Gene Notes

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

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Of Marriage and Divorce in Michigan

Ancestry has Michigan marriage records, 1867-1952 and Divorce records 1897-1952. Hooray. Found quite a bit and it has been interesting searching.

First, I found a second marriage for Adele Kasten, my mother's cousin Leo Zimmeth's wife. Hooray. But I hadn't found a divorce record for her marriage for Leo. Adele was from Missouri, but since she remarried in Michigan, I hoped she would have divorced there too.

My first guess was that she divorced him while he served time in Jackson Prison (Jackson, Michigan) for armed robbery. He was released though in 1944, and sent to Kenton county, Kentucky where he was also wanted and Cincinnati, Ohio also had an outstanding warrant against him. I've never found anything in Kenton county or Cincinnati regarding him so I don't know if he did  time there or not.

To her credit, Adele did not divorce him while he served in Jackson prison. Instead she waited until March of 1945. I finally found the record today since their last name Zimmeth was indexed as Zimineth. Gah!

Then I went looking for my mom's cousin Celestine Zimmeth's divorce. Celestine and Leo were  cousins, not siblings. She married Bruce Parrott in 1950 and they divorced in June of 1952.  They were indexed as Parrolt. Gah again. That is a file I would love to see, since I have my suspicions about Celestine.  Very interesting.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Clifton Bowman: Where Oh Where Did You GO?

Almost from the first moment I knew about him, I have been searching for my great-grandfather Frank Bowman's youngest sibling Clifton or Cliff or whatever. He is 2 years old in 1860, where he is enumerated with his family. In 1870, I think he is the "Peter" enumerated with the family and suddenly he is older than his older brother, Frank, being 15 to Frank's 12. Frank was born in 1854, so you see where I think the error is. But Peter? Really?  In 1880, he is enumerated as Clifton and is age 20. No, really, he should be about 22.

I have some probate records involving Frank and Clifton as they were the youngest children of Lt. Colonel John Parker Bowman and Mary Elizabeth Chinn. Those papers end in 1880 mentioning that Frank and Clifton are of legal age. And that is where the trail ends.

Periodically, when investigating new databases, I will put Clifton Bowman's name in with a range of years, generally 1880-1900. Yesterday, I found a mention of a Clifton Bowman going on a fishing expedition in 1893 with 3 other men in Leavenworth County in the Kansas City (Kansas) Gazette. Could be him. Kansas City is not too far from Clifton's home in Lexington, Missouri, and it is not beyond the realm of possibilities. His eldest brother, Joseph W. Bowman, died in Kansas City, Kansas in 1919. In Joseph's obituary, only Frank Bowman is listed as a surviving brother.

The hunt continues.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, February 20, 2015

Some Success Due to an Attack of OCFRD*

Thanks to the gentleman at Find-A-Grave, I was able to locate obituaries from Frank and Florence Bush Christe's daughter, Jacqueline Christe Price and her husband Jack Price. Jackie died five days before my mom did. Jack, about 18 months after my dad. There was no mention of her brother, Fred in her obituary, even though her parents were listed. Interesting.

Even more interesting, this is the first real attack of OCFRD that I've had in over a year. Boy, that makes me feel more normal!

*Obsessive Compulsive Family Research Disease.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, February 19, 2015

More on the Find-A-Grave Conundrum

Tuesday evening I was gifted with some information on Frank C. Christe (or Christie), the first husband of my step-grandmother, Florence Bush Christe Percival. I had found them on the 1930 census but not on any previous census. Or later. I suspected they were divorced by 1940, or at least separated. With the new spelling I was able to dig up some information on the first husband.

First, the spelling was never clear. My dad spelled it Christie. However, I found it as Christe in the census and on his World War I draft record. Specifically, Frank Charles Christe, born October 4, 1881. The 4 was written as an open number and not the 4 that you see here. However, his World War II draft registration gives the date as October 9, 1881.  I dipped into the death records database on Family Search for Michigan and that record also gives a birth date as October 9, 1881. Given the birth year, I felt sure I could find him on the birth records. I did. And there, neatly transcribed as October 19, 1881, was Frank C. Christa. The indexing gives his name as Christa, but its kind of illegible.

Frank and Florence were indeed separated by 1940. On the census record, she is designated as married with a ?. Yeah. The divorce didn't actually come until September 11, 1946. Florence married my grandfather, John Percival on September 23, 1946 in Angola, Indiana. That was a little more than two months after my parents were married. 

The conundrum? Well, I have no idea where Frank Christe was buried. So I won't add a Find-A-Grave memorial for him. However, I will put a note in Florence's record.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Find-a-Grave Thoughts - Sort of a Wedding Wednesday

Last evening, I was contacted by a Find-a-Grave contributor who gave me some information. Fine and dandy, right? Well, I am irritated by the fact that he could contact me, but I could not reply as he has messaging disabled.

Since he has divorce information on a couple - one of my step-grandmothers and her first husband - I would dearly like to know if he is in contact with any of my step-grandmother's grandchildren. Or where he got the divorce information. Very interesting. Not sure if I am going to add it or not, since I can't verify.

F-A-G contributors, what do you do?

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Monday, February 9, 2015

Missouri Death Certificate Blues

Gee, I wish there were more people working on these transcriptions. Of the over 50,000 records only about half are done. Sure, they want more information, but still. If each person who ever pulled a record from their site did 10, we'd be done in no time.

Why am I so anxious? I can't wait to search them, of course.

One of the things that flummoxes (It's a word, look it up) me is that the person who wrote the record often fills out the form wrong. Sometimes that works in your favor when they use the spot for children under a year old to write in the month and days of someones age who is obviously over the age of one year.

When it doesn't work in your favor? When the surname is not consistent between husband and wife - same name, different spellings, or between father and son. It really makes one wonder. And it makes me grateful for the advanced search settings!

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, February 7, 2015

I'm Being Supervised

Mouse the cat thinks that since I've cleaned my office, she should have more access. Here she is supervising my volunteer work on the Missouri Death Certificates Project. I've redacted identifying information. Actually, I think she is more interested in the picture-mobile!

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, February 6, 2015

Let's Go A-Wandering

I am often amazed and awed by how my ancestors traveled. By boat, wagon, horse or foot, or train, they managed to leave their home countries and travel to America. That trip, I presume was by boat. Or flying saucer, since I can't find most of them on ship manifests.

Once in this country, they didn't stay put. Take my ancestor James Percival. Early records of Plymouth Colony (1670) have him fined for stealing a boat and sailing it from Virginia to Cape Cod. He did move from Sandwich to Falmouth, but his descendants went on to Connecticut, New York, Indiana, and Kentucky in the next hundred or so years. Amazing.

While the trip from Massachusetts to Connecticut was not huge, the move from Freehold, New York to Lawrenceburgh, Indiana circa 1800 was a doozy. Eighty years later, some of those descendents left Kentucky and traveled to Los Angeles, California. It is absolutely mind-boggling. And I found the California group quite by accident, in regards to an inheritance from the Bush family (Catherine Ambler Bush married Jabez Percival.) Otherwise I would still be looking for them in California.

What got me interested in this? Working on the Missouri Death certificates and seeing all the people who lived in the same county for 90+ years. Amazing. My dad was born in Missouri and moved to Michigan as a toddler. My mom? Lived in Wayne county, Michigan her entire life, all 83+ years.

What will my descendants think about finding me in Tennessee after discovering that I lived in Michigan for 55 years? I hope I leave a nice paper trail for them.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Five Second Job Turns Into an Hour

For most of the posts I've written this year, I have manually corrected the year. I knew there was a way to change it in my template, and eventually I did find it. It seems that every year it gets harder to remember where Blogger puts things. And it isn't like they never change things. Sure enough, I am often left scratching my head about it.

I can cross off another thing from my massive to-do list!

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

And Yet More Accomplished.

Woo Hoo! I have yet more accomplished. Shredded so much stuff I had to oil my shredder and empty the bag. Still looking for a home for a few things and I've managed to load a box with stuff to go to the recycler.

DH and I updated to Word 2013 a few weeks ago. We had been using Word 2003. That was pretty aggravating on its good days. Since it is not compatible with Windows 8.1, I needed the upgrade. Which means I was finally able to figure out how to get rid of compatibility mode (by converting a document) and to get my Christmas labels loaded into the program and save it. We need to go over our cards and make sure we got everyone at their correct address, make deletions and additions and then we will be all set for 2015 Christmas cards! Maybe.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Holy Organization! I finally got my desk cleaned off. And I can't tell you how badly it needed it. My piles o' paper grew piles o' paper.

So today, at Hobby Lobby, one of my favorite places to shop, I found this organizer. That doesn't include the shredding pile or the recycling pile. It feels really good to have this somewhat organized, since it's been hanging over my head for a while.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes