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BIRL entry but g-father never served in Military?

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


William Report 12 Jan 2019 18:05

Hi - I hope I'm posting this in the right place, happy to be redirected if not.

Ancestry has thrown up a strange record for my late grandfather, John Joseph Noble (also known as John Joseph Brown). He never left the UK, but there appears to be an entry in what's called the "U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010" which matches his name and date of birth. I don't know if this database is available on line, but it appears to cover "service" between early 1918 and mid 1919. My only thought is that he was somehow contracted to the US military as a result of his job as a train driver at Greenock and Port Glasgow docks in Scotland?

Any ideas would be great.
Many thanks!
P.S. Date of birth 26th June 1892


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 12 Jan 2019 19:44

If you can access the transcript, can you C&P it here? It seems to be hiding!

The ones showing seem to have a dod - is the information shown correct for your John?

eg -
Name: Joseph Brown
Gender: Male
Birth Date: 26 Jun 1892
Death Date: 7 Oct 1973
SSN: 168120931 <<<
Enlistment Date 1: 18 Feb 1918
Release Date 1: 13 Jun 1919

SSDI for the same person
Name: Joseph Brown
SSN: 168-12-0931 <<<
Last Residence:
19348 Kennett Square, Chester, Pennsylvania, USA
BORN: 26 Jun 1892
Died: Oct 1973
State (Year) SSN issued: Pennsylvania (Before 1951)


William Report 12 Jan 2019 20:00

Hi - and many thanks ... if that's the SS detail for the relevant person then it's nothing to do with my grandfather, simply someone with the same name and the same date of birth!! I don't think the dod matches - I'm just off to check ..



+++DetEcTive+++ Report 12 Jan 2019 21:02

The Joseph Brown posted isn’t necessarily the transcript you found. However, if ‘your’ record gives a SSN you/we can cross reference for a US death.

If your John Joseph had received a US Pension, then he’d probably have a SSN. Personally I think it’s unlikely he had a Pension but you never know.


ErikaH Report 13 Jan 2019 09:33

The record posted is for a Joseph Brown - not John Joseph Brown

And you say your relative never left the UK - the record is for death in USA


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 13 Jan 2019 10:00

Yes Erica. That’s why William has been asked to post the record he found. That way we can check his research & give a better informed opinion.


ErikaH Report 13 Jan 2019 10:48

I've looked at the named file on and got no result for the name John Joseph Brown - or John Joseph Noble



ErikaH Report 13 Jan 2019 10:50

From familysearch

Name Joseph H Brown
Event Type Draft Registration
Event Date 1917-1918
Event Place Chester County no 3, Pennsylvania, United States
Gender Male
Nationality United States
Birth Date 26 Jun 1892
Birthplace King George, Virginia, United States


ErikaH Report 13 Jan 2019 10:52


Name Joseph H Brown
Event Type Census
Event Date 1940
Event Place Unionville, East Marlboro Township, Chester, Pennsylvania, United States
Gender Male
Age 48
Marital Status Married
Race Negro
Race Negro
Relationship to Head of Household Head
Relationship to Head of Household Head
Birthplace Virginia
Birth Year (Estimated) 1892
Last Place of Residence Kennett Square, Chester, Pennsylvania
Joseph H Brown Head M 48 Virginia
Beatrice Brown Wife F 43 Pennsylvania
Joseph Brown Son M 17 Pennsylvania
Morris Brown Son M 13 Pennsylvania
Lily Brown Daughter F 12 Pennsylvania
Marian Brown Daughter F 10 Pennsylvania
Eleanore Brown Daughter F 6 Pennsylvania
Ellen Brown Daughter F 3 Pennsylvania
Citing this Record


William Report 13 Jan 2019 12:57

Hi - thanks all, I'm pretty sure that you're correct and this is a false Ancestry match as it gives the SS as 168120931 - matching the US Joseph Brown given in the thread above. I guess the Ancestry algorithm spotted the matching date of birth, the matching name (or nearly so) and spat it out. I should probably have done a little more research before asking here - profuse apologies to those who spent time on this!!

Thanks again,


ErikaH Report 13 Jan 2019 13:22

No need to apologise - we enjoy the searching


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 13 Jan 2019 16:02

And it’s always interesting to uncover, what might have been, an enigma ;-)