Gene Notes

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

Monday, January 31, 2011

On the Other Side of It

I learned a couple things recently. First is that Missouri was having volunteers construct the online death index from the written indices. This year they abandoned that method and are having volunteers construct the index from the actual records themselves. I volunteered for this.

Second, I learned that if I could go back in time (Dr Who, where is your TARDIS when I need it?) and whack the record makers upside their heads I would surely do it. Even in 1960, the age of the typewriter, there are strikeovers, faint ink (hello, this is a death record, let's make it readable) and inconsistencies in the surnames from line to line. In other words, it ain't as easy as it looks.

The main issue I came up against was basically the incompatibility of both Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox with the Missouri State Archives indexing program. Google Chrome, for which I normally have little use, works just fine. Go figure. The other issue was the inability of some of the record makers to follow directions, or even read what the form says. If the spot next to AGE says If under one year: Month days it doesn't mean you should put 76 for the age and 9 for the month and 7 for the days. Hello that person is not under one year of age.

I love how it keeps track of the number of records you've indexed. At last count, I was up to 2,305. Fun. Can't wait to see these records online.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sympathy Saturday - George Nelson Burr

George Nelson Burr was the son of John Porter Burr and Anna Mary Stock. He was the grandson of  Nelson Burr and Lydia Freeman Percival. Of course, I went looking for his obituary and only found this little ad about closing out his estate.

Closing out sale
I was a little luckier when I went searching on Find-A-Grave for his memorial.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, January 28, 2011

Another Iron in the Fire

Recently I got involved in yet another project. After all the cookbooks for the girls were done, I have to do something in between transcribing letters.

The new project? Helping to index the 48,995 death certificates from 1960 in Missouri. It's actually going pretty well. The project started yesterday and the word was today that we were a quarter through the project. The Missouri State Archives Death Certificate project is very dear to my heart. I've literally been able to find hundreds of death certificates for my Percivals, Bowmans, Chinns, Kirtleys, Davidsons, Maitlands, Oliphants and Webbs and related families. It's really nice to give some time to doing this.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thriller Thursday - Accidental Shooting of Charles Stannard Percival

This was a horrendous accident to happen to a 16-year-old. He was son of Jabez Chapman Percival and Polly Canfield Brooks, and was probably born in Portville, New York.  He died in Palo, Michigan.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Bowman & McIntyre

This marriage was between James Bowman, son of Abram Hite Bowman and Mary Pauline Callahan, and Ruth McIntyre. It took place in Chicago, Illinois on January 26, 1907.

Marriage License-Bowman & McIntyre

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Project Time

After several weeks of almost non-stop scrapbooking, my cookbook project is done. I can't tell you what a relief it was, since it got added to my to-do list around Christmas, when younger daughter was here for the holiday and requested I make copies of all my recipes in my personal cookbook. Both daughters now have one.

Now, I am back to working on the letters my grandfather wrote to my uncle Johnny during World War II. Almost every letter seems to bring a new job for my dad, Johnny's brother Frank, or Hank as he was known to his friends and loved ones. The most unusual that I've found so far is the Greater Detroit, a ship of the line out of Detroit to Cleveland and Buffalo. Oddly enough, my dad didn't hang around long enough for the ship to sail with him on it.

At the time, dad was 17, and trying to find his own way. I think in a 3 month period he may have actually worked for Chrysler or Dodge, Ford and Cadillac. Eventually, in the 1950's he would find his niche as the custodian for a Catholic parish in a suburb of Detroit. It didn't pay much, but it allowed my dad to basically be his own boss and to dabble in electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling. Certainly his mechanical training he received in the Navy from 1943 to 1946, gave him a base upon which to build.

While I am anxious to finish this project, I am certainly fascinated by the content of these letters. A parent always has a different perspective than a child does of the same person.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, January 24, 2011

What a Teaser!

I was searching for Maitlands on the Ray County, Missouri GenWeb site, and found the article quoted below. Further investigation puts the event as February 6, 1895.

(Richmond Conservator, after February 6, 1895)


At the Powell-Hamacher wedding in this city on the 6th inst., Miss Margaret Maitland, daughter of Alex. Maitland of this county, wore a dress of brocaded satin, which was one of the bridal dresses of Miss Margaret Maitland of Scotland who was married in 1660. The dress was worn just as it was fashioned at the time. It is in an excellent state of preservation and seemingly as good as new, although 235 years old.

I was intrigued enough to go looking on for the couple who got married. They were Isaac Newton Powell & Louie Gertrude  Hamacher (according to Ancestry's Missouri Marriages 1851-1900.) Margaret Maitland who wore the dress in 1895 was my great grand-aunt, sister to Helen "Nellie" Maitland who married John Henry Percival my great grandparents. I do not know who the other Margaret Maitland was. She may have not been a Maitland by birth, but rather married into the family. What fun, though, to come across an article like this!

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Second Cookbook - Done!

If you haven't visited my alter-ego over at Generational, hop on over and see the completed Second Cookbook. Whew! I am so glad it is done. Now I can clean up the storage/craft room.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sympathy Saturday - John Percival

First, I have to say, there are a lot of John Percivals in my family. A cousin, an uncle, my grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great grandfather, great-great-great grandfather are all John Percivals. Even more when you go further back.

However, the subject of this blog, is John Percival, son of John Percival and Hannah Whitmore (my great-great-great-great-great-great grandparents) which makes him my great-great-great-great-great granduncle.

John Percival was born and died in East Haddam, Connecticut.  His death notice from Connecticut Mirror, Hartford, Connecticut, obituary, 15 February 1813 simply reads: Died - At East Haddam, John Percival, Esq. aged 81.  His stone reads:

to the memory of
Deacon John
Parcival who died
Jan. the 22d AD
1813 in the 81st
year of his age

His Find-A-Grave Memorial can be found here. Thanks to Jan Franco and Irma for the memorial. Check out his stone, it is very interesting.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, January 21, 2011

What's Your Story?

Older daughter has loaned me her Nook so I can test drive it so to speak. And as a gift, added a book for me - "Sins of the Fathers" by Patricia Sprinkle. The book is part of her Family Tree Mysteries series, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. In the first book, "Death on the Family Tree" chronicles the main character's first foray into genealogical research. This second book, an acquaintance, is trying to verify that a burial belongs to her great-grandfather. She utters a great line "... the dead can't take their money with them, but they do take their stories with them," explaining succinctly why we might know the facts, but we don't always know the why of it.

There have been so many times, in the last 24 years of family research that I've wondered why something happened. Why did the Percivals move from Massachusetts to Kentucky and Indiana? Where did my great-great uncle Joseph Zimmeth go between Michigan in the 1860s and Minnesota in the mid 1870s? And why? What really happened to Herbert Percival? Yeah, it usually does get back to Herbert at this point.

My great-great-great grandfather, Dr. John Stearns Percival had two wives. His first wife, Matilda Fleet Hinton Goodridge died before 1822, leaving him with two children, Elizabeth and Egbert. Egbert married Fanny Banks in 1848 in Rising Sun, Indiana. They made their way to California via San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. In 1870, Egbert is listed as an invalid on the census. He had been a hotel-keeper, and possibly a miner. Why was he an invalid? What happened to his son Henry, who disappears after 1880? Fanny, Egbert's widow remarries C. W. Humphreys in 1873 in Truckee, California. They are still in Truckee in 1880 but I've found no later record of them. While they aren't my ancestors, Henry was a first cousin albeit 3 times removed.

I'm sure I'll never know the answers to all my questions, but that doesn't stop me from speculating. Or Searching.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thriller Thursday - More Tragedy Strikes the Bohannon Family.

I can't even imagine what the local newspapers made of the second tragic death in the Bohannon (also Bohanon) family in Crooked River. The first one I reported here and involved a toddler falling into a pot of boiling water.

This one, is the tragic, accidental death of Mary Alice "Alice" Burgess Bohannon, the mother of the unfortunate toddler. Mrs. Bohannon was shot accidentally by one of her sons.

What happened remains a mystery. I can find no further evidence of her husband and sons, Eugene, Wallace and Elliott.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Tenney & Fee

On this date (January 19) in 1927, Warren Horace Tenney married Emma Fee. Warren was the grandson of Sara Jane Percival and Horace Curtis Tenney. Sara Jane was the daughter of Warren Percival & Clarissa Hoyt. This line goes back to James Percival & Abigail Robinson and ultimately to James Percival and Mary Rainsford, my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandparents. Warren was my sixth cousin twice removed. Emma was the daughter of Robert Fee and Minnie Woodward. Vermont has transcribed their vital records onto these cards. To get a full picture you need to get both cards as the they are specific to bride and groom.

Marriage cards, Vermont, for Tenney & Fee
 Hopefully, clicking on the image will bring up a larger image.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Letters

I feel like I have done very little research lately and absolutely no data entry at all - with the exception of entering the day of my grandfather's aunt Mary (Mayme) Maitland Shackleford's birth! Yes, that's right, I did NOT have great-great grand aunt Mayme's birth date other than I knew she was born in May 1878 in Richmond, Missouri. Now I know that she was born May 11, 1878.

There is still a lot I don't know about Mayme. She and her husband, Jonathan Shackelford were divorced sometime between the 1920 and 1930 census. By 1930, he is absolutely nowhere to be found. He doesn't appear in any death records in Missouri that I can ascertain. Mayme died November 13, 1958 in Topeka, Kansas.

Mayme and Jonathan Shackelford had two daughters, Mary Katherine, born in 1904 and died in 1987 in California. She was married to Robert Brockett. Her daughter Sara was born in 1915 and married Dwayne Smith.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, January 17, 2011

We Had More in Common Than I Knew

While working on the WWII letters that my grandfather wrote to my uncle, I discovered that we weren't as different as I thought.

My grandfather seemed to spend as much time worrying about his sons as I do my daughters.  And he wasn't afraid to let his sons know that he worried about them.

He even had an anecdotal story about conversing with a 90 year old neighbor and conveying to her his worry for his sons.  The neighbor lady told Grandpa that she was worried about her boy, too.  Forgetting that he was speaking with an elderly lady, Grandpa asked the woman how old her son was. His neighbor told him that her "boy" was 70 years old.  So you see, it never ends. 

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sympathy Saturday - Raleigh Chinn


You can view his memorial at Find-a-Grave here.

[Researcher's note: Raleigh is descended from the legitimate line of Chinns through Raleigh Chinn and Esther Ball. My line is descended through Raleigh and his mistress, Margaret Ball Downman.]

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes
Suddenly on Monday, January 15, 1951, RALEIGH S. CHINN, of 8 Thomas St., Rockville, Md., Beloved husband of Rebecca N. Chinn and father of Jane Alice Chinn. Remains resting at the Colonial Funeral Home of Robert A. Pumphrey, Rockville, Md., where services will be held Thursday, January 18, at 11 a.m. Interment at Rockville Union Cemetery.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Playing With Speech Recognition Leads to Discovery

Recently I discovered that my Dell laptop computer was capable of speech recognition.  I've had this computer for over two years, and I never knew that it was capable of speech recognition before. 

Now the last thing I really need is something else to play with, but I discovered that it is possible for me to dictate my blogs.  Sometimes, because I don't speak clearly enough, some weird things come out of my mouth.  Learning to correct misspoken words has been quite an adventure. 

I'm not sure that I will continue to use dictation to write my blogs, but it could be quite interesting to see how it works for a while.

One of my tests was to try dictating  some of the letters my grandfather wrote to my Uncle Johnny during World War II. In one I found yet another job that my dad held in 1943 - that of steward's aid for the Detroit & Cleveland Navigation Line. Obviously, their main run was from Detroit to Cleveland. Unfortunately, however, Grandpa never indicated on which ship dad was working.

Of course, this led me to Wikipedia, and you can see their information on the D & C line here.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thriller Thursday - The Unfortunate Accident of W. F. Booker


Prominent Louisville Merchant Meets Death from Shot of his Own Gun.

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Nov 19 - Mr. W. F. Booker of the firm of Pauslee, Gaulbert & Co., was killed this afternoon while hunting near the city. He and Mr. Fred Lewis, of Lewis & Chambers, were shooting quail near Prospect when the deplorable accident occurred.

Details of the accident are meager. He was sitting on the wall playing with his dogs, when the gun went off and shot him in the breast.

The entire load of shot entered his breast, killing him instantly. His body was brought to the city.

Mr. Booker was a member of firm and treasurer of the company. His wife (Bella Owsley Booker) is a daughter of the late Boyle Owsley. He leaves several children, Fred, Ned, Mrs. Alex Robertson and P. G. Booker.

The oldest son, Fred, is now at La Center, Ky., attending the field trials of which he is secretary.

The accident occurred on the farm of Mr. Chas. G. Strater.

[Lexington Herald-Leader, Lexington, Kentucky, Obituary, 20 November 1907]

[I want to take this opportunity to thank my readers who have nominated me for an Ancestor Approved award. While I do appreciate it, I am in the middle of so many projects right now, I really don't want to go through all that again. But I do appreciate the sentiment. Thank you. - ACK]
Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Meyer & Buschelman

This marriage record is from my great-great-great-great-great-great grandparents, Berend Meyer & Elisabeth Buschelman. They were married in Steinfeld, Oldenburg, Germany.

January 12, 1709, Berend  Meyer to Elisabeth Buschelman.  Catholic Church Records of Steinfeld, Oldenburg, Germany, p 37.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

More on Lieutenant/Captain John S Percival, CSA

Last week I alluded to my ancestor chasing the paymaster for the Missouri CSA troops. Here is a transcription of a letter to his wife, my great-great grandmother, Susan Davidson Percival.

                        Camp      March 2d, 1863

Dear Sue,

     As I have an opportunity I thought I would write you a few lines.  I am well and tonight  (tape marks obscure words)
ever being there before.  I have just advanced from Little Rock where I have been to collect on claims against Missouri. I was disappointed as the paymaster had gone to (again obscured by tape marks) and I could not wait as it cost about from five to six dollars a day for board.  Calico is selling from four to six dollars per yard, boots from forty to seventy  dollars per pair and other things in proportion.  We are looking for General Price to come over here this month to take command in the field if he comes I will have some hopes of  (obscured)   talk of the cavalry coming  (more of the letter is obscured until the close of the letter)  I have no news to write this time.  Give my love to all and kiss the little boys.
     I remain your affectionate husband,
                        Jno. S. P.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Doctors

No no no, this is not about an episode of Dr. Who, but what I wouldn't give for his Tardis, eh? Instead, this is about two of the doctors in my family, in this case, Dr. Jabez Percival and Dr. John Stearns Percival. Not only are they father and son, but they are my great-great-great-great grandfather and great-great-great grandfather, respectively. Dr. Jabez Percival probably had no formal training, perhaps he studied under his father-in-law, Dr. John Stearns. According to one of the Dearborn County, Indiana histories, Dr. John Percival did attend lectures in Troy, New York.

By the turn of the 19th century, the Percivals were in Lawrenceburgh, Dearborn county, Indiana. Dr. Jabez Percival stays put with his family, but son John goes back and forth between Indiana and Kentucky. So much so, that even his own son, John Stearns Percival, Jr., born circa 1832, later a Captain in the Confederate cavalry under Gen. Jo Shelby, would alternately give his birthplace as Indiana or Kentucky. John, Sr. married both his wives in Boone county, Kentucky, in 1817 and 1822 and he did practice there, and he did pay taxes in Boone county. But in 1829, he was in Lawrenceburgh, Indiana and the following documents prove that. These are from the pension application (Indian war in 1790's) for one William Ricketts. Both Dr. Jabez Percival and Dr. John S Percival are mentioned in these two documents. On the same page. On the first page, the Surgeon's Affidavitt, it appears as if those are signatures. to which I can only say "too cool."

In the second document, it is nice to know that both are considered reputable physicians. Certainly there is no earth shattering information in here, but it is wonderful to have copies of these documents.

Unfortunately, both Dr. John S. Percival and Dr. Jabez Percival died in 1841. Dr. John S. Percival died January 10, 1841 from a fall from his horse. We presume he died in Missouri, intestate, since the Ray County, Missouri courts appointed Joseph Oliver (who would become his son-in-law) as administrator of his estate. Dr. Jabez Percival died June 21, 1841 at the age of 81.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes - Due to vagaries with Blogger, the pictures may or may not enlarge if you click on them.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sympathy Saturday - Simon Perkins Percival

On this date, in 1896, Simon Perkins Percival died. He was born by all accounts, in Brownington, Vermont on January 2, 1818. He was the son of Orin Percival and Leany Burroughs, both of whom died in Geauga County, Ohio.

He was my 4th cousin 4 times removed. You can view his Find-a-Grave Record here.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, January 7, 2011

OCFRD* Cured?

At first I thought I was cured of my *Obsessive Compulsive Family Research Disorder, then I realized that I was really suffering from OCFRD complicated by Obsessive Compulsive Scrapbook Disorder (OCSD.) Oh dear. I have been torn between de-decorating from the holidays, working on my family research, and putting our family recipes into cookbooks for our two daughters. I am on page 54 of 80 pages of the first book. I think my DH thought I was nuts for cutting paper on my Cricut shortly before he headed off to bed.

As a late Christmas gift to myself, I treated myself to a 50% off subscription to Footnote. I've found some interesting stuff on there, particularly for my great-great grandfather, John S Percival, and his civil war related records. For all of his trying to chase down the paymaster chronicled in one letter to his wife, he was never paid for his service. I've found no evidence that any type of pension was paid to his widow, either. Although, she remarried in 1877. Unfortunately, I guess I didn't have the hang of saving records because none saved properly.


Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thriller Thursday - Glenn Percival


Glenn Percival, 49, of North Sixth street, a fireman in the local department, died suddenly last Friday morning, while on a hunting trip near Long Lake in the Adirondacks.
Percival left here last week Tuesday with a party consisting of Charles Guyer, C. Frederick Hillick, James Hillick, John Howard and Victor Baumister to hunt deer in the Long Lake region. He was stricken Thursday morning and passed away from a heart attack shortly afterward.

The deceased was born in Mount Pleasant, Oct. 5, 1895, son of the late William and Mrs. Florence Percival. He had resided here for the past 27 years and besides his duties as a fireman was employed three days a week by the Hunter Arms company.

Surviving besides his widow and mother are a daughter, and two sons; also a brother [Names withheld as they may be living yet.] 

Funeral services were held from the Springer Funeral home Tuesday afternoon, Rev. Webster D. Melcher officiating; interment at Mt. Pleasant.

Fulton Patriot, Fulton, New York, obituary, 16 November 1944, p1 c4.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Holt & Hamacher

Norman Holt & Ella Hamacher were married on this date in 1881 in Ray county, Missouri. Norman was the stepson of Susan Davidson Percival Holt and stepbrother to my great-grandfather, John Henry Percival. Unfortunately the last record I have of Norman & Ella is the 1900 census. According to my great-grandfather's obituary, Norman died before 1929.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mom's Cooking

As I stated yesterday, I am putting together cookbooks for the kids that have lots of recipes from my childhood. Like mom's chicken and dumplings, chop suey, salmon loaf. Yum. I do not have a recipe for her swiss steak, but that's okay. I hated her swiss steak. Actually, I hated anything that had stewed tomatoes or anything that looked like stewed tomatoes with it. I think that must be due to my camp experience.

We used to joke that if it came in a can, mom could cook it. She did use a lot of canned stuff, especially in her chop suey recipe. My mom was not into growing her own veggies. Mostly because the only plants she had any luck with were the silk variety! She really was a good cook, but I think after raising 6 kids, she just burned out from all the cooking.

I remember mom saying her Aunt Rose taught her how to cook, and Rose cooked a lot of German dishes, but my dad didn't like it, so mom stopped cooking it. Oh man, how I wish I knew what some of those dishes were now.

Some of the things my mom did really well were huge dinners, like Christmas with turkey and dressing. That would feed our large family for a couple days. I remember her cooking chicken and dumplings and that was my favorite of all her dishes. In fact, I made it for dinner last night in the crockpot. That is my comfort food. I also loved her salmon loaf. Apparently my sister Mary is the only one who will admit to liking that dish. My mom made pot roasts, meat loaf and stew and anything that would feed our crew - 6 kids and two adults - and I rarely remember leftovers.

What I wouldn't give for her pie recipes - she made a killer apple pie and a wonderful lemon meringue and a terrific banana cream pie. And pineapple upside down cakes. I think the latter was made from a mix, but I've never been able to duplicate it. And I don't have those recipes to pass along. Now that is sad.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Latest Project

Younger daughter, during her visit here, asked me for a few recipes. Then she went through my cookbook program (Master Cook, version 8) and asked for copies of everything. So for her and older daughter I am putting together cookbooks with recipes from their grandmothers, some of my friends, one of my sisters and me! However, I am doing it in scrapbook fashion, so it is taking a while. The kitchen table is a disaster area. It might get cleaned by the end of the month. Maybe that will mean I won't have to cook? At any rate, the girls are getting great heritage cookbooks from their mom.

In the meantime, I get to reminisce about some great food and plan some menus for the new year!

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

There is something renewing about the start of the new year. Every year, I try to revive that optimism I had when I was younger, sometimes with more success than other years.

Right now I am reflecting on the new year for my ancestors. There is no doubt in my mind that they had to have an optimistic view of life, especially those settlers to the New World. Since most of these early immigrants were also Puritans or Quakers, I am sure they did not celebrate the new year as we do now.

In 1803, my great-great-great-great grandfather, Dr. Jabez Percival, spent the New Year in his new house in Lawrenceburgh, Indiana. It was a double-walled log cabin. Dr. Jabez moved to Lawrenceburgh in 1801 from Freehold in Greene county, New York. He lived near the banks of the Ohio and in addition to his profession of doctor, was also a county judge.

Many years later, in Missouri, I am sure that my ancestors were hoping each new year would bring an end to the Civil War. Two of my great-great grandmothers had already lost their husbands, one in 1862 and the other in 1863. Times were really hard when women had no adult males to protect them.

In 1919, my grandfathers both hoped the New Year would send them from France to their homes in Michigan and Missouri. By the end of that summer, both would be returned to their families.

I know by January of 1945, my grandfather Percival was hoping for an end to the war and the return of his sons, whole and unharmed. John S. Percival, Sr. was a corporal in the Engineer Corps in World War I and never saw combat; he built and repaired bridges. Both sons, however, were in harms way: John, Jr in Europe and Frank in the South Pacific.

So as 2011 begins, I realize how blessed I am not to have a child away from home in a combat zone and to have my husband by my side. What more could anyone ask for.

[Sympathy Saturday will return next week.]

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes