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Dee Burris Blakley ([personal profile] dee_burris) wrote2012-06-21 18:35

Geneabloggers with USN research experience...HELP please

One of my cousins contacted me yesterday, looking for some help in finding out about the Navy career of Albert E Smith.

He wrote:
I bought an antique naval officer's sword recently and am trying to research the original owner. I bought the sword in Columbia, PA, and it is a fancy presentation sword made by Shannon, Miller & Crane of NY, which is a known 19th cen. sword maker. The blade is etched with USN on one side and Albert E. Smith "80" on the other. I believe as did the dealer that this sword was presented to Smith when he graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1880. I presume that he would have been about 20 in 1880 and if he followed a career in the Navy would have served in the Spanish American War and WWI. I tried to do some Internet research myself but the only possible references I found was one in the NY Times , Sept. 2, 1880, stating that "Cadet Engineer Albert E. Smith has been detached from the Despatch and placed on waiting orders."

My cousin went on to say that he found a second NY Times article dated March 1, 1911, after talking about how Albert E. Smith was in a sailing regatta in New York. The article stated that, "Mr. Smith has been an enthusiastic yachtsman for a number of years."

The dealer who sold the sword to my cousin said the sword was bought from an estate sale in New York.

Photos below, including a close-up of the inscription.
Sword and scabbard
Photobucket


Engraving on sword
Photobucket

Internet searches we have conducted are inconclusive.

I haven't found any Ancestry family trees that mention an Albert E Smith having a career in the Navy, or graduating from the naval academy in 1880.

The VA's Nationwide Gravesite Locator does not list an Albert E Smith who was in the Navy, or who lived and died during the appropriate time.

I can't find him in Find a Grave. Military records at Ancestry are not helpful.

Any ideas?
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[personal profile] rainbow 2012-06-22 04:01 (UTC)(link)
i wonder if this might be him:
Officers of the Continental and U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, 1775-1900 about Albert Edward Smith
Name: Albert Edward Smith
Rank Information: Cadet Engineer Naval Academy, Graduated, Assistant Engineer, Resigned
Service Dates: 14 Sep 1876, 10 Jun 1880, 10 Jun 1882
Military Branch: US Navy Officers (1798-1900)
(from ancestry here (hoping that massive link works!)
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[personal profile] rainbow 2012-06-22 04:10 (UTC)(link)
no clue if they might be related, but there's a bert e smith, jr here, but he enlisted in louisville, ky

eta: and there's an albert e smith here who's from lynn, mass, and serving at marblehead in 1920. he's a marine, though.
Edited (helps if i put in the link *headdesk*) 2012-06-22 04:15 (UTC)
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[personal profile] rainbow 2012-06-22 23:44 (UTC)(link)
you've very welcome! i just thought to look up the 1880 date and found this page, which lists the 10 jun 1880 as his graduation date:

http://www.history.navy.mil/books/callahan/reg-usn-s.htm

"Smith, Albert Edward.
Cadet Engineer, Naval Academy, 14 September, 1876. Graduated 10 June, 1880. Assistant Engineer, 10 June, 1882. Resigned 7 December, 1886."

found a couple other mentions of him, including here, where he's listed as being from wisconsin -- and gives his date of admission and AGE at admission! admitted sept 14 1876 age 17 years 8 months, which puts him born dec 1858 or jan 1859.
Edited (thought i'd added this link earlier and just saw i'd closed firefox before adding it.) 2012-06-23 03:43 (UTC)
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[personal profile] rainbow 2012-06-22 23:45 (UTC)(link)
i hope it proves helpful!
rainbow: a button with the text "Zentomologist" and a coloured drawing of a butterfly with peace signs on its wings (Default)

Re: Wow!

[personal profile] rainbow 2012-06-23 04:06 (UTC)(link)
oh, dee! i think i found him in a tree! http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/20574343/person/971903526/story/185727f8-87f0-4360-b242-1e8ce49da247?src=search
"Albert E. Smith, second son of John Smith and Elizabeth Leigh. He graduated from Annapolis and served about 10 years in the U.S. Navy. Later became past-assistant examiner in U.S. Patent office."
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Re: Wow!

[personal profile] rainbow 2012-06-23 20:21 (UTC)(link)
you're very welcome! it was so much fun to look for something that wasn't one of my own brick walls! *g*
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Re: Steven's reply...

[personal profile] rainbow 2012-06-25 00:25 (UTC)(link)
hi steven,

you're quite welcome! all the best to you,

carys