Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Christmas Tree of Memories


Now that we are firmly within the Christmas season for 2017, I am reprising a wonderful guest post that ran here back on May 14, 2017. The post is authored by Carol Kerr who, with her husband Neville, runs a wonderful Bed & Breakfast (pictured above) in the Forest Park section of Springfield, Massachusetts.

I am thrilled and honored to be able to share Carol's story and photos once again and during the Christmas season. As I noted back in May, I suspect that -- like Carol and Neville's house last Christmas Eve -- there will be many a moist eye in the blogosphere after reading . . .    

The Christmas Tree of Memories
Carol Kerr

My parents didn't have much when they came to America by boat from Germany in the mid fifties. They had a few suitcases, two children, a violin.  There was never much in the way of possessions or heirlooms to pass down.

Mom lived with me for almost 20 years. When she died in August, there was really no inheritance to pass on to her children. She owned no car, no home,  no insurance money. She had a small amount of savings, but even that was not in her name.

What Mom did have was stuff. Lots of it. Old photos, items she had knitted (she was a prodigious knitter), mementos, dishes, stemware, books, tchotchkes, things that her children had given her over the years, paintings she had painted, travel souvenirs. In short, the story of her life in ephemera, trinkets, glass, and costume jewelry.

For the last couple years of Mom's life, my husband and I turned our dining room into a large bedroom/sitting room for her and provided her with a storage room upstairs and parts of several other rooms as well. Mom had lots of stuff, and we had a home large enough to accommodate all of it. After she died, it was time to repurpose the downstairs to a dining room again, and create a guest room upstairs from the storage room.

Then, I had a dilemma. I had all of it . . . everything my mother possessed. I didn't want to keep everything, yet I couldn't bring myself to just get rid of so much. Her possessions represented so much of her life . . . and so many memories. Plus, in my mind was the thought that the other children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren she left behind had nothing of her.

At some point in my mind I made a decision to give stuff to my three siblings. But then the question was what to give and to whom. And what was a fair division? Should the brother with three daughters and a new grandbaby get more than the sister with one son? Or, should the other sister who already had a son, granddaughter, and three great grandchildren receive a larger share? Would they even want any of it? There was nothing of value beyond sentimental.  

In the end, I decided to give something to everyone, and let them decide what (if anything) they wanted to keep. And with Christmas just a few months away, I had an idea to give them this stuff when we were all together for the holiday. And from there, Mom's Last Christmas came to me.

I bought 10 moving boxes (3 siblings, 4 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren = 10 boxes) and set them all up in a side room. Then, I started going through all Mom's things while at the same time converting rooms. As I came across her things, I would put them in the boxes. I tried to evenly distribute as much as possible. Everyone got some old photos, everyone got something she knitted, everyone got something from her china cabinets, everyone got one of her cookbooks and some jewelry. I distributed evenly and randomly, so that even I wouldn't know what was in each box.

Then I found a series of cassette recordings. Mom married for a second time in her early sixties. For their honeymoon, they went on a tour of Germany to travel and to introduce Richard to all the family. Each night they would turn on the recorder and just discuss the day they had. It was wonderful to hear their voices. My husband, Neville, transferred all the cassettes to disk and I put a disk into each box.

Filling these boxes took about three months. Seems like every room I cleaned, there was more and more. Every room had bits of Mom in it. I think that going through it all helped me with the grieving process too. At some point it occurred to me that if I stacked the boxes 4, 3, 2, 1 it made a large pyramid which could easily look like a Christmas tree if decorated. 

When the boxes were filled, I wrapped each in festive holiday paper, added lights, garland, large balls, and a few ornaments. It turned out to be, by all accounts, a beautiful Christmas tree.

On Christmas Eve, after dinner and after all the other presents were distributed, it was time to open the gifts from Mom. Box by box we dismantled that Christmas tree as each person took one.

Opening each box was full of joy, surprise, and memories. People kept holding things up to show what they got in their box. Mom's signed photo of astronauts from her visit to Houston, her framed wedding invitation, her paintings, her knitted and crocheted hats, sweaters, and throws, her special wine glasses, her old family photos from Germany, her handwritten recipe books, the small bibles that she saved, photos of all of us, little statues, all things Egyptian, dishes, servers, cups, her favorite books, letters, cards, everything and anything. I encouraged everyone to feel free to trade amongst themselves.

In the end, there wasn't a dry eye in the house. We cried together, we laughed, and we all felt very close to Mom and to each other. Everyone agreed it was an amazing Christmas and a fabulous way to remember Mom.  As we headed up to bed, in place of the tree was just a heap of lights, garland, balls, and ornaments left for Christmas Day. It was beautiful!

I like to think that years from now as the grandchildren become adults, this will be the Christmas that will be remembered and they will tell their children about the Christmas Tree of Memories.

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All photos by, and courtesy of, Carol Kerr.

Copyright 2017, Carol Kerr.
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Monday, December 11, 2017

'Tis the Season for Genealogy -- Reconsider the Often Maligned Holiday Newsletter as Genealogy Gold

Many of us at one time or another have probably said something like, "Enough of these end-of-year holiday newsletters. Why do people write these things anyway?" Or we have voiced particular criticsm of specific newsletters we receive -- morsels like: "All this bad news is a downer!" Or its polar oppositie, "Geez talk about self absorbtion, the 'we,' 'me,' 'us,' and the litany of all the great things we do and that happen to us. Makes me want to vomit." And then the whispered appraisal of family members who remain anonymous, "Why do they tell us all this stuff when they know we hear of all these things and events during the year as they happen?"

A Google search of "Holiday newsletters good or bad?" yields some evidence of the criticism that is out there: "Just Say No to the Holiday Newsletter -- Snarky in the Suburbs" or "Oh No! The Generic Holiday Newsletters Are Coming!" and "Holiday letters: Personal updates can reveal too much information." There are undoubtedly some valid points in these various views of the holiday newsletters that often come stuffed in cards containing only canned holiday sentiments and a bare signature; but perhaps there is another way to view these annual newsletters. How about something like "Holiday Newsletters: Genealogy Gold For Descendants and Relatives!

Many years ago I grew tired of simply signing printed holiday cards or having to painstakingly handwrite some real news for every card sent to family and friends. After some years of voicing my own often derisive criticism of end-of-year newsletters, I had an epiphany and a re-set in my thinking. I decided to begin an annual newsletter to insert in cards that we sent to family and friends (and more recently even emailed to some). Sure, it was easier than handwriting pithy news blurbs tailored to each recipient -- blurbs that usually became repeated across cards anyway -- but after rethinking the purposes of a newsletter and who the audience was, I realized that there were two basic groups and two differnet purposes to writing a holiday newsletter.

The first group is friends and somewhat distant relatives who are often scattered around the country and as a result we did not see them often and communicate with them sporatically and mostly in the telegraphic language of email or instant messaging. The content of the annual newsletter is an update for them of things they did not know about in real time and are probably of only ephemeral interest -- the newsletters are read and shortly find their way into the "round file" until trash pick-up day.  This is fine and the newsletter serves a real need and purpose. It is easier to be informative for this group with a newsletter that covers many news events of the year than to try to handwrite individualized summaries in each card.

The second group is comprised of members of the immediate family (who really already know most or all of the news and events in a newsletter) and, I realized, their children and future descendants. For the latter especially, the newsletters would be informative windows into the lives of the ancestors and relatives they never met or knew. I thought of how many times I wished I had letters, diaries, or other written material from ancestors and relatives to fill in their stories beyond the cold facts of birth, marriage, children, death etc. I realized I would love to have annual holiday newsletters written by ancestors and relatives to tell me what they valued as memories for a given year, to memorialize their successes and perhaps some disappointments, to share their joys and sadness, etc.  

And that was when I put aside the thought that my newsletters might produce groans or smirks or even derisive laughter because I knew more clearly for whom I was writing the newsletters and why.  Sure, the newsletter serves a purpose of ease and convenience for me regarding most recipients, but for others it provides a genealogical record that might just be preserved so those in the future need not wonder as I have about the important events in the everyday lives of their ancestors or relatives.

In 2013, as I wrote the annual newsletter for that year, I realized it was the 21st such annual summary and I decided to make a gift of all the previous twenty newsletters (1992 - 2002) to our sons.  I posted here about the three-ring notebook of twenty years of holiday newsletters that I assembled, wrapped, and presented to them on Christmas Day 2013. We spent considerable time that day reading back issues of the newsletter, recalling forgotten events, putting mistaken events back in their correct chronological order, and laughing out loud at many stories and photos the newsletters helped us reminisce about. At the time neither of our granddaughters had been born, but they now feature large in the newsletters of the last three years.  We look forward to the time when we can sit with them and read over the newsletters so they can learn about the early experiences of their parents and grandparents, read and see how they entered the family and got their own section in the newsletter, and come to appreciate the value of having an annual review of their lives and those of their family members.  They might even want to continue the tradition in their own nuclear families when the time comes.

And this is why each Christmas since 2012, I have gifted our sons with the newest annual holiday newsletter in a protective sleeve to be inserted into their binder of the collected Tew Family Holiday Newsletters. Fifteen days from now they will receive the "Special Edition" 25th Annual Tew Family Holiday Newsletter .  .  . and I will have my binder with me to add the 25th edition and just maybe I'll pause to read portions of some oldies but goodies!


So,  I urge you to reconsider the much maligned holiday newsletter. Put aside any prejudices you might have about holiday newsletters and start creating one if you do not already compose one each year. Remember you have different audiences. Care not about the audience that will groan or laugh at you and not with you. Observe a few cautionary tips: avoid being heavy on bad news and disappointments (nobody likes downers), but give gentle and truthful summaries within the limits of getting too personal; include photographs and stories; add a little appropriate and perhaps silly humor; and most of all .  .  . remember that you are not just creating an annual holiday summary of the years event's, you are creating genealogy gold for your descendants!  

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Newsletters image screenshot from Google Images search for "holiday newsletters."

Scanned image of the "Tew Family Holiday Newsletter" binder cover was created by the author. 
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Copyright 2017, John D. Tew
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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Saturday Serendipity (December 9, 2017)

Below are a few recommended reads for this weekend .  .  . 

1.  This week starts with a historic event (actually a tragedy) that occured 100 years ago this past Wednesday, December 6th. It was mentioned on NPR and in The Weekly Genealogist of NEHGS this week. Readers with a connection to Boston might know that over the years since 1918, the people of Nova Scotia have sent a choice Christmas tree to the people of Boston for use in the annual lighting ceremony on Boston Common. Even if you know the basic reason why Nova Scotia does this, you will want to read a full backstory about the reason. You can learn about an amazing Bostonian by the name of Abraham "Cap" Ratshesky, the first mushroom cloud explosion known on earth (long before Hiroshima), and perhaps about events and humanitarian responses that ancestors or relatives were caught up in in Halifax and/or Boston. If you read nothing else in today's recommendations, read this from Globe Magazine. AND, if after reading the first article, you think you might have ancestors or relatives that were involved in the events described, then by all means go to the website commemorating the 100th anniversary of the tragedy and response to look into the 100 stories about the disaster and the bravery, courage, and humanitarian efforts it spawned. You might just find some reference to folks in your genealogy.               

2.  Have you ever wondered what the difference -- if any -- is between dower and inheritance? Well, so has NEHGS genealogist Alicia Crane Williams. She writes about the difference in Vita Brevis, the    
NEHGS blog and you can access her post here. Be sure to read the comments too.

3.  Given the major news events of the last few weeks about sexual harassment, there is a very interesting piece at The Vault, a history blog of Slate. In yet another example of how "all things old are new again" and how the problem of sexual harassement has been with us for time beyond memory, Rebecca Onion of The Vault unearths a 1978 article by noted anthropologist Margaret Mead calling for taboos on sex in the workplace. Read the post here. I think you will find it very interesting.
4.  Diane Boumenot of the blog One Rhode Island Family posted this week about "drilling down in FamilySearch.org." Diane created and provides four very instructional videos to show rather than write about how one can access record images for free on FamilySearch. You really should check these out!  Diane uses examples for Rhode Island research, but her instructions are applicable for any location.           
5.  To paraphrase good old Ralph Waldo (that is Emerson, not Where's Waldo), "Procrastination can be the hobgoblin of the otherwise diligent genealogist." How many times have we read or heard a genealogist say that he/she procrastinates too much and wishes it were otherwise? I end this week's Saturday Serendipity with two posts about procrastination. Don't worry, it starts with a little humor with some big points and ends with a simple formula for working your genealogy research into your daily routine. Along the way you will learn about the kinds of procrastinators and about special characters called "Rational Decision-Maker," "Instant Gratification Monkey," and "The Panic Monster" (complete with simple illustrations). Then there is a short read that will give you the formula. First, go here and see Tim Urban of Wait But Why blog present his TED Talk on procrastination. Then, go to the Organize Your Family History blog of Janine Adams here to read a brief explanation of her formula for harnessing the Instant Gratification Monkey and working your genealogy easily into your daily routine. Probelm solved with a nice mix of the humorous and the practical.  Enjoy! 
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Copyright 2017, John D. Tew
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Saturday, December 2, 2017

Saturday Serendipity (December 2, 2017)

After a two week recess for the arrival of several family members during the Thanksgiving holiday and a celebration of my father's 95th birthday days later, Saturday Serendipity returns this week with a few recommended reads for this weekend .  .  . 

1.  By now anyone interested in U.S. history and/or in genealogy has heard the story of Sally Hemmings, an enslaved woman on the Thomas Jefferson estate, and the genetic connection to Thomas Jefferson (or perhaps another close Jefferson male). The Weekly Genealogist of NEHGS brings us a similar story about the "Father of the Constitution," James Madison, and an enslaved woman on his plantation named "Coreen." With the current exposure of the sexual offenses by men who exploit their power advantage to violate women, this story reminds us that such iniquity has been with us far too long, but it also illustrates how modern genetic analysis can begin to unravel very complicated family stories. You can read the full story here.           

2.   Also from NEHGS this week is an article that highlights the new website inaugurated by NEHGS to allow Mayflower descendants to post their names, photographs, and other information about being a Mayflower descendant.  The site conatins the names of the 108 Mayflower passengers and crew members with brief biographies.  You can read the very brief article here and access the NEHGS website directly by going here. 

3.  Diane Boumenot of One Rhode Island Family blog does an annual holiday list of potential gifts for the genealogists in your life. Diane's list of 50 gift ideas for 2017 can be seen here.               
4.  Nancy Messier of My Ancestors and Me blog shares a new discovery about images for FamilySearch film. Images from the film can now be obtained online from the comfort and convenience of your favorite home-based research nook. You can read Nancy's explanation and hints here.  Nancy also posted this week about the fairly recent availability of digital images of civil birth and death records from the U.K. Government Records Office.  The price of obtaining them is less than paper copies.  Read the details here.         
5.   The musings of James Tanner of Genealogy's Star blog are almost always interesting and thought provoking. As a Facebook avoider, I found Mr. Tanner's musings yesterday about the use of FB in genealogy to be interesting, but as he points out, "There is a tradeoff." Have a read here and see what you think.  James Tanner also posted a very interesting and thought provoking piece this week about the preservation of genealogy data with respect to "data migration" issues and -- most ominously for those of us with hundreds or thousands of genealogy images in JPEG format -- the possibility that this near universal image format could be replaced. You really should read this post. You can access it here.

6.  The Legal Genealogist, Judy Russell, posted today about the entertainment app known as "We're Related." Judy is dead on when it comes to the app and I can only believe that her many critics are simply not serious genealogists familiar with the GPS (no use trying to explain the acronym to the critics Judy refers to -- they obviously do not understand).  It should go without saying that relationship means much more than simply sharing the same surname(s). Use the app if you like its entertainment potential, but don't think you are doing anything close to real genealogy research.  Astronomers do not study horoscopes and zodiac charts they are based on in order to learn about the true nature of the stars and planets.  Genealogists (professional or serious amateur) do not go to We're Related to find or establish true family relationships.  You can read Judy's post and the comments it generated by going here.
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Copyright 2017, John D. Tew
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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Saturday Serendipity (November 11, 2017)

Here are a few recommended reads for this Veterans Day weekend .  .  . 

1.  As we move from pumpkin bedizened Halloween to the pumpkin on our Thanksgiving tables, The Weekly Geneaologist of NEHGS pointed out a brief history of pumpkins for our reading pleasure.  The pumpkin fruit was a mainstay of the early New England diet well before they began gracing the Thanksgiving table in the form of the pies we know and love today. You can read this short and informative piece here.     

2.  During this week of Veterans Day posts on various blogs, many celebrate the service of ancestors and family members. Barbara Poole of Life From the Roots blog posted took a different tack and posted about some famous veterans she met personally or saw during the time she lived and worked in Wahington, DC. As always, Barabra illustrates her post with photographs.  Have a look here.    
3.  Marian Wood of Climbing My Family Tree blog passes on some sage advice this week for all genealogists .  .  . "Ask an archivist!" Find out what she means and why she gives this pithy advice by reading her post here.              
4.  The always thoughful James Tanner of Geneaolgy's Star blog, ruminates on the subject of online safety.  Since genealogy in this era of digital technology inescapably involves so much online research, his post is worth reading.  You can access it here.    
5.  If you are like me, you really enjoy looking at documents and artifacts from the past -- especially if they could have some genelogical connection to family members.  I periodically like to look at Pam Beveridge's blog Heirlooms Reunited for this very reason.  I am hopeful I might come across an old, lushy illustrated autograph book, album, bible, photograph or other artifact that contains a connection to an ancestor or relative. But I also enjoy looking at the wide variety of objects created and preserved by folks from the past.  Many of them are beautiful pieces of folk art.  You too might enjoy the search and the viewing yourself, so have a look at Heirlooms Reunited here.  You just might find something that connects you to your ancestors or relatives.

6.  To capitalize or not to capitalize [when doing genealogy research], that is the question. Another question is, "Can it possibly make any difference?"  Well, Nancy Messier of My Ancestors and Me blog asked the questions and has the answers.  You can read her story, and the cautionary lesson it contains, here.         
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Copyright 2017, John D. Tew
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Friday, November 10, 2017

Rememberance Days (November 10 and 11, 2017)

"Immortality Lies in Being Remembered by Family and Friends." -- John D. Tew

Doreen E. Jeffs in Canadian Army uniform (1945)

Tomorrow is Rememberance Day in Canada and Veterans Day in the United States.  Both days commemorate the sacrifice of those who fought, died, and othewise served in conflicts and wars -- especially World War I and World War II.

In Canada, Rememberance Day is often marked by people wearing artificial poppies in the days leading up to November 11th.  Red poppies are worn in memory of those who died, while white poppies are worn for those who served in non-militry interventions in conflict situations.  Special church services are held on November 11th that often include a reading of the fourth verse of the "Ode of Rememberance" by Laurence Binyon [1] and a playing of "The Last Post."  Two minutes of silence begin at 11:00 and, following the service, wreaths are laid at local war memorials.  The official Canadian national ceremonies are held at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Ontario. 

I thought of Remembrance Day in Canada today and especially about a photograph of my mother-in-law, Doreen Elizabeth O'Kane, nee Jeffs, in her Canadian Army uniform circa 1945.  The photograph is shown above.

I thought of this photograph and of Doreen because today is a day of remembrance.  Today would have been Doreen's 97th birthday.  She died peacefully in her sleep on September 24th.  She is not forgotten. We remember her.
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[1]  The fourth verse is .  .  . "They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
                                            Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
                                            At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
                                            We will remember them."
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Copyright 2017, John D. Tew
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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Heather's Honor Roll Project (Veterans Day 2017) -- Wallingford, CT World War II Memorial Part 3 -- close up panel photos

In my blog post yesterday (November 8, 201, I contributed to the 2017 call for additions to the Honor Roll project of Heather Rojo.  My contribution for Veterans Day 2017 continued the process of transcribing the hundreds of men and women from the Wallingford, Connecticut area who served their country during World War II (my father being among them).

As the above photograph of the WWII memorial on the grounds of the Wallingford Town Hall illustrates, there are seven panels each with triple columns of the names of those who served. My 2016 Veterans Day post covered many, but not all, of the names listed on the first panel. The surnames are in alphabetical order across the entire seven panels and the first panel contains all the surnames beginning with A through B and some of those beginning with C.  

My post of November 10th, 2016 transcribed and listed all the names on the first panel from George C. Abbott, Jr. to Joseph E. Buza -- 244 names all together. My Memorial Day 2017 post listed all the surnames on the Wallingford WWII memorial that begin with C through E -- 298 names in all. My Veterans Day post of November 8, 2017 transcribed an additional 317 surnames covering those beginning with F through I. In keeping with my intent to also post close-ups of the panels containing names I have transcribed and listed, this is the post of panel close-ups to provide photographs of all the surnames that begin with F through I. This is the process that will be followed for the remaining panels over time in order to keep the transciption posts to a manageable size.  The transcribed names will be posted first and photographs of the panel close-ups covering the posted names will follow shortly thereafter.

I am very indebted to my cousin, Bruce Marquardt of Wallingford, for so willingly photographing the panels in close-up for me after my efforts to do so failed.  Thank you Bruce!

The following nine panel close-ups cover the names on the Wallingford WWII memorial from Bernard Factor through Peter P. Ives, Jr. Please note that in order to be sure all names were photographed, the photos overlap and some names are therefore shown twice and can thus be used to orient the precise order of the names from Factor to Ives.  The alphabetical order flows down the first column and then up to the top of the second column and finally up to the top of third column on each of the panels. The surnames starting with F begin in the third column of the first close-up Photo No. 1 below. The surnames starting with I end in the third column of close-up Photo No. 9 where surnames beginning with J also begin. 

Photo No. 1

Photo No. 2

Photo No. 3

Photo No. 4

Photo No. 5

Photo No. 6

Photo No. 7

Photo No. 8

Photo No. 9

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All close-up photographs of the panels of the WWII memorial are by Bruce Marquardt of Wallingford, Connecticut.

Photo of the entire memorial is by the author.
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Copyright 2017, John D. Tew
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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Heather's Honor Roll Project (Veterans Day 2017) -- Wallingford, CT World War II Memorial Part 3 -- Surnames F through I

Wallingford, Connecticut Town Hall

Saturday, November 11,  2017, is Veterans Day. 

Among the military Honor Roll memorials located in Wallingford, Connecticut on the grounds of the Town Hall is one for those who served (and in some cases died) in World War II. It is by far the most extensive memorial listing of veterans of war who lived in Wallingford.  The list contains hundreds of names -- in fact so many that it will take several posts to get them all transcribed and published. This is the third post of names from the Wallingford WWII Memorial. It will cover all the surnames names in alphabetical order from F through I . . . and that comprises 317 names for this post. [For the first post listing the 244 surnames from this memorial that begin with A or B, please see the earlier post here.  The second post listing the 298 surnames that begin with C through E can be viewed here. ]  

I know that finding a database of transcribed names is one thing for those who are searching for ancestors and relatives, but for those who cannot make a trip to see the actual memorial, a photograph of their family member's name would be a very useful gift for inclusion in family genealogies; therefore, it is my intention to do a blog post shortly after posting each list of transcribed names to publish the photographs from which I worked to do the transcriptions. Please check back here periodically after you see a listed name of an ancestor or relative in a post and you will then be able to get a photograph of the name in a close-up of the memorial panel containing your family member's name. [UPDATE: The close-up photos for surnames F through I on this memorial were published on November 8, 2017. You can view the close-up photographs here.]

For readers who take the time to scan the names, you will notice that unlike memorials for earlier wars there are a significant number of women listed on this memorial. Also, apart from the sheer number of names on the World War II memorial, one will note the wonderful ethnic diversity of the names in the list. And there are a number of obvious family members listed so that it appears several possible brother, father/son, and cousin combinations are listed.

My father is listed on the World War II memorial in Wallingford since he briefly attended a year of post-high school education at Lyman Hall in Wallingford before he entered Kings Point, the United States Merchant Marine Academy.  Prior to 1957 what is the present Town Hall was the Lyman Hall High School. [1]  I previously posted a close-up of the section of names containing my father's listing here. This post continues the transcription of the hundreds of other names that are honored on the World War II memorial. The transcription posts will be submitted as part of Heather Rojo's wonderful Honor Roll project to create a searchable listing of all U.S. war veterans on memorials erected in this country.

One other point to make on this Veterans Day regarding memorials to World War Two veterans .  .  .
The names on this and other WWII memorials around the country list members of what has often been called "The Greatest Generation."  The names on these memorials recognize the hundreds of thousands of men and women who sacrificed years of their youth or middle age -- and in many cases their very lives -- to combat an undeniable evil. My father will turn 95 years old on the 28th of this month. He turned 19 years old at the very end of November, 1941 and the United States declared war on Japan and Germany on December 8th and December 11th, 1941, respectively.  Before my father turned 20 years old he was attending the United States Merchant Marine Academy and shortly thereafter was making voyages to deliver supplies and materiel in the war effort. Today as we commemorate those members of the greatest generation who served and died in WWII, it is important to pause and realize -- with respect to this particular memorial and so many others like it -- that almost all of the men and women enumerated on WWII memorials are no longer with us. If they survived the war, the great majority have lived their lives and passed on. Very, very few remain with us today. Lift a glass today to all of those who made the ultimate sacrifice and to those who served!   

The World War II memorial on the grounds of the Wallingford Town Hall

The names of the men and women honored on the Wallingford World War II memorial with surnames beginning with F through I are as follows . . .

Bernard Factor                        Irving S. Factor                         Martin H. Factor
Frank L. Fagan                       Robert J. Fagan                         Frank J. Fahey
Anthony Falcigno, Jr.             Arthur Falcigno                        James Falcigno
Thomas B. Falcigno               Nicholas E. Falconieri             Francis J. Fanning
Thomas E. Fanning                Julius E. Fappiano                    Walter F. Fare
Charles J. Farkas                    George J. Farkas                       Ellwin O. Farnsworth
Nicholas Farone, Jr.               Charles B. Farrow                     Armand A. Fassino
James V. Fazzino                    Ernest W. Fekete                      George Fekete
Peter Fellegy                          Adam L. Fengler, Jr.                 Adolph A. Fengler
Andrew J. Fenick                   Charles A. Fenn                        Donald T. Ferguson
Abel J. Fernandes                   Americo J. Fernandes               Andrew Fernandes
Anthony T. Ferrari                  Frank J. Ferrari                         Thomas F. Ferrari
James J. Ferraro                      Ralph J. Ferraro                        Joseph F. Ferreira
Libero Ferri                             Ubaldo G. Ferri                        Edward J. Ferriere
James G. Ferriere                    Floyd J. Ferry                           Frank P. Ferry
Theodore J. Ferry                    Walter F. Ferry                         Alfred J. Fields
Charles L Fields, Jr.                Kenneth J. Fields                      Louis R. Flippo
William R. Fischer                  Morris Fishbein                        Curtis H. Fitcher
Russell E. Fitcher                    Samuel H. Fitcher                    John E. Fitzgerald
William H. Fitzgerald             William J. Fleischauer, Jr.        Vincent J. Fleming
Walter J. Fleming                    Anthony Flis                             George J. Flis
Jacob Flis                                 Francis J. Flynn                        James T. Flynn, Jr.
Raymond Flynn                       James D. Foran                         Robert W. Ford
William Ford, Jr.                     John T. Fordan                           Harold A. Foresto
Robert L. Foresto                    Stanley F. Fornal                       Charles H. Fosdick
Joseph F. Foster                      Paul E. Foucault                         Francis P. Fountaine
Lawrence E. Fox                    James Francesconi                      Daniel P. Francis
Charles R. Frauham                Victor I. Freeman                       Peter J. Fresina
James E. Fritz                          Raymond L. Fritz                      Clarence F. Frobel
Andrew Fucci                          Frank Fucci                               Edwin F. Fuller
Richard T. Gadd                      Wesley P. Gadd                         William E. Gadd
Emil Gaetano                           Joseph Galko                             Bernard Gallagher
Daniel G. Gallagher                 Patricia F. Gallagher                 Donald C. Galvin
Charles E. Gammerino            Charles W. Gammons               Francis H. Gannon
William C. Gannon                  Edgar E. Gardner, Jr.                Francis A. Gargaly
William J. Gargaly                   Francis R. Gariepy                   Roderick A. Garrand, Jr.
Robert M. Gavette                   Walter Gawlowicz                    Miller Gay
Raymond A. Gay                     Charles F. Gayer                       John J. Gayer
Joseph A. Gehue                      Morris Gelblum                        John S. Geleta
Anthony Gello                         Maurice J. Gello                       Salvatore Gello
Dominic J. Gelo                       Frank J. Gelt                             Ernest V. Gendron
Alphonse D. Gentile                Louis A. Gentile                       Americo Gerace
Charles Gerace                         Ernest Gere                              Lester Gere
John J. Geremia                       Leo F. Geremia                         Michael C. Geremia
Philip E. Germain                    Robert A. Germain                   Max Gershberg
Frank E. Gestay                       John F. Gestay                          Fred P. Ghidini
John J. Ghidini                        Ernest Gianotti                          Howard Gianotti
Louis F. Gianotti                     Peter Gianotti                            Bruno Giapponi
Reno Giapponi                        Charles C. Gibson                     Irmelda T. Gillooly
Zoltan J. Gindel                      Richard H. Gingras                    Robert E. Gingras
Doris A. Girard                       Andrew J. Giret                         David Giret
Anthony J. Glaviano               George Glaviano                       Joseph J. Glaviano
Salvatore Glaviano                 Alfred Gnudi                             Gideon J. Gober
David M. Goddard                  Stanton H. Goddard                  John J. Godo
David M. Goldman                 Stanley Goldman                       Leonard Golub
Alex S. Gombita                     John Gomes                               Joseph Gomes
Manuel Gomes                       John F. Gomez                           Edwin F. Goodrich
Frank E. Goodrich                 Harold J. Goodrich                     John J. Goodrich
Quentin J. Goodrich              Roy T. Goodrich                         Michael J. Gorman
Warren J. Grace                     Vincent W. Graham                    Henry J. Gralton
Harrold M. Granucci              Henry T. Granucci                     Robert F. Granucci
Warren J. Granucci                Carl A. Grasser                          Joseph J. Green, Jr.
Robert W. Greene                   Edwin J. Greenwood                Russell W. Greenwood
Francis B. Griffen                  Robert T. Griffen                      Chester H. Griggs
Raymond R. Grinold             Adam S. Groncheski                 Benjamin Groncheski, Jr.
Frank J. Gross                        Harry Haberman                       Ralph D. Habersang
Andrew Hacku                       Daniel Hacku                            John F. Hacku
Aladar M. Haczku                 William P. Haggerty                  Paul Hajnal
John H. Hall                           John J. Hall, Jr.                         Marcus E. Hall
Russell A. Hall                      William R. Hall                         Herbert L. Halladay
Robert R. Haller                     Martin Hamasian                      Richard Hamasian
James Hamelin                       Norman O. Hamelin                 William F. Hamelin
Allen E. Hancock                   Vernon P. Hancock                   John Hanisko
Joseph Hanisko                      Samuel W. Hanisko                  Stephen Hanisko
Andrew C. Harduby              John A. Harkawik                     Arthur E. Harrington
Raymond T. Harrington        Robert J. Harrington                 Spencer K. Harrington
Vincent O. Harrington          Wesley M. Harris                      Sidney Harrison
George E. Hart                      William R. Hartline                  Earl J. Hartman
Francis A. Hartman               George R. Hartman                  Henry R. Hartman
Joseph W. Hartman               Willis B. Harwood                    Edwin W. Havens
Maurice J. Hayden                 Vincent J. Hayden                   John Hayes
John R. Hayes                         John B. Heald                         Thomas D. Healy
Edward J. Hearon                   James E. Hearon                     John M. Heath
Mary B. Heath                        Robert M. Heath                     James A. Heilman
Norman C. Heilman, Jr.         George A. Hellemann              Roger W. Hellemann
Richard C. Henson                 Walter P. Hentz                        Charles K. Hewitt
Alvin R. Highers                    George E. Hill                          Hazel Hill
Joel B. Hill                             William B. Hill                        Gerald B. Hines
Henry G. Hintz                       Walter P. Hintz                        Richard C. Hiob
Gerald T. Hirbour                   Edward J. Hoffman                 Edward O. Hoffman
Frank T. Hoffman                   James J. Hoffman                    John J. Hoffman
Robert J. Hoffman                  Thomas H. Hoffman               Warren W. Hoffman
Edward J. Holda                      Christopher Holloway            Eugene W. Holloway
Hazel M. Holloway                 Donald H. Holmes                  Robert L. Holmes
William C. Holroyd, Jr.           John L. Horan                         Ambrose Horbock
Eugene J. Horbock                  Phillip Horbock                      Jacob J. Horkavy
John Horkavy                          Stephen E. Hornyak               John J. Horvath
Howard M. Hotchkiss             John L. Hotchkiss                  Margaret C. Hotchkiss
Robert A. Hotchkiss                Alice M. Houlihan                 Herbert J. Houson
Robert J. Howe                        John R. Hrehowsik                John D. Hubbard
Edward P. Hubbell                   Frank Hubert                         Felix Hulicki
Frank Hulicky                          Daniel A. Hurley                  Margaret M. Hurley
Arthur R. Huskes                     Richard W. Huskes               Alton B. Hyde
Lawrence G. Hyland                Mary C. Hyland                    Carl Isakson
Rolf Isakson                             Andrew Ivan                         Donaled W. Ivan
John Clark Ives                        Peter P. Ives, Jr.                      
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[1]  Lyman Hall (1724 - 1790) was born in Wallingford and served as a representative to the Continental Congress from Georgia.  He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence and later served as a Governor of Georgia.

Photographs of the extensive list of names on the World War II memorial in Wallingford, Connecticut were provided to me for transcription by my cousin, Bruce O. Marquardt, of Wallingford.  This transcription contribution would not have been possible without Bruce's very kind and willing efforts to make sure I had legible photos from which to do the transcriptions.  THANK YOU BRUCE!
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Copyright 2017, John D. Tew
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