I have been searching for my lost relatives and have finally found them! Click here to read about how I finally found them after 65 years. I am now searching for the Love Family. Click here to view the Love Family page. I have also obtained some more photos of my grandfather from his navy days. Click here to view them.
I have created a click-able chain of family group pages for the Crawfords, Orrells, and some Nooners. Any names you see highlighted within a family group page can be clicked on to lead you to another family group page. (You may need to use your browser's back button to move back to previous pages; I have only provided a link back to this page on each of the family group pages.) I plan to add additional family group pages as I find the time and as I receive more information. The main lines linked here now are Crawford and Orrell.
I have much more information on the Orrells than Crawfords at this time, and would like to trace my Crawford line farther back. If your line and mine match, please email me! To begin the family group pages chain, click here.
The story behind the search for my grandfather's family and his living relatives is quite interesting. I have decided to leave the story posted here to give readers some idea of my genealogy research problems and my quest for finding my grandfather's relatives.
In the summer of 1925, my grandmother, Thelma Guthrie (b. 1905) of Harkers Island, North Carolina, was engaged to my grandfather, Henry Lee Crawford (b. 1901) of Ardmore, Oklahoma. Henry was a radioman in the US Navy and was stationed at Hampton Roads, Virginia. For a time, he was stationed at Cape Lookout Coast Guard Station, located beside Harkers Island, where he met my grandmother. Thelma did laundry for the servicemen stationed at "the Cape".
Henry Lee Crawford
Henry had applied for submarine duty so that he could receive a higher rank. He received his orders for submarine duty much sooner than expected. The orders arrived one afternoon in the mail, and he was to leave the very next morning. Henry and Thelma were supposed to be married relatively soon. He had already bought a house and land near Hampton Roads, Virginia. However, they did not have time to marry before he left.
He was assigned to the USS S-51 at New London, Connecticut for six weeks. After being there for about three or four weeks, the submarine sank in an accident off the coast of Block Island. The accident occured on the night of September 25, 1925 when the steamship, the City of Rome, starboarded the submarine. Only three men out of the 36 member crew survived the sinking. My grandfather, unfortunately, was not a survivor. Divers recovered his body from the wreckage about November 2, 1925. His body was sent home to Ardmore, Oklahoma for burial in Rose Hill Cemetery.
The picture here shows the S-51 submarine after it was finally raised in the summer of 1926. The gaping hole where the City of Rome ran into the S-51 is shown.
After Henry's death, Thelma later discovered she was pregnant with Henry's child and wrote his family to inform them. His sister, Effie, who was only 17 at the time, wrote my grandmother back. They corresponded for several years. I have in my possession 22 letters Effie wrote Thelma dating from 1925 to 1932. There were more letters written than 22; however, some have been lost through the years. The last letter was dated in 1932. In these letters, Effie mentioned some names of her brothers and sisters, but not all of them. I also have one letter Henry wrote to Thelma approximately three weeks prior to the accident. Shortly after Effie's marriage marriage to Duvie Love around late May 1932, Effie moved, and she and Thelma lost contact with one another, and thus contact was lost with the whole family until the present day.
Thelma later married and had three children, and died in 1967. All of her children are still living, including the daughter by Henry, named Lavinia Gertrude (b. May 15, 1926).
These pictures are of Thelma and Lavinia as a child (on the right), and Lavinia as an adult (on the left).
for more information on the USS S-51 accident.
Read Henry's obituary.
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Last modified: November 14, 2000.
Copyright 2000 by Tara Guthrie.
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