Thursday, June 21st, 2012 06:35 pm
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
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Engraving on sword
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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?
Friday, June 22nd, 2012 11:44 pm (UTC)
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.) 23 Jun 2012 03:43 am (UTC)