[Editor’s note: Flip-Pal team member Walt Grady shares a photo of his father, James F. Grady, USN and the story behind the image.]
My father, James F. Grady is shown in the image above with his parents, James F. Grady and Margaret V. Grady, dated about 1942. Dad was first generation Irish American and he enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the outbreak of World War II.
There is so much I don't know about my Dad's military service and I wish I could ask him some simple questions . . .
- When exactly was this picture taken?
- What was the occasion? Was there a reason to celebrate and perhaps capture this moment in time on film?
- And what are the smiles about? Is there a meaning to them, perhaps known only to Dad and my grandparents?
Perhaps the photo was taken at the completion of basic training? Or possibly a homecoming at the end of the war? The smiles are joyful and somehow convey relief at having survived the War, relief as an individual, and as parents and son reunited as well as a nation. If I listen carefully, I can practically hear, “I made it home!” and “Our son is alive!” and “Our country is free!”
What if, on the other hand, this picture was taken at the beginning of the War? I can only imagine some of the feelings Dad may have been experiencing . . . such as pride in enlisting in the Navy, gratitude that “basic” was over, excitement over an assignment on the battleship USS Indiana, sadness of having to leave new friends behind or even fear of battle and possibly death.
Like my father during the early 1940s, many men were entering the service and beginning a journey with an unknown ending. By exploring his photos and documents from Word War II, I hope to get a better understanding what that time was like for Dad.
Photo: James F. Grady with his parents, ca. 1942. Digital image. Photograph in possession of Walt Grady.
[Editor’s note: Flip-Pal team member Diane Miller shares her stroll down memory-lane as a result of searching for her family in the 1940 Census.]
Recently, I decided to take a look at the 1940 Census images for the community where I was born and raised in Montana. While trying to determine the Enumeration District (ED) for my hometown, I discovered that in rural parts of Montana, many EDs were determined along county and then school district boundaries.
My school district was Eagle Butte School District 14 which was situated in ED 8-17. The school was built before 1915, about the time my grandparents moved to the community to establish their farm and to raise a family. I attribute my lifelong love of learning and artistic pursuits to the first three grades of school at the Eagle Butte one-room country school. In fact, I was one of the two last students in that school which was only about a mile and a half from my home.
I remember those winter mornings and if the snow was too deep for the pickup, Dad would start the tractor and take me to school that way. I was still very little at that time and I would be bundled up with blankets and placed in a half barrel set on a kind of stone boat or flat sled pulled behind the tractor. Talk about a big adventure!
As a child, calling it a one room school seemed an odd thing – I could never understand why they called it “one room,” especially since it had two other rooms where the teacher lived, plus a cloak room and storage room. How could the teachers possibly live in the two tiny rooms! I did not realize they lived in the school room itself after the students had gone home.
The school room was long with windows on the West side, black (squeaky) chalk boards on the East side with writing examples mounted all along the top. There were also large pull-down maps of a world I was yet to explore. The maps always depicted Turkey a light golden-orange. To this day, I cannot stand the feel of chalk on my hands!
The floors were of creaking hardwood with an oily finish. The finish was kept by sprinkling Sweeping Compound (an oil impregnated saw dust) all over the floor, then letting us run, slide, stomp all across the floor, then sweeping it back into its blue tin 5-gal container. Seems it cleaned and re-oiled the floor. In the back of the room was a big old oil burning heater, used to warm the entire building.
As I progressed through grades 1 -3, the school population dwindled: ten, three, and finally just two students. At that point, the school was closed and we were bussed the 20+ miles to school over muddy, snowy roads to finish our education with many others in a small town school.
* * *
As the 1940 Census images appeared on my computer, my anticipation grew. I realized there were only 46 people listed in this school district. There were fewer in the community than I found in the 1930 Census images for the area. Finally, I found my grandparents! My newly-wed parents had not yet moved to the community and I wonder where I will find them! This is what I love most about searching genealogy records like the 1940 Census: it is so much fun to patch together the mystery of the lives of the people who made me!
Photo: Community gathered in front of Eagle Butte School, mid-1950s. Digital image. Photograph in possession of Diane Miller.
As Tax Day on April 17, 2012 approaches, many of us will spend this week preparing our state and federal income tax forms. Ever wonder about your ancestors and what they had to do in terms of paying taxes?
How to Locate Tax Records
Tax records are a great source of genealogy and family history research data and if you know where to look, you can find tax information for your ancestors.
- Cyndi’s List has over 108 resources related to taxes and genealogy.
- The search term “list of taxpayers” in Google Books delivers a treasure trove of early tax records on the local level such as property taxes and more.
- Mocavo, the genealogy search engine, also has links to tax records.
And don’t forget that the Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner can not only help you scan those tax records images, but it is the perfect solution for scanning receipts for your own taxes this year! Get organized this tax season . . . get a Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner!
Photo: You are one of 50,000,000 Americans who must fill out an income tax return by March 15. File yours early. 1941 – 1945. Office for Emergency Management. Office of War Information. Domestic Operations Branch. Bureau of Special Services. (03/09/1943 - 09/15/1945). National Archives and Records Administration, ARC 516201. Public domain.
We'd like to welcome you to the new Flip-Pal Genealogy Blog! This is the spot where you'll find the latest information about the Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner and how you can make it part of your family history research.
Future posts will cover a variety of topics including:
- How to use the Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner including functions and features.
- Success stories from Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner users – learn how they have captured and preserved family memories.
- Tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your Flip-Pal™ mobile scanner.
Make sure you add the Flip-Pal Genealogy Blog to your bookmarks or favorites. Better, yet add us to your RSS feed reader or sign up to receive posts via e-mail!