Military Monday – Search the Military Collaterals

Over the last several months I have met a lot of people working on their World War II family research. Some of these people come from a genealogy background where they are usually taught to search for collaterals to assist their research. Others come from a non-genealogy background where they are simply interested because they heard a story, someone’s birthday is coming up, or a family member recently passed. These people may not have ever heard or considered searching for anyone but their ancestor.

One example of searching for information on collaterals is my Flying Tiger, Robert Brouk. If I only wanted to know about his service, I could look for a service record, Flight School information, genealogical resources, his Air Force Accident Report, and his IDPF. I could interview family members and see what photographs and memorabilia they have on his life.

Would I know the whole story? Would his story make sense to anyone else reading it if I wrote it without adding historical context or looking at the collaterals – those with whom he flew and served – to tell the story? Might I find some mention of him in someone else’s memoir or history?

No, I would not know the whole story, just his and it might not make complete sense without historical context. Who were the Flying Tigers? What was the AVG? Why was he flying in China against the Japanese before Pearl Harbor? If I look into the lives of the pilots in his squadron, histories of the Flying Tigers, and searched for collections of his leaders and others involved with the formation and disbandment of the Flying Tigers, I may uncover information I never expected.

This is why we should search for collaterals even if you are not pursing genealogical research. The collaterals can be extremely helpful.

© 2014, Jennifer Holik Woodridge, IL

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Follow Friday – Military Websites and Blogs

In the (I’ve lost track of what number) revision of my new World War II records lecture I debuted last night, I found a few websites I think are worth sharing.

Christine Kohler’s eXtreme X-overs Part I and eXtreme X-overs Part II

Missing Marines

The Children’s War – A Guide to Books for Young Readers about World War II

Also, if you have not visited my World War II Toolbox or the World War II History Network in a while, be sure to stop by. The WWII History Network has great member benefits and book giveaways!

© 2014 Jennifer Holik, Woodridge, IL

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Final Military Programs for 2014

2014 is coming to a close and so are my military programs. The final two are tonight and next week. I am booking for next year so please contact me if your group or organization is looking for a speaker. My lecture topics, appearances and contact information is on my website.

Thursday, November 13, 2014, 7:00 p.m.
The Day That Lived in Infamy. Navigating World War II Military Records
All the records did not burn! Learn the basics of how to begin researching your World War II military ancestors. We will explore numerous military records, books, photographs, and family stories.This program will be held at the Cook Memorial Library in Vernon Hills.

Wednesday, November 19, 6:00 p.m.
Finishing the Story
Tracing the life of a World War I or II soldier can be challenging. Many researchers are unaware of the many records and resources available outside of the usual genealogical record sources. Explore the lives, service, and deaths of three soldiers, through the usual genealogical records and learn about numerous military resources available. Through a brief reading from her new book Stories of the Lost, Jennifer will demonstrate how to write the stories of your Soldier.  This event will be held at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago.

© 2014 Jennifer Holik, Woodridge, IL

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