Gene Notes

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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Naval Muster Rolls, 1938-1949

 I've been wracking my brain for a post and this topic popped up. I noticed last week that had put up these Naval Muster Rolls, 1938-1949. Well, my dad was in the Navy and I even knew which ships he had served on. I knew his first ship was the AF-28 Hyades, a stores ship, and I knew the second one was the DE-704, Cronin, a destroyer escort. Early on in my researching my dad became interested in looking for his shipmates from the Cronin. He would have loved these muster rolls. He and his former shipmates searched for other crew members for all the years my dad belonged to the Destroyer Escort Sailors Association.

USS Hyades - AF 28
The first one, the Hyades, set sail for the first time on August 1, 1944. On June 28, 1945 my dad joined the crew of the Cronin and enjoyed a promotion to Fireman 1st Class (EM). He was transferred for discharge on April 3, 1946 to PSC, Great Lakes, Illinois.
USS Cronin - DE 704

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sympathy Saturday - John Parker

In this county on Sunday night inst., at an advanced age, JOHN PARKER, Esq. The deceased was an old and highly respectable resident of Fayette county, was amongst the earliest settlers of Kentucky, and at the time of his death, the presiding Justice of the County Court. In all the relations of life he sustained an unblemished character for integrity and probity.

Tombstone Inscription:  John Parker, Sr., born in Pennsylvania, Sept 3, 1753; died May 28, 1837.  Was a soldier in Revolutionary War. Removed to Kentucky in 1784 and served the State of his adoption in many offices of trust and honor.

John Parker, Sr., was my great-great-great-great grandfather. He married Isabella Todd and they were the parents of Nancy Todd Parker who married William Bowman. Nancy and William were the parents of John Parker Bowman, my great-great grandfather. You can see the predilection for family names as middle names.  John Parker Bowman was the second son of Nancy and William. Their oldest son was Robert Todd Bowman, named for Nancy's grandfather. This naming convention was last seen in 1925 when my father, the second son, was named for his maternal grandfather, Frank Bowman.
Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, May 27, 2011

What They Had For Me!

Remember last week's Sympathy Saturday? I told about Corintha Percival McNitt. Well thanks to Kalamazoo Genealogy  I found a marriage announcement for Corintha and hubby Lyman McNitt.

And I found it due to this card:

The N.R.I, 2-28-51 refers to the newspaper reference - the Kalamazoo Gazette, of February 28, 1851. Unfortunately, these newspapers are not all indexed, so I was able to browse that issue via Genealogy Bank and found the announcement.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thriller Thursday - Fell from a Scaffold - Earl Brough

From the Ludington Daily News. Ludington, Michigan, obituary, 12 October 1940.


PELTON DISTRICT. - Relatives here have received word of the death in Ann Arbor, Saturday, Oct. 5, of Earl Brough, husband of Edna Percival Brough, a former resident here.

Mr. Brough and a companion fell to their death from the scaffolding of a building on which they were working.

He was buried in Ann Arbor Tuesday.

Mrs. Brough is a cousin of Mrs. Herman Beyer, who received the message and also a cousin of Mrs. John Belleville and H. L. Darr.
 Earl's wife, Edna Percival Brough was the granddaughter of Cullen Percival & Rachel Quigley.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Ballinger & Botts

On May 24, 1876, Paulina "Lina" Balllinger married Andrew Jackson "Jack" Botts. Lina was the daughter of William Roten Ballinger & Agness Bibb. She was the sister of William Robinson Ballinger who married Ann Maitland, my great-grandmother's sister. Lina & Jack's marriage record is below.

 The name Botts rings a bell with me because my great-great grandmother mentions Mr. Botts, to whom her son John "Henry" Percival was apprenticed as a tinner in a letter. Time to dig out that 1880 census.

 Henry Percival (with the red arrow on the left) is my great grandfather. Says he was born in Kentucky. Don't think so. Family was living in Waverly, Missouri at the time of his birth and that is what his death certificate says. It looks like the Botts family ran a boarding house. That was very common in post civil war in Missouri. Henry's mother ran one in Carthage, Missouri for a while, and quite possibly also in Richmond, Missouri. While her sons were farmed out to other families, Henry's mother raised her second husband's children.

Don't forget to click on the images for a larger view.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Family Visits

Late last year, cousins from California moved a couple hours east of us, and yesterday we finally managed to get together. I discovered I had at least one thing in common with cousin John - sarcasm! Whew, it was fun! Also his wife and I share Obsessive Compulsive Family Research Disease. Evie is a great researcher and willing to write letters anywhere, anytime. We shared some family information and I clued her in to some of my favorite sites and we had an absolute ball.

I can't tell you how tired we were when we finally got home that night, but it was so worth it!

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, May 23, 2011

What Have You Got For Me Now?

I stumbled across a great site for people with connections in Kalamazoo County, Michigan last week. The site is Kalamazoo Genealogy Records and I found some great stuff there! Initially, I was looking for a marriage record of Corintha Percival and Lyman McNitt, and then I went hunting for other finds! Wow! I found headstone photos, images of the cards in their card file/vertical file. I even found another child for Montgomery Percival & Eunice Cook, Harriet Emily who died October 7, 1838 at the age of 2 years and 6 months in Comstock, Michigan.Using the death date, I browsed the Kalamazoo Gazette for October of 1838 - I'm glad it was a weekly newspaper - and found the death notice. Don't forget to click on the images to see them larger!

Of course, my OCFRD* has kicked in and I can't wait to see what else I will find.

*Obsessive Compulsive Family Research Disease.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sympathy Saturday - Corintha Percival McNitt

Corintha Percival was born about December 1835 in New York state. She was the daughter of Cullen Percival & Rachel Quigley. I speculate she married Lyman McNitt February 20, 1851, although I have yet to locate the actual marriage record for her. She died about May 21, 1916 and was buried May 23, 1916 in Porterville Cemetery, Porterville, Tulare county, California.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, May 20, 2011

What Did You Inherit?

I'm not talking houses, furniture, money, or tangible items, I'm talking about diabetes, cancer, and those other nasty things that can run in families. Do you enter the cause of death from death certificates or family information into your genealogy?

Years ago, when my dad was asked - probably by me - what his mother died from, he told me she died from female problems. Okay, at that point, I thought cervical, ovarian, uterine or breast cancer. Yeah. No. My paternal grandmother died from a strangulated hernia while the family was on vacation. My maternal grandmother died from tuberculosis at the age of 36. Both my grandfathers suffered strokes. My paternal great grandfather died of liver cancer. All these items are carefully entered into my genealogy program along with that fact that my mother died from kidney failure due to long term illness and my father died of lung cancer.

The last few months I've been thinking about color coding my database according to cause of death. I think it would be an easy way to see at a glance on a pedigree view of the database any trends.

I think that needs to go on my "To-Do" list.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thriller Thursday - Boyd Child Suffers Burns

I found this death for Priscilla Boyd, daughter of Thomas Clark Boyd & Evelyn Percival. But was it really Priscilla who died?

Niagara Falls Gazette, April 9, 1920


Olean, April 9. - Priscillia Boyd, two-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clark Boyd of No. 12 Orchard Avenue, was severely burned late yesterday afternoon. Her clothes were ignited while she was standing in front of an open stove. It was reported that she will  not recover.

Buffalo Morning Express, April 10, 1920


Olean, April 9. - Priscilla Boyd, the two-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clark Boyd of No. 12 Orchard avenue, who was severely burned while playing in front of an open gas stove yesterday afternoon, died late last night.

[This researcher, upon further investigation, discovers it was indeed Anna who died and not Priscilla. Priscilla married years later and it is Priscilla who is enumerated on the 1930 census and not Anna."Annie Marie Boyd" is buried in Mount View Cemetery, Olean, New York born 1918 and died 1920.]

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Percival & Fish

On May 18, 1839, Ephraim Crocker Percival married Eliza Allen Fish. Ephraim was the son of Timothy Percival & Hannah Crocker and Eliza was the daughter of Ansel Fish & Bethany Howland.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Almost There!

Just about done with the home organization project. Everything was delivered except a small storage shed, which was a special order, order didn't go through for six days and now we are looking at later this week. Since we've had rain since Saturday, its too mushy to work outside anyway. Also we've had a marked drop in temps since last Tuesday - 40 degrees - and the DH and I are both feeling pretty lousy. Hope the weather improves soon!

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, May 16, 2011

Totally Random!

Basically I finished most of the pile of stuff I had on my desk and was ready to return to work on the Lexington Cemetery (Kentucky) double-check, add photos and add records to Find-a-Grave when DH and I ordered a bunch of stuff from Lowes here in town. We ordered a work-bench, a fire pit (I’ve wanted one since we moved here), a rug for the living room, an 8-foot stepladder and a Rubbermaid storage shed (NOT the huge one – one to keep things that don’t need to be kept in the garage, like an extra propane tank for the grill, the left over stacked stone from the front of the house and the spreader come to mind.)

Well, the shed hasn’t come yet, but DH and I were in a frenzy of moving stuff around this week. For instance, to make room for the work bench in the garage (no basement here) we had to move a dresser out of there that we were using to store odds and ends. Half of the stuff in there will have to be re-distributed elsewhere. The dresser was getting moved to the store/craft room, so we had to move a shelving unit to the big shed in the yard. And to do that we had to reorganize the shed – all of this in near 90 degree weather with almost a total lack of breeze. I can’t tell you how good it feels to get things organized. The real upside of this is that I am getting a little more organized in that craft/store room. DH and I went a bought a nice 6 foot shelf and now we need the energy to install that before I can totally put that room back together. It will probably give us something to work on during the nasty weather that is in the forecast.

Then, I think I will be finally ready to hang the family photos that have been taking up room in a huge old computer box in the store/craft room. I have the walls all picked out, I just need to lay out the stuff on the craft paper I have and figure out the layout. After that, I will be ready for some serious transcribing.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sympathy Saturday - Christina Helen "Nellie" Maitland Fry

Christina or Nellie Maitland was born according to family lore in Missouri. Different censuses say Canada or Missouri, and certainly the family did move around a lot. Her parents were Alexander Maitland born in 1813 in Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland and Helen Skirving born in 1814 in Forres, Moray, Scotland. Her parents were married in Toronto, Canada, where indeed, some of the Maitland children were born. “Nellie’s” brother, Alexander Maitland married Mary Oliphant and I descend from that line.

In 1881, Christina “Nellie” Maitland married Joseph Fry Smith. She died on May 14, 1895 in Lexington, Missouri and is buried in Machpelah cemetery there.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday the 13th!

On May 13, 1979, my DH proposed. Kind of. I’ve spoken of it before, and would refer you to that post if Blogger wasn’t seriously broken. Actually the original day fell on Mother’s day. After proposing on Mother’s day, how could he possibly top that!

If you haven’t noticed by now, Blogger was BROKEN! When I was getting ready to post this for Friday a.m. I got the dreaded “Blogger is unavailable” screen. Not that I haven’t had issues with blogger for ages, but not this bad.

And now that Blogger is fixed you can access that post here at my alterego blog "Generational."

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thriller Thursday - Fatal Burns of Florida Craig

 From the Lexington Herald, January 27, 1915:


As a result of burns suffered the day before at the Old Ladies' Home where she was an inmate, Miss Florida Craig, 73 years of age, died yesterday morning at St. Joseph's Hospital and the body will be laid to its final rest at 11 o'clock this morning in the Lexington Cemetery.

Funeral services will be conducted at the home where for the past year Miss Craig had made her home. The Rev. E. J. Caldwell, of the First Baptist Church, will conduct the services and a class from the State University of Kentucky, which has been active in the work at the home will sing.

Miss Craig's death was caused by a burning coal rolling from the open fire before onto the bed, where she lay cramped and suffering with rheumatism. Because of her illness, she was unable to move from the flames which threatened her, and before assistance could be had was so horribly burned that she died from the result of her injuries yesterday morning. She was 73 years of age and comes of a once prominent family in Scott county. One brother, Charles Craig, survives her as the last of a long line of their family.

[Author's note: Florida Craig is related to me in two different ways: First, through the Parker & Todd family, she is my second cousin three times removed and through the Todd & Bodley line she is my fourth cousin three times removed. I also find this death somewhat suspicious. Did they have her sleeping on the floor, or were her bed coverings dragging on the floor? And notice that she is an inmate, not a patient or a resident as we might say today.]

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Hambright & Bohannon

May 11, 1876 Susan Bohannon, daughter of Lewis Capette Bohannon and Cynthia Haddix married Amos Hambright in Ray County, Missouri.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Name is Calista ... or is it Corlista?

With so many sites posting vital records online over the last few years, I will admit to a slight case of Vital Record overload. This is a symptom of my Obsessive Compulsive Family Research disease to be sure. When I finally had access to Massachusetts Vital records I was able to search out many descendants of James Percival who settled in Falmouth, Massachusetts, my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great (yes, that's 8 greats) grandfather.

One person who appears is Calista Matilda Percival, a daughter of Ansel Percival and Sylvia Sellon. Calista was born October 12, 1828 in Amherst, Hampshire, Massachusetts. On October 5, 1846, she married William Allen Thayer in Brattleboro, Vermont. She was easily found on the census from 1850 - 1870. I think I found her in 1880, but by 1900 she had disappeared. Had she died or remarried? Periodically I would search for her, get frustrated and then put that research aside.

While researching her brother, Isaac Leonard Percival over the weekend, I found an obituary for him, which stated that he died at the home of a nephew Byron P. Thayer. Oh, wait, that is the youngest son of Calista & William Thayer. It also listed other living relatives including niece Mrs. George A. Graves of Hartford, Connecticut. Oh, a clue. Well, I knew that Mary Emma Thayer, Calista's daughter married George A. Graves, but George Graves being such a common name, with way too many hits to wade through, I hadn't pursued them. A search of the 1900 Hartford, Connecticut census led to George A. Graves, Mary E. Graves and Corlesta Thayer. So now I had Calista/Corlesta in 1900. A search of the 1910 census did not produce her anywhere under any name.

Many times I had googled her under the name of Calista Thayer, but with no satisfactory results. Then I had the brilliant idea of googling Corlista Thayer. Can we spell BINGO? The first hit was Geer's Hartford City Directory for 1903 and Corlista Thayer was listed in the necrology section as having died March 31, 1903 at the age of 74. If you click on the image below you will see that I combined the explanation from page 479 and page 484 where Corlista/Calista Thayer appears.

Corlista Thayer appears on right

I first wrote about this subject on June 2, 2010. You can read it here.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, May 9, 2011

Queen of Arcane Databases

I love finding databases that are little known. Such as United States, Union Provost Marshal Files of Individual Civilians, 1861-1866 found at FamilySearch.

While browsing that database I found the following letter written by P. S. Bush (Philip S. Bush) of Covington, Kentucky in regards to his son-in-law, Jabez Percival:

            Covington Ky Oct 9th 1862

To Col. Wm P Sikes

    Dr Sir,  Mr Jabez Percival, my son in law lives with me, he has been thrown out of business by the selling of his stock of hardware and by Danl Mooar with whom he was in partnership having no interest but a portion of the profits. He has not to my knowledge $100 of property to save his watch, he has been assessed $25 for military purposes, I ask that the amount may be reduced to $10 and I will see it paid by tomorrow evening.

                            Very respectfully

                            P S Bush

Jabez Percival was my great-great grandfather's (John S Percival, Jr) brother. I love finds like this! Don't forget to click on the image to see a larger scale image.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Hop on over to my alter-ego Generational for Mother's Day Wishes!

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sympathy Saturday - Catherine Seaton Skirving Stewart

Catherine Seaton Skirving was born March 10, 1818 in Inveresk, Midlothian, Scotland, the daughter of John Skirving and Margaret Wardlaw. She was one of my great-great-great grandmother's (Helen Skirving Maitland) sisters. She married Thomas Ewart in Toronto, Ontario on September 2, 1846 and died there May 7, 1897.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Projects are Piling Up!

Yesterday, my DH and I went to our local big box hardware store and purchased some organizational items for our garage. I think the next week is going to be spent rearranging our shed, storeroom and garage before the big items we purchased are assembled and delivered. We are seriously praying for decent weather for this to make the job just a little bit easier. In the meantime, I've been slowly pressing on with my genealogy and scrapbook projects. Mostly trying to design layouts for daughters' books. Slowly is the keyword here. 

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thriller Thursday - Fire! - Percival in Walton, Kentucky

From the Covington Journal. Covington, Kentucky, 14 January 1871.


Three Persons Burned to Death

The thriving town of Walton, Boone county, was the scene of a heart rending calamity last Wednesday morning. At 1:20 a fire broke out in the cook-room of the Farmer's Hotel, owned by Mr. Ira Percival. The building was a frame structure and the flames spread with great rapidity. A boy about 9 years old, son of the proprietor, a girl a few years older, the daughter of a widow named Raensler and a negro woman, the cook, perished in the flames. These persons were in or near that part of the house in which the fire started. They were completely surrounded by the flames, before the alarm was given. Persons who were early on the ground thought they heard the screams of the victims as the flames gathered around them, but all efforts to save them were fruitless. After the outer portion of the house was consumed the bodies of the victims were distinctly seen, but the flames still surrounded them, and they could not even then be recovered. The harrowing sight will forever remain impressed upon the memory of those who witnessed it.

 (Although the 9 year old son of Ira Percival is not named in this article, once I took a look at the evidence, I have ascertained this was Orville Percival. Indeed he was 10 and not 9, but I suppose age did not matter in this tragic death.)

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Chinn & Thatcher

Every so often, one comes across great little things like marriage announcements. Let's face it, with the lack of a marriage record to hand, these little gems are priceless.

Today's marriage occurred on May 4, 1910 in Frankfort, Kentucky. Anne Bell Chinn (aka Anna) was the daughter of Franklin Chinn and Elizabeth Elliott Hunt. Make sure you read the announcement for the "at home" location.

The accompanying article, from the Lexington, Kentucky Herald, 7 May 1910:


Miss Anna Belle Chinn and New Panama Official Wed at Capital.

[Special to the Herald]
FRANKFORT, Ky., May 4. - The marriage of Miss Anna Belle Chinn and Mr. Maurice Hudson Thatcher was celebrated Wednesday morning at the home of the bride's father, Mr. Frank Chinn at 8:30 o'clock.

The home was beautifully decorated in green and white, snow balls and valley lilies being used in profusion. Suspended from the door leading from the dining room was a huge bell of snowy white blossoms under which the ceremony was performed.

Mr. Thatcher entered with Rev. Jesse Zeigler of the First Presbyterian church who performed the ceremony. They awaited the coming of the bride who entered on the arm of her father, the only attendant being the sister of the bride, Miss Lizzie Hunt Chinn, who preceded the bride in entering the room.

The bride was gowned in a white Duchesse satin veiled in chiffon; her bridal veil was of tulle which fell to the bottom of her train and was fastened on the head with a chaplet of lilies. Her only ornament was a diamond pendant, a gift of the groom.

After the wedding an elegant breakfast was served from small tables, the centerpiece of which were bouquets of valley lilies.

Mr. and Mrs. Thatcher left on the C. & O. for New York and from there will sail to the Panama Canal.

Mrs. Thatcher is the eldest daughter of Mr. Frank Chinn and is one of the most prominent women in Frankfort being loved by all who know her, she was one of the founders of the Christian Science church in this city.

Mr. Thatcher is one of the most prominent young men in the State and was recently appointed Governor of the Panama Canal Zone.

The presents were a feature of the wedding. The State Officials present was a handsome chest of flat silver. Governor and Mrs. Willson's gift was a large silver tray and Senator Bradley sent the couple a magnificent silver bowl.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Where Were You When ...

With the reported death of Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the United States, Sunday evening, I wondered if we would remember what we were doing when the reports of his death erupted on the news and Facebook and finally from the White House. Certainly the 9-11 attacks had more impact on us, but I wonder if his death will have any impact on us at all.

My parents could both tell me what they were doing on December 7, 1941 - the day Pearl Harbor was attacked. Likewise, they knew where they were on VE day (Victory in Europe) and VJ day (Victory in Japan). I haven't included what I was doing on 9-11 in my personal notes. Maybe I should.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, May 2, 2011

Keep On Slogging Along

I am reaping - or suffering depending on my point of view at the time - the rewards of all my hard work a couple weeks ago. Yes, I am still working on those piles. But as I mentioned to Michelle Goodrum of Turning of Generations, for every piece of paper I enter and discard, I seem to find three more! I don't think I am exaggerating either.

I have several things I want to work on at the moment while some projects really need me to get a shove in my posterior to get working on them again. Why is that? I will admit I love the hunt, and even enjoy entering the information into my genealogy program, sourcing the information and linking images. But sometimes I just hate the transcription. I have several ways to deal with that. One is to use Transcript which is so easy to use, and makes transcription so easy. I never thought of it before, but it reminds me of the program the city of Livonia used to test for Clerk-Typist positions. Another is use to the Windows Speech Recognition program that came pre-installed on my laptop and which I just discovered last year. The third is to just ignore it until my desk is cleared off again. Hmm, maybe I can hire a transcriber?

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes