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.
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.
This is a collage of the men who have served in the military from my family plus one from my husband’s family. I was originally going to talk about each one of them in this same post but now realize that it would be too lengthy a post. In this post, I will identify the men in the photo collage and talk about them in later posts this week.
Clockwise from the upper left corner: my dad, Edward Thomas O’Neill, World Ward II; John Kenny, my maternal grandmother’s brother, World War I; my uncle, Cornelius Kenny O’Neill, World War II; Alfred Bell, my husband’s ancestor, War of 1812; my brother, Brian Edward O’Neill, post Vietnam; another picture of my dad and last, my maternal grandfather, Samuel Harmon Black, World War I. Not pictured because I don’t have a picture is Harmon Henry Miller who is Samuel Harmon Black’s grandfather who served from Pennsylvania and fought for the Union cause in the American Civil War. Also not pictured are two of my ancestors, Peter Traxler and George Fields, who fought in Pennsylvania during the Revolutionary War. At the end of the war, they moved to Ontario, Canada where King George had awarded them bounty land for their service as Loyalists.