Gene Notes

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

Friday, June 3, 2011

Percival & Cook: From Massachusetts to Michigan

One of my pet projects is working on Percivals descended from James Percival and Mary Rainsford, my 8th great grandparents. One of these families was the John Percival & Ruth Crocker line. John was a son of John Percival and Lydia Fuller and was a brother of Benjamin Percival of Sandwich, Massachusetts who kept a detailed diary that included not only crop and weather information, but chronicled the births, deaths and marriages of his family and neighbors in Sandwich.

Back to John & Ruth Crocker. They had several children, two of whom moved on to Michigan. These were Samuel & Montgomery Percival. Montgomery and his family are my subject today.

Montgomery was born to John & Ruth Crocker on September 25, 1790 in Lee, Berkshire, Massachusetts. His wife, Eunice was the daughter of Timothy & Cloa/Chloe Ladd Cook and was born September 27, 1793 in Washington, Berkshire, Massachusetts. Where and exactly when Montgomery & Eunice married is still a mystery to me, but by 1820 they were living in Smyrna, Chenango county, New York. In 1830 they were in Carlton, Orleans county, New York and they made the move to Comstock, Kalamazoo county, Michigan in 1835.

I found a red herring in my research, when I located a tax record for Timothy Cook* in Ashtabula, Ohio for property that was original owned by Montgomery Percival. Whether or not the Montgomery Percival family actually lived in Ohio is not known to me, but if they were traveling overland to Michigan from New York, that is certainly on the way. I should know, since DH and I have traveled that route many times to Buffalo.

The two oldest children that I can find for Montgomery & Eunice are Betsey, born in 1817 according to her death certificate, in New York. There is a son Edward, born 1818 in Massachusetts. If the family followed the normal progression and didn't move back to Massachusetts, then either Edward's birth place is wrong, or his birth year is wrong. Since some of this information is from census, your guess is as good as mine. The more or less complete list of their children is:

1.Betsey - b 1817 and married Deodat Jeffers. Betsy d. 1901 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Deodat died in 1887.
2. Edward - b 1818.
3. Laura Jane - b 1824 in Orleans county, New York. Married Elias Broadwell in 1849 in Kalamazoo and Laura Jane d. 1868 in Kalamazoo. No further record of Elias.
4. Eunice "Maria" b. 1826 in Massachusetts (?) and d. 1910 in Kalamazoo. She married Enoch S. Knapp before 1860. He died in 1877.
5. Flavia Percival was born in 1832 in New York. She married Frederick Carter in 1867. She died in 1918 in Iowa. Frederick died 1914 in Kalamazoo.
6. Chloe Percival (probably named for Eunice's mother) was born in 1833 in New York. She died unmarried, May 1851 in Kalamazoo.
7. Harriet Emily Percival. She was born in 1836 in Michigan and died in 1838.

Eunice Cook Percival died November 22, 1855 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She is buried along with her husband, Montgomery in Mountain View Cemetery. On October 26, 1856 Montgomery married Mrs. Martha Sanders Gilbert. Montgomery died October 1, 1876 in Kalamazoo. His second wife preceded him in death in 1873.

*I presume this is Timothy Cook, Jr., Eunice's brother. Her father died tragically in 1798. [See next week's Thriller Thursday blog.]

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes


  1. Thank you for writing about the Montgomery Percival family. Flavia was my great great grandmother. Her only daughter Emma Josephine Carter was my grandfather's mother. Flavia and Frederick also had one son Ernest Percival Carter who died when he was nine of scarlett fever. He is buried in Michigan. We had a portrait of Josephine that hung in my grandparents house for years...when we took it apart to have copies made, we found a chalk drawing of Ernest behind the picture. Thanks again for this post.

    Peg Werner

  2. Peg! Glad you found it helpful. I didn't know about Ernest. Thanks for the info.