Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Home on the Road and Great Grandpa Albert's WWI Draft Registration

Every June I take a road trip. Well, if you aren't home for your birthday it doesn't count. This is how I get to stay perpetually 28. :)

This summer Cousin Peter and Godmother Joanne and I traipsed from Salt Lake City, Utah to Kansas City. Missouri and then turned south towards Austin, Texas, Our stop in Kansas City required a visit to the Kansas City Public Library where they were having an exhibit of the first Shakespeare folio; basically a very old rare book contained in a glass case opened to one page of the play Hamlet. Well.....


We were there for me to look through city directories but its nice they had something out for Cousin Peter and Godmother Joanne to look at.

Despite my long seeded New York roots, I apparently had a few relatives on my mother's side who resided in Kansas City in the early 1900s. One of which was my great grandfather, Albert Gardner.

Great Grandpa Albert is intriguing to me. Born on September 21, 1891 in Queens, New York he was christened Almond Desjardins. His very French name is pronounced AL-mon-d Day-shar-dan but everyone says it like the nut, Almond and pronounces the last name Des-Jar-Dins. I'm sure he Anglicized the name not because of the course American pronunciation though but rather for employment opportunities. Desjardins means from the garden and Gardner is a very historic family name on Long Island where his family settled after coming from Montreal. The choice of Gardner for a surname makes sense.

Several years ago I came cross his World War I draft registration card. Curiously, though, he was living in Kansas City. That surprised me. Even though "Albert Gardner" is a rather common name, I am sure it is his draft registration card. The birthday matches other records I have, He was born in New York. I was told by his son that he was a painter. In 1917 when this registration was created his mother would have been a widow and it is likely he was helping to financially support her. He wasn't married yet.

But what is that bit there about having already served in the Cavalry for 3 years? And why is it stamped "Delinquent or Deserter"?

Has anyone else seen that on a draft registration card?

And what do you think it says between "Private" and "Cavalry"?

That aside, while in KC, MO, I did try to find Great Grandpa Albert's residence. Sad to say that 619 Troost Ave. no longer exists. Troost is still a street but 619 is now where the U.S. Interstate 70 and I-35 come together. In some sense that feels right. His home is now on the road and personally, I feel quite at home on that road.

1 comment:

  1. It looks like 3rd regiment to me, in between private and calvary.