My great-grandfather Alfred Leroy Edwards  and his brother Elias E., served in the 42nd Division (The Rainbow Division) during WWI.  I don’t have any pictures of him during this time period, or any of his military records, but I figured that at least I could find out what battles his unit took part in to get a better picture of what his experience must have been like.

My dad has a photograph of him shaving in France, but he can’t find it right now.  Keeping my fingers crossed that it shows up!

Looking onlilne, I found this list of the battles engaged in by the 42nd Division : (1) Luneville sector, Lorraine, February 21 to March 23, 1918; (2) Baccarat sector, Lorraine, March 31 to June 21, 1918; (3) Esperance-Souain sector, Champagne, July 4 to July 17, 1918; (4) Champagne-Marne defensive, July 15 to 17, 1918; (5) Aisne-Marne offensive, July 25 to August 3, 1918; (6) Aisne-Marne offensive July 25 to August 11, 1918; (7) St. Mihiel offensive, September 12 to 16, 1918; (8) Essey and Pannes sector, Woevre, September 17 to 30, 1918; (9) Meuse-Argonne offensive, October 12 to 31, 1918; (10) Meuse-Argonne, October 7 to November 1, 1918; (11) Meuse-Argonne offensive, November 5 to 10, 1918; (12) Meuse-Argonne offensive November 5 to 9, 1918.

I also found some papers (a diary and some books) of another Iowa Private who served in the same regiment, which are available at the MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, VA.  I would love to be able to read through his diary and get an idea of what life was like – since they may have had similar experiences.

I was also happy to find a picture of a roster from a different company(on an ebay site), but similar to the one above.  It is in great condition in a frame and has a uniform also.  It was neat to see what he would have worn.

Someone in the family HAS to have a picture of him in uniform, don’t you think?  I will have to do some searching….

  • Cherie Cayemberg - January 11, 2011 - 9:41 am

    Have you written away for his military records? There’s a chance they weren’t destroyed…they should have something though and if you’re very lucky they’ll have more than just a little! :)ReplyCancel

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Randy Seaver, over at Genea-Musings has another fun installment of Saturday Night Genealogy Fun up on his blog.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  Go to your Blog Statistics website (e.g., StatCounter, Google Analytics, etc.) and find the page for “Keyword Searches” done on your blog.

2)  Tell us some of the funniest or most interesting keyword searches and your reaction to them.  Write your own blog post or put them in a comment to this post, or in a comment or status on Facebook .

I found some funny ones!

  1. i love climbing, santa claus (not sure what they were looking for!)
  2. is santa in my family (ha! or should I say ho! ho! ho!)
  3. should I join ancestry.com (yes, you should – but that’s just my opinion)
  4. the toilet mask co. (I admit that I did write a post on this one….)
  5. soldiers climbing brick walls  (I have many brick walls, but no soldiers climbing them.  My husband – who is a soldier – doesn’t help me at all!)
  6. santa clauses family tree
  7. harry potter family tree

So, it seems like people think that I might be able to give them answers on the family trees of Harry Potter and Santa Claus!

Sorry to disappoint them….

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One of my goals this year is to get my hands on John Edwards’ Civil War pension.  I have explained the problems I’ve been having here and here.

I was pleasantly surprised when I received a reply from the VA today!!  They were quick, I have to say.  I thought that I was going to be waiting months upon months to even get a confirmation, but I was wrong.  I wrote to them right before Christmas, so that’s a pretty quick turnaround.

Unfortunately, they didn’t have the records I was searching for.  They are (of course) housed in another facility (within the VA).  Thankfully, they forwarded my request and hopefully the next office will be as prompt as they were.

Am I beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel?  Do his records actually exist??  Are they sitting on some back shelf in a musty, dark basement somewhere, untouched by human hands for the past 80 years?  Probably.

I just hope that the VA can unearth them for me so that I can finally read them!  After all of this time and frustration, there had better be something good in this thing!:)

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Week 1: Did your family have any New Year’s traditions? How was the New Year celebrated during your childhood? Have you kept these traditions in the present day?!

When I was a kid, we didn’t normally have a huge bash at New Year’s Eve like some people did.

Most of our family members lived within 2 hours of us, but not in the same town.  Besides, we had seen all of them at Christmas, so we usually rang in the new year with just us (my parents and 3 siblings). New Year’s was normally spent at home with football and food  – lots of chips and dip.

We would of course stay up until midnight and watch the ball drop on TV.   Not very exciting, but as a kid we always thought staying up that late was so cool.

As I got to be a teenager, I generally spent New Year’s with friends who lived nearby. We always made sure we were spending the night somewhere, because really – who wants to be on the road on New Year’s Eve with a bunch of crazy drivers?

Now that I’m married and have a family of my own, we can make our own traditions.  The kids like to drink sparkling cider from wine glasses at midnight – even though I have a feeling that they don’t really like the cider, they just like drinking out of grown-up glasses. :)

You would have thought that we would have at least had a huge celebration to ring in 2000, but we didn’t.  We were living in San Antonio at the time and had a 6 month-old baby.  We stayed at home and fell asleep soon after midnight. We’re boring, I know.

This year, we spent New Year’s Eve at Sea World in Orlando.  Definitely one that we will all remember.:)

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