Saturday, November 14, 2015

Charles N Percy

Charles N Percy was my 3rd great grandfather on my maternal side of the family. My information about him is pretty sketchy at this point; it has been difficult finding a lot of information on him. The search continues!
What I know about Charles is that he was born about 1840 and, perhaps, Scott County, Virginia. He married Margaret W Weaver in September, 1859 in Monroe County, Kentucky. The Monroe County courthouse was damaged during the Civil War along with many records. When Margaret applied for Charles’ pension after he died, she had to prove that she had been married to Charles. Since the courthouse records had been destroyed, she had to get sworn affidavits from the minister and family members, but there was no day given, only the month and year. 

Charles was a member of Company C, 5th Kentucky Cavalry, Union side. He had enrolled on October 14, 1861 and mustered into service on September 16, 1862 in Nashville, Tennessee. Charles was present at
Union soldiers destroying a bridge in Atlanta
the attack on Atlanta, the March to the Sea, and the Carolinas campaign. His service record indicates he was a wagoner much of the time. On February 21, 1865 near Monticello, South Carolina, he was taken prisoner. On affidavit in Margaret’s pension file from Co. C’s captain states that the enemy returned him to his company and he was furloughed to go to his home about March 21, 1865. Charles died in Rockcastle County, Kentucky on March 28, 1865 according to Margaret’s affidavit. She also states that he died of typhoid fever. My guess is that he may have contracted the disease while being a prisoner and that could be the reason for his release as a Southern prisoner, but that is purely a guess at this stage of the research. 
Sherman's March to the Sea was celebrated in music in 1865 with words by S.H.M. Byers and music by J.O. Rockwell.

Sherman's March to the Sea devastated Georgia. But as I understand, the Union forces really took it out on South Carolina as they marched north from Savannah, Georgia. Remember, South Carolina is the site of Ft. Sumter and that's the site of the first attack on Union forces thus starting the Civil War. This is also where Charles had been captured just outside of Columbia. 

The link below is a good, short description of the March to the Sea

This concludes the series of maternal ancestors who served this country in the military. I'm certain there are others; they will come to light as the research proceeds. Hopefully, next Veterans Day there will be more to add to the list. Hope you have enjoyed reading about our martial forebearers!  

I have a blog about the paternal side of the family at

Friday, November 13, 2015

William H Shepherd of Lewis County, Missouri

    William is my 2nd great grandfather on my maternal side of the family. He was born in Hunnewell, Shelby county, Missouri on October 19, 1845. He married Nancy Ann Jenkins in LaGrange, Lewis County, Missouri on April 16, 1866. His date of death is probably December 17, 1925. I have one other source that indicates he died on October 3, but I trust the December date more as it was given by his son, Robert, on an application for a military headstone. 

        William served as a private in Company B, 69th Regiment, Enrolled Missouri Militia. They were not federal troops; they were under the control of the governor. It was formed in summer or early fall of 1862. They were mainly formed to deal with clashed between Union and secessionists forces in the county. Lewis County was somewhat divided between the two sides. There was not a lot of actual fighting according to a history of Lewis County, just off and on skirmishes here and there. I could not find William’s name in the list of Company B soldiers from Lewis County, but that application for a headstone by his son (Robert Shepherd) in 1925 has his company and regiment number along with the dates of his service. He served from April 30, 1864 until his discharge on December 1, 1864. Also the list in that county history book looks to be only officers- captains and lieutenants. William was a private. I am hoping to find that information in a book at the Family History Library this October (2015).
Guerrillas stealing horses
The above picture depicts an example of the disturbances the militia might have to deal with, especially since there were divided loyalties in Lewis County. The threatening poster below was not from Lewis County but it shows how serious some people were about the two sides in the Civil War. 

The two images above are from the State Historical Society of Missouri

Next: Charles N Percy of Kentucky

I have a blog about the paternal side of the family at

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Davis Brothers of DeKalb County, Tennessee

Albert G Davis

As far as I can tell at this point in my research, I believe Albert was my third great grand uncle. I believe he is the older brother of Henry Lee Davis. I have not proven that relationship; but there is strong evidence that points to that relationship. The information on Albert is pretty sketchy at this stage, but he appears to have been born around 1818 in what would have been White County, Tennessee at that point. He married Mary Robinson on August 14, 1838 in DeKalb County, Tennessee. 

Albert enlisted for service in the Civil War on August 23, 1862 at Nashville. He was a member of Company A of the 5th Tennessee Cavalry. Like his brother, he joined the Union army. Albert would only serve from August-October, 1862 as he died in Nashville on October 28, 1862 of jaundice.

Henry Lee Davis

Henry was my third great grandfather born on March 30, 1829 in Tennessee. At this point, I believe he was born in what is now DeKalb County but in 1829 it would have been part of White County. Henry married Nancy E Likins on April 13, 1852 in White County. Henry moved to Monroe County, Kentucky sometime between 1870 and 1880. He later married Belle (Cassie) Moles in Monroe county on November 6, 1906. Henry would have been 81 and his new bride was 32! Henry died on October 20, 1920 at the age of 91.

Although living in a state that seceded from the Union (Tennessee), Henry was a Union volunteer. He mustered in to the service on January 22, 1864 at Carthage, Tennessee. Henry was a member of Company B, 1st Regiment, Tennessee Mounted Infantry. He served until April 14, 1865.

It appears from the records of his unit that they were mostly serving in the area around Carthage and Granville, Tennessee, not far from his home county. They are listed as doing picket duty which involves being stationed ahead of the troops to detect and enemy advances. They were also involved in scouting duties in Jackson, White, Overton, and Putnam Counties. The Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad was in this military district; so I am assuming it was their duty to protect it. 

Next: William H Shepherd of Lewis County, Missouri

I have a blog about the paternal side of the family at

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

John F Jasper

John F Jasper was the nephew of our second great grandparents, Bernard “Barney” and Elizabeth Jasper Happekotte. He was born in Quincy on February 28 in either 1892 or 1894; there is conflicting evidence here that has not been resolved yet. John left Quincy on August 30, 1918 for training before being sent abroad to fight in World War I in France. The training took place at Camp Wadsworth, (Spartansburg) South Carolina and he must have impressed his superiors. Shortly after arriving, he was promoted from private to corporal. He served in the Fifth Artillery Corps on the French front. His brother received a letter from John from Camp Upton, New York where he was sent before 
Soldiers practicing at Camp Upton
shipping out to Europe. John said he was “liking the life of a soldier of the republic and hopes soon to be sent overseas to take part in the finishing up of the Huns”! I do not have any information about his actual service yet as I have only recently discovered this ancestor. But he was back home by April, 1919. He had been working for American Express in Detroit, Michigan before the war. He returned to that job after his return. But he would eventually come back to Quincy where he joined the police force as a detective. John died on May 16, 1948 probably in Quincy. This death information is not confirmed yet, but it seems to be likely true since he appears on the 1940 US Census in Quincy. He would have been about age 54 in 1948. 

Coming next will be the maternal ancestors who fought in the Civil War. I have not found any other maternal ancestors from World War I or II. 

Camp Upton Photo from the following archive:

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Veterans Day Project

Tomorrow I am going to start posting short stories of maternal ancestors who have served in the US military in some capacity. I know I have not found all but I will continue the search! The bricks pictured above are in the Veterans Park in Cedar Falls, Iowa. It was just a coincidence that the brick for Roger Heald was placed so close to dad's brick! Roger Heald is the father of Mike's wife. The next series of pictures shows the just-completed Freedom Rock also located in Veterans Park. The artist is Ray Sorensen and he is endeavoring to paint a Freedom Rock in all of Iowa's 99 counties.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

The side pictured to the left is of Cedar Falls' own Taylor Morris. He lost all or parts of four limbs while serving in Afghanistan.

Taylor Morris story

The next side depicts Waterloo's own Sullivan brothers who all were serving aboard the USS Juneau went it was attacked in the Pacific during WWII.

Sullivan brothers' story

The next side honors the those who served in the Korean War. 

The last side honors Robert Hibbs who lost his life serving in Vietnam. The Main Street Bridge here in Cedar Falls is named after him.
                        Robert Hibbs' story

I will also be posting veterans from the paternal side of the family at  Schellseekers

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Charles N Percy- Prisoner of the Confederacy

Charles N Percy was my three times great grandfather and was born about 1840. The place of birth is still a mystery as is the exact birth date. On his daughter’s [Sarah Jane Percy Davis] death certificate, the place of birth for her father is stated as Lee County, Kentucky. Sarah’s husband, Charles P Davis was the informant. But on a death register from Monroe County, Kentucky, Charles Percy was listed as being born in Scott County, Virginia! I am more inclined to trust the Scott County birth place since the information for that register was probably given by Charles himself. But, alas, no proof yet.

Margaret Weaver Percy
In 1859, Charles married Margaret W Weaver. There is no record of an exact marriage date in the Monroe County, Kentucky courthouse. Monroe County is on the border with Tennessee and Confederate raiders burned the courthouse in Monroe County on April 22, 1863. This is when their marriage record was probably destroyed. The minister who married them gave a sworn statement when Margaret was seeking a pension for Charles’ Civil War service. He stated he had married them in either 1859 or 1860. Margaret states it was in 1859. Her brothers gave a statement declaring 1859 as the marriage year.

Before his Civil War service, Charles and Margaret had two daughters- Mary Elizabeth born on July 1, 1860 and  Sarah Jane born on January 22, 1862.  Sarah would eventually marry Charles P Davis, my two-times great grandfather.

Charles enlisted for Civil War service on October 14, 1861 for a term of three years. From a statement in his pension file, Charles mustered into service on September 16, 1862 as a private in Co. C of the 5th Regiment- Kentucky Cavalry. From his service records, it appears that he was a wagoner and an ambulance driver in 1863 and 1864. He showed up on hospital muster rolls in May-June 1863 in Nashville and again in January-February 1864 and March-April 1864 in Memphis. He is listed as a patient in the first two hospital stays but nothing is listed for the third stay. It appears he was involved in Sherman’s siege of Atlanta, Georgia and was on Sherman’s famous March to the Sea when they took Savannah, Georgia. On February 21, 1865, Charles was captured by the Confederates in Monticello, South Carolina, just north of Columbia. He must have been quickly released because his pension records state he was given a furlough from Camp Chase near Columbus, Ohio from March 21, 1865-April 21, 1865. He apparently died of typhoid fever, which he may have contracted while a prisoner. This may also have been the reason for the furlough. He died at home in Rockcastle County, Kentucky on March 28, 1865. Just this past March was the 150th anniversary of his death. I had attempted to find his gravesite in Rockcastle County online, but have had no luck. A person from Rockcastle County’s Facebook page said unfortunately that long ago many were buried with only a fieldstone marker which are next to impossible to locate today. I had hoped to check to see if Charles had received any recognition for his service at his gravesite, but that appears unlikely. As I have said before, these ancestors deserve to be remembered; sometimes, this is the only way.
Pedigree Chart for Edna Happekotte- my grandmother

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Davises of Tompkinsville, Kentucky

First, obviously, I took some time off from writing this blog, but I didn’t realize it had been 6 months! I never intended for it to be that long, but this summer was just to nice to be indoors working on anything. Then, my sister, Cindy, and I made a genealogy trip back out to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City in October. And now, here we are and it’s almost 2015! Procrastination may have played a part in this delay, too. So, now it’s time to get back to work on this blog.

Charles P Davis
Sarah Percy Davis
The Davis family is one that I really never heard much about while growing up. I remember my grandma, Edna Shepherd Happekotte mentioning “Grandpa Davis” [pictured on the left] occasionally, but not much more than just mentioning…. or maybe I just wasn’t listening very carefully. Grandpa Davis was Charles P Davis who was born in Tennessee probably DeKalb County and later lived in Tompkinsville, Kentucky and for a long time in  LaGrange, Missouri. Monroe County, Kentucky is located in south central Kentucky and is situated on the Kentucky-Tennessee line. Tompkinsville is the county seat and that was the home of our Davis branch of the family. My mother’s notes mentioned Pumpkinville and we found my great grandma Mary Davis Shepherd’s obituary that said she was born in Pumpkinville! That’s close enough sounding to Tompkinsville that I believe they are one in the same.

Charles married Sarah Jane Percy [pictured on the right above] in Clay Co., Tennessee on October 27, 1878. They moved to Tompkinsville by December of 1881 because that is when and where their first child, Daniel, was born. They didn’t have to move far because Clay County, Tennessee borders Monroe County, Kentucky on the south. Their second child, Mary Elizabeth [my great grandmother], was born in Tompkinsville on October 7, 1882. By 1886, the family had moved to Linneus, Linn Co., Missouri because their third child, George William was born there on January 11, 1886. A fourth child, Charles Lee, was born on February 22, 1888 in Gregory, Clark Co., Missouri. I have no primary source confirmation of that as of yet. Charles Lee was a little more than two years old when he died on October 12, 1890. Their last child, Lillie Belle, was born in LaGrange, Lewis Co., Missouri on February 15, 1899. Her grandson, Keith Jones, has been a treasure trove of information and stories about her, about her husband Cornell (Jack) Allen, and about Charles Davis. I have so enjoyed listening to his stories. We are sharing information about the Davis family. We know that Charles’ father was Henry Lee Davis [more about him in a future blog], but tracing back to Henry Lee’s father is proving to be a challenge.

Sarah Jane Percy Davis died on January 16, 1923 in LaGrange. She was just six days shy of her sixty-first birthday when she passed. Charles survived about thirteen more years. He was still in LaGrange according to the 1930 US Federal Census, but sometime after that he moved in with relatives in Quincy, Illinois which is just a few miles south of LaGrange. I suspect the relatives he was living with would have been his daughter, Mary Davis Shepherd, who was living in Quincy. Charles died at the state hospital in Jacksonville, Illinois on August 24, 1936. He had been there for eight months. I have yet to find out why he was there.

Charles had worked for the railroad most of his life. Keith Jones told me that is probably why they moved from Kentucky to Missouri. It would also explain why they moved often.

Oh, and if you look on the map of Monroe County above, you will find a town called Bugtussle! For those of you who remember the show “The Beverly Hillbillies”, you may recognize the name. It was the hometown of the Clampetts! Well, so far, I haven’t found any Clampetts in our background, but if I do, you may never find out!