Thursday, February 23, 2012

Downton Abbey Meets Grandpa Moses

Season 2 - Downton Abbey

WW I Draft Registration
I've been a fan of British period dramas since the 1970's when 'The Six Wives of Henry VIII' and 'Upstairs Downstairs' made an indelible mark on my impressionable adolescent brain.  So its no surprise that I fell in love with Downton Abbey.  The second season, which just ended here in the US, dealt with the effects of WW I on the family and their household.  There were several episodes with scenes set in the trenches of that war and it got me thinking about how little I know of my grandfather Moses Lee Easley's experience there.  I know that he was a WW I veteran ( in spite of the fact that the 1930 census says he wasn't) and that he fought in France.  Beyond that it's a complete mystery.  I would love to see his military records but I imagine they all went up in that horrible fire in St. Louis that consumed most US military records from WW I through the Korean war.  On the other hand, I have never inquired about the records either so I should probably put that on my genealogy 'to do' list.  I did find his draft record on Ancestry and was surprised to see that he was already in Oklahoma at the time he registered for the draft.  I had always assumed he had lived in Tennessee and didn't move to Oklahoma until after the war.  And why Oklahoma?  I've found records that show some members of his extended family moving here about the same time.  Were he and my grandmother sweethearts already when he left?  Did he serve with an Oklahoma military unit since he registered here?  The only Oklahoma WW I records I've found are casualty lists and he obviously survived the war.  I've looked at some Tennessee records and haven't found him there either.
Moses Lee Easley abt 1920

And the trenches weren't all my grandfather had in common with the fictional inhabitants of Downton Abbey.  His family also experienced the devastation wrought by the "Spanish" flu. be continued.

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