Gene Notes

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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Garnett & Graves

I have three lines in Boone County, Kentucky that repeatedly intermarry: Gaines, Garnett and Graves. Not only do they marry each other but they all marry into the Kirtley line too!

Today's marriage is between Caroline Garnett, daughter of Joel & Catherine Gaines Garnett and Oscar Kirtley Graves, son of Joseph & Ann Quarles Kirtley Graves. So not only were Carrie & Oscar husband and wife, but they were second cousins. There is a marriage record image on Ancestry, but I have no idea how they indexed it when the grooms name doesn't even appear to be on the page! 

Carrie and Oscar were married November 30, 1854 in Boone County, Kentucky. After their marriage they migrated to Saline county, Missouri.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Tortoise and the Hare

Remember the old fable about the tortoise and the hare - slow and steady wins the race. Well, that's how I feel about genealogy right now. It is really slow, maybe not steady, but getting there.

I finally finished a project I'm working on for something else and got back to working on entering cemetery data, including pictures, to my database. And of course, most of these have not been entered onto Find-a-grave yet. I decided I will get them in my database first and then go back and submit the records via spreadsheet. Then link the images.

Still on the agenda is finishing the Christmas shopping and doing the decorating. Since we are well into day two of this deluge, outdoor decorating is not going to get done for a while. That's on hold anyway until the guys come to clean the gutters. No point in putting up lights until then.

Somehow it always gets done!

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, November 28, 2011

Digging Out

I'm still digging out after the flurry of "projects" for Christmas and the great Thanksgiving Holiday. I did the usual Turkey, stuffing and green bean casserole with low carb cheesecake for dessert. Younger daughter made the mashed potatoes. Older daughter watched the Lions/Packers game and DH walked. Our newest guest for Thanksgiving this year was our newest grandkitty, Belle. She and her grandpa sure got along well, napping.

Right now, I am prepping for Cyber Monday, since I don't do Black Friday. Did it once. That was enough to last me a long, long time. By the end of this week, my shopping should be done and then it will be time - weather cooperating - to decorate for Christmas, another tradition that I like to keep up. Maybe it will stop raining long enough to haul the decorations into the house from the shed, the lawn guys will clean the leaves out of our eaves and it will be safe to put up the lights.

Maybe when all that is done, I will have some time for ancestor hunting ...

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sympathy Saturday - Dr. Stephen Chism

Dr. Stephen Howard Chism was born December 14, 1815 in Kentucky and died November 26, 1883 in Roseville, Arkansas. His third wife was Corinna Quinn nee Rose who was my first cousin four times removed (through the Percivals.)

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, November 25, 2011

Taking A Deep Breath

Whew! Thanksgiving day is done for another year! I can't believe how much was accomplished beforehand that had no bearing on Thanksgiving. Most of my Christmas shopping is done (I find that quite shocking) and everything that I've brought home is wrapped. The Christmas cards are made, stuffed, addressed, stamped, sorted and ready to go in today's mail.

I spent one day dealing with trying to get an upgrade to my My Memories Suite scrapbook software uploaded. Uh, yeah, if I knew I was going to download at a snail's pace, I would have hooked up to the cable and downloaded it. Now that is done too.

The only time I looked at Ancestry in the last few days was to look at a message board notice. I haven't been over to Family Search in a while either. I did, however, download a couple death records from the Seeking Michigan. Not that I've done anything with them yet. But now that I can take a deep breath, maybe I can get some data entry done.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Thursday

Since today is Thanksgiving, I've opted not to thrill you with a Thriller Thursday subject, but instead to be thankful for all the blessings I've received this year.

1. Older daughter is NOT scheduled to work Thanksgiving and "Black Friday." That is a small miracle right there as she has always worked either or both in the past. Except for maybe her year with "the cult."

2. Younger daughter now lives an hour away from us rather than 11 hours. This year her trip to our house for Thanksgiving and Christmas will involve an hour drive rather than a plane ride or the above mentioned 11 hour trip.

3. DH and I are actually enjoying good health despite our wake up calls earlier this year.

4. We are thankful for all our family and friends.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Meyer & Beckmeier

My great-great grandparents on my mother's side were Henrich "Anton" Meyer and Philomena "Mina" Beckmeier. They were married on November 23, 1850 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pardon Me While I ...

It's that time of year. Pre-Thanksgiving mania is starting. Older daughter's concern with Thanksgiving is the Lions and Packers game. Those of you who don't follow football, that is the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers playing in the traditional Thanksgiving day match. OD has really gotten us all interested in football again. So interested, that I watched the end of the Tennessee Tech-Austin Peay game and watched TTU win their first Ohio Valley Conference title since 1975.

My concern with Thanksgiving, is the food. I am trying to find low-carb alternatives for some traditional family fare. Baking starts tomorrow.

Then of course there are the Christmas cards to address and the Christmas letter to write. The first part is done - it's the second part that is giving me headaches. There are some people that I would dearly like to update on our family, but this year's letter is particularly difficult to write.  Oh and all the cards are sitting on my desk taking up valuable real estate where I would normally pile to-do stuff or to-file stuff. Not that those items aren't on my desk, they are, just covered with piles of addressed, stamped & stuffed envelopes.

Not to mention Christmas shopping. I have actually done some. I really like stuff I make myself for special treats and hope the recipients feel the same. Even the bigger stuff is not so much an issue this year. This year's gift recipients include the new addition to our family, Miss Belle Starr, Younger Daughter's adopted cat. Belle is also coming for Thanksgiving and has become very attached to her grandma, grandpa and auntie!

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, November 21, 2011

U.S., Civil War Draft Registrations Records, 1863-1865

From Ancestry: This is a collection of Civil War Registrations from 1863-1865. There were four drafts that included 776,000 individuals in that time. The records contain class, congressional district, county, state, residence, name, age on July 1, 1863, race, profession, married status, birthplace, former military service, and remarks.

Now, most of my ancestors were Confederate. A couple glaring exceptions were Dr. Joseph Graves Chinn of Lexington, Kentucky who was a Union sympathizer and a War of 1812 veteran and Alexander Oliphant, of Ray county, Missouri who was also a Union Sympathizer. Obviously Dr. Chinn was too old to even register, and was married, and Alexander Oliphant was 57 at the time of the 1863 draft and married too.

Alexander Maitland, however, was 24 years old in 1863. What surprised me was that he did register for the draft. He was an avowed Confederate sympathizer according to later history. I found no record of his serving, but he was born in Canada West (Toronto). A little more background on Alexander was that his parents lived in Lafayette county, Missouri, on the south side of the Missouri river. In 1860, Alex is enumerated in Ray county, Missouri and in Kansas Territory.

Also enumerated is John Maitland, Alex's younger brother.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sympathy Saturday - Mary Craig Mitchum

Mary Craig Mitchum was born August 9, 1787, a daughter of Joseph & Sally Wisdom Craig. She was married August 29, 1808 to James Mitchum. She died November 19, 1864 in Woodford county, Kentucky and is buried in Section G, lot 60 in Lexington Cemetery, Lexington, Kentucky.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, November 18, 2011

U.S. Seamen Protection Certificates, 1792-1868

These certificates were issued to sailors after the Revolutionary war to protect our seamen against impressment by the British. I doubt they were very effective, but one of my relatives had one - by the name of Benjamin Percival, born in Barnstable County, Massachusetts in 1810. Benjamin was a grandson of Benjamin Percival who kept a diary that has become a piece of Cape Cod history.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thriller Thursday - Cora Whitney Smith

Cora Whitney Smith was the eldest daughter of Artemus Whitney and Jerusha Percival. She was born in Belchertown, Hampshire county, Massachusetts, July 11, 1859.  She died March 6, 1915 of cancer of the stomach. Her husband, Samuel, predeceased her in 1887 but she was survived by her five children and her sister, Lilla Whitney Hall later Jackson.

It appears that Lilla Whitney Hall Jackson was the only child of Artemus & Jerusha Percival Whitney to have a normal lifespan. She appears in both the 1920 and 1930 census, although she and hubby Arthur have dropped more than 20 years from their ages.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Siekierski & Czaplack

On November 16, 1920, Rozalia (Rose) Jankowiak married  Peter Czaplak in Buffalo, New York. Rose was the daughter of Szczepan (Stephen) Jankowiak and Josephine Siekierski. This information was shared with me by Joan Lussier, a great granddaughter of Stephen & Josephine Siekierski Jankowiak.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Research Mania

While on our trip last week, we spent a few hours at one local cemetery where I took 63 photos. In the three sections we visited, we found ALL the headstones we were hunting. They have been uploaded, and renamed and are ready for linking.

On our trip to the library, with my 28 page to-do list in hand, I found records on 30 people, made 47 copies (some were very long, others continued to a second page). Said copies have been scanned, grouped and named. One was actually transcribed - look for it in December on Thriller Thursday.

Home again - car unloaded, bags unpacked, laundry done! Sounds like a successful trip to me!

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, November 14, 2011

Ruth Bowsher Smeaton Hessling Stanley Moore Zimmeth Follow-Up

Thanks to PalmsRV's comment on last Saturday's post on Sympathy Saturday for my step-grandma - I now have more information in regards to my step-grandma's first marriage.

Because she was a minor, the actual marriage record is held in the Probate Court, probably in Bay County, but I wouldn't swear to that. As you will see by the included articles, Ruth led quite the life.


Detroit, Aug. 2. -- Ruth Smeaton, a pretty little 15-year-old girl, slid down a bed sheet from the windo of her bedroom in Pinconnning, Mich., at 3 a.m. into the arms of her sweetheart Albert Hessling who is already married and is just twice Ruth's age.

The child had been held a prisoner in her own room for six weeks -- ever since her foster father, James Smeaton, learned of the attachment.

And she is still a prisoner. Hessling put her on a train; they left Pinconning about three minutes after Ruth slid down the lifelife. Patrolmen HEss and Dahlow were waiting in Detroit ready to pick little Ruth up.

Albert Hessling of Pinconning Accused of Abducting Ruth Smeaton, Aged Fifteen.

Bay city, July 30, -- Albert Hessling of Pinconning, twenty-five years old was arraigned before Justice Michael Byrne of that village Thursday afternoon on a charge of abduction.

An examination was set for Tuesday next. Hessling furnished bail.

He was arrested in Detroit in the company of Ruth Smeaton, fifteen years old, with whom he eloped, it is charged. Hessling said he intended to marry the girl as soon as he got a divorce.

Finally, Ruth got permission from her mother and she and Albert were married.

From the Ann Arbor News:  BAY CITY -- Ruth Smeaton, aged 16, and Albert Hessling, 27, elopers from Pinconning to Detroit, where they were arrested, have been married. It is likely the abduction charges against the groom will be dropped, Hessling having a decree of divorce and the girl's mother then consenting to the marriage.

They had one son, Maynard, and were divorced in 1918. The divorce decree gives their marriage date as August 12, 1914 - obviously wrong. Ruth went on to marry three more men. One of them was already married.  Albert committed suicide October 26, 1922.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sympathy Saturday - Ruth Bowsher Zimmeth

Ruth Zimmeth was my step-grandma, being my grandfather's third wife.  Her name should really read Ruth Ellen Bowsher Smeaton Hessling Stanley Moore Zimmeth. She led such an interesting life and I wish two things:

1. That I had know what I know now about her before she died.
2. That I had the guts to ask her about her life.

My mom knew that Ruth had been married before she married my grandpa, and I think she knew that Ruth had been adopted when she was an infant, and that Ruth had a son.

Ruth was born December 13, 1899 in Standish, Michigan to Nelson Lewis or Lewis Nelson Bowsher and Mary Ellen Sanderson and was the youngest of their five children. The eldest daughter, Mary, died the day after her own birth. The surviving children were Charles, born in 1881 in Ohio, Daisy, born in 1884, also in Ohio and Catherine or Cassy, born in 1888 in Ohio.  So you see that Ruth was 11 years younger than Cassy, 15 years younger than Daisy and 18 years younger than Charles. In 1900, I found an Ellen Bowsher, born in Ohio,  in a Sanitarium in Grand Traverse county. There is no other record of her. In May of 1900, Ruth was adopted by James and Caronline (Phillips) Smeaton in Standish, Michigan. They were age 57 and 52 at the time of Ruth's adoption.

When Ruth was 14, she married Albert Hessling. The marriage produced her son Maynard in 1916 when Ruth was 16. Ruth and Albert divorced in March of 1918 when Ruth was 18. Albert got custody of Maynard. Maynard was actually raised by Albert's sister and brother-in-law.

In June of 1918, Ruth married David Stanley and they divorced on October 9, 1920. They married again November 27, 1920. After that I have no idea what happened to David. I don't know if their marriage ended in divorce or death. I do know that Ruth married Thomas Lloyd Moore on October 28, 1928 in Gaylord, Michigan. There was only one problem with this marriage. He was already married. Ruth divorced him sometime before December of 1944. That was the year she married my grandfather. In 1953, she received an annulment for her marriage to Moore. She and grandpa lived pretty happily after that.

Charles Zimmeth, Ruth's last husband and my grandfather, died June 4, 1979 in Essexville, Michigan. Ruth died November 12, 1990 in Hampton Bay, Michigan.  Ruth always wanted to live to be 100. Her memorial card actually gives her birth year as 1889. Too bad it was wrong. Ruth is buried beside her last husband in St. Michael's Cemetery in Pinconning, Michigan.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, November 11, 2011

Blog Fodder

After attending my niece's wedding last weekend, DH and I headed southward towards home and stopped for a few nights near Lexington, Kentucky. This part of the trip was research. Yay! Monday was spent at the Lexington Cemetery and Tuesday at the Lexington Public Library. I picked up some blog fodder, which is always a good thing. There were only two things on my list of 28 pages at the library that I couldn't find.  No, I didn't look for everything, but selected those I was primarily interested in - some 30 items.  I can hardly wait to check those off my to-do list!

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thriller Thursday - George M. Whitney

Yes, yet another of the children of Artemus Whitney and Jerusha Percival, George was born September 23, 1861 in Amherst, Massachusetts. He died July 27, 1912 from cerebral degeneration and hemiplegia. His death certificate does not reflect it, but I believe he probably had a stroke. He was survived by his two sisters, Cora and Lilla, and his father.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Bowman & Gay

Florence Bowman, daughter of Henry Clay Bowman and Elizabeth Reed, married Robert Hicks Gay on November 9, 1905 in Fayette county, Kentucky. She was 36 and he was 37.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - The Wickliffe Monument

I have never seen a monument like this and I had to take a picture of it because I can't even explain this.  It is in Lexington Cemetery, Lexington, Kentucky. Make sure you click on each image. Use your browser's back button to return to this page!

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sometimes It is Scary!

DH and I are in Kentucky for a couple days of research before heading home to middle Tennessee. Because so many of my dad's line lived in the Lexington, Kentucky area for a while, we picked up a copy of the Herald-Leader. After I waded through the Michael's ads and started to settle in, I asked DH to save me the obituary page, telling him I might find something there.

Well, by now I am sure you know where this is headed. Yes, I found an obituary for a line allied with my Chinn line - David Morton Trapp. Turns out he was my second cousin twice removed. He was the grandson of Joseph Trapp and Hester Chinn. Hester was the youngest daughter of Dr. Joseph Graves Chinn and Barbara Garland Graves, my great-great-great grandparents.

So yes, I've copied and pasted his obituary into my genealogy program, sourced it to the Herald-Leader and will scan the obit when I get home.

Do you check local newspapers when you are traveling?

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sympathy Saturday - Helen French Symon

Helen French Symon was my dad's first cousin. When I first got really interested in the family history, Helen is the one who pointed me in the right direction and shared what she had on the Percival/Maitland/Oliphant families with me. Although I never had a chance to meet her, we did talk on the phone a few times.  I removed her daughter's name from the obituary to protect her privacy.

Friday, November 6, 1992  Kansas City (Missouri) Star


Helen F. Symon, 67, Overland Park, died Nov. 5, 1992, at Shawnee Mission Medical Center. Memorial services will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Park Lawn Chapel. The family requests no flowers and suggests contributions to charity. Mrs. Symon was born in Des Moines, Iowa, and lived in Topeka and Columbia before moving to Kansas City in the late 1940s. She was an Avon representative. Earlier she was an assistant manager at the Villa Monterrey Apartments and Townhouses. She received a bachelor's degree in history and English from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1947 and was a member of Delta Gamma. She was a member of the Kansas City Sigmas of Sigma Chi, the Kansas City Young Matrons and the Westport chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was a member of the Village Presbyterian Church. Survivors include a daughter, Kansas City, and nieces and nephews.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, November 4, 2011


I am writing this Tuesday while prepping for our weekend trip for my niece's wedding, trying to get blogs in the can so to speak before we leave.

Things still left to do:

1. Find a pair of shoes for the wedding. How difficult can it be to find a pair of black heels to wear? Well, I guess totally difficult since I have not yet found a pair. Okay, it has been 3 years since I wore heels. Since retirement, I've worn sandals and tennis shoes. I have one pair of black heels and the last time I wore them I thought I was gonna die. I haven't had a new pair of heels since before 2006. It's time. Now if I could just find a pair. - Well I actually accomplished this. I found a pair of black pumps. I WAS going to buy this pair of black suede half-boots that they had in my size, but the heels were too high and I got a cramp in my calf when I tried to walk in them. Comfort wins!

2. I am still printing out to-do lists. The first one for the Lexington, Kentucky public library is 28 pages long. I rarely get more than a couple pages done. I am specifically going through the list to pick out the ones I want first. One hopefully will be a future Thriller Thursday. The other one is my listing for Lexington Cemetery. This has gotten much smaller over the years, but still needs work. I may even get a chance to take a look at it and see if anyone has posted images for any of the remainders over on Find-A-Grave.

3. I need a card for the wedding.

4. Usual housekeeping stuff needs to be caught up.

5. Packing. Maybe I should remove the price tags from my outfit before I pack it?

6. Hair cut. Fortunately, this will get done this afternoon.

Have I left anything out?

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thriller Thursday - William G. Whitney Kicked by a Horse

William G. Whitney was the son of Artemus Henry Whitney and Jerusha Sellon Percival. He was also the brother of Harry Whitney, the subject of last week's Thriller Thursday. William was born in Dana, Massachusetts about June 11, 1864 and died March 11, 1901 from internal hemorrhage after being kicked by a horse, in Athol, Massachusetts.  His occupation was teamster. William was 36 years old.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Roberts & Ewald

On November 2, 2007, Amy Roberts & Dan Ewald were married. Amy is a second cousin to my daughters on DH's side. Happy Anniversary Amy & Dan!

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Prepping for Another Trip

DH and I have started preparations for our next trip which is coming up really quickly. This time it is a trip back up to Michigan for the wedding of one of our nieces. This is the third trip up and hopefully on the way back will give us a little time in Lexington, Kentucky.  DH and I have been thinking about where to stay. Maybe Georgetown (better get that Cemetery stuff together for Georgetown Cemetery) or Lexington (to-do list for the Main branch of the Lexington Public Library and the Lexington Cemetery) or maybe just a little south of Lexington.

Here is just a sample of the list I am making for us:

1. Copy of Hotel reservation.
2. Pack research to-do lists.
3. Pack chargers for electronics.
4. Pack road construction information.
5. Camera.
6. Make sure clothes and shoes and accessories for wedding are packed into the car.

That last one is very important. For nephew's wedding in 2004 in Rhode Island/Massachusetts, we made it to mile marker 10 on southbound I-75 in Michigan when we realized our clothes for his wedding were still hanging in the garment bags in the laundry room. We lost two hours on that trip making a run for the house to fetch shoes and clothes!

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes