WWI Lost Service Medals Returned to Family
Another feel-good genealogy lost and found story!
So, I came across a post, back in May of this year, in one of my Facebook groups, Family Treasures Found, of someone posting to find family for World War I War medals to go to. (she later told me they were found in a motorhome her and her husband had purchased years ago, but didn’t clean out until a couple of years ago, which is when they found the medals).
When I saw this pop up in my feed, I thought this was definitely worth my time to find a descendant for! I pick and choose which ones I think will be quick and that are worthwhile to me, and this seemed to be one of them! The poster had posted the following, “To Go to Family of Thomas W. Noonan who was a 1st Lieutenant pilot in WWI. We found these in our Motorhome & have been unsuccessful in locating any surviving family. The round medal is a Service Medal from NY & the one with swords is a French Croix De Guerre Medal. Any info would be wholeheartedly welcomed!”.
I immediately took on this volunteer case, and in about 10 to 15 minutes had built a quick tree from the info that was on the piece of paper with the medals and from the types of medals, gotten descendants, then gotten contact info for most of the descendants through a public record search. It took a little bit longer to get actual WORKING numbers to contact a few of the living descendants. The first to call me back from my messages that I had left, was the winner. 😉 As he had no children and was a widower for at least the last 30 years of his life, the World War 1 War medals went home to one of his great nephews!
The BEST part...This was a story that had come full circle! The great nephew was thrilled to get his great uncle’s medals; the poster had just lost her father due to Covid, and this had brought her a lot of joy; I was going through something difficult at the time, and this had given me a much needed pick me up; and in doing more research on the connection of the owner of the motorhome, where the medals were found, and the owner of the medals, I strongly think the owner (3 owners before- the owner right before just parked and never used it nor cleaned it out) of the motorhome was also trying to find family to give them to, as the owner of the medals had no children, was a widower, and absolutely no family in the area where he passed…So, he unknowingly did what he had set out to do.
A story by Fox9 News had released, before the poster posted it in the Facebook group. You can check it out here: Minnesota couple looking for owners of WWI heirlooms
Some Quick Tips for Finding a Descendant to Return Family Heirlooms (or any other reason):
A Few Facebook Groups if You’re Looking for Help Returning a Find:
There are many Facebook Groups and other social media groups out there that you can post a find on, to get help returning it to family members. These are just 5 that I’m a member of. 😊
Have you come across an heirloom that you are trying to return to family? Have you ever gotten lucky enough to have someone track you down to give you the gift of a family heirloom that they had found? I would love to hear your comments below in the comment section!
More Genealogy lost and Found Cases:
Read about more of my volunteer genealogy lost and found cases under the Genealogy Lost and Found category (if I've kept up with them!😉)
Did you Know:
Did you know that I offer Volunteer Genealogy Lost and Found Search for interesting and quick cases?
7/11/2022 07:34:07 am
Such a heartwarming story! We are so happy for you, your research & wonderful results! Glad this event came at the right time for you❣️
7/11/2022 11:11:52 am
Thank you! Yes, it really was a "heartwarming story", for ALL involved! I was so glad that I could help, by finding family and getting the contacts needed. :)
Marian Burk Wood
7/13/2022 06:49:24 am
Such a wonderful ending to the story. Congrats on this accomplishment! PS--I've had good luck connecting via Ancestry trees and Find a Grave users, but I know it's a long shot most of the time.
7/13/2022 08:46:03 am
Thank you! Yes, it really was a wonderful ending; it came full circle! Yes, many have had luck with messaging via Ancestry or FindaGrave, but it is not the fastest way to get a response. Not everyone is directly related, in which it may help you, but you'd need to go the longer route. ;)
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