Monday, May 1, 2017

Genealogy Wanderings - William Booth Van Aucken

I have been lucky that there has actually been a lot of genealogical work done on some of my family lines...like the Gage and Gallup families.  Before, I ever started researching, there was already very good research that had already been done.  Every once in awhile, I go through and try to fill in information on a female line.  So, I was wandering around my database and started looking at the family of Susan Gage.

Susan was the daughter of Potter Gage and Cynthia Swan and would be my 4th great aunt.  Her brother Gilbert Gage is my 3rd great grandfather.  Susan was born 14 Feb 1832 in Knox, Albany Co. NY and died 29 Dec 1914 in Albany, Albany Co., NY.  Susan married Edward Miner Van Aucken (b. 9 Mar 1833 d.20 Apr 1901) around 1860.  They had three children:

  • Wilbur Eugene Van Aucken b. 5 Nov 1859 d. 7 Mar 1951 m. Margaret Ann Hall
  • David Orville Van Aucken b. 21 Mar 1862 d. 1 Feb 1929 m. Ada Goetz
  • Sarah Frances Van Aucken b. 23 Oct 1864 d. 25 Oct 1878


Things get a little interesting when you look at the family of Wilbur Eugene Van Aucken.  Wilbur was married to a Margaret Ann Hall in 1887.  Margaret was born in Londonderry, Ireland in 1863 and immigrated in 1885 according to the 1900 census.  Wilbur and Margaret had the following children:

  • Susan May Van Aucken b. 17 May 1888 d. 25 Apr 1968, never married.
  • William Booth Van Aucken b. 1 Oct 1890 d. 20 Feb 1968 m. Marie-Louise Magdaleine Goubet
  • Eva Florence Van Aucken b. 19 Aug 1893 d. 17 Nov 1894


The most interesting one is William Booth Van Aucken.  First, I find a record that he was a Corporal in the New York, Mexican Punitive Campaign Muster Rolls for National Guard, 1916-1917 (Name of source) William seemed to serve in the National Guard during World War I and was primarily stationed near Ft Bliss TX.  Sometime in the following years after World War I, William is stationed in Germany and has married a Marie-Louise Goubet and is now a Captain when he marries Marie-Louise in 1920.  See below a clip from U.S., Consular Reports of Births, 1910-1949 which listed the birth of their daughter Marjorie Ann Van Aucken plus a lot of great info about the parents.


It would be wonderful if you could look at his service record and see what he did and where he did it.  I have found little bits of information.  The area of Germany that William and his wife lived in was a supply depot for the American soldiers still stationed in Germany after the war.  I also found a listing from an online book called Review of the American Forces in Germany” with a listing on William Booth Van Aucken that discusses his early military history in the National Guard and mentions involvement in the Masons as well as involvement in a military prison at Coblenz, Germany.

I also found notation that William Booth Van Aucken retired in 1950 as a Colonel and had served in World War I and World War II.   The last notation I find is that William died 20 Feb 1968 in Washington DC and both he and his wife are buried at Arlington Cemetery in Washington, D.C. - William Booth Van Aucken's Find-A-Grave listing.

His wife lived 13 years longer and died in 1981.  I can’t say that William Booth Van Aucken is glorious hero who had many great feats.  He may or may not have...I most likely will never know.  However, it is clear that he and his wife must have had an interesting life.  Look at the timeline - he served in World War I and likely did well enough that he went from a Corporal in 1916 to a Captain in 1920.  He married a Frenchwoman who had been born in Indochina who had already probably traveled more than most people.  They had two children and he served in another World War.  William Booth Van Aucken just happened to be the grandson of Susan Gage and to have been buried in Arlington Cemetery.  Those details alone prompted me to pursue him further.