Charles Hollis Shaw (1917-1945)

Charles was the son of Thomas Alfred Shaw and Annie Maude Mayfield. He was my 2nd cousin, 2x removed on my father’s side. Charles was a Private in the 448th Antiaircraft Automatic Weapons Battalion. He died on 23 May 1945 in Mortefontaine, Aisne, Picardie, France. He was interred and has a monument in Epinal, France. He was born in 1917 in Snyder, Kiowa County, Oklahoma, married Josephine Warmuth in 1938 in Los Angeles, California, and lived in California. He was the father to one son.

According to Find-A-Grave.Com, Charles was a passenger on Flight C-46D (#44-77507) which was taking 41 American soldiers and repatriated prisoners of war that were ill or injured to hospitals in the Paris, France area and was then eventually going to take them all back to the United States. This flight occurred after Germany’s surrender on May 7, 1945.  This C-46, for unknown reasons, developed a fire in one of it’s two engines and crashed near the village of Taillefontaine, near Paris.

Photo credits: Jesse Mayfield Sr ( and Andy (



John Franklin Caldwell (1895-1975)

So, this is the man we all knew as Boss. I have chosen him as my first person to write about because it is Memorial Day and he was a Veteran. According to his Veterans Affairs file, he served in the Army from his enlistment date of 6 February 1918 until his release date of 23 May 1919. I have not found any information on where he served or what he did during WWI. If any of the family knows, I’d be interested to know.

The picture below is his draft card from World War I. It is especially nifty to get to see his signature. I remember seeing it later in life and I don’t think it changed significantly over his entire life.

boss ww1 draft

This is one of our favorite family photos. It must have been when they were dating.He married Granny (Elsie Harvenia Merritt) on 6 October 1919, so not long after he was released.


At that time, they were living in Alexandria, Louisiana – the Census shows them there in 1920. By 1923, they had arrived in Marshall, Texas and begun their family, with my Nani, Margaret Caldwell, followed not long after by Annette Caldwell in 1927 and Robert Franklin (Bob) in 1928. For World War II, Boss had to register, but as far as I know, never served. This document is kind of neat, because it shows the address of Granny’s parents, 402 N Bolivar.

boss ww2 draft

This is another favorite picture of mine. I will always associate Boss with pipes. Many of us ended up with pipes of his when their house was cleared out. That smell of pipes…


The tiny photo below has many of Margaret’s descendants all in one picture with Boss and Granny. Fun photo of Mom as a blonde and Aunt Becky with really tall hair!
Top row, Rebecca (Becky) Ortis Carter, Tom Carter, and Charles Dixon. Second Row, Faith Caldwell (then Dixon, now Pannell), Boss, Granny, Margaret Schrott (Nani), and Front Row, Debbie Dixon and Charley Dixon. Missing are Johnny Ortis and his sons Carter and Johnny and Samantha Robertson. To be fair, I think Johnny Ortis was the only one of those grandkids who might have been born by then.


Boss, Granny, Nani, and Uncle Bob are all buried together at the Greenwood Cemetery in Marshall, Texas. Boss died right after Christmas in 1975. That was a really sad Christmas.


This is an abbreviated tree. James Gee Caldwell left north Alabama and took his family to south Louisiana. John Luther Caldwell left Georgia and took his family to north Alabama (Hollywood, Jackson County). John Caldwell left South Carolina and took his family to Georgia. His predecessors came from Castle Caldwell in Ireland.

More on the other ancestors in a later blog.

boss tree

Are you related? Let me know.



Why am I doing this?

Why am I doing this?

It all comes down to family. As I do more and more genealogy, I realize that I have not shared as much as I should. Facebook is ok, but it isn’t really optimum for sharing all the “goodies” I have found over the years. So, I thought, what the heck, I’ll start a blog. We’ll see how this goes. I hope my family enjoys it. If others do too, super! 🙂