What became of George D Russell is no longer a mystery. In 1946, he returned from service in World War II to his home in Forest Hills, Queens County, New York. I could not find him after this date- until now.
George died in 1997 and was buried in Saint Charles Cemetery in East Farmingdale, Suffolk County, New York. (As of this writing, the picture of the gravestone on the FindAGrave page is not his, but rather another person of the same name in the same cemetery. There are many men named George Russell; hence, narrowing them down is challenging.)
Among the little information I received about George was:
- He was a soldier in World War II. His Army serial number was 329 60 000.
- His last known address was 110-35 72nd Road, Forest Hills, Queens, New York.
Using these two facts, I searched for George using modern-day resources.
Limited information was available. At Fold3.com, this serial number was indeed used by George D Russell, born in 1914. He enlisted in New York City on May 24, 1943 and was married or single, depending on which extraction is viewed.
I ordered the file for this veteran. The service records for World War II were destroyed in a fire. The only surviving document, according to the National Personnel Records Center, was George's final payment voucher, which I promptly requested. No date of birth was on the voucher; but George's signature was. The address in Forest Hills was the same address I was originally provided. (The correspondence and voucher are below.)
|Final Payment Voucher for George D Russell|
for service in the United States Army during World War II.
(This is a poor copy that was sent to me.)
Unable to quickly find George, I made a family tree of men named George Russell and D Russell who lived in New York and New Jersey and were born around 1914.
When the draft registration cards were published on Fold3, I analyzed all and found no definite matches for the signature. No number on the draft card corresponded with the number for George of Forest Hills.
I tried other techniques, such as searching for the address in newspapers and city directories. When the 1950 census was published earlier this year, I viewed the inhabitants of this address- an apartment building by then. No Russell family.
A few weeks ago, Ancestry's shaky leaf feature signaled that records needed reviewing. The leaf suggested that George of Forest Hills was George Deforest Russell of Malone. I had looked at this George, but did not think he was a match. First, he lived in Malone, New York. This is in Franklin County, just south of the border with Canada. This is about 350 miles north of New York City. Second, the signature on his draft card did not match the signature I had on the final payment voucher.
|Map showing distance in miles (350) between New York City and Malone, New York.|
|Marriage License, Bronx County, New York|
issued November 3, 1951.
Groom- George Deforest Russell. Bride- Eleonora Albina Vercelletto.
George Deforest Russell and Eleonora Albina Vercelletto
married November 10, 1951 in Yonkers, Bronx County, New York.
|Affidavit for License to Marry|
Groom- George Deforest Russell. Bride- Thelma Tufexis.
Signed October 16, 1941 in Forest Hills, New York.
Downloaded from New York City Department of Records and Information Services.
|Annie Zdyrko and Jerome Lupo-|
Witnesses to the marriage of George Deforest Russell and Thelma Tufexis,
October 26, 1941 in Forest Hills, Queens, New York.
It appears that George D Russell of Forest Hills and George Deforest Russell of Malone are the same people. Perhaps George registered for the draft again when he moved from Malone to Queens around 1940 or 1941. This second number was used for his service, but somehow the first card was located and notated with the service information.