National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair September 3 & 4, 2013

The National Archives will host for the very first time a Virtual Genealogy Fair September 3 – 4, 2013 from 10 AM – 5 PM daily . . . woo-hoo!


Visit the National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair

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Military Monday: Servicemen’s Dependents Allowance Act of 1942

The Servicemen’s Dependents Allowance Act of 1942, signed into law by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, provided a much needed allowance to the wives, children, and certain dependent relatives of servicemen in the lower grades (privates, private first class, technician 5th grade, corporal, technician 4th grade, and sergeant) of the Army. Relatives and dependents were divided into two classes. Class A consisted of wives, children and divorced wives to whom alimony was still payable, and Class B consisted of parents, grandparents, siblings, and grandchildren.

My father grew up in the home of his maternal grandparents, Henry and Olivia (Moten) Newsome. When his grandfather’s health deteriorated to the point that he had to be permanently hospitalized (he was admitted to the Austin State Hospital), some of the financial care of his  grandmother rested on his shoulders. Therefore when he was drafted into the Army on 4 December 1945, he completed the Application for Dependency Benefits below listing his grandmother as a Class B dependent so that 49% of his financial support went to her each month.

Application For Dependency Benefits


Below is a front and back transcription of my father’s — applicant copy — of the original application:


(Servicemen’s Dependents Allowance Act of 1942, As Amended)

I. (a) Soldier
(Last name) –  Taylor
(First name) –  John
(Middle name) –  W
(Army serial number) –  38 754 049
(Present Army grade – private, corporal, sergeant, etc.) –  Private
(Soldier’s Army mailing address) —
(Single, married, divorce) –  Single
(Race) –  Colored
(Soldier’s home address: Number and street or R.F.D.) –  422 Gunter St.
(City, town or post office) –  Houston
(State) –  Texas

I hereby apply for the family allowances authorized by law for the following name relatives and/or dependents who are related to me in the manner stated in paragraphs II and III below.


II. List: Wife (W), child (C), former wife divorced to who alimony is still payable (W.Div). (If there are none in class A, write “None” in the name column.)



III. List below the father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, stepfather, stepmother, either husband or wife, person in loco parentis (foster parent), brother, sister, half brother, half sister, stepbrother, stepsister, adopted brother, adopted sister, who are dependent upon the soldier for substantial or chief portion of their support. (If there are non in class B or B-1, write “None” in name column.)

(Last) –  Newsome
(First) –  Olivia
(Middle) —

Number and street or R.F.D. –  Rt.2, Box 192
City, town, or P.O. and postal zone No. –  Brenham
State – Texas
Relationship –  GM.
Date of birth of minors —
Degree of dependency (percent) —  49%

IV. Enter on the lines below the full name and address of the person or persons to whom the checks are to be made payable.
Make checks payable to —
Name —  Olivia Newsome
Address number and street or R.F.D. —  Rt. 2, Box 192
City, town, or P.O. and postal zone No. —  Brenham
State –  Tex.

W.D., A.G.O. Form No. 625
1 January 1944
This form supersedes W.D., A.G.O. Form No. 625, 21 October 1942, which may be used until existing stocks are exhausted.


Members of immediate family now serving in the military or navel service

V. The following named member of (my) (the soldier’s) immediate family are now serving as soldiers, sailors, marines, or coast guardsmen (not officiers) in the military of naval service.

VI.  I hereby swear or affirm that all the foregoing statements are correct and that every member of class B or B-1 for whom I claim the family allowance is dependent, to the degree indicated, upon the soldier whose name appears in paragraph I above, for support.

(Signature) —


Subscribed and sworn to before me this — 5 — day of  – Dec.,  1945 at — 22.00

(Title) — W. E. LOHMAN, 1st LT. WAC.


Once this application was approved, Momma Olivia would have started receiving a monthly allowance at the end of the next succeeding month from the date on the application. The allowance that would be paid to her came from money that was deducted from my father’s pay and from the government. Even though this application did not state what her monthly allowance would be, I hope my father’s compiled service record I recently requested from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will provide that information and much more!

This military application for dependency benefits was a GREAT genealogy find! Not only did it provide me the Houston address of my father before he was drafted in the Army, but it also helped me to pinpoint which Washington County, Texas town (Brenham)  my great-grandmother lived in between the 1940 and 1950 census decades!


Source Citation:

Marshall, G.C. (1944). Application for dependency benefits. TM 12-223, Reception Center Operations. Washington, D.C.: War Department. Retrieved November 28, 2012 from

Follow Friday: U. S. Military Collection, Fold3, and Veterans’ Service Records

It’s Follow Friday and I continue my tribute to Veterans by recommending three major websites  that I use to document my family’s service; enjoy!

U. S. Military Collection is one of my personal favorite collections at! Ancestry — noted for being the world’s largest online collection of family history resources — has millions of military records spanning from before the Revolutionary War all the way up to Vietnam. In this collection there’s draft records, service records, pension records, bounty land records, claim records, and military histories. There are search tips and sample images available to get you started. In addition to this collection, Ancestry’s paid subscribers have the ability to create public or private military webpages for all veteran ancestors in their family trees with the records they find as well as with their own photos, personal documents and stories. Now how cool is that? I say that’s very cool indeed. So check out this military collection for yourself!, formerly known as, was acquired by Ancestry in 2011 and is believed to be the Internet’s premier collection of original U. S. military records — including many from the U. S. National Archives. According to the website, “[t]he Fold3 name comes from a traditional flag folding ceremony in which the third fold is made in honor and remembrance of veterans who served in defense of their country and to maintain peace throughout the world.”  This website  truly does provide convenient access to US military records, stories, photos, and personal information about the men and women who served our country. I started using Fold3 for the first time last year when I was given a discount for joining the website because I am a member of the Houston Genealogical Forum. And if you’ve never used this website before, I suggest you report to the “Fold3 Training Center where there’s excellent tutorials and videos available to get you started with your military research there!

Veterans’ Service Records at the National Archives is the “go-to” place for all genealogists looking to document their family’s service. According to the website about the records at the National Archives, “[o]f all documents and materials created in the course of business conducted by the United States Federal government, only 1%-3% are so important for legal or historical reasons that they are kept forever. Those valuable records are preserved in the National Archives and are available to you, whether you want to see if they contain clues about your family’s history, need to prove a veteran’s military service, or are researching an historical topic that interests you.” What I particularly love about this website is the — get-to-the-point — “Genealogy Research in Military Records” section that highlights specific records that are important and tips on how to begin and be successful with our military records research via the National Archives!

Tuesday’s Tip: On Your Mark, Get Set, Ready … GO – 1940 Census here we come!

We are just a week away from the release of the 1940 Census and thanks to the National Archives, they have setup a direct link to the 1940 Census records at and a brief, yet informative video I’ve posted below, for anyone planning to access these records on April 2, 2012.


So why is the 1940 Census so special?

This census describes our country during the Great Depression, which began when Wall Street crashed, October 1929. According to, This crash “. . . marked the beginning of a decade of high unemployment, poverty, low profits, deflation, plunging farm incomes, and lost opportunities for economic growth and personal advancement.”

So what can you and I do right now to prepare for the grand opening of the 1940 Census?

We can begin by:

  1. Making a list of all the people (our ancestors, their parents, siblings, cousins, etc.) we want to look up in the 1940 Census.
  2. Collecting as many addresses as possible for these people by referring to:
    • City Directories
    • 1930 Census
    • World War II Draft Records
    • Naturalization Petitions
  3.  Identifying the Enumeration District (ED) where our ancestors lived.What are Enumeration Districts? These are geographical areas of a city or county that were assigned to a census taker.To locate the Enumeration Districts where our ancestors’ lived, go to the National Archives’ Online Public Access Search (OPA) at
    To look up an Enumeration District, type –
    1940 census enumeration district description + the county + the state
    To look up an Enumeration District Map, type –
    1940 census maps + the county + the state. Another option for locating an Enumeration District is to visit Steve Morse’s website at to access his free tool for converting a 1930 Census ED to a 1940 Census ED in one step.
  4. Accessing a blank copy of the 1940 Census forms below to become familiar with the various questions asked by census takers on that form:
    Blank 1940 Census Form
    Fillable 1940 Census Form

For more information and free resources for Genealogist at the National Archives, visit them online at

Happy Researching!