War Bride

My latest family history project is trying to connect with the story of my cousin, Lyla Brown/Curtis, who married an American soldier in the 1940s, and who went to live in the US. I remember briefly speaking on the phone with her after she arrived back from living in the United States. Presumably long dead now, it would be good to track down some of her US history, and some distant relatives. What an adventurous thing to do: to marry someone from another country, and relocate, back in the 1940s. I’m fascinated.

The Northern Star of July 3, 1945 reported

CURTIS.—At Currendina Private Hospital, on 20th June, to Lyla (nee Brown), wife of John E. Curtis, a son, Leonard John. Both, well

The Northern Star of July 27, 1946 reported

ARRIVED IN US: Mrs. J. Curtis, with 12-months old son John, who has just reached San Francisco, where she was reunited with her American husband. They will live at Louisville. Mrs. Curtis, known to Lismore as Lyla Brown, is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L Brown.

Northern Star July 27 1946: ARRIVED IN US: Mrs. J. Curtis, with 12-months old son John, who has just reached San Francisco, where she was reunited with her American husband. They will live at Louisville. Mrs. Curtis, known to Lismore as Lyla Brown, is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L Brown.
ARRIVED IN US: Mrs. J. Curtis, with 12-months old son John, who has just reached San Francisco, where she was reunited with her American husband. They will live at Louisville. Mrs. Curtis, known to Lismore as Lyla Brown, is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L Brown.

According to these record, she was probably known as Lola (which is what I remembered from that conversation back in the 80s.

Title
Mrs Lyla (Lola) May Curtis and child – application for passport [box 51]
Contents date range
1946 – 1946
Series number
SP42/2
Click to see which government agency or person created this item.
Control symbol
C1946/2781
Citation
NAA: SP42/2, C1946/2781
Item barcode
7464085
Location
Sydney
Access status
Not yet examined
Physical format
PAPER FILES AND DOCUMENTS (allocated at series level)
Extent
9pp
Records authority class number
19400
Date registered
02 Feb 2005
Item details for: J25, 1977/7508
    Request copy
Title
CURTIS John Edward [born 1925 – American] wife Lola Mae child David Allen
Contents date range
1959 – 1977
Series number
J25
Click to see which government agency or person created this item.
Control symbol
1977/7508
Citation
NAA: J25, 1977/7508
Item barcode
60170092
Location
Brisbane
Access status
Not yet examined
Physical format
PAPER FILES AND DOCUMENTS (allocated at series level)
Visibility and availability indicators
55. ELM – This entry may be updated by ELM
Records authority class number
1023382
Date registered
30 Jul 2007

 

Aside from random Google searches, and stalking random Curtis names on Facebook, anyone have any tips?

2 Comments

  1. James, My friend Pat (aka DearMYRTLE) sent me this reply when I shared your blogpost:
    Pat Richley-Erickson You would need to know which Louisville. There are at least 8 cities in the US by that name. Does the Australian marriage record mention Louisville as usual residence of the groom?

    Once you know it’s say Louisville, Colorado or Louisville, Georgia, then study the FamilySearch Wiki for an explanation of record sets at the state, county and town level.

    The most recent federal census is the 1940, so that won’t help, unless the marriage record also lists the parents by name. (Here that would be mighty unusual.)

    If digital city directories exist for your Louisville, you might find obtain an address. Use Google Maps in street view to see if the old home exists today.

    If the soldier registered for the draft, you could look up his card at Ancestry com. His parents are the likely next of kin. However if he volunteered as many did after Pearl Harbor, there may not be a draft card.

    Good luck

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