Thursday, September 30, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - Pop's Songs and His Typewriter

My paternal grandfather, Leonard C. Anderson, loved to write songs and poetry. One song was actually put to music and released (that's a story for another post). 

Most of his writings are on plain white paper, written in tiny pencil writing - there are at least a hundred of them.  Unfortunately many of them are not dated, but then there are some which are and these could be very telling as to what was happening in his world during the days listed. 

Among the pile I also came across some that were typed and behold, we also have the typewriter! This typewriter was made by Underwood at my best guess sometime in the 1920s or early 1930s (honestly I've not done much research on it).  It has it's own case which snaps on and has a little slide latch on the front, and at one time had a handle for easy carrying.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Military Monday - The Air Medal & Oak Leaf Cluster

I have written often about my grandfather William Patrick Bellew's time in WWII and my fight to get replacements of his medals from the military.   I have been doing a bit of research on those medals - their criteria specifically, that I wanted to share, and show the documents received when they were awarded to him

This is my grandfather's air medal, awarded on 29 March 1944.
When the Air Medal was awarded to him, he received a slip of paper which he sent home to my Grandmother.    Here's the document:

A couple of questions came up when I found this (isn't that always the way for us?)   I knew that he was part of the 331st bomb squadron, yet someone crossed that out and put "333" just below it.  Also, at the top right corner it states "for five missions" and the "five" is crossed out and in the details it states that he is awarded this medal "For exceptionally meritorious achievement while participating in seperate bomber combat missions over enemy occupied continental Europe".    While researching his military history I had found others who explained to me that yes, these were given after five missions, but others were awarded for the "exceptionally meritorious achievement" as well.  Having his mission diary, we know for sure that he flew his fifth mission on 23 March 1944, so this could have been awarded either way, but I especially love the comments "The courage, coolness and skill displayed by this Enlisted Man..."  My Granddad was brave and cool!

The little Oak Leaf Cluster on the ribbon is for a second award - given instead of another full medal.    Here's the documents for the Oak Leaf Clusters he received :

Friday, September 24, 2010

Citizenship - Declaration of Intention

In my previous post I showed three cards for family members who had filed or partially filed for naturalization in the U.S.    Noting that the card of George Roe wasn't complete I found that he had only filed his declaration of intention or "first papers" and had not followed through with the process of becoming naturalized.

A declaration of  intention states that the person wishes to become a citizen of the United States and renounces all allegiance to any other foreign country.

Walter Leeming filed his first papers on 6th July 1901 at the district court in Central Falls, Rhode Island.   The document doesn't give very much information other than his city and county of residence at the time, in this case Lincoln, Providence, Rhode Island.   Because his son John Edward Leeming came to the U.S. as a minor, he was not required to file the declaration of intention.

Here is Walter's declaration:

These declarations are typically filed two or more years prior to the actual proof of residency and the finalization of citizenship.    

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Exploring the U.S. Naturalization Records Indexes

I recently began searching a bit in the U.S. Naturalization Records Indexes on Ancestry.  I was somewhat expecting not to find my ancestors in the index, simply because it was previously believed that many of them never went through the process of becoming naturalized citizens.  Yet again it's been proven - don't believe everything you hear!

I first searched for Walter Leeming, my 2nd great grandfather who I knew came to the US (via Canada) in 1899, according to the 1900 US census.

I found Walter's card easily and then began to search for the other members of his family, some of whom were born in England, others in Canada.

I quickly found another record, this one for Walter's oldest son, John Edward Leeming, who was also born in England.  Note the dates on these two records are the same.   Father and son became citizens together, with the same witnesses.

I next turned my attention to another 2nd great grandfather, George Roe.  With many spelling variations (Row, Rowe, Wroe) on various records, I had much trouble finding George in passenger arrival lists but managed to find him in this index without a problem.

Note that George's card appears to be incomplete.  After speaking with a nice employee at the NARA in Waltham, MA, I learned that George filed his declaration of intention (also called First Papers) in the Albany County Court on 8 August 1898, and his petition in Adams on 30 Mar 1901.  He did not appear in court to complete the process.

The NARA offers copies of the naturalization documents for $7.50.  I have ordered copies of the documents for Walter and John and will post them in a follow-up later this week.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

 Have some more dad!  
William Patrick Bellew (b.1917 d.1975) and son Jack

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday's Obituary - William P. Bellew

Usually obituaries can hold a treasure of information, and this one is no exception. However, it also raised a question - one to which our family still has no answer - The Arlington Question.   I wrote about this when I began wondering why my Grandfather, a decorated war hero, wasn't buried there.   I have recently asked again about this and my Grandmother replied "They told me that he had to be killed in action to be buried there."    If you refer to the Arlington National Cemetery website requirements for burial, you will clearly see that this isn't the case, at least not today.  I haven't any idea what the requirements for burial at Arlington were in 1975, but have a feeling that they don't differ much.

I have tried many times to find the records from the funeral home, in hopes that they would provide some clue.  The funeral home was purchased by other funeral homes over the years, changing hands more than four times, each time being purchased by a larger company and none of the locations seem to know what became of the records from 1975.    I started seeking them when I found this announcement of his death in the papers that my Grandmother has saved.   This announcement clearly says what should have been true...  but I may never know why it didn't happen.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Saturday Shout Out - Comments and New Follows

A very special "Thanks" to everyone who has come by and left comments for me this week! 

Jo at Scottish Genealogist
Ginger Smith at Genealogy by Ginger's Blog
Nancy at My Ancestors and Me
Magpie's Mumblings
Greta at Greta's Genealogy Bog
Doreen from Ohio the Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky Bay
Carol at Reflections From The Fence
Robin at Saving Stories

There are MANY MANY great genealogy & family history blogs out there!   Here's a few that I added to my reader this week that are worth checking out...

Finding Eliza
Chasing Rainbows
Daily Genealogy Transcriber
Food. Family. Ephemera.
I Will Remember
Restore The Ancestors Project
The Symbolic Past

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday

As promised a few weeks ago.   Today's treasure is an item from Grandma's jewelry box.

There are two of this item that are very similar, and I found out why.   There was a time that my grandmother's brother, Charles Anderson, was making jewelry - beaded necklaces to be exact.   So today's treasure is two-fold; they belonged to my Grandma and they were made by my Uncle.  

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Saturday Shout Out - Comments and New Follows

Again several weeks in the making.   This post is to acknowledge those who have come by my blog and left comments to posts recently.   I had a great response for my scrapbook, submitted to the 96th Carnival of Genealogy at Creative Gene, I want to thank everyone for their kind words for my little project, and thanks to everyone for reading!

Kathy at I Will Remember
Hummer at Branching Out Through The Years
Michelle Goodrum at The Turning of Generations
Carol at Reflections From the Fence
Dorene from Ohio at Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky Bay
Joan at Roots 'n' Leaves
Lisa Wallen Logsdon at Genealojournal
Cynthia Shenette at Heritage Zen:
Greta Kohl at Greta's Genealogy Bog
Heather Rojo at Nutfield Genealogy
Ginger Smith at Genealogy by Ginger's Blog
Magpie's Mumblings
A Rootdigger
Cindy at In My Life
Mary at Mary's Musings

Check out these great blogs that I've added to my reader recently! 

Daily Genealogy Transcriber
For Your Family Story
Genealogic Abounds
Johnston Genes