Gene Notes

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

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