In our visual travels through old newspapers we see lots of pictures of service men and women whose families are wishing them birthday greetings and sending them other loving messages. From time to time we will post these pictures with some information about the featured person since many family researchers either have no knowledge that their family member was in the service and/or have no picture of the family member while in the service (see LVC’s blog post of September 23, 2012, “The True Unsung Heroes of World War II”).
So, have fun uncovering these discoveries along with us!
In this post we feature Private First Class Benjamin Taylor
“Pfc. Benjamin Taylor, son of Mrs. M. J. Taylor and the late Rev. Joseph Taylor of Lockport, La., celebrated his 22nd birthday on April 11. Taylor has been in service a year overseas. He is now somewhere in France. His mother, friends, sisters and brothers send him greetings and best wishes for a speedy and safe return home.”
Pfc. Benjamin Taylor of Lockport, Lafourche parish, Louisiana was the son of Joseph Taylor, a Baptist preacher and his wife Maude nee Modeste Taylor. In the records we find Benjamin had an older sister, Pauline, a younger sister Geraldine and two older stepsisters, Beatrice Boudreaux and Evelyn Boudreaux. Both Joseph and Modeste Taylor were native Louisianians as were their fathers and mothers. In 1920 Joseph Taylor was a laborer in partnership with two others, one of whom owned a sawmill. By 1930, at about the age of 52, Joseph had become a preacher which he made his life’s work until he died.
The Taylor family was so happy to wish their son and brother a happy birthday during his time overseas. They knew the servicemen received copies of the newspaper wherever they were stationed. “…the Weekly provided invaluable information about the experiences of Black soldiers during World War II.”
Sources: Louisiana Weekly, 4/21/45, pg. 11; 1920, 1930, 1940 US Censuses; http://www.amistadresearchcenter.org/archon/?p=creators/creator&id=68