Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What I Scanned

Once a week I drive through Houston commuter traffic to scan someone else's stuff. Today was that day.

The items to be scanned are in files in cabinets. I do not know what I'm scanning until I open the file.

Today I scanned a high school reunion yearbook. It had lists for each class starting with the 1890's. It was a smaller school, so the early lists had between 5-10 people. In the 1910's section, the classes included photographs with each person named in the group. Little head shots of a couple hundred people dating back 100+ years. From a genealogical perspective, this is an incredible gold mine.

The next folder in the cabinet held documents pertaining to one man's military service during World War II. He was called to duty the day before his first child was born. Based on letters I previously scanned, this likely caused stress enough for his wife, and that is the very reason his child was born on that day.

Also included in this file was a set of War Ration Books:

I was surprised at how many stamps were still in them. I recognized stamp symbols for breads/grains and fruit, but there were some I could not place.

One neat item I scanned today was a letter from the man's pre-WWII employer happy that he was coming home and saying that his job was waiting for him.

I just scratched the surface of these WWII documents today. There's still plenty more to scan in the set. What I did take away from today was a better idea of the process young men experienced as they reported for service, the paperwork required to care for the family left behind (including life insurance should anything happen) and what was needed to put all the pieces of life back together once a man was discharged from the military.

I must confess that I cheated and peeked at what is coming up in the next few scanning sessions: letters this man sent home to his wife and new baby. Stay tuned...


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  2. Very interesting! My sister was born the day my father landed in England during WW2. Weird how that can happen.

    You must get so excited to see what is in each folder.

  3. Lorine, I do enjoy looking in each folder. Some records are more exciting than others, but each document is a piece of the puzzle and helps me form an image of each person. I am drawn to their stories.

  4. Thanks for giving us a peek into this family's life. They must have a lot of filing cabinlets to house these treasures

  5. Thanks for sharing what you found. Looking at historical documents really can be an enlightening experience. We can better appreciate the lives and experiences of those who have gone before us.