Recently, I spent a day going through the collection of old receipts, clippings and miscellaneous documents that I’ve acquired in my genealogical quest over the years. One of the items in the collection was a World War II coupon / stamp book that belonged to Egbert Victor Emms. I remembered seeing it before but hadn’t taken the time to explore its history.
The name on the front was Victor Emms who at the time lived at Box 423 Kemmerer, Wyoming. Who was he? Let’s find out.
A quick search for “Victor Emms” didn’t result in any promising hits until I noticed a posting on Find-a-grave for “Egbert Victor Emms”. His grave was in the Kemmerer City Cemetery, so I knew I had the correct person.
The next search was on New FamilySearch. There he was, Egbert Victor Emms born on 3 Feb 1890 in South Shields, Durham, England to Albert and Isabella Robson Emms. He died on 13 Jun 1950 in Provo, Utah, Utah.
Noting his death was in Utah before 1955, his death certificate was probably online on the Utah State Archives and Records site.
His death certificate confirms the birth, death and burial locations that I’d found earlier. It tells us that he was a laborer by occupation and died of stomach cancer at the age of 61.
A search for the surname Emms in the Kemmerer Cemetery show that his wife Maggie and their daughter, Lydia Mae are also buried there. Obviously the family had ties to Kemmerer that extended at least back to World War II.
I’m still looking for more information about the family to add to the story of their lives.
Single clues often lead to big discoveries in genealogy research. My initial reaction to the Ration Books was of their historical significance so I could teach our grandchildren about conditions in the lives of their ancestors. That lasted long enough to read the name on the cover and of course, like you, I succumbed.
Who was Victor? What was his life like? You know the rest of the story. It always works that way with me and probably with you too.
When you go through your own historical collections on a winter day, expect the review to take longer than anticipated once your eyes land on a name and it invokes your undeniable research interest. Dust off your Sherlock hat. You’ll be using it soon too.