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Lost Uncle James Irvine

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


LondonBelle Report 25 Jun 2022 16:44

I'm posting this US WWII Draft Card mainly because the day and month of birth is the same as the day and month of birth given on his New Zealand Army Record.

For residence on the card it states 'Transient'.....could this mean he was a sailor?

Name: James Irvine
Gender: Male
Race: White
Age: 46
Birth Date: 18 Jun 1895
Birth Place: Scotland, Scotland
Residence Place: California, USA
Military Draft Date: 1942


ErikaH Report 25 Jun 2022 17:02

Transient: a person who is staying or working in a place for a short time only.


ArgyllGran Report 25 Jun 2022 17:30

Good find, LondonBelle!

He couldn't have been as transient as all that, if he was contactable enough to be drafted.

The DOB raises hopes. Assuming 18 June was really his birthday, we know he couldn't have been born in 1894, assuming the Sept 1894 newspaper report listed all Ann's children - and the 1901 census gives his age as 6 - so 1895 seems a good bet.

The draft card names no "person who will always know your address", and no employer.
His address was General Delivery, Oakland, Alameda, California.
We know he was in San Francisco in 1919 - just beside Oakland.

If James had decided to cut off contact with his family (apart from birthday cards to George), and had become a wanderer or casual labourer with no long-term address that he could (or wanted to) give to George - all the above would fit.

But of course there's no proof. There were six James Irvines , with no middle name, born in Scotland in 1895 - though none in Shetland. The draft card states he had no middle name.

It's a pity SP doesn't indicate which part of the year someone is born in.


ArgyllGran Report 25 Jun 2022 17:39

Aha! Found it!

One of those 1895 James Irvines was born in Leith, so I had a look, just because of the seafaring connection.

692/1 437
Leith North

Born 18th June at 5pm, at 2 Hamilton Street, Leith.
Father: William Irvine, seaman, Merchant Service.
Mother: Ann Irvine, ms Henry.
Parents' marriage: 1888, January 5th, Lerwick.

Informant: William Irvine, father.

So the draft card is probably that of Neil's uncle James.
His height was 5ft 9ins, and he weighed 148 lbs.
He was white, had brown eyes and hair, and a ruddy complexion.


ArgyllGran Report 25 Jun 2022 18:00

Posting just as a possibility, purely because the parents' names were unknown, and because Spokane is a port (if that's relevant) :

James Irvine
in the Washington, U.S., Select Death Index, 1907-1960
Name: James Irvine
Gender: Male
Age: 54
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1896
Death Date: 21 Apr 1950
Death Place: Spokane, Spokane, Washington
Father: [No Name]
Mother: [No Name]
FHL Film Number: 2032909
Reference ID: 7402


LondonBelle Report 25 Jun 2022 18:08

Well done, AG....did you spend some of your credits ;-)

The marriage date is correct because there is a small announcement in the Shetland Times with that date.

So it looks like William and Ann did get back together!

I did find the New Zealand Army record for James but I don't appear to be able to find it again now .....there was a signature on that and I wanted to compare with that on the US Draft card


LondonBelle Report 25 Jun 2022 18:10

Yes, I saw that Death too and did wonder, AG. There were no parents names but I suppose there is a good chance the Informant wouldn't know any of those details


nameslessone Report 25 Jun 2022 18:14

Cracking bit of work.


ArgyllGran Report 25 Jun 2022 18:31

Was the NZ Army record on FMP, LondonBelle?

It doesn't seem to be on Ancestry - only the Nominal Roll record which I posted, but that's just a list of names. No signatures.


LondonBelle Report 25 Jun 2022 18:36

I'm sure it came up on Ancestry, AG.

I've now gone into Fold3 and found it.

Description on there

Ht 5ft 8in
Black Hair
Brown Eyes
Dark complexion
144 lbs

In fact the Fold 3 looks to have more pages than those I saw on Ancestry


ArgyllGran Report 25 Jun 2022 18:52

From Valuation Rolls on SP:

Tenant Occupier

Occupation: seaman

Photo of Hamilton Street:


LondonBelle Report 25 Jun 2022 19:52

I've found the Service Record it was on Ancestry

Don't know why it doesn't come up automatically!


ArgyllGran Report 25 Jun 2022 22:55

Considering that there's 26 years between the two signatures, it's not surprising they're not absolutely identical - though similar.

Anyway, there's enough other evidence to be pretty sure the two documents are for the same man - mother's details on the NZ record, and DOB and birthplace on the US one.


Neil Report 26 Jun 2022 00:44

To all those who have been helping in my quest to try and find James Irvine I thank you, as I am new to this part of Genesreunited I was unsure of haw it worked. I think I am starting now to see how it works.
I am trying to work my way through the replies and will try to implement some of the suggestions.
Thanks again for your patience.


Neil Report 26 Jun 2022 07:03

After reading all the posts I feel extremely positive that Uncle James has finally been found, for me it means a lot but for a 96 year old in Shetland I think it will mean a lot more, my deepest thanks, Neil


ArgyllGran Report 26 Jun 2022 08:41

You're welcome, Neil. We love a good mystery!

James's birth is 9 months after the incident in Sept 1894 - just a passing thought !


LondonBelle Report 26 Jun 2022 10:03

Thanks, Neil. As AG says we do like a good mystery and we can be like "a dog with a bone". So pleased we were able help!


LondonBelle Report 26 Jun 2022 10:31

Found the following US Social Security Application and Claims Entry but sadly it doesn't say where! Could be Spokane

Name: James Irvine
Birth Date: 18 Jun 1895
Death Date: 21 Apr 1950
Claim Date: 2 May 1950
SSN: 568283294
Notes: 06 Apr 1979: Name listed as JAMES IRVINE


LondonBelle Report 26 Jun 2022 11:24

The following is the Death Certificate for the James that died in Spokane which is on FamilySearch. You will note that it states that his place of birth was California but that could be information provided by an Informant who knew that he had lived in California and assumed that was where he was born. However, the WW2 Draft Document states he was born in Scotland. Also, this James was no longer a Sailor but occupations can change during the 31 years that he had last made contact with his family (1919).


LondonBelle Report 26 Jun 2022 11:37

The following is an article in The Spokesman Review (Spokane) 23 Apr 1950. You will note that the age given in the article is 49 however the death certificate gives date of birth as 18 Jun 1895 together with the place of death ie Bob's Tavern.

Transient Found Dead
James Irvine, 49, a transient was found dead late Friday night in the rear of Bob's Candy Tavern, W315, Trent, police reported yesterday. He had visited the Tavern shortly before he was found. No investigation would be necessary , police said. The body is at Hazen-Jaeger funeral home.