Gene Notes

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

Sunday, December 31, 2017

The State of the Family History

2017 is on it's way out and I can't say that I am sorry to see it go. With each new year I look forward to the changes the world offers.

I did have a break-through in my research in 2017. As you all know or have read in my blog, my husband's DNA results really threw us into a whirl when we got the original results from Ancestry in the late summer of 2015. This past summer, I submitted new specimens to 23andMe and that led me to a second cousin that was from a branch of his family we knew nothing about. Of course hubby's late parents aren't around to help with this, so it took some sleuthing to prove it.  His closest new relative does not want to believe the results, but it can't be explained any other way.

My own research is still brick-walled at the second and third great grandparents level. The second great level is on mom's side and the third great on dad's side. Every day, I hope for DNA break-throughs on those lines. The new year will have me pursuing the DNA leads I get more relentlessly.

I hope you were more successful than I was and here is hoping 2018 is better!

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas

From all of us, we wish you the happiest of holidays.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, December 21, 2017

What? Eight Years? Happy Blogiversary to Gene Notes!

I can't believe I've been blogging for 8 years already! I know 2017 has been sporadic, but it's been a very busy year for me.

I am hoping that in 2018 I'll pick up the pace a bit.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Genealogy Bank Update

I have a love hate relationship with the new interface of Genealogy Bank. A case in point is the image below.

I was supposed to be able to choose whether I wanted to save as a .PDF or .JPG. It didn't give me the option as it flew by quickly when I tried to clip it.

My other problems stem from the wrong information. This was my grandmother. She did die while the family was on vacation. He was not surveying a location for the municipal waterworks. He was not employed by Fuller-Maitland at this time, that was earlier in his career. At this point, he worked for the City of Detroit and was construction superintendent of the Waterworks Park intake tunnel. He worked for the city from about 1927-28 until he was forced to retire somewhere around 1960. Mrs. Percival is never mentioned by her given name. It was Mary.  The clipping is from the Kansas City (MO) Star on August 14, 1938, p 4 c 1.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Life Has Been Interestingly Busy

I think I need to clean my office. I have been trying to locate some stuff for copying, I know I got it out, bought a thumb drive to store the copies on and send off and would like to get that done. I just can't find it.

Yesterday, DH asked if I was planning on sending out Christmas cards. I had hoped to get a nice photo of the critters in their Holiday Bows, together if possible, but the dog is photo resistant. Oh, and it would be nice to get a holiday letter together to send with the cards. Argghh! Oh and there is cleaning to do, some furniture to move around before a tree can be erected and decorated. And hopefully the indoor fence we bought to put around the tree will keep the dog away from it. It would be a bonus if it kept the cat away too!

So, now I will return to the hunt for thumb drive. Hope you researchers out there are having more fun than I am.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, October 9, 2017

It Was a Hard Life

Have you ever wondered what killed our ancestors? Especially those in the female lines. Today, I think I discovered what killed my great-great-great grandmother, Ann Maria Carter nee Paul. She married Edwin Harvey Carter in 1831. The 1840 census shows a woman between the age of 20 and 30. The 1830 census gives her age as 32. I don't think that's likely, but her headstone, only part of which is readable gives her age as 45, but the year of death is obstructed.

Through the census and other records I had eight children: Elizabeth the eldest and my g-g-grandmother, Virginia, Harvey, Marion, Columbia, Edwin, William and John Leonard.

Today, I discovered the find-a-grave monument for her and her five infants: Sarah Bell, Leslie, Alice Grey, Thomas Stephen and Warren Dean.

That's 13 children if you lost count. Ann Carter was deceased by the 1860 census, and her husband was remarried to Sallie Smith Burbridge who had a few children of her own and two more by Edwin Carter. By 1867, Edwin was on his third wife, Sallie Scruggs.

It's clear that childbearing in the mid 1800s was often a dangerous event. Losing five infants must have been devastating. While it would be nice to know for sure, that will never happen. None of the family has left a written record of their times.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, October 2, 2017

A Milestone of Sorts

Ten years ago today, movers came to our house in Livonia and packed up all our stuff, then proceeded to Assisted Living Facility hubby's dad lived in and packed him up. He had already moved about 10 days prior. Back at the house, I waited and waited and waited and waited in an empty house for the cleaners to come. I waited more than two hours for them to show up only to find out they had been shopping. Royally pissed was I. Hubby finally showed back up and we began the runs to the city dump to dispose of what we didn't want to take. Realtor for new owners came by and picked up the keys and told us to leave the rest, they would put it out and call for a pickup. Win.

Then it was time to meet younger daughter who was remaining in Michigan for dinner and to say goodbyes. I didn't mind leaving Michigan, or the house we had just moved from, but leaving our daughter was the hardest thing. When we could no longer wait, we had to get on the road and start the journey to Tennessee. That first day, we only got as far as Wapakoneta, Ohio before I gave out. It had been a long weekend and start to the week. The next morning we loaded up our overnight bags into our separate cars and finished the trip, ending up in Cookeville, Tennessee.

Since our move, younger daughter too, joined us in Tennessee. Older daughter moved to Cookeville just before we did to establish residency in order to get in-state tuition at Tennessee Tech to finish her degree.

No regrets.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

What to Do?

I have three working databases in Rootsmagic. One is my normal database, no exclusions, but also I have not entered the information from a NPE. That is short for Non-Paternal Event, or a child produced by an affair.  This is the database that I have built up since starting my genealogical journey 30 years ago. Just the fact that this database has managed to stay healthy is beyond belief.

The second database is the NPE, and includes the child, his wife and kids, his mother and his biological father. It also includes information that I've been able to verify on the biological father's siblings, parents, grandparents, great grandparents and some of the great-great grandparents.

The third database is a conglomeration of the first database and the second database. In this database I can experiment with linking and unlinking the step-father and the effects that has on the rest of the database.

As I've already explained in prior posts, DNA really threw a wrench in the database. I don't like working in more than one database because I don't want to miss something in a transfer. So for now, I am taking a step back to figure out how I am going to deal with it.

In the meantime, I am continuing to collect evidence, organize it and determine how it goes into one of the above databases.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Are You Keeping Family Secrets?

Now that DNA testing for "fun" or "branching out the family tree" or in an earnest search for one's parent(s) is readily available, I find I have one piece of advice. If you are keeping a family secret, STOP. In this day and age family secrets are coming out due to the growing list of companies that will test your DNA and match you up with others of the same heritage.

When I was growing up, I always thought it was terrible when I heard someone was adopted and the adoptive family was keeping everything a secret. I came across a person or so in my life who was adopted. One I knew as a young adult. He had no interest at the time of locating his birth family. But, he did know he was adopted. The other I knew as a preteen. She knew she was adopted also, but acted like the poor relation. I have often wondered over the years whether or not she ever came to terms with it.

My step-grandmother, on my mother's side, was adopted as an infant. I've never been sure what happened to her mother: death, insanity, divorce, illness, but my step-grandma knew who her father and siblings were later on and actually had relationships with them. Her adoptive parents were old enough to be her grandparents, but weren't.

I am a member of a group on Facebook, "DNA Detectives," that I joined in hopes of puzzling out my hubby's odd results. While I was able to work out the strange Jewish ancestry in his line, I felt for other people who were running into results that pretty much spelled out that they weren't who they thought they were. Or that the man mama claimed was the birth father was not! I think the days of lying to spouses, children, etc. are over. DNA does not lie. The courts use it for proof all the time. Of course that doesn't mean your new found family will believe it or accept it, but it doesn't make it any less true.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Trying to Get Into the Groove Again

After this summer's shocking DNA results, I am finding it hard to get into my genealogical groove. I have lots to do and I want to do it, but I am really trying to enjoy the last vestiges of summer. I know once the pool is closed for the season, It will get easier. Not that we will be done with outside, since we do need to finish the lattice project around the deck, get the driveway sealed, do fall planting, and bush trimming and decorating.

In the meantime, I was contacted by a second cousin of hubby's on the paternal side. I have stuff to share and need to get that organized, transferred to a thumb drive and into the mail. Oddly enough she lives in the same state as we do. Since we moved 600 miles away from where we all grew up, it's pretty amazing.

Hope you all are having amazing Genealogy years!

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Hungarian Records

Since discovering hubby's Hungarian Jewish ancestry, I've been poking around on the Jewish Genealogical Society's site and on the site looking at records. All I can say is wow. And I am really grateful for word lists. Because although some of the records are in German, which I've worked with before, some are not. I do wish there were records from earlier dates, like 1820s. Supposedly Karoly Ecker was born in 1824 and died in 1929 at the age of 105. I find it suspect. I also find it suspect that his wife was born in 1826 and died in 1899. It's the birth years I find suspect. If Betti Altman(n) was indeed having babies in the 1880s, and these children survived to adulthood, emigrated to America and were married, welllll. I just don't think its likely. I also found one that was supposed to have died in the holocaust, yet is on a survivor's list in 1946. His mother's name is Betti Altman(n). I'll keep looking in the meantime for answers.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, September 1, 2017

Still Puzzling It Out

The title of this post may be misleading. I have solved the "mystery." The problem is that my husband's relative wants no contact with him. While I understand that, there is more than personal contact at stake here.

All I know about my husband's father's side is not what I know about his father's side. All the research I've done over the last 30 years is not valid. I did this research by questioning my father-in-law about his family. He told me what he knew, which was mostly about his mother's side. His father's side, I did the research.

What happens when you find out that the research you did was good, but the wrong family? And the family you have determined is the correct one just does not want to have any contact. What about medical histories? Do we not have a right to know?

I struggle with this daily. Mostly, I hope that this relative relents and contacts us. From what I have been told by other family members, he is intelligent. Hopefully, he will become curious, too.

The previous post can be found here.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, August 25, 2017

Unexpected Results

In yesterday's post, I alluded to husband's 23andmeDNA results. OMG. We weren't really prepared for what they meant. They meant secrets. Long held secrets. Questions. Much research on my part.

Years ago, I did research on husband's family tree. Of course the first thing I did was question his parents and follow what they told me. I was able to research every line but his maternal grandfather's line. His records are in a part of Poland, that are not accessible to me through the LDS or through the Polish archives. Hence the search on 23andme and two years ago on Ancestry. On Ancestry, we had one hit for his maternal grandmother's line. A line I had already researched. There at least we had confirmation.

Fast forward to 2017 and Amazon Prime day when I scored DNA kits from 23andme for $49 each. His closest relative was a second cousin. And to confuse matters more, it was another branch of a family he matched on Ancestry. The problem was who could be the relative that gave them that relationship.

We needed a name and whether the opportunity existed at the time for contact. Little did we know that we held the information in tax returns. Sure enough, the target person fit exactly the scenario. And he was someone known to the family. More research uncovered the not unexpected result that he had long since passed, nearly forty years. But he had a descendant. We attempted contact and were summarily rebuffed. Quite angrily rebuffed. While not totally unexpected, understandable.

Given time, maybe this person will relent and choose to contact us. Until then, I continue to research and fill in the blanks when possible.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, August 24, 2017

A Cemetery By Many Names

My great-great-great-great grandfather, Dr. Jabez Percival was buried under the Lawrenceburgh Levee according to the DAR. However, it didn't matter where he was buried because the cemetery was moved. This page at Find-A-Grave explains it a little. As does this photo.  I did not take this photo and after more than two weeks the photographer has not responded to my request. So here it is anyway.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

More DNA Results

Recently my DH and I sent samples to 23andme. I hoped to clarify his results on Ancestry and connect with people who weren't on ancestry.

Well, it worked. Sort of. I found a few relatives for myself that weren't on Ancestry or gedmatch, as far as I can tell. Now, if they would just accept my share requests.

For my DH? The results were stunning. Absolutely mind-boggling. When I've got it all straightened out, I will blog about it, but not just yet.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, August 7, 2017

Matilda, Matilda

Ever since I found out about my great-great-great grandfather's first wife, I've been curious about her. Her name was Matilda Fleet Hinton Goodridge. She was the daughter of William Goodridge and his wife Catherine Hinton. I've never discovered where the Fleet comes from.

She married my great-great-great grandfather, John Stearns Percival on May 22, 1817 in Boone county, Kentucky. She had permission of her father for the marriage to take place.

She is the only grandchild mentioned in her grandfather George Goodridge's will, which was made February 4, 1802 and probated July 15, 1802. Her brother Fountain was born about 1795-96; her brother Walter about 1797-98.

Matilda had two children, only one I can verify. Her son Egbert Davis Percival was born about 1819 in Boone county, Kentucky. He is listed in his grandfather's will - that is William Goodridge, who died in 1850. William's will was made March 2, 1850 and probated in April of 1850. By this time Egbert would have been about 30-31. No mention of any other Percival children is made in his will.

Dr. John Stearns Percival, Matilda's husband remarried on April 4, 1822 in Boone county, Kentucky. They had the following children that I have verified: Eliza Ann, John Stearns, Jr., and Jabez. There is also reputedly a son William, whom I have never found in any record. I think he may have died young. Maybe that was Elizabeth's fate also.  Dr. John Stearns Percival died intestate in 1841 and the only children mentioned were his sons. Certainly Eliza was still alive as she married in 1844 and died in 1884, but not considered a minor as were the sons.

I guess one of Matilda's brothers love his sisters so much, he named some daughters after them. One was Matilda Fleet Hinton Percival Goodridge. I guess the family names weren't lost by them!

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

When Did Your Great Grandfather Live?

While viewing a mini tutorial on 23andme about ancestry, there was this graphic. You'll note that in this graphic it has great-grandparents as living ~90 years ago. That seems kind of vague to me.  Now, one of my great grandfathers was born in Lancaster, New York in 1839. That's 178 years ago. He died more than 90 years in 1925 in East Tawas, Michigan. He was the earliest born of all my great grandparents, most of whom were born in the 1860s. And he was the youngest of all the children of his parents. His youngest son was my grandfather who was born in 1888 when August was 49 years old. My mother was born in 1924 when her father was 35.

August's own father was born in 1796, so you can see that I can go back only four generations to find someone born in the 18th century.

I'm not sure whether I should be awed by this or not. My oldest daughter missed meeting her great grandfather (my grandfather) by 10 months. However, on their father's side I have a picture taken at Christmas of 1982 with four generations. Below, are my youngest daughter with her great Aunt Stella, their Grandma, my older daughter with her daddy, and their great Grandma!
It's awesome to be able to document generations like this. I wish I had some for myself, but my last great grandparent died three years before I was born.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, July 28, 2017

Elijah Kirtley Home/Hotel

My four times great grandfather Elijah Kirtley built this beauty in 1830. Unfortunately, Elijah died in 1835. The home is in the Boone County Historic District. If you have family connections there, you need to check out the Boone County Public Library Local History & Genealogy! Photo is circa 1976.

Courtesy of the Boone County Public Library, Boone County Historic Preservation Collection.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Busy Wednesday

Last night I attended a Legacy Family Tree Webinar on Analyzing Documents Sparks Ideas for Further Research. It was awesome. It was given by Angela Packer McGhie, CG.

One of the documents she used was a war of 1812 pension application. I had a few of those, and for the heck of it, went on Fold3 and looked up one of my surnames, Chinn.

I saw my great-great-great grandfather's. I have that one. Then I saw Wm. B. Chinn. Well, I have a few of those, including the aforesaid great-great-great grandfather's own father. Well, that wasn't him. It was William B. Chinn son of Elijah Chinn. Elijah Chinn was my William Ball Chinn's older brother. Well, one of them.

The William B. Chinn or William Chinn as he is sometimes seen as in records married twice and this is where it gets tricky. His first wife was Lucy Corbin or Corban. His second wife was Lucy Kemper. The only date I had for William's death was 1872. Second wife, Lucy Kemper Chinn supplied that information on her application for widow's benefits.  She also states the first wife's name, and an approximation of the date of first wife's death.

My friend and fellow researcher Carol (Reflections from the Fence) has a saying about when you hit a brick wall: Review. Review. Review. I had not seen nor saved this pension application before. It's many pages long. And well worth reviewing.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Busy Time

It's been hot here and dry. I get to cool off frequently in the above ground pool. It really helps. Then I am in a good cool mood to work on transferring files from Windows to Mac and continue to familiarize myself with how the Mac works.

It really amazes me how fast it is. No muss, no fuss, no crappy Windows 10 updates. My DH commented on how he never hears me swearing in my office. Mainly because the Mac doesn't restart while I'm in the middle of something else.

I'm scheduled to watch a webinar tonight. Curious to see how that goes!

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, July 14, 2017

To Do List Items

I keep many to-do lists. Most of them are genealogical in nature, but some have to do with life and/or computers.

Recently I switched to a MacBook Pro after using a windows computer since 1987. That's right, thirty years of using and swearing at my Microsoft compatible computers is over. For the most part. I still have some files to transfer.

One of the issues is compatibility. I lost a couple programs I have used for years -- GenSmarts. It was a lovely program that helped me search for records across many different databases and filled in a lot of holes. Another was Transcript. I used that for transcribing records, especially newspaper articles. I have found a couple workarounds for it and will just hope someone comes up with something that's Mac compatible.

Yesterday, I reformatted my little Western Digital Passport Ultra (1T) external hard drive so that I can use it in both my old laptop and the new one. That meant I had to go through tons of files on the hard drive to make sure I had all the files transferred. Since I used this for a backup by manually copying from laptop to external drive, there were only a few that I didn't have. The scary part was actually erasing and reformatting. Thought I would have a heart attack the first time because it failed. It didn't erase or reformat. The second time it worked when I followed the sparse directions a little closer. It felt really good to be able to back up my genealogical database - including photos - to something other than a thumb drive.

This morning, after receiving an answer from Flip-Pal, I installed the software for my little eye-fi card for the Flip-Pal and tested that. Then I hooked up my portable printer and hoped for the best. And that is what I got. I am so impressed with this MacBook. Not that things don't work a little differently, but I am adjusting. For kicks, I hooked up my wireless Microsoft mouse to see if it would work. It did. However, I love the touchpad on this so much, I've given up the mouse again. I've felt that a mouse just takes up space on my small and cluttered desk. This way, I have a little more room to spread out.

I am making progress slowly. Most of my time on it is learning all the ins and outs of using a MacBook. I even picked up a book that has been most helpful in finding out what works and what doesn't. I found one of the best ways to see how things work is to enter data in my genealogy database. I consider RootsMagic one of the most important software programs on my Mac. Even though it is not a "true" Mac app, it works pretty darn well. Full Mac compatibility is coming soon, I am told.

In the meantime, I will continue to run through my checklist of apps, files and wish list items and finish this Windows to Mac conversion.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, July 13, 2017

So Many Third Cousins - Who the Heck Are They?

On my AncestryDNA page, I have six 3rd cousins showing. One I know for sure, the one of which I've blacked out her picture. The others? For the most part no idea. If the star is not gray? I've got an idea. The big problem? No trees. Except for the last one, but not enough info there to say yea or nay.

People, if you are going to the trouble to spend dollars on your DNA, link a tree to it. That's how you get those little leaves that tell you that you have a common ancestor.

I don't know about you, but I don't like not knowing who these people are.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Big Thanks

Thomas MacEntee is a wizard. Of that I am convinced. He manages to find or arrange great deals on genealogical type things. Yesterday, he passed on some great deals on DNA testing and a free kindle or pdf copy of his Genealogy Do-Over Workbook through Amazon. Hubs and I actually took advantage of the 23andMe $49 special to test with them. With his weird results, I am wondering what results 23andMe will show.

In regards to the book, I figure I will read it. I am not ready to start over, but there are some holes, I would love to fill in, some brick walls I would like to knock over and questions I would love answered, and anything that helps is a bonus!

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, July 7, 2017

I Hope He Was Left Handed

The Alex Maitland in the below newspaper clipping is my great-great grandfather. My dad's brother was 3 when his great grandfather died, and my dad not yet born. So no, never heard about this. I never heard anything from my grandfather about this either - and it happened 15 years before he was born. I presume they were too polite to ask.

"Mr. Alexander Maitland, brother of George Maitland, of this city, lost the first joint of the index finger of his right hand a few days since, in a corn-sheller, over in the state of Ray, where he resides."

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, July 6, 2017

What Did She Learn at Her Mother's Knee?

I am reasonably sure that the Mrs. Alex Maitland referred to in this news item was Mary Grieves Oliphant Maitland, my great-great grandmother. The year is certainly correct as Mary was married to Alex Maitland on March 4, 1865. By 1872, she had borne 4 children, so she must have been one busy lady! It's nice to know that your ancestor was competent at a time with few of the amenities we have today. 

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Helen Maitland Smith

Sometimes, well most times, I wonder about people indexing newspapers and such. The results can be pretty crazy. At times like this, for obits I browse the newspapers around the date of death. Sometimes it works. I was therefore confused when a search for Helen Maitland (I was searching for her mother) produced the following result. No, it's not an obituary, but about a cash gift given to the Episcopal Church in memory of his wife. You have to wonder why that showed up instead of the death notice. Especially, since this gift was eight years after her death.

Well, that was curious so I went looking for her obituary. I did not expect to find that she died in Colorado. At the age of 45. I only found it because I went browsing by date. I was not so lucky with her sister or her father.

Yes, it can be expensive to have subscriptions to sites like and Genealogy Bank, but it's easier and cheaper than traveling around the country looking for newspapers. Or trying to get them on interlibrary loan.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Same Man or Wrong Men?

I found these on Ancestry last weekend. I am on the fence whether or not they belong to the same man or different men. Now, I do have two Alexander Maitlands, father and son. One lived in Lexington, Missouri for a while and the other settled in Richmond, Missouri. The latter was the son of the first. Now you may notice that the first one owes his allegiance to Scotland. Alex Maitland, Sr was born in 1813 in Scotland. His son was born in Canada in 1839. So, I'm not sure if The first record belongs to any of my Maitland's, but reasonably sure the second one does. Just not sure which Alexander Maitland. This certain needs some work.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Bonus Find - Obituary of Helen Skirving Maitland.

A friend of mine did an informal survey on Facebook about favorite Apps and/or websites. RootsMagic has long been my favorite App, even the year and a half I used a different genealogy software. This week, however, my favorite website is  I found that wonderful gem about my Maitland progenitors in yesterdays post. Today, I am sharing an obituary of my great great great grandmother Helen Maitland nee Skirving. This actually corrected a death date that I had. I don't know if I made the error or if the person from whom I received the information did. It's corrected now and that is all that matters. I love that she was born near Edenburg, Scotland. That should read Edinburgh (pronounced Edin-burrough to all you non Scots. Most of the rest of the information is more or less correct. What it doesn't tell you is that they emigrated to Canada in 1833, and they were there just a few months when her father fell down a well and died. She married Alexander Maitland, who indeed survived her, although I haven't discovered his obituary yet. I will.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, June 30, 2017

Prolific Family

This article was printed in the Lexington, Missouri, Intelligencer on December 29, 1888, p 3. I recommend viewing on a computer. A transcription is also included here, with the children numbered in order of birth except for the triplets (number 11) and the twins (number 13.)
Lexington, Missouri Intelligencer, December 29, 1888, p. 3

“In the parish of Haddington a very extraordinary instance of longevity is recorded to have occurred in one family. Mr. Alexander Maitland and Catherine Cunningham, his wife, were married August 6, 1657. The ages of nine of the children of this marriage amounted to no less than 738 years. Another circumstances remarkable of this marriage is, that the eighteenth year of it produced twins; and the twenty-first year trines, or three infants at a birth. (These three dined together in the house where they were born on their seventieth birthday.) The ages of the trines amounted to 256. This fact is ascertained beyond all possibility of doubt, as it was communicated to the clergyman of the parish by his intimate friend, Mr. Robt. Keith, a gentleman of the strictest honor and probity, and who was himself the son of Isobel, one of the trines.” The above is an excerpt from an old book, “the Beauties of Scotland,” printed in 1805, the author being Ro. Forsyth. A more particular chronology of the family is as follows: — “Alexander Maitland and Catherine Cunningham were married on the 6th of August, 1657. 

  1. Patrick Maitland, their eldest son, was born on the 8th of September, 1658, and died in infancy. 
  2. Elizabeth Maitland, their eldest daughter, was born the 26th of July, 1660. 
  3. Mary Maitland, the second daughter, was born on the last day of December 1661; died 1747. 
  4. Charles Maitland, second son, was born the 29th day of July, 1663; died 1723. 
  5. Elizabeth Maitland, third daughter, born the 29th of August, 1664. 
  6. Janet Maitland, fourth daughter was born the 15th of June, 1665; died in 1758. 
  7. Isobel Maitland, fifth daughter was born the 5th of June 1668. 
  8. Jean Maitland, sixth daughter, was born the 4th of May, 1670. 
  9. Catharine Maitland, seventh daughter was born the 23d of May, 1672, died in 1768. 
  10. John Maitland, third son, was born the 28th of June, 1673. 
  11. Anna, Isobel and Richard Maitland were all born at one birth on Wednesday, the 23d of August, 1675; Richard died 1749, Isobel died 1764; 
  12. Alison Maitland, tenth daughter, was born the 13th of January 1677. 
  13. Sophia and John Maitland were born at one birth on the 20th of February, 1678; John died 1765.” 

The above is a copy of an old record copied from the family Bible in the possession of Mrs. Anna Maitland, of the three at a birth. From this register it appears that the family consisted of 16 children, five sons and eleven daughters. That several of them lived to a great age. Their united age amounting to upward of 600 years. Of the three born at one birth, the first died at 74 years, the second at 89 and the third past 91. The father of this remarkable family was warden of the mint, and factor to the Duke of Lauderdale. The longest lived of the children were, Mary died at the age of 86, Janet at 92, Catharine at 86, Richard at 74, Isobel at 89, John at 87, Anna at 97, total 605 years. Mr. Alexander Maitland from the Charles Maitland of this record who was born in July, 1663, and died 1728.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Farewell, Miss Ruth.

My neighbor died Sunday as a result of smoke inhalation from a small fire in her house. She was elderly, but very aware of life.

In 2005, we bought the lot where our house now sits from her. But we didn't meet her then. Or at closing, since we did that long distance. We met her in late 2007 after we actually moved here. In early January 2008, construction was started on our home. She was so gracious, letting the contractors park in her extra driveway, never complaining about the early work habits, the debris or anything that I heard. She was generous and such a wonderful neighbor.

We had conversations in that extra driveway many times. I learned she lived in the Detroit area for a long time before heading back to Tennessee. Her husband died long before we heard of this little college town, and she missed him.  I could see the frailty set in over the last few years. And yet was surprised at her age.

I will miss her husky voice and friendly demeanor. Farewell Miss Ruth!

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A Bit of Color

Every so often, you come across a newspaper tidbit that makes you laugh or cry or just wonder, what? This article refers to my great grandfather John Henry Percival, mostly known as Henry since a baby. He was the younger of two sons of John Stearns Percival, Jr and his wife Susan E. Davidson.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Black Sheep, Part Three

Leo makes the Cincinnati Enquirer again! This time, it's probably the best he could expect.

Pretty much this is all I know of him. His sister, Mary, was not very forthcoming about him post jail, other than he died in 1989. My mother said he lived with a woman named Babe, and may have married her, but I can find no other marriage record for him other than his first marriage to Adele Kasten. I always want to know more.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Black Sheep, Part Two

 I don't know who Leo had as a lawyer, if any, but he 'fessed up. As you can see, it made the Cincinnati, Ohio Enquirer.

Remember, Leo was caught about September 24th. It made the Lansing State Journal (Michigan) on the 25th [see Saturday's post.] He was sentenced on October 16th. That's just over three weeks! I wish today's justice was just as swift.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Black Sheep of the Family

I am sure there were more than just this one black sheep in our family, but this is one my mother knew. He was her first cousin. His name was Leo Zimmeth.

Leo was the eldest surviving child of George and Julia (Blust) Zimmeth. He was born in 1907 and had two sisters who also survived until adulthood. He had 9 brothers and sisters who did not.

George Zimmeth was my grandfather's brother and the brother closest to him in age. George died in October 1918. Julia, George's widow remarried in June of 1925. She was dead by the end of the year. Leo was 18 and his sisters were 15 and 12.

In 1929, Leo married Adele Kasten who was from Missouri. It took me a long time to find a marriage record (it was noted in Leo's baptismal record) but I finally found it in Ohio. I presume there was a divorce somewhere along the line as Adele remarried in 1946.

Many years ago, I remember my mother telling me she visited Leo in jail before he was sent to Jackson (Michigan) prison. She was terrified. My grandfather also was slightly scared of Leo. He never really said why, he just was. I have a copy of his prison record. But I was really glad to find some actual reports of his - um - activities. Here is the first one.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, June 22, 2017

For Sale!

It's not often you can find a home for sale ad for one of your ancestor's homes. Below is the home that was build by my great-great grandfather, John Parker Bowman. In 1880, his widow, Mary Elizabeth Chinn Bowman put the house up for sale or exchange. She was downsizing. The picture of the house was taken by me in 1996 or 1997 on our trip to Lexington, Missouri. Legend has it that a cannon ball passed through it during the battle of Lexington, Missouri in September, 1861. Quite a few of my ancestors were members of the Missouri State Guard that defended Lexington. 

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, June 19, 2017

Who Was Lucy Booth Grolton's Second Husband

In Lucy Grolton Everett nee Booth's death notice, her husband was named as C. Walter Everett. In the publication that they applied for a marriage license, his name is just listed as Walter. How would I find his first name and ergo other information on him.

I did an Ancestry search. I simply put in his name as Walter Everett, and a birth year of 1887 (he was 62 in January 1950 when they applied for their license.)

The Ancestry search led me to Cecil Walter Everett of Camden, New Jersey, on a World War II draft registration. Could I prove it was him?

The simple answer was yes. Both the marriage license and the draft registration had the same address: 2861 Tuckahoe Rd.

It also gave me a little tidbit besides his birthdate of May 3, 1887. He was born in Yorkshire, England. So it would seem. However, I show a Cecil Walter Everett born in 1889 in the England birth records.

To further complicate things, his death notice says he was 91 when he died on December 4, 1977. And of course there are typos and then there are little things like his daughter Edith Glolton. I wonder if it should read Grolton. Since that was the name of his stepson's wife - Edythe Grolton.

And the reason I am working on this line at all? Lucy Ann Booth was the daughter of Dr. Hillary A. Booth and Margaret Maitland, and Margaret was the eldest daughter of my great-great grandparents  Alexander and Mary Oliphant Maitland. Alexander was a first cousin of Charles Maitland whose bibles I now own!

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Lucy Booth Grolton Everett

For years, I looked for death records for Lucy Booth Grolton. It's an unusual name, so I couldn't understand why I didn't find her. Fortunately for me, someone had posted a tree on Ancestry, which lead to The Social Security Applications and Claims database. I love that her name is listed as follows:

Lucy Ann Everett
[Lucy A Everett]
[Lucy Ann Booth].

All right! Now I have her correct name, but still couldn't find her. So I went into and did a search for Lucy Grolton. Bingo. I found her letter to the Washington Missourian on September 14, 1944. Lucy Booth Grolton was a WAAC. Well, where was her husband Walter Grolton in all this?
I went back to the 1940 census. I found Lucy Trolta aka Grolton (indexing error) living with her sister and brother-in-law and family. Also with Lucy was her son, James, age 12. Lucy's marital status was D for Divorced. Ok.

A quick check of Fold3 shows no military record or WAC record even though they're supposed to have something. Someone on MyHeritage has an N Lucy A Grolt. Research can be frustrating. However, I have more than I did two days ago, so I am a happy researcher.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, June 16, 2017

Headstone Issues

I hate headstones like this. I think it's self explanatory. However, there are other problems besides her lack of identity.

  1. It's a huge stone. Yes, Booth is large.
  2. Why did they cram everything on two lines. She died first, why not Margaret Booth 1874-1930 on one line and Dr. H. A. Booth 1857-1934 on the next. 
  3. Yes, I know it was during the depression, but it's essentially just one more letter.
  4. It offends my sense of proportion.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

One of My Other Lines

I was trying to contact a Percival researcher whom I had met some years ago at a Western Wayne County (Michigan) Genealogical Society meeting. I think it was before I went back to work, so would have been prior to 1996. Finally, he got in touch with me and we have been exchanging info. At the time of our first contact, I was unsure whether or not we were connected. Well, we are! The power of the internet!

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, June 12, 2017

Looking Around

I hate when I'm researching a family and there are blanks. One such blank was Robert James Peebles Maitland, son of Charles Maitland and Mary Gardyne. Born January 7, 1862 in Alloa, Clackmannanshire, Scotland. But no death date. Now, the information I did have until last week, was stuff people had shared with me. Today, I found the 1900 US Census in Newark, New Jersey, where Robert was a foreman in a beer bottling plant. How appropriate since I am sure he learned at his father's knee the brewing business.

The next document I came across was the 1907 Citizenship paperwork in which Robert becomes a United States citizen. Also attached with this was his 1895 application. He came to the US in 1892, and apparently decided to stay.

Find-a-grave shows he is buried in Clifton, New Jersey. They have him married, but the headstone shows he is buried with his niece Louisa Jean Maitland who died in 1910. I tried to contact the contributor to get permission to post the photo. Since this person does not allow any email, I'll just post the picture. If you look closely you'll see that the stone designates that they were natives of Alloa, Scotland.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Scottish Birth Certificates

As a family researcher, I am always happy to come across vital records. Usually, they come through my own research, after paying lots of money, and are either certified or uncertified copies, images, etc.

In with the bibles that I received on Wednesday, were five birth certificates for just five of the children of Charles Maitland and Mary Gardyne. These were birth certificates issued shortly after birth.

For instance, this is the birth certificate for Charles William Gorrie Maitland, born March 8th, 1855 in Alloa, Clackmannanshire, Scotland. The record was extracted on March 28th, 1855. Thus, what I have are the original certificates issued to Charles Maitland. The second image is the reverse side, in which Charles William Gorrie's death is noted by none other than his father, who outlived his son by seven years. Someday, I would like to know the circumstances of Charles William Gorrie Maitland's death at age 36.

Alas, the three elder children were all born before 1855, but were found in the Old Parochial Records.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, June 9, 2017

Don't Be Deceived By the Dates

I found this gem in the packet. The dates are not birth-death dates but dates for their office as Earl or Duke. So, John, the 1st Earl of Lauderdale was the father of John, the Duke of Lauderdale. The duke died without issue, so his brother, Charles became the third Earl of Lauderdale. His son Richard, the 4th Earl died without surviving issue, so his brother John became the 5th Earl. The 6th Earl was his son Charles.

Lonely Alexander on the right was probably the Honorable Alexander Maitland. No substantial title and it is from him that I descend.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, June 8, 2017

A Long Time Ago I Hoped

On December 20, 2011, I was contacted by Michael Clark of Alloa, Scotland in regards to an inquiry about Charles Maitland. This particular Charles was the brother of my great-great-great grandfather Alexander Maitland (born in 1813) and the son of Dr. Alexander Maitland and Jean Wilson. Charles was the brewer at Bass Crest Brewery.

This first email started a conversation about Charles, his family and eventually led to a man who was at one time an accountant of Charles' granddaughter Mary Gardyne Maitland Cummings and her husband Ian. This man had Charles' family bibles, and papers that were in the bibles. For a few years, I tried to convince him to send me the bibles, always stating that I would be happy to pay for the postage.

The years went by and while the bibles were always at the back of my mind, I had other things to do. Eventually this man's cousin got involved and prodded at him to send me the bibles. Nothing happened.

In April, the cousin contacted me again, asked if I had heard from his cousin, and said that he was going to go get the bibles, and send them to me. In the back of my mind, I'm really excited, but trying not to get my hopes up again. The next thing I heard was that this nice man, the cousin, had the bibles and was preparing to pack them up and send them to me.

Today, I received them almost five and a half years after my initial contact.  I promised I would take a picture with them. My elbow is resting on sheets of genealogy information. The newspapers behind the envelope are from Edinburgh with a recent date.

I really can't thank all of them for helping me find the bibles, and finally to have them. While not ancient, they do date from 1852. For my Percival cousins who traveled to Scotland, there is a lineage handwritten by Charles Maitland tracing the Lauderdale Lineage to my Alexander Maitland (my great-great grandfather.) I hope to have more on the treasure trove as time allows!

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

I Still Can't Believe It!

I made the move from Windows to Mac OS this week. After months of dealing with updates from Windows that would routinely leave my computer in a StopCode state aka Blue Screen of Death, I couldn't take it any longer and started researching what would be the ramifications if I switched to a MacBook. The biggest concern was my genealogy. Since moving back to RootsMagic in 2015, I discovered that I could install it on a Mac! And I think that was the deciding factor. Indeed, I've managed to transfer my database, via restoring a backup, and transferring my genealogical photos and fixing the links. Last December, I moved from Android to iOS or from a Samsung Nook to an iPad mini 4. That went really well. In February, DH and I both switched to iPhones. After getting used to those, I knew I could deal with a MacBook.

So last week, I ordered a MacBook Pro and a CD/DVD drive. The drive came last week and the laptop on Monday. Since that time I have been migrating files to the Mac. I'm also learning a new email as I have started using the Apple mail app. I like their Smart Mailboxes. I still have to go through the old email on Thunderbird and make sure I've gotten everything important. I've even gotten used to having a clean desktop on the Mac. I can use a little less chaos!

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

He's a Champ

Meet Champ! We adopted him on April 9, 2017.  Champ is a two year old mixed breed, that we adopted from A.A.R.F. (All About Rescue and Fixin') of Cookeville. He is 33 pounds of wonderful. When we adopted him, they thought he was part Manchester Terrier and Beagle. They were wrong. I had his DNA taken.

Yes, they really do DNA tests on dogs. I went with Wisdom Panel 3.0 and had the results in less than 2 weeks. Yes, my dog has a pie chart. His results were as surprising as my husband's. I was not surprised by the 50% mixed breed groups. We already knew he was a mutt. However, the 50% that wasn't indeterminate mixed breeds, showed he was 12.5 % each of Labrador Retriever, Miniature Pinscher which explains his coloring, Miniature Schnauzer, and Yorkshire Terrier.

Fortunately, his personality is Labrador. He is very sweet and biddable. His really bad habit is killing squirrels. He's gotten two, and pulled the tail off another. We put a cowbell on an extra collar, which he now wears in the backyard until we train that squirrel thing out of him.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

And Now It's the End of May

I can't believe it's the end of May already. Spring has been unusually hectic around here. I'm not complaining because it includes aesthetic changes to our kitchen, a new screen room in our backyard that encompasses our hot tub, we've been working on putting lattice around the deck, and oh yeah, we adopted a dog. More on the dog in a follow-up.

Also, I was contacted by someone who happens to share one of my husband's ancestors surname - Paluch. That too will be followed-up.

Then I added a Percival Family Research group on Facebook. If you are researching Percival, visit the page and ask to join. And yes, the Percival-L list on still exists.

I've also been working on my Maitland line, and that will be a follow-up post too. This is something that has been in the works for about 6 years.

Is that enough in the way of teasers?

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, March 9, 2017

March Madness, continued, German World War I Casualty Lists

 Every so often, Ancestry leaves me scratching my head. The Casualty lists below confuse me, because they sure look like they are in German to me. Sorry in advance for anyone who is trying to vie on their phone!

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

March Madness - Not Basketball

Oh my gosh February zipped through. My wonderful hubby and I had the chance to take a weekend trip down to Huntsville, Alabama. What a charming place. We attended an RV show the first night and the second day we explored the Space and Rocket center. We loved it and will go back. It was so nice to have a nice warm weekend away.

We also had a nice visit from our Knoxville cousins. That day the weather was spectacular and we had lunch outside at one of our favorite west side restaurants. In February! 

It certainly was a strange February. The weather for the most part was warm and sunny with some scattered cold days and rain. Actually, I can see buds on the neighbors tree.

I had some interesting correspondence with Percival descendants recently via Ancestry. And a Zimmeth/Shwarz descendant via Wikitree. While I really love the correspondence, it distracts me from and adds to that pile of paper I keep trying to work through.

The storms continue to roll through this week. I woke this morning to tornado sirens. Not my favorite way to wake up for sure. I really hope these storms roll through eventually.

Now it's time to back up my data. Have a good one.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, January 30, 2017

I'm Not Cornish, But ...

Saturday, DH and I were watching Rick Steves' Europe, a travel show that we've enjoyed for many years. We caught a 2016 episode of his trip to Cornwall. In a portion of the show they highlighted the tin mines and Cornish pasties. That is pasty with a short a.

Now, neither DH nor I are Cornish. But we are from Michigan. And many years ago, we tasted this wondrous thing called a pasty. You might know them as meat pies. There was even a placed within a couple miles of our house that made these. How I miss that here in Tennessee. When I saw that episode, I immediately cranked up my tablet and found a recipe for a Cornish Pasty. DH and I braved the cold wet, snowy weather and went in search of the few items I didn't have, the beef, any carrots and I was sadly lacking in baking powder. Well, I had it, but it was really old.

I will literally use any excuse to use my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. It really does the part I hate, mixing up the dough. I rolled it out and made 4 nicely sized pasties and invited the daughters to partake of this delicacy. I served with gravy, because the original pasty is somewhat dry due to miners having to eat them with their hands. I'm sure they weren't too warm either by the time they got around to eating them. All I can say, is that they were delicious. Since I had extra filling, I made some and froze them.

Disclaimer: Now, the pasty is indigenous to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and the ones I recall having either had turnips or rutabaga in them. I'll have to search for those in the local stores here. DH and I lived in the Lower Peninsula.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, January 28, 2017

What a Week!

I've been very happy to get back in the genealogy groove again. It seems like its been a long time since I've consistently entered data. And of course, entering data isn't just putting in the dates. For me, it also includes seeing daughters' mentioned as Mrs. John Doe, and knowing there were more than one daughter in this family and not knowing who married whom. Consequently, time is spent looking for marriage records for these Mrs. John Does and sorting out which is which. Then finding a Find-A-Grave Record for the husband, but not the wife, and his place of residency is in Kansas and not Missouri.  Or for the husband who is buried in Missouri, but no wife in the cemetery, where all her family is buried. And all this stems from an obituary for the women's father, where you discover he died in Chicago and that's why you can't find a Missouri Death certificate for him.

I felt I was on a roll. Then the rest of the week played out.

Let's start with the minifridge. We've had this minifridge since 2008, when we moved into our house, but our full size fridge was on special order and we were told it would be a week or so. We bought a minifridge that also had a freezer. Well, Tuesday it died. It was such a tight fit under the counter in my craft room that hubby had to crawl on the floor to unplug it and remove the legs and the hardware involved in holding the legs on. And the fridge doors also had to be removed. and that still didn't help. Hubby got a mallet and we pounded the sucker out of the space. And that was it for that day. With hubby pounding and me pulling, we got our workout.

Wednesday, I happily got back to some research, again working away until it was time to print out my recipe for dinner from my recipe program only to find there were only 4 recipes in it and none of which I wanted for dinner that night. Talk about panic. Now I do have this program on my tablet and phone, but they don't print from the apps. Luckily, I still have the cookbook I took the recipe from. A set of 5 paperback books from 1976 from Betty Crocker. Or maybe I should say had. In the middle of measuring out something, the liquid mess spilled all over that book. To be fair, the book is a much used paperback that is beginning to crumble. Hubby, the sweet one, took pictures of the cover and verso page (the copyright page for you non-library folk) and found it on Amazon. Whew. Dinner, however, was delicious. It's a family favorite called Waikiki Meatballs. I make it more tropical with tropical fruit and pineapple. I made so much we had leftovers the next day for lunch and I had the last of it on Friday for a snack. Cold. The software company helped me sort out my problem. Fortunately, I was able to retrieve my recipes. A glitch caused the program to delete my cookbook while I was syncing it.

Thursday was spent taking the old fridge to the recycling center. We got halfway there and realized we did not have the doors, too. Headed back, got the doors and disposed of all. We also bought a new beverage fridge (no freezer) and haven't installed it yet.

Friday, we had a service call by our favorite electrician to replace a switch that controlled the disposal. He is always nice and tries to fit us in to his busy schedule. Then in the afternoon I finally had my pedicure which I had postponed from last week. I wonder sometimes, how we ever made time to work.

Here it is the weekend already. A person could feel exhausted by the events of the week. I didn't accomplish nearly half of what I set before me at the beginning of the week, but I did manage to get a little Missouri Death Certificate 1966 transcription done. And I think that is what I will aim for today.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Time Flies and Then Bedtime!

I can't believe how fast time goes by lately. I've been trying to work in my office, but things keep getting in the way. By the time I do manage to squeeze some time in, I look at the pile on my desk and get discouraged.

Last night, I did manage to be somewhat productive. I made some notes on a record of my second great grand aunt, Catherine or Katherine "Kitty" McDonald nee Maitland. I had never seen her name spelled Katherine before. It's not a big deal, unless you are looking for her by her first name.

Kitty died in Colorado. Yeah, not willing to pay the research fees for her, her husband and daughter to get the death certificates. Maybe in my lifetime, Colorado will put their death certificates online.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Just Can't Jump Start It Today - And, What? A Project?

Just can't get too excited about doing data entry today. There is something else I can work on though.

It's that time of year and the Missouri State Archives have the 1966 Death Certificates loaded for the volunteers to index. I am and have been a volunteer on this project for several years. I was so excited when they opened it up to the public for indexing. It just helps everything come online faster.

Then a few years ago, the powers-that-be thought it would be a good idea to index parents and spouses too. Oh fabulous. It takes longer, but I have found things searching by parents' names. This is especially useful for female lines.

Think you might be interested in helping out with this project? Here is the link for signing up to be an eVolunteer.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, January 13, 2017

Check, Check and Check

 I finally got the images transcribed and linked from our last research trip to Lexington, Kentucky. My former research buddies know that I often came back to the room after a long day at the library and entered what I found into my database and prepared for the second day.

Well, those days are long gone. When going on a research trip with the hubby, we would hit a microbrewery and have a beer or two. By the time we got back to our room, I wasn't doing any data entry.

After finally entering the 7 items from my to-do list, I looked at the last one I entered and realized I didn't have information on one of her sisters. I was able to find the sister's Find-a-Grave record, which also gave me her husband's information and voila, now I just found his obit. Time to transcribe and link some more. Unfortunately, it added more paper to my pile. Not that I'm complaining. She was after all, my fourth cousin three times removed!

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Sarah Laudeman Parker Where Are You?

Sarah Laudeman married my kinsman, John Parker on March 26, 1846 in Lexington, Kentucky. Unfortunately, Sarah died on December 24, 1850 at the age of 36. And herein lies the question.

Where was Sarah buried? I find no record of her in the Lexington Cemetery where her husband and at least his second wife are buried.  It's possible she was buried in a family burying ground, but most burials from the Parker family are in the Lexington Cemetery. I have records of many of my kinsmen and women who were moved from the family burial plots on their land into the cemetery.

My curiosity was aroused when a few years ago I found the headstone next to her husband of his second wife, Joseph Ann Parker. Until a year ago, I had no idea what her maiden name was. Further research revealed that John Parker did what so many widowers did, he married his first wife's sister. When I found that headstone for Joseph Ann, I had no idea he had been married to her sister, no idea who his first wife was and when she died. Thanks to local Lexington, Kentucky newspapers, I now have his marriage to his first and second wives and their death announcements. Maybe I'll stumble across Sarah's headstone some day. And yes, it is worth another trip to the cemetery to see if she is there.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Jump In, Part Two

Yesterday I preached about not procrastinating on starting your genealogy journey. I think one of the reasons people waited to research was because they physically had to travel to courthouses to find records. It's not confined to courthouses anymore.

Here are things to get you started.

  1. Even if all you do now is get family members to fill out family group sheets, do it now. Our memories are not perfect. Even if siblings fill out the forms differently, there may be a reason for that.
  2. Get copies of family photos. It is so much easier now than when I was starting my genealogy journey. Find out the who what when where and why of the photo. My family collected photos but rarely, if ever, labeled them.
  3. Start a filing system. File physically and digitally. I've linked thousands of images to my family. Over the years I've discovered the best way to name my files, mainly to avoid duplication. I wish I had been able to start 30 years ago by adding the census image to each person. I've been slowly adding this over the last 10 years. 
  4. If doing anything digital, BACK IT UP! Probably those are the most important words anyone can say to you. Find a friend, son, daughter, or anyone who doesn't live with you to keep a copy of it for you. Save it in the cloud. If you back up at home, and everything is destroyed in a fire, you have NOTHING.
  5. Take a Genealogy class. Even now, I learn things from classes. Ancestry has some wonderful online classes. Legacy Family Tree has weekly webinars that are free. It is even worth it to pay to subscribe for a year (less than $50) and have access to ALL their webinars and syllabi.
  6. Have your DNA tested. Ancestry, Family Tree DNA, 23 and Me, all offer DNA testing for very reasonable fees. One of the benefits of DNA testing is that it will link you to other people with whom you share DNA. Maybe it will link you to someone on a line on which you are roadblocked.
Most importantly, don't wait. Clear a little time each week or month, whatever your schedule will allow and work on it. Once you start adding family members to a database and putting in all your proofs (birth, marriage, death certificates, obituaries, newspaper articles, census, etc.) I guarantee you will get hooked. 

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, January 9, 2017

Jump In

Yesterday, I patted myself on the back for finally getting to a point where I can do data entry again. Deservedly so. Sometimes you get so busy with life, that things you enjoy doing get pushed aside.

So now the sermon. Thirty plus years ago when I started researching my family, I would hear people say: "I'll get started when I retire." I would tell them, "Don't wait, start now!" People would look at me like I was crazy. I am going to give some good reasons to some of you younger readers why you shouldn't wait.

  1.  This is the big one. Will you be able to retire? Will you live that long? Don't laugh. Retirement age is no longer 65. I was lucky and was able to retire at 54. By then though, so many of my ancestors were gone, including my dad.
  2.  Speaking of ancestors, the younger you are, the more likely you'll be able to speak to your ancestors. These include parents, grandparents and if you are really lucky, great-grandparents. Don't forget aunts, uncles and cousins. My father died before I retired. My birth grandmothers both died when my parents were children. I never got the genealogy bug as a child, but fortunately, my uncle sat down with his father (my maternal grandfather) and interviewed him about the family. 
  3. Family stories. The more people whom you can ask about your family origins, the more you have to work with. My dad always thought his Bowman line was English or Scots. We were both surprised to find out his Bowmans were Baumann. There were clues there. Such as his grandmother Bowman making sauerkraut on a regular basis. My mother's father always said the family was French. They were from Alsace which was like a ping-pong ball. French-German-French-German-French. They spoke German. My immigrant ancestors were born at a time when Alsace belonged to France. They left in the 1830s. On the census where it asks what language is spoken in the home (in the 20th century censuses) they said they spoke German in the home. This was my great-grandfather, the only child born in America. My mother learned to cook from her aunt Rose. Rose knew how to cook German dishes. Unfortunately, my dad hated German cooking, so we didn't get to eat stuff my mom learned to cook from her aunt.
Think about these. Tomorrow, tips on what to start now.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Clean and Organized - Mostly - Jumping In Nonetheless.

After a few days of cleaning, finishing up Christmas project (yes, in the new year and wasn't even ready for New Year's day) and organizing (somewhat) I am ready to tackle the stuff on my desk and get it into my genealogy program. For those of you who may be interested, I am using RootsMagic. That in itself is a story.

I started off with my very first genealogy program, which was a DOS program by the name of Genealogy on Display. A friend used to call it GOD. It was an apt acronym, because you had to get the information in right the first time. Editing it was not easy.

Then I found out about Brother's Keeper. It too was a DOS program. By the time it got to BK v 6, it had limited Windows capabilities, but it was the first program I ever worked with that allowed you to add photos.

By the time v 6 of BK came out, we had moved to a Windows computer. And I moved to Family Origins. I think I started out with version 2 or 3. That was the first program I remember that allowed you to add more than one photo per person. And it got better and better as the years went by.

Eventually, Family Origins morphed into RootsMagic. I continued with that program through version 6 and being unhappy with some of the features tried Legacy, starting with the Deluxe version of 7.5. I used that through version 8, and still have it on my PC, but switched back to RootsMagic and bought version 7. There are just some things I kept trying to do in Legacy that were RootsMagic keystrokes. I am a very heavy keyboard user. I would much rather use the keyboard than the mouse. And for most things in RM, it works for me.

All in all, I've used genealogy programs since about 1987. But, I digress.

I find if I have a pile of stuff to add to my genealogy - and I always have piles - It's best just to dig in. My problems start when I go to prove information someone else has supplied. Mostly it's because they haven't included the source material. I spent hours the other day when sorting through, just trying to find census records, marriage records, etc., for one family. Since I was told they were married in New York City in 1853, and their children mostly appear to have been born in Buffalo, New York, I guess I have to dive into the LDS films for Buffalo. Right now as I think about it, I neglected to add the rest of the children. But before I do that I will add a to-do list item reminding me to work on the verification of facts. If I add the children now with that family to-do list item, I will know that there is work to do on the family and by adding info now I won't have to go to my "problem folder" to check names and dates.

The message here? Jump in. Get started. Research, verify, add.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, January 6, 2017

Where Are They?

Last year, I found some information on a line of my mother's that came to the US that I didn't know about. This was maybe a month or so after I discovered another one with a similar spelling. The more recently found one involves the descendants of her paternal great-grandfather's sister. I have the names of this sister's children and the spouse and children of one of her daughters.

Too bad the only information I can really find involves their deaths. I found a death record abstract for him and their monument in the cemetery in Iowa where they are buried. I can't find them on the census. Only him in 1915 state census. It really makes me wonder how badly their last name was butchered by the census takers. 

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, January 5, 2017


Yesterday, I blogged about being late, getting distracted. I think I whittled down my stack of paper by three sheets. Arghhh.

In the afternoon, hubby and I ran some errands, came home, and after closing the garage door, discovered that the spring on our garage door broke. Fortunately the car is outside. That's the good news. The bad news is that the repairman can't come until tomorrow. The worse news is that we are expecting snow overnight. If we get snow he won't be here until next week.

In the meantime, I am trying to sort through the paper. I must enter information from the paper, file the paper, shred the paper, or recycle the paper.

And it's the time of year when I am inundated with health care stuff from hubby's former employer. Now, he was an employee of this company for 17.5 years. Then they sold the division he worked for and he worked for them about 15 years. The said division went belly up and was bought by a foreign entity after hubby retired. He ended up working for that company about 3 years, part time. So we get the bulk of our retirement and benefits from the original employer who dictate how we live. The rest we get from the US Government, since they took over bankrupt company's pension. But since this is a banner year for me, I no longer need to heed the original company's mandates. They know this, but still send me crap. So I was surprised to see a COBRA notice. Really?

At least for now the phone calls from health care companies have stopped. When you spend your day dealing with all these idiots who call repeatedly even after you tell them to stop, you don't get much done.

I'm going back to work on my pile. NO INTERRUPTIONS, please.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes