• New York
  • Mar5

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    I’ve been searching about to see if I could find some additional background for my great-grandfather Michael Tierney’s service in the New York City Police’s 25th Precinct.

    In an older post, Michael Tierney – Policeman, Part 2, I mention my truly serendipitous find of a photo of a group of policemen standing in front of the newly opened 25th Precinct, with great-grandfather Michael included.

    Article: The Finest Station HouseBeing your average man on the job, there isn’t too much specifically attributable to him in the newspapers. There are a few possible articles mentioning either an “Officer Tierney” or even “Michael Tierney”, but still hard to tie to him.

    So, with plans to write something with a bit of background in hand, I’ve also been looking for information on his precinct, the police force in general, and the city at the time between 1885 to 1913.

    Today I found this short, but sweet, description of the new 25th Precinct from the November 30, 1887 edition of the New York Times. In addition to a nice description of the facilities, it also offers information on an expansion of the precinct territory at the time. Read More | Comments

  • Feb5

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    Horse Drawn Carriage Driver's LicenseAt right is my grandfather Joseph Vanac’s NYPD “Traffic Warning Card” for a a “Horse Drawn” vehicle, circa 1922.

    I am happy to report that Grandpa had a clean driving record. Not sure how clean the horse was on the streets, though.

    Calvary Cemetery, Queens, NY
    In the 1920 census he lived near the Queens cemeteries where he worked as a stone mason. His entire enumeration district contained only two pages – probably hundreds of times more people buried in that area at the time than lived there. Also: horses.

    (Photo source: Wikimedia Commons.)

  • Nov21

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    In a previous post entitled WWI Army Pay Card I spoke about using the veteran burial record for my great uncle to find his Army Serial Number (ASN). I used that info to finally successfully order his WWI records from the National Archives.

    The source I used was the U.S. National Cemetery Interment Control Forms, 1928-1962 database on Ancestry.com. Great uncle Michael died in 1936, so I was very glad when that database went online- I had every other piece of information on Michael short of his ASN and his shoe size, but NARA kept replying to my records requests with “not enough info.”

    Just a month or so later, a researcher in Ireland contacted me about my grandfather’s first wife, Sabina Gilroy, whom he found in my tree. This cousin of my cousins has shared a great deal on a part of our tree that was bereft, which has been wonderful.

    It turns out Sabina’s brother Michael was also a WWI veteran, but he died in service a few weeks before the war ended.

    So, you’d think the Interment Control Forms database would be out since he died 10 years before 1928, no?

    No. It turns out that groups of veterans were disinterred from their original burial places overseas and reburied back in the US.

    Michael Gilroy was moved from a cemetery near the battle in Meuse-Argonne back to Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn some time after 1928.

    So, now we have his interment card, his ASN and a way to now find his records at NARA.

    National Veteran's Cemetery Interment Card for Michael Gilroy

  • Oct23

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    A quick post for today: I have been trying to get my great uncle Michael Edward Tierney’s military records from NARA for awhile – even though I had everything but his shoe size and army serial number I kept getting the response “Not enough information to find his records.”

    I was surprised at the response, actually since I included his birth and death dates, known addresses, parent’s names, burial location and his division and other Army info from his headstone. But I suppose there’s no cross-referencing for those old records

    But, it wasn’t until Ancestry recently published the U.S. National Cemetery Interment Control Forms, 1928-1962 that I finally turned up his Army Serial Number, and that unlocked the box.

    I received about 48 pages of records, and even with duplicated info I have a fair bit of research to go through and write up. But for now I thought the service pay card below was an interesting thing to post – the soldiers were paid $1.00 a day when stationed in the US and $1.25 when overseas. Great Uncle Michael was paid a total of $416.50 for 337 days of service, including stints as a Wagoner in the Meuse-Argonne offensive and in the St. Die Sector of France.

    (Updated later: looking at the records again, it appears this card may be a pay adjustment and not the complete pay he received during his service. There are some other records that mention $15 per month – and what looks like the application to receive this money was from several years post-war in 1925.)

    WWI Army Pay Card for Michael Edward Tierney

  • Oct12

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    My Mother in Traditional Czech outfitMy grandparents emigrated from Czechoslovakia in the early 1900s, met and lived up on the west side of Manhattan when they had my mother. That community had a very strong Czech component, as did some parts of Queens they later moved to.

    John Klecka in Traditional Czech outfitMy mother grew up learning both Czech and English, attended Sokol gymnastics and other social events at the Bohemian Hall in Astoria.

    My Mother and Great Uncle John Klecka in Traditional Czech outfitHere are a few photos of my Mom in her traditional outfits, along with her maternal Great Uncle John Klecka.

    (Good job fitting into that same outfit when posing with my Mom so many years later, Uncle John!)

    We still have my Mom’s flowery outfit saved in my Babi’s steamer trunk, although we are hesitant to take it out after having been folded in place for so many decades.