Jump to content

US Naval Service in the 1870's


Brett Hendey
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have the Queen's South Africa Medal to a Dane, who seems to have been a "Walter Mitty", but I am still keen to check his claimed military service. This includes a period in the US Navy after the Franco-Prussian War (1871) and before the Frontier and Zulu Wars in South Africa (1877-79). The man's name was John Peter Holger Nelson, which may have been an anglicised version of 'Jorgen Per Holger Nielsen', or something similar.

With such scant information available, is it possible that the US Navy would have a traceable record of this man?

Thanks for reading this posting.

Brett

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It depends-did he mention a specific ship or station?

Enlisted records are difficult if impossible to obtain. However, Ships rosters are easier to come by-especially down in the Ct. Museums, where they have all sorts off odd ships' company books.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Scandinavian names (I ought to know) were routinely butchered in 19th century American records. Just a name-- no dates, nothing-- is not going to be enough.

My particular favorite is my own greatgrandmother, whose very simple and non-accent-marked name never appeared in anything the same way twice: Persdotter, Person, Pehrson, Pierssen, Pierce, Pearson... whatever the cranky deaf WASP clerk thought he heard weet de agzent.

Also, given the absolutely IDIOTIC Victorian-era fixation with giving ages in years-months-days (instead of simply entering the actual DATE :banger: ) that unchanging data is never the same twice and I've yet to find a single time it was entered accurately as people back-counted on fingers and toes. :speechless:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the replies. They confirm what I had expected. I have yet to try and find out what Nelson did in the Franco-Prussian War, while his claimed services in five South African conflicts between 1877 and 1896 are all unproven. I do have a good record of his service in the Boer War (1899-1902), during which he was wounded in the Battle of Colenso, so that has made up for the other disappointments.

Thanks again.

Brett

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...