Seems like I'm I'm having a few mini success without even trying. The mini successes are kind of all over the place though. First there was the discovery of new cousins on the paternal side of my family, which you can read about on Conversations with my Ancestors. Then thanks to my Cousin Irene (2nd cousin once removed) doing DNA testing with 23andme, I was finally able to confirm Grand Aunt Mattie was my Great Grandmother Fannie's daughter.
But for now, this one has to be the most special because it had nearly become an obsession with me to determine what happened to 2 of my grandmother's brothers, primarily her brother Willie Felton.
I've written about my Grand Uncle plenty of times during the life of this blog with my most recent post being on May 17, 2010.
I knew that one of the last contacts my grandmother's line of the tree had with Uncle Felton was in the early 1930s when he came to NC to visit his big sister and her family. Whenever I asked my mother about her uncle, trying to jog her memory based on the one and only time she met her uncle, she would always say that she thought he lived in DC and that he had traveled to NC with his and grandmom's younger brother Roy "JD." Try as I might I was never able to gather any additional information on Uncle Felton. Well, that is until today.
I actually had a few minutes to do a little blog reading today and thanks to my friend Valerie's, Begin With Craft, post about a new database on Ancestry.com, I finally have a date of death and place of interment for my Grand Uncle. The new database is
U.S. National Cemetery Interment Control Forms, 1928-1962.
I immediately did a search for Uncle Felton, not really expecting to find anything when low and behold, I came across this.
I knew right away this was Uncle Felton, but just to be sure, I double checked the military info that was contained on his World War I Summary Card.
The Army Serial Number is the same on both documents; therefore, I'm confident that the Willie F. Pierce interred in grave number 1665 in the Colored Enlistment section of Arlington National Cemetery is my Grand Uncle Willie Felton Pierce.
There are still many questions that remain with regard to my Grand Uncle such as given the fact that it appears he probably was in the DC area, just as my mother remembered. His younger brother, JD, and his baby sister, Ossie, and her family were also living in the DC area at the time of Uncle Felton's death. So, why is it no one had a clue or seemed to have a clue of what happened to Uncle Felton. The control form indicates that the form for his tombstone was mailed but who was it mailed to? Did he marry again? Did he die all alone? Did he have any children? What was he doing between the early 1930's until his death in 1946? Just like a genealogist, solve a mystery only to open up a new round of questions that need answers.
I also discovered Uncle Felton has a memorial on Find-a-Grave. I actually think I've come across his memorial on several occasions but never knew that it was my Grand Uncle's. Of course, I put in a request for a photo of his tombstone, although I've no clue if one is actually there or not. And of course, next year when the family reunion will be hosted by the DC branch of the family, I plan to make a trip over to Arlington, to grave #1665 and pay my respects to Uncle Felton. RIP Uncle Felton, you may be gone but you were never forgotten by this Grand Niece whom you never met.