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World War I Gold Star Mothers Pilgrimages

In 1929 Congress enacted legislation that authorized the secretary of war to arrange for pilgrimages to the European cemeteries "by mothers and widows of members of military and naval forces of the United Sates who died in the service at any time between April 5, 1917, and July 1, 1921, and whose remains are now interred in such cemeteries." Congress later extended eligibility for pilgrimages to mothers and widows of men who died and were buried at sea or who died at sea or overseas and whose places of burial were unknown. The Office of the Quartermaster General determined that 17,389 women were eligible. By October 31, 1933, when the project ended, 6,693 women had made the pilgrimage. Once the quartermaster determined a woman was eligible, she was sent a questionnaire. [1]

This database contains the names of those women who were entitled to make the pilgrimage, as shown by department records on 15 November 1929. Each record provides the name of widow or mother, city and state of residence, and relationship to the deceased. Additionally, information regarding the decedent's name, rank, unit, and cemetery is provided. [2]

The last column indicates whether the woman desired to make the pilgrimage in 1930 or "later." If the individual chose to travel after 1930, it was in 1931, 1932, or 1933. If an "x" appears in this column, the person, although eligible, did not state whether they desired to make the pilgrimage or not. [2]


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