I’m going to take a leap back to the twenty first century today. I have several goals that I had hoped to accomplish with my blog. At the top of the list is the preservation of the letters. There have been lots of natural disasters occuring of late and I don’t want to lose the letters. Anything I can do to ensure their survival is a priority. Another mission that I have is to identify the people in the letters, which goes hand in hand with sharing the letters with the people who knew those people. And finally, I’d also like to catch some cousins.
I hit a major jackpot this week with the Kline family. Gertrude was someone who visited my grandmother in the hospital. She and her husband Forrest S. Kline were residents of Lafayette so it was fairly easy for her to pop in and visit Gladys. But the question I had is-who was Gertrude and how did my grandparents know her? Gertrude also gave my grandmother a present for my infant father-a knitted romper. So clearly, Gertrude was someone that was “close” to my family. As I started digging around I found Forrest’s World War II draft card from 1942. Forrest was old enough that he had to register for the “old man’s” draft. These were the men that were most likely old enough to serve in World War I, but were deemed too old to serve in World War II. Nonetheless, the federal government required that these men register for the draft. Who knew how long the war was going to last? Would these men really be needed at some point?
On Forrest’s draft card, his place of birth was listed as Clay City, Indiana. Well, heck, that’s where my grandfather was from! So now I could go under the assumption that Roscoe’s family and the Klines were at the very least neighbors or acquaintances back in the home county. After a little more digging around and a very brief preliminary search of the 1920 and 1930 census records, I did not find Forrest. I decided to jump all the way back to 1900. Sure enough, I found him in Harrison Township, Clay county, Indiana with his parents Stephen and Nancy Kline. Then I noticed that I had already attached the record to Forrest in my family tree. Huh? This is where I pretty much started dope-slapping myself. Um, yeah, Forrest was the son of Nancy Kline who just happened to be Roscoe’s aunt, an older half sister of his mother Lovina. Roscoe and Forrest were first cousins. I knew that, really I did….
At the same time that I was hitting myself for my own stupidity, I had contacted an Ancestry member with a tree that included Forrest and Gertrude. It turns out that the member was their great granddaughter. Through this simple message, I have made contact with a long-lost branch of the family. I received several photographs this morning, including the one above. It looks like I have accomplished several goals this week. So the Happy dance may now begin!
I didn’t know that about the draft cards. I sure understand the “happy dance”. Last month I found and met two of my first cousins I had never met before. We’re getting together again for Easter!
That is wonderful! Have a great time tomorrow. 🙂
More later on this very interesting post today, but must comment on your sentence: “Their son David who was born in 1942 was my father.” As a character in Spamalot says, “I’m not dead yet!” 🙂 🙂 🙂
I was referring to the past as you were born in 1942… 🙂
So you, David, are my (passed) grandmother Helen Kline Heindel’s second cousin, as well as that of her still living brother Charles Kline. 🙂
Yes, David would be a second cousin of Helen since Forrest and Roscoe were first cousins. Kimberley, I think that makes you and I second cousins, once removed.
I’ll join you in your “Happy Dance”. While searching for more information on his great-grandmother, he came across my blog mentioning her. She was Clara Maria de Los Delores Marina de Beck Guion, which makes him my 4th cousin – not very far apart on the family tree. We are in the process of exchanging information. I was really thrilled to read his comment on my blog and knew immediately where he fit in. The internet is amazing.
I am just a bit confused about whether Gladys or Lovina is Roscoe’s mother. Roscoe is your father?
My grandfather was Roscoe S. Yegerlehner. His wife (and my grandmother) was Gladys R. (Foster) Yegerlehner. Their son David who was born in 1942 was my father.
Roscoe’s mother was Lovina (Schiele) Yegerlehner. Lovina and Nancy (McCoy) Walker Kline were half sisters. They shared the same mother, Elizabeth (Krieble) Schiele.
You are amazing Deborah! I had never heard of the “old man’s draft card”. Thought when you mentioned the draft card that it was probably for Forrest “Bud” Jr. the son.
There are drafts cards for the younger men but they have not been released to the public. The assumption is that most of the men from the old man’s draft are deceased at this point so their is no harm or invasion of privacy in releasing them.
They do have abstracts from the World War II enlistment records that are available on Ancestry. Forrest Jr. is in that database.
And thank you for reading my ramblings!