I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome each of you to my new website. Some of you have been with me for many years while others have joined me on this journey more recently. I feel very blessed and am grateful for everyone. I hope you will enjoy exploring the site and reading the blog.
My blog is an important venue for my story, my quest to learn the details of my ancestors’ lives and a place to discuss new finds, tools and strategies for genealogists, young and old, newbie and seasoned veteran. I’m glad you are along for the ride and I look forward to getting your input on the website and our shared stories.
I have several story lines I am working on related to research I have conducted over the last few months. It has been a great year for new discoveries in land records and working on integrating those new details into my family story. As many of you may know, deed records are not the only items you find in deed books! Often they were used as a place for an official record. One such example was a great reminder as we honor our veterans.
The 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri, destroyed millions of pages of records obliterating the military service records of 16-18 million Official Military Personnel Files (OPMFs). The records destroyed included U.S. Army, Air Force, and the predecessor service, the Army Air Corps. Often researchers struggle to find alternative sources for the details of our service personnel records. The local courthouse is one such option. When a service member was discharged, they could file their papers at their county courthouse. This option was available through the years but utilized in greatest numbers following the world wars. Finding a single record may be a considerable challenge, but there were efforts in years following the wars to identify those who had filed locally.
By happenstance, I found the list of WWI veterans from Morgan County, compiled by the Adjutant General’s Office in Jefferson City, Missouri. The list was created with the assistance of the County Recorder of Deeds to provide veterans with a “Missouri State Bonus” and officially recorded in 1938. Personnel are listed as receiving payment, not yet applied, not yet confirmed, disapproved, killed in action and died in service.
After copying the entire list, I began to look for my family names. I knew of one relative, Bert Mothersbaugh, who had died of influenza in October 1918, while serving in the US Navy. His name was not listed because as a single man with no heirs, thus, there was no one to receive benefits. However, I had forgotten that Bert’s brother Walter had served. His name is on the list with his service number, address, date of enlistment and discharge as well as his payment status. The Mothersbaugh brothers are not direct-line relatives, their brother, Lewis Arthur Mothersbaugh, married my great-grand aunt Maria Raiffeisen. I have shared part of “Bud” Mothersbaugh’s story, but there is more coming about him. He played an important role in the lives of the Siegel boys, Carl, Peter & Eugene. The “boys” are my uncles. They and Bud served our country. On this Veterans Day, they, and the many others in my family and yours who served have my deepest respect and gratitude.
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