Gene Notes

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

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Percival & Blossom

On October 31, 1751 Benjamin Blossom married Bathsheba Percival, probably in Barnstable, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of John Percival & Mary Bourne.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Like a Hurricane!

With former hurricane Sandy ravaging the northeast, I thought about how safe my "stuff" is. Yes, I have backups of all my genealogy, but there are still all those paper files to be scanned and saved. I do work on it occasionally, but I have a feeling, most of it will still be there to be scanned, or I will have added to the paper pile before everything gets linked to my database. Will one of my kids carry it forth?

Maybe I better get busy on writing those books?

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Moanin' - Adding Those Records

Even though the California death records project is far from complete, I found quite a few death certificates - mostly in Los Angeles county or city. There have been some surprises so far and one that I knew took place in the city of Angels was hard to find. Mostly due to a spelling difference. I am glad I searched for Sikes after not finding it under Sykes. The Sikes/Sykes in question is Edna Chinn Sikes/Sykes. She was my first cousin three times removed. She was the subject of a Thriller Thursday here. She was 29 at the time of her murder.

I guess I should get busy transcribing the certificates.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sympathy Saturday -Charlotte Henriette Wilhelmine Kreyenbrok Kettler Lemkuhl

Charlotte Henriette Wilhelmine Kreyenbrok was born in Ruhrlock, Minden, Westfalen, Germany on 26 Nov 1808. On November 27, 1830, she married Christian Arnold Wilhelm Kettler also in Ruhrlock. This makes her my great-great grandmother. They immigrated to America about 1841 and in 1849, Christian died. After that Charlotte married John Henry Lemkuhl.

Charlotte died 27 Oct 1888 in New Bremen, Auglaize county, Ohio at the age of 79.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, October 26, 2012

Freaked Out Friday - California Death Certificates

If you haven't poked around at lately, they have been putting up Birth and Death Certificates for 1849-1994. A lot of counties are sadly lacking yet, but I have had really good results searching in Los Angeles county and city. My count is up to 23 death certificates, 6 of which have already been extracted and linked to the proper people in my database. This is the longest I have sat in my office chair and I hope I don't regret it tomorrow. Could I be getting back to my normal? I sure hope so.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Too-Too Thursday - A Little Less Too Would Be Nice

After a summer of relative inactivity - other than therapy - it seems that Fall is catching up with me in a big way. All kinds of things are getting done around the house, which means that we are trying to get things wound up before winter. This includes work on our deck, work on landscaping in the back, and re-thinking some organizational stuff in the house. Frankly, by the time we finish talking about what needs to be done I am tired!

And then today, I played secretary to my Dear Husband, relaying birthday wishes from our Facebook friends. See, DH does not have a FB account, which is probably a good thing. I have always thought it was a weird time-waster, and someday I think I just might delete that account.

The one really good thing, besides DH's birthday was the birth of a daughter to one of his first-cousins-once-removed Tuesday. I did manage to add her to the database. Welcome to the family!

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Weaver & Compton

From Arkansas Gazette, Little Rock, Arkansas, marriage, 28 October 1868.


On the 24th inst., by Rev. R. S. Hunter, Mr. George V. Weaver and Miss Alice L. Compton, all of this city.

The above incident came off very quietly, and the parties stole away on one of those exquisite hymeneal tours with so little ostentation that we must believe the process of making "two hearts beat as one," is, in this instance at least a happy transformation.  Our friend Weaver, the "George" of schoolboy days, is the scion of a good old stock, and well represents the virtues and excellencies of a respected ancestry.  The partner of his choice does eminent credit to his good taste and judgment.  Long may they live and happy may they be, with no other cares to mar the serenity of contentment save those incident to the state.

[Blogger's note: George Weaver was my 2nd cousin 3 times removed. We both descend from Dr. Jabez Percival.]

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I have usually embraced change when I thought it would make work, life, research, etc. easier. But change for the sake of change? Nope. For instance, I still use the old search for I hate the new one and hope they never take the old one away.

Today, I was reminded by Genealogy Bank that they are changing their site in one week. Sigh. I tried the new search. I don't like it. Why do the search boxes have to be so large?

Maybe I'll get used to it. In time for the next change.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Moanin' - No I didn't Forget!

Really, I didn't forget to post. Well, I did think of it last night, started a post, and then lost it in cyberspace. Actually, I accidentally closed out my browser, and figured I would catch it in the morning. I was tired and forgot about "Draft." I'll save that one for another time.

As is often the case, life intervened. First, I slept in until after 8:00 a.m. CDT. Since that is almost unheard of for me, I enjoyed it. Hence, everything else got a late start and DH and I were behind schedule when we got a call that our 2:30 p.m. appointment could be moved up. But we were at lunch. By the time we got home, we were still catching up on things and I get an email distracting me. You see, it was in response to an April 2010 post about my grandfather who worked for the Detroit water board from about 1927 to 1961 or so. Well, I had to go find the post it referred to and see what picture the man was inquiring about. It was this one - A Little Bit of Detroit circa 1930. Unfortunately, my grandfather loved to clip pictures and articles and NOT attribute them. Sigh.

So lessons learned:

1. Draft feature for Blogger. Duh!
2. Don't procrastinate.
3. Remind family members to always attribute newspaper articles and photos!

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sympathy Saturday - Betsey Percival Jeffers

 From: Kalamazoo Gazette, Kalamazoo, Michigan, obituary, 22 October 1901, p3.

Mrs. Betsey Jeffers.

Mrs. Betsy Jeffers passed away Sunday morning at 9 o'clock after a brief illness. She was the daughter of Montgomery Percival, and came to Michigan with her father's family in 1835. She was married to Deodat Jeffers, a pioneer in Kalamazoo county, in 1852. To them were born three children, two of whom survive her - William J. Jeffers of Chicago, and Anna E. Jeffers of this city. Deceased also leaves two sisters, Mrs. E. M. Knapp, with whom she has made her home for a number of years; Mrs. F. A. Carter of Akron, Iowa; eight grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. Mr. Jeffers passed away in 1887. Deceased was a faithful member of the First Congregational church, and leaves the memory of a beautiful life. The funeral will be held at the home, 214 East Lovell street, this afternoon at 2 o'clock.

[Researcher's note:  Betsey was the daughter of Montgomery Percival and Eunice Cook, and is my 4th cousin 5 times removed. For many years, I thought there was no connection between my Percival family and other Michigan Percivals, since my Percivals came from Missouri via Indiana, Kentucky, New York and Massachusetts. In researching the Percival-Rainsford descendants, I have re-aligned my thinking on this subject.]

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, October 19, 2012

Silly Friday

DH and I ate at a local deli the other day, and as usual with left overs, we took them home, marking the containers with our initials, A, B & C. Oh yeah, the C was for left over chips. On the way home, I mentioned maybe we should have continued with the alphabet for naming our kids. Older daughter could have been Charlotte or Celine, Younger daughter Dinah or Debbie! Then DH reminded me of our "twin names" just in case we ever had twin girls. They would have been named after hubby's favorite Star Wars character, Darth Vader. The names he and my mom came up with? Dartha Vartha and Vartha Dartha. If they read this, I hope they appreciate the names we did give them!

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thriller Thursday - Another Family Story - Without an Ending

Also in the April 1961 letter from my dad's aunt to my uncle John, is another family "story." This one references my great-grandfather and his brother Herbert as children.

"My father (John Henry Percival) told of learning to swim in the Missouri River, and once he told your dad [Blogger's note: my grandfather, John Stearns Percival] and me about going hunting with a colored boy who lived with them on the farm. Dad said they were coming home, it had gotten dark, they were out of bullets when they heard a wild-cat scream. They loaded their guns with nails and small bolts to be ready. About that time John and I began to cry so Dad said "Here I am, I got back safely." Evidently the wild-cat gave them the go-by."

Now, I never met my great-grandfather, John Henry Percival, who died just before my dad's 4th birthday, while my grandparents, dad and uncle were living in Detroit. Maybe he was just a storyteller at heart. I do know that in 1870, Henry, Herbert, with their mother, Susan Davidson Percival - awfully indexed as Buerwell - were living in Waverly in the same home as her mother, Anna Estes Davidson and Susan's sister Eliza. In 1877, Susan took for her second husband, widower Thomas Holt. While his younger children lived with them, hers were farmed out, Henry apprenticed to a tinsmith (Andrew Botts) in Richmond, Missouri and Herbert went to his uncle Jabez Percival's home in Covington, Kentucky. Since Henry was born in 1862, this could very well have taken place in the late 1860's or early 1870's. Unfortunately, it retains its "family legend" status.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Foley & Brasgalla

It is so much fun to be able to write about a wedding I attended. This one for one of my nieces, took place on October 17, 2008 in Livonia, Michigan. Ironically, it was held less than a mile from where DH and our daughters and I all lived until 2007. It was a beautiful wedding for a beautiful couple.

Happy 4th Anniversary, Colleen & Sean.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Slowly it Goes!

Wow, I can remember when I could shoot through 30 census reports in a day - sometimes in just a few hours. This latest round is going oh so slow. And I am not even working on those loads of 1940. Oh no, I am being systematic and working on the oldest first. Sometimes that means that I dig up an old census that I didn't have, or go searching "just one last time" for someone who is MIA in a particular year.  Right now that means that I am working on 1915 New York State census. Only 83 more to go!

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Name Game - Part Two

 Now, here are my mother's names. Growing up, I only heard two names Zimmeth and Meyer. Zimmeth, of course being my mom's maiden name and Meyer being her mother's. The other name I heard was Ochsenfeld or Ochenfeld, which is the name of the aunt and uncle who raised my mom.

Zimmeth - mom's maiden name. Her father was Charles Zimmeth. He was the son of August Zimmeth and Augusta Wilhelmina Cleasotte.
Meyer - Luetta. Mom's mother. Until my mother was an adult, she thought her mother's name was Loretta. Luetta was the daughter of Joseph Meyer & Amelia Knost.
Knost - My great-grandmother, Amelia or Emilia Knost, married Joseph Meyer.
Kettler - Amelia's mother was Charlotte Kettler. Charlotte married Gerhard Knost.
Kleesaat - Or Klevesaat/Klesat/Clesat/Cleasotte, etc. Christian Kleesaat was my great-great grandfather. He married Wilhelmina Zabrack.
Zabrack - I've blogged about this one before. The name may or may not be correct. No clue other than Prussia to tell me where they came from.
Boegler - Catherine Boegler married Josef Zimmeth and were August's parents. 

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sympathy Saturday - George Zimmeth

My grandfather's brother, George Zimmeth, was born July 12, 1881 in Tawas township, Iosco county, Michigan, and was the brother closest in age to my grandpa. He died October 13, 1918 in East Tawas, Iosco county, Michigan, while my grandfather was in the Army in France during World War I. He died, as his death certificate says, from typhoid fever from water from an open well. Coincidentally, it occurred during the Spanish Flu epidemic. My grandfather stated years later, that he didn't find out for a couple of months that George had died.

George left a widow, Julia Blust Zimmeth and four children, Leo, Mary, Rose and Barbara. Barbara died in 1921 and only Leo, Mary & Rose reached adulthood of the 12 children that George & Julia had.

George was buried in St. Joseph Catholic cemetery in East Tawas, but no stone marks his grave in the plot where his 9 young children were buried.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, October 12, 2012

My Name Game

The Wild Ones used to keep a list of really crazy names we came across in our researching. This is NOT that list. This list contains the names I am researching. First, I will break it down to my dad's line.

Percival - yes, my maiden name. One of my projects has been working on the descendants of James Percival and Mary Rainsford.
Bowman - My dad's mother was Mary Anne Bowman, daughter of Frank G. Bowman and Elizabeth Webb.
Maitland - my maternal great grandmother was Helen Maitland, daughter of Alexander Maitland and Mary Oliphant.
Webb - great grandmother, Elizabeth "Bessie" Webb, daughter of John Garland Webb and Elizabeth Carter.
Carter - Elizabeth Carter, my g-g-grandmother was the daughter of Edwin Carter and Ann Paul.
Oliphant - Mary Oliphant (above) was the daughter of Alexander Oliphant and Martha McMekin.
Davidson - Susan Davidson married John Stearns Percival. Her parents were Nathaniel Davidson and Anne Estes.
Estes - Anne Estes parents were Littleberry Estes and Mary Ann "Polly" Wade.
Kirtley - Dr. John Stearns Percival married for his second wife, Sarah Ann Kirtley. Their children included John Stearns Percival who married Susan Davidson.
Chinn - Mary Elizabeth Chinn, daughter of Dr. Joseph Graves Chinn and Barbara Garland Graves married John Parker Bowman. They were the parents of Frank Bowman above.

Those are my major lines on my dad's side. Another time, I'll work on my mom's line.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thriller Thursday - Another Family Story

My dad's aunt Mary Black Percival French gave my uncle some family history in a letter. I don't know if it is fact or fiction, but here is another one - mostly regarding my great-great grandfather, John Stearns Percival, father of Herbert Davidson and John Henry Percival. He married Susan Davidson.

"I got all the earlier ancestors, but got stuck when it came to my own grand-father, your great-grandfather [blogger's note: John Stearns Percival.]  According to what I found, he did go to war for the South but came home for a visit, [His enlistment was up. He re-enlisted a few months later] then went back and was killed shortly after that. The Kansans came over to Waverly while he was gone the first time, ran off the 20 slaves they had, (who had already been freed but chose to stay with my grandmother (Susan Davidson Percival) and the two small boys, my father and uncle Herbert.) The Kansans burned all the buildings, house barns and all, took all the live-stock and left my grand-mother penniless. She went to stay with a brother and taught school to support herself and children."

Actually, Susan Davidson Percival took her children and fled to Kentucky to her sister-in-law's home  where she did indeed teach school. Her only brother, John Davidson lived in Jackson County, Missouri and he died in 1864.

I can't even find John Percival on the 1860 slave census. The family was living in Middleton township, Lafayette county, Missouri in 1860 and not Waverly. Is it possible he freed any slaves he may have owned? Yes. If there were former slaves living on the farm in 1860, they aren't enumerated.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Knost & Wiemeyer

On October 10, 1848, in New Bremen, Auglaize County, Ohio, Louise Adelaid Wilhelmina Knost, daughter of Johann Friedrich Knost, and Charlotte Frederika Augusta Johanna Reker married Johann William Wiemeyer. Louise died in childbirth, 9 months later.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Herbert Percival - The Wrap up - For Now!

So if you followed my last three Thriller Thursday posts, you now know as much as I do about Dr. Herbert Davidson Percival. Doesn't it make you wonder who knew and reported that he went to Hawaii? That part of the puzzle really perplexes me. Obviously the family knew more than they were saying, and did not bother to pass it on to Herbert's brother, John Henry Percival, my great-grandfather. Or did they? What I knew of Herbert came from my dad's aunt Mary Percival French in a letter dated April 2, 1961 to my uncle John Percival.

"...My father's brother, Herbert was born in 1859 and my father in 1861. I think perhaps my grand-father came back for that event. Anyway, uncle Herbert graduated from Medical School in Cincinnati and my father worked to help him get through school. He went to California and had a very good practice. One day he was out collecting, driving a fine team of horses and vanished. The theory was that he was killed for the money and the horses sold, and the buggy dumped into the ocean."

And so, this is the story we all believed. And as I've stated many times, it always bothered me that no one knew for sure, and that I felt that he ditched his family.

So for now, I will pursue these leads, even though cursory searches in Hawaii have shown nothing of Herbert. Its possible he changed his name, and wouldn't that add just another brick wall!
Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, October 8, 2012

This Day in History - October 8th.

One hundred and forty one years ago, the great Chicago fire started. I had a collateral line living there at the time, but as far as I can tell, no casualties among them.

Today is also one of my nephews birthday. He is 31! Happy birthday, Patrick!

It was a crazy weekend in our household. We had wet and cool weather which usually is enough to keep me inside. However, since frost is expected I used Sunday to plant my bulbs and finish transplanting iris tubers. After another cold and damp evening and morning, I wonder if the knee will ever recover enough for a normal life.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sympathy Saturday - Timothy Gates

From the Connecticut Gazette, New London, Connecticut, obituary, 20 October 1819, p3:

Died - At East Haddam on the 6th inst. Timothy Gates Esq. aged 80 years; a man of the purest morals, and most exemplary life, a man of piety, a Christian by profession and a Christian in deed.

You really have to appreciate these old death notices. Timothy was married to Hannah Percival, daughter of John Percival and Hannah Whitmore and therefore, was my fifth great grand-uncle by marriage.

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

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, October 5, 2012

Back in the Saddle .. er Desk Chair

I can't say that I am completely comfortable sitting here in my desk chair, but let's just say that I know when to get up and stretch.

Today, I worked on census. This meant I edited some of the images, printed them, and input the information into my genealogy program and then linked the images. Eight down, and 1,541 to go! Incidentally, I added one to the queue. This almost always happens when I work on census. Sometimes I add more to the queue than I get added to my database. That's when I feel like I am moving backwards!

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thriller Thursday - Herbert Davidson Percival - Mystery Solved?

From the Los Angeles Times, October 16, 1901:

"Monrovia Brevities

Inquiry has been made here as to the whereabouts of Dr. Herbert D. Percival, who practiced medicine in Monrovia for some time, and left here October 8, 1894. Dr. Percival had a good practice, but dropped out of sight one day, leaving his family to their own resources. He has never returned. He is reported to have located in a mining town in the northern part of the State, and afterward to have gone to Honolulu. Since that time he is reported to have died. A property of value has been left him in Kentucky, and parties are trying to find him. It is believed his family still resides in Los Angeles."

So, it appears my gut feeling was correct and that Herbert did desert his wife. I don't know if that 1894 date is valid or not, but it sure is specific. 

 I have clues here and will have to follow up on them. Honolulu, eh?

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Cassy Bowsher & Stephen White

Even though they are no blood relation to me, I want to post this marriage. Cassy (Catherine) Bowsher was one of my step-grandmother's  older sisters. Her other sister, Daisy, married Stephen's brother Antoine.

Cassy, unfortunately was indexed as Cory in the Michigan Marriage records available on So it took a few tries to find the record. But here it is. They were married October 5, 1903 and remain married 57 years until Stephen's death in December of 1960.

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Holy Stats!

For years I have been keeping track of my database statistics, mostly how many people in the database, sources, to do list items and multimedia. I sat down to record those items yesterday - the first of the month - and discovered the last time I did it was June 12th. The funny thing is that I actually added to the database in that time frame. I added 15 people, 1 source, 1 to do list item, and 7 images. Yes, I have backed up my database during that time frame many times. I try to remember to back up any time I may have changed something, just in case. Worst case scenario is I only have to copy the backups in case of any kind of failure.

Are you protected?

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, October 1, 2012

Herbert Percival - The Story Continues And Monday Moanin'

Make sure you catch this week's Thriller Thursday as it brings you up to date with what I know about my dad's great grand uncle, Herbert Davidson Percival. He has been the family's mystery man for generations after he disappeared from California circa 1894. Not that I've stopped looking for him, since I don't have any sort of death record for him ...

This past weekend was a busy one here. We had great weather, cooling into the low 70's during the day which made working on the backyard landscaping much easier. Not that I did much, except help layout the stones in one area near the spa, planted some flowers and situated my knockout rose bush tree. It just made spa time last night more appreciated.

I finish up with physical therapy this week and plan on getting going on some of the 1500 census that I found this spring.

And, as always on the first of the month, I back up my databases, images, etc. Busy day today!

Copyright 2010-2012, ACK for Gene Notes