New KRUEGER Family Gold Nuggets!

(This is research for a law school paper – not my family line)

I continue to research, almost obsessively, the fascinating KRUEGER family (with a focus on Dorothy Jane Krueger SMITH).  I have uncovered a few gold nuggets in the past couple of days that I will share in this post.

I do want to say that there are things I am not going to reveal here for several reasons.  If you have been following my posts on this research, you know that I am doing this to help my daughter with a paper she is writing on the Supreme Court case.  We have uncovered some little known facts about Dorothy’s court-martial and the subsequent appeal and writ of habeas-corpus filed by lawyers hired by General Krueger that led to the Supreme Court case.  These nuggets are reserved for my daughter’s paper and I will not talk about those facts here.  My primary focus is the family history research and this is all I will write about in this blog.

One of my biggest questions was, what happened to the teenaged children of Aubrey and Dorothy SMITH after the murder and Dorothy’s arrest.  I was able to find their names, which I won’t post here to protect their privacy.  However, I did find the answer to my question in a wonderful biography of General Walter KRUEGER, General Walter Krueger: Unsung Hero of the Pacific War by Kevin C. Holzimmer.  The children went to San Antonio, TX to live with the General and wife, Grace.  Grace was in failing health at the time and did not live to see her daughter released from prison.  The biography is full of wonderful nuggets of information.  I recommend it to anyone with an interest in military history, WWII or history in general.  It is meticulously researched and very well written.

I also found out that General Krueger was on the cover of Time Magazine 29 Jan 1945 and there is a wonderful article about him (with some terrific quotes) in the same issue. Intellectual copyright law prevents me from posting the cover picture or information from the article here, but I can give you links to both.  Well worth reading and the cover picture is great!

World Battlefronts: Old Soldier


Dorothy Jane Krueger Smith

(This is research for a law school paper – not my family line)

Dorothy Krueger Smith

Dorothy Krueger Smith

Dorothy Jane Krueger was the daughter of famed General Walter Krueger.  Gen. Krueger is best remembered for his  command of the Sixth United States Army in the South West Pacific Area during World War II under Gen. Douglas MacArthur. He was the first soldier to rise from the rank of Private to General in the United States Army. He was on board the U.S.S. Missouri during the Japanese signing of the surrender treaty at the end of World War II. He retired from the Army as a full, 4 star General.

Walter Krueger was born in FlatowWest Prussia (German Empire) (since 1945 Złotów, Poland), the son of Julius Krüger, a Prussian landowner who had served as an officer in the Franco-Prussian War, and his wife, Anna, formerly Hasse. Following Julius’s death, Anna and her three children emigrated to the United States to be near her uncle in St. Louis, Missouri. Walter was then eight years old. After Anna remarried, the family settled in Madison, Indiana.

In September 1904, he married Grace Aileen Norvell. They had three children: James Norvell (July 29, 1905 – December, 1964), Walter Jr (April 25, 1910 – February 15, 1997) and Dorothy Jane, (January 24, 1913 – May 22, 1991.  Both James and Walter Jr attended the United States Military Academy, James graduating with the class of 1926 and Walter Jr. with the class of 1931. Dorothy married an Army officer, Aubrey Dewitt Smith.

Walter met Grave Aileen Norvell in the Philippines in 1903.  She was there to visit her sister, the wife of an Army chaplain.  He returned to the US in Dec. 1903 to Fort Crook, Nebraska.  He took a two month leave beginning 10 Sep 1904 to marry Grace.  The newly weds returned to Fort Crook and their first child, James Norvell KRUEGER was born there.

As the daughter of an ambitious man, Dorothy grew up privileged and sheltered.  Dorothy was born while her father was serving at posts on the east coast.  He was at Fort Ontario, NY and Madison Barracks, NY around the time of her birth.  Gen. Krueger served another short tour in the Philippines.  They returned to  Fort Leavenworth, Kansas upon his return to the US.

Dorothy married Aubrey Dewitt Smith at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, MO in 1934. Her father was stationed at Jefferson Barracks at this time. They had a son in 1936 and a daughter in 1938.  The Smiths were stationed at some point after their marriage in San Antonio, Texas.  Dorothy by this point had a history of mental issues, alcohol abuse, and narcotics abuse.

Aubrey was involved in the conflict in Korea and directly after that was stationed in Japan where he was  Colonel, Chief of Plans and Operations Division [Logistic section] of the U S Army in Japan.  Dorothy continued to have mental and substance abuse issues.  These issues were, in her words, jeopardizing her husband’s career.  She claimed he was going to send her home to the US.  In reality, Colonel Smith got orders to leave for Washington, where a promotion awaited him. Apparently Dorothy, in an alcohol and narcotics haze, misunderstood and thought only she was being sent back to the US.

On October 3, 1952, Dorothy stabbed Aubrey with a hunting knife while he was sleeping. She told her Japanese maid to call a neighbor, who testified that she was sitting on one of their twin beds holding the knife, while Aubrey lay bleeding on the other.  Later the maid’s version of the story was that she took the knife from Dorothy and hid it downstairs.  The neighbor, another Army colonel, called an ambulance for Aubrey.  He was  taken to the hospital where he died, without giving any testimony, 4 hours later.

More on the legal case in the next post.

Ask And You Shall Receive – Sometimes.

(This is research for a law school paper – not my family line)

Kathryn Smith Obit
Thank you, thank you, thank you genealogy community.  I had asked in my last post on Aubrey Dewitt Smith for an obituary for his mother, in hopes that would prove my research theory that Katie PIATT was his mother.

I had contacted Judy Young, who posted Aubrey Dewitt Smith’s memorial on Find a Grave.  She and I have been in communication for several weeks now trying to tie up loose ends in the line.

Today, Judy emailed me that she had contacted Frances Doubt SMITH, who researches SMITH and lives in that area.  A few hours later, Judy emails me a copy of the obituary I was trying SO hard to find!  It is a genealogical miracle.  Not only did it prove that Katie PIATT is Aubrey’s mother, but it gave me her full date of birth, place of birth. death of date and place of death.  It names her husband and her surviving children.  This is a wonderful gift and I am SO grateful to generous and helpful genealogists and family researchers who go above and beyond to help perfect strangers.

A HUGE THANK YOU to Judy and to Francis.  It means so much!

SMITH Family Tree for Aubrey Dewitt Smith

(This is research for a law school paper – not my family line)

I said on my post about Aubrey Dewitt Smith that I would write about his wife, Dorothy, next.  I decided instead to post Aubrey’s SMITH family tree.  I have most of this sourced, but some questions remain.  If anyone has further information or corrections to what I have posted here, please let me know.


Whether or not Katie Piatt was the wife of Dewitt E SMITH is not really a question for me.  There is much evidence to support this.  On the transcription of the Pilot Grove Cemetery, available on the USGenWeb site for Cooper County, MO, there is a tombstone for a De Loss SMITH, with the correct birth and death dates for Dewitt E Smith. The transcription states he is the husband of Kathryn, nee PIATT. I believe this is either a transcription error, or an engraving error that no one bothered to have fixed.  There is also a spot in his plot for Kathryn “Kate” nee PIATT; his wife; born 1876; daughter of James M and Nannie B nee Lloyd PIATT.  There is no evidence that she is buried here.  Perhaps her name was carved on the stone when it was made.  According to the Social Security Death Index, she died in PA.  We know she was alive in 1952 as she is listed in a newspaper article as a survivor of Aubrey Dewitt Smith.  The article gives her name as Mrs. Kathryn Smith of Boonville.  I have not been able to find burial information for her.

I am SEARCHING for her obituary and have looked everywhere I can think to look.  If anyone has her obituary or any other information on her death and burial, please share.

SMITH Family Report

First Generation


1. Rebecca. Born in 1803 in Virginia, United States.

Rebecca first married John A SMITH. John A died in 1860; he was 63. Born in 1797.

They had one child:

2            i.            Dewit (1832-1900)

In 1834 when Rebecca was 31, she second married John  A SMITH, son of Philemon SMITH & Nancy ABSHIRE. John  A died in Virginia, United States, on 6 Dec 1857; he was 60. Born on 6 Jul 1797 in Mundlesville, Virginia, United States.

They had the following children:

2            i.            Dewit (1832-1900)

ii.            Abraham J. Abraham J died in Egypt, Page, Virginia, United States, on 14 Nov 1903; he was 69. Born in 1834 in Virginia, United States.

iii.            Elijah S. Born in 1836 in Virginia, United States.

iv.            Mary. Born in 1838 in Virginia, United States.

v.            Daniel C. Born in 1840 in Virginia, United States.

vi.            Samuel G. Born in 1842 in Virginia, United States.

vii.            Rebecca Ann. Rebecca Ann died in Pleasant Hill, Cass, Missouri, United States, on 8 Dec 1907; she was 62. Born in 1845 in Virginia, United States.

viii.            Pamily A. Born in 1849 in Virginia, United States.

Second Generation


2. Dewit SMITH. Dewit died in Mendota, Washington, Virginia, United States, in 1900; he was 67. Born in Jan 1832 in Virginia, United States.

On 30 Sep 1857 when Dewit was 25, he married Elizabeth A ROTHGEB, daughter of Daniel David ROTHGEB & Sarah KEMP, in Page, VA. Elizabeth A died aft 1872. Born in 1838 in Virginia.

They had the following children:

i.            John. John died on 21 Aug 1936; he was 74.  Born abt 1862 in Missouri.

3            ii.            Dewitt E (1863-1930)

iii.            Joseph. Born abt 1865 in Missouri.

iv.            Mary. Born abt 1868 in Missouri.

v.            Charles. Born abt 1872 in Missouri.

Third Generation


3. Dewitt E SMITH. Born on 12 Apr 1863 in Kelly, Cooper, Missouri, United States.  in 1900  Clear Creek, Cooper, Missouri.  in 1920  Boonville, Cooper, Missouri. Dewitt E died in Boonville, Cooper, Missouri, United States, on 3 May 1930; he was 67. Buried on 4 May 1930 in Pilot Grove, Cooper, Missouri, United States.

On 16 Sep 1894 when Dewitt E was 31, he married Katie PIATT, daughter of James Madison PIATT & Nancy Belle LLOYD, in Cooper, Missouri. Katie died in Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, United States. Born in Jul 1876 in Missouri.

They had the following children:

i.            Dewey J. Born abt 1899 in Missouri.

ii.            Max Deloss. Max Deloss died on 31 Mar 1977; he was 72. Born on 1 Feb 1905 in Missouri.

Max Deloss married Elizabeth Epping SMITH. Elizabeth Epping died on 25 Jan 1999; she was 89. Born on 13 Mar 1909.

4            iii.            Aubrey Dewitt (1907-1952)

iv.            Duane C. Born abt 1910 in Missouri.

v.            Martha Belle. Born in 1912 in Boonville, Cooper, MO. Martha Belle died in 1916; she was 4.

Fourth Generation


4. Aubrey Dewitt SMITH.  in 1930  United States Military Academy. Aubrey Dewitt died in Tokyo, Japan, on 4 Oct 1952; he was 45. Buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Born on 14 Mar 1907 in Boonville, Cooper, Missouri, United States.

In 1934 when Aubrey Dewitt was 26, he married Dorothy Jane KRUEGER, daughter of Walter KRUEGER & Grace Aileen NORVELL, in Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, Missouri. Born on 24 Jan 1913 in 1913. Dorothy Jane died in Peru, Clinton, New York, United States of America, on 21 Nov 1996; she was 83.

They had the following children:

i.            Daughter. Born abt 1936.

ii.            Son. Born abt 1936.

Aubrey Dewitt Smith

(This is research for a law school paper – not my family line)

Aubrey Dewitt Smith

Aubrey Dewitt SMITH

I have finally finished the family trees for the people involved in the Supreme Court case my daughter is writing the legal paper about. I could have gone further back in the family research, but as all Research Junkies know, it is hard to stop.  I have taken the family lines back further back than I needed to.  I have gotten so caught up these people who I truly feel connected to now.

This post is about Aubrey Dewitt SMITH.  He was murdered by his wife, Dorothy Krueger SMITH in Japan in October of 1952.  Dorothy was the daughter of famed WWII General Walter KRUEGER.  From the newspaper articles and legal papers that we have read, it would seem the Dorothy was an alcoholic and narcotics addict.  She killed Aubrey in his sleep with a hunting knife.  The Smiths had two children, a daughter, age 14, and a son, age 16.

Aubrey Smith‘s story is very impressive.  He came from humble beginnings in Cooper County, Missouri.  His father was first a farmer, then a laborer in a pipe factory.  Aubrey’s appointment to The United States Military Academy marked the beginning of a brilliant military career.

At the time of his death, he was a Colonel, Chief of Plans and Operations Division [Far East Command’s Logistic section] of the U S Army in Japan.  SMITH was repeatedly decorated for valor in WWII and the Korean War.  Awards include Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Custer, Silver Star with Oak Leaf Custer, and Bronze Star Medal.

A brilliant career was cut short by his tragic murder.  Dorothy Krueger SMITH is a tragic character in this story as well.  She had sought medical help for her addictions and mental problems and her doctors let her down.

I will write about Dorothy tomorrow.

Mystery Solved After 16 Years of Searching!


Today was another day for me to get sidetracked in my family research.  I am supposed to be working on family research for my daughter’s legal paper, but things keep popping up.

In yesterday’s post, I talked about getting in touch with a LISTER cousin.  I promised him some narrative reports on the family lines we share.  I was proof reading one of the reports and something popped out at me that I had never noticed before in my database – a BARNETT connection.

In “About” I talk about the beginning of my family research started with a family Bible.  This Bible lists my ancestor, William “Mill Creek Billy” THORN, his wife Sarah, and their children, with dates of birth for all.  The baffling thing in the Bible was that it also listed a two generations of a BARNETT line, beginning with Joseph Barnett and his wife, Lucy.  The Bible lists all of their children and their dates of birth.  It goes on to their son Micajah and his wife Jene, listing their children and their dates of birth.  I thought this meant that there was a connection, somewhere, between the BARNETTs and the FOSTERs through someone in Micajah BARNETT’s descendants.

I have been in touch with BARNETT researchers and exhausted all possibilities of making a connection between the BARNETT family and the FOSTER family. While proofing my narrative report today for my THORN(E) line, I noticed BARNETTs in the lines of an ancestor’s sister.  Wow!  After all these years of searching, I found the connection.  It just wasn’t where I thought it would be.

The answer as to how this Bible ended up with my gg Aunt Myrtle (a FOSTER descendant) will probably never be answered. The connection is that my ggg Aunt, Mary Jane THORN married Charles Chancey HINSDALE.  They had a daughter, Leminda Ann HINSDALE, who became the second wife of William Micajah BARNETT. William Micajah BARNETT is the great grandson of the Joseph BARNETT in my Bible.  He is the grandson of Micajah BARNETT, through his son, Javan, by his second wife.  This is all so complicated I know, yet SO exciting to find the connection.

The moral of the story is – NEVER give up!

I Got Sidetracked Today!

TombstoneI promised more info on the Supreme Court case from 1956 that I am doing family research for.  The cases of Reid v. Covert and Kinsella v. Krueger were combined for the Supreme Court hearing because the two cases were so similar.  I will write the story here later, but today something else caught my interest. I was sidetracked by ancestral information on one of my ancestral lines.

I sent an email a day or so ago to someone who had posted a note on the memorial of my 2nd great-grandmother, Susan Wingo FOSTER.  His last name was Lister, Susan was descended from a LISTER, so I saw a lead.  He emailed me back today and is definitely a distant cousin with a lot of LISTER information.  I have a lot of WINGO and THORN(E) information to share with him.

I had always had this family listed in my database with the spelling LEISTER, but further research shows that my ancestors in the line always used LISTER.   I did a global find and replace in Reunion (thank you for that feature) and have corrected the spelling for my line.

Leonardo Andrea, a now deceased professional genealogist who specialized in South Carolina research, stated in an article dated March 23, 1966, that the correct spelling of the name was originally LEICESTER and that it was first an English surname.  According to the article, LEICESTER became LEISTER when the family arrived in America, then some dropped the “i” and became Lesters; others would drop the “e” and became Listers.  There are also some indications that some descendants adopted the spelling Leaster.

This was all very interesting and allowed me to make some great updates to my family tree. Now, back to the legal family research for that great paper my daughter is writing.  Maybe I can actually get those trees completed and get back to work on my lines.  That is just one of the things that makes me a Research Junkie.

My Current Research Project

My research has now veered away from digging further into my own genealogy.  My daughter, a 3rd year law student at George Washington University in DC, came to me for help in researching the families of people involved in a Supreme Court case about which she is writing a paper that will most likely be published. Justice Clarence Thomas is teaching the seminar. The cases, Kinsella v. Krueger and Reid v. Covert were joined for the purposes of the Supreme Court hearing due to their similarity.

I have been able to research the family lines of both the wives and the murdered husbands back quite far into the past.  I have found some photos, passenger lists, passport applications, graves of the murdered soldiers and a lot of other interesting information that will add color to this paper, which will probably be published.

This is a great example of how learning to do family research can have uses aside from personal genealogy.  I have gotten so involved with these families that I feel I know them.  I will write more about the actual case tomorrow.

Hello Fellow Research Junkies


I started this Blog tonight to work on Family History and Family Research.  It seems like blogging is the newest addition to increasing visibility for researching family, ancestry, etc. This is brand new and I have to decide what direction I am going to take. Maybe I will just tell you every day what it is I am working on.  Every day it is something different as one thing might lead me to something totally unrelated.  Researching my family history has been something I have done since 1996.  I am working on redoing my family web page and will post a link to that once it is updated.  Most of the work I have done so far has focused on my maternal lines – primarily my maternal grandfather’s ancestry. If you read the “About Me” post, you will see that it was a family Bible from this line that got me started in genealogy.  It all began with FOSTER and as all family researchers know, that has led to many branches on the family tree.  The primary surnames in this research are BERRY, FOSTER, GARNER, HEADEN, HURT, KIMBROUGH, LISTER, MORELAND, THORN(E), TURNER, and WINGO.  These were all English in origin, with the first known ancestors of the family arriving in Gloucester, Viriginia on the ship, “The Safety” in 1635.  Robert FOSTER and Thomas THORN were both passengers on this ship.  Many generations later, Durham Lee THORNE (the “e” was added by Durham Lee’s father, William Taylor THORNE) and Annie Caldwell FOSTER married and are my great grandparents.  That was quite a coincidence.