John Kenny passport application potrait crop

This is John Kenny, my maternal grandmother’s brother.

John Kenny was born in Ireland but served in World War I in the U.S. Army as an American citizen.   He was naturalized an American citizen in the Circuit Court of  Newport News, Virginia in July 1918.  Back then, men could become citizens of the United States by enlisting in our military.

John served in France with the United States Army from August 18, 1918 until July 4, 1919 and never even learned to shoot a gun!  No, John wasn’t a pacifist.  The army never issued him a gun!  He practiced marching with a broom stick while in the United States and when he got to France, he still didn’t get a gun because  there weren’t enough to go around.  Fortunately, John got to France just before peace was declared.

Harmon Black, end WW1, front

This is my maternal grandfather, Samuel Harmon Black

Samuel Black served in the U.S. Navy from March 2, 1918 to February 5, 1919.  I wish I knew more than that concerning his time in the military.  I sent in the required form to get more information and am currently waiting for a reply.


Comments on: "World War I Soldiers, John and Sam" (2)

  1. Maryann Barnes said:

    Welcome to the great Geneabloggers community! I also have Irish kinfolk on my side of the family, and also my husband’s side. What a great WWI story. My Irish grandfather came over from Belfast and joined the New Jersey National Guard for four years right before WWI. His Petition for Naturalization was in 1924, so I guess that service didn’t count to become a citizen. Good luck researching! Cheers, Maryann

  2. Maryann, Thank you for the welcome. John Kenny’s WWI story is one I learned from my recently found cousin.

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