Gene Notes

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

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Sometimes Updates Work!

The other day, I went to check for something on the Lexington Cemetery, Lexington, Kentucky website to see if their genealogy database was still messed up. They updated it a year or so ago, and most of my ancestors/relatives had disappeared.

Well they are back! I had a few issues navigating but went in search of my 4th great grandfather whose remains were removed from the family burial ground and re-interred in 1912. This would be Colonel Abraham Bowman born in Virginia in 1749 and died in Kentucky in 1837. My previous attempts to find him in the update were fruitless. But now he's back and with some real improvements to the database.

First, I searched Bowman which brought up all (?) the Bowmans in the cemetery. Not all of them are connected to me, but when I clicked on the map I found this wonderful map that shows where they are buried. I went back to make sure that I didn't have anyone highlighted and clicked on all the numbers. The number 32 is my main branch of Bowmans. I have at least two generations of my direct line buried here, Col. Abraham Bowman and Mary Hite Bowman and William Bowman and Nancy Todd Parker Bowman. Remember, I said 32? It's bottom center. A couple of the other groups are also mine. 

When I clicked on the number 32, it popped up a cluster screen which listed the 32 burials on Section H, Lots 50 and 51. I've screen captured the first page of it. This is amazing. I've been working in this cemetery for years and this is the easiest it has been. Kudos to Lexington Cemetery in Lexington, Kentucky.  Their website is here.

Copyright 2010-2021, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Sparking My Curiosity

I just happened to check Ancestry for Kentucky wills. I found one for one of my collateral relatives, William Reed Bowman, a second cousin three times removed, who died in 1938. His will was dated 1936, and he made sure that a tenant farmer of his would receive the home the tenant was living in, unless said tenant farmer predeceased him. He names him as William Allen Bryant, a negro. William R. Bowman left no heirs other than his wife. 

The name William Bryant is a fairly common one in the Lexington, Kentucky area whether one was black or white. My great-great-great-great grandmother, Sarah Henry, was married to a David Bryan(t) and was a grandmother to a William Bryan(t). Depending on the record, you would see the name Bryan or Bryant. 

I have found a William A. Bryan in that area on the 1930 census and in the World War I and II draft registrations, and Kentucky death index. Do I have the correct person? I don't know, but I've enjoyed the search.

Copyright 2010-2021, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, June 4, 2021

Four Years Into MacBook Pro

Heaven only knows why I waited so long to buy a MacBook. Oh wait, I waited because my genealogy program had to run on Mac without running parallels or some other way of running it. I bought it when I did because RootsMagic made a version (6) that would run on crossover. Now I am into version 7 and testing version 8 which is a native Mac version. 

There are however two program I really miss. Transcript, which I fell in love with it instantly, and which I reviewed in 2012 and GenSmarts which I started using in 2011. Unfortunately neither are Mac compatible, and GenSmarts told me that it probably never would produce a Mac Version. Sigh. 

In RootsMagic 7 I can use the add media screen to transcribe, that is not possible in RM8, so far, which means I'll be transcribing in RM7 for the time being unless I find a decent app. 

I used windows computers for years. I hated them. My Mac has been wonderfully trouble free. Ahhh.

Copyright 2010-2021, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, May 24, 2021

Summer vs. Genealogy

It's been at least a week since I searched for anything in the pile on my desk. The reason? Summer. Yes, I know it's May and summer has not officially started, but it's warm out and the pool is open.

Not that having the pool open per se keeps me from doing genealogy, but there is a certain amount of maintenance with pool chemicals, brushing the sides of the liner, vacuuming the bottom, scooping bugs and the occasional squirrel out. Wow, I kind of wish I had taken a picture of the squirrel in the pool before hubby fished it out. Then it took some extra pool shock to sanitize. It's a good thing the water was still cold then. 

Since we took our first seasonal dip in the pool last Friday, by the time evening comes who wants to sit and  transcribe death records, search for obits, births and marriages? To be honest, I do, but when I try to sit in my office and do stuff like that I get drowsy. Hmmm.

This photo is from opening day. 

Copyright 2010-2021, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, March 4, 2021


I really need to go to an LDS Family History Center. We have one in my little 'Ville that is only about 1 mile away. Due to COVID-19, it's closed. That's really sad because I need to look at some German Lutheran Church records that are not on Ancestry. 

Last weekend was RootsTech 2021. I was able to snag a couple of Research strategy sessions to help with two of my brick walls. The first was Nathaniel Davidson, my g-g-g grandfather who was born in Kentucky in 1797. I have two records that tell me his year (approximate) of birth. The first is the 1850 census, in which he states he is 53 years old. The second is his marriage record (1828) that says he is 31. Finding two records that old that agree is amazing. I've been looking at land records and wills and probates in Howard County, Missouri where Nathaniel lived probably until 1833-ish. That's when he sold off his property there and moved to Lafayette County, Missouri with his wife, Ann Estes. She was from Lafayette County. In 1850, they are living near her mother. Nathaniel died intestate. He had one daughter who was a minor, so she is mentioned in probate records. He had three other daughters, Mary, Eliza and Susan (my ancestor), and a son, John. 

In 1830, in Howard County, Missouri, Nathaniel has an older couple living with them. A male between the ages of 70-79 and a woman between 60-69. I think those could be his father and mother. We think his father was still alive in 1833, due to a family letter. So I am no really any further ahead. Missouri records are bad enough, the time period is awful and I can't find enough information in local newspapers.

The other family is on my mom's side, the Kleesaat's. Or maybe Kleesaat, Klesat, Clesotte, Clesot, Glissant and a new one - Klewsaat. I was able to find some stuff on ancestry relating to my ancestor Christian Heinrich Ludwig Kleesaat's sister, Catarina Johanna Friederike Kleesaat. She was born in 1816 - two years younger than Christian. She married a first cousin, Jurgen Friederich Carl Klewsaat. They had 9, maybe 10 children. I think somewhere along the line when they were flipping her name around in the church records it ended up being Friederike Johanna Catarina. Then I found Jurgen and Friederika Johanna Christina. Jurgen died in 1867 and in 1867, Friederika appears with a couple of their children in the Mecklenburg-Schwerin census. But I really need to get into the Family History Center to look at the records in the surrounding towns to see if I can find a marriage record and baptismal records for my direct line. They have the records.  This is what I get, and I have to access at a Family History Center.

I'm waiting.

Copyright 2010-2021, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, February 8, 2021

On Getting More Information Than You Think You Want to Know.

I'm working on one of my dad's sidelines, the Webb family. To be truthful, his grandmother was a Webb, and the great aunt of one of the people I'm currently fixated on. 

It started with a to do list item of finding an obituary for Alva C. Null, Sr. He died in Missouri in 1965, and I went looking for an obituary on him. Found a very nice one that gave the married name of his only daughter, Dixie Lee Dalton, who at the time of his death was living in Amarillo, Texas. No husband's name. Hmm.

Back to Ancestry, and searching for Dixie Lee Null, I find a marriage announcement for her, but not to a Dalton. Instead to William Anderson. I had to look twice because in 1940, when this even took place, Dixie was 15. The article was in an Odessa, Lafayette county, Missouri newspaper. Dixie lived in Clinton, Henry County, Missouri. So it looks like an elopement, but the notice of her marriage license was in the Clinton newspaper. Went looking again and found a marriage license and certificate in Jackson county, Missouri in 1943, under the name of Dixie Lee Anderson to Lloyd George Baugh. Okay, so now it looks like she was married three times - let's not forget Mr. Dalton. 

Now I was on a roll. I searched for a marriage for Dixie Baugh to someone named Dalton. Found in the Kansas City Times, a marriage license issued in Wyandotte county, Kansas. It's bad enough I'm searching three Missouri counties, now a Kansas county. No marriage record, but she did indeed marry Clifford W. Dalton, sometime probably in 1945 since the license was issued July 10, maybe in Kansas. Here she is in 1945 at age 20 (paper says 22) on her third husband. 

I found various articles about Dixie and Clifford for a few years, and then found his obituary in 1976 in Springfield, Greene county, Missouri. Then nothing. 

Dixie was born in 1925. I figured somewhere along the line she either married again or passed. Take a guess? 

I found husband number 4 in her obituary. Finding her obituary required me to search the funeral homes in the area for someone with a first name of Dixie.  I found her in the online obituaries of Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Homes in Springfield. Indeed, she had married again, this time to Rev. Hugho Lewis, 22 years her junior. I don't have a marriage date for her and Hugho, but they were married in 1986 in time to host a 50th wedding anniversary for family - possibly his family since the names are not familiar. 

After finding all this information, I thought it was time to look for divorce notices. While I never located in the newspapers a "divorce granted notice," I did find her filing for two divorces, the first and second husbands.  And then a newspaper article about husband number two considering suicide, writing a note, taking a cab to the Kaw River, and then reconsidering. 

As I enter all this information into my database, I think of how hard I've worked for it, and yet, how easy it was to find all this information. Years ago, I would have had to write to the newspaper, the county, the state to find what I wanted. Instead, with my internet connection and some subscriptions to online databases I was able to find all this out in a matter of days. 

And in all my years of research, I've never seen anyone marry her husbands in alphabetical order!

Copyright 2010-2021, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, January 25, 2021

Feeling Productive and yet, NOT!

Yesterday I set out to clear my desk. Well, not clear it exactly, but to start doing genealogical database entry to clear the stack of items needing linking, transcribing and disposing on the right side of my desk. 

The first thing I came upon was a to do list I had printed as a comparison for something else. I scrolled through it, eliminated a couple of things, found a couple of things and then came to one where it suggested I look for a naturalization in Ohio. 

It opened a Pandora's box. I had her husband, and a marriage record, but did not have any of her children, as I hadn't hunted for the census. I still haven't hunted for the census, but did manage to find her naturalization record, her birth date and place of birth and a death notice in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. 

I am sure I've blogged about the Cleveland Necrology Files. They've been very helpful over the years when Cleveland is my focus. They can be found here. Well, there were two entries for Malvina Friedman and one Malvine Friedman. All three were different people, and it led me to the correct Malvina Friedman, nee Ecker, and a lousy looking death notice in the Plain Dealer on Genealogy Bank. When my brain kicked in, I decided to look for a Cleveland area Jewish Newspaper. Turns out there were at least two, The Cleveland Jewish News and The Jewish Independent. I ended up using the index for the Cleveland Public Library Necrology file to search the newspapers and Was much happier with the obituaries I found. 

Then I turned the focus to her husband, Lajos (Louis) Friedman. I found his obituary, his age in 1980 at his death, and that eventually led to the discovery of his arrival record at Ellis Island, his naturalization records and the picture of the ship he came in on. 

One son predeceased Malvina, and I found him, too! Then I went looking for her siblings in the Jewish Newspapers and had some luck there. All this inspired me to take a look at the mysterious Dezso/Dezo/Dave Ecker (not to be confused with David Ecker, hubby's paternal grandfather.) I found him in California after a newspaper article indicated he and his wife were heading to California. His wife died there and he ended up marrying a cousin out there - a cousin who was a brother of her first husband. Incidentally, this woman was an Ecker and married two Ecker's.  

My research was pretty successful. However, it just added to the data entry I have to do. I better get after it.

Copyright 2010-2021, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Those People in the Early 1800s

I often wish that people in the early 1800s (and before) had been enlightened enough to list everyone on the census prior to 1850. It would make it so much easier for me. 

One of my brick walls is Nathaniel Davidson. I know, or am presuming, that he was born around 1797 in Kentucky, according to the 1850 census. His wife and children were enumerated with him. It's that 1830 census in Howard County, Missouri that frustrates me. 

Nathaniel's household shows one male under the age of five. Fine, that could be his son John. One male between 20 and 30; one male 30-40 (Nathaniel) and one male 70-80. Whoa! Really? Wait, I'm not done. 
One female 10-20 and one female 20-30 (Anne Estes Davidson, his wife.) 

So possibly he has a brother and sister living with him?   

I found a Polly Davidson/Davitson (indexing can be atrocious) marrying a John Steel in Howard County, May 30, 1831. Can I prove that this Polly Davidson is living with Nathaniel in 1830? No. But I have this receipt which shows an inferred relationship.  

May 25th 1847 Mary Steeles Invoice of Property taken to Nathnl Davidsons

1 Counter Pan 1  Sheet  1 Pillow  2 Small Pieces Brown domestic, 1/2 set Knives & forks 1 plate  1/2 set Cups & saucers  1 Sugar Bole 1 Griddle 2 chairs}

1 Water 1 stand Cutins Post. }        John M. Steele

May 25th 1847

Amount of Property taken by E. Pendleton.

1 Press  1 Plane Bed Sted.  1 Trundles do  2 cords

1 clock  1 chest containing Mary Steeles Clothing also Elizabeth Pendletons Williams Clothes.

2 straw beds  2 coverlets, 4 quilts, 1 blanket, 2 pillows, 1 sheet, 1 trundle feather bed, 2 check counterpens 1 large feather bed and boulster, 1 box stocking.

A coppy rendered,

J. M. Steele

Is Polly Davidson Mary Steele? Probably.  Is she Nathaniel's sister? I can't say for sure by I'm hoping.

I could have it all wrong. Anne Estes' Davidson's father Littleberry Estes died in 1839, so it's possible that her youngest brother and sister could have lived with her. But her mother was still living in 1840 and enumerated on her own. But, Anne Estes had older brothers, who may have taken her younger siblings in. But, they lived in Lafayette County, two counties to the west. I'm going with my gut instinct that the persons living with Nathaniel are his siblings. 

And and don't ask me who Elizabeth Pendleton is. I have no idea. 

Copyright 2010-2021, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

A New Relative Found Me, Which Led To ...

Periodically, I search the passenger lists for ancestors. I didn't find ancestors, but siblings of my ancestor, Alexander Maitland (1813-1891) landed at the Port of New York on May 10, 1834 aboard the ship Ocean. 

I was looking for this particular sibling because according to what I have he died in the United States. but the name, John Maitland, is pretty common. I had information that he was born in 1808, so therefore looked for someone who might fit that information.  What I found was a record for John Maitland in the Passenger lists arriving in New York,  from Haddington (Scotland) age 25 (pretty close).  Well, yes, I was pretty sure that was him, but went browsing for the actual film and found him on the last page. And I was blown away because also listed with him was Charles Maitland, age 15; Elizabeth Maitland, age 20; Agnes Maitland, age 19. All from Haddington. These were g-g-g-grandfather's brothers and sisters. although not all of them.  I always like to copy the first page of the ship manifest so that I know what the columns mean. In this instance, however, they didn't carry the columns through to the last page. 

I also noted a man by the name of John Watson, distiller, also appears. Agnes married a John Watson in Toronto (York) Ontario, Canada. I'll have to see if I can locate an occupation for him. 

It's interesting that Elizabeth and Charles both moved back to Scotland, where they both married and remained. Agnes died in Canada, date unknown. 

Not found in this list is Jean Wilson Maitland, the widow of Dr. Alexander Maitland (1759-1826); daughter Mary Maitland who married William Munro and she died in 1888 in Toronto;  Jane or Jean Maitland; Alexander Maitland (1813-1891) who went back and forth between Canada and the US, eventually settling in Lafayette County, Missouri; Robert Maitland; David Maitland who died in Canada in 1854; Helen Maitland who married George Urquhart in Canada and returned to Scotland.  Family story is that the eldest son, George Forrest Maitland inherited Gimmers Mill in Haddington and remained there. After Dr. Alexander Maitland died in 1826 the family moved to York, Ontario, where life was very hard. 

Did I figure out where John Maitland lived and died? No, but I'll keep searching! But it was my new relative, Colin, who spurred me on to look for John and find this gem.