Free Memorial Day Records Available

There are quite a few websites that are making some of their military records available for free this weekend. Today I took a sometime to review the records at http://pages.myheritage.com/memorialday/  .

I attempted to find records for a few of my ancestors. When performing a search of an online collection, it helps to keep the search broad and then narrow it to find valuable information. The is also a good time to introduce the concept of a research log or notebook. By documenting what collections you have searched and for what individuals you can avoid duplicating your work months or years later. It can also help to illuminate areas you might have overlooked or want to review more closely.

For example according to your current research you believe that your ancestor’s name is James L. Curtis, date of birth (dob) Kentucky, 1927. If you limit your search to those parameters, the search results might miss the person you are searching altogether for  or return no results at all. Utilize the option of using a range of years (if available) , ie.  + or – 5 years, within the search function. It normally is better to omit middle names or initials. Middle names or initials, may or may not be mentioned in the record.

Every collection you search will not necessarily contain information on one of your ancestors. It’s good to remember that records are not always accurate, nor do they all contain the same information. The information is only as accurate as the person who provided the information.  The person could be wrong, misinformed or trying mislead the person or organization collecting the information.  That’s why it’s important to use more than one source to verify information. I often say that, “genealogical research is often about finding a preponderance of evidence, rather than a direct smoking gun with fingerprints and gunpowder residue.” (I watch a lot of crime shows. LOL)  Just because a piece of information conflicts with what you’ve previously learned, doesn’t mean it’s false. It might be good idea to file it under “further research needed”.

Shortened Transcript of Record that I was able to find on one of my ancestors.

TC
Birth: 1921

Residence:
Enlistment: Apr 9 1943

Serial #: xxxxxxxx
Grade alpha: Pvt
Grade code: Private
Branch alpha: No
Branch code: No Branch Assignment
Term of enlistment: Enlistment For The Duration of The War or Other Emergency, Plus Six Months, Subject To The Discretion of The President or Otherwise According To Law
Army component: Selectees (Enlisted Men)
Race and citizenship: Negro, Citizen
Education: 2 Years of High School
Civil Occupation: Semiskilled Chauffeurs and Drivers, Bus, Taxi, Truck, and Tractor
Marital status: Married
Source: Civil Life
Box #: 0900
Reel #: 3.322

I was told previously that he served in the military, however I didn’t know what branch or when he enlisted. This gave me quite a bit of additional information. Excited!!!  His birth certificate states he was born in Louisiana. However I know he lived in Texas for part of his childhood. The name, birthdate, residence and enlistment information all match. This tidbit will encourage me to request his full military records from The National Personnel Records Center. Previously, I’ve requested and received my father’s and my maternal grandfather military records.

Happy Hunting! I hope this blog has inspired you to do some research or perhaps preserve some stories from a veteran in your family.

Anna Mae’s Oldest Grand-baby

Nichelle ~

 

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Memorial Day

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My Aunt Rosie’s Headstone.

As the holiday fast approaches many people are planning cookouts, family gatherings and enjoying time off. For a lot of people part of the holiday tradition includes visiting cemeteries and placing flowers on the grave stones of loved ones.

This is one of my families traditions. Since, I was a child, I’ve visited the cemetery with my Mom, Aunts and Grandmother  to honor our loved ones. As we walked among the graves my relatives would describe ancestors who passed away many years before I was born. This helped me to get to know my ancestors beyond names and dates and black & white photographs.

Now that I am older, I realize how precious that tradition was and is. My beloved Granny (Anna Mae) used to walk the graves with us. She is no longer with us and I visit her grave now which is beside my Grandpa. My Daughter and Son walk with me and pay honor to our ancestors. I hope this is a tradition that they will maintain and pass on to their children.

This is a great time to document the location of headstones, grave and row and what cemetery they are located in. It also helps to take pictures of the headstones in relation to landmarks (fences, trees).

Have a safe Memorial Day !

Anna Mae’s Oldest Grand-baby

Nichelle ~

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My Uncle’s Headstone.
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My family surrounding my Father’s Headstone.

 

My Brick Wall . . . Sissy

My biggest current brick wall is my paternal grandmother (my Dad’s mother). She died when my father was a child. My Dad didn’t talk much about either of his parent’s or his  childhood. I didn’t think to ask questions about his childhood until after his passing.  That is one of my biggest regrets.

I know her name Mary Elizabeth Connel Rhodes, she was the youngest of 8 children. Her parents were Hade  & Mattie. She was born in Barren County, Ky, on October 26, 1918 @ 5 AM. Delivered by Midwife Nancy Richardson, address Glasgow RR #1.  

For many years I searched for my Grandma Sissy (her brother Alonzo called her Sissy)  birth certificate. I was looking at the KY Vital Records database thru Ancestry.com on September 19, 2006.  I did a search for her name.  Nothing popped up. I then zeroed in on the her mothers’ name. Mattie Emmerson. I saw a listing for a Garnel Rhood w/ Mattie Emmerson. I knew it had to be her. Her name is Connel Rhodes. It was obviously (I thought) a typo. I sent off the request to the Kentucky Registrar and waited impatiently for the record. I checked the mailbox everyday. Sometimes even twice a day.  :0)  Finally I did get her birth certificate. 

I’ve found her in several census records. However, I can’t find her in anything other than my Dad’s birth certificate.  I believe she died around the time my Dad was 12 years old. I believe she died of Consumption (TB).  I’ve looked in Kentucky and Indiana. No luck in either state.

I have no pictures of Sissy.  The picture I have of her in my mind looks a lot like her Dad and Aunt Orzie (her sister). 

Ultimately, I’d like to learn the location of  her final resting place and also a picture of her.

I think of Sissy often and I pray that her soul does rest in peace.

Nichelle

Anna Mae & Sissy’s  Oldest Grandbaby

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