Monday, November 23, 2009

Madness Monday

Hunting for two Great Uncles

This Monday in a way I’m sort of returning to a familiar theme, which ancestral line to follow. For the time being, here is what I’ve determined and it seems to apply to both my maternal and paternal lines. Since both my grandfather and grandmother’s lineage hails from the roughly the same geographic area, I really do think that until I discover a few more ancestors I can work both maternal ancestral lines at the same time. For those that read my blog, it will probably appear that I’m jumping around, but for now, I have to go where the ancestors lead me.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I thought that I would announce that I’m determined to find out what happened to my grandmother’s brothers, Claud Pierce and Willie Felton Pierce. As much as I would like to continue trying to follow great grandmother Fannie, I’ve run out of ideas for the time being, and I don’t have anything else to report on my Hosch and Rome ancestors at this time.

So, let’s begin the analysis of Claud and Willie Felton. You can refer to my previous post, My Grandmother's Brothers, for additional information on them.

The last documentation that I have for either great uncle is their World War I Draft Registration cards. From a documentation standpoint, it’s like both just dropped off the face of the earth after that.

Claud Pierce (abt 1892 - ????)

Per his World War I Draft registration and the census records, Claude was the oldest of my grandmother’s three brothers. According to his World War I Draft Registration card, he was born in Watkinsville, GA on 20 Feb 1892.

Order No 622, which is handwritten, appears at the top of his draft card. I’ve yet to determine exactly what this number represents. If any of my Geneafriends know and can enlighten me, I sure would appreciate it.

World War I Draft Registration Card of Claud Pierce
Obtained through

Working on the assumption that this number could possibly be his call to duty order number, I wrote the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO. About a week after I had written, I received a call asking for more information on Uncle Claud. Sadly, I, of course, had nothing further that I could give them for Uncle Claud.

This past week, I received a letter stating that they could find nothing in their files that matched Uncle Claud.

It would help tremendously if I knew a bit more about Uncle Claud but as I’ve noted a few times, no one in the family even knew he existed until I started doing the research.

Some of the records that I’ve searched for Claud include 1920 and 1930 census, lynching records, SSDI, and Georgia on-line death certificates and so far, I have turned up nothing. Still working on the assumption that he could have possibly served in World War I, I plan to write the Georgia Archives next and see if they might have a World War I Service Summary for him.

Willie Felton Pierce (abt 1896 - ????)

We know that Willie Felton served in World War I, and based on mom’s remembrances of him visiting with them when she was a girl, he survived the war. My mother was born in 1928. He is the reason that I believe the handwritten Order Number on their Draft Registration cards could possible be a call to duty. The Order Number on Uncle Felton’s card is 255.

WWI Draft Registration Card of Willie Felton Pierce
Obtained through

It should be noted that at the time of registration, it appears that Uncle Felton as well as their youngest brother, Roy, fudged their ages to appear older than they were. This notation is based on their stated ages on the 1900 and 1910 censuses.

Some of the records I have searched trying to find Uncle Felton are the 1920 and 1930 census records in GA and Washington, DC (mom thought he might have moved to Washington, DC), SSDI, on-line death certificates at Georgia Virtual Vault, etc.

As with Claud, I wrote the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO to see if they have anything on him. I didn’t have much info but submitted his Draft Registration Card along with the only photograph known to exist of Uncle Felton, which shows him in what appears to be a WWI army uniform.

Willie Felton Pierce
From 2006 Pierce Family Reunion Program

Unlike with Uncle Claud, I didn’t receive a call asking for additional information nor have I received a letter to tell me they couldn’t find any information on him. So, I’m taking that as a good sign. Keep your fingers crossed.

I will also submit a request to Georgia Archives for Uncle Felton, too.

If anyone has any other thoughts, I sure would love to hear them.

Until Next Time!


  1. Mavis,

    Thank you for sharing what you know and what you don't... you never know what will show up!

    Couple of things...

    I've rarely seen that the registration meant they actually served... may, nor may not.

    I've also seen a number where they used the wrong age. Interesting. Don't know what it means, other than human nature.

    I've also seen wrong names on the registrations, but the other information was correct and "gave them away" to those of us following them.

    BTW, WW I registration forms are great sources, in general.

    Best wishes on your search!

    Bill ;-)

  2. Bill, thanks for the encouragement!

  3. Check the county Court Clerk's office where they signed up for the draft. The uncle who served should have filed his discharge papers with the County Clerk's office.

  4. Thanks GeneDiva. Just this week, I had read about the WWI and WWII discharge papers being filed at the court houses and was planning to check there.


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