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9 Jan 2017

World War II Diaries of Friendship, Suffering, Death

From the Washington Post today, a story of World War II diaries of friendship, suffering, death now preserved at the Library of Congress. In September 1944, after two years of suffering in POW camps in the Philippines, U.S. Army Lt. George Washington Pearcy was being transferred to one of Japan’s “hell ships,” bound for captivity in the enemy’s home islands. Before he left, he entrusted his diary to a fellow prisoner who was staying behind. Pearcy had written the diary on the backs of tin-can labels and other scraps of paper, and he wanted to make sure it survived him. He gave it to Lt. Robert F. Augur, a friend who had lost a leg in the fighting at Corregidor in 1942 and who kept a small journal of his own. Pearcy, 29, was killed a few weeks later when the prison ship Arisan Maru was torpedoed by an American [...]

10 Nov 2016

Free Swedish Genealogy Research Alert

Free Swedish Genealogy Research Alert – on Saturday November 12 and Sunday November 13, ArkivDigital  is providing free access to everyone who wants to try out ArkivDigital All-in-One. New users and users with Base subscription get access to everything in their All-in-One database on both days. Church records, estate inventories, court records, tax/census records, military and other historical records are included, together with access to all registers. Download and install the new software ArkivDigital 2.0 -beta software by clicking here. Using ArkivDigital Sweden is easu via an online subscription service called ArkivDigital Online, which provides online access to the entire image database for a specific period of time. Download the Coverage Table here. You can also search their database by county and parish name, district name, record type, etc. Search results are improved when using Swedish spelling and diacritical marks when searching, e.g. Örebro rathr than Orebro. ArkivDigital also offers the following tutorials to help you find and use records about your Swedish [...]

7 Dec 2015

From Pearl Harbor to Okinawa

Letters From the Pacific, From Pearl Harbor to Okinawa Pearl Harbor Survivors, 2011 This day doesn't get much play anymore, possibly because the Pearl Harbor Survivors are all in their 90s. My husband and I considered it a privilege in 2011 to commemorate the 70th anniversary from Ford Island in Pearl Harbor and attend the USS Utah interment ceremony. This year, to commemorate the day, the New York Times has published a great article by Diantha Parker entitled, "Letters From the Pacific, From Pearl Harbor to Okinawa" about the Mossman collection of letters. It is well worth the time of any genealogist with WWII family. In 2001, a box of old World War II letters surfaced from a neglected box in storage. What laid inside were the complete letters documenting the life of Harold Grove Moss in Maui, Hawaii, 1943. (Courtesy of Lori Neumann / mossletters.com) Harold Moss, a soldier in the American Army during WWII. His [...]

10 Nov 2015

U.S. Veterans’ Claim Files Now Available

Today's topic is newly released U.S. Veterans' Claim Files, 1917-1948, a group of records now available from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). This record group includes cases closed by the VA from 1917-1948, which were transferred to a Federal Records Center in 1952 and 1955. The National Archives began taking custody in 2013. U.S. Veterans' claim files are included Record Group 15, Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and are formally named “Deceased Veterans Compensation Files” (aka "XC Files) and “Veterans Administration Claim Files.” NARA staff member Daria Labinsky has written a comprehensive article entitled "Claim Files: Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs" in the latest fall 2015 of Researcher News from NARA. (Back issues of Researcher News are available at this link.) Labinsky writes: DOCUMENTS COMMONLY FOUND IN U.S. VETERANS' CLAIM FILES INCLUDE: birth, marriage, and death certificates correspondence change of address forms lists of family members [...]