"Our Loose Ends" Genealogy Column
by Lynna Kay Shuffield
Houston, Texas

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press - 18 May 2000

World War I Burial Case Files

When Corporal William W. Brown, Co. D, 141st Battalion, 36th Division, "went over the top" during the Battle of St Etienne in World War I on 8-9 Oct 1918, he fought as only a Texan should. While courageously advancing under violent artillery and machine gun fire, Corporal Brown was killed-in-action by German shrapnel, which resulted in fractures of the skull and left arm at the elbow.

He was originally buried in an isolated battlefield grave on the Medeah Farm at St. Etienne-a-Arnes (Ardennes). He was posthumously awarded the French Croix de Guerre with a silver star for extraordinary heroism. Corporal Brown was disinterred and re-buried four times before he reached his final resting place at the Meuse Argonne Cemetery #1232 at Romagnesous-Montfaucon in Meuse, France in Grave 174, Sec. 85, Plot 4.

You are probably wondering how I learned so much about Corporal Brown and his death. There are little known documents called "Burial Case Files" for most all World War I Casualties contained in Record Group 92.8.1 (Burial case files, consisting of decimal 293 of the Office of the Quartermaster General central decimal correspondence file, 1915-39) at the National Archives. These files are related to serviceman or woman who died while in the military during the time-period 1915-1939.

The folders are arranged alphabetically and contained documents related to the individual's name, military organization, place of residence, date of death, circumstances of death, places of burial, next of kin, etc. They also contain documentation if the mother of the deceased participated in the "World War I Mothers' Pilgrimages" program sponsored by the U.S. Government. This program transported mothers and wives of the deceased to the overseas military cemeteries.

When requesting copies of these Burial Case Files, address your letter to:

National Archives at College Park
ATTN: Record Group 92.8.1 General records
Old Army; Modern Army
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD 20740-6001

Click here for request form letter - Be sure and include as much information you know about the solider, i.e., full name, date of birth, service number, places of residence, etc.

Internet Tip

"The World War I Document Archive" is a website that contains documents and links related to the Great War at: http://www.lib.byu.edu/~rdh/wwi/. Documents and materials included are contained in the following topic areas: (1) Conventions, Treaties & Official Papers; (2) Documents by years beginning in 1914 through 1918; (3) Memorials, Personal Reminiscences; (4) World War I Biographical Dictionary; (5) World War I Image Archive; (6) Special Topics and Commentaries; (7) The Maritime War; (8) The Medical Front; and, (9) World War I Sites: Links to Other Resources.

This website provides a wealth of information that is important to genealogists. This site allows you to learn about the "Great War" in which your ancestor fought. It is regrettable that many of us were never able to collect the personal stories of our ancestors and their experiences in World War I. Now, you can visit this website and obtain an impression of their experiences. I would also recommend this as a bookmark for students and libraries.

The World War I Document Archive is "dedicated to the encouragement of the collection, preservation, and development in electronic form of materials relating to the First World War, both as a resource for scholars and students, and as a perpetual memorial to the heroism and sacrifice of those who participated in the war throughout the world." The Executive Director of the Archive is A. Jane Plotke, Ph.D. and she can be contacted at e-mail: cd078@dogbert.xroads.com.

Montgomery County Genealogical Society's Spring Seminar

On Saturday, 24 June 2000, the Montgomery County Genealogical & Historical Society (MCG&HS) will host its annual Spring Seminar at the Montgomery College located at 3200 College Park Dr., Bldg. A, (I-45, Exit 79, Hwy 242 West) Conroe, Texas. The seminar speaker, Dr. Robert Young Clay is the Senior Archivist at the Virginia State Archives. His topics include: General Genealogical Research Techniques on Virginia Counties with emphasis on the Colonial Period, Virginia Colonial Records & Revolutionary Period Records and Four Things they Never Tell You - Misconceptions, Abbreviations, Strange Quirks in Records and Equivalent Records.

Vendor booths will be open from 8:30 am until 4:30 pm. Cost: $35 including lunch. For more information contact: Jane Keppler at e-mail: relppek@aol.com or Jean Smoorenburg at e-mail: jeans@hal-pc.org or Paul Martin at e-mail: plmartin55@mscc.net or call Vera Wimberly at (936) 856-2313 or the Montgomery Genealogy Library at (936) 788-8363 or write mail payment to the MCG&HS at: P. O. Box 867, Conroe, Texas 77305-0887.

Query

Looking for information related to Francis Marion Abbott (b. 8 Oct 1837 - d. _____), lived in Shelby Co., TX, buried at Waterman Cemetery, Shelby Co., TX. Married in 1872 to Comilah Bryce. Their known children: Dekalla Abbott who married Prudie Katherine Edwards, Robert Council Abbott (b. 1885 - d. unknown), Lizzie Abbott (b. 1872 - d. 1957), Oscar Abbott (no dates), and M. E. Abbott (no dates). Francis Marion's parents were Walton Abbott and Catherine Ogelsby. Their other children were: Cuthbert Abbott (b. 1828 - d. unknown) Dekalb Abbott (b. 1829 - d. 21 Aug 1906). Cuthbert Abbott was a Lawyer and married Sarah V. Vele in Crawford Co., GA. Contact: Lori Webb at 9324 Williams Blvd., Albany GA 31705 or e-mail at: spudnick16@juno.com.

In this column, I will be glad to highlight and review any family history, genealogy, county history, or similar book, free of charge, if you donate a copy of the book or item. After it has been highlighted and reviewed, on a space available basis, it will be donated to the genealogy section of a library. You will receive an acknowledgment of the donation from the library. Mail item or book to me at the below address.

Lynna Kay Shuffield has written several books related to Texas genealogy and military history. She has spoken before numerous genealogy and veterans groups. Also, is a County Coordinator for the Texas GenWeb Project. Regretfully, she cannot help with individual genealogical research. Please visit the website for this column at: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Academy/2670/ COLUMN-001.htm or if you have any questions, comments, suggestions for column topics, genealogy or historical society announcements, please contact her at: P. O. Box 16604, Houston, Texas 77222-6604 or e-mail: lksfriday@sbcglobal.net

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This webpage was last created on 17 May 2000 and was last revised on 28 Apr 2005

Copyright 1999, 2000, 2005 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604