It's a safe bet that you should always start with the United States census when you're beginning the search for an American ancestor. The federal census, which actually was first taken in our young Republic in 1790 and then every ten years after that, can give you the nuts and bolts you need to start a more extensive search: names, ages, places of residence, and the names of a person's children, relatives, and even others living in their household. But in the case of your grandfather, another repository of records contains the information you need to discover much more about his life before 1930. Leland's birth date makes him a likely candidate to have been included in one of the most significant collections of information about Americans in the early 20th century.
When Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare at the end of January 1917, it became increasingly clear that the United States would be joining the fight across the Atlantic. The United States had an army of less than 150,000 men at the time, nowhere near the force that would be needed to help ...
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