So why am I writing an update? Because I found something even better than a cause of death for William, I found a photograph! OK, Ancestry found it I guess and sent me one of those little leaves, but I'm still excited. It's so rare that I come across photographs.
|William Thomas Sheehan (1899-1951|
William was 20 years old when this photo was taken. The document it was attached to was his application for a Citizen Seaman's Protection Certificate which he filed in September of 1919. The certificates functioned like passports for seamen and were issued at all Great Lake and ocean ports by the collector of customs.
This may have been William's first trip, the spaces provided for listing departures and arrivals is blank on his form, but there is a ship called the Pearl Shell noted on the application. Also included in the file is a notarized, handwritten affidavit from William's mother Lillian Putnam Sheehan giving his date and place of birth. I found a reference to William's ship in a book online called International Marine Engineering, Vol. 23 that indicated the ship was an oil tanker that was part of the Merchant Marine fleet and had been taken over by the US government. That would explain the 1920 census which says William was a machinist who worked for the government.
Below is what is written on the back of the photo and I admit I'm stumped. I get the "Citz" in pencil that must be an abbreviation of citizen, but the rest? Any suggestions what it may mean would be appreciated.