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EclipseInDark

Need help finding relative

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EclipseInDark

My great uncle, Oliver Somerville was in the AEF during The Great War. I have tried many times to find his records but to no avail. The only thing I know about his time in the service is that he was in the Meuse-Argonne and came under a gas attack. This information is from what my father recalls. Is anyone able to guide me in the right direction to find out more about my uncle?

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RaySearching

His service papers should be with the National Archives of Australia

 

Is this him  Link

 

Ray

 

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
8 minutes ago, RaySearching said:

His service papers should be with the National Archives of Australia

 

Is this him  Link

 

Ray

 

I assumed he was in the American Expeditionary Force rather than the Australian Imperial Force?

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Mark1959

Ray.

i think the OP is looking for a US soldier.

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RaySearching
2 minutes ago, Dai Bach y Sowldiwr said:

I assumed he was in the American Expeditionary Force rather than the Australian Imperial Force?

 

2 minutes ago, Mark1959 said:

think the OP is looking for a US soldier

 

Maybe the O.p will clarify

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EclipseInDark
1 hour ago, RaySearching said:

 

 

Maybe the O.p will clarify

Sorry that I did not clarify. Yes he is American, thank you all for replying

 

Edited by EclipseInDark

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RaySearching

Thanks for the clarification 

Having never had to research an American soldier

I cannot help

Wishing you good luck with your quest, finding information on your great uncle

 

Ray

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Mark1959

Did your ancester come from Indiana? Any details like year of birth, any middle names etc may help us identify him.

As you are probably aware nearly all US WW1 personnel records were destroyed by fire in St Louis in the 1970s.

 

Edited by Mark1959

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EclipseInDark
5 hours ago, Mark1959 said:

Did your ancester come from Indiana? Any details like year of birth, any middle names etc may help us identify him.

As you are probably aware nearly all US WW1 personnel records were destroyed by fire in St Louis in the 1970s.

 

I know he lived in Indiana after the war, but as for where he enlisted all I know is "somewhere in the Midwest". My father says he was born between 1885-1886 but I have no middle name. I know that he died in the 1970s and never reenlisted after the war. It is a shame about the fire but I know next to nothing about him, which carries my drive.

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PRC

A list of potential places to try can be found here:-

https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/United_States_World_War_I_Casualty_Records

 

The Soldiers of the Great War source has a wonderful collection of pictures but they are not in alphabetical orders and are divided by state of origin.

 

Might be worthwhile going back to genealogical basics. If you don't know where and when he was born, then do you know where and when he died? An age at death would help pin down that birth year, while a death certificate would list fathers name. Together you might find father and son on the 1910 US Census, (although Oliver would have been in his mid-20's by then).

Was he married during the time he was likely to have been serving - if US marriage and birth certificates are anything like UK ones husbands \ fathers profession will be stated.

 

I can't see a draft card for him, so possibly he was a pre-war soldier or enlisted on the declaration of war.

 

Could be a complete coincidence but on the 1930 US Census I can see a 43 year old Oliver J Somerville, born Iowa, who was recorded as the married head of the household at 1004 3rd South Street, Ponca City, Oklahoma. Reason for mentioning him is that is wife Alta(?), aged 32, was born Indiana. They state they were married when he was 29 and she was 17, so approximately 14/15 years before, so circa 1915/16. Their two children, aged 13 and 5, were born Oklahoma.

 

Hope that helps,

Peter

Edited by PRC
Typo

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

I agree with PRC, I think you need some fixed points from which to work.

Start with his death. You need to find his death certificate first -sorry I don't know if American death certificates of that era gave a date of birth.

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alf mcm
10 hours ago, PRC said:

A list of potential places to try can be found here:-

https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/United_States_World_War_I_Casualty_Records

 

The Soldiers of the Great War source has a wonderful collection of pictures but they are not in alphabetical orders and are divided by state of origin.

 

Might be worthwhile going back to genealogical basics. If you don't know where and when he was born, then do you know where and when he died? An age at death would help pin down that birth year, while a death certificate would list fathers name. Together you might father and son on the 1910 US Census, (although Oliver would have been in his mid-20's by then).

Was he married during the time he was likely to have been serving - if US marriage and birth certificates are anything like UK ones husbands \ fathers profession will be stated.

 

I can't see a draft card for him, so possibly he was a pre-war soldier or enlisted on the declaration of war.

 

Could be a complete coincidence but on the 1930 US Census I can see a 43 year old Oliver J Somerville, born Iowa, who was recorded as the married head of the household at 1004 3rd South Street, Ponca City, Oklahoma. Reason for mentioning him is that is wife Alta(?), aged 32, was born Indiana. They state they were married when he was 29 and she was 17, so approximately 14/15 years before, so circa 1915/16. Their two children, aged 13 and 5, were born Oklahoma.

 

Hope that helps,

Peter

 

Peter,

  The guy you mention above died in 1952, according to an Ancestry family tree.

 

Regards,

 

Alf McM

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PRC
2 hours ago, alf mcm said:

 

  The guy you mention above died in 1952, according to an Ancestry family tree.

 

Regards,

 

Alf McM

 

Thanks Alf,

 

So with the usual caveats and feelings of caution when it comes to Ancestry family trees :) it should be 'relatively' simple if the OP has access to Ancestry to work out if the Oliver in 1930's Kentucky is the right relation or not.

 

Cheers,

Peter

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EclipseInDark
10 hours ago, PRC said:

 

Thanks Alf,

 

So with the usual caveats and feelings of caution when it comes to Ancestry family trees :) it should be 'relatively' simple if the OP has access to Ancestry to work out if the Oliver in 1930's Kentucky is the right relation or not.

 

Cheers,

Peter

Thank you for your research. The information you gave from the 1930 census seems to be matching up, for that puts the birthyear at 1887 and I remember him having the middle initial of J. We know that he also had 2 children and we live right next to Kentucky so it is a high possibility that he resided there in the 30's. I believe we are on the beginning of the trail and I think an Ancestry account would be worth getting at this point. Now it is time to start the tedious process of confirming this information and digging to find any service records.

Edited by EclipseInDark

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