“I taken the flu…have been in the hospital every since…”

U. S. Army Camp Hospital No. 45, Aix-les-Bains, France. Influenza ward No. 1. Picture courtesy of the History of Medicine (NLM).  http://history1900s.about.com/od/photographs/ig/1918-Spanish-Flu-Pictures/Influenza-Ward-at-an-Army-Camp.htm

U. S. Army Camp Hospital No. 45, Aix-les-Bains, France. Influenza ward No. 1.
Picture courtesy of the History of Medicine (NLM). http://history1900s.about.com/od/photographs/ig/1918-Spanish-Flu-Pictures/Influenza-Ward-at-an-Army-Camp.htm

[This is 13th in a series of letters written by Private A.L. Gooch to his family in Duncan Arizona, while a part of the American Occupation Forces in Germany after WWI.  This letter was written 27 Dec 1918, and it appears Pvt. Gooch has fallen victim to the great flu pandemic of 1918-1919.  This pandemic is estimated to have killed an estimated 50 million people---a fifth of the world's population.  To put this further in perspective, WWI had 37.5 million casualties, including 8.5 million deaths, which is an incredible number, but 6 times as many people died of the flu in 1918-1919.  It is said that the virus struck so fast and so violently a person could be stricken and die within hours.

Original letters are in possession of Dayna Gooch Jacobs, King City, California. Envelope missing. Transcribed by Dayna Jacobs. Slashes in the transcription indicate line breaks.  Links to other letters: 1 2 4 5 6 7 8  10 11 12]

American Red Cross

On active service with the American Expeditionary Force

Name:  1st cl Pvt A.L. Gooch, 89th M.P. C., Treves, Germany

Dec. 27, 1918

Dear Mother,

Will try and write/ you a few lines, and am/ proud I am able to write./ I taken the Influenza the/ 10th of Dec. have been in/ the hospital every since and/ have had quite a time./  But am feeling better/ now.  Think I will be up/ in afew day and go back/ to my Co. where there must/ be lots of mail awaiting/ me and sure am anxious/ to get it.  havent had a/

[p2]  letter in some time./  Well I supose you all / had a wounderfull time/ xmas.  you know how/ well I would like to have/ been with you.  But my/ Xmas wasnt so bad at that,/ if I did lay in bed all day/ and wish.  We had a very/ nice Turkey dinner.  and/ that night the nurse gave/ us all a sock full of / choclets, candy and nuts, so you see it wasnt bad.  I think I would have died/ had it not been for the/ nurses.  they sure treat you/ fine bring me milk, and hot choclelete most every day.  I dont know if I can get/

[p3]  well or not for this isnt/ a bad place to stay.  All I hate I am afraid I wont/ get fat again before I/ go home.  ha, ha.

Well this is quite a town/ heare.  I can hear the street-/ cars and the trains every/ day.  it seams almost real/ again.  Will send you a card or two.

Well, there is not much news/ We’ll be home some time sure.

With Lot of Love to All

1st class

Pvt, AL. Gooch

89th Military Police Co. American E.F.

“…I dont have time to get loansome…”

[This is 12th in a series of letters written by Private A.L. Gooch to his family in Duncan Arizona, while he served in France during WWI.  This letter was written sometime in 1918, but is otherwise undated.

Original letters are in possession of Dayna Gooch Jacobs, King City, California. Envelope missing. Transcribed by Dayna Jacobs. Slashes in the transcription indicate line breaks.  Links to other letters: 1 2 4 5 6 7 8  10 11]

1918

Dear Mother,

At first chance I am writting you a few/ lines to let you / know I am still/ living and enjoying/ life.  There is many things I would like/ to say.  And probly can/ latter.  I have been/ very sick for the past/ few days with a cold/ in my lungs.  But/feel fine now./  Well I am still seeing/ sights and enjoying/ them very much. This/ is a very pretty world/

[p2] over here.  But it cant compare with the/ good old U.S.A.

Please mother dear/ dont worry about me/ for I dont have time/ to get loansome and/ I am realy enjoying/ myself.  I will write/ you every chance I get/ Tell all hell’o and be/ good untill I returne.

With love and kisses to All,

Your Son

Nig

Pvt.

Troop R.  [?] 314th M.P. 89 div.

American Expeditionary Forces

 

*NEW* – Portrait trees on FamilySearch

I try to keep you posted on new things happening at FamilySearch Family Tree – at least the things I get excited about and think you will like, too.  Recently they added the option of viewing your tree as a “portrait” tree.  See how spiffy it looks?

FamilySearch Portrait Tree for Dayna Jacobs

FamilySearch Portrait Tree for Dayna Jacobs

I love it!  The photos make my tree come alive and is easy to navigate.  Click on the “up” arrows to see more generations.  Click on the “down” arrows to see descendants.

Click on up and down arrows to see additional generations of ancestors or descendants

Click on up and down arrows to see additional generations of ancestors or descendants

You can access information for any of the individuals by clicking on their box.  A box will appear that allows you to see at a glance how many sources, memories (stories and photos), or discussions they have, as well as birth and death data, their I.D. numbers, and an option to “watch” the individual if you would like to be notified when changes are made to that individual’s record.  LDS members will also see a “temple” area.

Click on any of these links, or click on “person” to see more details, or click on “tree” to center this person on a tree view.

Click to see a summary box pop up.

Click to see a summary box pop up.

If you want to change the picture that shows up in the circle by the name, click on it and you will be given the option to use other photos you have previously uploaded.

If you have not created or discovered your tree on FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org) I encourage you to give it a try.  It’s entirely free and will remain that way.  It is functions hand-in-hand with the millions of digitized records on the site and is bound to help you find records you had not known about previously.

When viewing a person’s detail page, just click on the “Search records” link and it will pull up all kinds of digitized records that you can then attach to the individual.

Clicking on Search Records will pull up records from millions of digitized records on FamilySearch

Clicking on Search Records will pull up records from millions of digitized records on FamilySearch

I never know what new thing I’ll discover on FamilySearch Family Tree, but I will be sure to keep you posted so you can have fun, too.

“You…never can begin to amagine what we boys went through…” WWI victory at last!

This gallery contains 7 photos.

[This is 11th in a series of letters written by Private A.L. Gooch to his family in Duncan Arizona, while he served in France during WWI.  This letter was written 28 Nov 1918, two weeks after Armistice---the end of the war.  Up until this time, Nig (as he was known) could not disclose details about … Continue reading

Desktop Genealogy Program or Online Family Tree?

Have you wondered whether you should bother to use a desktop genealogy program now that online family trees are popular and feature-filled?  Folks ask me this all the time.

Donald Duck Family Tree

Donald Duck Family Tree

In today’s edition of the RootsMagic News (RootsMagic is a popular desktop program) an article by Renee Zamora appeared which discusses this and sums up the reasons why both are useful for genealogists.  She gave her permission to reprint the article in the RootsMagic News, and provided a PDF version that is shareable.  I liked it enough to share here.   Check it out for yourself.

For the question of which desktop genealogy program is best, I always tell folks to download the trial version of programs they are interested in.  Most of the major programs, such as RootsMagic, Legacy Family Tree, Ancestral Quest, and Family Tree Maker, have a free trial or basic version.  The best program will be the one that feels most intuitive to you.

Simpsons Family Tree

Simpsons Family Tree

They all are powerful and are likely to have everything you could hope for, but it comes down to which one you will actually feel comfortable using.  It doesn’t matter how robust a program is if you are overwhelmed or confused by it.  So give them all a test-drive like I did, and settle on the one that feels best.  I happen to use Legacy Family Tree because it suits the way I research and organize myself, but you may prefer one of the other excellent choices.