Tag Archives: Doran Marable

Belated Birthday

15 October 2011 recently passed unnoticed. I had intended to do this write-up on that date, the first birthday of Graham Ancestry.

Writing these articles has required me to focus my research in ways that I likely wouldn’t have otherwise, and therefore I was able to discover and connect together facts that might have remained hidden in the open. I’ve made connections to distant cousins in Arkansas, California, Oklahoma, Oregon, and other places.

To those that read and contribute to this journal, I give my gratitude:

To Kathy Reilly, a great grand-daughter of Eliza Ann Graham, who offered to share some information with me, but hasn’t yet! Nudge, nudge!

To William Gunn, a great grandson of William Thomas Graham, who told me how his great grandfather died. William, does your Uncle Dwayne have a picture of your great grandfather William?

To Doran Marable, who also gave me details on William Thomas Graham and put me on the path to discover his service in the First World War. Have you turned up that copy of William’s discharge papers?

To Michael Graham, a grandson of Jessie Cornelius Graham, who provided me with a copy of Jessie’s obituary.

To Rick Watts, who granted me access to his family tree on Ancestry.com so that I could view photographs of Jessie Cornelius Graham and his wife Callie Watts, and who put me in touch with Barbara Van Camp.

To Larry D. Watts, for the notes and photographs of James Newton Siler Watts and Eliza Ann Graham.

To Debbie, “walkerz4” on Ancestry.com, for the photograph of John Clifton Condley’s grave marker and the notes on the Condley family.

To Louise Graham Bower, for the surprise packet of family notes on John Henry Graham and his children.

To Barbara Van Camp, for offering me a trove of information on the Watts side of the family and for running the Watts site on MyFamily.com.

To Betty Johnson, for putting me in touch with D J Lathum.

To D J Lathum, the son of Nona (Graham) Lathum, for the notes on his parents and the Lathum family.

To Nancy Weaver, a Find A Grave contributor, for her willingness to accept my correction of Nona (Graham) Lathum’s middle name.

To Jerry Maynard, who granted me access to his family tree on Ancestry.com, which provided information on the descendants of Emma Graham.

To Liz Hill, Family Service Manager at Beverly Cemetery in Illinois, for the directions to Robert Daniel Graham’s grave.

To Linda Steen of the Roller-Coffman Funeral Home in Marshall, Arkansas, for the scan of Blanche (Watts) Graham’s obituary.

To Gail Feese, for the voluminous notes on the Watts and O’Neal families, which she has made me promise not to share online!

To Donald Bohannan, for the information on the Bohannan families.

To Carol Molmen and Jim Garrett, just for being regular readers!


The Great War and William Thomas Graham

Another “lost” second cousin of mine, Doran Marable, recently commented on my entry for his grandfather William Thomas Graham. Doran wrote that his mother Virgie told him that William had “died during WW1” from a nosebleed that wouldn’t stop. In my research I hadn’t even recorded that William had served in the military, so I hit Ancestry.com and began searching their military records. After a couple of false positives, I came across a WW1 draft registration card for a William Graham out of Searcy County, Arkansas. I browsed the scanned image of the card for the pertinent facts and determined it to be a match.

William Graham WWI Draft DetailName: William Graham
Age: 23
Home: Watts, Arkansas
Date of Birth: 20 February 1894
Occupation: Farming
Marital Status: Single
Physical Description: Tall, slender, dark brown eyes, black hair.

Registered with the local board for Searcy County, Marshall, Arkansas on 5 June 1917.

The great thing about this find is that it gave me an exact birth date for William. I had previously recorded his birth as circa January 1893 based on census documents.

Doran’s mother recalled that William “died during WW1”, or perhaps rather, during the time frame of the war.  The Arkansas History Commission has searchable World War I discharge records online, and reports that William was honorably discharged, though it does not state exactly when.  Remember, from my original entry, that the Arkansas Death Index recorded the “county of occurrence” of his death as Searcy, most decidedly not in Europe.  Also, World War I officially ended with an armistice on 11 November 1918, but William was recorded on the 1920 census as residing in Red River Township, then his death in the Arkansas Death Index as 12 September 1920, both occurring nearly two years after the end of the war.  Close enough for government work, as we say in the Army.

Doran also said that Virgie received government payments following William’s death.  That was likely a Section 306 Death Pension, which is defined as “a monthly benefit payable by the Department of Veterans Affairs to a surviving spouse or child because of a veteran’s nonservice-connected death.” This was payable to the spouse of any deceased veteran that had served more than 90 consecutive days of active duty during a period of war, as did William.


Ancestry.com:  Arkansas Death Index, 1914-1950;  United States Federal Census of 1920;  World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917 – 1918.

Arkansas History Commission:  Arkansas World War I Discharge Records.

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations:  Title 38: Pensions, Bonuses, and Veterans’ Relief

Personal correspondence with Doran Marable, William’s grandson, December 2010.

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