Gene Notes

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

Friday, December 28, 2018

The First Obituary I Found on the Internet

I found this obituary way back in 1997, just a year after the person died.

From the Kansas City (MO) Star:
Mrs Elizabeth Mary Harding, 102   (MO) - Wednesday, January 10, 1996. Elizabeth Mary Harding, 102, Kansas City, MO, passed away January 8, 1996, at Armour Memorial Home, 8100 Wornall Road, Kansas City, MO, where she had lived for the past 30 years. Services will be 2 p.m. Thursday, at the Royer Chapel, Oak Grove, MO; burial will follow in Oak Grove Cemetery.
A memorial service will be 1 p.m. Friday, January 12, at Armour Memorial Home. Friends may call 1-2 p.m. Thursday, at the Royer Chapel. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the First Methodist Church of Oak Grove, 1501 Harding St., Oak Grove, MO 64075, or to Armour Memorial Hospital.
Mrs. Harding was born in Waverly, MO, and moved to Kansas City, MO, at the age of 5. She attended elementary and high school while living in the Kansas City area. She attended Central Missouri State College in Warrensburg, MO. She taught school in Oak Grove, MO, for eight years prior to her marriage. She was a member of the Oak Grove Methodist Church for 59 years, and taught the Seekers Sunday School class for over 20 years.
After moving to Armour Memorial Home, she was a member for 28 years at Central United Methodist Church. She was a charter member of the Order of the Eastern Star for over 50 years, in Oak Grove, MO. Her husband, Walter B. Harding, died in 1953.
One son, William B. Harding, preceded her in death in 1976. She is survived by a son, Bryson F. Harding, Johnson City, TN; one granddaughter, Marsha Lynn Ratzel, Prairie Village, KS; and three great-grandchildren, Sarah, Allison and Eric.

Copyright 2010-2018, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Is It Just Me That's Irritated Beyond Belief.

The last time that Ancestry updated their databases was October 25, 2018. Really? Do I get a two month break on my membership? I think they are concentrating too much on DNA and even then, I wonder.

Anyone else irritated?

Copyright 2010-2018, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Panic Time! What Happens When ...

The other day I wrote about my search for Nathaniel Davidson, my great great great grandfather on my dad's Percival side. What I didn't mention at the time is the near heart attack I had when I discovered I couldn't open a lot of Word Documents that I imported into my Mac from my old Windows computer. These documents were letters I had painstakingly transcribed years ago (1990) from letters my dad and I photocopied from a scrapbook my late Aunt Shirley did for her late husband, John Stearns Percival, my dad's brother. My uncle died in 1982.

Now, I still have the copies of the letters and the original transcriptions. But it is a lot easier to go to that file on my computer and insert it into a blog. I immediately went looking for a program that would read them and convert them into .rtf files.  I tried a couple and finally settled on The Document Converter. After setting up a trial subscription for 7 days, I got busy. The premise is simple, the program uploads your file into their cloud, converts it and shoots it back to you in the format you desire. I was very happy with my results.

The nice thing about the program is that it is not limited to converting document files to rtf. You can convert to pdf, you can convert image files and convert into html or xml.

Copyright 2010-2018, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

My Brick Wall - Nathaniel Davidson

I have a brick wall that is more like steel reinforced concrete. His name is Nathaniel Davidson and he is my great-great-great grandfather.

I first found Nathaniel back in the letters my Uncle John Percival had put in a scrapbook. Dad and I meticulously photocopied each and every letter and then I went home and transcribed them.

This is the first I heard of Nathaniel:
This indenture made and entered into this 16th day of July in the year of our Lord Eighteen hundred and thirty eight between Bryan Wright and Nancy his wife on the one part and Nath'l (sic) Davidson of the other part all of the county of Lafayette and State of Missouri Witnesseth that the said Bryan Wright and Nancy his wife for and in consideration of the sum of sixty dollars in hand paid them, the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged. Hath this day bargained and sold and by these presents doth grant, bargain, and sell unto the said Nath'l Davidson his heirs and assigns the following lot or parcel of ground lying and being in the town of Dover and known on said Town plat as lot no. twenty seven and running parallel with Walnut Street and containing one eighth of an acre to have and to hold the above described lot with all and or singular the appurtenances thereunto all ongoing or in anywise appertaining unto the said Nath'l Davidson and his heirs forever.
And the said Bryan Wright and Nancy his wife for themselves, their heirs, executors, administrators do warrant and forever defend the title to the above described lot free from claim or claims of all and any person or person claiming by through or under therein.  Or any other person or persons whatsoever.  In testimony whereof all the said Bryan Wright and Nancy have hereunto set our hands and affixed our seals this day and year before witnesses.

                      Bryan    x   Wright    seal
                       Nancy B. Wright       seal

State of Missouri
County of Lafayette

Be it remembered that on the 16th day of July 1838 before me, Ben F. Yantis am of the Justices of the County court for said county personally came the above named Bryan Wright and Nancy his wife, both personally known to me to be the persons whose names are sub to the foregoing instrument of writing as having executed the same and severally acknowledged the same to be their acts and deed for the purposes therein mentioned.  The said Nancy being by me first made acquainted with the contents thereof and examined separate and apart from her husband whither she executed the said deed and relinquished her dower in the said land and tenements therein mentioned voluntarily, freely and without compulsion or undue influence of her husband when she acknowledged and declared that she executed the said deed and tenements therein mentioned voluntarily, freely and without compulsion or undue influence of her husband.

Witnessed and certified the day and year first mentioned.

                      Ben F. Yantis, Justice.


Who was this mysterious man? A search through my database at the time - 1990 - produced one Davidson, Susan E. Davidson, who married my great-great grandfather John Stearns Percival. I surmised at the time that this could be her father. A search through the 1850 census in Lafayette county, Missouri, did indeed prove my hypothesis. This was the day when you had to do page by page searches if you didn't have access to an index. And I either had to order in the 1850 census at our local LDS Family History Library and wait for it to come in, or order it at my local library.

It would not be for several years that I would actually locate a marriage notice in a Lafayette county newspaper that Nathaniel Davidson had married Anne Eastis (Estes).

From family letters, I discovered he died April 10, 1854 in Lafayette county, Missouri. From other letters, I discovered they used native stone to mark the graves, not gravestones. So the site is lost. From the 1850 census, his age is 53, born circa 1797 in Kentucky.

I know his name, his origin, his marriage, children and death. And that sums up what I know about Nathaniel Davidson.

A couple nights ago, I did a search for him and occasionally the name Alex/Alexander Davidson comes up. Also in Lafayette county. I did a search in Ancestry Family Trees and came up with a marriage between a Davidson and a Demoss. Now, I do have a Davidson married to a Demoss, but it is Mary Davidson married to John Pool Demoss. This one I found is John Davidson married to a Mary Demoss. Again, frustratingly, I can not find a link to either my Davidson line or my Demoss line.

The brick wall seems almost insurmountable at present.

Copyright 2010-2018, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, November 23, 2018

Tradition on Thanksgiving

Our Thanksgiving celebrations have been our own brand of traditional since we moved to Tennessee. For the last several years, it's been pretty routine. And it's a mix of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Thanksgiving is the day I break out the Christmas dishes. I always say we are going to use them until New Year's day. That doesn't usually happen. With just the four of us (hubby, older daughter & younger daughter) usually after the dishwasher runs, the plates get put away.

This year we had turkey, dressing (my mom's recipe) green bean casserole, baked beans, mashed sweet potatoes and crescent rolls. My mom's dressing (or stuffing) was always made in great quantities at our house when I was a kid. Sometimes mine approaches the stuffing my mom made. Other times, it's ok. This year, I added the napkins my mother-in-law gave me. They came from the bar that they owned in the 1950s - Lefty's Sportsman's Bar on Warren and Livernois in Detroit. I suspect my mother-in-law made them. Hubby did a fine job of carving the turkey and with a lot less noise on his part.

Another tradition in our family was usually my dad getting sick around a holiday. Later, hubby's mother gained that dubious honor. This year, our dog required an emergency trip to the vet. We're still not sure what made him sick, since he ate no people food. A full 24 hours later and he is starting to bounce back to his normal self.

Our final tradition is whatever turkey is left over after Black Friday becomes turkey pot pies. One will be shared with our daughters the day I put them together. The other one usually becomes Christmas Eve dinner.

Copyright 2010-2018, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Thriller Thursday - Repeat Offender

When composing this and the previous Thriller Thursday posts, I did something I never do:  I let a relative see what I was going to post first.  Obviously, this relative okayed it. Then she dropped the news that Sonny's killer was currently in prison for another murder. As a follow-up, here is his "rap sheet." Note that he received 10 years for the March 1983 murder of Sonny McCarty, not 17 years, 210 days. Those were for other crimes - like grand larceny. The paper, The Newport News (VA) Daily Press corrected that in a later edition.

 If that wasn't enough, while on trial for the murder of Police officer Larry Bland in 1994, he felt he shouldn't do any jail time. He is still in prison for this murder and still seeks parole.

Copyright 2010-2018, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Thriller Thursday - Sonny McCarty

I don't often get a chance to write about recent deaths, i.e. deaths that took place in my lifetime or as in this case, 35 years ago. Sonny McCarty was my mom's first cousin once removed. He is survived by both his sisters and nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

Richmond Times Dispatch, March 17, 1983 p 71:

  Ovid (Sonny) McCarty, Jr., 49, of Ottoman, died March 15, 1983. He is survived by two sisters, Mrs. Virginia Berry of Ottoman, Mrs. Ann Anthony of Lively; three nieces; four nephews; four great nieces; one great-nephew. Remains rest at the Elmore and Haynie Funeral Home, Kilmarnock, until 12:30 P.M. Thursday, then at the Currottoman Baptist Church where services will be held 2 P.M. with interment in St. Mary's White Chapel Episcopal Church Cemetery.

Richmond Times Dispatch, March 16, 1983, p. 37:

Lancaster, A Lancaster County man who had been free on bond since Feb. 2 pending a hearing on a grand larceny charge was jailed yesterday in connection with the shooting death of the man who posted his bond.

Ovid Roy McCarty, Jr., 49, an employee of the Rappahannock Record, was shot and killed at his home in Ottoman early yesterday, Sheriff John H. Hammell said. Hammell said McCarty apparently died from a wound caused by a bullet fired from a small caliber pistol into the back of his head.

Maurice O'Neal Boyd, 18, of Nuttsville was arrested after McCarty's body was found by deputies. He was charged with murdering McCarty and is being held at the Lancaster jail in lieu of $80,000 cash bond, Hamell said.

A preliminary hearing on a grand larceny charge agains Boyd in connection with an automobile theft in Kilmarnock is scheduled for next Wednesday. Hammell said McCarty posted a $1,500 bond Feb. 2, and authorities released Boyd pending the hearing on that charge.

The sheriff said Boyd was arrested in Pennsylvania on the car theft charge.

Boyd came to the Sheriff's Department at 4 a.m. yesterday and said someone had been hurt in the Ottoman area, Hammell said, but provided no other details. At 7 a.m., Boyd returned and said McCarty was dead. Deputies investigating the report found the body, the sheriff said.

Boyd was charged with the killing. He also has been charged with one count of using a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Richmond Times Dispatch, November 10, 1983, p 78:

Lancaster - Maurice O'Neal Boyd was sentenced to 10 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter yesterday in the shooting death of Ovid R. "Sonny" McCarty March 15.

Boyd was indicted on a charge of 3rd degree murder in April, but a Circuit Court jury found him guilty of involuntary manslaughter and recommended a 10-year sentence, the maximum allowed.

Judge Dixon L. Foster imposed the sentence yesterday.

McCarty, 49, was found shot to death in his home at Ottoman after Boyd turned himself in several hours later and told police he had shot the victim. Boyd testified at his trial that he was "playing a prank" on McCarty by aiming a .22 caliber rifle at the back of his head.

He said he pulled the trigger, thinking the gun was unloaded. McCarty died from the gunshot wound to the back of the head.

During the trial Commonwealth's Attorney Philip P. Purrington argued that McCarty and Boyd had quarreled before the shooting. He contended that Boyd, 18, would have called an ambulance immediately had the shooting been an accident, instead of waiting to contact authorities.

Copyright 2010-2018, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, August 24, 2018

Crime Spree? Leo Kruszka Again!

This occurred a few years later in Leo Kruszka's life. By this time he had one child - Art and another on the way - Ben. Leo appears in the last paragraph.

Copyright 2010-2018, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Open Charges.

In this one, Frank Klijewski (another of hub's great uncles) is questioned about the shooting of an officer. Since I didn't find anything else, I think it came to naught!

Copyright 2010-2018, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Steal From Your Job? Not Smart!

In my quest for info on hubby's family - namely his grandfather - I found this on one of his dad's uncles.

Copyright 2010-2018, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Trolling Newspapers! Leo Kruszka

Leon or "Leo" Kruszka was hubby's grandfather. Not that he remembers him because hubby was only 17 months old when Leon died. But there were stories. Such as why he changed his last name to Pear.   But, I digress. I found this the other day on one of my newspaper database subscriptions.

The transcription is as follows:

Youth Stabbed; Assailant Gone

Leo Kruszka, Seventeen Years Old, Encounters Crowd of Ruffians.

Leo Kruszka, 17 years old of No. 25 Sweet avenue, was sent to the Emergency hospital last evening as a result of stab wounds he claimed he had received from a crowd of young men while walking near Lovejoy street and Sweet avenue. The wound which was in the left forearm was not serious.

Kruszka was rather vague when questioned by the police of the William street station, claiming that he was passing a crowd of young men when one of them jumped out and stabbed him. He said he could give no reason for the assault. The police are looking for the assailant, of whom they have a good description.

Copyright 2010-2018, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, August 20, 2018


There is no doubt that our ancestors often lived in close quarters with multiple families occupying the same house. And when disease runs through one family, it will often invade the living quarters of another. I picked up this article of one of the newspaper sites.

The article is not without errors. It should read Szymanski not Semanska. Certainly the females might read Szymanska, but Stanislaus Semanska should read Szymanski.

The Kruszka's mentioned in the same household should read as twins not as age 2 and age 1.

Copyright 2010-2018, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Speak to Me! Bucket List Revisited. My Parents.

In case you are wondering why I am not anxious for my parents to "speak" to me, is that I've interviewed both of them years ago. I love them and miss them and most of my questions are related to Dad, in questions like: "How do you do that?" For Mom, "Tell me again how to make your cheesecake."

In fact, their interviews were pretty comprehensive, although Mom's was stopped at when her brother, my Uncle Jack, went in the Army. By this time, Mom was on her own at just shy of 18 when Jack enlisted in the Army and Mom was working for a couple who was moving to Connecticut. That job would also take her away from her sister, Margie.

Dad, on the other hand, told me what trouble he caused for his dad after his mother died in 1938 and Grandpa would send him off to Missouri to stay with family members there. He stayed with the Bowmans, his maternal grandparents, and his Grandma Percival (Helen Maitland Percival) and a first cousin twice removed, Isaiah Mansur Oliphant, known as Mansur. He also told me what it was like growing up during the depression. They had a neighbor, a son of whom dad hung out with. Apparently, the neighbor ALWAYS had good food and their house and Dad was often invited to eat with them. He says he remembers his parents saying they would eat later and Dad often suspected later they didn't eat or ate very little.

After World War II, when I was a very little girl, my dad worked for Healy-Gargaro construction company in Detroit. I remember going with him to the job site once and seeing this big hole in the ground and it terrified me. Dad said I screamed until he carried me well away from the hole. Not surprisingly, I am terrified of heights. Small wonder. I remember this incident vividly.

Maybe something comes up now and again that I wish I had asked them, but mostly it's a "how-to" question that comes up. If my Dad speaks to me from the great beyond, I know it will be prefaced by the sentence, "Listen to me."

Copyright 2010-2018, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Speak To Me! More Bucket List People With Whom I Must Speak.

These next two are pretty obvious, and I don't know why I didn't think of them before.

1. James Percival. Let's face it, he should be number 1 on all my lists. He is my earliest known Percival ancestor. I don't know if he is my first Percival ancestor to cross the Atlantic or the first born in this country. All I know, is he lived on Cape Cod and is my 8 times great grandfather. According to Plimoth Colony records, he stole a boat in Virginia and sailed to Cape Cod. He was ordered to pay a fine of 5 pounds and return the boat. A few years later he was given permission to take up lands in Woods Hole (Falmouth), Massachusetts. I want to know if the stories are true, who his parents were and what it was like to live in a time like that. Oh, I'd also like to know where and exactly when he was born. Just little stuff!

2. Abraham Bowman was my 4 times great grandfather. During the Revolution he took over the Muhlenberg Regiment. He and his brothers surveyed Kentucky and they have a lot of Bowman descendants. Abe moved to Kentucky with his wife and they had at least 7 children. One of my favorite stories was when Lafayette visited the United States and stayed with the Keen(e) family. Mrs. Keen(e) was Mary Bowman, daughter of Abraham and his wife Sarah Henry Bowman. Lafayette also visited with the former Colonel Abraham Bowman. I've found bits and pieces about the family in histories, but to be able to speak to this ancestor and find out what it was like when our country was fighting to become a country from his point of view would be priceless.

Of all of these ancestors from the last three days, the ones I really want to know about are those early immigrants or that one who chose to disappear.

Sometimes I will get a wild idea of something I should check and I never know if it was that ancestor leading me to it or not. I choose the leading me to it option.

When I go to bed at night, I listen for those little hints from the beyond. Do you?

Copyright 2010-2018, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Speak To Me! The Rest of the Bucket List!

A couple people I inadvertently left off my Bucket List of People Who Have Passed with Whom I'd Like to Speak, yesterday are my grandmothers. Both my grandmothers died young (ages 36 and 45) when my mother and father were young, so I never met them. I think I was an adult before I ever saw a picture of either of them.

1. Luetta Zimmeth nee Meyer. She died following surgery for Tuberculosis at the age of 36. My mother rarely lived with her own parents because her mother was too ill to care for three small children. Uncle Jack went to live with his grandmother, Amelia Knost Meyer, Aunt Margie went to live with her Uncle Elmer Meyer (Luetta's brother) and his first wife, and my mom went to live with her Aunt Rose Zimmeth Ochsenfeld, her father's sister. My mom always felt her parents were her Aunt Rose and Uncle John. In 1939 when my mother was 14, her Aunt Rose died, Uncle John went to live with his son, Frank, and my mom was shipped off to a cousin who had two children of her own at the time. So, I would dearly love to hear from her.

2. Mary Percival nee Bowman. Mary gave my dad his sense of humor. She died too young (45) while she, Grandpa (John Stearns Percival), my Uncle Johnny (also John Stearns Percival) and my dad were on vacation. She first took ill while they were camping near Grayling, Michigan. Grandpa took her to a doctor, who diagnosed Flu. She felt a little better or really didn't want to ruin their vacation so the family continued on across the Straits of Mackinac (no bridge at this time) and stopped in Saint Ignace in the UP (Upper Peninsula of Michigan) where she became seriously ill. My dad and his brother were left at a cabin in Saint Ignace while Grandpa drove Grandma to Sault Ste Marie, Michigan to the War Memorial Hospital where she died of an intestinal obstruction. I can't imagine losing my mother at that age while on vacation. My dad always told me that his mother died of "female trouble." Um. No. She died of an intestinal obstruction. So, yes, I would dearly love to "hear" from her, too.

A few years ago, my Aunt Shirley Percival nee Kardux gave me letters Grandpa sent to Grandma during his service as an Engineer in World War I. It revealed a completely different side to Grandpa that I never imagined. Of course, he couldn't hang on to the letters Grandma sent him (they were engaged at the time) which is a pity. I only have a couple letters that she wrote to him in the late 1920s when he moved to Detroit to take a job as a Civil Engineer with the city of Detroit and to find a home for all of them. They gave me the tiniest glimpse of a woman with a wonderful sense of humor.

As I sit here and write this, a couple more names have cropped up. Watch for those people on Wednesday.

Copyright 2010-2018, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, August 13, 2018

Speak To Me! A Bucket List of Those Who Have Gone Before.

One of my friends asked a question on FB about clairvoyance and belief in it. I can be somewhat skeptical, but yes, I think I may be a sensitive. How else do you explain some of the things that I find.

I have a bucket list of people who have passed that I would like to contact me. And they are ...

1. Nathaniel Davidson. He was my great-great-great grandfather and my stopping point on that side. His daughter, Susan (ok, I'd like to hear from her, too) married John Stearns Percival.

2. Dr. John Stearns Percival, the father of the John mentioned above. He died in 1841 and I would really like more info from him. And his first wife.

3. Matilda Fleet Hinton Goodridge. Said first wife of Dr. John Percival. No idea when or why she died. My suspicion is childbirth, because she was young. And that's probably the leading cause of death of women between 1810 and 1822.

4. Wilhelmina Zabrack. Or whatever her last name was. She was the wife of my great-great grandfather, Christian Klesat/Cleasott/Clesott/Klevesaat - I can go on all day about the variations. No idea where they were married or where the children were born. I do know where her husband was born, but no evidence they lived any where near each other. How did they meet?

5. My grandfather, Charles Zimmeth. I would just love to sit and talk to him about it was like when he was a kid, about his first wife (Josephine LaPierre) and his second wife (my grandmother, Luetta Meyer.) Where was he in 1940?

6. Herbert Davidson Percival, M. D.  Why did he desert his wife and where did he really go?

7. One of hubby's aunts. Because she believed she could reach out from beyond.  She also believed in reincarnation.  Just because.

8. My late mother-in-law.  I have some questions for her.

Not that I wouldn't want my own parents to contact me. Every so often I'd really like to talk to both of them. They are always missed. But the rest of the people on my list all have questions I would like answered.

Copyright 2010-2018, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Kirtley & Bohannon

It's really nice to be able to find the marriage bond for your great-great-great-great grandparents, in this case Elijah Kirtley and Ann Bohannon. It would also be nice to actually see a marriage record.

Elijah and Ann were the parents of about 7 children. Their middle child was Sarah Ann Kirtley, who married Dr. John Stearns Percival. I had a clue delivered to me in the form of Sarah Ann Kirtley Percival Webb's (second husband was Lewis Webb) headstone, where it states she is the daughter of Elijah and Ann Kirtley.

The last piece, on the bottom, included with the marriage bond is the permission from Ann's father, Elliot Bohannon.

Copyright 2010-2018, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, April 9, 2018

On the Hunt for H. G. Percival

My great-great-great grandfather, Dr. John Percival was married twice. I can document 4 of his children. I believe there were 6.

By his first wife, Matilda Fleet Hinton Goodridge, family says, he had a son Egbert D. Percival and a daughter Elizabeth. By his second wife, Sarah Ann Kirtley, he supposed had John Stearns Percival, Jr.; Jabez, Eliza and William. I have no documentation for Elizabeth or William.

Egbert married Fannie Banks in Rising Sun, Ohio county, Indiana in 1848. By 1850, they are living in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1851, Fannie gives birth to a child, who dies October 3, 1851. They migrated to Placer county, California in 1852 via Nicaragua and Acapulco, Mexico and San Francisco aboard the Independence.

In 1860 Egbert, Fannie and son, HENRY (very clearly written) aged 1 year. In 1870, Fannie is head of household, Henry (again very clearly written) is 11, Fannie's mother Sarah Banks is living with them and Egbert is enumerated last. The household was enumerated in September of 1870. The 1870 census asks for all people living in the house on June 1, 1870. Egbert died June 11, 1870.

In 1873, Fannie remarries, one C. W. Humphreys. In 1880 they are enumerated in Truckee, Nevada county, California. Also enumerated with them is H. G. Percival, aged 21, stepson to C. W. Humphreys and again, Fannie's mother, Sarah banks (step-mother.)

So, I've seen Henry Percival progress from Henry Percival to H. G. Percival. In 1900 and 1910 he appears as Harvey G. Percival.

There is a death record in the index for one Harvey Green Percival who resided in Nevada county, California, age 54, who died January 26, 1914. In most of the censuses, his father is listed as being born in Indiana, and his mother, too. There is some variation in 1900 and 1910 with his father being born in Kentucky and his mother in Indiana in 1900 and 1910 his father in Indiana and his mother in Tennessee. With my own great-great grandfather, John Stearns Percival, Jr., he is sometimes shown and being born in Kentucky and sometimes in Indiana. So that result is not unexpected.

I found this death notice over the weekend.

I would just love to know how he went from being Henry Percival to Harvey Percival. I'm pretty sure this is my guy. I have a feeling if I ever do view his death certificate, the parents' names won't be listed.

Copyright 2010-2018, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, March 15, 2018

23andMe Says What?

I was looking at my 23andMe results at lunch today.  I am pretty sure that <0.1% Native American was not there before. I would have noticed. However, there is one line I've never been able to document past my g-g-g grandfather, Nathaniel Davidson. So perhaps there could be some Native American.

So, I had to look at my Ancestry timeline. The one that is covered up is Scandinavian, but that wasn't the one I was interested in. My Nathaniel Davidson was born about 1797 (according to the 1850 census, the last census he appeared in.)

My mind conjures up all sorts of scenarios. I so wish I could connect with a descendant of Nathaniel. Or even one of his parents, but I think it's unlikely.

*There is also a segment that is 0.8% Broadly European. I presume that is like my dog's 50% they couldn't define what breed because it contained too many breeds?

Copyright 2010-2018, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Trying to Get My Genealogy Groove On

I am in my office (obvious?) trying to figure out what to work on first. In all honesty, it should be my desk. It is a mess. However, when I do get in here to work, it's usually something other than my desk. It's very disorganized (for me) and I am finding it hard to concentrate.

In the meantime, milestones have passed: my birthday (I'm 28 and leave it at that); the anniversary of our first date (39 years ago); and the 15th anniversary of my dad's death. Normally at least the last two would had drawn some comments from me. Truthfully, other things have been pulling at me lately.

I am still interested in the family history, but have gotten behind in entering information. The DNA is fascinating but people who don't answer your emails or online messages are really irritating. People who shut you down irritate me more.

I guess I should stop complaining and figure out a plan for this mess.

Copyright 2010-2018, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Patterns, Continued

What prompted Monday's post on naming patterns? Ancestry dot com's leaf hints at the top of the status bar, showed a hint for Henry Oliphant. Of course, he is in my tree, he was my 6th great grandfather.  That hint made me take a look at his children. His children were Ralph Oliphant and Alexander Oliphant, Alex being my 5th great grandfather. Alexander's children were Henry, John  (maternal grandfather was John Archbald), Ralph, Jean (maternal grandmother was Jean Wood), and Alexander. Ralph was my 4th great grandfather.

Ralph married Margaret Archbald and the only child I find is Alexander Oliphant, who was my third great grandfather. I last wrote about him here. Alexander married widowed Martha Nisbet/Nesbit nee McMekin. They had daughter Mary Grieves Oliphant and Ralph Oliphant. In this instance, Mary is my second great grandmother who married Alexander Maitland and they went on to have eight children, two of whom were sons, Alexander and George. Ralph Oliphant married Kate Mansur and they had 9 children, among whom were an Alexander and a Ralph. Alexander sort of broke the chain by naming one of his sons, James Ralph Oliphant who was called Ralph. But he also had a son Alexander. As far as I can tell, this last Alexander did not marry or have children. James "Ralph" Oliphant named his only son Ralph. And that's as far as I have taken the family.

I'm sure I must have noticed these naming patterns before today. In Scotland, these naming patterns are not uncommon. But the review of the records led to some clues in relatives who have been difficult to research.

Copyright 2010-2018, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, February 5, 2018


Not all families follow naming patterns. Some of mine do to a point. For instance, my third great grandfather, John Stearns Percival was named for his maternal grandfather, John Stearns. John had three sons, one by his first wife, named Egbert Davis Percival, and two or three by his second wife, John Stearns Percival, Jr., Jabez Percival (named for his paternal grandfather) and William Percival. Now, as far as I can tell, I have no idea for whom William is named. His maternal grand father was Elijah Kirtley. Unless William was a son of the first wife (no evidence to support either wife as his mother - just family history) then his maternal grandfather would have been William Goodridge.

Supposedly John Percival and first wife Matilda Fleet Hinton Goodridge also had a daughter Elizabeth. Because of the time period for their births, Elizabeth circa and Egbert circa 1819, with Matilda's death before 1822, it is difficult to definitively ascertain whether or not there was an Elizabeth or a William. John married his second wife, Sara Ann Kirtley in 1822 and then had daughter Eliza in 1823, supposedly William in 1828, John in 1832 and Jabez in 1833. The information on Elizabeth and William came from family information. The only children I've actually been able to prove are Egbert, Eliza, John and Jabez. That is because they left paper trails throughout Kentucky, Indiana, Missouri, and California.

John Stearns Percival, Jr. married Susan E. Davidson in Missouri. They had two children that are known, Herbert Davidson Percival (Susan's father was Nathaniel Davidson) and John Henry Percival.  I don't know where the Herbert came from and certainly no idea why John had a middle name of Henry. However, when Henry Percival married Helen Maitland, they resumed the use of John Stearns Percival. Perhaps because John Stearns Percival died during the civil war and they wanted to honor him? This John Stearns Percival was my grandfather. He and his wife Mary Bowman had two sons, John Stearns Percival and Frank Bowman Percival. Frank was named for his maternal grandfather Frank Bowman. This latter John Stearns Percival named his only son John Stearns Percival, also. As for Frank Bowman Percival, he and his wife Catherine Zimmeth named none of their children for family members, knowingly.

Our children were sort of named for ancestors. When my mother would say after a long day of hearing six kids say "mom," she said to call her Sara. That is what I named my older daughter. My younger daughter I thought was going to be a boy, so her name would have been Andrew (after hubby's maternal grandfather) but instead became Andrea.

Sometimes, you really have to look for naming patterns. Sometimes they are really obvious.

Copyright 2010-2018, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, January 29, 2018


Well, January has been an interesting month. We planned a weekend trip to Sevierville (home of Dolly Parton) to attend the Knoxville RV show. We went looking for Class B campers - or as some people know them - camper vans. They had 3. None in our price range. I also caught a terrible cold there. Not the flu, just a cold.

That didn't really bode well since hubby and I had already planned a trip to Tampa, Florida for the Florida RV Supershow. Fortunately, by travel day 1, we both felt a lot better.

And the trip was successful. We found a model we really liked - the RoadTrek Zion. We've ordered one and now are counting down days to delivery. We are really hoping this will open our horizons again. I still have lots of genealogical research to do in places a bit further from home!

Copyright 2010-2018, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

New Year, New Things

Many years ago when I started this blog, I didn't know how much genealogy research would have changed, which software we would discard or adopt, and more importantly which platforms and hardware we would go through.

I'm pretty sure I was using Windows Vista when I started blogging. I then progressed through Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and then the last straw for me was Windows 10. I never in a million years thought that I would switch to a Mac.

When I started, I used GOD (Genealogy on Display) an old basic program. I was very happy to switch to Brother's Keeper, a DOS program. It worked well and made the transition to Windows (my first version of Windows was 3.1.) I used that for several years, toyed with PAF - Personal Ancestral File, then found Family Origins. I quickly found the program that would stay with me through its evolution into RootsMagic.  I did a two to three year stint with Legacy Family Tree, which I like, but I kept trying to use RM keystrokes with Legacy. I finally switched back to RootsMagic a couple years ago.

This past year, I spent making sure my database integrity was good. Then I made a huge jump from Windows to Mac OS. That was a huge distraction from working on my family history. Also a huge distraction, even though it is family history oriented was getting the results from 23andMe that led to a huge breakthrough on DH's side. Totally unexpected results.

As the new year starts, hubby and I have some plans in the works that we hope will get us back out  traveling the US. One of the things that we planned to do on retirement was travel. It was easier the first few years, but with our health issues, it's gotten a little more difficult. So keep your fingers crossed that we find a solution.

All the above aside, I'm really hoping to focus more on genealogy and maybe not get so distracted by other things.

And of course, I hope you all have a great new year!

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes