top of page
  • Writer's pictureRicki King

Diary of a Beginning Genealogist part 4

Updated: Jan 25, 2021

1 February 2003

Rebecca King

Today was good. I gave my first tour of [Iowa Genealogy Society] library, and I helped a lady join the library. I didn't do any family history research. I did a query for Aaron Page, a friend, to help me better understand the 1920 and 1925 Iowa census. These are the first two census I learned when I started. The lady that [first] helped me with the [census] did not explain what was happening much.

So today, I learned how to use the Soundex book and how to figure out the Soundex code if the name isn't in the book. Some census years are on Soundex cards, and from there, it tells you where the person is on the actual census.

Although many of the documents where the Soundex system was used is now easily searched online. There are places where you still need to use the Soundex system. One explanation of what the system is and how to use it is on at

The other volunteers were very helpful. They've been doing this for years. Before we got business, they were telling me about a club I should join for the membership quarterly magazine. Which I will be sending in my membership. These ladies only volunteer the first Saturday of even number months. They actually carpool from the Ames area.

I almost forgot. I also showed a guy how to run the microfilm printer. Today was a busy day.

Looking back over my diary is interesting how much technology was new to the people I was helping and me. Yet, years later, a lot is no longer used. Iowa Genealogical Society was so proud of all the microfilm censuses they have from across the country and the freedman bureau records. Now it is infrequent seeing anyone use the microfilm once a selling point, and a key reason to join the society is no longer relevant. We now promote our online access to library edition and that we are a FamilySearch affiliate library. The FamilySearch connection allows access to locked images and can only be seen at a family history center or an affiliate library.

Random Notes

2 February 2003

I did title this section "Random Notes" in my diary when I originally wrote it. I think this was my attempt to record items I needed to follow up on later. Of course, I have never read these notes or my diary since I wrote these notes. It will be interesting to see how many I completely forgot. Have any of my hypnosis been wrong, partially correct, correct, or unresolved? Who knows, I might find items to add to my running to-do list.

I called to talk to Aunt Carole and Uncle Michael, Grandma, and Aunt Lulu today.

Grandma [Rebecca] said his father [Henry], Edward's dad taught Ida to read and write. In the three censuses where I have found Henry, only the 1870 one states he can read and write. She said Edward was part Indian, and he marched in McKinley's funeral [1901] and another President's funeral she couldn't remember. [Rebecca] said her dad [Edward] would tell her the story as a little girl. McKinley was killed in New York and buried in Ohio. I have found no information on Henry King going to any President's funeral. Edward was living in Missouri when McKinley was assassinated.

I was the one who told Grandma Rebecca her grandparent's names were Henrey and Margaret. She is the youngest of 17 and never knew their names. She wasn't any help in locating where Henry died and might be buried. She did believe Henry's son Henry has a son still alive in Peoria, also named Henry.

· Rebecca was the youngest of 18. Her mother, Ida, gave a newspaper interview in January 1929, stating the number of children she had.

· It was not Rebecca's grandfather Henry who had a son. Her brother Herbert lived in Peoria, Illinois, with a son and grandson named Herbert. Yes, Herbert, the third, is still alive but does not live in Peoria anymore.

Grandma Rebecca said Vester King's real last name was Peak. Rebecca said Ida had him before she married Edward. Rebecca also believes Ida's birth father's name is Aaron Simms. She remembers her dad always telling her mother I know who your dad is, Aaron Simms. Edward was a few years older than Ida.

· After many years of searching, I found out Vester's name was Sylvester Peake. Thank you, Missouri, for putting death certificates online. I was able to view Sylvester's original death certificate, where his mother Ida provided the information on his parents.

· The paper trail identifies another man as Ida's father. DNA matches may provide a different name; I will have to wait and see.

There are two King families. Ida's brother Art is a King and her family. Art is not Edward's brother. Art's sister Hattie married a Campbell and lives here in Des Moines. One of her sons was killed in the war, so she got to go overseas. Hattie has two daughters Mary and Sara. Somehow a Betty Guskins (?) from Hannibal, Missouri, fits in.

· I had been told Ida Briscoe and Art King were brother and sister.

o It was my belief that Art King must be related to Edward King and not Ida Briscoe.

o Research has shown that Art and Ida are brother and sister.

o They do have a sister named Hattie, but she did not marry a Campbell.

· Harriett "Hattie" Campbell is actually the sister of Edward King.

· Elizabeth "Betty" Gaskins is the sister of Edward King.

o Her daughters are Mary Campbell and Zora Campbell. There is no Sara.

· Hattie and Betty both lived in Des Moines, Iowa.

Hezekiah [King] married a Ellen or Ella, and they adopted Lulu's oldest child James Edward King. I have not done any research on this subject. What research I have done shows Hezekiah had no sons, only daughters. James might live in Omaha [Nebraska] now. Lulu told him she was his mother. No one knows how many times [Lulu] married and if she ever divorced any of them. Currently, her name is Lulu Stinson Webb. Gene Stinson is her son, and he has a daughter [living]. Hezekiah King is the brother of Edward King, my great grandfather.

Laura King was the first one in Iowa. Daughter of Edward.

Zora Campbell is Hattie's daughter. Daughter of Edward's sister.

There is a Hattie and a Headie (?) in the family. Duncan or Rice is the last name.

In Des Moines, Omar, Martha, and Lydia Lewis are supposed to be related to me.

· Lydia Lewis is the daughter of Betty Gaskins.

· Omar and Martha are the grandchildren of Betty Gaskins.

Edward was half Indian from NC, either Sioux or Cherokee. Parents are listed as born in Missouri.

Omar King lived in Toledo, Ohio, at 1614 Wake St. Edward's son.

Mary and Zora Campbell are sisters.

The middle name of Rebecca Tark King comes from Tark Hulse, a rich white lady in New London, Missouri.

The Ray O. King buried in Burlington, Iowa is Ida's brother, not Edward's. Ray is the son of Id's brother Art.

Uncle Edward had two daughters, Boots and one in Philadelphia. Brother of Rebecca and son of Edward and Ida. They are his two dependants on his discharge papers. The name of the girls is not listed. I know Boots and believe I have a DNA match with the other daughter's descendant. I did not remember this note until I saw it today. I did not record who gave me this information. Either way, the women I were talking to in 2003 have both died. The DNA matches mother, who does not know her father's name or has not shared it with my DNA match. Before finding this note, I had determined the DNA match had to be the brother of my Grandmother. The problem is I have no record of any of Grandma's brothers living in Pennsylvania, only a sister. Uncle Edward married Vivian Carl from Fort Madison, Iowa. She divorced her husband to marry Edward before he went off to World War II. She was married to a man called Browning, not sure if it is his first, last name, or a nickname. No research has been done to date to verify the marriage. His daughter Boots has two sons. So far, no one knows her real name. I was able to find Boots is a real name and met her family. She is still living, so I am not sharing her legal name.

Laura has family pictures. I'm to go see them on March 22nd. Also, I'm to see Aunt Lulu. She supposedly has written down some family history. She is losing her memory. When I talked to her this morning, She said our people came through Australia when the world was flat. She has a Ph. D., but some of the information she gave me could be true like:

· Ida's last name was Riseom (Another spelling).

· They come from Ethiopia, and the tribe name was Carbina (sp).

· The family brought themselves to the United States.

Aunt Carole and Uncle Michael have some pictures of Edward and Ida that they are going to send. They also have some copies of what Lulu has written down that they will send. I need to check with them. I did not receive the copies. I told them Lulu wouldn't give me any information. She did take my address so that she might mail me something. It took about a half-hour for her [Lulu] to provide me with her mother's maiden name. She also implied that Henry was not Edward's father. Lulu is the daughter of Edward and Ida King.

Names mentioned 2 February 2003:

Rebecca King

Henry King

Edward King

Herbert King

Sylvester Peake

Aaron Simms

Art King

Hattie King

Harriet "Hattie" Campbell

Mary Campbell

Zora Campbell

Elizabeth "Betty" Gaskins

Hezekiah King

Ellen/Ella King

Lulu (King) Stinson and Lulu (King) Webb

James Edward King

Gene Stinson

Laura King

Omar, Martha, and Lydia Lewis

Omar King

Tark Hulse Rebecca Tark King named after her.

Ray O. King

Edward King, Jr

Running to-do list from the journal still needing to be completed:

· Need Minnie's birth certificate.

· Did Henry King die soon after returning from the boy scout camp?

o Compare death certificate with newspaper stories about the boy scout camp.

o Will add to the story of his life if correct.

· Who is E?na in the household of Edward King on the 1900 Missouri census?

o When did she die?

· Kenney/Kinney family free people of color

o Read document saved as Kenney-Kinney Family, free people of color

o Dilse Kenney/Kinney is mentioned

o My Kinney family is from Louisa County, Virginia, and Albermarle County, Virginia area.

o I have not done much Kinney research, but family is from both counties.

· Could Aaron Simms be Ida's birth father?

o DNA matches might provide the answer to this one.

o The paper trail leads to a different man.

· Did Betty Gaskins have a son die in the war?

o Did she go overseas because of his death?

o Look for a passport.

· Is there a Tark Hulse living near Ralls County, Missouri of Edward and Ida King in 1915-1920?

· Contact Uncle Michael about a copy of Lulu's written family history.

18 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Not in Iowa. News story on Ricki King

I wanted to share a news story in the Des Moines Register about me and what I am trying to accomplish. Opinion: Ricki King wants everyone to know Black people and history are in Iowa. I do, too. Spot


bottom of page