Gene Notes

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

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Too-Too Thursday

I think I found a new theme! This Too-Too Thursday is for those jaw-dropping things we find as we research. As in, I can't believe what I am seeing/reading and/or not finding. And I'm hoping to find one or two more for Thursday so that I can swap them out as I find appropriate blog topics.

So this week. Too-Too Thursday. My regulars will know that I am working hard to get all those census records I've found into my RootsMagic 5 database. I don't know about you, but it really BUGS me when I am missing a census for someone. Today's case is William Sellon Percival. Born to Ansel Percival and Sylvia Sellon, he was the eldest child and was born in Vermont. His two brothers and 3 sisters were born in Hampshire county, Massachusetts, where the younger generation seemed to settle in. On March 3, 1841, he married Lydia S. Pierce, daughter of Leonard and Lucy Booth Pierce. They had one son, William Arasmus Percival, born about 1842.

When I find a new family or spouse or child, I go looking for the census. This family should appear on the 1850 census, right? Wrong. I found them in 1860 in Amherst, Hampshire, Massachusetts. In 1866 William Sellon Percival dies and in 1867, his spouse, Lydia dies, he at the age of 51 and Lydia at 57!

Well, I am persistent and the other day when I was entering the information for the 1860 census, I decided to give it one more try. But first, here is the 1860 census and the information I had from it. I also had the 1865 census, but it is pretty dark. The only difference between 1865 and 1860? 1865 has him born in Vermont. Not Massachusetts as does the 1860. If you take a close look, you will see that William is listed as William C. Percival, Lydia S., William A. and Lucy Pierce. Lucy is Lydia's mother. This is important.

 So, I figured if I found Lucy living with them in 1860, maybe she was living there in 1850? Now this part is really important: DO NOT RELY ON THE INDEX WHEN LOOKING FOR A HARD TO FIND RECORD. If you find someone who might appear with the family go to that page and take a look at it. I tried looking for Percival, Percival soundexed, Pierce and then finally Per*. That one did the trick, but did not elicit some weird spelling for Percival as hoped. Nope, it brought up Lucy Perce. When I looked at the page, it looked like Pirce. But more importantly, were the people with whom she was enumerated:

William Petengale (not how it's indexed) age 34 M Wagonmaker born in VT
Lydia S  "                                                    31 F                        born in Mass.
William R "                                                   8  M                       born in Mass
Lucy Pirce                                                   51 F                        born in Mass

And this is how William appears on the 1850 index on Ancestry. Is it any wonder why I couldn't find them in 1850?

  I can only blame the census taker or whomever transcribed this record for this weird name. There is one clue on the middle image that gives me hope. At the top left it says Copy 14. I'm off to look for support info. Wish me luck.

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