Your Family History Thread

Loz

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Instead of letting some of the photos I posted of my Great Grandad from WWII die in the Random Thoughts thread, it was suggested that I make a thread...

Cross posted from Random Thoughs.

Anyone remember this I posted last November. I said i'll post some photos of a book my Great Grandad made of some WWII stuff... Here they are.

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Caption says it all

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A boat that was towed back to port while on fire

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Captured Germans

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Shipwreck

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From the deck

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My favourite caption

I belive Great Grandad was stationed in the Faroes on Anti Sub duty, going by the Depth Charge image, and a few later images mentioning the Faroe Islands.

I only scanned 6 pages at the mo, it's a reasonably long book. I'll try to scan more in the future.

Here are a few more photos from the book...

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The last photo was the only one able to be removed from the book as it wasn't glues. I'll aslo try to scan more in the future.

Lets see if anyone else here has a interesting Family History :).
 

thomas

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My grandfather only used to talk about the war when I was little. But he only hated on the russians. This had 2 specific reasons. One being him kept in a russian prison from 45 to sometime in the 50s (I think 52 or 53), the other one being then having to live by their rules when returning home in what became the sovjet zone, at Berlins border. But as he died in 1991, I never really had the chance to talk to him about it while properly understandint it.
 

TerranCmdr

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Unfortunately I don't have any pictures but I do know a little bit of my family history.

My great x5 or x7, something like that, grandfather on my mother's side came to America from Denmark and lived in Utah, as one of the founders of the Mormon religion here in America. (I'm not mormon but my mother is)
My mom's dad, who is still alive, fought in the Korean war as an infantryman.

My father's dad and his father both joined the navy right after Pearl Harbor. My grandfather was a navigator.
 

laxmax613

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My family history is pretty interesting for someone of Jewish descent. On my mother's father's side my roots in America date back before the civil war, which is all-but-unheard of for a Jew, particularly an Ashkenazi (central-eastern european). Those ancestors were from Austria but the history is so far back I don't have many particulars other than that a few of them served the union in the civil war.
My father's side is a bit more typical. Most of my ancestors on that side were from Lithuania and Belorussia. In Europe a number of them were involved in proto-zionist activities that are recorded in yiddish letters and post cards that we're getting professionally translated this summer. As my relatives immigrated to the United States they settled in Boston and New York.
My great grandfather on my father's father's side was an innovator in toys and invented the punching balloon. He then moved in to lampshade manufacturing and had a factory in brooklyn before moving the business to Holyoke, MA. The business transferred to my grandfather who sold it and became a high school math teacher. His service history is pretty interesting. He was a radar operator in the Korean War and spent a few years living in Tokyo. He had some awesome souvenirs and stories about living in 1950s Japan. When I visit my grandmother I'll try and take some pictures.
My grandfather on my mother's side was a plastics innovator who founded a plastic food storage container manufacturer creatively named Plastic Packaging Corporation. My aunt still owns it. That's about as much as I can put together on the fly.

I'm also not-so-distantly related to Frances and Candice Bergen, but they never came to family functions so I've never met Candice.
 
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thomas

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You all know so much... I don't really know anything. Dads side, completely unknown. Moms side, grandpa (1921-1991) and grandma (1923-1982) both born in what was back them germany / central prussia and grew up near berlin, where my mom was born and later me. Anything earlier, no clue.
 

Davetouch

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Not massively interesting - and certainly nothing on some others on here :p

Mum's side; Grandad was an Aston Martin salesman who died at 35 from Diabetes, Granny still going strong with second husband who used to be a policeman (and who due to the fact they had been married for decades before I came along; is my Grandad). No idea any further back stories.

Dad's side: Grandad from Yorkshire and a family who all worked in Glass and Steel works in the North. Grandma from Glasgow (and the extremely rare business trip in the 50s given to my Grandad to Scotland where they met) and I suspect the last of her side of the family left when she died a few years back. She loved visiting the Isle of Man and watching the TT before she met Grandad; something I only found out at her funeral :lol:

I'm sure it'd be extremely interesting to trace back the family history for decades, and I would guess I could trace the surname Eyre back to Ireland, and it would be interesting to know if I have any connection to places like Lake Eyre (which the namesake of, Edward John Eyre, grew up in Yorkshire before moving to Oz, so maybe his siblings stayed in Yorkshire to be some of my ancestors). But I doubt I'd find much interesting stuff.

As a side point - anyone watch the TV show 'Who Do You Think You Are'? Pretty good to find out about celebrities ancestry :p
 
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PaperBiro

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Somewhere in a quiet, stinking town in the middle of nowhere, my dad's side have a book detailing their family tree. Not massively interesting, much of it is just miles upon miles of peasant farmers. There is, however, an emperor involved at one point.
 

Heathrow

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Instead of letting some of the photos I posted of my Great Grandad from WWII die in the Random Thoughts thread, it was suggested that I make a thread...

Cross posted from Random Thoughs.



Here are a few more photos from the book...

Scan_8_copy.jpg



Good thread, see lots of posts already. :thumbsup:

Am still checking the likely aircraft type shown crashed on the ship's deck above.
The last photo was the only one able to be removed from the book as it wasn't glues. I'll aslo try to scan more in the future.

Lets see if anyone else here has a interesting Family History :).

Have been Googling a bit:

This photo is of a BYMS Class minesweeper J955 and the exact photo is used in the mast head of the Royal Naval Patrol Service Association's website.

More detail here:
BYMS Navsource

From the photos of your G-GDad, it is difficult to tell if that was his ship or not. It looks like it could be.

The photo itself looks like an offical one taken by the Navy and then held in the archive, as well as given out copies to the sailors, maybe at the end of the war?
 

Shirahime

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Not much but it's funny.

Father's Side:
I had a bastard for a granddad an' I got an ex-Nazi nana.
Auntie who likes marrying men on their deathbed. 2 Military Uncles. That's about it. I managed to trace some of that family back to Wales circa 1700's. (That's where me Surname comes from.) Nana's side from Austria, no idea at all.

Mother's Side:
I managed to get the family tree back to Cork, Ireland. That's on me grandma's side though. They're all psychic. Or summat. Granddad's side, all from around the North of England. I really know about as much as me mam an' dad have forgot. Which is a lot 'cause I know bugger all about me family.
 

CAPT_Howdy

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The details of my life are quite inconsequential... very well, where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.

My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we'd make meat helmets. When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds- pretty standard really. At the age of twelve I received my first scribe. At the age of fourteen a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum... it's breathtaking- I highly suggest you try it.
 

remizak

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I don't have a ton of information about my dad's side but on my mothers side my grandfather was a world war 2 badass, he was in the OSS infiltrated the Hitler youth, got captured and escaped among other things. I have an old newspaper interview/story about his life its in a shitty pdf format but definitely worth the read. https://docs.google.com/open?id=0BzCFJj_-LFtDRkM1YWFYb0JPMk0
my grandmother on my mom's side comes from Ireland her family moved to the USA when in the mid 1800's and settled in Chicago. that's about all i know
 
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cmb1981

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My dad was adopted with no record of who his birth parents were...so that's one side of the family tree gone. My moms side goes back to Charlemagne just like every other white person on earth.
 
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CAPT_Howdy

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Seriously, I don't have a lot of information because I too was adopted. I do know that my grandfather and great-uncle on my mother's side both served during WW2. My great-uncle was in the Navy prior to the war, and his ship (The destroyer USS Phelps) was docked in Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. (The ship was undamaged in the attack, and in fact was credited with shooting down a Japanese plane.) My grandfather volunteered for the Marines after Pearl Harbor - at the time not knowing if his brother was alive or dead. He served in the Pacific Theater, as a truck driver providing materiel support for the Marines once they took an island.

In 1942, Uncle Bobby's ship took part in the Battle of the Coral Sea. This article describes the battle and my uncle's contribution:
CORAL SEA: May-Aug 1942

On 7 May, PHELPS was to enter the hardest battle of her career, "The Battle of the Coral Sea". 8 May, PHELPS was stationed 3000 yards off LEXINGTON's starboard bow. At 0943 PHELPS crew went to their battle stations as LEXINGTON and YORKTOWN launched their striking group. The first planes sighted by PHELPS were at 1104, about 300 feet of altitude and making a long glide. Some of the enemy planes were being engaged by friendly fire. The enemy's main attack was centered upon LEXINGTON. YORKTOWN separated from the LEX during the initial phase of the attack. At about 1120 the LEX took a bomb hit, starting a fire on her forecastle; by 1130 she appeared to have extinguished the fire. A friendly plane crashed some 4000 yards from PHELPS and she went to the rescue; Lieutenant JG Richard G. Crommelin, USN, (fighter pilot YORKTOWN), rescued in good condition.

At 1741 PHELPS was ordered to assist in the rescue of LEXINGTON personnel who had been forced to abandon ship. Numerous men were in the water hanging to rafts or rubber boats - some few swimming alone. Very few were noted to be lowering themselves over the LEXINGTON's side; her superstructure, flight deck and planes were burning with intensity. There was a considerable amount of automatic weapon ammunition exploding continuously. At 1807 and 1812, violent explosions occurred in the carrier throwing much debris skyward.

PHELPS boat bearing Lt Cmdr J. C. Daniel, USN, Staff Commander Destroyer Squadron ONE and Ensign R.A. Sweatt, USNR, USS PHELPS, made a final sweep of the area to search for any remaining survivors. They proceeded close in, searching fore and aft abreast the carrier and well under her stem. No additional survivors were found. The Commanding Officer was satisfied that all survivors had been rescued.

Having previously been ordered to sink the LEXINGTON by torpedoes, PHELPS proceeded to a firing position and waited for other vessels to clear. PHELPS took station 1560 yards on carrier's port beam and fired three Torpedoes, depth setting 50 feet: 1st hit abreast of bridge structure and exploded, (LEXINGTON appeared to settle further by the head and increased her port list), 2nd aimed amidships but no explosion noted, (believe exploder mechanism failed to function), 3rd hit amidships, LEXINGTON appeared to take a considerably greater port list; port edge of flight deck then estimated to be about 10 feet from water.

From the reaction of the LEXINGTON to the number three torpedo hit, it appeared likely that the damage already inflicted was insufficient to sink her in a reasonably short time, if at all. In view of the time element and situation currently existing, the Squadron Commander ordered an additional torpedo to be fired into the carrier's starboard side. PHELPS took position 1200 yards with target angle approximately 60 degree and launched two additional torpedoes. It is uncertain whether the 4th torpedo hit and/or functioned. An explosion was observed at or about the end of the estimated time of run, but no reverberation was heard or felt. However, she appeared to be sinking quite rapidly at the time with a large portion of fire extinguished.

Shortly after the 5th torpedo was released, the LEXINGTON disappeared beneath the surface of the water and smoke cleared rapidly. It is believed she sank well down by the head and listed hard over to port. It is not known whether the fifth and last torpedo exploded or not. However, about two minutes after release, two extremely violent explosions were felt in rapid succession. At that time PHELPS was swinging to port making 10 knots. First reaction was that PHELPS had either been torpedoed or that depth charges had been dropped close aboard. Engines were stopped and as soon as reports had been received from all stations that no damage had been suffered, the ship proceeded on southerly course at 25 knots to rendezvous with Task Force. The shocks of the explosion had been felt by other vessels of the Task Force, then several miles distant. It was the Commanding Officer's opinion that the source of the explosions was in the LEXINGTON.

Though PHELPS did not receive any casualties from this battle, she witnessed one of the better known battles of World War II. It also served as a grim reminder to PHELPS' crew that a long, hard road to victory lay ahead.

On my father's side, little is known. I know that our family home - Perkins Manor - was converted to apartments a few years ago. And I recently found out that my great-grandfather, John S. Ball, served as a member of the New Hampshire State House of Representatives in the 30's and 40's.
 

Interrobang

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Family History eh? I only really knew my grandmothers. One of my grandfathers died on one of the WW2 Fronts, the other survived being a Soldier but died when I was little (yes, both on the Nazi-side). One of my grandmothers never talked about the war or familiy, the other (who lost her husband early) was still a Nazi sympathizer untill she died ("Adolf did some very good things") - wich was quite disturbing, I can tell you.
While one of my families branches has a very boring past (at least afaik), my other branch has quite some stories to tell. Originating in a part of Prussia that is now Poland, they fled from the russians the end of the war, then some years later again fled from east germany to west germany before the wall was closed. Also that familiy branch features a great grandfather that I?m not supposed to talk about as there is currently a book written about that story.
 

Red_Bull

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My grandfather was fairly prominent in local horse racing circles as a trainer, bookie and everything in between. He died six or seven years ago but it was only a few months ago that my grandmother mentioned that in 1989 they were visited by the police who threatened to raid their house and dig up the foundations in search for the several hundreds of thousands of dollars he was alleged to possess through his role as a less than legitimate bookie :p. She threatened to divorce him so there was no more horse racing after that although he still enjoyed watching it on TV and attending the occasional meets, purely as a spectator!

On my mother's side the family can be traced back a couple of generations to Denmark. Someone mentioned years ago that there were very distant links to the royal family but I don't know how true that is.
 

public

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Father's side: Granddad (born 1926, only grandparent alive by now) a carpenter. Didn't serve in the war as he was just barely too young for the frontline, but his military service just after the war was marred by the post-war uncertainty and was a tough time. Used to ride bikes with chums back in the '50s, retired from work in the '80s but still does carpentry every now and then, I've never seen his car without a toolbox in the trunk. Increasingly hard of hearing, but still drives around and uses a hearing aid when he feels like it. From Savonia, from the old farm where my family name comes from. Grandmother used to work in a bakery IIRC, she died as early as 1985 so I don't have memories of her. She was from Karelia.

Mother's side: Grandfather was a toll worker, then policeman, born in 1916? From Karelia, served in the war, there's some stuff in cardboard boxes from then but I've never gone through them. Divorced grandmother in the '50s or '60s, pretty much went his own way since then. Died in 1992-ish, I remember talking with him on the phone. I'd really have wanted to talk to him more, but that's the way it goes. Grandma was born in 1922, secretary/office worker for a Finnish consumer goods conglomerate. Retired in the '80s, developed Alzheimers and got gradually crankier and weirder until diagnosed. Died in 2007. Originally Swedish-Finnish, from the West Coast of Finland (Pietarsaari/Jakobstad, a stone's throw from where I live these days).

Parents (both born 1953) met in university in the mid-'70s or so. Both teachers and will retire soonish, they've lived in the same town since 1978 and will now be moving to Helsinki. Wonder how my dad will be doing there, he's more of a countryside/smalltown/summer cottage man at heart.
 

Zesty

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Funny someone should bring this topic up, as my father has recently got into the family history thing big time.

I myself don't know that much, only that my lot are descended from a bunch of Portuguese wine-growers on the maternal side and a mix of business people and pastoralists from Kent, Cornwall and Northern Ireland on the paternal side. Both sides immigrated to Australia in the 1880's & 90's. I also know that a relation of my father's was in Glenrowan when the Kelly Gang held up the Glenrowan Inn in the famous June 27, 1880 siege that ultimately led to his capture. He was one of the 47 townsfolk that the Kelly Gang help captive in the hotel until the siege ended in a shoot-out with police. I've forgotten his name, unfortunately, or what exactly it was that this relative did for a living at the time. That's something I'll have to ask my father details about. A very interesting connection to a very prominent event in Australian history nonetheless. I think it makes up for us having no convicts in the family! (That I know of, anyway).

My maternal grandfather, who passed away back in 2002, served in WWII as an ambulance driver. AFAIK he didn't serve overseas, but he was on the ground in Darwin when the Japanese bombed it on February 19, 1942. He mostly assisted with civilian evacuations that day. He never spoke much about his experiences, and no-one in my family really asked him about it. A bit of a shame, in retrospect. But, at the same time, I guess it was just a generational thing that you just didn't talk about those kinds of past experiences openly.
 
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NoNeedForAChestWig

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my grandmother mentioned that in 1989 they were visited by the police who threatened to raid their house and dig up the foundations in search for the several hundreds of thousands of dollars he was alleged to possess through his role as a less than legitimate bookie :p

Is the house still in the family?

BTW, that's the second story I've heard about dodgy family connections to horse racing and illegal betting in the last few weeks (the other being about one of my relatives).
 
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ioynerien

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I have no information at all regarding my family on my father' side (somewhere in the sixties his parents divorced, soon thereafter my grandfather somehow passed away. All contact with that part of the family has since then been severed.)

About my family on my mother's side I do have quite a bit of information. One of my aunts likes digging in family history, and the oldest reference to the family dates back to the 17th century when some direct ancestor was arrested for grand theft horse. Apparently that ancestor went to a carnival in a neighbouring town, got a bit drunk, stole a horse and rode it back home. He was fined quite a large amount, and was banished from that town for the next 10 years.
BTW the hometown of that horsethief was only 10km from where my grandparents live nowadays. So not much moving around in my family.
Most of my ancestors where either farmers or horse merchants (also quite a bit of nuns and priests, as was common in those times).

My great grandparents were no exception, and were simple farmers. During WWII they had to protect their fields from thieves, and one night my great grandfather stabbed a thief with his pitchfork (the thief survived). He also raised pigs in his attic, and was involved in trading on the black market.
My grandparents always told me that while they didn't like the war, they much preferred the Germans over the Americans/English. Whilst the Germans were very respectful and well mannered, the Allied troops were loud, drunk, obnoxious and very disrespectful.
 
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