. Searches on Find-a-Grave were unproductive. No one had entered any of his family that I could tell. Previous searching had elicited his parents as Christian Adam and Mathilde Pfeiffer. I even had names for his siblings. But nothing for Joseph. Until now.

Last week I saw a database on Ancestry that led me straight to his burial place. Almost. Because nothing on Ancestry is simple. Ever. What I found when I searched Pennsylvania Veterans Burial Cards, 1777-1999 on ancestry was ABSOLUTELY nothing for Jos* Pfeiffer. However they did have a Jos R Pfeiffer, born 1893 and died August 31, 1920 buried in Greenwood cemetery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Yeah. No. When I look at the record here on the right, I see Pfeiffer, Jos. A (not R) and I see Highwood Cemetery not Greenwood. I still can't figure out why searching Jos* Pfeiffer did not bring up the index for him, but there he is. I had no idea Joe served as a Private in 1918. But now I have a burial place including the section, lot and grave. 

In my quest for more information on Joseph, I found on Ancestry World Tree The Extended Wood, Bupp, Tatem, Huether, Pfeiffer, etc tree, which proved the Highwood Cemetery rather than Greenwood Cemetery for a burial place. Finally. Now if SKS* at Find-a-Grave will honor the request, I may even end up with a headstone photo and then Joe's story will be complete.

*Some Kind soul.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, November 22, 2010

What's in Your Genes?

DH and I have two daughters who seem to have inherited my sense of humor, their father's sweetness, and our love of reading. Our younger daughter also seems to have "inherited" rheumatoid arthritis. Just shy of her 23rd birthday she was diagnosed with RA after going to the doctor for what she thought was carpal tunnel syndrome.

Right now she is fortunate. She leads a mostly normal life, except for days when she can hardly function for the pain.

For the last few years, she has participated in the Arthritis Foundation's Jingle Bell Walk/Run in Northville, Michigan. In December. For those of you who are not familiar with Northville, it is a charming, yet hilly town in the western 'burbs of Detroit. One year, we walked the route with her. Believe me, the first weekend of December is usually cold and snowy, wet and icy. And yet, you will see hundreds of people out there helping to raise money for Arthritis research.

 Her donation page is here at Jingle Bell Run. Stop in for a visit and maybe some encouragement.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sympathy Saturday - Lafayette Ashley

Lafayette Ashley was the great-great grandson of Joseph Ashley and Elizabeth Percival. He died at the age of 13 on November 18, 1840 and is buried in the Speedsville Cemetery in Speedsville, New York. You can see an image of his marker at Find-A-Grave.
Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thanks Ancestry! Spelling Doesn't Count Remix

Lest you think I HATE, let me assure you that I don't HATE them. No, it is more of a love/hate relationship. After all, if it weren't for Ancestry, I would have days when I wouldn't know what to blog about.

Let me put it this way. I spent the better part of last evening looking for Ruth Kirtley and her parents on the 1930 census. Ruth was born in 1927 and was a native of Horse Cave, Kentucky according to her 2007 obituary. So why can't I find them on the 1930 census?

The answer is simply this: The trained monkeys could not read Kirtley or even Kertley on the census and instead they read Keatley. Well, you can't do a soundex search for Kirtley and get Keatley. So I resorted to what I used to do before Ancestry and decided to search Horse Cave, Hart County, Kentucky in a line-by-line search of the index, looking for William and something that looks like Kirtley. What I found was William O Keatley, wife Louise and daughters Ann & Ruth. I looked at the census. It actually looked more like William P Kertley than Keatley. Kertley at least would have been found on a soundex search. Sigh.

Now to apply that principle to a death record search.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thriller Thursday - James B. S. Kirtley

From the Kansas City Star, Kansas City, Missouri, obituary, 13 January 1894, p1


James B. Kirtley of 1707 College Avenue Run Down on the Belt Line Tracks.

James B. Kirtley, a wealthy real estate owner, whose home was at 1707 College avenue, was run over and fatally injured by a Milwaukee Railway switch engine at Twentieth Street and Flora avenue, about 8:30 o'clock this morning and died at the city hospital three hours later.

Kirtley's sister, Miss Montebelle Kirtley lives at 2112 Harrison street, and he was going there to arrange for his two young daughters to spend their school holiday with her today. He was walking down the tracks talking with some companions when a Belt line engine approached from the west. He stepped on the second track in front of a Milwaukee switch engine backing down behind him. He was knocked down and both legs were cut off above the knee.  His companions were not hurt. Police Sergeant Casey called the ambulance and Kirtley was taken to the city hospital.

Kirtley was reared in Lafayette County, Mo., and was 47 years of age. He came to Kansas City nine years ago. His wife died not long ago leaving two daughters 12 and 14 years of age.  His aged mother, Mrs. E. E. Kirtley, still lives at Dover, Mo. Coroner Langsdale will hold an inquest Monday.

*Sorry if the image is not readable - we can thank Blogger for that - again!

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wedding Wednesday - Percival & Wood


In Barnstable (Massachusetts), by the Rev. Mr. Pratt, Mr. Freeman Percival to Miss Maria Wood. (Published in the Boston Daily Advertiser, Nov 15, 1817, page 2.)

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Letters From My Grandfather

In all the letters I have transcribed, there have only been two references to my grandmother, who died in 1938. This is the second in a letter dated April 12, 1943 to my Uncle Johnny:

  " It is difficult for me to speak or write of affection for you or Frank, but I would be a very peculiar parent indeed, if I did not have great affection for both you and Frank and since your Mother's death all of my affection has been given you boys, however inexpressive I have been it just isn't my nature to be otherwise. I am thinking of you boys at all times and of you a particularly large amount of my waking hours since you have been away in the army.  "

Some things run in the family.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, November 15, 2010

How's That for Historical Context?

One of the things I have really enjoyed in transcribing these World War II era letters from my grandfather to my uncle, is the news of everyday life. Whether it is the description of grandpa wading through a sewer in waders up to his armpits, or news of the war effort. In the current letter I am transcribing, grandpa mentions that Packard Motors is building airplane engines. A trip to Wikipedia elicits the fact that Packard was licensed to build the Rolls Royce Merlin engine. This particular engine was used  to power the P-51 Mustangs.

I discovered in earlier letters from my dad's Aunt Bessie and cousin James in Claremont, California, that rationing was much more stringent in California than it was in Detroit in early 1943. I learned my dad had trouble holding jobs as a teenager. That probably doesn't make him different than teens of any era. But since he held his last job 34 years, it is mind-boggling to me. Holding a job during the War years was important, because if you were unemployed and 18 or older, it was an automatic draft notice. Big Brother was watching.

What I haven't learned is who "the bird in the back" was. Grandpa was referring to the tenants in the back bedroom; he was unemployed and facing induction into the army and she was on the nest. And it seems that Frank, my dad, knew everyone's business. Sure wish Grandpa would have spit out that name for me. It's making me crazy and I don't have a Detroit city directory from that era to check it out. I guess that goes on my to-do list for next trip to Library of Michigan or Allen County Public Library.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sympathy Saturday - Katherine Stanhope Bassett

 Katherine Stanhope Bassett, a collateral cousin through the Bowman side, a descendant of Isaac Bowman and Mary Chinn. Katherine was born was born Feb 18 1886 and died Nov 13 1973. She is buried in Lexington Cemetery, Lexington, Kentucky.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, November 12, 2010

He Said He Was a Fighter

I'm back to transcribing letters from my grandfather to my uncle and finding lots of tidbits here and there. The latest tidbit was finding out my dad hadn't left his fighting ways behind him in elementary school. In March of 1943, he was fired from a job at Ford Motor Parts division for fighting (the other guy lost his job, too.) The U.S. Employment office gave him a job ticket for Willow Run - a distance of over 25 miles to someone who did not have a car - insurmountable. There has been no subsequent mention of whether or not he went there or not. At the time this letter was written, Grandpa and my dad lived about five blocks from the Fisher Building in what subsequently became the New Center area.

I shouldn't have been surprised at the fight. My dad, when we did our "interview" was up front about his fighting. I think he had given it up by the time he married my mom and we came along. Yeah, he had quite a temper and a BIG voice, but I don't remember any fights.

A letter from cousin James Rankin to my uncle told me that because of the cervical fracture of his neck, James didn't feel any pain, and had some surgery, and actually enjoyed the hospital stay.

One letter, grandpa gives a little geography lesson to Uncle Johnny about Alexandria, Louisiana and references statistics from the 1930 census! Pretty cool for a genealogist to come across something like that in a letter.

Time to get back to the transcribing.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thriller Thursday - The Runaway Horse and Robert S Kirtley, Part Two

The Kansas City (MO) Star, July 16, 1895.


Succumbed to His Injuries One Week From the Day He was Hurt.

Shortly before 6 o'clock this morning Robert S. Kirtley of Kirtley Bros. plumbers 1213 Walnut Street, died at All Saints Hospital, the result of injuries received in an accident at Twenty-fifth and Penn streets a week ago today.

Last Tuesday Mr. Kirtley hired a carriage at W. F. Cantwell's livery stables at Eighth & Walnut streets and started out for a drive with his wife, daughter and James Millhoff of Louisville, Kentucky. At Twenty-fifth and Penn streets the bolt which held the left side of the carriage tongue to the axle dropped out, letting the carriage plunge forward against the horses. Being high spirited animals they became excited and ran away down the hills which slopes from Twenty-fifth street to the Belt line tracks at Twenty-second street. At Twenty-fourth street the carriage was upset, throwing the occupants to the hard pavement with great force. Mrs. Kirtley and her daughter fell on Mr. Kirtley and Mr. Millhoff and escaped with slight injuries. Mr. Millhoff had his chin gashed, while Mr. Kirtley received the worst injuries. He was taken to All Saints hospital in an unconscious condition. A diagnosis of his case showed that he was suffering from concussion of the brain, a fracture of the skull and serious internal injuries.  For six days he lay at the hospital, at times regaining consciousness for a few minutes, only to relapse into a semi-comatose condition again.  At two o'clock this morning he suddenly became worse and sank rapidly until he died, a few minutes before 6 o'clock this morning. The body was removed to the undertaking establishment of E. Stine and Sons.

The funeral will be held Thursday morning at 10 o'clock from the Olive Street Baptist church, Ninth and Olive streets. The Rev. Dr. T. E. Vassar, pastor of the First Baptist church, assisted by the Rev. C. G. Skillman of Springfield, Mo., will conduct the funeral exercises. Burial will be made in Elmwood Cemetery. The active Pall bearers will be J. A. Oates, Jason Hidden, Captain Hurts, B. F. Clements, J. F. Russell and J. Holman.

Mr. Kirtley was born in Boone County, Ky., near Petersburg, forty-seven years ago. On attaining his majority, he became a traveling salesman for a wholesale tea and coffee house in Cincinnati, O. Later he was in the employ of J. M. Kirtley & Bros., commission merchants, of that place. In May, 1887, he came to Kansas City and went to work for the plumbing firm of Rile, Kirtley & Duncan. Shortly afterwards, Mr. Duncan retired, and in 1889 the firm was dissolved and a new one was formed, known henceforth as Kirtley Bros., of which Mr. Kirtley was a member.

A wife and five children, three of whom are girls, survive Mr. Kirtley. Jessie Kirtley, aged 19 is the oldest of the children.

Shortly after coming to Kansas City, Mr. Kirtley became a member of the Olive Street Baptist Church. His father was a Baptist Preacher, well known over the state of Kentucky.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wedding Wednesday - Beckwith and Lincoln

From Newark Daily Advocate, Newark, Ohio, 11 November 1897  and Olean Democrat, Olean, New York, 11 November 1897.  She was my fourth cousin twice removed through my ancestors (5th great grandparents) James Parker & Mary Todd and fifth cousin twice removed through Robert Todd & Isabella Bodley, my 6th great grandparents. The Parkers and Todds intermarried a lot.

Jessie Lincoln Beckwith, the granddaughter of Abraham Lincoln and the youngest daughter of Robert T. Lincoln, ex-secretary of war, who has incurred parental displeasure and got herself talked about in the newspapers by running away with and marrying Warren W. Beckwith, an athletic, good looking young man, is a pretty, fair-haired young woman of 21 years and much independence.  Mrs. Beckwith's home for an umber of years has been Chicago, but she has passed but little time there.  As a girl in her teens she lived in London with her parents while her father was United States minister to the court of St. James.  She also attended school abroad, and since her return to this country has spent much of her time visiting with her mother in Mount Pleasant, Ia., where she met Mr. Beckwith.  Her husband is a young man of 23, and his father is Captain W. Beckwith, a prominent citizen of Mount Pleasant, who owns several large stock farms.  Young Beckwith has not settled down to business yet, being barely through college and still much interested in college athletics, particularly football.

Miss Lincoln Married.  Chicago, Nov. 11. -- Miss Jessie Lincoln, daughter of Robert T. Lincoln, and Warren Beckwith a young business man of Mount Pleasant, Ia., were married at Milwaukee.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Snowball Effect* - Or OCFRD**

I don't even know how it started. Except that I was looking at an obituary and trying to figure out if this person connected to any of the Percivals I knew were connected in Texas. First I found Sarah Etta Dunham Hart (see Monday's blog) and before I knew it, my research reached back in to Michigan and Illinois and Ohio. Ohio represented descendants of Simon Perkins Percival through his son, Norris Simon and then later through some of Simon's descendants in Illinois.  Norris Simon Percival, Sr. moved on to Texas, died there in 1933 and his line produced more Norris Simon Percivals. A grandson of Simon P. Percival, Charles Scofield Percival, produced a son named Stanley who died in Arizona. Another son, William, died in Illinois. To add confusion to the mix, I added another Charles to the Percival line, a son of William Oval Percival. Thanks to Ancestry, I now have several generations of births, deaths, obituaries, marriage notices, and burials to deal with. Big pile on my desk now to deal with.

*Snowball effect is a figurative term for a process that starts from an initial state of small significance and builds upon itself, becoming larger, and perhaps potentially dangerous or disastrous, though it might be beneficial instead. - Wikipedia.
**OCFRD - Obsessive Compulsive Family Research Disorder.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mystery Monday - Sarah Etta Dunham Hart

While looking for a specific Percival related family on the Beta Family Search site last week, I came across a death certificate for Sarah Etta Hart, daughter of Jobe Durham and Hannah Purciville.  I know, how silly of me not to be searching for Purcivilles too. The obvious errors are her father's names. He was Job DUNHAM not Durham and Job was married to Hannah Percival, not Purciville. I knew that Hannah was the daughter of Cullen Percival & Rachel Quigley. Finding Sarah Etta's death certificate was a surprise, because I had no evidence of her living there. The last census she appeared on was 1910 in Michigan and she died in 1912 in Texas.

One of the mysteries solved was the use of Sarah and Etta in the same record. I had a Sarah Dunham in her birth record and an Etta Dunham in the marriage record to James A. Hart. Her death certificate in Texas proves that Sarah and Etta are the same person.

No other family members are buried with Sarah Etta in Texas, and that too puzzled me. I think I've found her husband James A. Hart buried in Michigan, courtesy of Find-A-Grave. What I can't find on James is something other than his marriage record that states his parents' names. His marriage record states Roswell Hart and Marie Beaman are his parents. BUT, can you hear my hopes deflating here? He is not enumerated on any census with them. Now, it is possible that James could be James Austin Hart, but I haven't been able to prove that yet. The mystery continues.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sympathy Saturday - Lucy Daley Boon

From the St. Louis Republic, St. Louis, Missouri, 20 November 1898

Mrs. William Boon of Jefferson City.

Written for the Sunday Republic.

Mrs. Lucy A. Boon, one of the prominent residents of the state capital, died on Sunday morning, November 6 at her home in Jefferson City. She was 81 years old. Mrs. Boon was notable in her life and influence, and being born and bred in this State, was a typical Missouri mother, devoted first to the interests of her family, then to her church, and then to her State. In politics she was a Democrat, taking a lively interest in the political movements of the times.

Mrs. Boon's father was John Daley, an Irish school teacher, who came from Dublin in the early part of this century, and settled in Fayette, Mo., where Lucy Anne Daley, the subject of this sketch, was born in 1817. At the age of 17, she was married to William C. Boon, nephew of Daniel Boon.

Nearly 80 years ago, Mrs. Boon's parents moved from Shelby County, Kentucky, to Boon County, Missouri, where they settled in 1819 on the old Rawlins' farm.

When the Civil War broke out Mr. and Mrs. Boon were living in Howard County, near Fayette. Their sympathies were with the South. The sent four sons to fight in its behalf.

Mrs. Boon was in great danger many times because of her outspoken views. Upon one occasion, while braving the perils of Bushwhackers, in order to see her sick husband, who was confined in Gratiot street prison, she fell into the hands of some Bushwhackers. They were about to take her buggy horse. She was many miles away from home. Then the remarkable courage and independent spirit which characterized all her actions saved her.

While her captors were busily engaged in robbing the mail bags which they had just taken from a passing stage, she called to them and said:

"If there is any letter there for Mrs. Lucy A. Boon hand it here, and don't you open it either. I've got four boys in the rebel army and I want to hear from them."

The leader of the gang instantly ordered one of his men to harness her horse to the buggy and she was permitted to drive away.

In 1876, Mr. Boon moved his family to Jefferson City, where they have since resided.

In 1884, Mr. and Mrs. Boon celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. They had 11 children, eight of whom are living. Dr. William C. Boon of New York, Daniel Boon of St. Louis, John T. and Howard c. Boon of Kansas City are the four sons, and Mrs. Nanny Lay of Jefferson City, Mrs. Sears of Kansas City, Mrs. Cyrus Thompson of Belleville and Mrs. S. B. Kirtley of Columbia are the four daughters.

Blogger's note: There are some obvious errors/omissions in the above obituary. Lucy was born probably in Jessamine or Shelby County, Kentucky. The Boons are in Jefferson City as early as 1870. Also there is no mention of the death of Wm. C. Boon, Lucy's husband, who predeceased her in 1885.  Her daughter, Alice, is Mrs. S. B. Kirtley and S. B. was Simeon Beauford Kirtley, my third cousin, four times removed. The picture, above was taken from her obituary.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, November 5, 2010

Diamonds Are Forever

In my real life I am a retired northern city employee. In our real lives, DH and I have taken care of some "business" that everyone needs to deal with at one time or another: Durable Power of Attorney, Living Wills, Durable Health Care Power of Attorney and Last Wills & Testaments.

It made me think of all the wills of ancestors that I have transcribed. And there have been lots of them. You just never think that you have much to leave behind, but really that isn't true. 

I realize those are serious things, but today as we were signing our living wills that have our final wishes stated clearly, I joked about DH having me cremated and forced to carry me with him all the time. Actually, I have joked about it for 31 years. One of our witnesses piped up with the information that there are companies that turn cremains into diamonds. Now I know DH is too cheap to have me turned into a diamond, but just think what a lasting gift that can be. Snicker. Okay, I'm ROTFLMAO. I can't help it.

If you are interested, this site has a price list!

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thriller Thursday - The Runaway Horse & Robert S Kirtley, Part One

From the Kansas City Star, July 9, 1895.



The Occupants were Dragged for a Block on South Penn Street - Mr. Kirtley so Badly Hurt that His Life is Despaired of.

R. S. Kirtley of Kirtley Bros. plumbers at 1213 Walnut Street, wife, daughter, and James Millhoff of Louisville, Ky., hired a carriage at W. F. Cantwell's livery stable at Eighth and Walnut streets and started out for a drive this afternoon. The party drove in the southern part city and was returning by way of Penn street when an accident occurred at Twenty-Fifth street, which nearly caused all to lose their lives.

At the corner of Twenty-Fifth and Penn streets the bolt which holds the left side of the carriage tongue to the axle dropped out, letting that side of the tongue fall to the ground. There is a steep hill at Twenty-Fifth street, sloping northward to the railroad tracks at Twenty-Third street. The carriage bumped against the heels of the horses, which so frightened them that they started to run down the hill at a frightful pace. Mr. Milhoff had hold of the lines, but he could not manage the horses. At Twenty-fourth Street the carriage upset throwing the occupants out in a heap. The excited animals dragged the carriage to the bridge at Twenty-third street, where they collided with a stone wagon driven by H. C. Garton. Some men who were grading near by ran to the assistance of the occupants of the carriage.  Mrs. Kirtley and her daughter had fallen on Mr. Kirtley and Mr. Millhoff and were found to be suffering only from a few bruises on the face, arms and body. Mr. Millhoff's chin was badly gashed and his clothes were torn in a number of places. His body was also bruised and scratched. Mr. Kirtley, on whom his wife had fallen, was badly injured. He was unconscious, suffering from internal injuries and a probable fracture of the base of the skull.

Mrs. Kirtley and her daughter and Mr. Millhoff were carried to the home of Mr. Duris Clay, at 2448 Penn Street, where their injuries were attended to. Mr. Kirtley was taken to police headquarters and then sent to All Saints hospital. At noon today he was still unconscious and it is thought that he cannot recover. He is 47 years old and has been in poor health for the past few months.

Mr. Millhoff lives in Louisville, Ky., where he is engaged in the iron business. He has been visiting Mr. Kirtley's family.

One of the horses was so badly injured that it had to be killed. The carriage was a total wreck.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wedding Wednesday - DeLong & Adams

This branch of the DeLong family is descended from the Kirtley family. "Bird" DeLong was in actuality, Henrietta DeLong, daughter of Henrietta "Etta" Berkley and granddaughter of Henrietta Kirtley. "Bird" is a fourth cousin three times removed.

From the Lexington Herald, January 6, 1898:

The marriage of Miss Bird DeLong and Mr. Alex Adams achieved what marriages rarely do - a complete surprise to the friends of the principal parties concerned. When the news of the nearness of the event first got abroad, very few if any were prepared for it.

The marriage was quietly celebrated yesterday afternoon at three o'clock at the First Presbyterian parsonage, Rev. Dr. Bartlett officiating.

Mr. Adams is a grandson of the late Mrs. Catherine Innes, is universally known and popular in Lexington and the country. Miss Bird DeLong is the oldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ami DeLong of Russell Cave. She has been known since her childhood as a sweet singer and a lovely character, which has made her a universal favorite. The young couple looked supremely happy as they received congratulations at the close of the ceremony; shortly after the conclusion of which they left for Bryan Station to visit Mrs. Calmes, an aunt of the groom. Later they expect to go to Florida to make their home.

In spite of the brief warning of the happy event a number of friends were present to wish the pair joy and good fortune. Among those who witnessed the ceremony were Mrs. Ami DeLong, mother of the bride; her brothers, Messrs. Sidner and Arthur DeLong, Dr. and Mrs Risque, of Russell Cave, Miss Mamie Warfield, Miss Eleanor Bacon, Miss Florence Hudson, Mr. Charles Early of Louisville, Messrs. James Richardson, Frank Bacon, Gray Falconer.

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Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

On Being Pulled in Different Directions

After a busy weekend - cleaning up our storeroom a bit and re-arranging, working in the garage to return it to some semblance of orderliness and to prep it for parking the second car in there, very little got done in the way of family history research. No blogs were written. This is unusual for me since I like to have a few waiting in the wings so to speak.

It was weird picking through boxes of books that DH and I packed in 2006 and 2007 when we were prepping our home in Michigan for sale. Many of those are now donations at our local library. Box #19 (from the mover's label) was broken up and recycled. It made me think of younger daughter's move this past weekend from one apartment to another in her complex. I hope she doesn't take as long to unpack as we have. Granted we have moved more than once in those years but still it seems like it is taking forever.

As the year begins to wind down, I am thinking of my resolutions and what I have accomplished. Through fits and starts I have accomplished some of what I had hoped. The big photo project still looms before me though - intimidating as it seems it will get started one of these days. I'm still waffling on the publishing of the family histories though. I have one set up and maybe it will at least get proofed before the end of the year.

The extra project I took on, transcribing letters from my grandfather to his oldest son is moving slowly. Probably because it is difficult to keep my desk clean and organized so I can work on it. That's my story and I am sticking to it.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, November 1, 2010

Historical Perspective

Do you ever put your family history into historical perspective? I try to. Sometimes it happens by accident.

The other day, I searched for a birth record for someone in the Iowa birth records at the Family Search record site* and I found a birth record for Ray Vaughan Coleman. Actually, I was looking for Minnie Percival. I found his mother, even though she was not the Minnie Percival I was looking for. And she was actually in my database being my distant cousin.

I discovered by looking at the records I had already pulled on this family that Ray was not in Iowa after the 1910 census. Or that is the last record I have of him in Iowa. I was lucky enough to find first a death notice on him dated December 7, 1973 in a copy of the Oregonian online at Genealogy Bank. When I went after the publication data for the paper, which can sometimes be found on the front page masthead, I found the following headline: Vice President Ford Takes Oath of Office.  For those of us born well before 1973, we will know that Gerald Ford took the place of Spiro Agnew, who resigned his office as Vice President. And I think we all knew that President Nixon probably would resign or be impeached before too long. These were historic if not ignominious times for our country. Gerald Ford would later succeed Nixon when he resigned in August 1974. Ford took the oath of office on December 6, 1973, Ray Coleman was buried the next day. Relevant to each other? Not really, but an interesting tidbit of history.

*Be prepared the pilot site is shutting down and everything will be transferred to the beta site Family Search. Make sure you get a log-in for this site, as you can't view most images until you do log in.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes