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Stop Battling with Military Records 

August 16, 2022 @ 7:00 pm 8:30 pm

Come join us at 7pm, Tuesday, 16 August 2022, at the Fernandina Branch Library for a free presentation by John Strasburg concerning military records and their usage in your genealogical research. Military records can be a rich source of genealogical information, but many researchers steer clear because they don’t feel confident working with them. Become more comfortable around military records by joining guest presenter John Strasburg as he describes the various records available and how to obtain them. Whether experienced with military records or just getting started, everybody will come away from this program with something new.  

Google Meet joining info
Video call link: https://meet.google.com/wgv-uoog-hpi
Or dial: ‪(US) +1 857-529-7434‬ PIN: ‪232 319 062‬#
More phone numbers: https://tel.meet/wgv-uoog-hpi?pin=7090056606911

Speaker: John Strasburg

John Strasburg
Stop Battling with Military Records  2

John Strasburg is a genealogist who specializes in military records research and enjoys helping others discover their ancestral past. A retired U.S. Coast Guard commissioned officer, John holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from SUNY Stony Brook, a master’s degree in library & information science from the University of South Florida, and a certificate in genealogical research from Boston University’s Metropolitan School, Center for Professional Education. John recently published his first book titled He Charged Alone: World War I Medal of Honor Recipient Private First Class Frank Gaffney, available on Lulu.com.

He Charged Alone: World War I Medal of Honor Recipient Private First Class Frank Gaffney

Frank Gaffney was a 33-year-old papermaker from Western New York when America entered the Great War in 1917. While his age exempted him from serving in the military, Gaffney ran to the colors anyway. He fought bravely on Belgian and French battlefields as a U.S. Army soldier with the 27th Division’s 108th Infantry Regiment. On September 29, 1918, Gaffney singlehandedly breached a section of Germany’s Hindenburg Line, coming away with 80 prisoners. Six grateful nations recognized his bravery, including his own. In June 1919, the United States awarded him the Medal of Honor. Years later, the 27th Division’s commanding general, Maj. Gen. John F. O’Ryan, wrote of Gaffney, “…no one man had performed more daring exploits and had exercised a bigger influence upon those about him by the gallantry of his conduct.”

In He Charged Alone, John Strasburg chronicles the life of a First World War American soldier whose bravery was once compared to that of the legendary Sergeant Alvin York. To tell the story, the author weaves together Gaffney’s personal correspondence with military/government records, newspaper accounts, and published unit histories. Nearly fifty illustrations—photographs and maps—augment the narrative.

Much of the book focuses on Gaffney’s military service, heroism on the battlefield, and subsequent rehabilitation from a combat injury he received in the war’s closing days, but not overlooked are Gaffney’s upbringing and how he managed the burden that comes with being a Medal of Honor recipient. At its core, this book memorializes a true American hero from New York State who in life was admired by people across the country but in death has been nearly forgotten. In He Charged Alone, Frank Gaffney’s legacy returns to the fore, where it belongs.


Amelia Island Genealogical Society

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Fernandina Beach Library

25 N 4th St
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 United States
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(904) 530-6500
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