Gene Notes

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

Monday, December 21, 2015

Happy Sixth Blogiversary To Me!

Wow, I can't believe that I sat down six years ago determined to blog about my adventures in Family Research. I know the last couple years have been rather sparse, but I am still here. This will be post number 1,458. That's not too shabby.

One thing I miss is my "Thriller Thursday" post. Unfortunately, I've run out of lurid murders or accidents in my family tree. As much as I enjoyed that, I rather hope I don't find any more. They're pretty unsettling.

Here is to six more years!

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Sunday, December 20, 2015

One Piece of Paper Down ... One Hundred to Go

Almost 5 years ago, I posted a Wedding Wednesday for Virginia Whiteside and William Hall. One of their great-grandchildren commented on the post about a year and a half ago. I recently came across the email and printed it out so that I could look for some of their descendants. Well, with the help of, and the Western Michigan Genealogical Society's Newspaper database, I found out more info on this family.

Virginia was my mother's first cousin, but was 16 years older than my mother. Her parents were Josephine Zimmeth and George Whiteside. Josephine was the eldest daughter of August and Augusta Wilhelmina "Mina" Zimmeth. My mother's father was their youngest child. I am pretty sure I met Virginia at my grandfather's funeral in 1979. At that time, pre Family History Detective, I'm afraid I didn't pay much attention.

Now, with the miracle of the internet, I was able to find some more people to add to my tree. 

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


A dear friend lost her mother yesterday. Her mother was quite elderly, and failing over the last year, but still, my friend and her mother were very close.

And it's Christmas in just over two weeks. It is a difficult time of year to lose a parent. DH's mom passed away on this day in 2004. My own mother passed on December 17, 2007. While we look forward to holidays with the kids, we all remember our loved ones whom we miss.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, November 23, 2015

Face Value

I love Find-a-Grave. I find it so useful and love it when someone has taken the time and effort to record a tombstone and take a picture. I do it, too. It's just been a long time since I've done any.

At any rate, a Zimmeth relative got me going on something last week, regarding a possible adoption, so I dug into my files looking to see if I had a record of it. I didn't, but did find an 1870 Michigan birth record for one Elisabeth Kibler. I knew the family moved back to Buffalo, New York a few years later, and I decided I needed to find a marriage record if possible.

Well, I was lucky enough to find an abstract of the marriage for Elisabetha Kibler, daughter of Michaelis Kibler and Monicae Klaus to William A. Gebhard, son of Nicolai Gebhard and Carolinae Utni. Don't you just love Latin! They were married October 16, 1888 at St. Mary of Sorrow Parish in Buffalo.

Next stop, Find-A-Grave. I did find an entry for Elizabeth Gebhard. Her years are right. Williams? Not so much. His birth year is off by 20 years. He was born in 1866, not 1886. He would have been 22 at his marriage not 2!

While I found a death/burial record for Elizabeth, I did not find one for William. Unfortunate, since I think it would clear up this error.

Thanks to Donna Ruhland Bonning for permission to use this photo on my blog.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, November 20, 2015

Love That DNA

More correspondence on my side with a Zimmeth relative. Between us, we were able to figure out which child was which in a photo. One of our mutual relatives had no children of her own, but she and her husband apparently were very willing to take in relatives' children.

Now if I could just get to load ....

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, November 16, 2015

At Long Last - a Verifiable Connection

I got a message on this afternoon that someone said they were related to my DH. Sure enough DH and this other person share a Nicpon-Krzanowski connection. Her great grandmother and DH's great grandmother were sisters.

And yes, I questioned the relative whether or not they had any European Jewish DNA. The answer was no. So, basically, I hope I can find someone that I can verify as a relative and who also has the European Jewish DNA.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, November 9, 2015

Where Did It Come From?

This is to show you where our daughters got their genes. Since both sets of their grandparents have passed, we will never know exactly how much of their West Europe DNA came from their maternal grandfather, since his Bowman line was German. The green x represents me and the blue y represents my DH. The black ?  Who knows!

For an in-depth look at AncestryDNA, click on Ancestry DNA 101 for a video. I found it highly informative.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Older Daughter's DNA

 This morning I was the glad recipient of another AncestryDNA update. Finally, our older daughter's results were in.

In addition to the estimate above is 10% Great Britain, 6% Ireland and 3% West Asia (Caucasus) and some trace Scandinavian, Italy/Greece/, and Iberian Peninsula.

Incidentally, none of our results took 6-8 weeks. I'm glad because I am not patient.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, November 6, 2015

More on Ancestry DNA

This morning I woke up to the pleasant surprise of AncestryDNA telling me that they had results. Not on older daughter's test, which has been processing since October 17th, but younger daughter's whose test has been processing since October 23rd.

It does bear out DH's European Jewish ancestry as she has 25% of that. Oddly, she got less than 1% of my British ancestry, but ended up with 6% Irish. The DNA results also had her father and I as her parents. Reassuring, because I was doubting DH's results.

I can hardly wait for older daughter's results.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, October 30, 2015

DNA - Waiting!

Since my DH's off-the-wall results from Ancestry's DNA test, I decided to test our daughters. While waiting, I am still trying to find any connection at all on my husband's line to his "matches." This is difficult since he has no ancestor matches at all. He does, however, have 165 "fourth cousins or closer." 

Yeah, right. Most of his so-called matches have not associated a tree with their DNA. Others have two or three people in their tree; quite a few have "locked" them; many have basically done a single surname study or done only their male line.

To these people I want to say: "Ancestry's DNA test is autosomal. It's testing both your parents.  If your Jewish Ancestry comes from Europe, check Hitler's 1939 census. It would be nice if you put a place for our notes in our own trees. Such as, "I am adopted, please help!" Or "My parents were left orphans in the Holocaust/WWII, please help me find my ancestors." Or, "Gee, my husband's DNA came out 46% European Jew and I've not found any of this in my research."

The really weird thing? One of my DH's "matches" had a surname in their tree of Klevesas. Dang, that is close to one in my tree - Klevesaat. Also in comparison to his "matches" I only have 114, but I do have 54 ancestor matches, (the little leaf next to a match on the DNA matches page.)

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, October 3, 2015

That Enigmatic Man

I have long been puzzled by my great granduncle, Dr. Herbert Davidson Percival. Periodically, I will look for more information on him. Last I knew he headed for Hawaii (in the 1890s) and never heard from again. Oh, and he deserted his wife, she married his cousin, Dr. William Percival.

More info found yesterday - and I can't even begin to explain this. Apparently he never took the medical boards in California?

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, October 2, 2015

Me and HIS DNA!

So yesterday I mentioned that DH's DNA knocked me for a loop. As you can see, and if you know me and the fact that I have researched all but his mother's father's ancestors, you will see by the 46% European Jewish that I was STUNNED. I'm not saying there was never any Jewish ancestry, but the fact that it got passed down as strongly as it did just blows me away. I'm also saying I have no evidence of this. Oh dear.

With my DNA results I got a lot of EXTREMELY HIGH Confidence level in my matches and lots of hints. NO hints whatsoever, and only a few Extremely High Confidence levels in his matches. The people who do have trees share no surnames and most of his matches do not have any trees linked at all.

MY wonderful DH is an only child, so testing a sibling is out of the question. The cousins that I know of that had their DNA tested had Family Tree DNA, in the form of mTDNA and Y chromosome DNA, so at best they could be inconclusive. He has three cousins on his mother's side and five on his dad's side. What's next? Maybe DNA testing of our daughters to see what Mom & Dad passed down to them.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Me and My DNA

It's been a really busy summer. Daughter & The Man and boy are now in their new home. Getting that all together really took most of the hot, hot summer. Glad its over.

In the middle of August, I sent in DNA samples to Ancestry to test autosomal DNA for my DH and me. My results came back pretty much how I expected: here. Basically, I am 100% European. I have no idea if any of my siblings have had their DNA done, but since there are six of us, I am sure we can have widely varying results. Perhaps one of them got more of the Irish gene than I did!

Most of my hints have been right on in shared ancestors. The reason I say most? Not every one has a tree linked to their DNA and some have locked theirs.

Both my parents have German ancestry. My father's comes from his Bowman line - should read Baumann. My mother's side were Knost, Kettler, Kleesaat, and Meyer. The Zimmeths were Alsatian. My dad was mostly Great Britain with England, Scotland and Wales.

My DNA has been fun. My DH's knocked me for a loop!

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, June 19, 2015

You Know It's an Addiction When ...

DH and I bought a piece of property this week. Well, we closed on it anyway. It's way out in Macon county. Well, it's about an hour away. This is for younger daughter and her man.

Our agent sent us some  papers - warranty deeds - for past owners. Going back to 1877 when Marshall Duncan transferred the property to his son, J. F.

I'm a genealogist, of course I went looking for them. The best hits were on the the Tennessee genweb, which surprised me. I found the cemetery where the Duncans are buried. It's on the old farm. They showed a picture of the house -- big surprise we pass it every time we drive out there.

The land was in the family at least from 1877 when it was transferred to Joseph F Duncan from his father. It passed out of family hands in 2001. Impressive!

I love this addiction!

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, June 8, 2015

This Land is Your Land, This Land is MY Land!

I promise I am not attaching a sound file of me singing. There are laws about that!

DH and I drove out to the lot that we put an offer on while on vacation. Because we got a call from the survey company. We looked at the stakes and the neighbor on one side is certainly encroaching. What an issue.

In the car on the way to the surveyors, I busied myself picking off chiggers. Ugh. The weeds are about a foot taller than they were in early May. The surveyor commented on the field guys on what they put up with. It gave me a new respect for all surveyors, especially my surveyor ancestors. The photo below is my ancestor Alexander Oliphant, surveyor among other things.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Thoughts for the Day -- What's in a Nickname?

I was watching the President of the United States conferring the Medal of Honor on two late World War I soldiers. Talk about waiting for a long time for the honor. In it, POTUS referred to Henry Johnson as Frank. What the heck? I would expect him to be referred to as Hank. It got me thinking.

You see, every one called my dad Hank. He often received mail addressed to Henry Percival. But his name wasn't Henry. It was Frank. Dad told me once that his brother who 4 years old when dad was born, had trouble with Frank, so he was Hank forever more. Although, I never remember my uncle or grandfather calling him Hank.

My father-in-law was known to nephews and nieces as Uncle Benny. Other family members called him Ben. Friends called him Lefty. Well, his name wasn't Benjamin. It was Bernard. I never could find a reason for that nickname!

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

I am very fortunate. I have to go back to 1863 to find an ancestor who gave all for his family and country. Although both grandfathers fought in World War I, and my dad in World War II, they came home.

So this is for all the heroes of our Country's wars - those who didn't return. They are what Memorial Day is all about.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, May 21, 2015

It Was Supposed to be ....

A vacation. Time away from home to enjoy family in New York state. Maybe a little research on the way home in Lexington, Kentucky.

What it turned out to be: Negotiation of purchase of property in the car on the the first day. I seriously don't remember the drive up because I kept waiting for return emails. Texts between younger daughter and I on negotiating strategy.

And: Endless driving. We spent three days getting to our destination. Since DH and I can no longer spend long days driving, we took three days there and three days back.

Finally: It was a good trip. We enjoyed the visit with DH's cousin and his family in the Buffalo area. The driving, not so much.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

After Easter

OMG! I have finally recovered from Easter. It gets crazy when the guest room and couch fill up with my kids et al. So glad older daughter lives nearby and not far, far away!

This year, the weather cooperated slightly and we were able to cook on the grill - chicken! We paired that with potato salad, green bean casserole, rolls and dessert. Younger daughter made black bottom banana cream pie. WOW! It was delicious. Older daughter brought cheesecake. YUM.

Too bad it got below freezing the night before and the Easter Bunny was not able to hide the eggs outside this year. Our favorite 7 year old was able to follow the clues from EB to find the eggs with special treats in them. EB does love to start scavenger hunts.

Weather permitting tomorrow we are doing some outside work. Today was 80+ and it felt so good. Hoping the storms hold off.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, March 28, 2015

What Season Is It, Anyway?

The long winter here in mid Tennessee finally gave way to a pleasant spring. Sixty and seventy degree days in March sure feel good. The problem is, it did not last. It started to rain and the temps dipped back into the forties with night time lows in the *shudder* twenties and thirties. Gah!

It did allow for some genealogy time, and I took advantage of it. I grabbed a pile of paper from my organizer - see here - and started entering information. You know how it is though, when you start something, and don't complete it right away. Sometimes you forget why the heck you did something or who the heck that person is on the Find-a-Grave site you were interested in last year! I have accomplished quite a bit though, and still working down that pile! I really hope Spring comes back soon because hubby and I are working on an outside project that really needs to get done before Easter! More on that sometime next week, I hope!

Back to work!

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Blessing or Curse?

I recently found a Union Provost Marshal's file on my great-great-great grandfather, Edwin H. Carter. If I had any doubts after reading the first deposition, the second sealed the deal that it was my g-g-g grandfather by  the name of his step-daughter, Carrie Burbridge.

E. H. Carter lived in Lexington, Missouri, and was a slave owner. Let me make it clear that I do not apologize for the fact that he owned slaves. I have absolutely no control over that fact. It's unfortunate that he owned slaves, but it bothers me that he wasn't very kind to them for the most part. Here are the unedited depositions.

"Carter, Edwin H.
Provost Marshal File.

Violet Young. (Colored), age forty eight years being duly sworn upon her oath states, I live in Lexington Lafayette Co. Mo. I formerly belonged to and lived with Edwin H. Carter. He is my old Master & for most of the time previous to last August for nearly eight years I have been hired out by Mr. Carter to different persons. I lived with James Hays two years of that time & with Dr. Frank Cooley, two years. I was living with him when I assumed my freedom. My old Master, Edwin H. Harter was never a very kind master to me, his wife was generally a kind mistress, his daughters were very cross and unkind to me & my children. His sons were on the contrary always kind and polite to me & to all the servants and to my children. I never heard my master, or any of his family make any threats agains Pleasants or any one of his former slaves in consequence of their leaving or having left him. Some of his negroes said he had, but I never heard any threats made myself. I have no reason to believe of my own knowledge that Mr. Carter or any of his family had any thing to do with or knowledge of Pleasants being shot previous to its taking place or that he or they had any connection with or knowledge of the persons who shot Ed Pleasants. This is all I have to say.

Sworn to and subscribed before me this 27th day of April A.D. 1865       

C. E. Rogers                                                her
Capt. & Asst. Provost Marshall 4th sub district.                          Violet X Young

Ann Marshall (colored) age 18 years being duly sworn upon her Oath states I live in Lexington Lafayette Co Mo. at this time. I formerly belonged to and lived with Edwin H. Carter. I was raised in his family. Mr. Carter & his family alwas treated me and all of his colored people very well until I left his Daughter, with whom I was living in Shelby Co. Mo. last Christmas, and come here at that time. During Christmas Hollidays I went out Mr Carters house to see my old Grandmother who was then living at his house. And Mr. Carter asked me what I was doing out to his house? I told him I had come "to see m Grandmother. He then told me to "leave," that he did not want "Contraband niggers to come about his place"  Mr. Carter took from me a letter that had been written to me with my grandparents names signed to it & he would not let me have it again & he sent me word by one of his step daughters Miss Carrie Burbridge, he would keep that letter  & that I could not have it again. I am acquainted with Ed Pleasants who was lately wounded. He was formerly my fellow servant & belonged to Mr. Carter. (over)  I know nothing of my own knowledge personally about the cause of Ed's being wounded or of the persons who committed the act. I never heard Mr. Carter or any of his family make any threats against or to Ed Pleasants. As far as I know Mr. Carter & Ed always got along very well together while I was with them or living at Home. I believe Ed left Mr. Carter's during las Christmas Hollidays & has not to my knowledge been there since. I believe I have nothing further to state.

Sworn to this 28th day                            her
of April A.D. 1865                            Ann  X Marshal
C. E. Rogers                                    mark
Capt. & Asst. Pro. Marshal
4th sub district"

The other name I recognized was that of Dr. Frank Cooley. He was married to one of my Chinn relatives (Penelope Ellen Chinn was my great-great-grandmother's (Mary Elizabeth Bowman nee Chinn) sister.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, March 23, 2015

I'm Being Teased!

I found this reference last week, and it is driving me kind of crazy. Why? Because my Bowman's lived in Lexington, Missouri in this time frame. It's the four generation thing. In my direct line, I can only account for three generations. However, it's possible that Joseph Bowman and his wife had grandchildren by then. Or Julia Bowman Weber (my great-great grandfather's cousin) may have had great grandchildren. And she lived in Kansas City, Missouri. Hmmmm. Or maybe the Mountjoy line (Isabella Bowman, my great grand aunt and my great grandfather's sister) had grandchildren by then.

A check of the 1900 Census shows my Bowman line as the only line there. I think I have a winner!

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Thriller Thursday? Or What Happened to the Rest?

Don't get me wrong, I am happy to have the obituaries from the Michigan Obituaries, 1820-2006 on Family Search. It has helped me tremendously.  It has also confused me.

For example,  the following obituary for Richard C. Percival, an extremely distant relative, which was published when? Where? And what happened to the rest of it? Sometimes, when you go to the next image in the series, you might find the rest of the obituary. Not so in this case. What Funeral Home are they talking about? The cemetery was found on Find-a-Grave. How on earth do I cite this?


Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Rest of the Story ...

A long time ago I blogged about the headstone of my great-great Grandmother, Sarah Ann Kirtley Percival Webb, here. Mostly, I talked about the difficulty in finding the stone we walked past many times. All of us.

What I didn't say was that on that first visit, my family and I met distant relatives of Sarah Ann Kirtley's family, Linda and Buddy Grubbs. Living relatives. In a cemetery. Who knew?

These things happen all the time to everyone. I call it serendipity.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, March 7, 2015

More From That War of 1812 Pension File

These records are filmed in no particular order. So consider my surprise when I found the following letter about my ancestor.

U. S. Pension Agency

        Lexington, Ky., Sep 30 1871


    Joseph G. Chinn, to whom a Pension Certificate has been granted (which I returned for correction) under Act 14 Feby '71, is represented to me by some of the best loyal men of Kentucky, as being during the war, one of the bitterest enemies of the government, an open and avowed rebel, and so far as talk and moral support & encouragement could go he was one their strongest aiders and abettors.

    I can send you affidavits of the best men in Kentucky substantiating these facts, and I thought it my duty to inform you of them and respectfully ask their consideration.

    Men who were in the wear of 1812 were of course too old to go in the Rebel Army, if the loyal are to be separated from the disloyal, it seems to me that the universal opinion of the community that Chinn is or was a rebel and the proof of reliable loyal men as to his rebel sentiments & utterances is about the only way to determine his loyalty or disloyalty.

        Very Respectfully,

            Your obedient servant

                A. H. Adams
                Pension Agent

Hon. J. H. Baker
Commisioner of Pensions
Washington D. C

Suspend payment & request agent at Lexington, Ky. to submit affidavits which he says can be furnished. 
O.W. & cc.

I'm surprised because his biography that appeared in the Biographical Encyclopedia of Kentucky tells a much different story about his allegiance. I think it important to inject here that in the late 1860's Dr. Chinn was actually mayor of Lexington, Kentucky.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, March 6, 2015

War of 1812 Pension Records

I finally sat down and downloaded my great-great-great grandfather, Joseph G. Chinn's, War of 1812 Pension record. He enlisted at the age of 15 served three months and was sent home with a wound in the foot. Knowing medical conditions at the time, I suppose he is lucky to have retained said appendage.

In his records, I found this very nice 1887 letter from Josep Logan, Special Examiner for the Department of Interior Pension Office:

Special Examination
Department of Interior 

   Pension Office,
 Lexington, Ky, June 3d, 1887.


I called in person on O. W. (Old War) Mr. pensioner aft. #41605 Joseph G. Chinn, residing at #226 E. Maxwell St., Lexington, Fayette Co, Ky.

The pensioner is a grand looking old man; over 6 ft in height, rect. Says he is in perfect health, Age about 92. Well preserved in every way. Says he come of a consumptive family. That he commenced his practice of medicine at 20, done a large practice horseback for 56 or 60 years.

He has a beautiful home. His wife (3d one) is in her 99th year. Dr. Joseph G. Chinn is one of best known and highly respected citizens of Lexington, Ky

                Very respectfully,

                Joseph Logan
The Commissioner of Pensions Special Examiner
Throug Mr. F. H. Sprague
Supvg. Exm. Mo. Dist.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Hooray! Missouri Death Certificates

I received official word this afternoon that the 1964 Missouri Death Certificate indexing project was complete. In no time at all, they will have them up and running. Yay!

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Of Marriage and Divorce in Michigan

Ancestry has Michigan marriage records, 1867-1952 and Divorce records 1897-1952. Hooray. Found quite a bit and it has been interesting searching.

First, I found a second marriage for Adele Kasten, my mother's cousin Leo Zimmeth's wife. Hooray. But I hadn't found a divorce record for her marriage for Leo. Adele was from Missouri, but since she remarried in Michigan, I hoped she would have divorced there too.

My first guess was that she divorced him while he served time in Jackson Prison (Jackson, Michigan) for armed robbery. He was released though in 1944, and sent to Kenton county, Kentucky where he was also wanted and Cincinnati, Ohio also had an outstanding warrant against him. I've never found anything in Kenton county or Cincinnati regarding him so I don't know if he did  time there or not.

To her credit, Adele did not divorce him while he served in Jackson prison. Instead she waited until March of 1945. I finally found the record today since their last name Zimmeth was indexed as Zimineth. Gah!

Then I went looking for my mom's cousin Celestine Zimmeth's divorce. Celestine and Leo were  cousins, not siblings. She married Bruce Parrott in 1950 and they divorced in June of 1952.  They were indexed as Parrolt. Gah again. That is a file I would love to see, since I have my suspicions about Celestine.  Very interesting.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Clifton Bowman: Where Oh Where Did You GO?

Almost from the first moment I knew about him, I have been searching for my great-grandfather Frank Bowman's youngest sibling Clifton or Cliff or whatever. He is 2 years old in 1860, where he is enumerated with his family. In 1870, I think he is the "Peter" enumerated with the family and suddenly he is older than his older brother, Frank, being 15 to Frank's 12. Frank was born in 1854, so you see where I think the error is. But Peter? Really?  In 1880, he is enumerated as Clifton and is age 20. No, really, he should be about 22.

I have some probate records involving Frank and Clifton as they were the youngest children of Lt. Colonel John Parker Bowman and Mary Elizabeth Chinn. Those papers end in 1880 mentioning that Frank and Clifton are of legal age. And that is where the trail ends.

Periodically, when investigating new databases, I will put Clifton Bowman's name in with a range of years, generally 1880-1900. Yesterday, I found a mention of a Clifton Bowman going on a fishing expedition in 1893 with 3 other men in Leavenworth County in the Kansas City (Kansas) Gazette. Could be him. Kansas City is not too far from Clifton's home in Lexington, Missouri, and it is not beyond the realm of possibilities. His eldest brother, Joseph W. Bowman, died in Kansas City, Kansas in 1919. In Joseph's obituary, only Frank Bowman is listed as a surviving brother.

The hunt continues.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, February 20, 2015

Some Success Due to an Attack of OCFRD*

Thanks to the gentleman at Find-A-Grave, I was able to locate obituaries from Frank and Florence Bush Christe's daughter, Jacqueline Christe Price and her husband Jack Price. Jackie died five days before my mom did. Jack, about 18 months after my dad. There was no mention of her brother, Fred in her obituary, even though her parents were listed. Interesting.

Even more interesting, this is the first real attack of OCFRD that I've had in over a year. Boy, that makes me feel more normal!

*Obsessive Compulsive Family Research Disease.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, February 19, 2015

More on the Find-A-Grave Conundrum

Tuesday evening I was gifted with some information on Frank C. Christe (or Christie), the first husband of my step-grandmother, Florence Bush Christe Percival. I had found them on the 1930 census but not on any previous census. Or later. I suspected they were divorced by 1940, or at least separated. With the new spelling I was able to dig up some information on the first husband.

First, the spelling was never clear. My dad spelled it Christie. However, I found it as Christe in the census and on his World War I draft record. Specifically, Frank Charles Christe, born October 4, 1881. The 4 was written as an open number and not the 4 that you see here. However, his World War II draft registration gives the date as October 9, 1881.  I dipped into the death records database on Family Search for Michigan and that record also gives a birth date as October 9, 1881. Given the birth year, I felt sure I could find him on the birth records. I did. And there, neatly transcribed as October 19, 1881, was Frank C. Christa. The indexing gives his name as Christa, but its kind of illegible.

Frank and Florence were indeed separated by 1940. On the census record, she is designated as married with a ?. Yeah. The divorce didn't actually come until September 11, 1946. Florence married my grandfather, John Percival on September 23, 1946 in Angola, Indiana. That was a little more than two months after my parents were married. 

The conundrum? Well, I have no idea where Frank Christe was buried. So I won't add a Find-A-Grave memorial for him. However, I will put a note in Florence's record.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Find-a-Grave Thoughts - Sort of a Wedding Wednesday

Last evening, I was contacted by a Find-a-Grave contributor who gave me some information. Fine and dandy, right? Well, I am irritated by the fact that he could contact me, but I could not reply as he has messaging disabled.

Since he has divorce information on a couple - one of my step-grandmothers and her first husband - I would dearly like to know if he is in contact with any of my step-grandmother's grandchildren. Or where he got the divorce information. Very interesting. Not sure if I am going to add it or not, since I can't verify.

F-A-G contributors, what do you do?

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Monday, February 9, 2015

Missouri Death Certificate Blues

Gee, I wish there were more people working on these transcriptions. Of the over 50,000 records only about half are done. Sure, they want more information, but still. If each person who ever pulled a record from their site did 10, we'd be done in no time.

Why am I so anxious? I can't wait to search them, of course.

One of the things that flummoxes (It's a word, look it up) me is that the person who wrote the record often fills out the form wrong. Sometimes that works in your favor when they use the spot for children under a year old to write in the month and days of someones age who is obviously over the age of one year.

When it doesn't work in your favor? When the surname is not consistent between husband and wife - same name, different spellings, or between father and son. It really makes one wonder. And it makes me grateful for the advanced search settings!

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, February 7, 2015

I'm Being Supervised

Mouse the cat thinks that since I've cleaned my office, she should have more access. Here she is supervising my volunteer work on the Missouri Death Certificates Project. I've redacted identifying information. Actually, I think she is more interested in the picture-mobile!

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, February 6, 2015

Let's Go A-Wandering

I am often amazed and awed by how my ancestors traveled. By boat, wagon, horse or foot, or train, they managed to leave their home countries and travel to America. That trip, I presume was by boat. Or flying saucer, since I can't find most of them on ship manifests.

Once in this country, they didn't stay put. Take my ancestor James Percival. Early records of Plymouth Colony (1670) have him fined for stealing a boat and sailing it from Virginia to Cape Cod. He did move from Sandwich to Falmouth, but his descendants went on to Connecticut, New York, Indiana, and Kentucky in the next hundred or so years. Amazing.

While the trip from Massachusetts to Connecticut was not huge, the move from Freehold, New York to Lawrenceburgh, Indiana circa 1800 was a doozy. Eighty years later, some of those descendents left Kentucky and traveled to Los Angeles, California. It is absolutely mind-boggling. And I found the California group quite by accident, in regards to an inheritance from the Bush family (Catherine Ambler Bush married Jabez Percival.) Otherwise I would still be looking for them in California.

What got me interested in this? Working on the Missouri Death certificates and seeing all the people who lived in the same county for 90+ years. Amazing. My dad was born in Missouri and moved to Michigan as a toddler. My mom? Lived in Wayne county, Michigan her entire life, all 83+ years.

What will my descendants think about finding me in Tennessee after discovering that I lived in Michigan for 55 years? I hope I leave a nice paper trail for them.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Five Second Job Turns Into an Hour

For most of the posts I've written this year, I have manually corrected the year. I knew there was a way to change it in my template, and eventually I did find it. It seems that every year it gets harder to remember where Blogger puts things. And it isn't like they never change things. Sure enough, I am often left scratching my head about it.

I can cross off another thing from my massive to-do list!

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

And Yet More Accomplished.

Woo Hoo! I have yet more accomplished. Shredded so much stuff I had to oil my shredder and empty the bag. Still looking for a home for a few things and I've managed to load a box with stuff to go to the recycler.

DH and I updated to Word 2013 a few weeks ago. We had been using Word 2003. That was pretty aggravating on its good days. Since it is not compatible with Windows 8.1, I needed the upgrade. Which means I was finally able to figure out how to get rid of compatibility mode (by converting a document) and to get my Christmas labels loaded into the program and save it. We need to go over our cards and make sure we got everyone at their correct address, make deletions and additions and then we will be all set for 2015 Christmas cards! Maybe.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Holy Organization! I finally got my desk cleaned off. And I can't tell you how badly it needed it. My piles o' paper grew piles o' paper.

So today, at Hobby Lobby, one of my favorite places to shop, I found this organizer. That doesn't include the shredding pile or the recycling pile. It feels really good to have this somewhat organized, since it's been hanging over my head for a while.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Missouri Death Certificates - 1964

What are you doing? Me? I am transcribing death certificates for the state of Missouri. A lot of my dad's relatives lived and/or died there, so I have a soft spot for this project.

If you would like to be involved, here is the link: Missouri Archives evolunteers where you can register to transcribe records. This year we are recording more information, which is why there are so many left to do. Please consider helping.

I love this message on the bottom of the transcription page:  Welcome You have completed 187  certificates.  There are 44,516  remaining to be completed. (When I started the other day, there were over 50,000 waiting to be completed.)

BTW. I suggest using Chrome when transcribing rather than Firefox. It handles it better. 

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wedding Wednesday - Chinn & Ellis

 I have been looking for some time for a marriage announcement and a record for my relative, Joseph Chinn and his wife, Vera Todd Ellis. I finally found this in the Lexington (Kentucky) Leader during last year's research trip to the Lexington Public Library. Tells me a lot, eh? No.

First of all, I can't find a marriage record for them. Not in Cincinnati, and have never found one in Kentucky or Indiana, either. This is it. And I wonder how long it took them to drive up to Cedar Point in 1913. I think it highly unlikely they married anywhere other than that tri-state area. Back to the research log.

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, January 12, 2015


We had a fabulous Saturday, here in Cookeville. It was sunny and brisk, just what I expect for January in mid Tennessee. It was also opening day at our local animal shelter's new facility. It is truly awesome and such a long time in coming. It has space for 150 dogs and 50 cats. It has an adorable cat playroom and the kennels are built so the dogs can go in and out through their own doggy doors. It was hard to not walk out with a new addition.

This week is a hectic one here in our household. Hope DH and I are up to it!

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Sympathy Saturday - Chauncey Percival

From the  Utica Daily Press,  Utica, New York, obituary; 11 January 1905.


Rome, Jan 14 - Chauncey Percival died at 7:30 this evening at his home in West Rome, aged 74 years. He was born in Deerfield and when a child his parents moved to Annsville and there he lived till four years ago, when he moved to West Rome. Surviving are his wife and three children: Grove Percival, Mrs. James R. Dixon and Mrs. Edith Marvel, all of Rome also two brothers and one sister, George and William Percival and Mrs. Melissa McMullen of Camden. Deceased had always followed the occupation of a farmer. He was respected by all who knew him.

Copyright 2010-2014, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

It Was a Wonderful Webinar

I attended Webinar Wednesday yesterday at Family Tree Webinars. Holy cow, I didn't know I could access my laptop via my Samsung 4 7.0 nook tablet using Splashtop remote desktop. I had quite the fun using it and using the touch screen technology of Windows 8 on my tablet. Since I also have a bluetooth keyboard, it's like working on a much smaller laptop. I even accessed Legacy Family tree software. It even worked great for printing a to-do list remotely.  Love it.

I am not too old to learn stuff!

Copyright 2010-2015, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, January 5, 2015

Of Crashes and Other Weird Things

Way back in February and March when I was laid up with the avulsion fracture to my right ankle, I got addicted to CNN. As a result, when there is a report of a plane crash, I automatically tune to CNN. Where else can you hear the same thing day after day, with nothing new to report?  Lately, I've been following the crash of the AirAsia flight that went down after Christmas.

I was surprised to see them run a documentary on plane crash survivors. Not just any survivors, but sole survivors. Since it aired last week, I was glued to the TV, especially the bits about then 4-year old Celia Cichan who was the sole survivor of flight 255 at Detroit Metro airport on August 16, 1987. It was very interesting.

Also, I read on Facebook that Little Jimmy Dickens died. DH and I saw him at the Grand Ole Opry back in November. He sure had a lot of energy for someone who was 93 at the time. And then later of the death of Donna Douglas, or as I knew her, Elly May Clampett.

It's weird just how fast life flies by. Every year is made up of events small and major that are part of the fabric of our lives. Do you record those things in your genealogy?

How many of you recall what you were doing in 1963 when Kennedy was assassinated? It's a major event that occurred in our lives (some of us anyway.) It's not recorded in my genealogy now, because I was 12 when it happened and maybe my memory is faulty about the day. Mostly, I remember the funeral. And of course on every major anniversary of that November day, the footage of the funeral is rolled out. So how much is true memory and how much is influenced by the replaying of the events?

Did our ancestors feel the same way on hearing of the death of George Washington? Or were they shocked by the assassination of Lincoln? I can almost put money on my Confederate ancestors not being shocked or saddened by Lincoln's death as a couple of them were quite disparaging when mentioning him.

Our ancestors didn't have the benefit of television before the 1940s, they relied on letters and newspapers and telegrams.

I often envied my mother's father. Born in 1888, he grew up when cars were new; saw the advent of the airplane and lived to see men on the moon. He was raised on a farm in East Tawas, Michigan and I am sure probably did not see or own a car of his own.

I've grown up with the space program, was an adult when computers and cell phones became normal extensions of our every day lives. Seen pictures from space and the Mars rover.

What new and wonderful things will our children and grandchildren see?

Copyright 2010-2014, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Sympathy Saturday - Jozef Haremza

 Jozef Harema was the husband of Jozefa Siekierski, my husband's great-great aunt.

Copyright 2010-2014, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, January 2, 2015

2014 - Better Than I Thought!

For years, I've kept a log of how much I've accomplished on a monthly basis, genealogy wise. Mostly, those results translate into numbers. This is probably the slowest genealogy year I've had in the last 27 years of researching, but I discovered I did add 178 people to my database. And 60 items to my to do list. Of course, I've not removed any I researched in October in Lexington, Kentucky. Mainly, because I have not even done anything with the obits, marriages, and news items I culled from the Lexington Public Library's Kentucky room.

Probably the happiest stuff I found were some of the records for DH's hubby in Poland, where his maternal grandmother lived. I finally found her parent's marriage records and birth and/or death records for some of their children. That's a huge win in my eyes! 

Copyright 2010-2014, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

What a year 2014 was. Pretty much glad it is over. Last night we followed a tradition DH and I started a few years back where we basically snack through New Year's Eve, have a couple drinks and then sleep through the dropping of the ball -- or in Nashville's tradition the musical note!

On Christmas Eve, we finally got pictures of everyone. We had a great time getting them. I hope I keep up that tradition.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Copyright 2010-2014, ACK for Gene Notes