18 October 2010

Military Monday; Boston Family History Day Presentation, David Allen Lambert & Maureen Taylor, The Infamous Bubba

My Dad may be shocked to learn that military history fascinates me. It is true, Dad, but it wasn't until the ancestry bug had bitten me, that I developed this interest. If you want to find out whether or not your ancestor served in the military, you must learn about the history of the period, the wars that occurred and the people who fought in them. Once you start reading and learning, it is almost impossible (at least for this Scrappy Genealogist) not to get caught up in the time and the place and the imagined struggles those who fought went through.

This interest in military history and finding my military ancestors led me to attend an incredibly informative lecture by David Allen Lambert called How-Tos for Military Research given at the Boston Family History Day 2010, which was held at the Seaport World Trade Center Boston on Saturday, October 16th. David Allen Lambert is the Online Genealogist at the New England Historic Genealogical Society and among many other accomplishments just contributed to a very cool book written by Maureen Taylor titled The Last Muster: Images of the Revolutionary War Generation. Maureen Taylor is an expert in finding clues to family history in old photographs and has written numerous books on the subject. Until hearing about this book, it never occurred to me that there could be photographs, not just drawings or paintings, of actual veterans of the Revolutionary War. According to David, when photography came to the United States in the late 1830s, images were captured of many elderly veterans. This book will be an invaluable resource for military historians, genealogists as well as those interested in the history of photography. It is at the top of my wish list!


David's talk on How-Tos for Military Research was as he put it, twelve hours of instruction in one hour. It was fast and furious, but oh so informative. I walked away with lots of ideas and a desire to learn more. My favorite idea was to 'Adopt a Regiment or Company'. His suggestion was that in order to learn more about your ancestor's time serving his country, it is beneficial to learn all you can about his company or regiment and the other members who served. He suggests that you may find a diary or letters written by another member, which could illuminate or describe your own ancestor's experience. I love this idea!


My maternal grandfather served in the Navy during World War II. He passed away in 2000, but he is still affectionately remembered by all who knew and loved him. He is the infamous Bubba, who gave me my first camera when I was five years old and he is the reason I take pictures today. He taught me how vital it is to capture family history as it is happening.


Bubba was a member a PT Boat Squadron, which had a rabbit on its' patch. I'm going to have to find that and scan it so you can see it. We went to Battleship Cove in Fall River, Massachusetts and saw a display there about his PT boat, but it's time to do some more research about who they were and what they may have gone through during the war. Plus, I think I remember that there may be some pictures from his time on the boat. It's time to adopt a boat. I'll let you know what I find out.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing! I would love to attend that conference when baby is a little bigger. My grandfather (Walt V. Grace) was in the Merchant Marines during WWII. Because of his poor eyesight, he was not accepted into the regular military. Merchant Marines were given a difficult time and under appreciated at the time, but their job was difficult and dangerous, getting crucial supplies across the oceans. The MM have since been honored as a legitimate part of the military and the war effort, and my grandfather was buried with full military honors in 2003.
    I love you blog, it inspires me to try to go back to working on mine. I look forward to reading more.


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