Today’s blog is the profile of my grandfather, Axel Maurice HENDRICKSON. He was born 9 March 1895 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada to Swedish immigrants, Carl Mauritz HENDRICKSON and Amy Augusta PETERSON. The family were in Vermont for the 1900 US census. I don’t know much about my grandfather’s early years, only that he moved around a lot. He was married to Florence Eva 15 May 1915 in Morrisburg, Ontario, Canada. His first child, my uncle Maurice was born in February 1916 in New York. my father came along a few years later on 10 July 1919 when the family was living back in Vermont. My grandfather was a granite polisher there. The youngest of Axel’s three children, my aunt Helen was born in 1921 in Morrisburg, Ontario, Canada. The family was in Detroit in 1936 when Axel applied for the new Social Security cards that were introduced that year. He was a machinist at the time that my father enlisted in the army in 1942.
My grandfather was a small wizened man. at least, that’s how I remember him. he and my grandmother did not live far from where I grew up and we went to visit them often. Grandpa, as we kids called him, liked to play with us, as I recall. I can remember lying across his lap, his left hand on my shoulder while the right strummed my stomach as he pretended I was a banjo. He and my grandmother separated for a time. they died within a month of each other in 1970.
My grandfather heard from the newspapers about the Titanic sinking. He saw the rise of the automobile and radio, followed by television. He registered for the draft for both World Wars and, no doubt, worried for his son during the Second World War.
Like everyone else in his generation, he lived through the Great Depression. He saw soldiers go off to fight in Korea and Viet Nam. He must have worried about my brother, one of those who went to Viet Nam. He saw the assassination of John F. Kennedy, through the eyes of the media. He watched racial tensions explode in Detroit and men walk on the moon. His life was a full one.
One of the things that I have been doing, while writing these profiles, is examining the records that I have. According to his World War I draft registration, he served in the Vermont National Guard, but I haven’t found any records to support that. It’s a direction I can look in. I would have to call the records department and find out where the records would be located. My thought is that they would be in the state archives or even the national archives. In the course of writing this profile, I thought of getting copies of his service record from the Vermont National Guard. Military records are a good source for genealogy data. So these profiles are serving dual purposes. They can tell you what you already know and they can point you in the direction you need to go next. That’s the beauty of combining my two loves of writing, and genealogy.