Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Where in the World Was My Uncle?

Chasing the Genealogy Trail
Genealogy has always fascinated me. I have been able to track down records including ship manifests of three of four of my grandparents. They arrived in the good old US of A between 92 and 100 years ago. Then I looked for military records of uncles and was pretty successful except for one uncle who had served in World War II. His records are purported to be in St. Louis but they've not come a long way from St. Louis, in fact they've been unattainable in the decade or so since I've been sleuthing.
Today's USA Today had a great article on the 6 million personnel files in St. Louis, many of which were destroyed or nearly so in a devastating 1973 fire. The article described how employees and volunteers are restoring some of the records with modern technology (scanning records that are invisible to the naked eye) and ancient techniques (mending charred and brittle paper by using a special glue and rice paper). The hope is to have as many records as possible available by Veteran's day.
I was so inspired by the article that I went to the website: and discovered my uncle's enlistment records in the archives - something I'd not had previously. What a find! If you'd rather phone to see whether records you seek are in tact, the number is 314.801.0850.
Happy hunting but realize that if you shake the tree hard enough some nuts are bound to fall at your feet.
Dr. Forgot

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