Gene Notes

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

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ancestry Database - California Voter Registers 1868-1898

For the last few weeks, I've been getting my posts done early. I mean early. I was working on a 10 day timeline, so that when we took off for a few days, I didn't have to worry about anything. And I didn't, because I really didn't work on anything genealogical while we were gone. That's a first. Really, I think it was because Younger Daughter wore us out on our shopping day. And it was so hot there. Usually, we can count on it being a little cooler while we are visiting in Michigan. Not this trip.

The other day, after our return home, I was browsing the new databases at and came across the California Voter Registers from 1868-1898. As always, I typed in Percival and got a lot of hits. One hit really caught my eye because it proved one thing I always suspected - the middle name of the oldest son of John Stearns Percival and Susan Davidson.

If you've read my blog for any length of time, you will remember my hunt for news of Dr. Herbert D. Percival. I've always suspected the "D" stood for Davidson, his mother's maiden name. The registration shows that he registered August 27, 1892 in Monrovia, Los Angeles county, California. He was 33 years old, 5 feet 7-1/2 inches tall, brunette complexion (?) brown eyes and brown hair. And he is shown as Herbert Davidson Percival.

Yes, it is a small victory, but try and find information on someone who disappeared not long after. I can't even find out when he went missing, or if any other news was ever published on him. We're talking Los Angeles county after all, the land of brush fires and other more or less natural disasters. I found him listed in the 1891 Los Angeles city directory as H. D. Percival, physician and surgeon. So this 1892 voter registration is the last mention of him until the 1896 Los Angeles City Directory lists his wife, Kate Percival, as the widow of H. D.

I'm not really optimistic about ever finding out the who, what, when, where and why of Herbert Percival, but maybe the genealogical gods will smile on me someday.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I just did a search for a couple of my ancestors. One, Eugene Roos, turned up in 1892. There's some great, detailed information listed: physical description, when and where he was naturalized and country of nativity. This time he listed Switzerland. It seems to vary between Switzerland, Germany, France depending on who was fighting with whom at the time. Thank you for a great tip!