2017 Virtual Genealogy Fair: From the Cradle to the Grave


>>Welcome back. This is session number 3 of the 2017 Virtual Genealogy Fair. This lecture is entitled, From the Cradle to the Grave: Birth, Childhood, and Death
in the National Archives at St. Louis by presenters Daria Labinsky and Cara Moore. They will deliver
and overview of data available from the National Archives at St. Louis that provides biographical
details from birth to death illuminating entire life spans. Miss Labinsky is an archivist
and Miss Moore an archives technician at St. Louis, Missouri. I am now turning the broadcast over
to Daria Labinsky and Cara Moore. Hi, Im Daria Labinsky and I am going to talk to you about children in the National Archives at St. Louis today. Next slide, next slide. First I am going to tell a little bit about the National Archives at St. Louis. We are not a regional facility like the like the National Archives in Chicago or Kansas City. We are a national facility with over 600,000 cubic feet of archival personal data records we share a building with the National Personnel Record Center, and that
holds military and civilian personnel records. For people who work for the federal government.
And you might have heard something about a fire that happened in 1973 at the national
personnel record that happened in your building elsewhere in St. Louis. And Ashley Cox is
going to be ‑‑ is going to talk about that in her presentation which comes on after
ours. These are series I will discuss, normally when people hear of personnel records, they
think about adult relatives many of the things relate to children. The ones I am going to
talk about here feature stories of paternity baptisms and dependents then I will discuss
how I use clues from the documents to dig deeper into some of the families using information
I found here to do research online including on ancestry.com this child was featured on
the archives cute Twitter feed. This is from JFK Library, this baby grew up was Ernest
Hemingway. Next slide. The Army general court martial have really interesting period in
there, grizzly crimes, drunkenness, horse theft, punching a telephone operator. People
got kicked out for lying, about bed wetting when they enlisted and I am going to talk
about this one specific record this is Staff Sergeant Cosmos J. Rose who was stationed
with the Army expeditionary forces in Germany after World War I. He was with the Army medical
department. He was court martialed because he married a German woman. You were not allowed
to marry someone who was a German citizen unless you had permission from your commanding
officer. The woman he married was named Fraulein Louise Volkland, she was three months pregnant
at the time of the court martial in 1921 he argued ‑‑ his argument, she was pregnant,
he married her because that was the right thing to do. But the Army found that permission
to marry is not dependent on a state of pregnancy and a state of pregnancy does not establish
the right of marriage. So, he was found guilty because he forged letters signed by commanding
major to be able to marry. The court martial contains other useful records you would be
interested in looking for genealogy information a birth certificate and citizenship certificate.
And details about his Army status. So, I went to ancestry.com and did research that’s where
I found the photo here there is a family tree he is in on ancestry. Next slide, please.
I also found U.S. passport applications from December 30, 1921. It’s for Louise Volkland.
It says she was married and that her husband’s name was Cosmos Rose, he was native born American.
It lists references to corroborate his information and includes the name of his father and the
age of his father and address and also the name of another reference and name of his
uncle in San Jose, California. And then I found that the passport date was December
30, and the marriage certificate was dated December 29th, which means they got married
the day before she got the passport. Then I found Louise V. Rose on the New York passenger
list. That document mentions she was married and she was from Germany and going to live
in New York in the United States. Another interesting thing on the record is his uncle’s
last name was Sousa if you look at the next slide we have John Phillip Sousa who was not his uncle by it was an interesting coincidence. John Phillip Sousa’s record It mentioned his name and children’s name
they were grown at the time he was filing for benefit. The VA would provide benefits
for minor children and education for adult children up to a certain point. And also children
who couldn’t work could continue to be dependents. And if you want to look at earlier Virtual
Genealogy Fair presentations you will find more information about the the XC claim files. Next slide. I am going to talk about this one claim file for Charles Withrow with company H as part of the rainbow
division called that because people from different ethnic backgrounds in it during World War I. He was born in 1904 and in 1918 he died of influenza in the great epidemic. At the time he was stationed at the Disciplinary barracks in New York because he had gotten courtmartialed, because he was drunk and was on guard duty and let, a prisoner go into an unauthorized place.
He got three years imprisonment. These letters are from a case that dealt with his dependents after he died. His common law wife named Louise, and she at the time common law marriage is
still legal in Ohio she was claiming she wanted widow’s benefit and she wanted benefits for
their child. This letter that we have here was one of many letters that was in the record
that is in the record. He was a great writer. He wrote very romantic love letters and poetry,
he doesn’t write much about serving on the front he did. He just said, I don’t think
I am going to have to go the next thing you know he is overseas. Then he comes back and
said, I hope I don’t have to do that again. Anyway, the part I highlighted is something
they used to help establish paternity for the child it says: I will send $15 and the
government will send $20 at the same time, and when our dear little one is born you get
$40 and I get 15 and I will send some of this because I don’t need much money so I will
be okay with $5. It’s very cute. Anyway, so there was paternity case and they the lawyer ‑‑
Louise’s lawyer was arguing that held any offspring of a married couple, the spouse
was legally the father whether or not he was the father, there was a paternity claim in
this document. What ended up happening was the case was ‑‑ it was made moot because
he got dishonorable discharge. You don’t get benefits if you have dishonorable discharge.
I found more information about her in Ohio county marriages on familysearch it shows a Louise Onech born in 1902 and remarried Roscoe Draher in 1923 in the 1930 Census showed they had a 12 year old daughter Helen born in 1918. The time of Charles’s life the baby’s name was Emoretta after him.
But then the baby was renamed after he died. Next slide. These are the immortal chaplains,
I am going to talk about the chaplain files which have in addition to reports on marriages
funerals and funerals they also have baptisms and also list masses. The chaplains would
report every month on what they did on wherever they were serving. And these chaplains were
four chaplains who went down on the U.S.S. Dorchester when it was torpedoed in 1943 they
are on stamp, Steve Smith gave a presentation about this in 2014. If you want to know more
about it. Next slide. I found this baptism recorded in the chaplain file of a Chaplain
named Dwight Wichler from 1945 he was stationed down in San Angelo, Texas. Mary Susan Duvall was born in 1944
in Effingham, Illinois, baptized April 1 in San Angelo, Texas. It says what her father’s
rank was and where he was living, and it lists his wife’s name and she was ‑‑ it also
lists maiden name RexWinckle, that’s useful and the name of witnesses in which case were
people stationed with him in some places can be relatives, it can be useful information.
And I this picture on the left, I found her yearbook picture in ancestry.com from University
of Houston, that is her when she grew up. Next slide, please. 
Official military personnel files you may know that the fire of 1973 destroyed about
16 million to 18 million Army and Air Force military personnel files, but we have quite
a fee that still exist including some that were burned some weren’t burned and all of
the Navy, Marine and Coast Guard records were not involved in the fire we have full runs
of those and we have a record of Private Pagett, the Marine Corps mascot he was featured with his paw print his record is in our custody.
OMPFs often contain births and baptisim certificates, of either the veteran or his beneficiaries.
Next slide, please. This is Walter Lewis Hampton, early photo
a boatswain’s mate, second class. Letters in here regarding support for dependent children,
his wife had written to the military, said he was not providing for the children, she
claimed desertion. He said she was living with another man. You claim that I have not
supported you and the children for three years which is true. The reason for not supporting
you and the children is because you and Mr. F.W. Hoag moved so much, I couldn’t keep up with
you, everything was kept as a secret, what could I do. Jane, do you want me as a husband
and father for the children and do you still prefer Mr. Hoag I am more than willing to
make a home for you, if you wish it so. They reconciled, we know that because when Walter
was killed in the bombing of the torpedoing of the U.S. Arizona in the December 7, 1941,
he was a casualty of that. And he ‑‑ they were listed as beneficiaries to his insurance
payments after he died. Next slide, please? I am going to talk a little bit about civilian
records. Cara Moore will talk more about civilian records later. We have different series, that
are handouts that include the list of all of the different series we have personnel
files for. This one I am going to talk about is Harry Walsh with the Department of State
from his official personnel folder which was very large. He was an attorney who worked
in various consulates as a clerk, stenographer and counsel, he was in Mexico Panama Canada between 1905 and 1933. There
is a lot of mention of his family, the number of kids grew from four to seven. There is a mention
of the fact that his wife lost a child when they were on the ship going from one post
to another. And how she was very depressed about this. They were that was in 1923. Many
of the records mention how poor the family was. One of them mentioned he was Catholic
and the family was very large. That they lived shabbily, they list the ages of the children
when they were born in the records and also the names of the children certain records.
And there is one mention also that the family could barely speak English. That’s when they
were stationed in Panama. Next slide. These next records are the project J files, which
a long name casualty file and missing persons act claim files. They were generated to maintain
a record of claims by individuals who were detained or killed by the Japanese while residing
and or working in the South Pacific when captured during World War II. You don’t normally think
of children being prisoners of war, well they were. In February of 1942, the Santo Tomas internment
camp had 400 children by February 45 when the camp was liberated there was 2132 children
there, including babies, who had been born while in captivity. There were photos of these
available online, and National Archives holdings, some are very sad. There is a story that This
American Life, the podcast did on radio a few years ago, and I included a link to that
on the slide. And it mentioned some children who were POWs, they are interviewed about how
they coped. Next slide, please. One of the children’s records I found was Sasha Jean
Winesheimer, she had a brother named Walter, in this picture but only Sasha had a file
with her name on it. Walter was mentioned in her father’s file. And sometimes on the
parent’s file it was say boy or girl, won’t give a name. But this one gave some information.
It mentions that her occupation was a student, it mentions her age at the time she was liberated
in 1945 was 12. And it says where she was her legal residence, when she was born and
where and that she was a citizen of the United States. And then on the back, like I said, the funny
thing it mentioned she is single as marital status, when 12 that’s good. On the back it
said she was a student. This photo according to an interview I found of Sasha Jean on the
Internet was taken by the Japanese. It was taken to show that she and her brother were
doing well and that everything was okay in the camp and the kids were fine. There are
many other photos show a totally different story. Next, please? Oh, and I just want to
mention I found her on ancestry because they later information about her such as her marriage
and her yearbook photo on there. The last record series is another set of official personnel
folders called the records of the Panama Canal people employed down in the Panama Canal area
from 1904 to 1951. This is an interesting one because I had a lot ‑‑ I wanted to
find more information about this I kept striking out this was Lilleth DeCasseries, she had two dependent
children. The record is dated from 1920, it shows the children are born in 1915 and 1918,
they were quite young. But she was a widow at the time she was working for the Panama
Canal. It shows that she was a sales woman. And it shows that she earned $60 a month and
that she worked from February to December of 1920 at the concessionary stand in or the
concession ‑‑ the military concession stand. I am drawing on blank commissary, there
it is. When she was ‑‑ she earned $60 a month doing that. I tried to find more information
about her I was curious what happened to the children. And I really was striking out and
it turns out so I had all of these questions maybe she was married in Panama. Maybe this was her maiden name. This document shows tha an A Lippman was her nearest relative. So maybe Lippman was her maiden name, I couldn’t find hits in the census. I couldn’t find hits for her aunt in the census. I looked on ancestry international and Google, I had no luck. What I ended up
doing. Next slide. I saw it said Redlands, California, and that she was ‑‑ how old
she was at the time, which was I believe 10. At the time she came to Panama. Age of last
birthday 28 years old. I put in the year it has her birth date 1891. I put in just her
first name, Redlands, California, I finally got a hit. And what I found was Census record.
The Census record shows that in 1890 she was living with Charles and Ada Lipman her aunt
and uncle, they were brother and sister, her name in the Census is Lillette de Castas,
and born in Jamaica to Jamaican parents. Another thing I found was Census data lists her as
black, the document lists her as being white from the Panama Canal. I would look at Panama
Canal records in College Park and see if I can find any more Panama Canal genealogy
newspapers or something to find out more information about this. Cara, I think it’s your turn.
And at the end of this presentation we will give you information about how to request
these records. Thank you.>>Hi, my name is Cara. I work at the National
Archives with both military and civilian records. So, primarily I am going to talk about death
occurred during federal service. When thinking of death during service military service people
come to mind for obvious reasons. But civilian deaths do occur during federal service and
those are detailed in their official personnel folders. All of the civilian personnel folders
under record group 146 with a few exceptions. Whether they served during war time such as
a telephone operator or women’s air service pilots or delivering the mail or on travel
with the CCC, or in an actively dangerous position such as prohibition agent, civil
servants can die during service and details become a part of their record. The first individual
I will talk about is Cora Bartlett, she served in the war department as telephone operator
which is a group 146. She has individual deceased person’s file because she died overseas and
was doing war related work. Like I said, she was a telephone operator, commonly called
a Hello Girl. She was the only one to actually die while on duty overseas as part of her
group. So, part of her record shows that she died overseas, what she died from, and who
her next point of contact was. This little card shows the next one of contact is her brother,
and details about getting ahold of them. She died of Spanish flu, officially called typhoid
fever, June 23, 1919 because of the unique circumstances of her death, there are a lot
of articles that discuss her being the only female, her being part of the Hello Girl,
and some of the different kind of dangers that can come with that even though she didn’t
die in battle, she still had a death overseas while performing her duty. Next slide. These
are some notes part of her record as working with the war department. There is a note based
on her entire surviving family they needed to know who to contact and where her remains
and effects needed to be sent. She had a burial treated similar to that of military combat
death, you can see it lists her brother’s name and parents are deceased and where they
currently were living so that they could be contacted. Next slide. The next individual
I am going to talk about is Nelson Voss he worked for the post office department group
146 and a textual document. He served as substitute mail carrier and clerk the post office is a very large employer not every employee had OPF, and it is very likely that Voss would not have had one except for his death during service. He died
on the job carrying his mail route, it was not related to his service. His mail route
was part of normal day‑to‑day business carried on in Edwards, Illinois. The route he
happened to be on was…covered a house former NARA archivist lived on ‑‑ that’s what drew my attention
to him. He has a ton of details and source work surrounding the case. And the outcome
of the case particular to his death, he was found murdered on his mail route. And similar
to military there is a lot of dependency compensation available to spouses of those who died on
duty. The nature of the death included the theft of two of his packages, there are statements from
the accused, including packages that were taken and what was in them. You can see there is a compensation death claim and actually adjustment that has to be made because of
the missing items that he was responsible for as part of his federal service. The small
town doesn’t seem like there is a lot of resources but there is a lot of statements in his OPF
that regard the investigations and they had to be submitted through the Postmaster general,
and in order for them to account for closing all of these accounts and the liabilities,
and the different claim authorizations that were due to his wife. Next slide. The next
person I am going to talk about is William C. Batley part of the CCC. The CCC records
we have are all on microfilm they are part of record group 146 to process these we have
to look at the microfilm and print them out. He served as CCC enrollee and happened to
be a Veteran involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident while at camp. Next slide. The first
page you see is biographic information I pulled out the part that talks about the date of
birth where he was born and where he served the next of kin and details that is common
in every CCC record but you see the Veterans stamp at the top. Because he died in service
there was a full investigation so that includes different exhibits, different hearings different
testimonies of other people who were around, and you can kind of see a listing of all of
the different things that were surrounding this and the different individuals who were
connected to him at the time of death next slide. On the left there is a little bit of
testimony that I pulled out. And it asks if there was any alcohol intake that was addressed
common question for the boys of the CCC camp just to know how rowdy they were and where
the fault really lied. On the right you see the map of the accident I which ‑‑ which
I think is amazing it’s so similar to accident reports that we have to fill out still today.
But the records really, really big in there is a detail of every statement from every
person from the camp supervisor that allowed them and gave them the pass to have the vehicle
to every person that was in the car and how this situation went and how the night was.
And whether or not they were safely riding in the back of the truck or not. Which definitely
we cannot do today. Next slide. The next lady I am going to talk about is
Edith Keene. She was federal employee with the department of the Army Air Force. She
served with the women’s air service pilot the WASPs were employed as civilians in World
War II and trained as pilots. Despite the strong military resemblance in her position
she was a federal service employee and not considered military. She was killed in flight
as a passenger. She ‑‑ this little line I pulled out is an affidavit talking about
her character, and how strong of a pilot she was and how reckless she might have been.
She was a passenger of a test flight with a second lieutenant pilot she was stationed
right there alongside the military. Next slide. This is a front and back image of her list
of personal effects personal effects like this are common, I think it really humanizes
the people to see the day‑to‑day things they lived with and had with them in their
room. From having different kinds of blushes and lotions to bobby pins to special pens
and air service jackets, even which drum up an immediate mental image of a woman with
her bomber jacket on. The image to the right is her official end of duty saying that she
was killed in action. She had separation by death. So, I think that these kind of details
really personalize the death in service and drive home that these were people that we
know and love, and even though they were civilians who died in death they still went through
the same kinds of things that a more common death in service might bring to mind, next
slide. The next is also another WASP, Hazel Ying Lee, she died in service, there was a
landing gear malfunction and this is an image of the telegraph that was sent providing a
full military burial due to fatality while performing duty even though she was training
in the coastal United States. Next slide. The next person I am going to talk about is
William Parker. He worked with the lighthouse services. They fall under both the Department
of Commerce and the Department of the Treasury. They are textual documents in group 146, he
was a lighthouse keeper and it was very common and still is today for keepers and their families
to live in or very, very near to the lighthouses in order to maintain that constant surveillance.
Because that constant beam is so vital to incoming and passing ships. So he died in
service though in his home, while being a lighthouse keeper. Next slide. This is an
image of the statement that his wife gave, his wife was with him in the house as a lighthouse
keepers she left the post amidst an ice storm, trying to get provisions necessary for survival.
The storm was so bad they had been cutoff and completely run out of any supplies as
the lighthouse was on an island. The only way to leave was to get a boat through the
ice. She manages to leave. The lighthouse had been left unchecked until there were obvious
signs of distress meaning the lighthouse went out and the light went down. So, after she
left this little piece pulled out said as we came back we had a feeling looking back
that she wasn’t going to see her husband alive again. When she comes back to the island with
the provisions and other people to help them, then they find her husband kneeling at the
side of his bed as though in prayer but deceased. Next slide. This is Dale Kearney, he was a prohibition
agent. They are another one that fall under several different agencies Department of Justice
and the Department of the Treasury, it’s record group 146 not 14, it’s a textual document.
Next slide. He was killed in action he was ambushed while working at a post in Colorado
it was suspected his murder was a vengeance kill he recently completed a very large still
seizure and took a lot of people out of business. This is a service record card that gives you
a very brief but thorough summary of his service detailing his beginning of service, how much
he made the promotions, and then when he was killed in action. Next slide. Because he was
killed in action again there was a full investigation, however, his wife had to supply necessary
documentations in order to claim her compensation. She had some complications getting all of
these things together and it kind of delayed her compensation claim requirements. He is
another one with a lot of articles surrounding his neck, it was controversial, the articles
help us piece together the circumstances of his death. However, without his OPF you don’t
get a complete picture of everything that happened surrounding it you don’t get details
like the funeral bill and where he was buried. Which the government did pay for. So that’s
why there is such a detailed itinerary of the circumstances. Next slide.
This one is my bonus guy. He wasn’t necessarily killed in action. But he goes missing. This
is Ray Sutton, a prohibition agent who suddenly disappeared one day. Next slide. He disappeared
as an active agent working in New Mexico. There is an ongoing investigation surrounding
this missing in action, no body means we can’t confirm. Because it’s ongoing investigation,
the widow and two surviving children continue to suffer from a lack of income, there is
no back channel paid kind of being determined. She has to continue to follow‑up and submit
requests for documentation but while the investigation is going on, they actually are utilizing the
records of his OPF to try and confirm his whereabouts. On the left‑hand side the part
that is pulled out on the top is his signature page from when he signs into service. I got
the signature blown up there on the right. The bottom image is the final check that he
was issued and the endorsement signature that was used, the check was actually cashed a
couple of weeks after he went missing and the signatures don’t line up. And so, that
complicates the investigation a little bit. But really shows how important it is to have
these documents and see that the OPF helps create a fuller picture surrounding circumstances.
Next slide. This is a statement from the widow and you
can see that there is two different letters here, I’m sorry, there is a letter here that
is from 1934 even though he was missing in August of 1930 the widow is still trying to
apply and still trying to get the circumstances proven so she can start to get the benefits
back to her. The lack of evidence there is no case. It gets it never gets tried it’s very complicated
for the widows these statements can see there is not only a surviving wife but two children
but to give you a little bit more of a view of what happened to this individual and his
family surrounding after the death. Next slide. That’s the end of both of our presentations.
As Daria promised, there is information about requesting our records the National Archives
at archival official military personnel files and folders and auxiliary records to be archival
for officially military personnel file the Veterans service ended on today’s date 62
years or prior the sliding date anything archival is open to the public if official personnel
folder the employee’s service had to have ended before 1952 that was not a sliding date.
You can request these websites provided and also send questions and requests at STL.archives
@ NARA.gov. If you want to see what kind of agency would
be considered a federal agency versus maybe a state agency, there is a short listing there.
And as a heads up our websites are being updated currently, so maybe check back in a little
while you will see it’s going to be a lot easier for everybody to use. We have some
standard reproduction fees if a record is five pages or less only $25 if it’s bigger
than five pages it’s a standard $70. Next slide. You can write in to request records
and FAX and E‑mail. And these are some more charges that are for something that would
be considered auxiliary or comes individually paged or if you are wanting a copy of a photograph
or a digital copy. Next page. And you can also come to our site, we have a research
room that people are welcome to come in and set up by appointment. And view the documents
that are available in person or make their own copies. And do their research here. You
can visit our web page to find more information specifically about our research room. They
can also be reached by telephone and E‑mail. And you are more than welcome to set up an
appointment and we will look for the records and let you come in and look at them if we
find them. Next slide that’s it thank you for attending we are going to do questions
now.>> Thank you Cara, thank you Daria. This
is Andréa in Washington, DC if we can ‑‑ go back to the video so we can see you while
I cue up the questions that would be wonderful we would like to see your smiling faces if
possible. So, first question: Where are the court martial records before 1939? I am interested
in the 1870s.>>They should be in Washington, DC, the National
Archives there.>>Okay. So, they can still access those the
actual records. Thank you.>> Yes.
>> Go to the catalog and search for branch of service and court martial, and you should
be able to find them.>> Thank you okay. Going way back to the
start of your presentation. On slide number 9 we had several people remark it looks like
he was 14 years old when he died; is that correct? 14?
>>Do I have the wrong date listed? No, he was not 14 when he died, I’m sorry. You know
how many times we looked at that slide? I will have to get back on that. Sorry, I don’t ‑‑
I have to look it up. It’s on one of the documents.>> No problem. We just have sharp eagle eyed
researchers used to looking for things. So, on to the next question: Another researcher
responded but they asked which archives building would have record group 153.2.3. It sounds
like textual materials in DC.>>Yeah. That’s what I would think.
>>Okay. We wanted to make sure>>You know what the record group is? What
the series is called?>>The title.
>> Andrea, I would have to look it up. I am busted, I don’t know them off the top of
my head either. I will come back to you. Let’s come back to that question. And so, Britney
is going to help me with that. Next question: You had chaplain records someone asked do
they include rabbis?>>Yes, we do. Yes. Those four chaplains who
went down in the ship, one of them was a rabbi.>> Okay. Thank you so much. Next question:
How are the OPFs archived by person by agency or by both?
>>They are first archived by agency. We need to know the agency the individual worked for
and alphabetical within the agency group. The only exception to that is the WPA records,
they are organized by WPA and then by location of employment. So we need to know specifically
where the person worked, and then they are alphabetical.
>>Wonderful. The follow‑up question to that is: If it’s by person, is it St. Louis
or the regional archives?>>Nope. Just like Daria said at the beginning,
we have everything we have every federal employee across the nation, it doesn’t matter location.
We have got all of the records here. We are a national personnel records center.
>> Thank you. We have a couple of questions about the project J files. The project J files
contain information on non‑U.S. citizens, children who were Japanese internment camps
during World War II?>>Yes, they should. Like I said, some of
the records not every child has a record but sometimes their parents have records so
they are included.>> Okay.
>> And, also, the intermarriage you will see quite a few of those where somebody’s
spouse was Filipino.>>Okay. Thank you. Oh, going back to, they
say slide 21 Nelson Voss is marked through, is that notification for Signal Corps?
>>I would assume, without looking at it in front of me, can you tell me the slide number
again?>>In I ‑‑ I think it was slide number
21. It’s really small on our handout.>> I couldn’t make it out either.
>>My gut instinct is to say no. That is probably had something to do with the case. So maybe
it was significant exhibit number C, because of the letter itself. One of the really ‑‑
I don’t know why they would have notated that specifically. That’s why my gut instinct says
no, because it sounds like irrelevant information to him, and any documents surrounding his
death.>>Fair enough. Thank you. Next question:
If the employees ‑‑ employment ended 1960, that’s 8 years shy of the 52‑year
timeframe, are those OMPFs accessible still?>>Those would be OPFs that they are talking
about, and they are just considered non-archival. We have the records they are either here or
at our annex in Valmeyer Illinois. But those aren’t opened to public you would have been next
of kin or subject to FOIA to gain access to those records.
>> Thank you. Basic question, let’s go back, someone missed it each agency would have their
own OMF if the person worked for many agencies?>>Yes and no. It is, without going into a
very detailed description of my job, it’s very possible they have separate OPFs, official
personnel folders, for each agency. It’s also possible at one point their records had been
combined because they get sent to the next agency. When we do a search we try to look
through the history of the individual, and see if there had been prior government employment
which is notated on most applications. And if that happens, we will go and search and
make sure we are providing as complete a copy of the records as possible. And invoice for
any individual agency record that we can find. Any and every.
>> Nicely done. Thank you. Our next question: This person says: I am having trouble finding
records for ancestor who died on an iron-clad serving in the Navy, not Army, during the
Civil War. What do you recommend?>>We don’t have records that date back to
the Civil War, those are located in DC. It’s unfortunately also possible that despite them
being on an Army or Navy carrier ship that they weren’t aboard the ship in a federal
capacity. It’s possible that they don’t have a record. We could have a burial file maybe
if they were lost at sea. But ‑‑>>Probably not for Civil War.
>> That doesn’t sound right to me, but it would be later. Most records that date back
to that are located in DC and College Park.>>Great. Thank you. So, we have a question
about chaplain records. What information would I need about my father’s service to find the
chaplain’s record for the baptism of my sister.>>Good question.
>> That’s a good question. We have an index to chaplain files that theoretically you could
look up the names and it would show you the chaplain and then you could go from there.
But it is not a hundred percent accurate. We tried that sometimes and not been able
to find them. Sometimes you can find information about chaplains on the Internet. And where
they were. And so, if you knew where your father was stationed you could ‑‑ or
even you could look at a history of the base sometimes if he was stationed in a base, and
you could find out that way who the chaplain was. I mean, there ‑‑ if you do digging
usually you might be ‑‑ you should be able to find a chaplain’s name and you could
go from there and find the records of the baptism funeral or marriage. I found my uncle’s,
my uncle was killed in World War II, I found his burial by ‑‑ he actually was in the
cards, the chaplain cards by last name. So, I was able to find a record of his burial
and who ‑‑ find the chaplain’s name.>> Sounds like you lucked out.
>> I did.>> Finding it by the last name. Thank you.
The next question: Can I view my father’s World War II Naval records in St. Louis?
>>More than likely if he didn’t get out before the 62 year cutoff date., then any one could look at them You can request it in advance because we are ‑‑ we are very large and it could take a while to search
the records but the Navy records are not burned you should be able to see it in fairly quickly.
>>Okay. Thank you.  Going back to the CCC, Civilian Conservation Corps. If I have his
serial number are there likely to be more records there?
>>No, scanned they are not organized by serial number. Unfortunately, the CCC records have
all been placed on microfilm and the originals destroyed, so if we do an alpha search for
the individual on the microfilm and we don’t find it, we do a secondary search to see if
he was ever promoted to serve in a leadership capacity, which means that he would have been
paid from one of the agencies that were associated, Department of the Army, Air Force. Department
of the Interior, et cetera. And we do search those records as well to see if there is anything
related to CCC service. But having a serial number doesn’t make the likelihood of the
search anymore positive. If we hit a negative, it doesn’t always mean that he didn’t serve.
It just means that we don’t have the record. Some of the different camps and barracks that
house the CCC records have had fires have gotten lost in transport. So it might not
have been translated on to microfilm back in the day.
>> Back in the day, yes. Thank you. For someone who might be just starting out looking for
their family’s records, they want to know how do you even begin, sounds like this person
knows they had family in military personnel records but they don’t know where because
like how do you know they were in the CCC. And then she follows up and asks, you know,
would you look in St. Louis or somewhere else in the National Archives where do you
even begin?>>It’s a very complicated question.
>> It is. (LAUGHTER)
>>We can do quite a few searches with names, full names, dates of birth, and locations
of birth, and dates of death. We get kind of those kinds of requests a lot. It helps
the more information that you have the more it helps. But you never know ‑‑ you know,
it really depends.>> Yes. I would say shoot us an E‑mail
with the E‑mail we provided as give us as much information that you ‑‑ as you know,
relevant to their biographic information and what kind of service they might have had.
And then we will just conduct a search from there and give you a positive or a negative.
>> Okay. Thank you. This is an interesting question about women who served. The question
is: Would women in World War II have their records stored separately from the men or
did their records get burned.>> They would have got burned. If they were
in all of the records would have been together. They weren’t separated. So, in the things Cara
talking about civilian those are ‑‑ those are not going to be affected if it was somebody
who was actually in service, we would ‑‑>>Subject to the same ‑‑
>>It’s the same rules.>> This is Andrea. I would like to add, the
very next session we will talk about those records that were burned if you ‑‑ at
the beginning of their talk that stick around. We have got exciting news. Let’s see here.
I am looking to see if this was a new question. Looks like it civil servants who worked for
the signal ordinance corps and Army or Air Force but through Civil Service Commission
will there be a nonmilitary file and a military file? Would they have both?
>>It’s not impossible, we actually find really commonly that signal corps contracted or worked
with things like universities, and they are the ones who actually have the records or
the papers related to the individual’s service. But if you submit a request, we will do the ‑‑
there is a possibility of civilian federal employment. We will do a federal employment
check if there is an indication that we find there could be military affiliation we will
do that search as well. And if we find something then the military will give you an invoice
related to military service. But we kind of do those checks with the jobs that are so
closely blurred lines between the two. And we will be able to determine whether or not
there was civilian service or military service or both which is kind of common, like I said,
with the Signal Corps records we find that really commonly those folks were contracted.
But there are many people who worked in two capacities. Like nurses, they could have been
part of the Army, nurse corps and then continued on with the public health service. Which is
a civilian position. So, they could have both.>>Thank you. That’s very helpful. I think
we have time for one more. The question might not be a fair one to you. They are asking
about how Veterans get on to memorials, specifically the World War II memorial. Do you happen to,
as an aside, not your expertise I know, would you know how that memorial names get memorialized?
>>I believe there is just a website, it’s on forms on the website that you fill out.
>>(inaudible)>>For the World War II memorial and Vietnam
Veterans memorial, the national memorials I think you can just go on the Internet and
find forms. You have to submit some kind of proof of service in ‑‑ that’s a lot of
what the National Personnel Record Center, does it deals with people who are trying to
get some kind of proof of service sore records that burned, and that’s why we are here really.
So, it doesn’t ‑‑ also I wanted to just mention it doesn’t there is no fee for us
to search records. So, some people think you have to pay just to have a record search.
That’s not true. That’s what your tax money is going toward.
(LAUGHTER)>>Okay. Thank you. I do have a quick question,
I think. If I ‑‑ I am not sure I am familiar with this word, yeomanette, they ask where
would I find records for yeomanette?>>I think ‑‑
>>That’s what it sounds like (inaudible)>>We have all personnel records, so ‑‑
>>I don’t know if anybody searched with that word. That doesn’t mean ‑‑ it would be
just under this person’s name.>>They are not organized by specific position.
So, I mean, it’s helpful for us to know the position they served in, so we confirm we
find the correct record. But they are not organized by position. So, if it’s an individual
personnel record related to the times and services that we hold here, hit us up.
>>Okay.>> There were a lot of women who served in
World War I, that’s surprising you wouldn’t ‑‑ it’s not something that really gets talked
about.>>Civilian as well. They could be military
or civilian.>>Between your answers and the ones we are
getting from our expert genealogist now, I just personally wasn’t familiar with the term.
Thank you everybody. (LAUGHTER)
>>I am not seeing any more questions, right at this time.

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