Thursday, September 5, 2013

On the Henry Homefront

This past summer I got to visit with my grandmother's sister-in-law, Great Aunt Jeannette. She is not only my grandmother's sister-in-law, she is also my grandfather's second cousin; a Henry AND a Losee, for those of you familiar with my family surnames.

Great Aunt Jeannette gave me a great newspaper clipping from April 20, 1945 about her husband (grandma's brother) Richard Henry. I don't know what newspaper it came from but I hope by sharing it, my Losee and Henry cousins might come to understand how WWII effected our family and so many others like it.

Young Richard Aid Vets
East Hempstead - A very special letter was delivered to 15 Fenimore Ave., last week. Addressed to Master Richard Henry, it was signed "Lawrence F. Lowe, Commander, Hempstead Post 390, American Legion."

The letter was one of commendation and expressed "sincere appreciation of the post for your splendid work in the salvage drive."

For Richard has been conducting virtually a one-man campaign for waste paper in his neighborhood the past few months. His efforts over this period, have yielded a total of 4,600 lbs of scrap. This he crated and stored in the basement of his home and delivered from time to time to the Legion headquarters.

In his letter, Lowe states that with Richard's help, 30.000 cigarets had been supplied to veterans at Kings County State hospital. Comics and books collected by the energetic 13 year-old were sent to patients at Camp Santini hospital.
The prized bit of correspondence closes with the words "your efforts have greatly assisted the war effort as well as work which we have pledged to do for the veterans of this war."
Richard, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Henry, says he wants to "do something for the war." That's his way of saying "I want to help my two brothers overseas." Lt. Charles, 23, is attached to an anti-aircraft unit in Saipan. Pfc. Robert, 19, is with the 1st Army in Germany.
They'll want to read that letter, too, when they come home.

I asked my grandmother if she remembered her brother doing this. She didn't really but she wasn't surprised by it. She said, "Richard was like that."

I encourage fellow genealogist to focus not just on the depth of their roots but also the breathe of their branches. In other words, look at more than just your direct ancestors; learn all you can about the siblings of your direct ancestors and maybe even some of those siblings' in-laws. 


Because maybe you don't come from the line that holds on to family records; maybe by researching collateral lines (siblings and in-laws) you'll find someone who did hold on to your family heirlooms and information like this.

Spread out, people! Find your kin.

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