Friday, April 27, 2012

1 March 1945

Every letter she had written to our soldier had been opened by ripping the envelope down the side and sliding the letter out the end.  Every. One.  When I went to read this letter, there was no tear.  And the flap was sealed.  Could it really have never been opened and read? By the time these letters found their way to our soldier, might he have missed opening one?  I carefully open the flap and began to read a letter that may  have never even been looked upon by the eyes of who it was intended for...

My Dearest Darling Husband,
     Hello my dear, hope these few lines find you feeling your best.  I'm fine myself only a little sleepy.  That's why I never got to write you yesterday, and I'm sorry Darling, Mother doesn't want me to leave her so I just called home and told Vaughn I was going to stay all day, and if the roads were any better to come after me tonite and let Gertie stay tonite.  Mother isn't feeling too well but I imagine in a few days she will feel better.  But they are so short on nurses that you have to wait quite awhile before you can get one and she has been getting sick quite a bit.
  
     It's Friday morning now Darling.  I didn't get this finished yesterday so I thought I'd better be getting it finished or you will think I've forgotten about you, and that just wouldn't be a very pleasant thought.  Course, Darling, i think of you all the time and love you more and more each day.  Honey I haven't gone home yet cause Gertie called last nite and said Vaughn had to go to Indianapolis and couldn't come over but she would be over this morning after me but she called this morning and said she couldn't so I think I'll go home this noon on the train, if Mother is feeling any better.  She doesn't want me to go but the nurses seem to think she will be alright.  Then maybe I can come back this evening and stay all night.  I've been with her all the time since she has been operated on except one afternoon and Gertie stayed then.  Mother doesn't want me to leave her but I am about give out.  She said the reason she wouldn't be operated on in November was because I couldn't be with her.  She rested better last night than she has been.
     Well Darling I sure hope I hear from you real soon.  I'm telling you I never went through such days, not hearing from you or Charles and Mother not being very well. I got my birth certificate from the Anacanda so I guess they are really through with me.  I've not sent my badge in yest so probably they will be after it sometime.  I got a letter from Dale and as soon as I hear for you and know you are getting my letters ok I'll send it to you to read.   He sent me some German money and a little handkerchief from Belgium.  That is where he is.  He said if you come over that way he would look you up. 
     Mother has yours and Charlies pictures over here, and Miss Turner came in this morning and she remembered the pictures.  But they still call me Bingle.  Even Gertie called and asked for Miss Bingle - That use to be me but not anymore.  Guess you know who I am no don't you.  And Darling I'm sure proud to be your little wife. 
     Hoping to hear from you real soon to the Dearest husband ever.  I love you Darling and I miss you too
All my Love and Kisses
Your Darling Little Wife

Thursday, April 26, 2012

February 1945

**A few more letters to end this month, and none are from her sweetheart soldier husband.  She awaits the mail delivery every day, just hoping - not only to receive a letter from her new husband, but also her brother whom she hasn't heard from in many weeks.

February 25, 1945
My Dearest darling husband,
     Well Sweetheart here 'tis Sunday night so must try and write you a few lines.  Just got home and Vaughn said this was a heck of a time for a married woman to be coming in.  It is after 12:00 but hon, I've been a good girl believe me.  We took Mother to the hospital this afternoon and when we got home Jean wanted me to go to the show with her so we went and then I went down to her house and stayed till Less come home.  I was going to write you while I was down there but Jean got to showing me some pictures and things so just didn't get around to it. 
     Darling I love you so much.  Just seems like every minute that passes I love you twice as much as I did the minute before. 
     Well hon I was going to tell you about Mother as you know we were going to take her over there.  They were going to wait till tomorrow to do anything cause Dr. Maloof (?) has to give her an examination.  She is on the second floor in the sun parlor, and it isn't a very nice place to be but that hospital is really full.  I'm going over tomorrow and see her.  I got to talking to the nurses I had while I was there and one of them said yes she rememberd me cause I was the one who got all those letters from my boyfriend.  Then I told them I was married and they didn't know what to say.  They all congratulated me.  They said I really was looking good and oh I don't remember what all they asked me.  They all remembered the picture I had of you. 
     Honey I got a card telling me your watch was finished so I'll get it as soon as I go to Marion again.  Darling I love you more than I can say and I know you know Dear that I do mean every word of it.  Dearest I must close and get to bed cause I want to wash early in the morning.  Dearest I'm praying I'll hear from you real soon and please write as soon as you can.  With all my love and kisses I'll say so long to my Darling husband.  I love you Dear.
Your Darling Little Wife.


February 27, 1945
My Dearest Darling Husband,
    Will try my best to write you a few lines.  Oh honey how I wish you could be here and Charlie too.  Then I would feel much better.  Well honey mother is to be operated on tomorrow morning at 10:00.  I've not written to Charlie yet but i think I'll wait till it's over with but Sweethear I just had to tell you I know you love our Mother but Dear don't worry please.  If you were here that is just what you would be telling me.  So Darling please don't worry.  As soon as I possibly can I'll let you know how she is.  But I just feel that this operation is the only thing that will make her well.  Because she suffered so much.  We don't exactly know what they are operating for but will know tomorrow.  She is going to be moved on first floor.  I'm so glad cause the nurses are sure swell.  I am going to stay with her tomorrow all day and all night tomorrow nite.  Darling I may not write tomorrow but will try to.  
     I'd give almost anything if there would be two letters in the mailbox tomorrow morning one from you and one from Charlie.  Darling I love you so much please believe me I do mean every word of it.  Darling please excuse this short letter but I want to try and get some rest.  Dear I love you and you know I miss you so much.  So long and good nite Darling.  All my love
Your Darling Little Wife


February 28, 1945
My Dearest Darling Husband,
     Will write you a few lines Darling so I can send it home with Gertie and she can mail this in the morning.  I'm going to stay all night with Mother tonite.  She was operated on at 10:30 this morning.  She came down about one o'clock.  She is getting along as well as can be expected.  Dr. Maloof said she was getting along fine and from now on she would probably feel swell.  I sure do hope so.  The took her womb and her overie  out.  Now there isn't anything left.  I guess her insides were really a mess.  I guess the operation she had about 12 years ago was the most cause of it all.  Who ever operated on her didn't do it right.  I guess this makes her fourth operation.  Darling when she gets out of here and home ok, I'm going to do my best to help her all I can.  She is still under the antisitic.  She is in the same room I was in only in the bed Jean was in.  She says things now and then.  She just asked if she wasn't in the same room I was in.  
     The nurses sure are swell.  I guess I sorta pulled a stunt or something this afternoon.  Vaughn was sitting out in the hall and I was watching Mother and all at once I fainted.  Anyway that is what the nurses said I done.  I never had anything like that to happen to me before.  One woman that was in one of the other beds got up and went after the nurse and they put me in her bed.  She was up here for x-rays so she wasn't really bed fast.  But I feel swell right now.  The nurses laughed after it was all over.  Well I did too.
     Oh Darling I love you so very much.  You don't get tired hearing me say that do you?  I only wish you were here so I could tell you in your sweet little ear.
     Well hon they are ready to leave will close for now and will write more later.  So long Darling, all my love
Your Darling Little Wife

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

21 February 1945

Converse, Indiana


My Dearest Darling Husband,
     Well honey how are you this evening.  Fine I hope.  Guess I'm sorta tired or something this evening. Darling there isn't much for me to write about but Darling just a few lines anyway to let you know I love you more than anything in this world.  I'm playing cards with Gertie and Sticky.  I started to write this and they wanted me to play.  So Dear if this doesn't sound just right maybe you can understand why and honey I'm ahead so far.  Remember the night I beat you in a game of Rum?  Sorta got you didn't it Honey?  Sure do wish you could be here Darling.  But I have my least of doubt that we would be playing cards. 
     Honey please excuse this writing and for writing on the back of this but I've only got two sheets of this paper.  Well honey the game is over and Sticky won. 


Well Darling here is is Thursday morning so will try and finish writing this.  Of course this would of gone out sometime this morning if I'd of finished it last night but I'll mail it this afternoon.  I went to the post office this morning but there wasn't any mail from you or Charlie.  I saw Doris up town and she asked about you and was telling me they were laying off at the factory.  Sure wish I was back working.  But won't be able to go back till mother gets better.  The Dr. called last night and said he hadn't yet to see Maloof (?) yet.  But would see him Friday.  I wanted to go to Marion today but don't suppose I will cause the weather isn't so good.  Raining and blowing.  I want to take those films and send them in.  Gertie is still in bed.  She doesn't get up very early.  I've been getting up and fixing breakfast for Vaughn so I just stay up.  All he eats or rather drinks is a cup of coffee.  Easy gotten breakfast don't you think? 
     Honey Gertie put a Golden Brown tint on her hair and it come out sorta red.  But was mother ever mad.  She said it would wash out.  Well Darling I sure don't want to but I must be closing and get started ironing.  I should of done so yesterday but (now don't get your bowels in an up roar) I fell Tuesday and yesterday when I got up my arm was so sore I could hardly use it.  But it feels better today. 
     I love you so very much and Darling I know you love me too.  I miss you so terrible much, write when you can.
All my love
Your Darling Little Wife

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

19 February 1945, pt. 2

**The next letter has a return address from our soldier's father, written in pencil as he always did - and yet...the handwriting was not his.  Curious, I began reading...

Dear Son & Warren -

(Huh?  That's a weird greeting from a father to his son...and this writing is NOT our soldier's father's writing.  His writing was...well in a word, atrocious.  This letter was written very well.  I kept reading...)

     We receive your most welcome letter Sat was more than pleased to hear from you.  Glad you received our letter sorta though perhaps you would not get it.  Dottie  & your Mother & Ezra were over Thurs eve to tell us about their trip to see you, we were to the show when they came.  Your Aunt Bertha told us that they wanted to see us.  So we went up to Art's and found them up there.  We had a nice time together.  Dottie said she was coming over to say a few days with us.  But I am not going to hold my breath till she comes.  I sure hope she does.  She is so sweet.  
     My daughter and her husband (another clue that someone other than his father was writing this - our soldier had no sisters) bought a little Press and Shine Parlor Shop out up town.  Can you see me shining shoes.  I thought I would not like to but it is fun.  We shined 54 pr. Sat. 


2:30 pm - Your daddy was just in & stayed awhile... 

(aha!  This is definitly NOT his father writing this...yes I know I could skip ahead to the closing and read who it was, but that's kind-of like reading the last page of a book, don't ya' think? Anyway...)

...Said he was going to the house and rest a while.  He does every a.m. from 2:30-5:00 off around 7:30.  He likes his work real well and he feels real good.  Your daddy sure has changed from the time I first met him.  He does not drink through the week at all unless something special comes up.  We always go out on Sat night and have a good time.  Last Sat night we were to some friends house and did not get home till 3 o'clock Sun morn.  Then we were out for supper had a nice time, I sure do wish you could walk in on us.  Because your daddy sure misses you very much.  We hope it won't be long at the best that you can. 
     Bob was planning on a few days leave but no go.  He has been 7 months since I last seen him, seems an awful long time But I am no different than other mothers and fathers I guess.
     It is a pretty day out today we have had snow on the ground all winter.  It is really going off today, seems nice to see the old earth once more.  
     Well Warren write to your daddy whenever you can.  He loves to hear from you.  "God watch over our soldier and sailor boys at all times."
Love,
Daddy & Hannah

(Of course, it was Hannah!  Hannah Schloser Allomong - who would eventually become the 3rd Mrs. Homer Hulbert in January 1948.)

Monday, April 23, 2012

19 February 1945

**Amidst the letters I most recently came across a "change of address" card for our soldier.  Not from the U.S. Postal Service, but actually the War Department - and it was "to advise you that my correct address is now":
Co.C, 22nd BN, 6th Regt.
Ft George G. Meade, Maryland

This is where his most recent letter to his bride had come from, so no surprise there.  But what confuses me is that for days... weeks even, our soldier's family continued to write to him at a military address in New York city.  Of course, being that it was the wrong address - these letters all have the mailing addressed crossed off, and they're stamped and initialed and dated "Return to Writer", "Missing", and  "No Record".  Some of them dated over a month past the original postmark! Could you imagine?  During a war - when stories abound of loved ones overseas who have come up missing, and your letters are being returned looking like how I described.


I have to believe that phone calls were hopefully exchanged between our soldier and his family, so that fears were soon put to rest.  But there weren't cell phones, nor was there unlimited long distance 70 years ago.  He either had the coins to make the call or he would've had to call collect. 

On a side note - this letter mentions many family members by name within it.  So for clarification:
Charlie & Ester - our soldier's brother and wife
Dad - our soldier's dad
Hannah - dad's "special friend"
Mom - our soldier's mom
Ezra - our soldier's stepdad
Mother - Her mom
Vaughn - Her stepfather
Bertha - Referred to as our soldier's aunt, so I believe this may be his Great Aunt Bertha, although I was not aware she ever left southern Ohio, let alone lived in Northwest Ohio near my great-grandfather.
Don - our soldier's brother
Homer Jr. - yet another brother of our soldier
Charlie (#2) - this is HER brother.
"Daddy" - This is a reference to Vaughn's brother, Roy. Although a confusing story, it's not as weird as the names may indicate.  Her own father was killed when she was a toddler, and her mother met Roy Lane.  I think they spent much time together, and the young toddler may have affectionately grew to call him "daddy", even though Roy and her mother did not marry, but rather Roy's brother Vaughn would eventually become her step-father.  (Welcome to my crazy, dysfunctional family loyal readers.  Don't worry, there will not be a quiz on family members at the completion of this.)

C.

February 19, 1945
Converse, Indiana
My Dearest Darling Husband,
     Don't be alarmed Dear, I just took a spell to write and just went until my fingers gave out and I wanted to tell you how I've been doing.  I miss you so much even more than ever and gosh honey how much I do love you.  I guess you are wondering why I've not written and wondering where I've been putting myself up at since I last saw you.  Well honey I just came home yesterday and of course I didn't get your letter till then.  I guess it came Friday.  I was going to come home Saturday on the bus, but Charlie & Ester (our soldier's brother & wife) said if I'd wait till Sunday they would bring me home, so I did. 
     Boy honey you just don't know how I feel about you being so far away.  Sure wish I knew where you were.  but I know you can't tell me.  I sent your mother her Valentine this morning and sent her your address.  I will write Dad a letter this afternoon and send him your address cause I promised him I would.  Yes honey I went to see him while I was in Ft. Wayne.  Boy did we ever have a bad trip home.  After we left you Friday nite we went back to the room and got our suit cases and took that train at 3:10 and never got home until Monday morning about 6:30.  We got on a local train and it stopped at every cross road I do believe.  So when we got to Pittsburg we layed over, 8 hours in order to get a good train.  Well anyway when we got to Ft. Wayne we were about give out.  But Dearest I really didn't mind at all cause we got to see you and that is all that mattered to me.  I was so glad to see you that few hours.  I only wish it could be so we could be together all the time. 
     We went to Bryan on Wednesday nite.  But when we got there no one was at home at Hannahs so we went over to Bertha's.  Then we (your mom, Ezra, and I) went up to Arts and after we were there awhile Hannah and Dad came in so then we went around to that place where you carried me out on account of my ankle, remember which place I mean?  Well I only drank 2 beers and quit cause I didn't want anymore.  But every one else was really feeling what they drank except Hannah and she was all right I guess.  Well anyway when we got ready to leave that place a fellow by the name of Joe S----(illegible) was standing outside just drunker than heck and Ezra started talking to him or rather they all were talking when Ezra says "Jesus Christ" in a pretty loud tone of voice when a cop came from across the street and said "none of that talk" well Ezra says "I only said Jesus Christ" so the copper takes him by the nape of the neck and locks him up for the night.  And here we are, your mom and I, not knowing what to do.  Hannah had company at her house so we couldn't go down there.  Well after about a couple hrs had passed in which we were trying to find out what happened to Ezra and we did find out he was locked up for the night, your mom and I got a room at the Elder Hotel, and Ezra got let out about 2:30 the next afternoon for $16.20.  So after so long a time we finally got back to Ft. Wayne.  I laughed till I almost cryed cause it was so funny to me.  Although I know they didn't think it was. 
     Honey the room we had at the hotel reminded me of the one you said you and Don had that night.  It was right at the corner of the hotel with a big front window, and a private bath and radio and everything.  They said it was the only one they had.  But mom was so sick she didn't know which end was up. 
     I did get to see Dad and I payed him the money.  He is working in a dinning car as a waiter.  He didn't like it very well cause we came to see you and didn't let him know anything about it.  But I tryed to tell him I left in such a hurry I didn't even have time to think.  But he and Hannah wants me to come and stay a few days with them before very long.  So I promised them I would, and Darling I sure hope you won't mind, but they wouldn't keep still till I said I would and I was telling Ester about it and she said she would like to go with me, and then we could go over and see Homer Junior's kids as I've never saw them.  Darling I know you probably won't have time to answer this right away in order for me to get an answer but Darling I do hope you won't mind.  Then when I come back home I guess I'll try and get me a job and save all the money I can. 
     I sent our proofs in this morning so I'll have our pictures to pay for in a couple weeks.  I had everyone I thought might want one a post card size made.  Well I sent for 24 of them and 5 - 8x10's.  One for your mom and Dad and one for Mother and one for ourselves.  And your Aunt Bertha said she wanted an 8x10 and she would pay for it.  So I told her I would have one made for her.  And then of course I had 2 of each of myself made. 
     Honey it won't be long till your birthday and I wanted to get you an identification bracelet.  Maybe I can find one.  Mother wanted to you a watch but she says she can't find any.  I guess you knew she was sick or did I tell you.  She is sick in bed now.  The Dr's told her to go to bed and stay there and believe me I'm going to see that she does cause there isn't a thing she has to get up for and as long as she is sick I'm not going to try to work cause I'll never have but one Mother and I do want to help her all I can.    She is suppose to go to the hospital but hasn't done so.  I guess the Dr. thinks now she has gallstones in her liver. 
     Well honey so far we haven't heard from Charlie.  If only we could get one letter just to let us know he is allright.  Of course that piece in the paper was really something.  But there has been so much fighting going on there in Manila if that is where he is. 
     Well honey your mail was censored so you can write me and tell me how you have to do.  Was I right or wrong?  Vaughn just cam in and brought us some candy bars.  He's home because Mother told him she wished he wouldn't go to work cause she wasn't feeling too well.  So he took Daddy to Marion this morning and started home and I guess the same thing happened to the Chevrolet as did to your Dad's Ford the night we went skating.
     Dearest I love you so very very much.  I know here I have written you quite a few pages and haven't told you how deeply my love for you is.  But dear you do know how much I love you.  Darling the best we both can do is put our faith in God and pray for your quick and safe return home.  Dearest I love you more than I could ever begin to prove to you.
All my love,
Your Darling Little Wife

Thursday, April 19, 2012

2 February 1945

Our soldier reported to Camp Maxey in Texas on December 9th, 1944 - just 5 days after getting married.  His new bride stayed in nearby Paris, Texas, renting out a room to stay at another couple's home while he was busy with his training on base.  Only a small number of letters (that have already been shared) exist for this time period.  Whether it was because there weren't many, or they weren't kept, or perhaps both - is anyone's guess.  The next letter is no longer address from our soldier in Texas, nor is it addressed to anyone in Texas.  But rather, our soldier has relocated to Ft. Meade in Maryland, and his letter is addressed to his wife at her mother's home in Converse, Indiana.

Ft. Meade
My dearest wife,
     Well beautiful I will try to drop you a few more lines.  I don't have anything to talk about so don't plan on much.  I did go to Baltimore yesterday and made it back all in one piece just a few minutes ago.  Oh yes, glamour puss I did get my G.I. haircut also yesterday before I left, but back to my trip to Baltimore.  I have never in my life done anything that was more of a failure than that trip was.  About all I did was eat pie, drink milk, and look the town over. I had $3.35 when I left here and I still have more than a dollar so you see how much I spent.  I went to the show before I left Baltimore this afternoon and I don't know how it happened but it was a good show.  It was "The Marry Way" (**I did a search for this film, and couldn't seem to come up with anything except one that was released three years later.  If anyone can guess what this one might be, shoot me a message!)
     I don't know if I told you in my letter yesterday or not but they seperated Jimmy and me again.  He is in the barracks next to me again.  I wished my name began with "B" instead of "H".
     Thinking of names that begin with "B", have you heard from Paul yet?As soon as you do honey I want you to let me know and if I am still here send me his letter (Please). 
     Well darling I can't think of much more so will close for now as I want to write my mother and dad.  Say hon, you have all my love so if you can spare part of it give it to mom and give her a kiss for me.  I will close now dearest thinking of Sis and the rest of the family, but mostly you.
I will be yours,
First, Last, and Always

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

DNA! What does it mean?

Remember this photo?  I suppose I could go out on a limb and tell you this is an extended family photo.  Ancestors upon ancestors upon ancestors are represented in this photo.

Right now you're thinking, "Candy - it's just a cheek swab."  Well guess what.  It's my blog, and it's my DNA, so if I say it's an ancestral photo it's an ancestral photo.  Moving on...

I once wrote that this was the beginnings of a story, and I still think it is.  I'm just not entirely sure of all of the characters and details within this story.  But I'm working on it!  The beginnings of this story (other than the initial cheek swabs) is that I was given an opportunity to try and test out a new field that Ancestry is starting.  I wasn't really surprised when the email arrived telling me they were getting into the DNA side of genealogy.  One of the biggest names recognized with genealogy, I'd say my reaction was more like "It's about time!"  They were providing the test kit and the results...I was providing the sample.  And $10 shipping.  I jumped on the chance to be a part of this, considering these tests run anywhere from $99 to $269 depending on the sort of testing that you want done, I could afford the meager $10.

In November I responded to the email, ordered my kit, swabbed my cheek, and sent it back to the lab just as soon as I possibly could.  When I say without delay, I mean it.  I responded to the email - that day.  The day it arrived in my mailbox, I swabbed my cheek and returned it via my postal worker hubby, the same day.  I was told via email that my results would be available sometime "early next year".  Thought it was a pretty vague time frame, but again, I wasn't going to complain over the opportunity.

Early next year....well I wasn't naive enough to think that January 2nd there would be an email waiting for me telling me where I come from.  It would have been nice.  But I knew better.  I even told myself not to look for anything until the end of February.  Good thing too, because there were no results at the end of February.  Fast Forward to a Friday in March...A new episode of GTV (genealogy tv) was airing - "Who Do You Think You Are", which just happens to have major sponsor Ancestry.com...and SURPRISE!  The new episode was featuring the results from their new DNA testing!  Well now that the cat was out of the bag, surely my results would be on the way, right?  Nope.  My email inquiry answered that it would be a few more weeks.

So I waited.

And waited.

All of this waiting was leading up to the time when I was able to take my mind off of my waiting and was able to keep myself busy preparing for the release of the 1940 U.S. Census images.  (I had the sinking feeling that my DNA results would arrive the same day as the '40 census images were being released!  What would I do?  Which would get my attention??  As it turns out, there was no conflict.)

I have a friend who believes that I have to be at last 1% Asian.  (Fairly certain they were being just a wee bit of an "intellectual rear-end")  My dad has always thought that maybe, just maybe, there was a wee bit of Africa running through our family.  This was due to an ancient family picture that showed a great-great-great aunt with what appeared to be features of a colored woman.  I have been able to trace my dad's paternal side back to England, so I wasn't completely convinced of his theory.  As it turns out, the facts don't lie.

A few days ago, I received that wonderful email, alerting me that my results were in!  I clicked through the link and this is what I found...


Intrigued?  Of Course!  Fascinated?  Certainly!  Surprised?  Not really.  Especially with the finding that 33% of me is British Isles.  (That was more of a "Whew!  I did that research right!" reaction)  The Central European I don't completely understand since it doesn't look very "central" to me.  But that could just be me and my geographically-challenged self.  But I know of a family on my maternal side that did originate from Germany, so this also makes sense.  But it's the majority of me, 38%, that is showing of Scandinavian descent.  As in - Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.  That's the one that has me saying "Huh...never saw that coming."  Again, not completely blown away in surprise.  Let's face it.  I'm a white girl's white girl.  But since I've yet to get my paternal grandmother's family out of Ohio, this at least gives me a little something to look forward to one day.  When after years of research, finally stretching beyond the borders of the Buckeye state, reaching that coastal edge of our country and realizing that before they stepped foot on this land, they sailed from .... Scandinavia??

Yep.  Never saw that coming at all.

**I know, you're wondering about that 5% that shows as "uncertain"...maybe that's where my well-intentioned Asian side comes in ;)

C.
 

January 1945

A handful of letters from a wife in Paris, Texas to her new husband at Camp Maxey- a distance of only a few miles separating them as he continues his training in the U.S. Army.

January 21, 1945
My Dearest Darling Husband,
     Darling I just don't know exactly how I want to start my letters to you cause there are so many sweet things I could call you and you mean so very much to me.  I love you Darling and you know it I'm sure and I'm telling you I get so lonesome for you I nearly drive myself batty trying to find something to occupy my time.  But I guess I'll manage.  I went to a show this evening about 5:00 and got home around 7:30.  I saw "Alone with a Lonly Heart" or something like that.  Carry Grant played in it But it sure was a dumb picture to my notion.

I wanted Myrtle to go with me but she was afraid Bob would come home and she didn't want to be gone if he came.  Well I don't want to be gone when you come in either but she things Bob would get mad.  You know honey I've got the swellest husband they ever was.  And I sure do mean that very much.  Of all the married couples I've saw I've never yet saw a man treat his wife the way you treat me.  I know since your in the Army you can't give me every thing you'd like to but Darling this war is going to be over soon. 
     Honey I'm so worried about Charles I just can't stand it.  I know I've said that a dozen times but gosh it sure looks like we could be hearing from him pretty soon.  I wrote dad a letter telling him thanks for the money and I'd pay it back to him as soon as I get the allotment.  But it isn't mailed yet.  I'll go up town in the morning with Kathryne and get some stamps.  It seems like everytime I make a trip to town it gets a mile farther. 
     Well honey it is time once again to bring this short interlude to a close.  Will be back again tomorrow evening or afternoon some time.  Sure hope you are getting my letters ok.  I love you Darling.  Please hurry home.  I mean just try to but come in with the rest of them don't go AWOL please. 
I love you Darling
Your Darling Little Wife


January 22, 1945
My Darling Sweetheart,
     Honey I'm wondering what this letter will find you doing.  Not to tired and feeling fine I hope.  I'm fine myself and haven't done much of anything as usual today.  You  might as well say I've been gone all day.  I got up around nine o'clock and before I knew it the mailman was here and I got a letter from your mother and Aunt Nettie and the U.S.O.  and I sit down and wrote Aunt Nettie right away and by the time I finished it Katheryn was ready to go to town so I went with her.  We went to the laundry and Post office and in and out stores and finally back home about 3:00.  Well honey you probably aren't interested in my gad abouts.  but most of all Darling I've done is miss you so very much and I get so lonesome for you.  Sweetheart I love you more than you will ever be able to know.
     Aunt Nettie said she wanted a picture of us. I sure do hope you will get in so we can have our pictures taken.  I was going to have my hair done up town but I just can't do so, so I guess I'll try and do it up my self.  I went to another studio today to find out about some pictures and we can get three 5x7's for $7.50 and if we aren't here to see the proofs they will send them to me and I can tell the which one we want.  But honey I do want us very much to have our pictures taken together.
     Aunt Nettie also told me about my cousin Raymond Dice that is over in Germany that was wounded.  Gosh I can hardly stand it honey when it gets down to your own relation you begin to realize just what we are in.
     Your mother didn't have much to say But I was still glad to hear from her.  I wrote Bob Ginnis a letter but I'm not going to mail it till you can read it.  I got Charles a Valentine and sent him from us both cause you know honey it will always be us from now on.
     Sweetheart I love you so much.  Well I'll say so long Darling.  SUre hope you get in soon.
All my love
Your Darling Little Wife


January 23, 1945
My Darling Husband,
     Sweetheart here I am back again today.  SUre hope you are feeling fine and sure hope you come home pretty soon honey.
     I'm over next door keeping Mrs. Gambles children.  Kathryn isn't feeling so weel today so I'm keeping the kids for her.  I could keep them all the time I guess if I were going to be here very long.
     I got a letter from Gertie this morning.  She didn't say anything about Charlie so I guess there isn't any word at all.  She didn't have to much to say but was still glad to hear from her.  I wrote Dick and Paulie a letter today and like I said I won't mail them till you read them if you care to.  I also wrote Hannah a letter.  Not much I just don't feel much like writing...
     Oh yes honey I had company this noon.  Ginger came in for a few minutes.  She was going up town and wanted me to go with her but I told her no.  She said she was over yesterday and I wasn't home.  Must of been while I was over to Mrs. Bunck's.  She got to talking about Jimmy and I believe she has it bad.  She wanted to know when I looked for you to come in.  She said she hadn't went with anyone since Jimmy has been gone.  She sure is crazy about him I do believe.  Ginger also wants us all to go out for a weener roast THursday nite if you all get in then.  I told her I didn't know what we would do.
     Well Sweetheart I'll close for now and get things picked up cause these kids have got their things every where.  THey are playing that song "An Hour Never Passes".  Gee honey how true it is.  I love you very much and sure do miss you.
With all my love and kisses,
Your Darling Little Wife


January 24, 1945
My Darling Sweetheart
     Well honey I didn't think I'd be writing you tonite cause I figured you would be home.  But is about 9:30 and still not home.  Honey I miss you so much!  Honey you know I forgot to write to my Dentist until tonite and I know he won't get my letter before Friday and they said if the apointment was broken I'd still have to pay.  I sure hope I don't have to.
      I'm keeping Sharon tonite.  Bob and Myrtle went to a dance out to camp.  I kept Mrs. Gambles two kids again today and I guess I will again tomorrow and Saturday too cause Kathryn still is sick.  She sure has a terrible cold.  Honey isn't Jimmy from ----- (-name of town is unreadable, but looks to be "Logattie")  Well I saw a paper today from there.  Mrs. Gamble lives there.  So you can tell Jimmy he isn't the only one from his home town.  I mean if that is his home town.
     Ginger came in again tonite about 7:30 I think it was and wanted me to go to the show with them.  But I told her no.  She told me if you and Jimmy came in tonight for me to be sure and call her tomorrow and let her know.  That was if you came in very late.   I didn't get any mail today but Aunt Ruth sent me a book to read.
     Dearest I love you very much and I want you to always know it. This is another short letter but really honey there isn't much for me to write about .  Good nite Dearest and sure hope you get in soon.
With all my love and kisses, I'm yours forever
Your Darling Little Wife

**On the back of this letter's envelope, was scratched a note:  "Sweetheart, if you come home don't run off I am going out to look for you.  Hubby."  As much as she had wished and wanted him to return home,I get the impression that he did finally come in while she was out - either next door babysitting, or out with her friend Ginger, or running errands up town.  Wherever she was...he was going to find her!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

20 January 1945

** I don't know the circumstances that led to, or perhaps U.S. Army protocol that led our newlyweds to be separated.  He was now stationed at Camp Maxey, and she was residing a short distance away on West Cherry St. in Paris, Texas.  And so, their letters continued...

My Dearest Darling
     Well Sweetheart here it is Saturday nite and I'm so lonesome I could almost cry if I'd just let myself.  We are part of each other now and I'm so very very proud to be your very sweet little wife.  Lord knows Darling how I feel about you and he will take care of you while were apart.  I'm feeling better tonite than I have been feeling but I guess nature has to take her course.  I just wrote mother and your mom and dad a letter.  I want to try and get all the letters answered I owe.  Sweetheart I sure hope you can get these letters I'm writing.  This makes three I've written.  I'm going to try and write one every nite.  I'm not making that a promise but I don't know what would keep me from it though.  So I guess I will make it a promise to. 
     I told Mother it was all right about the watch cause we know how she felt about it.  I'm in the front room writing this and Katheryn and Floyd have gone to bed.  They are the grandest people I ever knew outside of our family.  Tonite I ate supper with she and Billie Mac cause Floyd wasn't home so she fried some pancakes and asked me if I didn't want to eat with them so I did of course.  I played Old Maid with Billie Mac and Kay just a while ago.  And he sure is the sweetest kid.  I mean Billie Mac.  I went over to Myrtles early this evenin' and Bob was home so I came back home.  It was only about 5:30.  He sure gets home early. 
     This sure doesn't seem like Saturday nite to me and no doubt it doesn't to you either.  Darling I know you won't mind me closing cause I am getting sleepy but gee I wish you were here with me.  I believe  I could stand for your snoring tonite. 
     Well goodnite Darling.  I do love you with all my heart. 

All my love.
Your Darling little wife.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Dec 1944

According to our soldier, he was leaving Ft. Bliss at midnight on November 23rd and heading north to Indiana to his sweetheart, hoping to be with her again by Saturday (the 25th).  I often wonder what their reunion and time together might have been like.  I'm sure part of our soldier's furlough was spent travelling from Converse, Indiana and on up to Ft. Wayne to visit his mother, and further yet to northwest Ohio where his father was.  But before long, he returned back to the home of his sweetheart, and on December 2, 1944.....

  

I love this group photo - I don't know everyone but I can pick out the newlyweds, as well as her sister, Gertrude, who is standing on the other side of our soldier.  His father is kneeling down in front on the right, her step-father, Vaughn Lane, on the left.  Our soldier's mother stands behind the woman in the black coat, and the photo defect leaves me wondering for sure who is unknown in the photo but who also shared in their special day.

After their wedding on Monday, the newlyweds would very likely say goodbye to their friends and family, pack up her belongings, and they set off for their new home - returning to the Lone Star State.  She would stay in Paris, Texas while he was scheduled to report for infantry training at Camp Maxey, Texas by the end of the week.

And their story continues....

C.

Friday, April 13, 2012

"Whatever Happened To...??"


An earlier pic, taken probably 1943 or
 early '44 in Indiana.
 **I write today with absolutely NO disrespect towards my grandparents.  But I just couldn't help but wonder what might have happened with our sweetheart's former beau, referred to earlier in these letters as "Paul D."  Oddly enough,  the same day that she most likely received the last letter from Ft. Bliss before her soldier returned home to her, she very possibly also received this letter on the same day - A letter from PFC Paul D. Brookshire, stationed in Oahu, Hawaii.

Thursday Evening
November 16, 1944

Oahu, Hawaii

My Dear Dorothy,
     Well may I say hello to you once more?  I expect you are pretty busy now days so again I won't take up to much of your time.  My self I have the duration, and six to go so I have plenty of time to myself.  One of these days Uncle Sam is going to put my time to a good use, I'll be glad when he does just that.  Then a person really has his mind off of things that trouble him.  Do you follow me?
     I'm not doing much writing here.  I have mail piled up here that goes back two months or even more.  It doesn't worry me at all, as long as they don't get the telegram from the War Department along with an insurance check they don't need to worry about me.  I can take care of myself, for awhile anyway.  Right now I'm about ready to give up all hope for me.  I'm telling you angel I just don't give a shit anymore.
     Say what's this I hear about Chuck putting in for a furlough from his place to come home?  That will sure be nice if he can come home.  Me, I have been away so dam long now I don't care if I don't make it till the war is all pd.  I'd like to see Chuck go home, and stay home where he belongs

(** "Chuck" is most likely a reference to her brother, Charles.**)

     Oh yes, by the way tell them all I said hello and give them my very best in the world.  That is if you will do this for me?  Also tell Him (**Our sweetheart's soldier**) I wish him plenty of luck when they put him in an A.A.A. outfit.  You are lucky in getting him if he is put in a triple A bunch.  I hear that those guys are being put on the coast to stay.  You know the U.S. is liable to be bombed any day now.  I'd hate like hell to see him get hurt that way, I don't want to see you get hurt in any way.  Just between you and me, by-God he better treat you right or one of the two may get hurt.  Tell him that.  If you don't think I mean it just let something happen that isn't doing any one any good.  We will see.  You know he may get sent over here some where, although I don't think so, you see Dot., they want men over here who know what they are doing all the time.  It takes to long to track a boot Jungle training and then wait until he is out of the Hospital, but that time he is no good any more.  So you see we want and need all good men over here on this side.  Laying all jokes aside, Dorothy try to hang onto him as long as you can.  You know what I mean?
     Well beautiful I had better close for this you are probly bored as it is.  Anyway I'm sorta running out of much to say.  So I'll say so-long, and take care of yourself, don't do anything you may regret someday.
     Good-nite.

    As Always:
    Paul "Sparks"


**Enclosed with his letter was this "interesting" snapshot with a notation on the back: "Southwest Pacific - You had better watch out if He gets stuck with something like this on some 2x4 rock.  He may drop you out of his mind.  I had a lot of fun down there I can tell you that much. ~Sparks" 

Being the genealogy obsessed person that I am, I did a little research and found out that Paul came home to Indiana after his time of military service.  He married a girl there and spent the remainder of his life there before he passed away in 1977.  I think this letter was a sweet and final goodbye to the gal who once held his heart, and maybe a last chance to get final digs in towards the one who had swept her off her feet and away from him.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

16 November 1944

My Dearest and Darling
     Sweetheart I suppose you have given up all hopes of ever hearing from me again but here I am.  Next Thursday at this time I hope to be in your arms.  I had about given up but while ago shipping orders came thru with my name on them.  I am suppose to ship the 23rd which is next Wed.  I don't suppose I will be free till midnite but 10 minutes after midnite I will be at the airport.  I am pretty sure of getting a plane home and I sure am glad.  That way I can get home in 7 or 8 hours.  Mabey we can have Thanksgiving dinner together. 
     Darling I do love you so much.  You see in the army it isn't what you know it's who you know that counts and I just happened to meet the right person.  I'll tell you all about him of course when I get home but I will tell you this much now, he is the one that will make it possible for me to come home by plane.  He is the one that will make it possible for me to come home by plane.  We have made a lot of plans for my future.  I have a wonderful opportunity waiting on my when I get out of this darn army if you think you would like the west coast.  It may not mean anything but I am just darn fool enough to believe it.  I will tell you about it next week, it is sort of a long story.
     Darling I wish you were here today it is really a beautiful day believe it or not the impossible has happened in Texas.  It has rained a lot, snowed a littel, and hailed a littel.  It sure is a heck of a day.  it's just one of those days when all you want to do is go to sleep.  That dam Jimmy sure is a case, boy, I would like to ship into a line outfit with him the darn nut was just down here acting a fool and he doesn't have to act very much.  It looks like we will both get to ship on the same day if I don't take a plane we will go home together.  My other right bower ships Monday.  That's the kid that was in the picture with Jimmy and I. 
     I just went over to find out how many days I get and I only get 14 days.  That darn Jimmy is back here again, he left while ago, He says he is a worried man.  He is afraid Orvilla is that way again.  He said he would have to stay in the Army now to support his wife and family.  He said he had a lot of fun when he was home the last time, he must of.  James just loaned me his pipe so watch out honey I will really do business now.  Oh, I just found out some more honey.  I leave Thursday at midnite.  Boy hon, now if you just feel like riding I will get two weekends at home. 
     That littel piece of paper sure does look good to me all it has on it is my name and "14 days to Converse Indiana" but, yes but.  You littel blue eyed angel I love you so very much.  If you don't believe that just ask me.  I sure wish now that I hadn't of ask you to stop writing when I did but I didn't know how things were going to turn out.  Jimmy and "Dink" still hear from their women about every day.  I told mother not to write any more also and now of course I don't hear from anyone I really feel lonely but it's to late now.  I did do things ass backwards, didn't I?
     I will tell you some more dear about my future.  I thought at first I wouldn't tell you but I guess I might as well.  On the 9th of Dec.  I have to report back to Camp Maxey Texas.  That's wonderful isn't it honey.  The infantry also.  I don't like the idea of coming back to Tex. for I have a pretty good idea what it means but I have known for a long time it was coming.  I did want to be in the double A.  The boys are all worrying now about the infantry being tough but it doesn't worry me in the last for I had eight weeks of it and I never seen anything so tough about it.  I may be a driver anyhow.  Here's hoping. 
     You know that laundry I told you about Sunday, well it's still just as dirty as ever.  Well darling I have given you the low down on the weeks and I don't know anything else to talk about so guess I will say so long.  I could try to tell you how much I love you but I would rather wait till about a week from Saturday.  The days sure are long now but it is a rainy day today.  Some day the sun will shine again soon I hope.  Well, see you a week from Saturday you littel darling, is it a date?  Whether it is or not I will be with you.  For now dear so long.  All my love.  I love you dearest.  Starting in a wk. from Sat. it will more than ever be just yours, for now its the same old
Yours
First, Last, & Always
Lots of love and kisses for my own.

**This is the last of our soldier's letters from Ft. Bliss, Texas where he was in basic training.  He has received his orders to head "home" on furlough in another week's time, and soon he would be able to join his sweetheart in Converse, Indiana where she is still recovering from her surgery.  What does their future have in store for them together now??

C.

His & Hers - November 1944

November 6, 1944
Monday morning

Good morning darling, I have been pretty busy but I have a littel time now so I will try to scratch you out a few lines.  It won't be long till I will have to tell you to quit writing me I sure will be glad when that time gets here.  Honey don't get me wrong I don't mean that the way it sounds.  No I sure don't, that sounds like I didn't appreciate your letters don't it honey.  Boy I don't know what I would of done all the time since I have been in Texas if you hadn't written  me so often.  Darling you are so sweet and good to me I love you so awful much.  Honey I bet you was mad when they told you that you had to stay there but you know what everybody says "Dr. knows best" mabey that's right too.  I suppose if you went home you wouldn't stay in bed 15 minutes till you would decide that you had to help mom clean up the house or something.   Darling I want you take it easy and get to feeling OK as quick as possible.  I have been working on my truck all morning and now I have got it dead lined.  I fixed, I mean, help fix the brakes and put a muffler on it and I broke a spring the other nite and I am waiting on a new one now.  We sent another truck into camp after one. 
     Well it's chow time darling so will quit for now.  I love you Dearest.

     Well angel I am back from chow and I am still disgusted.  Indiana was never like this.  It is cold and cloudy and raining and of course the wind is blowing.  We sure are having one day when a person won't sweat much.  One of the boys ask me at chow what I was going to do this afternoon and of course I told I was writing my honey.  He told me I was just wasting my time for I would be able to mail it anyhow and he is no doubt right about the situation for I wrote mother yesterday and gave it to a driver and it still isn't mailed but I am trying anyhow, and sweetheart that littel gadget I bought you Sat., I still haven't had a chance to mail it.  It's just laying here in my truck getting dirty.  It will sure be a mess when you do get it.  I guess I could tell you what it is but I will wait and let you find out for yourself.  It will sure be a surprise for it really isn't anything at all. 
    Dear please believe me I am sorry I can't get you a letter every day.  I do try darling honest I do.  I just feel so helpless just like a baby.  I want to write you or send you something every day and yet I just can't.  Please forgive me if you can honey, and mabey I will be able to make it up to you someday and let's hope it will be someday soon.
     Well darling I don't know anything else to tell you so I guess I will close and get this ready to mail.  Mabey I will run across some driver going into town.  So I will say so long now dear with all my love and sweetheart I do mean all of it.
(I just had a brain storm)
Honey when I went into camp last night I took your letter over to the Battery Office to mail it and they were making up the furlough papers and there is a new cycle starts in Monday, so naturally we have to be out of our barracks my Monday.  Don't that sound good darling.  Just think it may be only seven more days and I will be on my way home to you.  I won't be able to tell you of course when I will leave but it may be Sat, Sun, or Mon nite "and that's when it's coming home to you"

     I love you dearest sweetheart this is Tues. now, I didn't get this mailed yesterday and don't have time to write you today.  Please forgive me.  I was so glad to hear you are home.  Take care of yourself dear.
Darling, it's still
Yours
First, Last, & Always


Ft. Bliss, Texas - Anti Aircraft Group, 1944
our soldier sits in the 2nd row from the top, on the far left end.

7 November 1944
Converse, Indiana

Dearest Darling
     Sweetheart I'll try my very best to write you a few lines so Darling you will know I'm thinking of you.  I'm very sorry Darling for not writing so often.  But honest Darling I do write you as much as I can.  It is pretty hard for me to write lying here in bed.  At the hospital it wasn't so hard because my bed could be raised. 
     Well anyway Dearest I love you more than anything in this world.  Darling I got 3 letters from you this morning and Dearest I sure was glad to hear from you.  Mother also received your letter.  My  letters came from the hospital.  Jean Richards and Margaret Bridenthal were here a few minutes this afternoon.  But Jean is coming back to-nite to stay with me while Mother goes to lodge.  Sure wish I could go.  Mother hasn't gone to lodge for a couple months I think.  Oh honey I almost forgot, I set up about 20 minutes today while mother made my bed.  It was the first time I've been on my feet for over 6 weeks.  But I just about couldn't make my legs work.  But with Mothers help I made it.  I think I'll sit up tonite and eat my supper.
     Well Sweetheart I had to stop awhile cause the Dr. came and then Jean came and Pug came.  In fact they all came and now I'll try to finish this.  Pug is sitting here at the front of the bed giving me the low down on everybody in Cincinnati.  You see Daddy had to take a load of beer to Cin. and Vaughn went with him and they stopped at Aunt Dicy's and Pug came back with them and Aunt Nettie is coming Saturday. 
     Oh Darling I'm so glad that your coming home.  Honey I think I'll meet you half way.  Sure wish I could.  The Dr didn't change my dressing But he was so well pleased with the way my insision is healing.  Gosh he set here for quite a while.  He was so glad that I'm getting along as good as I am.  But he told me to take a week in getting up.  You know, one hour one day and so on.  But for me not to go car riding for 2 weeks at the least then I am suppose to go over and have him change my dressing.  Well honey I guess I'll close for tonite and Dearest I do love you very very much.  Please believe me.  For now I still remain yours.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

6 November 1944

(Somewhere in N. Mexico)

My dearest and darling:
     Will try to get you a few lines now.  I know it sounds funny but I didn't have time yesterday.  I started a letter to mom yesterday to let her know I got my money O.K. and only got about three lines written.  Ten minutes ago the sun was shining and I had the doors open on my truck and was sitting here in just my undershirt. Now I have my jacket on and my cab all closed up tight and you can't tell the sun ever shined - it sure does look like rain.
     Sweetheart brace yourself for believe it or not I am going to church pretty soon.  I have to take a load of boys into camp to go to church so guess I will go.
     Honey as I said before I didn't get to write you yesterday but I did get you a littel somethin but I have to get into the post office to mail it and I don't know when I will get a chance to do that.  It won't be long though.  Don't get excited now honey for it isn't very much but it is kind of pretty when it is in the sun.
    Sweetheart will you quit worrying about my furlough not being very nice.  All I want is to be with you.  I wouldn't care if I didn't get a furlough if I was just with you.  Sweetheart I do love you so very very much.
    You don't think much of my drinking do you honey.  You know that it is very littel I drink but that nite Jimmy got back I would of felt like a sap sitting there watching them drink and me sucking my thumb.  But I won't anymore darling.  Promise.  This is one thing I have always been able to get along with or with out.
    Don't worry about me finding an entirely different girl than the one I left.  Angel we might be changed a littel but after we are together for the next hundred years we'll get used to each other again.  I don't care if you don't like beer or anything else you will still be mine and the one I love.  That's for sure.
     So you can't figure out how I wire those flowers huh?  Honey you tickel me.  But I will tell you sweetheart I go down to El Paso to a flower shop and order my flowers and I put down on a piece of paper the message I want to go with the flowers then they wire back to that shop out on second street there in Peru and they take the flowers and message to the hospital.  That writing just happens to be a coincidence.
     Well that's gratitude for you honey.  Here I was going to go to church and now I have to pull a gun back to camp.  Oh well they might reform me but they could never change my ways anyhow.  You are the only one I ever did change for and I think the only one I ever would.
     Got to close now darling but until my next letter I will say so long and I'll be love you and it won't be long till I'll be seeing you.  Please take of yourself now honey.  I love you my dearest.
     There is one way in which I'll never change - I will be just Yours - First, Last, & Always.

Our soldier (in the middle) with two of his Army buddies,
probably on one of their trips "into town" to catch a show.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Welcome to 1940!

Yesterday morning (April 2nd) those much talked about, much hyped up, much drooled over 1940 census images were finally released to the public eye.  Family historians were poised at computers waiting for 9:00am to strike so our search could begin in this newest lot of information regarding our family members.

I was so excited, I couldn't sleep.  Sunday night I had a sudden fear hit that I might oversleep and miss the party.  It never would have happened as I have 3 kids to get to school...but it was a moment of panic just at the thought.  I tossed and turned in bed all night thinking out my strategy with the morning's schedule to be awake, showered, dressed, and ready to go at 8:30 when the live launch event started.  Hubby was off work, so he could take the kids to school, allowing me to not have to drive home in a frenzy to get back to my computer before all of the excitement began.

I dragged my sleep-deprived self out of bed at 7:15 and checked my Twitter feed to see what the morning's chatter was about in regards to the census release.  I started reading and realized that I had misunderstood (or maybe forgotten) that Ancestry.com was being given the images at 12:01 am on April 2nd, and they were already at work getting the images online, and some WERE already online!  By 7:30, I was at my computer, thanking the genealogy gods that I had Hoosier ancestors since Indiana was one of the first states that Ancestry had put up. 

(So much for showering and getting ready for that 8:30 launch event...)

Let me clarify, this was not how I had wanted to make my first official 1940 search.  I had planned to locate my maternal grandparents with my 2 uncles and aunt. (Hey it's exciting to find ancestors from years gone by, but to see people you actually know and are still alive?  That's kind-of cool!)  Unfortunately, the state of Ohio wasn't an option to search yet, and the National Archives opening was still 90 minutes away...and after all, why waste precious time showering when there are new census images to look at!

So I began -

Indiana...check
Steuben County...check
Richland Twp. (ED 76-15)...check

My first search was going to be for Ezra Carlin, the man who would eventually become my great-grandmother's 2nd husband. 

It was quick, painless, and beautiful when that first census image came up on Ancestry.  There was no waiting or wondering, it just happened exactly like it was supposed to.  But now I had to search him out.  There is no index for the 1940 Census, meaning, you can't just type in that name and find it as quickly as we'd like.  Remember?  This keeps us humble.  I noted that there were only 14 pages in the set, so this wouldn't take too long to get through the district, and I might even get my kids' lunches made for school too!
I began scrolling down that 1st page, eyes adjusting to the strange but incredibly clear handwriting, and just when I got near the bottom and had already began moving to click for page 2, a name caught my eye -



This obviously is not the Ezra that I was looking for, but it is my great-grandparents, and they're still married in 1940! (I have no idea when they divorced, although this helps narrow it down a little bit.)  Oh yes, and that teenager living with them...my grandfather, all of 14 years old, and just 5 years before he would enlist in the Army and fall in love with a certain little "blonde angel".   What I was very surprised to see was that in 1935 they reported they had lived in Tucson, Arizona.  My initial thought was "Huh?"  But then I remembered that great-grandma Helen had a sister who lived in Tucson, and I have a suspicion that they may have been together at that time.
I would like to say that this was a good sign of how this momentous day would go.  After all, if YOU found your ancestor on the very first page of your very first search of the day, you'd be pretty excited to!  But once the live launch event was over (with a few glitches of their own), and the 9:00 release came and went at the National Archives...it was disappointing to say the least.  A lot of excitement, a lot of build up, and it all fizzled throughout the day like a balloon losing it's air as the images were nearly impossible to pull up and view through their website.   
Thankfully, technology can be fixed, and there are options for 1940.  The NARA site is now up and running (quite well this morning actually!)  FamilySearch is putting up their images as quickly as they can, and Ancestry is just as dependable as they always are - pushing right along to get the rest of the census up live on their site within a matter of what I'm sure will be only a few short days.
So who will you find?  I have a whole list of family members that I need to get started on! 
C.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

1940 Census Prep Work and P.A.F.

I've been spending the last few days getting ready for Monday morning.  (If you're asking yourself  "What's Monday morning?" then you haven't been following me very closely. Come on, stay with me people!)

For those of you who were sleeping in class and missed the announcement:  the 72 year waiting period is almost over, and on Monday morning, April 2nd, the 1940 U.S. census images will be released.  This is GINORMOUS for us genealogy-minded people, and we're as giddy as Nascar fans on race day.  Or like kids in a candy store.  Or an Ohio State fan on game day against Michigan (Go Buckeyes!)  Whatever comparison you choose, you get the idea.  Family history fanatics nation-wide will be sitting poised at their computers on Monday morning at 9:00 am ready to begin our search for our next decade of ancestors.  Some will be sneaking peeks while at work (I promise I won't tell!) and some - like me - have already given fair warning to the needy people in our homes that laundry will not be done that day, and dinner may very well be pizza from the delivery guy.  (I've even turned down an offer to go shopping that day!! WHAT??)

Now that we're all caught up and on the same page...it's time for some last minute prep work.  There will be no index available to simply pop in our ancestor's names and TA-DA...There they are!  Sorry, that won't work for 1940.  It's going to take a little bit of effort, which is always good practice for any genea-crazed person. (I think it keeps us humble.)

I have my main "cast of characters" that I will be looking for -those family members who are closest to me that would have appeared in 1940.  A sampling of my list goes something like this:

Name: Herman Allen (my great-great grandfather)
Date of Birth: 7 Jan 1878
Date of Death: 24 Feb 1962
1930 State: Illinois
1930 County: Effingham
1930 Twp/City: Mason
1942 WWII Draft Registration: Edgewood, Effingham Co., Illinois.
1940 Enumeration District Possibilities:
     25-19 (Village of Edgewood)
     25-20 (Village of Mason)
     25-21 (Outside both villages)

That last section - the Enumeration Districts - those were just recently added a few days ago once I was informed that I would need them to be able to search the census.  Most of my peeps are farmers who lived out in the middle of their farmland and without specific addresses.  In researching the appropriate E.D., I've discovered that each township in these cases is usually it's own District.  If your ancestor resided in a city, however, that is a bit more determined of a task to locate the specific Enumeration District.  But no worries!  It's an easy thing to do:

Steve Morse Unified 1940 Census ED Finder
(Trust me, it's self-explanatory.  Just follow the link!)

So now that I've gathered the names and info of those I'm considering a MUST discovery for 1940, there was a little voice in my brain that was nagging..."What about everyone else?"  Sure I have my 15 or so names, but what about the others...the siblings of my direct ancestors. You know - all of the aunts,uncles, and cousins...how could I get them all without having to look at each individual name in my database to see if they were alive in 1940?

Thank you Crista Cowan from Ancestry.com!  I happened across a brief video lesson that she was doing on getting ready for the 1940 census, and she had a fantastic idea - use my genealogy software to filter out the appropriate dates and names of those who would be alive and therefore worthy of a search in 1940.


A little glitch...Her example uses Family Tree Maker(FTM), and I have Personal Ancestral File (PAF).  No biggie since mine filters too, right?  Yes...just a little differently.  Where Crista speaks of filtering in and filtering out in FTM those who were born before 1940, after 1840, and those who died before 1940 - all for the sake of narrowing down our databases to the names that are relevant to our search, PAF is slightly different.  I had to select those individuals with birthdates greater than/less than the whole 1840-1940 range thing, and figure out the correct death formula, as it wanted to give me all individuals who have since died but then it was missing those who are still living.  That wouldn't work!  After playing with it a few times, I think I managed to successfully pull a list of everyone in my database who could possibly be on the 1940 census.

PAF users, if you know an easier way to work this, please let me know - but this is my "filtering formula":
Birthdate is less than 1941 
AND 
Birthdate is greater than 1840 (These two together give me individuals who were born anytime between 1840 and 1940, a nice 100 year lifespan)
AND
Deathdate is greater than 1940 (Keeps the older individuals in the list who were still living in 1940)
OR 
Deathdate does not exist. (Includes those individuals, mostly the young'uns in 1940, who are still alive today)

I'm sure I could thin my list out even more, but at present, I'm just happy to have figured this path out.  Formulas were never my thing in High School.

Now I have my primary list and my "got nothing else to do, let's try to find great-great aunt Elsie in the Census" list.

Who's on your list??
C.