• New York
  • 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.

  • Jun28

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    Found when trolling old newspapers for hints of my Tierneys in New York City and environs. I can claim no relation to this affectionate young man, but the writer’s style is razor sharp!

    John Tierney is a very affectionate young man.

  • Jun21

    2 Comments

    I have been trying to figure out what the entry is in the Occupation column for my wife’s great-grandfather in the 1940 census. The Industry is clearly “City Subway” and the Occupation sort of looks like “Track-Man” but the way the letters are formed in the first syllable I have a feeling that is not what it is supposed to say.

    For reference, here is a link to the full 1940 census page on Ancestry.

    He was listed as a Signalman for the Long Island Railroad in the 1930 census, if that’s any clue. Anyone with an idea?


    1940 Census Detail for Michael Duffy Job

  • May2

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    Little Chapel on the River: A Pub, a Town and the Search for What Matters MostLittle Chapel on the River: A Pub, a Town and the Search for What Matters Most by Gwendolyn Bounds

    My rating: 3 of 5 stars

    Little Chapel on the River is a community study of even tempo and simple observation. I appreciated the author’s reserve in description of both place and people.

    Over time she lets their actions and words paint the picture of a group of people whose intersection is not in their own backgrounds or personalites, but in their desire, no, their longing for a place to step out of life for a bit to contemplate and discuss what passes by on river and road.

    I had some difficulty in rating the book, though – I would give it a 3.5 stars if possible. My only complaint was that I found the stitching of the author’s passages to the life around the Little Chapel a little abrupt. I confess this was mainly an issue for me in the beginning of the book when I had not yet bought into the atmosphere and people of Guinan’s.

    Perhaps it is just that I found the apt simplicity of the writing at odds with the events of 9/11 that led to her journey up the river – but I suppose that a return to basics does make sense in retrospect and any other method would have run the risk of overexposing the image too early on.

    I would certainly recommend this to someone looking for a story of people and community.

    I actually found Little Chapel mentioned in a genealogy thread for people while searching for info on the Guinan family in my great-great-grandmother’s part of the tree. My Guinans happened to come from near Birr where the family in the book came from – so I thought I’d see if I could learn anything from the book.

    While I did not find too much info on the Ireland side of the story, I’m glad I found the book.

    View all my reviews