Gene Notes

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

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sympathy Saturday - Carolina Meyer

On March 30, 1866 in Minster, Ohio - Carolina Meyer daughter of  Henrich Anton Meyer & Anna Maria Elizabeth Decker, at the age of 12 years. Anna Decker Meyer died in 1859, leaving her husband with their three surviving children.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, March 30, 2012

Marry Me!

Not me! I am married to the love of my life. I just happen to be working on marriage records right now  and I can't believe how many of the marriages were recorded in more than one place. For instance, I've found several that were recorded in two different towns in Massachusetts. I'm not really sure why that was done, but generally it states which town they were married in.

Then, I have an index marriage record for Joseph Foster Percival & Margaret Snow in Maine and a record in Massachusetts. Weird.

Even my parents have their marriage recorded in two places - 1946 in Fremont, Ohio and 1947 in Detroit, Michigan. The Detroit one is only a church service, no license.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Too-Too Thursday-Ancestry Again.

Sometimes I can't believe the crap we get from Ancestry. I'm sure their bottom line is suffering because they aren't growing as fast as they like, and as a result they are dumping web-based databases into their own. The latest? Find-a-Grave., I am NOT paying a subscription to pull up records I can search for OFF YOUR SITE! What happened to adding NEW, PREVIOUSLY UNSEEN OR UNINDEXED RECORDS?

If a person can navigate on their own, surely they can navigate Find-A-Grave! I did not put the records I did on Find-A-Grave for's benefit.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Churchill & Johnson

 On March 28, 1844, Hannah Churchill married Baxter Johnson in Chester, Hampden, Massachusetts. Hannah was the daughter of Charles Churchill and Hannah Percival.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ancestry? Really? Give Me a Break!

I have a subscription, isn't that enough?

Be an 1940 Ace View this email in a browser
Excited about the 1940 U.S. Census?
Then join our circle of insiders, the 1940 Aces.
It’s the biggest thing to happen to family history in 72 years—the release of the 1940 U.S. Census. is abuzz with plans for sharing, exploring and making discoveries in this incredible snapshot of your family’s lives. And we want you to play a starring role.
That’s why we’d like to invite you to become an 1940 Ace. This select group will be our 1940 census trailblazers, grabbing firsts, freebies and updates before anyone else—and sharing what they learn about the 1940 census with their friends, fans, family and other social channels.
As an 1940 Ace, you’ll get:
First-to-know information about the 1940 census and sneak peaks whenever possible
Group discussions with other Aces and experts
Downloads and other collateral you can use and share
A special badge that identifies you as an 1940 Ace
Giveaways and showcases for you to offer to your audience through your social media channels
Sound exciting? Just tell us a little
about yourself to get started.

  Like us Follow us Get the
Read the
Read & share
Watch our videos  
Privacy Statement Online Help Center Email Preferences Unsubscribe
Please add to your address book to make sure you don’t miss an email.
You are subscribed to receive emails at

© 2012 ANCESTRY.COM Operations, Inc. 360 West 4800 North, Provo, UT 84604 USA

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ancestry City Directories.

First, I will admit I was a little short-sighted about getting all the city directories for my grandfather Percival before we moved out of the Detroit area. My bad.

However, Ancestry has been touting using the city directories to assist in locating relatives on the 1940 census.

These are the problems I've encountered with that:

1. Incomplete directories. The last name is Percival, not gonna find it in a directory that only goes to the Gs.
2. Street index. The 1940 index starts at T. I  checked Virginia Park. Not there. Okay, maybe the family still lived on Ferguson for a couple years after my grandmother's death. Oh, wait, it starts at T. 1934-1938 directories are no help.

In 1930, my grandparents were living at 4203 Dickerson. I know they also lived on Ferguson for a while - my dad remembers living there during the Great Depression.

On the other side of the family, my mother's side? Mom was living with her aunt Rose and uncle John Ochenfeld/Ochensfeld/Ochsenfeld until Rose's death on November 20, 1939. At that time, uncle John went to live with one of his children and my mother lived briefly with a friend, Carmen and a relative, Myrtle Whiteside McCarty before going to work for the Hopkinses. Her sister lived with two different uncles, her brother with a cousin, but by 1940, he was 17. I'm not even sure my grandfather was enumerated because rumor has it he was living on the streets by this time.

Um. I have my work cut out for me. I think I'll wait for the indexing. Here's hoping that the 1940 in indexed better than the 1920, where Zimmeth was indexed as Gimmith!

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sympathy Saturday - Charles Russey

Charles Russey died on March 24th, 1879 in Cass County, Michigan. His death record says he was 45.

Charles Russey was the second of three known husbands of Mary Percival (daughter of Cullen Percival and Rachel Quigley.)  Her first husband's surname was Danks and that is all I know about him. After Charles' death, Mary married William Sears.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sometimes I Wonder ...

As a daughter, I am sure I knew my dad in ways my grandfather didn't. However, since I was not born yet in 1943, the year the letters I am transcribing were written, there is a side to my dad I had no inkling of.  The following letter is an example:

                                      Aug 17, 1943

My dear Johnny:-

          Haven't much news to write today, except that we are having some very cool weather. In fact it is almost too cool to be real comfortable, can you imagine such weather?

          I keep expecting an induction notice for Frank, but none has come as yet. He told me yesterday that he expected the induction notice to arrive about 2 weeks after the blood test, which would be about Aug. 27th, with an induction date of Sept. 3rd or 4th. Do not know where he got his dope. If he gets into the Seabees he would leave about Sept. 10th; if it is the army he will leave about Sept 24th. He told me also that he would try the Seabees first, then the army, and if he could not get into either, he would try to get into the Merchant Marine service.

          He also tells me that after the war he and Bill Badgero are going up into the Northern part of the state, build themselves a cabin and live by hunting, fishing and trapping. Doesn't sound like he is too ambitious does it? he will probably have two or three more ideas before that time comes.

          We received a letter from Maw-Maw today in which she said she had not heard from me since your wedding. I feel badly about it too, but am sure I wrote her, because told her in that letter that she need not send the letter on to Aunt Bessie as I had written her all about the wedding. I wrote Maw-Maw twice before you arrived home, once a week or two before to tell her of your plans, and then again as soon as I knew the date and hour of the wedding. Cannot imagine what happened to the letter, either I lost it before I mailed it or it was lost in the mail. Will take a good look around the room to be certain the letter was not left there.

          Have written Grandma to see if she will take Mrs. K. to Lex. to see Maw-maw. Also have sent money to Grandma to cover any expense.

          No more news son, so will stop for today.

          Frank & I send love.

                   Your loving
Um. My dad living in a cabin in the UP? Or even just the northern part of the LP (for you non-Michiganders, Michigan has an Upper Peninsula and a Lower Peninsula. We LP-ers make fun of the UP-ers and the UP-ers call us trolls.) Anyway, my dad living off the land? I'm sure he could have done it and then told everyone else what they were doing wrong, but I really can't picture that. I keep reminding myself that at the time he was newly turned 18. Bill Badgero was one of his good buds, and it was Bill and his girl Janet that my parents drove to Fremont, Ohio with so that Bill & Janet had witnesses for their elopement. Yeah. My parents got married that day too!

Grandma, was my dad's grandmother, Helen Maitland Percival; Maw-Maw was his grandmother Elizabeth Webb Bowman.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Too-Too Thursday - Ancestry Again

 Not sure which is worse, learning a new computer/operating system or the shenanigans at None of the choices they were suggesting were relevant. Jerks.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Carter & Taliaferro

Curtis Carter was my great-great-great-great grandfather and this was his fourth - and last wife. Curtis died in 1850 at the age of 71.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sneaky - Or What I learned About My Dad!

I'm back to transcribing the letters written mostly by my grandfather to my Uncle John Percival. John Percival, Jr. that is.  I've tried not to read ahead as that sometimes spoils the letters for me and confuses me when I start transcribing again.

At any rate, one of the latest batches of letters includes one from Grandpa to Uncle Johnny, relating to him that Frank (my dad) has gone and tried to enlist on May 27th, 1943. Grandpa had to go to the draft board and show them Frank's birth certificate - Frank was only 17 at the time. I can imagine the fireworks when Grandpa got home from work and confronted my dad. Glad I wasn't there!

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, March 19, 2012

I love reading other blogs when I get the time - genealogy blogs, craft blogs - It's just that there are so many!

Cousin Karen over at Genealogy Frame of Mind sent this link to Genealogy Star. Boy does it sum up how I've been feeling the last few days learning a new computer, new Windows 7, Photoshop Elements and lots of other stuff. It doesn't help that the Photoshops Elements 9 for dummies book has an icon for remembering - they want you to memorize what they tell you when you see that icon. Hello? I don't think there's room for much more up there!

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sympathy Saturday - Sophia Dicke Knost

Sophia Caroline Dicke was born February 1, 1877 in Wabash, Indiana. On September 21, 1899 she married George Knost, a brother of my great-grandmother, Amelia Knost Meyer. Sophia was the mother of 11 children. She died on March 17, 1968, at the age of 91 in New Bremen, Ohio.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Little Bit Gets Done After All

Today, the easy transfer cable was delivered so that I could transfer files between the old Dell with Windows Vista to the new Dell with Windows 7 - or Red, as I like to refer to her. I transferred 44 gigabytes of mostly images to Red. Older daughter blanched at that. I only had one small problem in that it also must have set the palm check for the touch pad - which I use instead of a mouse. I kill mice, so I prefer to use the touch pad. Installation of a few programs that Easy Transfer reminded me of was simple to do and I feel like I finally accomplished something.

Thus prepared, I opened up RootsMagic 5 and set about once again doing data entry and image linking. Tomorrow is clean up and re-arrange day. One of grandkitties is coming to visit grammy and grampy this weekend, and we are excited to see her!

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Too Too Thursday - New Stuff

Well, my old Gateway lapto computer is finally giving up the ghost! I use it for crafting because it is too slow for anything else. The hard drive is fast filling up on my Dell XPS 1530 laptop, so I decided it was time to spring for a new laptop.

I was pleasantly surprised to receive it today, a Dell Inspiron 14z in Fire Red, and started with the process of loading it up with software and files!

RootsMagic made the transition well, installation was a breeze and the only thing missing are the 15000 + images that are linked in RootsMagic. They'd be on now except the easy transfer cable I ordered is coming from a different location and seems to be stalled in Atlanta, Georgia. Surprisingly it is still scheduled to be delivered tomorrow. One can only hope, because I have a lot of other files to transfer!

It's been a really long and busy day with tomorrow probably just as chaotic.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Percival & Nye

On March 15, 1764, Abigail Percival. daughter of John Percival & Lydia Fuller married Benjamin Nye, son of Benjamin Nye, Sr and his wife Rachel. Both were from Sandwich, Massachusetts.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Thanks to Find-A-Grave Volunteer

Virginia Carter Huntsberry Chinn - yes - I know I blogged about her. But a nice volunteer from Find-A-Grave got this great headstone photo - pretty much says it all.

Recap: W. B. Huntsberry was the first husband of my great-great-great aunt Virginia Carter.
George W. Chinn was her second husband. Mariah Abington Chinn was George's first wife. W. B. Huntsberry and Mariah Chinn died within a few weeks of each other.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, March 12, 2012

Grab It While You Can!

When researching, I often come across what I think might be intermarriages among family members that I didn't expect. For instance, last week I found a marriage between a Carter and a Vivion or Vivian. Well, wayyyyyy back, I have John Vivion and some of my Webbs were named after him - for instance, John Vivion Webb, the father of John Garland Webb was named for his great grandfather,  John Vivion. Of course, I had to take a look and see if there were any common names.

One named that popped up was Flavel Vivion who married Martha Campbell and were the parents of Mary Vivion or Vivian who married Joseph L. Carter. Turns out that Flavel was the son of Flavel Vivion and Franky Collen or Cotten (depending on who wrote the name, I guess.) Flavel Vivion, Sr. was the son of John Vivian and Martha Gholsom. This John Vivian was the son John Vivian and Jane Smith, from whom I descend.

Being the crazy researcher that I am, I went back and grabbed the census and searched a bit for a biography for Flavel (either one) but was sadly disappointed. I shouldn't be surprised at the link since I've come across many of these unexpected connections while researching in Lafayette county, Missouri.

Joseph Carter was a nephew to my great-great-great grandfather, Edwin Carter and a cousin to my great-great grandmother, Elizabeth Carter who married John Garland Webb. Joseph Carter and Mary Vivion's daughters were therefore related to both the Carters and the Webbs. Elizabeth Carter and John Garland Webb married and produced my great grandmother, Elizabeth Carter Webb who then turned around and married Frank Bowman. And of course recently I chronicled the marriage of Virginia Carter who married first a Huntsberry, and secondly a Chinn.  I also have Chinns and Webbs who married. It's a hot mess!

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sympathy Saturday - Elkanah Percival

Died, March 10, 1857 in Durham, Greene county, New York, Elkanah Percival born about 1768, son of Timothy Percival and Mary Fuller.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, March 9, 2012

Breaking the Brick Wall

On October 12, 2010, I posted about the brick walls in my six generation chart here. Recently, I was able to break one of those brick walls with the help of Ancestry and a LOT of digging on my part. However, the German parts of my line are still giving me problems, name the Zabrack line and the Beckmeier line. Both are my mom's lines. FYI, my mom's line is German, my dad's is German with some Scots, English, and Irish in it. But its those two lines that really make me crazy. I've been told Zabrack probably wasn't her great-grandmother's maiden name and Beckmeier could be Bachmeyer, Bachmeier, Backmeier, etc. Maybe someday the genealogy gods will bless me with clues ...

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, March 8, 2012


So I have regaled you with the ridiculous results I've gotten on when searching for my Carter line. One of the daughters of Edwin Carter & Ann Paul was Marion who married Jesse P. Alexander. Jesse died in 1896 and Marion died in 1905. So where is Marion in 1900?

Last week I was trying to be a little more specific in my search by putting in the year +/- 5. It got me anyone but the John E. Carter I was looking for.

this week, I decided I was going to find the elusive Marion Carter Alexander, and decided the 'less is more' approach is what I wanted. Well, it worked, but not in the way I expected. I put in Mari?n and born in Virginia and no birth year and searched Missouri.

This is what I got. You will need to click on the image to see for yourself, but I came up with Marian Walter born in Virginia in 1837. Close enough, I thought to warrant a look.

I clicked on the link and I had her. I think I will blame this on whomever transcribed this onto the census sheet or maybe even the census taker, Alfred, whatsisname!

Yes, the names are reversed. For everyone else on the page it is last name, first name. Not so for Walter G. Alexander. He is actually recorded as Walter G. Alexander. Except he is indexed as G. Alexander Walter, making his mother Marian Walter and not Alexander.

Now if I could just find her daughter Ella!

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Percival & Clark

March 12, 1900 in Barton, Orleans, Vermont Charles F. Percival married Emma Clark.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Getting There - Maybe

I've still got census work to finish up. Yeah, I know I said I was done with the 1930 and earlier census, but it turns out I'm not. Right now I have 15 in the queue. The problem is, I am still looking for these Carter families in Missouri and elsewhere. For instance, today I found a couple of marriage records for a couple of the children of Jesse P. & Marion Carter Alexander. And cemetery records. But no death records and it looks like these families are missing in 1900. Kansas City, give up your census records. Now, please. Because time is getting short with only 28 days until the 1940 census is released.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Fountain of Youth?

Do you ever wonder how people drop 10 years off their age? Especially on the census?

I am working on a death certificate for Aileen Robertson, daughter of Kate Cooley & Oscar Robertson. She was born according to the 1900 and 1910 censuses in 1885. Between 1910 and 1920 she aged one year. The same goes for her mother, Kate Cooley Robertson.

According to her death certificate, she was born September 15, 1897. The informant was her mother. I noticed mom getting younger on the census too! However, Aileen was 15 in 1900, according to the census. Suspicious? Well, yes! In 1930, I finally found Kate Robertson, a widow, still living on Wilburn* Ct in Kansas City according to the census taker. And, lookie, Kate has shaved 13 YEARS off her age, giving her birth year as 1870! Unfortunately, I am still unable to locate daughter Aileen.

A friend and fellow researcher insists that people are less likely to lie to the official representative of the United States Government - the census taker. I say "baloney." Either that or they were so intimidated they didn't know what to answer. My own mother-in-law told me she was so nervous when the census taker came for the 1950 census (the first one where my DH appears,) she reversed my hubbies age with the number of years they were married!

* The address is 5218 Hilburn Ct. on the 1930 census. On the death record it appears as Wilburn. Google Maps confirms 5218 Wilburn Ct.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sympathy Saturday - William Kirtley

William Kirtley was born in 1722, married  to Sarah Early about 1753 and died March 3, 1795. He was my great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather!

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, March 2, 2012

Virginia Carter Huntsberry Chinn

Thanks to a family tree over on, I was able to flesh out the Carter family. As always, I like to remind my readers that those family trees online are a starting point, not the end point. I always try to find one that has been sourced, mainly because that usually means they haven't clicked and claimed someone else's tree. Then I like to duplicate the work.

Getting back to Virginia Carter, daughter of Edwin Harvey Carter and Ann Paul, she is listed as "Jane" on her marriage record. That's not too unusual as I have often seen Jennie as a nickname for Virginia, as well as Ginny.

At any rate, Virginia married William H or William B. Huntsberry on November 10, 1857 in Lafayette County, Missouri.

The Huntsberry's were enumerated in 1860 in Dover Township, Lafayette, Missouri. In 1870, they are NOWHERE to be found. I have had this issue in Lafayette county before. Since Virginia married her next husband in Shelby county, I checked there also, since the Huntsberry's were both buried there and they owned property there.

The 1860 census shows the following family group for the Huntsberry family:

W. H. Huntsberry, age 30, born in Missouri.
Virginia, age 24, born in Virginia
Edwin M., aged 8 months, born in Virginia
Harvey, aged 2, born in Virginia

The 1880 census of  Eureka Springs, Carroll, Arkansas shows George & Virginia Chinn with son Varion, aged 13. George and Virginia were married in 1874, so Varion is probably Huntsberry and not Chinn. A quick check of the Missouri Death Records proves that he is the son of William Huntsberry and Virginia Carter (her name given here is Mary Virginia.)

Now we get into Land Atlases. Mrs. G. W. Chinn is listed in 1878 as landowner in Section 56 of Pettis county, Missouri. In 1902, her son Varion S. Huntsberry is listed as owner of the same plot of land. So now I have linked Virginia Carter to George W Chinn and Varion S. Huntsberry.

George W. Chinn was my second cousin 4 times removed and Virginia Carter Huntsberry Chinn was my second great grandaunt! I'm thinking it was a good thing they didn't have children together because that relationship calculation might blow up my computer!

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Too-Too Thursday - What's up

I shudder to think what it will be like when goes live with the 1940 census. Right now I am getting the most bizarre results. Like this recent search for John E. Carter is Missouri on the 1930 census. I got 28 hits. Unfortunately, none of them even had Carter in their name. What is up with that

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes