I wonder what happened?

I had a little extra time this week in between other tasks, so I decided to try some new searches on the recently upgraded FamilySearch website.  I found a few items that with scans of original documents that directly answered a few questions, but I also found one that had a bit of a surprise…

I started from my grandparents and tried searching back a few generations.  My searches were fruitful right away when I put in Herbert Eugene Lamb, my grandfather.  One of the first records that appeared was his marriage license.


I didn’t know the exact date of their marriage before now.  Back in the 1970s when I started my genealogy research, I was able to interview my grandmother; she said she was married in 1935, but this shows that it happened on 27 March 1936.  Also of note here are the witnesses.  Raymond O. Lamb was Herbert’s brother and Ruth Kelley was Helen’s sister, so now I have a little bit more about them too.  Even better was that when I clicked on the arrow to look at the next page in the database, I got the other side of this document…


With this I was able to confirm my great grandparents’ names.  I was told that Charles Brown’s middle name was likely Elmo when I had visited family a couple years ago, now I have proof of it.  The rest of the information here fits in with what I had already known, but now I also know that they were married by a Catholic priest (although I don’t have the marriage location yet, I might be able to find a little more if I search on the priest’s name).

There were a bunch of census records that popped up the search results as well, but I already had those in my database and had already saved images of them, so I moved on to the next generation back.  Here’s where it gets interesting.  Searching for Eugene Joseph Lamb, Herbert’s father, I had again a bunch of census records in the search results, but also had his World War I draft registration card from 1918.  The front of the card gave me his residence…


This time I didn’t have to click the arrow to see the other side since it was shown just to the left of this on the same image.  It described him as medium height, medium build, blue eyes, brown hair, but wait, what’s that on the next line?


Whoa!  That never came up in any of the family stories.  What happened?  Was he involved in an accident?  Was he born that way?  WTF?!?!!?!

Clearly, I’ve got some questions to ask and stories to find.


  • California, County Marriages, 1850-1952, book 1345, page 152, Herbert Eugene Lamb and Helen Jane Brown marriage, 27 March 1936; index and images, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org).
  • "World War I draft registration cards," digital images, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org), Eugene Joseph Lamb registration card.

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