Sunday, May 9, 2010

Researching Charles W Greenwell

As I mentioned in my posting, Thoughts about a phone conversation, one of the things that I learned in a recent phone conversation with an elderly cousin was the name of the person who had given my grandmother and her sisters some gifts. I also mentioned that I needed to do some more research in order to find out if in fact Charles Greenwell was a cook in the White House as my elderly cousin told me.

Well, here is what I found out:

  1. I had previously seen Charles Greenwell living with my 2nd great-grandfather, William Easton Shofner, in Taylor County, Kentucky in the 1900 census. The following census was found at charlesgreenwell census

  2. I found him on an enlistment register on in the database, “U. S. Army, Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914.” charlesgreenwell enlistmentThis listing gives quite a bit of information about him. Stating that he enlisted on Feb 3 1909 at Ft. Benjamin Harrison in Washington by Capt. Palmer. Born: Hart County, Ky; Age: 22 years old. Color Eyes: Brown; Hair: lt. brown; Complexion: ruddy; Height: 5 ft 10 1/2 inches; Regiment 10 Inf.; Company: F; Last service: Co. F; Regiment: 10 Inf.; Date of Discharge: Jan 27 1909; Remarks: Discharged May 12, 1910 at Washington DC for disability Pvt good h & f. This last “h & f” I have no idea what it could mean…..maybe good health and something. 

  3. The following image comes from It shows him in 1910 where he is found with his unit in Lawrence Twp., Marion County, Indiana. His occupation is listed as private.1910 charlesgreenwell census
  4. His World War I Draft Registration Card found on shows that his exact birth date of January 10, 1887 and shows his birth place as Hart County, Kentucky. It also gives a physical description of him as Tall, Slender. It also has that something is brown and something else is dark. I believe they are listing the color of his hair and eyes, unfortunately, I can’t read the words to figure out which is which.charlesgreenwell wwI draftcard
  5. The following image comes from It shows him in 1920 where he is found living in the United States Soldier’s Home in Washington DC. Everyone is listed as an inmate and none of them are listed with an occupation.
    1920 charlesgreenwell census
  6. In 1930 he is still living at the Soldier’s Home in Washington, DC as is shown in the following 1930 Washington DC Census that I found on He is listed as being an inmate with his occupation listed as Asst. Cook. That supports the story that I heard that he was a cook, however, the Soldier’s Home is not quite the same as the White House. smile_confused1930 charlesgreenwell census
  7. Thanks to a wonderful group called International Wargraves Photography Project, I was not only able to find out that Charles is buried in the US Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery in Washington, DC, but a picture of his tombstone. Click here to go to his memorial. Here is his tombstone found on charleswgreenwellgrave
  8. With the information of where Charles is buried, I emailed the Armed Forces Retirement Homes, as that is what the Old Soldiers’ Home is now called, to find out if they have any records of former residents. I received a response that states, “records during that time period would be located at the National Archives. web site:” That is the response that I really didn’t want.smile_sad I’m not really sure why, but I was hoping that this would be an easy research project….But is that what I REALLY want, probably not. Aside from the hunt, part of what I like about genealogy research is finding out something that no one else has found out.
So that is my research on Charles up to this point. I think my next step is try to get an obituary for him. My understanding of what I have read from the District of Columbia Department of Health website is that I would not be able to get a copy of Charles’ death certificate. So other avenues need to be tried, thus the obituary.
So stayed tuned for future developments!smile_teeth Hope you enjoyed, glad you stopped by and please come back again ;)

1 comment:

  1. There's nothing like a good hunt to keep the blood flowing:) Hope you find what you're looking for. I look forward to the answer.



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