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  • Genealogical Issues: War Brides and Babes

    Myra V. Gormley, C.G.

    Published Date : October-November 1988
    When American GIs poured into Great Britain in 1942 they met many British girls -- and about 60,000 marriages took place, further intermeshing American and British pedigrees.

    There also were more than 20,000 babies fathered by American and Canadian soldiers during and just after World War II. Many were born out of wedlock. These so-called “war babes” are now middle-aged and many seek their North American roots.

    The “War Babes” now have a support and search group in England. For information about it send three International Reply Coupons and a large, self-addressed envelope to War Babes, 15 Plough Avenue, South Woodgate, Birmingham, B 32 3TQ, England.

    The story of some of the young English war brides is told in a delightful book, Sentimental Journey, by Pamela Winfield in collaboration with Brenda Wilson Hasty. It was published in England, but copies may still be available from June Harris of Transatlantic Brides and Parents Association, 2009 Nottingham, Pasadena, TX 77502. The price is $14.50 postpaid.

    These young brides came thousands of miles to live in a strange place. They had to learn about new foods, a new climate, a new way to talk ... and they were a long way from Mum and Dad. As one GI bride noted, “I was much too young to realize that one can never eradicate one’s background, that it is an essential part of one’s identity and one to be cherished...”

    The organization called Transatlantic Brides and Parents Association (TBPA) publishes a small monthly journal called Together Again for its members. There are more than 3,000 subscribers, and in 1986 many British war brides went back to England on a group tour. Together Again can be used to locate other war brides, their families and descendants. Annual subscriptions are $5.00 from Pat Morgan, editor, 11902 Southlake Drive, Houston, TX 77077.

    For additional information about TBPA membership ($10.00 a year) and meetings, contact Janet Abbott, 7235 Pine Grove, Houston, TX 77092. There are several branches of TBPA that meet throughout the United States and Canada, including an annual conference.

    Since 1983 Myra Vanderpool Gormley, C.G., has been sharing genealogical insights and tips with newspaper, television,and radio audiences nationwide, helping people to track down, untangle, and demystify their family trees. Ms. Gormley also writes a weekly column distributed by time Los Angeles Times Syndicate. For Myra’s Beginner’s Genealogy Kit, a how-to guide in notebook format with suggested sources and pedigree charts, send $4.00 and an SASE to Myra V. Gormley, 8402 57th Street West, Tacoma, WA 98467.

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