Leslie Carlisle Grant was born about 1912 in Macon Co., NC. I last found him on the 1930 census in Miami, Dade Co., Fla., living near his sister Ethel Heinneman. Shortly after, he supposedly joined the Army. Coming home on leave from who knows where in 1931 or 1932, he supposedly drowned in New Orleans’ Lake Pontchartrain or the Gulf of Mexico. How can I find out where he was in the military, and what records show about him?
—from the FamilyTreeMagazine.com Brick Walls Forum
Unfortunately, military service records won’t help you, since the War Department didn’t compile service records for the Regular Army—men who served during peacetime. (For more, see archives.gov/genealogy/military
Leslie Grant’s death certificate should give his cause of death. If he indeed died in Louisiana, you can request the record from the Louisiana State Archives, which has instructions on its Web site
An unusual death might’ve led to an autopsy. According to the New Orleans Public Library Web site
, autopsy reports held there are “almost exclusively limited to crime-related deaths or to accidental deaths caused by some sort of violence (e.g., suicide, automobile accidents, drowning, etc.).”
Autopsy Reports, Proces Verbaux, 1905-1968 include the date and cause of death as well as other information from autopsies. Coroner’s Record Book Journals, 1905-1969, record all cases referred to the coroner.
“Seems like an event like that would have made the papers,” posted FamilyTreeMagazine.com Forum
user Michele. “The current major newspaper is the Times-Picayune
.” It’s among the microfilmed holdings at the NOPL, which offers a newspaper listing by year
. See your February 2007 Family Tree Magazine
for newspaper research advice.
If you can’t visit the Crescent City, ask your librarian about requesting microfilmed records through interlibrary loan. Also research Ethel Heinemann, who may have left correspondence, funeral cards or other documents bearing clues about what happened to her brother.
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