Thursday, June 7, 2018

June 6, 1944, D--Day Invasion at Normandy

June 6, 1944, also known as D-Day, is considered the beginning of the end of World War II in Europe. On this day in history, Allied troops (approximately 156,000) invaded Western Europe, completely overwhelming the German forces.

While my father served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he never talked about his experiences or where he had been. Now I wished I had bothered asking him about them.

Wesley enlisted on August 26, 1942. While searching, I came across U.S. World War II Navy Muster Rolls and found my father, Wesley Earl Loghry, on MUSTER ROLL OF THE CREW was "change of resting" on the U.S.S. LST 383 on March 1, 1944, coming from BuPers C.L. 25 & 208-43. More research is needed to figure out what that means. 

I became curious about the USS LST 383 and did some research. This ship was an LST-1 Class Tank Landing Ship which was built at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. in Newport News, Virginia. It launched on September 28, 1942, and was commissioned USS LST-383. During World War II, this ship was assigned to the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater. Campaigns it participated in included Sicilian occupation July 9-15, 1943; Salerno landings September 9-21, 1943, Anzio-Nettuno advanced landings January 22-March 1, 1944, and Invasion of Normandy June 6-25, 1944.

USS LST-383 high and dry on the beach at Normandy, June 1944 from
He continued to appear on the MUSTER ROL OF THE CREW of the U.S.S. LST-282 for the quarters ending March 31, 1944, June 30, 1944, September 30, 1944. These dates place him at the Anzio-Netuno advanced landings (change of resting March 1, 1944) and Invasion of Normandy June 6-25, 1944.

On November 20, 1944, the USS LST 383 was decommissioned and transferred to the United Kingdom and commissioned into the Royal Navy as HM-LST-383 and participated in the Malaya Invasion. The United Kingdom didn't keep it very long, either, transferring and selling it to the Netherlands East Indies Maritime Customs on June 10, 1946. The USS LST-383 earned four battle stars for World War II service.

Further research showed Wesley was transferred on the U.S.S. Wyoming for the month ending May 31, 1945, date of sailing from NOB, Norfolk, Virginia to ATB, Little Creek, Virginia. He still is on the U.S.S. Wyoming on the Report of changes for the month ending April 30, 1945, as received on April 22, 1945, from ATB, Little Creek Virginia. The last record I have been able to find shows him on the USS LSM-R 504's Report of Changes on June 11, 1945, as received.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Immigrant Ancestors

With all the talk about immigration, immigrants, building a wall, or having to pass a test to come to the United States, I started thinking about my immigrant ancestors. They came for a variety of reasons, including to escape poverty, religious freedom, to avoid prosecution, and the promise of cheap land and a fresh start.

My earliest immigrant ancestors that I have found is probably one of the following:

  • Macuth Pratt who was born about 1595 and married in 1619 in  England, immigrated about 1637.
  • John Pearson who was born 18 Jun 1615 in North Yorkshire, England who immigrated in  1637.
  • Jeremie Swayne. No information is known about him other than he married a woman by the name of Mary and their son, Maj. Jeremiah Swayne was born on 1 March 1642/43 in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, placing immigration before 1 March 1642.
  • Thomas Starr who was born in 1565 in New Romney, Kent, England and died before 2 March 1640/41 in Dorchester, Norfolk, Massachusetts (no immigration record found), placing immigration before 2 March 1640.

My most recent immigrant ancestor was Barnabas Lowell who was born about 1800 in England and was reported to be a pirate. He married twice in the United States with his first child born in 1832.

During this approximately 200-year span, dozens of my ancestors came to America. Here are a few more of my immigrant ancestors:
  1. George Merriam, born about 1603 in England and his wife Susan (married 16 October 1627 in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England) immigrated before 21 Jul 1643, when their son Samuel was born in Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts.
  2. Thomas Axtell, born 26 January 1618/19 in England, and his wife Mary Starr immigrated as early as 1643, for, in October of that year, Thomas purchased five acres of land in Sudbury, Massachusetts of Edmond Rice, who himself had come from Berkhamstead five years earlier. 
  3. William Thornton was born in 1620 in England. His son William was born 27 Mar 1649 in Gloucester, Virginia. Immigration between 1620-1649.
  4. Abraham Wellman, who was born in January 1642/43 in England, married Elizabeth Cogswell in 1668 in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, placing immigration between 1642-1668.
  5. Capt. John Smith, born in 1621 in England. He married Catherine Elizabeth Morrill on 1 August 1647 in Roxbury, Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts Bay, British Colonial America. This would place immigration between 1621-1647.
  6. Isaac Morrill, the father of Catherine Elizabeth Morrill, was born in 1588 in England and died on 30 December 1661 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Massachusetts Bay Colony, British Colonial America. He immigrated between 1630 (birth of Catherine in England) and 1661 (his death).
  7. Capt. John Kittredge was born on 22 May 1623 in England, and residing in Billerica, Middlesex, Massachusetts on 25 September 1660, where he received a five-acre grant of land in Billerica. John Parker is called "his master." Immigration between 1623 and 1660.
  8. John French was born in 1635 in England. He married Hannah Burrage on 3 July 1663 in Billerica, Middlesex, Massachusetts. Immigration between 1635-1663.
  9. John Scarborough, II, emigrated to Bucks, Pennsylvania in October 1682. In 1684 he returned to England to bring the rest of the family to America and never came returned to America, remaining in London until his death on 11 April 1706.
  10. George E. Haworth was born before 1680 in England. About 1699 he came to America to be free from religious prosecution, traveling with his sister Isabella and her husband. In 1699 he wrote a letter to his mother telling her about the journey, the death of his sister, her husband and baby, and about his sister already in America.
  11. George Ludwig Zeh was born in 1680 in Germany. He married Margaret Tschudi in 1720 in New York. A George Zeh was listed in Rupps, page 448, as a number of males 21 in 1710-11 in Livingston Manor, New York. Also on page 465 of his book, it says 33 families of Germans who came to New York in 1710 settled in Schoharie and George Zeh's name was on the list, as well as listed on the membership in Tulpehocken Church in 1743-46. Immigration between 1680-1720, probably 1710-11.
  12. Margaret Tschudi was born in 1684 in Frankendorf, Basel, Switzerland. She married George Ludwig Zeh in 1720 in New York. Immigration between 1684-1720.
  13. Thomas Cook, born 29 August 1704 in England. Son Isaac was born 1742 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Died about 1752 in York County, Pennsylvania. Immigration between 1742-1752.
  14. Francis Brandon, born 1738 in England, married Mary Elizabeth Asher in 1765 in Culpeper, Virginia. Immigration between 1738-1765.
  15. William Loughry, born about 1743 in Ireland, and his wife Nancy Purdy, born 1 September 1748 in Ireland. This couple immigrated before 1772. I do not believe they were married at the time of their immigration.
  16. Philip Roush was born in 1800 in Germany. Daughter Sarah Ann Rous was born 22 November 1844 in Ohio, placing his immigration between 1800-1844.
Special thanks to Olive Tree Genealogy and Lorine McGinnis Schulze for the idea of blogging about my immigrant ancestors.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Summer of my 12th year

June 1, 1967 Des Moines Register

The summer of 1967 I was 12 years old and had just "graduated" from elementary school. I lived in Des Moines, Iowa with my parents, older brother, sister, and nephew. With everything going on in my life, it could have been a terrible summer, but in reality, it was a great summer. 

In May, my dad's union, the Des Moines Local 310 of the United Rubber Workers (URW) went on strike, what would turn out to be the longest strike in rubber industry history, affecting all of the major rubber manufacturers workers union's history and lasting 91 days.

My family was typical for this period--dad was the breadwinner and mom stayed at home taking care of the house and family. With dad on strike, he was not bringing home his regular paycheck. But that didn't stop him from taking care of his family. He went out looking for work. Our neighbors on both sides of us (one worked in a warehouse and another for a moving company) found extra work for my dad. In addition, he started knocking on neighbors' doors asking if they wanted their house painted. My dad earned a lot of respect from me for not sitting around waiting for work to come to him, but instead going out and finding or making jobs in order to take care of his family, all the while continuing to picket and put up blockades.
 July 3, 1967, Des Moines Tribune, page 1
My brother had enlisted earlier in the year on a deferred enlistment and come September would be going into the Navy. With the Vietnam War, he was probably safer in the Navy, but there was still a lot of fear. In Vietnam, 1967 was the year of the Allied offensive. At home, anti-war protestors were all over the news changing "make love, not war," while pro-war Americans carried banners urging people to support the troops. 

The summer started off with a picnic at Riverview Park for being on the safety patrol during the school year. Once summer started, my days were mostly spent at the local swimming pool with my friend Jill and frequently my 4-year-old nephew Jeff. Jill's mom would usually drop us off at 1 p.m. and my mom would pick us up around 4. We would get so dark from all the time spent in the sun. After swimming we would go to the concession stand for snacks. I almost always would get popcorn. Something about the swimming pool's popcorn was so good. Evenings would be spent reading books or magazines, lounging around outside as our house just had a window air conditioning unit in the living room, and listening to music. My interest in music was more Paul Revere and the Raiders and a group called Dino, Desi, and Billy (Dean Martin's son Dino, Desi Arnez and Lucille Ball's son Desi, and their friend Billy. 

Our family never did go on vacation, but I never felt left out. While going to a drive-in movie was an occasional treat, during the summer of 1967, the drive-in movie theatres admitted the striking Firestone workers and their families for free. Because of this, we went to the drive in a lot. We would pop a big bag of popcorn and take a cooler with our Pepsi. 
Come August, a trip to the Iowa State Fair with my sister, nephew, and mom would have taken place. I would have also gone one day with my cousin Candy and we would be on our own to roam the Fairgrounds. 
Come fall big changes were on the horizon, including going to a different junior high than my elementary school friends and my brother leaving for the Navy, but the summer of 1967 was a wonderful time to be 12.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Who is Nancy Jane Rummans Mother?

Nancy Jane Rummans was born on 22 December 1849. The birth location, according to family tradition and 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920 U.S. Federal Censuses along with the 1895 Iowa State Census, was Missouri. Her death certificate, however, listed Illinois. On 15 March 1866 she married George Eldridge Loghry in Oskaloosa, Mahaska County, Iowa. They were married by a Charles Gates, pastor of Congregational Church.

But who were her parents? And where was she born? This has been a big mystery I set out to clear up.

Her father's birthplace according to 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920 U.S. Federal Census consistently states Virginia and her mother's birthplace was Illinois.

The 1925 Iowa State Census was the first hint as to mother's name. This Census states she was born in Illinois, father was John Rummons, born in Virginia, and mother's name was Heater, born in Iowa. Why has she changed her birth location?

Finally in 2017, Iowa Death Records, 1920-1940 were made available by the  State Historical Society of Iowa. Her death certificate listed her father as John Rummans, born in Virginia and her mother as Fannie Heeter, born in Illinois. The informant was a daughter of Nancy Jane.

Death Certificate: Nancy Jane Rummans Loghry
Further research found Nancy in the 1850 U.S. Federal Census in Boone County, Missouri, as a one-year-old born in Missouri, in the household of John Rummons (wife Frances Rummons). Also in this household were several other children, including a four-year-old brother John, also born in Missouri.

1850 U.S. Federal Census
In addition, I found a John Rummans in the 1840 U.S. Federal Census in Boone County, Missouri, indicating the family most likely had been residing in Missouri since at least 1840.

1840 U.S. Federal Census
This helps support that Nancy's mother was Fannie Heater and that Nancy was born in Missouri. Further research is needed, but for now, I'm confident that I have finally found Nancy's mother and birth location.