Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Ancestors Want To Be Known Part #3: Lawrence Singleton Gilliam

This is a continuum of My Ancestors Want To Be Known Part #1 & #2.  If you are interested in reading part one and part two, go to the links above.

This is a photo of  my 1st Cousin, 2x Removed.  He is the son of Leander S. & Flora Gilliam, born on August 20, 1891 in Worcester, MA.  

According to the 1930 U.S. Census Lawrence married a woman by the name of Rose, and resided in Brooklyn, New York.

Lawrence served in the military during WWI.  I am currently preparing to request documents and information on his service.

Lawrence died October 7, 1948 in New York.


Lawrence Singleton Gilliam

 I wanted to know more about Lawrence, so I began to dig a little deeper.  I found his WWII Draft Card (The Old Man's Draft).  This is what I uncovered:



Lawrence resided at 115-83 228th Street, St. Albans, NY [which is a part of Queens].  He was 50 at the time of his signing his WWII registration card on April 15, 1942.  Lawrence was married to Rose for at least 12 years by this time.

The best lead I got from the registration card was that Lawrence worked for the New York City Fire Department on Municipal Blvd, Lower Manhattan, Engine Co. 57.


Lawrence identified as white.  He had brown eyes, black hair, weighed 170 lbs, and was 5-9. What I found interesting is that his identifying complexion was marked light and crossed out and dark was marked.

I take note of how my family identified because it makes for an interesting story, and as people of color, black, negro, sometimes they tried to assimilate into the dominant society so that they can pursue a better life without having to deal with racism.

Below is an article that I found that mentioned Lawrence. I am hoping that I will uncover more information as time goes on.  I was able to purchase the article from the New York Times Archives.  The article was dated November 3, 1948.  The last part of the article mentions Lawrence as retiring as Chief engineer of fire fighter.

After reading this article again, I realized that Lawrence "Larry" Gilliam died...His body was found the next Thursday.  Is this correct?

As I began to continue researching , I found that Lawrence Singleton Gilliam was buried at the Long Island National Cemetery. (Ancestry.com)