Update about blog

Come on over to my other blog, Alchemy of Clay and Living in Black Mountain NC, where the scenery and my ceramic arts life are combined. I've moved some personal blog posts, (as well as those that are about my ancestors) back here.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Ancestor's Saturday and WW I

For this week's Sepia Saturday post...click here and see others.  (I post on Friday, because I'm sure it's Saturday already somewhere.)

I'm finding out so much by reading what other Sepians post, the history of people living in England, Canada, Australia and the US.  Sort of on topic, though often not at all...they are (mostly) all enjoyable to read.  It's an education of "items in a bottle" that, when opened, are bubbly and colorful for sure.

This week's theme is related to World War I.  It asks for us to think that "2014 is, of course, the centenary of the start of that conflict known as The Great War or the First World War...and a chance to remember loss in any of its manifestations."

I spend many hours, er, days researching the lives of my ancestors, but find it very sobering to think of those who fought for what they believed in.

The World War I records I have are the draft cards.  I don't believe any men of the age to go to war in my family did fight in that conflict.

Grandfather Web registered for the draft on June 5, 1917.  (My mother was 3 months old at the time)

Albert Bud James Webb 2
Albert "Bud" Webb

 He turns out to have been "tall, medium build," with "blue eyes," and "slightly bald," and hair of "light color."  He also gave his birthday incorrectly, having been born in 1891, rather than 1892.   I wouldn't have known that he was tall from any of the few photos we have of him.  And he doesn't give any "next of kin" information besides wife and child.  I think Edna (who filled out the form) may not have pushed for more information. She couldn't spell where he was born anyway. (More info about him on my blog HERE)

Interestingly enough, on the same date, my soon to be step-grandfather (Frederick A. Munhall) also registered for the draft, in Chicago.  (Albert Webb died in 1919, and my grandmother remarried around 1921).  Both of these men stated they were born in 1892 (according to these draft cards), making them 25 at the time they registered.  Both were tall with blue eyes, and salesmen.  That tells me something about my grandmother's choices of companions.  (More on Fred Munhall HERE)

Fred Munhall was 2 years older than he listed.  Putting a younger age on a draft card must have carried some weight, but it would seem the opposite effect in my reckoning. 
Frederick Munhall
Moving along from San Antonio and Chicago, here's what happened in Fort Worth.

My 41 year old grandfather George Rogers registered on Sept 12, 1918 for the Draft for WW I.  This was the first indication I found in my research that his mother was still alive in Galveston, since he gave her as next of kin.  His wife and children in Fort Worth somehow didn't qualify.  (His life is commemorated in my blog HERE)

George Rogers Sr. in 1942, Dallas, TX

As far as records and family photos indicate, not a one of these men served in WW I.

My Uncle Alex did serve in the Navy in WW II, and I've given a brief review of his life HERE on a previous blog.  He didn't live to raise his lovely daughters.

Alex Rogers with Dona V, and children Claudette and Sandra


Deb Gould said...

It all seems to boil down to pure, unadulterated luck, doesn't it? Lucky not to go; unlucky to have gone and not returned...

Bob Scotney said...

As the first US troops did not arrive in Europe until lat June 1917 anyone being drafted in late 1917 and 1918 had a good chance of not getting to the front. Not that they or their families could have known that at the time.

Postcardy said...

After seeing your registration, I looked for one for my grandfather online and actually found it. I didn't even know all those records were online. My grandfather's registration has the same date Sept. 12, 1918.

B. Rogers, Living in Black Mountain said...

I've been reading the other Sepian's blogs, but feel so depressed I haven't been able to comment. So many young men who lost their lives.

ScotSue said...

How lucky you were to trace registration records as they give us such a picture of our ancestors. In the UK many were destroyed in bombing in the Second World war. Out of my seven ancestors who served, I only traced one service record and it was sobering to note that my great uncle George was described as 5.3" tall, weighed 109lbs, size 34 chest and wore glasses. Hardly the build to be a stretcher bearer an he was killed at the Somme.

Karen S. said...

I spent a bit of time researching some of my relatives too, for their war history, and ended up getting side tracked on other more important and interesting facts for my family research. I'm not a fan (well who is right) but I'd rather not concentrate on war periods, ever. You have done an excellent job here!

Elaine said...

I just found your blog, from Gary Rith's blog, and I'm having the best time looking at your old photos.I spent 50 years in Texas, an am very familiar with the areas you've mentioned-Goliad, Gonzales, and Galveston.

Lovely's Blot said...

It's weird looking at draft papers and military records at just how inaccurate they can be. I guess people had their reasons for being economical with the truth. I suppose now with the advent of on-line records this will be less likely to occur.

Little Nell said...

It’s really interesting to read about draft cards and what the young men wrote on them. Sad to hear of yet more non-returnees.

Wendy said...

I like reading draft cards too. Sometimes the details can be so interesting -- one of my ancestors had part of a finger missing; another was described as "stout."

Mike Brubaker said...

Despite the unfortunate circumstances of WW1 and later WW2, draft cards serve as really useful alternatives to the census, especially since the 1890 census was lost. The extra details connect a lot of dots in genealogy puzzles.
In some of my recent research I've learned that there were 3 dates for these cards - June 1917, June 1918, and September 1918. The first two for men 21-31 and the last for ages 18-45. I suspect that some younger men altered their age in order to join the war effort.

tony said...

Strangely ..at least you know I am in the curious position of not knowing what my relatives did in WW1.Now WW2 they were very visible.Maybe the Polish side of my family werent engaged ?(i have no info) & even the Scottish side is strangely silent...I must investigate! Thanks for your post &it's "prompt" to Me!!!