Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Joe Sheehan and his Veterans Bonus of 1936

Cousin Kevin responded to my last blog post and wrote some interesting comments. He's given permission for me to post his comments:

"Eleanor was talking about the Veterans Bonus of 1936, when Congress finally gave World War 1 veterans a bonus which had been promised years before.

I heard the story from my mother and Eleanor. Joseph Sheehan used his veterans bonus to pay off Josephine's mortgage.

This was years after their divorce but he evidently still cared very much for her.

His health deteriorated a few years later, the effects of the poison gas caused neurological damage which became noticeable twenty years after the war.

Did you know that he was a Chicago Firemen before the first world war? "

Any time I add facts to my database I first verify the facts. Cousin Kevin has provided some very interesting comments about Joseph Carroll SHEEHAN, my grandfather.

I look at Kevin's information and see it concerns Joseph Sheehan who is established to be our direct-line ancestor and several events that concern him; they are:

1. Veterans Bonus of 1936 - based on military service during WW I

2. Joseph used all or portion of his bonus to pay off Josephine's mortgage

3. Joseph's employment as a Chicago fireman pre-WWI
Let me give you my thoughts about the mortgage payoff.
I think that records of recipients of this bonus are not available to genealogical researchers - and I feel that we can take this event most likely happened and that Joseph received his bonus.

The event of a mortgage on Josephine's real property being paid off.
In order to substantiate this event I feel we must:

****establish the location of this property

****search the appropriate land records for
**********grantee deed
**********notice of the mortage payoff ca 1936
**********grantor deed

I do have some information ca 1930s that may assist us. I'll glean info regarding this era in the next few days and blog it. However, what do we know about Joseph and Josephine during this time frame.
{BTW, does any one know if the Brennan cousins - John, Kurtis, Rosemary - would be interested in joining our discussion?}
Joseph a Chicago fireman pre-WWI. Was he employed or volunteer?
As of a couple of years ago no records for the Chicago Fire Department were available, however, that may have changed in the meantime.
Let me get this blogged so that you all can give some thought to this and post to my "Comments" so that all may read.