Ruth's Genealogy

“And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.”

Gene Hall was my granduncle, the brother of my grandfather Victor Earl Hall. Both are the sons of my eccentric great-grandmother Dovie C McBurnett and her first-of-six-husbands, my great-grandfather William Earl Hall.

William Earl Hall has always been a mystery man. He died when Gene and Victor were young boys and I have found very little documentation about him (1 census entry and the Hall-McBurnett marriage certificate only).

A few days ago, a cousin I met online a couple of years ago sent me a copy of Gene’s VA records. Thanks, Diane!

There is a wealth of information in these documents, but most importantly for me is a one-paragraph mention of William Earl Hall!

Father: Born in Topeka, Kansas, he was killed when patient was eleven or twelve years of age in a train wreck at the age of 34 (1917) while working as a locomotive engineer. He was a Methodist and regular church goer. He was a “red-headed Irishman, always smiling and happy.” Home atmosphere was a cheerful one.

This is a direct account from an immediate relative! Granted, that doesn’t make it gospel. But I had heard the story about the train accident from other, more distant relatives and this comes from William Earl Hall’s oldest son, so for now… I’ll take it! :)


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