Gene Notes

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

Friday, September 30, 2011

Home Again Prepared for Loss

Over three weeks ago, DH and I left for what was to be a 12-13 day vacation. In preparation for it, I scrambled to write my blogs and to give me some leeway to recuperate from it. I had nearly three weeks of blogs completed before we left.

It turns out it was a smart thing to do. On the third day of our trip and the first morning in Williamsville, NY where we were visiting a cousin, DH got a call from the nursing home his dad was in to tell him his 92-year-old dad was having trouble breathing and they were sending him to the hospital. A call later that evening elicited the information that his father was in critical condition and not expected to live. We had just completed over 700 miles of driving, with me doing most of it, and I knew I would need a couple days to recuperate before making the return trip. Older daughter really stepped up to the plate, going to see her grandfather or "Big Kid" as his granddaughters called him. I won't say he made a 'miraculous' recovery, but by the next day he was again responsive and talking. A couple days later, he was returned to the nursing home with small hope of recovering some of what he lost during his hospital stay. We continued our trip, which was southeastern route via what was supposed to be Gettysburg, PA and Winchester, VA. Due to floods in the Harrisburg area, we kept our route more westerly and headed straight for Winchester, where we enjoyed a slightly shortened trip. We saved an extra day by driving straight through from Winchester to our home. It was a long trip and again, I did most of the driving.

DH returned to visits with his dad, but on Sunday morning we were told his dad had again taken a turn for the worse and refused this time to go to the hospital, saying he preferred to die among the people who cared for him on a daily basis. By Sunday evening, it was clear that he would not recover and on Monday morning, his tired lungs gave up and his body was at peace. We know he has gone to join his Jennie.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thriller Thursday - Clarence Workman

Clarence Workman was a farmer in South Carolina. On September 24, 1944, he suffered a fall from a hayloft and broke the 4th and 5th cervical vertebrae. In other words, he broke his neck. He was a grandson of Spencer Percival and Isabelle McDonald. His memorial at Find-A-Grave can be found here.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - The Day He Became My DH!

September 28, 1979 is the day I became Mrs. DH. It was a stressful day. First of all, we had the walk-through of our brand new home in Canton, Michigan. Yeah, I know, who does that on their wedding day? But, wait! It gets even more stressful when we go to the closing on our new home.

It went something like this:
  1. Papers are being signed. Closing agent asks for insurance policy. DH-to-be hands him the insurance binder, which was the customary requirement. Closing agent says that is not acceptable. We can close but not get keys until he has the actual policy in his grubby hands. Too bad no one thought to tell us that.
  2. DH-to-be calls insurance agent who works on the East side. We are west-siders. He says he will drive the policy over. He's a gem. He does as he says.
  3. DH-to-be goes back to Title company where we closed and is handed keys with a note on them that the keys were not to be released on word of DH-to-be. But, since Closing agent now has policy, keys can be released.
  4. DH-to-be throws a fit of temper. I have never seen my reasonable soon to be DH angry before. Is this why they tell you not to see each other before the wedding?
  5. We really flout superstition and DH-to-be picks me up and drives me to the church. Do we love living dangerously or what? Little do we know, I've just locked myself out of the house my roommate and I were renting!
  6. We get to church early. Our parents arrive, siblings arrive, EXCEPT my matron of honor my closest younger sister. She and her hubby are late, because hubby misses the turn. 
  7. During the ceremony, when the priest addresses us, he calls DH by the best man's name. We stop everything. In this case I was really marrying whom I considered the best man. 
  8. It was a crazy day. DH and I finally got married, my wedding cake was chocolate with white frosting and what more could you want.
We've had 32 years of crazy, wonderful love, two wonderful daughters. It hasn't been perfect, but he was and always will be my DH!

Happy Anniversary!

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

With My Own Hands!

If you aren't into family history (why are you reading this blog?) you might not understand the awe I felt at being handed a folder at the Stewart Bell, Jr. Archives at the Handley Regional Library in Winchester, Virginia that contained the original handwritten will of my great-great-great-great-great grandfather George Bowman. OMG! The librarian was kind enough to put it in a protective cover to make photocopying it easier. Since everything is copyrighted, it is copied on special paper. You know what? I don't care. I am thrilled to own a photocopy that I made myself. The will was written in 1764 and a codicil added to it in 1766 with a provision regarding his daughter, Mary Bowman Stephens.

The will was proved in 1768. George was the son-in-law of Joist Hite and one of the settlers who came to the Shenandoah Valley in 1732.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, September 26, 2011

Share the Memories!

My alter ego, Tennlady over at Generational is giving a copy of My Memories Suite v. 2 Scrapbooking Software to a lucky winner. Hop on over for a chance to win and to read my review about this great program.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Dad, This One Was for You!

While on vacation in Virginia in mid September. my DH and I went to Belle Grove Plantation. It was a most satisfactory visit.

The first cool thing that happened was we were walking up to the mansion and were joined by another woman, Connie, who as it turned out was a Hite descendant from the Chrisman line. I descend from the Bowman line. Now how cool is that! I found a new relative just walking in to the museum shop!

Then, inside the shop, I mentioned I wanted to find Harmony Hall, which is not open to the public. Well, it is occupied and even though it is owned by Belle Grove, It is rarely open. Next schedule open date is next year during the Hite Family Association reunion.  You can guess that I am working on DH for that! Anyway, I have never had such a reaction of excitement on revealing that I am a Bowman descendant. My dad would have been so thrilled to have been there.

The desk in the right foreground was owned by the Bowman family. It is a slant front and is gorgeous. The desk is in the library at Belle Grove, where the children of Major Isaac Hite studied and sometimes taught by their mother.

(photo from slideshow at

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sympathy Saturday - Warren Wallace Beckwith

Probably Warren Beckwith's main claim to fame was his ill-fated 1897 first marriage to Jessie Lincoln, daughter of Robert and granddaughter of Abraham Lincoln.  Jessie's parents highly disapproved of the marriage and it lasted ten years before their divorce in 1907.

Warren Wallace Beckwith was born about August 10 1874 and died on September 24, 1955 in California.

His Find-A-Grave memorial can be found here.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, September 23, 2011

Now That's Service! Find A Grave Photo Request: Success!

I love getting emails that say: Find A Grave Photo Request: Success! But to receive not one, but two within 10 minutes of putting in the request, now that is absolutely wonderful.

I was looking for a Sympathy Saturday subject and the name Simmet came up. I have some in Michigan, although their name should really be Zimmeth as they are connected to my Zimmeth line here in Michigan, New York and Roeschwoog, Alsace, France. The FAG memorials are for Leslie Simmet and his wife, Mary D. Huyck Simmet. Their memorials can be found here and here. Many thanks to Gene Gierland, Find-A-Grave volunteer.

But, as things worked out, I found a different subject for Sympathy Saturday. Check back tomorrow to find out who!

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thriller Thursday - Frank Singer, Sr.

Frank Singer, Sr. was the first husband of my father-in-law's "Aunt Sally." Sally was actually Salome Franckowiak. Sally and Frank were married in Detroit, Michigan October 18, 1899. Frank was a machinist, although I don't know what company he worked for.

Unfortunately, I don't know the circumstances of the "accident" but he was killed by falling lumber that crushed his face, and possibly his skull, on April 12, 1910.  It's possible he was at work when this happened, although the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press did not elicit an obituary or report of the accident. He left his wife and four children. It appears the fifth child was born after Frank's death.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Knost & Dicke

On September 21, 1899 George Knost and Sophia Dicke were married at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in New Bremen, Auglaize county, Ohio. George was my great granduncle and my great-grandmother's brother. They had 11 children born between August 7, 1900 and August 19, 1920.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Part Rant Part Brag!

I hate when you go to a so-called FREE genealogy site, such as and search a new database and it takes you to a pay site. Hate it. Hate it. Hate it. Today it happened when I searched "Kentucky, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865." I was after a record for my second great granduncle, 2nd Lt. Addison Ball Chinn.  To get to that record, though, you need a subscription to Fold3 (formerly Fortunately, I have one -- for now.What really set me off was the number of  times Adobe Flash Player crashed during my research.

If you have been reading my blog for a while, in particular "Thriller Thursday," Addison was the victim of a home invasion in 1902 in Lexington, Kentucky. The first part can be found here.

A. B. Chinn, as he was known enlisted in 1862 as a Sergeant. By the time he was captured on July 19, 1863, he was a 2nd Lieutenant. He served in Company C of the 8th Regiment of Cavalry, CSA under General John Hunt Morgan and was with Morgan at the disastrous raid into Ohio. Per order of General Burnside, the Confederate officers were treated as criminals and sent to prison. Morgan ended up in Columbus from which he escaped. Addison Chinn was not so lucky. According to his records, he went first to Cincinnati on July 28, 1863. Sent on to Sandusky, Ohio he was then sent to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 4, 1863. In fact, he does appear on the January 1, 1864 roll of prisoners of war at Allegheny City. He was sent on March 20, 1864 to Point Lookout, Maryland from where he was sent on June 25, 1864 at Fort Delaware, Delaware. From there he was forwarded to Hilton Head, South Carolina on August 20, 1864. On October 20, 1864 and December 26, 1864 he appears on the roll of Prisoners at Fort Pulaski, Georgia. On March 12, 1865, he again appears on the rolls at Fort Delaware from Hilton Head, South Carolina.  Finally, he signed an Oath of Allegiance and is released from Fort Delaware on June 12, 1865.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, September 19, 2011

United States, Records of Confederate Prisoners of War, 1861-1865

United States, Records of Confederate Prisoners of War, 1861-1865 is a database on Family Search and boy, is it a tedious database to browse. I may have mentioned once or twice how I hate the words "Browse Images" next to some of the databases. Some are pretty well organized as to date, but some of these POW records are so haphazard that you have to browse through darn near every page.

Case in point, my great great grandfather John Garland Webb, surrendered at Cape Girardeau,  Missouri, May 15, 1863 and was released upon taking the Oath of Allegiance on May 18, 1863. This is according to the Adjutant General's office. Unfortunately, I do not find him. Oh and he was riding with General Jo Shelby's men, 5th Missouri Cavalry, CSA. No, I did not look at every page and there are some indices in these volumes, but I didn't find him.

His brother, James Graves Webb, however, I did find after searching through the Deaths at Alton Military Prison, Alton, Illinois. His war record does state that he died there and I did find the death record for February 19, 1865 of smallpox. I'm still looking for his admission there. The good thing is I know have a record of his capture per the death record.

"Graves," as he was known was also in the 5th Missouri Cavalry, CSA. 

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sort of a Genealogy Bucket List?

From Becky's meme which is making the rounds in the land of the genie bloggers via Carol from Thursday, September 15th.

If you wish to participate in the meme, simply copy the text below and paste it into your blog (or into a note on facebook if you don't have a blog) and annotate the list accordingly.

Things you have already done or found: bold face type
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (color optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type

Belong to a genealogical society.
Researched records onsite at a court house.
Transcribed records.
Uploaded tombstone pictures to Find-A-Grave.
Documented ancestors for four generations (self, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents) .
Joined Facebook.
Helped to clean up a run-down cemetery. 
Joined the Genea-Bloggers Group on Facebook.
Attended a genealogy conference.
Lectured at a genealogy conference.
Spoke on a genealogy topic at a local genealogy society.
Been the editor of a genealogy society newsletter.
Contributed to a genealogy society publication.
Served on the board or as an officer of a genealogy society.
Got lost on the way to a cemetery.
Talked to dead ancestors.
Researched outside the state in which I live.
Knocked on the door of an ancestral home and visited with the current occupants.
Cold called a distant relative.
Posted messages on a surname message board.
Uploaded a gedcom file to the internet.  And, have no intentions of doing so for some time to come.
Googled my name.
Performed a random act of genealogical kindness.
Researched a non-related family, just for the fun of it.
Have been paid to do genealogical research.
Earn a living (majority of income) from genealogical research.
Wrote a letter (or email) to a previously unknown relative. One of my favorite relatives on my husband's side!
Contributed to one of the genealogy carnivals.
Responded to messages on a message board or forum.
Was injured while on a genealogy excursion. 
Participated in a genealogy meme.
Created family history gift items (calendars, cookbooks, etc.).
Performed a record lookup for someone else.
Went on a genealogy seminar cruise.
Am convinced that a relative must have arrived here from outer space.
Found a disturbing family secret.
Told others about a disturbing family secret.
Combined genealogy with crafts (family picture quilt, scrapbooking).
Think genealogy is a passion not a hobby.
Assisted finding next of kin for a deceased person (Unclaimed Persons).
Taught someone else how to find their roots.
Lost valuable genealogy data due to a computer crash or hard drive failure. 
Been overwhelmed by available genealogy technology. 
Know a cousin of the 4th degree or higher. Met one on 9-14-11.
Disproved a family myth through research.  Actually, several myths.
Got a family member to let you copy photos.
Used a digital camera to “copy” photos or records. And a 35 mm camera.
Translated a record from a foreign language.
Found an immigrant ancestor’s passenger arrival record.
Looked at census records on microfilm, not on the computer.
Used microfiche.
Visited the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
Visited more than one LDS Family History Center.
Visited a church or place of worship of one of your ancestors.
Taught a class in genealogy.
Traced ancestors back to the 18th Century.
Traced ancestors back to the 17th Century. 
Traced ancestors back to the 16th Century.  Someone did. I'm skeptical.
Can name all of your great-great-grandparents.
Found an ancestor’s Social Security application.
Know how to determine a soundex code without the help of a computer.  With a guide.
Used Steve Morse’s One-Step searches.
Own a copy of Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills.
Helped someone find an ancestor using records you had never used for your own research.
Visited the main National Archives building in Washington, DC.
Visited the Library of Congress.
Have an ancestor who came over on the Mayflower.
Have an ancestor who fought in the Civil War.
Taken a photograph of an ancestor’s tombstone.
Became a member of the Association of Graveyard Rabbits. 
Can read a church record in Latin
Have an ancestor who changed their name.
Joined a Rootsweb mailing list.
Created a family website.
Have more than one "genealogy" blog.
Was overwhelmed by the amount of family information received from someone.
Have broken through at least one brick wall.
Visited the DAR Library in Washington D.C.
Borrowed a microfilm from the Family History Library through a local Family History Center.
Have done indexing for Family Search Indexing or another genealogy project.
Visited the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Had an amazing serendipitous find of the "Psychic Roots" variety.
Have an ancestor who was a Patriot in the American Revolutionary War.
Have an ancestor who was a Loyalist in the American Revolutionary War. Collateral relative.
Have both Patriot & Loyalist ancestors.
Have used Border Crossing records to locate an ancestor.
Use maps in my genealogy research.
Have a convict ancestor who was transported from the UK.
Found a bigamist amongst the ancestors.
Visited the National Archives in Kew.
Visited St. Catherine's House in London to find family records.  Did some research in Exeter England tho.  Great experience.
Found a cousin in Australia (or other foreign country).
Consistently cite my sources.
Visited a foreign country (i.e. one I don't live in) in search of ancestors. Trip got cancelled.
Can locate any document in my research files within a few minutes. Working on getting all images on computer.
Have an ancestor who was married four times (or more).
Made a rubbing of an ancestors gravestone.
Organized a family reunion.
Published a family history book (on one of my families).
Learned of the death of a fairly close relative through research.
Have done the genealogy happy dance.
Sustained an injury doing the genealogy happy dance.
Offended a family member with my research.
Reunited someone with precious family photos or artifacts.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sympathy Saturday - Joseph John Zimmeth

Joseph Zimmeth was my maternal grandfather's oldest brother and was 15 years older than my grandfather. His wife had twenty years earlier and his daughter, Celestine, suffered from severe mental health problems. 

Services Friday Morning for Joseph Zimmeth.

Joseph Zimmeth passed away on Tuesday afternoon of this week, September 17, at the home of his brother, Charles Zimmeth who resides on South Van Etten street in Pinconning.  He had been in poor health for over a year.  Mr. Zimmeth was 84 years of age, born April 14, 1873, in East Tawas.

Funeral services will be held Friday morning at 9:00 o'clock from St. Agnes Church with Rev. Fr. Casimer Szyper officiating.  Burial will take place in St. Joseph cemetery in East Tawas.  The body is at the Lee Funeral Home.

Mr. Zimmeth made his home the past three years with his brother here, Mr and Mrs Charles Zimmeth, who is the only surviving brother.  Other survivors are one daughter, Celestine Parrott, address unknown; one sister, Mrs. Josephine Whiteside, of Caledonia, Michigan; and several nieces and nephews.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, September 16, 2011

B-O-L-O: Be On the LookOut, part 3

Okay, I am done on dad's side of the family. Let's take a look at my mom's side!

Boegler - Catherine Boegler, my great-great grandmother was the daughter of Christian Boegler and Anastasia Lacher. Christian's parents were Jacques Boegler and Eva Maria Doper. Catherine married Joseph Zimmeth.

Cleasot/Klesat/Kleesaat/Klevesaat, etc - Yes, you CAN tell that I've actually researched this line. Considering my grandfather thought his mother's maiden name was Glissant, I think I've done quite well with it. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the hard work of my friend, Jan Zaleski, Polish researcher extraordinaire, who was prepping a talk on the Hamburg Passenger Lists at the Western Wayne County (Michigan) Genealogical Society annual seminar quite a few years ago now. He asked if there was anyone I couldn't locate and bingo, he found the family on the Hamburg Lists. That gave a town name for Christian Kleesaat of Gadebehn in Mecklenburg-Schwerin. I ordered the films at the local LDS in Westland, Michigan and began the hunt. I was able to take Christian back three generations to my g-g-g-g-g grandfather, also named Christian.  Unfortunately, Christian did not marry his wife Wilhelmina (maybe Zabrack) anywhere nearby. So his location from his marriage to his emigration to New York are unknown. He emigrated in 1854 and that makes him the latest emigrant in my line.

Kettler - part of my Kettler/Knost/Meyer line, this research was done by my cousin's wife, Evie. She is a great researcher and I went and ordered the films for Auglaize county, Ohio where the family lived from circa 1830 to the present. This family goes back to Germany and I have it documented back to my g-g-g-g-g grandfather Johann Friedrich Kettler. This family lived in New Bremen, Ohio.

Knost - Evie and I say Kanost. The American in me wants to say Nost. Whatever it is, this line married into the Kettler line with the marriage of Gerhard Knost and Anna Maria Wilhelmina Charlotte Kettler, my great-great grandparents. This family goes back to Schledehausen, Osnabruck, Hannover, Germany. I can take this line back to my g-g-g-g-g grandparents.The family lived in New Bremen, Ohio.

Mack/McEachin - This is my late Uncle Angus' line. I didn't know until shortly before my aunt Margie died that his name was really McEachin. The McEachins emigrated from Scotland to Canada to the thumb area of Michigan. Even though this is not a bloodline of mine, I know quite a bit about them.

Meyer - Joseph Meyer, of Minster, Ohio was Catholic. His wife, Amelia Catherine Knost was Lutheran. They were my great-grandparents. Their marriage would produce 7 children. Joseph died in 1909 and his family would move to Michigan where there were more jobs. The Meyer family can be traced back to Berend Meyer and Elizabeth Buschelman who married in 1709 in Steinfeld, Germany - my g-g-g-g-g-g grandparents. Joseph & Amelia's oldest daughter, Louetta was my grandmother.

Zabrack - I've posted about this name before. It may or may not be Zabrack. The owner of the name, Wilhelmina, married Christian Cleasot/Kleesaat. This is one of my brick walls.

Zimmeth - Charles Zimmeth and Louetta Meyer were my grandparents. Charles' line can be traced back to Roeschwoog, Alsace, France to John Jacob Zimmeth and Eva Andres, my g-g-g-g-g grandparents. Joseph Francis Zimmeth, my great-great grandparents emigrated to Lancaster, Erie, New York somewhere between 1835 and 1839. My great-grandfather, August Zimmeth was the only child of Joseph Zimmeth and Catherine Boegler to be born in America. He was born May 29, 1839 in Lancaster, New York. He eventually moved to Michigan. One of his brother's Joseph Zimmeth, Jr., moved first to Michigan and then on to Minnesota.

Other names I research on this line are Cimini, and Baril, my aunt's line.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thriller Thursday - Booze and a Boat

I am amazed sometimes how little a newspaper local to the event will print. In this case, I opted for the Jackson (Michigan) Daily Citizen's report of the death of Wilbur Percival of New Hampshire. They had more than one line. The New Hampshire paper neglected to mention the other fellow and the liquor.  The local paper didn't even mention that he was the son of David and Alice (Gray) Percival and that he had two brothers, Herbert and Albert.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Rogers & Bowers

Mary Elizabeth Rogers was the daughter of Frances Bowman and Hugh Rogers. Frances was my grandmother's sister and she died of complications of scarlet fever in 1932, when Mary Elizabeth was 11.

Mary Elizabeth  married Charles Bowers on September 14, 1940 in St. Louis, Missouri. She was 19 and he was 23.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

B-O-L-O: Be On the LookOut, part 2

Yesterday was my father's maternal line of surnames. Today, I want to explore his paternal side.

Davidson - Here is another difficult line. I found this line via some deeds the family has in its possession. The furthest back I can go on this line is Nathaniel Davidson, my great-great-great grandfather. Census says he was born in Kentucky about 1797. I know whom he married and when he died. The other thing I have on this line is a letter written by a John Davidson circa 1828 to his father. I think this John Davidson could be Nathaniel's brother or even his father. It's a shame that two of the names that give me the most problems are on this side of the Atlantic.

Estes - This line is not such a bad surname to research, although it is very, very common. And there are too many Little Berry or Littleberry Estes to mention. And of course, my great-great-great grandmother Ann/Anne/Hannah Estes who married Nathaniel Davidson, was the daughter of one of these Littleberry Estes and Mary Ann "Polly" Wade.

Fuller - This name goes back to the Mayflower - isn't that fun? My most recent Fuller ancestor, however, is my great-great-great-great-great grandmother, Mary Fuller who married Timothy Percival. Their children were born in Massachusetts and New York and the family eventually ended up in Northern Kentucky in Boone county where both died.

Kirtley - This name has been a lot of fun. The progenitor of the family in America is one Francis Kirtley. Recently I posted stuff from Elijah Kirtley's will. He was my great-great-great-great grandfather. One of his daughter's Sarah married into my dad's paternal line.

Maitland - This line goes back to Scotland - and if you can believe it - back to William the Conqueror. There has also been some rumor that it goes back even earlier to Italy. I am satisfied to get the family back to the 1700's that I can document. I am constantly amazed at the occupations in the family, and my great-great-great-great grandfather, Dr. Alexander Maitland is just one of the many physicians in the family. He died in Scotland while his wife passed in Canada. Alexander Maitland, Jr. took his family and lived in many U.S. states before settling in Missouri.

McMekin/Nisbet - Martha Nisbet nee McMekin married Alexander Oliphant (below). She was supposed to be Scots-Irish. The family (Oliphant) emigrated to the US via New Orleans. She had one daughter from her first marriage and two children from her union with Oliphant.

Oliphant - One of my favorite ancestors was Alexander Oliphant. He was a surveyor. His daughter, Mary Grieves Oliphant married the grandson of Dr. Alexander Maitland in Missouri. His name was also Alexander Maitland. The Oliphants originate in Scotland in the border lands.

Percival - I have spent at least 50% of the time I have researched on this line. After all it is my maiden name. This line unites John Stearns Percival of Richmond, Missouri with Mary Ann Bowman of Lexington, Missouri. I have worked the line back to James Percival of Cape Cod who died in 1692. His offspring settled much of Massachusetts, New York, Maine, Connecticut, and New Hampshire before heading south to Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana at the turn of the 19th century.

Skirving - Alexander Maitland, the son of Dr. Alexander Maitland, married Helen Skirving whose family also lived in the Scottish borders. Helen's father took his family to the north of Scotland where he worked as a factor before emigrating to Canada, settling in Etobicoke, Ontario in 1833. Unfortunately for John he died three months later, leaving his wife and children to eke out a living.

Wade - I actually haven't done any work on this line at all. I can't believe I am going to admit this, but it seems I've totally overlooked this line. Mary Ann "Polly" Wade was the wife of Littleberry Estes.

Wardlaw - Margaret Wardlaw was the daughter of William Wardlaw a ship's captain. She married John Skirving and ran a girls' school to a) educate her own daughters and b) to eke out a living. She died in 1846 in Toronto (York), Ontario. I have been totally unable to take her line back. One of my DH's cousins-in-law has Wardlaw in his line. I'd like to be able to link to that.

Wilson - As in Jean Wilson, second spouse of Dr. Alexander Maitland and my g-g-g-g grandmother. I haven't worked on this line either.

Other lines I work on include Bush, Tousey, Nye, Crocker, and Kardux among others. Kardux is one of my aunts lines and I did a little research for her a few years ago.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, September 12, 2011

B-O-L-O: Be On the Lookout, part 1

Periodically I like to get the names I am researching out there. After all, I have some lines that absolutely DRIVE ME NUTS to research.

Bowman - My dad's maternal line. This line started in Germany and emigrated to Pennsylvania where they hooked up with Joist Hite's family -- literally. My ancestors Hans Georg Bowman/Baumann married Mary Hite, a daughter of Joist. My line - through Georg & Mary's son Abraham moved into Kentucky and then parts beyond. My own father was born in Missouri and the family moved to Michigan when he was about 3. The only Bowman I have issues with is Clifton Bowman, my dad's great uncle, brother to my great grandfather. He was last seen on the 1880 census when he was in his twenties. He is not buried with the family.

Carter - Ah yes, This is one of those problem areas. My great-grandmother, Elizabeth Carter (Webb) Bowman was the granddaughter of Edwin Webb and his wife, who also appears to be Elizabeth.  This is one of my biggest stumbling blocks. The family as far as I know originated from Virginia.

Chinn - another of dad's maternal line. The Chynns came from England and settled in Virginia. I happen to descend from an illegitimate line. Apparently my ancestor Rawleigh Chinn didn't get along too well with his legal spouse, Esther Ball, so he lived with Margaret Ball Downman and was censured for it. This illegitimate line eventually made their way into Kentucky where they hooked up with the Bowmans.

Parker & Todd - As long as we're in Kentucky, we might as well talk about the Parkers and the Todds. My ancestor William Bowman, son of Abraham Bowman (above) and Sarah Henry, married Nancy Todd Parker. Yes, her mother was a Todd.

Webb - This line is fairly well documented back to Virginia. Some of the names that repeat are John Vivion Webb and William Crittenden Webb and John Garland Webb or just Garland Webb. Great grandmother Elizabet Webb Bowman was the daughter of John Garland Webb of Lafayette County, Missouri. She married Frank Bowman.

Another surname from this maternal line of my father Virginia that I research is Graves.  My great-great-great-grandparents Dr. Joseph Graves Chinn and his wife Barbara Garland Graves are first cousins. This is another line that is wonderfully documented.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, September 9, 2011

Kentucky Wills, The Will of Elijah Chinn

Elijah Chinn was my great-great-great-great granduncle. His father was Charles Downman Chinn and one of his brothers was William Ball Chinn. Elijah married Elizabeth or Betsy Smith in Fauquier county, Virginia (Yes, they were the subject of this week's Wedding Wednesday). They had twelve children.  All but one were named in the will, Francis, who preceded both parents in death. And his married daughters are mentioned by their married names, which is nice.

I Elijah Chinn of Harrison county, Ky, being of sound mind and memory, and calling to mind the mortality of the body; and knowing it appointed for all men bred to die, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following Viz;

First, I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Elizabeth the use of one third of my plantation on which I now live, consisting of fifty acres of land, including the dwelling house and all other houses, also one gig and horse, and one third part of my personal estate.

2nd, I give and bequeath unto my son George Chinn fifty acres of land on my north line, including the plantation on which he now lives. Also one bed and furniture; all of which he has now in possession to him and his heirs forever.

3rd, I give and bequeath unto my daughter Betsey Smith and her bodily heirs during her life, and at her death to her bodily heirs, one negro woman named Dorcus, and her increase, also one bed and furniture, of which she has now in possession.

4th, I give and bequeath unto my son William Chinn one negro man named Elijah, also one bed and furniture , one horse and saddle to him and his heirs forever.

5th, I give and bequeath unto my son Rawleigh S. Chinn fifteen acres of land. Also one negro boy named Dick, together with one bed and furniture one horse and saddle to him and his heirs forever and I do further order and direct that the remaining part of my estate, which is coming to my son Rawleigh at my decease shall be equally divided between his living children, and it is my wish and request that their minority shall not stop the sale of any of my property at my death.

6th, I give and bequeath unto my daughter Lucy Chinn, and her bodily heirs, one negro woman named Winney, and her increase, also one bed and furniture, one horse and saddle, all of which she has in possession.

7th, I give and bequeath unto my daughter Sarah Johnson, and her bodily heirs during her life and at her death to her bodily heirs - one negro woman named Fanny and her increase, also one bed and furniture, one horse and saddle, all of which she has now in possession.

8th, I give and bequeath unto my daughter Catherine Hardwick, and her bodily heirs during her life, and at her death to her bodily heirs, one negro woman named Silvey, and her increase, also one bed and furniture, one horse and saddle, all of which she has now possession.

9th, I give and bequeath unto my son Charles Chinn, one negro woman named Charlotte and her increase, also one bed and furniture, one horse and saddle to him and his heirs forever.

10th, I give and bequeath unto my daughter Nancy Murdock and her bodily heirs during her life, and at her death to her bodily heirs, one negro woman named Hannah and her increase also one bed and furniture, one horse and saddle all of which they have in possession.

11th, I give and bequeath unto my son Elijah Chinn one negro woman named Maria and her increase, also one bed and furniture, one horse and saddle all of which he has now in his possession to him and his heirs forever.

12th, I give and bequeath unto my son James S. Chinn, one negro man named Andrew - also one bed and furniture, one horse and saddle, all of which he has now in possession, to him and his heirs forever.

13. I give and bequeath unto my two grandsons, Francis Chinn and John Hardwick, each a horse to be worth fifty Dollars. And I do further order and direct, that if my decease should take place before my wife, the two remaining thirds of my estate shall be equally divided between all my children and in case of the death of any, I direct that it may be equally divided between their heirs and I do further order and direct that at the decease of my wife, her third or Dower shall be equally divided between all my children or their heirs. In testimony where I have hereunto set my hand and seal this                in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty five.    --  Elijah Chinn --- {Seal}


Benjamin Cummins
William Anderson
        Commonwealth of Kentucky Harrison county Set

                    April Term 1836

 I Samuel Endicott, Clerk of the county Court for the county aforesaid do certify, that this last will and testament of Elijah Chinn deceased was produced at the above court, and being proven by the oaths of Benjamin Cummins and William Anderson submitting witnesses thereto and was ordered to be recorded which is done this 17th day of April 1836.          S. Endicott clk, H.C.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thriller Thursday - Holiday Fishing Trip Turns Tragic

The date was May 30, 1912, and the day was supposed to be a pleasurable experience for Otho Kirtley, his wife, Frankie (Frances Armilda Leonard), their daughter Mary, and Hermon Crandall King, an employe of Kirtley. Instead it turned into a tragedy.

 Kirtley and his wife were both 37; their daughter was 8, not 4 as stated in the article; King was 17. Mary's death certificate incorrectly lists her mother as Elizabeth Leonard and not Frankie, but further research led me to the newspaper article and incidentally, I found no record in any Missouri newspaper. The Gulfport, Mississippi Herald seemed to be the most complete.
Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wedding Wednesday - Chinn and Smith

On September 7, 1784 in Fauquier county, Virginia, Elijah Chinn and Betsy Smith were married. He was the son of Charles Downman Chinn and Sythia Davis. He is also my fourth great granduncle.

Elijah and Betsy eventually made their way to Kentucky.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Letter from Great-Great-Great Grandma!

This letter was written by my great-great-great grandmother, Sarah Ann Percival Webb nee Kirtley to my great-great grandmother Susan Percival nee Davidson. In it she mentions several family members. It has taken me many years to figure out who everyone was. The people she mentions will have a -number after their name, i.e. -1, -2, etc.  I do find it curious that she does not mention either of her sisters. Elila/Delila/Delia Kirtley Rucker was still alive in 1863. I can't say that I know what happened to Polly Kirtley Withers. I do believe she died in 1866. Why Sarah doesn't mention her, I do not know.Possibly she was in contact with both of them and Sue, her daughter-in-law was acquainted with William Kirtley since they lived nearby.
January 5, 1863

Dear Sue

                I feel thankful to hear from you and the children again as I have through Kate's letter.  I am glad to hear you are all well and your children are so good and you are provided for for the present.  I have thought of writing often since John-1 left, but it seamed I had not the heart to do it.  I was so in hopes he would not go to the army again, that I find it hard to be reconciled to it but my hope is in God that he may spare him yet to his family and make him a useful member of society and an living witness of his grace and goodness.  O that it was his will to stay this strife and say that it was enough and we may face peace in all our borders again, but the proclamation has gone forth and we may expect a servile war wherever the Federals go and where they can't go they will send armies if they can.  Will the border states sit still will they still furnish Lincoln with men to fight his battles and make themselves his servants.  God knows what is best but I hope he will be the saviour of the south yet and I hope the Southern people are all looking to Him as with one heart for his mercy and grace to be their deliverer and defender to bring them to a desired end.

                We have been greatly favored in this County.  We have not suffered much from soldiers but still the southern people are all in bonds.  We have more liberty of speech since the elections over the river and some of the union men show some symptoms of friendship again.  They begin to think the rebellion won't be put down before breakfast.  Jabe-2 has gone out on a collecting tour.  He expects to go through Missouri and will stop to see you if he can.  I did not know he was going until he was gone.  I have requested his wife-3, when she wrote to him to say to him to give you ten dollars if he had it to spare for me and will replace it when I see Kate-3 if he should not get a letter from her before he sees you, just show him this and he will do it if he has the money with him. I suppose you see brother Will-4 and sister Lizzy-5 Sometimes. It would be a great pleasure for me to see them again.  Give my love to them and Shelby's wife.  Tell sister to write to me all about her children.  Ask brother if he knows anything of Brother Elijah-6.  Brother Joel-7 was living in Indiana not far from New Albany farming.  Where is your mother and sisters.  Write when you get this and give me all the news when you write to John give my love to him and say a few lines from him will be very acceptable.  The friends here are generally well.  Jabe will give you all the news.  Write may God bless you and your children and the entire family that you live with and keep you through his grace from all evil and harm and give you grace to live to his honor and praise here and hereafter to be numbered with his redeemed to praise that eternity that is to have no end.

Yours affectionately,          
S. A. Webb
Who's Who?
-1. John - John Stearns Percival who was off fighting at this time in the 5th Missouri Cavalry (Confederate). He died during the battle for Little Rock, Arkansas. He was Sarah Kirtley Percival Webb's son.
-2. Jabe - Jabez Percival - another son of Sarah Kirtley and John Percival. He lived in Covington, Kentucky while his mother lived with her second husband, Lewis Webb in Burlington, Kentucky. He married:
-3. wife, Kate - Catherine Ambler Bush, or Kate was married to Jabez Percival in 1859. She was his first cousin.
-4. William Kirtley, Sarah's brother, lived in Lafayette county, Missouri as did John and Sue Percival.
-5. Lizzy. Lizzy or Elizabeth Shelby Kirtley, William Kirtley's wife.
-6. Elijah. Elijah Kirtley, another of Sarah's brothers. Apparently Sarah didn't know where he was or hadn't heard from him. I have in my notes that he died in 1885 but I don't have any evidence to back that up.
7. Joel. Joel Kirtley, another of Sarah's brothers.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, September 5, 2011

Kentucky Wills, Elijah Kirtley, Senior -or- Who Bought What

I will admit that I really wasn't paying that much attention to the sale of the personal property of  Elijah Kirtley, Senior in Boone county, Kentucky in September of 1835. But then, as I scanned down the pages, I saw little surprises - to me anyway - of who was buying what.

First of all, not everything was sold. Items were withheld for the use of the widow. An earlier inventory shows that Elijah Kirtley owned 20 slaves. These were also not included in this sale.

Ann Kirtley - Widow, bought: 1 blind bridle & stops, 1 pair decanters, 1 churn, and 2 hay forks. Obviously a practical woman!

Elijah Kirtley, Jr. - Son, bought 1 wood saw, 1 set brushes, 1 patent lever gold watch (at $180.00), 2 salt stands, 1 hone, 1 bay colt, 1 shotgun, 1 buffalo rug, 1 bear @ $5 and 1 bear @ $4.50. (I blew this up as large as possible and don't see any ditto marks to say that these were bear rugs.  It also doesn't say bear meat. It says bear!

William Kirtley - Son, bought a map of the U.S. for $2.12; 3 razors, box, strap, brush, etc; 2 volumes of American Revolution; 3 other books.

Joel H. Kirtley (aka J H Kirtley) - son, bought 1 coverlet, 1 pitcher, 1 large dish and 1 hearth rug.

Richard Kirtley - son, bought 1 pair looking glasses, 1 sauce pot, and 1 bay mare.

Polly Weathers/Withers - daughter, 1 brown mare.

John S. Percival - son-in-law, 1 set of tablespoons, 1 set of teaspoons and 2 pieces of carpeting.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sympathy Saturday - Barbara Cimini Zimmeth

Barbara Cimini, the widow of John A. (Jack) Zimmeth, my mother's brother, died on September 3, 2007 at the age of 82. Barbara suffered with Parkinson's disease in her elder years, although I am not sure when she was diagnosed, although I suspect it was after my uncle died in 1990.

She was from a French-Italian family and my uncle was essentially German and I can just imagine how the sparks must have flown during disagreements. She was a great cook and I remember at holiday time, would always send a plate of food over to an elderly lady on the next street and my cousin and I would walk it over. The family lived in Detroit for many years off 8 Mile & Van Dyke, until just before my uncle passed.

When she passed, we were just in the process of securing a rental in Tennessee, prior to our October 2007 move. We did make it home in time for her funeral, however. 

Barbara and Jack are both buried in Mt. Olivet cemetery in Detroit.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, September 2, 2011

Personal Property of Elijah Kirtley, Senior, Deceased

Earlier in the week, you may have seen my post on the settlement of Timothy Percival, my 5th great-grandfather. Timothy was from New England, but settled with his family in the tri-state area of Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana and died in Kentucky. Today's post, however, is about another side of my family, the Kirtley side.

Elijah Kirtley was my great-great-great-great grandfather and the father of Sarah Ann Kirtley, who married as her first husband Dr. John Stearns Percival.

Elijah married Ann Bohannon and they had the following children: Elila/Delila/Delia who married John Scott Rucker; Mary or Polly Kirtley who married Allen Withers/Weathers; Joel Kirtley who married Abigail Holton; Sarah Kirtley who married John Percival; Elijah Kirtley, Jr. who may have married Mary Sanford; William Kirtley who married Elizabeth Shelby; Richard Kirtley who married his second cousin, Sallie Ann Kirtley. All but the first daughter, purchase something at the 1835 sale of their father's personal property.

At least that has always been the accepted lineage and names. Further investigation into the final settlement of the estate of Elijah Kirtley upon the death of his wife, shows her name as Delia. Not that I'm 100% sure on that, but since one of her brothers was one of the administrators of the estate, maybe Delia is correct? Certainly finding all the mentioned heirs is important. However, by the time of the final settlement the two not mentioned as heirs are Joel Kirtley and Richard Kirtley. Richard died in 1853 and I'm not sure when Joel died. More digging into these records might be necessary! I have a letter that Sarah Kirtley Percival Webb (her second husband was Lewis Webb, one of the administrators of the estate during the civil war where she asks about her brothers William and Elijah.

There will be more on this line and the Kentucky Wills on the Family Search site, so stay tuned!

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thriller Thursday - Frederick O'Brien

On December 11, 1914, Frederick William O'Brien went out to start his Model T on a cold, icy, day in Hannibal, Missouri. He fell on the ice, striking his head and died. He was married to Emma Maude Chinn a Chinn descendant through one of the legitimate lines. Frederick was only 51 at the time of his death and left his wife, Maud and daughter Margaret and youngest child Frederick, Jr. who was only about 7 or 8 at the time of his father's death.

Four years earlier, tragedy had visited this family with the loss of their oldest son, Louis, of polio.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes