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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My Father's Life Story : What Can On-line Research Tell Me That I Didn't Know About Him

I knew my Father, Frank J. Bognar, Jr.,  for almost 46 years before he passed away in the early Spring of 2002.  He was a major influence in my life.  Thinking that I knew everything about him, I decided  to find further information about him on the Internet.

As with most people searching for their heritage, I did a very basic and wide search on Ancestry.com at www.ancestry.com .  The first two results were the 1930 and the 1940 U.S. Census.



No new or surprising information was revealed from these two census listings.  In 1930, the home address was mentioned as 1940 Burd Avenue.  In the 1940 census, the home address was listed at 812 Salisbury Street. Neither home is currently standing.  

Next, I searched on Fold3 at www.fold3.com .  His name appeared in the WWII U. S. Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949.  He was aboard the U.S.S. Takanis Bay CVE89.  This page shows the date of his transfer from the escort carrier to the USN Hospital in Seattle, Washington,  This is something that I did not know...just having his date of transfer from ship to hospital is something that I can add to my research, and reference that date when searching for his medical records while in the U.S. Navy. He is listed on line 7, as a Machinist Mate 2nd Class, along with his service number



Fold3 has the muster rolls for the U.S.S. Takanis Bay CVE89 from 1944 through 1946.  Dad's name appears on each muster prior to his transfer to the USN hospital.  

Next, I used Mocavo at www.mocavo.com , a free website for researching genealogy.  They show the Social Security Death Index listing for my Father.  They also mention that there is a memorial listing for him on Find A Grave at www.findagrave.com . No new information for me here.


Family Search at www.familysearch.org  also has the same SSDI and 1940 Census return that the previous websites have in their search results.

My Heritage at www.myheritage,com  repeats the previous results : 1930 and 1940 U. S. Census returns, Find A Grave memorial, and SSDI listing.

GenealogyBank at www.genealogybank.com has the obituary for my Dad from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 2 and 4, 2002 issues.  I do have several copies of this in my family records.


I turned to the Veterans Administration Grave Locator at http://www.cem.va.gov/, and found that Dad was listed correctly with their database, which simply repeats what was in the search results from previous websites.


In addition, the St. Louis Archdiocese http://archstl.org/cemeteries/ has a grave location search engine that helps to find the location of each burial in the cemeteries of the archdiocese, and the ability to reveal what persons share the same burial plot as the deceased.  Here, both of my parents are listed being interred in Section 17A Lot 0129, along with their dates of burial.  


Both People Finders at www.peoplefinders.com and People Smart at www.peoplesmart.com have correctly listed Dad as being deceased, and both mention my Mother as being related, as well as his last location of residence.

World Vital Records at www.worldvitalrecords.com shows a database search result from their public records index.  Showing the last three addresses where my Dad lived, it also includes phone numbers, and naming my Mother as his relative. Of course, there is no new information for me here.


Tribal Pages at www.tribalpages.com doesn't result in any new information on my Dad's life, however, it does show a listing for my grandfather, Frank Bognar, Sr., and his first wife, Anna Springer.  This is a new avenue for my research into that family lineage. But that is for another time.

Conclusion  for now :  The transfer date of my Father from the U.S.S. Takanis Bay to the USN hospital in Seattle, Washington, has been the only new piece of information that I have found during this attempt to update my Dad's story.

Ancestry and it's affiliates are having some server problems this week.  Unfortunately, it has interrupted my on-line searches with additional websites that I wanted to feature here.  There might be a lack of research and browsing this week due to this problem.  With a little luck on their end, this could be resolved shortly.  In the meantime, making good use of other history sources and libraries may prove to be beneficial.  Happy searching to all.

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