Gene Notes

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

Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Resolutions - How Did I Do?

Last year's post:

Family History Resolutions

Are you having a hard time figuring out what you want to accomplish in 2010? [Remember these are 2010's resolutions.] I have so many ongoing projects, many of which are hugely time-consuming, that I sometimes have trouble setting goals. The ideas are there, it is the follow-through. I won't even attempt to blame husband for distracting me.

1. Photos. We moved bins full of photographs with us from Michigan. I've managed to have both daughters paw through them and pull out what they want. If there was anything they had that I wanted a copy of I scanned it. Wow, the blessing of scanners, eh? So my goal is for husband and I to go through all the photos we have and pull out what we want to keep. And put them in albums. The rest will be discarded. I've decided that while the concept of double prints was a good thing at the time, allowing us to share with family those precious moments of our lives, it has just added to the problem of what to do with all those photos. This doesn't even include father-in-law's photos we brought with us. We can hardly discard them, and most of them are in some type of album. I have to admit, that I hadn't even touched this one. However, I did carve out some workspace in the storeroom, so this is still number one on my list.

2. To-Do files. I want to continue to work on those items I set aside to work on at a future date. I'd really like to be more organized and more consistent with this. I cleared a lot of items off the To Do list. This is probably one of the easier resolutions to keep.

3. I'd like to get back into a genealogical society. Sadly, the local society here in mid-Tennessee is not all that I would like it to be. Maybe I should resolve to start attending meetings again. I did join the Upper Cumberland Genealogical Association last year. And now it is time to renew my membership. It's been an interesting journey.

4. I think I'd also like to get back into Genealogical speaker mode again. I haven't spoken to a group in years because of my work schedule when I worked at the library. Since my schedule involved some nights and weekends, it virtually put an end to my speaking career. Haven't done anything along this line. It's been a busy year and I'm not sure I even have the drive to do this anymore.

5. Convince hubby to make another trip to Lexington, Kentucky Cemetery so I may photograph more of my families graves. Start working up other cemeteries to photograph. Husband actually was pretty easily convinced to make a trip there in the spring. And a trip to the Lexington Public Library. And I have started lists for two other cemeteries.

6. Keep up this blog. I'm not sure I'll keep up the weekend, but hope to have plenty of material for Monday-Friday. Yay! Not only did I managed Monday through Friday, but did manage Saturday too! The highlight of the blog? Being nominated for one of the 40 Best Genealogy Blogs by Family Tree Magazine.

7. I am adding printing up a cookbook which is a duplicate of my recipe file for each of my daughters. Since some family recipes are included, it is a way to pass those recipes down through the generations.

8. Finish transcribing the letters my grandfather and a few other people wrote to my uncle John Percival during World War II. These are actually more informative than the letters he wrote to his future wife during World War I.  This is actually NUMBER ONE on my 2011 list of resolutions.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thriller Thursday - Josiah Percival

From the Diary of Benjamin Percival:
Thursday, 3 February, 1803, this day Josiah Percival was Drowned.

What Benjamin's diary doesn't say was that he fell through while cutting ice on Hog Pond, which was on their property on Cape Cod. Josiah was also Benjamin's son.

The diary entry was subsequently followed by this one:

Monday, 7 February 1803, this day Josiah was buried he was 13 years old the 8th day of last October.

His tombstone inscription reads:

"In memory of Josiah, son of Mr. Benjamin and Mrs. Lydia Percival, he died Feb. 3rd 1803 in his 14 year."

He was buried in Tobey cemetery, which is located on land owned by Hewlett-Packard, or was when we visited the cemetery in 1998. The picture is a reconstruction of his headstone. Vandals visited the cemetery and knocked every stone down.
Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wedding Wednesday - Whiteside & Hall

Today's Wedding is that of Virginia Whiteside, who was my mom's much older cousin and William Hall. Virginia was the daughter of my grandfather's oldest sister, and grandpa was the youngest, being twelve years younger than his sister, Phene. So when Virginia and William Hall were married on December 29th, 1925, my mother was 22 months old.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year Countdown, Part 2

Yesterday I posted things I still have left to do, none of which included removing the Christmas decorations.

Today, on the more positive side this is what I have accomplished.

I've added 4,298 relatives to my database.
I've added 528 sources.
I've removed 110 to do items from my database. Then I added two more!
And I've added 2,766 images to my database.

I made some hot pads for the counter (3.)
Learned to use a Cricut.
Made lots of cards, scrapbooked lots of pages, even made gift card holders.
Started organizing store room/craft room.
Sewed a cover for my Cricut.
And best of all enjoyed my family for Christmas. We had both kids with us for the first time since 2003. It was wonderful.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, December 27, 2010

New Year Countdown, part 1

On the Monday before the New Year I still have left to do:

4 World War II draft registrations
7 Ship manifests
2 tax records
21 World War I Draft registrations
20 obits/marriage/miscellaneous announcements to transcribe
337 census
3 confederate pensions
5 naturalizations
104 marriages
2 US Military academy applications
14 Passport applications
4 probate files
62 letters to transcribe!
and a daughter to drive to the airport.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

I am enjoying Christmas with my family, but I wanted to make sure I wished you all a Merry Christmas.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, December 24, 2010

Maine Vitals

I noticed last week that Ancestry had put images for Maine Vital records up and thought it was a good time (in between craft projects) to troll for Percivals. I found a few surprises which is always nice. Then there is the indexing. What can I say about Ancestry indexing that I haven't already said? I am at the point where I don't even bother making corrections, because the indexing is so bad I'd be correcting 50% of their records. One I found the othe day was Joseph Lester Percival. Now while I don't have a Joseph Lester Percival, I thought I'd look at the record anyway. Okay, it wasn't supposed to be Joseph Lester, it was supposed to be Joseph FOSTER. And it very clearly says Joseph Foster Percival. Hello? I do have him in my database. Since when does Fo look like Le?

It is irritating because I pay Ancestry for access to these records. Do they pay me for making their corrections? I'm sure I have submitted at least 100 corrections this year. Maybe more.

And some of their databases? No idea why I can't find some people by putting in partial search terms. Like Jos* Pfeiffer.  He can only be found by searching Pfeiffer and putting in the year of his death - 1920 (Pennsylvania Veteran Burials.)

Please Santa, as a last minute gift, fix Ancestry's indexing.

Well, it is Christmas eve, my family is all together for the first time in years, and we are going to negotiate on opening presents early. Mine, not theirs! Actually, I have too much of my dad in me and we won't open them until Christmas. But I can string them along. Who says Christmas is for kids?

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thriller Thursday - Dr. Herbert D. Percival

Imagine it is the mid 1890's in Los Angeles, California. You're a doctor, born in Lafayette county, Missouri in 1859. Your parents have both passed - your father in Arkansas in 1863 as a lieutenant in the 5th Missouri Cavalry, CSA; your mother passed in 1886 in Missouri.

After your mother remarried, you and your younger brother were farmed out to relatives. You attended medical school at the Ohio Medical College in Cincinnati, across the Ohio River from Covington, Kentucky where you lived with your Uncle Jabez Percival and Aunt Kate. You have a cousin, William, who graduated with honors from Ohio Medical College in the same class. His parents were wealthy, you're a poor relation. In order to graduate, you have to borrow $25.00 from your brother John Henry Percival, known as Henry to friends and family. $25.00 is a lot of money to your brother, but he lends it.

In June 1884 you married Kate Gray in Covington. For a while, you were employed in Devil's Lake, North Dakota. The following June your wife presented you with your only child, Robert Hemingray Percival, who unfortunately only lives just over 6 weeks.

By the early 1890s you are ensconced in practice in Los Angeles. Perhaps you practice with your cousin William Percival, whose parents and other siblings all moved to Los Angeles in the mid 1880s.

You took your fees in cash and goods. You were never comfortable collecting fees from your patients, but despite that you went out one day to collect fees from your patients, because you too had bills to pay and accounts to settle. But you were never seen again. Were you accosted and robbed and killed for the fees you had collected?

Family lore has it that foul play was suspected. Your family never knew what became of you. Your widow, Kate, married your widowed cousin Dr. William Percival. His first wife died in 1892. You disappeared about 1893. Your widow and your cousin were married in 1897. Did they have you declared dead?

Did you brother ever try to search for you? By the time of your disappearance, Henry had married Nellie Maitland and they had one son, John Stearns Percival, named for your father and grandfather. Their daughter, Mary was not born until 1895. Unfortunately, except for one letter written by you to Henry in 1884 from Devil's Lake, North Dakota, there are no clues as to your relationship with your only sibling.

I am so curious to know what Herbert's ultimate fate was. There are three possible scenarious that I see.

1. He was killed, and body disposed of while collecting fees - the family lore.
2. He ran off. I think he may have felt that he was always second to whatever cousin William did. William was top in his class at Ohio Medical College; William had four children who survived into adulthood. William was the son of wealthy parents; Herbert was the poor relation.
3. This supposition is really insidious - William & Kate conspired in the death of Herbert. Maybe Kate decided she wanted to dump her husband for her hubby's more successful cousin. William's wife Susie died in March 1892 from septicemia. Possibly from a miscarriage?

Sadly, I'll probably never know exactly what happened or even when he died. He's my family's mystery man.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wedding Wednesday - Maitland & Urquhart

Helen Maitland, daughter of Dr. Alexander Maitland and Jean Wilson, sister to my great-great-great grandfather, Alexander Maitland.
28 Dec 1842: In this city [York or Toronto], on 22nd inst., George Urquhart, to Helen, youngest daughter of the late Alexander Maitland, M.D., Haddington, Scotland. (Rev. J. Jennings)

(Ontario Register, 1780's - 1870's, British Colonist, Toronto, 1840-1848, p. 246.)

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Anniversary to -- Gene Notes!

I can't believe it's been a whole year since I started writing Gene Notes. I have to say it has been an interesting experience.

I really have to thank,,, Missouri State Archives,, and all those wonderful indexed sites, all the people indexing (good and bad) for providing fodder for this blog. I especially thank my ancestors, siblings, spouse and descendants for providing me with tons of material for my blog.

I hope you've enjoyed this first year as much as I have and thank you for reading, following, and passing the word.


[Image courtesy of Franck Boston *]

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, December 20, 2010

Checking it Twice ...

Wow, I have been busy. One last item to pick up for Christmas for DH, and the cleaning and then I am done. Well, I'll be making cookies next week, but other than that and picking up Younger Daughter, I think I have things under control.

I had some fun and made some gift card holders with my Cricut, sewed some hot pads - the kind you set hot things on, not for getting stuff from oven and made a dust cover for my Cricut.

Gift Card Holder

Dust cover for my Cricut.

Another gift card holder
Now I think it is time to go back to the Maine Vital Records on Ancestry.

Don't forget that this is the last day to vote for your 40 Best Genealogy Blogs at Family Tree Magazine. The ballot is here.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sympathy Saturday - Frances Vivian Branham Gaitskill

Frances was the granddaughter of Frances Vivian Webb "Franky" and William Bourne Branham, and is a second cousin four times removed. Her grandmother was my fourth great grand-aunt and the sister of my ancestor Augustine Webb.

Frances was born November 26, 1827 in Bourbon county, Kentucky and died December 18, 1901 in Winchester, Kentucky. Her Find-a-Grave memorial can be found here.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, December 17, 2010

Making My List(s)

Christmas lists, grocery lists, to-do lists. It seems that I am constantly looking at some type of  list these days, and really, who isn't? It is such a busy time of year, that I am afraid if I don't make a list of what needs to be cleaned, shopped for, wrapped, sent, etc, that sure enough I will forget it.

We're having a houseguest for Christmas, younger daughter, who is flying down to spend Christmas with us. I can't tell you how much we are looking forward to it. I pray daily for the weather to cooperate so that she gets to Detroit Metro airport safely, her plane takes off safely and that it arrives safely in Nashville, and that the roads are safe for us to drive to Nashville safely.

My DH's eyes about bugged out when he saw the grocery list. I reminded him that the list included the makings for several suppers including Christmas day. Most of the time I only cook when older daughter comes for dinner, so it will be a treat to have younger daughter here too.

Then there is my craft list of things I want to accomplish on my sewing machine so it can be put away and the craft/storage room cleaned up. Also I have some stuff hanging around in the guest room to be put away and the room freshened for younger daughter's visit.

As I sit here and type this, I am thinking of more things to be done. Panic mode won't kick in until next weekend, though, so I think I have it under control. Maybe.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thriller Thursday - Six Lost on Ohio River

Presumed dead.

Six Persons Drowned Near Vevay - On the 1st of January (1847) six persons left Vevay Island in a small skiff, about 8 o'clock in the evening to go to the Kentucky shore, the wind blowing very fresh. It is believed they were all drowned, as no tidings have been received from any one of the party since.

We obtain this intelligence from Mr. Walton Craig of Ghent, Ky., whose father and brother were in the skiff, and are missing. Mr. C. entertains no doubt that the whole party were drowned.

Benjamin Craig, senior, aged 70 years, 6 feet in height, sandy complexion, had on a black box coat and cloth vest with red sleeves. Silas L. Craig, aged 24 years, had on a suit of blue mixed jeans.
n to our older citizens.
(Ohio Statesman, Cincinnati, Ohio, 7 January 1847, p2.)

[Note: Vevay Island, Indiana is across the Ohio River from Ghent, Kentucky.]

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes
A Mr. Howard and another white man (a fisherman, name unknown) with two negroes composed the missing party.

Mr. Walton Craig, living at Ghent, will give a reasonable reward to any person who will convey the bodies of his relatives, should they be found, to his residence for interment.

Mr. Craig, we hear it said, was owner of Vevay Island, and well know

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wedding Wednesday - Zimmet & Bescher

This is a fun record because it documents the relationship of the bride and the groom. They were first cousins. Francis Bescher's (also seen as Basher) mother and Josephine Zimmet's (also Zimmeth) father were brother and sister. Also, it's in Latin. The image is extremely dark on the right side and I've attempted to lighten it. Also, the Michael Zimmeth family ended up using Simmet rather than Zimmeth. According to my grandfather, Charles Louis Zimmeth, his father was mad that his brother Michael's family used Simmet rather than Zimmeth, so he stopped communicating. Which is probably why we never knew until recently that some of Michael's descendants also moved to Michigan. The couple mentioned below, however, remained in the Buffalo, New York region.

Record No. 15. The 15th day of December 1887, dispensation for a blood relationship of the second degree, e.g., lineally, and after three proclamations marriage joining Francis Bescher, son of George Bescher and his dead wife, Mary Zimmet, with Josephine Zimmet, daughter of Michael Zimmet and Catharina Eisenmann. Witness are Joseph Rengal and Magdalena Bohl. - signed- (Rev) F. N. Lester.

(St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, Lancaster, NY, Marriage Records.)

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nominations for 40 Best Genealogy Blogs

My friend, Carol at Reflections from the Fence and I have both been nominated for Family Tree Magazine's 40 Best Genealogy Blogs for 2011. I would have to say this is truly an honor. Really. Not that I don't appreciate the "awards" I've received from other bloggers, because those are important too. It means my blog is being read. This one, however, is really special. So whomever nominated me? Thanks.

There are a lot of great blogs nominated. You can go here  to see the list and  here to vote for your fave 40 by December 20th.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, December 13, 2010

On the First Day of Christmas

Christmas tree, lit & decorated

Snowbuddy Snowville

Bear Nativity

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sympathy Saturday - Mary Klijewski Kruszka

This was my DH's paternal grandmother.  She died December 11, 1957.

KRUSZKA - Mary. Dear mother of Arthur, Bernard and Mrs. Leona Stack; daughter of Mrs. Max Kruszka of Buffalo, New York; also survived by six grandchildren, two brothers and one sister. Funeral Saturday at 8:15 from the L. J. Griffin Funeral Home, 17600 Plymouth rd., (near Southfield) and to St. Robert Bellarmine Church at 9. Interment Mt. Olivet. Buffalo, New York papers please copy.

It's also an example of a death notice with misinformation in it. She was the daughter of Mrs. Max KLIJEWSKI, not Kruszka. One grandchild was not yet born when she died.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, December 10, 2010

Two Weeks Before Christmas ...

And here I am still prepping for the Holidays. It seems that things keep getting thrown in my way. First it was a twisted knee, which finally feels better, now its an abscessed tooth. Next week I have an appointment with an endodontist to start a root canal. Oh how much fun can we have!

Since we moved into our house here, I've waited until after all the leaves are dropped and the yard guy comes to clean the gutters before our lights go up. This year, the cold, the twisted knee and the abscessed tooth are slowing me down. I hate that. I did manage to get some Christmas shopping done though, for which I am grateful.

Younger daughter and I continue our Christmas countdown until she arrives here on the 22nd. Since this will be the first Christmas our immediate family has been together in seven years, we are eagerly anticipating her visit. I pray for no nasty storms to keep her up north!

My other projects included some sewing projects and some time alone with my Cricut. All before Christmas. Yeah. Just as soon as I am finished decorating!
Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thriller Thursday - James and Thomas Percival

From the Columbian (Massachusetts) Centinel, December 26, 1821:

Drowned. - At Barnstable, on Thursday forenoon last (by falling through the ice on a pond,) James and Thomas aged 8 and 11, children of Capt. Thomas Percival of sch. Reaper.

Their memorial at Find-A-Grave can be found here.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wedding Wednesday - Bowman & Wilmot

This marriage is between my 1st cousin 4 times removed Sallie Bowman & John L. Wilmot.

On the 7th instant, by the Rev. Curtis J. Smtih, J. L. Wilmot, Esq. and Miss Sallie daughter of Geo. Bowman of this county.

Source: Kentucky Observer & Reporter, December 23, 1848, p3 c6.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

All I Want For Christmas

Dear Santa,

I've been about as good as I can be this year. Enclosed is my Christmas list.

1. Blogger. Fix adding the pictures, the clickability of the images also needs work.

2. Ancestry. Fix their *$&+ images. I hate getting this message:

Error Processing Request

BookInfo is Null (Invalid Page Number)

Please try the following:

Click the Back button to try another link.

Click the Refresh button, or try again later.

View the collection.

View the Census Records Collection

View the Historical Newspaper Collection

View the Immigration Records Collection

View the Family & Local History Collection

3. While we're at it, lets fix the problems over at FamilySearch beta. There is a problem with New Hampshire deaths (the one with images) and then there is a Missouri deaths database that has Michigan deaths dumped into it. Whatever happened to quality control.

4. I'm tired of so-called updates and fixes screwing up the software. Do you hear me IE? What about you Firefox?
5. This is totally unrelated to genealogy, software, browsers, indices. How about some peace on earth? Goodwill towards men?

6. I would also like a return to being able to wish someone a Merry Christmas without fear of offending someone. I think that Political Correctness has gone too far.

7. This is America, we speak ENGLISH here. Why do I need to hit  "1" if I want to hear a message in English. I also don't want to hear the Spanish equivalent for that.

I am not asking for all of the above. Just one would work.

Thanks you Santa.


Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, December 6, 2010

Making a List - Checking It Twice!

1.  2009 Christmas cards checked against last years list; addresses verified.
2.  2010 Christmas card list updated.
3.  2010 Christmas card labels printed.
4.  Oops, not enough cards. Off to store to purchase some more!
5.  2010 Christmas letter written & printed.
6.  2010 Christmas cards signed.
7.  2010 Christmas cards stuffed with newsletter and stuffed into envelopes.
8.  2010 Christmas labels applied to envelopes.
9.  2010 Christmas return address labels applied.
10. 2010 Christmas envelopes stamped.
11. 2010 Christmas cards mailed.

Hmm. I'm a little behind this year, since last year they went out the day after Thanksgiving. Only missed it by a few days.

Still left, the rest of the Christmas decorating, and prepping the guest room for younger daughter who gets in to town in two weeks and two days. But who is counting? This is where I miss having a basement, because I used to be able to leisurely put up my tree and decorations. Now that said decorations are kept in the shed in the back, it has to be dry enough to go out to get the decorations and then put them back. After the loss of trees and the yard being taken over by equipment, it gets a little muddy back there.

Also left is the menu planning for the five days younger daughter will be in town. I know she misses her momma's cooking. I have a vague idea for Christmas, Christmas eve is turkey pot pie that now sits in the freezer, prepared after Thanksgiving. Also on the menu are chocolate chip pancakes and sweet and sour meatballs. And then there are leftovers for the day after Christmas. That takes care of dinner.

Then there is my Christmas shopping to finish - er start!

Am I getting a little obsessed with Christmas planning? Yes. This is the first time since 2003 that we have spent Christmas together. I am really looking forward to it!

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sympathy Saturday - Anna Bowman Kinnaird

Anna Worthington Bowman Kinnaird was the daughter of Abram Bowman and Mary Tomlinson and was my second cousin three times removed. She married James Kinnaird in 1877 and he predeceased her in 1904. Her record at Find-a-Grave can be found here.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Dilemma

This is the time of year I really start to feel pulled in different directions, Christmas. But doesn't everybody have that feeling this time of year. There is so much to do:  shop, plan meals, decorate, bake. Honestly, I don't know which to tackle first. So I didn't. Instead, I tackled my genealogy to do list. What started me down that totally unrelated road? Well, I came across a to list item that I put on my list of things to do before we moved from Michigan to our temporary home in a condo here in Tennessee. Well, we moved out of that condo in 2008. I have all my files (I hope) where I can get at them, and I had about ten items that required me to look at research I did in the 1990s. Wow. So I started the task of cleaning up my to do list. Then I discovered I had inadvertently added some of my obituaries from Lexington, Kentucky newspapers to my Allen County Public Library list. I have no idea how that happened, but those were easily transferred. There were several items that I had found over the years, but never removed from the list. All in all, I cleaned out 69 items.

I really wish I could get that enthusiastic about putting up the tree. But since the boxes are all in my living room, I guess I better get started.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thriller Thursday - Calvin Percival

DEATH NOTICE FROM THE OCTOBER 27, 1810 "WESTERN SPY":  On Saturday, 20th instant, as two young men were crossing the Ohio, opposite Lawrenceburgh, in a craft loaded with sand, it sunk and they were both unfortunately drowned. Their names were Calvin Percival, second son of Doctor Percival of that town, and Sampson Smith, an active industrious carpenter, formerly resident in this place.
Calvin was the brother of my great-great-great grandfather John Stearns Percival. At the time of his death he was 15 years old.
Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wedding Wednesday - Bowman and Dickerson

Robert Todd Bowman and Elizabeth Dickerson were married in Winchester, Clark county, Kentucky on December 1, 1835. Robert was the son of William Bowman and Nancy Todd Parker and therefore was my second great granduncle. He died about 1866 possibly in Covington, Kentucky; Elizabeth died about 1889 probably in Kansas City, Missouri.

clipart from

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes