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Library Customer Finds, Returns to Family a 101-Year-Old WWI Registration Card

Posted about 1 month ago by Gayle H

The Local History and Genealogy Department recently received a call from Toledo Library customer Christy Limauro, who purchased a book from the Friends of the Library sale at Sylvania Branch. She opened the book to discover a small brown card tucked inside. It was a World War I registration card signed 101 years ago.

Limauro started researching the registrant, Toledo resident Clem Clair Hubbard, in hopes of returning the card to his family. Using a 1940 census online, she found the names of his wife and children. The Library’s Local History and Genealogy Department staff provided her with obituaries for some of Hubbard’s children that led to additional names. Limauro sent a message to Hubbard’s grandson and other relatives. After a couple weeks, Limauro called Hubbard’s grandson, Ed McPeek of Las Vegas, and was elated to hear back.

Inside a Family Bible

“I am so happy to say that I will be able to pass this family memento on to Ed and his family,” Limauro said. “I hope some day to be able to meet Ed and Debbie in person and hear more about their family and their history in our area.”

Deborah McPeek, Ed’s wife, was impressed with Limauro’s thoughtfulness and desire to return their family document. Deborah McPeek’s granddaughter saw Limauro’s message and was excited to help link her grandfather with her great-great grandfather’s registration card. The experience generated an interest in their family history!

The registration card, for decades tucked inside a family Bible, certainly had a journey! Ed McPeek remembers the distinctive green Bible at the Toledo home of his grandparents, Clement and Mayme Hubbard, until his grandfather’s death in 1964. It then passed to his parents, Helen and Kenneth McPeek, in Ottawa Lake, Michigan. After Ed McPeek’s father died, the Bible was donated to St. Michael’s Lutheran Church. It eventually reached the Friends of the Library book sale. The card remained hidden for so long and is now with Ed McPeek and his family.

Explore Your History

The Library can help you enrich your own family history! By using the library’s link to Ancestry.com, and searching for Hubbard’s home address and place of employment in 1918 when he signed his WWI registration, some images from his life in Toledo emerge. Here are Library links providing a glimpse into the City Park Avenue home of Clem Hubbard and his family as well as his place of employment at Electric Auto-Lite.