J.B. Hawthorne Enlists for WWI

100 years ago today…


My grandfather, James Boardman Hawthorne, enlisted in the US Army on Saturday, 13 April 1918 in Texas, probably Houston, where he was living with his sister Etta Mae and her family. He always said he had to lie about his age to get in because he was underage. But, he was 19 years old? I had always thought the age for military enlistment was 18 years. So, a few years ago, I did some deeper checking into the WWI draft. Oh, by the way, I could never find any draft documents for him (that is a clue in itself). I found out that you actually had to be 21 years old to be drafted. There were a total of 3 drafts for WWI and technically when he voluntarily enlisted it was during the first draft. The government didn’t lower the age limit to 18 years old until 12 September 1918.


  He trained at Fort Sam Houston and was assigned to the Medical Corps. – MD 323 F Sig Bn. He went to France as a medic and was stationed in MD Camp Hospital #87, then to MD 116 Field Sig Bn. I am in the process of researching the histories of these detachments. He was the rank of Private when he went in and was honorably discharged on 3 March 1919. He was overseas from 29 September 1918 until 13 February 1919. He told me he was transported on the largest ship in the world at that time. I am thinking it was a ship called the USS Leviathan, but more research needs to be done.



 Photos are from my private collection.

For more information about the WWI draft see:  https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/United_States_World_War_I_Draft_Records  https://www.archives.gov/research/military/ww1/draft-registration

A more detailed blog post about my grandfather’s service including additional photos will come out later this year.

Tombstone Tuesday: Alexander Travis Hawthorne


Alexander Travis Hawthorne

Born: 6 April 1860, Mobile, Mobile, Alabama, United States

Died: 15 January 1926, Waco, McLennan, Texas, United States

Son of Adoniram Judson Hawthorne (1834-1877) and Clara Elizabeth Amelia Ford (1835-1908)

Alexander Travis Hawthorne is my Paternal Great-Grandfather



Hollywood Cemetery

Plot: Sunset Lawn, Lot 48, No. 6

3506 North Main, Houston, TX 77009

Note: His birth and death dates are wrong on the headstone. A separate blog post about his death will be produced in the future using his death certificate, cemetery records, newspaper obituary, and will.

PHOTO CREDIT: jdbradley (Find A Grave member #46598837) . Permission granted.

PHOTO SOURCE: jdbradley, Find A Grave, database and images (www.findagrave.com : accessed 13 January 2016) memorial page for Alexander Travis Hawthorne (1860 – 1926) – Find A Grave Memorial #30146435.

Daily Blogging Prompts: Tombstone Tuesday, GeneaBloggers (http://www.geneabloggers.com/daily-blogging-prompts/tombstone-tuesday/).

Tombstone Tuesday: Myrtle Christine (Hamrick) Hawthorne


Myrtle Christine (Hamrick) Hawthorne

Born: 22 August 1904 Birmingham, Jefferson, Alabama, United States

Died: 6 February 1985 San Diego, San Diego, California, United States

Daughter of George Thomas Hamrick (1869-1919) and Lillian Alice Foster (1877-1927)


Myrtle Christine (Hamrick) Hawthorne is my Paternal Grandmother.


Services and Burial: 9 February 1985 2:00 PM

Loma Siesta Terrace 462

El Camino Memorial Park

5600 Carroll Canyon Rd., San Diego, CA 92121

PHOTO CREDITS: J. Paul Hawthorne personal collection.

Daily Blogging Prompts: Tombstone Tuesday, GeneaBloggers (http://www.geneabloggers.com/daily-blogging-prompts/tombstone-tuesday/).

Tombstone Tuesday: James Boardman Hawthorne (1899-1993)


James Boardman Hawthorne

Born: 12 January 1899 Greenville, Butler, Alabama, United States

Died: 12 December 1993 Escondido, San Diego, California, United States

Son of Alexander Travis Hawthorne (1860-1926) and Kathryn Ann Albertson (1869-1915)


James Boardman Hawthorne is my Paternal Grandfather.


Burial: Wednesday, 15 December 1993 2:30 PM

Loma Siesta Terrace 462 “A”

El Camino Memorial Park

 5600 Carroll Canyon Rd, San Diego, CA 92121

PHOTO CREDITS: J. Paul Hawthorne personal collection

Daily Blogging Prompts: Tombstone Tuesday, GeneaBloggers (http://www.geneabloggers.com/daily-blogging-prompts/tombstone-tuesday/).

Stars Fell On Alabama 1833 – Who Was There?

  On the evening of Tuesday, 12 November 1833, a historic meteor shower rained down upon the Earth. The falling stars were such that many people thought this to be Judgment Day. The Leonid meteor 1 event sparked a book in 1934 by Carl Carmer entitled “Stars Fell on Alabama”2, which in turn sparked a Jazz hit 3 in the same year.

   So, I wondered… Where were my ancestors on this date?

  I focused my research on just direct ancestors living in Alabama in 1833. I found an excellent report in my RootsMagic 4 genealogy software program called the “Who Was There List”, which saved me hours and hours of research. I had fourteen individuals in three family lines — Paternal Grandfather (red), Paternal Grandmother (blue), and Maternal Grandmother (green).

The list:

Rev. Kedar Hawthorne 36 3XGG Butler County
Martha (Baggett) Hawthorne 34 3XGG Butler County
Clinton Ford 26 3XGG Mobile City
Marcelite (Laurendine) Ford 19 3XGG Mobile City
Mary Theresa (Mitchell) Laurendine 48 4XGG Mobile City
Rev. Paul Hampton Nabors 22 3XGG Shelby County
Mary Hannah Harless 20 3XGG Shelby County
Henry Harless, Jr. 56 4XGG Shelby County
Margaret (Basore) Harless 44 4XGG Shelby County
Abraham Nabors 43 4XGG Shelby County
Nancy Crockett (Crawford) Nabors 41 4XGG Shelby County
John C. Hicks 28 3XGG Montgomery County
Mary Ann Elizabeth (Loper) Hicks 22 3XGG Montgomery County
Hannah (Bergsteiner) Hicks 52 4XGG Montgomery County


Below is an 1833 map of Alabama 5 with arrows pointing to the areas where my ancestors lived. I colorized the arrows to correspond to the names above. Permission granted to me to publish this map by Birmingham Public Library.



Photo Credit: A famous depiction of the 1833 meteor storm, produced in 1889 for the Seventh-day Adventist book Bible Readings for the Home Circle. 6

Did they all see this meteor shower? We will never know…

Show 6 footnotes

  1. “Brief history of the Leonid shower,” National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (https://leonid.arc.nasa.gov/history.html : accessed 12 Nov 2016).
  2. “Carl Carmer,” Wkipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Carmer : accessed 12 Nov 2016).
  3. “Stars Fell on Alabama,” Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stars_Fell_on_Alabama : accessed 12 Nov 2016).
  4. RootsMagic (https://www.rootsmagic.com/ : accessed 12 Nov 2016).
  5. “Alabama1833c.sid,”  Birmingham Public Library (Alabama) (http://bplonline.cdmhost.com/cdm/singleitem/collection/p4017coll7/id/298/rec/2 : accessed 12 Nov 2016).
  6. “File:Leonids-1833.jpg,” Wikimedia Commons (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonids#/media/File:Leonids-1833.jpg : accessed 12 Nov 2016).