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!