Friday, September 7, 2007

Sharing Family Information

We arrived in Monte Rio to visit Paul (Linda's brother) and Deb (Paul's SO) for two days. Deb is one of the granddaughters of Robert Leroy Thompson, the ultimate census dodger that I posted about earlier this week.

We discussed what I have found to date, including the possibility that Robert Leroy Thompson may have changed his name at some time - either intentionally or through adoption. I showed Deb the FTM database I have on her ancestry on the laptop, and she really wanted to have a copy. I'm going to copy PAF onto her computer and a GEDCOM so that she can play with the database. I also have all of the downloaded record images - census pages, WorldConnect reports, etc. for her to put on her computer.

After dinner, Deb brought out the picture of RLT she has of him in his Army uniform in 1918 with his dog that served in France with him. She also showed me copies of his Enlistment Record and Discharge paper from the Army with some interesting dates on it. On these papers, he is called Leroy Thompson. He enlisted on 1 July 1916 in Memphis, Tennessee. It doesn't give a birthdate, but says he was 31 and was born in Huntland TN. He served in Belgium and France in late 1918, was gassed, and was discharged on 12 April 1919 in Oglethorpe GA.

The only information at odds with this information is his age - the SSDI and his death certificate says he was born 12 August 1880, which would make him 35 when he enlisted. Perhaps they had an age restriction for enlisting in 1916.

Deb also mentioned that he tried to enlist for World War II at age 62 or so - I have not checked the World War II draft registration cards, but I will soon!

Then I showed them this blog and the information on it, and we discussed some of the events from last week with Ancestry's databases - Deb is an attorney. They were amazed at the depth and breadth of what our little group of genealogy bloggers post on a regular basis and easily saw the benefits of sharing this information freely on the Internet.

Finally, we looked at all the pictures form the last 4 months of the Massachusetts trip, the Maui trip, and the daughters and grandkids. That put Paul to sleep and Deb was yawning. They went to bed, so I can blog freely using their wireless connection right here on the dining room table!

Sharing Family information is one of the very best ways to get more family information. She had those papers and because I had done some work on her family, she was able to share them with me. We also discussed how to preserve the hundreds of pictures that Paul has of his family, going back several generations. I recommended that he scan them, label them and put them on a DVD and distribute them to the interested family members, including my daughters.

It was a very fun - and productive - evening.

1 comment:

Steve Danko said...

Hi Randy,

Glad you had a productive visit with your in-laws. I have a couple of comments about the WWI and WWII drafts:

Those enlisting in the US military in August 1914 had to be between 18–35 years of age. In June 1915 the age range was changed to 18–45 years of age.

In the Fourth World War II Draft Registration conducted in 1942, all men born between 28 Apr 1877 and 16 Feb 1897 were required to register. Registration did not imply that they wanted to enlist.