Gene Notes

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

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sympathy Saturday - Charles Durant Percival

Charles Percival was a son of Delos Percival & Elizabeth Barney. 


Charles D. Percival Died Shortly Afterwards in General Hospital.

Charles D. Percival of 463 Whitesboro street fell exhausted to the sidewalk yesterday morning at 8:10 o'clock at the corner of Columbia and Cornelia streets and half an hour later he died in the General Hospital. Mr. Percival was born in Annsville, 62 years ago and had been a resident of Utica for 31 years. He leaves his wife, who was Eva Welch; two sons, David of this city and Norris of the Philippines; five daughters, Mrs. Henry Larkwood, Miss Olive, Miss Ruth, Mrs. Florence Kenney and Mrs. Alma Greenia of Utica, and a brother, Eugene Percival of Canastota.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, July 29, 2011

My Mind is on Other Things

After I fruitlessly chased some information the other day on a branch of the Chinn family (the Clays of Missouri) I sort of threw in the towel and started concentrating on the impending visit of my younger daughter. She arrived yesterday after a eventful trip from Michigan to Tennessee for a couple of interviews in Nashville today. Older daughter had an interview, which turned out to be a pre-interview and we are keeping our fingers (and toes) crossed for a second interview and new jobs for both of them.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thriller Thursday - Surviving a Civil War Battle

Many of my relatives fought in the Civil War. In fact, my grandmother stated that 8 uncles (probably granduncles) fought in the Civil War for the Confederacy.

One of my ancestors, John Parker Bowman, of Lexington, Missouri was a Lieutenant Colonel, having joined the Missouri State Guards in 1861, raising Bowman's Regiment,  and fought in the battles of Carthage, Wilson's Creek, Lexington and others. The last battle he fought in was that of Elkhorn Tavern (Pea Ridge). He died of exposure on retreat from that battle. He was buried in Fairview Cemetery in Van Buren, Arkansas.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Percival & Humphreys

At Truckee, July 27 (1873), C. Humphrey to Mrs. F. B. Percival.

Placer County (California) Herald, Aug 9, 1873
Doesn't seem to mean much, does it?  In fact, Mrs. F. B. Percival was Fanny (Banks) Percival, the widow of Egbert Davis Percival, my second great granduncle. The last mention I have of Fanny was the 1880 census of Truckee, Nevada county, California. She had lived in Rocklin, Placer county, with her husband, Egbert and her son, Henry. C. Humphreys was Charles Williams Humphreys and the last record I found of him was in 1898 in the California Voter's Registrations (see yesterday's post.) Like Egbert's nephew, Herbert Davidson Percival, I keep looking for further traces of this line.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History, Week #30 Employment

You know, I don't normally do these challenges because I usually have enough to write about, but this one caught my interest.

My first job. Hmmm. There is the first job I loved and the first one I hated. The first one that I loved was babysitting for the C. family way back when I was in high school. Mrs. C. was a teacher who taught at the Catholic grade school where all of us kids attended, and where my dad was the custodian. Actually, he was much more than a custodian, but this is my job description, not his.

The C. family had a new baby girl, their first child, and needed a babysitter for the day of a funeral. Mrs. C. asked my dad if he could recommend someone, and he recommended me. It was really a good fit and soon Mrs. C. was asking my folks if I could go to Canada with them for two weeks as a their nanny. I would board with the other employees at the lodge they were going to stay at. I went and had a ball. Babysitting their little one was a little boring, but she was no trouble at all. I was sixteen at the time and was staying with college students who worked at the lodge during the summer. Of course, babysitting at that time was really low paying, but the C's were great to sit for. I have the distinction of coaxing their Siamese cat, Kinky to eat again after she ate one of little C's socks. They also gave me the nickname of Anni the Nanny. I would continue to babysit their family until I started college.

The other first job I had, the one that actually paid me and for which I had to show up on time, was at the aforesaid Catholic church where my dad was also the custodian. I was not fond of the pastor, and in fact lived in fear that he would yell at me. It was my duty to answer the phones, take money from parishioners requesting masses, type the Sunday bulletin on a mimeo sheet and run it off in the morning. I also had to set the evening meal out on days I worked after school. It was boring, extremely low paying and I was not upset to leave for a real job after a year.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ancestry Database - California Voter Registers 1868-1898

For the last few weeks, I've been getting my posts done early. I mean early. I was working on a 10 day timeline, so that when we took off for a few days, I didn't have to worry about anything. And I didn't, because I really didn't work on anything genealogical while we were gone. That's a first. Really, I think it was because Younger Daughter wore us out on our shopping day. And it was so hot there. Usually, we can count on it being a little cooler while we are visiting in Michigan. Not this trip.

The other day, after our return home, I was browsing the new databases at and came across the California Voter Registers from 1868-1898. As always, I typed in Percival and got a lot of hits. One hit really caught my eye because it proved one thing I always suspected - the middle name of the oldest son of John Stearns Percival and Susan Davidson.

If you've read my blog for any length of time, you will remember my hunt for news of Dr. Herbert D. Percival. I've always suspected the "D" stood for Davidson, his mother's maiden name. The registration shows that he registered August 27, 1892 in Monrovia, Los Angeles county, California. He was 33 years old, 5 feet 7-1/2 inches tall, brunette complexion (?) brown eyes and brown hair. And he is shown as Herbert Davidson Percival.

Yes, it is a small victory, but try and find information on someone who disappeared not long after. I can't even find out when he went missing, or if any other news was ever published on him. We're talking Los Angeles county after all, the land of brush fires and other more or less natural disasters. I found him listed in the 1891 Los Angeles city directory as H. D. Percival, physician and surgeon. So this 1892 voter registration is the last mention of him until the 1896 Los Angeles City Directory lists his wife, Kate Percival, as the widow of H. D.

I'm not really optimistic about ever finding out the who, what, when, where and why of Herbert Percival, but maybe the genealogical gods will smile on me someday.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sympathy Saturday - Lucy Estes Thomason

Lucy Estes was born September 16, 1840 to Little Berry Estes and Lucy Corum in Kearney, Clay county, Missouri. On December 6, 1877 she married Marcellus Thomason (1831-1909) in Kearney. She died on July 23, 1912 in Kearney. She was my second cousin four times removed.

Every time I see the name combination of Little Berry or Littleberry Estes, I take notice. It surely is an unusual name. My own great-great-great-great grandfather was also Littleberry Estes who married Mary "Polly" Wade in 1802 in Madison County, Kentucky.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, July 22, 2011

Back to Work

I THINK I've recovered from our short trip to Michigan last weekend. We left Thursday, arrived on Friday, spent all day Saturday shopping with the birthday girl to find that perfect outfit to wear to an interview in Tennessee at the end of the month. She says we shopped five hours, but doubt if she is counting the drive to Howell, Novi, Dearborn and then back to Novi. OMG. Sunday was a much more leisurely pace with dinner cooked by younger daughter. This was the first time one of our kids has cooked for us. It was delicious. It also included Harry Potter 7, part two, which I loved much to the disappointment of my very own Hufflepuff. Then there was the two day trip back to Tennessee, followed by bills, laundry, groceries, appointments, etc. I can't believe how tired I was from the short four hour drive from Berea, Kentucky to our home. Well, it was longer than that because we stopped for lunch. The nice thing is that it is cooler here than it was in Michigan. Can we spell sweltering? And I swear it takes longer to unpack than it does to pack.

Time to get cracking on those letters again.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thriller Thursday - The Battle of the River Raisin

You War of 1812 aficianodos might recognize where the battle of the River Raisin was fought, but for the rest of you, it was in Monroe, Michigan or Frenchtown as it was known in those days.  Several of my family members fought there and three died there. They were Thomas Coleman Graves, Benjamin Franklin Graves and John Woolfolk.  Fortunately for Thomas and John, they were killed. Thomas indeed was even scalped. John was shot after capture and Benjamin was presumedly hauled off to Canada. He was never seen again, and it is thought that he was killed somewhere along the way.

As it is in most wars of that time frame, bodies were buried in mass graves. Such was the case for Thomas Coleman Graves and I have this account taken from "Remember the Raisin:"

He was originally buried the day following the Battle of the River Raisin in a mass grave in Frenchtown.  Some years later, after the town had been renamed Monroe, the grave was disturbed during excavation for a road.  The remains were sent to Detroit and reburied there.  Sometime later, Kentucky asked for the return of these remains and they were again reburied in Covington, Kentucky. Around 1848 they were again transferred to the State Cemetery in Frankfort, Kentucky, but the site of the grave has been lost.
 I can in no way do justice to the story of the River Raisin. Some years ago, my DH and I actually visited the battlefield and watched a presentation on the battle. I highly recommend the book.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Percival & Magill

Today's wedding took place July 20, 1848 in Georgetown, South Carolina between Mary Percival, daughter of Jabez Chapman Percival and Ann Burnham, and William J. Magill. Mary was born about 1826 in New York and William was born in Georgetown, South Carolina. Since I have no record of how this couple met and married in South Carolina, I am puzzled by the location.

William was one of the first 6 graduates from the Citadel. Mary was from a family with roots back to 1670 on Cape Cod. Their marriage date was taken from Mary's application for a Florida Confederate widow's pension that she applied for in 1910, twenty years after William's death.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Happy Birthday!!

Birthday cake!
Today is Younger Daughter's birthday and she is now officially 29. Which makes her one year older than me in a really warped sort of way.* We were lucky enough to celebrate her birthday with her just a couple days earlier in Michigan.

DisneyWorld 1988
She has always been a sweet, mischievous, stubborn kid. One of her most memorable birthdays (for me anyway) was spent at DisneyWorld when she turned 6. We were in Mickey's Birthday land and they started singing Happy Birthday and Andrea yelled out "Hey it's my birthday, today." Bad family that we were, we had all forgotten. In our defense, we celebrated earlier with the whole family probably on my dad's birthday which was two days earlier.

Maybe her 30th birthday will be celebrated here in Tennessee!

*I stopped celebrating when I was 28. It seemed like such a nice number.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Sunday, July 17, 2011

On the Road Again!

It has been so long since DH and I went anywhere even over night! We finally got a chance to get on the road to go visit younger daughter for her birthday, which is tomorrow, but which we celebrated yesterday! Why make it simple when you can complicate it so easily is what I say.

You may find this difficult to believe, but we didn't plan any genealogical side trips this time. Some of the places we'd both like to go are just too hot this time of year. Since he does not research, he spends some time walking around where we stop - specifically when we go to Lexington, Kentucky or Fort Wayne, Indiana. Both are highly walkable towns. We had talked about stopping for an extra night or so in Frankfort, Kentucky, but again it's just too hot for him to be walking around town.

We have another trip planned for September, and we're just in the "talking about it" stage and I have a few things I'd like to see on that trip. More on this later.

I think I'll end with that teaser.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sympathy Saturday, Mary Ann Todd

On this day, July 16, 1882, Mary Ann Todd, also known as Mary Todd Lincoln died at the home of her sister, Mrs. Ninian Edwards (Elizabeth Todd) in Springfield, Illinois. She was my second cousin, four times removed through the Parker and Todd families of Lexington, Kentucky. Hopefully clicking on the image will bring up a larger image of the obituary.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, July 15, 2011

Census Takers - Friends or Foes?

God forbid that I EVER become a census taker, because 72 years from now I would hate for genealogists to rag on me due to my spelling.

Click on image
Case in point, is one Marshall Goodspeed Ewer, a fourth cousin five times removed on the Percival side. According to the DAR Descendants Database, he died in Lamar county, Texas. A search of the 1850 census did indeed find him there on line 28, his wife Urena (also possibly Urania) on line 29 and son Wm Henry on line 30. But in getting to those lines I found on line 22, Elisha Purshaville. Yeah, even I am rolling my eyes on that one. It's possible that this could be Marshall's uncle Elisha Percival. Also enumerated with Elisha is the Nowell family, and Urena's maiden name is indeed Nowell. Interesting.

More research into Elisha is obviously necessary. Hope my instincts are correct!

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thriller Thursday - The Thirty Cent Murder

Sometimes, these murders just blow me away. Sorry for the pun.  Henry Ringo was may third cousin twice removed through the Bowman line. Don't forget to click on the image. To return to this page, use your browser's back button.

Lexington Herald, 12/28/1917, p7


Deputy U.S. Marshal Fires Bullet Into Head of Henry M. Ringo, of Mt. Sterling

MT. STERLING, Ky., Dec. 27. - Henry M. Ringo, city clerk of Mt. Sterling, and one of the city's most prominent young businessmen, was shot and instantly killed about 11:30 o'clock last night at his cafe here by Porter C. Eubanks, deputy United States marshal, following an argument over thirty cents in change. Only one shot was fired, the bullet passing through Ringo's heart. Eubanks was immediately arrested and lodged in the county jail to await examining trial.

The shooting is said by eye witnesses to have been unprovoked and feeling against the slayer of young Ringo has been high. A country dance was in progress in the hall over Ringo's cafe, and Eubank, who was attending, came downstairs to purchase a sandwich. He was served by Mr. Ringo himself. In making change Eubank claimed that he had thirty cents coming to him. It is said Mr. Ringo had a clerk to give him the change, but Eubank continued to argue. Mr. Ringo was unarmed and had just laid aside a knife with which he had been slicing bread for sandwiches and turned to face Eubank when the latter pulled his pistol and shot him.

The body was removed to an undertaking establishment by Coroner Eastin and the funeral will probably be held Saturday afternoon at the Presbyterian church. He is survived by two sisters, Mrs. Dan Priest of Forth Worth, Texas, and Mrs. John A. Judy of this city, and one brother, H. B. Ringo, local groceryman. He was 31 years old and unmarried.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Percival & Fish

One of my favorite resources for Cape Cod, besides the Vital Records of Sandwich, Massachusetts series that I own, is the Benjamin Percival Diary. Benjamin was a great-grandson of James Percival, our earliest known Percival ancestor in America. I've actually read Benjamin's diary cover-to-cover and for the most part it relates the every day minutiae of weather, crops, births, marriages and deaths.

Today's wedding took place July 13, 1800 in Sandwich, Barnstable county, Massachusetts between Benjamin's son Joseph Percival (b. 11/17/1776 d. March 1807 at sea) married Sally Fish (b. abt 1785 d. abt 1858). Here is what Benjamin has to say about it:

Monday July 14th yesterday Joseph was married to Sally Fish today brought his wife here not much wedding.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Another Great Database on Ancestry

Once I waded through all the patriotic databases last week, I discovered Ancestry's latest database, California, San Francisco Area Funeral Home Records, 1895-1985.  I do have a few relatives who lived in the bay area, so hoped to find something to indicate when they died. Hopefully I would find some who died before the California death records database beginning date of 1940.

Funeral Record
Some of the records you might expect to find are death certificates, death notices and the actual funeral record which sometimes includes a credit request. In addition, I found a letter from the daughter-in-law of a deceased woman, whose son also died before the total bill could be paid.

The image on the right shows a funeral record for Edward Percival Gould. It gives his birth date, death date and parent's names; place of birth is listed along with the cause of death; the person paying the bill is also listed and there is a small death notice attached. This record was on two separate pages, so you have to check the record before and after to make sure you get the entire record.

I had conflicting information on this man - with the cemetery record where he has a memorial stone having a date ten years earlier. Obviously, the cemetery record is wrong.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, July 11, 2011

Another Attack of OCFRD*

I've done it again. I went looking for a marriage date for someone --for Wednesday's "Wedding Wednesday" -- and the next thing I knew I was combing through Benjamin Percival's Diary 1777-1817. Benjamin Percival was the great-grandson of my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, James Percival.

Most years Benjamin kept a fairly detailed account of his daily life, crops, etc. Also included were local births, deaths and marriages. Some were not so local as Benjamin was also a Selectman and traveled to Boston frequently from his home on Hog Pond in Sandwich on Cape Cod.

The late Frank Barrow, a descendant of Benjamin, published the diary in 1995. It is so well documented you want to cry. Except for the introduction with an Ahnentafel of Benjamin's lineage back to 1422. I've never been able to duplicate the information pertaining to the Percivals.

After finding some information in the diary, I went surfing for more information, hitting the usual haunts such as FamilySearch and Find-a-Grave. Both yielded some good hits. Then I googled Barnstable MA vital records and B-I-N-G-O found some town records online that I hadn't seen before. Like 20th century birth records. Oh yeah!

I guess I'd better get back to what I was doing!

*Obsessive Compulsive Family Research Disease. This is a highly infectious disease. Once it has you in its grasp, you will be hooked forever.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sympathy Saturday - Asa Coleman Chinn

You might remember Asa Chinn, if you have been reading my "Thriller Thursday" posts. Asa was the son of Addison Ball Chinn and Fannie Runyon. Addison was murdered in his own home in a home invasion in 1902. At that time, Asa was also shot in the face. Asa survived that shooting and died 50 years later, on July 9, 1952 at the age of 75. His death certificate states he died of apoplexy (stroke) and possibly a brain tumor.

From the Lexington Herald. Lexington, Kentucky, obituary, 10 July 1952:

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, July 8, 2011

Post Revolutionary War Records or Lookie What I Found!

I absolutely love some of the databases that is putting online. One such recent database is: U.S. Compiled Service Records, Post-Revolutionary War Volunteer Soldiers, 1784-1811. What a great database for those who served in the Indian Wars. 

I was lucky enough to find this record for William Ball Chinn. I am reasonably sure this is my great-great-great-great grandfather, son of Charles Chinn and Sythe Davis. Reason number one: He is the right age. Reason number two: There are also records for two of his brothers in this set. Reason number three: The full name is entered on this record.  

William Ball Chinn was born in 1770, so he would be 23 at the time. Notice that he is a trumpeter. He married Sarah "Sally" Graves and their first child was born in 1797, Joseph Graves Chinn, my great-great-great grandfather.

Unfortunately, information on William Ball Chinn is pretty scarce, so to be able to find anything on him at all is great.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thriller Thursday - A Child Drowns

Lexington (KY) Herald, May 19, 1899.

The remains of Master Henry Owsley Stanhope, aged two years and four months, were laid to rest in the Lexington cemetery Thursday. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred C. Stanhope, of Midway. His mother was formerly Miss Virginia Metcalf of this city.

The accidental death of the boy by drowning Wednesday was a great shock to his relatives and young friends. He was a child of unusual intelligence and his untimely taking, young as he was, leaves a vacant chair by the hearthstone of his family, which no other can ever fill.

A number of young friends officiated as pall bearers at the burial. They were: Masters Frank Stanhope, Willie Wise, Creedon McGann, Coleman Metcalf, Harry Stanhope and Clinton Hawkins.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Chinn & Webb

On July 6, 1880, Nannie Webb, daughter of John "Garland" Webb and Elizabeth Custis Carter, and Manville J. Chinn, son of Benjamin Graves Webb & Britannia "Brittie" Buford were married in Lafayette county, Missouri.  Nannie was my great grandaunt. Manville was my first cousin 3 times removed.

The chart is a relationship chart figuring the relationship between their oldest daughter and myself. You can see that we are related 8 different ways! My great-great-great grandparents Dr. Joseph Graves Chinn & Barbara Graves were first cousins.

Families can be complicated!

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Do They Ever Read These Things?

I just signed a guest book on a wedding announcement hoping the subject will get back to me. You see, I found an old message board post from 2002, and of course, the email is no longer good. I have information and am willing to share with the subject, so I hope this person contacts me!

Has anyone else had any luck and is this an overlooked tool?

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth!

I can think of no more appropriate way to celebrate the Fourth of July, Independence Day, than by writing about the newest database on This database, "Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970" is a mother lode of information. 

I discovered the database last Wednesday evening, when I checked the new databases listed at the bottom of the home page on And I did what I usually do when I discover a new database, I type in my maiden name and start the search. I got 86 hits. Since every name in each record is indexed,  There were a lot of duplicates and so far I've found 17 different records. A few of them were "new" descendants, i.e. they weren't in my database yet.

The illustrations are the application of Charles Knox Lincoln, a third cousin twice removed. His application papers had an added bonus - for me anyway!

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sympathy Saturday - Lucy "Lou" Bowman

Lexington Herald, July 3 & 4, 1909:


Miss Lou Bowman died at St. Joseph's hospital Friday morning at 6:15 o'clock after a protracted illness.  Her body was taken to her home three and one half miles from Lexington on the Thorn Mill pike where the funeral services will take place Sunday afternoon at 3:30 o'clock.

Rev. E. G. B. Mann will officiate. The pall bearers will be: Messrs. H. D. Bowman, Lee Bowman, Andrew Bowman, W. P. Bowman, H. H. Stanhope, and R. H. Gay. The burial will be in the family lot in the Lexington Cemetery.


The funeral services of Miss Lou Bowman will take place at her home 3-1/2 miles from Lexington on the Thorn Mill Pike this afternoon at 3:30 o'clock, Rev. E. G. B. Mann officiating. The burial will be in the Lexington cemetery at 5:15 o'clock interurban car carriages will be in waiting at Thorn Mill Pike to convey them to the residence. When returning to Lexington interurban car will leave Thorn Mill Pike and Versailles at 4:30.

The burial was in the Lexington cemetery.

Lou was my first cousin 3 times removed. Her parents were Henry Clay Bowman and Sally Henry Bowman and they were first cousins. Lou was born July 26, 1852.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, July 1, 2011

Born To Be a Family Researcher

I've known for quite some time that I had found something I really liked to do. Research. Specifically, family research.

As a kid, being raised in a fairly strict Catholic family, we all went to parochial schools - most of us starting in grade 1 through grade 12. We went to church every Sunday, most of the time as a family. You were grown up when you could be trusted to attend mass on Sunday on your own. One of my favorite parts of the Sunday routine was reading the church bulletin. I remember the publication of the funeral notices, the marriages and then there was the ever intriguing "Heirs of Christ" - those infants (usually) being baptized that week. I read those rather religiously probably from the time I could read. Of course, I thought Heirs was pronounced HIRES, but I was a kid and I don't think that word was ever used in the lower elementary grades.

From those church announcements, I progressed to obituaries. Death notices are okay, and sometimes somewhat informative, but obituaries often gave occupation, parents' names (even though they were often deceased themselves) wives maiden names, birth dates, year of marriage and hobbies.

I still love looking for obituaries although my search methods are much more sophisticated. With the advent of the computer age, locating obituaries and death notices can be so much easier. So many locales have indices and databases of death records, that I get excited whenever I see an update to an old favorite site or a totally new index.

Now my searches are no longer confined to death notices, but often include business news, annual reports and society gossip. It's pure bliss for a research-aholic!

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes