Gene Notes

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

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Too-Too Thursday - Too Nice, Too Tired

It has been SO nice here lately, that I can't tear myself away from the outdoor chores and outdoor living. My to-do list is growing by leaps and bounds. I have a niggling feeling that it will just keep growing in that manner if the summer progresses the way it started.

I got a phone call yesterday from Genealogy Bank. They are getting more aggressive in their marketing techniques for their books and other services. If anyone who reads this avails themselves of their sister site,, let me know what you think of it. But really, I wish they wouldn't call and when I tell them I'm not interested, I wish they would say good bye and hang up.

Copyright 2010-2013, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wedding Wednesday - Percival & Gray

On May 29, 1852 in Waterville, Maine, Sumner Percival and Pauline Gray.

Copyright 2010-2013, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

It's Summer Here!

Yesterday kicked off the start to summer fun here. DH and I did some shopping for our deck, grilled chops for dinner with Older Daughter and simply enjoyed the day.

Today's email brought a comment on an old post (2011) that I want to follow up on, regarding DH's family. I find stuff like that exciting!

Not surprisingly, none of the piles on my desk were dealt with. But they haven't grown, either, so eventually I will take care of them.

Our cat, Mouse, loves to help her mommy with her data entry - well, she tries to stop me from typing! Or send things flying when she jumps up on or down from my desk. If that isn't motivation for dealing with this stuff, I don't know what is!

Copyright 2010-2013, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, May 27, 2013

Decoration Day, 1883

This is a transcription of a letter written by my great-great grandmother, Susan E. Percival Holt nee Davidson to her son, John "Henry" Percival on May 30, 1883:

                                Carthage, Mo. 5‑30/83

Dear Son
        Today is decoration day all over the country, north and south ‑ flowers are strewn over the graves of dead heroes.  I send you the Carthage papers.  Cora and I helped make the arch sent from here to Springfield by the Confederates.  It is a day filled with sad memories to me, here on the hill north of town was fought the first battle your Pa was in and Springfield was another.  After the war this place became so (Rich) they would not let Southern men stay here.  But now there are as many Democrats as Republicans.  Rev. Gould was the only one who waved the "bloody shirt" at memorial service Sunday eve and the "Banner" defended him and made some insulting remarks about Dr. Prosser's speech.  So there is some bad feeling.  Give Col. Child the paper when you read it, as he knows Prosser.  Dear boy, as I sat and wore those flowers yesterday, I thought of Decoration day at Little Rock and wondered whose hands would scatter flowers on one grave where the noblest and best lie buried, one who laid down his young life for what he thought was right and son I thought of his sons grown, out in the world and I know not as years pass on what may be their views as to the right or wrong of the cause he espoused (they are dead issues today).  He was no hireling fighting for wages, but he left home and loved ones to fight for principle he loved dearer than life. God forbid his children should ever be ashamed that he died thus.  I was glad I did not hear Gould's speech, and I hope that ere my children Are as old as I am all trace of the war will be wiped out.  I shall look for you the last of the week.  If you can get a copy of Democrat with Mrs. Bogies' article about Carthage, bring it with you as it has been severely criticized here I want to read it again.

Hoping to see you soon, I remain yours, Mother.

{Blogger's note: Susan Davidson married John Stearns Percival, who was killed outside of Little Rock. I have it from a historian in Little Rock that many of the "rebels" were never buried and such is probably the case for John. I hope Susan never knew this, as I think it would have broken her heart again.}

Copyright 2010-2013, ACK for Gene Notes

Memorial Day 2013

From 2012:

 Honoring my late ancestors who fought.  From Center top clockwise: My great-great-grandfather, John Stearns Percival, Jr. He fought for the Confederacy and died outside Little Rock, Arkansas, 1832-1863; Frank B. Percival, my father, US Navy World War II, 1925-2003; Charles Zimmeth, my maternal grandfather, World War I, 1888-1979; Group picture with John Stearns Percival, my grandfather picture middle row left, World War I, 1892-1965; Bernard P. Kruszka, my father-in-law, Army Air Corps, World War II, 1919-2011.

Also served in World War II were Angus Mack, my Aunt Margie's husband; John Zimmeth, my mother's brother; Ed Zalot and Arthur Kruszka my husband's uncles. Also, my uncle John Percival, who served in the Army during WWII.

Younger daughter's "boy" served in Afghanistan and Iraq. My cousins John & Evelene both served in the Air Force -which is how they met. My nephews Patrick and Steve also served, Patrick in the Navy and Steve in the Army.

Thanks to all who served.
Copyright 2010-2013, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sympathy Saturday - George A. Zimmeth

From Brownsville Herald, Brownsville, Texas, obituary, 28 May 1944, p2c2:


George A. Zimmeth, aged 60 years, died in New Orleans Friday morning following an operation. The body will be forwarded to Brownsville, arriving here Sunday morning. Funeral services will be conducted from the Presbyterian church Tuesday at 5 p.m., under the direction of the Darling Funeral Home. Burial will be in Buena Vista Burial Park.

Mr. Zimmeth was born in Mankato, Minn., on Jan. 18, 1884, and moved to Brownsville in 1928, living here since then. He was a carpenter by trade and had been employed at the Brownsville shipyard until ill health forced his retirement. He was a member of the Carpenter Local Union, the members of which will act as pallbearers. Survived by his wife and daughter, Mrs. Marcel Sauber.


George A. Zimmeth was a first cousin to my grandfather Charles Zimmeth. George's father, Joseph Zimmeth, moved from Lancaster, New York to Iosco county, Michigan and eventually ended up in Minnesota.

His Find-a-Grave memorial is here

Copyright 2010-2013, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, May 24, 2013

Revising My Lists

Yes, that is right, I have more than one list. I have a to-do list for my genealogy, for reminders to make appointments, for yard work, etc.

I've added at least one thing to each list I am keeping. Now I need to figure out how to add hours to the day. 

Copyright 2010-2013, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Too-Too Thursday - Catching Up

We were only gone two nights and three days, yet it seems like everything has backed up and I am playing catch-up with chores around the house. DH has been busy in the garage and outside, and we both are being foiled by the rain. Usually, we get two days of rain and one nice day, followed by two or three more days of rain. It's great for the bushes and trees and grass ... er clover and crabgrass, but not so great for getting things accomplished. Trying to get laundry and house back up to snuff.

Our cat, Mouse, has discovered playing with her food. Southpaw that she is, she dips her paws in her canned cat food, picks it up and eats it that way. If a particular morsel doesn't interest her, she leaves it on the floor. Yesterday, I caught her using her water bowl as a finger .. um .. paw bowl. No kidding, she would dip her paw in and then lick it. First one paw, then the other. I half expected the little darling stinker to take a bath in it.

Then there are the piles of stuff on my desk, printouts, copies, etc., that need tending to. Maybe tomorrow.

Copyright 2010-2013, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wedding Wednesday - Percival & Goodridge

On this day, one hundred and ninety six years ago (May 22, 1817) in Boone county, Kentucky, Dr. John Stearns Percival, Sr. married his first wife, Matilda Fleet-Hinton Goodridge. 

I don't know how old Matilda was when they married and I don't know where or how she died. Supposedly, they had two children, Elizabeth and Egbert. Family history is that Elizabeth never married and Egbert went to California and died there in 1870 at the age of 51. Egbert is mentioned as child of Matilda in his grandfather's (Goodridge) will. At any rate, John married again in 1822.

Copyright 2010-2013, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Back Home - Paper Pile Intact

DH and I are headed home again today - hoping to beat the storms - and my paper pile is intact. Monday was spent in lighter pursuits of Bourbon Tour and a candy factory tour - Rebecca Ruth Candies of Frankfort.

Today, we face the drive home, hoping to beat the storms. Only time will tell. Sunday, on our way up here, we only hit a bit of rain in a generally overcast sky. And the further north we went, the nicer it got. I'd like that to happen on our way home, not sure we'll be as lucky today.

Sadly, the pile-o-paper I took with me will probably be the last to be unpacked!

Copyright 2010-2013, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, May 20, 2013

On the Road With a Briefcase Full of Paper

Hubby and I are taking a break from working around the house for a couple of days. We decided to head up to Frankfort, Kentucky and use that as our base of operations for touring the, errrr ... ummm... distilleries. Yes, we hopped on the Bourbon Trail!

We first introduced ourselves to bourbon almost 10 years ago on a trip from Michigan. We took the self-guided tour at the Jim Beam distillery and thus began our love affair with bourbon. We even became Bourbon snobs.

We made the same stop Sunday, and were amazed at the changes. We even introduced ourselves to the Red Stag Honey Tea bourbon. Yum. Tomorrow? Woodford Reserve. Maybe even Heaven's Hill.

I feel a great affinity for the bourbon distillers of yester year, since half of dad's family came from Kentucky. I always feel right at home researching in Kentucky, digging up those family trees.

As for that briefcase full of paper? Maybe I'll work on some of the stuff I dragged down with me, maybe not!

Copyright 2010-2013, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Sympathy Saturday - Uncle Fred

Fred was married to my mother's aunt Hilda.  I may have met him a time or two at family functions, but since my mom wasn't really close to her relatives other than her brother, sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law and nieces and nephew, I may have not been conscious of him. I grew up referring to her cousins as aunts. I guess she thought the concept of 1st cousins a generation removed was too much for our childish minds.

At any rate, when great uncle Fred was referred to, it was in whispers. It wasn't until much later as an adult that mom told me that Jones wasn't really his name and that she thought he had done time in prison.

When I started researching the family, one of my cousins, pointed me in the direction of his name. Once I had that, a trip to the state archives in Lansing, Michigan (I am, of course, a former Michigander) and the help of my favorite archivist (my cousin, Mary), I found uncle Fred's prison record.

Fred was born in Ashtabula, Ohio, February 11, 1898. From 1922 to 1924 he was incarcerated in Jackson Prison, in Jackson, Michigan. He married Hilda on August 12, 1924 in Detroit, Michigan, and they had three children. He died May 18, 1977 in Warren, Michigan.

Copyright 2010-2013, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, May 17, 2013

If It Goes Any Slower ...

Turtles are faster than me going through all these death records. Almost every one of the records I pulled do not match something in the information I found previously, or was given, or is new or makes me search for more information. Almost worse than census!  I try to get through them, but really? I think it's going to take a while.

If you don't hear from me, I'm probably buried under a pile of paper in my office!

Copyright 2010-2013, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Too-Too Thursday - Oh, The Weather Outside is Delightful

And DH and I are really pushing the envelope - or so it seems. We are still dealing with the fallout from getting a hot tub last fall. It has generated a lot of landscaping in our backyard.

When we first bought the house, DH was ambivalent about landscaping. This year, not so much. We've relaid our patio, put in a veggie garden, planted annuals, perennials, and started organizing the outside stuff again. It's wonderful. It is so nice to sit out on our deck in the evening, enjoy a glass of wine and just soak up the ambiance!

When I can snatch a few minutes, I work on the death records I pulled from Family Search. Way too much to do, but gotta use the good - although hot - weather to get things accomplished outdoors.

Copyright 2010-2013, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wedding Wednesday - Tiffany & French

On May 15, 1948, Anne Maitland French, daughter of Robert French and Mary Black Percival, married George Emil Tiffany, Jr., in Topeka, Kansas. Anne was my dad's first cousin.

Copyright 2010-2013, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Still Working on the Piles and Piles ..

The weather is keeping me outside. It was pretty cool yesterday, but dry, so a good time to get some chores done outside. Today, hubby and I finished off a couple more projects - including my final annual planting - with only one or two more to go -- this spring!

The Michigan Death records I've found on have me searching for obits/death notices. So far I am 0 for 2. Eventually, I will find something.

The rest of this week promises to be clear and warm. Hoping to enjoy more of the weather once I get some stuff done. Maybe even work on these piles ...

Copyright 2010-2013, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Engagement.

Thirty-four years ago I got engaged to the most wonderful man. We met on our bowling league, sort of, got to know each other on the bowling and volleyball leagues, had our first date on March 10th, got engaged May 13th and got married September 28th. It was a busy year. This photo was taken at our Thursday night bowling league banquet about two weeks before he proposed. The Thursday night league of the Ford Pendulum club was the most fun. We were color-coordinated! The tan I am sporting in the picture was the best tan I ever got - in the Bahamas!

Copyright 2010-2013, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sympathy Saturday - Helen Ochsenfeld Pohorsky

From the Detroit News:

Pohorsky, Helen Marie, May 11, 1996. Beloved wife of the late Lumir J. Survived by brother John Ochsenfeld and niece and nephew, Mr & Mrs. John Ochsenfeld. Funeral Tuesday 10 am at the Verheyden Funeral Home, 16300 Mack, Grosse Pointe. Visitation Monday 3-9 with service at 7:30 pm. In lieu of flowers contributions to the DeLaSalle Collegiate Scholarship Fund.

Helen was not a blood relative. She was the daughter of John Ochsenfeld, Sr. (and Selina Warmuskerken) whose last wife was Rose Zimmeth, and John and Rose raised my mother.

Copyright 2010-2013, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, May 10, 2013

Help! I'm Thinking About ...

What won't get accomplished inside if it is nice out this weekend and what won't get accomplished outside if it rains.

Right now, the forecast calls for rain. That could mean I could start tackling these stacks of paper on my desk.

A good part of today was spent searching for a binder my DH misplaced. His binder. Nothing that important, but he had it in his hands yesterday and today it is MIA. I can't find it either. Usually, that helps. This evening, Older Daughter came over, had dinner with us and she too, searched for the binder. I've now tagged it that d@*&!!!! elusive binder.

Does anyone else remember when was adding new databases nearly every day. Now we are lucky to get two or 3 a week. And they aren't always "new," either.  Sometimes they are updates and sometimes they take stuff of the web. Like Find-a-Grave, for instance. Why is that necessary?

I think I'm better off thinking about the stacks on my desk.

Copyright 2010-2013, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Too-Too Thursday - Too Many Names! Too Many Errors!

Recently, I posted this Find-A-Grave memorial for my husband's great uncle, John Klijewski. I knew he was buried there - his memorial card says so. I asked for a headstone photo, and was told he wasn't buried there, and the person was kind enough to send me a list of burials at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Cheektowaga, NY. Did I find him? No. Eventually, I did, but let me tell you something about this family.

Post World War I, a lot of people of Polish persuasion changed their names to sound less ethnic. My Buffalo Polish people did the same. Kruszka became Pear and Klijewski became Klein/Kline. With first names like John, Frank and Harry, it became a nightmare. Klijewski is hard enough, but the Kleins about did me in. I know Harry & Frank used it. I think Frank legally changed his name, because he is also buried under that name. Harry, however, didn't bother. I think Harry was one of those men that didn't want the government to know any more about him than necessary.

John, as far as I knew, was always Klijewski. He died in 1940. I tried every variation of Klijewski and Kline/Klein that I could think of. Eventually, I did find him ... under Klizewski ... by searching for his death date. I also knew that Harry Klijewski was buried in this same cemetery, I took the headstone photo on his memorial. Eventually, he too was found under Klyewski. I am pretty sure these are transcription errors.

The Kleins were much easier to find, since I had Frank's death date. I guess now I should contact the cemetery to correct their database!

Copyright 2010-2013, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Piles on My Desk ...

You know that old kids' song "The Wheels on the Bus?" I am reminded of that when I look on my desk and see the piles of documents that keep growing and growing. Since the original forecast for Monday was rain, I thought I would get it sorted out and work through some of it. No such luck, the sun came out. Of course, it is really soggy out there due to the nearly 7 inches of rain we've received the past two weekends. 

Tuesday also dawned bright, so its back outside again. I guess the piles will continue to grow a bit.

Copyright 2010-2013, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, May 6, 2013

They AREN'T There

Is anyone else having issues searching the Michigan Death Certificates 1921-1952 on Mostly I am having issues with 1939. Personally, I think the indexing on this project is way below standards for the LDS. My grandmother, Luetta or Louetta Meyer Zimmeth was indexed as Lenetta. I did find a hefty chunk of the ones I searched for, however.  So, some time when I get these entered into my database, I will go back and search again for the MIAs.

Sunday involved a trip to Nashville for a birthday party for a six year old. It was a surprise. Younger daughter made the cake, which was modeled on something from the Skylanders Giants game. The frosting on it was a grayish purple and turquoise. I had a tiny taste of it from hubby's piece and it was good.

It was a smaller group than Easter, and only a handful of kids, one of them 2 and one 8 or 9 months. Adorable. All of them.

This is by the rainiest year that I can remember. Saturday we had over 2 inches of rain and I don't know what today's total will be. More forecast for tomorrow. Can we say deluge?

I think I dug up enough stuff to keep me busy for a while, as if I didn't have enough to do.

Copyright 2010-2013, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Sympathy Saturday - John Bowman

I have several John Bowmans in my lineage, but this one is my great-great-great-great grandfather's (Abraham Bowman) brother. John, Abraham, Isaac and Joseph Bowman all fought in the Revolution and all were instrumental in the settling and surveying of what is now Kentucky.

John was born December 17, 1738 in Frederick county, Virginia, son of George Bowman and Mary Hite. He died in what is now Burgin, Mercer county, Kentucky on May 4, 1784.

His Find-a-Grave memorial is here.

Copyright 2010-2013, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, May 3, 2013

Freaked Out Friday - What Happened?

Yeah, yeah. I've been blogging for quite a while, you'd think I'd remember to schedule my post, but no, I left it in draft? I think maybe because I couldn't quite believe that I couldn't find my mom's Aunt Rose on the Michigan Death Records Index ( 1921-1952.

You see, my mom lived with her Aunt Rose and Uncle John Ochsenfeld after her mother died and until Rose died of cancer in 1939. In Detroit. I did find John's death recorded in 1948, but no go for Rose. I do have her death certificate and I could not find a reason why she wasn't listed.

Also found was my great-grandmother, Rose's mother, Augusta Wilhelm Mena Zimmeth (no joke, that's how it was indexed) in 1932. And Amelia Knost Meyer's death record (my mother's maternal grandmother) was found. Only they had her father as Martin Knost. Um, he was her brother, not her father.

Which brings us to the importance of searching beyond the obvious. Yes, death records can be great, but since the person who really knew the information is now dead, mistakes are made.  Many times, I have seen the parents listed of the informant and not the decedent. So, do your homework and find that birth or baptismal record. I can hardly wait to note the above information in my genealogy

Copyright 2010-2013, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Too-Too Thursday - Oh!

This post is late, I know. The weather here has been so good for getting outdoor work done, that DH and I have been concentrating on getting everything up to speed. Last year's concrete led to this year's paving stone project. Pictures when I get my body up to speed. I developed tennis elbow from working on leveling those stones. Both knees are screaming at me and my back, well, just say it's tired.

The pile on my desk is growing and Mouse the Cat is enjoying rearranging things on my desk. I don't like her filing system. It usually involves paper on the floor. Or she tries to figure out where the light is coming from that is reflecting on my file cabinet. Now if I could just get her to file stuff for me!

Copyright 2010-2013, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wedding Wednesday - Meyer & Puttmann

On May 1, 1821 in Löhne, Vechta, Oldenburg, Germany, Henrich Arnold Meyer married Maria Gertrude Puttmann.  They were my great-great-great grandparents.

Copyright 2010-2013, ACK for Gene Notes